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Smooth Cornering


Vicious_Cycler

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Vicious_Cycler

I rode some TN backroads the weekend with a couple of friends. One, a well-seasoned rider, has an '04 K1200GT with a TBR exhaust and a performance chip. I noticed that he seemed to effortlessly break away on some very twisty roads with which none of us were familiar.

 

At breakfast I asked him if he made very many mid-turn corrections, and how he was able to pull so far ahead on unfamiliar roads. He suggested that he rarely had to make corrections and just looked as far ahead as possible were he wished to go and the bike just went there confused.gif. As I tried this technique consciously, I found myself too tight or to wide while looking far ahead. What gives?

 

I have been riding off and on (no pun intended) for many years, but have only recently become serious about roadcraft. I've read Hough, Code, these boards, etc. I took the MSF-BRC and I practice as often as possible. Nevertheless, my technique remains less than optimal, and I find myself working much harder while aboard than many others.

 

I would grealy appreciate anyone's thoughts, advice, direction to previous posts, or other resources. Riding well is much more important to me than just having a pretty bike I can't control as well as possible. Thanks all.

 

VC

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ShovelStrokeEd

He was really referring to "seeing" as far ahead as possible. That and he was probably judicious in his selection of corner entry speed thus making it easier to accelerate all through the turn. The technique looks slow but is deceptively fast.

 

Back to the seeing, being smooth really involves anticipation and learning to think ahead. If you are noticing your position, you are still thinking too much in the now. See where you want to be and go there pretty much describes it but, you have to be careful here, where you want to be is related to the now in that your now is constantly changing and your want to be needs to change in synch.

 

Takes a little mental shift to project your concentration to the movie way out in front and just maintain your peripheral awareness of your current state. Once learned, and it is a learned thing, you will find your progress down the road equally smooth and, hopefully, uneventful.

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A tip that has worked for us - whenever one of us is "off our game", we'll ask the other to ride behind and watch for two things - where do we enter the curve at (in terms of lane position) and where do we seem to be looking as we progress through the curve.

 

Lane position first - you've probably already heard this, but stick to the outside when entering the curve. Many riders start from the outside, but quickly move to the inside of the corner. This can limit your site distance, and thus limit the speed at which you can safely negotiate the curve. Try staying farther to the outside of the curve, then once the exit is clearly visible (and no hazards exist) then it's time to get on the throttle and make it happen! wink.gif

 

What do you see? Pick your head up and force yourself to look through to the exit point of the curve. Yes it seems un-natural (what if I run over some gravel/sand/leaves/debris?), but I believe that you'll find that you'll be able to see these hazards earlier if you'll look at the farthest point of egress from the turn. The egress point is constantly changing as you move through the curve, so your eyes should be constantly scanning ahead.

 

Another little trick that might help you with your exits - look for clues regarding what the roadway does next - do you see paint markers that indicate that a passing lane is starting (or ending)? This indicates that the very next portion of roadway is straight enough to pass legally, and therefore you can probably carry more speed out of the turn as opposed to a turn that gets tighter upon itself.

 

Be safe, ride smart!

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I find it a huge fallacy that "We go where we look". There's an apparent truth to it - we see or experience it happening. The falseness lays in "That's just how it is".

 

Factually, examination and training shows the more true statement to be, "We go where our attention is." But, that's not all it seems either: We can divide our attention.

 

What I learned and then was taught, and pass on is, "We go where we decide to go." Be mindful though: We need to "carefully" decide about where we will go.

 

At first it doesn't seem to make much difference about going where we look versus going where we decide. But, you've pointed out in your example why it's important. I'll guess that in "looking up", you developed a concentration (of attention) on your target point... and then steered quite directly toward it; You went largely straight for it - ending up tight. Then you compensated adding an arbitrary "swing", a half-hearted decision that then sent you wide.

 

The better course to take would take into account that in cornering getting from A to B is done with an arc. One needs to get familiar - particularly in terms of Feel - about arcs one can create with the bike. An arc is a bunch of points defining a line that describes part of a circle. Only three points are usually needed an important to negotiating a roadway curve: Turn-in, Apex, and Exit Points. You had a good sense of Exit Point, and would have defined a good arc that led there had you mentally drawn an (doable) arc back from there toward the straight part of the road before the turn begins Find Apex along it, and where the line meets the outside edge of the road would the Turn-in.

 

It's surely an Approximation, some would say a Guess, and clearly an Imagination. First tries at it usually don't go much better than what you encountered. So... learn to do it under controlled, repeatable circumstances in The Parking Lot.

