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  1. #1
    Active Member Airborne's Avatar
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    Default Spyder Idiosyncrasies.

    Hi all,

    New here and my first posts, i have been around for a while soaking up the very useful information from everyone.

    So, i recently bought a 2018 F3 LTD, love it, but!

    Handling, i can't seem to fully control the steering, its flighty, sensitive and feels well, unsafe at times! I have had a 'laser wheel alignment' carried out and am satisfied that a good job was done and have tried different tire pressure from the 'book recommended' 15 psi to 'dealer recommended' 22 psi, still the same result.

    Admittingly, roads surfaces are not great here and the roughther they are the worse it is, steep cambers and rough surface are the worst, wind makes it unstable as well, plus i only have 1000 km on her yet.

    I am on OEM Kenda tires and i know that they are not the best out there, i rode an identical demo bike and it was exactly the same but was assured that the alignment would fix it on the new one, it hasn't.. I have read all the 'dos and don'ts' and other posts on this site and i remember to steer properly [push pull, lean in and relax].

    I don't want to spend good money on modifying a brand new bike. Surly it should come out the box reasonably well made and 'fit for purpose'

    Or, is it just me, do i need more time to get used to it, is 1000 km not enough to feel comfortable with the steering!

    As mentioned i love this trike but!

    Any thoughts gratefully appreciated

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Trbayth's Avatar
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    Are you coming off two wheels? If so you have a lot of muscle memory to unlearn. Give it some more time.

    And welcome!
    Trb-- (Roger)

    2014 Cognac STL
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  3. #3
    Very Active Member Bfromla's Avatar
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    Least make it through to the brake in period. Lots depends on your previous riding experience & just getting comfortable on new machine. Sounds like a sway bar will help you, however is optional (still stock on mine @53k +miles). Maybe you can meet other Ryder’s in your area & they can show you more hands on assistance (like how a improved swaybar feels)

    2013 STL SE5 BLACK CURRANT
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    BRP trailer hitch & 622 trailer (with its own list: Spyderpops Lighted Rear Bumpskid, LineX protection on sides, led trim lighting amber front& red rear, stand& tongue handle)THX Cruzr Joe!
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  4. #4
    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    & ….. Hi, I know tires pretty well. Since your Spyder is new it has the OEM Kenda tires.... It is well known here that Kenda's are a weakly made tire, that has a higher than average Defect rate, among other things ….. I am an advocate of Auto tires to replace the Kenda's ( when they wear out ). I strongly believe ( for Spyder use ) Auto tires need much less air pressure to perform at their best …. NOT so with Kenda's, they NEED higher pressures to work, with Kenda's the air pressure keeps them from grounding the rims …. Not so with Auto tires ….. As far as Handling goes, a light touch works the best. Let the Spyder do the work. The best advice I got when switching from my GoldWing to the Spyder was - drive it like a car, after that I had no problems …. Practice using your Brakes, they can be very sensitive..... learning how they function / feel is extremely important ….. and if you haven't read the " Do's and Do not's " find that read it …… We are here to assist you in whatever amount you want ….. Mike

  5. #5
    Very Active Member CopperSpyder's Avatar
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    I think your trying too hard. Keep the tire pressure per the manual with the Kenda tires don't go to low. The lower pressures you see here on this site are for different type tires. Give it a little time if you have been riding two wheels for a long time it takes longer to trust and relax your grip on the F3. You are reacting to the bikes every move (wiggle) don't. It will come to you, I'm sure you will get some good advice from others also.
    Last edited by CopperSpyder; 05-11-2019 at 06:36 PM.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member bmccaffrey's Avatar
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    Usually grip can be a problem with the steering. You don't need to grip real hard. I just use my palms. If you are over gripping it will reflect i the steering Real light grip no death grip

  7. #7
    Active Member Airborne's Avatar
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    Thanks all, keep it coming, the more info the better!

    Yep trying to have a light touch but suddenly a gust of wind or defect in the road surface throws me offline [and sometimes it feels off the bike] spooks me and have to concentrate on relaxing again.

    So front Kenda tire pressure, have tried 18 to 22 psi, no difference suggestions please!

