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Thread: Which Way Do I Turn The Wheel WHen I Park?

  1. #16
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    I usually park with the wheel pointed left. This seems to put more weight on the sidestand and feels more stable on level ground. Turning the bars to the right tends to make the bike stand more upright and makes me worry it will get knocked or blown over to the right.

    At least, that's what I thought until a couple minutes ago...

    I dug out my digital inclinometer, zeroed it to my generally flat garage floor and placed it on my gas cap to measure the actual angle from vertical on the sidestand.

    Wheel to left: 10.9??
    Wheel to right: 12.3??

    So, turning to the RIGHT should actually be more stable on level ground.

    Sadly, not the first time my perception of reality has been flawed.

    Larry

  2. #17
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    FWIW, I have a simpler system which doesn't require any one-side-fits-all rules:

    If I have any doubt about stability on the side stand when I park, I try both ways. I then leave the bike with the wheel turned in the most stable direction for the particular surface/incline where I've chosen to park. If neither way make me comfortable, I find another place to park.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
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  3. #18
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    It all depends what you ride.

    I ride R1200C cruiser, and it already leans too far to the left, and moving my wheels to the ride makes it easy to get on, plus it appears to be in a more stable position. I worry that because it leans sooo much to the left, that it might even fall if someone was to push it from right to left position.

    When leaving unattended, I have no choice except to point the front wheel to the left to LOCK the bike.

  4. #19
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montauk View Post
    When leaving unattended, I have no choice except to point the front wheel to the left to LOCK the bike.
    I've noticed a couple folks mention this. Every R11/1150/12/K-bike I've owned will allow you to turn the ignition key to the locked position with the bars full left OR full right. I'm not aware of BMW doing this any differently on any individual models.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
    #32806

  5. #20
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkraus View Post
    Wheel to left: 10.9??
    Wheel to right: 12.3??

    So, turning to the RIGHT should actually be more stable on level ground.
    Maybe, maybe not. Turning the wheel to the left places the tire point of contact with the ground further out in front of the bike than when turned to the right. The longer wheelbase and different geometry relative to the side stand and rear wheel contact points can add stability in some situations, potentially canceling out the 2-3 degree greater lean.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
    #32806

  6. #21
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkraus View Post
    I dug out my digital inclinometer, zeroed it to my generally flat garage floor and placed it on my gas cap to measure the actual angle from vertical on the sidestand.

    Wheel to left: 10.9??
    Wheel to right: 12.3??

    So, turning to the RIGHT should actually be more stable on level ground.
    I disagree because stability is not wholly determined by lean angle. Stability is also determined by how far apart the bike's supports are.

    With the front wheel turned left (toward the sidestand), the front tire contact patch moves to the right, so the three points that support the machine (front tire contact patch, rear tire contact patch, sidestand foot) are further apart than if the front tire is turned right. With the tire pointed right, the front contact patch moves left, towards the sidestand. The triangle of support becomes narrower, and the bike is less stable side-to-side compared to a bike resting on a wider triangle.

    In the real world, I think the answer depends on the interaction of several factors (levelness of ground, lean angle, whether the front wheel is turned right or left), not just just on front wheel direction.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  7. #22
    Enjoy The Ride saddleman's Avatar
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    I prefer the straight look so that is where I leave it. If it falls one way or the other after I dismount it oh well. I do turn it to the left when I am refueling.
    Dave
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  8. #23
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    I think Jay, the OP, is learning another valuable bit of information. Ask for the time on this forum and someone will tell you how to build a steam powered wristwatch.
    Kevin Huddy
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  9. #24
    RK Ryder
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    I've never thought about which way to turn the front wheel when parked! Now I'm confused.

    My ignorance was bliss. Now I have something else to worry about doing wrong.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
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  10. #25
    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBeemer View Post
    I think Jay, the OP, is learning another valuable bit of information. Ask for the time on this forum and someone will tell you how to build a steam powered wristwatch.
    Distilled water or tap water for the steam?

    What type of fuel should I use to heat the water?

    And what grade and type of oil for the internal gears?
    Mike Davis
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  11. #26
    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Why?
    Always with my K75. It smokes like a destroyer dodging a torpedo if you leave it on the side stand. On my R1200R, it is mostly habit, plus it is easier to get in the bags and put the cover on.
    1988 K75 Low Seat
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  12. #27
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    It depends which side of the Mississippi I am parked on
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  13. #28
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    I disagree because stability is not wholly determined by lean angle. Stability is also determined by how far apart the bike's supports are.

    With the front wheel turned left (toward the sidestand), the front tire contact patch moves to the right, so the three points that support the machine (front tire contact patch, rear tire contact patch, sidestand foot) are further apart than if the front tire is turned right. With the tire pointed right, the front contact patch moves left, towards the sidestand. The triangle of support becomes narrower, and the bike is less stable side-to-side compared to a bike resting on a wider triangle.

    In the real world, I think the answer depends on the interaction of several factors (levelness of ground, lean angle, whether the front wheel is turned right or left), not just just on front wheel direction.
    I've not tried it, but I think I'd have to disagree with you.
    I'm unable to measure from my sidestand to the frontwheel at this time as the rear portion of the frame is pointed toward heaven as the poor thing sits on it's centerstand & front wheel.

    However, I would almost bet you that the contact patch is further away from the centerstand turned to the right than to the left.

    If you have time, try measuring....

    Ken
    IBA #44567
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  14. #29
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    I agree, you guys are way over-thinking this...
    1983 R100RS (Sold)
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  15. #30
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken F View Post
    I've not tried it, but I think I'd have to disagree with you.
    I'm unable to measure from my sidestand to the frontwheel at this time as the rear portion of the frame is pointed toward heaven as the poor thing sits on it's centerstand & front wheel.

    However, I would almost bet you that the contact patch is further away from the centerstand turned to the right than to the left.

    If you have time, try measuring....

    Ken
    Ken,

    I just went into the garage and put the bike on the sidestand. Using a yardstick on the ground: with the front forks turned left, the distance from the edge of the front contact patch to the edge of the side stand foot was 31 1/4". With the forks turned right, the distance was 29 1/2". That says to me that the stand/front wheel side of the support triangle is a bit wider with the forks turned left. I think (other things equal) that a wider support triangle is more stable than a narrower one.

    Admittedly, I wasn't measuring to the center of the contact patch. But I don't think doing so would affect the result.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

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