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Hook Turns


aslcbr600
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To make sure I am understanding this, would a hook turn be used for a decreasing radius turn? For example in GP I see the riders coming into a very tight turn and they keep a very tight line without increasing the lean angle. However I don't see much change in their body position, like the body position shows in this video:

 

Now I know there is no single way to ride a bike around the corners and different schools teach different things but I find it interesting to see how they take such a tight turn and not run wide or have to increase lean angle to make the turn. Sure you could counter steer more but as we all know that also increases lean angle and eventually you run out of tire so there has to be ways to make that decreasing radius turn.

 

I know this is considered a more advanced body position skill but I am just trying to grasp the knowledge of it and understand how it's applied and used properly.

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You can definitely use the hook turn on a decreasing radius turn; your line will tighten up. A slight roll off of the throttle also works, say from 1/2 throttle to 1/3 throttle. The reduction in speed combined with the weight transfer produces similar results.

 

The hook turn is a great tool to have when needed. I got lazy approaching a fast turn and didn't get the bike turned quick enough. I wound up on a wide line and decided to give the hook turn a try. It brought the bike back to the line I had originally intended and I was able to hit my apex and drive out nicely.

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The Hook Turn is indeed a great technique to have in you "toolbox", the amount you can tighten up your line simply by shifting your upper body forward is a good deal more than you would expect. It is of course somewhat dependent on being properly set up for the turn, locked on and shifted over slightly on the seat, good body position etc. etc. I find its very useful when I turn in too early and end up on a wider line then I normally use and can tighten it back up to my normal line mid corner, but it definitely takes the presence of mind to think clearly mid corner and apply it. If you panic and SR's start taking over your most likely not going to even consider the hook turn as a option.

 

As for the comparison of the hook turn to MotoGP riders and lines, that is kind of like comparing a Camaro to a F1 car. Those bike have SO much tech in them they are ridden completely different from a normal production based platform. They can hold insanely tight lines cause the GPS based electronics are modulating the engine braking to keep the bike on that line. There was a good article in RRW a month or two ago about the difference a full on WSBK Traction Control system makes, and I belive its most significant advantage was not the anti wheelie or the anti wheel spin or launch control, but the back in control that modulates the engine braking and adjusts the idle mid corner.

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Oh wow I didn't know the GP bikes had that kind of technology! Does anyone have a picture of this body position? It kinda makes sense but of course visual is always better, the video didn't show a whole lot.

 

Photo 4 in the slideshow on the superbikeschool home page looks like a hook turn in action.

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Ah I see so are you still keeping a gap between you and the tank (fist distance) or when going in for a hook turn are you shifting right up to the tank? In the video he was explaining how difference in body position on the seat affects where the weight is placed on the bike, wasn't sure if he was implying that you want to be as forward as possible on the tank or not. In the video he wasn't up against the tank but when the bike is on stands you don't get the full feel for the position you just get an idea.

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........but it definitely takes the presence of mind to think clearly mid corner and apply it. If you panic and SR's start taking over your most likely not going to even consider the hook turn as a option.

 

This is a great point!

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I would practice the turn at speeds I am relatively comfortable with so I am not thinking about what could go wrong instead focusing on how the bike is reacting to my body position. The time when SR's kick in for me is quick braking, I haven't had much of an opportunity to practice deep braking before turns. I don't freeze or lock up but it's a little nerve racking at times and I find myself focusing too much on what lies ahead instead of continous downshifts and braking.

 

Example, turn is coming up I start on the brakes, downshift, brakes................downshift, brakes..........down down, brakes damn I messed up that turn preperation lol I know why this is happening though. I am not setting brake markers for myself so my braking points are not consistent. Just something I need to work on.

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Er, do you get off the brakes during downshifts?

 

 

 

No I don't get off the brakes during downshifts completely but I do let off some pressure. Actually I have caught myself getting off the brakes because I try to add a little throttle when going down into the next gear and that makes me get off the brakes.

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You need to fix that. Brake pressure should be even all the way until you start releasing for the corner, or your entry will be jerky.

 

Agreed. In fact, you should practice setting your corner speed using no brakes. Even when I start to pick up my pace, I am VERY light on the brakes.

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You need to fix that. Brake pressure should be even all the way until you start releasing for the corner, or your entry will be jerky.

 

Agreed. In fact, you should practice setting your corner speed using no brakes. Even when I start to pick up my pace, I am VERY light on the brakes.

 

 

 

I have done this before but not on purpose, it all comes back to consistently practicing something and when it comes to braking points, pressure, entry speed all of that varies with me and that needs to change. Can't improve if you are always doing something different right?

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im not sure if im right...

