Tires/Handling/Crashing - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-03-2013, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Tires/Handling/Crashing

Sitting here waiting to hear if I am going to have to wear a cast for the next six weeks. The doc says it just a small fracture of the Tibia but orthopedist will have to make the call.

This is the fourth time in that last year that I have gone down on my '12 DL1000. Three of those times have been on a set of TK80s, the first time was on the factory tires and the reason for my upgrade to the nobs.

The first incident was screwing off and playing on the shoulder of a back roads of coastal FL. I had just finished jumping a small sand berm and was making my way back onto the pavement at around 35mph. The front tire made it to the asphalt and the bike instantly spun around until the bike swapped ends and flopped on its side in the middle of the road. This all occurred while traversing the uneven ground of the roads shoulder.

While admit to riding like a knuckle head, I did expect more out of a bike billed as an adventure bike so I though I would remedy the situation by purchasing a set of aggressive tires.

The second incident was when I had to exercise a panic stop from 10mph while exiting a gas station parking lot. This time I applied the brakes while traversing the uneven pavement and the front break locked up washing out the bike.

The third incident was while participating in an enduro event in Central PA. I had just finished a two mile section of jackhammer rock garden when I came upon a large compression at the edge of the woods. I applied the brakes prior to entering the the dip but still found myself airborne as I exited. When I hit the ground the brakes were locked up and the bike washed out and ended up on its side.

This last incident involved braking to avoid a car that was in a panic stop right in front of me. I was stopping quickly without any lock up when my front tire hit a manhole cover that was 6" below grade. Somewhere in that process, the front end locked up, washed out, and I once again found myself laying face first in the middle of an intersection.

I have owned many bikes throughout the years and have not had this sort of thing happen. I admittedly may have developed some bad habits in recent years learning to depend on linked brakes and ABS, both of which are not on my DL1000. Regardless, it seems as though four incidents in one year and 11k miles is extraordinary. I also ride two other bikes and have not had these types of issued. I am wondering how much of it is due to tires, the bike, and how much is due to rider error.

My brother who rides a BMW GS1200A has ridden my bike, refers to it as unbalances and twitchy. I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience or has any recommendations.

Wondering if I can bring my bike into the orthopedist so he can set my cast in the riding position
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-03-2013, 08:05 PM
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Wrong tool for the job IMHO, but MANY Strom riders do much much more offroad and intense than that with little to no issues. Not sure what to tell ya beyond that.....maybe get a better second bike for that and leave the Strom for the street? Maybe look into getting a KTM Adventure or a Triumph Tiger 800, might suit you better.

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post #3 of 8 Old 09-04-2013, 12:19 AM
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It might be worth a look to see if something is tweaked in the front end from the first or second get off. Your brothers comment about twitchiness may be telling you something.

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post #4 of 8 Old 09-04-2013, 08:52 AM
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Assuming no mechanical failure.... Bikes don't crash, people do.... Maybe a change in riding technique is needed?... Or as Brian suggests, maybe the V isn't the best choice for what you want to do and how you want to ride...

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post #5 of 8 Old 09-04-2013, 09:06 AM
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From what you said I am not sure the bike is the problem. Locking brakes up can put you down in a blink on any bike. That was 3 of your incidents. The other you had coming to you.

Dirt bike riding on the best dirt bike results in falls and a lot of them even with a good dirt bike.

I say take this as an opportunity to work on your skills. Take and intermediate to advance class or a dirt class etc. Also practice panic stops a lot.

I am not saying you are a bad rider or I am a better rider but you are working outside your skill set. That is all fine buy you will fall and on the street that can be bad news.

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post #6 of 8 Old 09-04-2013, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenmarklay View Post
Dirt bike riding on the best dirt bike results in falls and a lot of them even with a good dirt bike.
If your not falling from time to time you are not riding hard enough. I have a KTM 300 2 smoker for the tight stuff. My Vee will never see anthing worse than a dirt road. Its simply to big and heavy for that IMHO.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-04-2013, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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I have been thinking long and hard about trading it for something with ABS but I don't want to take the loss of not only selling the bike but all the farkles. I am leaning towards putting Pilot 3s on it and staying on the pavement at least for a couple years until my use of the bike catches up with the depreciation. Thanks for all your input. I am sure it is a combination of things that have caused me to crash.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-04-2013, 01:53 PM
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You're the one that got yourself into the first and third off-road situations on a bike totally inappropriate for the job. Sure, yeah, that's sort of why it's fun, but the way I see it you have no right to complain when a 500+ pound bike doesn't want to clamber out of ruts or land a jump gracefully... :mrgreen:

The second is a classic and common rider error that happens with any bike -- grabbing too much front brake in a slow turn, compounded with uneven pavement. That's on you, although ABS might have helped.

The fourth (the manhole cover) does have a strong element of bad luck. I can't think of any combination of bike and tire that would allow you to safely traverse a sunken, hidden manhole cover under hard braking. Maybe one of those choppas with monster 36" front wheels would roll across it... Even ABS might not have helped much here, so the only possible solution to that one would have been to be aware enough to avoid the need for panic braking in the first place. But shit happens, as we all know.

There's a vast difference, of course, between falling off a wee dirtbike and the mighty bone-shattering thud of 500+ pounds of Vee crashing to earth.

The Vee ain't a dirtbike, plain and simple. It's a versatile sport-tourer. Put a sticker with that slogan on your handlebars or something.

I would also echo the sentiment to check the bike thoroughly for suspension and frame damage. It definitely shouldn't feel "twitchy" or "unbalanced" but then again it has a much higher center of gravity than the BMW, so perhaps that's what your brother is feeling.

Heal up fast, and for Pete's sake, get yourself a real dirtbike!

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