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Went for a little ride to Boone, NC last week. OK, it was a 6-day ride with a few of my "dirty biker" buddies from London, ON. We stayed at the Boone KOA and did a loop to Little Switzerland and another to Shady Valley. US Route 421 is known as The Snake, has 489 curves and in my humble opinion, easily rivals the Tail of the Dragon.




We rode it twice, so I guess that's almost 1,000 curves! We rode it on a Wednesday which was perfect because traffic was really light. The asphalt was in amazing shape and the curves just kept coming at me faster and faster. I do enjoy riding at a "spirited" pace. I don't hang my knee out or anything like that but it's not uncommon for a foot peg to scrape through the curve from time to time. On one particularly tight right-hand corner, I felt something touch down which felt a bit more solid than a foot peg. It wasn't alarming or anything but I thought that maybe it could be the centre stand as that was a regular occurrence on by previous bike - a '92 FJ1200. At the next gas stop I mentioned this to my riding buddies and proceeded to inspect the bike for marks. It was suggested that maybe it was an engine guard. I didn't think that was possible but upon further inspection, this is what I found:



The metal even turned a little blue so I guess it's heat treated now?

Here's a shot of the right side of the bike for some perspective:



...and the foot peg with a little weight shaved off:



Never did I think that the bike could lean over far enough to scrape the engine guard and still ride through the curve. She was rock-steady throughout and never felt like we were losing traction.

These are the R-Gaza engine guards. I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced touch-down with their engine guards and if so, what brand are they? When I eventually upgrade my '06 to a newer model (and I will), If it doesn't have engine guards, one of the things I will compare is how low and how far they stick out.


Zwartie
2006 FJR1300
1977 KZ200
 

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2014 FJR-A
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Just last week a riding partner had a similar experience of dragging an engine guard in a right hander.
Levered a tire just enough to lose traction.
Considerably different end story.

Plant community Plant Grass Groundcover Grassland
Plant Plant community Automotive tire Grass Groundcover


Yes, that is the rear wheel, tire, and punkin laying in front of the rest of the scooter.
Plus a little ambulance ride to the infirmary.

Edit:
I want to mention this was a good rider with lots of experience on this very road. He escaped with only minor injuries, and will probably ride again, but gave everyone a hell of a scare.
It could have ended much worse.

Just shows that experience won't always save us, even in familiar circumstances.
One little distraction, or lapse of attention, or fatigue, or piece of gravel, or mis-reading the road, or incursion by another driver, or animal in the road, or any of a hundred different variations can bite one hard. Public roads are not controlled condition race tracks, with medical services standing by. Public roads are not a good place for 10 tenths riding with no margin for error.
I already hate myself for posting any of this. I'm still just a little pissed that it happened.
Editorial rant over.

Dan


A man's got to know his limitations. -- Dirty Harry
 

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Not to derail from your original inquiry but since you mentioned that you don't hang off I'll just throw it out there. Besides the bad optics, hanging off allows you to run less lean angle and avoid dragging hard parts. I personally hate the sensation of dragging hard parts. Ever since I started using more body position, AKA hanging off the bike, I think I've only dragged a foot peg once. Seeing the pictures above reaffirms my choice to use plenty of body position, even on the street.

P.S. I'll be adding this 🐍 road to my must ride list. First I've heard of it...

Edit: Just to clarify, I understand there is a difference between using a bit of "body position" and "hanging off" with your knee out. It's a spectrum.
 

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Those are the same crash bars I have. I'm amazed that you can hit them. Peg must not have just been dragging, it must have pushed up. I've dragged the pegs on the track on the FJR and not hit anything else.
 

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..... Just to clarify, I understand there is a difference between using a bit of "body position" and "hanging off" with your knee out. It's a spectrum.
So true. All you need is half an ass cheek off and extend your outside arm a bit.
 
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Reactions: Barsinister

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So true. All you need is half an ass cheek off and extend your outside arm a bit.
Maybe a little bit of knee… like halfway out… something like this…
Tire Helmet Wheel Sports gear Motorcycle helmet

Jokes aside, I’m all for hanging off, knee out and all to decrease lean angle (risk) at the same pace you’re probably already riding. I know it looks bad. Not suggesting to push the pace to crazy levels on the street where you have to hang off just to make it. Really when I get a butt cheek off the seat my leg just kind of naturally goes out like that it would be weird to try and keep it tucked in.
 
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My personal experience in my couple years of riding the FJR all over N GA, TN, NC, VA, NH etc….hanging like i do on my VFR is not possible and feels a little awkward…. But what is possible is a semi-hang, or hard inward lean of the body (as if you’re trying to lean over the front of the bike diagonally, into the turn while holding the weight of the bike as upright as possible. If you’re really holding a line hard then sure, commit to full butt slide but you’ll find how much the bike weighs when you start butt cheekin it back and forth in the S turns😆. Im reasonably tall, but the FJR makes me wish i was 6’4 sometimes. Whip that thing around!
 
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. If you’re really holding a line hard then sure, commit to full butt slide but you’ll find how much the bike weighs when you start butt cheekin it back and forth in the S turns😆. Im reasonably tall, but the FJR makes me wish i was 6’4 sometimes. Whip that thing around!
Put a CT on them talk to me ;)
 

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…butt cheekin it back and forth in the S turns😆…
This cracked me up lol. And yes, you definitely feel the weight when butt cheekin it back and forth.
We still have to come back to how our man @zwartie was casually dragging his damn engine guards down the street apparently cool as a cucumber lol. I’d be shook.
 
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Reactions: AtlRiderrr

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This cracked me up lol. And yes, you definitely feel the weight when butt cheekin it back and forth.
We still have to come back to how our man @zwartie was casually dragging his damn engine guards down the street apparently cool as a cucumber lol. I’d be shook.
Haha. When i used to rock T Rex pegs, i scraped the bottoms of both off. I’m like you, i NEVER get used to the sound/feeling of dragging hard parts. I never crash, but every time i get a lightning bolt of adrenaline and usually go “Whoooooo” to myself out loud. On a serious note, if you’re dragging engine guards, you need more lean with your body.
 

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Car tire;). Still runs through the Twisties and actually provides more lean angle. Just more work
NOSIR! You people are nuts.
 

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I've carved that 421 a few times.... what happens is your front suspension loads up and you lose ground clearance.... check your preload is dialed right in if you have stock springs, and get that damping off any standard Yammy settings. Better yet, get aftermarket springs in your front end, and you'll not likely touch down like that again....
 

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Got into a conversation just recently with another long-time rider about leaning. He's intrigued by trying something different.

Funny. I have to concentrate at the beginning of the season not to look like guy on left since in ski racing that is basically the stance.
 
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