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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Quite a different animal, the Brutale. It's been over two decades since I last had a performance motorcycle. Somewhere in that time, someone took possession of my body and replaced the "testosterone on" switch with a "gosh, I'm old" replacement. Not a good upgrade.

So I take the bike on a street I know well, and try to take the turn at an "aggressive" pace. Well, I'm not impressed with my riding skills. Not enough lean (the bike went through the turn before I knew it and with the short wheelbase I didn't need to lean it very much) and when I began to "turn up the wick" the front wheel decided that it would take a detour by pointing to the sky instead of gripping in the rear. Quite an adventure and I can vouch that my blood pressure medicine got a workout.

I went back and forth on the same street a few times, still trying to find the secret, which I never did. Then a much younger rider came behind me and signaled me to pull over, so I did. Turns out he's never seen an Agusta and he begged me to let him look it over. (I drove the bike both Saturday and Sunday, and each day the bike drew questions and stares from more people than I ever imagined). Then he asked if I wanted to follow him on the same road I was playing on. Sure, why not, I thought.

Well, he found a way to attack the corners at a pace far above mine, and at lean angles that seemed more appropriate for a sports bike (he owned a Suzuki liter bike, not sure which one). I know the Brutale could keep up with him, but I didn't. I still haven't got the feel for the bike and I didn't want to do something stupid.

I then drove to an empty parking lot and tried my standard drills - swerves at 20-25 MPH, panic braking at similar speeds, sharp 90 degree turns, and U-turns within a two parking space distance. Well, I learned that I can't control my new ride very well, and I've immediately signed up for a refresher MSF Advanced riders course. I also realized that staying in first gear for low speed work isn't the best choice - my WAY too jerky right hand made it feel like a rodeo ride.

What surprised me the most was the turning radius on the bike. It reminded me of the Ducati 916 (not a shock, same designer) which I also found a bit of a chore to turn tightly. I have been able to turn most of my bikes within a 20 foot circle, but try as I might, I couldn't get comfortable with the Brutale. The very narrow friction zone, coupled with an on-off throttle made me uncomfortable. Panic stops were interesting - I never had a bike that could both wheelie and stoppie at will. That was a LOT more excitement that I planned. I did have my riding gear on - quite a site: a full Aerostich Hi-Viz Roadcrafter suit, full face Z1R helmet and Lee Parks gloves with a generic pair of riding boots.

Trying to lean it more aggressively also was uncomfortable - I can't move around in the seat as much as I could with some other bikes I've owned, so I couldn't load the outside peg heavily or shift as much weight (of which I have plenty to spare) to allow an aggressive lean.

So, is it hopeless of will I get the hang of this bike so that I can scuff the tires from one end to the next? When I got off the bike later in the day I got about 2/3 of the tread width fully used, disappointing me quite a bit. On my old VFR I could pretty much go end to end, but never could on the Ducati (fear of dropping an expensive bike had a lot to do with it). I've scrapped the pegs on most of my bikes Harley (heck, you can scrape a Harley peg going straight!), VFR, Moto Guzzi, BMW R1100R and R1150R, and several others.

Do any of you have trouble with low speed control and full lean angles? I know I'm older, but I'm not dead, and I'm anxious to "feel the love" that the Brutale offers. I'd also like to invest in some frame sliders (suggestions welcome) and whatever else may protect the machine from my learning errors.

Thanks in advance to the suggestions. By the way, I still love the bike, I just want to learn how to fully control it in all circumstances. I'd also like to know how to answer questions about the bike quickly and politely so that I can get on with the ride. It's amazing to me how many people stop dead in their tracks when they see this bike.
 

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Great post.

I must have an unfriendly face. Rarely does anyone ask me about the bike whether I'm riding the Brutale or an F4.

Two things you can do to help the throttle. If you look at the left side of the bike, on the back of the throttle body, you will see two springs that aid in returning the throttle to its closed position. A common modification is to remove one of those springs.

Secondly, you can change the rear sprocket to 39T from the standard 43T. It will give you more speed, which you will probably never use, but it is a lot less jumpy in 1st gear.

If you find it tips in too easily or feels too quick in the turns, you can adjust suspension settings.
 

