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Cornering on a Cruiser

Discussion in 'Cruisers' started by nathanshnoz, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. Hi all,

    Just curious as to what you all think is the best protocol? I have been reading bits in the 'New riders' section but it all seems to relate to 'road bikes' not cruisers. I get the feeling I'm not getting around some corners as fast as i should or could be and would be interested to hear any advice on how to corner properly or at least more effectively on a cruiser? It seems that on mine (VT250C) i could effectively go pegs down and it would be fine, i mean it has fairly wide tyres and all, just curious as to the best 'technique' for cornering to maintain a good speed and a nice line in and out of the corner. Doesn't seem to be any advice around specifically for cornering on cruisers.
    Any help/assistance appreciated.
  2. #2 robsalvv, Aug 4, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Wow, I can't believe a subject title like that has gone unscathed for three hours!!

    Nathan, the subject title is an oxymoron!! LOL


    Seriously though, virtually everything you read on here about cornering applies to cruisers, but at slower speeds because they have less ground clearance. Most cruisers will corner fine... but you really have to lean off to get around medium corners with any mumbo, or risk decking furniture which could make things go pear shaped.
  3. Hey there nathanshnoz

    The technique you use for cornering with a cruiser is the same as for any other road bike. Your approach to a corner, countersteering, shifting weight, apexing, braking, the line you take - any road bike technique you read up on will apply. And just like any other road bike you need to learn your bike's limits. The difference between your average cruiser and a sportsbike in this respect is that cruisers by design do not allow you the same amount of lean angle, and will not be as agile.

    For example, as Rob has mentioned, you've by and large got less ground clearance and you'll have pegs or floorboards hitting the ground a lot sooner than on other roadbikes. Cruiser tyres won't have the same sort of profile as a sports bike, won't generally have as much grip and aren't designed for maximum lean - however on many cruisers you'll have hardware scraping along the ground before you can get to the edge of your tyre anyway and chicken strips are just something you're going to have to learn to live with. :wink:

    In your situation, you'd be well advised to read up on all the good advice given on riding technique here (raven often posts up some good info) and put it into practice. You can corner just fine on a cruiser, and scrape your pegs around every corner if you wish to. You can even hang off the side to get round faster if you really get the urge (but it looks kind of silly on a cruiser :LOL: ) Get to learn your bike's limits. It's not going to perform like a sportsbike, but you didn't buy a cruiser because you wanted it to perform like a sportsbike. However you can have just as much fun in the twisties as anyone else!
  4. I've found that counter steering on a cruiser is more about lightly pulling on the outside bar as opposed to pushing on the inside bar, but other than that it's just a case of remembering your bike weighs twice as much as the guy on the sports ahead of you and that if you try to get right into a curve, your pegs WILL scrape. :grin:
    I've certainly never had any trouble keeping up with my mates on their sports bikes until we reach a straight and seriously you don't want to be going > 160kph when sitting upright anyway (you'll rip your arms off at the shoulder, elbow and wrist from the wind).
  5. Cornering on a cruiser is the same as on any other motorcycle. You have some things to be aware of though. Most of this comes down to learning your own bike and how it handles. Do this BEFORE you try scraping your boards around Reefton or Putty Road.

    1. Modern cruisers have a trend towards wide rear tyres. I had my first experience with these the other day (went from my 180 to a testride bike with a 250 tyre). You have muscle the bike into the corners more (countersteer) but otherwise no different in technique. The older bikes with the narrower profile tyres don't require as much input.

    2. Your wheel base is up to 1 METRE more than a sportier model, plus you have the longer front rake. The bike won't be as twitchy in response to your input, but also won't be as responsive

    3. You have +75 to +150kg on the lighter bikes. Learn to control your entry speed (more in #4). You may find that trailbraking (lightly dragging your rear brake) through a corner helps with stability (I find this in tighter corners like a couple near my house).

    4. Your peak torque is often available at much lower RPM. Watch this when you try to power out of corners - you will often be sitting right in that RPM band. Makes for good pickup out of corners but you need to be careful about traction as you learn your bikes individual characteristics.

    5. Your bike, due to its weight and the habits of manufacturers to put totally inadequate brakes on the bike, will need its braking inputs earlier in approach to the corner. Learn to get it right. Big air-cooled V-Twins have significant engine drag, which you can use to your advantage in braking too.

