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Basic Riding/cornering Technique


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OK, so I just finished reading TWIST2, and I've also watched the TWIST1 DVD. I'm all fired up and inspired to improve my riding skills. There aren't any good racetracks nearby, so I'm practicing my riding technique on the street at SENSIBLE SPEEDS!. Like Keith says, if you can't master the basics at a slower speed, you won't magically master them once you go full racetrack pace either. Anyway, I notice that my Survival Reactions (SR's) are kicking in quite often, and I'm hoping that you guys could point me in the right direction as to what I should focus the most on.

 

This is what's going through my head as I ride (I keep reminding myself about this stuff all the time):

 

Basic riding technique:

1. Relaxed on the bars (the "death grip" will/may cause headshakes and all sorts of bad things)

2. Distribute some weight onto the pegs (as an "extra suspension", helps keeping the bike stabilized)

3. Torso leaned forward, loose elbows, forearms parallell with the street (reduces wind drag, helps staying relaxed on the bars, more leverage for steering)

4. "Widescreen" attention. Continously scanning the environment, yet trying not to narrow my attention by "hunting" with my vision.

 

Cornering technique: (the 4 points mentioned above still apply)

1. Get the body into position (my butt partly off the saddle, upper body parallell with tank, more weight transferred onto the pegs)

2. Identify the corner entry point and point the bike in it's direction.

3. Roll off throttle and start braking (smooth transitions). Make sure I'm in the correct gear for the corner.

 

4. I look further into the corner and decide on a line (and the apex, if it's visible from where I'm at).

5. I get off the brakes in time to get allow the suspension/chassis to stabilize before the turn-in (coasting towards the entry point)

6. As my front wheel passes the turn entry point, I steer the bike (as quickly as I can) to get it pointed to where I'm looking (line/apex), using my outside peg as the main pivot point, and locking my outside knee/thigh against the tank. Inside knee is poining slightly outwards. (I try not to overdo the "hanging off" style on the street)

 

7. Crack open the throttle as quickly as possible and get as close to a 60rear/40front weight distribution as I can. (WOW, this really makes the bike work!)

8. Relax. Breathe. :)

9. As I approach the apex, I look further ahead and find my exit point.

10. Gradually increase throttle as the bike stands up. Look towards the next turn and get ready start over again.

 

To sum it up, I'm working on getting that "hook turn" and "two step" technique working to the point where I don't need to spend too much attention on it.

 

 

 

Am I forgetting something? Am I concentrating on too many things at once? Am I going too fast? Is the bike unsuitable for this riding style (CBR1100XX)? Or should I just keep on practicing the same way?

 

My problem:

I keep blowing corner entries, and I keep triggering those SR's (in too fast? too much lean? good enough traction? going wide?), which mainly result in several mid turn corrections (both throttle and steering inputs). It's not like I toatlly panic or anything (I'm going too slow for that), but my instincts are telling me to slow down or stare at that manhole I want to avoid, allthough the rational part of my brain tells me that I should stay on the throttle and look where I want the bike to go - and 8 times out of 10, my instincts win the battle. Everytime I blow an entry (and most likely the entire corner), I just want to bitchslap myself.. :)

 

My background:

I've been riding on the street for 7 years, but I'm a total noob as far as racing and racing techniques go. I believe that if I become a fairly skilled "racer", I'll also be a safer, more skilled and more confident street rider as well. I'll reduce the chances of a crash, and I'll be able to enjoy riding even more - and THAT is my primary objective. :)

 

I will attend to a CSS Level 1 next summer (can't fint the time this year), but in the meantime I just want to be somewhat prepared for it by working on the basics..!

Looking forward to your feedback on this, guys..

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This is what's going through my head as I ride (I keep reminding myself about this stuff all the time):

 

Basic riding technique:

1. Relaxed on the bars (the "death grip" will/may cause headshakes and all sorts of bad things)

2. Distribute some weight onto the pegs (as an "extra suspension", helps keeping the bike stabilized)

3. Torso leaned forward, loose elbows, forearms parallell with the street (reduces wind drag, helps staying relaxed on the bars, more leverage for steering)

4. "Widescreen" attention. Continously scanning the environment, yet trying not to narrow my attention by "hunting" with my vision.

 

Cornering technique: (the 4 points mentioned above still apply)

1. Get the body into position (a little off the saddle, upper body parallell with tank, more weight transferred onto the pegs)

2. Identify the corner entry point and point the bike in it's direction.

3. Roll off throttle and start braking (smooth transitions). Make sure I'm in the correct gear for the corner.

4. As I'm closing in on the turn entry point, I look further into the corner and decide on a line (and the apex, if it's visible from where I'm at).

5. I get off the brakes in time to let the suspension stabilized itself before the actual turn-in. I'm now coasting towards the entry point.

