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.
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
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
Keep your lean angle and speed neutral (constant) if the VANISHING POINT remains a constant distance
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.
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.
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
WHAT TO DO NEXT
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
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
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.
overcommitted and have run out of ground clearance, (which is entirely possible
on Cruisers ) …….
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..
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.