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Quick Turn - Can It Be Too "snappy"?


BLSJDS
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At a track day last Friday (Monticello Motor Park / North Course with Team Pro Motion), one of the coaches (whom I know) offered to follow me around for a few laps and evaluate my ability. Overall, he was pleased with my lines, body/head position and how smooth I appeared to be (he BETTER be, I took CSS Level I and II last month - ha ha).

 

One thing he did note was that he felt I was "snapping" the bike a little too much into certain corners and not being as smooth as I should be. I was definitely trying to get the bike turned as quickly as possible, but perhaps I was "jerking" the bike into the turn, rather than smoothly applying force on the bars.

 

What is the best way to execute a quick turn? Based on his feedback, I'm assuming the initial force applied to the bars should not be a "slam the bars as hard as I can" move. Should the initial force be a little softer?

 

Thanks for helping me sort this out!

 

Dan

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Hi Dan,

 

Great question, steering is pretty important to a motorcycle rider :)

 

So to answer what force best describes a quicksteer bar input, we have to think of a couple of examples.

 

Let's go an extreme example, say you're heading down a straight road at reasonable speed, would a massive hammer hit on the bars make the bike cleanly flick over or just make the bike unstable? Yep, quite unstable till the bike sorts itself.

 

So the bike doesn't want a quick HIT on the bars... how about a stronger push on the bars? Does that change the direction efficiently?

 

Look at what has to be overcome - the front wheel is a gyroscope (look up the term if you're unsure), with a rim and tire rotating at speed that's a fair bit of force that you need to overcome in order to countersteer (again, look up this term if not understood).

 

Stronger push describes what is required quite well.

 

Here's the rub, for those who've done the steering drill at the school you'll recall the pressure sequence that best describes how to steer your motorcycle. Push, then release. The bike will track at that lean until you tell it to do otherwise.

 

A rider who pushes, then grabs or holds the bars will get the feeling of a front end that digs in, feels and looks unstable at turn in, and is sacrificing some of the very valuable front end traction us riders love to have. Push and Release will resolve this.

 

As usual, give this a try and let us know if it's improved the feel of your steering.

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Dear Dan,

 

Yes. I believe you can turn too quickly. I believe the idea is to turn "as quickly as possible ... given the requirements of the turn." Not every turn requires you to snap the bike over. You just need to give the turn what it needs. Here are some question you might consider:

 

Are you in the turn waiting for the bike to settle?

Is the bike rocking up and down?

Are you fighting with the bars trying to find the right lean angle?

If you are waiting, are you able to get on the gas and get to 40/60 or are you stuck, just being carried along?

On the other hand, are you able to glide right in and roll on the throttle?

Are you able to look in and turn quickly without loosing visual contact with your apex, exit or vanishing point (whichever one you are looking for next)?

 

Me? I'm just a slug with nice boots, so I like to let my vision set the turning pace.

 

Best wishes,

Crash106

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Jason - excellent description and explanation - thank you! That definitely helps me visualize and understand the quick turn. I'll practice that at my next track day for sure. I've got Level III in August at Thunderbolt; can't wait!

 

Crash - good questions to consider, thanks. There were only two turns that I really "snapped" the bike over in; in both turns, I wasn't able to get on the throttle when I reached the lean angle because the bike wasn't 100% settled, so very good point.

 

Hope to see you again in August, Cobie B) .

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Is the unsettling of the bike as Jason describes just a matter of poor technique?

Crash describes symptoms that could very well be inadequate springs.

 

What I'm saying is, is there really a limit to how fast a bike 'should' be snapped over (of course, given the appropriate corner)?

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Jaybird you're on the money.

 

There most definitely are factors to consider, but with the right technique an amazing flick rate can be achieved.

 

Let me ask you this, watching top level SBK or MotoGP racers flick their bike from maximum lean one direction to maximum lean the other in half a second, does their bike look unstable? Looks crisp and clean doesn't it! So we know you can get an amazing flick rate so long as the technique is correct. Does that make sense?

 

All of the following factors should be considered in your quicksteer plan as any of of these could result in the rider riding the leather sled.

