Motorcycle Geometry [Archive] -

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11-12-2015, 04:01 AM
How to cornering is a continual topic motorcycle magazine discussed that goes on and on. Let’s put aside the riders’ technique for a second, there are still tons of variables caused by motorcycle formation, such as grip style, angels of the triple trip, length of front and rear bumper, damping factors, engine position, tire specs…etc. The variables are just too great to count it all.
To simplify some basic knowledge, the closer the grip to your riding position, the lighter you feel. The farther angel your front forks are, the lighter the handle is. The lower the engine, the closer the front forks, weight distribution, the slimmer the tires are, the higher agility you will experience when cornering. Furthermore, more forward you place your engine, more loads targeting the front brakes resulting in more sensitive rear brake performance, which is a completely different experience.
That is to say, some riders may feel lighter or heavier when picking up the same bike; same logic applies to the riding experience as well. These little touches are impossible to merely express through words, but to come from my own modifying and riding experience from the past ten years. I used to modify street cars, Lancer EVO to be specific; I always ask my customer what kind of handling preference they require whenever they ask me to improve their chassis. Front or rear wheel drive tendency or like VW Golf or 318. I am expert in manipulating damping factor as well as different size of anti-roll bar or dampers to customize the exact driving experience. What surprised me is even with the 400+ EVO I have modified all those years, I find motorcycle far more complicated. Like I said, customizing camber, toe or caster on the tire or anti-roll bar and damper could satisfy the need for most drivers. However, motorcycle is a complete different story. Some folks want a lower angel racer feel, then comfort and handling is doomed to be sacrificed. That is, more agile setting on your bike, the less comfy position it is on your bike. One cannot make an omelet without breaking an egg. Took me almost ten years to realized and piled up these experience. Only the wearer knows where the shoes pain and I am desperate need to discuss and share my thoughts to whomever enthusiasts out there.
Certainly, my comment is purely focused on chopper or cruiser bike, it is a different world and appeal in street or sport bike territory. Everyone would go through three phases in their riding career, buying the one that looks cool, then comfortable and eventually the most practical and suitable one.