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Downhill Conering

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I need some help-guidance for downhill conering. On roads, not the track, I'm having a hard time taking the corners coming down a hill? Any advice?

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Speaking only from my experience they are 95% the same as any other corner in a strictly physics-oriented way. The bike is going to react in the same ways as any other corner. The only 'useful' piece of advice I can offer is that your front tire will be loaded more than if you were on a flat so make sure you finish your braking completely before you go for any lean. I figure that the sooner you're able to open the throttle and balance the weight closer to the ratio of contact patch the better.

 

For me it's all about knowing the corner so that I can find the confidence to do the same things I do in other corners. The only significant difference is your brains perception of the situation. The techniques should be largely the same, it's finding the b@lls that's the problem and that only comes from knowing what's coming and using good visual technique so you are able to overcome your SR's that are going to make you crash.

 

In summary, it's largely a head game in downhill turns.

 

*I THINK*

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Research off-camber corners too. Many are like that and seem to play issue with your gut instinct of traction. What are some ways you deal with off-camber corners?

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Im not sure if my vidoe can help but... here it is

 

http://forums.superb...3773#entry31721

 

my 2C, im not sure of its 100% , take with a grain of salt...

 

for simple normal banked 90 degree 2 lane turns just before a a straight

 

 

before the turn :

 

1)get your speed right and stabilize the bike's suspension by giving it a bit of rear brake first then front combined 0.1-0.5S later (preferably on small/no lean and trail braking )

Honda's Combined -abs works this way, i just sample and adopt it as it works for me , YMMV

 

 

2)find a good turn/ reference point

 

3) dont trigger any SR's

 

4) 2 step method + quick flick the bike onto the turn, one steering input per turn if possible

 

5) maintenance throttle if needed to keep the suspension in the sweet spot . YMMV

 

 

During the turn

 

1) look where you are going , eliminate excess rider inputs and dont set off SR's

 

2)smooth throttle roll on if necessary as soon as you see the exit of the turn , YMMV on banked/unbanked turns

the aim is to keep the whole suspension system planted and in the sweet spot

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I understand this concern completely. When I used to ride in the North Georgia mountains I often found I had a real lack of courage on the steep downhill turns. (Actually I wiped out on one, but there was ice involved...)

 

There is a tendency to put more weight on the arms / hands when going downhill, which leads to tension and unwanted steering inputs. Concentrate on supporting your weight with your legs against the tank and using your core muscles, so that you can keep your arms relaxed. Easier said that done when braking downhill...but it can be done.

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I have been riding for over 30 years and never had any issues with downhill corners. First, on a steep decline - steepest I've ridden was 1:3, but even 10% is pretty steep - I personally find it impossible to get off the brake before turning in as my speed will then go up from the G-forces pulling on you and your machine. So for me, deep braking has been the only answer. I have also invariably carried my weight on my arms. Again, there have been no issues for me with this. Could be I've just been incredibly lucky.

 

This is down a 10% avg decline and it's quite obvious how late I am on the throttle. Of course, front brake is released gradually.

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-Even if it feels awkward still roll on the gas as early as possible (very smoothly of course)

 

-Don't sabotage your steering impuls by leaning on the handlebars

 

What also helpes me is to imagine that I'm actually going uphill while going downhill (sounds a little crazy I know )

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That' my problem, I feel like I have too much weight on the handlebars, and my bike dosent want to lean into the turn easliy. I don't know if I should downshift, or ride the rear brake, It just dosent feel smooth and natural, especially on the steep downhills.

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That' my problem, I feel like I have too much weight on the handlebars, and my bike dosent want to lean into the turn easliy. I don't know if I should downshift, or ride the rear brake, It just dosent feel smooth and natural, especially on the steep downhills.

 

It can definitely be tough to keep weight off the bars on downhill turns, and as you have already observed, having weight on the bars makes the bike harder to turn! What parts of your body are you using to hold onto the bike, to keep you from sliding forward or leaning on the bars while braking or going downhill?

 

Also, you mentioned that you don't know whether you should downshift; engine braking would definintely help slow the bike prior to the turn, is there any reason you do NOT feel comfortable downshifting before a downhill turn? Are you trying to downshift before the turn, or IN the turn?

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I've been downshifting in the turn, after coming into the curve too hot, back tire kicking out on me. I'm comfortable on the track in the bowls, but the streets, downhill are kicking my ass.

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Don't think I've ever downshifted in a turn, at least not when leaned over well. Doesn't sound like a good thing to do. Either do your shifting before turning in or after the bike is starting to come upright and is under power seems like a more natural thing to me, at least.

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I've been downshifting in the turn, after coming into the curve too hot, back tire kicking out on me. I'm comfortable on the track in the bowls, but the streets, downhill are kicking my ass.

