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Tight Lines ...

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by VCM, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Was doing some reading ( :roll: yeah again :LOL: ) Smooth Riding the Pridmore Way. Thanks to whoever recommended this to me.
    He speaks of the advantages in using a tight line in both track and especially street riding. Basically he states that entering a corner from just off the centre of your lane keeps you safer ( away from wandering vehicles), gives more options for corrections and eventually increases your speed through the corner. Makes good sense to me, but using this line also decreases the radius of the turn which means more effort is needed than using a wider line.
    Just wondering what your thoughts are? Do many of you adopt this approach?

  2. watch any of flux's video's they show just this :) and yes i try to do it aswell
  3. A Wide line gives you better view through the corner and a later apex, which means that if the corner tightens then you are pointing deeper into the corner and have more leeway to deal with it.
    Because of this generally my view is go in late and wide. Not because you are some boy racer who wants to look cool. But because you can see the start of the corner that is a known quantity, and late and wide sets you up to have a little extra up your sleave for if something around the corner isn’t as you expect it.

    And yeah watch flux’s videos, even if you don’t learn anything, they are great :grin:
  4. FWIW I do right handers late and wide. I prefer late and wide for left handers but have nearly been cleaned up a few times so if I'm unsure I'll take the tight line.
  5. As FL says, staying wide and turning in late gives you the maximum visibility through the corner. This means you see what the corner is doing, and any oncoming traffic earlier. You aren't supposed to stay wide if there is oncoming traffic trying to use your side of the road though! I do find that traffic also sees me earlier if I use a wide line.

    Also, I believe that most single vehicle motorcycle incidents on the road involve not being able to make it around a corner. People go wide into oncoming traffic, or run off the outside of the corner. Once you have committed to a tight line, or even a line starting in the centre of the lane, you have already used up more of the road than if you go in with a wide line. By going in wide, I can choose where I am in the lane when exiting the corner.
    - If I hold corner speed constant, I can come out on the inside edge of my lane.
    - If I want to go fast, and accelerate out of the corner, I can use the full width on my lane and exit near the outside edge of the corner.
    - If the corner tightens up beyond my field of view as I'm entering it, I can use the full width of my lane to get around the corner without using brakes or dropping my speed, which avoids destabilising the bike.

    Of course this is my approach for maximum safety on public roads, particularly unkown public roads. Riding on a track is different, as it a controlled environment with no oncoming traffic. I might change my style a little on well known roads, if I know there is no traffic around, but I prefer to reinforce the "go wide, turn late" approach most of the time.

    Basically, I think on the open road, turning in from the centre of a lane is a less safe option, unless you are cruising at less than optimal speed, and/or aren't concentrating on your riding.
  6. when you refer to a tighter line aren't you blokes just talking about riding in a wheel track?? Thats what i hinting too... if i can see through the turn, ie through the trees and see no cars/bikes etc but can't see the road , i will run right out to the white line to increase vision through the turn
  7. I will generally not use a wide line on the road, just in case an incoming vehicle strays into the incoming lane.

    I recommend trackdays to try theories like this. safe and fun
  8. Hmm, well I understand the theory behind this for left hand corners; "Don't be in the way when they cross the line," but I see it differently.

    If I take a wide line and oncoming traffic is on the line or over it.

    1. I see the oncoming vehicle earlier by being near the centre line.
    2. If the oncoming vehicle sees me near the centre line, they often adjust their line so that they stay on their side of the road. (Yes, really. They don't want to hit a motorcyclist head on either.)
    3. As I have seen them earlier, often before I reach the corner, and if they make no adjustment, I have more time to slow down before entering the corner, and move away from the centreline. This allows me to take the corner with a tighter line at the appropriately slower speed, and still not run wide, which is good, since their mate in a totally sic rice burner will be right behind them. Or if they are really incompetent and slow as well as cutting corners, there will be a caravan of vehicles behind them. That only needs to happen once to be fatal.

    If I take a tight (racing) line at a speed suitable for the corner, and meet an oncoming vehicle on the exit of the corner (yes, when they cut a corner they are often already on the line or over it on their entrance to the corner) I have less (or no) traction left to swerve away from them.

