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First week and bit..........

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by mexiwi, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. So I have had my bike for about 10 days now.

    I have done about 600km on it. Slowly increasing distance and taking plenty of breaks.

    Today decided to go for a decent bit of a jaunt - http://goo.gl/maps/n46Yu

    Just on 200km in total.

    I have done the first bit a couple times now - the road where you turn off Melton Highway at the windmill (Doug suggested it) is nice a quiet and straight and good for emergency braking practice - I start with a couple there and then a couple more on the way home.

    Thru to Gisborne was good - although first time I have ridden in strong wind - it does move you around doesn't it? I figured 240kg of GSX650F + 140kg of me it wouldn't be going far but no.... then i remembered it blows 2 tonnes of car around on the road.

    Got thru Macedon and up to the cross, my first issue - negotiating the turn radii ok - but trying to pick my way through all the gum tree detritus is pretty hazardous - just had to slow down a pick my way through, was valuable to feel how much that debris on the road affects the bike - but also that just hitting a twig isn't going to instantly throw me off.

    Back down and around Mt Macedon to Woodend for lunch - nice break and stretch and regather thoughts.

    Next bit thru to Trentham - more tree debris on the road but it cleared up then from Trentham down to Greendale.

    This part was quite enjoyable - sweepers, some slower but i also had a major fcuk up.

    From what I remember it was a left hand corner - longish - 80kph limit and I think signposted at 60kph. I entered at what I thought was a good speed but just ran completely wide and into the middle of the other lane - there was a rh corner not too much further ahead and I couldn't see if anything was coming so just stood the bike up - and ran right onto the rh shoulder and stopped the bike off the road - just as a car came around the corner - so it was a big oh shit moment.

    Moved a little so I could see both ways and took off again - and just pootled along and ran over what had just happened.

    Going back over it - I don't think I was too fast - but I did have the throttle closed. I also looked straight at the other side of the road when i started running wide.

    The speed limit is 80kph through the area and I don't really go over it , so there wasn't much braking needed in many corners - just engine braking I was finding was enough to slow me down. But when i replayed a lot of the corners in my head - i was entering the corners with a trailing/closed throttle, instead of a constant speed throttle.

    So back on the horse - well, I hadn't got off it, but back on the gas and concentrated on throttle - if i had just coasted into an corner, making sure to consciously crack the throttle back open to steady state/constant speed and i found the bike tracked the corners much better instead of drifting.

    So onwards to the Western Freeway for a brief time before back off at Bacchus Marsh and around the back roads home.

    Freeway at 110kph in todays wind was pretty crap - but I handled it, stayed in my lane, but not very nice.

    So I think a productive day and I am still alive - something to concentrate on though.
  2. seems like a good route, next time i should give it a try!

    it will be more and more close call as u ride more often, i had plenty of instances having car in the opposite lane taking over double white line in rh blind corner : / well u will get used to it(y)
  3. Hi

    Well done and very good to see that you stopped and thought about things.

    Cheers Jeremy
  4. Nothing wrong with making mistakes, as long as you learn from it.

    My problem is that I don't always have the experience to know what exactly I did wrong.......although NR does tend to give you 6 million different suggestions from various viewpoints!
  5. if you have time, do some reading. "twist of the wrist", a book that many know but not everyone reads through. you will slowly apply the fundamentals to your riding style. as your riding skill improves so does the more understanding to the fundamentals of the book.

    then you can start looking for professional riding school, or track day school to you further refine your own riding style. even though the physic are all the same for riding fast and safe, everyone rides differently.

    though i have only ridden for few years but i do feel it's a life long process of skill improving. only yourself can pick the right answer through time, but not browsing in 6 million different suggestions from NR :love:
  6. #6 Bjpitt, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
    For relatively easy speeds like you are talking about, I found my biggest issue in corners like that was freezing of the arms. At that speed the bike will make the corner regardless of your throttle input, as long as you stay loose in the arms.

    I practice staying loose by counter steering a couple of times once I'm in the turn. Sure it's not the ideal way too take a corner fast, but I'm not at the limit or trying too get through the corner the quickest, it's an excercise that helps me learn to stay loose and realise I can always counter steer more if I need it.

    Highly agreed! I read that book again before heading on a 1700km journey through the Vic and NSW alps. It was a great way to apply the fundamentals from the book. I was the only 250cc rider I saw the whole time :)
  7. I still remember that one time I ran wide and crossed the white line. I am still angry at myself for letting that happen! My mistake was the same as yours: I didn't look!
    Since then I always make myself look through the corner by turning my head. Surprisingly, it does make the bike go around. Don't ask me why, but it works. There were some situations where I had to 'force' myself to do it. But the more often I practice, the more it became the natural thing to do.

    I can't remember who, but some wise person on netrider (I believe it may have been Doug) once wrote something along the lines of:
    If you realize you're running wide and won't make the corner, just be stubborn and look a little further around the corner and decide to crash there instead of straight ahead. When you reach that point, look even further around and decide to crash there instead. And so on. If you keep on being stubborn and looking, you most likely won't crash, but actually make the corner.

    Almost always the limiting factor in cornering is NOT the bike, but the rider. You just need to believe that you are going to make it!

    I surely do hope that he (or anyone else) won't have a close call like that again! I would shit myself if I ran that wide that I end up on the right hand shoulder of the road!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Hi Mexiwi,

    Totally agree with Nina. Learn not to freeze, turn your head to where you want to go further around the corner, then push the handlebar and you will countersteer further into the corner, lean off the bike and stand it up a little more. I have worked out that, through some practice, I can change my line in a corner using contersteering, so that if there is an object on the road, stray cattle, a car etc, I have practiced and can do something about it. Try this on a few easy corners when you are comfortable, and you will realise there is almost always more you can get out of the bike.

    Great roads, not my side of town, but I want to get around the Macedon area at some stage. Expect our bikes would perform similarly.
  9. A" Twist of the Wrist" is on Youtube too. Reminds me a bit of "Starsky & Hutch", corny acting, but gets the message across - I roll on the throttle every corner I can.:)
  10. I'd also recommend robsalv's cornering 101/102 sticky threads which are good, basic cornering skills for riding safely on the road (vs Twist of the Wrist which is more about higher speeds on the track).

    For riding in strong wind, learn to relax your upper body, allow your arms to flap around, and lean your body and countersteer the bike into the wind. Then get used to the bike moving around underneath you and trust it to do the right thing rather than trying to counteract every little movement it makes.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Ok - returned to the scene of the crime today.

    Took a blat from Sydenham up to Daylesford via Trentham and back the same way.


    Couple mods from the other day.......

    Earmolds - farkin brilliant - comfy in my ears and cut the wind noise out heaps.

    Mirror spacers - added some 1" spacers to my mirror mount and can now see behind me.

    So - the ride, went heaps better. Concentrating hard on keeping that throttle open maintaining a constant speed into the corner and just rolling on a smidge coming out.

    And looking where I am going.

    Conciously able to feel now how I can change the bikes position by countersteering - couple times I did feel I was running wide but look harder where I need to be and lean some more and the bike just tracks.

    Coming back thru the corner i ran wide - it is in the middle of a series of left right left corners - advisory speed 60kph.

    Come over a crest in a rh corner then it is reasonable steep down into the entry to the lh corner than i ran wide - even this time - I was closed throttle and braking coming down as it does really feel like you are too fast, but this time got back on the gas, leaned it over and looked where i was going.

    So it was a good day - seemed to use less fuel that the other day too - interesting.