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Old 03-12-2012, 03:16 PM   #1
kursed56
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Default Perfect Rake?

Hey guys Im going to hard tail and rake my stock 77 XLH frame this weekend. Ive been doing some research to how much I want to rake it, thought Id get some input.

Im really liking how 40 degrees looks, 45 even better but Im worried that might be too much. Noticed that most raked bikes are between 35 and 40.

The bike will be basically used just to scoot around town, back and forth to work some days.

Id like to take the tail out maybe 2 inches and 1 down as its pretty low already.

Thanks guys.

Any photos of raked bikes and how much?
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

Search "rake and trail" VERY important.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:23 PM   #3
worn
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

For around town, I've kept mine under 35, anymore and it might look cool but it gets to be a lot of work. You could use raked trees to bring the trail back down if do use a lot of rake, but then the longer wheelbase takes more room to maneuver.
Closer to stock rake would be best.

Last edited by worn; 03-12-2012 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:50 PM   #4
Stinky Pete
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

Depends on the front end a bit as well. You don't want to run hydraulic tubes with a lot of rake.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

Extended hydraulic forks and lots of rake don't work well. Keep it stock or close to it and you'll be fine. My '93 sporty has 49 and my '77 has 51. Both frames have a dropped top tube to make it work. Both bikes handle well on the street, but I'm not carving backroads. Get the look you're after, dial in your trail as best you can and don't ride past your bikes limits. My bikes are LOW, so shit starts scraping before I get really stupid.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:53 PM   #6
J_F_Byrd
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kursed56 View Post
Hey guys Im going to hard tail and rake my stock 77 XLH frame this weekend. Ive been doing some research to how much I want to rake it, thought Id get some input.

Im really liking how 40 degrees looks, 45 even better but Im worried that might be too much. Noticed that most raked bikes are between 35 and 40.

The bike will be basically used just to scoot around town, back and forth to work some days.

Id like to take the tail out maybe 2 inches and 1 down as its pretty low already.

Thanks guys.

Any photos of raked bikes and how much?
If you go past 42 degrees, "flop" starts entering the picture. Flop is not dangerous, but it will make you put more effort into steering at low speeds. As another poster said, telescopic forks start to perform poorly once you go too far with rake.

There is actually more to this than just rake, when determining how the bike will steer after frame modification. Up-stretch has a HUGE effect virtually no-one seems to understand or discuss. When you add up-stretch, you are raising the steering-head relative to the center of mass. The steering head acts as a pivot point for the center of mass; think of it as the anchor point for a pendulum. The higher you raise the steering head, the easier the bike is to steer, regardless of trail. So flop can be off-set by stretching the down-tubes. This was a modification that some desert and flat-track racers used to do to make the bike handle better; adding an inch or two of height to the steering head by stretching the height of the frame.

Here is my sportster. It's 38 degrees, 4 out, and 2 up. It handles very nicely
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:27 PM   #7
snatchleeka
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

34 degrees and under you don't have to worry about messing up the trail. anything over that you will alter the trail and have to get raked trees. thats how it went on my brothers and my bikes.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:32 PM   #8
snatchleeka
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

you know you could also leave the frame alone at its stock rake and just put raked trees. my bros bike 30 degree rake 3 degree trees. my bike 42 degree rake. i needed 5 degree trees to get the trail back in line.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

35 degrees works extremely well for racing ... stable but still can turn ... more rake will make it tuff to trun in a city block
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

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Originally Posted by 55chevr View Post
35 degrees works extremely well for racing ... stable but still can turn ... more rake will make it tuff to trun in a city block
I don't know of any racing bike that used anywhere near that much rake, unless you're talking about drag racing.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

There's so much to take into consideration.......including all of what's already been said. Ironheads hardly ever look good quickly 'raked' because of the style of neck casting/forging on the late 70's models......it takes some massaging.

