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  1. #1
    Member scorpion56's Avatar
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    Default Understeering in curves

    I'm three weeks into my 3-wheeled life after 10 years on 2 wheels. Yes, it is a transition as adverstised. I'm finding that the biggest challenge is that I appear to be understeering on curves at highway speed. I've had a couple of episodes of the sensation of the inside wheel lifting (which I know isn't possible) yet I'm trying to take the advice I've seen here on not having a death grip so that the Spyder isn't feeling jittery. And I'm guessing that the answers are going to be getting more experience and the steering will become natural. Any other suggestions on avoiding what I think is understeering???
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    Very Active Member Gwolf's Avatar
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    Time and experience........................

    Look where you are going. Don't look down at the road. Look farther ahead. You will follow your eyes.

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    Very Active Member jwulf74's Avatar
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    Lean your body into the turn a little more... and try planting your outside foot.
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    aka: akspyderman ARtraveler's Avatar
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    A few things to think about, but once you become one with the Spyder, it will all fall into place.

    Try this:

    Enter all curves at such a speed that you do not have to brake at the beginning. Ideally, you should be able to accelerate during the curve.

    Apex the curves...that is...enter from the inside of the curve and track to the outside of the curve. Look at where you are going...your Spyder will follow the route.

    To avoid "g" forces...plant your outside foot on the pegs or foot board, grab the gas tank with the knees and lean slightly into the curve.

    All of these things done together, will result in you enjoying the twisties. I can go 20 mph above the posted curve speed, but am more comfortable with 10 to 15 mph over.

    May the force be with you.

    EDIT: see post #19 A great graph is shown explaining "apex." I do the LATE APEX version.
    Last edited by ARtraveler; 06-30-2020 at 11:05 AM.

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    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwolf View Post
    Time and experience........................

    Look where you are going. Don't look down at the road. Look farther ahead. You will follow your eyes.
    X 3 .... the same applies in down-hill sking ..... the long view works best at least for me .... I know the Spyder is legally classified as a motorcycle .... but don't EVER drive one like a motorcycle ..... good luck ..... Mike

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    This is how we teach it Speed, Position, Aim, Turn. Adjust your speed before you enter the turn, Position refers to both your position on the bike (shift weight and lean to the inside of the curve) and your position in the lane, Aim all the way through to the exit of the curve, turning your head and looking all the way through the turn and finally Turn. Repeat.

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    Member Papa103's Avatar
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    Most of us 2 to 3 wheel riders went thru the same feelings. At first i thought this thing is going to flop on its side anytime. I found it helped my confidence in its ability to corner when I was doing lower speed corners down town. Then I started going around them faster. They are very stable machines. Then I started riding with a couple other spyder owners. I'll call them spirited riders. These things will handle a corner a lot better than my Street Glide. I now feel it is more like snowmobiling than motorcycling. Can't wait for the next corner. Now that I've got the hang of it I can't stop riding it. I have over 7000 miles on my less than 1 year old RTL. Take your time get comfortable with it and most of all keep it fun.
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    Very Active Member Flamewinger's Avatar
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    Got this off another video and thought it was pertinent to cornering on a Spyder. It's from a Youtube video about Engineering Connections (Richard Hammond) Bullet Train.


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    I pop my wheels up all the time... the nanny is always getting mad at me, but I don’t like slowing down. Planting your foot and shifting your whole body weight, you can take turns and keep all the wheels down a lot better, but I always keep pushing it.

  10. #10
    Active Member triplethreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARtraveler View Post
    A few things to think about, but once you become one with the Spyder, it will all fall into place.

    Try this:

    Enter all curves at such a speed that you do not have to brake at the beginning. Ideally, you should be able to accelerate during the curve.

    Apex the curves...that is...enter from the inside and track to the outside. Look at where you are going...your Spyder will follow the route.

    To avoid "g" forces...plant your outside foot on the pegs or foot board, grab the gas tank with the knees and lean slightly into the curve.

    All of these things done together, will result in you enjoying the twisties. I can go 20 mph above the posted curve speed, but am more comfortable with 10 to 15 mph over.

    May the force be with you.
    You've got that exactly backwards! Apexing a corner is just the opposite of what you posted. As you enter a turn, left's say a left-hander in this example, your bike should be close to the the outside edge of the lane. As you start into the turn, the bike should be headed towards the apex of the corner.....the half way point of the turn. As you pass the apex of that corner you can slowly start applying the throttle again and let it run "wide" towards the outside of the lane again. The whole purpose of this is to "straighten out" the corner as much as possible, which will allow you to go faster through the corner. Doing it like you posted has the exact opposite affect.

