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lukem

Racing And Quick Turn

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After re-watching the Twist2 DVD the other day and then the Superbikes at Brno, I noticed that they don't turn that quickly. Sure through the esses where there is big change of direction, but in most corners, they take more of a mid line and have lazy-ish steering. Is this because:

 

A- They trail the brakes heavily and a quick-turn might result in a front end slide?

B- Protecting their inside line and so have to turn earlier rather than later?

C- They are going that much faster that the gyro forces are harder to overcome?

 

I had a race meeting a couple of weeks ago and looking at this in my own riding, I'm finding that I can't quick turn as easily at race pace as I can when I'm practicing and are typically 3-4 secs off the pace. This is really underlined when we go out for the warm up lap, then the first lap after the start.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Cheers Luke

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Definitely it is harder to turn the bike quickly at higher speeds, so the the turning rate will be slower.

 

The other things you mentioned can be a factor, too, or you may see a rider pre-positioning a bike prior to the actual turn point; you wouldn't use quickturn for that.

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Quick turning goes out the window in racing. Trail braking gets you to the apex faster and anyone quick turning during a race would loose the line and be left to go wide just so they don't get in everyones way. Can you imagine if anyone would try going that far out to turn during a race? Not only would you lose your line, but you would never get into rhythm because you'd have two people going under you every turn until you were in last place then you couldn't pass anybody. It'll work at an amateur level, if that's what gets you around the track fast enough, but not once you moved up to the faster guys.

 

The differences in speed during a race aren't enough that you suddenly couldn't quick turn in a corner that you did during practice, or even a track day. If you can quick turn in a certain corner while practicing, you can certainly do it while racing. Professional racers have a few different lines. The important ones here are the qualifying line and the race line. When qualifying, racers do more of a hybrid quick turning and trail braking. With their advanced technology, light bikes and top of the line tires, they're able to trail their bikes in harder and farther than your normal guy can. Trail braking requires slower turning, and that's what you see during racing. You'll also see it during practice and qualifying. The line is more wide during practice and qualifying, but you can obviously see that from AMA to WSBK to Moto GP they never truly quick turn.

 

When racers have a small lead during a race, they switch to their qualifying lines, which are faster than race lines due to them being wider, and that's why they can pull away from the rest of the pack. They're able to switch to the faster qualifying line without having to protect the inside line while the others behind them do. The FEW times a rider taps the back of his bike to get the other rider to follow him and the other rider actually does, it allows them to switch to the qualifying line without having to worry about passing, being passed and fighting and they actually make inroads on the lead rider.

 

During racing, riders need to trail to the apex to keep other riders from getting under them, save for a few corners where they coast. But they all do, so nobody really gains the advantage. One pro racer even said he sometimes finds himself on the gas while he is still braking. In a normal corner, there is no coasting. You can even see when they're done trailing. Watch when a rider goes through a corner. Once they're done trailing into a corner (in which they're still steering the bike and tense on the bars) they want to get that pressure off the bars. How do you do it? I lay on the tank. When they're done giving input and braking is when they lay on the tank. From there they're on the gas.

 

Trail braking is a fine art, but just like everything else, if you do it repeatedly it will get easier. I'm also faster doing my half trail/half quick turn than I was with quick turning alone. There is a corner at Spring Mountain where I found a line that allowed me to trail all the way to the apex, and even when I rode with the advanced riders (new track= intermediate group for me in the beginning), there were only a couple of riders who didn't slow me down going through it. I'm still not that great at it, but it's improving with each trackday.

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Jazon, perhaps the most interesting article I've read since I joined this forum! Thanks B)

 

I have always been comfy trail braking as well as quick turning - but not at the same time. And it wasn't until I came hear that I understood what it means and what I've been doing just because it felt natural, without any further thought. Not saying I do either to a world class standard by any means, but when I ride sans brakes I've always laid my bike down far quicker than anybody else I've ridden with. And I brake later and deeper when approaching sharp corners by a fair margin.

 

Braking deep into corners are for me very comforting, probably because apex speed is low and because it allows me to adjust more easily entrance and corner speed than when all braking is done up front. I suppose the brake is my crutch, but for me it is so much easier to use all cornering clearance and get the corners connected when braking deep than braking early that I suppose my sense of speed is poor.

