# Removing A Variable From Learning A Corner

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Thinking about T8 at NCBike as an example. It's a normal, generic, run of the mill left hander - and my nemesis. I always felt like I could go faster through there but the feeling always came after I'd already turned in. Did I forget to mention that from the exit of T7 the exit of T8 isn't visible? You can't see it until you're within about 2 seconds from the T8 Turn point, and THEN it becomes a standard outside-inside-outside flat turn.

Every time I went through there, I think I unfortunately changed something until day2 was nearly done and I had the line figured out and then it became more like a bend than a corner. Eureka!

Now I'm thinking 'what can I standardize'? I've got speed, lean angle (and rate of speed of change of lean angle), braking point, turn point, apex...you know the list to choose from.

Is it practical to turn every corner into a max lean endeavor and thereby getting one step closer to finding the right combo of other variables until getting that corner right?

..

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Thinking about T8 at NCBike as an example. It's a normal, generic, run of the mill left hander - and my nemesis. I always felt like I could go faster through there but the feeling always came after I'd already turned in. Did I forget to mention that from the exit of T7 the exit of T8 isn't visible? You can't see it until you're within about 2 seconds from the T8 Turn point, and THEN it becomes a standard outside-inside-outside flat turn.

Every time I went through there, I think I unfortunately changed something until day2 was nearly done and I had the line figured out and then it became more like a bend than a corner. Eureka!

Now I'm thinking 'what can I standardize'? I've got speed, lean angle (and rate of speed of change of lean angle), braking point, turn point, apex...you know the list to choose from.

Is it practical to turn every corner into a max lean endeavor and thereby getting one step closer to finding the right combo of other variables until getting that corner right?

Do you recall the Change Lines drill from Level 2?

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Yes, I recall very well DOING it. Can't say I had my own Aha! moment from doing it (years ago).

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One of the purposes of the Change Lines drill is to pick a corner and really discover the shape/character of that corner. Riding through it on various lines at a pace where you can really observe it can reveal the real shape of the corner (does it tighten up? it is visually deceiving on the entrance?) and the camber, which can change from the beginning to end of the corner or from inside to outside, and if we always ride the corner on roughly the same line (especially when trying to 'go fast') we might not have the opportunity to gain that sort of information.

If you had the chance to REALLY look at the shape of the corner, would that allow you to choose an apex that would give you your desired exit line? And once you have that apex, could you work backwards to a good turn point? If the corner is somewhat blind, would a Change Lines exercise give you the opportunity to pick up reference points that would give you certainty on where you want to be at the beginning of the corner, even if you can't see the exit (or even the apex) of the corner?

If you have the chance to walk the track sometime, maybe before or after the start of a track day, that can REALLY be enlightening, especially when it comes to camber changes.

While we're talking about it, anyone remember some of the other benefits that can be gained from the Change Lines drill?

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Hmmm...thank you for spelling that out. I had a hunch that was where you were going and I'm glad that you went there. I will remember that next outing to try to walk the track in the wee hours.

Any thoughts on getting the bike over on the sidewall for every corner?

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Hmmm...thank you for spelling that out. I had a hunch that was where you were going and I'm glad that you went there. I will remember that next outing to try to walk the track in the wee hours.

Any thoughts on getting the bike over on the sidewall for every corner?

My thought is this: getting the bike to its absolute max lean angle for every corner would be a good strategy for maximizing your chances of getting a rad photo when you don't know which corner the photographer is going to be in.

Generally I'd consider lean angle to be a means to and end so I would work backwards - first question, what are you trying to accomplish in a particular corner, then what lean angle would be necessary to achieve that? I don't personally see lean angle as goal, in and of itself; rather like braking, it is nice to have the skillset to maximize it when needed, but there are only some places/situations where absolute maximum possible braking force is needed.

This is a good question for the group. Can you think of any types of corners or situations where it would NOT be productive to take the bike all the way to it's maximum possible lean angle? What advantages could be potentially be gained by using less lean angle?

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Hmmm...thank you for spelling that out. I had a hunch that was where you were going and I'm glad that you went there. I will remember that next outing to try to walk the track in the wee hours.

Any thoughts on getting the bike over on the sidewall for every corner?

My thought is this: getting the bike to its absolute max lean angle for every corner would be a good strategy for maximizing your chances of getting a rad photo when you don't know which corner the photographer is going to be in.

Generally I'd consider lean angle to be a means to and end so I would work backwards - first question, what are you trying to accomplish in a particular corner, then what lean angle would be necessary to achieve that? I don't personally see lean angle as goal, in and of itself; rather like braking, it is nice to have the skillset to maximize it when needed, but there are only some places/situations where absolute maximum possible braking force is needed.

This is a good question for the group. Can you think of any types of corners or situations where it would NOT be productive to take the bike all the way to it's maximum possible lean angle? What advantages could be potentially be gained by using less lean angle?

I think the exceptions would be slow corners and quick-change chicanes.

Do you think there is any one item that is Primary to standardize to help one to nail any particular corner?