 

Ah. Got it. Yup, downshifting IN the turn, especially if you have already come in too fast, is certainly dicey - you are asking too much of the rear tire. It is already unweighted because you are downhill AND slowing down, which reduces your traction - and you are asking it to handle the cornering forces PLUS the braking forces produced by downshifting - and if you are abrupt with the clutch you are almost certain to slide the rear tire. If you have already entered the turn too fast, you are more or less in survival mode, just trying to get through the turn without running wide or sliding out, probably not an enjoyable way to ride the turn. :)

 

You already identified an EARLIER problem - coming in too fast. If you entered a downhill turn at a speed where you KNEW FOR SURE you could make the turn comfortably, would that allow you to get back on the throttle soooner? What would getting back to the throttle sooner do to the weight distribution on the front wheel versus back wheel, and how would that affect your overall traction?

 

If you were entering the turn at a very comfortable speed, where you KNEW you could make it, would that allow you to stay more relaxed in your arms? Would that allow you to turn the bike more quickly?

 

What would you have to do, in a downhill turn, to give yourself time to set your entry speed properly?

 

If you have already entered the turn too fast, it is difficult to fix. If you are aware of it early you could use quick turn and hook turn to try to get the bike turned rapidly and tighten up your line; good throttle control and relaxed arms would make the bike handle better, hanging off would help minimize your lean angle to improve your traction and lessen your chance of dragging hard parts. If you realize you are coming in fast, sometimes picking a later turn point ( to give you more time/distance for braking while still straight up and down) and then quick-turning the bike could help.

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I've been downshifting in the turn, after coming into the curve too hot, back tire kicking out on me. I'm comfortable on the track in the bowls, but the streets, downhill are kicking my ass.

 

Bad Bad Bad!!! You have been one lucky camper by doing so. To date I can't think of anything worse than downshifting in a downhill turn and watching the front tire slide out from under me. Because of which I have one turn that will always be close to my heart. Please don't do it.

What is the natural instinct of a person when going downhill? Push off of anything that you can, right?

Now your slowing down while going downhill, what do you do? Did you forget that gravity is working against you? It will take longer to slow down, etc...

Do you use the bars as a brace for your upperbody? If so what does that do for your steering?

 

 

One thing that I do now when I think that I am or could load up the front forks (because of my body) under braking is rolling my shoulders forward. When you roll your shoulders forward you naturally unlock your elbows, therefore take the load off the front forks.from locked elbows, then you have to use your legs/back to keep you from using your arms. Try keeping your elbows locked after you roll your shoulders, can you do it?

 

Yeah I know it is a scattered reply but I hope you get understand what I am trying to say.

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I need some help-guidance for downhill conering. On roads, not the track,

The key is in "on the roads, not the track." Since you're not on the track trying to set a track record, and there are dangerous obstacles on the roads, why not just ride down with maintenance throttle with feathering of the brakes as necessary? If you're not approaching the traction limits of the tires, you don't need to worry if the weight distribution is 40-60 or 60-40. Going downhill requires extra braking distance due to gravity working against you. It behooves one to be cautious by going slower. Should an animal, loose rocks, stalled car, or tractor trailer obstructing your lane appear around the next blind corner, you may need the stopping distance.

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....and the payoff for those nasty downhills is the fun uphill sections, where you can be a total hero because gravity does a bunch of the braking for you going into the corners, with zero cost in terms of tire traction. That's fun!

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Lots of good advice! thanks. I've been playing with the traction control on the 1198, and was wondering why I still could'nt make the turns coming in hot. I guess I was relying too much on it. The guys Im riding with have smaller bikes, and even some hyper motards, and they seem to be crankiing through the turns harder than me?

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Lots of good advice! thanks. I've been playing with the traction control on the 1198, and was wondering why I still could'nt make the turns coming in hot. I guess I was relying too much on it. The guys Im riding with have smaller bikes, and even some hyper motards, and they seem to be crankiing through the turns harder than me?

 

Smaller, lighter-weight bikes (assuming they have decent handling) are able to corner faster than bigger heavier bikes just because of physics; a heavier bike is subject to greater cornering forces due to its higher mass (Force= mass * acceleration). The higher cornering speed is what attracts some riders to very lightweight bikes like the little RS125, or lightweight supermoto bikes.

 

Lots of riders that are new to track riding have made the mistake of trying to follow a little bike like an RS 125 or Ninja 250 through a corner and ended up in the dirt! Those little bikes might be slow on the straights but they'll eat a liter bike for lunch in the corners. They can change direction faster (better quick turn) and they can carry a LOT more speed into and through the corners.

