RT-S Steering Tuning Tips - Can-Am Spyder Forums: The Y-factor Community

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Old 08-16-2010, 12:46 PM
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Default RT-S Steering Tuning Tips

RT-S Tuning

Iíve had my Spyder RS for almost 2 years now and never had a problem with the steering, (other than the steering quits every now and then) itís always been predictable and easy to steer even in bad weather or in strong winds.

However, If you happen to have a RT or RTS you might have a common problem where the bike steering is over-sensitive.

Below Iíve provided a few tips that will help the problem considerably. The problem with most (not all) of the RT and RTS models is they tend to over-steer sometimes in both directions, yet others tend to over-steer in just one direction. Mine happens to over-steer when making a right turn. Itís to the point that it can be dangerous, expressly on wet roads or when making an unexpected move to avoid a car or object in the road. Normally when you make a lane change or corner around a turn, it takes a fair amount of pressure on the steering before the power steering unit begins to assist. With some RT and RTS models as you move the steering, nothing much really happens then all of a sudden the DPS kicks in and you find yourself turning more than expected. While the following is not a fix for the problem, it definitely helps until BRP gets with the program and re-designs a DPS system that works.

Shock Springs

First off Ė forget everything youíve heard about setting the shock and all that good ride and handling garb. Adjust the tension so the shock spring is compressed all the way to hardest setting. This in itself will prevent ďsomeĒ the dreaded roll syndrome the RT and RTS has where for some reason, BRP decided make the ride softer, which causes the RT and RTS to constantly roll with each dip in the road and or wind gust which results in the rider having to steer the bike almost 100% of the time. Of course, the more you steer the bike to correct these movements, the more it compounds the problem. Tight shock springs will make an instant improvement without the loss of any riding comfort.

Air Pressure

Bottom line - the more air pressure you run in the front tires the better the bike will handle for the simple fact that the less contact area you have, the less grip you have to the road and of course the less over-steer youíll have as well.

Itís simple equation - if the tires are only pumped up to the (BRP recommended pressure) of 16-17 lbs you will have 6+ inches of contact area contacting the road as well as the outside edge of the tire digging in on a heavy turn. In contrast, If you pump up the tires to 25-30 lbs. I use 30 lbs. ( donít panic - this is what they are rated for) you now ride on the center of the tire thereby reducing over 50% of the contact area and also reducing the steering ability considerable. Iím running 30 lbs in my front tires and I can truly say it has improved the handing of the bike an easy 50%.
Thereís also another bonus to running higher air pressure, and that is less roll between the rim (the bike) and the thread commonly know as side-wall flex. As you grab your handlebars and pull the bike side to side, watch the rim and the ground and youíll see with low pressure the bike easily rolls right and left because with low pressure there is very little resistance to prevent this from happening. With 25-30 lbs of air pressure, youíll see very little side-wall flex which dramatically helps improve the dreaded roll syndrome the RT and RTS now have.

I know this is not a fix but Iíll tell you this improves the handling of the Spyder considerably.

Ride Safe - Mike Mas
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:54 AM
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Thanks for this info; Mike! I'm thinking that not all of the bikes are afflicted with these issues... (Mine has behaved pretty well, so far.) I did make a few adjustments in the directions that you provided; just not to those levels... It's good to know that there is more room for tinkering if things get...
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:30 AM
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My only thought on your suggestions is that any setting that reduces the tires contact patch in the name of handling is not anything I would try period! Your settings are for the RS which is a completely different animal than the RT. It is lighter, has a smaller frontal area, smaller wheel track, smaller handle bars, and is a totally different animal than what you are applying these suggested settings to. To ask anyone to apply those settings to an RT is ludicrous at best and dangerous at worst. Sorry I would have to say I put little faith in what you have suggested and would not try it. To each his own I guess but that is not my cup of tea for sure.

