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Cornering Technique: What to do when drifing wide?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Zane Marx, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. Hey Guys,

    I could really use your help with this one, I am a newish rider still getting to grips with the intricacies of riding. Lately I have been having some problems with cornering and what to do when you find yourself drifting wide.

    Now I know the key techniques for taking a corner:

    1. Road Position
    2. Speed – choosing the appropriate speed for a corner
    3. Gear
    4. Accelerate out
    5. (Oh and I’ll throw in counter steer and body/head position while in the corner)

    While I try and maintain and practice all the key elements of safe cornering and I have found on occasion I have been drifting wide on a bend. I have done a lot of reading about it and while most sources give you information on how best to set up and take the corner I haven’t been able to find great information about what to do when you find yourself in this dangerous situation of drifting wide. How best to correct the bike and your road position. For all you Sydney riders one of the places I find I do this a bit is ‘the snail’ coming onto the harbour bridge from the cahill express way heading north. I always find myself heading to the outside lane. It may be because I’m afraid of giving it too much acceleration during the bend but who knows.

    Your help/advice would be appreciated.

  2. Easy fix. Turn more.

    Get on youtube and watch all the videos with the numpties maintaining bugger all lean angle (or even picking the bike up) and running straight off the outside of the corner. How many can you find that come into a decreasing radius corner or have simply come in too quick, visibly increased lean angle to correct themselves running wide, and then lowsided? Next to none.

    You've gotta be in it to win it.

    If you're regularly running wide though, I would bet your corner entry is dodgy or your bike control simply isn't there.

  3. +1 to that

    simple asnwer is to counter steer/lean harder into the turn. :)
  4. Well, step one is to go and see which Netrider gets around a track quickest...


    Nah, seriously, there's lots of good advice here. But I believe the quickest and safest way to get this fixed is to get yourself off a a good training school and learn properly from the beginning. It'll pay dividends for years ahead.
    Worth the cost.
  5. Ok cool, I'll give it a try next time I find myself starting to drift wide.

    Devotard, I'm not running wide regularly just occasionally, I want to try and get my technique down properly now so that I don't have issues in the future and I know what to do if I find myself in that situation.

    Further question, is it like trying to recover a slide when driving a car, you give it more acceleration as well? So for the bike, as you lean in more you give it more throttle?

  6. keep in mind that the cb400 has fairly low pegs compared to a lot of other bikes. i scrape the feelers alot and don't consider myself to be getting massively far over.

    in a tight lean you want to maintain constant speed so that your tyres grip is being used to the maximum effect for cornering.
  7. Junglist, totally agree. The first time I was going through a right hander and felt the peg and the outside of my foot hit the tarmac I almost browned my pants, I also tried to straigten up and ended up running wide, felt like a right moron. I turned the bike around and took the corner 4 more times till I stopped felling like I would wet myself. Its more than a litte scary the first time you get to pegs on the road. I was feel like hot sh.t getting myself fully leaned in, that showed me, haha :oops:
  8. Just to echo what's been said before... Lean more.

    I'm a fairly new rider myself and therefore no expert, but at my license training course they showed us how to get through decreacing radius corners by leaning in more as the curve tightened up.

    Try it on a quiet road if you can, or maybe even book in for a private lesson somewhere to get some one-on-one advice with a pro. Most places that do license courses will do one-one-one training as well.
  9. i still haven't decided if that's fun.

    i'm pretty sure it is as long as the traffic isnt too slow!
  10. Keep it simple. You need to turn more if you're not making the corner. Same as a car, or pushy, or horse.

    Don't open it up, don't brake, just lean it in. Consider this, if the bike isn't going where you want it to, are you out of control? That is worse form than poor lines, poor body position or any other thing that you can think of.

    Slow down, and make a point of choosing where you want to be, and make a point of getting there. Everything else is secondary.
  11. You've got good advise above but knowing the corner you're talking about, it's likely that vision is your issue.

