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steve_h80
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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeSat Dec 05, 2020 10:32 am

Some context.  I'm setting up my SWing for solo long distance touring (motelling not camping) and as such, I've added a GIVI E460 topcase and two GIVI E21 side cases.  I also have a hump bag, a zippered pouch behind my backrest for glasses, sunscreen etc. and of course, the two front cubbies.  I am working on my "packing plan" which includes everything from my travel tools to various riding & weather gear (I ride ATGATT) and of course, my personal gear including clothes, footwear etc.

I plan on putting the heavier items (like my tools) and personal gear as low as possible and towards the middle of the scoot ... likely in the cargo bay.  The  lighter items (things like rain gear, sandals), would go in the side cases as much as possible.  That would leave the top case available for frequent entry and used to store things like my riding gear while stopped (helmet, gloves, jacket etc.) and perhaps any small purchases made along the way.  

Two things got me thinking about the weight distribution issue.  The first is what happens when you take on a passenger and ride 2-up which many of us have done.  We all know how a passenger can affect the ride and handling but certainly the engineers gave that issue consideration in the scoot's design and weight distribution calculations.  

Secondly, I thought of people who change out things like their stock muffler and reduce the weight on the right side by say 10 pounds or so and the affect some of those mods have on weight distribution and handling.  

My question is: Has anyone weighed or calculated what the weight distributino ratio/COG is on a stock SWing?  i.e. front to back or even side to side if that is possible.  This is commonly done in the RV world but I've not read any threads here regarding this topic.  However, there are some good generic videos on YouTube like Tim Collins' FTA Advetures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwzJOPtMb4s

Does the SWing start out "balanced" from the factory and do mods like a muffler change then upset that balance?  Or does it even matter that much?

Thoughts?
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Loosemarbles
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeSat Dec 05, 2020 11:09 am

Can't say I've given this subject much thought. My rule of thumb is to put the heavier stuff under the seat and the lighter stuff in the top box.

I don't carry a backpack or any such thing. My above rule applies even with a pillion onboard. (I'd feel a bit awkward asking my girlfriend to crouch down on the tunnel in order to keep the weight distribution within limits for a 300 mile journey).

The only demand I make on anybody riding on the back is..."when I lean, you lean....otherwise things could get scary".
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeSat Dec 05, 2020 12:02 pm

Based on 2 new SilverWings, over 90,000 miles---they come from the factory rear weight biased, can feel top heavy---I think just about everyone who has owned/ ridden one has dropped it or had it topple---add junk such as top boxes/saddle bags, extra weight on rear seat just builds the problem.

I loaded 2 rubber Ortlieb bag on pass. seat, sometimes Givi hump bag---but never exceeded factory weight allowance----but still had not good handling bike in some circumstances!
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Cosmic_Jumper
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeSat Dec 05, 2020 12:38 pm

Perhaps better rear shocks would help handling that rear weight bias.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeSat Dec 05, 2020 1:27 pm

I've never given weight distribution a moment’s thought, mainly because I only take what I know I'll wear and use, not what I might need or pack for ’what if'.

I ditched the tunnel bag because I'd take more stuff and it was a pain in the arse to clamber over on and off the scooter, and take off and put back every time I needed fuel. I haven't even considered using one on the Forza.

Hard panniers/saddlebags I haven't used since I sold my last motorcycle all of 24 years ago. I do have a couple of sets of soft panniers/saddlebags and they haven’t been used since Mrs M stopped touring with me.

My top box carries my overnight kit on ferries and stores my helmet and gloves when I'm off the scooter. A 15 litre soft storage bag with rest of my gear fits under the seat with the usual junk that's always there like rain gear, spare bulbs, and a first aid kit. I'll add an empty Ortleb bag to fill with anything I buy and strap on the passenger seat on the journey home. That's it.

Overthink it and you won't go anywhere.


Last edited by Meldrew on Sat Dec 05, 2020 5:07 pm; edited 2 times in total
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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeSat Dec 05, 2020 1:40 pm

Don't overthink it too much, all bikes are asymmetric to varying degrees but the designers have allowed for this and you balance the bike without thinking about it. I've ridden with one pannier and it doesn't make much difference, its mainly a case of remembering one side is wider. A side wind is a bigger problem.
Just follow the general rule as you suggest of keeping heavy stuff under or on the seat and lighter stuff in the topbox and you can't go far wrong.
Panniers add capacity but stick out and will cause extra drag, this will reduce performance and increase fuel consumption more than the weight. I'm not saying don't, just watch the fuel gauge and the overtakes till you've mentally adjusted to it.
Main thing check your tyres. A loaded up tour will see off the remains of the back tyre in double quick time.
Other than that, enjoy.
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Loosemarbles
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeSat Dec 05, 2020 2:54 pm

I always liked the idea of a tunnel bag for those odds and sods.

I suppose if you had a lot of weight on the rear end then you could always put an anvil in the tunnel bag to balance things up a bit!

