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Improving my cornering

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by ralph, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. Hi Riders of the net,

    After some advice. I have read rob's post on riding technique quite a few times now, always find its a good read every 3-6 months to help focus and remind me of the important parts of riding - must say the VP has had the biggest impact on improving my riding.

    One issue I am noticing that I am doing a little bit, is tipping in too early instead of staying wide as long as possible. I tend to do this more so on left hander bends, especially the tighter corners.

    Any tips on what I can do to get myself to stay a little wider and improve the smoothness of my cornering. I find by tipping in early (sometimes hitting just prior to the apex, or right on it - instead of past the apex, i stuff my line in, which I then react by de-accelerating mid corner. I shift my ass around in the saddle to help corner, and focus strongly on the vanishing point... I think i sometimes find by focusing so far in front, i am losing the immediate surrounding and stuff the line.. if that makes sense ?

    Anyways thanks for the advice. If it helps, i have been riding about 3 years, maybe a little more. And ride a triumph thunderbird, so not the easiest bike to corner with, but I'm not interested in getting a knee down and going balls to the wall through the corner (I do get some peg scrapping happening sometimes). I just want to be smoother so i dont de-accelerate mid corner cause I stuff the line.
  2. YMMV...

    I recently attending California Superbike School Level 1.

    One of the exercises was the '2 step'.

    Step 1 - as you approach the corner, you identify your tip in point. Once you have identified your tip-in pont and know you will hit it...

    Step 2 - Look at you apex. You should be looking at your apex as you hit your tip-in point. Tip and steer quickly.

    More here: http://www.sportbikes.com/articles3e5c.html

    Get a hold of Twist of the Wrist II if you can.

    I found the 2-step process allowed a good late tip-in. More importantly, it seemed to prevent the feeling of being rushed when approaching the corner.
  3. Ralph, drifting in on corners is a fairly typical error of most inexperienced riders when cornering. One of the reasons riders run wide and crash after the corner.

    So, since you've identified your technique error. Stop it!
    No, i'm not being a smartarsk, just meaning that you have your hands on the bars, and are in control, so if you know you are drifting in then stop doing it.

    Easiest way is to sow down a bit, and ride through those left handers in the right hand wheel track, then we you can see the apex push your inside bar to countersteer in toward the apex.
    But slowing down until it becomes your SOP for left handers will help alot.

    What luke said is also very helpful, but i think you may not be that far along, as you are not correctly identifying your tip in points, location.

    (Luke! Good to see you did the CSS-1, mate)
  4. Ralph the '2 step' as luke has described will certainly help and is designed entirely to fight your issue.

    Something else to think about is bar input. I suggest you find a safe area to work on exerting more force on the bar/s to quickly change direction, eg. changing lanes, tipping in, avoiding obstacle, etc. Being confident that you can quickly tip in will make running deeper into the corner alot less stressful.
  5. #5 Sleddog, Apr 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    I just got Twist of the wrist 2 DVD and I'm learning the 2 step .
    And will do the CCS 1 soon.
    Really after seeing this DVD and watching it over and over and practicing each part ,you just wasting your time riding with out this info and will undertand what I mean when you have seen it.
    DVD trailer..
    Learn the 2 step and flick the bike into the turn .
    Here is some short demo video on the 2 step {note... there is alot more info to go with it from the DVD}
    This will give you an idea of the 2 step in these videos ....and watch some of the others ,there is a part {which I can't find at the moment} about looking "to far ahead" as you said in your question.


  6. #6 Sleddog, Apr 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    6 minutes 44 seconds.