 

  • Extremely poor front suspension that bottoms out on turn in
  • Front brakes on when turning in
  • Tires that aren't yet up to operating temperature
  • Surface that is cold, or offering low traction (wet/bumpy/poor condition)
  • Too much lean on turn in causing the bike to grind parts and lift the wheels off

 

Considering dry, clean pavement, warm tyres, good suspension and good technique, do you think we can achieve the flick rate we desire that not only looks, but is, as stable as the racers mentioned above?

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I would still imagine that steering requires grip, and the quicker the change of direction (meaning more steering input in a shorter amount of time) the more grip is required. That would indicate that at maximum lean, you need to be a little careful until you have raised the bike a little before applying all the force you need to achieve the change in direction you seek. Being smooth and delicate yet firm and forecful must be vital in order to ride like the champions. Which is probably why only a limited few ever gets to become champions biggrin.gif

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Great discussion. I can clearly see how a 1/2 second quick flick would be completely appropriate on a race tack going through a chicane. So, how do I apply this to street riding when I don't have knee pucks to protect me?

 

On a cruiser with 30-degree lean angle, you can use the floor boards as feeler gauges. On lots of sport bikes, I'm not even sure you can use the foot peg extensions because the lean angle is way down there at 40-degrees. What could I use to judge too much lean in a fast corner when I'm not wearing pucks? I'm not just talking about blasting down a two lane at 80 mph, but even just trying to beat the yellow light around a corner in town. That's a street application of the quick flick I've actually needed in my daily riding.

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I doubt I'd be able to get a knee down while the tyres were still on the ground, so I rely on my toes to guide me. Usually, this isn't a problem, but on my Daybird hybrid my toes doesn't hit the deck until the tyres are used virtually to their edges. This is a bit late for comfort, I prefer an earlier warning. The positive thing is that I ride more slowly because quite often, I feel insecure about how much speed I can keep through a corner since I lack my 'feet guides'. And when I get the swingarm and shock absorber fitted from the Daytona, the bike will ride higher still, making judgement even more difficult.

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Quick Flicking on the street has been a scary proposition to me, and a yellow light!!! Maybe I'm a chik'n or sumthn. (LOL)

 

As far as the Pros doing the QT, I don't see it much except for chicanes and hair brain passes. Dylan definately flicks it much faster, like in his video at Sonoma (I think). Any examples come to mind? Maybe particular racetracks that lend themselves well to QT'ng?

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Looks like a few of us are wondering what the benefits are in applying the quick turn (QT) on the street or on motorcycles with limited lean angle clearance.

 

Does QT mean you need to flick the bike, hard to maximum lean? Not at all guys, quick turning is simply increasing your current rate of steering by an amount that you are comfortable with! It might be 1% faster steering, or even 5% more than you're used to... or a gradual increase over many months of practise! The point is, you are consciously steering a tad stronger than before you thought of QT's.

 

Why do we want to QT a bike? Considering that a quick turn will get you to your desired lean angle earlier then your motorcycle is pointing in the correct direction (turn's exit) sooner!

 

For a good example to grasp this logic, let's go to an extreme: say you steered ultra slowly into one of your favourite, known turns... you'd run wide, immediately, right? Now let's picture the same turn, same speed and same entry point, but you steer at your normal steering rate... you make a nice line that you are used to, right! Now finally, let's say you increased the rate of your steering, just a tiny bit, maybe 5% faster to get to your desired lean, you're now running a tighter line than before!

 

What does a tighter line on exit give you? Options! We could go back to our old line just by not using as much lean angle... or we could go through the turn a little bit faster now, using the new room on exit, or move our entry Turn point a little later for a later apex. Quick Turning gives us more options!

 

Notice in that above example, a Quick Turn isn't necessarily a hard flick to maximum lean? QT is whenever you are steering at a rate that's more than you normally would have. For me, on a street, instead of going slowly to the (very little) lean required in my commute, I steer it a tiny bit faster... giving me a tiny bit less lean required to make it over the intersections etc.

 

Now, on a cruiser or a motorcycle where lean angle is an issue... as quick turning allows you to use less lean in a given turn, would that be an advantage? Have a look at the Twist 2 DVD for the video of one of our coaches quick turning a cruiser, the sooner you get the steering done, the less lean is required.