 

But back on topic - I'm a sucker for wasting people's time - your article explained a lot for me what I see during races on TV. Thanks again!

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Quick turning goes out the window in racing.

 

 

I wonder if you are using too narrow a definition of quick turn. Take a look at Twist II:

The rule is "Steer as quickly as possible in every turn." "... the as-quickly-as-possible is tailored to the turn..."

 

I interpret that to mean if you are in a turn or racing situation that demands trail-braking (such as keeping an competitor from passing you on entry) you would have to turn at a rate that would not overload your front tire; you'd still turn as quickly as possible, but that steering rate would be necessarily slower than if you were completely off the brakes.

 

Quick turn technique is used to overcome the rider SRs that can cause the rider to turn in way too early, putting them on a line that runs them wide, or fear of leaning the bike quickly, which causes a slow tentative turn-in that ALSO makes them run wide. It also allows the rider to use less lean angle and get on the throttle sooner, all big advantages in stabilizing the bike. I'll wager that the pro-racers are NOT allowing their SRs to control their turn rate; they are turning as quickly as possible for the situation.

 

 

Regarding trail-braking, here is a quote from Keith from another thread, below is a snippet but it is WELL worth reading the whole thing:

http://forums.superbikeschool.com/index.php?showtopic=3208

As we watch world competitors we see brake trailing but not everywhere and not all the time. In addition, the idea of trailing the brakes 'to the apex' has almost completely been abandoned in favor of earlier and earlier releasing of the front brake lever. Why? So they can get back to gas. One of the reasons James Toseland couldn't cut it in MotoGP was that he was taking advantage of the ultra high tech handling, brakes and tires and trailing the brakes in late. Later than everyone else. At Laguna Seca, for example, he was on the brakes 2 to 3 meters longer than Rossi, Stoner, Lorenzo and Pedrosa. That put him in about 15th place, from my observations. Just a tiny bit of time, really just hundredths of a second per turn, was enough to do it. His drives off the turn were as good as anyone elses.

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Perhaps a lot of the confusion comes from the members here and how they tell things? It's been stated over and over that you should be off the brakes when turning in so you have all grip available for turning. Not by Keith, and probably not by instructors, but definitely by forum members.

 

Other than that, one could of course simplify things and say that the correct way to ride is to use all the available grip at all times in such a manner that it brings you around the circuit in the shortest time possible ;)

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A- They trail the brakes heavily and a quick-turn might result in a front end slide?

This makes sense. If the braking forces are higher, the steering forces must be less to allow for the (greater) braking force.

B- Protecting their inside line and so have to turn earlier rather than later?

On this subject I recall a very interesting series of interviews with Mat Mladin (these are available on YouTube, uploaded by On The Throttle). Mat was asked about corner speed and he made the comment that if he was behind a rider who was lining up a corner for best speed - he would simply trail brake, get in front of them, and then what use is their corner speed? They have to slow down behind him. So it seems like that is definitely one reason why racers use a different line during a race, especially if someone is right on their tail.

C- They are going that much faster that the gyro forces are harder to overcome?

You bet! When I started out trying to quick steer on one particularly fast corner, I was trying to use a later turn point, but it was actually limiting my speed because I just could not (or was not confident enough) to put enough force into the handlebar to achieve the turn rate I needed for that late turn point. To give a rough example of how much force I was using... imagine going to the gym and putting 40kg worth of plates on a desktop, then sitting at the desk and trying to give a quick push to move that weight... that's much more force than I would ever think of using in a slower corner. To increase my speed through that fast corner I actually made my turn point earlier. This is because the gyro force at high speed takes more effort to overcome... my steering input takes longer to complete. So the earlier turn point is needed because I need to push on the handlebar for say 2 seconds to reach the appropriate lean angle (whereas a slower corner may require a steering input of only 1 second or less). The difference is quite dramatic, trying to force the late turn point I was entering the turn a bit less than 200km/h. Using the later turn point I am around 220km/h as I tip in.

 

 

It's been stated over and over that you should be off the brakes when turning in so you have all grip available for turning. Not by Keith, and probably not by instructors, but definitely by forum members.

