Another strange problem I hope someone can help with - this time it is bike related - Victory Forums - Victory Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Default Another strange problem I hope someone can help with - this time it is bike related

I'm putting this in the lounge subforum since it is not really about Victory motorcycles.

I have a weird issue that perhaps someone can help me with. I have been in Florida or North Carolina for the last 9-1/2 months. During that entire time, I rode a big touring bike (Victory Cross Country Tour). A few days ago, I returned to Michigan and my beloved 2006 Harley Softail (FLSTi) which is much like a Harley Fat Boy. It was my first "real" bike and we always remember our first

Upon mounting my Softail, it felt weird. No big deal, it always feels weird getting back on it after being away for the normal 6 months of winter. This time, however, three things felt odd when sitting or riding it. They are:

1) It feels like it is sitting a little lower than what I remember. This could just be the fact that I sit so much higher on my touring bike.

2) I have scraped the footbeds four times just going around corners here in town. I have scraped the footbeds on my HD many times in mountain twisties but never once when going around a city corner. Maybe Iím just used to riding the touring bike on which Iíve never scraped anything since it has so much more ground clearance. Maybe riding the touring bike with the high ground clearance for so long caused me to lean more in simple city turns. Or maybe something is wrong.

3) If I turn the bars a little bit like for a lane change or a highway turn, the bike seems to behave normally. That is, the bike seems to want to return back upright and the bars/wheel/front end want to return to going straight. However, when I turn the bars a lot like for a 90 degree city corner, the bars/wheel/front end donít want to come back straight. Instead, they seem to want to turn all the way to full lock and stay there. I have to push more than I remember to get the bars to go back straight. This doesnít seem right but I could just not be remembering things correctly.

The bike sat unused and on its tires/wheels/suspension for 9.5 months. It was on a battery tender and it fired right up after I put the proper amount of air in the tires (40 psi rear, 38 psi front which is what Iíve always run). It was parked covered on a concrete floor in my garage. There was absolutely zero leakage of any fluid below the bike when I returned.

What is going on? Is it all in my head (likely)? Could something have happened with the bikes suspension that would mess up the front steering (rake and trail?)? Could the rear shocks have gone bad? What would be the symptoms if they had? Iíve been driving around town with normal bumps and small potholes and have not bottomed out either the front or rear suspension. What should I look for to see if I have a suspension problem?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

G'day,

Vinish

G'day,

Vinish

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 06:16 PM
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Of course being on the vic for 9 months you're used to it and anything else will feel weird.
Maybe put some more miles on it to get the tires rounded.
maybe your steering stem bearings need a good greasing. Try that first.
you can look on the net or youtube how to set the tension on the triple trees.
Next time put some wood under the tires. Even now look close at the side walls to see if they look good.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by visionjohnny View Post
Of course being on the vic for 9 months you're used to it and anything else will feel weird.
Maybe put some more miles on it to get the tires rounded.
maybe your steering stem bearings need a good greasing. Try that first.
you can look on the net or youtube how to set the tension on the triple trees.
Next time put some wood under the tires. Even now look close at the side walls to see if they look good.
Steering bearing was heavily greased just last year. On HD softails, you don't really grease just the bearing, you fill the entire stem tube with grease from a zerk in the center of the stem and pump the grease gun until grease comes out through the top and bottom bearings. I also properly torqued the steering stem/bearing nut at that time. I did the front end "fall away" to adjust to the proper torque on this steering stem/bearing nut at the time.

G'day,

Vinish

G'day,

Vinish

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 09:44 PM
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@Vinish...You have been riding the Vic Cross Country, the best handing big bike made....Now you simply have to get used the Softail, the worst handling cruiser made.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 10:30 PM
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Õ Road a HD Deuce about 6 months ago and it felt sooooooooooo weird, but when I road my CCT the first time it didn't felt weird, also when I road a Ducati Diavel it didn't felt weird, I don't like the way the diavel handled but all I say is....

Maybe coz your HD is "of age" then it feels infiriur?

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 11:33 PM
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Xc do handle much better.
If you have another rider handy have them sit on the bike, put on the front bike and bounce the front suspension while you stand to the side and watch the sliders.
If it is jerky compressing or extending the fork, the front axle may not have been put in right last time the wheel was removed.
The axle could be pulling the forks together slightly and causing them to bind.
If that is what you find, raise the front wheel with a jack, loosen the axle nut and axle clamp nuts and follow the order and procedure in the manual and retighten. Then check that it moves smoothly afterwards.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 11:46 PM
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I bet it's in your head.

Going from the nice lean angles, easy handling, and easy riding of the Vic to the HD has you messed up.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 12:34 AM
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Yeah; I think it's your muscle memory messin' with you a little.

Give yourself 50 miles on the bike to get used to how it handles all over again. Your muscles will remember soon enough. Right now they remember your Vic.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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The front forks are smooth as silk but I am due for a new front tire soon. My wife has a Victory CCT here in Michigan that I can ride for comparison. I'll try that. Thanks for the advice, folks.

G'day,

Vinish

G'day,

Vinish

Our patriotic stable:

Red 2012 XCT (wife's bike in NC)
Red 2012 XCT (my bike for NC)
White with custom flames 2012 XCT (wife's bike in FL)
Blue custom fire on a black 2012 XCT (my bike in FL)

2006 HD Softail Heritage (my bike when I was in MI - sold in Oct, 2017 after putting 45,000 miles and 20 states and one province on it - My first big bike and most of us will always remember our first with fond memories)
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 09:06 AM
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I think you are feeling the difference in the front tires of the two bikes. I am assuming the HD has a taller side wall on the front tire compared to the Vic considerably shorter side wall. The HD will react a bit slow, tip into turns slower and be happier in an upright position.

Also, I always feel weird on any HD street bike as the suspension feels like its riding on marshmallows compared to the vic's more aggressive front suspension, even riding the new Indians, the suspension felt squishy....
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