  7. The brain is a pretty amazing thing. Once you train it. Same with your vision. Riders really need to train their peripheral vision as well. Once you do things like this become a whole lots easier.
    Practicing on the road is a good thing. Doing it in a closed and safer environment is a great thing and you will advance in leaps and bounds.
    Track days are not just for the Joe Rockets amongst us. Build your way up. Do an advanced rider course and then a track day. You will be grinning for days if not weeks after.
  8. #8 kneedragon, Apr 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Yes AND no. There's a big difference between a track day, or a strop along your 'private' test track, and day to day traffic or a road that you're unfamiliar with. If you don't know where you're going, you do need to be keeping a weather eye on what's coming up - as far ahead as you can. You do then need to divide your attention between the critical points those instructors are talking about - quite rightly and correctly - and the path ahead that is unfolding from the mystery of the future.

    This is one (of several) reason I keep stressing to find a twisty bit near home and practice. After a while, you won't need to be looking all that far, you'll know where the road goes, which will allow you to shift your attention to the critical control points, and your lines and transitions. You'll never really learn those things if you never ride over the same piece of road twice.

    @bretto61 - spot on! You need to learn to look at a scene, not a point. You need to learn to see the stuff that isn't only in the cross-hairs. You need to be able to adjust what you're looking at by changing the focus of your attention, not the aiming point of your eyes. You have to learn (in every aspect of life, not just riding bikes) how to skim the data for the relevant information. Your brain can only process so much information. You need to pick out the stuff that is most useful and relevant to you. Excitement and fear can complicate that, because you seem to be thinking way faster, but you're usually not thinking as well. You can't make intelligent decisions with your reflexes - they're not geared up for that.
  9. Sweetie I'm in delicious agreement. I have had the good fortune to go "Agricultural" north of Sydney on a number of occasions. Sugarplum's, most circuits have 12 to 14 turns and you can reference direct points. Not so when going "Agricultural", 25 turns lovelies, with minimal direct reference points. "Mind Mapping" and "Widescreen", this little biscuit has never ridden a better place to practice both.
  10. Having just done level 1 CSS myself all I can say is that I thoroughly recommend it. I have been riding for about 20 years and while I'm fairly competent I was doing a few things wrong. Now I'm in the process of learning all over again and since you've been riding for only three years I suggest you do said course before too many bad habits form.
    Don't worry about the type of bike you're on. There was a scrambler and a couple of dual sports there, in addition to the fair swag of sports bikes who's riders had no idea.
    They really make you think outside the square.
  11. I look forward to agricultural adventures Rattus. I'm drooling at the prospect.
  12. As you said we all MUST "look" to the future ,but it stuffs up the now ,if your "focusing" to far ahead as the OP said ,thats one of my problems for cutting the corner.
    Plus i'm a lazy steerer and turn in to early ..........the list is long.](*,)
  13. ......sweetie you must......oh those deletable essess - if you are amiss at point of entry they will make a fool of you, much like interpersonal relations.

    I adore turn 25 - power wheelies up the straight, wwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
  14. Ha ha. Mate we all had to crawl before we could run. And we never stop learning. Now is feel. Where we want to go is input. Trust and belief play a huge part in it.
    You look through but you also have a mark you want to hit. If you have something as big as say a tennis ball to look at as your entry point use it. Like a discoloration in the tar. Your mind will hold that, letting you use your eyes to wait for the apex. Once again the point of the apex you want to hit should be marked by something. That will leave you to look up and out of the corner. This is the trust part. And it works.
    When you get it right you will know. It feels like a huge hand has hold of your head and the bike is just part of you. Just flowing under your head.
  15. You've done it for me Rattus. I want to come up to the lab, and see what's on the slab. Let myself shiver, with antici ...



    @ sleddog - right. So may I suggest two exercises.

    (a) When you think you're alone and nobody is watching - slalom. Weave from side to side like a skier on the slope, or a racer trying to warm up the sides of his tyres. Start out gently and build up to a point where you can put quite sharp inputs into the bike and flick from one angle to another really quickly. Do it at a variety of speeds. Do be conscious that you shouldn't freak out other road users, behind or approaching, and that technically it is a traffic offence. Do keep your attention on your wider surroundings, but also on the line you follow as you weave, and also the surface for bad bumps or anything slippery. Get used to just how much input you can throw through the bars at a given speed. It's probably a lot more than you think. Also, get used to throwing in those big inputs smoothly - that is, you start with a small force that rapidly builds to a big one, and then dies away. It isn't instant on and off or you will badly destabilise the bike. And for Dog's sake don't tip yourself on your head, because I'll hate myself.