Bring the angle out to whatever you want-but if you've never done it before-maybe this weekend is too soon for you-this isn't meant to sound mean, or objective-cool looking to you or not-there is a correct way to go about everything.

On the other hand maybe you're being short with us and have a very good plan of attach-it'd be nice to see your plans-to see where you're trying to go with it all. I'd recommend to go up in the downtubes some-add couple few degrees of rake, and a little backbone stretch if you want something timeless and well handling and roadworthy everywhere, anytime........and keep it around 36 or under for a lot of quick fun still. Keep us posted.

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Last edited by twowheeledhell; 03-12-2012 at 08:22 PM. Reason: forgot some wording
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:53 PM   #12
nigel
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

Increasing rake does not equate to poor handling or "flop" . It is all about correct trail.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

This would be a good time for Sugar Bear to chime in, his rake and trail set up worked great and looked even better.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:27 AM   #14
Larry T
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

I've always liked something around 35 degrees rake. Hydraulic forks seem to go rigid somewhere between 35 and 40 degrees. That is, they start flexing instead of the sliders sliding.

If you want 40 degrees or more, a springer or girder still works, and like everyone says, trail and handling can be adjusted with rockers.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:18 AM   #15
Jeff L
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel View Post
Increasing rake does not equate to poor handling or "flop" . It is all about correct trail.
+1...It gonna handle as well as it's set up.Check out the sections on rake & trail &springer rockers on the Chopper Handbook.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:03 PM   #16
kursed56
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

Thanks guys. Just to clarify I wont be the one actually doing the work, Im taking it to a real shop and having it done. Heres some looks I like. Keep it low, first ones my favorite.









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Old 03-13-2012, 08:39 PM   #17
monty101
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

I got a rigid frame 7 up with a 38 degree rake and 10 over wide glide tubes and it goes down the road great. The front of the frame is slightly higher than the rear of the frame.

I also got a swing arm 6 up with a 42 degree rake and 12 over wide glide tubes. It goes down the road great too. It's front end is about an inch lower than the rigid . The front of the frame is also slightly higher than the rear of the frame. It is a long low cruiser.

I like the way the 38 degree handles around town but I like the way the 42 degree rake looks. If there is a drawback between 38 and 42 degrees it is you have to be careful to slow down and your turns at slower speeds and try to get into the turn at 90 degrees and hit the turn straight on as the wet pavement and the increased rake and longer front end will make the frotn wheel try to skid and slip out from under you on the wet street They both handle the same on the highway. I would never rake it more than 42 degrees.

I had a 45 degree rake on a rigid in the 70's and ran a 19 over springer and it ran great down the road too but was hell to turn around.

pic is the 42 degree rake on the swingarm frame



Last edited by monty101; 03-14-2012 at 11:28 AM. Reason: add pic
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:10 PM   #18
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

I should clarify. 35 degrees is Land Speed rake and works well. Up to 40 degrees is what I see and have ridden at Bonneville salt flats. A lot of Drag bikes use 40 degrees and they handle just fine in a straight line but evil to make turns on. If it is a street bike there are people more knowledgable then I am on that subject.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:33 PM   #19
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

This bike is 37-38* in the neck with 10" over fork tubes. It is a bit "heavy" at parking lot speed but nothing that you can't adapt to. It will easily u-turn in the street in front of my house without the need to paddle around with your feet. The trees are shaved early glide trees (0* rake). If you went with 8" over fork tubes that would probably bring the frame pretty close to level.

I've put over 95K miles on this bike in this configuration and it's very friendly for both long hauls and running around town. It's my daily commuter and last spring I rode it from Arizona to North Carolina and back.

-Craig

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Old 04-02-2012, 03:14 PM   #20
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Default Re: Perfect Rake?

Ive been checking out frame info, gonna be doing frame stuff in future so have this info stashed . still looking for early indian frame dimensions. search goes on.

http://www.rbracing-rsr.com/advchoppercalc.html
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