    The wide line has served me well even when oncoming trucks cut the corner leaving only a metre of my lane for me to get through, which I am able to do safely. I've had this situation a few times on the St Andrews to Kinglake road, and would have ended up under the rear wheels of the truck if I was on a tight line at speed.

    No Stewy, when I say I take a wide line, it means my outside bar end is over the white line or the edge of the road, or near enough to it. Unless the road surface is crap on that line. But I see what you mean. You start in the wheel track, and if nothing is coming, move out to the wide line. I just start out on the wide line, and move in if necessary.

    I really do think that the wide line and turning late is the safest technique on public roads, and it still gives me the same thrill of riding twisty roads as a tight racing line, even though I am travelling at slightly slower speeds. Essentially, this technique tightens up the turn I make at every corner compared to a tight line, but gives me a bigger margin for error or unforeseen situations. A tighter turn at slightly lower speeds is just as much fun as taking the same corner using a tight line at higher speeds, with little margin for error.

    For those confused, a tight (racing) line tends to straighten out a corner, since the aim is to maximise speed through the corner, apexing at the middle of the curve. A wide line and turning late tends to tighten the actual radius of the turn a bike makes.
  9. Mm.

    One of the main reasons I personally reinforce the 'late apex', start-wide-exit-tight approach, and the reason I suspect the RTA reinforces it too, is that consciously trying for a late apex does two things:
    (1) start-wide-exit-tight sets your line up for the very next corner on tight S bends where the road flicks left/right/left/right/left/right. In this case there's little time to adjust your lane position before the next corner, so start-wide-exit-tight is a good way to avoid running off the road.
    (2) helps prevent turning in too early and exiting the corner through a tree or car or truck on the other side of the road - something I see a lot of inexperienced riders do. Well, I see them frequently run wide mid-corner and have to brake on the wrong side of the road to correct their line. Fortunately haven't seen anyone crash yet. :?
  10. Reading your replies, It makes better sense to take the wide line.
    At least if you see another vehicle approaching too close to the centreline, one can adjust their line to suit.
  11. Shouldn't you ride to the conditions instead of trying to find one rule for all corners? Its OK to have a wide line as a preference but sticking to it no matter what is going to cause you a problem or two. :cool:
  12. You're right. I'm still on a learning curve, trying anything I can in an attempt to improve my riding. there are pros and cons to having either a tight or wide entry, I guess it's conditions alone that dictate the safest approach.
  13. mmm...I don't agree with this Pridmore stuff...EXCEPT...in heavy traffic or suburbia where one needs to run a more conservative line for safety's sake, perhaps.

    His method of cornering is probably good enough for someone who just want to potter around in conservative fashion, I guess...but like everyone else here, my method is to use most of my lane when it's available and appropriate.

  14. Yes…
    But what are the conditions of any given corner?
    By running a wide line at the beginning you are in a position to see deeper into the corner and assess the conditions earlier, you also have a better line into the corner and are less likely to exit wide, that is the whole point of entering a corner wide, it is to give you a better grasp of the conditions, and more leeway to adjust if the conditions are unfavourable.
  15. You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

    most rides I encounter a few corners where I just back off and go in a bit tighter.
  16. Backing off is a good move.
    Going tighter can bring you a cropper.
    Just because you feel that you should improve your safety in one manner doesn’t mean that you should undermine it in an other.
  17. Yep...I agree...backing off is the smart thing to do for sure, if you you don't know what's ahead...but that should'nt change your line.
    The optimum line is 'the line', and it should be stuck to regardless of speed entry...By slowing down you are only reducing your level of commitment to the corner, and thereby increasing the safety factor as a result.

  18. On a wide line on a left hander I'll have my turn in mark about a foot or so inside the dividing line. If I'm worried about on coming traffic I'll tighten it up to 3 feet or so inside the line. It really just means I carry a bit more lean angle through the corner.

    I know you are trying to stop people turning in early so I'll pull my head in.
  19. Actually...that's fair enough mate...I see what you mean now...a more conservative line to increase the safety buffer to oncoming cars.
    Safety first, even if it means sacrificing the 'ideal' line..it's a good point.