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Old 08-20-2009, 07:36 PM   #1
Guy Jinbaiquerre OP
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Question Please help me turn better!!!

I've been riding for about 7 years, and I still suck, suck, SUCK at taking tight turns at speed. Well, any turns, really, but especially tight ones in the twisties. Heading into a turn, I always imagine myself running wide into the guardrail or off the road if I am going "too fast". As a result, I go way, way slower than average riders, not just speed freaks. When I ride in a group, I'm always last through the twisties, by a long margin. Frankly, it's embarrassing and I'm tired of it. (On the plus side, my bike's never been down. )

People who have watched me say I stay too close to the inside of the turn, instead of starting at the outside edge and moving to the inside as I progress through the turn. There's also apparently a technique involving shifting my weight on the bike which I am not doing right, either. And finally, I'm not sure about what gear to be in on a ride through the twisties: Do you shift up on the straights and down before a turn, or just stay in a low gear the whole way?

I have read books, watched videos, and talked to other riders about this and I still suck. What can I do to get better?
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:45 PM   #2
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If you really want to get better get to a trackday!!

If you can't, or won't the key elements are...

1) outside-inside-outside path of travel
2) look through the turn...all the way through
3) maintain or increase speed through the turn
4) use a countersteer input at the entry of the turn and hold that countersteer until reaching the apex, sometimes longer
5) you must be relaxed on the bars

find a curve that you are familiar with in a remote area and practice practice practice.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaynnus
If you really want to get better get to a trackday!!

If you can't, or won't the key elements are...

1) outside-inside-outside path of travel
2) look through the turn...all the way through
3) maintain or increase speed through the turn
4) use a countersteer input at the entry of the turn and hold that countersteer until reaching the apex, sometimes longer
5) you must be relaxed on the bars

find a curve that you are familiar with in a remote area and practice practice practice
Thanks. On a run through some twisties, do you downshift before a turn and upshift after, or just stay in a low gear the whole way and rev higher in the straight bits?
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:59 PM   #4
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Try looking further ahead towards the exit and not in front of your front tire. Don't look at the side of the road at the wide, evil line -look where you want to go. Look far enough ahead and it actually slows down time, while looking right in front of you makes it seem like you are going a bazillion miles an hour. Looking far ahead is like giving yourself more time to think and plan and decide where you want to go in your line. When you are comfortable going into a corner at a pace that is right for you the you can crack open the throttle just a tiny bit and keep the bike going at a decent speed rather than braking and wobbling all over the place. Once you can see the exit you can start slowly rolling on more throttle until you are upright again and can roll on more until you get to the speed you want to go.

You can't go fast in the corners until you learn to go slow and perfect. Only then can you dial it up a little bit. Don't worry about keeping up. Worry about figuring out how to make the perfect corner slow. Then it's just a matter of raising the bar a notch or two each time you feel that you've mastered moving up a tiny bit with the speed..

Buy this book Sport Riding Techniques by Nick Ienatsch. He basically goes over in plain English everything you really need to know. I think it is one of the best books for bettering your skills and understanding what is going on with ANY motorcycle on the pavement.

Taking a track day after reading that will also help you master the techniques in a safe environment and many track schools offer one-on-one help.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre
Thanks. On a run through some twisties, do you downshift before a turn and upshift after, or just stay in a low gear the whole way and rev higher in the straight bits?
It really depends on the road, and the bike. Lots of times you can run down a set of turns in the same gear, but many times you've got to down shift, then upshift as your accelerating out of the turn.

There's not a lot that feels better than getting on the power at the apex of turn.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaynnus
4) use a countersteer input at the entry of the turn and hold that countersteer until reaching the apex, sometimes longer

find a curve that you are familiar with in a remote area and practice practice practice.
This is the easiest way. It makes the gyro like effect make your bike tilt. Only if your wheel is generating enough inertia tho ( high speed). So while on those twisties as you come to a right turn, ease the handle bars to the right ( I mean easy or it will put you on your side ) the bike will lean to the right more as you push harder. Then hold it there. You can feel the effects of this while riding on straight roads too just turn the handlebars some and see what the bike does. It wont work if any part of your bike will touch the ground tho !

A crotch rocketer showed me this. It works great too.

Good Luck , and practice practice practice !
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:27 PM   #7
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Oh yeah , that same force will lift the bike back up too.....
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:35 PM   #8
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as stated above !!!!!! Buy the book "Sport Riding Techniques"

No....Really BUY IT
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh9399
This is the easiest way. It makes the gyro like effect make your bike tilt. Only if your wheel is generating enough inertia tho ( high speed). So while on those twisties as you come to a right turn, ease the handle bars to the right ( I mean easy or it will put you on your side ) the bike will lean to the right more as you push harder. Then hold it there. You can feel the effects of this while riding on straight roads too just turn the handlebars some and see what the bike does. It wont work if any part of your bike will touch the ground tho !

A crotch rocketer showed me this. It works great too.

Good Luck , and practice practice practice !
Forget easy, that's the way your grandma rides. In order to be efficient and quick in the corners, you have to ride by using late apexes. In order to make that late turn, you give an input all at once to make the bike "fall-in". Easy is for lazy sweepers and cruizing on a Sunday afternoon with your girl on the back.

The faster you are going, the harder you have to push on the bars.

Same technique whether parts of your bike will touch the ground or not (my crotch rocket will scrape pegs...)
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:49 PM   #10
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OK, I agree ! I just didnt want the dude to ruin his bike or grind something off of it!
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:07 AM   #11
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Stop messing yourself up AND STOP LOOKING AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.

Slow or brake before the turn // look THROUGH THE TURN roll on the trottle and trust your tires.

Stop STOP STOP LOOKING AT THE EDGE OF THE ROAD. Look where you want to go and go.

Be smooth. and RIDE RIDE RIDE
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DAKEZ screwed with this post 08-21-2009 at 12:14 AM
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:18 AM   #12
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+ 10 on this.


Just to add. Read Jaynnus post and remember. Find curve. Visualize, practice...you will be fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaynnus
If you really want to get better get to a trackday!!

If you can't, or won't the key elements are...

1) outside-inside-outside path of travel
2) look through the turn...all the way through
3) maintain or increase speed through the turn
4) use a countersteer input at the entry of the turn and hold that countersteer until reaching the apex, sometimes longer
5) you must be relaxed on the bars

find a curve that you are familiar with in a remote area and practice practice practice.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:34 AM   #13
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I'm a slowpoke myself. I used to be even slower, until I bought two books:

- Sport Riding Techniques
- Total Control by Lee Parks

Both are excellent books. For me, Total Control worked best. I would just read a chapter (or two), then apply whatever I'd read on my next ride. I'm still not great at tight twisties, but got a lot better pretty quickly.

Also, Lee Parks' book has a chapter on 'Fear'. Very helpful IMO, and not something you usually find in books like this.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:44 AM   #14
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another good book written by a friend of mine (shameless plug) is Riding in the Zone by Ken Condon.

http://www.ridinginthezone.com/
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flashmo
Forget easy, that's the way your grandma rides. In order to be efficient and quick in the corners, you have to ride by using late apexes. In order to make that late turn, you give an input all at once to make the bike "fall-in". Easy is for lazy sweepers and cruizing on a Sunday afternoon with your girl on the back.

The faster you are going, the harder you have to push on the bars.

Same technique whether parts of your bike will touch the ground or not (my crotch rocket will scrape pegs...)
+1

The slower you initiate the turn in or countersteer the more tarmac you will cover before the bike has made it to it's turning point. A firm countersteer will put you headed in the right direction sooner...then look all the way through that turn.
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