6. As my front wheel passes the turn entry point, I steer the bike (as quickly as I can) to get it pointed to where I'm looking, using my outside peg as the main pivot point.

7. Crack open the throttle as quickly as possible and get close to a 60/40 weight distribution. (WOW, this really makes the bike work!)

8. Relax. Breathe. :)

9. As I approach the apex, I look further ahead and find my exit point.

10. Gradually increase throttle as the bike stands up. Look towards the next turn and get ready start over again.

 

To sum it up, I'm working on getting that "hook turn" and "two step" technique working to the point where I don't need to spend too much attention on it.

 

Am I forgetting something? Am I concentrating on too many things at once? Am I going too fast? Is the bike unsuitable for this riding style (CBR1100XX)? Or should I just keep on practicing the same way?

Well... that IS a lot of stuff to be "going through your head as you ride". Maybe try working on one thing at a time and maybe try not to "think" too much while riding? Maybe try to do your "thinking" before you ride and then try to relax and be in the moment so to speak while riding?

 

 

My problem:

I keep blowing corner entries, and I keep triggering those SR's (in too fast? too much lean? good enough traction? going wide?), which mainly result in several mid turn corrections (both throttle and steering inputs). It's not like I toatlly panic or anything (I'm going too slow for that), but my instincts are telling me to slow down or stare at that manhole I want to avoid, allthough the rational part of my brain tells me that I should stay on the throttle and look where I want the bike to go - and 8 times out of 10, my instincts win the battle. Everytime I blow an entry (and most likely the entire corner), I just want to bitchslap myself.. :)

Relax and don't be so hard on yourself. Nobody is perfect and nobody gets it right the first time. And nobody gets it ALL right ALL the time. Chill out and try to work on one technique at a time. I'd go with getting your reference points on a road you ride frequently and choose a turn point. And then work on hitting that and your other sub-products at a speed that doesn't set off your SR's. Speed will come later with proficiency.

 

racer

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Well... that IS a lot of stuff to be "going through your head as you ride". Maybe try working on one thing at a time and maybe try not to "think" too much while riding? Maybe try to do your "thinking" before you ride and then try to relax and be in the moment so to speak while riding?

 

...

 

Relax and don't be so hard on yourself. Nobody is perfect and nobody gets it right the first time. And nobody gets it ALL right ALL the time. Chill out and try to work on one technique at a time. I'd go with getting your reference points on a road you ride frequently and choose a turn point. And then work on hitting that and your other sub-products at a speed that doesn't set off your SR's. Speed will come later with proficiency.

 

racer

 

OK, thanks for the tip, I'll work on that. Patience is not my strongest point, and I guess you're right about me being a little hard on myself too.

 

Would you say that the stuff that "goes through my head as I ride" is correct, sufficient, and in the right order? Are there points that you would add to my list of things to remember or anything like that? I'm sure I'll become aware of areas where I'll have to work on (or even reprogram) my riding technique once I take that CSS course, but there's no need to make it worse by spending several months trying to adapt to a basicly ineffective riding style either..! BTW, Thanks for sharing some of your experience with a novice :)

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Ok... let me be perfectly clear...

 

In my opinion, there should be no words or thoughts of a psuedo-verbal nature running in your mind while riding. Nor should you be trying to concentrate on the order of your "to do list" of stuff to remember to not forget... just focus on doing the riding.

 

Pick a turn point and hit it. Dont think about anything else until you can do that without trying. Then add another goal. Focus on one goal or sub-product... and then the next one. Then the next one...

 

Don't think about anything while riding. Don't worry about anything. Don't critique anything... until after you are done riding that section. Then relax and close your eyes and do it again in your mind... with pictures. No words.

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Ok... let me be perfectly clear...

 

In my opinion, there should be no words or thoughts of a psuedo-verbal nature running in your mind while riding. Nor should you be trying to concentrate on the order of your "to do list" of stuff to remember to not forget... just focus on doing the riding.

 

Pick a turn point and hit it. Dont think about anything else until you can do that without trying. Then add another goal. Focus on one goal or sub-product... and then the next one. Then the next one...

 

Don't think about anything while riding. Don't worry about anything. Don't critique anything... until after you are done riding that section. Then relax and close your eyes and do it again in your mind... with pictures. No words.

 

 

Funny you should say that, actually. A few weeks ago, a buddy and myself were having a blast through a really nice section of road. One of the left hand sweepers were just soo sweet! Perfectly banked, smooth tarmac and slightly increasing radius. We decided to go through that particular turn a couple of more times, just for fun.

 

I then discovered something interesting..! When I was just having fun and being relaxed about it, I picked up some nice corner speed. BUT once I started trying (too) hard to go faster, lean further, hang off more etc, it just triggered all my SR's which actually made me go SLOWER. Go figure! :)

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