 

Find a place to do 180 degree turns at about 25 - 30mph. Set an actual physical marker at Exit Point, at the outside edge of an imaginary roadway somewhat beyond the end of "the corner". Set another physical marker inside the roadway at it's furthest point in the initial direction of travel. Set the Turn-in marker outside the roadway directly adjacent the Exit Point.

 

On approach to your training corner, first, find Exit Point and decide you'll ride over that spot. Found a regular arc backward from there and note where it touches the inside roadway edge - defining Apex, and not that well as a point to be ridden over. Extend the arcing line toward the outside edge closest to you and set where it touches as Turn-in: Decide to ride over that point.

 

Now, still approaching, watch as Turn-in approaches and steer to ride over it. When that's assured, now, look up and find Apex and decide to ride over it on hate arcing turn you invoke as you see, not look at, Turn-in Point glide beneath the bike.

 

As Apex becomes assured (with any decided/corrected roll/turn to do so), now, look up, find Exit Point and decide to ride over it, while seeing Apex approach closer and pass under the wheels. As Exit Point is assured, find the next, provisional, Turn-in and decide to head for that (You DO have a Next Corner partially mapped out already, right?).

 

Repeat.

 

 

All this supposes you we are comfortable, and I do mean highly comfortable in both the physical and emotional senses of that word, describing arcs on our bike - and can do so effortlessly. That can be part of the challenge we face in Smooth Cornering too.

 

If I see the slightest bit of tightness in a Rider's body when they begin this exercise, I have them back off and learn to "Just ride the bike through its own cornering arc". That's the exercise we did at The Gathering At Gunnison, Unrally I.

 

Ensure you've got MYRP well in mind and quite well done. Glide through your exercise corner with out much attention to the line you take, but be certain to go through at about a 30 degree lean angle. Just ride through it.

 

Ensure your weight is being supported by downward pressure on both pegs so you could lift your butt off the seat at will. Ensure you have no weight atop the grips by flapping your elbows throughout the turn. All bar pressure is to the rear of the grip - and then released - as to institute counter-steering to begin the roll-in/turn, and then to the rear of the grip to stop the roll. Then no pressure to hold the rolled-in turning. Yes, it does take practice. And, yes, it sometimes requires moving body weight to the inside of the turn to balance the bike a the needed roll angle. So... practice, practice, practice... and get to Carnage Hall.

 

If you find you are at all tight or stiff in the body, and another hint is if your vision tends to focuse down very tightly on small spaces or points, do this Glide-through exercise in the parking lot. Then, take it out on the road until you are virtually always riding that way. Because you've decided to do so. It can bring amazing results in itself in increased smoothness out there.

 

 

When the arcing becomes comfortable, address that same corner at different speeds - and the lean angle required. Get the Feel of that "glide-through". Ahead of corner entry, "see" the arc, and then associate it with the Feel... and what you are seeing as you glide-through on constant, or lightly accelerating throttle opening.

 

Then you've got some greater sense of Arc... and can begin applying it to Exit, Apex, Turn-in Estimations.

 

Find Points. See Arcs. Glide-through.

 

Now, get better at planning ahead.

 

 

To be honest, on somewhat open mountain roads, I usually see "the line" extend forward from my bike, as if it were a pointed line, describing the path I'll take from "here" through six corners ahead. Then, I just ride over it, using Flow And Feel. That comes from 1.3M miles of experience. There isn't a stridency to "the mechanical process", but it does remain, and I do engage in it.

 

Getting down to it, deeply involved with those corners one at a time, yes, I'm adjusting Apexes and Exit Points for the corner I'm addressing as I'm more carefully gauging the next corner to be dealt with. I'm very willing to move Exit Points as seems to fit somehow getting to (Turn-in toward) the important Apex and arc toward Exit of the next corner - and I steal a look up at the corner beyond that next one too. I'm building a more finalized, more fully decided set of points I'm going to watch myself ride over, on chosen arcs, as I... just Feel And Flow.

 

It's all possible because I can really, really and truly, control the bike I'm on without much conscious attention to doing it, with Feel - create regular arcs of a chosen size. AFter the years of work, The Arcs "are just there for me", each one at its own speed. So, I apply them, and set speed in accordance with that choice.

 

However, no matter how ephemerally, I always do see those three defining, and consciously decided, Points. And then ride over them as I seek the next one.

 

 

Best wishes.

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Vicious_Cycler

Many thanks to Ed, Mark, Dick. These are exactly the types I reponses for which I had hoped. I look forward to continued reasoned tips and techniques.

 

I'm sure it may seem elementary, but I make mid-turn corrections the most on curves with limited sight distance, i.e. curves which do not allow one to see the entire arc. At the risk of sounding like a squid , which I am not, my riding mate referenced above still leaves me in the dust on limited sight twisties and ends up waiting at the next stop blush.gif.

