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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone notice that their bike wants to follow the cracks in the pavement? I've noticed that my bike wants to stay in the cracks when I'm changing lanes on the highway, or in a turn when there are long cracks in the road. It's not terrible, but it is definitely noticeable. I'm waiting for new tires to arrive, and hoping that it solves the problem. Current tires definitely need to be changed out. Still have tread on them, but it is getting close. I was wondering if anyone else has noticed this on their ride. BTW, I'm on Continental Blitz front and rear, 110/90-19 and 150/90-15. Decided on 170/80-15 rear for the new rear. Staying with the 110/90-19 up front. In any case, it has been on my mind so I thought I'd ask the group. Thanks!
 

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Now you'll have every one here looking at cracks in the road when they're out riding LOL!!!

It's because your on a bike that has two wheels. All my bikes did that. You can change that by changing your riding habits.

The vn7xx is a nimble bike and rides like a dream and will follow the lowest point of the road. So if you have alot of cracks and potholes you'll head right towards them. You hit all the little holes too don't you???
 

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liljd is right, that it's just the nature of riding on something with only two wheels. Where you can - changing lanes, for example - try to adjust your angle so you're hitting the crack a little more head-on. There are places, however, where you won't have a choice; there's two spots coming into town here where on the turns (or, worse, on the downhill turns) the road has been "paved" and the bike wants to follow those lines. The best I've been able to do is anticipate a squirrelly ride at those points and concentrate on taking the line through the turns that I want. I agree, tho', it's unnerving.
 

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I have to ride over a bridge that has been regrooved by the road crew, and that is a real trip to keep the bike on a straight line.
 

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Another thing to point out is target fixation. If you look at it the chances are greater you'll go right to it.
 

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Tires have the most effect, especially tires with a straight center groove. Tires with staggered grooves are less prone to following a line in the road.

All bikes likes to follow the low spot in the lane ( its just physics).
But on the grooves and cracks, the straight ribbed tires like to get into them and follow like a train on rails. A crooked or offset grrove in the tire tries to get out of the groove or crack.

I really notice the difference going from old stock tires to new rain style tires on my Chopper. Especially on the steel grate bridges and where they've shaved the pavement..
 

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I noticed immediately when I upgraded to a 110 front tire, my bike nearly quit following cracks altogether. It probably makes some difference having a new tire of any kind on the front, since it seems like tires that are worn seem to creep into the road lines more than new tires do. I've used the creeping as a gauge in the past to tell me when I need new front tires. I'll be curious to see how the 110 acts when it is well worn.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the feedback! It's good to know it's not just me!! I've done a whole lot of mountain biking, and was introduced to target fixation by getting launched over the handlebars (a few times...I'm a slow learner sometimes!) Watch the rock; hit the rock!

I didn't know about the tire groove shape, thanks Duck. I'll have to take a good look at the sipes on the new rubber!
 

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Duck hit it on the head here, tire type, or more importantly tire tread pattern makes a big difference.

Narrow wheels always will try and follow a groove, but the tread pattern can diminish the effect , or exaggerate it. Tire pressure can have an effect too.

Many highways have , at certain sections, "rain grooves" that help channel water of the road surface. These can cause some tires to wander, some to shake, and some tires will seem totaly uneffected.

In most all instances it is the front tire that seems to cause the most trouble, as it is usually more narrow. I could not say for sure that going to a 110 width tire is the sole reason for improvement, but it can help.

This is one of the reasons many reccomend certain tires , Metzlers seem to be pretty much uneffected by rain grooves and even the deadly road snakes.

Large cracks or holes can effect any tire however, and it is considered SOP to try and avoid them........


KM
 

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With the old Dunlop F11 100/90 on the front, you had better be on your toes when you came upon any cracks, grooves, snakes or bridges. The bike was down right scary.
I'm happy to say that the Kenda Kruz tires all but eliminated that effect on my bike. Be it the larger size or the tread pattern or both of the front tire, that fear of following anything in the road is gone. The bike just seems to egnore those things now.
 

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I went with the stock front tire size, but instead of Dunlop, I went with Maxxis. No problems with groove or line following. The tread is two parallel, staggered grooves with perpendicular ribs out the sides.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A quick update...I replaced my Conti Blitz tires with Kenda Kruz (110/90 front; 170/80 rear) and WOW! what a difference. I am sure any new rubber would have been an improvement, but I have 200 miles on them now and I am very happy with these. I thought that the handling issues I was having had more to do with the fact that I was a bit rusty in the saddle, but it absolutely was the tires! The bike no longer wants to track with the cracks/grooves in the road. Of course, I can tell that they are still there, and avoiding them, especially the larger ones is absolutely the plan, but there is VERY little effect on the steering now when I do need to cross them. There are a few spots on my way to work that would cause me to put the Kung Fu death grip on the bars before, now I barely notice. The difference really was amazing; night and day different! Also, now when leaning into turns the bike rides like it is on rails. In retrospect, I'm really glad nothing happened while on the old rubber. I will learn over time how well these hold up, but the info I saw on the web indicated that they last at least as long, if not longer, than the more expensive tires out there. I paid just over $100 including shipping. At this point I would recommend the tires based solely on performance, but from a value perspective, they are off the charts. IMHO
 

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Sounds like you came to the same conclusion I did Chris. The Kenda Kruz tires ROCK. Ride, handling and sound for such a small investment, they are the best tire value out there.
For you "Spirited" riders, I believe these tires will pretty much take anything a VN700/750 could throw at them. The only test left is, how many miles will they performe as they do now. Only time and miles will tell us that.
 

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the nepa roads are full of potholes, patches and asphalt corrosion. i find myself using an old enduro riding habit, i scan the road pretty far ahead for holes & such to let me know whats comming up then when i approach the bad area i allready have the bike lined up to make small adjustments, for me this avoids target fixation.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i scan the road pretty far ahead for holes & such to let me know whats comming up then when i approach the bad area i allready have the bike lined up to make small adjustments, for me this avoids target fixation.
No shortage of roads in disrepair in NNJ either! Good tip on riding tactics.
 
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