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 Steer with your Knees???

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honda_silver
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Jeff Rosenkranz
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PostSubject: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeThu May 20, 2010 2:37 pm

Fellow June bug dodgers....If you have migrated from motorcycles to scooters, did you feel somewhat uneasy at first? I kind of felt as though I was floating around on my Silverwing, comfortable, yet didn't feel like I was part of my scoot. After a recent trip to the sporting goods store to buy a new sleeping bag..... there it was! Other cargo was bungeed to the passenger seat, so I wedged the sleeping bag in the indent between the fairing and seat. YES! What I missed was gripping the tank of a regular bike with my knees. The difference was confidence inspiring, and changed the way the Silverwing felt, especially cornering. Have any of you tried anything similiar? Also, took the forums advice and rotated my handlebars up as per JeffR's advice. I too had pain across my shoulders, but no more. Steer with your Knees??? 383825 ?? Is there a cargo carrier made that fits in the "step through"?? Jeff Rosenkranz.
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La Moto Mota
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeThu May 20, 2010 2:42 pm

Get a tunnel bag, its like a tank bag for a bike but fits in that little space. http://www.silverwingstuff.com/info.html
http://www.solomotoparts.com/product.php?productid=36656&utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Froogle

and im sure there are others.
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Jeff Rosenkranz
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeFri May 21, 2010 11:19 am

Thanks La Moto. Those bags look good....still easy access to the petrol cap. That solves a cargo problem, now I'm wondering about some solid knee pad extending either up from the floorboards, or back from the fairing. Something solid enough that putting pressure from the knees would allow additional levering of the Swing. Years of dirt biking and a little road racing, [well, YSR's on go cart tracks] taught me how to push a bike around just enough to fall off a lot. Jeff.
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jdeereanton
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeSat May 22, 2010 7:54 am

I remember the first time I really went hard into a corner and was flapping my knees trying to get a purchase on the tank to influence the bikes lean (direction). It was so odd, I've gotten used to it and no longer miss the knee gripping (steering).

The tank bag did not really resolve the gripping issue, but most certainly did resolve the "need" for additional storage.
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeSat May 22, 2010 8:34 am

Adding a tunnel bag takes away one of the main advantages of the scooter for me: the ability to step through, rather than over the bike when getting on or off. (For extra storage I added the Givi T427 saddle bags which work great.) I will admit that with a tunnel bag the scoot looks more like a "real" motorcycle. As to hard turns, I have found that I can lean the bike over much more than I originally thought I could. I think the low center of gravity of the bike allows for great manuvereability. Just give it some time and you will not miss the feel of a motorcycle at all.
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pja
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeSat May 22, 2010 9:25 am

Jeff Rosenkranz wrote:
...If you have migrated from motorcycles to scooters, did you feel somewhat uneasy at first? ... What I missed was gripping the tank of a regular bike with my knees...

Jeff,

There is much more to this than getting a tunnel bag (as suggested). I have migrated from a Honda CB900F Hornet to the SilverWing and at first it felt rock-solid. However, as I've become more used to it and speeds have increased I have also noticed a feeling of uneasiness at times. I have tried to analyse the way I ride and have thought about asking a similar question to you.

I find that I still counter-steer but not as easily or as well; I put this down to the way I sit on the 'Wing. I seem to sit with my legs forward most of the time and my bum pressed into the seat back - so I'm kind of leaning back. If I sit more forward and bring my feet back so that they are more directly under by body then my weight goes onto the handle bars and handling seems more direct. The only problem is that it is a very uncomfortable rideing position.

Another thing I find I am doing is steering with my inside ankles and my feet. So where a bike rider uses his knees against the tank, I'm now using my ankles against the tunnel. Also I seem to be pushing down with the foot on the inside of a turn (this is a technique bike riders also use). Both these things seem to make handling (at speed) more secure.

I would be very interested in finding out how other riders adapt to maxi-scooter riding.

I have thought about doing an advanced riding course but I now think that as these are given by motorcycle riders they might not be as useful for a scooter rider.