 

Not sure if you're thinking of just me, but I have said something along those lines. Those comments have always been in discussion of the safest way to increase corner speed/steering speed and gain confidence in doing so. (Pretty sure I commented most recently along these lines in the "Drill for learning to trust the tyres" thread.) Tips and advice for someone who does not have the greatest confidence, and is looking to improve that will be very different to the tips and advice given to a racer or experienced/accomplished rider... To sum up the "off the brakes, then turn" reasoning, it is simply that by entering a corner that way you cannot turn too fast (practically speaking... I am not inviting an argument with a physicist!), and can be confident that no matter how fast you turn in you will not slide the front tyre (as always, dependant on good bike, tyres & road/track surface etc.) But when you add in the front brake to this equation... especially in racing if you look at all the front end slides that you can find, it will always be caused by too much application of the front brake! (Maybe some very rare situations when additional steering inputs contribute... but even then I cannot recall a situation where front brake was not applied...) So yes there is definitely a purpose for the front brake and trail braking, but let's not confuse advice aimed at methods of improving safety and gaining confidence with racing advice...

 

This deserves repeating... as Keith would say, "repeat 100 times after me..."

The rule is "Steer as quickly as possible in every turn." "... the as-quickly-as-possible is tailored to the turn..."

 

From what I can see in racing, I would say that this definitely applies! There is not one steering rate that qualifies as a "quick steer", it's relative to a lot of things like speed, gyro forces, braking etc. But if you want to see an example of left to right apex-to-apex steering speed, look back to one of this years MotoGP races (shame on me for not being able to remember which one... maybe Sachsenring? Maybe not...). The part of track I'm thinking of is an uphill hairpin, left turn entry and right turn exit. It didn't seem like any brakes were used there, so this would be one of the few places to observe steering inputs that are uninhibited by front brake use (although there would still be throttle use, which makes it even more amazing). One camera angle in particular showed a head-on shot... I will just say that if you saw a rider on a road or local track steering that fast going from knee to knee, you would be in awe! I was just watching it on TV, and I was in awe! There's no mistaking that racers, especially World Championship racers steer very fast!

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No, mugget, I had no-one in mind as I don't recall who've mentioned it, but it's a lot more than you.

I've definitely said it - under the same condition as Mugget mentions: the safest way to do it.

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Arguing that every turn made: racing to trackday, beginner to advanced rider, normal cornering to overtaking, increase radius to decrease radius, on a track as being quick turns is extremely redundant, but OK.

 

What you've stated, "steer as quickly as possible in every turn" is correct, but it's not defining quick turning. It's "steering rule #2." It's WAY too vague to apply this to mean what you're saying it does. It could also be a limiting factor in a riders education. Trail braking into a corner can not be considered a "quick turn" for a progressing rider, unless someone is attempting to genericize everything just so it fits into TOTW books. TOTW does cover an amazing amount of material, as I re-read it after every trackday and always manage to learn something new, but it doesn't cover everything. My book is full of notes and clarifications.

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but what you're describing is like saying "get me some cereal," while shopping for groceries. What kind? There's hundreds of types. You're trying to fit every turning style and the speed of which it's done into "quick turning," and that's inappropriate for a rider who's trying to expand his/her knowledge.

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A lot has been said here but anyone who has seen me ride knows I quick turn as a rule. There are times I get in too hot and having made a mistake resort to trail braking. There are turns that require trail braking but I always try to handle that by turning and then using the brakes at a set lean angle, turning again if nessisary.

 

To say it's the fastest way to the apex is only half the story. The problem is you are going slower at that point than the same turn using a more basic technique of quick turn. Unless you were able to get in the way you will not hold the spot. It is from extracting advantage in differeing techniques that I had sucess in my racing. you can't out trail brake a trail braker, you can square him up and shoot by at the exit.

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What you've stated, "steer as quickly as possible in every turn" is correct, but it's not defining quick turning.

 

I agree with you on this, hence my comment about "using grip to go as fast as possible around the track". I consider quick-turn to be turning as quickly as you can under ideal conditions. Whenever you cannot use all effort to turn but must hold back because you're braking or the road is slippery, you are no longer quick-turning. Instead, you are modulating.

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What you've stated, "steer as quickly as possible in every turn" is correct, but it's not defining quick turning.

