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Do you prefer to corner in one direction over the other?

Most riders I know prefer right hand corners. We speculate it is because it means more road to the outside to the riders, which gives the feeling of more run-off area and a greater chance to recover from any errors or slides.

Personally, though, I feel more confident going through left hand corners. I presume it is because I can look further through left hand bends, but again it is speculation. Anyway, I was reminded of this again when I had to replace the peg feeler on the left, which was down to about a mm. The one on the right had only lost its hat on the acorn bolt top, despite having been on the bike much longer. So I lean over to my personal limit more often to the left than to the right.

 

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Pretty sure we had covered this a while earlier, but I'm interested to see any new comments on this.  So, any skill level rider, please do let us know what turn you prefer (if you do prefer one over the other).

 

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I also thought we have discussed it earlier, but my (lack of) search skills failed to come up with anything, so I took a chance that the topic was from another forum and new to this one 😳

 

I am still interested to learn if people have preferences or not. Personally, I cannot see any differences on the chicken strips, so my maximum angle of lean is similar, but I go to my personal limit more frequently and with more confidence to the left.

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I don't know this a big issue, but what tracks have you ridden? (sorry, I don't recall your riding history).  In other words, left or right-handed tracks?

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Years ago I definitely felt better/had a preference for lefts. When I first came to CSS I had a coach ask me if I prefer lefts, as he observed my body position look at home on the left but I was tight and twisted up going right. My left was the first knee I got down. 
 

Today, after multiple level 4 days and working on it, I can’t say I have a preference. Currently, my right knee puck is probably twice as worn as my left (more the result of riding COTA 5-6 times a year - long sweeping rights, tight short lefts; and MSR Houston - clockwise track). 
 

Proper body position, both left and right, was the first piece of the puzzle. Vision is the toughest but most rewarding piece for me currently.  
 

On public roads, I’ve got a few favorite turns and they’re all blind rights. So, for me, it’s not actually being able to *see* through the turn, but where my head and eyes are pointed that affects good body position and confidence in the turn.  Granted, I know those turns (and typically scout them first), so perhaps I don’t *need* to be able to see through them. Regardless, I notice that when I’m practicing good body position and vision fundamentals I feel confident to charge those blind rights pretty hard. 
 

 

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I've always preferred right turns. I think part of it is a mental issue of having my upper body be closer to the throttle hand. To this day, when learning a new track and gradually increasing speed, I find that I usually increase speed to the point of touching down knee with right turns first. Then again, 5 of my 6 lifetime track crashes have been right turns though. 😅

 

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Good responses, both.  

Apollo: If you are interested we can have a look at those crashes, see if there is a theme that could be addressed (unless it has been already)?

I do think the body position factor is a big one in this.  In some cases riders have liked one side more than the other, and hung off more on that side--at times too much.  And what is too much?

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Most of my riding is on the street, and I do have a preference for right-handers, but only because if you are apexing to the paint line, on left-handers your body parts are in the oncoming lane of traffic.  Even on empty roads it feels like I'm asking for it, so I tend to be less aggressive on the lefties.  On the track, no difference or preference.

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I only ride on the street, and I also make the corners as wide as possible (well, I do leave a foot or two as a safety margin) in order to be able to see as far as possible through the corner. Vision is my main priority, not ideal racing lines.

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Good points, both of you.  

I've spent so much of the last year's traveling (and we were raising kids) street bike didn't get enough use (got tired of dead batteries and clogged carbs).  

Might be time for a new street bike...I do like the F-800 (wish they made a 1000, a bit more torque and get up and go).

Maybe a thread on what's a popular street bike...

 

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On 4/22/2020 at 3:14 PM, Cobie Fair said:

Good responses, both.  

Apollo: If you are interested we can have a look at those crashes, see if there is a theme that could be addressed (unless it has been already)?

I do think the body position factor is a big one in this.  In some cases riders have liked one side more than the other, and hung off more on that side--at times too much.  And what is too much?

I'm always open to more discussion and thoughts from another vantage point, especially as there's not much else we can do with motorcycles right now.  However, I don't think that my crashes are tied to left versus right so much as they are feel and seat time issues.

The issue of front end feel in different conditions has been an issue you and I have discussed. Feel-wise, there are the two ends of the spectrum, low grip and high grip. When the tires are cold or the ground is slick, there is the bowling ball feeling where the front feels light. In contrast, when the conditions are perfect, the front end bites/pushes into the asphalt and the front suspension "loads more." My continual issue, one I've tried to work on with dirt trail riding, socal supermoto, and cornerspin, is increasing pace without overstressing the front end.

My entire history of track crashes and my self-assessments:

1 - Sears Point - right T4 - perfect weather - This was a long time ago, and my second time on track ever. It was a CSS school day. I came in hotter than ever before. I was knee down with neutral body position, on barely cracked maintenance throttle, and running wider than I expected.  I made the mistake of added more lean angle. I remember hearing the footpeg start to grind as I tried to tighten the line. Then the rear let go first. In retrospection now with more riding experience, I would approach such a situation by trailing in the brakes until my lean angle, speed, and trajectory were what I wanted before releasing the brakes. Hook turn and letting the bike run all the way out to the rumble strips would be other steps.