    Have been on 2 wheels for most of my life but a year or more since i last rode, this is my first trike.

  8. #8
    Active Member h0gr1der's Avatar
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    Airborne;

    I'm in the same boat as you, brand new 2018 RTL. Great advice above, very knowledgeable group of folks here. I had the same skittish feeling as you initially. After some 600-800 miles you will become more accustomed to it. I did replace my OEM Kendas at 800 miles with auto tires, they were out of round and couldn't be balanced out. My Vredestein auto tires,inflated to only 18 lbs (working on the pressure testing right now, between rain and lightning) do provide much better handling. My rear auto tire is coming in Tuesday, I've decided to abandon Kenda completely due to their poor quality control. Reading hundreds of tire stories on here and other places you see many stories of Kenda tires performing well, then you see a bunch with them performing poorly, apparently randomly.

    My changes to improve my bikes stability (admittedly overkill) is 1. Replace all 3 tires (Fronts done so far). Still upcoming- 2. Add BajaRon front spring pre-load adjusters. 3. Laser Alignment and 4. BajaRon sway bar upgrade.

    I will add this about Kendas. I'm using the 4 PSI rule for inflation. On auto tires installed on the Spyder, you will be using less air pressure than when the same tire is mounted on a car. I'm currently down to 18 PSI on the front, at 20 PSI running 1 hour on hot pavement the tire didn't increase more than 2 PSI indicating over inflation. The rear Kenda 225/50R15 started this same test at the recommended 28 PSI, and after 1 hour of riding it did increase to 32 PSI. Don't lower the Kenda pressures more than the minimum recommended pressure in the manual.

    Most folks agree laser alignment is the best bang for the buck for one that is too twitchy. Apparently Can Am set the toe in too near 0 degrees, and it needs some mild toe in to be steady. But mine hasn't been modified at this very point more than installing 2 auto tires at the front and I've put over 1000 miles (1609 km) on it and I must admit I've adapted much more soundly to the bikes characteristics. I just think the added suspension jewelry will make the bike truly outstanding.
    h0gr1der
    2018 RT Limited Blue/Chrome SE6 *Tri-Axis Bars*Adjustable Driver Backrest*175/55R15 Vredestein Front, 205/60R15 Vredestein Rear Tires*Baja Ron Front Spring Pre-Load Adjusters*Roadster Renovations Vibration Damper*Misty Mountain Sheepskin seat cover*Centramatic balancers *Garmin Zumo 595LM GPS*KOTT Grills*BajaRon swaybar*SpyderPops Alignment*Missing Belt guard
    States Visited on Less than 4 wheels.

  9. #9
    aka: akspyderman ARtraveler's Avatar
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    and

    All of what is said above is good. There is a learning curve of about 500 miles for experienced two wheelers. I took 1500 miles to get comfortable.

    Currently Owned: 2011 RT A&C SE5 (magnesium), 2014 RTS-SE6 (yellow), 2015 Vulcan 900 LTD

    Previously : 2008 GS-SM5 (silver), 2009 RS-SE5 (red), 2010 RT-S Premier Editon #474 (black) Pictures of 2008 and 2009 Spyders are in Alaska Albums 2009 and 2010.
    5 Spyders, 10 years, 145,375 miles


  10. #10
    Active Member starrider60's Avatar
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    Keep riding and it'll come to you. Was on 2 wheels from age 12 to 63. Went to a trike and hated it. Boring like riding in a pickup truck with the windows down. Got a 2017 RTS 18 months ago. Took me about 1000 miles to relax. Now have 19,000 plus miles on Samantha (she bewitched me)

  11. #11
    Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie Peter Aawen's Avatar
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    Alright, I can feel another epic tome coming on, so I apologise in advance, but here goes!