First off is the fact that the RT doesn't tend to oversteer as that simply put is when the rear tries to lead you into the corner. The RT has trailing throttle understeer where the front end refuses to track and tends to dart or plow. So that is the first and most obvious flaw in your diagnosis.

Second off is you are not setting the shock but the spring preload on the shock and it has no effect on the dampening or setting of the shock itself.

Thirdly lets take a look at the thought that the more air pressure you put in the the tires up front the less over steer you have. You also have less contact patch on the road and less traction in the front making the front end slide or drift more. This also effectively makes the front spring rates higher and raises the ride height. That also contributes to front drift and slide reducing front traction even more. A real stiff front suspension may feel better to a novice driver but it also makes the break away point of the front end much more violent and quicker to happen. Keeping in mind that you do not have oversteer (loose at the rear end) and actually have trailing throttle (when you let off on the throttle) understeer at the front you have loosened the front to over come that and made a very dangerous breakaway possible when you reach the edge of handling on the front end. It may feel better to you but it sure can result in a very serious situation and injury.

I have watched this post go through several other forums and bit my tongue to not correct your wrong full suggestions but I am not going to in this case and really feel I should comment on other forums if I have time. You are dead wrong in some of the settings you suggest and I sure hope people will read enough to realize this here and elsewhere you have made this post. Frankly I do not care if this is taken personaly as I feel that you suggestions just may get someone hurt so take it as you may. Bill

Last edited by zeebill; 08-18-2010 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:02 PM
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Not to hijack the thread but...
While fueling up today, a fellow came over and introduced himself as one of the engineers who worked on the developement of the Spyders through a subcontractor to BRP. He told me that they had over 150 million bucks invested in the front-end design The tough part was getting it to work with all of the possible weight distribution configurations that you can do with these bikes. From only a rider and nothing stored anywhere, to a full seat with the front trunk stuffed... It wasn't an easy task, but he was pretty proud of what they had accomplished.
My Son & I took the ride to the Can Am dealer to get him more info on the beauties... he's getting heart-attack serious about wanting one when he gets back to Orlando...
(I didn't have the heart to tell the guy about these conversations here... )
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:21 PM
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the changing of the load weight on the spyder was part of my problem. Since I do not weigh very much when I had my pre load settings at the softest settings with just me it handled fine, but as soon as my wife got on the cornering was horrable. Raising the pre-load on the front springs as well as raising the tire pressure helped out the cornering on my spyder at least a lot.
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:46 PM
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... and no one setting on any bike can cover all possible conditions... That's why we have wrenches and forums...
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:53 AM
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Mike,

Based on your recommendations and my own experience I'd say you have an alignment problem.

With the wheels out of alignment, reducing the contact patch makes the bike less sensitive to the road so it's a bit less twitchy.

Once the wheels are aligned properly, the higher tire pressure actually degrades performance because the front end is "Up On Its Toes".

I went through all of this early on when I first bought my Spyder and posted everything on another forum.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:36 AM
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I was wondering if the reduction of the contact patch would affect the 'puter systems... Traction control and the Super Nanny Stability System might get tripped up due to reduced traction...
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
I was wondering if the reduction of the contact patch would affect the 'puter systems... Traction control and the Super Nanny Stability System might get tripped up due to reduced traction...
The RS I had seemed to handle in a much wider parameter of situations without kicking the VSS into limp mode than the current RT does. I have set the VSS on the RT into limp mode on the same corner near home twice in a week. It just plain does not like certain situations and quits easier than the system on the RS did. Decrease in contact patch results in decrease in traction and yaw angle change is what results and yes I do believe that will set the VSS into "Dumb Shit what are you trying to do Mode". I am wondering if BuRP changed the parameters of the system or if just the added weight and size of the RT trip the VSS faster? Bill
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:49 AM
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I'd be guessing... but it sure could be the extra poundage and higher center of gravity that doesn't like things to get too "sporty".
Besides... the RTs are the "Olphart" model anyway. If we were still doing young and stupid things, we'd all be on the RS models...
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