Jump to content

Corner Entry Speed - Adding trail braking to the mix


Recommended Posts

So I've just finished level 2 of the school, and in our last drill we were focussing on trail braking.

Up to that point, I'd been doing really well - the "no brakes" drills with throttle control were really helping me set more consistent and gradually higher entry speeds, especially when improving vision and fast turns, making me one of the quickest out on track.

However, adding in the trail braking seemed to mess everything up for me ... I'd got used to approaching corners at a certain speed, largely using throttle alone.  I'd not set any braking reference points (we weren't braking!) and so was pretty much coming in at the same speeds as I was before - now adding in the braking slowed me right down into the corners, and I didn't seem to have any tools or techniques to get my entry speed right.  Other students seemed to take this drill on board much more easily.

The feedback from my coach was to go back to the throttle control focus.  However, that's seemed already to be working well for me.

Is there any advice out there around setting corner entry speed when we're adding in trail braking?  It seems much easier to control that entry speed using throttle control rather than braking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I once overheard a conversation that the act of turning in reduces the speed of the bike.

I've also heard that an acceptable definition of the apex is the slowest part of the turn.

Do you want to use braking to set the speed for the TP or the Apex?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Were you braking hard or lightly? It is harder to get the entry speed right with braking; the faster your rate of deceleration the easier it is to overshoot the braking and end up too slow. In order to add in braking, you would have to increase your approach speed enough to allow some use of brakes, and one purpose of the slow brake release is to be tapering off the brakes enough that you can dial in to a very accurate corner speed. 

If you think back on it, when you began adding in brakes, did you end up focusing more on the turn point than you were before, or less?

What would you say you had the MOST attention on (visually or otherwise), while you were approaching a corner, when using brakes?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/13/2022 at 4:01 AM, Hotfoot said:

If you think back on it, when you began adding in brakes, did you end up focusing more on the turn point than you were before, or less?

What would you say you had the MOST attention on (visually or otherwise), while you were approaching a corner, when using brakes?

Thanks @Hotfoot - that's a helpful question.  Thinking back on it, when I was adding in braking, as I was approaching the corner, I was probably focussing more on the turn point than I was before.  Probably what would be more helpful is to remember my 3 step, and be focussing more on the apex once I'm sure I'm going to hit the turn point.  Hitting the apex at the desired speed/position is more along the lines of what I want to achieve.  Thinking further back, there have been times on previous track days where I've done that naturally, and it's worked well.

I guess in the final drill of a long day, there's a lot to remain conscious of ... 3 step with sideview transitions, fast turns, and then trail braking with tapering off.  It's a lot to be actively conscious of.

Anyway, I've got a trackday at Donington Park circuit on Wednesday.  My plan is to use the morning session to practice 3 step and widescreen transitions, with only light braking, and spend the afternoon adding trail braking and see how I get on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/15/2022 at 7:34 AM, hblast said:

 My plan is to use the morning session to practice 3 step and widescreen transitions, with only light braking, and spend the afternoon adding trail braking and see how I get on.

That sounds like a GREAT plan, one that would be widely applicable to any track day or ride. 

Any time you feel like your entry speed is suffering, or you realize in the middle of the corner that you have entered it too slow, visuals are a good first thing to check: do you have good reference points and how is your 2S/3S timing.  
 

On your track day if you have other riders around you braking hard and late, watch to see how the rest of the corner goes for them - do they overbrake and end up slow in the middle? Do they miss their apex, end up a little wide, and have a weak or late drive out? That can help relieve any pressure you feel from seeing other riders brake harder and later. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/16/2022 at 4:20 PM, Hotfoot said:

On your track day if you have other riders around you braking hard and late, watch to see how the rest of the corner goes for them - do they overbrake and end up slow in the middle? Do they miss their apex, end up a little wide, and have a weak or late drive out? That can help relieve any pressure you feel from seeing other riders brake harder and later. 

Yes - just finished the second session. A guy overtook me coming up the inside on the brakes (twice). Each time his line was so terrible, he had no exit plan, no-where to go, no drive, and each time I overtook him back immediately on the exit.

I think my entry speeds are still too low … so next session I’ll focus on 2 step and wideview.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trackday organizers here are getting less permissive about inside passing in the braking zone. One organization divides riders into 4 skill groups and only allows inside passing in the 4th group. While the objective is safety, I think it's going to have unintended consequences in rider skill, judgement and higher traffic areas but I digress...

The fact you are able to observe this, gives you tangible data about your relative cornering capability and validates your plans for that corner and shortens your learning curve.

4 hours ago, hblast said:

Yes - just finished the second session. A guy overtook me coming up the inside on the brakes (twice). Each time his line was so terrible, he had no exit plan, no-where to go, no drive, and each time I overtook him back immediately on the exit.

I think my entry speeds are still too low … so next session I’ll focus on 2 step and wideview.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, hblast said:

Yes - just finished the second session. A guy overtook me coming up the inside on the brakes (twice). Each time his line was so terrible, he had no exit plan, no-where to go, no drive, and each time I overtook him back immediately on the exit.

I think my entry speeds are still too low … so next session I’ll focus on 2 step and wideview.

Well done on your observations and on being able to re-pass the other rider.  
This is a common issue at trackdays, you can get riders that accelerate as hard as they can on straights and push very hard on entry speed, that crowd you and think your entry speed is too low and get anxious to pass. But if they pass you and then totally blow the corner, it shows you that they are the ones that are mis-judging the entry speed, not you. Smart riders will learn from that, maybe after the second time the other rider tried entering the corners without charging and got a better result. :)

What group are you riding in? Intermediate is often the worst for that. 
You can usually get a lot faster lap time improvement from getting better drives than you can from pushing entry speed; definitely use your 2 step and WV to check your visuals if you think you are overslowing  but be careful you don’t get sucked into charging corners. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The no brakes exercise is merely there to help the rider sharpen and develop their sense of speed, once the first two sessions are done with no brakes, we WANT the rider to use the brakes in the corners where slowing is necessary. Yes some riders have trouble over-slowing so some options in that instance are: apply less pressure at the braking point, or perhaps move the braking marker further into the turn (which can be scary sometimes). Trailing the brakes gives the rider the luxury of extending the braking zone further into the turn and gives an opportunity to adjust the speed to precisely what the rider was intending. There are other uses for trailing but that's one important aspect.

Some public roads have long series of corners that are all about the same speed, therefore not requiring much braking. But when slowing is needed, go to the brakes even if lightly. You'll have the lever in your hand in case something suddenly appears you need to brake for as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...