    You will always get more 'road feedback' on a Spyder than you will on a 2 wheeled bike; after all, you've now got at least twice the contact patch up front and a pretty wide tire on the rear too, so that's gotta have some impact!! So settle into the seat, suck your belly in a bit to engage your core muscles, then try to conciously relax & drop your shoulders & arms, keep your elbows & wrists down & relaxed, and with a very gentle hold on the bars, and let yourself lightly guide the Spyder where you want it to go. Often, especially if you feel the twitchy & dartiness starting to happen more, it will be because you are focusing on the road much too close in! Lift your gaze, look out ahead as far as you can see the road, and lightly focussing on where you want your Spyder to be on the road ahead and the path you want to travel to get there, scan back along that path to the front of the bike. By focussing on the path you want to follow you can avoid letting all the little irregularities in the road back here upset that! Just don't forget to give the instruments & mirrors a glance every now & then too - a quick look every second scan or so maybe?! And remember, you don't hafta correct for EVERY little bump or twitch, just let the bike's suspension soak the little ones up & you keep on looking out ahead again, planning your way and lightly guiding your Spyder along the path that dodges any big obstacles or potholes etc without needing to react to any of the little twitches & darts that happen but don't really move you off your overall planned path!

    I've found that it can also help to ONLY PULL on the inside bar to negotiate a turn or to guide the Spyder; try not to 'push away' with your outside hand, just lightly pull only enough for the turn or correction needed, but work on that 'looking way out ahead & scanning back to the front of the bike' thing while you're only lightly focussing on the road surface itself. You need to let your eyes gloss over the little bumps & potential twitches so they can see & recognise the PATH you want to follow AND any real potential hazards, then you can lightly guide your Spyder using gentle muscle contractions to PULL the bar the way you want to go. Setting yourself up to pull rather than push will help you get your weight going the way it needs to go in order to minimise the feeling that the bike's trying to throw you off the outside of every corner; while pushing means you need to brace & push in the direction you really DON'T WANT to go, so your brain & body sorta cringes a bit when you do that and it makes pushing the outside bar a slightly unnatural & disconcerting thing that causes you tense up more & in doing so, increases the twitchiness you feel as you ryde, by twitching & reacting to every bump & hollow in the road surface.

    Back to scanning well ahead - each scan shouldn't take a heap of time, it's more just keeping your eyes moving than it is letting them settle on any of the little things like the bumps & hollows or other things you want to avoid - it's almost a certainty that if you focus on something ahead, you'll hit it! So the further ahead you look & plan your path, the less immediate response you'll need to make to the little bumps & twitches that are in the road immediately ahead! And remember, you've got TWO wheels out front now, so there are going to be more of those bumps & twitches than on a bike with just ONE front wheel and besides, your Spyder has a helluva lot less inertial mass to move around in response to them than a cage or a truck, so of course you'll feel them more, but if you concentrate on THAT sorta stuff instead of scanning ahead & planning your path thru them while you lightly guide your Spyder along your chosen way by gently pulling on the inside bar, you'll end up with a very twitchy and busy ryde!

    So, Just Relax, Drop your Shoulders & Elbows, Lightly Guide your Spyder by Pulling on the bars, and Plan your Path as far ahead as you can while continually scanning along it, checking the instruments, mirrors, and for any potential risks or hazards ahead as you flick back out to as far ahead as you can see the road. A scan every second or so while you aren't all tensed up just doesn't give your eyes enough time to focus on the close in bumps or little things that aren't a risk, and if you LOOK at those things, you almost certainly WILL hit them; so scan way ahead & plot your path thru them by lightly guiding your Spyder thru gently pulling not pushing the bars and you'll enjoy your ryde a lot more!
    2013 RT Ltd

  12. #12
    Customer Support LeftCoast's Avatar
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    Lol I love your epic tomes Peter, keep em coming!
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  13. #13
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    Hi,

    New 2018 RTL owner here. Just took delivery last week.

    It's really only taken me about 100 miles to 'get the hang' of it, as far as steering control goes. To me, the most appropriate way to consider the handling of the spyder is more automotive, or at least NOT two-wheel motorcycle. You do not control the spyder using bodily balance inputs like you do on a two-wheeler. Forget all that - and quit 'leaning' on the handle bars - that's the source of the 'flightyness'.

  14. #14
    Very Active Member IdahoMtnSpyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airborne View Post
    Yep trying to have a light touch but suddenly a gust of wind or defect in the road surface throws me offline [and sometimes it feels off the bike] spooks me and have to concentrate on relaxing again.

