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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lately as Ive been more accustomed to how my bike feels (Im a new rider) Ive been getting deeper in tune with it. Lately (just passed 1k miles) Ive been feeling a vague sensation upon initial turn-in. Its like theres no feedback from the tire in what it wants to do. Not until Im in the turn do I feel the road again. Sometimes it feels light and wobbly and these are all in slow speed turns.

Would a steering damper tighten up the feel? Could it just be tire pressure(I check it routinely and leave it around 33)?
 

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HyperM3 said:
Would a steering damper tighten up the feel? Could it just be tire pressure(I check it routinely and leave it around 33)?
Although I am not sure what the cause of the problem is, I know that a steering damper would only be a band-aid fix to it. It would cover up the "feeling" by making everything dampened (sp?).

Check tire pressure, especially rear.

Q
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jeff02 said:
Move forward in the seat a tad?

Jeff
Unfortunately any closer and Id have to tuck the family jewels so as not to ride the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Jeff02 said:
Well then, that tire pressure idea might be pretty valid. Or the suspension settings.

Jeff
Unfortunately theres no adjusting the front suspension. Keep it coming Jeff.
 

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Maybe, check the air pressure in your tires.
 

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I agree with the poster who said a steering damper would only be a "band-aid".

From my experience, all Monsters tend to exhibit this in stock configuration and the more aggressively ridden, the more apparent these symptoms.

Monsters need more weight on the front end and the suspension needs to adjusted, starting with proper sag (preload and/or spring rate change) and rear ride height.

IMHO, I would try to determine what is adjustable and read up on suspension setup along with more riding. The sportrider.com site has a some good articles and your ability to listen, feel and interpret feedback on the bike will continue to develop as your riding experience increases.

Good luck!
 

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HyperM3 said:
Unfortunately theres no adjusting the front suspension. Keep it coming Jeff.
I keep my tires at 37 psi rear and 35 psi front. I also changed the fork oil and went up to 10 weight -- this firmed my front end up enough to make a difference for me. I'm 6'0" 175lbs and ride pretty forward on the tank, rather than sit back in the seat.
 

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One thing you could do is also unload some throttle a little bit as you enter to set-up or comress your springs. Then roll back on as you hit the apex. This helps. You could raise the rear a little but that might not help much. If you just plain 'ol dump the throttle from a higer rev you'l feel it just dive right in. Not as fun as smothly rolling off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
CapnCrunch said:
put a couple of turns on your spring pre load on the rear shock.
I think this is something I need to do as I never really had it set for me since I had it delivered to me.
 

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lifes_an_ocean said:
I keep my tires at 37 psi rear and 35 psi front. I also changed the fork oil and went up to 10 weight -- this firmed my front end up enough to make a difference for me. I'm 6'0" 175lbs and ride pretty forward on the tank, rather than sit back in the seat.
Isn't that kinda high? I keep mine around 31-33 which I've heard is optimal. And I also think that a steering damper is something that every monster owner should install on their bike. The reason why the front end on a Monster feels loose is that you really have to be conscious of putting your body weight on the front end and if you don't the tires just won't bit the road enough if you're going at a quick pace.
 

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Rotten Randy said:
Isn't that kinda high? I keep mine around 31-33 which I've heard is optimal. And I also think that a steering damper is something that every monster owner should install on their bike. The reason why the front end on a Monster feels loose is that you really have to be conscious of putting your body weight on the front end and if you don't the tires just won't bit the road enough if you're going at a quick pace.
I ride in NYC and the avenues are very bad in places and FDR and many other roads are full of repairs (means they made it worse) or just open holes. Bridge expansion joints are terrible everywhere for bikers. You can increase pressure 3-4 psi on rough/bumpy roads to reduce risk of wheel damage. This pressure is in line with Ducati recommendations which is 33 front 34 psi rear. Yes, they warm up slower but considering the amount of times I've bottomed out my forks, I'd rather not risk (any more) rim damage. The result is much improved for me in the city, as a result. I'd like suggestions. I could be doing this all wrong but I have sought advice on this before.
 

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I also run 35 - 36 if I anticipate primarily urban riding or extended freeway travel, such as on a road trip.

