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Tight Corners With Elevation Changes


StevenAthas
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First off I would like to say that I hope I am able to attend this school one day. God willing, I'll try to save some money up because I see a huge value in all that is taught here. I have read Twist of the Wrist II and watched the DVD about 50-60 times and every time I seem to find something that helps me get just a little safer and smarter about my riding. With that being said...

 

My question is: When dealing with sharp, less than 90 degree turns that have elevation changes either through the turn or just before the exit, what's the best technique to get around the turn smoothly without going overly slow or feeling like I'm pushing the front wheel??

 

The reason I ask this, is because when I approach tight turns that have a sharp upward hill, I feel the front forks compress and this feels really weird to me when I'm leaned over on the bike. Feels like the front wheel will wash out.

 

Also, in that same token, when I approach tight turns with a sharp downward hill (like a corkscrew), I feel like my front end is at the top of its range and that also doesn't feel very comfortable.

 

I don't know whether these are my SR's or if these turns just need to be ridden slowly. Is it my own handle bar inputs? Am I being too stiff on the clip ons? I thought I'd ask for some advice.

 

Any input is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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Welcome to the forum.

You asked some good questions that have all kinds of answers that will lead to all kinds of questions back to you for you answer.

 

Are you ready?

Did you feel the same way about these types of turns before you started reading and watching Twist 2?

 

Advice: Go slow in the slow turns and fast in the fast turns. Relax, Relax, Relax.

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Welcome to the forum. Lots of great information here.

 

A few questions for you. Has your bike been setup for rider sag? Tell us a bit about your braking as you come in for your approach to the corner.

 

As ScrmnDuc mentioned appropriate speed is very important as well as relaxing.

 

A wise man that wrote some very helpful books mentioned once "Approach at a speed where you know you can make the turn". Going in too fast can set off SR's especially if the bike gets out of shape and ruin the corner speed due to not being able to get on the power for the exit. If your entry is too fast you might find the "Discharging" drill helpful.

 

I actually had some problems with too slow corner entry speeds due to some visual issues. Keeping a wide view and doing the 2 step and 3 step drill is very helpful for resolving "in too slow" issues.

 

Do you think your entry is too slow or too fast?

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Welcome to the forum.

You asked some good questions that have all kinds of answers that will lead to all kinds of questions back to you for you answer.

 

Are you ready?

Did you feel the same way about these types of turns before you started reading and watching Twist 2?

 

Advice: Go slow in the slow turns and fast in the fast turns. Relax, Relax, Relax.

Thank you, I'm happy to be here. And thank you for the advice lol I definitely am guilty of not always being relaxed on the bike.

 

I think I still felt that way in those turns, but Twist II really helped me to understand and define the possible causes. Without the book, I would more than likely just think that the bike might be at its limits, but I think a realy strong point the Twist II makes, is that the motorcycles can handle much more than we can and that more often than not (probably 99% of the time), it's the riders input that causes problems. So to answer your question, I think I still had problems with those types of corners, but the book is helping me self reflect and try to find the underlying problem.

 

 

Welcome to the forum. Lots of great information here.

 

A few questions for you. Has your bike been setup for rider sag? Tell us a bit about your braking as you come in for your approach to the corner.

 

As ScrmnDuc mentioned appropriate speed is very important as well as relaxing.

 

A wise man that wrote some very helpful books mentioned once "Approach at a speed where you know you can make the turn". Going in too fast can set off SR's especially if the bike gets out of shape and ruin the corner speed due to not being able to get on the power for the exit. If your entry is too fast you might find the "Discharging" drill helpful.

 

I actually had some problems with too slow corner entry speeds due to some visual issues. Keeping a wide view and doing the 2 step and 3 step drill is very helpful for resolving "in too slow" issues.

 

Do you think your entry is too slow or too fast?

Thank you. Yeah, I imagined there would be great information here. One of these days, I'll be able to save some money and actually attend the 2 day camp.

 

To answer your questions: I have not had the bike's sag setup up to my weight. I actually very recently purchased this bike (Ducati 848evo) so I haven't had a chance to really modify anything. I generally brake early and blip, downshift and ride into the corner engine braking. Before the Duc, I've always had Inline 4's so I used much more front braking, but since picking up this new bike, I've been using a little less front brake, and relying more on my engine braking for my entry speed, but I do cover my front brakes for minor adjustments when needed.

