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Cornering technique - making an entrance

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by wedge, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. I thought id throw this up, its from a sports riding technique book. It reads really well and has some awesome info. This is a snippet from the cornering and braking chapter. Mainly talking about entry and control coming into the corner.


    The initial difficulty in setting up a turn begins at the corner entrance. Many riders rush the entrance, carrying to much speed into the corner, forcing themselves to stay on the brakes too hard and too long before trying to turn the bike.
    A corners maximum radius can be enjoyed only if the rider has the discipline to run a wide entrance line deeper into the corner. All the effort you’ve spent rolling off the throttle, squeezing on the brakes and smoothly downshifting will help this disciplined, controlled corner entrance because the bike will remain settled and your brain unruffled. By taking a wider entrance line, you will be effectively enlarging the radius of the corner, thus reducing the lean angle needed at certain, or increasing the speed possible at a certain lean angle.

    Since the apex of the a corner generally represent the point of maximum lean angle, it becomes a reference point to help determine when to begin the drive off the corner. There might be corners where you brake right past the apex because a tighter corner follows immediately, but getting the apex will give you the ability to select the necessary control for the upcoming future. At the apex of a corner, you should be able to see the exit of the corner and your eyes should find the point of maximum exit radius.

    I think this pretty much sums up correct cornering…….The word used to describe a good turn is; efficient. Not quick, flick, hammer, throw…those words denote aggression and have been part of riders’ vocabularies for too long. You’re going to squeeze the brakes and smoothly roll on the throttle, so carry those methods to adding lean angle points as well. Yes certain corners require quicker steering, but keep efficiency in mind and don’t simply throw your bike into a corner – try to steer you bike through the corner smoothly and efficiently.


    I like this picture, it shows the rider riding wide at the entrance of the corner and turning in towards the apex in one smooth line.
    Instead of turning too early and having to complete another turn to stay inline with the exit of corner.

    This is the type of cornering ive been trying to employ in my riding. Using the whole lane to cut down the apex when turning in and exiting. When you get it right, it feels damn good and so smooth.
  2. There can be a problem with that, if a rider is coming the opposite way, they exit close to the line and you start on the line. Seen it happen the rider just missed each other by like 10 cm.

    But all that aside, its a good thing to be doing.
  3. Good call Cleverlie, you could combat that by trying to see round the corner and look for other riders exiting.
    In a perfcet circumstance, you would be leaning into the corner and the other rider would be leaning out, kind of like an opposite lean situation.

    But things could be sketchy, but if done right would look awesome :wink:
  4. Mate..apex are only for the track. Where known conditions prevail.
    There are a number of problems apexing a corner on the road.
    1. Reduced visiblity..by staying wider longer you increase the distance around the corner. Not only you can see if the corner tightens up, you can see the debris, or car on your side of the road sooner.

    2. If you commit to an apex, then you have no/very little control over your point of exit. Almost all of us, thinking we are going to fast, will tip it in too early, then we run wide on exit.

    3. On RH sometimes a car or truck coming towards you, on your side of the road. You may know this corner, well practiced, clipping the apex everytime, and know what speed you can negotiate it at. So your on a spirited run, and all of a sudden the caravan is there. Damn, now I need to go wide, but I what line do I take?....oh you haven't pacticed the wide line, how close to the edge can I go? oh sh1t gravel? target fixation.?
    The other problem is the truck or caravan is blocking your line of vision, so you can't look where you want to go.

    Take the wide line on the road, It saved my life once...had a 4x4 with their passenger sitting on the centre line, coming towards me. The corner for them was a 180 sweeping downhill, and he'd made an error of judgement.. The 4x4 was in massive understeer as it approached me. Had a truck or bus been where I was on the road, there would have been impact.

    We cannot go out and think our road is clear..to many variables.
    Save the apexing for the track...which is good fun, I might say.
    Safe riding.
  5. Well which part of the corner do you use as your apex?? As every corner needs an apex for you to reach a maximum radius, for entry and then to complete your exit. Or do you maintain yourself in the middle of the lane, which allows for little correction if you run wide. As you are already heading away from the apex of the corner and running wide.

