Jump to content

Speed Vs Lean Angle In The Canyons


Nirvana@TOTW
 Share

Recommended Posts

New member here, although have been studying the discussion board awhile.

 

Here's my question: Is it necessary to lean more in order to increase corner speed or can the same be achieved by a better line? This may seem obvious but it may not be as clear to some, let me explain why I ask this. I'm not talking about racing speed through canyon road corners, just looking to perfect my technique and to keep things smooth (which has been my first priority).

 

I have slowly been increasing entry speed but still do not lean anywhere close to max (still have very thin [1/16"] chicken marks and can't seem to break through that last barrier). Can the bike be leaned over more without going faster?

 

One may think to lean the bike as much as possible to get through quicker and think we need more speed for this. Please ask if not been clear enough.

 

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I had a small breakthrough today, entering a turn I would "push" down on the clip on (counter steer) a little more agressively and it seemed to work out ok. Was able to keep more entry speed and still no SR's. Felt in control.

 

I know you guys have heard this over and over but I thought I'd still share. I also picked my fav 5 mile stretch of twisties and rode back and forth several times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might have it a little backward. You don't increase lean angle to achieve higher speeds, lean angle is a product of high speeds - so you had the right idea. A better line will definitely allow you to carry a little bit more speed through the corner, especially with a little bit of a later apex. Allowing for a late apex helps your vision and allows you to have a better plan for the corner; with a better plan you can carry a bit more speed.

 

There are a lot of factors that determine how quickly you get around corners: throttle control; vision; body position; lines; experience and so on and so forth.

 

Nothing beats having an experienced rider qualified to teach you follow you around to make sure you are doing it correctly. With that said, nothing beats doing it in a controlled environment. Riding fast in the canyons is fun but not safe as the track.

 

If you want to be smoother and more controlled then try not to worry about your speed so much but practice being stable going in, through, and out of the corners. A lot of mid-corner corrections, speed corrections, and errant braking does not constitute smooth riding. In the canyons it's best not to take unnecessary risks, it's just not worth it.

 

There are some places where you can ride an entire mountain in just 3rd or 4th gear without even using the brakes if you set a comfortable pace.

 

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it necessary to lean more in order to increase corner speed or can the same be achieved by a better line?

 

Your speed in a corner will be determined by many factors, lean angle and line are two of them but there is more to it then that.

 

Can the bike be leaned over more without going faster?

 

Sure but that would be counter productive. All else being equal, the faster you go through a corner the more you have to lean the bike over to keep the same line. You could push the bike under you, like you do on a dirt bike, and that would cause the bike to be leaned over more for a slower speed, but what is the point? The more you lean a bike over the less traction you have. For racers lean angle is the enemy, they do everything the can to keep the bike more upright so they can go faster.

 

I know where you are coming from, you want to get rid of those unused portions of your tire, get your knee down and get the bike leaned over or what ever. That's cool, you can get there. Just keep working on your skills, building your confidence and you will reach your goal. I would suggest doing this on a race track at a track day or school though, rather then trying to do it in the canyons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stu,

I remember working with you at Watkins Glen last May and our drill was to avoid stalling on the gas through the turns. You were leading me around the Carousel at a pace that was faster than I had ever gone through there before and I remember noticing a rider we passed on the inside who had his titainium knee pucks sparkling all the way around that turn while neither of us had our knees close to the pavement at all. Personally, I would rather trade faster lap times for chicken strips any day of the week but there is a question I would like to pose.

 

It seems to me that really fast riders have their knees down because their speed is so much higher than someone like mine that they cannot hold the lines they are using without a more aggressive lean angle. While I rarely touch a knee when cornering yet still sometimes pass slower knee dragging riders, I can only assume that the really fast guys who ALWAYS pass me have no choice but to get themselves and their bikes leaned over that far where knee dragging is a by product of cornering and not an end to itself. Am I correct on this assumption?

 

Kevin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can only assume that the really fast guys who ALWAYS pass me have no choice but to get themselves and their bikes leaned over that far where knee dragging is a by product of cornering and not an end to itself. Am I correct on this assumption?

Pretty much, Yes. Some guys drag their knee because it makes them feel more comfortable with it on the ground. Some guys actually put some weight on their knee. I personally don't drag my knee much, but when I start to go faster I notice it touching down more often.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I appreciate the reply's, you have just reinforced what I should have known to begin with. I've been advised to just be smooth and the speed will come, I suppose I was looking for a little insight from this group from which I have so much to learn. I would like to clarify that I am not using my canyon rides as race practice. Just trying to focus on my cornering technique.

 

I will look into taking level 1 here in Sonoma when the time comes, in the mean time it's a matter of patience and applying what I've been reading from TOTW 1.

 

Thanks guys!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...