In addition to "handling" the chopped up roads of Chicago better, there is probably a marginal increase to tire mileage & longevity with concurrent marginal reduction in ultimate traction and perhaps slightly longer warmup time. IMHO, an acceptable trade off when cruising the street or travelling long distances on the boring `slab.

Regarding the need for steering damper- it's a nice to have on most any sportbike, especially if you are riding at elevated pace but... IMHO, for any sane street pace, its not a need to have.

The naked SV650 exhibits the same vagueness on turn-in but I solved this with ride height and suspension adjustment. In my experience, naked bikes, without the heavier front end weight bias of fully faired/clip-on supersports just don't seem to have quite the level of front end feel.

On the S4Rs, similar experience. Again, the vague turn-in feel can be addressed with proper suspension adjustment, particularly preload and ride height. Because of the nose high/tail low attitude of a typical stock Monster, the bike may exhibit a tendency to understeer on corner exits. Especially if you are really throttling out of corners. The stock 749s I had prior to the S4Rs had this same behavior on exit with the stock ride height and suspension settings.

Lastly, the suspension on practically all sportbikes are not really configured ideally. The stock settings are typically based on on archetypical rider... say someone who weighs 150lbs fully geared and who will use the bike within the ballpark of what it is spec'ed for.

So, without being more of a windbag than I already have been, my suggestion is go read up and experiment and/or get professional help with suspension adjustment so it's set-up to your weight and bike useage. Cranking up the preload may help and if you are heavier than the archetypical 150-lbs., might get your sag into or at least closer to the ballpark of what is the accepted "ideal" range.
 

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You know, it might be as simple as the fact that you're wearing away the center of you tire tread, which is certainly normal. On various bikes over the years, I've felt similar sensations. If I'm understanding you correctly, it might very well be that because your tires (front particularly) are becoming more flat/smooth, there is less noticeable difference upon initial lean-in on a turn. I'm always surprised at how the slightest difference in tire shape or design (including normal wear) can provide dramatically different responses to the rider. Just a thought. I'm sure that along with all the other suggestions, it can all add up to a noticeably different bike from what you started with.
 

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While we're on this, any suspension set-up advice for a 5' 11", 215 lb. 695 rider? (I mean, other than the obvious "lose some weight, dude!" :p ) I'm riding the stock set-up now, and while I'm not getting any of the vagueness in the turns as described above (which may be the result of my added pounds increasing compression on the forks), I feel like it could be a bit more dialed in. If you're feeling really magnanimous, throw in the recommended adjustment for when I'm riding with my 110 lb. girlfriend. We went out 2-up for the first time yesterday, and while she loved it & can't wait to go again, it was a real wallow. If there was a chart somewhere for rider (+ passenger) weight = number of turns clockwise/counterclockwise, that would be [thumbsup]
 

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sneather said:
You know, it might be as simple as the fact that you're wearing away the center of you tire tread, which is certainly normal. On various bikes over the years, I've felt similar sensations. If I'm understanding you correctly, it might very well be that because your tires (front particularly) are becoming more flat/smooth, there is less noticeable difference upon initial lean-in on a turn. I'm always surprised at how the slightest difference in tire shape or design (including normal wear) can provide dramatically different responses to the rider. Just a thought. I'm sure that along with all the other suggestions, it can all add up to a noticeably different bike from what you started with.
A big +1....though it took about 5000 miles before my front tire was getting a flat spot.
 

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Rotten Randy said:
And I also think that a steering damper is something that every monster owner should install on their bike. The reason why the front end on a Monster feels loose is that you really have to be conscious of putting your body weight on the front end and if you don't the tires just won't bit the road enough if you're going at a quick pace.
I dissagree/agree. I've never had a steering damper, and 20k miles + later and i have never experienced head shake or tank slap. OTOH the difference was noticeable when i put my clip ons, on. i felt far more connected to the bike and it felt more "grounded" in the corners. the bar posistion difference is about 3 inches lower and an inch and a half forward, and i figure the difference in feel was because of the different weight distribution. I think similar results could have been seen for me had i had my suspension dialed in (they did not even dial in my preload when i bought it). I have since tweaked my pre-load adjuster throught it's entire range and to me, the softest setting felt like what he is describing. as I increased the preload through the range this feeling decreased, and finally dissapeared. I kept cranking more in and the bike then began to feel a little "twitchy."
 
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