Otherwise, go with Cosmic_Jumper. Stiffen up the rear end.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeSat Dec 05, 2020 6:36 pm

sonuvabug wrote:
Two things got me thinking about the weight distribution issue.  The first is what happens when you take on a passenger and ride 2-up which many of us have done.  We all know how a passenger can affect the ride and handling but certainly the engineers gave that issue consideration in the scoot's design and weight distribution calculations.  

Have you actually done any touring or riding with a passenger, because reading your post certainly gives me the impression you haven't and lack confidence or you wouldn’t have started this topic with all these doubts.

Apologies if I'm wrong but that's how you come across.

We don't 'all know how a passenger can affect the ride and handling' either, because you never read that many forum posts from maxi riders that carry a passenger.

I certainly didn't have any problems when I used to take Mrs M Euro touring, complete with all her kit, simply because I adhered to the recommendations in the Owners Handbook and increased the tyre pressures and adjusted the rear shock settings for carrying a passenger. Then it's just riding as normal, apart from keeping the scooter steady while your passenger climbs on and off.
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Dale N.
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeSat Dec 05, 2020 9:17 pm

You had me kind of worried when I first read the title of this subject. "Weight Distribution Questions". I started to look to see if I could still see my toes. Nope!
I don't worry too much about weight distribution seeing as I now ride alone and don't worry if/what I have in my top box. It's usually not much weight at all.
When my Wife and I took our two trips from MN to FL I didn't worry about what was on the bike. But then one was a 74 CB750 and the other was an 80 Yamaha 850. It didn't seem to matter much what we put on them. And she rode with me a LOT so I wasn't worried about her on the back. Before I got a "torch" type cigarette lighter she was the lighter for us. She'd hide close to my back and get the cigs lit with a Bic. But that's a different story and off the subject.
All in All we had two great long road trips and also several shorter ones within MN and neighboring states.
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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeSun Dec 06, 2020 11:38 am

Meldrew wrote:
... snipped ... Apologies if I'm wrong ...

You are and apology accepted.  

I ask my questions based on intellectual curiousity ... not from a lack of experience or confidence.  I simply prefer to think things through in advance and like a good boy scout, be prepared.   

For the record, I have taken on passengers many times ... mostly for short to day long rides only.  So far, I have not needed or wanted to "tour" with a pillion onboard and hope to avoid that situation if possible.

The month long, cross country tour we are contemplating will be my longest yet and I want to be as well informed and prepared as possible.  

Thank you all for your input. thumbs up
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minimac
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeWed Dec 09, 2020 11:05 am

Having rode with you, and you know how I've done a lot of long distances, I would recommend:
1) Better suspension. BUT-the stock one, if in good shape, could be adequate.
2) Saddlebags reserved for light items-clothing, toiletries, a few small tools and tire repair kit, a funnel and qt. of oil- things you might need if broke down in the middle of nowhere. Don't bring too many clothes, there are things called laundromats if needed.
3)Topcase is reserved for rain gear, jacket liner or spare hoodie, extra gloves, and leave room to lock up your jacket/helmet if you stop. You don't want too much weight up high and out back.
4) Heavier items go under the seat or strapped to the pilon.
5) Dash cubbies carry windscreen cleaning supplies, change holder for quick access to pay tolls if needed, energy bars or what not.
Every thing that gets packed is inside large, closed plastic bags to insure they stay dry. Sometimes (although others will disagree) I'll carry a small amount of fuel (1 gallon) on top of the topcase rack, and have some spare bungees and/or clothesline. They take up little room. Don't forget your cupholder to help stay hydrated.
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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeWed Dec 09, 2020 11:11 am

Thanks Minimac.  I know you're a seasoned long distance rider and I appreciate your list and good advice.  Cheers.


Last edited by sonuvabug on Wed Dec 09, 2020 2:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeWed Dec 09, 2020 12:32 pm

Whenever I'm touring I always take those old duds, socks and T shirts that have one last wear in them and then abandon them as I go.
This can be traumatic for the staff if you're staying in hotels.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeWed Dec 09, 2020 2:19 pm

I have my well established routine of washing T shirts, socks, and boxers in my hotel room bathroom before getting into bed. As I don't take cotton items apart from socks, everything dries overnight.

I take the same lightweight synthetic lightweight clothing on hand luggage only weekend Euro breaks.
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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeWed Dec 09, 2020 2:38 pm

Good suggestions on taking "one last wearing" items and as many synthetic based clothing articles as possible.
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 11, 2020 2:11 am

It's not important on a Siverwing, that's why they make it so easy to adjust the rear spring adjustment and such a large seat. Most Silverwingers are a bit older and carry their weight down low anyway so it's obvious that a Silverwing has a low CG which means that weight distribution doesn't matter much because it wouldn't effect any serious shift of CG if the rider's seat is full.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 11, 2020 3:58 am

This topic is getting rather silly now, it was originally about doing a bit of touring and worries about weight distribution. Looking back the OP listed a ridiculous amount of storage capacity, there's the 55 litres under the Silver Wing's seat, a 46 litre top box, two 21 litre hard panniers, and a tunnel bag which are usually 15 litres.

