Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Looking THROUGH Corners.. Why does it work ?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by kazjim, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. Ok, I do it, but i still dont know why it works ...

    I can turn a long sweeper smoother, and cleaner and tighter if i look a long way ahead ...

    if i look close, i get all loose and unconfidant, but looking ahead just smooths the whole experience...

    BUT WHY ?

  2. Looks like we'd better look up Mr Code's book again, eh?

    I know what you mean, it seems to keep you better forcussed. I know that, if you look at something, like an obstrcution on the road or something, you tend to steer towards it and mostly hit it, so I guess it's where your eyes are looking, that's where you will go.

    If you look at close-ups of GP riders you can see that their eyes are always looking into the distance so that would seem to give that theory some validity.

    The further ahead you look the longer time the brain has to process the information that you're seeing too.
  3. Yes. But don't forget to look for the bits of gravel in front of you !!!
  4. I remember doing a ropes course high up in the trees where you had to navigate along a set of ropes with your feet while balancing on overhead ropes with your hand and being tethered.
    We did one sweep looking and another sweep blindfolded so that you had to attune your other senses.
    Believe it or not when we did it blindfolded we did the course faster.
    Reason being that you didn't overload your senses with too much information and lose balance.
    Same theory applies to motorcycling.
    When you look through a corner you don't take in as many "unecessary" signals and your body is better attuned to the bike.
    Looking where you are going rather than looking down results in smoother riding as a result.
  5. I'm assuming that where you look is where the bike will go giving you a smoother ride . I'm guessing faster to than someone looking just in front of their machine .
  6. As a relatively new rider, I still find it a little unnerving to look through the corner. (Although I do try to do it as much as possible.)

    I keep finding myself looking just in front of the front wheel for irregularities; pot holes, gravel, sticks, oil, or anything that might cause lack of traction mid corner. I'm now learning that the bike CAN hit bumps and small rocks and light gravel etc, without totally losing it. (Yet! :) )

    For me its just a learning curve as to how much of a bump the bike will actually take to upset it mid-corner.

    I find that if i do look through the corner, I still feel all the bumps and the bike jumping around a little if it hits debris, but its much smoother than it would be because I'm looser and more relaxed on the bike which means the bike 'flows' under me, if that makes sense. The more tense i am, the more i find i have to fight the bike to keep control. I guess because if i'm loose, the bike can move under me and use all of its suspension bits work more effectively. My loose body effectively becomes a shock absorber i guess.

    If i'm stiff, my body becomes a cross-brace.

    My 2c.
  7. mcbigg, you have summed up a lot just there. Being "loose" on a bike is SO important (some Netriders are pretty loose OFF the bike too, but that's a different matter)

    Look at the GP riders; how are they able to do what they do so smoothly? Because they don't tense up on the bike; they can respond to the slightest change, the smallest hint of the back wheel stepping out and also slide from one side of the bike to the other in a left/right combination corner so easily.

    I have always felt that this is one of the reason why many of them are so good; because their dirt bike riding background stresses smoothness and staying "loose" on the bike.

    I wish I'd had that figured out early in my riding career like you have!!!
  8. I remember once, very early in my riding, when staying loose was not conscious, but happened and it probably saved my life.

    I was riding home one night after tennis and, not far from home was a railway bridge that had a tight left hand turn to get onto it and a tight right hand to get off it. I was "motoring" at the time and, just as I straightened the bike up to actually cross the bridge, I saw a house brick lying right in the middle of the road.

    The front wheel hit the brick and a big tank slapper began. I can clearly remember not tensing up, though why, I don't know. The back wheel also hit the brick and the bike eventually came back down pointing the right way and with still enough time for me to crank it right and negotiate the 2nd part of the corner.

    I remember that incident often and remind myself to not strangle the bike..
  9. .... and, of course, if you a looking at that pothole, or the armco, or whatever, you are, I have noticed, more likely to hit it, because the bike follows your eyes
    You tree-top experience is fascinating, smee, cos you see that sort of stuff in movies but you take it with a grain of salt because it's in the movies!
  10. That's what your peripheral vision is for...
  11. All interesting theories.

    The one thing that no one has mentioned is the fact that when you look to were you are going your shoulders shift forcing you to counter steer (without even realising it). It also redistributes your weight.
  12. hornet600 wrote
    Object Fixation . There are some gr8 articals on this subject.
  13. just aside, i hear this alot.......but what's a "tank slapper"

    i've been riding mountain bikes a long time and often go on difficult/technical courses in the blue mountains. i'm no pro by the way but i can negotiate alotta the thin/narrow/extremely bumpy trails quite well and at speeds too.

    looking into the distance lets you know where your going to go obviously, and as other netriders have pointed out you will see things in your peripheral vision but because you are looking far ahead it will give you time to slowly adjust your direction to avoid say a rock/pothole. looking directly in front of you gives you no time to change direction and so you either go over it or make a drastic manouver which may cause you to lose balance and crash.

    now even though you may not be able to out manouver a rock/pothole, like the other guys say being loose allows you to absorb the shock. on a mountain bike this is very important as the front wheel goes over a rock the handlebars shoot up. having loose arms allows elbows to bend whilst your body stays steady, then as the rock goes under your back wheel i stand on my legs with knees bent and allow the knees to bend further while the body stays steady. this is all mountainbiking experience but in the 2 whole weeks which i have been riding motorbikes it seems to work A OK.

    does anybody agree with this?
  14. Having just completed my learner riding course i cannot stress how much this technique of looking through the corner helps. With some of the riding tests we did the instructor got us to look at him the whole time once we started a turn. We would ride in a straight line the make a 180 degree, smoot shallow corner and ride straight again. It was exactly like this:


    The instructor would stand at the spot we were to finish. We would then ride and just as we started to run he would say, look at me, keep your head up, look at me. You had to turn your head and look where he was standing (just past the exit of the corner). Consequently the turn was a very smooth, relaxed one done very precisely. He continued to drum in the "Turn you head earlier, look through the corner before you start turning and focus where you want to go" line to us. He said the same while travelling straight "keep your head up and look where you want to go, not in front of your bike" and it helped IMMENSELY of the smoothness at which you operated the motorcycle. We were told to only look in front of the bike every 5 seconds (this is how far ahead you should be looking at all times) to do a QUICK check for debris or pot holes in the next 5 secs worth of road then look up again.

    I hope all of that makes sense. I'm pretty tired and kinda tried to keep it short(which it isn't) so some things may only be clear as Mud. Later on tonight i will do a write up on what the 2nd day of the learner course intailed.


    P.S. i am now a fully licenced noob!!!
  15. One thing I've found when looking through corners is that you need to do it in a measured fashion - you don't need to look so far ahead that you get disoriented. You need to focus on a point that is maybe 2-3 seconds away, whatever your speed - at low speed it could be 20 meters ahead, at high speed it could be 100 meters ahead. This allows your eyes to maintain smooth tracking throughout the turn.

    Just my tuppence.
  16. CONGRATS! (and it DOES make sense)