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Discussion Starter #1
I spent a few days reading all the fork brace reviews and threads that I could, and the general consensus was that it made a big difference on the way the bikes handle...especially with cross winds and tractor-trailer caused air disruptions. I ride into town on the interstate every day, so I was all for anything that could help. I ride in all weather, and rode in a small micro-burst thunderstorm where the winds really picked up a few days ago with the brace on.

Well, I installed a fork brace a week ago, and have ridden it every day to work in both stop-and-go traffic, as well as up to...um...just a "little" faster than posted speeds on the Internet (Sure officer, I heard that the Vstrom speedometer is 40 MPH off so I had to go faster).

My opinion?

Well...if there is any additional benefit, in my own tests it was very little. Riding in 40-45 MPH side gusts before and after the brace install, I don't really notice any difference. Following a semi down the interstate, I still get buffeted like crazy and the bike wants to jump all over...but is perhaps just a "shade" more stable. I even pulled the brace back off a couple of days ago when I got home and went right back out in the 40 MPH side wind...and I personally don't notice a discernible difference either way.

I think the issue is that I'm using to riding big fairing bikes. While the weight helped stabilize it, the large fairings made them like giant sailboats...and I've learned to adapt to the proper way to handle the bike in high winds and when around semis.

The Wee is much lighter, but with much less fairing than my Ultra Classic that has a large fairing, solid lowers, and a large square tour pack and solid sided saddlebags. I have ridden that at nearly 45 degree angles in bad winds to keep going straight. I instinctively countered the breezes when they came across the bike without getting thrown into the next lane. Same thing with the Wee before the brace install, and afterwards.

I don't know. I'm glad it helps so many others to feel more comfortable with their bikes. To me, I notice very little difference at all. Take this with a grain of salt. I know the person who sold it to me will take it back if I decide to send it. Even if there's a 1% improvement in the handling of the bike, to me it's worth it. So, it will stay on the Wee, since I don't think it "hurts" anything at all. Besides, I'm not the type that sends things back that were honestly represented and sold. I think it's a high quality product, but I think that in my decades of riding, my skill level has developed to effectively counter the effects of the wind without a second thought.

Short of doing a "no hands riding" test down the interstate with and without the brace on, I'm not going to see how I'm personally affecting the bike with the device or not. I'm not willing to do that kind of testing, thank you.

And, before anybody says anything...I don't think it's due to the brand of brace I bought. I bought one that many others here have purchased and love as one of their best farkles. So, I won't list the brand because it really doesn't matter. I believe that the placement of a brace can only help make one feel more comfortable and it does offer a critical area of support on the front forks that should be taken care of by the manufacturer, but I think controlling the bike in high winds does become easier when you have been riding a big kite in the past.

Just my own experience, and opinion.
 

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Interesting.......made a world of difference for me on both Stroms, especially how the big Vee handles in the twisty stuff. For sure was not a placebo effect, it braces the forks for much less flex and makes the front end more stable and planted. I had no high expectations either way, but it for sure works as advertised in my book.
 

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Mastery, from the rave reviews fork braces get on every forum I was surprised I only saw a small improvement when I installed fork brace. Glad to know I wasn't the only one. I learned how to ride on a '73 CB500 on the prairie so I had to learn how to deal with the wind or not ride. Maybe having a lot of experience in the wind has something to do with our perception of the value of fork braces?
 

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I think that you went into it expecting too much, and that's easy to do based on the amount of talk about fork braces. But these braces aren't the be-all & end-all that some will have you believe.

The effects are very subtle, but it does help, and the more miles that you rack up over a wide variety of conditions you will start to realise the benefits.

I personally find the most benefits on rough roads and while off-road, I find less walking of the bike and more feel through the front end :yesnod:
 

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Humm......mine made a difference, especially in cross winds. Still a little wobbly but maybe a 50% Improvement.
Maybe your suspension needs a little fine tune?
Don't know what your riding as your profile states "No Strom Yet" :what:
 

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Throw in another $25 on an ATV handlebar with a cross piece and see what you think. The combo tightens everything up. Oh wait, forgot about the Sonic springs.:mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Don't know what your riding as your profile states "No Strom Yet" :what:
Thanks for the catch, just changed it.

I don't think I expected too much, I just expected a noticeable difference which
I didn't see. I am sure it improved the bike, I just do not see a difference even doing rides 5 minutes apart in the same windy conditions. Again, I contribute that to the fact I have had to learn to ride bikes with more surface area in thunderstorms and severe wind for many, many years.
 

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I ride my fair share of gravel and rough roads, and have ridden in more rain and high winds than I like to admit......the brace for sure helps.
 

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Like you, I've gotten very good at riding in the wind, but I don't think years of "experience" makes much of a difference. I've been riding over twenty years in the SF Bay Area, on multiple types of bikes. The ocean, bay, and foothill winds here can get as nasty as anywhere.

