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Cornering: How do you guys use your eyes?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by VCM, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. I know what you are thinking ..
    ( Not ANOTHER fcuking cornering thread :roll: )
    Not exactly , this is one with a twist. ( :LOL: just realised what I said )
    Many cornering threads here deal with lines, braking, body postition, visual focus, throttle use etc.
    But what about some input on how one uses their eyes.
    The California Highway Patrol teaches a technique they call "maintaining a high horizon"
    ie: Shifting your focus from a particular section of road to another in a systematic way.
    On approach, after evaluating the corner, you look at the spot where you think is a good place
    to 'tip' the bike. As you reach the spot, you then focus on your intended apex point.
    As you are reaching your apex, you then focus on your exit point ( the point where you
    come closest to the edge of your lane).
    This is something I DONT do, simply because I find I have trouble multi-functioning
    ( my wife says it's an inheret problem with all men )
    Then again I may be doing it unknowingly without much thought, if so I must be doing it incorrectly
    as I mostly find myself too close to the centreline on the exit of a right-hander.

    Does anyone here use a similar technique? or is this just one of those things one
    just never thinks about?

  2. The way you have explained it is the way I perform my cornering, But always move your focus before you hit the mark. Also don’t just flick straight from the tipin to the apex, track a line so as you are looking up you are becoming aware of the conditions along your line of travel.
  3. I don't!

    I use the force :cool:
  4. I try to do exactly what you have described the California Highway Patrol do. I think when i initially starting riding again here in Sydney, that process was still a part of instinct from riding years before hand, but done subconsciously. But now that i have picked up the 954, i make sure i talk myself through my focus points and have the decisions made consciously. I will pick a rough line on approach to the bend and consider where i need to make my braking begin, my next point will be my tip in point, then my eyes will skim up along the line as i'm about to focus on my apex/exit point for any road surface issues that may need me to change my line slightly. Then it is look up and through the exit and to the next turn etc.

    I think if you get lazy and let the subconscious guide you through corners then errors can begin to creep in, that's why i have made an effort to really talk myself through each decent corner now. My way isn't probably correct, but it works for me :)
  5. ive heard that your periferal vision is better as picking up movement. so i try to look about 90 degrees off from where i want to go

    and most importantly if you think you are not going to make it...close them.

    rossi just says he looks for his apex's
  6. hmm, thats a interesting thought vinny, i don't know where i focus my eyes on my approach...i know on the lead up to a corner i survey the area, (whats the terrain on either side of the road looks like, tree/hill lines, memory from a couple of corners back that may give me an idea of the approaching corner, sometimes you can see further ahead) then road surface, and lastly compare all that info to a corner i know and setup from, there i think (been farking ages since i have been on the bike though) and then as i am setting up braking, start of tip in, from here i will follow the turn to start with and once i feel i am set on my line then i will then look right through, i find if look through before setting myself on the line that i want to entry on i find myself cutting in too early......never really thought about that process before
  7. i live in sydney so i look at the as$hole in front who is holding traffic up. then again on the open road i would do similar to the cop thing as i run my eyes through the corner on the path i want the bike to follow. many years of snowboarding at well over 100kms has taught me to track very good corners..
  8. mmm...that's pretty much what "I" do Vinnie...and to facilitate it, I twist my head far enough around to the target that if I want to glance back in closer to me, THAT area is in the corner of my eye...(If that makes sense)

    btw...I did a big post about this around 6 mths ago..."where to look" or something like that.

    Apart from the obvious, this will also "slow thingas down" for you...remember THAT post, where I explained that the further you look ahead (or are able to) the slower things seem to go, because you are giveing yourself more time....??

    Anyways...good thread and keep at it, matey. :)

  9. This is something I definitely don't do, and would not advise it either. My focus is always moving forward, as far around the corner as I can see, unless there is a particular obstacle such as gravel that I wish to negotiate my way passed. If you watch the tip in point until you get there, you will be looking at your front wheel when you tip in. That is not good. How will you see the guy coming around the corner at you on your side of the road?

    I use my peripheral vision to see when I have reached the tip in point, while my focus stays further up the road. That is why I wear frameless sunglasses and a helmet that provides good peripheral vision.

    Nothing wrong with being close to the centreline on the exit of a right-hander, although it indictes that you could have taken the corner faster, since you had enough traction to turn a tighter corner than the actual roadway follows. I often find I approach the inside of the corner, which means I am oversteering, when I aren't trying to break speed records. This approach means I have plenty of flexibility in my line, and I'm not riding at 100% capability, which is a good thing on public roads.
  10. Yep, I remember that post mate, helped me control my SR's leaps & bounds as things did appear to slow down.
    I was just wondering if anyone used their eyes systematically through a corner, and how they did it.
  11. +1
    My mistake .. should have wrote "approach" not reach.

    Probably spot-on there Rod!
  12. Yes...just for clarification...I was stating that I follow that sequence...but I am looking through the ocrner at the time I reach my turn in point (which I have previously decided upon) I have my head turn way around towards my target, and am glancing at the turn in point or using my peripheral vision to pick up on it...sometimes I use my 6 th sense to, if I know the corner well enough.. :wink:
  13. I remember an invaluable tip from SB at CSBS.

    Look at what you need to do next. So, once I've settled on a turn in, that's it, I don't think about it again, I'm now thinking of the mid point and exit.

    Keeping the eyes up helps move the vanishing point away from you and that creates time. But don't look so far ahead that the information you're getting is irrelevant.

    Don't be distracted by objects around you (such as a friend you might be following). Keeping the vision wide ensures you keep a better perspective of what's happening around you. It's great when you can be (at the track) a bees dick away from someone, but you're almost unaware of them.

