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  1. #1
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    Default Hardtail motorcycles and high speed.

    No bravado, please. Just a straight answer.

    On a scale of 1 to 5, how safe is a hardtail bike on the interstate?

    Assume real world conditions with potholes and all the BS you typically find. A "5" being as safe as your new Ultra Classic.

    What's the score if it also has a springer?

    Last edited by confab; 08-29-2021 at 4:58 AM.

  2. #2
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    The hardtail part is not bad, when you hit a big enough bump or road snake you will know it, but other than that it seems pretty damn stable. I've been riding them for decades and like them as much as a swingarm

    The springer is where I have had problems. Granted it was some cheap aftermarket thing, but after having it decide to pogo into a corner one day I lost my love for them. I am sure the OEM springers are a totally different animal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoomBuggy View Post
    ..., but after having it decide to pogo into a corner one day...
    It just bounces and won't stop?


    And the reason I ask is one of the youtubers is an Asian dude with a swingarm shovel he chopped.

    He put struts on the back and covered them with pan shock covers, and it looks pretty neat.

    THEN, he said he hit a bump on the highway and it pitched him off the bike and he slid down the road on his face. At highway speed.

    Which scares me quite a bit.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by confab View Post
    He put struts on the back and covered them with pan shock covers, and it looks pretty neat.

    THEN, he said he hit a bump on the highway and it pitched him off the bike and he slid down the road on his face. At highway speed.

    Which scares me quite a bit.
    The thing is we don't have clue about any of the variables involved in this, and there are a lot of them. Sounds like a freak thing. Definitely an omission or addition of facts, and maybe a bit more than just a "bump" in the road to me.

    Obviously the pogoing will stop when you remove one of the variables that caused it to start... now whether it was poor quality components or design, worn parts, operating outside of the design parameters, or a combination, DB may be able to answer that.

    Potholes suck, if you hit one its gonna hurt regardless of a suspension or lack of. Continually hitting potholes may be less inclined to cause frame breakages if it's got a suspension (breakages can cause some really weird shit to happen really fast - don't laugh, it doesn't always have to be obvious), but there just isn't a safety factor between rigid and suspension.

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    Well, the thing is that I'm building a hard tail this winter and I have no idea what they're like. None. Zero experience.

    I plan on riding it quite a bit and I dunno what I'm in for?

    I know the Asian dude getting tossed off of his bike scares me a little.

    I mean, we've all hit a big dip or hole on a bike with suspension and thought: "Wow.. Glad that wasn't any worse!"

    So, what happens without the suspension? Do you take a face ride like he did?

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    So like Rockman said once you overcome the main issue the pogo will stop. In my case one time I hit a road snake in the middle of the curve and it set up the vibration. Once I slowed down it stopped, but I needed new shorts afterwards. The other time I was cut off on the highway at 60mph, I drove onto the shoulder of the road and lost control after a couple of big pot holes. The bike went into traffic and I went rolling down the shoulder. The bike was toast afterwards, but I got lucky. I still think a glide front end would have been controllable, but that is opinion not fact.

    I have come out of the seat a few times on big bumps, but I always have a good grip on the handlebars and have never come off the bike. I've had more issues staying on dirt bikes, lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by confab View Post
    Well, the thing is that I'm building a hard tail this winter and I have no idea what they're like. None. Zero experience.

    I plan on riding it quite a bit and I dunno what I'm in for?

    I know the Asian dude getting tossed off of his bike scares me a little.

    I mean, we've all hit a big dip or hole on a bike with suspension and thought: "Wow.. Glad that wasn't any worse!"

    So, what happens without the suspension? Do you take a face ride like he did?
    What they're like... think 'the biggest minibike in the world' and that's what they're like. If the roads around you are in bad shape it won't be nearly as enjoyable. Try this: put on some headphones and George Thorogoood, close your eyes, and try to put yourself in the song... Get your body in tune with the beat and thats what they feel like, a good rock n roll beat. Maybe that sounds a little corny, but its the best way I know to describe it.

    Like I said theres a lot of things missing in regards to the asian dude. Probably showing out or something and didn't see it coming. If it even happened. Don't worry about it. Carry on and have fun!

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    Hey, Confab, what are your plans for your rigid, what frame, kind of front end, you going to use your shovel??

  9. #9

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    I would give it a three. You have to be on your toes for potholes and other hazards. Depending on the condition of the roads where you live of course.
    I've got a hydra-glide front end and air suspension panhead style seat and I run about 15-20 pounds in my rear tire. The low pressure in the rear tire was told to me a longtime ago by a rigid biker friend. He insisted it was critical.
    I've had many forms of this bike and this is so far the best riding it's ever been. I had a tiny seat bolted straight to the frame but unseen potholes jammed my back too hard.
    There are definitely highways I would not like to ride on at all.

