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Old April 9th, 2017   #1
Georgia dawg
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Default Almost dropped the ST

I was making a u turn on a narrow road and almost let the ST get too far over to be able to right it. I had made a similar u turn with steering to the lock just a few minutes earlier with no problem. I did two things wrong the second time - I didn't stay in the friction zone and I looked down instead of where I wanted to go. Guess it's time for a parking lot tight turn refresher course.

She's a heavy machine for us "smaller of stature" sized riders.
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Old April 9th, 2017   #2
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Default Re: Almost dropped the ST

Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgia dawg View Post

She's a heavy machine for us "smaller of stature" sized riders.
She's a heavy machine for any stature rider.

I recommend parking lot practice starting off with a light fuel load.
Once mastered, fill her up and do it some more.


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Old April 9th, 2017   #3
Paul st1300
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Default Re: Almost dropped the ST

And take the saddle bags off just in case you get to slow, because it will go over. That is and if you are practicing. Stay on the throttle. I know it is hard to do in a slow turn. But look where you are going, stay in the friction zone and give it some gas. My neighbors think I am crazy doing figure eights in my drive way.
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Old April 10th, 2017   #4
Georgia dawg
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Default Re: Almost dropped the ST

I think for some reason I panicked and pulled in the clutch and of course things went south from there. A while back I attended an advanced riders course and I was shown the correct way to make tight turns. Then I was riding a light V twin cruiser. If it's done right, it's really easy no matter the size of the bike. I just haven't done it enough for the technique to be second nature. Watching the motor cop competition videos shows how it's done!
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Old April 10th, 2017   #5
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Default Re: Almost dropped the ST

At least Honda designed some really good tip over wings. I replaced the plastic wing covers a few times.

On my FJR there is NOTHING and the results of a tip-over are very expensive. At least the aftermarket has plenty of options.
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Old April 10th, 2017   #6
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Default Re: Almost dropped the ST

I spent ten years servicing our police motor fleet.
The "Rider Introduction Course" can be brutal to both riders and equipment.
We had 5 bikes dedicated Course Motors. They lived their life in Hell.
We used KZ1000P and Harley Defenders models until Kawasaki got out of the police bike business then moved to the Concourse models.
The Concourse was to fragile for police work, to tall also.
By fragile I mean to expensive to drop and drop they do.
Rumor has it we are moving to the FJR, another fragile bike.
Both the Concourse and FJR are "Kit" bikes meaning neither Kawasaki or Yamaha produce dedicated police units designed for police work, serious drop protection.

I rode the course every chance I had and learned something different every time.
How to ride so sore you can't turn your head enough to look where you want to go.
ATGATT with knee and hip additions applies.

Check with your local PD and see if they allow "spectators"
Some do some don't.
Even those that don't will usually allow spectators when they are selecting their regional competition riders.
These are the best going against the best in hopes of going up against the best who then go up against the best to be declared The Best.
That can be a weekend of serious skills on two wheels fun.

I think most departments use CHP specs for course layout.
Layout was available on-line. Use chalk work your way up to cones.

Don't try this at home definitely applies.
Work you way up to the PD rider course.


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Old April 10th, 2017   #7
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Default Re: Almost dropped the ST

Paul, some of the best FJR crash protection is made in Texas.

T-Rex Racing offers some very good cages for the front and bag protectors for the side cases that bolt above the passenger pegs. The entire set is available for less than $400. I just put these on Dad's new bike.

A zero speed drop on a new FJR will break, yes BREAK the fairing framework unless some good crash protection is installed.

I am fortunate that there is a Cabela's about 5 miles from my house. The local police departments along with the LA State Police have a bike competition in that parking lot every year. I have never been able to see the entire thing but I have watched parts of it a few times. While many of the motor cops are what I expected them to be, there are some that are astonishingly good. It was enlightening to watch.
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Old April 10th, 2017   #8
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Default Re: Almost dropped the ST

There are, I have seen ads for two, companies that sell "Police Model" units ready for paint, and they paint.
Everything needed is already attached ready to go by municipality, city,state requirements. Turn-key sale.

Rumor has it, I have not looked into it, that Kawasaki bought one company that was making the police "kit" for the Concourse and by doing so Kawasaki is back in the Police Model business. If this is in fact true the police model would be bought from the local dealer and delivered to them for assembly and setup, lights radios and such.
Most municipalities/cities require local purchase of fleet vehicles.

The local rumor of FJR came to me through two of the escort riders.
The must be Texas Peace Officers but not necessary Police, these guys were police but not Motor officers.
The must have the authority to stop traffic is the requirement dictating Peace Officers.
As they told the story the Concourse now in service will be not replaced with new ones.
Cited reasons.
To Tall, fragile, take your breath away expensive to maintain, a front end that feels not on contact with the ground in police trim (common complaint on "kit" motors).
Maintenance costs is not only Kawasaki's notoriously soft intake valves requiring shims every service but tip-over parts as well.
Tip-over is considered maintenance by the city.

They say we have 5 FJR's out and about, which would give them 1 per police subdivision in the city as a "test".
The 5 number got my attention as replacement units always came by 10.
Test bikes came as 1 and returned as trash.
5 told me they were serious and unless the FJR was totally unacceptable we are going to see FJR's in police trim on the streets in short order.

I have not seen any of the 5 out and about as of yet.



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Old April 10th, 2017   #9
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Default Re: Almost dropped the ST

I had seen a Police Concourse 14 shooting radar on Hwy 287 in Wichita Falls TX a couple years ago. 3 of us on FJRs were just barely above the limit when we blew past him. I was the only one that saw him, he never moved to bother us as we were only a couple mph over. I remember wondering how good they were for police work as they are quite fast but I heard they were difficult to work on.

FJRs are top heavy and I would think they would need a bit of work to make them all day comfy. Strong and durable though.
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Old April 10th, 2017   #10
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Default Re: Almost dropped the ST

I observed a Concours get a valve check. Difficult would put it mildly.
As is pretty much the Kawasaki norm more valves need adjustment than don't.
Shim over or under bucket make no difference if you use soft valve faces.
The bike requires disassembly or at least the pile of parts look like it was dissembled.
All work needs to be done from the right side and it's dark and narrow under there, number 1 cylinder is a bitch to see what your doing, flashlight into a mirror works almost. You will have oil to the arm pits.
Kawasaki are notorious for flying shims, the Concours carries on the tradition.
Magnets and shop towels everywhere limit distance but flying is in the genes.
Shims have a particular love affair with the cam chain tower.
The hit about every tooth on their way to the basement, then become un-magnet.

Everything is top heavy today.
All day comfort for a police bike is reduced to ticket to ticket distance.
Traffic enforcement is their job.
Fast is marketing.
You will not out run the radio.


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