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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Got into a conversation just recently with another long-time rider about leaning. He's intrigued by trying something different.

Big Ogre,

I took an advanced rider course from Ryan Austin a few years back. He's the guy at the end of the video. Besides slow-speed and emergency maneuvers, we practiced cornering by letting the bike do the work while we (the riders) remained relatively upright. It does feel weird but I think Ryan's point is that if you have to lean into the curve or hang off like Valentino Rossi on the street, you probably shouldn't be riding on the street - save that riding for the track. That being said, I do like to ride through the curves at a spirited pace and tend to lean in, but I don't hang off and don't intend to either. What I will likely do is just back off the pace the next time I'm in the twisties. In hindsight I was probably pushing the bike pretty hard though the hairpins. I don't mean to start a debate about how much one should lean (or not) in any given situation. At the end of the day it's a personal choice how much one pushes the limit. I think I was so calm when I felt the engine guard scrape along the road because I had no idea it was the engine guard - I just thought it was the center stand which I used to experience more regularly on my FJ1200. After seeing Dan Cooper's reply I have a better idea how lucky I was - a little harder and I may have slid off the road as well. Live to learn another day and learn to live another day!

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Zwartie
 
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