Low speed handling / feet-up stops? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-31-2009, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Low speed handling / feet-up stops?

Howdy all, nice to meet ya, first post here, name's Erich, put 'er there...

Been lurking for quite a while and this forum helped me decide on my next bike (came down to a Wee or a Versys, Wee wins).

My question is in regards to the Wee as a commuter and low-speed (down to a creep) handling. Currently I ride a cruiser-style bike (Honda Shadow Sabre 1100) and my commute is a mix of heavy stop-n-go traffic plus higher-speed (70-80 MPH) segments.

The Sabre is not a small bike and is a little on the tall side (for a cruiser) and doesn't exactly have a low center of gravity (particularly with a full tank) so getting down to a very slow crawl and stopping without putting a foot down has taken a while to perfect.

How is the Wee in this regard, basically are feet-up slow stops possible or easily done, and how is it for extremely slow speed handling?

I don't expect to sit there at a dead stop all day long without putting a foot down, but a millisecond or so after the stop is nice (just kind of a personal pride / value thing) and since its tough to get a test ride, I have to ask.

VERY much sold on the Wee though after doing tons of reading and lurking here. Thanks in advance for your input and...Strom On!
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-31-2009, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoopy View Post
The Sabre is ... a little on the tall side .... and doesn't exactly have a low center of gravity (particularly with a full tank) so getting down to a very slow crawl and stopping without putting a foot down has taken a while to perfect.

How is the Wee in this regard...
Not much different. Can you take a test ride on one?

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post #3 of 19 Old 01-31-2009, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Wish I could, dealers around here are kinda stingy about that. I've tried asking 'em though.
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-31-2009, 10:00 AM
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It's not the bike, it's the operator.

If you drag your back brake, keep the revs up, feather the clutch and keep your head up, you'll be surpeised at how slow you can go.

If you still have the Honda, try it out in a vacant parking lot.

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post #5 of 19 Old 01-31-2009, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Stromin'Nroman View Post
It's not the bike, it's the operator.

If you drag your back brake, keep the revs up, feather the clutch and keep your head up, you'll be surpeised at how slow you can go.
This is all true.

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post #6 of 19 Old 01-31-2009, 11:27 AM
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This method allows me to stop for several seconds without putting a foot down while on the wee. Slight spurts of throttle/clutch and brake will allow a rider to move ever so slightly (an inch or so) at a time and remain tucked up in the riding position. Add this to your personal practice sessions in an empty parking lot. Try it on a bicycle. It is the same theory and much easier. I can do it all day long on a bicycle. Trials guys take this to a whole new level.
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post #7 of 19 Old 01-31-2009, 11:33 AM
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Last summer a DL1000 won a slow speed competition around here at a Harley meet. Evidently he trounced the Harley guys severely.

Of course, it comes down to the rider more than anything, but I have never understood how a low center of gravity helps you in any way at very slow speeds. I can see it mighting you when picking up a fallen bike, or make it easier to balance when stopped or almost falling. But wouldn't a taller center of gravity make it slower to fall over and therefore make the bike easier to keep up?

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post #8 of 19 Old 01-31-2009, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks very much for the info, Gents.

True, and I'm also well versed in the rear brake / clutch slipping method, and actually since I live not very far from the local DMV office, I make a point to go down there at least once a month and do a little "gymkhana" style workout on their motorcycle test course (they're kind enough to leave their cones out on Sundays, and we get an interesting mix of folks out there who are either new riders practicing for their upcoming test, or just keeping their skills up like me). Lotta fun working a cruiser through the little cone slalom, etc (and rear braking is essential for that).

And since we can't lane split here in VA but we have HOV (carpool) lanes we can ride in, it's not uncommon to get 2-3 or more bikes grouped up on the commute. When traffic eventually bunches up and we're creeping or start/stopping, I make a little personal contest out of it to see who can put their feet down last. Help passes the time.

The seating position of the Wee is higher and since I'm a very significant portion of the higher CG (6'1 235 lbs) this is why I was interested in comparisons or feedback of the Wee in this respect.

V-Tom...good question and my own "feel" to the relevance of CG height is that should you be just a tad "off" in your balance or approach to a perfectly vertical or straight stop, the higher CG would naturally amplify a tendency to lean one way or the other. Just what my own gut tends to make it feel like.

Thanks very much, again, and please let me say I am extremely impressed with the great attitude and expertise among you folks, from all the reading I've been doing here. Breath of fresh air.
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post #9 of 19 Old 01-31-2009, 12:04 PM
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Just remember how top heavy and tall the Stroms are, that poses allot of issues for folks. This bike is really hard to keep from falling, when it decides it wants to. I am not an advocate for lowering the Stroms, I feel they are made to be tall and long for a reason. If you have any dirtbike experience, you will probably love how the Stroms feel and handle. I think it is a great choice for city riding, the suspension travel and torquey engines are huge fun factors.

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Last edited by Big B; 01-31-2009 at 12:06 PM.
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post #10 of 19 Old 02-08-2009, 08:51 PM
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I'm fairly new to riding, only 3000kms on a very low and easy to handle startersbike. I'm 205cm or 6.7 feet. I've got about 700kms on the 650 now, and it is a tall bike, but I don't feel it. It is a heavy bike, but I don't feel it.

I am planning to do all the driving test-techniques very soon when the weather gets better, like practising U-Turns and so on.

2 days ago I went thru a very nice curvy bit. I wanted to ride it again. So I slowed down, and did a U-Turn. And if it was hard, I didn't feel it.

The bike is very maneuverable! Get one, you won't regret it

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