  11. #11
    Very Active Member IdahoMtnSpyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpion56 View Post
    And I'm guessing that the answers are going to be getting more experience and the steering will become natural. Any other suggestions on avoiding what I think is understeering???
    Have you had the front wheels laser aligned? If not find someone who uses the Rolo alignment system and have the wheels aligned. Misalignment can cause various steering problems, including under and over steering. Spyders are quite often not well aligned coming from the factory.

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  12. #12
    Very Active Member PMK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triplethreat View Post
    You've got that exactly backwards! Apexing a corner is just the opposite of what you posted. As you enter a turn, left's say a left-hander in this example, your bike should be close to the the outside edge of the lane. As you start into the turn, the bike should be headed towards the apex of the corner.....the half way point of the turn. As you pass the apex of that corner you can slowly start applying the throttle again and let it run "wide" towards the outside of the lane again. The whole purpose of this is to "straighten out" the corner as much as possible, which will allow you to go faster through the corner. Doing it like you posted has the exact opposite affect.
    And sometimes give an added cushion for running wide or time to close the throttle and stay on the pavement.

  13. #13
    Very Active Member PMK's Avatar
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    If you have true understeer with the front tires pushing through the corners, you might consider checking tire pressures to bring up the grip.

    Our Spyder with oem Kenda tires gave the impression of understeer, but was actually flexing the tires under the rim excessively.

  14. #14
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    Entering a turn on the outside of the lane is exactly right (as much as you can on a Spyder without crowding the centerline). Plus this method gives a bit more visibility to what’s around the turn!

  15. #15
    Active Member spyder01's Avatar
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    Ive got Vredsteins up front and I can definitely feel and hear them howling and sliding on hard turns.Its not much but more than my Kendas did.Im running my pressure at 18 up front and I think if I raised it a little it probably would help but since its only on very hard turns Ill leave it as is.BTW OP said its not possible to pick up indside tire but that's not true at all,Ive done it and seen many pics of guys with tire off ground,but nanny will kick in and bring it down.
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  16. #16
    aka: akspyderman ARtraveler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triplethreat View Post
    You've got that exactly backwards! Apexing a corner is just the opposite of what you posted. As you enter a turn, left's say a left-hander in this example, your bike should be close to the the outside edge of the lane. As you start into the turn, the bike should be headed towards the apex of the corner.....the half way point of the turn. As you pass the apex of that corner you can slowly start applying the throttle again and let it run "wide" towards the outside of the lane again. The whole purpose of this is to "straighten out" the corner as much as possible, which will allow you to go faster through the corner. Doing it like you posted has the exact opposite affect.
    I guess I should have said enter from the "Inside" of the curve...and track to the outside of the curve
    Last edited by ARtraveler; 06-30-2020 at 10:52 AM.

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  17. #17
    Active Member triplethreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARtraveler View Post
    I should have said enter from the "Inside" of the curve...and track to the outside of the curve
    Here is a comparison of two different entries into a corner....a "late" apex and an "early" apex. As you can see by the description, a late apex does exactly what I was referring to in my previous post....it "straightens" the corner out much more than an early apex. There are obviously other advantages to late apexing a corner, as described in the picture.

    I spent 7 years working as an Instructor/Coach with the largest motorcycle Track Day organization in the U.S.....the last 3 as one of the Lead Instructors. We always taught customers that were riding with us, given the choice of late apexing or early apexing, take the late apex, as there are so many more advantages to it. There are of course other options besides the two shown here on the pict, but that is geared more for tracks days/racing applications and are way beyond the scope of this topic. So to recap, Setup on the far side of the lane for a left-hander, start the turn in from there and let your eyes take you to the apex. Then after apexing the corner, head still up and looking at your exit point, get back on the throttle and smoothly drive to the exit point of the turn....which is the far side of the lane. Making a right-hander is done the same way except you start as close to the center line as is safe to do....and end up at the center line or as close as it's safe to do....


  18. #18
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    I owned a Harley Ultra before surgeries put me on my F3. Totally different riding sensation, but really enjoying my new ride! Now have 1200 miles on it, best piece of advice I've received is when you initiate your turn, (right turn, let's say) straighten your left arm, push off your left foot, and lean into the turn like a GP dude keeping your upper body facing forward like a downhill skier. It gives me the feeling of pushing my butt back into the seat and planting it... feels very secure and under control. Once I started doing this and stopped trying to "muscle" my bike through the turn, it felt effortless. I also agree with everyone to hold that grip like a baby bird bro; us newbies tend to strangle that thang, especially at high speed on a straight away. When I have hit an unexpected bump or pothole with a death grip, the bike does not react well. Give the horse its lead and the ride is a lot smoother and way less effort.

