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[QLD] Springbrook Road, 2nd attempt

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by newguy, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Hi guys and girls,

    After reading many threads prompting noobs to speak up, I thought I would share my latest ride with you all.

    After getting my bike a few months ago and putting a few hours each week commuting and riding a few basic twisties, a couple of weeks ago I decided to give Rpringbrook Road a go and head up to the top of the mountain. That day i was taking it pretty easy, as it was still a little wet from the rain we have been having on the Gold Coast. All went well on the way up and slowly built some confidence, practicing what i was taught and what i had read on NR (looking through corners, gripping tank with knees, loose arms etc).



    However on the way down from the top, i came into a corner too fast, and due to a SR, grabbed the front brake a little to hard, and lowsided my VTR250. Luckily i was ATGATT and came out of it a little mentally shaken, but not hurt.

    So after I limped back on the bike and put it in for a minor repair (just snappe the left footpeg, but it needed to go in for a service anyway) a went about trying to figure out why i grabbed the brake, and tried to work out what i should have done differently (set the bike for the corner earlier, look through, push the bar) to not do that again.

    I also got myself a copy of the twist of the wrist 2 video and watched that a couple times.

    Well on sunday afternoon i decided it was time to try it again. i had put ina few more hours doing the tallebudgera and currumbin valley runs, so i had some confidence back and set out to tackle the mountain again.

    This time i was more hesitent (think taking it slower, concentrating on everything i had learnt and watched on the TOTW2) and even pulled over to let a few other bikes go past, as i was slowing them down (i cant wait till i have the confidence and ability to tackle the corners like those guys did).

    i made a mental note of the corner i came off on last time as i went past it on the way up, making sure i set up some mental markers to where i wanted to position myself, where i wanted to be finished my preturn braking and so forth, and then it was time to tackle the downward run again.

    and i made it this time without incident. funny thing is as i was coming down i mistook a couple corners for the incident corner, which ultimately helped as i was really concertration on the bike setup pre corner on basically every turn.

    but after two runs i was a little mentally fatigued so i decided to head home before i used up all my concentration and binned it again.

    so i guess my message to the other noobs is if you do bin it, and almost eveyone does at some stage (so it appears after reading a bit of NR), just think about what you did and didnt do, try to get some help from other riders and do a bit more self education, and get back out there. Dont let it defeat you. When I got home after the first crash the missus asked if i was going to sell the bike now. It didnt cross my mind, but i am sure that some people could get defeated by a stack early in their riding life.
     
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  2. Good post newguy.

    Glad that yu took the opportunity to learn from you mistake. So th cause was in too hot and you grabbed the front brake? Left hand or right hand turn?
     
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  3. Mmmm it's stuff like this that is prompting me to look at investing in a second bike for throwing around. It's been a while not on the bike now and each day going through everything that could have happened (I'm probably one of few people who thinks the brakes on the RS 125 are not at all excessive on the road...), what I recall of what did happen, and that clear-as-day vision of the side of the car right in front of my eyes, my confidence is taking more of a hit and I'm feeling pretty pansy about getting back on my own bike, even with how much I miss it. :( I've come off bikes before and those times it was actually a confidence boost; guess it all felt a bit different the first time it happened on the road!

    And I've heard good things about Twist of the Wrist; gonna look into that right now actually!
     
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  4. It was a tightening left hand turn. My thoughts on it (and happy to be criticised) was that I came in a little fast and as I didnt want to run wide into the oncoming lane, I freaked and grabbed the brake, which caused the front to tuck under and I came off. I shifted my eyesight down when this happened too, and therefore just made it worse for myself.

    Luckily there wasnt any oncoming traffic. I slid a little into the other lane, but the bike went straight across into the railing. After regaining my composure, and getting the bike back up on both wheels, I noticed that there were a few bike parts scattered around the railing, such as mirros and fairings. Maybe I'm not the first to meet the pavement at that corner.

    Shortly after some nice folks in a car drove past and stopped to check on me. Even though I had said I was fine, and the bike was fine, they pulled over to the side and waited until they saw me ride away before they left. Nice couple, the man said he also rode so he wanted to make sure everything was okay before leaving me there, as at that point in the road there isnt any phone reception.
     
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  5. Good post and thanks for sharing.

    I too had a low side off recently and as yet am still unfit to 'exorcise my demons' and revisit the corner. I plan to though once my body recovers and I get my wheels back.
     
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  6. Well done working out that it's something to learn from, not be defeated by. Every corner must be approached with a plan, and next time you go up you will be working hard on learning as much as you can about the bend before you commit to it (looking for a directional arrow, speed advisory sign, white lines etc). Once you get your entry speed, braking and road positioning down pat, the whole cornering thing gets a lot less freaky. It's always easier to be slow in and fast out. Much harder the other way around!
     
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  7. Decreasing radius turns are a difficult corner type to manage. What feels good initially turns to hell in a hand basket for all riders at their respective levels if they get caught out.

    Unfortunately, the SR that says 'your trying to kill me! Stop!' is a very powerful one, and is never completely beaten. Obviously, all the goodies that come with exposure to cornering overall, reduce the chances of it biting you considerably, but it's always lurking.

    What would help you immensely is to go through that corner 10-15 times and try a few different things, to get a feel for how the bike reacts, and what you need to do to help it.
    As Bumblebee said, slow in fast out is a solid fundamental method for all tight or low visibility corners.
    You could also get a feel for what the bike does if you just close throttle. As the bike slows, with a little bit of weight transfer forward, it will tighten it's turn, which can often be all you need. So if you are going a bit faster initially, you can visualise what dragging the front brake lightly will do for you. (not grabbing a handful).
    And if you have the traction of a dry day, and you do none of the above, you can countersteer harder, which will lean the bike over more. But you have to be comfy with the lean angles before you can do that. And of course keeping your chin pointed where you want to go.

    On a dry day you can practice these methods and a feel for them, so when it happens again, you know within reason, what to expect.

    Kudos to you for thinking about, analysing what went wrong and why, and then going back ASAP to get that monkey off your back. You'll be doing that pretty much for the rest of your biking career. :)

    And thanks for speaking up.

    (first person to snicker at you is the IDIOT for the next 24 hrs!)
     
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  8. Thanks for the tips guys, if I could nod (a post that is...) I would.

    I was focusing on 'slow in, fast out' on the 2nd attempt, and it did help me feel more in control of what was happening. Not that I felt out of control before, but the turns felt a lot more methodical then the 1st attempt at the mountain.

    I aim to get back up there Saturday morning if the weather is clear, but prior to that I will go and try a few of those things mentioned by Raven and BBman.

    If anyone wants to meet up for a ride up there on either Sat or Sunday (20-21) let me know. Hopefully I will have another mate (who has a few more years experience) coming up too, but the more the merrier (plus would be a great excuse to meet fellow gold coast NR riders) (sorry OT and in the wrong section of the forum, but why not kill two birds with the one stone).
     
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