First time on the track with the RC51 - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
GWS
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First time on the track with the RC51

I had my first track experience on my - new to me - RC51 and I had a great time. It was a lot of fun to utilize RC in the environment it was made for. Since it was a bike I am not totally familiar with yet I asked to ride in a lower group, but after a few laps I found myself going as fast as ever. My body got much more of a workout than usual trying to haul its husky frame around a tight track, but I could stand to work out a few more muscles.

After being on the track I have a few questions for some of you more experienced RC51 track riders who are familiar with it's quarks. Some of you from Minnesota may be familiar with the DCTC; it is a shorter tight track with quite a few tight turns, which is not the greatest environment for a 1000cc. The turns are complex and challenging, and while it is <100mph it is still a lot of fun. The track conditions were not optimal; it was about 65f in the morning/very wet and 60f in the afternoon/60f and mostly dry in the evening. In the morning I was coming out of a sweeping 140ish degree turn and I was accelerating and ended up spinning up the rear which caught me off guard. I was accelerating out of the turn aggressively, but I sure don't think it was enough to do that on its own. The other thing that surprised me - in the evening - was apexing on a different turn (turn 1 if you know the track), and the front tire slipped out a few inches. In both cases the situation was under control, but not something I was expecting.

I was running street tires at 30/30. The front is kinda worn, but still not bad. I am thinking that these issues are likely suspension related - especially the front slipping - , but I really wanted to get your input and see if you guys have had similar issues with this bike. I have not had issues like this on other bikes on the track, so I am thinking it is a suspension issue, but I have heard that the RC suspension is actually pretty good, and I have not touched any settings, but that it is setup for really high speeds. The bike that usually goes to the track is an SV that has custom front and back suspension, so I guess I might just be spoiled!

My wife (140lb) was riding the RC on the highway today and I noticed that the front tire was bouncing a little too much over small road bumps. It was not leaving the road, but the contact patch was very small, and it really didn't look 'okay'.

Anyway, thanks for the input, wisdom, and experience. If you guys can steer me toward some great RC specific track suspension settings it would be appreciated. I can't wait to take it back to the track!

Last edited by GWS; 09-29-2013 at 11:02 PM.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 11:16 PM
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Good to hear you enjoyed it, GWS. I've only been on the track a couple of times with mine and although I had a great time and wore the tires to their very edges - as you would on a circuit, I noticed none of the issues you've described.
But I wanted to make sure the bike was well prepared before going out on the circuit, so I had the forks reworked and a custom shock made. My bike felt quite different from these changes.

I'm fairly sure there will be some improvement from changing the settings on the standard suspension, but you'll probably be wanting to think of fitting an Ohlins shock or similar to the rear and match the forks for performance also, in addition to other performance modifications too!

Keep us posted on your progress.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 12:41 AM
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Definitely recommend suspension set up too.
You sound as if you are pretty fimiliar with bikes in general, so I'm assuming you have already adjusted what you have??
If not,.. fo' sho!

I keep mine more on the stiff side.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 12:58 AM
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There are so many variables to why you slipped out. Being too tight on the bars will enduce a slide way before the limits of traction. Tires brand, condition, and heat. Suspension settings, surface condition, the list goes on and on.

Keep in mind this is not an inline four so it does produce more torque then your 4 bangers. If your riding the RC the same way you would ride your SV (talking about throttle control) then you will have issues.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 01:57 AM
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For sure There are umpteen different things to consider. Other factors like tire choices and pressures used, riding technique, etc. will all contribute to how the bike responds to inputs.

As your wife mentioned the front was bouncing too much over bumps... Maybe you know this already but anyways:

Some people will consider increasing damping as a way to make suspension stiffer. The main thing increasing damping will do is make the suspension respond slower, which actually reduces grip in some cases.

Suspension should ideally go over bumps to absorb them and reduce shock - but keep the tire on the surface of the road as much as possible. Both front and rear should be well matched so the front & rear react the same & the bike doesn't pitch over bumps.

Euro RC51 SP2: HRC WSB Ti Hi-Level, T1 Airbox & Snorkel, PCIII, Dymag CA5 Carbon Wheels, Ti64 Spindles (F, R & Swing Arm), Mori Link, Maxton GP7 Shock & Ohlins 832 Forks, Brembo GP Calipers & SBK narrow track (F), Braketech Disc (R), Brembo billet Underslung x 2 Brembo RCS, Tyga Triple, 7075 Stem, Probolt Titanium all over, Babyface rearsets, MR Complete Carbon Lineup, Custom Undertail & CBR 1000 LED, Watsen LED Indicators, Harris Brace, Giles clip-ons, Corbin seat, etc. 2013 BOTY.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
and I have not touched any settings, but that it is setup for really high speeds.
Am I understanding, you haven't set the sag to your weight? Are you running on suspension settings from the last owner?
If so, set your rider's sag properly.
Here's more info.

http://www.rc51.org/susp.htm

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 11:40 AM
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Tires at 30psi cold or hot? What brand and model of tire? How old are they?

You may just have too much air in the tires. Talk to your local tire guy and see what psi they recommend for street and track. Also get your suspension set up for your weight.




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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew View Post
Being too tight on the bars will enduce a slide way before the limits of traction.
Now that you mention being tight on the bars I'm had an 'ah ha' moment, and I bet that is the reason I was having issues. I remember struggling with getting off the bars in the turns. I was not accustomed to being in that much of a forward angle in fast corners. My SV has a pretty aggressive seating angle but not as much as the RC, and the SV has grip pads.

My tires are both Dunlop Q2's; Front 2011 & back 2012. I ran 30psi in both tires when they were cold. I didn't know anyone else with an RC, so i took a guess. What do you guys think of those pressures? I went out and had a second look at the front and it looks like it has aged poorly. There are very small cracks in the tread.

Thanks for the great comments guys! This is a great group of people. I'm going to bring the bike in and get it setup for me. I had not set the sag. The last owner was like a carbon copy of my body size and I was scared to mess with it, but I am going to get that taken care of. An aftermarket shock will have to wait for the usual monetary reasons.

Just for fun I'll post a pic of me at the track in a few days when I get the images.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 03:30 PM
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The bike is junk. Sell it to one of us for a couple dollars. We'll try to take care of it in it's golden age. LOL
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MikeinCtown View Post
The bike is junk. Sell it to one of us for a couple dollars. We'll try to take care of it in it's golden age. LOL
Don't get me wrong, I really love the bike! I actually have been looking around for one in good condition for quite a while and consider myself lucky to own one now.

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