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Just a quick cornering question

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by philmydang, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. I've noticed that particularly on downhill corners at < 40km/h I find myself using the rear brake whilst winding on more throttle to keep the bike stable. Should I just be downshifting instead with no rear brake?

  2. great question. looking forward to hearing from the experienced among us.
  3. Trailing the rear brake whilst leaning will make the bike want to stand up.

    I will sometimes engine brake down and through, or more likely get my braking done before the corner and slowly accelerate (or at least maintain some throttle, even glide) through.

    I personally would prefer to engine brake through sharp steep curve then be playing around with the brakes, but if you have really slow down straighten the bike up and get it done quickly with the front brakes.
  4. I've always avoided using the brakes whilst cornering, if you brake before your turn and then lean in smoothly with at least a little bit of engine giving power to the back wheel, the bike should be stable anyway I would think?
  5. agree with freeform... brake before corners and down shift
  6. It's not unreasonable to have some braking in corners in some circumstances (trail braking). I'm not saying they should do it in this case (but maybe they should), I'm saying that just holding to "never" brake into a corner doesn't seem correct.

    I would be really keen to hear from some of the highly experienced riders among us. (I very much apologise if you are one of those). No offence intended at all.

    Just wanted to add here some thoughts that I'm happy to have corrected:

    I understand this problem, cause I also have this issue with down hill corners. Gravity seems to add it's own weight, making the corner approach speed harder to control. Ideally, I'm assuming the answer is to factor this in and brake earlier etc. I would think though that to rely on engine braking, you would need to change down even further, otherwise gravity will make you speed up again. Just a thought tho, and this could be where SOME rear brake might help, if you're down hill, their would be more weight on the front folks. Applying SOME rear brake could have the effect of putting some of that weight back on the rear suspension. I'm happy to be corrected here.
  7. Sorry but using the rear against the throttle wont make the bike stand up.
    It actually makes the bike hold its lean angle. True trust me. Using the front will make it stand up faster than a 12 year old.
    So if this is a constant radius corner dragging the rear is fine. If it feels it's tipping in a bit more than you want and that's why you are using the brake. Either gear down and slow down or take it quicker lol.
    Just be careful of your body position when your going into a down hill corner. People tend to keep there weight back a bit. And this will cause it to run wide a bit and thus need more lean angle than you should.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. I only ever brake in a corner if I need to - usually because a car or bike in front of me is going slower than I want to be going.
    Set your speed before the corner, glide through with a little bit of throttle, and as soon as you can see the exit accelerate out to your liking. That's what 60 degrees taught me anyway.
  9. Thanks bretto, can you elaborate a bit more on the last bit please? (about body position)
  10. When people ride down hills they naturally sit back a bit. Nothing wrong with that. But they don't come forward, lean forward enough when they get to a corner.
    So initial turn in is a bit slower, than say on a flat bit of road and with your weight forward. This will cause it to go a bit wide. So mid corner your having to lean it right over.
    Stiff arms can also be something to look at. Coming down a hill your will naturally take more weight in your arms. Stiff arms and cornering are not a good mix.
    So consciously sitting forward when coming up to a down hill corner will aid in the bike cornering, feeling the front wheel and hopefully bending and softening those arms.
    Just like skiing really. You lean back and your not going to make that turn. You have to lean in and attack the hill because you turn with the front of your ski's.
    • Like Like x 5
  11. brilliant. Thanks for that. Never done skiing, but I do get what you are saying there. I used to ride a skateboard (a lot) and it's very similar. Especially when dropping in on a ramp, noobs tend to want to lean back, but you really have to lean forward or you'll crash and burn.
  12. Back to bike physics 101 for you....

    Now write this down:

    Any decelerating force on a bike will cause weight to shift onto the front.


    We could cover why weighting the front causes the bike to stand up, but that is complex backwards shit right there.

