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Thread: Proficient cornering...

  1. #46
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    I'd say this is the item I have the hardest problem with. I tend to look about 50' out, scanning for bad juju on the surface. Sure, I look way out, but I look in, then out, then in, etc.

    Now, I'm going to interject tar snakes into this. I had a slip that scared me silly this year. I was cornering, not going too fast, but leaning a bit on my RT. Hit a snake that let the bike shift over enough that my feet came off the pegs & soiled my shorts.

    From then on, I kept looking down, tyring to put my tire between the snakes, boy my confidence went down hill then. I could not bring myself to trust the tires & look down the road any more...

    How do you get back from that?
    John.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by JStrube View Post
    I'd say this is the item I have the hardest problem with. I tend to look about 50' out, scanning for bad juju on the surface. Sure, I look way out, but I look in, then out, then in, etc.

    Now, I'm going to interject tar snakes into this. I had a slip that scared me silly this year. I was cornering, not going too fast, but leaning a bit on my RT. Hit a snake that let the bike shift over enough that my feet came off the pegs & soiled my shorts.

    From then on, I kept looking down, tyring to put my tire between the snakes, boy my confidence went down hill then. I could not bring myself to trust the tires & look down the road any more...

    How do you get back from that?
    look father, locate the snakes sooner. amazingly, they have a very strong tendency to remain exactly where your brain left them.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  3. #48
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
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    You can really only work on 1 thing at a time. You cannot work to change your view, change your throttle, change your line, change your braking, change...... whatever all at once. Each requires a certain muscle memory, habit, mental rope that is followed. It takes lots of repetitions to change from what you do now to something different. Just when you think you have it, a stressor will be added into the mix and you will go to whatever your mind feels most secure in, be it bad or good. You have to give yourself time of doing the one new thing enough times that it becomes the primary mode of operation. If you learn it wrong, then you will have to relearn it. Dang I still have so much to learn in this. I can recite lots of stuff but even after many efforts, add some stress or distractions into the mix and I find I do the same older things again.

    All this to say, great reading here in this thread. Stuff that I try and improve on all the time. Don't be in a hurry. Don't try to change everything right now. Find the first simple thing to work on and just work on that. It might be simple lines in corners that you know well. Never in a rush, just ride them over and over, perhaps 100 times. (now the problem is are you doing the best line for that turn, for the conditions, for the potential risks etc.... you really can't answer that yourself). Then perhaps work on turn in points.. then perhaps where to roll on throttle, Then do it smoothly. Then being in the best gear, Then where to look. Then where to have your primary focus and secondary focus Then braking points... then balancing your braking Then combining braking and throttle ... then body positioning... then.... ... it just continues. You truly have to view it as a cirriculum. You can read about it but it is ever so hard to evaluate yourself. At least it is for me. If I could have done so I would have been an expert rider before I was shown how much I truly do have to learn.

    So develop your plan, study on it, go and do it for lots of miles. evaluate it, modifiy it some and then move to the next one. If you find you regress, back up step. Keep it simple at each point. Keep it doable. Do it till you can do a section of road sitting at your table visualizing it. Then move on.

    You will have many offer lots of opinions. You will have some offer very good opinions. Not all better riders are "better" riders. Not all good riders can watch and see the components of your ride to advise you. Not all good coaching riders are going to coach the same points. Just FYI..


    NCS
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  4. #49
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JStrube View Post
    ..........

    Now, I'm going to interject tar snakes into this. I had a slip that scared me silly this year. .................................................. ill then. I could not bring myself to trust the tires & look down the road any more...

    How do you get back from that?
    What BF said, but also unless the strip is WAY wide, that little slip, while unsettling, is seldom dangerous, your tires generally hook back up and away you go. Rain can restrict the "hooking back up" part, but on dry pavement it shouldn't be an issue. Same as a little gravel, a pebble or 2 causes a little pucker, the problem is when there is sand and dirt that creates a wide slick area.

    The worst thing you can do is grab the bars tight and stiffen your arms, or try to wrestle it through the turn, as WE are the biggest thing that makes the bike loose control.

    I got over my fear on my first track day with California Superbike School. They use to come to Watkins Glen, and the Glen has BIG cement patches in every corner, these are sealed with a tar strip to the blacktop surroundings it, and yes it rained for 2 sessions, so EVERY corner I took, I had to cross from wet blacktop to wet tar strip to wet cement and back. I survived and learned just to let the bike do it thing.