 

QT is best described as getting to your desired lean, as quickly as possible for the demands of the situation.

E.g. On a wet road, we wouldn't flick the bike over as fast as we would in the dry, as Eirik pointed out, we need some front end traction.

 

Let me ask you then, even in an extreme example on a wet road, would it be more beneficial to steer ultra slowly, gradually building lean angle as we go through the turn, or use this new information on steering to QT for the demands of a wet road, which may be just a tiny bit quicker than you would now, with the advantage of less lean which give you more traction and suspension more in line with the bumps and ruts.

 

For more info see Twist 2, Chapter 16, Quick Turning.

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Jason - once again you are right on! Thank you so much for taking the time to elaborate.

 

As you noted, my initial question was referring to the "abruptness" of the quick turn on the initial push of the bars, not the lean angle. The point that Jaybird (hey James!) brought up about suspension is also something I've considered as a possible factor in my quick turns looking a bit choppy last week. At Level I and II (on the BMW), my coach felt that I was quick turning nicely / smoothly, and the bike never felt "unsettled". However, I did notice that my CBR 954 didn't feel as stable during braking and the subsequent quick turn (braking was done prior to QT). I've never had the suspension tuned on it, so I'm having that done this weekend.

 

Less lean angle in the rain is DEFINITELY more desirable! :P

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Great stuff BLDJDS, I'm still keen to hear from Jaybird, see if I've done enough to encourage a try on the next ride, even if it's a minuscule amount more pressure than you currently do, and from Crash106 to hear if this makes sense to you.

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Any examples come to mind? Maybe particular racetracks that lend themselves well to QT'ng?

...how about the corkscrew?

 

Yes, the Corkscrew is an example of where getting it flicked is necessary. Keep in mind that it's turn 8 and 8a, meaning that it's a left-right transition versus straight to cranked over. Any others?

 

 

 

 

After reading Jason's post, I wish there was an avatar that when the reader got to it, the camera on their monitor would detect their eyes completed the post and would blank the screen and play the sound of crickets for 3-5 seconds.

 

After that post, there really is nothing to say as it's all been said.

 

(PS- by crickets, that means the insect not the game...that's mostly for you Brits LOL) :rolleyes:

 

I'd vote to sticky that post!!! :DB)

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Great to hear that clicked Jaybird! Great description of the 'moment' :)

 

As we are all different, what worked for me to write down and you to read might still not be so clear to others, so if anyone couldn't quite grasp it the same way then may I encourage you to use this forum; this is life saving technology that Keith's developed so let's do it justice by working together to make sure it's crystal clear.

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As a side note / follow up, I took my bike to a local suspension shop (seemed like a knowledgeable guy; he took CSS Level I and II and knew ATOTW I and II front to back :) ). Sag was way off and compression / rebound settings were far from ideal for the track. I have him doing fork seals now, as well as some safety wiring. Once done, I have to go back and then we'll fine tune the suspension. Can't wait to feel the difference! (Although, the BMWs at the school set the bar too damn high - LOL).

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I rode with Team Promotion too at T'bolt last year, and one of their coaches tailing me pulled me aside and said I was turning in too fast/quickly. This was in T6 or T7 the left hander. I never felt the bike was out of control, my entry speed was great, I braked and turned in late at or past the cone, squaring off the corner, hitting the apex.

 

I've done levels 1 & 2 with Cobie and Jon and learnt the quick turn. My analysis is that CSS taught us to look at the apex cone a few seconds/feet before the turn cone, then turn on the mark (X). Most riders I noticed do not do the quick turn but more of the slow turn. The slow turn usually starts way before the turn in cone (X).

 

The rider behind you doing the slow turn would see you turning in quickly. IMO

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I rode with Team Promotion too at T'bolt last year, and one of their coaches tailing me pulled me aside and said I was turning in too fast/quickly. This was in T6 or T7 the left hander. I never felt the bike was out of control, my entry speed was great, I braked and turned in late at or past the cone, squaring off the corner, hitting the apex.

