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Left Turns = Eeeek!


Franco802
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These past couple of months, a friend of mine has taken the time to mentor me in the canyons. I have improved my riding level by at least 70%. Entry speed, speed in the turn, exit speed, body positioning, braking, the whole nine yards. Even my left turns and I hate left turns!

 

I attended CSS back in September at SOW. I learned a bunch while being there. I took level 1 only, but had a blast!! I remember Dylan asking who was left handed. I was the only one who raised my hand. He then asks me "You must LOVE right turns?" I gave him a big nod, lol. I don't remember what he said after that, but I'm sure someone here will tell me.

 

How do I conquer this fear? I have got better at my lefts. This is by forcing myself to increase entry speed, but still scary. I also have better body position on my lefts, all my buddies who watch me tell me that and I know the reason. It's because when I am on a left turn, my body is hanging off pretty good. That's because I am afraid of the left and want to make sure I make the bike go left, so I am completely hanging off. Then on my rights, it's a no brainer and I feel so comfortable, I don't have to hang off as much.

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These past couple of months, a friend of mine has taken the time to mentor me in the canyons. I have improved my riding level by at least 70%. Entry speed, speed in the turn, exit speed, body positioning, braking, the whole nine yards. Even my left turns and I hate left turns!

 

I attended CSS back in September at SOW. I learned a bunch while being there. I took level 1 only, but had a blast!! I remember Dylan asking who was left handed. I was the only one who raised my hand. He then asks me "You must LOVE right turns?" I gave him a big nod, lol. I don't remember what he said after that, but I'm sure someone here will tell me.

 

How do I conquer this fear? I have got better at my lefts. This is by forcing myself to increase entry speed, but still scary. I also have better body position on my lefts, all my buddies who watch me tell me that and I know the reason. It's because when I am on a left turn, my body is hanging off pretty good. That's because I am afraid of the left and want to make sure I make the bike go left, so I am completely hanging off. Then on my rights, it's a no brainer and I feel so comfortable, I don't have to hang off as much.

Dylan here. No one really knows why most prefer turning in a particular direction but it's my guess that is may be related to which eye is dominant. Aside from that, one way to assist in the corners is to turn your head in further--riders tend to not turn their heads into the turn direction they don't like. Also they tend to get tense. So two things you can do is remember to turn your head in, and apply the "relax" drill.

 

DC

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These past couple of months, a friend of mine has taken the time to mentor me in the canyons. I have improved my riding level by at least 70%. Entry speed, speed in the turn, exit speed, body positioning, braking, the whole nine yards. Even my left turns and I hate left turns!

 

I attended CSS back in September at SOW. I learned a bunch while being there. I took level 1 only, but had a blast!! I remember Dylan asking who was left handed. I was the only one who raised my hand. He then asks me "You must LOVE right turns?" I gave him a big nod, lol. I don't remember what he said after that, but I'm sure someone here will tell me.

 

How do I conquer this fear? I have got better at my lefts. This is by forcing myself to increase entry speed, but still scary. I also have better body position on my lefts, all my buddies who watch me tell me that and I know the reason. It's because when I am on a left turn, my body is hanging off pretty good. That's because I am afraid of the left and want to make sure I make the bike go left, so I am completely hanging off. Then on my rights, it's a no brainer and I feel so comfortable, I don't have to hang off as much.

Dylan here. No one really knows why most prefer turning in a particular direction but it's my guess that is may be related to which eye is dominant. Aside from that, one way to assist in the corners is to turn your head in further--riders tend to not turn their heads into the turn direction they don't like. Also they tend to get tense. So two things you can do is remember to turn your head in, and apply the "relax" drill.

 

DC

Thank you Dylan. I will apply this drill and turn my head in more. I do notice that when I'm relaxed on my rights, my right should seems to drop more naturally as well.

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Interesting topic. I have read a few times on many of the trackday forums people who prefer turning left or right.

 

Figured I would share some of my own weirdness. I have a pretty pronounced visual defect with my left eye being a lot weaker than my right eye. To pass an FAA class A flight physical years ago I had to "cheat" with some special glasses as they require 20/20 vision in each eye and test individually. Left or right I have no preference turning wise even though my right eye provides most of my visual information in normal circumstances.

