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21" Wheel and Confidence

belrix

Well-Known Member
africatwin.org gold
Nov 2, 2015
353
183
158
49
SouthEast Kansas
#1
I have 2000 miles on my AT but I'm having trouble getting used to the 21" narrow front wheel. It seems kind of twitchy and wants to follow ever seam in the road.

Is this normal?

Do I need to lower the air pressure?

Should I just ride more?

Thanks

Brian

Sent from my E6810 using Tapatalk
 

belrix

Well-Known Member
africatwin.org gold
Nov 2, 2015
353
183
158
49
SouthEast Kansas
#2
I dropped the air pressure from 28psi to 26psi in the front tire and it made a BIG difference!

Amazing the 2psi is this noticeable.

brian
 

SoCalEddie

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 14, 2017
249
93
103
Los Angeles, CA
#3
A little late on this... I found that depending on the weather and if it's cooler (50 degrees F and below), I'll deflate a couple psi and will make the motorcycle handle much differently and better due to the increase traction. A few extra rides wouldn't hurt too... :)

Careful with deflating too much... found this infographic:
xwear-vs-pressure.jpg.pagespeed.ic.TNKtpcAh6R.jpg
 

Cuchulainn

Well-Known Member
africatwin.org gold
Aug 10, 2017
480
198
118
Denver, CO
www.rmmrc.org
#4
I have been happy with the default 29f/36r on the street, but tires can make a big difference as well. I put on a set of Pirelli MT90's before making a recent road trip to the Ozarks and really like how they handle and feel.
 

Graves

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2016
929
295
123
So. Cal.
#5
That’s the problem with dual sport anything, doesn’t really work great anywhere. I had two wheel sets for my XR650L, one with street rubber, and one with knobs, 20 minute swap. Going to do the same with the AT... once they start showing up on ebay for $400 or less each. I put those Big Blocks last weekend, ran them at 25 front and 18 rear, absolutely horrible on the freeway, fantastic off road, will definitely buy the again. I’d rather have twitchy where there’s good traction (pavement) than where there’s not (dirt).

The front is causing it, just play with the pressures, fork preload and height until you find a happy place, or try another front tire. It will settle down once they wear a bit and lose their square edges.

I have 2000 miles on my AT but I'm having trouble getting used to the 21" narrow front wheel. It seems kind of twitchy and wants to follow ever seam in the road.

Is this normal?

Do I need to lower the air pressure?

Should I just ride more?

Thanks

Brian

Sent from my E6810 using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

Graves

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2016
929
295
123
So. Cal.
#6
Altitude as well, tires will be harder the higher you go, no the pressure in the tube doesn’t increase, but the relative pressure differential will change. Kind of like the potato chip bags at the stores in the mountains.

A little late on this... I found that depending on the weather and if it's cooler (50 degrees F and below), I'll deflate a couple psi and will make the motorcycle handle much differently and better due to the increase traction. A few extra rides wouldn't hurt too... :)

Careful with deflating too much... found this infographic:
View attachment 1055
 

belrix

Well-Known Member
africatwin.org gold
Nov 2, 2015
353
183
158
49
SouthEast Kansas
#7
I should have provided more information in my original post.

I spooned on a set of MotoZ Tractionator Adventure tires and only have a 100 miles on them, still wearing off the nibs. 26psi on the front really calmed down the on road feel.

I noticed that the nibs on the front were hardly wearing off. Could this be because there is too much preload on the forks? Too little? I've never had a bike with adjustable suspension, it is a dark art to me.

Thanks for the replies!

brina
 

Graves

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2016
929
295
123
So. Cal.
#8
Preload won’t really change the weight distribution all that much, so no that’s not why the nibs aren’t wearing off quickly. Preload, fork height, rear sag all have to do with changing the attitude if the chassis... among other things. Basically, if you make the steering angle steeper (pull the forks up in the clamps, reduce front preload, decrease rear sag) the bike becomes more unstable, but turns better. The opposite is true as well, increase steering angle and the bike becomes more stable and more reluctant to turn. The nibs not wearing off of the tires as quickly as expected may just be that the rubber is harder. Tires are not all the same, obviously, and it may take some time to find ones that you like. I’ve strayed from my usual brands and models to find tires that work better, and tires that are horrible, I’ve even removed tires after only one ride and thrown them in the trash, l figure that the cost of a tire is less than what it would cost to repair a wadded bike.