 

this hook turn technique

 

-transfers a bit more weight to the front which :

 

 

compresses more

 

and shortens the wheelbase and/or changes bike geometry to favor more cornering "oompfh" ? :unsure:

 

it kinda sounds like body steering but concentrated into a tool used exclusively for only certain scenarios. :P

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

You can definitely use the hook turn on a decreasing radius turn; your line will tighten up. A slight roll off of the throttle also works, say from 1/2 throttle to 1/3 throttle.

 

Are you sure about that? Rolling off the throttle will initially make the bike run wide, right?

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Are you sure about that? Rolling off the throttle will initially make the bike run wide, right?

 

I believe a slight roll off of the throttle would result in a slight weight transfer forward, which is effectively the same thing you are achieving with the hook turn technique, shifting weight forward, compressing the fork's which results in a shorter wheelbase, netting you a tighter turning radius or line.

 

now completely chopping the throttle will probably not get you the same results

 

 

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Downfall of rolling off the throttle is it brakes throttle control rule and you lose exit speed. Thus the hook turn in my opinion would be a much better option then rolling off the throttle unless you have no other choice....if it were roll off or hit the ditch obviously I would rather take the exit speed but it's not a good habit to get into lol.

 

Were out there to win right!!! Well at least I am anyway haha

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Rolling off the gas will move the weight forward, so the front fork will compress and thus the bike will tighten it's line.

HOWEVER, rolling off the gas will also reduce our ground clearance, something we'd rather avoid.

 

JET's demo in the video is quite clear and the simple movement of your upper body mass has surprisingly large effect on the line!

 

You often don't notice it being used in MotoGP, since they apply the Hook Turn right from the beginning of the turn (since this is where it has it's biggest overall impact) . As I recall, Dani Predosa uses the hook turn quite clearly.

 

Kai

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Are you sure about that? Rolling off the throttle will initially make the bike run wide, right?

 

I believe a slight roll off of the throttle would result in a slight weight transfer forward, which is effectively the same thing you are achieving with the hook turn technique, shifting weight forward, compressing the fork's which results in a shorter wheelbase, netting you a tighter turning radius or line.

 

now completely chopping the throttle will probably not get you the same results

 

 

 

Eventually. But that is after some other undesirable things might happen, including running wide. As someone else pointed out it violates Rule #1 of throttle control and isn't in the list of exceptions. Check out Twist II the DVD - it gives the science behind why you'll initially run wide if you close the throttle mid-turn, and also why eventually your line will tighten. Despite the shortening of the wheelbase there is initially a change in the contact patch of the front tyre and an unintentionally induced countersteer the wrong way. Eventually the bike slows down etc. and your line will tighten.

 

But the DVD explains it a lot better than my few sentences do!

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Mea culpa. I didn't think that through properly. Of course a gentle throttle off will have a different impact than chopping the throttle. I now agree (and disagree with former me) that a nice, controlled throttle roll-off with some body hook technique will help, so too then rolling on the throttle back on after sorting out your line and speed.

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  • 3 years later...

With the bike up right in the garage, I sat on the bike while observing the front forks. I noticed a very small compression of the forks. The front suspension on my bike is stock and soft imo. I leaned my chest into the tank, the forks didn't move at all. In fact, I can only manage to compress the forks the littlest amount by bouncing on the seat. I had thoughts of making video showing movement of the forks as I move around and lean on the bike, but that ended up not being necessary. On the other hand, squeezing the front brake with any amount of forward movement of the bike will compress the forks.

 

I think the hook works because of the downward cg movement, and works best when the bike is leaned over less than 45 degrees, maybe 30 degrees is optimal. I believe that the hook effectively increases the lean by a few degrees, causing a chain reaction that tightens the turn.

 

So if you do pro-racing style and hook early in the turn only to find that you are running too tight, unhooking doesn't seem correct somehow. Steering correction seems the safer way to go?

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So if you do pro-racing style and hook early in the turn only to find that you are running too tight, unhooking doesn't seem correct somehow. Steering correction seems the safer way to go?

There is another way to widen your arc without adding a steering input (and without changing body position), who knows what that is?

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So if you do pro-racing style and hook early in the turn only to find that you are running too tight, unhooking doesn't seem correct somehow. Steering correction seems the safer way to go?

There is another way to widen your arc without adding a steering input (and without changing body position), who knows what that is?

 

 

Turn the loud handle.

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So if you do pro-racing style and hook early in the turn only to find that you are running too tight, unhooking doesn't seem correct somehow. Steering correction seems the safer way to go?

There is another way to widen your arc without adding a steering input (and without changing body position), who knows what that is?

 

 

Turn the loud handle.

 

 

Bingo!

 

Wishy Thinky, if you are riding in a steady circle in a parking lot, and you add throttle and increase your speed, without changing anything else, what happens to the diameter of your circle?

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