 

I agree with you on this, hence my comment about "using grip to go as fast as possible around the track". I consider quick-turn to be turning as quickly as you can under ideal conditions. Whenever you cannot use all effort to turn but must hold back because you're braking or the road is slippery, you are no longer quick-turning. Instead, you are modulating.

 

AH! Now this is getting very interesting. That is two riders that feel that "steer as quickly as possible in every turn" does NOT define "quick turn". I took that from Twist II, I feel that it does define it. But, I'm absolutely open to more data, so let's take a look - what other definitions of quick turn can you find? Let's limit the search to Keith's materials, though, since he is the originator of the technique.

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Not sure if I should throw myself into deeper water than I already have, but IMO the moment you cannot turn the bike as quickly as you're physically capable of, you are no longer quick-turning, but turning as quickly as grip allows. If that makes sense.

 

Since we touched on the subject of trail braking, here is some interesting trivia http://www.superbikeplanet.com/2012/Aug/120806a.htm

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Wow, brakes are getting good! So, the braking time and distance are shorter. So that means they get ON the brakes later - but do you suppose it also means they RELEASE the brakes earlier? :) I'd like to see the actual brake pressure graphs to see how they are trailing off and where; even better if it showed lean angle and G force, too!!

 

One of the coolest things for me about doing CodeRace was getting to see an actual measured chart of my braking, and how I was trailing off the brakes entering a turn.

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What you've stated, "steer as quickly as possible in every turn" is correct, but it's not defining quick turning.

 

I agree with you on this, hence my comment about "using grip to go as fast as possible around the track". I consider quick-turn to be turning as quickly as you can under ideal conditions. Whenever you cannot use all effort to turn but must hold back because you're braking or the road is slippery, you are no longer quick-turning. Instead, you are modulating.

 

AH! Now this is getting very interesting. That is two riders that feel that "steer as quickly as possible in every turn" does NOT define "quick turn". I took that from Twist II, I feel that it does define it. But, I'm absolutely open to more data, so let's take a look - what other definitions of quick turn can you find? Let's limit the search to Keith's materials, though, since he is the originator of the technique.

 

I think part of the concept is that he actually introduces a different term in the Twist 2 video - "Quick flick" as opposed to quick turn. That doesn't suggest "turning as quickly as you can under ideal conditions", but more the action of flicking the bike from upright onto the desired line. The benefits are then illustrated with the guys on track, using less lean angle, getting on the gas earlier etc.

 

My initial post was more to do with looking at the fastest racers in the world at the moment, whom for me is the pinnacle of the kind of riding I do, and questioning an aspect their riding and why/how it differs from what I have learned from CSS. I was always of the mindset (after completing the school levels) that you break cornering down (in terms of both speed and task) and then slowly build them back up again so that you have a better understanding which is true. However, the faster/more competitive I am, I find that there are aspects that I can't apply the same way I could at slower speeds and in this instance, "quick flicking" the bike was one of them!

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What you've stated, "steer as quickly as possible in every turn" is correct, but it's not defining quick turning.

 

I agree with you on this, hence my comment about "using grip to go as fast as possible around the track". I consider quick-turn to be turning as quickly as you can under ideal conditions. Whenever you cannot use all effort to turn but must hold back because you're braking or the road is slippery, you are no longer quick-turning. Instead, you are modulating.

 

AH! Now this is getting very interesting. That is two riders that feel that "steer as quickly as possible in every turn" does NOT define "quick turn". I took that from Twist II, I feel that it does define it. But, I'm absolutely open to more data, so let's take a look - what other definitions of quick turn can you find? Let's limit the search to Keith's materials, though, since he is the originator of the technique.

 

 

The rules of turning are:

1. One single steering action per turn

2. As quick as possible

 

Steering rule #1 doesn't apply to quick turning alone, it applies to turning in general. What we're saying is that neither rule of steering applies to quick turning alone, but to turning in general. "As quickly as possible" also applies to each form of turning, making it a general rule, but type of turning specific rule. As a matter of fact, as far as quick turning goes, CSS is more clear and better organized than the book is on quick turning. It's a drill we learn in the school as pertains to the rate of steering. Quickly, as I recall.