 

I definitely practice the 2 step rule religiously. It has done wonders for my cornering and for me to "be able to get on the gas as soon as possible". My lines greatly improved after I learned that. I found that I almost always turned in too early and flicked the bike over too slow.

 

"Do you think your entry is too slow or too fast?" <---- This is the big question here lol.

 

I don't always know... I feel like I'm charging the turn on my approach, but on my exit, I feel like I could have hit it harder.... And, to add to the problems, the uphill or down hill factor comes in which adds some instability.

 

It's pretty frustrating. Especially when I'm pretty sure I'm the cause of the instability.

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Let's look at the uphill corner question first. If you feel as though there is a lot of load on the front, what can you do to shift some weight/load from the front to the rear wheel, once you've got the bike leaned?

 

Based on what the book teaches, weight transfers from the front to the rear wheel, are done using the throttle. So, more gas?

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One thing to consider is also how you are anchoring/holding on to the bike. For street riding I pretty much have both knees on the tank to hold on with. For track riding in most cases I have both knees on the tank when I turn, later relax the inner one.

 

The point is (and many will likely get address here, which is good :)), as the first step, make sure you are holding on with the lower body, and not using the bars to hold on with.

 

Make sense?

 

CF

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One thing to consider is also how you are anchoring/holding on to the bike. For street riding I pretty much have both knees on the tank to hold on with. For track riding in most cases I have both knees on the tank when I turn, later relax the inner one.

 

The point is (and many will likely get address here, which is good :)), as the first step, make sure you are holding on with the lower body, and not using the bars to hold on with.

 

Make sense?

 

CF

 

Thank you all very much for taking the time to respond to this thread, I'm truly greatful.

 

Yeah, that makes a great deal of sense. For the most part I feel like I do that. But, it could very well be that this specific turn causes me to tighten up on the bars because of how sharp it is; especially if I'm charging it.

 

Could it be that I'm not flicking the bike over fast enough and as a consquence I'm getting on the gas late which is not alowing the weight to transfer to the rear and keeping the front forks compressed? And do you believe that my inputs could also be my problem on corners with a steep downward elevation change through the turn? I would figure the downward input on the clip ons would be a benefit in that situation.

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As a person who lives in the MIDDLE of a hill...

besides side to side body positioning mentioned above by the other members of the forum

I tend to lean forwards for uphill corners and backwards for downhill corners

you will usually experience understeer for uphill corners and the exact opposite for downhill corners (oversteer)

corners are also much easier to mitigate if its banked + without weird markings mid turn.

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you will usually experience understeer for uphill corners and the exact opposite for downhill corners (understeer)

 

 

 

 

I read this several times and then something in my brain went "dzzzzt"......

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The reason I ask this, is because when I approach tight turns that have a sharp upward hill, I feel the front forks compress and this feels really weird to me when I'm leaned over on the bike. Feels like the front wheel will wash out.

 

Also, in that same token, when I approach tight turns with a sharp downward hill (like a corkscrew), I feel like my front end is at the top of its range and that also doesn't feel very comfortable.

 

 

 

So just for clarity, we are talking about what happens just at the beginning of an elevation change? Not when you are actually on the hill, but at the beginning of the hill, right? Because once you are on an uphill, your forks would normally be extended, not compressed, and when you are on a downhill your forks would be compressed, not extended. I am trying to get a clear picture here because a sharp transition to a steep uphill or downhill that occurs *in* a corner is a pretty rare thing, even on mountain roads.

 

In other words, are we talking about a hill in a corner (rare) or a corner on a hill (common)?

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The reason I ask this, is because when I approach tight turns that have a sharp upward hill, I feel the front forks compress and this feels really weird to me when I'm leaned over on the bike. Feels like the front wheel will wash out.

 

Also, in that same token, when I approach tight turns with a sharp downward hill (like a corkscrew), I feel like my front end is at the top of its range and that also doesn't feel very comfortable.

 

 

 

So just for clarity, we are talking about what happens just at the beginning of an elevation change? Not when you are actually on the hill, but at the beginning of the hill, right? Because once you are on an uphill, your forks would normally be extended, not compressed, and when you are on a downhill your forks would be compressed, not extended. I am trying to get a clear picture here because a sharp transition to a steep uphill or downhill that occurs *in* a corner is a pretty rare thing, even on mountain roads.

 

In other words, are we talking about a hill in a corner (rare) or a corner on a hill (common)?