    For myself, i've found using some of Flux's dancing tips work really effectively. Theres a section of road here (top of montacute rd for the locals) that is all downhill and has some really tight sections. I sucked at it until i changed things up and adopted some of Flux's tips... now i'm merely mediocre.... :D
  13. To me what you are doing sounds like a riding flaw. I know some racers do it but it shouldn't be necessary on the street. Comfort braking taken to an extreme?
    Read up on trail braking though. The best downhill rider I've seen trail brakes with his rear. Bloody hard to do properly though.
  14. a small amount of rear brake can have the effect of causing the rear of the bike to squat first.
  15. There are some people who roll on a touch of power against the brake. I'm not one of them. The two best reasons I've heard are (1) to soften and dampen the thump as the power comes in - especially useful on a 500GP bike or an old-school superbike with smooth-bores, or flat-slides / guillotine carbs that have not been well tuned. (2) to compress or squat the rear suspension, because whatever you're doing with the bike at that point would work better if the back was closer to the ground. For example, I've heard of people who hold the throttle flat but give the rear brake a dab to help settle a tank-slapper. (Again, I'm not one of them.)

    My instinct in a slow, downhill, tightening, blind off-camber corner, would be to knock down to a low gear (@ 40k, 1st sounds good to me) and lightly drag both brakes, while keep an eye out for gravel, damp slimy bits, cars that want your side as well as theirs... I would not be rolling on the throttle in that case until I was off the brakes and sure that the radius was opening and I could see clearways.
  16. On downhill tight stuff (not my fave) you still have an ideal of some acceleration through the corner. Gravity can provide enough force so dragging the rear brake will help limit the acceleration... Otherwise u could be reaching too high a speed.

    - - -
    Tapatalking loud, saying somethin'
    • Like Like x 1
  17. About two years ago there was a spate of threads on NR which ran along the lines of "I was in a corner and used just a touch of rear brake to stabilise me....and crashed"

    Just as long as we don't get another round of those.
  18. Don't forget guys, that if the OPs avatar is any indication, he's riding a cruiser. If it makes a difference.
  19. Some good info in here on downhill corners.

    To throw in my 2 cents worth, the "general" rule on getting your braking done ( since its downhill, you will need to brake harder or earlier, to a lower speed), so that you can be on the throttle through the corner. THAT is the general rule. Note, there is no real change in any other factor of your cornering technique, and if the corner is known it is easy to manage your approach and attack the corner by powering through it.

    But, out here in the real world, things don't go as planned. As a result, you can wrongly drift in during braking, and get caught inside and tight on the corner. That will run you wide on exit, and as you'll have hit the front brake your bike is going to want to stand up, making matters really bad if you are too hot.
    If you drift in, then you've set a poor chain of events into action, which can easily end in tears.
    So avoid it like the plague.

    The hardest thing to do, because it's contrary to ourinstincts, (even though it is the best for general downhill corners), is to attack the corner, as if it was level ground.

    A poorer alternative, which is often where we end up, is usually braking deeper through the corner, putting more stress on grip, because we are running too fast from misjudgment, and getting caught out on our braking.

    Dragging the rear will help keep the bike turning in, but it is dangerous if an SR kicks in, because it can cause you to over brake on the rear and lose it. I rarely trail the rear brake, for that reason, preferring to just push over harder (i'm on a sportsbike though, with sticky tyres ans lots of lean angle available.

    Not all downhill corners are standard. They may tighten up, run off camber, and can also have a poor surface due to cars braking through the turn. So if you at least get your approach and braking done correctly, you can stay off the power and role it through the turn on compression, which is 'my' choice in most circumstanes for unknown corners.

    I know i just repeated alot of what the other guys have already said. Where that has happened i am just agreeing with them.

    One last thing. By attacking the corner i am referring to riding with committment, not hanging back hesitantly.

    If you are still learning, then slow down and roll through the corner on compression, dragging a brake if necessary to control speed if compression is'nt enough. (too high a gear).
    That's a default approach for even the best riders if the corner is unknown, or very tight and steep, with no room for error. :)
  20. Well spotted mate!. My post above and i think everyone elses, was with reference to standard and/or sportsbikes.
    Well OP? are you on a cruiser, because if you are, the answers will be reasonably different!