I should have provided more information in my original post.

I spooned on a set of MotoZ Tractionator Adventure tires and only have a 100 miles on them, still wearing off the nibs. 26psi on the front really calmed down the on road feel.

I noticed that the nibs on the front were hardly wearing off. Could this be because there is too much preload on the forks? Too little? I've never had a bike with adjustable suspension, it is a dark art to me.

Thanks for the replies!

brina
 

Graves

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2016
929
295
123
So. Cal.
#9
...and the Tractionater has really tall knobs that will squish around under the load of a bike as heavy as the AT. If memory serves, a Motoz Desert IT tire is one that I trashed after one ride, which is not to say that any other Motoz tire is bad. I used a set of Karoo 3’s on the AT, they were bad and not worthy of the brand’s name, but not worth throwing away.

Preload won’t really change the weight distribution all that much, so no that’s not why the nibs aren’t wearing off quickly. Preload, fork height, rear sag all have to do with changing the attitude if the chassis... among other things. Basically, if you make the steering angle steeper (pull the forks up in the clamps, reduce front preload, decrease rear sag) the bike becomes more unstable, but turns better. The opposite is true as well, increase steering angle and the bike becomes more stable and more reluctant to turn. The nibs not wearing off of the tires as quickly as expected may just be that the rubber is harder. Tires are not all the same, obviously, and it may take some time to find ones that you like. I’ve strayed from my usual brands and models to find tires that work better, and tires that are horrible, I’ve even removed tires after only one ride and thrown them in the trash, l figure that the cost of a tire is less than what it would cost to repair a wadded bike.
 

manuelalberto

Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2017
111
50
58
46
London
#10
I have 2000 miles on my AT but I'm having trouble getting used to the 21" narrow front wheel. It seems kind of twitchy and wants to follow ever seam in the road.

Is this normal?

Do I need to lower the air pressure?

Should I just ride more?

Thanks

Brian

Sent from my E6810 using Tapatalk
Hello Belrix. I am also getting use to the bike as I jumped from touring bikes onto an adventure one and I am talking to my rider mates and sharing experiences and they all said to me that it takes time to get used to the bike. At one point I was thinking of selling and start looking for another one however as I ride the more and more (and trust me when I say that is difficult here in England due to the weather) the more confident I am getting. I am vertically challenged as I already mention here before and sometimes stopping is a challenge for me as I am thinking that I cannot reach the ground and that makes me a bit more unstable on the bike. This is all in my head and the bike is fine as it really wants to be strait as the balance on the bike is spot on (in my opinion) and my cousin said to me today that I look confident on the bike and I can reach the ground fine. I will day that the more you ride and get use to the bike the better.
Safe riding and enjoy your bike as much as you can.

Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk
 

inexorable

Active Member
Aug 16, 2018
118
42
28
UK
#12
This is old but I thought I would add some rambling anyway.

When I first test rode the AT I arrived at the dealer on my Hayabusa - the best bike ever built.

Getting off of that and onto the AT was just funny. That 21" clown front wheel just kept cracking me up. I had no idea where it was or what it was doing. I couldn't stop giggling. I felt like I had a rear wheel from a kids tricycle and a front wheel from an olde english penny farthing - link for the younger folk.

After the 2 hour test ride its all that really stuck with me.

I've only done a couple of hundred miles since I bought one now - but my attitude is changing. Could be the tyres I suppose. It came with the new Bridgestone Battlax AX41s whereas the test ride one had the old Dunlops on. I'm not sure if there is a difference between the 2017 and 2018 suspsension... if there is it would certainly make a difference. Don't know.

Anyway... this bike with these tyres handles just right for me now (not been out in the wet yet). The front feels a lot more planted than the 2017 demo and I have at least some idea where it is most of the time. Haven't giggled about the clown wheel once come to think of it. I have enjoyed the way it can dive into a bend when asked though. Really surprised how good these bikes are in the twisties.

Be interesting to see what happens when I put a chunkier tyre on there.
 

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