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Norge Handling Question

Discussion in 'BNS12 Chat & Tech' started by RapidRoy, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. RapidRoy

    RapidRoy Just got it firing!

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    I'm in the market for a new bike and ran across a 2008 Norge at the local Moto Guzzi dealer. I took it for a short ride. Would have loved to ride it for the day, but it was 34 degrees, so kept it to about a 30 minutes. Great bike! I loved everything about the bike with one exception, the low speed steering. It seemed to have a mind of its own. I would exert pressure on the bars to initiate the turn, but had to keep the pressure up all the way through the turn. Way different than any bike I've owned. Is this normal for a Norge? Do you get used to it or is there something that can be done to alter the behavior?

    Thanks in advance for your input.
     
  2. nel

    nel Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Turn in should be ok on a newish bike with new tyres and low miles. If it's an old slapper like mine I'm syching up to change the head bearings after the tyres.
     
  3. RapidRoy

    RapidRoy Just got it firing!

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    So it sounds like your saying it is abnormal behavior. I just read an article on motorcycle-usa.com where they indicated some sort of steering abnormality but they were not specific about what the exact behavior was. Their quote from the article "...front-end feels awkward. Something is akimbo in the Norge chassis, with turn-in and transitions delivering the occasional heart-in-the-throat moment until you understand how the bike reacts and plan accordingly."

    Sounds like my experience might be normal for this bike. Has anyone tried a slightly different tire size on the front to see if the handling changes.

    FYI, the bike I rode was a 2008 with only 2500mi on the Odometer, so I would expect the tires to be the factory rubber.
     
  4. Bill Hagan

    Bill Hagan GT Reference GT Famiglia

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    Interesting question. Also, to me, somewhat surprising.

    First, I recommend yhat you take some time and, either using search function or just browsing, rummage through the many Norge threads that address handling.

    Secondly, I have a 2007 Norge. 57K miles. I love it. I just replaced my beloved Ballabio with a new Griso 1200, and posted here a few comments after riding it back from the dealer, some 150 miles away. See "First Day with New Griso [New Narrative Added]" https://www.guzzitech.com/forum/163/7609.html.

    Among other things, I compared the Norge and Griso's handling. I thought I put in sufficient disclaimers about mine being initial impressions, but still got some friendly flames.

    Here is some of what I said:

    "
    I mention this because I find my Norge wanting to turn into curves, and thus am puzzled about your comment about constant countersteering pressure on the bars to retain a line.

    Now, again, maybe after my many Norge miles, I am just used to it as one who never hears the cuckoo clock because it's being doing it for years, yet visitors jump when the bird sings! It may also be that the 1200 Sport forks or aftermarket rear shock affect that significantly. But, whatever the reason (or perhaps merely my perception), my Norge seems eager to drop into a turn and if I have to apply pressure, it's to stand it up on the way out.

    Am curious how others see things with their Norges. While hardly an expert, I suspect front tire pressure may have been too low.

    Best wishes in deciding what to do. Let us know.

    Bill
     
  5. Bill Hagan

    Bill Hagan GT Reference GT Famiglia

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    "Akimbo?" Not sure I'd trust an article that used that word in that context. :lol:

    Bill
     
  6. Bisbonian

    Bisbonian Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    This was my first thought as well.
     
  7. afulldeck

    afulldeck Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Riding curves are when I truly felt the Norge was a superior touring bike. It was the curves that made me realize that the Norge was bred for the twisties. I was amazed how easy, smooth, and tight I could make the turns. Miles after miles of effortless driving---all with about 200 lbs of extra gear. I love it!

    For tour riding the Rockies you couldn't pick a better bike in my opinion.
     
  8. fastfreddy

    fastfreddy Tuned and Synch'ed

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    I find my Norge's handling to be exemplary.
    Though, my only real experience on this bike, so far, is one week spent riding two-up with a full load of luggage on the Blue Ridge, the Dragon, and other roads in the Smokies. An excellent place to bond with a new bike!
     
  9. dsenn

    dsenn Just got it firing!

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    I have 55,000 miles on my '07 Norge and found the slow speed handling to be slightly heavy, it will change with different tires. Once at running speeds the handling is fantastic. I run Mich. PR2s and with them the slow speed handling is better, by slow speed, I'm talking parking lot tight manuvering, you will get accustomed to it and not notice the heavyness very quickly and be able to do 16ft. figure 8s easily with a little practice. Overall , the Norge has been the best bike I've owned in 40 years.
     
  10. sempervee

    sempervee Tuned and Synch'ed

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    I thought the very same thing until I got accustomed to the bike with a few more miles on the machine and changing to a fresh set of tires made everything so much better! I am the kind of rider who checks air pressure daily...

    Make that the new SHINKO 09 Ravens... Instantly loved the new tires..
     
  11. Bill Hagan

    Bill Hagan GT Reference GT Famiglia

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    Good point re low-speed maneuvering. I may have read too much into the OP's question, as I was thinking of spirited riding. The Norge can be a handful at walking speed. I find myself using lots of rear brake and clutch action and moving on the saddle to the opposite side of the turn. Yeah, and prayer. :eek:hmy:

    But once underway, oh my, what a silky machine in the sweepers and tighter stuff.