    The way i see it and the way i corner allows me to see further around the corner before i turn in and allows for any unknown circumstance.
    So having a wide entrance, equals better vision. Thus turning into the corner and aiming for the apex gives you MORE room to run wide if you havent spotted your line correctly. BECAUSE you have hit the apex of the corner, you are given more room from the inside of your line.

    A true fact for right handers is that your exposing yourself to any on coming traffic that has decided to take the corner wide. But this comes down to the corner itself and the field of vision you have. A tighter corner requires you to slow down alot more (less field of vision) than if you were heading around a sweeper (but the sweeper allows a better field of vision).

    This is the same technique they teach you at advanced courses.
    It also works for me and has worked for many others.

    Are you talking about a wide entry or exit? As this is how the corner should be. A wide entrance allowing field of vision and a wide exit after hitting the apex.
  6. Doesn't every corner have an apex? :-k

    Wedge, I totally get the article and think it says good stuff, but personally, on the road I find myself with a bit of internal resistance to doing the wide & late corner entry tip in, especially on right handers where the road edge is soft... or doesn't exist like on the way up to Kinglake... :shock: (..watch that first step... it's a dooozey!)

    Then there's the issue of late and wide into left handers, which means turning in from near the centre line. That can be exciting when oncoming traffic appears - especially if they're surfin close to the white line or indeed cutting the corner altogether.

    I do play with the late turn and quick steer from time to time on the road - I totally understand the better vision theory and the less time of the edge of the tyre - but I've come to the conclusion it gives you about half a bees dick extra time of better vision compared to just tracking round the corner following it's radius (for the most part) and applying good throttle control.

    Good to see a good quality cornering OP by the way. :)
  7. For the kind of corner drawn in the diagram, the info on technique is pretty much spot on.
    It's certainly how I ride that kind of corner...

    The important thing though, is to use this technique conservatively..When riding on roads that I don't know I will use the 2/3rd rule.
    That is...I leave one third of the inside and outside of the road and keep that up my sleeve..
    On roads I know...I use it all if I am riding spiritedly...but am watchful of the oncoming lanes in case a vehicle or bike DOES get over into my lane. (I've had to duck around the odd morror here and there, when going though right handers) :shock:
  8. From that illustration the guy is riding on the wrong side of the road completely!!!!!!
    You should have reversed the picture for Australian audiences.
  9. Yep, I "take the wide line, go deep, turn late" approach. I find it does give me more options for the exit line I take, because a race line at a given speed does pretty well commit you to an exit line, which can mean go wide if you misjudge. Okay, so the wide line isn't as fast, but I find it safer. Also, if I judge it right I will end up on the inside line of the corner, which gives me lots of scope to crank on the throttle earlier, which will drift the bike out near the outside line of the corner. If I judge it wrong, and go in too fast, I have the whole width of the exit lane to get the bike around the corner. Slow in, fast out, with the option of faster out. :grin:

    For me, this is especially true on the Kinglake road, where oncoming traffic often wants to use your lane. I usually hold the wide line as long as I can even in the face of oncoming traffic, as they often get the hint and move over a bit, and it allows me maximum braking prior to an adjustment to my line, ducking to the inside of the corner at lower speed, to avoid going wide. Lots of cages cut corners on that road just for comfort reasons, they can turn harder, and stay in their lane, they just wont do it if you move over too early to avoid them! [Frankly, if they were going too fast to get around the corner without using my lane, tough. I'll stop to see if they are hurt in the resulting crash. :twisted: ]

    Besides, you have to take a wide line on the Kinglake road, because if you take a race line and apex at the centre of the left hand corners, you'll hit the posts placed on those corners!

    We had one bloke head butt a mirror on a ride last Saturday. No damage to him. No idea about the mirror. :shock:
  10. Punching a mirror I can understand... but headbutting one is just plain old soccer hooliganism and there's just no place for that in Australia!!!!


    You know what Roderick, I think you and I need to go for a twisty ride together and go at our natural respective paces - I think that would be an interesting coffee right after :)
  11. unfortunately you would find corners that smooth mostly only in highway or suburban street.

    there are blind corners in mt road
  12. Only if it was one of my good days Rob, and I was in the groove.

