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Noob 104: Building on cornering basics - Road positioning
To date the basic building blocks of cornering have been laid out in three threads;...
I thought I'd punch this out closely following the 103 thread because there are some strong overlaps. Given the short space between the two, this thread might not be as refined so feel free to comment on improvements. Cheers.
Another top post, Rob.
Yup, another top post.
PM senteded, Rob.
Good post Rob. Well done.
Anecdotal story. A few weeks back I was leading a ride. One of the guys following me was reasonably new to riding. L or P plater from memory.
In any event we were travelling along a commonly patrolled road, and so I sat on the speed limit and was just minding my own business practising my late and wide corner entries, or basically just making progress through all the corners at the speed limit as easy as possible. I was aware of the guy following me, but I wasn't particularly doing it for his benefit, just reinforcing good practise.
We get to the next stop and the guy who was following came up and expressed that he had both never gone through corners so quickly, and yet how it felt much, much safer, and he explicitly stated that he was trying to follow my road positioning and lines through the corners and stated that by following the late and wide lines he could see much more of the corner and didn't have to nervously tip-toe through corners so much, worrying about if they were going to tighten suddenly, simply 'cos he could see that sort of thing coming up with much more warning.
Ultimately though, it does also come down to simply having confidence in your control and ability to steer the motorcycle quickly. That too comes from practise. Rather than trying to rush up to corners, go into them more slowly than you normally would, hang as late and as wide as you dare, and then tip in while doing that at the speed that you feel comfortable with. Get the positioning and the vision right, and the confidence will follow.
I'll chime in on the excellent post.
I know this is a "noob" cornering post, but if you add in the body positioning to all the points above, you can take the corner looking like a pro.
Read below on one caveat -- You have to get robs post above 100%[/B], or this stuff below will do nothing for you... Again, the stuff below isn't a "noobie" concept by any means, but is definitely complementary to the initial post above.
As you go into the corner (like in the diagram above), you can shift your body weight inside and begin to look around to the corner. But looking around the corner & pre-positioning the body will do things to your bike that'll manifest in the bike starting to turn in earlier (the red line), which is what you want to avoid as rob's been saying!
How do you counteract the effects of body pre-positioning and looking early? You actually countersteer to the outside as you setup for the corner. By doing this, your bike will actually lean momentarily to the outside of the curve(this way "\" on the corner above), while your body position is to the inside ("/" way), and head turned inside. The two effects cancel each other out, and the bike will still go straight. Now, once you get to the turn in point (the yellow x), is when you put in your steering input by countersteering inward.
Some ask the reason for body pre-positioning -- by doing so, you keep the suspension settings much closer to the sweet spot by avoiding the unnecessary rapid movements at the corner entry point, and you can take the corner smoother and faster.
Well done mate. Excellent read, and easy to read and understand.
If it helps noobs, I completely understand the tremors this process can create, As I've recently suffered the I'll effects of NOT following this technique.
Having been off the bike for about a year, I had a day where I actually thought I might be able ride.
I headed to the spur since it's familiar, just to try myself out. See how much out of practice I was.
The bike felt great, but I had no connection with it. I'd lost HEAPS off my senses, even though the underlying skill was still there.
First run through the spur, was soo bloody embarrassing, I nearly turned around and went home ashamed. Really!!
The very first thing I recognized as poor almost immediately, was that I was drifting in as I approached the corners. This was forcing me to apex too early, get off the gas, take second bite...all over the bloody place.
And I hadn't even started to get fair-dinkum!. I was only cruising inside the 80k limit.
Not frigging good enough, John!!!
So!!!.... I got more focussed( bit difficult under a haze of meds)...got angry, and got into it.
It took 'me' all day, but I eventually was able to push past the SR's, messing with head, and re-establish some of my former confidence.
I've had one ride since that day, but it was easier to pick up where I'd left off and at least corner somewhat decently, even though I clearly have along way to go, to get back to my former levels of everything.
The point is, while it may feel foreign, or a bit scary or unnerving as you start putting these techniques into practice...get your head into it, treat it as something you MUST master and perfect, and it will at some point, click into place. From that point on, you will never look back, and you'll be taking corners confidently and with ease.
Without these techniques and the skills that develope with them, you'll never be able to evolve, and be able to progress with the safety that comes from "knowing" how to negotiate corners and bends out on the open road.
Perfect it and FLY!
Another great job Rob.
Rightly or wrongly, your ideal turn in point (yellow line) is what I'd use on tight/blind corners. On more open corners with good vision I'd be looking at the green line, or at least somewhere in between the two depending on the conditions.
bugger just went through it forgot to post it, then system crash and lost it all....
quickly i would like see it referred to in there that this style of you need to be mindful of weather conditions if it's wet or damp throwing it in hard into a corner isn't the greatest of idea's, weather has a big part to play with both road conditions and ideal lines (ie after rain you will find on back roads gravel washes a little further onto the road, then it does during the mid of summer) .....it's just one more thing you need to consider when you are considering your approach(sorry was much better worded the first time ](*,))
but good read rob
oh yeah forgot i wanted to note about really turning your head and looking in the direction of the turn..... (done it a few times myself where for whatever reason felt i have over shot the turn, and then just really cranking the head and reach in the direction of the turn, and you do basically lead with your head (eyes) and chin and sure enough the bike generally follows... there where some pics in one of the other threads that showed the heads of riders looking in completely the wrong direction to where the bike is pointing
Stewy, how's this one:
Another top article Rob - really appreciate it
Well done Rob. Another great post.
