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Old 01-25-2014, 05:45 AM   #1
Andyvh1959 OP
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the bike just wouldn't make the turn....

I've heard that on occassion, even had a few riders ask me about cornering and why their bike "wouldn't make the turn". This came up again at the BMW shop where I work part time. I was cleaning up a K1300GT that had obviously taken a ride through the tall weeds into a field. According to the shop owner, the rider had said it wouldn't make the turn. When he described where it happened, I said "that is no brainer turn at 60, could probably easily do it well over that."

Shop owner said, "if the pegs or some other part aren't dragging through the turn, the bike WILL make the turn." True, as long as the road is clean, decent tires, as long as the rider has some ability, the bike WILL easily make it. The rider chooses NOT to make it, by actual choice, or by brain fart, or by panic/freeze mode on the grips. Probably expains a lot of those left laners on the Dragon, same for the ones photographed off into the trees.
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:57 AM   #2
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I remember the first time on a real racetrack how surprised I was at the effort needed to turn an otherwise easy handling motorcycle at high speeds. It is alarming.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:20 AM   #3
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We had an accident along those lines with the vintage motorcycle club of which I eventually became el Presidente. Moral of the story the ride leader on that ride began preaching countersteering. Try it. It takes some practice, but in an emergency situation you can firmly control that bike to the point where the pegs or the cylinder heads (in the case of a BMW) are on the ground.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:26 AM   #4
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Practicing counter steering,the only way a bike turns is counter steering.
Guys just dont know they're doing it.

I think if riders never push all that hard on corners to get a feel for what going fast is like,when a corner does come up too fast they freeze up and off the road they go. Corners are the fun part but only if ridecraft is up and working.

It can almost always be saved,but once the eyes are looking somewhere besides around the corner its over,better be some soft dirt.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:45 AM   #5
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Turn your head, look where you want to go, press on the handgrip. The MSF is right.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jim Moore View Post
Turn your head, look where you want to go, press on the handgrip. The MSF is right.
Yup!
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:49 PM   #7
markk53
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Originally Posted by PirateJohn View Post
We had an accident along those lines with the vintage motorcycle club of which I eventually became el Presidente. Moral of the story the ride leader on that ride began preaching countersteering. Try it. It takes some practice, but in an emergency situation you can firmly control that bike to the point where the pegs or the cylinder heads (in the case of a BMW) are on the ground.

Should have preached "don't be a candy-ass, LEAN!"

My bet is 99% know about countersteering, but don't trust leaning the bike into a corner, thinking the tires won't hold. So rather than lowside, which they likely wouldn't, they crash going off the road. Brilliant!

It takes some guts to simply lean in (or whatever) when it seems the bike won't go any further. Odds are it will. That was the main take-away from the Keith Code Superbike School that my friends took. When in doubt - lean in further. The tires are better than you are.

So my advice - Grow some grapes, when in doubt turn in harder.
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
Should have preached "don't be a candy-ass, LEAN!"

My bet is 99% know about countersteering, but don't trust leaning the bike into a corner, thinking the tires won't hold. So rather than lowside, which they likely wouldn't, they crash going off the road. Brilliant!

It takes some guts to simply lean in (or whatever) when it seems the bike won't go any further. Odds are it will. That was the main take-away from the Keith Code Superbike School that my friends took. When in doubt - lean in further. The tires are better than you are.

So my advice - Grow some grapes, when in doubt turn in harder.
+1
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
Should have preached "don't be a candy-ass, LEAN!"

My bet is 99% know about countersteering, but don't trust leaning the bike into a corner, thinking the tires won't hold. So rather than lowside, which they likely wouldn't, they crash going off the road. Brilliant!

It takes some guts to simply lean in (or whatever) when it seems the bike won't go any further. Odds are it will. That was the main take-away from the Keith Code Superbike School that my friends took. When in doubt - lean in further. The tires are better than you are.