  5. #50
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
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    agree with PFfog there. I recently did CSS and it was my first time on a sport bike. It rained good the first day and while I have ridden in rain, with the same tires as the S1000RR had , it moved around a lot on the little things in the asphalt. It seemed far more than I was accustomed to. After you realized it was just the nature of that bike in the rain, on those little strips, you could relax and focus on what the lessons were and advance in them. It is amazing how much a bike can seem to move over by a tar snake or pebble yet it only be a few inches. It is even more amazing at how tense I can become fearing doom because of that little skip. A fear that I have yet to truly overcome nor the one of having a wheel actually slide a bit for a moment in a turn. How do you learn to relax when you never have a chance to practice that.

    NCS
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  6. #51
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    much of the time, when a bike is "slipping" on a tar snake, all that is actually happening is that the tire is sticking really well to the snake, and the snake itself is flexing/moving underneath the tire. feels ginchy, but is really not a problem (unless, as NCS said, you act to correct the non-problem, thus creating an actual problem).
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  7. #52
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  8. #53
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    Come on share that pop corn and throw a couple of "kernels" of wisdom our way.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    In a word NO. First be patient, anything new you try is going to feel foreign and weird when you start doing it. And it takes repetition to improve, that is why track sessions are so valuable, you run the same corners time and time again with out distractions. Once you get that down, the distractions of dogs, deer, cars, gravel etc do not use up your "cornering" brain matter.

    Your brain is an amazing tool and believe it or not it remembers what you saw, and what your trajectory was. And peripheral vision, although ignored by what we think we are seeing is still providing input.

    Watch racers, they never take the laser like stare from several yards down the track, watch Mogul skiers, or ski racers they never look down to see where the mogul is and the GS racers, at 60mph, can put their skis a cats whisker from the gate.

    Trust the force Luke
    Whoa...wait a minute. "Racers never take the laser like stare from several yards down the track..."? Several yards means to me about 10 feet. I've seen the photos of racers cornering, and it DOES look like that's where their focus is. But for me, entering a long corner...say a few hundred yards...or, heck, even one that's only 100 feet...are you saying "looking through the turn" means looking 10 feet ahead? I'm guessing not, which takes me back to the original question of "where to look". Thanks!

    By the way, in my safety/skills class, we did ride through some sharp turns/swerving exercises, and I was amazed that I could make the turns/swerves while looking out 30 feet or more.

    Sorry to sound like a newbie, but I figure this is a great resource and the patience of those here in explaining stuff is terrific. Each cornering session I have gets better and better, so I'll get it down soon, but accelerating the process by picking your brains can't hurt. Thanks, again.

  10. #55
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
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    Consider this. When you are going down a stairway, once you gauge getting to the first step are you always checking out each step or are you already looking at the bottom or even talking to others. When walking a sidewalk with friends and at a corner you really look down at the curb as you step off or are you scanning the road, the cross walk, the other side and the checking the place you are going to. Your brain will easily map what you saw and you move your focus on ahead. If you stop to check on that pebble just before the apex, you will for sure hit it and be tense. If you are looking towards the horizon of where you are heading, you will be relaxed and allowing the curve to flow through you more as a ribbon rather than connecting the dots of your focus. Not sure this is the best analogy but perhaps gives you more thought.
    NCS
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  11. #56
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    Come on share that pop corn and throw a couple of "kernels" of wisdom our way.
    Ah, .....very 1st page, post #14.

    Since then, it's pretty much been re-stated 37 different ways.

    Heading to the kitchen for more Orville's!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  12. #57
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Now we get into the mental muscle and riding.

    The glib answer to "where to look" is where you need to.

    Unless you are a riding savant you will need to develop the ability to store and process the information your eyes gather. Through the corner, as far down the track as possible but you will need to check gauges and things which have changed in the corner. What you experienced at the safety/skills class was a setting where you saw, retained and were able to use things allowing you to look farther forward and gather more information to use.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

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  13. #58
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    OK...I guess we've beat this horse to death. I'm going riding again tomorrow...and will maybe report back whether the newbie (sort of...used to ride, but never gave it as much technical thought as now) has improved.

    Thanks you guys...