    Bill
     
  12. ghezzi

    ghezzi High Miler GT Contributor

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    Mate, I had exactly the same issue with a Bellagio demo bike I test rode some months ago. Tootling along in traffic at 10 -15 kph it felt awkward. Came on here and asked questions.

    Went back the next day and checked tyre pressures myself, 20psi front and about 27psi rear.

    Upped the pressures to 34/38 and went for another ride.

    BLOODY AWESOME DUDE!

    Bought a 2nd hand bike and started making it mine. :D :D :D
     
  13. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    As touched on already, my wager is that it was poor tire condition and/or tire pressures (both front and rear). Without starting a tire war, I noticed that the Norge is sensitive to certain tires and pressures. Happy to discuss direct e-mail for anyone so interested.
     
  14. RapidRoy

    RapidRoy Just got it firing!

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    Thanks for all the thoughtful replies. I'll ask the dealership to check the tire pressure and let folks know. The bike has been sitting for quite a while, so tire pressure issues are very possible. I will take another test ride as soon as the weather allows -- 2 inches of snow last night so they wouldn't be took keen on a test ride today.
     
  15. Bill Hagan

    Bill Hagan GT Reference GT Famiglia

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    Todd, don't want to put you on the spot comma but. ;)

    Seriously, might you share that here rather than off-line?

    Could be a sort of a stealth tire thread. :laugh:

    OK, I'll start. :whistle:

    Have had several M6's, MPR, and now a set of PAST's on my Norge. Never really liked the first bunch, tho I went thru 3 or 4 sets. Once had MPR on rear and MPP on front, and once had MPP front and rear. I think my favorite handling match was the front Power and rear Road, tho the present AST's seem mighty fine performers, and even last longer than the others, tho wear is not the first of my concerns. I try to keep up with pressures, and certainly check before trips, but cannot swear I'm a saint about it.

    Bill
     
  16. RapidRoy

    RapidRoy Just got it firing!

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    The dealer checked the tire pressure and, as you guys called it, the tire pressure was low at 26psi. Now I have a good reason to ride it again. :)

    Thanks again for all the input.
     
  17. Cat City Rider

    Cat City Rider Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    I am on my second set of Dunlop Road Smart tires which made a big difference. I just adjusted my front shocks up one full turn. Sean Fader turned the adjuster 1/2 turn and I liked it so much I added another 1/2 turn to see what happens. A little harsher, but a big positive change in handling for me. Just remember to make a small mark with a marking pen so that you can put it back where you found it before starting.
    I am a svelte (?) 200 pounds dripping wet, Just saying, that so that might help with the adjusting.
    Richard Rodriguez helped me with the rear adjustment last year. Many thanks Richard.
     
    spartan1984 likes this.
  18. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Heh, no... but I will say that Guzzis require a super-stiff sidewall due to their weight, where-as most tire manufacturers now target light weight tires and bikes.
    When you purchase a tire, be sure that it was designed for heavier bikes. My personal favorite is Dunlop's Roadsmart. Back to back comparisons from these, show MPR's are quite vague. MPR's also seem to require higher pressures than normal (likely due to their flexi-flyer sidewall) IMO.
    End. :pinch:
     
  19. misterg

    misterg Just got it firing!

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    The Pilot Road 2 is also available in a 'B-Spec' version which has a stiffer sidewall for heavier machines. My buddy just bought a set for his FJ1300, though he doesn't do much two-up riding. Michelin recommends the B-Spec for the FJ and for the Concours14, but no mention of the Norge.

    I recently swapped the Metzeler Z6s for a set of PR2s. Though I do a fair amount of two-up riding, I opted for the standard spec. I have to say that the turn-in to lean seems much more uniform and linear, as a result of having such a broad radius to the carcass, IMHO. I have been running Pilot Powers on my 900SS for many years, and have enjoyed their great adhesion and confidence-inspiring manners. The only objection has been tread life. Hoping that the dual-compound will cure that issue; 2,000 miles on the rear at this point, with little noticeable wear.

    I have been bothered by the Norge's vague steering when coming to a stop. I found that it would wobble disconcertingly in the last couple of feet before coming to a full stop at lights and stop signs. I began using the rear brake more for the last few feet-- this seemed to help. But the better fix for this quirk came as an unexpected result of fine tuning my front suspension for better high speed handling.

    I had previously cranked up the front preload to max, trying to address the wallowing that the bike would sometimes show when leaned over in bumpy turns. (I had already cranked up the rear preload to prevent centerstand scrapeage) But after more miles, and some research on how much sag I had on the front, I decided to go in the other direction. In an effort to get a bit more weight on the front wheel, I softened the front preload a few turns, which, coincidentally, cut way down on all the front end dive that was happening when applying the front brake at low speeds. Now, with a few extra CM of sag, rolling up to a stop while using the front brake is much more predictable and I don't look like some Squid that just bought his first bike, wobbling up to the stop light...
     
  20. RJVB

    RJVB GT Reference

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    ++ for the Roadsmart (though not so much for its longevity - supposed to be better on the Roadsmart II which I'm hoping to test as my next train).

    As to pressure ... that's definitely NOT something to leave to the dealer to check (unless he lives next-door). I've just learned that underflated tyres are a major cause of (fatal) crashes! And I agree with Todd: the Norge/Breva/12S series are very sensitive to pressure fluctuations (and, by the same principle?, to tyre wear that modifies the cross section profile).
     

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