2 - Sears Point - left T3 - rain and standing water - Literal first lap, thought I could tip toe across a stream of water instead of going way off line for a slightly drier spot. Front tucked with barely any lean.

3 - VIR - right T12b (hogpen) - rain - I overtaxed the front. I was slowly pushing more and more each lap. I remember specifically tipping into T12b and immediately thinking "this is probably slightly too fast for the conditions."  I tried to stay loose on the bars and just let the bike track on the line. I didn't feel warning signs from the tires, only in my mind. I was mainly focused on not upsetting the bike in the downhill turn, and it was just the most predictable front end tuck. In retrospect, I wonder if I should tried to stand the bike up and go onto the outer dirty part of the track while scrubbing speed.  

4 - Buttonwillow - right T4 - perfect weather - This was all me and a focus issue. It was my first weekend at the track. I was riding a Ninja 300 and getting a bit frustrated with packs of bigger bikes with more straight line speed and slower cornering speed. This was pure stupidity.  In a judgment call, I decided to make an outside pass. The plan was to carry more cornerspeed, run it out to the rumble strip, and hopefully beat the other rider to T5. I ended up a few inches wider than I should have, hit dirt on the outer edge of the rumble strip and lost the front as I still had a small amount of lean angle.

5 - Sears Point - right T3a - cold high 40F -  I came off warmers early (Pirelli Superbike slicks) to link with a trackday coach to see their lines.  We ended up sitting on the pre-grid for a while where my tires were cooling.  As it was our first time riding together and due to the weather, the coach took it extra slow (let's ballpark 30 seconds a lap off hot pace) as we rode in traffic for 2 laps.  Then, we slowly started moving the pace up, but we were still crawling.  I was trying to mind my tires, and increasing the pace and load bit by bit to get them heating up rather than continue cooling.  I thought I had a sizeable safety margin (probably still 15 seconds off hot pace, running a lot less lean angle) while leading when I came over the crest in 3A and the front tucked without any discernable warning over the crest. By crest in 3A, I mean the slight crest or transition from uphill to flattening out on corner entry as we make the run up from 3. So clearly, I did not have the safety margin I thought I had.

6 - Thunderhill - right T14 - mid 50F - Second practice session. I was taking it easy and going maybe 80% (ballpark 10 seconds off my ideal conditions lap time). I was almost at the apex and just released trail braking when the front let go. I didn't sense any warning slide or anything. I will say though, about 1/2 way to the apex from turn in point, I did think that I felt a bump but then it smoothed out before where I lost the front. Ended up taping the bodywork and racing 3 seconds off pace later that day.

So that is my tale of woes. I'm felt front end and rear end slides before under ideal conditions on track, but those are the exception and not the rule. Mostly, I find myself on my side before I really figure out front end feel under less than ideal conditions. I've heard from fast racers that they feel the front end go light/shimmy as they increase lean in poor conditions, and that's when they know to stop increasing lean angle. But I'm definitely not there in terms of feel.

 

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Apollo,

Good summary and description of what has happened.  In this instance, I've some ideas, but to drill down into this in a bit more detail, better that we just talk, or even skype.  I'm in the office this week (except Thursday), pretty flexible, let me know if you want to chat.

Cobie

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18 hours ago, Cobie Fair said:

Apollo,

Good summary and description of what has happened.  In this instance, I've some ideas, but to drill down into this in a bit more detail, better that we just talk, or even skype.  I'm in the office this week (except Thursday), pretty flexible, let me know if you want to chat.

Cobie

Thanks, Cobie!  Edit: Tried to send you a message, but it said that you cannot receive messages.

I sent an email to your superbike school email from a few years back. If there is a different email to reach you at to arrange a chat, please let me know.

Thanks!

 

 

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On ‎4‎/‎28‎/‎2020 at 8:33 PM, Apollo said:

Thanks, Cobie!  Edit: Tried to send you a message, but it said that you cannot receive messages.

I sent an email to your superbike school email from a few years back. If there is a different email to reach you at to arrange a chat, please let me know.

Thanks!

 

Working on the messaging issue for Cobie's account, thanks for notifying us of that. In the meantime you can message me, if you like, and I will get the info to him (include your email address please, so he can respond that way). Otherwise, his email has not changed so if you emailed him on that superbikeschool address that should get to him. He is out of the office today so he won't be able to respond until tomorrow, I'm sure.

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16 hours ago, Hotfoot said:

Working on the messaging issue for Cobie's account, thanks for notifying us of that. In the meantime you can message me, if you like, and I will get the info to him (include your email address please, so he can respond that way). Otherwise, his email has not changed so if you emailed him on that superbikeschool address that should get to him. He is out of the office today so he won't be able to respond until tomorrow, I'm sure.

Thanks for the update, Hotfoot. I was able to connect with Cobie through email and we've got our chat scheduled to discuss my history of crashing. Considering I'm just now getting around to re-painting the track bike, maybe this will keep the paint job clean for a little while longer.  🤣  

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