Advanced Riding Techniques Blog

Advanced Riding Techniques in Cape Town, South Africa | Learn to ride a motorbike with advanced driving skills.

Decreasing Radius Corners...

It’s one of those heart-in-the-mouth moments when a corner suddenly tightens up and you think you’re running out of cornering clearance and skill to complete the turn. We’ve all had a moment which might have lead to running off  the tar, or into oncoming traffic or low-siding the bike.

DONT GET CAUGHT OUT

Don’t ever get in the situation where a bend surprises you. Pay attention!! If you’ve ridden the road before, you should be aware of the hazards. If your memory deserts you, ride it like a section of road you’ve never ridden before.

If you understand the concept of a VANISHING POINT where both edges of the road appear to converge (meet) at a point in the distance, then use this concept to ascertain 1) Is this point is getting closer?..Yes, then the corner is tightening ..2) if the point is moving away, the corner is opening up.

Keep your lean angle and speed neutral (constant) if the VANISHING POINT remains a constant distance away.

If the corner is blind then you may need to look for other clues such as the brake lights of the vehicle in front, overhead lines that suddenly turn or a changing tree, hedge or fence line. DO NOT take it as read the road WILL follow these lines, but cautious use of this technique may help.

ROAD POSITION

If you’ve determined the radius is tightening; position your bike as wide as possible while washing off speed by gearing 1 or 2 down and even-pressured braking ( See Green Line below). A wide approach to the corner will make your apex further around the bend and give you sight of a tightening radius. Staying close to the kerb (Red Line) is a recipe for disaster.  This is NOT a racetrack..adopting a racing block pass line is useful at keeping your competitors at bay, but not recommended for road use..which is where you are.

Keep looking where you want to go..at the VANISHING POINT. Don’t look at the other side of the road or the bushes where you think you might end up … or you will.



WHAT TO DO NEXT

Even so, you might still get caught out by long bends that tighten unexpectedly toward the end, so you may need to make some mid-corner corrections. Hold the throttle neutrally or slightly decrease it

It’s too late for downshifting; unless you are really smooth at matching engine and road spees as the rear wheel may lock up and flick you over the high-side. Also the front/rear balance of the bike will be upset as you chop/change..much better to concentrate on…

…….gently pushing a little more on the inside handlebar. This is a counter-steering input that will lean your bike further and give you the opportunity to “survive” the corner. You’ll be surprised how far you can lean the bike without sliding or falling off or how little effort is required to tighten a line.

I am very fond of using a gentle press of the rear brake: This pulls the bike into the corner .Don’t touch the front brakes , as most of us grab the lever too hard… which may cause a low-side or stand the bike up again and send you and it off into the bushes or oncoming traffic.

OVERCOOKED IT?
If you’ve overcommitted and have run out of ground clearance, (which is entirely possible on Cruisers ) …….

The only thing to do is to smoothly squeeze more front and rear brake to slow you down as much as possible while keeping your lean angle stable. IF you keep looking at the corner exit , without you realising you will apply counter steering and you just may wash off enough speed to make it around the corner. Most modern tyres have more “stick” than we think and unless the road is seriously lacking in grip, a little thought, a little action, and we come out the other side, shaken but not stirred..

I will post a video of some cornering techniques with my next blog..as a moving picture is easier to understand than a thousand words...In the meantime..contact Advanced Riding Techniques for more tips and techniques.

Stay Upright and on Two Wheels..Always.