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Slowing down for corners and gear changing....

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Gilligan, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. I'm interested to know what technique people use when they are cruising along and then need to slow down to take a corner. Specifically, I want to know what sequence of off throttle-brake-downshift people use to set up to take the corner.

    My current technique (only been riding a month) is usually one of going along in 5th or 6th, keeping it in that gear as I brake, then dropping it straight to to 2nd or 3rd as I approach the cornering speed I want, and take the corner.

    Any advice welcomed.
    :grin: :grin: :grin:
  2. Well i have only been riding for a month too but i tend to brake and gear down until i reach the brake i want to take the corner in.

    Yarraville is a nice area :)
  3. I run it through the gears and let the engine braking help.

    5th, brake, clutch in shift down, clutch out (I sometimes blip the throttle to minimise compression lockup) then when I slow down some more, change down to 3rd and let the clutch out again, rinse and repeat as necessary until the desired effect is achieved.... All the while I'm braking with front and rear.

    Just be careful letting the clutch out too fast cause she'll lock the rear under compression. It's not a worry unless you're in mid-corner. If you are travelling straight the tail will just wag for a mter or 2 untill the engine catches up.

  4. I use engine braking and dont generally touch brakes depending on corner and speed.
    If im coming into a corner from a long straight i will do what FJ1100 said.
    Compression lock up is not fun mid corner so make sure to keep revs up when changing or you will get that banging in the downshift.

    If you need to brake hard into a corner then you didnt approach it correctly in the first place.

    Good Luck and practice makes near perfect.
  5. Ideally the braking and gear changing is a simultaneous process:

    1. Judge the corner.
    2. Roll off the throttle (don't chop it off)
    3. Begin to apply front brake (and rear brake if needed)
    4. As you are braking, begin to downchange to each gear individually while blipping the throttle and letting out the clutch between each shift (to avoid heavy engine braking and possible rear wheel lockup).

    However you might want to leave the revving on the downchange until you are more confident with your braking and gear changing. It can be somewhat difficult to brake with your fingers while using the palm/heel of your hand to 'blip' the throttle.

    The only problem with changing straight down (as in clutch in, shift, shift, shift, clutch out) to the lower gears is the potential for heavy engine braking as mentioned above (you pull in the clutch your engine RPMs die off but if you're still travelling at a significant speed the road RPMs will be significantly higher, hence when you let the clutch out it isn't a smooth change and engine braking ensues).

    Hope I explained it well.

    P.S: Whatever you do, do your braking and gear changes BEFORE you beging to take the corner. Avoid chopping off the throttle in mid-corner as well, it's the same as applying the brakes (it's a hard habit to break (HAHAHA) but it's an instinct that will do you more harm than good). Have faith in yourself and the bike mid-corner as well :).

    EDIT: Damn, three people posted while I was typing. Hope I don't repeat what anybody else already explained.[/b]
  6. Off throttle, clutch, blip throttle while smacking the gear down then quickly release clutch.
    Apply small amount of rear brake, down another gear same as first time, front brake to reduce speed further if required.
    Off brakes all together, lightly roll throttle back on, ride around corner no longer braking, not really accelerating either, spot exit and wind throttle on as required.

    Eyes up and looking through the corner the whole way, try to do it all as smooth as possible, sudden jerks and movements cause instability in the bike.

    2 things compromise grip on a motorbike, braking and cornering. So do 1 at a time.
  7. Wow, quick responses. Thanks all, appreciate the advice.

    Hey Snowball, Yarraville is a nice area! What colour VTR do you ride? I've got a blue Spada (in shop at moment getting engine fixed :evil: ). Might see you around sometime. Thinking of doing the Williamstown coffee night sometime when I get my bike back. You ever been?
  8. Yeah i went last week, great bunch of people and the food looks great at that place.

    I ride a Matte black VTR with a matching Helmet
  9. Erm...Ughboots, that's not really a good technique unless you are in racing mode and have a slipper clutch, or are good enough to perfectly match your speed and gearing, without stepping it down. You are likely to get compression lock up if you mess it up.

    As has been explained...come down through the gears while braking BEFORE the corner until you are in an appropriate gear for said corner, blipping the throttle to match the engine speed with the rear wheel speed for smooth transition from one gear to another. (You do not want to be in too high a gear for a corner)
    Then hold your power evenly through the turn, and back up through the gears again once you are exiting.

    This all takes good judgement and finesse with the your brakes/gearing/speed co-ordination, and takes times to master.