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I must have an unfriendly face. Rarely does anyone ask me about the bike whether I'm riding the Brutale or an F4.
Had to ask when you are passing them round the outside!

low speed control
You get used to it i guess, slow 180 degree u-turns are always a little difficuilt on the Brutale given the turning circle.

full lean angles?
The brutale run rings round a "sports bike" once YOU have the knowledge and confidence todo it. The suspension is very unforgiving (uncomprimising?) and it took me a long time to get into that.. .I went from a Honda 250 to the 910R and have struggled (or so i thought) with it for a year. Then i went to keith codes superbike school on ZX6R (the brutale was broken at the time) and it it taught me that its not the bike, its the rider... and now the unforgiving suspension is a blessing and i dont have chicken strips! Also, im starting to go faster round corners than some of my mates who own "sports bikes"...

Im reminded of something a mate who owned a 910R said to me.. "the R1 owner was very surprised that i passed him on the track, round the outside!, then powered away from him down the back straight"

... still cant get my knee down yet, grumble grumble... (bring on level 3 huh cruiser?)
 

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Uh Greminn...Challenge. of course it's the rider and not the bike, but all things being equal, the Bruatale or any other naked will not run rings around a sport bike. I have a 1090rr coming and have ridden it, I also have a 1198s, and it's no contest....if it was, they would be riding nakeds at WSBK and MOTOGP.
 

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Hi Lencap,

What CAG said, disconnect that spring. When I'm maneuvering around like that (carpark work etc), just pull the clutch in, do your U-turn and then motor off. Treat it like a Moto-x bike.

Dave.
 

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Uh Greminn...Challenge. of course it's the rider and not the bike, but all things being equal, the Bruatale or any other naked will not run rings around a sport bike. I have a 1090rr coming and have ridden it, I also have a 1198s, and it's no contest....if it was, they would be riding nakeds at WSBK and MOTOGP.
Yea - i know what you are saying, its just the Brutale is a sharp, pointed insrument - and it does what it was made for REALLY well. Of cause the R1 is going to pass you mid back straight, but thru the twisties... i agree with what you are saying tho. I got a bit carried away... :jsm::jsm::jsm:

of course it's the rider and not the bike
Again - i understand that NOW.. but 6 months ago, i was saying "is this me? is this too much of a bike for me?". What you are saying is true, but as a newbee learner, you dont understand this and always doubt yourself first.
 

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No probs. I have a huge learning curve myself as I have only ridden sports bikes and cruisers..nothing in the middle like this Brutale. Keeping fingers crossed I don't do something stupid by getting over my skiis.
 

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No probs. I have a huge learning curve myself as I have only ridden sports bikes and cruisers..nothing in the middle like this Brutale. Keeping fingers crossed I don't do something stupid by getting over my skiis.
I have a mate with a 1098S that we do bike swaps every now and again - we both agree that the Brutale is the weapon of choice in the tight stuff. It just begs to be trashed from side to side - the Ducati just does not feel the same.
 

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Lencap, don't be too concerned. You're not alone with the "issues" regarding the snatchy throttle response and u-turns. I'm on my 2nd Brutale (first was a 2004 750). I'm now on a pristine orange 2008 910s with 1500 miles on it. Just got the bike a week ago. I just put over 200 miles on it today riding through central california (Santa Barbara) and i know im in love with this bike. While I'm pretty comfortable in the twists, I still grumble in the tight maneuvers and the abrupt throttle response. I just accept it more or less as being part of the bike's personality. But with time, you will get more comfortable with the bike. My Ducati 1098s has it's share of foibles....but i love it for it's own strengths as well. Just give it time and practice.

Mike
 

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I have a mate with a 1098S that we do bike swaps every now and again - we both agree that the Brutale is the weapon of choice in the tight stuff. It just begs to be trashed from side to side - the Ducati just does not feel the same.
I agree with you there...

I know my 1098s is a "faster" bike but in the tight twisties, I prefer my Brutale. The sensation is more than about raw speed.....it's the intangible feeling and feedback.

Mike
 

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Another terrific post LENCAP, and fantastic to hear you're out there working at it !! - an absolute must.

Could I suggest something not to do with the bike, but your riding approach. Being a legendary experienced rider as you are, leaping around the bike is understandbly less of an option so may I humbly suggest the following?

Try using your knees to grip the bike more, this should in turn relax your hands and grip. Then re-start using a less agressive "lean" approach, but slighly more counter-steer and use reverse counter-steer for smaller adjustments through the turn. The tight (firm) knee grip will relax your hands so your push-pull will feel lighter...while also feeling more in control of the turn. As you get to feel the bike more, you will gradually build the lean angle

Cheers
 

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Another terrific post LENCAP, and fantastic to hear you're out there working at it !! - an absolute must.