    Have been on 2 wheels for most of my life but a year or more since i last rode, this is my first trike.
    When a wind gust hits you let it push you around. The Spyder will take care of itself. If you're holding tight then your movements in response to the wind will get transferred to the Spyder. As far as road surface defects here again, let the Spyder do it's thing. You'll be surprised how well it holds to a straight line.

    In addition to what Peter says above realize that a two wheeler makes use of gyroscopic forces to dampen any tendency of the front wheel to turn quickly. You probably never felt the little twitches the front tire wanted to do because it couldn't. But there is no gyroscopic effect on the Spyder since the front wheels don't tilt during turns. So quick twitches of the wheel are fed to the handlebar, causing you to want to react. But your reaction is slower than the twitch event so when you correct the steering the twitch is already past so you're adding an additional movement into the steering, not preventing one.

    2014 Copper RTS

    Tri-Axis bars, CB, BajaRon sway bar & shock adjusters, SpyderPop's Bumpskid, NBV peg brackets, LED headlights and modulator, Wolo trumpet air horns, trailer hitch, custom trailer harness, high mount turn signals, Custom Dynamics brake light, LED turn signal lights on mirrors, LED strip light for a dash light, garage door opener, LED lights in frunk, trunk, and saddlebags, RAM mounts and cradles for tablet (for GPS) and phone (for music), and Smooth Spyder belt tensioner.

  15. #15
    Active Member MonPaul's Avatar
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    Far from an expert, I just made it past break in with my "18 RTL. But I can tell you that you are not alone! There is definitely a learning curve, what bothers me most is wind like you said and when a road is banked. It is so different than 2 wheels I find myself drifting to the inside or outside depending on the bank.
    There is some great advice here (I have been experimenting with the push-pull also) and I'm sure I will try more things in the next 1000 miles. I think the goal should be that we will just be able to ride without thinking about it! For me I am trying too hard, and thinking too much. Not only does that probably make things worse but I am not enjoying the ride.

  16. #16
    SpyderLovers Sponsor SpyderAnn01's Avatar
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    Welcome! It is you and not the Spyder but don’t worry you’ll get the hang of it. We spent the last two days with a Tasmanian Spyder rider and her husband. Do you know Beth and Phil? Great folks, we really enjoyed having them visit.

    2017 F3T-SM6 Squared Away Mirror Wedgies & Alignment
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  17. #17
    Active Member h0gr1der's Avatar
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    Another thing that is taking me longer to get used to is 3 wheels and how they affect the characteristics of the bike. Seems self explanatory, but let me go through this. For me, I noticed that when you have a combination of ruts and road crown together, coupled with the wind off of an 18 wheeler, things can get real interesting fast. As the front tires are clearing the pull out of the 2 tire ruts and approaching the crown, the rear tire falls off into the leftmost rut and causes the bike to react differently than anything I've been used too. All kinds of dynamics there. There is also the visual thing about clearly seeing the front 2 wheels. Junk in the road... I'll just straddle it. BAM. Rear wheel takes the hit. Oops, forgot about that one back there. There is a pretty narrow space you can squeeze an object through under the bike and not hit any wheel, something like a foot and a half or so. I'm still trying to get that right.

    Don't give up yet. I had to transition to 3 wheels, looked hard at all the options. Goldwing trike is the gold standard, but now I'm glad I got the Spyder. I can corner it much more sportingly than my last cruiser. That, and the actual gear for reverse made this a great choice. I think these are much more stable than a normal trike. If it ever stops storming I'm going to go put more miles on the one I have.
    h0gr1der
    2018 RT Limited Blue/Chrome SE6 *Tri-Axis Bars*Adjustable Driver Backrest*175/55R15 Vredestein Front, 205/60R15 Vredestein Rear Tires*Baja Ron Front Spring Pre-Load Adjusters*Roadster Renovations Vibration Damper*Misty Mountain Sheepskin seat cover*Centramatic balancers *Garmin Zumo 595LM GPS*KOTT Grills*BajaRon swaybar*SpyderPops Alignment*Missing Belt guard
    States Visited on Less than 4 wheels.