    The problem with the snail is that you can't see far enough ahead and you must be anticipating the corner ending, but it doesn't. So you keep running wide. Some corner through National Park are the same.

    Probably you need to bleed off speed so that you're not going faster than you can see and find another corner to fast on.

    Just a thought. :)
  12. What do you mean by "drifting" wide..?
    You mean the front end is losing traction, or are you just running wide on the exit...as in...your trajectory is taking you wide?

    As the other blokes said...if it'sa a matter of trjectory, then change it by leaning more through countersteering. But the best thing is to not be too hot in the first place...so back it off a bit, and plan to turn on the true apex of the corner, which sounds like it's a little later than you are judging??...and then don't get back hard on the gas until you can see the exit..
  13. The most likely reasons you are running wide are:
    * Turning too early, it sets your trajectory wrong through the corner and you run wide on exit.
    * Backing off the throttle mid turn, it loads the front and makes the bike run wide. Stay on throttle and roll it on slowly, it will lift the front and you will make the turn easy.
    * Not looking through the corner towards the exit and beyond.
    * Hugging the inside of the corner instead of staying to the outside.

    You should do California Superbike School, they will fix your technique.
  14. +1 to what most have said.
    Zane.. it appears it you that you may be setting your turn point too early.
    I was doing it most times as well, and it's usually due to being scared of not making the corner, which is ironic because beginning your turn too early will cause you to run wide on the exit.. something you can't afford to do especially on a right hander :shock:
    Slow Down ... move your turn point later, countersteer and look though the exit to where you intend to finish up.
    I am no 'expert' <<< :LOL: ( that's an understatement), but I can relate to what you are experiencing and it took a gradual approach for me to come to terms with what I was doing wrong.
  15. Maybe you are going into the corner at a speed faster than you are comfortable of handling.

    take little steps.
  16. I've not had to recover any serious slides, so I'm ill-equipped in the practical sense (one of the more experienced riders can follow up?)

    If the rear wheel steps out, my understanding is:
    * Maintain or slightly roll on more throttle - not aiming to spin up the rear wheel, but shutting the throttle down is a bad idea and is the first thing your reflexes will want to do.
    * The bike will steer into the slide all by itself, so don't fight its self-correction. Stay 'loose' on the handlebars, don't tense up.

    (Twist of the Wrist 2 talks about it in more detail, IIRC - best to do a Search for the download link here on Netrider)
  17. I think you've got this part back to front, have'nt you?...
    ...Rolling OFF the throttle will tend to tighten up the turn under normal circumstances...getting ON the throttle too early will push you wide...

    I think you might have meant starting out wide and pitching in toward the apex...although you do stay out wide UNTIL you spot the apex, then turn in. Just to restate it a little more clearly :)

    Yep..always a good suggestion. :)

  18. Hey raven, when I say drifting wide I'm referring to drifting wide on the exit of the turn or occasionally during the turn. The front end is definitely not loosing traction, I’m not taking in that much speed into the corners.

    I think, as a number of you have mentioned its probably a case of taking the wrong trajectory into the corner.

    I have to say this is probably part of the problem.

    Matress king, Its definitely fun if there is no traffic on the road.

    (on a slight chage of topic, how the hell do I include a quote and the persons name?)

  19. When you approach corners that you are'nt familiar with, or find a bit hard to negotiate...it's standard practice to run in a little slower...stay out wide, and force yourself to stay out there and not drift back in, UNTIL you see the proper apex point. Then countersteer and sweep in toward the apex...look for the exit, and as soon as you see that, you can start rolling on the power.

    It's a conservative approach to a corner - something that is important unless you know it very well - especially those blind corners that tighten up on themselves, or double apex corners.

  20. use this advice at your own risk...

    when i find i'm running wide, i say to my self "push push push" and i push on the inside hand grip and countersteer the bike over more, tighten up my line, and hopefully that's all i need to get around safely. the rear brake also helps when used whilst keeping the throttle constant.

    that's all i do. i'm no pro rider tho... far from it :LOL: