Heavy Handling?

Discussion in 'VBoost Room' started by oediehl, Jul 1, 2019.

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  1. Jul 1, 2019 #1

    oediehl

    oediehl

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    Just bought my 1st VMAX; a very clean 2009 1700 with 14,500 miles. Love the motor, but the handling is weird. The rear tire is a mostly new ME880, and the front is a mostly worn-out ME880. The tire pressures were low, especially the front at ~15 lbs (I brought them both up to proper pressure, maybe a little high at 37 lbs in the front), and the front wear pattern is odd. There's still a bit of tread on either side and in the center, but either side of center there is a bald strip, giving the tire an odd pointy-head profile. I've ordered a new Dunlop Roadsmart III for the front, but I'm wondering if that will be a total fix?

    Sitting on the bike at a standstill, the front feels very heavy when turning the handlebars side to side. Low speed maneuvers feel dicey. With a bit of speed it gets better, but even then cornering still requires what seems to me to be excessive countersteering force, which must be maintained throughout the curve. I've not read of such handling anomalies in the various road tests I've read. I'm wondering if the steering head bearings may be dry and dragging, though in my experience that usually resulted in more of a nothchy, twitchy feel, as opposed to just feeling resistant or heavy.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Jul 1, 2019 #2

    Itgoes

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    Is the rear tire a 200 or 240?
     
  3. Jul 1, 2019 #3

    Itgoes

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    It's a heavy bike with weight that is probably more biased towards the front than most. Under 20 MPH you will feel the weight but it in no way handles weird at speeds above that. Actually it handles amazingly well for a bike it's size, nothing I know of really comes close.

    If you have a Metzeler 240 on rear I can confirm that tire is not good at all as far as handling is concerned. Any 240 will increase the effort to turn by a lot, the Metzeler is the worst I've ever ridden though.
     
  4. Jul 1, 2019 #4

    oediehl

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    Good thought, but it's a 200
     
  5. Jul 1, 2019 #5

    oediehl

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    The front end feels a LOT heavier than my Goldwing, which I would surmise is also forward-weight-biased, and probably 300 pounds or so heavier
     
  6. Jul 1, 2019 #6

    Itgoes

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    The Roadsmart should improve things, I can't speak for the 200 Metzeler on the back. I'm not a big fan of the ME880's though. Best quality is durability not performance.

    Shinko Verge in the stock size front and rear are the best IMO with the OEM Bridgestones next best when it comes to traction and handling.
     
  7. Jul 1, 2019 #7

    oediehl

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    I'm surprised about the Shinko. I put a dual sport Shinko on the front of a KTM once, and did not like it at all. Hmmm
     
  8. Jul 1, 2019 #8

    Pighuntingpuppy

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    We had a convo about tires where I am gonna put some Exedra Maxs on mine. I have Metzlers and like Itgoes, I am no fan of the Metzlers either. I have no experience with Shinkos as I was told Shinkos are cheap tires and cheap is not something you want under 2 wheels. But thats just me. I have ran Bridgestones on all my bikes in the past and have had good use out of them. I used a Dunlop in a pinch once and while it made my Virago a whole new machine, it didnt outlast the oil change.

    Everyone has preferences and what works for one will sometimes not work for another. Tires, oil, and tastes in women will always be a debatable topic for all time.
     
  9. Jul 1, 2019 #9

    Itgoes

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    "I have no experience with Shinkos as I was told Shinkos are cheap tires and cheap is not something you want under 2 wheels."

    I've heard that said before.

    The most expensive tires I ever put on my VMax (Continental Race Attacks) almost killed me when the sidewall blew out.

    The Shinko's have been pretty reliable for VMax owners and they are the best performing. They've been the standard at dragstrips for years.

    I sometimes think the are confused for the Cheng Shin brand which don't have a great reputation.
     
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  10. Jul 1, 2019 #10

    Fire-medic

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    To get the best handling, you shouldn't mix brands. Even going with a different spec of tire in the same brand can give your bike weird handling. You may luck-out and not have issues, but in my experience, I like to keep 'em the same spec, so if you have a nearly-new Metzler rear, I would have gone with another Metzler in the front. The 880's are not really a VMax type of tire, unless you were planning a 5,000 mile road trip, and wanted to try and make it without changing tires. They aren't sticky-enough to run your VMax hard.

    I hadn't tried Shinkos before on anything, and my last change on a 10,000 mile Gen 1, I bought a set. I am impressed, they didn't take much weight to balance (supposedly a problem I had seen mentioned elsewhere, that they do need a lot of weight) and they are pretty-sticky. I got the Verge. I haven't put many miles on the bike, but given my experience with them, I would buy another set. Stock wheels.

    I should mention, on one bike I have a 17" rear, and went radials f & r. Radials on a VMax Gen 1 is a good way to improve your bike's all-around dynamic performance.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  11. Jul 1, 2019 #11

    Julian Tomkins

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    although that worn tyre is not helping things, maybe the VMAX has more steering rake than what you are used to
     
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  12. Jul 2, 2019 #12

    Tony Strange

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    If you climb off of a sport bike and onto a vmax it will feel heavy and ungainly, but after you get used to the characteristics of the Vmax It ain't too bad
     
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  13. Jul 2, 2019 #13

    CostalGrey

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    Morning all
    Just a couple cents worth I’ve had both generations of vmax currently on a 2014 on the gen 2 I’ve found the stock battle axes do really well we have a lot of twisters here on the south shore of Nova Scotia the bike sticks like shit to a blanket I am very aggressive in twisties not a big burnout fan
    I find the gen 2 to be the Pinnacle of a cruiser in handling for me the weight is just were I want it feels like just in front of my feet and aiming forward. It feels like a beautiful geometry for me
    I don’t lower the bikes as I can sit flat footed with my knees bent

    Overall for me a very impressive piece of machinery and a definite statement from Yamaha

    I love the tuning forks it means precision

    Cheers peter
     
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  14. Jul 2, 2019 #14

    Itgoes

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    dragon 7.jpg

    I agree Peter!

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
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  15. Jul 2, 2019 #15

    glickmpb

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    I wonder if the bike has been modified in any way. I have a 2018 and have ZERO problems turning or cornering. I also have a 2008 Goldwing and there is no comparison that my VMax is more nimble.
     
  16. Jul 2, 2019 #16

    oediehl

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    Yeah, something is not right; I'm hoping it's just the tire. Never had that kind of issue with a worn tire before, though. I was an MSF instructor for 13 years and had no problems doing the u-turn box on my Valkyrie or ('08) Goldwing or any other bike, but I don't think I'd even try it on the VMAX. A 90 degree turn from a stop is quite unsettling. I don't believe any changes have been made, it's pretty much bone-stock and the previous (original) owner is around 6' tall, so I'm not sure why he'd fiddle with the chassis. Once I figure out how to get the beast up in the air for the tire change, I'll try turning the forks with no weight on the front wheel, to see if I feel any binding. Even sitting still, turning the forks side to side feels heavier than anything I've ever experienced. I'll keep the thread posted
     
  17. Jul 3, 2019 #17

    CostalGrey

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    Bail the rubber
    Go with the stock battle axes set all your adjustments at mid and go for a ride and dial it in if you need to for your weight and riding style
    It’s a very nimble well balanced machine but at the same time a very cruel and unforgiving bitch
    Keep the rubber down
    Peter
     
  18. Jul 3, 2019 #18

    oediehl

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    Well, I already ordered a Dunlop Roadsmart III, which I've had good experiences with on multiple bikes, and it advertises itself as good for heavy bikes. We'll see!
     
  19. Jul 4, 2019 #19

    Edward

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  20. Jul 4, 2019 #20

    CostalGrey

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    Yep
    Kind of gives me a chubby!!
     

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