 

Hey YellowDuck. Thanks for taking the time to respond. The elevation increase is fairly sharp and begins IN the turn....for example, when you hit the turning point, it's still flat (might even be going slightly downhill) and the hill comes up while you're pretty much at full lean in the corner. Yes, it's pretty rare. I can't really say I've experienced this issue on any other corner.

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As a person who lives in the MIDDLE of a hill...

 

besides side to side body positioning mentioned above by the other members of the forum

 

I tend to lean forwards for uphill corners and backwards for downhill corners

 

you will usually experience understeer for uphill corners and the exact opposite for downhill corners (oversteer)

 

corners are also much easier to mitigate if its banked + without weird markings mid turn.

 

 

Hey ktk. Thank you for your input. I agree that in most cases when going uphill leaning forward helps but in this case, the entire turn isn't uphill, it's actually mid turn, basically right at the point that you would be at full lean. when approaching the turning mark it's still flat (maybe slightly downward). Hope I'm being descriptive enough.

 

Thanks for taking the time.

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Wow, this is a super-interesting question now that I understand exactly what is being asked. I wish my physics and understanding of bike geometry and steering were good enough to offer something useful. There are a few very math-minded folks on the forum here so hopefully one of them can think it through.

 

It seems though that what you experiencing is a geometry change that occurs when the fork compresses as you hit the uphill section. Normally what happens on flat ground when the fork compresses as you are leaned over (say, because you applied some front brake) is that the bike will want to stand up a bit. This happens because as the fork compresses the center of gravity of the bike / rider moves downwards and towards the outside of the corner. So, to compensate and stay on the same line through the corner you would need to lean more.

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Wow, this is a super-interesting question now that I understand exactly what is being asked. I wish my physics and understanding of bike geometry and steering were good enough to offer something useful. There are a few very math-minded folks on the forum here so hopefully one of them can think it through.

 

It seems though that what you experiencing is a geometry change that occurs when the fork compresses as you hit the uphill section. Normally what happens on flat ground when the fork compresses as you are leaned over (say, because you applied some front brake) is that the bike will want to stand up a bit. This happens because as the fork compresses the center of gravity of the bike / rider moves downwards and towards the outside of the corner. So, to compensate and stay on the same line through the corner you would need to lean more.

 

Well it's not so much going wide that I'm worried about as much as the front wheel reaction I get from the steep incline. I'm having to go so slow because of the load on the front, that going wide into the turn isn't much of an issue.

 

I'm wondering if there's something that I'm doing wrong or something I can do better to help my forks from bottoming out (or close to) in that situation.

 

And on the reverse; downhill turns. I want to get past that weird front tire levatating feeling. The book teaches that the steering, once in a lean, is done by the back wheel and its lean angle; so I understand that the front wheel isn't affecting my turning ability throughout the turn, but it almost feels like I have no traction on the front tire which is definitely causing some SR's.

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Are you getting any feedback from the bike itself telling you the front is overloaded on the uphill turn? Is it shaking, sliding, bottoming out the suspension, or anything like that?

 

What do you think would happen if you entered the uphill corner with more speed, or rolled the gas on a bit more once the bike is turned?

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Are you getting any feedback from the bike itself telling you the front is overloaded on the uphill turn? Is it shaking, sliding, bottoming out the suspension, or anything like that?

 

What do you think would happen if you entered the uphill corner with more speed, or rolled the gas on a bit more once the bike is turned?

 

I feel a little bit of wiggle from the front tire at times, and it definitely feels like it's overloaded. Almost like it's bottoming out, but not to that extent. Just feels like it's at the bottom of its range.

 

I see what you're saying.. If I get on the gas earlier it'll take some of the load off the front tire in the weight transfer to the rear.

 

I gotta be honest with you though, sounds like SR city! I feel like I'm going to be pretty reluctant to get on the gas knowing that incline is there.

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Are you getting any feedback from the bike itself telling you the front is overloaded on the uphill turn? Is it shaking, sliding, bottoming out the suspension, or anything like that?

 

What do you think would happen if you entered the uphill corner with more speed, or rolled the gas on a bit more once the bike is turned?

 

I feel a little bit of wiggle from the front tire at times, and it definitely feels like it's overloaded. Almost like it's bottoming out, but not to that extent. Just feels like it's at the bottom of its range.

 

I see what you're saying.. If I get on the gas earlier it'll take some of the load off the front tire in the weight transfer to the rear.

 

I gotta be honest with you though, sounds like SR city! I feel like I'm going to be pretty reluctant to get on the gas knowing that incline is there.

