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I can't argue with you about that. After three years I'm still not used to it but luckily I've never had to really use it either. So maybe I just need more practice, especially with using the rear break. Thanks for this, you made me think:)
I have had it on Goldwings all my riding life, on an ST1300A too. Then I get this 1100XX and it has it too. Just came back from really twisting roads from the West Virginia mountains, Virginia and East Tennessee mountains. Cranking my 2015 wing through them. It has a lot of torque and I use the pedal almost as much as I use the lever. It doesn't stand the bike up if used judiciously and between the brakes and the gears the bike decelerates very quickly. I use the CBR brakes the same way and when I see gravel in the corner I let off the front brake before I get there if I can't steer around it but keep light rear pedal pressure until I see the exit. IMHO the system works excellent on the road... maybe not the track. Real world I like it. Start by taking corners you know and going in easy and start using the rear brake pedal only and see what it does then work up the speed and then introduce the front brake. You will see how fast it will scrub the speed off! Have fun and be safe...

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I have had it on Goldwings all my riding life, on an ST1300A too. Then I get this 1100XX and it has it too. Just came back from really twisting roads from the West Virginia mountains, Virginia and East Tennessee mountains. Cranking my 2015 wing through them. It has a lot of torque and I use the pedal almost as much as I use the lever. It doesn't stand the bike up if used judiciously and between the brakes and the gears the bike decelerates very quickly. I use the CBR brakes the same way and when I see gravel in the corner I let off the front brake before I get there if I can't steer around it but keep light rear pedal pressure until I see the exit. IMHO the system works excellent on the road... maybe not the track. Real world I like it. Start by taking corners you know and going in easy and start using the rear brake pedal only and see what it does then work up the speed and then introduce the front brake. You will see how fast it will scrub the speed off! Have fun and be safe...

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Thanks, I'll try that. I've been riding for 17 years and here I am getting schooled馃槀 Just goes to show how you might not know all you think you know.
 

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I agree with everything XXGUY says of the linked brake system. My ZX14R has ABS and I think I would rather have the LBS.
 

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The thing is that when you get your licence here in Norway, one thing you have to do to pass your drivers test is, without ABS, is to break from 50 or 60 km/h and to a standstill within a really short distance. I can't remember how short but it is but it's like 10 meters or something and you can't let your right foot touch the ground and the tires can't lock up. We're basically trained to only use the front brake and only the rear brake if it's an emergency.
 

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The one thing I don't like though is the dual-brake system. I just don't think it works very well except while giong straight forward. I also didn't know about that when I bought the bike and the second time I rode it I eventually got onto a gravel road and like a kid on a bicycle I stepped on the rear brake to make a track in the gravel and I almost flew over the handlebars.
That's one feature I particularly like. The bird brakes straight, and true every time... I think the linked braking system should be on all bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
My two other bikes in recent years before the bird were a Honda Magna (a fun ride) and a Yama Vmax. The Vmax (with Vboost) was quick but was a pig if I took it over 115. It shook like a Detoxing addict and did not handle wind from passing a truck well at any speed eitherl.

As far as my bird goes, I think they just look classy... like a gal in a svelte black satin evening gown. Acceleration... check, ride comfort... check (I have a Corbin Smuggler saddle and lowering link) gas mileage/tank size/ regular gas, stability at high speed and in high wind... check. I know some hate them but I like the linked brakes.

I've ridden Busa's that have a bit of a softer / smoother ride, but I have been in the saddle from north of Fort Lauderdale to Tampa and back in the same day, over 550 miles and home to Orlando and back in the same day (~425 miles) and still be walking when I get off. I can't ask for much more, except maybe a 2022 model, maybe with some options like panniers and cool 2 up saddle options... a hyper cruiser :)
I have had it on Goldwings all my riding life, on an ST1300A too. Then I get this 1100XX and it has it too. Just came back from really twisting roads from the West Virginia mountains, Virginia and East Tennessee mountains. Cranking my 2015 wing through them. It has a lot of torque and I use the pedal almost as much as I use the lever. It doesn't stand the bike up if used judiciously and between the brakes and the gears the bike decelerates very quickly. I use the CBR brakes the same way and when I see gravel in the corner I let off the front brake before I get there if I can't steer around it but keep light rear pedal pressure until I see the exit. IMHO the system works excellent on the road... maybe not the track. Real world I like it. Start by taking corners you know and going in easy and start using the rear brake pedal only and see what it does then work up the speed and then introduce the front brake. You will see how fast it will scrub the speed off! Have fun and be safe...