    Changing down through the gears provides you with smoother engine braking, but the whole purpose of downchaging is to have yourself in the right gear for a given corner before you get to it, and is based on how you intend to take that corner. It might be different for each bike and will vary depending on conditions, the corner type and your objective.

    For general road riding I tend to downchange a gear or two initially and allow some engine braking to slow me down, then begin to apply braking and continue down through the gears until I'm in the gear I want for that corner. If I am 'on a mission' then I do it all at the same time.
  10. agree, gear skipping on our lovely mainained roads will bite you, you will lock your back wheel up.

    maybe you wont come off but it is a lot of undue stress on the chain and sprockets
  11. So that's what you call it - I've done a few little compression lock-ups while getting used to my new bike! I've never been taught the throttle blip thingy. So it's just a tiny turn of the throttle while braking? And that's a better way to reduce compression lock-up? I thought maybe I'd been releasing the clutch too quickly.

    I've also felt my rear kick out when accelerating after a corner. Or was that just because it was wet? Can you accelerate too quickly from a corner if there's plenty of room to go wide?
  12. I hardly use my brakes as I love the engine braking my bike gives (although I have learnt that a V4 has even better engine braking than mine! :shock: ).

    I am quite happy with compression lock up...makes me look like I can ride :LOL:

    I usually back off on the throttle according to the situation, down shift and then off I go again.
  13. You bet you can.
    on a little 250 like you and i ride it prety much has to be wet to cause you any greif, but on a bigger bike you can spin up the rear or lift the front. if the rear spins up while you are cornering you are likely to have it step out and then regrip sending you airborn over the bike.

    Welcome to the wild and painfull world of the high side. Enjoy the view while you are up there, because you arn't going to enjoy the landing when you come down.
  14. Pretty much what others have said, best advice I can give is try and do the gear changing and most of the braking BEFORE you get to the corner (like aedge mentioned), so you can ride smoothly through it, nothing worse than riding in a group, for example, when someone hauls on the anchors half-way thru (unless it's an emergency of course) and sits the bike up.
  15. There's probably a couple of things to consider here for a rider with limited experience.

    1 - it is not mandatory to take a corner at maximum speed
    2 - it is OK to have slowed down to the speed you want to take the corner well and truly before you get to the corner (50 to 100 metres is fine). Take your time setting the bike at the right speed and right location on the road. Take time to evaluate the corner in your head. Much easier to do if you aren't thinking about your speed, gear etc. You DONT want to be applying brakes and changing gears as you enter the turn.
    3 - after some experience and training you will discover you can take corners quicker and safer if you use the right technique.

    I'd rather be slow round 1000 corners than too hot around one when it comes to road riding. There are so many unknowns on the roads, especially with slow corners (eg. in the hills etc.) that you really can't afford to be riding them more than about 5/10th's. Leave the 9/10th stuff for the track where conditions are way less variable.
  16. Also keep in mind, it's always better to apply a little front break before entering the corner and roll it off as you start turning, even if you don't need to slow down. Doing so puts more weight on the front wheel and makes the bike respond more to the countersteering.

    as "ashes" said do it at your own pace, you won't look stupid going slower but you will look stupid if you stacked it because you were trying to put the knee down !!!

  17. Really good thread with some great advice.
    Can you also comment of coming out of the turn. I find that I can loose a bit of speed and need to accelerate during the turn. Should I be avoiding this extra throttle action till I come out the other end or is this standard for cornering.
  18. You actually need to start winding on the throttle quite early in the corner (surprisingly early). This is counter intuitive but does work. Applying a gentle increase in throttle stabilises the bikes line. If you back off the throttle you will stand the bike upgright and it will run straight. How early and how fast to wind on, takes practice. The idea is that you are pretty much starting the corner at your lowest speed. You then maintain or very slightly increase your speed through the corner and by the time you exit you are starting to really wind on the power.
    You can do this aggressively on the track with great surfaces, and run off room if you make a mistake. Tone it down for the the road but the same principle appies.
  19. Someone asked:

    So it's just a tiny turn of the throttle while braking?

    Can you do that? Brake plus apply a little throttle at the same time? I really need to get my head around all this!

  20. They key point to this is you do it just after you have geared down, so increasing the revs will still apply a bit of breaking because the engine won't be able to or want to get to the higher revs, but if you don't "blip" the throtle at all you will have some very harsh engine breaking and break traction on the rear wheel. Also with the blip, as soon as you put the revs up to avoid the traction break you bring them down to use the breaking