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Help wanted on inventing of RH corner technique [WOT!]

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by sharkuss, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. I went off today for a solo ride through some twisties when I realised my RH cornering was really starting to deteriorate. I’d been counselled before from 2 fellow netriders on my bad habit of hugging the middle line, but after this outing and continuously hitting the cat’s eyes I decided that my undies were at their maximum capacity due to all the tyre steps the bike was making under throttle. So some self schooling was in order for a few hours and it was now a trip back to basics land to see where my poor habits had begun to form.

    Those of you who know me are aware of the vision limitations of one eye, but what was interesting was how much overcompensation was actually going on. Subconsciously I had been trying to look for more than (IMO) what was really required, that is to say I have been trying to see more of the RH corner than is needed to make judgements on speed/lean/counter-steer.

    The scenario

    Yamaha FZ1 Sports Tourer, Tight twisties, good surface conditions, excellent visibility, posted limits of 35 -55 and carrying speed close to double of posted. Using slow in fast out corner style, 2nd gear with revs min 5k max 8k. Reliant more on engine braking and then adding front if/when required, rarely used rear and then only to set up for fast tip in.

    The wrong way

    Approach corner, roll off throttle, set speed, drift to LH side upon entry, look to middle of corner, counter steer RH bar and drop RH shoulder slightly, look through corner for mid point focus, roll on throttle, look through corner for exit point focus, more throttle, exit corner adding more throttle.
    The issue here was my focus points and the poor choices I was making, in an attempt to see around the RH corner I was directing my vision too far forward and the bike would immediately follow that line of site leading me closer and closer to the other side of the road. That might be good for the track but it was increasing my odds of being a hood ornament. This was the first eye opener (pardon the pun) and so I stopped to think of a way of performing the exact opposite and to measure effective re-training.

    A better way

    I then rode the same corners at the same speeds but instead of using 2 or 3 focus points (entry, middle, exit) that tried taking in all info at once, I chose to use nearly half a dozen focus points closer to what's in front of me right now. My technique here was to literally “flick†my eye from point to point to point and make sure of not fixating on one for too long. Why? Well I have to try to take in twice the visual information through half the apparatus and it occurred to me that doing it “by the book†was ripping me off. This is not recent news I discovered this from rider training years ago, but I’d allowed myself to get used to it and try to do the best I could with the more popular technique instead of customising it. The end result of now doing it my way was a good line nearer the middle of my lane, of a smoother track through the corner, and a ridiculously easy exit that left more time for positioning for the next corner. Possible downside is not being able to get a better idea of what’s up ahead as I’m looking at more things “in corner†before I get to points “beyond cornerâ€.

    Improving it more

    The last time I road a dedicated sports bike my back never forgave me, needless to say my time on them may as well be zip. Yet sports bikes have this great design feature that enables them to corner easier than a sports tourer, it’s called rider position. By attempting to replicate a sports bike rider position and incorporate that into my cornering technique I’d actually smoothened the focus point selection process. This is how it works.
    Approach corner, roll off throttle, set speed, drift to LH side upon entry, look to first focus point, lean forward toward tank and drop RH shoulder slightly, upon tip in add counter steer as required, roll on throttle, RH shoulder now down a bit more as body is now forward toward tank and HEAD IS AUTOMATICALLY IN POSITION to look through corner for next focus point, roll on more throttle, look through corner for exit focus point, more throttle, exit corner adding more throttle, return to standard seat position as bike now stands up smoothly, rinse repeat.

    But there's still more

    Initially my eye would want to go for the inside line of RH corners and this heavily contributed to the line my bike would take. By shifting focus away from here and moving it to the outside edge of the corner this has opened up the line of sight immensely. There's the added bonus of getting a lot more warning of depth perception failure (objects are closer than they appear, and they then "rush up" to you at double speed) so my confidence is now stronger from feeling safer. This vision technique works just as well (if not better) on left handers, and at one stage i had a closing apex LH corner trying to give me grief ..... BUT ..... due to watching the far right outside edge of the road ahead of me I saw this before i was actually in it.

    I need to work a lot more on re-training my brain to employ this technique now, I’d imagine it’s going to be hard to unlearn something that’s been used since I rode a dirt bike as a kid. By crikey the first time I got it right on back to back twisties the bike just glided in and out at speeds that felt much faster than before, and we’re safer by being more to my side of the road. So before I commit myself to my chosen form of cornering do any of you folks out there have some critiques on this? Your advice as always is eagerly anticipated.
  2. its odd thinknig about depth perception failure and the method of overcoming it: looking straight ahead allows you to notice the curvature of the road, when yet the the standard technique of riding is all against this, due to target fixation. does this play up for you at all, or not?

    good effort i reckon, mate :)
  3. I reckon you oughtta consciously train your peripheral vision so you val look as far ahead as the road lets you, but still be aware of what's closer without having to focus too much on it.
  4. I guess it's personal experience, I only know two other visually impaired riders and again only one of them experiences what I do in the depth perception dept. Having said that on my last big ride a mate decided to do a section with one eye closed and I quote "nearly rode into the embankment because the corner rushed up so fast." To directly answer the target fixation thing .... yes .... and it's easy to get a lock-on when you shouldn't. Could it be because my overall field of view is reduced and targeting becomes simpler in a smaller space ? Dunno never bothered to delve into it because it's impossible for me to know what normal vision really is.

    Yeah like this idea, got a glimpse of it today on the LH turns. I tried doing more of this some years ago but found I was vague off in the distance while trying to focus peripherally. Probably a method worthy of a re-visit ta Loz ;)
  5. One of the most important things in riding is visual input.

    Whatever method allows you to pick a steering point and a throttle roll on point followed by one continuous gradual roll on throughout the remainder of the corner right through to the exit, is the method that will work for you.

    You've seen the issue mate (no pun intended) so you're at least now on the path to figuring it out. I think you've got some real clues on where to spend your energies.

    Not that helpful, but I'm wholly encouraging!!!