RT-S Steering Tuning Tips
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.
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.
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