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Crash106

How To Safely Practice Using More Lean Angle

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I started studying riding techniques so I wouldn't feel so hesitant to lean into corners. I guess I just don't trust the tires to grip. Compared to past years, I feel I have pretty good technique with much better throttle control and vision plus faster steering input. I still don't lean very far--20-25-degrees maybe. It just seems like I don't need much lean on the street. Am I missing something? I can see that I don't really NEED to slow down as much as I do on some corners, and I could use more lean angle without exceeding the posted speed limit or scraping the hard parts. I understand that intellectually, but I'm still hesitant. Not sure if I still don't trust the tires, or my steering speed, or if there just aren't enough places where I can go faster through the corners without overdriving my sightline.

 

Do you know any safe ways to practice leaning more on the public roads?

 

Is this something that is best done in the controlled environment at CSS?

 

Or do you think I should just satisfy my need for speed by rolling out of the turns and pinning it?

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I started studying riding techniques so I wouldn't feel so hesitant to lean into corners. I guess I just don't trust the tires to grip. Compared to past years, I feel I have pretty good technique with much better throttle control and vision plus faster steering input. I still don't lean very far--20-25-degrees maybe. It just seems like I don't need much lean on the street. Am I missing something? I can see that I don't really NEED to slow down as much as I do on some corners, and I could use more lean angle without exceeding the posted speed limit or scraping the hard parts. I understand that intellectually, but I'm still hesitant. Not sure if I still don't trust the tires, or my steering speed, or if there just aren't enough places where I can go faster through the corners without overdriving my sightline.

 

Do you know any safe ways to practice leaning more on the public roads?

 

Is this something that is best done in the controlled environment at CSS?

 

Or do you think I should just satisfy my need for speed by rolling out of the turns and pinning it?

 

 

 

Crash106,

 

I'm experiencing exactly the same while riding on the twisties. Well, how hard do you try to hang-off while cornering? The more you hang off, the less lean angle you achieve. Whatch those who race at IOM TT - they don't hang off too much. they do it for a reason or many reasons. (i've read it today in this forum and it taught me not to try to use hang off technique while riding on the streets.

 

The professionals will clear it out for us! :)

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I practice my lean on an empty parking lot on sundays...

 

Except trainings - I see no other place you can safley do this...

 

The Road is a dangerous place for experiments!

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Ayup ... I was wondering about that Aufzynder. Wondering if I was just "trying" too hard. Trying to Force myself to ride in a way that is not appropriate for public roads or the speed I feel comfortable riding.

 

So, I guess the point of learning to use a lot of lean angle is for the track, playing around in a parking lot, when a corner sneaks up on you or an emergency forces your hand. Would you agree that keeping a steady hand on the throttle and learning how to quickly lean your body IN and push the bike UP would be good skills to have On Demand? Maybe that would give me the warm fuzzy feeling I'm looking for (although, watching the vanishing point and good throttle control give me a LOT of that feeling).

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This topic interests me since I know I have more to go on before the tyres slide, but I am reluctant to go past the "no-chickenstrips" area.

 

The only time I tried to go a little faster every day, adding about 0.5 mph per day, I ended up in a lamp post. It was back in 1983 when tyres were only so-so, it was a chilly morning, and I had already been scraping peg, both stands and the exhaust system for a few days when I finally reached the limit. The rear slipped and I chopped the throttle, planning to straighten the bike and brake before getting off the brakes, lean over and continue. Only the shaft drive caused the rear wheel to be instantly lifted right clear of the tarmac. Not much friction in metal.

 

However, what will be the best way to find the limit WITHOUT falling off? Going around in a circle and just minutely add more lean and speed (or tightening the line with the same speed) - or make a "kink" that you do a little faster each time, but not a long corner? My idea is that a kink would allow you to easier get it back up again if the rear slides than if you are deep down for long, but I could well be mistaken.

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106--

 

For sure nothing is going to equal the track, for many reasons, won't cover them here.

 

For street riding, one factor is tire temp. I remember when I was being taught how to ride, we used to get off the freeway, and the curvey road we road had "a bit dirt at the bottom turns". How come it didn't feel the same on the way back? Because we had warmed the tires of course, duh. Back then, I didn't eaven really know about what/how to warm the tires. So, that's one factor to consider.

 

Most of the "fast guys" I know, don't even hang off when street riding.