 

The turning your head thing is really important and I found out the hard way. I was super nervous on a track day and was taking it easy and not going my fastest in my turn entries. One of the coaches grabbed me and mentioned what he was seeing. I was not looking into the turn. Once I made an effort to look into the turn it seemed to open the door to some amazingly quick entry speeds. Nerves make it amazingly simple to forget everything you know in an instant and revert back to some pretty horrid riding. :)

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As far as looking into the turn. I don't think I have any issues here. I always look into the turn. I always have my head turned. I did find out yesterday that I am right eye dominant. This makes alot of sense. I did a little test. I went out to the same canyon I ride. But I took my truck our there this time. I know it's a totally different vehicle and on four wheels, but I felt more comfortable going faster on right turns than left. Even in my truck. And it definitely does have to do with which eye is dominant.i can feel it.

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In street riding (or driving) part of it is just lane position. In right turns you are apexing near the shoulder, which is usually yours alone. On lefts you are apexing near the center line which could easily be occupied by oncoming traffic. The need to keep your head and upper body well within your own lane complicates things a bit turning left...

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As far as looking into the turn. I don't think I have any issues here. I always look into the turn. I always have my head turned. I did find out yesterday that I am right eye dominant. This makes alot of sense. I did a little test. I went out to the same canyon I ride. But I took my truck our there this time. I know it's a totally different vehicle and on four wheels, but I felt more comfortable going faster on right turns than left. Even in my truck. And it definitely does have to do with which eye is dominant.i can feel it.

As said some of that could be; on the street most people feel safer going through right turns viewing that oncoming lane as a safety zone, run off area if you will whereas, when going through left handed turns the "run off" is off the road. Faulty logic, but common logic for whatever reason.

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imho it could be a bike centric problem.

 

the CB400SF for example loves to skid to the right (tailpipe side) if you3 e-brake the rear

 

the extra weight and position of the pipe is detrimental to one side's flickability so to speak as it makes handling not neutral.

 

I balance my own bike by adding weight until skids dont pan out in either direction

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  • 3 weeks later...

"I also have better body position on my lefts."

 

I could probably go back to when I frequented this site and cut and paste my response. Honestly. If your body position (BP) isn't even and consistent on both sides, fixing a problem could change from corner to corner, even so you can't pinpoint what the problem is. Whether you're more comfortable in tighter corners or sweepers, if you change your BP from one corner type to the next, the rest of what you're doing is going to be affected.

 

What I hate hearing the most: "put your face where your mirrors would be." Is that what you're trying to do in the pics? If so, you're way off. I was when I was trying it. A friend told me to forget that and work on making it the same on both sides by the cockpit (where you sit on the bike), and to forget about the mirror thing. Bike on stands in the pit, working on it, side to side, I made one side the same as the other and practiced to make it consistent. I did it on the track and it was an instant change in riding and I could start working on the other issues (of which I was still confused about at the times because I hadn't been to a school yet). My butt was in the same place from one side to the other and I started putting my outside shoulder on the gas cap, regardless of the side or corner type. Relax your shoulders and you're in the same place on both sides on every corner. Find a body position that's comfortable, fixed, and measurable, because I can assure you that "your face where your mirror would be" isn't consistent when you're on the track (or twisties) or in the photos. Then where you're looking, steering input, tenseness in left vs right corners can be more easily assessed.

 

When I was coaching during trackdays, getting my students to practice this through the day for a couple of minutes between sessions was a thing, and every rider I've seen, who's progressing through the riding ranks, Lex Hartl, Joe Roberts (former GP Redbull Rookie Cup Rider) and Benny Solis (AMA Pro Road Racer) could be seen practicing this in the pits. That way, once you're riding, it'll feel more natural and take less effort while you're leaned over doing 60 mph.

 

You can work on a bunch of different things to improve, and you will. Consistency should be one of them, and getting the proper BP on both left and right sides is simple to correct and will set the foundation to making your left turns as good as your right.

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This is still something I wrestle with, I don't like right-handers. I'm right-handed and I don't seem to have a dominant eye, that or I don't know I do. The best progress I made with it was at Levels 1 and 3 of CSS. Level 1, quick turns, I learned to take my weight off the bars properly, and let the bike go around the corner itself. This really helped with feelings that I might not go where I wanted it to, which uses up confidence and concentration. At level 3 I learned to lock on properly using my outside peg and knee. Even though this isn't an entirely new thing, it all clicked and I felt I could attach to the bike properly for both lefts and rights, and it also makes it easier to get the weight off your hands so you intefere less with the steering. Also I had been using a different Bp on lefts and rights, I looked more MX on rights and racetrack dangly-offy on lefts, for some reason. So that was my story, I'm still working on it.

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