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Always start with a late apex. Then as you see there is more track available on the exit you can anticipate the apex.

Most riders instinct is to go for an early apex, because it's easier to see the inside curb than the end of the turn.

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Always start with a late apex. Then as you see there is more track available on the exit you can anticipate the apex.

Most riders instinct is to go for an early apex, because it's easier to see the inside curb than the end of the turn.

How do you resist the temptation to slow down, considering that you're running out of track on the entrance to the corner?

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Go slow to go faster!

Either I work on my lines or time. I can't do both, and the hardest is the first.

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Hmmm...thank you for spelling that out. I had a hunch that was where you were going and I'm glad that you went there. I will remember that next outing to try to walk the track in the wee hours.

Any thoughts on getting the bike over on the sidewall for every corner?

This is a good question for the group. Can you think of any types of corners or situations where it would NOT be productive to take the bike all the way to it's maximum possible lean angle? What advantages could be potentially be gained by using less lean angle?

I think the exceptions would be slow corners and quick-change chicanes.

Do you think there is any one item that is Primary to standardize to help one to nail any particular corner?

Quick change chicanes are an excellent example of a place where leaning the bike over to its max possible angle might not be optimum, yes.

To answer your question, I think you should take a look at "The Soft Science of Motorcycle Racing" by Keith Code. In Chapter Three there is an explanation of the difference between an idea and a plan. I suppose if there IS any one item that is "primary to standardize to help one nail any particular corner" it would be having a PLAN for THAT corner, as opposed to an IDEA (or possibly a set of conflicting ideas) that you attempt to apply to EVERY corner.

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...... Is it practical to turn every corner into a max lean endeavor and thereby getting one step closer to finding the right combo of other variables until getting that corner right?

Just like the banking angle of any airplane, the lean angle of a motorcycle is the result of the combination of only two things:

1) Speed.

2) Radius of the turning trajectory.

Even when your actual trajectory goes outside-apex-outside of a curve, it is still circular and has a more or less constant radius.

Being limited by the geometry of the turn, the only variable with which you can play is entry speed: slower entry speed results in less lean angle, faster results in more lean angle, excessively fast results in your bike dragging parts and possible crashing.

If you turn every corner into a max lean endeavor, that only means that, for the entry speed that you have selected, the bike will be describing a circular trajectory with the smallest radius possible.

For turns that require less speed/lean angle combination or that are less tight, you will overturn the curve or proper line.

Then, in the best case, you may be hitting an excessively early apex and subsequently running wide in your way out the turn.

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If you turn every corner into a max lean endeavor, that only means that, for the entry speed that you have selected, the bike will be describing a circular trajectory with the smallest radius possible.

For turns that require less speed/lean angle combination or that are less tight, you will overturn the curve or proper line.

Then, in the best case, you may be hitting an excessively early apex and subsequently running wide in your way out the turn.

Easy solution to an early apex is a later turn-in. Consequently, wouldn't the solution to a too small turn radius be to go faster?

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If you turn every corner into a max lean endeavor, that only means that, for the entry speed that you have selected, the bike will be describing a circular trajectory with the smallest radius possible.

For turns that require less speed/lean angle combination or that are less tight, you will overturn the curve or proper line.

Then, in the best case, you may be hitting an excessively early apex and subsequently running wide in your way out the turn.

Easy solution to an early apex is a later turn-in. Consequently, wouldn't the solution to a too small turn radius be to go faster?

What if it is a long turn that tightens up at the end? Going in faster might not be an option; you'd need to slow down for the later part of the corner but if you are at max lean for the bike/tires you would not be able to brake effectively.

I referred to the "plan versus idea" concept in Soft Science because you need to make a PLAN for each corner, based on the characteristics of the corner and the specific RESULT you want to achieve. If you try to apply a particular IDEA to every corner, such as "getting the bike over on the sidewall for every corner" you can get frustrated by poor results because corners are different! You can also run into multiple ideas that might conflict with each other ("brake as late as possible for every corner", "get on the throttle before the apex") or conflict with what you are observing is actually happening to you in the corner. I can't possibly explain it as clearly or hit it from as many different angles as Keith Code does in the book, it really is worth a read if you can get your hands on a copy.

Back to your original question - you were looking for the thing to standardize. Well, for the particular turn you used an as example, you said that once you had the line figured out, you were happy with the result. So what did you need to find, and then consistently hit, to get that same line every lap in that corner?

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Back to your original question - you were looking for the thing to standardize. Well, for the particular turn you used an as example, you said that once you had the line figured out, you were happy with the result. So what did you need to find, and then consistently hit, to get that same line every lap in that corner?

It was convincing my wrist that I was in the right place on the track and that my reference point would appear if I continued. I was also in the midrange grunt and honestly, I haven't gotten used to the power of my new Fireblade so it still felt a little unpredictable to me.