    You would almost definitely win on speed anyway Rob. My pace is safe and enjoyable, with plenty left for unexpected situations. Still, I'm not slow on a good day, on a good road. :cool:
  13. This is the part i like about the said cornering technique.

    Again it may not be the same for every corner, riding new roads, shocking road surface all play a part on your cornering. For me the tech just feels right and gets me through the corner as quick as the big bikes. Did this on the nasho on Sunday, catching the litre bikes and then watching them fade away on the straights :LOL:

    Kingsake eh? Sounds like one to mark on the 'to do' map :wink:

    Happ cornering.
  14. Damn double posts :LOL:
  15. Yep, Kinglake road, or "Heidleberg - Kinglake Road" more correctly.

    Interesting (challenging) uphill from St Andrews to Kinglake. Extremely technical (scary) downhill from Kinglake to St Andrews, especially into the setting sun, or on heavy traffic days. Some people refuse to ride the road, because it is difficult, which makes it all the more interesting. :grin:

    Definitely one to put on the must do list. More difficult than the Reefton Spur, and much more difficult than the infamous Black Spur, although much slower. Expect gravel and traffic, and respect the corner speed signs. One corner is marked 15Km/h, and they mean it. :!:
  16. Yes every corner has an apex..but you don't need to use it. :)

    And you said this later (I think it's what you ment) that "tracking around the corner following it's radius." means your not using the apex?

  17. Yeh Ron, sometimes I follow all the good cornering practices, late wide entry, solid acceleration from the apex... other times when I see through the corner well and feel like being a passenger, I follow the track of the road and don't even get off the seat or lean - I let the bike lean. It's kinda fun. If I'm really lazy, I'll roll on just enough to track with a constant speed. I spose in this instance the whole corner is an apex ??

    ?Dunno, has that answered your question?
  18. Yes..it does. But the apex is still there...we?/I just don't use it.

    I actually don't find a need to climb off the bike on the road very often..just lazy tilt the bike in, usually just following the outer wheel track, It's not the fastest way thru, but, like yourself, it's easy to be smooth. I find it very relaxing, as it is for me, "no stress cornering."

    Oh I'd like to be in on that ride,with RoderickGI and yourself. Would be interesting to say the least. :wink:
  19. Ok..You don't need to use the apex. Just stay in the outer wheel track until the corner finishes, then move to the other wheel track if the next corner is the other way.

    I totally agree with your second paragraph, up to the "better vision."

    The problem with riding on the road and turning in and aiming for the apex, is that, if it is a compound corner or a double apex, corner tightens, you don't see it until too late. If your committed in, then your line out is too. All wrong. You said by staying wide you can see further through the corner...why give this up, by aiming at the apex?
    The belief that you have more room to run wide is not true, because you have less room, as you are angling across your lane, towards either the centre line or kerb, and not along it.
    The wide line is not as sharp, and the wheel tracks are usually the cleanest/grippiest place to put the tyres.
    IMHO most of us, if we misjudge a corner, and think we are carrying too much speed, it's instictive that we will tip it in too early. This is not what we want to happen. If we tip it in too early then we exit too early and then either, cross the centre line, we maybe lucky and no car is there, or if the corner is the other way, run off the road. Every time anyone runs wide on an exit there is a risk..it's these risk we need to minimise.
    A few years ago riding west on the Barry Way, (before I'd done rider training) I tipped it into the apex, only to find this bloody great rock jutting out over the road. I ducked, don't know how close, but it scared the daylights out of me.

    Wide line...all, entry, thru and exit. I was tipped in in the LH wheel track on a RH corner...when I did see the 4x4, it was just a matter of rolling off the throttle and gettiing some braking done, while giving him some more room. I still could have reached out and touched the 4x4 as it when by. If I'd been anywhere near the centre line, I think I would have had problem of target fixation, and a head-on may have happened. I'm just relieved I wasn't there. :)

    If there is debris in my chosen chosen wheel track, then i still need to avoid it, and it is easier to make a small adjustment, as I've seen it earlier.

    I hope I've explained the advantages and disadvantages of using and not using the apex. Sure it's faster to use the apex..but that's for the racetrack. The use of the apex of a corner on the road is risk that I don't need.