All together that's a whopping 158 litres volume of carrying capacity, far more than you need for any solo touring trip where you're staying in motel/hotel accommodation.

I regularly used to stay in a bikers hotel in Germany where sports bike riders would turn up with all their gear in a tank bag and a small seat pack on their bikes. Or those very small soft panniers designed for sports bikes with high exhausts.

How you pack your stuff on a Silver Wing isn't critical either, just as it isn't on my Forza. I carry bags of groceries in my 55 litre Givi top box than are a lot heavier than any overnight bag I'll pack for a ferry crossing.

The more junk you pack, the more extra weight you add to that 550 pound scooter that you'll have to haul on and off it’s main stand. It's more stuff to lose or leave behind in motel/hotel rooms, and clambering over that tunnel tunnel bag and removing it at fuel stops is downright tedious.
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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 11, 2020 11:14 am

I only hope that as I enter my sunset years, that, unlike some of our unfortunate and declining elders, I retain my cognitive, emotional and physical abilities and a balanced perspective.  

When our elders' worlds deteriorate to the point they lose these abilities including their desire to empathize with others and ... when everything quickly becomes about them ... and they continually pontificate their ways are the only ones that are right, the effect is truly taxing for those around them and a constant reminder the rest of us need to be tolerant, empathetic and understanding even when they are not capable of these things.  

"SERENITY NOW" ~ Frank Costanza ~ Rolling Eyes
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 11, 2020 12:38 pm

Frank Constanta, wasn't he the bald headed fella played by Jason Alexander in Seinfeld?

Don’t worry about entering your twilight years, embrace them because the clock is ticking. Think of those years of Silver Wing ownership that you're never going to get back, you could have gained 10 years of touring experience, learned how to spell his and hers correctly etc. 😷
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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeFri Dec 11, 2020 1:06 pm

Meldrew wrote:
... snipped ... Frank Constanta, wasn't he the bald headed fella played by Jason Alexander in Seinfeld? ...

... think of those years of Silver Wing ownership that you're never going to get back, you could have gained 10 years of touring experience, learned how to spell his and hers correctly etc. 😷

I think I've gained enough touring experience over my riding career thanks ... especially if you count weekend to week long jaunts as tours.  Just haven't planned a month long, 10,000 km trip to parts unknown before.  

Since you raised the issue of spelling ... see above post or further along this sentence for correct spelling of Costanza ... and it was the character played by Jerry Stiller not Jason Alexander.

Serenity Now clip below for reference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW_s6EqOxqY
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josephthediviner
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PostSubject: touring    Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeTue Dec 15, 2020 6:09 pm

When you say long distance how far each day or is this just loaded up to go 500 miles and then ride mostly unloaded around the destination for a few days before loading up again? I seem to remember reading that every motorcycle is designed for 180# riders period. that is what the suspension is designed for however lighter or heavier riders can still get by the lighter ones by adding some weight under the seat and the heavier ones just have to be a little more careful as the suspension is already compressed some. watch the cornering on rough pavement etc. every bike has a weight limit. usually around 300 pounds for rider/passenger/gear. I have exceeded this limit with my Kymco People 250S several times I carried many large heavy items. I weigh 225 to 235 after Christmas. So I realize that the scooter will never perform like the factory envisioned but I still love to carve curves loaded or empty. Back to the question during my saddle sore rides I would carry a trunk full of gear a spare 1 gallon fuel can and tools so my 230 plus 50 making it 280 was just under the weight limit however I wasn't enjoying too many twisty's however I do try to include a stretch of slower but more interesting road's along the way. The Silverwing feels top heavy and clunky to me I have only had mine a year coming Feb. I miss the 2015 T Max. Totally different scooters the T max wasn't quite as powerful or comfortable on the highway but it felt 10 times as stable in corners and just in general. I have a 50 liter trunk and usually keep a travel bag packed on the seat behind me when heading out to vacation for a week or so. I still have a trip to Alaska on my bucket list, maybe someday.
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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeTue Dec 15, 2020 6:48 pm

josephthediviner wrote:
... snipped ... When you say long distance how far each day or is this just loaded up to go 500 miles and then ride mostly unloaded around the destination for a few days before loading up again?  

I still have a trip to Alaska on my bucket list, maybe someday.

It'll be about 10,000 km (6,200 mi) in roundtrip length including a few sightseeing detours. Toronto-Chicago-then Route 66 to Santa Monica. One long shot ... mostly easy to moderate rated roads covered over 7-10 riding days (one way = ~5,000 km).

Seems to work out to around 500-700 km riding per day. No twisties or really technically challenging stretches from what I'm reading. Some bad pavement stretches.

Weather could represent a fairly wide range of temps & conditions depending on the time of year the trip is taken.
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: Weight Distribution Questions   Weight Distribution Questions I_icon_minitimeWed Dec 16, 2020 1:11 am

Weight distribution is easy. If the rear end comes up off the pavement when you break there's too much weight forward. Just add rocks in the trunk until the bike will stop with both wheels on the ground.

If you open the throttle hard from a stop and loose steering because there's too much weight in the rear either dump the rocks out of the trunk or your passenger off.
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