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A couple of technique questions for the experienced out there.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Jace_F, May 11, 2011.

  1. Hey all,

    Just did the prelearners last night and just got me thinking about a couple of riding questions I forgot to ask..

    Roundabouts: Is it best to sit left wheel track, right wheel track or centre? The left side seems best to view the traffic on the right that you have to give way to but yet the right wheel track seems best for viewing the traffic on the left that has to give way to you? Some roundabouts could really restrict your vision depending on which side you pick. Or is a case by case situation?

    Slow speed cornering: They hammered into us do not brake in a corner...so what happens if you misjudge the corner and need to slow down to avoid running wide? Hope you pull it back or touch the rear brake?

    Thanks all!
  2. Roundabouts depend on the roundabout and where you are going in them.
    A single lane roundabout. Think of it as a watch face and you always enter a 6 o'clock.
    Taking the first exit.
    Then left wheel track. Indicate left at approach.
    Going strait through.
    Then right wheel track. Don't indicate at approach. Indicate left at your 9's.
    Going past 12 o'clock.
    Right wheel track all the way. Indicate right at 6 o'clock. And then left at 12 or 3 o'clock depending on where you are leaving it. 12 for a 3 exist and 3 for a loop back at 6.
    If it's a dual lane round about I will sit where I will have the margin for someone else's error.
    Left lane right wheel track.
    Right lane left wheel track.
    The inside lane in a roundabout always has the right of way. Not that that will help you. but always head check and try to make some sort of eye contact with the cagers that are in there with you.
    Never ride in a roundabout in the middle of the wheel tracks. It's the dirtiest filthiest greasiest place on earth.
    If you go into a corner to hard, The most important thing is to keep eye contact with where you WANT to go. No matter where your drifting out to. Cause soon as you look at the danger you will proceed strait to it. So the easiest and safest way os to keep looking at the point where you want to be and lean into it.
    For a noob using the brakes is not good mid corner. For medium to advanced.
    Stay off the FRONT brake. Keep the throttle on a bit. What we call a trailing throttle (just enough to keep the wheels rolling at ground speed) and gently apply the rear brake against that throttle. If you drop that throttle while using the rear brake your going down. It's quite hard to lock up a rear brake when you have some throttle on. Also very hard to spin up the rear wheel under acceleration when you have some rear brake on.
    So in theory a rear brake against the throttle will suck you into the apex. In reality you better be pretty good and very cool calm and collected to use that method.
    But if you do learn that technique. trailing a rear brake against the throttle while going around a roundabout will keep the bike on the lean angle you put it on. It won't vary or drift off line and that makes it a lot easier for you to sit up and LOOK around you. ie head check and ogle the cager in the eye.
  3. It depends on how wide your going to run, If your going to go off the road in a big way,
    And cant make the corner by screwing it on,
    Stand the bike up straight and brake hard, It will get you down to a speed where you can either take the corner safely or just run off the road at a much slower speed which you can handle,
  4. Case by case mate.

    What was the context of their advice? Fast corners or slow corners?

    I have my concerns about the rear brake advice - especially for newbs. To my mind, "look harder, steer again" might be a better concept to weigh up.
  5. And pray to god that its not a left hander and you don't get cleaned by someone coming the other way..
  6. Side-note advice from a newbie to a newbie (although you didn't ask for it)... don't stress too much about the specifics and don't stress about getting everything correct to the nth degree straight away.
    I know I did that when I first jumped on the bike and would repeatedly ask inane questions about anything and everything, analysing my mistakes and stressing about learning bad habits.
    It's much more fun if you concentrate on getting the foundations right and letting your body get used to it as your skills increase and build.
  7. Roundabouts - case by case.

    The corner, case by case... IME, focusing on where I want to be has always gotten me though when I've felt like I've come in too hot. It's hard to explain what I mean here, and I don't want to give the wrong idea, but I found that I started to worry well before the bike did, so hanging on, relaxing and focusing on where I wanted to be always worked. Generally, the running wide (IME anyway) was caused by bad technique, be it vision, bad lines or whatever, not actually coming in too hot (speed).
  8. What amazed me so far a lot, is what seems as a tight corner in my car, is not tight on a bike, maybe its me only being able to do 80kmh as apposed to in the car I can go faster.

    and the fact my bike is a hell of a lot smoother over the bumps than my car, Everytime I jump is the car it feels so much more crashy, damn coilovers.
  9. Probably more because bikes are single track vehicles and the whole "enter wide, exit tight" thing.
  10. All corners was the impression I got from it, it came up over and over again about not touching the brakes at any point when the bike isnt level. The advice about the rear brake wasnt directly related. That was talked about in terms of slow speed manoeuvring so I wondering if that also applied in the event of over cooking it into a corner.
  11. Yeah thats very true, I noticed even on the prelearners I was more likely to cock something up when I was thinking about it and analysing it. When I relaxed and just did it I would cruise around doing everything pretty well spot on.
  12. Rob can elaborate but, in general terms:

    Never brake during a corner is a good foundation to build motorcycling skills upon, a good 'rule of thumb' to live by, especially early on in one's motorcycling career.

