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How to steer with your rear wheel

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by bikieIT, May 16, 2008.

  1. Hi everyone, did my L's a few months ago and finally got a used bike of my own just recently.
    Btw, cheers to all on this forum, which has been a goldmine of info.

    I've happily joined the VTR250 crowd after trying out a whole bunch of bikes and (unexpectedly) spurning my early choice - the very fast-sounding CBR250RRs. The VTR was a bit pricier than what I'd planned, but I was disappointed at the general condition of most babyblades in my budget :p. Probably been hoon tested and certified at some point.

    Maybe it's the lovely thump of the megacycle exhaust on this VTR that short-circuited my brain but I figured I'd spend a bit more now, take care of it and keep it a while even after my restrictions, since I'm not a speed/power fanatic. It reminds me a bit of my uncle's VS800 Intruder which I used to sneak onto for practice, except not so deadly to have fall over on you ;)

    Anyhow, I'm finally posting 'cos I've a little question of my own:

    While riding around the backroads near home I was making something like a 140 degree hairpin left turn into a side road. That turn is too tight for cars to do properly without eating the other lane, as it's a narrow road. Couldn't have been going more than 20-30 km/h but I made the mistake of looking at the corner itself instead of my destination. I had downshifted before the turn and had the clutch in somewhat while entering it. I was probably also on the rear brakes a little.

    I probably didn't have the bike leaned enough and I must have slipped up with the controls from being anxious about going wide, because all at once, the bike jerks and the back wheel slides out to the right almost 2 metres, with me fortunately staying upright. I quickly put my left foot down, and grip the front brake. Once stopped, I realise the engine has stalled.

    My memory of what I was doing just before the slide is vague because I was distracted by the novel sensation of moving sideways on a bike, so I'm guessing either:

    A) I must have jammed the rear brake too hard, causing the rear wheel to lock. The bike jerked because I was too preoccupied to hold the clutch.

    8) I must have shifted down into first, upped the throttle to keep upright through the turn, then popped the clutch too quickly, causing rear wheel spin and traction loss, also making the bike jerk.

    C) I must have shifted down into first, not had much throttle, then popped the clutch too quickly, causing massive engine braking, locking the rear wheel, also making the bike jerk.

    Which do you folks think is more likely? I would have doubted (A) would even be possible at that speed, even with the sharp turn and if it's (8) then I've really underestimated the grunt of the VTR. Either way I need more work on tight low speed turns.

    Most of the time I walk away having learned a lesson from a mistake, but in this case I'm really not sure what happened!

    On the plus side, I ended up stalled almost perfectly parallel with the road ;)

  2. you hit the brake

    nothing else gives you a stalled engine
  3. My guess would be A..

    To much rear brake would of made the rear step out. While the back has started to drift out, you have let go of the clutch, its jerked forward and stalled.
  4. I go with option A, with a word of advice. VTR's are not motard bikes :LOL: :LOL:
  5. Looks at nice fresh skid in front gravel driveway....


    They're getting bigger and better toO! :LOL:
  6. mmm...I'd say Option A.
    Your technique sounds like it is NOT too good...ie...why were you doing anything with the clutch!!? You select your gear and go through the turn.
    I'd hazard a guess and say that the rear wheel did'nt actually slip, you just caused it to, because you were riding the rear brake through the turn. (Something that you should NOT be doing until you are accomplished with your riding IMHO)

    At least you are asking, and trying to learn from yourt mistakes - well done!! :) :)

  7. Thanks, folks. Option A it is then. I suspect I've forgotten some fundamentals in the three (bikeless) months since my Ridersafe course.
    All seemed too easy then. Time to review and do some practice in the parking lot.

    Absolutely bucketing down in Adelaide this weekend, on account of me just buying the bike, so sorry everyone ;p
  8. It's a bit worrying that you seem to be going into a corner thinking "How much should I lean this bike?". Lean angle is the result of speed and turn radius. Get these things right and the bike will sort out the rest. Sounds more like you went into the turn with some throttle on, controlling your speed with the rear brake and then backed off the throttle, locking the rear wheel and stalling the engine. Remember the old adage 'In slow, out quick.'
  9. Another abused rear brake. Sigh.

    My one man crusade will never end. double sigh.

    Bikie, you're lucky things didn't get seriously more pear shaped.

    Option A for mine too.

  10. go up 7 teeth on the rear sprocket and they are :LOL:

    im going for option A aswell. when you are learning, probably best to stay away from brakes all together when you are cornering. at that speed you do not need to feather the rear brake to maintain balance, just keep a steady throttle going around that corner and you'll be fine.
  11. Option D. He heard about motarding and thought he'd give it a go :wink:
  12. Well at least you didn't come off. If it slid out 2 meters you were very lucky.
  13. Especially on a bike with a 1.4m long wheelbase! :LOL:
  14. Believe me, I am feeling very lucky considering I've never even slid that far out on a car. Just tells me I've got a looong way to go ;)

    It felt a bit like snowboarding, actually. Except faceplanting in snow is obviously better than on bitumen.
  15. [​IMG]

    needs more bike drifting IMO
  16. yay!!!!
    he didnt say tarmac!!!! :woot:
  17. [​IMG]

    I'm loving the sponsorship on the sump guard.
  18. yeah good stuff for asking mate.

    im a noob too and i hit the twisties by doing the breaking / gear down gig and then following up by commiting to the corner and dropping my knee.

    i only drop the knee because i saw all the pros doing it and thought id be a goose, but it helps remarkably! It means your lean angle doesnt need to be as strong and you have more stability in the turn.

    maybe you should try the knee drop and the commitment for hairpins. im sure its not necessary but it should help to some extent. its no good for gentle corners though, just the tight ones.

    also i found accellerating or a constant speed rather than braking also helps in turns, so do it all before hand.

    good stuff on asking about it though. i should do more of that myself!
  19. Raven or Rob or one of the other experienced corner-er-ers can clarify, but you probably don't have to go knee-down on a road bike, hanging off like a monkey. Leaning your upper-torso in with your legs gripping the tank as usual is probably a good place to start for a beginner.

    Agreed, here.
  20. Thanks for the tips, people.
    I've been checking out some youtube videos of low/highsides and telling myself it's a damn good thing I made that first mistake at low speed. I've since gone back to that blasted corner several times and given it some good practice without any brakes. I also realised it had some interesting camber changes in it which I didn't notice before. Sure am paying more attention to the road surface now, compared to when driving a car ;)