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Hey, that's interesting advice regarding riding with linked brakes? I've only had the bike for a year and have never had linked brakes before.
I get that you are saying we should go out and experiment but can you please elaborate XXGUY...and others?
For example, are you talking about trail braking using the rear brake before rolling-on throttle coming out of turn or having the rear brake depressed throughout the whole turn? Stuff like that.
BTW, LOVING THIS THREAD!
Thanks everyone,
Nato.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
I have had it on Goldwings all my riding life, on an ST1300A too. Then I get this 1100XX and it has it too. Just came back from really twisting roads from the West Virginia mountains, Virginia and East Tennessee mountains. Cranking my 2015 wing through them. It has a lot of torque and I use the pedal almost as much as I use the lever. It doesn't stand the bike up if used judiciously and between the brakes and the gears the bike decelerates very quickly. I use the CBR brakes the same way and when I see gravel in the corner I let off the front brake before I get there if I can't steer around it but keep light rear pedal pressure until I see the exit. IMHO the system works excellent on the road... maybe not the track. Real world I like it. Start by taking corners you know and going in easy and start using the rear brake pedal only and see what it does then work up the speed and then introduce the front brake. You will see how fast it will scrub the speed off! Have fun and be safe...

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Hey, that's interesting advice regarding riding with linked brakes? I've only had the bike for a year and have never had linked brakes before.
I get that you are saying we should go out and experiment but can you please elaborate XXGUY...and others?
For example, are you talking about trail braking using the rear brake before rolling-on throttle coming out of turn or having the rear brake depressed throughout the whole turn? Stuff like that.
BTW, LOVING THIS THREAD!
Thanks everyone,
Nato.
 

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I'll have to think about it a bit as I just do it. I've had linked brakes since 1985.
In the below explanation I am talking about sharp mountain 10 to 30 mph corners. Not sweepers.
I do not go into the corner with heavy rear brake pressure as we all know that will stand the bike up and not allow it to lean over and turn. Buuutttt... if I come up to a sharp corner and need to scrub off speed in a hurry just prior to taking the corner then front and rear brake are on heavy with a fast 1 or 2 gear downshift to help slow down by using the engine too and getting my revs up for the exit. Off the rear brake when the curve is entered but still covering it while lightly trail braking with the front. If gravel presents itself I transition off the front and use the rear LIGHTLY as I do not want to be on the front brake with gravel. By this time I would have slowed enough that it won't hurt me if the bike doesn't lean more. When I see my exit then off all brakes and accelerate out of the curve using the torque of the engine to straighten up the bike. That's why I always keep higher revs in sharp corners while on the CBR. The Goldwing flat 6 has so much torque I can be in 2nd gear and be leaned way over almost stopped and give it gas and feel it come back up. It's so fun. Higher revs of 5000 can do it for the 1100XX. Canyonchasers.com ( https://youtube.com/c/CanyonChasers) on YouTube have good trail braking videos but more important they go over the theory that slower is faster when it comes to corners.
If you want to experiment with the rear brake then any big empty parking lot will do. Slower speeds though... but rear braking will help you go very slow in a straight line or help in a U-turn at low speed. Ridelikeapro.com has some excellent videos on this. So does Bret Tkacs (https://youtube.com/c/BretTkacs)
All this can be practiced on a bicycle too. It all transitions to a MC.
With hard braking prior to a corner with both front and back brake it squats the bike down and helps the bike not to dive so hard. This as noted by Beestoy above sets your suspension up for the curve.
I just went over "The Back of the Dragon" route 16 in Virginia from Tazewell to Marion. 32 miles 438 curves I believe and over 3 mountain ridges on the wing. Halfway through I stopped at an overlook. You could smell my brakes. They were hot. Used the above method and had a blast. Once you are used to these brakes they are an asset. Honda put a lot of research into them and have used them for years. Has to be a good reason for them.