 

I've done levels 1 & 2 with Cobie and Jon and learnt the quick turn. My analysis is that CSS taught us to look at the apex cone a few seconds/feet before the turn cone, then turn on the mark (X). Most riders I noticed do not do the quick turn but more of the slow turn. The slow turn usually starts way before the turn in cone (X).

 

The rider behind you doing the slow turn would see you turning in quickly. IMO

 

 

Hi guys. I'm new here. Have been riding for 2 seasons. Read Twist of the Wrist 1 and 2, and Total Control by Lee Parks. Took a class at Penguin Racing School in NH. I'm familiar with advanced riding techniques but VERY OFTEN running wide while riding on twisties.

 

Please explain to me what do you mean by late steering? lets suppose i negotiate a left turn. what is my line supposed to be? do i have to start from a white line and keep the bike upright as long as possible before i flick the bike on to the left?

 

 

after we flick the bike, we start to countersteer it. how much or how hard should we push on the bar(s) to countersteer?

 

"push on the pars to countersteer and release it" - won't the bike straighten up if i release countersteering pressure to the bar(s) ?

 

thanks.

 

AA

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I learned to quick flick thing when I first began riding back in 1980, but it wasn't until fairly recently that I learned that it was a technique put into words by Code. The reason I did it, was so that I could see as far as possible into the corner (in case there were obstacles). And when you wait as long as possible to change your direction, you need to do it quickly.

 

Since I started out riding 200 pound lightweight motorcycles with a 100cc capacity, I could literally turn on a dime. Even the bestest of the best race reps today cannot change direction that quickly or easily. But the principle is the same - get the bike turned in the shortest possible distance.

 

According to Code, a bike will retain its trajectory regardless of lean if no input is given. This isn't true for every motorcycle made, but most sportbikes will act pretty neutral. Hence relaxing your grip will probably not alter the lean or direction.

 

One thing I have become aware of lately after joining this board, is that the bike actually doesn't turn in more easily when on the brakes. Gentle trail braking doesn't make much difference, but hard braking - at least with my current bike - also makes it harder (and hence slower) to get the bike to turn. By being smoother and rolling into corners rather than rushing into them, I can get the bike to turn quicker but with less effort and hence it actually feels calmer.

 

Sorry, getting a little off topic here.

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Amid,

 

Read Jason's post above, watch the DVD at least. Hard to put into words when riding is learning by experience and feel.

 

I highly recommend doing CSS levels 1 and go from there.

 

 

 

Hi, YNOT. I watched the DVD yesterday night. Watching it again cleared out some things for me. I freaked out and was frustrated yesterday after a ride with my buddies. One of them has ridden for 3 weeks only. I couldn't catch up with them. I was riding the same twisties alone today, and i felt more confident. how? well, i watched some part of the TW on DVD, read the chapter dealing with QT, followed the advice of Crash106 by following the yellow line on highway and then white line. It was very intimidating at first. One of the reason I couldn't have enough nerves yesterday to quick turn my bike was because:

 

- I was starting right from the middle of the lane. I was too scary to get closer to the white line and go farther into the corner.

- I was trying to keep countersteering AFTER I flicked the bike over.

- Oncoming traffic

- Unfamiliar with the road

- Trying to hang-off at almost every turn (just because I didn't know what to expect from the turn)

 

There are still MANY, MANY things too unclear for me, but I will need to sort them out for myself first.

 

YNOT, you've done levels 1 - 2. can you please tell me what exactly they teach at level 1 ??

 

thanks guys

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YNOT, you've done levels 1 - 2. can you please tell me what exactly they teach at level 1 ??

Amid,

 

In short, what Level 1 does is to tear down the most fundamental of your "riding habits" (however ill-gotten) and replace them the technology that makes you stable and safe: good throttle control, how and where to pick your turn points, how and why to do a quick turn, reducing or avoiding unwanted steering input, and finally putting it all together into the Two Step technique.

 

I may not sound as much, but properly executed it can make a huge difference over your the feel of being in control of the bike and the turns.

 

The coaches would probably emphasize or word it different, I'm sure :)

 

Cheers,

 

Kai (did L1-4 last year, looking forward to 2 days of L4 coming up in 2 weeks time)

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