  18. #18
    Active Member Airborne's Avatar
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    Wow! your response have been outstanding. So many views that all point to the same thing, Its normal!! That's great. its given me a real boost of confidence.

    Thanks! i'll stick with it, it's just great to get all your advice and to realize that it's my reaction to a totally unfamiliar bike/situation Thanks again!! You guys Rock!

    Peter, sage advice and i can't believe how in depth you can get, i have listened to and received your knowledge from sites here in OZ under another name [this site won't accept my other name]

    No! i don't know the couple from here in Tas but good on them for traveling to the US.

    Thank You for all your time spent replying to my 'slightly panicked' post and all your welcomes, very much appreciated, i worked with and alongside US forces when 'in service' and found your guys to be very friendly and helpful.

    Think i'll stick around for a while.

  19. #19
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    Peter is spot on. Just got back from 5 days riding the Dragon. Got a 2017 RTL last year after not riding a bike in 40 years so going to the Dragon inexperienced as I was a daunting task. First time through I rode stiff and formal and I was all over the place. The second time I relaxed the shoulders and elbows, leaned into the inside of the curve and the difference was amazing. With the elbows dropped the very act of leaning into the curve the arm and hand naturally pulled the inside hand. Curves that I struggled to maintain at 20 mph were rock solid and smooth as glass at 40 mph. Relax and let the bike d0 the work and it totally smoothed out the ride.

  20. #20
    Very Active Member IdahoMtnSpyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h0gr1der View Post
    There is also the visual thing about clearly seeing the front 2 wheels. Junk in the road... I'll just straddle it. BAM. Rear wheel takes the hit. Oops, forgot about that one back there. There is a pretty narrow space you can squeeze an object through under the bike and not hit any wheel, something like a foot and a half or so.
    Yep, you've got that right! One of the reasons I use a car tire is if I "unmiss" an obstacle a car tire is a lot less likely to get punctured than a thin skinned Kenda!

    2014 Copper RTS

    Tri-Axis bars, CB, BajaRon sway bar & shock adjusters, SpyderPop's Bumpskid, NBV peg brackets, LED headlights and modulator, Wolo trumpet air horns, trailer hitch, custom trailer harness, high mount turn signals, Custom Dynamics brake light, LED turn signal lights on mirrors, LED strip light for a dash light, garage door opener, LED lights in frunk, trunk, and saddlebags, RAM mounts and cradles for tablet (for GPS) and phone (for music), and Smooth Spyder belt tensioner.

  21. #21
    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h0gr1der View Post
    Another thing that is taking me longer to get used to is 3 wheels and how they affect the characteristics of the bike. Seems self explanatory, but let me go through this. For me, I noticed that when you have a combination of ruts and road crown together, coupled with the wind off of an 18 wheeler, things can get real interesting fast. As the front tires are clearing the pull out of the 2 tire ruts and approaching the crown, the rear tire falls off into the leftmost rut and causes the bike to react differently than anything I've been used too. All kinds of dynamics there. There is also the visual thing about clearly seeing the front 2 wheels. Junk in the road... I'll just straddle it. BAM. Rear wheel takes the hit. Oops, forgot about that one back there. There is a pretty narrow space you can squeeze an object through under the bike and not hit any wheel, something like a foot and a half or so. I'm still trying to get that right.

    Don't give up yet. I had to transition to 3 wheels, looked hard at all the options. Goldwing trike is the gold standard, but now I'm glad I got the Spyder. I can corner it much more sportingly than my last cruiser. That, and the actual gear for reverse made this a great choice. I think these are much more stable than a normal trike. If it ever stops storming I'm going to go put more miles on the one I have.
    To you and others here on this steering thing ….. For ME, if I'm going to hit something - like a bump or a pothole I steer around it if at all possible …. I don't care about the rear tire/wheel as much as I do about the front suspension..... IMHO the rear can take waaaaaaay more abuse than the front without suffering any damage. ( I apologize to my rear tire ) ….. Mike

  22. #22
    Active Member h0gr1der's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I'm still running the Kenda. My Vredestein rear should be in Tuesday. Confidence boost in 3-2-......
    h0gr1der
    2018 RT Limited Blue/Chrome SE6 *Tri-Axis Bars*Adjustable Driver Backrest*175/55R15 Vredestein Front, 205/60R15 Vredestein Rear Tires*Baja Ron Front Spring Pre-Load Adjusters*Roadster Renovations Vibration Damper*Misty Mountain Sheepskin seat cover*Centramatic balancers *Garmin Zumo 595LM GPS*KOTT Grills*BajaRon swaybar*SpyderPops Alignment*Missing Belt guard
    States Visited on Less than 4 wheels.