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Discussion Starter · #49 · (Edited)
Cool, sounds good.
Any handling tips are great.
I guess I've found the BB a bit of a challenge to ride. That's probably understandable though as I've only ever riden an XR 250l and mostly in the bush. Add to that, the fact that my Bird is in stock condition and you'll get that I'm still trying to learn how to ride it. I also think it's not the easiest bike to ride either. Mr Honda's brief in the early 90s probably was "build me a machine that will beat the Kawasakis". I don't think "nimble in the corner" was a part of that conversation 馃槅. What we seem to have now is a heavy, straight-line-tracking rocket that's in a class of its own.
The linked brakes make sense in this context as you need to be able to slow the thing down. The things you've said about braking are good, and true. What's interesting though, is how, for example, most good riders will tell you to stay off the front brake when performing a U-turn but on the Bird the back brake is linked to the front and we all use rear brake drag when doing slow speed turns, so we're inadvertently using the front brake too. Same for trail-braking when entering a corner using the front brake. Most will say to stay off the rear as it straightens the cornering line out. Yet the Bird's front brake operates the rear so when doing this we may be wrestling with a bike that cannot corner that well with this linked brake system. Having said this, I still trail brake using the front when entering a corner at speed and use rear brake drag doing U- turns and it seems to work okay. In fact, where the rear brake is concerned, I don't think the pistons in the front caliper activate under 20km/h so it a moot point regarding the rear anyway.

I didn't know these things when I bought the BB a year ago so I think I was expecting something else, especially where handling is concerned. I like to go flat-out and ride as hard as possible but I havn't been able to do this with the Bird. I do plan to change the suspension (Jamie's catridge kit..thanks Bees) and add the rear shim but I expect this won't radically alter the BB's handling. Fundamentally, I think it's a bike built to go fast in a straight line and stop even quicker. But a sports bike, its not. That's not to say I dont like it, like you gentlemen, I love it and appreciate it.
Feel free to chime in, disagree/agree or correct me if I wrong about some of the things I've said.

Nato.
 

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I put Jamie's suspension on front and back and it really made a difference in comfort and tracking around corners. Tire profile, therefore manufacturer really makes a difference in how it turns in. I haven't done the 6 mm shim but a lot of people say it makes a big difference. Going from a 250 to this is a huge difference and a different riding technique. Your cornering ability will improve as you learn. I came from Goldwings and I have 4 90掳 sweepers on my way to work. On my older wings I could take them at 70 mph. When I first got the BB the best I could do was 53 mph!! What the heck is going on?? As I learned how to ride a sport bike and use its characteristics my speeds came up. Now I easily do 80 mph around them. Weight forward, balls of your feet on the pegs so you can shift weight and body position. One knee gripping the tank the other pivoted out to get more weight to the inside of the corner and with a butt cheek maybe off the seat too. Shoulders opened up to the direction of the corner and your head up towards the mirror on the side you are turning towards and looking through the corner will make a big difference in handling. The bike can do it but you have to use the heavy top weight and be more active than you had to be on your 250. You can keep up with 600 if you want to. YouTube was my friend while looking and learning how to ride a sport bike!
Have fun learning.

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Nato,

So let me get this right鈥 You've gone from a 250cc trial bike to a 1100cc sports tourer road bike, and a very high end one at that... total chalk and cheese.

Your old bike is about 20% of the weight of the bird at a guess (so has a much higher centre of gravity), is sit up and beg riding position (with the rider sometimes even higher standing up on the peg) bouncing on spongy pogostick suspension (comparatively) and like a push bike one tends to steer by "turning the handle bars" very much more at slower speeds than the "lean to turn" of a sports and sports tourer on "firm"suspension attuned to speed and smooth surfaces. Let's face it, few riders will be taking a bird off road let alone attempt to drift it with opposite lock through an uneven dirt corner.

So two very different riding styles in themselves needing different skills honed to differing degrees. Your thought process, reflexes and muscle memory need transitioning.

That's before getting into the topics of the gargantuan differences in accelerating/ power and decelerating/ braking.