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    Thanks for all the input. It's tough with things like this because, you can't even rent a rigid to try one? You just have no idea what they're like.

    Hey, Confab, what are your plans for your rigid, what frame, kind of front end, you going to use your shovel??
    It's for a 45 I picked up. Not the Shovel. I'm gonna paint the Shovel and do a few other things to it, but i'm leaving it mostly as it is.

    I'm gonna make the frame. It is going to be a lot like the Paugho 45. Got a really nice tubing bender, dies.. All of it. Ready to go, there.

    Need to build a pulley and mock up the driveline first. No particular hurry on it. It'll be a winter/whenever thing.

    The front end will the the 35mm that came off the shovel. Probably complete with the sport cowl and fender.

    This is obviously not an interstate bike. But that was the comparison I wanted to hear about - How safe are these things at highway speed? Cause the roads here really run the gambit. Bigly. I love old harleys and if I can't ride it? It will ruin the whole thing for me.

    There IS an alternative, but nobody here will like it.

    You could build it as a soft tail using parts like this:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails vlx 600.jpg  
    Last edited by confab; 08-29-2021 at 9:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 70fatster View Post
    I would give it a three. You have to be on your toes for potholes and other hazards. Depending on the condition of the roads where you live of course.
    I've got a hydra-glide front end and air suspension panhead style seat and I run about 15-20 pounds in my rear tire. The low pressure in the rear tire was told to me a longtime ago by a rigid biker friend. He insisted it was critical.
    I've had many forms of this bike and this is so far the best riding it's ever been. I had a tiny seat bolted straight to the frame but unseen potholes jammed my back too hard.
    There are definitely highways I would not like to ride on at all.
    Interesting..

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    If you went with a Springer.. Would that shock absorber thing I see on some of them damp the spring out and stop that pogo stuff?

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    That's the idea behind it, never had one though

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    if you run a hardtail but don't drop the tire pressure down to about 15psi, it will tend to send you into the air if you hit a big bump,
    a buddy got his tyres fitted & a shop who thought it was for a stock bike & put about 40 psi in it,
    it almost sent me down the road as well, FAR too hard for a rigid.
    dropped the pressure to 15psi,
    (I run all my hard tailed bikes at that pressure & it takes the spine shattering blow to ya backside)
    & it gives you a good ride,
    stock springers on a 45 work fine, the damper works well at stopping pogo,
    but in my experience long overstock springers look fantastic, but in riding have a lot quirk's,
    who made them counts a lot,
    some, like Sugar Bear springers work as they are designed to work & handle as well as a springer ever could,
    but most firms just churn them out for cheap just for the greenbacks & NO thought of Steering Geometry whatsoever was made or the quality of either the welding or materials used to make them.
    for everyday comfort, rideability & ease of use it has to be telescopic forks, but if springers are a must, go for stock HD with a damper or spend shit loads & get the best springer money can buy,
    avoid the cheap shit DNA springers that have a bad reputation of falling apart while in use !!

  15. #15

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    I havent read all the responses, but I beleive the antique class in past salt falt runs were done on rigids? If that is the case, its because those guys dont fuck around on thier builds.

    My point being how it runs at high speeds are based on the build. Unfortunately, and yes, I was guilty in the past when I was young and broke, I built rigids that should've killed me at high speeds. And unfortunatley, I still see builds like that on the road..........

    To me, I beleive the speed limit on a rigid is greatly based upon the quality of the road surface you are driving on. And man, the interstates are the worse

  16. #16

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    Ive ridden from new york to atlanta and back on my hard tail evo. I bent my DNA springer at a party doing wheelies and keg races in atlanta. We bent it back and welded some braces in and I rode it back to New York. I have a nice 6 over narrow springer now. I've had my hardtail with a springer up over 100 mph quite a few times racing my friends.

    Its fun to ride right behind semis on the interstate and catch their slip stream. You barely have to use the throttle they just pull you along. And you save money on fuel!

    Ride the hard tail you'll never make it out of this life alive might as well have fun and look cool while doing it.
    Last edited by LiveLaughDestroy; 08-29-2021 at 10:27 AM.

  17. #17

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    So how far are you from Sayler Park, half way up the hill from 50???

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    I'm in Southeast Indiana.. Near the gambling boat.

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    I started riding rigid bikes about 10 years ago. I’ve had both spring mounted and rigid mounted seats. I actually prefer the rigid mounted seats. I also run 20 psi or less with bias ply rear tires, and it really isn’t a lot different than a bike with rear suspension, especially if you’re like me and run slammed rear suspension anyway. Of course it’s a little more bumpy, but mostly not even noticeable. And I drive around Cleveland which has really shitty roads.

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    plus being a 45 you'll never go fast enough to get into trouble....
    & if ya look at top drag bikes going over 200mph are usually rigids
    Last edited by tzienlee; 08-29-2021 at 6:46 PM.

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