 

Your 1198 will unquestionably be at a disadvantage in the corners - especially DOWNHILL corners! Compared to smaller lighter bikes, you will not be able to enter the corners as fast as a smaller lighter bike. With a sensible entry speed and good throttle control you can gain a bit back but mainly you'll just have to wait until the corner EXIT (and the straight sections) to use all that horsepower to your advantage. :)

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Lots of good advice! thanks. I've been playing with the traction control on the 1198, and was wondering why I still could'nt make the turns coming in hot. I guess I was relying too much on it. The guys Im riding with have smaller bikes, and even some hyper motards, and they seem to be crankiing through the turns harder than me?

 

Smaller, lighter-weight bikes (assuming they have decent handling) are able to corner faster than bigger heavier bikes just because of physics; a heavier bike is subject to greater cornering forces due to its higher mass (Force= mass * acceleration). The higher cornering speed is what attracts some riders to very lightweight bikes like the little RS125, or lightweight supermoto bikes.

 

Lots of riders that are new to track riding have made the mistake of trying to follow a little bike like an RS 125 or Ninja 250 through a corner and ended up in the dirt! Those little bikes might be slow on the straights but they'll eat a liter bike for lunch in the corners. They can change direction faster (better quick turn) and they can carry a LOT more speed into and through the corners.

 

Your 1198 will unquestionably be at a disadvantage in the corners - especially DOWNHILL corners! Compared to smaller lighter bikes, you will not be able to enter the corners as fast as a smaller lighter bike. With a sensible entry speed and good throttle control you can gain a bit back but mainly you'll just have to wait until the corner EXIT (and the straight sections) to use all that horsepower to your advantage. :)

 

nice insight!

 

I remembered on a downhill trip, a ninja 1000 actually waved to us to tell tell us to overtake him ... come to think of it what a gentleman, he sure knows his bike's pros and cons!

 

PS,the smaller wheelbase + thinner tires sure help alot for turn radius and quick turning :)

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Got it. Makes sense. I blast them out of the corners, but they crush me on the down hill curves. I thought it was some thing I was doing or was'nt doing. Frustrating, but now I've got it.

thanks all!

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A little late to the party but,

 

A technique / drill of sorts that I use to practice keeping weight off the bars under heavy braking which could help in downhill situations is 1 handed panic braking. With only one hand on the bars any force applied will result in a steering input and the bike veering right, but if you can actually support all of your weight with your core you can brake nearly as hard with 1 hand as with 2 and keep the bike in a perfectly straight line. Having stomp grips or some other type of traction pad on your tank is massively useful for this, and obviously this is something you should try in a safe location until you're quite comfortable with it, I started out just trying to keep my left hand about a inch off the bar while braking and gradually increased the amount of braking force I would apply. Now vice gripping the tank with my legs and supporting myself with my core as soon as I hit the brake is pretty much muscle memory.

 

Tyler

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A little late to the party but,

 

A technique / drill of sorts that I use to practice keeping weight off the bars under heavy braking which could help in downhill situations is 1 handed panic braking. With only one hand on the bars any force applied will result in a steering input and the bike veering right, but if you can actually support all of your weight with your core you can brake nearly as hard with 1 hand as with 2 and keep the bike in a perfectly straight line. Having stomp grips or some other type of traction pad on your tank is massively useful for this, and obviously this is something you should try in a safe location until you're quite comfortable with it, I started out just trying to keep my left hand about a inch off the bar while braking and gradually increased the amount of braking force I would apply. Now vice gripping the tank with my legs and supporting myself with my core as soon as I hit the brake is pretty much muscle memory.

 

Tyler

 

Im on a scooter and I discovered a trick thats similar to anchoring the lower body and keeping the core and arms loose...

 

use the tip of your shoes to push against the front footwell while the back of your butt(or is that pelvis) push against the height difference "hump" onthe seat , it forms a triangular " friction lock " . (most scooters dont have gas tanks that permit leg grabbing/anchoring)

 

Bein tiht on the handlebars is an SR too...

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You will struggle to find WSBK and MotoGP riders that keep their arms relaxed under braking, so I doubt you can call it SR.

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You will struggle to find WSBK and MotoGP riders that keep their arms relaxed under braking, so I doubt you can call it SR.

 

If it is not within your voluntary control, it is an SR - something you do automatically in an effort to protect yourself. For example, if a car starts to pull out in front of you and you instantly tighten up your arms and death grip with your hands, that is counter productive to effectively controlling the motorcycle and is a survival reaction triggered by fear.

 

However, if a race rider is consciously using his arms to support himself during extremely hard straight-line braking, that is a decision - it may or not be the best strategy but at least the rider is in control of it, not just dealing with an automatic response.

 

So it may or may not be an SR, depending in the rider. :)

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