So I think your challenge is firstly cross decking styles (trials to sports tourer), secondly huge leap in weight size of bike (laws of physics), thirdly moving up to a "top tier" bike in it's category. No wonder you are still learning to ride the BB let alone ride it flat out. Would that be a fair synopsis?

Bottomline, carry on having fun learning.
 

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Nato,

So let me get this right鈥 You've gone from a 250cc trial bike to a 1100cc sports tourer road bike, and a very high end one at that... total chalk and cheese.

Your old bike is about 20% of the weight of the bird at a guess (so has a much higher centre of gravity), is sit up and beg riding position (with the rider sometimes even higher standing up on the peg) bouncing on spongy pogostick suspension (comparatively) and like a push bike one tends to steer by "turning the handle bars" very much more at slower speeds than the "lean to turn" of a sports and sports tourer on "firm"suspension attuned to speed and smooth surfaces. Let's face it, few riders will be taking a bird off road let alone attempt to drift it with opposite lock through an uneven dirt corner.

So two very different riding styles in themselves needing different skills honed to differing degrees. Your thought process, reflexes and muscle memory need transitioning.

That's before getting into the topics of the gargantuan differences in accelerating/ power and decelerating/ braking.

So I think your challenge is firstly cross decking styles (trials to sports tourer), secondly huge leap in weight size of bike (laws of physics), thirdly moving up to a "top tier" bike in it's category. No wonder you are still learning to ride the BB let alone ride it flat out. Would that be a fair synopsis?

Bottomline, carry on having fun learning.
Nato,
That is what I was trying to say but he was much more eloquent!

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NATO you actually have the best basics already in your muscle memory. Push to steer is basic trail riding. So push the inner bar in the turns. The bird will dive into the corner in response. Shimming makes a huge difference on the tip in. Tire profile makes a huge difference as well. It's why I switched from Michelin PR4's to Bridgestone T30 then the T31's. Also with the Bird yes she's big but if it's shimmed and tired with good suspension. Then drop off the seat and she will go around a corner at a damn fast pace.

XX
We're doing the Devil weekend after Memorial Day if your out here your invited.
 

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NATO you actually have the best basics already in your muscle memory. Push to steer is basic trail riding. So push the inner bar in the turns. The bird will dive into the corner in response. Shimming makes a huge difference on the tip in. Tire profile makes a huge difference as well. It's why I switched from Michelin PR4's to Bridgestone T30 then the T31's. Also with the Bird yes she's big but if it's shimmed and tired with good suspension. Then drop off the seat and she will go around a corner at a damn fast pace.

XX
We're doing the Devil weekend after Memorial Day if your out here your invited.
Nato,
I was a big Michelin PR4 fan before Beestoy and another rider out east convinced me to try T31 tires. I will stay with the Bridgestone tire.

Bees,
Let me look at the calendar. I get off Thursday morning on the 27th for 2 weeks.

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Nato,

So let me get this right鈥 You've gone from a 250cc trial bike to a 1100cc sports tourer road bike, and a very high end one at that... total chalk and cheese.

Your old bike is about 20% of the weight of the bird at a guess (so has a much higher centre of gravity), is sit up and beg riding position (with the rider sometimes even higher standing up on the peg) bouncing on spongy pogostick suspension (comparatively) and like a push bike one tends to steer by "turning the handle bars" very much more at slower speeds than the "lean to turn" of a sports and sports tourer on "firm"suspension attuned to speed and smooth surfaces. Let's face it, few riders will be taking a bird off road let alone attempt to drift it with opposite lock through an uneven dirt corner.

So two very different riding styles in themselves needing different skills honed to differing degrees. Your thought process, reflexes and muscle memory need transitioning.

That's before getting into the topics of the gargantuan differences in accelerating/ power and decelerating/ braking.

So I think your challenge is firstly cross decking styles (trials to sports tourer), secondly huge leap in weight size of bike (laws of physics), thirdly moving up to a "top tier" bike in it's category. No wonder you are still learning to ride the BB let alone ride it flat out. Would that be a fair synopsis?

