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Cornering is my weak point, any tips?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Linux_insidev2, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. Hey guys,
    My cornering is terrible, I tend to experience understeer alot which has gotten me in a few sticky situations that thankfully haven't ended in tragedy.

    As to whether i'm coming in too hot or what i don't know, my mate can corner faster and tighter on his ZZR so I feel that i may just be not committing enough, perhaps i need to lean in more, but that's still a bit scary on corners i'm not used to.

    I tend to start looking at the line when i come out wide, which is probably contributing because i know you need to look through the corner to make it through.
  2. There was a post where someone was asking about getting the knee down in his aim for cornering...
    Here is what I had to say there.

    A Few pointers.

    1) You steer with your eyes, not your knees. First you look where you want to go. through the corner to the exit.
    2) Your shoulders follow your head. As you get better you move your upper body weight across This moves your whole center over without undermining your grip on the vehicle.
    3) Knee out Don't worry about knee down, that is just for show until you are extreme. Get the knee pointing where the eyes are this again just improves your positioning
    4) Move the bumb. By this stage you will have seen 6 months go past and should be confident with steering with your eyes. so now you position your bumb closer to the inner edge of the seat, and potentially even off the seat. But don't push it. get used to it slowly until it is second nature. by this stage you should also be focusing a lot on where your position is in relation to your line of travel, to far back and the rear bogs down and the front just doesn't track properly. to far forward and the front just goes under.
    5) Knee down is an option. But it should be a side effect not an objective. You should be watching your line feeling your position, and the way the bikes suspension and attitude changes relitive to the road. You should be light on the bars, letting the bike do it's thing and not wrestling with it. This is a state I have not yet achieved, and am not sure if I actually care about. I want to go quicker, style for the camera is something I don't care about. Above all...
    RIDE WITHIN YOUR ABILITIES the rest will come
  3. All bikes work on the same principle but some do it better than others (cruiser V sports eg) so what are you on? If its the same bike as your mate it is the rider but that doesn't mean he's doing it safe either. Just that he may have bigger gooly's!
    You should be slowing before the turn and ready to accelerate out.Look through the turn to where you want to go. Sit forward on the seat and don't tip in to early. If the bike, tyres, suspension is working properly it will out corner you in good dry road conditions. I suggest you find a bit of road you like and practice and build up your speed and confidence.
  4. Cornering is everybodys weak point, any d1ckwad can go fast in a straight line.
    Some points.
    Look where you want to go.
    In slow, Out fast.
    Find a section of road you can do again and again, start slow/medium pace and practice counter steering, then slowly pick up the pace.
  5. We were both on ZZR250's

    Mine in better condition with new tires (worn in thoroughly)
  6. Ride your ride mate.
    Focus on what you are doing, not on what he is doing.
    Read through my notes above, where do you think you are at? (Eye's, shoulders, knee out, bumb moved?)
    Always remember the first two (Eye's & Shoulders) are the most important.
  7. I'm probably just starting to get the knee out now,

    I've since learnt not to be so cocky though, i'm riding within my limits. but i still tend to experience understeer a bit.
  8. are you actually countersteering conciously ?

    was something i was lacking until i did some more rider training

    improved my cornering
  9. "Understeer" = code for going wide, which is classic survival reaction stuff - rolling off throttle, tight on bars... chances are you're countering your steering input with your other hand.

    There are untold number of threads on NR about cornering - a few column inches with my name attached... get searching. here's a recent one:


    If you can afford it, get to a cornering school of any kind - superbike school level one is HIGHLY recommended.

    In the mean time, put the right info in your head from reading true cornering technology and talking to riders that you respect who understand not only what it is that they're doing but WHY.
  10. What do you mean by understeering? Are you just running wide, or are you actually pushing (sliding) the front?

    If you're running wide but still with complete traction it could be a lack of conscious counter steering or a lack of goolies. If you're sliding the front, it could be anything from body position to throttle control to trailing the front brake too heavily into the corner to poor suspension setup.
  11. Definately just going out wide.

    Lack of balls, I think it is lack of countersteer. they didn't say anything about countersteer at the Learners rider training I did and i've not had much experience on the road yet to pick it all up.
  12. I think you've just answered your own question here.
    Three words WILL help.
    1. Practice
    2. Practice
    3. Practice
    and don't worry so much about what you're mate is doing.
  13. Cool. This is the area where you will do more things wrong than any other. This is where you are soing to have to work on positioning your weight, and commiting to a corner more compleatly. So don't be stressed if on bad days you go backwards a little , just be patient. And always leave yourself a little bit of extra space. Look through the corner, not at where your wheel is, but where you want to go. this is one of the key things that keeps the bike going round, and not running wide.

    The mantra you live by is look where i want to go, don't look where i don't want to go.
  14. Cool, I've got a practice circuit that i do that has some nice corners for getting down low.

    I'll keep practicing by myself at my own pace and I know for a fact that I am getting better, chicken strips are gone on the tires :p just that I sometimes lack the sense and balls to lean the bike over more.
  15. Don't assume that chicken strips actually tell you anything.
    when I got my body moving correctly I started using less of the tire while moving faster.

    And on roads like the Spurs or GOR I recommend it when Riding a ZZR250.
    I love my bike to bits (Well i want a bigger bike but hey) but one thing about it, is that when you get it laid over and hit bad road (Corrugations and the like) the bike starts to chatter and the back wants to step out.

    By getting further off the bike (be patient you'll get there) you keep the bike more upright, and let the suspension absorb the corrugations instead of the bike skipping. When the bike feels more stable you will be able to move faster with greater safety.
  16. Sticking your knee out looks cool, but it's main purpose is actually to keep the hips untwisted when leaning out the body and weight shifting off the seat. It's not about getting the knee onto the deck. I think FL pointed that out.

    Getting the out gives you some other benefits - little bit of extra weight to the inside, perhaps an angle meter, perhaps a bit of drag to help turn the bike...

    Anyway, get the basics down first, e.g. looking through the corner (pointing your chin), leaning with shoulder and upper body, relaxed arms, unresisted push on the bar, gradually rolling on throttle as soon as comfortable etc. There are a lot of subtleties even in that basic list...
  17. when I first practiced my corners, I was very focussed on staying in my lane, cos after all the road isn't the race track and there are lanes for a reason, so stay in em and still keep your buffer zones and do your turns smoothly. it's all about the smoothness :)

    then worry about your body posture later - that will come naturally. get the safety of the turn down first
  18. Thanks guys!

    Went for a cruise around and took about an hour or two, I immediately realised my cornering sucked partially because i was concentrating on the vehicle in front of me, so i started looking through the turn and keeping an eye on the car with my peripheral vision just looking out for braking or anything like that.

    A few times i did go a little out wide, i used to panic. but that's now changed to telling myself that i can make it, and to just turn that little bit more and she was all good, after a bit my cornering improved greatly.

    I'm still nowhere even near perfect at it but i have improved and my confidence has been boosted with cornering. it's awesome!
  19. could possibly be suspension as well...

    If your mate has the same bike, swap and see if you both notice a difference.