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Question About Low Speed Handling on Cruiser
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Question About Low Speed Handling on Cruiser - March 1, 2016, 03:19 PM

Alright, So I bought a 2004 Intruder 1400 a few months ago. This bike was supposed to be something I could share with my dad if we ever did trips together.

Although, the bike runs and functions mechanically pretty good - here is my gripe...... At low speeds the handling on the bike is stiff. I think thats the best way I can describe it. When turning at low speeds, it literally feels like the bike is just going to fall over and plow right in the ground. It just doesnt FEEL good.

Is this common among cruisers? Im not familiar with riding cruisers too much, more oriented with Sport bikes, dual sports, etc. Or is this just a characteristic of this bike? Can I do anything to get better feel out of the front end?
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March 1, 2016, 03:27 PM

I recently rented a harley which was on the heavy side (for me). I think it was around 800 pounds. I'm used to 365 pound race bike. I had never piloted a machine like that and I was nervous before riding it but after 5 minutes of parking lot practice I was hauling ass all over vegas. Parking lots, garages, stop and go traffic, etc.

Sound like you just need to hit up a parking lot and practice. Maintain some throttle while maneuvering. It will help stabilize the bike.

Another practice is to ride slow as possible and maneuver around without taking your feet off the pegs. Worked for me. Practice, it will go away.

Last edited by CCS762ZX6; March 1, 2016 at 03:31 PM..
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March 1, 2016, 03:29 PM

Cruisers are definitely different animals, particularly at low speeds.
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March 1, 2016, 03:34 PM

At low speeds, lean the bike, but don't lean yourself. Keep your torso vertical. It definitely feels weird at first.. cruisers are definitely different animals, but I actually like the way they handle parking lots and such better than sportbikes. Try lightly dragging the rear brake too.
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March 1, 2016, 03:51 PM

quit being a turd and pickup more speed and you won't have this problem. When you're cornering a harley or cruiser at a low speed you don't lean the bike you steer the bars. once u get above 10 mph u can lean the bike just like a normal bike. Hope this helps. never had a bike that felt like that. my harley is somewhere around 700 lbs I believe and it feels great at low speeds.
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March 1, 2016, 04:13 PM

Wouldn't hurt to double check tire pressure.


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March 1, 2016, 06:22 PM

Suzuki Intruders handle more like choppers than cruisers because their skinny front tire and high degree of rack. So the low speed handling feels very floppy.

I had a vs800 and it definitely took a while to get used to; and actually the 800 has a really skinny 21" tire (80/90-21) ... Crazy floppy feeling.

You basically have to get used to it.. when cruising though the bike feels sportier than most cruisers.


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March 1, 2016, 07:21 PM

Mine does not feel that way


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March 1, 2016, 07:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnbell View Post
Suzuki Intruders handle more like choppers than cruisers because their skinny front tire and high degree of rack. So the low speed handling feels very floppy. I had a vs800 and it definitely took a while to get used to; and actually the 800 has a really skinny 21" tire (80/90-21) ... Crazy floppy feeling. You basically have to get used to it.. when cruising though the bike feels sportier than most cruisers.
This.
The Intruder def has that issue.
I've ridden several.
Very noticeable at low speed.


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March 1, 2016, 08:05 PM

Cruisers are designed for straight line stability and can be reasonably maneuverable at speed, but can feel heavy at lower speeds.

Rake and Trail. From an article here.

The Practical Application of Rake & Trail
Rake and Trail enhance stability, so bikes with lots of both, like modern cruisers and heavy touring bikes, which typically have rake angles close to 30-degrees or more and a trail measurement of maybe 5- to 7-inches, tend to be extremely stable. They generally have impressive stability in a straight line and are able to maintain their composure through long sweeping corners.
On the downside they are often less maneuverable than we might prefer, especially at low speeds. These type of bikes usually require a stronger hand on the bars to initiate and maintain a tight turn. As an aside, this is one reason why cruisers have such wide bars, because the leverage reduces the steering effort. Obviously, other factors including the bike’s weight and of course, wheelbase also plays a role here but all things being equal, the more Rake and Trail we build into a motorcycle, the slower it will respond to rider inputs and the more stable it’ll be in a straight line.
As Rake and Trail are reduced, the bike will become more maneuverable and quicker to respond to steering inputs. It’ll also develop a lighter feel at the handlebars.


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March 1, 2016, 09:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corbett View Post
Cruisers are designed for straight line stability and can be reasonably maneuverable at speed, but can feel heavy at lower speeds.

Rake and Trail. From an article here.

The Practical Application of Rake & Trail
Rake and Trail enhance stability, so bikes with lots of both, like modern cruisers and heavy touring bikes, which typically have rake angles close to 30-degrees or more and a trail measurement of maybe 5- to 7-inches, tend to be extremely stable. They generally have impressive stability in a straight line and are able to maintain their composure through long sweeping corners.
On the downside they are often less maneuverable than we might prefer, especially at low speeds. These type of bikes usually require a stronger hand on the bars to initiate and maintain a tight turn. As an aside, this is one reason why cruisers have such wide bars, because the leverage reduces the steering effort. Obviously, other factors including the bikeís weight and of course, wheelbase also plays a role here but all things being equal, the more Rake and Trail we build into a motorcycle, the slower it will respond to rider inputs and the more stable itíll be in a straight line.
As Rake and Trail are reduced, the bike will become more maneuverable and quicker to respond to steering inputs. Itíll also develop a lighter feel at the handlebars.
That makes a lot of sense actually.

Thanks for all the responses guys. Tire pressure was the first thing checked lol. Its just a little weird for me. But I will agree that cruising at 80mph on the highway and taking corners the bike felt really stable and planted.

The biggest thing for me was being able to share the bike with my dad, as he doesn't have a ride currently. But he just doesn't like it, and I understand too. I guess i might make him get out a few more times in the parking lot etc and try it out again. Surprisingly though, he LOVED my CBR250 lol!
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