 

I'd agree that it is still used in racing at certain times. "Squaring off" a corner to get the bike back up and pass/repass does require a quick turn input. But, as I've stated above, if you do it with someone close behind you, you're screwed because they will come under you.

 

 

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I'd agree that it is still used in racing at certain times. "Squaring off" a corner to get the bike back up and pass/repass does require a quick turn input. But, as I've stated above, if you do it with someone close behind you, you're screwed because they will come under you.

 

Regarding a rider "coming under you", he will necessarily still be slowing down and taking a tighter line; you could get on the throttle much sooner, why wouldn't you just quick turn the bike and drive right up the inside? It sure seems to happen a lot on TV :) , especially in AMA and WSBK. Plus it's REALLY satisfying to do; my favorite moments EVER in races are the ones when someone passes me on turn entry and I pass 'em right back on the exit.

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Thinking about this subject some more I recalled the section on quick turn/quick steer/quick flick (I can't remember the actual term used...) in the Twist II DVD. Can anyone else remember the conditions under which you will not be able to perform a quick turn?

 

...So obviously there are some circumstances that limit a riders ability to quick turn, it follows that trail braking and other factors would also limit the opportunity to perform a "pure" quick turn.

 

It seems like there's a bit of confusion over that kind of "pure" quick turn (in which time taken from upright to max lean is the main consideration and goal, for example if the use of brakes limit the time taken to turn - they would not be used) and the "steering rules" (which apply to all kinds of cornering, even if trail braking and other factors are involved). So to apply this to racing - I think everyone can agree that during a race a rider will be faced with many considerations other than just focusing on the shortest possible time from upright to full lean every corner?

 

But then is learning the quick turn ability even any use? What is the point to it?! If trail braking is a valid technique that is likely to be used regularly during a race, and this limits the use of the quick turn technique... why not just focus on learning trail braking and not worry about quick turns?

 

I would say that at the very least, a rider who wants to ride to a high level must have a very good understanding of just how fast the maximum turn speed (upright to full lean) is. This has to be an important part of understanding the machine's and the rider's own limits. Once the rider starts to gain an understanding of the max turn speed, they can more accurately factor in the effect of trail braking, etc.

 

Now having said that - could there be any circumstances during a race when focusing on quick turn (rather than late braking & trail braking) could actually be beneficial? Some hypothetical situations have been mentioned, but I remembered this interesting example from the Philip Island 8-Hour that took place in December last year. This was said after the CSS Superstock 600 entry broke the gear shifter:

'[/color]] "Also given that the stints were long, and we had a front tyre to preserve, we actually ended up pretty much racing around in three gears with light brakes. Funnily enough this is actually the riding format we use at the school for students in one particular exercise. To our surprise our times actually got faster riding in that way, and the tyre wear improved too!"

 

Using that riding style they gained back some positions moving from 11 laps down, finishing only 1 lap behind the leaders! They finished 2nd in Superstock 600 and 8th overall out of a 25 bike grid which also included Superbike, Supersport, Superstock 1000.

 

I thought that was really interesting - a real life race application of quick turn! smile.gif

You can find that news item here if you want: http://www.superbike.../sbs_news/id/27

 

Maybe street riders can also benefit greatly from riding in a similar manner? This photo shows the result of a lot of late braking/trial braking riding the streets around Mulholland/The Snake area (tyre sides worn right down, it probably wouldn't look like this if it had been ridden using more of a quick turn style):

d6c222aadf4a11e18dc022000a1cdd2b_7.jpg

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Can anyone else remember the conditions under which you will not be able to perform a quick turn?

 

In the wet, or similarly reduced traction conditions IE leaves or sand on the road

 

 

 

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Mugget said "if trail braking is a valid technique... why learn quick turn at all?"

 

Is every turn a braking turn? Can you think of turns where you are NOT braking, or where you would not want to trail brake?

 

How about surprises - what if a rider crashes in front of you, would you trail brake around him?

 

Have you ever seen anyone turn in too early and get hung up on the brakes, too scared to let off? What skill could correct that?

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But then is learning the quick turn ability even any use? What is the point to it?! If trail braking is a valid technique that is likely to be used regularly during a race, and this limits the use of the quick turn technique... why not just focus on learning trail braking and not worry about quick turns?