 

One thing you mentioined sounded like hte Pick Up Drill, from Level 2, am I correct in that? For sure a good thing to practice while street riding! (OK, within some kind of reason).

 

CF

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If most of the back road corners in your area are blind, then I think because of the sight line issue you brought up, there is nothing you can do to go faster or lean lower around the turns and still be safe. Ideally you'd always be able to stop and stay in your lane on the piece of road you can see in front of you at any given moment, and that is a major limitation. Most of the turns on the roads I like to ride in my area are blind, so I can relate.

 

However, if I am rounding a corner that I can see around, or riding the track, I find that looking as far ahead as possible/reasonable and focusing on throttle roll-on, leads to better lean angles. If I focus directly on the lean angle it doesn't happen. And it makes sense, because when you look ahead you are giving your brain the info it needs to say "yeah, I can get there no problem" which then enables more throttle roll-on, which in turn increases the stable feeling of the bike and you get into a positive feedback loop that leads to lots of fun. And the looking ahead applies even before you get to the corner, because that's the moment when you are judging entry speed. If you don't look up until AFTER you've turned in then it's too late, you've already scrubbed your entry speed. I find though, that this need to look ahead before entering the turn has to be balanced against also looking closely at the surface at the turn entry, because whenever you are off-throttle, or possibly on the brakes, and simultaneously leaned over somewhat, like you might be before the turn in, it's important to know of any gravel or whatever, because it's much easier to get a bad front end slide in that condition.

 

I am one of those that does not hang off on public roads, mostly because on the roads I ride most of the time the limitations of sight line and various sketchy surface conditions just make it not useful. I figure the popo might perceive me as more of a hoodlum as well. :D

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I still don't lean very far--20-25-degrees maybe.

 

I get to around 45 degrees, I reckon, but I know the bike and tyres can take quite a bit more. The problem is my built-in fear limiter that prevents me from getting lower. I fear that I do not have enough grip - probably helped a great deal since most of my bikes have been old style, pre-radials, that couldn't take more. And since modern radials doesn't complain at my personal limit on good road surfaces, I haven't been able to learn how they react - and at 46 I am too old to just see how it goes.

 

The funny thing is probably that I cannot understand that anybody would question the tyre's ability to grip at 25 degrees, whereas Spies etc. cannot understand why I fear the tyre's ability to grip at a lousy 45 degrees.

 

In other words, for the very majority of people riding around on the streets of the world, our idea of where the actual limit is, is not only highly subjective, but also positively pessimistic and very wrong.

 

Then there is the issue of style, where some will actually slide their tyres at less angle and speed than others - which is why some riders are faster than others, even at the very highest level.

 

Another observation I have made over the years, is that some rides only have a built in personal tiltometer limiter that doesn't change with the conditions - they are comfy with the same lean limit whether they ride on gravel or excellent asphalt. Personally, my willingness to lean differ dramatically between the two.

 

However, I'd really like to get down to around 55 degrees of lean while still feeling relaxed and comfortable on good surfaces. I'd also like to double my strength and add another 50 pounds of muscle and make 10 times as much money and... biggrin.gif

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I get to around 45 degrees, I reckon, but I know the bike and tyres can take quite a bit more. The problem is my built-in fear limiter that prevents me from getting lower. I fear that I do not have enough grip

Don't we all have that fear? That's part of why I ride on the track - to challenge that fear in a safe and fun environment.

 

The funny thing is probably that I cannot understand that anybody would question the tyre's ability to grip at 25 degrees, whereas Spies etc. cannot understand why I fear the tyre's ability to grip at a lousy 45 degrees.

 

In other words, for the very majority of people riding around on the streets of the world, our idea of where the actual limit is, is not only highly subjective, but also positively pessimistic and very wrong.

I think of - and explain it - in this way: Basically, we are all working with two sets of limits: the physical (hard) limits of the bike & the road, and the mental (soft) limits in our mind. To most of us, the mental limit comes much before the physical limit.

 

If you're at your own mental limit of, say, lean-angle, pushing that handlebar more to lean over the bike more will take quite an effort, since you're convinced that you're going to crash. Unfortunately, pushing violently through this "fear barrier" will often make you end up on the road, rubber side up, since the Survival Reactions from your Reptilian Brain makes you do the wrong actions.