Bottomline, carry on having fun learning.
You've got it! I'm going from looking like Meerkat on the XR to hanging on for dear life on a Panther. Big tranition. I did manage to pin it tonight in 2nd and 3rd gear so that's progress...or stupidity!
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 · (Edited)
Cheers men. Great tips. You are giving me the confidence I need.
Tonight was much better on the Bird. My routine of late is to go up a mountain pass, tackling about 10kms of twisties, cut accross a back road to the highway, fang-it tucked in at blistering speed, go round a round about 10 or so times, hanging off, then cruise into a truck parking lot and practice slow speed turns, like u-turns and the likes. The slow speed stuff on the Bird is scary as hell but the skills translate very well to riding at speed around the place and just overall confidence with the weight. Tonight I nailed full lock right and left u-turns in 18 or so foot diameter. Yes, I stepped it out and made a chalk line on the road. Over here roads are about 22-24 foot wide, so happy with progress.
I'm still having trouble with sweeping bends though. I dont even know where to look, so just follow the white line around in higher gears. In lower gears, on sweepers, I tend to turn-in too early and have to redo my cornering line mid corner. Common problem, I know, but seems more pronounced on the Bird. I'm particularly unnerved on highway sweepers in outside lanes too (i.e., being in the far right lane on a highway going around a left hand sweeper). Any ideas about that?

Thanks for all this and I do have T31s on the Bird Bees, at your recommendation, earlier this year, on another thread. I won't be able to join you this weekend though as I live in Australia! Thanks for the invite though mate.
 

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You've got it! I'm going from looking like Meerkat on the XR to hanging on for dear life on a Panther. Big tranition. I did manage to pin it tonight in 2nd and 3rd gear so that's progress...or stupidity!
Lovin the imagery!

I signed off with鈥 "Bottomline, carry on having fun learning." Re "progress... or stupidity" I should add to that "Stay safe, 100% of the gear 100% of the time".

Trust me, it's worth it. A slide on asphelt from BB hyperspeed with her sitting on a limb or having parted company is not something anyone of us wish for but over the years I've saved my chin, wrists, ankles, shoulders, back, arse etc from being grated away. Invest in good road gear (it's cheaper than surgery).

So if you haven't tweaked your trials gear ask yourself is it as good/ worse/ better than road gear? FYI I rode for many years in my motorcross boots as they seemed way more bullet proof than road boots. Helmet I went straight to full face best I could afford road race replica (for strength and aerodynamic stability) etc.

How are you set up, same gear for both bikes or being selective!

PS soz, I don't wish to come across like an old fuss pot and you may be all over this anyway.
 

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Sweepers,
For me the best advice was getting my head up forward close to the mirror/weight forward and to the side... looking through the corner where you want to go and NOT looking right in front of you.
The rest will come as you get more comfortable.
butt cheek slid off the seat, knee out, opposite knee gripping. I'm 6'3". Shoulders turned or open to the direction of travel is important. Instead of doing the whole loop find a sweeper you can go back and forth on or a set of them. Start slow and easy at comfortable safe pace. Practice and see how this feels. Then up it by 2 mph. Repeat. As you learn the bike and riding style your speed will naturally increase because you will feel like you're going to fall over so you increase power to stabilize.
Just Don't push it and end up using that gear that Mallow's talking about!

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I wear an Aussie three-piece-suit: Singlet, Shorts and Flip Flops! 馃槅 NO, kidding guys. Thanks for looking out for me 馃憤. At the moment I wear all Dainese gear (boots, gloves, pants and jacket) and a Shoei helmet.

The tips on sweepers are very welcome but when I look through the corner, as suggested, I wander across near the white line mid corner. This happens only on sweepers for me. To counteract this, I have started using the Dot to Dot technique where you imagine dots evenly placed at certain parts of the bend and head for them. In short, you break the bend up into about 3 stages as you go around it. Sound clunky but it works smoothly.
That aggresive style you mention XXGUY, is how I tend to ride on tighter corners rather than long gradual bends in the road and works really well on the Bird.
I will endevour to apply this same technique to sweeping bends again now that we've had this convo and see if I can get it work properly.
Great stuff, this is really helping me sort my riding style out on the Bird. I simply dont have the years of experience you guys have on this beast.
 
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