So my advice - Grow some grapes, when in doubt turn in harder.
Maybe on a clean track, with sticky sportbike rubber. On a public road, riding on tires that aren't warm sportbike rubber, sometimes the tires WON'T hold, and one may have to be better/luckier than their tires in those conditions.
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Old 02-01-2014, 02:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kommando View Post
Maybe on a clean track, with sticky sportbike rubber. On a public road, riding on tires that aren't warm sportbike rubber, sometimes the tires WON'T hold, and one may have to be better/luckier than their tires in those conditions.
No one can "teach" while taking into account every conceivable situation.
What you are doing is finding the exception to prove the generality untrue.
In general conditions the vast majority are riding with a huge margin of reserve grip.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:05 PM   #11
Andyvh1959 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kommando View Post
Maybe on a clean track, with sticky sportbike rubber. On a public road, riding on tires that aren't warm sportbike rubber, sometimes the tires WON'T hold, and one may have to be better/luckier than their tires in those conditions.
This reply was to another poster that said when in doubt, make the bike lean, because it most likely will do it! Sure it takes trust, trust in the bike, trust in the traction, trust in your own riding abilities, trust in having the guts/balls,cojones to get it done.

But the quote above, makes it sound like the track is the only place this works, or that the tires won't hold. I say it is FAR more lilely the tires WILL hold and the bike WILL make the turn. But, SO many riders never approach what the bike can do, or has to do, and in so doing give it up to whatever results, that being "the bike wouldn't make the turn." I say it is more likely the bike will make the turn, so don't give it up. Why ride on the "sometimes" attitude when the bike/tires will perform? Go for it when you have to.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
Should have preached "don't be a candy-ass, LEAN!"

My bet is 99% know about countersteering, but don't trust leaning the bike into a corner, thinking the tires won't hold. So rather than lowside, which they likely wouldn't, they crash going off the road. Brilliant!

It takes some guts to simply lean in (or whatever) when it seems the bike won't go any further. Odds are it will. That was the main take-away from the Keith Code Superbike School that my friends took. When in doubt - lean in further. The tires are better than you are.

So my advice - Grow some grapes, when in doubt turn in harder.
+1

Arguments over countersteering and peg-weighting aside, I totally agree.

For me.. and my problem still is trusting the bike and tires to do the turn leaned way over. I know that they can, but the lizard brain in my freaks out. I suspect this is true for everyone not experienced and conditioned to really crank the bike over.

I liken to to learning to ride a dirtbike in deep soft sand. Everyone *knows* that in order to get through it easily and with good control, which also makes it fun, one has to crank the throttle open and keep it there to get the bike over a certain speed so that the front wheel floats over the sand and self-berms on turns. But for a newb in the sand (me, 1 year ago), knowing this doesn't make it easier to fight the lizard-brain reaction of "SOMETHING's WRONG! YOU ARE GOING TO FALL! SLOW DOWN!". Now a year later I blast down the washes with the smoker screaming and a grin on my face.

In terms of the street, I still have much work to do conditioning myself to really lean the bike over and trust it will make the turn. Unfortunatley, the public road is not the greatest place to practice this. Lots of variables, lots of obstacles, no runoff room if you fuck it up and usually a performance award from the cops when you do, hopefully without getting hurt.

My SV1000 isn't be most razor edge sportbike but it can flop over pretty hard. So when I miss a turn I can't and don't blame the bike.
For the dirtbike, a husaberg smoker, after seeing what Grahm Jarvis does with it, I can never ever ever blame it for anything at all whatsoever. I feel bad that the awesome dirtbike has such a lousy rider piloting it, exploiting only ... 20% of what it's capable of.

*edit - I found that yelling the proper instructions to myself in my helmet when the lizard brain starts to panic helps.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelJM1 View Post
+1

Arguments over countersteering and peg-weighting aside, I totally agree.

For me.. and my problem still is trusting the bike and tires to do the turn leaned way over. I know that they can, but the lizard brain in my freaks out. I suspect this is true for everyone not experienced and conditioned to really crank the bike over.

I liken to to learning to ride a dirtbike in deep soft sand. Everyone *knows* that in order to get through it easily and with good control, which also makes it fun, one has to crank the throttle open and keep it there to get the bike over a certain speed so that the front wheel floats over the sand and self-berms on turns. But for a newb in the sand (me, 1 year ago), knowing this doesn't make it easier to fight the lizard-brain reaction of "SOMETHING's WRONG! YOU ARE GOING TO FALL! SLOW DOWN!". Now a year later I blast down the washes with the smoker screaming and a grin on my face.

