What’s The Difference Between Rake And Trail? - Honda CTX700 Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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What’s The Difference Between Rake And Trail?

Dear MOby,

So is it the rake or the trail that determines how fast or slow a bike steers? Lot of things I read and hear seem to use the two interchangeably at random? Which is it?

Heavy Handed
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 09:31 PM
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I don't know a lot about numbers,but I know,that much easy care CTX 700,than Honda Fury from front page photo.

My second bike Honda VT1300 have a 33 degree rake and I know- CTX 700 with his 27,7 degree much easy to care,than my second bike.

My third bike have 26 degree rake and this heavy monster Honda ST 1300 (770 pounds)care and ride better, than CTX 700. I think,26 is optimal rake for sport touring bikes.Cruisers,like CTX700 or VT1300 or others can have more angle,custom cruisers-more,than regular cruisers, closer to choppers style. Big rake angle is very good on HW and not very comfortable on the winding roads or small roundabouts.This is from my experience.

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Last edited by AlexAlex; 04-30-2017 at 09:07 AM.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 11:02 AM
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The more trail, the more straight line directional stability. Rake is similar but not as directly related. This is due to the offset of the axle position to the fork pivot that can impact the amount of trail. Bikes with the same rake can have differing amounts of trail.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 11:27 AM
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And conversely bikes with the same trail can have different rakes.

Many years ago Tony Foale put one of his FFEs (funny front ends - his term) on a Gold Wing for a customer and typically he used about a 16 degree rake angle and little to no offset on the axle from the steering axis, and the conversion was deemed a worthwhile modification by the customer.

There are two different trail numbers you can look at. The common one that is shown in the article is what Tony calls ground trail (since it is the distance at ground level between two points) but the important one is the "real trail" which is the length of the lever arm that is acting on the steered parts. You can have the same real trail with a variety of rake and ground trail numbers. For a CTX you'd have similar real and ground trail numbers to stock by using about 21 degrees of rake and zero axle offset.
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