Could I suggest something not to do with the bike, but your riding approach. Being a legendary experienced rider as you are, leaping around the bike is understandbly less of an option so may I humbly suggest the following?

Try using your knees to grip the bike more, this should in turn relax your hands and grip. Then re-start using a less agressive "lean" approach, but slighly more counter-steer and use reverse counter-steer for smaller adjustments through the turn. The tight (firm) knee grip will relax your hands so your push-pull will feel lighter...while also feeling more in control of the turn. As you get to feel the bike more, you will gradually build the lean angle

Cheers
Gripping the bike with both knees is very sound advice, and in fact the first thing you were taught in the old days (not so old, I'm talking early 70s).
That said, a measured knee-to-knee approach as per sbk school lvl 3, with weightless hands on the bar for feather-light push-pull control works wonders too. It's just that it's probably more suited to the track than the open road.
Cheers.
M
 

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mmwwwoooaaarrr

Sorry but I couldnt help that you own a Brutale and ride like an OLD MAN I guess the bike IS for old men!
You so funny...did you know I can see your bottom sticking out from under your skirt in your profile pic??
:stickpoke:brutale:
 

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I agree with you there...

I know my 1098s is a "faster" bike but in the tight twisties, I prefer my Brutale. The sensation is more than about raw speed.....it's the intangible feeling and feedback.

Mike
Yep - its all about delivery with the Brutale.
 

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Hi Everyone, Lencap thanks for this post.
I am very new to big bikes, before this was ridding smaller 2 stroke 100cc bikes only. The biggest bike I have ridden before was the Yamaha RD 350 but even with bald tyres with no thread at all I was always comfortable in the turns...Its been a little over 3 months now ridding the brutale and I am still very uneasy going into turns, so much that most of the times I just move to the side of the road so that people can pass me ..... This is not a problem in a straight line or moving right to left in traffic, in fact this is a blast in the traffic....I am surely going to try gripping the tank as suggested and see if this helps.
I noticed that due to a different ridding position from the bikes I have ridden before....the way I place my foot on the pegs also made a difference. In my previous bikes the center of the foot was on the pegs but on the Brute after I moved the foot closer to the toes on the pegs and it helped a bit .... not sure if this makes any sense to you guys...also maybe this jump from the earlier bikes is just a big jump and I should take it easy and be patient before I push my limits ... but I would really like to be able to ride the bike like it should be ridden....any more suggestions and tips would be great.
 

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Yuo should go the the Kevin Schwantz riding school, or one similar. Learn to ride at a performance level in a safe environment.
 

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I also noticed with the Brutale that I grip the tank with my knees hard. I just got the bike last wednesday and have only owned smaller cruisers. The handling is definetly different, but it's amazing. I've never ridden any kind of sport bike, but this thing handles like it's on rails. I feel like I can throw it through any turn I want at whatever speed I want to be going. The only thing is I make sure I go in kinda slow so I don't have to go from no throttle to some throttle in the turn. That is when it gets exciting with the hair trigger throttle. Come into the turns a little slower and at a constant speed then power out of them. After a few turns it will start to come to you. I put 50 miles in yesterday and I'm within a 1/4 inch of my chicken strips now. Going riding with my boss tomorrow so he can give me some pointers on the twisties. He used to race. I'm pumped to finally ride with someone who knows what they're doing.
 

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Going riding with my boss tomorrow so he can give me some pointers on the twisties. He used to race. I'm pumped to finally ride with someone who knows what they're doing.
Following a smooth riders lines is great.. but then you are target fixating on the bike/ground in front you. And when you are not with that person, what do you do then? That said - have fun! The Brutale is made for it.

Yuo should go the the Kevin Schwantz riding school, or one similar. Learn to ride at a performance level in a safe environment.
+1000 on this. Cruiser and I did level 1 and 2 of keith codes school - best money i have spent in a long time! levels 3 and 4 when spring returns in NZ!
 

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Yuo should go the the Kevin Schwantz riding school, or one similar. Learn to ride at a performance level in a safe environment.
:bawling: None here as far as I know but I guess I need to find out from the motorcycle dealers if there is any..... hmmmm :idea: Anyone intersted in opening a school here but then again there is no track either :wtf::wtf::wtf:
:banghead:
 
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