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrider View Post
    Whoa...wait a minute. "Racers never take the laser like stare from several yards down the track..."? Several yards means to me about 10 feet. I've seen the photos of racers cornering, and it DOES look like that's where their focus is. But for me, entering a long corner...say a few hundred yards...or, heck, even one that's only 100 feet...are you saying "looking through the turn" means looking 10 feet ahead? I'm guessing not, which takes me back to the original question of "where to look". Thanks!

    By the way, in my safety/skills class, we did ride through some sharp turns/swerving exercises, and I was amazed that I could make the turns/swerves while looking out 30 feet or more.

    Sorry to sound like a newbie, but I figure this is a great resource and the patience of those here in explaining stuff is terrific. Each cornering session I have gets better and better, so I'll get it down soon, but accelerating the process by picking your brains can't hurt. Thanks, again.
    The racetrack and public roads are two different environments. Depending on the track, line, speed, etc, racers may be looking way farther out than that. Your eyes are constantly moving ahead of your path of travel. Racers utilize specific aiming points on a track to point their bike at, then execute the corners/lines with their peripheral vision while their eyes continue to travel ahead. Where do you look? Down your intended path of travel, through your line, etc. There are times on the track when I am looking two corners ahead. I've already looked through the upcoming corner and my eyes are now on the next one after that. The faster you are moving, the farther ahead you have to look. That's one of the challenges on the track (and on public roads as well). Make a mistake in your line and it tends to suck your vision back to your immediate position. Do that and you've lost your line of sight on your intended path. Now you have to re-acquire that sight picture. That takes time and the natural response is to slow down while you fix your error and then re-acquire your path sighting. You have to learn to correct an error without dragging your eyes right back in front of your tire. HOWEVER, racetracks have specific, practiced paths of travel, allowing riders to focus exclusively ahead on lines, ignoring other potential factors and hazards that exist on public roads.

    In this photo I am already exiting a turn. I actually carried too much speed into this corner on this particular lap, which is why I am outside the optimal race line here, an error that I had to correct without focusing my vision on it. Even with the error, notice my bike is pointed one way, my head another. My vision is looking through a small left kink in the track (a slight corner bend) coming up, at the next corner after that, about 1,000 feet ahead:




    Back to the original question: Where do you look? Still down your intended path of travel. That being said, you can't exclusively focus on that. You must still scan the road and areas around you (including behind you) for any interference, danger, etc. MSF recommends scanning ahead at least 12 seconds in your path of travel, to identify possible hazards and prepare to take action, as necessary. That's the whole SEE Principle (Search, Evaluate, Execute), helping you to reduce your risk while riding.(Source: MSF Basic Rider Course) That can be a long way, considering that at 60 mph you are traveling 88 feet per second. At that speed, 12 seconds equates to 1,056 feet, or 2/10s of a mile. So in addition to your line of sight traveling along (constantly moving ahead) your intended path of travel, you must also be scanning ahead and around you to identify hazards, road conditions, etc. You can help all this out by learning to use your peripheral vision to mark your current position, while your main sightline stays out in front of you.

    Here I am on the Dragon. Speed is slower and I am in the middle of a corner, well away from an optimal race line, but this is a public road, with real traffic hazards, etc. Nevertheless, it is a good example of my vision looking ahead in my path of travel. I'm actually looking at the next right-hand corner coming up after this one.





    It sounds complicated, but if you practice it, your line of sight movement will become a natural riding habit. If you really want to develop it, go take an introductory track school. You will be amazed at how much riding track improves your street riding, and not in terms of speed, but rather how you learn to judge lines and execute control of the motorcycle.

    Anyone else want to help out here?...
    Last edited by dwestly; 08-17-2012 at 12:06 PM. Reason: add photos

  15. #60
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    Great detailed reply...and nice photos, too! What you describe is actually what I am doing, or should I say, trying to do...so I may be closer than I think to getting it. My biggest shortcoming at this point is that, while I do scan well ahead and pick the line I want, when I'm in the middle of the turn, I sometimes will detect an error and then make the mistake of "locking on" to a specific point in the turn in reaction to that "detection". This then makes me mechanical, and leads to a series of corrections...which then makes a curved line more like a series of short, straight lines strung together. That's actually how calculus works, but in calculus those short straight lines are divided into infinity and simulate a smooth line...and a solution. So, to keep the math analogy going, what I need to do is use the power of my eyes and brain to make those calculations in a way that is too quick for conscious thought. How a golf swing, if it's good, works, too. As I think about it, this is the nature of Zen, isn't it?

    I love this stuff!

    Thanks, dwestly...

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