  23. #23
    Active Member bushrat's Avatar
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    A lot of great input here from experts (Peter, Mike, et al), who can coach you best from the technical perspective. My input would be: relax, have faith in your Spyder; if you use good sense, it is unlikely to cause you harm. Perhaps because I didn't do a whole lot of 2-wheeling in the 40 years right before I bought my F3L in 2017, I didn't need to "unlearn" those riding habits. Yet, for the first few weeks, I called my Spyder "Old Twitchy", because it gave me many concerns similar to yours. For the second month, I nick-named it "Hunter", because it seemed to have a mind of its own, and wanted to search out every pot hole, rut, uneven stretch of pavement. As the weeks and miles went by, I realized that it wasn't trying to kill me; we became friends; I relaxed, and so did the bike. We got ourselves "broken in" together; now we're riding buddies, partners. I let it do the work while I enjoy the ride and gently coax it to where I think we should go. For the past 22 months, I now call my bike "Red Fun". Trust the Spyder more; it will return the compliment by increasing your fun. One thing I learned to do, while learning to relax, was to mimic playing a piano. Try riding along at a modest speed (40 mph). With your hands on the bars, open and extend your fingers so that they point ahead, and only your palms are resting on top of the bars with the grips lightly between the "V" created by your thumb and index finger. Steering can be done by easy pressure without closing your hands since you're not really going fast or in twisties. Now, as you ride along in the sunshine of a nice day, make believe you're playing a piano, with your fingers moving up and down. It's fun, it's relaxing, and it reduces stress. It will show you exactly just how light a touch on the bars you can ride with. And, it will demonstrate to you and your Spyder buddy just how much faith you have in one another. Oh, and if you need a firmer feeling while in the saddle, don't grab the bars, just squeeze against the tank with your inside knee. Works for me. Have faith. Relax. And welcome to the world of Spyder fun. Nothing better!!!!
    [SIGPIC]
    2017 F3 Ltd. Intense Red Pearl/Metallic Black topside

  24. #24
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    Have to agree with the replies so far. Never had any success on 2 wheels and I wanted to ride so the Spyder was my option. Got a 2018 F3S last year (still on the Kendas with about 3,000 miles on the clock now). It finally clicked for me around the 1,500 to 2,000 mile mark. Now it's just plain FUN. Great advice here, light touch on the bars and just go WITH it, i had a bad tendency to overcorrect and when I finally relaxed and became one with the machine that's when instinct took over. Have fun and be patient, you'll get it.

  25. #25
    Active Member Revalden's Avatar
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    On curves/corners squeeze with your thighs and put pressure on outside footboard/peg so that you're not using the handlebars to steady yourself and are more free to actually steer and I lean into the curve a lot. I also downshift going into a curve so that I can use the engine to slow somewhat and power out. Under 45mph I can steer with one hand on my RT.
    2015 RTS SE6 Special Series (bought in Nov. 2018 w/9,400 miles)(12,400@7/8/2019)
    All of the following items installed by me:
    lotsa Ram Balls
    Passenger Arm Rests
    Windshield Air Wing
    Baja Ron's Sway Bar
    Air Scoops
    LaMonster's Hiway Pegs
    Magnetic Mirror Mounts
    Air Innovations Seat Cushion
    Red Chrome pin striping on Black hood
    Federal Formoza AZ01 front tires (they're GREAT)
    Small LED bars above radiator inlets
    LED brake/running/turn signals on license plate frame
    Northern Tool cycle trailer
    7' x 10' enclosed Cargo trailer
    LED headlight bulbs, LED fog lights (WOW what a difference)

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