    The best advice I was given about cornering early (aside from "you ride like a nanna, try using that throttle thing" - thanks Glen) was to learn to be smooth and consistant before you try to get faster and tighter. So go through the whole process until it becomes second nature to you and there is no mid-corner adjustments (barring unexpected trouble). Then you can start braking a little later, tipping a little more, shifting your own weight more, etc.
  6. thanks for the feedback guys. considering where i live i have to tackle some pretty full-on corners on a regular basis so things should improve more over time, not that i am bad at cornering, or not that i think i am, was just interested in technique.
  7. don't try to corner solely by leaning...... i counter steer and then sit upright, not lean with the bike,,,,, the bars tend to steer a bit better not needing as much "lean" to get it to turn without scraping boards. That's just scary!
  8. So lean away from the bike's lean angle? i.e., stay upright while the bike leans?????

    You realise that by doing that you INCREASE the lean angle of the bike and INCREASE the chance of decking the boards??
  9. i find that by leaning away from the bike, it corners better and i actually scrapes the boards less.... probably just my style of cornering. But i can see the bars turning more by riding that way. Especially when turning at roundabouts and U-Turns. As they say.... horses for courses. What works for me might not work for others and vice versa :)
  10. Dude what you say works for slow speed manouvering, but is not recommended for proper cornering. Increasing the probability of decking pegs/boards at speed is not a positive.

    What kind of bike do you ride?
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. go as hard as you please, and if you hear a grinding noise, slow up a bit.
  12. on the highway, i mostly use counter steering.... my "style" of cornering is usually on slower type corners 60kph or less. I have spoken to other larger cruiser riders and a few of them corner the same way, it's one of the few ways you can avoid board scraping. Maybe i'm not explaining it properly :? What i get, on slower corners is more of a turn on the bars, rather than leaning the bike over.......
    I ride a Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic.
  13. :LOL: :LOL: that's and excellent way to put it!! :grin:
  14. Are you guys serious about this? I have heard this before the old 'you will scrape the pegs on the cruiser before you risk leaning too far into a corner and sliding off' maybe my confidence isn't good enough to try it, but in light rain the other day i didn't lean much at all and the arse was sliding out. im just having trouble determining how hard i can lean into corners and how fast i should be taking them, i feel like i am taking them too slowly
  15. of course it was!
    9 times out of 10, you will scrape on a cruiser before you reach the tyres limits, but there are too many variables for it to be gospel.
  16. just take them at a speed YOU are comfortable with..... not what you think you should be cornering at. no such thing as "too" slow..... if that's what you are comfortable with, then it's fast enough :)
  17. I was curious enough about cruiser riding to hire one myself few monts ago! :LOL: :LOL: It was a 800cc Triumph Speedmaster.

    Ended up scraping footpegs left & right on most turns even in the city/suburban ride(eg entering the ramp into Epping Rd. from Lanecove Rd.) I tried it again last month during the Kawasaki Rideday on Vulcan 900 and still scraping pegs. So.... its just a matter of learning the limit/the lean angle until you hear that krrrrrtt noise, then you will learn to adjust/adapt your speed for the corner. Its still a fun experience that one.
  18. Boy have I got a lot to learn,,, I have been cornering just by leaning... After reading this on my daily ride today on a clear stretch of road with a left hand bend coming up at about 60 kmh I gently pushed the left bar forward and the bike went zot leaning to the left :shock: Naturally I wasnt prepared for it as my pea brain was telling me wheel to the right bike goes right. My body was wanting to remain upright....

    LOL I really got to get my head arround all this.

    Ok these questions might seem stupid but I have to ask it....but because I am stupid it should be ok LOL

    What are the advantages of counter steering cornering as opposed to leaning cornering ?

    When should the different cornering techniques be applied ?

  19. You should counter steer at any time you are doing more than about 10 kph.
    If you don't you will wear yourself out and a tired rider makes more mistakes.
  20. WTF is leaning cornering? :?

    If you lean your body and the bike turns, you must be pushing on the bar without your knowledge. A bike doesn't steer any other way.

    Dude, you need to get a mentor or get some one on one instructor time or get to an intermediate course STAT.

    In the meantime, start reading these articles:

    http://www.msgroup.org/Articles.aspx?Cat=4 Steering tips
    http://www.msgroup.org/Articles.aspx?Cat=5 Handling in a Curve Tips

    and come back with questions.