Regards,
Peter
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Jeff Rosenkranz
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeSat May 22, 2010 10:33 am

Vito, Dale and Peter. Great insights on the laws of physics and just basic intuition. Can you imagine when you took off the training wheels of your daughters bike and started an in depth on counter-steering......with charts, graphs, and power point.
I was so concerned about " Shescoot " buying a Swing, practicing on it, and then taking the MSF course, I hope I didn't come across overly cautious to her. Why is it that counter-steering feels so much different on the Swing.... wheelbase, tire size, Sarah Palin, Michael Palin?? Peter, the slide forward I'm to tall for, but I do pull my feet rearward a lot. The sportbike "pretzel". Maybe Dennis B could make me some "swing" up , knee pads/braces. Jeff.
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jdeereanton
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeSat May 22, 2010 10:42 am

Peter,

I forgot about the lean forward posture. I almost always find my self leaned forward during some aggressive twisties and I even take a mental note of it at the time it occurs. I guess I never really put it together with the posture I used when riding a "motorcycle".

Certainly pulling the feet rearward makes a difference. I have gotten very comfortable with draggin metal (occasionally) on the SilverWing and the sound no longer scares me like it did the first few times. It does get over pretty easy and the counter steering effect becomes very simple. Although I think many people describe counter steering in a way that scares people. It (counter steering) has very little effect (or application) at low speeds and when people say you should counter steer at all times = "Confusion"
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honda_silver
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeSat May 22, 2010 10:44 am

pja wrote:
I find that I still counter-steer but not as easily or as well; I put this down to the way I sit on the 'Wing. I seem to sit with my legs forward most of the time and my bum pressed into the seat back - so I'm kind of leaning back. If I sit more forward and bring my feet back so that they are more directly under by body then my weight goes onto the handle bars and handling seems more direct. The only problem is that it is a very uncomfortable rideing position.

I ride with my feet forward and I have the Utopia backrest raised so that it sits higher than my lower back.

I find that if I do not change my seat position but simply lean my back slightly forward so that back is not pressing fully into the backrest, the counter-steering response significantly improves and with less effort. The more pressure I remove from the backrest (till I am not touching the backrest) ... the more the counter-steering response is.
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wingnprayer
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeSat May 22, 2010 2:13 pm

I know this video doesn't completely translate to us scooter riders, however the fundemantal principle of keeping the bike as upright as possible does:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wYD9SSBBNQ&feature=fvw
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeSat May 22, 2010 5:22 pm

I've replaced the little nubbins under the pegs on my Goldwing a couple times in the last 50,000 miles or so and have some pretty serious grinds on my highway pegs too. In the twisties I like to 'push her down until some sparks fly once in awhile. I do have aftermarket fork springs and shocks on the big bike which helps a lot to maintain ground clearance when the G loads come up a bit in turns. If I'm going to play that way with the SW I set the shocks at their stiffest. The centerstand is the limit for lean, once I hear that sound I ease up a bit. By leaning forward and inward a bit your body weight will shift the CG of the bike downward a bit and reduce the lean a bit on a given curve allowing a bit more throttle. I was surprised how well the SW does in the curves, it's not a sport bike and won't keep up with my big fat GW but it's not bad. I got it halfway sideways some months ago hitting some sand in a curve but the bike handled it well even though I had some doubts about being able to keep the rear wheel spinning with the CVT's slightly slow response. It did though so there was no danger of high siding but it sure got my attention. I don't push the SW much now that I know how it handles and have some idea of it's limits with me at the helm. I didn't really have much problem with transitioning between my GW and SW other than riding without using the SW's rear brake for awhile so I wouldn't be thinking of it as a clutch. Now that's no problem and I switch back and forth between bike and scooter with ease.
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Jeff Rosenkranz
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeSat May 22, 2010 9:36 pm

