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Cornering technique on my hot sports bike

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by backmarker, May 2, 2008.

  1. Ok, so it’s really a Honda Lead 100 scooter, but if I put that in the heading no-one would look and help me out… :grin:

    A couple of months ago I lowsided my scooter on a tight roundabout, doing a right hand turn. Too much speed, too much lean(?), I heard a scraping and next I know I’m sliding along the road. Ouch!

    Now, I’m a little different to many scooter riders – I like to go riding in the hills. In fact, my path to buying a scooter was something like this: I want to get on two wheels, a scooter is cheap transport, a 50cc is just scary in traffic (and if you derestrict it you’re in trouble without a licence and your insurance is stuffed). So, get a bigger scooter to keep up with the traffic, and gee, darn, I need to get my bike licence!

    Goal number one achieved! :)

    I can’t justify a proper bike as I live 10 minutes from work, and I have my kids to play with on the weekend, so there’s no time to really enjoy a bike. Now, all I have to do is shift the family further from work and I can justify a bike (goal number two).

    I like to take a break a lunch and head into the hills (five minutes from my office). For a 60 to 90 minute ride I can have a great run through the hills, in areas that are suited to the Lead’s humble speed. But since the slide, I’m a tad nervous in cornering. I have started to lean my body much more into the corners to keep the scooter more upright, but feel like a bit of an idiot (more than usual? I do ride a scooter…).

    So, to the questions:
    1) How much can I expect from the tyres that come standard on a Honda Lead’s big 10 inch wheels? I want to feel happy taking corners at a sensible speed of around 15k over the recommended speed sign. Am I expecting too much?
    2) Am I being over-cautious by leaning my body into corners at these speed and therefore looking like a super try-hard on a scooter? :oops:

    Advice from proper motorcyclists who have also ridden Lead scooters would be especially helpful (and from reading various threads over time, I know there are a few!).

  2. There's some compromises you've got to accept dude. Scoots can be awesome fun, but their cornering limits are easily found if you take them into the mountains and have a crack.

    You're doing what you can with hanging off etc, but you've got to realise that suspension, tyres and ground clearance aren't working in favour of you pushing it too much further.

    The Gilera Nexus is a scoot that can boogie, but you might be able to slip an old Suzuki Across past the missus if you point out the boot on it, which makes it just about as practical as a scoot, even if it chews fuel quicker. Still, it's a case of horses for courses and you'll just have to accept that there's limits to what your vehicle can do!


    1) Your tyres will probably handle nearly twice the posted recommended speed, but your ground clearance and suspension might not. You'd be very safe at 15kmh over, surely.

    2) If you want to go faster, yes you'll have to hang off, so work on that.
  3. So Loz, what you're saying is that if I want to be a try hard, I'm going to have to look like a try-hard? :(

    But seriously, I read it as meaning that although the tyres will hang on, they will be compromised on any bumps due to the suspension being designed for easy city driving, and if I touch something down, I'm going to upset the balance of the bike. I actually wonder if my 'off' wasn't created by hitting the centre stand down?

    I suppose my problem is that because the Lead has no power, I have to try to carry speed through the corners in order to keep a respectable pace going. Plus I don't want to discover that I'm exceeding the scooter's limit at 60 around a corner!

    Thanks for the response.

    Oh, and no surprise that this heading got you in, Loz!
  4. Believe me, you cant corner on a scooter like on a bike. Nearly found out the hard way last weekend.. :shock:

    Almost had the front wheel wash out on me from being to cocky on it.. Amd this thing is supposed to be a sports scooter.. They dont lean and turn like a sports bike. :grin:
  5. Hmmm, seems like conservative riding and using my body to lean me more and the scooter less is the way to go.

    But does everyone agree that 15-20k over the recommended speed signs on a reasonable road should be ok? Is that conservative enough?
  6. That sounds like the worst ever way to set your corner speed, but whatever works for you.
  7. Ok, devotard, then how should a newbie like me do it? Obviously I have little experience. In a car I am happy pushing on a road I know to the point when I get feedback from tyres and start to lose traction, but I figure that's not such a great idea on two wheels.

    I appreciate your posting on this thread, but a tad more info could be helpful...
  8. You're assuming that the sign posted recommended speed is a consistent measurement of how quickly the corner can be taken. That's the point I was taking issue with.

    As for finding the limit of your scoot, it is something you have to sneak up on gradually unless you're willing to chuck it down the road a few more times. Ground clearance is an easy one, once the shit starts to scrape you aren't going over much more. Tires are more difficult, especially when you throw in inconsistent surfaces. It's the same as your car, you can push till you start to lose traction, but this is not how you want to be riding on the road.
  9. As Loz said, your tyres are going to be good to go but the limiting factor is your suspension and clearance. Forget the posted signs and get a feel for what you are doing. If something starts to touch down you may have to back off a little. Pretty simple really.
  10. I ride a lead around town and an ER6 everywhere else. The lead isn't suited to twisties. To me it tips in too quickly early. Perfect tire profile for the city but not anywhere else. The lack of power means you can't accelerate through corners and there is a tendency to push it under you like a trail bike. So be careful!
  11. Twinstngo, thanks for your opinion - your experience is just what I was hoping for, givin that you ride a bike and also a Lead.

    Sounds like I'll just take is nice and slow-ish. Mind you, I'll still be going into the hills, because its fun. I gotta get a real bike one day!