The DL650 is the first bike I put a fork brace on, and the difference was noticeable. The front end sticks to the road better and doesn't get bounced around as much. There isn't that out-of-control push-sway like there was without the brace.

I can still get beat up riding with wind all day, but I do not tire out as quickly as without the fork brace.

The fork brace is one of the most important farkles I've purchased... on my bike anyway.

YMMV...

:yesnod:
 

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If you don't think it makes any difference, ride with it for a couple months, then take it off and go ride the bike under the same conditions for a while. Then come back and tell us what you think........ It was the single best improvement I have made to my bike., no doubt a game changer.
 

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Thanks for the catch, just changed it.

I don't think I expected too much, I just expected a noticeable difference which
I didn't see. I am sure it improved the bike, I just do not see a difference even doing rides 5 minutes apart in the same windy conditions. Again, I contribute that to the fact I have had to learn to ride bikes with more surface area in thunderstorms and severe wind for many, many years.
For a measurable difference that you will be able to see. Take the brace off and get on the interstate behind one or more semi's. Get into the wind buffeting area behind them and ride for a mile or two in this arrangement. Put the brace back on and repeat. I expect that you will see a difference in the way the bike handles/feels - brace and no brace with these repeatable experiments.
 

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Not sure why you expected a fork brace to cancel out the effects of sudden side winds and the like. For me it keeps me more connected to the front wheel - no flex in the forks so you can feel the road more under your handlebars. Stopping the effects of a passing truck, or the buffeting from a truck in front, or of blustery winds they do not do, except to the extent that you have more positive control of the front wheel because of less flex in the forks during extreme windy conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Not sure why you expected a fork brace to cancel out the effects of sudden side winds and the like.
Not at all what I said. Go back and read what I actually wrote. I didn't notice a major difference, I said nothing about an expectation that the brace would cancel out the effects of anything. :furious:
 

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I never noticed problems with side winds before or after the brace. Just cruising around, you'll get nothing but a placebo effect from a brace, IMHO.

Where it makes the most difference(for me...on my bike) is under braking. Trail braking into corners on rough pavement is much better with the brace. I can more accurately place my front wheel on a particular line and it stays on that line. The brace only comes into play when the forks are being compressed.

If you want to see if it makes a difference, mark two lines three feet apart in the direction of travel in a parking lot. Accelerate towards one line and at the last minute, veer towards the other and try to stop with your front wheel on the second line. You should find that you can place your front wheel where you want a helluva lot easier with the brace than without. The harder you brake during the test, the more obvious the brace's effect.

Just my .02.
 

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Mastery, from the rave reviews fork braces get on every forum I was surprised I only saw a small improvement when I installed fork brace. Glad to know I wasn't the only one. I learned how to ride on a '73 CB500 on the prairie so I had to learn how to deal with the wind or not ride. Maybe having a lot of experience in the wind has something to do with our perception of the value of fork braces?
same here

I have a followup question for those like myself that didn't notice any difference

are you on stock suspension, or like myself , upgraded the suspension/rear shock, spring, fork springs, heavier oil, revalving etc.

I'm thinking a fork brace may be more noticable with the stock wallowing suspension than with something sprung for rider weight



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I don't see any difference in how the braces help in side winds. Not sure how it would? I have had them on both the 1000 and 650 V Stroms. Way more improvement on the 1000 than the 650, but the 650 has proper springs, and cartridge emulators in the forks.

I see improvement when leaned over in a turn. I notice the input at the bars seems to have immediate effect on turning. I do see better stability on rough roads.

I like and recommend the fork brace installation. I have owned different "brands". I just don't think you can expect a day/night change on each installation.
 

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same here

I have a followup question for those like myself that didn't notice any difference

are you on stock suspension, or like myself , upgraded the suspension/rear shock, spring, fork springs, heavier oil, revalving etc.

I'm thinking a fork brace may be more noticable with the stock wallowing suspension than with something sprung for rider weight
Could be. My suspension is all stock but my previous bikes were not the best handlers so I already thought the Wee was great handling bike.
When I lived in SW Minnesota I 'had' to get to town to do something so I got on my CB500 and about a mile from home I got blown off the road by a wind gust. After that it wasn't so important to ride to town and I went back home to get the pickup. That was one bike that could've benefitted greatly from a fork brace.
 

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I got on my CB500 and about a mile from home I got blown off the road by a wind gust. That was one bike that could've benefitted greatly from a fork brace.
The metal fender secured by the forks functioned as the brace on those bikes. It would be interesting to compare a before and after if a brace similar to the V-Strom were installed on a CB500 today. I expect no noticeable difference.

I've had my Adventuretech brace for a couple weeks now and the difference is noticeable. I wouldn't call it a game changer. Steering inputs require less effort now. The bike holds a line better as well. I recommend this mod as well worth the money and time to install.
 
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