Lucky Save From a Lowside

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Legendary 300
Legendary 300
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Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:28 am
Real Name: Richard Hanson
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 3
My Motorcycle: 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 650
Location: Garland, Texas

Re: Lucky Save From a Lowside

#11 Unread post by Hanson »


By slow ... I mean walking speed. That is the only time you need to counter-lean (shift your body to the outside of the turn) in an effort to lean the bike more (as in making a u-turn), the rest of the time you want to move your body to the inside of the turn so that you can keep your moto more upright. Think of putting your face over the inside mirror, but you head should still be level with the horizon and you should "look through the turn", that is look at where you want to go. Racers will "hang off" and "put a knee down", but I am no racer, and I think that is best left for track riding.
Stay off the front brake, it will eat up your limited traction and compress the fork and thus lower you even closer to the ground
Nope ... break before entering the turn. If you are mid-turn and feel like you need to break, then your entry speed was too great. I would get the idea of "stay off the front break" out of my head. Most of your breaking power comes from the front binders and you should be in the habit of using both breaks all the time so that in an emergency your reaction will be to use both breaks.
It may be a bit silly sounding but one of the things they said in the BRC was ‘and expert rider uses expert judgment to avoid using expert skills’
This is a great quote. About 1/2 of motorcycle fatalities are single vehicle crashes, mostly screwing up in turns. This is from more modern studies than the Hurt report which was quite urban in it's crash sample. You can be a fairly low skill rider and still be comparatively safe if you develop good judgement. You must ride within the performance envelope of your motorcycle, which is not very large for a big H-D bagger with very limited ground clearance, you skill envelope as a rider, and within the limits of the environment in which you are riding. The magnitudes of the risks you are experiencing are continually changing as conditions change and the idea is to keep those risks low all the time by changing your behaviour as the situation changes. It is a lot of fun to go fast around a corner, but what if there is gravel in the road, or a bit of diesel fuel, and what are your sight lines like? If you develop good judgement, then you will not need elite skills to save your backside. If you are bombing around a blind turn with very limited sight lines while leaned over with the throttle cranked up only to find a truck has stopped in the middle of the road, you are going to be in trouble even with the most elite skills. Also, I think it is very rare for someone to have elite skills, but bad judgement. Most likely their bad judgement will include a faulty assessment of their own motorcycle skills. If you are going to err, then it is far safer to think of yourself as a mediocre rider even if you are rather good than it is to think of yourself as an elite rider when you are at best mediocre.

I was once out riding on some fun roads in North Texas, yes that is a bit oxymoronic, and a kid on a sports bike was behind me. At a stop he pulled up and told me "you ride like an old man", and I just smiled and said "yes I do... you should think about that". It has been my personal experience that good judgement will keep you out of a lot of trouble with both motorcycles and women.

I would recommend reading David Hough's Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well and then Mastering the Ride: More Proficient Motorcycling. These books will give you a lot of great information, the knowledge that will help you develop good riding techniques and good judgement. It is important not only to practice, but to practice the right skills so that you will do the right thing without thinking when you are faced with an emergency.

Safe Travels,

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Re: Lucky Save From a Lowside

#12 Unread post by dr_bar »

Hanson wrote: It has been my personal experience that good judgement will keep you out of a lot of trouble with both motorcycles and women.

"Four wheels move the body.
Two wheels move the soul!"

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