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Leaning a 250

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Mr Luke, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. I've been riding for a few months now and I've clocked up a few thousand K's. I feel like I'm much more comfortable on the bike now and I also feel that I'm leaning it into corners more. Despite this, there is still say 1cm of unused virgin rubber/chicken strips on each side of my rear tyre. Is this normal for a 250?

    I know as a general rule a bigger bike will be leaned over more. And I've also observed that bigger bikes do not have quite such a pronounced curve in the rear tyre as 250's do.

    But in short, should I be leaning it over further, or more to the point, as I grow in confidence even more, will I find that I am using the whole rear tyre? Or is it normal for there to be some unused tread on a rear 250 tyre?
  2. Still being on my L's I take the motto " RIDE as you feel comfortable "

    With only about 100ok's or so under my helmet, I still have a fear of leaning too much on certain corners, then I will come out of a corner and think - I could have leaned more and taken it a bit quicker. IT all comes from experience.

    I still have heaps of chicken strips on my tyres LOL

    Will be interesting to read more experience riders views
  3. Being new as well, I couldn't agree more.
  4. Depends on how and what you ride..

    I ran out of both front and rear tyre on my VTR250, and I've run out of front and rear tyre on the Z750 as well. However, normally I've got 10mm or so of Kishy Strips ( :p ) because I don't normally feel the need to play that hard on the road. (I can be convinced otherwise easily though :wink: ).

    Don't stress about it - just keep learning, practicing and riding. If you run out of tyre to use, it's time to learn to revise your techniques..
  5. I wouldn’t be that stressed about a bit of virgin rubber.
    At one point in my riding I started moving my body weight more effectively, in doing so I got a lot quicker, and was leaving much larger chicken strips at the same time.
    Chicken strips don’t necessarily mean you are slow.
  6. Having 1cm of chicken strips either side of the tyre is normal for the majority of riders out there in my opinion.
  7. Not true.

    Better to have good body lean (which = less bike lean = less edges of tyres used) and big chicken strips than to have no chicken strips but not leaning off the bike properly.

    Learn to learn off your bike properly and you'll find you can go much, much faster than you currently are, whilst still not even going to the edge of your tyres.
  8. I concur - the size of your "chicken strips" is not necessarily a reflection on your cornering or general riding ability.

    As Falcon Lord has said, if you learn to position your body correctly whilst cornering, your body can end up doing most of the leaning whilst the bike remains relatively upright.

    Also, it's worth remembering that the closer you get to the edge of the tyre the greater the margin for error to lose traction.

    As Raven and a number of others have attested to in the past, it's always better to ride at 95% and have that something extra in reserve in case the unanticipated should happen, rather than ride on the limit with very little or no safety margin.

    So in a nutshell, relax and enjoy your cornering and be willing to learn and adapt your cornering techniques. The likes of Rossi and Stoner took years to refine their riding and cornering techniques to be capable of winning a MotoGP World Championship, and road riding is pretty much the same - the constant learning and refinement process is what makes motorcycling so captivating and addictive!


    "Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul...."
  9. im only a learner too, i just always try and concentrate on technique! the leaning off the bike and throttle control been the biggest two. i thort with good technique will come more speed, more lean etc, and it has worked, i always draw chalk lines on my tires before i go for a spin and 90% of the time wen i get home the chalk is all gone and i smile.
  10. And they still make mistakes
  11. Dont stress your not gonna get any "OMFG 1CM OF CHICKEN STRIPS" anytime soon. Dont forget setting up the corner also adds to how quickly and efficiently you can take it.
  12. Well said Geeth - the fact that even the pros make mistakes when cornering despite their considerable skill hopefully further reinforces the point that it's always best to leave something in reserve when cornering in case something unexpected happens.


    "4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul...."
  13. Ive got chicken strips too, they look gay but im not willing to risk my life just so i can say ive gone to the edge of the tyre.
  14. i dont no about it risking your life or not having some in reserve by going to the edge...you can still straighten up, or lean more if need be. you dont even have to be going stupid fast to get rid of the strips either, just back yourself and youll be fine.
  15. Get a bit of sandpaper on the edges to scuff up those chicken strips :grin:
  16. LOL good trick i'll be doing that! :)
  17. Suppose I should spend the next few rides teaching myself to lean off the bike a bit more.

    I've done about 6000 odd daily commute k's on my L's and my standard VTR250 rear tyre has about 5mm (or less) of fresh rubber left on the edges and I still think I could lean it more. :S

    I think i'll look for some guides on how to effectively shift weight and position one-self.
  18. mate check the link to youtube vid someone posted in 'body position'....realy good to watch and get tips.
  19. as you enter the corner, dont just look with your eyes, look with your whol head. lean your head into the corner, this will shift your shoulders in a bit and everything. get used to leaning into the corner, to the extent of trying to get your head out past the mirror almost. shift your bum a cheek or half cheek off the seat into the corner, and support yourself by weight on the inside peg, and gripping the tank with your outer thigh. you should get your whole body across a bit, but still keep in line with the bike. dont forget to relax the arms, dont get stiff on the steering.

    changing your body position will reduce the angle required by the bike, thus actually increasing your chicken stripss if you do nothing else. so what you can do, is increas your corner speed, so the bike is in the same lean angle as before, you are off the bike a bit on the inside of the corner, and you are carrying more speed. or it allows you to take tighter corners at the same speed.

    play around, see what is comfortable, and get some tips of an experienced rider in the flesh if you can. nothing like seeing it done by following and watching.

    here's what you can do with the VTR if you get moving well. the camera angle doesnt help much, my head is actually out near the mirror. note this is how i ride, and i am by no means a seasoned rider, i jsut love my VTRs.

  20. Sounds right, that's exactly what i've been told to do, something that helped me a bit though was to think to myself that i need to face the corner. That way i end up with my chin leading me, my hips open into the corner and the weight centralised across the suspension.

    I think the bigger bike makes these things significantly more important, as my little 250 was ALOT more forgiving if i mucked up. I rode it again the other day and felt like i was floating along with nothing underneath me. It was great :grin: Almost a state of weightlessness :LOL:

    I still feel like a noob though cause i have almost panic moments when i'm really far keeled over. Keep expecting the peg to scrape even though I know that it probably won't if i'm taking the corner with my body in the right position.