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Cornering Lines. Track vs Road

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by mogley, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    So I'm trying to work on my cornering lines for the road focusing on safety first and foremost and am getting confused with what was taught at the MOST and conventional wisdom.

    Am i right in thinking generally on a race track we take the fastest line, wide entry, apex and throttle on with wide exit but on the road we want to enter wide but avoid the head on zone/apex and focus on a tight exit? (for right handers anyway, but even with left handers i prefer to stay as wide as long as possible to open up the corner for visibility and tend to finish tight)
  2. im no expert but i would say road lines vary greatly depending on if its a right hand or left hand corner.....

    what i mean is on a right hander i only use the other side of the road if i have clear vision through the corner when im setting up.... as youd only need the other lane for the apex.

    on left corners you have a clear apex and can assess if or how far to use the right hand side of the road both approaching the corner for the entry and again after the apex for the exit... so you dont have to see ALL the way through the corner, just far enough to know you will or can be back on your side on entry... and again as the corner opens up if you can see its clear to use the other side of the road you can twist and use it.

    ALSO... right hand corners restrict the amount of your own lane you can use cause if you're apexing near the centreline then you're leaning into the right hand lane, whereas if your apexing on a left at the edge of the road then you can often lean over the edge... effectively giving you a wider section of road that you can use.
  3. Depends on the corner. If you have good visibility take whatever line you like. Blind corners need the wide entry, quick turn and enough wriggle room to dodge whatever happens. (cars cutting corners, cyclists, kangaroos, potholes etc).
  4. For the road you only have your lane, nothing else.
    In wide, out tight with enough wiggle room to dodge or stop for fallen branches, oil spills, idiots coming the other way, kittens etc.
    If you can't stop in what you've got, you need to slow down and practice your e-brake.

    On the track, win it or bin it. Plan the best exit from the last turn before a long straight and work backwards from there.
  5. You need to be more conservative on the road. Need a margin for unknowns like an animal running out, gravel patch, etc. Ex-police riding trainer videos someone (sydneymadass?) linked to here say 'we sacrifice everything for safety' when explaining positioning and cornering.
  6. Agree, if you have visibility and conditions similar to what you would expect on a track (ie no oncoming traffic, clear vision, no potholes etc) then I think roadcraft/safety isn't as much of an issue but most of the time on the road there are so many variables that make things quite challenging.

    I guess what i'm trying to land on is just a set of basic principles you can apply to all road corners and then go from there and build upon those.

    It seems generally, start wide and finish tight and don't worry so much about the apex unless everything appears safe/good visibility. I'm generally most concerned about head-on risk, either on left handers by not turning in early enough or right handers from turning in too early.
    Also understand there is a lot more to this than just line (ie. throttle control) which is probably key to making sure you stay on the line you choose but I feel OK with that, just not sure what the safest line to take on the road is.

    NB: Most of the time if i'm riding on the road/commuting i'm more focused on roadcraft and buffering than taking lines around corners and most road corners are more like sweeping bends at best and at road speeds there is hardly any point picking lines/trying to have fun around these.

    I'm more interested in lines to take on real corners/twistys with maybe single or dual lane and then possibly oncoming traffic on the other side.
  7. I'd suggest that the two major factors that make roadcraft different to trackcraft and should affect the way you approach any situation on the road- be it a corner or anything else, are riding to your sight line- your speed should be dictated by how far ahead you can see, before any other factors come into play, and there should be something in the bank- don't ride at 11/10ths, keep that for the track. Naturally 8-9/10ths is going to be different for different people...

    Improving your siteline to give you more hazard warning distance may well compromise the 'ideal' cornering line, but that's roadcraft.

  8. Theory is kinda similar, but on a track yuo generally don't have oncoming traffic. Lean into a right hand corner and stick your head over the line and you'll have it taken off if something surprises you coming the other way.

    So it's the little things :)

    Me, I ride to what I can see. If I cannot see a piece of road, I prepare to have to avoid something there. Doesn't mean you stop or become paranoid, just be ready and maybe release the right hand from the beans a little.

  9. The same ex-police riding instructor refers to this as "dead ground", you cannot see what is there due to a bend, crest, dip or similar. Work to eliminate the dead ground, stay wide to increase the view around the corner, prepare to manoeuvre or stop, then when you can see the way is clear, proceed as you see fit in the conditions.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. you are pretty much correct there.

    rather than try to explain every single aspect of corning,
    i will give you a few simple litmus tests you can apply to any other advice you might receive;

    #1 - if you take different line with oncoming traffic as opposed to the line you would take without oncoming traffic, then your line without oncoming traffic is wrong

    #2 - you can imagine goal posts extending up from the white lines either side of your lane, if any part of your bike or body crosses directly over those lines, you just had a 'virtual-off', the next step up from a virtual off is a real off

    #3 - the cornering lines you take on left and right hand corners should be the mirrored images of each other (refer back to #1 & #2)
  11. You're pretty much on the money OP.

    For road - wide in, tight out. Slow in, fast out.
    For track - smooth lines and apexes.

    I'm sure [MENTION=16699]raven[/MENTION] and others will chime in soon enough.
  12. road = oncoming 4wd's =

    lefties i try to stick as far to left as possible the whole way, suppose you could enter wide
    + keep in mind the possibility of running wide

    righties i stick to the right side with the thought i have room (to the left) to move and adjust. (swerve)
  13. Oh god - mate this is wrong.

    Think about giving yourself 'space' - with both of the lines you have mentioned you have nothing. On the left hander you can't see very far ahead at all so you are guessing, on the right hander you are hugging the centre line (AKA the kill zone) and making the corner tighter than it needs to be.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. what if you need more room to move on the right hander?
    if you enter wide you have nowhere to move on your left side
    (obviously you account for oncoming traffic)

    same with the left hander= if you come in wide you have no room on your right side
    (without moving into the oncoming lane)

    another obvious thing but hard in practise=
    look where you want to go, never look at cars or the fence
  15. Mmmm... Generally speaking...There are all kinds of lines. Non are wrong, but will be wrong if used on the wrong corner...and then there is 'THE' line.

    For instance... On the road the late turn (quick turn), is quite appropriate. On the track it will send you to the end of the pack, because it leavest the door open for other riders to dive underneath you, and pull a perfectly legit passing manouvre, so the late turn would be wrong. The actual racing line would be correct. Of course, if the rider is behind 1-2vseconds back, then you have time to take advantage.

    If you want to run the classic sports version of wide - apex - wide, then you can quite easily do so on your own side of the road. I thought that would be self evident.

    Whatever line you choose, commit to it, along with the minor changes you only do as required ( but always, always have a plan 'B' )... Or ride it out as best you can. At that point you are trying to maintain control, so what if the line is wrong.

    Maintain flexibility, and be ready to change your line completely if it's necessary.
  16. This thread needs pictures:
    • Like Like x 4