    (b) Pick a corner, or a very short sequence of corners. low ~ medium speed would be good, in the 60 ~ 80 range. Now go up and down and first learn the road. Then, do exactly what the guy in the video says - focus on your turn in point until you're just about on top of it, and then shift your attention to your apex as you tip in. Now with each run through, start transferring some of your attention to the apex a little earlier, while still running over that turn-in point. Learn to be able to get the bike going where you want it to, and then learn to get the bike to follow the line you've selected in your head a second or two before. That will become so automatic that the full conscious focus of your mind will eventually be at a distance up the road where you could comfortably stop, if you saw a log across the road. If you can't watch that far ahead and still stay on line, then slow down and work on it until you can.

    To go faster, you have to get better. To get better, sometimes you have to slow down and get the steps right, then put it all together again. Simply going faster and being braver and pushing harder against the limits of your fear is virtually never the answer. When you get it right, you will be confident and in control and relaxed but excited in a pleasant way. You will be going faster and riding better and being safer and doing it easily, because the key to speed is not horsepower - it's control.
  16. Ahh Rattus, your word pictures are always priceless.
  17. Sweetie's, this little lovely likes to use "Focal Vision", I am of the belief that many a rider astride their steed, actually suffers from "Sensory Overload" which comes about by their inability to correctly process the "Key Visual Elements". Sugarplums don't confuse this with "Target Fixation" which it is not.

    Lovelies ponder this, is it too little information that causes one to be a Nervous Nellie whilst going around a bend?
  18. Mmm... Well on a standard corner with good visibility, such as the track provides you only need to know 3 things.
    Turn in point, apex(the correct one) and exit positioning for the next corner.

    So the answer is 'no'

    The experience is in being able to note the information contained within the wide angle view, while being able to tune your focus on these three main points.

    On the open road, it's not as easy, because often you can't see the apex. If you can't see the apex, you don't know the tip in point. So how do you find the tip in point?
    Well, you stay wide in the lane, i suggest the rh wheel mark for the lh bend for starters, and ride that line until the apex comes into view. The second it does, and you can see the exit beyond, then THAT is your tip in point. And you countersteer firmly to pitch over, meet the apex and line up your exit point.

    Stay in that outside wheel track and do not drift in. Wait for the apex and then 'quick turn'. Get lazy and you'll miss the apex or even carry yourself onto the wrong side of the road, because you were too slow to react.
    ( this second example is for poor vision corners that are new to you.)

    And remember t0 slow it down a bit for starters, to give yourself extra time.

    I believe, that's what i think rattus was alluding to. If you rush at a corner you risk being overwhelmed with too much info rushing at you and your brain can't process it all, nor as quickly as you need it to.

    That's my advice, which i think(?) fits with what the guys are saying. If not, and i'm a duffa, then i'm happy to be straightend out.
  19. Bingo.........

    Sweetie's our fine feathered friend is indeed correct, he is a student of the craft. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread...........

    Sugarplums, turning early or entering narrow is a perilous endeavour, as it promotes that most dastardly of situations, a wide exit.
  20. thanks for all the advice. To be clear, i am not completely assing the corners, i dont cross out of my lane or go over the double whites, i just find i am not as smooth as I would like to be, which results in me adjusting speed mid corner occasionally because I missed the apex.

    I hear what you are saying on the right wheel track, and that is my set up point, I think i am not doing the 'quick turn' which might be why I am tipping in earlier, especially where i can't see the apex. I will definitely slow it down, and really focus on the points made. I will let you know how i go.

    And i am seriously considering the CSS, loan there bike for the day. Just need to save up the coin.