    One reason: Tyres only have so much grip; if it's being used to brake or accelerate, it can't be used for turning (and vice versa).

    Other reason: Braking whilst the bike is turning over makes the bike want to change its attitude. It might stand up or want to fall down. Generally speaking, use of the front brake will encourage the bike to want to 'stand up'. This could overcomplicate things for an inexperienced rider not used to/ready for it.

    Other reason: To encourage riders, learners in particular, to 'slow down' and break things down into easier to manage chunks. Observe the corner. Think and plan ahead. Slow down to an appropriate speed. Tip into the corner. Complete the turn and observe the next corner.

    As opposed to dive-bombing the corner hard on the brakes, having to think about grip and attitudes and entry speeds and transitions and how to feathre the brakes and what to have for breakfast at the pie shop and oncoming traffic and if it's going to rain and if there's enough fuel and what's around the next corner and what bike to upgrade to and....

    Not braking whilst turning is a good rule of thumb to ride/drive by, but like any rule it can be bent in times of need by being smooth, gentle, using the front brake (or both brakes, carefully)... And chances are that when you go for your P-plates you'll be trained how to brake whilst cornering for emergency situations. But bending it is a bad habit to get into, and one needs to learn "why" the rule exists before poking and prodding at its boundaries.

    As for slow-speed maneuvering? Below 10kph? Walking pace? Judging by your wording it sounds like you mean 20-40kph rather than slowriding.

    For extremely slow riding (say, below 10kph), rear brake is preferable if the bike is currently turning. Front brake whilst the bike is turning will make the bike want to "stand up" (and fall over the other way). Being gentle and smooth in applying the brakes makes the attitude changes smoother and easier to predict/anticipate/correct.

    Like Jackyie Stewart teaching James May how to drive fast - vehicles are a bit like dogs. If you act aggressively, quickly, with fast, sharp actions and jerky movements, the dog will react to you aggressively and bite back without warning. If you're gentle, slow, predictable and progressive the dog remains much more settled and you've got plenty of time to see how the dog-bike reacts to your actions, and work together as an effective team.
  13. It's most likely conservative advice given to newbs because they are using almost all their $10 of concentration on just getting around the corner and keeping the bike upright.

    Over time that activity takes up less of your available concentration leaving more to carry our fine braking manouvres.
  14. It's a shame that dropping a bike even at low speed can bugger it up so much - it's not like in a car where you can go to a big open piece of tarmac and see for yourself why you don't hit the brakes when the tires are already loaded up with cornering.
  15. I've found it depends on the corner. Really tight corners e.g. turning right at a small roundabout I found really quite awkward at first on a bike.
  16. For new riders the issue is normally not that you have misjudged the corner and have entered too fast for the bike to get around it, but that you have misjudged the corner and entered faster than you are comfortable with.

    As you are not comfortable you start doing all the things to make the bike stop cornering and start crashing. You tense up so that either you don't have input on the bars or your input is jerky; you back off throttle causing the bike to stand up (i.e. turn less); you target fixate on where you will crash off the road instead of up the road to safety; you brake causing either the bike to stand up and corner less or if you do it savagely enough, break traction and fall over, you stop leaning and straighten the bike up.

    For most Noobs, a bike is capable of cornering much faster than they are and what they need to do is have confidence in the bike, look up the road to safety and push harder on the bar to get more lean = more cornering.

    Unfortunately this is easier to understand than do once the SR's kick in. So the answer is baby steps so that you find out far far your bike can lean at a rate at which you are comfortable and be conservative with corners until your experience builds up.

    As you gain experience you will be better at picking corners and matching your corner speed to your cornering ability. Till then excercise caution. Far better to have braked for a corner and then think "Damn I overbraked and could have done that faster", than sail into it too fast and panic and think "Cr@p! I am going to crash".
  17. If your looking for a couple of cracking roundabouts to practice on there are 2 outside of the Jewish school on Eatern Arterial Rd at St Ives,thats the back way to the Old Rd,try and time your run and get your Norri Hargar on,take care with other vehicals entring and the hidding Police cars on the way up
  18. One thing to bare in mind is watch how far left you travel on a roundabout, gravel tends to live on the outer edges of roundabouts/turns.