Steering Upgrade for MBs

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Scootmeister, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Scootmeister

    Scootmeister Member

    I have never been comfortable going 40MPH on a MB with a standard goosekneck mount for handlebars. Too many memories when I was a kid hitting something and having my handlebars spring to the right or left, usually driving me right into the pavement. It seemed this would happen no matter how much I tightened the goosekneck bolt. And there's a good reason motorcycles have triple trees and risers for positive control. My answer was to remove my goosekneck and replace it with risers from a Schwinn OCC. This also required a change in handlebars since bicycle bars are knurled in the middle. I had a set of old Yamaha cruiser bars hanging on the wall that are reminiscent of vintage "drawback" bars. So I thought, "why not try them?" They work pretty well and give the bike a vintage look. Since the new risers required me to relocate the speedometer, I was pleased to find that the open head tube was a perfect place to run the speedo cable and a couple of electric wires. All of these changes were a perfect opportunity to relocate the horn which originally hung under the frame like the bike's private parts, now it looks like a real horn. I apologize for the lousy photos but we have Hurricane Sandy bearing down on us right now and it was hard to get good shots. If anyone is interested, I'll take better photos after the storm

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  2. Richard H.

    Richard H. Member

    Is this an answer looking for a question? Motored bicycles weren't meant to do forty, motorcycles were.
  3. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    40 MPH could be considered stupidly fast for the structural integrity of a low spec bicycle. I hope you have a set of massively upgraded (high end) disk brakes, wheels, hubs. axles, front forks, frame and running gear to cope with such high speeds.
    Some would call going anywhere near 40 MPH as an exercise in sheer stupidity, because you'll be backing yourself into the "hurt locker" at some stage; that is if you don't also hurt someone else by sharing kinetic energy.

    I could think of a worst case scenario, but lets not spoil the OP's fun.
  4. Scootmeister

    Scootmeister Member

    Richard and Fabian, thank you for clearing up for the rest of us that MBs were "meant to be" creepers with training wheels. Those of us who are engineers or have been racing autos, motorcycles, and go karts, or modifying the same for some time were totally misinformed. We had this crazy idea based on our past experience and successes that you can design quality, speed, safety and technology into vehicles to make them whatever you want. Some builders design fast MBs for racing, others design reliable MBs for commuting, other design theirs just for fun, fast, safe, and reliable. Just because a design is different from yours does not make it an "exercise in stupidity". Any design that makes a MB more useable is an "excercise in creativity". It goes without saying that all designs should be based on calculated risk. Those of us who grew up on Ducatis and Benellis, Vespas and Cushmans that would easily go 50 MPH or more (and now own Harleys, BMWs and other performance bikes) won't shudder at the thought of going a whopping 40 MPH on a well built MB. Two of my MBs will cruise at a scary 40 MPH and have upgraded components like Avid disc brakes, custom performance wheels, all steel frames, and premium tires. I was simply pointing out that triple trees with risers for positive steering control is another safety feature you can design into a MB.
  5. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    One thought still lingers: the notion of sharing kinetic energy with someone else, not expecting a bicycle to be travelling at 40 miles an hour.
    At 40 MPH your stopping distance is massively greater than at 25 MPH and forget the concept of being able to steer around a dog or pedestrian that jumps in front of your path of travel.

    Right now i'm tapping my knuckles on my shin bone - feels kind of sensitive - hate to be in the "hurt locker" when that shin bone connects with something solid at 40 MPH; and we haven't got to the dermal abrasions your face will encounter when rapidly exfoliating on a merciless pavement; giving a complete treatment with frightful efficiency at 40 MPH.
  6. Scootmeister

    Scootmeister Member

    All good points that I think about every time I ride my MB. The only way to mitigate the risk is to drive defensively, maintain your vehicle, and keep your speed in line with conditions(just because it will go 40 you don't have to ride that fast). In addition, I simply don't ride in heavy traffic or on highways. In the event you do everything right and you still go down, you want a good DOT approved helmet, gloves, long sleeves and long pants, and basic riding boots. Riders who wear bicycle helmets, shorts and flipflops increase their risk of injury in a mishap. Failing everything else, a high pain threshold and good insurance help.