    Vinnie, great that you're asking these questions and looking for answers.
  14. Good question Vinnie, and some good advice given.

    Here's my take on it.

    I'm out of practice, so when I do hit the twisties, I have to re-remind myself of what to do, coz my vision is naturally lazy and I don't look up and forward enough. It's a bad habit.... or I tend to ride the white line around the corner... A VERY BAD HABIT.

    Anyway, so I get into active mode and remind myself to try and see the other side of the corner. For example, the st andrews/kinglake road is a ripper for this - it's just looking through the drop off which is scary. Or on the Black spur or launching place roads, you can actually look through the trees and see the other side of the corner. If you can see the other side of the corner well in advance, you have a LOT of info. This looking is a momentary thing just before you get into the setting up process.

    So then I set a speed - any speed, too fast too slow, but it's a conscious part of the process at the same time as scanning the corner entry (is it crap, does it look bumpy etc). Then I'll turn my head and look up and through the corner as far as I can and remind my self to make my vision WIDE (what Cejay said).

    The wide vision is an interesting KC thing.

    Stare at a point on a wall and now move your AWARENESS around. You can instantly be aware of any part of the wall that's in your field of vision. And once you have a point anchored in your awareness, you can move your awareness back to that point even faster than the first time you tried to move your awareness there. Moving your awareness is FASTER than moving your eyes (which will tend to tunnel vision you if you see something that grabs your attention).

    So, with the corner entry scanned - it now has an awareness "anchor" in my vision. My chin is pointing through the corner and my eyes sweep up/through, spotting the apex (if I can pick it), then landing on the vanishing point or exit (sometimes even the entry to the next corner - chum creek road is a good one for that).

    The awareness now has entry and apex anchors and bounces around as needed, all the while trying to hold the goal which is the vanishing point or exit. Sometimes I drag the eyes back to scan the corner surface, but the head stays "looking" through.

    Holding the vanishing point as the target will tell you ASAP whether the corner opens up (VP moves away - open up the throttle) or closes down (VP moves towards you - radius is closing down - if you didn't know this was a closing radius corner, now's the time to change your corner plan). Holding the VP is not a bad thing. Much of your peripheral vision is actually BELOW the point that your eyes are looking at. A lot of folk fear looking up because they'll lose sight of the road, but infact they actually don't.

    Anyway, as soon as I'm accelerating out of the corner, my vision is done with this corner and I'm looking down the road.

    It's an active process, which falls into a natural rhythm after a while... and the cornering process "slows down" which means I speed up. Since I'm not out there enough, I'm always re-climbing up this curve and then hit the next barrier which I get to toy with even less... and for me that's the mental and physical effects of actually feeling cornering loads on the body... but I guess that's another topic.

    ...if Elmarco is reading this, he would be casting profanities at the screen. :p It's definitely worth hearing his take on getting through a corner.
  15. Hahaha. Funny Robbio but you are exactly spot on!!

    It's actually very good advice, and the vision thing is something I really have to focus on, and it is one of the key parts to your riding. I have a really bad habit of over analysing the road surface right in front of my bike, which just means I see the exact thing I will run over. With a mental force of effort, I can focus on the furtherest part of the corner I can see, therefore giving myself more time, and therefore slowing everything down.

    But someone said it simply to me one day.

    Look where you want to be...
  16. Cejay said:
    Keeping the eyes up helps move the vanishing point away from you and that creates time.

    And I agree. If the vanishing point is getting closer the corner is getting tighter, if it's getting further away it is opening up.
    I don't focus on the tip in point, then the apex and next the exit. It's all in your peripheral vision. And I don't use an apex on the road...as it reduces your vision ahead.
  17. :LOL: Must be one of those litre bike things :p
  18. I do it naturally, now. I learned how to do it when I was experiencing the twisties for the first time in the RNP. I found that I could push a lot harder, with far more confidence, co-ordination and a better line, if I continually focused my eyes as far through the corner (i.e. tracking the outer line of trees) as possible. I can't ride at all if I try to concentrate on the road immediately in front of me.

    Apart from those benefits, it precludes target fixation: now if I go into a corner far too fast, or start to run wide, I never suffer the 'OH SHIT THE CLIFF IS COMING AT ME REALLY QUICKLY' frozen-body reaction; I just look farther through the turn, to where I want to go, and let my body do what is necessary to get me through the corner.
  19. Is this the same technique people use for making left hand corners in surburan street, i.e. tight 90 degree left turn from one street into the next.

    I am finding i am inconsistent with my corner, and need to drop my speed to 25kmh to do it comfortable, and if im not concentrating, i will run wide (which i get really frustrated with as i know that can be dangerous). I am practicing heaps, but sometimes i seem to pull it together, then another night, i seem to make a clusterf*ck of my cornering.
  20. The technique being discussed is more of an open road cornering technique, but there are common points with all corners.

    A left hand corner in surburan street has its own challenges, particulary a corner with a give way sign. In that case it is pretty important no one is coming from your right, which means keeping the bike on a line to take the left corner, while looking over your right shoulder for traffic. I think everyone has some issue with these types of corners, if they are riding safely.

    A left corner at a stop sign is easier, since you have to stop anyway, you can stop, then check to the right, then take of. No need to look away from where you are going.

    You shouldn't really be going fast enough to look way through the corner on suburban streets anyway. You should be watching traffic.

    If you are inconsistent, practice, practice, practice. If you are still uncomfortable, get along to some more rider training.

    PS: If you aren't scraping those big side steps, there is plenty more lean left in the bike. You will be amazed, particularly with such a low centre of gravity on your bike. Just keep the corners smooth, and keep away from the front brake while the bike is on a lean, particularly on slow suburban corners.