 

But you can challenge and move your mental limits by experiencing that your mental limit is bogus - and while that experience is usually learned first hand, it can also coming from watching other people ride: About 8 years ago, I was regularly doing trackdays at the same track with a couple of friends. Generally our pace were very similar, but in a particular 270 degree (the Carousel of Anderstorp) I could ride a bit faster than them and I got held up by them in that turn. In the paddock I mentioned to them that they could go quicker than the current pace, one of them immediately shot back "well why don't you just pass us then". Sure enough, I passed them both on consecutive laps on the outside in that particular turn in the next session. That had an immediate effect: next session they had increased their speed in the very same turn!

Basically, I was moving their mental frame or limit for them: since we could all go at the same speed everywhere else, they surely could ride just as fast in that turn as I did .... and I had just proven to them that we could safely move our mental limit closer to the the physical limit.

Now, I would argue that the "if he can ride that fast, then I can do that too" approach should be applied very judiciously, but then again, maybe that's why I'm not riding in MotoGP B)

 

Now, off to bed and up in the morning for a 4 x 20min practice session at Sturup Raceway.

 

Kai

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Dear KHP,

 

Yes. Seeing for myself that others can take a BMW S1000RR and lean it WAY over would probably really help me to relax. That is a huge part of why I want to get to CSS and not just read the books or watch the videos. I see racers leaned over far enough to scuff their elbow pads on TV, but that does not do much to make me believe I can do the same thing. Being there, following someone else on the same bike with the same tires and seeing them survive with my own eyes, now, THAT's hard to ignore.

 

Thanks.

 

Best wishes,

Crash106

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Hi crash

I like this topic, I think it affects everyone at one point or another in their riding life, I remember a time not so long ago where every time I got off my bike during street rides and the first thing I did was take a look at my rear tyre to see how much chicken strips were left, it used to really mess with my head! In all honesty the best thing to do is forget about it!

I want to mention a couple of things to you, first off just because someone in front of you can make a turn at a certain speed does not mean you can too, there is about a million variables that come into effect, from throttle position to how relaxed you are on the bars, basically thats a whole different topic but just think for example the guy in front enters a turn at 80 mph he's relaxed, gets on the throttle right away and smoothly takes the turn, you follow him in at 80mph, get scared, tighten up on the bars and hesitate with the throttle, both of you have the same entry speed with a very different outcome.

Another thing I would like to point out is it sounds like your more keen to lean further on the road.

This is something I do when I'm out in the twisties, rather than trying to ride as fast as you can try riding at 50-70 mph, rather than accelerating towards the corner full pelt and grabbing the brakesto slow for the turn, take the time to look at the turn, where your going to turn, can you see the whole turn? Take in as much information about the turn as you can, this is similar to the no brakes drill at the CSS. It is more about average speed, say for e.g. you approach a turn at 80 mph then brake down to 40 mph for the turn (usually thinking you could have taken it faster) opposed to approaching the turn at 65 mph studying the corner, maybe slowing to 55 mph, then nailing the turn and really feeling that you took it well, similar average speed, more controlled faster entry speed, no hasstle from the law, and a by product of riding like this is your lean angle will increase, just keep reminding yourself to relax!

 

I am currently very tired so forgive me if this makes no sense whatsoever!

 

Bobby

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bobby thats a spot on story i did that all the time look at my chicken strips all the time race up to corners so fast then craping myself just because i wanted to get a lean angle how wrong was iunsure.gifim relaxing alot more rideing slow comeing up too a corner and thinking about it a bit more and looking in the right places thanks to the levels i done

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As some of the guys above have said, trying to give it anything like 100% on the road is asking for it, so if you're riding to the limit of what you can see, that's as fast as you can go on that road really. Also as said above, grip varies a lot on the road, from day to day and different areas etc. I know what you mean about lean angle though, you want a way of getting used to the idea. A track day is good for this, one in the UK that's ideal is Rockingham because it's slow (100mph/160km/h max unless you're really flying), the bends are wide and fairly simple, and it has tons of grip. You can get down to peg-scraping angles, and if you make a mess of your line there's space to drift in or out, so you can do some experimentation. If you have a similar track somewhere near you then book a novice day and give it a go. CSS is great for teaching you the right way to steer etc. but most of your track time is learning new stuff, you also need time to practice.

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