I chickened out

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redwing
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I chickened out

#1 Unread post by redwing » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:54 am

Is there any way to tell when a bike is going to break loose on a turn?

Does loosing traction have any signs?
In a turn to fast my car's tires begin to sound like I locked the brakes.

It seems that breaking loose would happen in an instance. Twice tonight I was in a wide turn at speed (about 50 on one and 60 the other). I wanted to lean (counter steer) more and keep the speed but instead I throttled back perhaps 5 mph and all was good. Good road and good weather but I just chickened out. And I got wide chicken strips so I still have lots of lean to use. I have only used the inside third of the tire.

Nothing out there except me, the road, and the ditch. ??? I'm not wanting to be a speed demon. I just want to enjoy my bike at a level where the bike is performing like a motorcycle.

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#2 Unread post by king robb » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:29 am

Take a riders course and practice...you will get there.
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#3 Unread post by koji52 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:24 am

Trust yourself and the bike man. If the road's good and your tires are inflated properly, you'll be fine. Start by just maintaining speed around curves. Once you feel comfortable with that, start slowly increasing speed around curves.
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#4 Unread post by jstark47 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:55 am

First, there's absolutely no shame in bleeding off some speed. Try to get this done before you enter a curve. "Slow in, fast out" is much more fun than "Fast in....... OOOOPS!!"

But you sound like you want a bit more speed in curves? Try shifting some of your body weight to the inside of the turn (i.e. if turning left, shift your weight to the left.) To start, you don't have to move your butt on the seat at all. Just lean your upper body to the left. Keep your left elbow tucked in and drop your left shoulder. Keep your eyes up and on the corner exit.

This changes the CoG of the bike-rider combo so the bike actually turns harder (i.e. can take the curve faster) with less lean, and a bigger contact patch on the road. IMO feels more secure. There's much, much more to this technique, I've just given you the bare-bones minimum starting point. Check out books like Lee Parks' "Total Control" or Nick Ienatsch's "Sport Riding Techniques" for more.
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#5 Unread post by storysunfolding » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:50 pm

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#6 Unread post by storysunfolding » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:55 pm

jstark47 wrote:Check out books like Lee Parks' "Total Control" or Nick Ienatsch's "Sport Riding Techniques" for more.
Good info there. Just ignore Nick's insistence that weighting your pegs changes the overall COG of the bike. Other than that he's spot on. At the same time, you're better off maintaining your speed and riding it out than hitting the brakes. If you WERE near the edge then the brakes might have been enough of a shove to push you over the traction limits.

The main advantage to using advanced body posture in a turn is that the bike stands more upright allowing the suspension to work more efficiently (it's designed to absorb up and down bumps not ones from the side) giving you greater use of available traction. That and you look wicked cool. However, don't think that anyone here is promoting a knee down riding style. What you mainly need is to orient your body right and get your upper body down and in to a chin over wrist position.
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#7 Unread post by tymanthius » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:58 pm

I've been working on my turns as well, and I find if I lean my face towards the mirrors on my GS, but keep my eyes focused on the far end of the road, it helps bunches.

I'm can't say exactly what it does, other than shift center of gravity, but it FEELS loads better, and I am more confident in my turns.

I SO need to practice more. But I already need 36hr days, plus time to sleep.
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#8 Unread post by shalihe74 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:51 pm

I did CA Superbike School recently and, during a discussion on corner, Keith was talking about advice that folks give others on how to corner better. He dismissed the comment 'trust your bike' as not being terribly helpful. But it sounds like, in your case, that that may be good advice.

Assuming that your bike is properly maintained, that your tires are in good condition, properly inflated and warmed up: the bike's limits are far beyond anything you're going to need on the street. If something were to go wrong, it will - with rare exception - be due to rider error (i.e. some input you made that upset the bike).

Which I point out since you noted that you rolled off the throttle while cornering (probably because you weren't looking far enough ahead of the bike and fixated). Slowing down while turning destabilizes the bike, and is the kind of input that will cause you to crash at some point. (Experience talking.) As Jstark said, there's nothing wrong with going into a corner slow, BUT... make sure you do your slowing before the bike leans.

I'm not here often enough to know what kind of instruction you have had, or how long you've been riding, etc. But, from the questions I've read, I would recommend that you take your bike to a track if it is possible.

There is no better place to practice cornering for a number of reasons. In the closed environment, you don't need to worry about traffic. There is plenty of runoff if you do blow a turn (as opposed to curbs, mountains, ditches, etc. if you blow it on the road). After the first couple of laps, you know the corners (if there is debris on the track, bad pavement, etc. - all those nasty surprises that you can discover even on roads you ride every day.)

AND... you get to practice the same turns over and over and over again, so you can focus on your riding and technique without wondering what is around that bend. Being able to repeat each turn, you'll find yourself feeling more comfortable and going through them faster.

Additionally, most tracks offer instruction for new riders that will also help you understand the mechanics of your bike and how to start getting more out of it.

We can tell you all sorts of tricks and techniques online that are cornering truths - like the advice that folks have given you on body position - but that is no substitute for in-person instruction. The cost of a trackday or two is, in my opinion, some of the best money a person can spend when they want to get more out of their bike.

Just my $0.02.
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#9 Unread post by Amdonim » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:26 am

I think a may more apt phrase would be trust modern tire technology. I've discovered that even my cheap dunlop cruiser tires will do more than I first imagined. That being said, I've lost rear end traction before. The few times its happened has been in the rain, either while accelerating at a left turn, or going over paint in a turn (read a crosswalk at the apex of a turn). It felt kind of scary but the tire caught again and went right back to where it was. However, I do not recommend doing that, it's very unnerving.

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#10 Unread post by redwing » Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:49 am

Lots of good advice.
I'll get those books. And I tried leaning into the turn and as stated ... it makes a huge difference. And yes in thinking through both turns I probably didn't look through the turn. I looked into a 'track day' and found several places in Texas. About 200 miles from me; however I'm not discouraged. 'Track Days' cost about $150.00 and the class for first time riders at the track is $50.00. I could do that. My first mc class instructor gave me all good advice. He showed me how counter steering worked sitting still and then I proved it riding.
So... What I need to learn needs to be taught but have a little info to make riding a little more interesting and do-able
I'm still in a box but now I can peek out in safety. I'm good for now... 8)

Robert
2008 BMW R1200R and is it sweet...

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