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Tow-Pac + 4.5 degree Rake Kit and riding on 2 wheels

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Well, I have asked for a long time if it were possible to ride safely on 2 wheels with a 4.5 degree rake kit after removing my Tow-Pac trike kit and usually the answer was a resounding no - you'll die if you try it !!!   It was my thinking that perhaps handling would be somewhat different, but it seemed as though it might work, so I decided to try it...  After all, radically raked choppers have been around for a long time...


Well, I added a Traxxion 4.5 degree rake kit a while back and today was the first ride on 2 wheels with the rake kit and I am happy to report the ride was uneventful and successful...


OK - the explanation and usual disclaimers... This worked for me - no problems and very few issues... I will explain my setup and my initial perceptions, then tell you I take no responsibility for your experiences doing the same - like I said, the usual disclaimers, which unfortunately one has to do in the litigious society we live in today......


My bike is a 2009 Goldwing, Level III... I run double darkside with a Yokohama Avid Envigor ZPS (run flat in the rear) and a Battlax BT-45 up front... Yoko tire pressure is 24PSI and BT-45 tire pressure is 41PSI...


What I notice riding with the 4.5 degree rake kit...


1. Steering seems like it may be a tad more sensitive... The jury is still out on this since it's been a while since I have ridden on 2 wheels and this may just be my issue after riding with the Tow-Pac for so long.. I'll report more on this as I ride more this week...


2. It seems as though more steering effort is required as you approach the lock or end of steering input... I also noticed this as I backed out from the garage and turned the bars almost full lock - they seemed to want to spring back... Again, more data is required before I say this is absolutely true...


3. Stability in corners and sweepers seems about the same and overall handling is pretty close to what it used to be... A few short sessions of hands off the bars showed no instability the same as it was before the rake kit was installed...


4. I thought initially the bike tried to tuck in a bit in an exaggerated turn but again, it could have been me and the lack of riding on two wheels for a while... I'll ride some more this week and report back again on my findings and perceptions...With the above comments noted, I see no issues riding the bike on 2 wheels with the 4.5 degree rake kit installed...


I should comment that I am one that is very in tune with my vehicles, and my bike is no different... My comments above on sensitivity and increased steering effort are what I first noticed as I was riding, and I will continue to ride and report back any additional findings, but from my initial first impressions, the bike seems very rideable on 2 wheels with the 4.5 degree rake kit installed, and no I did NOT instantly die while riding, or even have any bad things happen during the entire length of the 200 mile ride today...


Again, your impressions and experiences may differ depending on bike make, model, equipment, etc, etc, but from my perspective, I see no issues riding my Wing with the 4.5 degree rake kit on 2 wheels...




ON EDIT - Having written this on a few other forums over a week ago, I have since ridden nearly 1000 miles on 2 wheels with the rake kit on 2 wheels...  My only lasting perception is that there needs to be increased steering input in sharp turns both at low speed and high speed, and backing out of the garage requires more steering effort, but other than that, handling is about the same...  I need a new BT-45 up front as it is cupping pretty badly and is very noisy and buzzy in turns, so it's a bit difficult to give a complete final impression until I get the new BT-45 installed... 


I hope this post helps some who have asked the same question and were told it couldn't be safely done...  I don't believe that I would go any more than the aforementioned 4.5 degree rake as trail starts to become very minimal with a 6 degree kit,  and stability would probably be affected, so your on your own with anything more than the 4.5 degree rake...  BTW, the Traxxion 4.5 degree rake kit I added really helped out with the trike steering effort and makes the bike a pleasure to ride with the Tow-Pac kit installed..  Traxxion sells this kit including new All Balls roller bearings and fork extensions for 600 dollars which is about the lowest price I have ever seen for a rake kit...  It is a quality kit CNC machined from billet aluminum...  I'm running Traxxion 1.1kg/mm springs in my forks so it's a good fit for me...

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LOL!  As I read this, I saw that you would be ruffling feathers on lots of people!!!  Then to read your double darkside on top of it!!!  LOL!  I am double darkside and so many nay sayers.  I am still here and ride harder than these nay sayers.


