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Old August 21st, 2021, 03:49 PM   #1
Bob KellyIII
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Crotch Rocket design ?

Howdy all !
with the acquisition of the 2012 250R it is the first experience I have had with a full blown crotch rocket, although I did have a Honda Interceptor 500cc
when I lived in Reno,Nv. but I think of this one as a true Crotch rocket !
it handles like one and acts like one so I guess it is one ! even if it's only a 250cc !
.... My statement here might be misconstrued so I will try to pick my words carefully and try not to offend anyone .... but from my experience so far I would not give this Ninja 10 out of 10.... the main problem I find is body position... in the bent forward position on the bike that your forced to ride in
you do NOT have as much control as a back straight body straight type position that I am used to.... and that does effect your balance....just about every where.... from maneuvering it in the back yard, a store parking lot or
carving corners on a twisting road.... the lean forward design SUCKS !
I already know I can carve corners much better on the TT250...just because of the body position on it. although I have not completely figured out the what and why of the balance problem for me, is.... the leaning forward
seems to be the major part of the problem.
I know alot of you guys take the Ninja to the track, and have other bikes as well, My question to you is, in your opinion is the forward lean design actually as safe as the normal riding position on just about any other bike ?
....I'm not saying the Ninja design is unsafe, it takes alot of getting used to...
but I'm fairly certain I can put the machine where I want to now...
my riding duration time has been slowly increasing and I did expect my rides to be short lived due to my aching ass ! and that has been proven !
but what gets me is in slow turns like at a stop sign and turning left getting going is no where as stable as on another bike ... and I find that WEIRD !
and I really haven't figured out why it's like that !.... Yet....
any suggestions ?
Bob.........
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Old August 21st, 2021, 05:27 PM   #2
Triple Jim
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You ARE sitting on the driver's seat and not the passenger's seat, right?
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Old August 21st, 2021, 06:42 PM   #3
Bob KellyIII
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LOL... Yes I do believe so.... unless the gas tank is actually the seat...
HAHAHA !
Bob...
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Old August 22nd, 2021, 05:07 PM   #4
DannoXYZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
Howdy all !
with the acquisition of the 2012 250R it is the first experience I have had with a full blown crotch rocket, although I did have a Honda Interceptor 500cc
...
the main problem I find is body position... in the bent forward position on the bike that your forced to ride in
you do NOT have as much control as a back straight body straight type position that I am used to.... and that does effect your balance....just about every where.... from maneuvering it in the back yard, a store parking lot or
carving corners on a twisting road.... the lean forward design SUCKS !
I already know I can carve corners much better on the TT250...just because of the body position on it. although I have not completely figured out the what and why of the balance problem for me, is.... the leaning forward
seems to be the major part of the problem.

I know alot of you guys take the Ninja to the track, and have other bikes as well, My question to you is, in your opinion is the forward lean design actually as safe as the normal riding position on just about any other bike ?
....I'm not saying the Ninja design is unsafe, it takes alot of getting used to...
but I'm fairly certain I can put the machine where I want to now...
my riding duration time has been slowly increasing and I did expect my rides to be short lived due to my aching ass ! and that has been proven !
but what gets me is in slow turns like at a stop sign and turning left getting going is no where as stable as on another bike ... and I find that WEIRD !
and I really haven't figured out why it's like that !.... Yet....
any suggestions ?
Bob.........
This is biomechanical issue. Having ridden motos for 37-years and done 12-years of velodrome and road-racing (mostly crits), and making it to Olympic trials in 1992 for kilo, I see there are several areas that's causing you issues. Trying to address in logical order, however, they all affect your riding simultaneously:

1. back positioning - Yes, you are correct that straight back is preferred, both for comfort and control. Reason you've found upright straight-back position easier is this removes upper body-weight from handlebars. However, this can be done in upright or leaned-over seating positions. I'll use bicycles to illustrate since it's easier to see without big moto in way. Many cyclists sit with their lower-back upright on seat and bend middle of back over:





This causes discomfort, pain and fatigue, which limits how much time you can sit on seat. More effective seating-position is to keep back straight, and rotate at hips to bend over; infamous "straight back" cyclists strive for.




Similarly, that issue affects riders on motos as well:



With similar fix of keeping back straight and rotating at hips. Arch your back in reverse and try to put belly-button on tank. This ensures back is straight.





These last photos, while showing proper straight-back positioning illustrates 2nd issue...

Last futzed with by DannoXYZ; August 24th, 2021 at 08:40 PM.
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Old August 22nd, 2021, 05:23 PM   #5
DannoXYZ
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2. Straight arms and bent wrists - puts A LOT of weight on bars and causes wrist pain. Having upper-body weight resting on bars makes them difficult to turn. This is the slow-response you're noticing. It's not the bike, but from your arms fighting each other in opposite directions.



You'll want to position your arms and wrist exactly same way as with upright seating position:



With bent-elbows and wrists in-line with forearm. This removes upper-body weight from bars and allows you to push/pull on bars easily for fast maneuvering.




With elbows bent, forearms are parallel with ground and wrists are straight, exactly same as with upright position. Without any weight on bars, you're not fighting upper-body weight to turn bike. As far as front-tyre's contact-patch is concerned, it can't tell if you're sitting fully-upright or fully bent over. Personally, I prefer my bars at same height as seat. This lowers CoG of bike+rider package and makes for faster transitions from full-upright to full-lean (head & upper-body moves through shorter arc for same lean-angles). Not to mention more aero for faster top-speed on straights.



I chopped fairings to lower bars 6" compared to stock. Then raised them 2" when selling bike.




3. Muscular strength - Of course, this riding position requires strong back-muscles to hold upper-body without putting weight on hands. Even though I'm not racing velodrome any more, I still take 1-month in winter to build up strength in arms, back & legs. We all lose strength over course of year, especially with age. I've found roman-chair back-lift exercise shown below to be most effective. I start with barely being able to do 10-reps in beginning to doing 20 easily while holding 25-lb weight to my chest (some people put weight on back of shoulders). Really helps with moto-racing as I'm no longer fatigued and tired by end of day. Even did 4 trackdays in row once with 2 of them going out in both B and A groups (that's 5-hrs/day)!


Last futzed with by DannoXYZ; August 25th, 2021 at 08:30 AM.
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Old August 22nd, 2021, 06:45 PM   #6
Bob KellyIII
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Name: Robert
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OK Yah ! I see what your saying Danno ! yes my upper body weight is definitely directly down on the handle bars... rotating at the hips rather than bending the back does seem like a smarter move....
I'll see if I can actually do that on the ninja !
I do think that will cure the handling problem though... ya can't steer when your holding yourself up ....hence half the problems....
..... I gott'a think on that one ...thank you !!!!!

Bob...........
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Old September 8th, 2021, 04:11 PM   #7
CaliGrrl
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Excellent explanation with the pictures! I was doing the "rounding of the back" thing when I first started, and yeah, that hurts a lot. I learned how to rotate fro the hips, and keep the back flatter, which helped tremendously.

I don't find the "forward" position of the Ninja hard to handle at all. My weight rests on my feet and on the seat, not on my hands.

I've demo'd a couple bikes that had a more upright position and it felt weird. I didn't think it improved handling, either. I think it's a matter of what one prefers for a seat position more than anything.
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