Is fork dipping when front brakes applied at very slow speed normal?

ZoneIII

Supercharged
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
277
Location
Northern Illinois
Ride
2015 Triumph Rocket III Touring
I know this sounds like a dumb question but I've been curious about this since buying my new R3T a few months ago and I thought I'd finally ask other R3T owners to see if this is normal.

My R3T front forks will dive (compress) sharply even when applying the front brake even while pushing it very slowly. I'm just getting back into riding after a very long time but I never remember this being and issue with my Triumphs and Harleys in the past. In fact, this caused me to tip the bike over a few times after I got it. That experience spooked me and I'm still having a hard time making smooth stops. Very frustrating!

I just wanted to see if the forks on other R3T owner's bikes dive when applying the front brake at a very slow speed (I'm talking just pushing the bike with my feet while sitting on it) or if there is a possibility that the forks weren't filled with fluid properly when setup. (After picking up the bike I found the dealer had the front tire at 18 pounds - half of what it should be! - and the rear tire at 28 pounds. That didn't fill me with confidence about my dealer but I suppose the forks were filled at the factory.) I'm wondering if there's a possibility that the forks weren't set up right. I'm guessing that this is normal but I just wanted to check with other R3T owners before I head out on a 6,500 mile trip next month.
 

1olbull

Riding Motor Since 1950
Joined
Jun 17, 2012
Messages
22,922
Location
Tacoma, WA
Ride
2012 R3R "Kong" - 2011 R3R "YurMama"
Your motor weighs over 800 pounds - with you aboard quite a bit more.
Its center mass is located about top of crankcase at mid-engine.
When you attempt to stop the front wheel, the rest of the bike continues forward, causing the forks to collapse and the front to pitch downward about the center mass.
Tis Isaac Newton, not you and also perfectly normal. :D
 

rocketjohn

Top Fuel
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
1,929
Location
Roanoke, VA
Ride
was a 2013 Triumph Rocket 3 Touring
Yeah mine squishes a bit on braking. Nothing out of the park for a bike of it's weight, and even my well damped Intruder will dive with me at the controls.
 

sleeves

Nitrous
Joined
Dec 8, 2008
Messages
1,131
Location
Backblocks, Waikato, New Zealand
Ride
05 R3 Std
At slow speeds,I only use the back brake,usually dragging it for balance and stability, I understand what you talking about, it is a 800lbs+ bike,use the front brakes at speed,rear ones at slow speed.

+1 On above, I learnt this the hard way and fell off in front of a cop in a parking lot when I accidentally touched the front brake, thy have good stoppers. Drag the back brack and avoid the front if you can at low speeds, of course once your moving the front brake does most of the work.
 

ZoneIII

Supercharged
Thread starter
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
277
Location
Northern Illinois
Ride
2015 Triumph Rocket III Touring
Thanks, guys. I figured it was normal for this bike but I just wanted to check with other R3T owners to see if their bikes dip as much. I appreciate your help!
 

rocketjohn

Top Fuel
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
1,929
Location
Roanoke, VA
Ride
was a 2013 Triumph Rocket 3 Touring
If I do use the fronts at low speed, it's for the final stop, and I keep them on so as to keep the fork where ever it ended up. I never use the front without the back, and I also use the back alone at times for stability in turns. I don't know how I learned to do that, it just works.
 

ZoneIII

Supercharged
Thread starter
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
277
Location
Northern Illinois
Ride
2015 Triumph Rocket III Touring
If I do use the fronts at low speed, it's for the final stop, and I keep them on so as to keep the fork where ever it ended up. I never use the front without the back, and I also use the back alone at times for stability in turns. I don't know how I learned to do that, it just works.

Yeah, after tipping a few times I started using just the rear brake when stopping slowly. But I'm using both most of the time now but just light on the front brake. The problem comes in situations like stop & go traffic - say when a line of cars at a stop sign when you just inch up ten of 15 feet at a time and half to stop. In those situations, I usually keep my feet on the ground so I can't use the rear brake. What I should be doing is just having my left foot on the ground and use the rear brake but sometimes the R3T is a bit intimidating and wanting to tip, especially if I'm stopping on a curve. I never even thought about these things in the past but it gets stressful with the R3. After tipping over a few times, as I said, I got spooked and that makes me over-cautious and THAT causes more problems. I think what I'm doing is putting my feet (or left foot) down too soon and when the bikes still moving, there's a sub-conscious panic going on in my brain and I squeeze the front brake.

This is all embarrassing to admit. I have over a hundred thousand miles on bikes but that was decades ago. As I said, I never even thought about this stuff for second with my lighter Triumphs and my Harley (a 1950 panhead chopper that sat real low, of course). It's not from being old. I'm still a big, strong guy. It's more psychological. It has me psyched out. :) Also, I'm doing slow-speed maneuvers like a pansy! Really embarrassing! Those tip-overs are burned into my brain. It's such a sickening feeling when the bike leans too far and there's simply no stopping it.

On the road it's a dream, though. It's just slow-speed maneuvers and I'm having a hard time getting perfectly smooth stops.

If anyone else has gone through this, I'd love to hear any advice you may have.
 
Top