It was interesting that the steering required more input.  I felt that when I went from my E3 front tire to a rear tire design.  After a few turns, it didn't matter any more.  You ride the bike and except its traits.  If I get onto someone else's setup, it will be a few turns and no big deal all over again.


Glad you gave this a try and proved similar results I witnessed going darkside.  We are still here and yet people are going to complain.

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Actually Mark, one of the reasons I did go double dark was tire wear with the Tow Pac kit on...  Only got 8K miles out of my last set of Bridgestone G704/709 tires with the trike kit on about 50% of the time...  Most recent mileage check was 17K on my Yoko and a bit over 21K on my BT-45...


Regarding the rake kit, I surmised that there would be some difference in handling but should be rideable...  After all, guys have been riding raked choppers for a long time and surviving...  True, it's not quite the same thing as a "raked front end" as we actually know it, as a rake kit decreases trail and not rake, but still, I thought it would work - - - and it did...


I have seen a lot of questions regarding this issue over on the trike forum and the conversations were running about 50/50 on whether it would work or not...  I have never been one to take someone elses word on whether or not something will work or not and I just had to prove it to myself...  Hope it helps others who have had the same questions...  It sure makes the trike a lot easier to steer with the trike kit on...


BTW, I am 71 and have been riding for about 45 years and will do anything I can to keep riding...  This extends my riding career a bit longer I hope!!!

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Rake is called caster on 4 wheel vehicles.  It means the angle back of the vertical line of the wheel turning pivot.  If you had zero caster you would have to fight the wheel when going down the road.  When you lean the pivot angle back a couple degrees you enter into the caster effect.  That means your front wheels tend to run straight ahead.


Now if you are a drag racing fan you would have seen the Top Fuel dragsters and Funny cars have violent front wheel shake sometimes when backing up.  It is so violent the drivers have to let go of the steering wheel and sometimes it even causes damage to the front end.  The reason is that they run a lot of caster to help the dragsters run straighter down the strip.  One disadvantage is that they do not turn as easy and take more room to do so.


The same thing happens on a motorcycle.  It always made me laugh at those long front tubes that some of the chopper set use.  If they want to turn they have to really twist the bars  and when they want to straighten up they "really have to twist" the bars as they are now effectively having to stand the tire back up.


With a 4.5 degree rake you should experience more straight line running effect and that is why trikes, sidecar rigs and even your tow-pac do better with more rake.  Unless you are trying to run backwards at 90 mph the increase in rake you get with a 4.5 kit in my estimation be almost not noticeable.  We as humans always tend to thing any change we make has a positive effect.  i.e. one turns the air cleaner lid over on your old Chevrolet pickup and immediately feel like it did wonders.  If you were to check a quarter mile clock you would find no difference but that sound of your 350 with a quadrajet  when the large bore secondary plates open up makes you feel like you dropped a 700 cubic inch motor in.  It is all perspective based on desired effect even if the effect is minuscule.


The effect of going dark side is noticeable especially at slow speeds on uneven surfaces but after a bit you do not notice that. 


Hey, ride, enjoy, and as long as you can keep it on the road all is OK.

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The 4.5 deg rake made a huge difference in the effort needed to turn my GL1500 trike. Those who say it it is like power steering are right. I think the 6deg kit would make for even less effort to get it to steer. I also think the 6deg kit would make going back to two wheels a chancy situation but as I have never ridden two wheels with a kit on them I can not speak with authority, only estimation.

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The 4.5 deg rake made a huge difference in the effort needed to turn my GL1500 trike. Those who say it it is like power steering are right. I think the 6deg kit would make for even less effort to get it to steer. I also think the 6deg kit would make going back to two wheels a chancy situation but as I have never ridden two wheels with a kit on them I can not speak with authority, only estimation.


I agree completely...  I have driven a few 6 degree regular trikes and they are indeed effortless to steer...  I find them to be a bit sensitive at highway speeds but that was just a test ride and like everything else, I suspect you get used to the sensitivity pretty quickly...  There are an awful lot of 6 degree kits on the road so that pretty much proves the point...


Don't think I would go to a 6 with the Tow-Pac and then 2 wheels but if I had a regular trike, I would seriously consider the 6 degree...  Like I said, I'm sure you would get used to the sensitivity and they really are a pleasure to ride...

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