 

I would say that at the very least, a rider who wants to ride to a high level must have a very good understanding of just how fast the maximum turn speed (upright to full lean) is. This has to be an important part of understanding the machine's and the rider's own limits. Once the rider starts to gain an understanding of the max turn speed, they can more accurately factor in the effect of trail braking, etc.

 

Sorry if that last paragraph gave anyone the wrong idea... just to clarify, I do think it's important to have a strong quick turn ability. Very important! Those points that you mentioned Hotfoot especially show just how important and useful a strong quick turn ability is.

 

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But then is learning the quick turn ability even any use? What is the point to it?! If trail braking is a valid technique that is likely to be used regularly during a race, and this limits the use of the quick turn technique... why not just focus on learning trail braking and not worry about quick turns?

 

I would say that at the very least, a rider who wants to ride to a high level must have a very good understanding of just how fast the maximum turn speed (upright to full lean) is. This has to be an important part of understanding the machine's and the rider's own limits. Once the rider starts to gain an understanding of the max turn speed, they can more accurately factor in the effect of trail braking, etc.

 

Sorry if that last paragraph gave anyone the wrong idea... just to clarify, I do think it's important to have a strong quick turn ability. Very important! Those points that you mentioned Hotfoot especially show just how important and useful a strong quick turn ability is.

 

 

OK, got it, good. This does bring up some interesting questions, though - when would you want to trail brake, and when wouldn't you? Let's get out of the world of pro racers on gazillion dollar bikes and talk about track day or club level racing on "normal" sportbikes. How do you decide, for each turn, whether to use trail braking, or not? It's a interesting discussion and I'd like to hear your opinions as you think it through.

 

So...

What are the advantages of trail braking to the apex vs getting most of your braking done when vertical?

 

What types of turns or situations lend themselves more to trail braking, and what types of turns or situations favor releasing or being off the brakes at your turnpoint, to maximize your quickturn?

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OK, got it, good. This does bring up some interesting questions, though - when would you want to trail brake, and when wouldn't you? Let's get out of the world of pro racers on gazillion dollar bikes and talk about track day or club level racing on "normal" sportbikes. How do you decide, for each turn, whether to use trail braking, or not? It's a interesting discussion and I'd like to hear your opinions as you think it through.

 

So...

What are the advantages of trail braking to the apex vs getting most of your braking done when vertical?

 

What types of turns or situations lend themselves more to trail braking, and what types of turns or situations favor releasing or being off the brakes at your turnpoint, to maximize your quickturn?

 

With trail braking, you can typically get on the brakes later allowing you to carry more speed deeper into the turn, but can't get on them as hard so the braking distance is increased.

 

The turn rate is slower because the front tire is loaded and can't handle as quick a turn. Resulting in more time at lean angle or needing a greater lean angle.

 

Can't get back on the gas till the apex vs as soon as the turning action is complete.

 

The bike is less stable in a turn with the balance forward than when it is 60/40 to the rear. Bumps in the early part of a turn can get very scary when going over them leaned over and on the brakes with so much weight on the front tire; quick turn and get back on the gas makes it handle over rough spots (turn 10 at Streets is a good example).

 

Some turns are so short to the apex getting back on the gas is not practical (first part of Turn 7 chicane at Fontana is a possible example)

 

Trail braking is good for:

Passing going INTO a turn - great for passing a slower rider but a faster rider can pass you back on the exit. Passing going in, on the brakes, makes you slower mid-turn and/or makes you run wide so you are vulnerable to be passed right back. Significant danger of "overcooking" the turn and running wide or losing the front.

 

Short turns with slow exits, especially if there is a fast straight before the turn (fast in slow out)

Good for light braking in high speed turns

 

Decreasing radius turns, where your "real" turn point is very late in the turn - use trail braking to keep slowing down through the first apex to the "real" turn point, then quick turn and drive out.

 

Quick turn is good for:

Turns that don't require any braking

Turns with fast exits

Turns before a straight

Chicanes

Fastest possible overall pace through ANY turn except decreasing radius turns

 

Conclusion: Trail braking is most useful for passing a slower rider on turn entry, or for decreasing radius turns that have a fast entry, or any turn (or any situation) where ENTRY speed is more important than EXIT speed.

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