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Snake Bite!

8078 Views 31 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Spaghettieddie
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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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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 馃悕 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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So true. All you need is half an ass cheek off and extend your outside arm a bit.
Maybe a little bit of knee鈥 like halfway out鈥 something like this鈥
Tire Helmet Wheel Sports gear Motorcycle helmet

Jokes aside, I鈥檓 all for hanging off, knee out and all to decrease lean angle (risk) at the same pace you鈥檙e 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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鈥utt cheekin it back and forth in the S turns馃槅鈥
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鈥檇 be shook.
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I don't understand the "bad optics" comments because leaning is proper motorcycle technique...you don't need to be doing spirited riding to gain benefits. Look at how much leaning in the opposite direction improves low speed maneuvers. We're playing a dangerous game of physics with a 650 lb machine - take all the advantages you can.
First, I鈥檒l just say I agree with everything you said. 鈥淏ad optics鈥 refers to the simple fact that it鈥檚 going to draw the attention of police if you happen upon one. Cops don鈥檛 care or even know about proper motorcycling technique. If they see a sport biker hanging off with a knee out it 鈥渓ooks鈥 like you鈥檙e speeding. Even if your not.
And let鈥檚 be real. If you鈥檙e going the posted speed limit on 80-90% of roads there is no need to use body position at all. Never mind hang off.
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