Steer with your Knees??? 383825 You know...... there is a perfect place to mount some type of knee pad.....mounted against the colored part of the fairing, right below the handlebar pivot.....does anyone know what's behind that area.....something solid......maybe post a diagram if you have one?? That spot would still allow a step through, and at the same time give my arthritic knees something to do ala Kenny Roberts. [ Jr. or Sr. ] Or for you Peter.....Mick Doohan. Jeff
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duke
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeWed May 26, 2010 6:16 am

You might try my style of riding . One foot forward the other flat it gives better body control and feels like you are more fully planted and balanced
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Jeff Rosenkranz
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeThu May 27, 2010 7:04 am

Good call Duke. To and from work yesterday, I used your riding style. It does really work! Turning at intersections in town, I found that left turns / left foot rearward... right turns / right foot rearward, made my confidence level immediately better. Is it because your body weight is directed downward on the inside of the turn, instead of your foot resting forward? Well it sure works. What should we call it?....the Duke Move.....The Duke Shuffle....Doin the Duke? You should get credit for something that works so well. Thanks, Jeff.
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeThu May 27, 2010 11:36 am

"Is it because your body weight is directed downward on the inside of the turn...."

Highly likely: it may not be generally known but rowers in racing boats (8s, 4s, etc) can balance the boat by pressing with one or other foot - if all the rowers press with the same foot, the boat will lean accordingly.
I guess it's the same on a bike.
I hold the theory that the same is true of counter-steering.
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Jeff Rosenkranz
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeFri May 28, 2010 7:08 am

Hi Mike. Good input and example about "they who row". Have you been on a rowing team? I cant believe how fast a long boat is. I've been lucky enough to have added a couple kayaks to my garage, and Dennis B. built an excellent hitch for my Silverwing. I am now the President and only member of the Greater Quincy ScooterYak Club. Have you tried the "Duke Shuffle" on your favorite set of twisties? Jeff.
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeFri May 28, 2010 3:32 pm

Thanks, Jeff.
I rowed at school and in my final year was 1st Eight Stroke.
We competed in the Schools' Head-of-the-River Race and some league matches.
Then I rowed during the three years I was at Teachers Training College - we had Fours there.
At both places I rowed on the Thames - on the Tideway at Putney along the Boat Race course and just south of Oxford near Abingdon.
I was fit then although I chose a sport I could do sitting down!

I've never done any kayaking although 'safety-boated' for youngsters doing it on many occasions, especially in the Royal Docks in East London.

Not tried the 'Duke Shuffle'; I'll give it a go. Steer with your Knees??? Icon_smile
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Jeff Rosenkranz
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeFri May 28, 2010 9:51 pm

MikeO. Man moving through space and time, whether it's bike or boat, it's the stuff that keeps us young. As I read your post, because of your locale, I add John Cleese's over the top, accent to your words. Please dont be offended, as even the Gods are cool with Monty Python. Thanks for posting your boating background.....Im going to check Youtube for your past sport. " Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time" . Jeff.
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeSat May 29, 2010 4:40 am

LOL!
I've often been accused of 'talking posh' and revel in it, especially as I'm now 'an Englishman abroad'.
It's of great benefit to me as Belgian friends who want to improve their English - they all speak it well anyway - want to chat with me as I speak quite slowly and clearly, a hangover from 30 years teaching young children and many years singing liturgical music.
I try also to write 'correct' English, too, enjoying doing so but happy that there is room for all accents and levels of writing skill, especially in friendly places like this.

As for rowing; I loved it, even on freezing cold winter's days when waves were breaking into the boat. The feeling of the boat flying when the crew were in complete harmony can be compared with the perfect ΒΌ-mile run, mechanical task where all the bolts undo with no effort (even fitting my topbox on the Silverwing - so straight-forward), the perfect musical performance - I could go on - leaving the participants exhilarated, is something which will stay with me for ever.
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Jeff Rosenkranz
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PostSubject: Re: Steer with your Knees???   Steer with your Knees??? I_icon_minitimeSun May 30, 2010 8:34 pm

Hi MikeO. I have to dub you, the websites Poet. Write On MikeO. Jeff.
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