I referred to the "plan versus idea" concept in Soft Science because you need to make a PLAN for each corner, based on the characteristics of the corner and the specific RESULT you want to achieve. If you try to apply a particular IDEA to every corner, such as "getting the bike over on the sidewall for every corner" you can get frustrated by poor results because corners are different! You can also run into multiple ideas that might conflict with each other ("brake as late as possible for every corner", "get on the throttle before the apex") or conflict with what you are observing is actually happening to you in the corner. I can't possibly explain it as clearly or hit it from as many different angles as Keith Code does in the book, it really is worth a read if you can get your hands on a copy.

I have it

What if it is a long turn that tightens up at the end? Going in faster might not be an option; you'd need to slow down for the later part of the corner but if you are at max lean for the bike/tires you would not be able to brake effectively.

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It was convincing my wrist that I was in the right place on the track and that my reference point would appear if I continued.

OK, good observation. Which reference point was that, that you were waiting to appear? (As in, what did that reference point mean to you? I don't need to know what the point actually was - curb, mark on the pavement, etc. - I am curious about how you were USING it.)

What is the minimum number of reference points you need to have in a corner?

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It was convincing my wrist that I was in the right place on the track and that my reference point would appear if I continued.

OK, good observation. Which reference point was that, that you were waiting to appear? (As in, what did that reference point mean to you? I don't need to know what the point actually was - curb, mark on the pavement, etc. - I am curious about how you were USING it.)

What is the minimum number of reference points you need to have in a corner?

I was usually looking for the exit cone (zone actually). The Org I was with had established cones on TP, Apex, Exit but I often find they only work at certain speeds and if I'm not there yet, it doesn't work well (for me). But I use them as a general guide until I find my own points.

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I was usually looking for the exit cone (zone actually). The Org I was with had established cones on TP, Apex, Exit but I often find they only work at certain speeds and if I'm not there yet, it doesn't work well (for me). But I use them as a general guide until I find my own points.

OK, good, with those three points (turn point, apex, and exit) you can establish an arc through the corner, a plan for where you want to be.

Here is a question I'll throw out to EVERYONE, let's hear your answers:

If you CHANGE your turn point, what else changes in that turn?

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A somewhat related question, how did those exit cones work? Did you (or do others) tend to run towards them...or too wide?

Just curious.

CF

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They were good in that you can often pick them up despite elevation changes, but not as good as a big encircled X on the track surface for defining a specific 2-dimensional point in space/time to perform an action. There is some terrain that hides the exit cone for T8 until you get close enough. But hey, even a "bad" RP is better than no RP, right? (need a dubious smilie here).

The result is that my lines were vague. I'm not sure if the cones helped or hurt, but immediately I saw the value of the "Circle X" that CSS uses at The Streets for example. I guess it must be a "this isn't our track to vandalize" sentiment. I do think I missed out on the value of really finding MY OWN RP's and tried to work within the confines of what was spoon fed and expected of me.

There were 3 cones setup for each corner to establish "the line". Cones don't tell you lateral displacement from track edge where "the line" exists, so I found myself experimenting with this too. I found that using all the track (extreme lateral edges) all the time isn't always a good idea. The exit cone for 5 (long left) and the apex cone for T6 I found troubling and it was....(Aha! moment) here I now think that the lines for T8 were heavily influenced!

I think if I visit this track in the future I will instead look at it as a section or series of turns.

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They were good in that you can often pick them up despite elevation changes, but not as good as a big encircled X on the track surface for defining a specific 2-dimensional point in space/time to perform an action. There is some terrain that hides the exit cone for T8 until you get close enough. But hey, even a "bad" RP is better than no RP, right? (need a dubious smilie here).

The result is that my lines were vague. I'm not sure if the cones helped or hurt, but immediately I saw the value of the "Circle X" that CSS uses at The Streets for example. I guess it must be a "this isn't our track to vandalize" sentiment. I do think I missed out on the value of really finding MY OWN RP's and tried to work within the confines of what was spoon fed and expected of me.

There were 3 cones setup for each corner to establish "the line". Cones don't tell you lateral displacement from track edge where "the line" exists, so I found myself experimenting with this too. I found that using all the track (extreme lateral edges) all the time isn't always a good idea. The exit cone for 5 (long left) and the apex cone for T6 I found troubling and it was....(Aha! moment) here I now think that the lines for T8 were heavily influenced!

I think if I visit this track in the future I will instead look at it as a section or series of turns.

OK! This sounds like an excellent plan. I totally agree that a cone at the edge of the track does not give you enough info about where to be on the track from left to right, and on a, say, 20 ft wide track there is a huge difference in using a turn point on one side versus the other versus somewhere in the middle.

I also very much like your idea to look at the SERIES of turns next time, to make a plan to find a line that gets you through the whole section efficiently. Well done on thinking that through!!

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If the turn point changes... Depends, if the speed is lower then you can hit the same apex even using a different line?

Assuming speed is the same the arc will be wider, potentially much wider, so the apex will have to move farther ahead. But it depends: you can turn later, with the same speed, hit a slight late apex, then slow down on the exit to compensate the too high corner speed.

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There is a long list of things that change when the turn point changes...it's in Twist 2, but I bet could even be expanded upon.

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