In terms of the street, I still have much work to do conditioning myself to really lean the bike over and trust it will make the turn. Unfortunatley, the public road is not the greatest place to practice this. Lots of variables, lots of obstacles, no runoff room if you fuck it up and usually a performance award from the cops when you do, hopefully without getting hurt.

My SV1000 isn't be most razor edge sportbike but it can flop over pretty hard. So when I miss a turn I can't and don't blame the bike.
For the dirtbike, a husaberg smoker, after seeing what Grahm Jarvis does with it, I can never ever ever blame it for anything at all whatsoever. I feel bad that the awesome dirtbike has such a lousy rider piloting it, exploiting only ... 20% of what it's capable of.

*edit - I found that yelling the proper instructions to myself in my helmet when the lizard brain starts to panic helps.
I can't wait for Spring. Can't wait to find a clean parking lot to practice leaning way over. This thread is driving me nuts, just because of that.
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:57 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by SteelJM1 View Post
my problem still is trusting the bike and tires to do the turn leaned way over. I know that they can, but the lizard brain in my freaks out. I suspect this is true for everyone not experienced and conditioned to really crank the bike over.

In terms of the street, I still have much work to do conditioning myself to really lean the bike over and trust it will make the turn. Unfortunatley, the public road is not the greatest place to practice this. Lots of variables, lots of obstacles, no runoff room if you fuck it up and usually a performance award from the cops when you do, hopefully without getting hurt.

My SV1000 isn't be most razor edge sportbike but it can flop over pretty hard.
Hi SJ,
Not sure anyone has specifically addressed your post, so here goes.

First of all, it's all about confidence. So the easiest one first, your bike. Not 100% sure but a quick google seems to confirm the SV1000 has damper rod front suspension the same as the smaller SV650. Got to go. Read up on correct weight springs and cartridge emulators and just do it. Don't argue. How old is the rear shock, more than 3 years? Get it professionally rebuilt. How old are your tires, replace them if more than 12 months old, and have the suspension professionally set up. With a bit of fine tuning of the cartridge emulators etc. you'll now have close enough to "a razor edge sportsbike" that will support your confidence. "Each percentage improvement in the handling of a bike gives a far greater percentage increase in rider confidence" - John's Law.

You mentioned the lack of confidence to "lean way over" a few times. I also admit I don't like doing that, mainly the fear catching a peg which nearly killed me once. That's why the goal is to keep the bike as upright as possible with a reduced lean angle. I'm far more confident in a turn with my body forward and out and the bike at a reduced lean angle than tipping the whole thing right over in a 'classic' style.

Practicing on the road - Even though I live in a major city, not to far away from any point is a popular 'motorcycle' road. Twistie, lots of variation, no intersections, used by riders on week-ends, tourists, and a million cops. But late in the afternoon on a work day, pretty quite. Join a club that does regular day rides is the quickest way to find all these roads. Riding with a club of good riders (not out of control cowboys) of itself is one of the fastest ways to build skill and confidence.

A 15 kilometer of so section of one of these roads makes a perfect practice track. Ride up and down this section of road till you know it like the back of your hand. A little faster each time practicing your technique. If something doesn't go right, go back and do the corner again. Repeat it over, and over, and over. Everyday for weeks if possible. I still ride my practice track at least once a week on a weekday afternoon in summer even after years.

What this does is lock a 'database' of various corner types in your mind. When you're riding an unfamiliar road your mind will see a corner and automatically relate it to corner type X of your practice road. You've been around it 100 times already and have practiced it, and are confident you can do it. You'll ride around this one with that exact same confidence.

P.S. At no time am I suggesting anyone ride beyond or even near their limit of ability.

Hope that gives some ideas.

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Old 03-25-2014, 12:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by PirateJohn View Post
We had an accident along those lines with the vintage motorcycle club of which I eventually became el Presidente. Moral of the story the ride leader on that ride began preaching countersteering. Try it. It takes some practice, but in an emergency situation you can firmly control that bike to the point where the pegs or the cylinder heads (in the case of a BMW) are on the ground.


I hope so since it's the only way to steer the bike.


It's not because that you don't do it consciously that it doesn't exist.
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