Ground Clearance - How to clear an obstacle? - Newbie question - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-28-2008, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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Ground Clearance - How to clear an obstacle? - Newbie question

Before I start with my story and question, please keep in mind that I have no experience on anything else but pavement... even though not all the pavements

So here it is.
I recently felt the need to explore a little more the littles road off my regular commute, because I guess I start to be bored a little of these daily 40 miles.
So today I took another little side paved road when I noticed that some of the dirt road used by the farmers seem very practicable for a newbie like me and decided to go on one.
So far, everything went perfect, handled right, much better that I though/expected. Was very please and told myself that it will become my daily path until I master it.
So what? well, eventualy I had to get off that nice easy trail to get back on the main road and get to work. But that path ended with a concrete bump. From my side it didnt seem very high and I went over it without thinking much. And guess what... it touch... not big, not bad, just a scratch I guess, but it did touch.

So here is my question(s)... what did I do wrong?
How to approach such obstacle so the bike dont end sitting on the top of it?
May be I was going too slow (2nd gear kindo speed)? Couldnt go much faster as it is to enter a paved road with some traffic.
May be I was going too strait? Should have approach it from the side? But then what if you dont have the space for that?

Anyhow... please stop laugthing and try to make intelligent comments
And dont ask me to post picture of the bump... I m too ashamed to do so... when I looked a the picture now, it looks flat, strait, easy.
Oh what.. ok... here it is.

Of course, you ll have understood that I was comming the other way and took the picture for your joy on the though of writing that post afterward.

Note to Mods:
I dont know in which forum to post that, so feel free to move it as you wish.

K6 Red Vee
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-28-2008, 05:11 AM
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I would go slow over the bump. that way the suspension is not trying to compress. The othe r two things are to look at the bump and go over the smallest area, and set the suspension preload up so the bike rides higher. And as a last resort, install raising links on the rear.

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post #3 of 13 Old 03-28-2008, 07:20 AM
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You are riding what is basically a street bike rather than a trail bike.
On a trail bike it's just a bit of power, lift the front wheel and go over.
Because it's a street bike recognise that it doesn't have huge amounts of ground clearance and that there are some objects that you will touch on. Just go slow and keep your weight back as the front goes over (to un weight the forks) then forward over the bars as the rear goes (to un weight the rear shock), if you hit you hit. You can always buy a bash plate but that will of course lower the ground clearance even more. If traction is perfect and there is no chance of the wheels slipping going over on an angle to the bump will lessen the chances of dragging the undercarriage.
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-28-2008, 08:30 AM
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Try meeting obstacles at an angle.

If you can manage to tackle an obstacle at an angle, you make the slopes more gradual, so less likely to compress your suspension. Slowing down has the same effect.

But when you make the obstacle long enough that both of your wheels are on it at once, then the rear wheel begins lifting the bike before the apex of the bump is under the lowest part of your bike.

This is useless advice for speed bumps, but they don't bother Stroms as much as they bother cars and trucks.

Next time you see this lump, or one like it, proceed obliquely, and you will be more likely to clear it.

But right now, check to see if your oil filter has been damaged, even a little bit. If it has, then your lubrication system is compromised, and it's worth a few bucks to change the oil and filter NOW.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-28-2008, 09:03 AM
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On a real dirt bike, you stand up, compress the suspension by 'bouncing' on the footpegs just before you get to the bump, then hit the throttle and allow a rear weight shift to lift the front wheel (and most of the bike, except the back wheel) over the bump. As you go over the bump you allow your kness to flex, minimizing the effect of your weight on the rear suspension as it hits the bump. I don't know that this would work all that well on a Wee or Vee, and the consequences of failure are dire indeed. If I thought it was close, I'd probably get off the bike and walk it across the bump. Don't need an extra 240 lb compressing the suspension, and potentially driving the oil filter and engine case down on the bump. And if it hung up (at low speed) better chance of backing off it without severe damage.
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-28-2008, 09:04 AM
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-28-2008, 09:07 AM
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Another trick is to be standing on the pegs, approach slowly as mentioned before, but when you're about 3 - 5 feet away, give the bike a short burst of throttle. This will tend to unload the front suspension, allowing it to absorb the bump. Works great on the dirt bikes; I must say I haven't tried it on the 'Strom.

But if the bump is larger than the bike's ground clearance, the only way over without scraping is probably Keith Falkner's suggestion.

Glad to hear you're getting adventurous!

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post #8 of 13 Old 03-28-2008, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by randyo View Post
You can always count on Randyo for the most practical solution.

Alternately, If this becomes part of your daily commute, take a short-handled shovel along next time and do some road work to decrease the elevation differential. Then you can gradually work on techniques mentioned here until you can take Randyo's sage advice for noobies.

Also, get a bash plate, you don't want to bust your oil cooler and or dent your exhaust pipe in the process.

Have fun.

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post #9 of 13 Old 03-28-2008, 10:22 AM
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The problem with approaching an obstacle at an angle is it can deflect your front tire sideways and put you right down. Only do it if it has a gentle enough edge to maintain traction an then go very slowly and carefully.

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post #10 of 13 Old 03-28-2008, 10:27 AM
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Get a skid plate then if it hits it won't matter.
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