 

 

If you entered the corner a little slower, at a speed you knew you would feel comfortable, would that allow you to roll on the throttle more and observe how the handling of the bike changes when you shift some weight to the rear wheel? If the bike felt significantly better with improved throttle control, could you then increase the entry speed a little bit each lap? The trick is to work up to it on a gradient that allows you to ride without triggering SRs, since (as we have already discussed) getting tense on the bars does not improve the bike's handling. :)

 

You may have answered this earlier, but I can't remember - does the hill crest while you are still leaned over, or are you still going uphill as you straighten the bike up coming out of the corner?

 

PS - good comment earlier about the "steer for the rear" section in Twist.

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Are you getting any feedback from the bike itself telling you the front is overloaded on the uphill turn? Is it shaking, sliding, bottoming out the suspension, or anything like that?

 

What do you think would happen if you entered the uphill corner with more speed, or rolled the gas on a bit more once the bike is turned?

 

I feel a little bit of wiggle from the front tire at times, and it definitely feels like it's overloaded. Almost like it's bottoming out, but not to that extent. Just feels like it's at the bottom of its range.

 

I see what you're saying.. If I get on the gas earlier it'll take some of the load off the front tire in the weight transfer to the rear.

 

I gotta be honest with you though, sounds like SR city! I feel like I'm going to be pretty reluctant to get on the gas knowing that incline is there.

 

 

If you entered the corner a little slower, at a speed you knew you would feel comfortable, would that allow you to roll on the throttle more and observe how the handling of the bike changes when you shift some weight to the rear wheel? If the bike felt significantly better with improved throttle control, could you then increase the entry speed a little bit each lap? The trick is to work up to it on a gradient that allows you to ride without triggering SRs, since (as we have already discussed) getting tense on the bars does not improve the bike's handling. :)

 

You may have answered this earlier, but I can't remember - does the hill crest while you are still leaned over, or are you still going uphill as you straighten the bike up coming out of the corner?

 

PS - good comment earlier about the "steer for the rear" section in Twist.

 

 

 

Thanks :) I always read the book the day before I go out and when I get back from riding. I've pretty much memorized it.

 

I think I see what you're saying. The fact that I'm coming in too hot to the turn is causing me to tense up and get on the gas too late into the turn which is keeping the front tire loaded and magnifying the impact from the incline.

 

So, slower on the approach, and gas earlier through the turn.. Hotfoot also mentioned getting on the gas earlier and figured I'd be terrified of this. But I think coupled with a slower entry and gradually increasing the speed each time to get comfortable will help a lot.

 

The hill actually continues upward after the corner, it's doesn't crest.

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So I went out this morning and had great ride. I felt far more stable on that corner when when I got on the gas early. The increase in elevation through the corner was nearly unnoticeable. I also noticed that approaching the corner a bit slower helped me feel more confident in flicking the bike over faster; and I was pretty much on the gas as soon I leaned the bike over and through the entire turn.

 

I really appreciate everyone's feedback, advice and suggestions. I think the only reason I was able to have confidence in myself, was because I have full confidence in all of you and trust your knowledge.

 

Thank you all again. Safe riding.

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So I went out this morning and had great ride. I felt far more stable on that corner when when I got on the gas early. The increase in elevation through the corner was nearly unnoticeable. I also noticed that approaching the corner a bit slower helped me feel more confident in flicking the bike over faster; and I was pretty much on the gas as soon I leaned the bike over and through the entire turn.

 

I really appreciate everyone's feedback, advice and suggestions. I think the only reason I was able to have confidence in myself, was because I have full confidence in all of you and trust your knowledge.

 

Thank you all again. Safe riding.

It's great to hear you got it sorted out and thanks for posting this update! It's great to read about successes like this. :)

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In the chapter on The Road We Ride in Twist 1 it talks about different aspects that make up the character of a road or track. You've mentioned uphill vs. downhill but not camber.

Imagine a 45° lean angle on flat ground. Now imagine the ground sloping away: off camber. In that situation would you roll on more or less aggressively?

Now imagine the reverse, the ground sloping towards you: you could have a 45°lean on a 45° on-camber slope. You would be 90°/perpendicular to the ground, effectively straight up and down. Would you be able to roll on more aggressively? Would you NEED to, in order keep the suspension from bottoming out?

Not sure if this is relevant to what you're perceiving in the corners you are talking about but I hadn't heard it mentioned and it could be a factor.

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