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"Seeing" through corners

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by gegvasco, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. As an observation, not sure if it a good technique or bad, or if it is exactly what they mean by "seeing through a corner", but while riding recently I started looking at corners in a different way and it made them a lot easier and my line through them more precise. It comes down to the difference between looking at something with your eyes and actually seeing it by registering it.

    While setting my head level and in the direction I wanted to end up ie. where I wanted to be in a few seconds, I found that I sometimes slightly lost track of exactly where the bike was right then. I would sometimes come right up on the centre line when turning right. This has obvious perils with catseyes unsettling the bike and painted lines in the wet. Not to mention oncoming traffic if I really screwed it up and was slow to correct it. If I looked closer to the bike to keep a good line, then I went against the doctrine of looking where you want to go and found it harder to make corners at a given speed.

    Then, while applying the proper doctrine(look well ahead) I started concentrating equally on my peripheral vision and the exact point I was looking at. It was a more a mental technique than a physical one. This seemed to give me a much better vision of the whole situation. The instant I did this, my line through the corner improved drastically because I was registering the line in my periphery and therefore riding it, but I was able to corner just as tightly as I was still looking well ahead of the bike.

    The only concern I have about this is that while my eyes are still physically focused on the road well ahead, because I'm not applying as much attention to what they are seeing I'm not sure I will be able to identify a small hazard such as an area of dirt, oil or small debris such as a nail.

    Anyone have any thoughts on any of this?

  2. It makes sense to develop your peripheral vision as well as the central vision. And hopefully you are scanning as well. :D
  3. Yes, I've found looking right up through and around corners to be one of the chief factors in gaining speed and confidence in the twisties. It also reduces the number of heart-stopping moments for you because you are generally more aware of what's going on ahead of you and don't get caught up in white-line ogling or target fixation.

    It's worth mentioning that when you're riding in a group it really helps to look well past the rider in front of you and treat him as an object that gets only a small share of attention.

    You do need to be able to flick your eyes around a bit too, road surface, gravel, roadkill and slippery things need to be properly assessed on the move but in general they need no more than a quick glance before you get your vision set back on your converging corner lines and monitor the obstacles in your periphery.

    This is a key skill and an excellent place to spend some time training your brain. Which is one of the reasons why it's very valuable to spend some time out in the twisties by yourself or at the front of a pack working out your corner reading abilities.

    I'd say most of the good riders around here have put a decent amount of thought into this issue. Fast buggers, what do you reckon?
  4. Have you read any of the Keith Code books. I think he would make mention of this. Otherwise, I think that there was an exercise at either level 2 or 3 of the ASBS that deals with this concept. :D
  5. Yeah, twist of the wrist 2 is brilliant theory for this stuff. Geddidindiya!
  6. Based on some work training I did, I believe peripheral vision only attracts your full attention when something has movement across your peripheral. Otherwise peripheral vision doesn't receive much attention. This is why I wasn't registering my line very well in my peripheral vision because the radial movement(of the centre line) was very slight. In a way I am trying to retrain the way my mind prioritises what the eyes are seeing to take in more of the peripheral vision so that it sees more than just something that has radial movement.