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Discussion Starter #1
I just got a 2009 RW200 with less than 300 miles. Have only ridden it a coupla' times and am beginning to like it. But, it seems to want to go straight more than any other bike I ever had or ridden. Have to really lean in to turns. I figure it might be the large tires. Has anybody else noticed this? Straight is good except when you want to turn. It set up in a storage building for 3 years and I wonder if something in the forks needs greasing, or is this just its nature? I'm 69 but I'm gaining nerve about laying it down. Would appreciate any help or suggestions.

Thanks,

Van McIntosh

Troy, NC 27371
 

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Yeah, I think I remember having to push harder to get it to lean. It may be possible you have a flat spot worn into a tire but I doubt it with so few miles.



Congrats on the bike and welcome to the forum.
 

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You should also consider the possibility of damaged steering head bearings. This is highly unlikely with less than 300 miles on the bike, but you just never know (I have seen it on 1200 mile bikes, and have also seen 10k mile bikes that don't have the issue and have never been repaired). I think it may result from people attempting wheelies and having the front end "slam" down.



Anyways - jack up the front of the bike so the tire is off the ground. Turn the handlebars and see if there is a "notch" in the straight-ahead position. If so, you'll want to replace the bearings.



Good luck



John
 

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something very easy to check to that affected my steering: tire pressure. when i got my bike it was really low for off road, on road it was hard steering til i pumped them up.
 

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The best answers have already been mentioned. Given the age of the bike, just make sure you have enough pressure for on road travel. A low tire will wear a flat spot quick on pavement, and it will wanna naturally settle upright. You will have that tipping point on knobbies as well so be easy there. Steering bearings came to mind right away, but I'd make sure you're okay on tires first.



If you're primarily on the road, get a set of the street tires for it. Handles like a dream with those things on there and I've survived well on mild offroad stuff with them as long as I'm not flying through the trails.
 

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Another vote for tire pressure! I have only put a few miles on my recently acquired TW but it turns better than many bikes I've ridden. I bet 9 out of 10 times that heavy steering is due to low air pressure.
 

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Vanmack, I'd have to say that it's something unusual with your bike, I'd certainly check tire pressure first. I'm assuming you have the stock tires - I hear the Duro Power-Grip ATV tire makes it a bit tougher to turn. I traded my Honda Shadow 600 for my T-Dub, I live a mile of twisting roads from and a thousand feet above my nearest pavement, and that is a very twisty county rd too narrow for center line paint. I ride to town at least every week and my 2012 handles on the roads as well as or better than my Shadow did.
 

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I didn't really notice this, but my wife sure did. She got on it and rode around the yard. She had trouble steering, and couldn't make a right turn at all.



That's why she calls the TW Elle, (as in "L") since it only wants to go left.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey Guys,

Thanks for the help. I checked the tire pressure and it was 10psi front and 11psi rear (I weigh about 230.) Jacked them up to 23 and 27, made a world of difference. But then, the dealer "filled the tank" before I left the shop...I was running on reserve before I could get 3 blocks from my house to the gas station.

Back in the '70s I ran an Ossa Pioneer (with rimlocks) about 10psi and 12psi in the dirt (but the bike was about 50lbs lighter and I was about 50lbs lighter back then). That was a really great bike but one feature made me grow to hate it. It had a ton of torque and would go anywhere you could put it. But, the shifter was on the left (good), the brake on the right (good), but the kick starter was on the left (not good) The seat was high and I could just touch the ground with my toes. I tried kicking it with my left leg, standing beside it and kicking with my right leg...and it still tried to turn over...and, it had a bunch of compression and was hard to kick over in the beginning. It was very awkward to start in the middle of a parking lot, but let it die about 2/3's up a steep, rocky hill and I had 2 choices:1. Spend the rest of my life there or 2. let it drag me down to the bottom of the hill and start over. Once it started it was aces, but the Devil was in the details.

I rode it about a year, gave up, and traded it.

Thanks again for the help with my TW200.

Ride safely and be well,

Van
 

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Mack: Usually, 20 psi front and 25ish in the rear.If you go too high on the front,"sometimes" folks experience a "hop" or a bounce(ing) sensation?.Just a little more info for you sir....have fun.....the TW200 is a great machine!!!.
 

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Air pressure, huh. Well that makes the most sense I guess. Thanks for letting us know what it was. Another, "can't trust them dealers" story.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Frog,

Thanks for the input. I did pump them too high. It steered a lot better but the tires really buzzed and ridin on pavement with tar strips across it the bike hopped like a hobby horse. I'm 70 years old and learn something new every day. Ain't love grand?

'Preciate it,

Mack
 

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Hey Guys,

Thanks for the help. But then, the dealer "filled the tank" before I left the shop...I was running on reserve before I could get 3 blocks from my house to the gas station.

Van


Van, Same thing happened to me. Bought a new TW, serviced and preped while I paid and did the paperwork and I saw the service rep take it for a test ride. Strapped her on and road home (15 miles) then on 1.2 miles of very rutted/water barred fire road to my daughters off-the-grid cabin and halfway back and she died, had to switch to reserve because she was out of main-tank gas. PITA and disappointing to see how cheap the dealer was - it doesn't even hold 2 gallons!
 

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Your comment that you have to really lean the bike to turn it causes me concern. At road speed you don't lean a bike to make it turn, you turn it (counter steer) to make it lean. I am a MSF Rider Coach and often hear this comment from students who do not understand counter steering. If this is not the case with you, I apologize. I also hope you never lay it down as there is no useful purpose and can be painful.
Enjoy your TW.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
IDW,

Please explain counter steer to me. Teh class that I took said said look right, push down on left handlebar, go right. The NC Hand book says , look right, push down on right handlebar, go right, Which is right?

Thanks,

MACK
 

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Mack,



retmotor's reply is correct.



If the training you attended used MSF material, you were provided a handbook that has information on the correct technique for turning in Unit 3. This is an easy skill to acquire as you can practice on the highway when there is no traffic by doing small left and right inputs to the handlebar to change your lane position. Also, there are training exercises which can be downloaded from msf-usa.org



Enjoy and be safe.
 
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