And looking at it from another perspective ...
Going back to Rob's diagram, having tipped in for the corner where would you prefer to end up -
- on the line that takes you to the red arrow head where you haven't got around the corner, are heading for gravel and need to take another bite (not good especially if you have pushed limits and are already starting to run wide);
-on the line that takes you to the yellow arrow head (heaps better, almost home but still nastily close to the gravel if you have pushed your limits and starting to run wide;
or on the line that takes you to the yellow arrow head where you are safe home and have plenty of road (even if running wide) to move either left or right if you need to set up for the next corner.
Top stuff mate. I've read all your posts and have tried to practice each bit at a time and my turning has improved 10 fold in a short time.
Another great post. I went for a ride a couple of hours ago to wisemans. It was fricking flying... and not because i was trying to push my limits.... just praciticing what you have said with the VP and road positioning. I think i said with your last post, I focused heaps on the VP last weekend, and it improved my cornering, this week, i while ensuring i picked up my VP, i was being very aware of my lines, and the best bit of advice... tipping in late... i think i'd start wide, but i'd tip in early which ultimately stuff the line and corner speed.
Today, as you said, was telling my survivial instincts to behave... and tipped in later to corners... and damn, i was entering corners at a faster pace, and exiting even faster. And because the line was much better, i wasn't scraping the pegs of the thunderbird (which occurs very early).
Awesome post Rob. I have found it a great way to build confidence by focusing on these pointers. With only 3 years of riding experience and about 15k km's under my belt. its been great to go back to the technique, and working on it... your posts have been really easy to implement out their on the road. Interestingly, does this ever become second nature and you just do it ?? or do you always need to be concentrating on these points.
N00b 2.0 - Now much faster and cleaner through the twisties
Thanks guys. It's gratifying to know that riders are taking advantage of the information
Thanks Ralph, I really appreciate the vote of thanks. As you bed down these skills you'll see that it becomes your normal programming and you'll start to finesse the skills and pick up new things. It will become less of a conscious effort and more of an automatic thing, so keep doing what you're doing! Bed the skills down. I think you've seen that speed will be a natural by product of getting all the factors right - so please don't just aim for balls out speed, let that come as a result of approaching corners the right way.
There's still more on body positioning to come to complete the basics... stay tuned.
Hey Ralph...as Rob said and you're descovering....speed IS a product of good technique.
May I just caution you at this critical juncture...
Please bear in mind that, THAT speed, may be putting you into a zone that your mind and body are not practiced with. Fine while everything is good, but not so, if things go wrong, because that to, will happen alot faster!
Just be wary of getting too far ahead of yourself. Try to be incremental in your improvements and then especially give yourself time to aclimatise, so your brain and body catch up and get used to that higher pace.
It is critical for you to be able stay "ahead of the bike", at a time when that is more difficult to do.
It is a very good point. I am not pushing myself to the limit - i almost always leave room for error (unless i completely balls something up) ... More meant, I am much smoother through the corner, so instead of being jumpy on the accelerator, I am much cleaner and taking the corner at a better speed, rather then de-accelerating through a corner, and not finishing on the right line....
I completely heed the warning - and understand I still make mistakes - like today on a corner, i didnt finish tight at all on one of the sweepers, i got too close to comfort to the edge coming out of a right hander, but I had allowed room for errors in the speed I had enter the corner at - if that makes sense.
Sure mate, no worries. You've got it covered. It was just worth saying 'out loud' for everyone's sake. When it all starts to happen, it can be quite intoxicating.
You're riding it 'smart' Ralph. but still... Keep it in the back of your mind.
And like Rob, I'm pleased to see you feeling the benefits of his sound and proven cornering advice, mate.
After reading all 4 installments in this awesome series, phrases like 'I love you man', 'have I told you lately that I love you' and 'where have you been all my life?' come to mind.. ok, thats a bit OTT, so a just a standard 'Thanks' is how I would like to show my appreciation of your efforts.
I do really need to print this all off and re read a few times and practice. Pretty excited by that prospect, because even just this morning on the daily a commute a few SR hotspots (sweeping left hander that joins Monash to Bolte Bridge) felt less nervous from just applying even one or two of your pointers that I had the presence of mind to remember as I set up for the corner.
The Vanishing Point tip seemed so obvious yet I cant remember the last time I did it properly? It was this morning that I realised I have this really bad habit. I get into a corner and establish the vanishing point immediatly (good start) but then due to fear or whatever ever my eyes always tend to scan back closer to more whats in front of me (mid to 75% of corner mostly) as I try to increase acceleration or lean etc. I try like hell to re extend my line of sight back out but dont trust myself or the bike and admit defeat by taking yet another corner way under what I know is possible and feeling a bit a>soft and b>annoyed.... So my question, and apols if it seems stupid - Regardless of the speed or type of corner, do you always ALWAYS find the vanishing point and just stay abso transfixed on that the whole way or can that sometimes be the wrong approach if the corner is a long sweeper (where maybe you do no need scan back and forward etc). I just get scared that by looking so far ahead Im missing something closer in. I dont know what, but its just this uncomfy - lack of trust feeling I get even though I know this logic doesnt make sence as the less I look at the VP the more stressed I get. Think I have just answered my own question, but some commentary would be great.. Thanks again : ) Greg
Thanks for the excellent series so far rob.
In your initial diagram, which line would you take if there was unimpaired vision right through the turn, like a lot of turns in farmland areas with no rocks or trees to blind your vision of the exit? Would you still take the late entry option given the other reasons you mentioned?