  19. #19
    aka: akspyderman ARtraveler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triplethreat View Post
    Here is a comparison of two different entries into a corner....a "late" apex and an "early" apex. As you can see by the description, a late apex does exactly what I was referring to in my previous post....it "straightens" the corner out much more than an early apex. There are obviously other advantages to late apexing a corner, as described in the picture.

    I spent 7 years working as an Instructor/Coach with the largest motorcycle Track Day organization in the U.S.....the last 3 as one of the Lead Instructors. We always taught customers that were riding with us, given the choice of late apexing or early apexing, take the late apex, as there are so many more advantages to it. There are of course other options besides the two shown here on the pict, but that is geared more for tracks days/racing applications and are way beyond the scope of this topic. So to recap, Setup on the far side of the lane for a left-hander, start the turn in from there and let your eyes take you to the apex. Then after apexing the corner, head still up and looking at your exit point, get back on the throttle and smoothly drive to the exit point of the turn....which is the far side of the lane. Making a right-hander is done the same way except you start as close to the center line as is safe to do....and end up at the center line or as close as it's safe to do....

    I guess I will just not mention the word "apex" as I see it can mean different things. I am a "late apex" type of driver. That graph shows exactly what I was trying to say.
    Last edited by ARtraveler; 06-30-2020 at 10:55 AM.

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    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spyder01 View Post
    Ive got Vredsteins up front and I can definitely feel and hear them howling and sliding on hard turns.Its not much but more than my Kendas did.Im running my pressure at 18 up front and I think if I raised it a little it probably would help but since its only on very hard turns Ill leave it as is.BTW OP said its not possible to pick up indside tire but that's not true at all,Ive done it and seen many pics of guys with tire off ground,but nanny will kick in and bring it down.
    What's more important to you .... sound or traction ???? ..... sometimes you can't achieve both in the same tire .... jmho ..... Mike

  21. #21
    Active Member triplethreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARtraveler View Post
    I guess I will just not mention the word "apex" as I see it can mean different things. I am a "late apex" type of driver. That graph shows exactly what I was trying to say.
    I think where the misunderstanding in terminology is; you are saying enter from the inside of the curve. The entry is actually started at where you first turn (or on a 2 wheel motorcycle..where you start your lean in) and in the illustration, that would be when the bike is right next to the left black line and you transition from the bike going straight.....to starting the turn. The apex is obviously the center of the turn, and the ideal exit point is right back at the black line on the left. In a normal street scenario, that black line at the left would be the yellow or double yellow line that divides the two lanes of traffic. I'm pretty sure we are both thinking the same thing, but I just wanted to add some clarification so that no one thought that you should actually be at the inside part of the lane when they started their turn......on right hander like the one illustrated above.

  22. #22
    aka: akspyderman ARtraveler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triplethreat View Post
    I think where the misunderstanding in terminology is; you are saying enter from the inside of the curve. The entry is actually started at where you first turn (or on a 2 wheel motorcycle..where you start your lean in) and in the illustration, that would be when the bike is right next to the left black line and you transition from the bike going straight.....to starting the turn. The apex is obviously the center of the turn, and the ideal exit point is right back at the black line on the left. In a normal street scenario, that black line at the left would be the yellow or double yellow line that divides the two lanes of traffic. I'm pretty sure we are both thinking the same thing, but I just wanted to add some clarification so that no one thought that you should actually be at the inside part of the lane when they started their turn......on right hander like the one illustrated above.
    We are good.

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  23. #23
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    Default Thanks Flamewinger

    @ Flamewinger: FABULOUS Video!!! Really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing!
    Last edited by redrazor; 06-30-2020 at 12:36 PM. Reason: forgot op name

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    Very Active Member Revalden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwolf View Post
    Time and experience........................

    Look where you are going. Don't look down at the road. Look farther ahead. You will follow your eyes.
    This was hard to do at first for me. Kind of like riding off road, if there are two rocks with just enough room between them for the tires LOOK EXACTLY AT THE SPACE, NOT AT EITHER ROCK. Look as far into the curve as you can see. Your brain knows what to do, let it.
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    Thanks everyone for all the good advice. This forum is so useful. I've spent time hunting down curves to practice on. I found that the postings about lane position and apex really made a huge difference into the effectiveness of my turns. And my confidence going thru them. I know that I learned all of that in moto school years ago (and it's in the Spyder manual), but the last many years on two wheels made me lazy I think.
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