 

Keep it coming,

VC

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ShovelStrokeEd

OK, things are a little different when you can't see the exit point or even the exit line but, that only means you haven't yet reached the apex as well. Dick's points about DECIDING to ride over a particular place are really valid as well as his description of carving an arc.

 

On the type of turn you describe you would establish your turn-in point to put you on an arc that follows the visible radius of the turn without approaching either the center or fog lines, staying a bit wide in other words. Where should your eyes and attention be? Up where the road vanishes. That is where you will gain information about what the road is doing, or about to do. If the vanishing point is moving away from you, the turn is opening up and you can start to look for that exit point and then make your decision about the apex point. If the vanishing point is getting closer, the turn is going to tighten on you and you should stay wide as possible to maximize your view out and through and be prepared to tighten your arc. More lean or maybe a little more of that upper body down and inside the turn, depending on how comfortable you are at your current lean angle. This is the point where you really need to keep that attention forward as your arc will be changing and you need to decide where on the road you wish to be in the coming seconds.

 

Dick also mentioned looking ahead to the next corner to decide on an exit point for the current one and that is an important point as therein lies the secret of getting a good flow going. If I may inject a hypothetical situation here, you are in the midst of a left sweeper that you, by looking at the next turn, can see is going to be quickly followed by a hard right. Your exit point for the sweeper should probably be a good bit different than if it were to be followed by a straight section of road. For the straight road situation, you would probably want to finish the turn out by the fog line, for the quick right to follow, it would be better to maintain your arc a little longer or tighten it a bit so that you finished the turn nearer the centerline. This way you will be set for the proper entrance to that tight right.

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VC – I’m not as experienced as some guys here, but it seems to me be the best way to become more smooth at cornering is becoming aware of where you’re at now, so here’s a few questions.

 

I make mid-turn corrections the most on curves with limited sight distance

 

1. Is that because you assumed certain things about the curve coming up to it? If so, what were these assumptions and what did you base them on?

 

2. What is your current cornering technique? Do you go into the corner while still reducing speed or have you slowed down enough to be on at least neutral gas (keeping the engine pulling)?

 

3. What bike do you ride and how many miles have you done on this specific bike?

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make mid-turn corrections the most on curves
For me mid-turn corrections usually mean I miss-judged where the apex is, ether because I miss-read the corner and the true apex is not yet visible, and I apexed too soon. Not really because I'm not to the true apex point yet, what I really did was just turn in too soon. So I have to correct to get back wider. Which then leads to a subsequent even tighter turn in when I truly get to the real apex. Or I apexed too late (less likely) and I had to turn in much tighter then too. Both situations I could have alleviated by as mentioned, maintain a fixed arc, relative to the roadway's arc, and waited until the true exit point became known to me, and then by interpolation, the true apex point and I had actually arrived there!

 

The former (too early of a turn in) being paradoxically the classic reason why riders end up going wide, crossing over, and/or crashing. It's not the first (too early) turning of the corner/curve that gets them, it's the now mandatory second turn required to successfully complete the corner that they are unable to do. Either out of lack of skill, courage (an sub-element of skill) or true (but rarer) lean limitations of the bike for the velocity of the moment.

 

The key question being, did you literally turn the corner/curve once or twice? The goal of course is only once and doing so is the smoothness we see in the skilled rider ahead of us.

 

But the key to knowing the apex point, so we only turn the corner once, i.e. do it all in one step without a mid-turn correction, is knowing the exit. And the key to knowing the exit is to be constantly looking forward for it to appear. Or begin to appear such that it can be visualized. Then when it does, calculating back to the apex and then as Dick says, committing to riding over it. As in - I WILL ride over that (apex) spot and that (exit) spot.'

 

Where you look or more importantly where you see may indeed be different that where you commit to ride. So the (over-simplified) axiom of, "You go where look" when riding a motorcycle has at the very least a (somewhat more accurate) sub-component of it of, "You go where you commit." The skill of deciding what points you are going to commit to ride over, is indeed a learned (but teachable) one. But it is key to smoothness. Indecision is the parent of 'un-smoothness.' The action of riding a corner poorly is steeped in indecision because I'm way into it and I haven't even decided yet where I'm going to ride it. In effect I'm making it up as I go along.

 

Total actual and confidence ability that you can make the bike go wherever you want under any condition presumed. Which of course is a 'crawl before we walk' thing.

 

Cheers!

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You may want to read this article that was posted on here a couple of months ago. I can't find the post but here is the article.

 

THE PACE

 

BY NICK IENATSCH

 

.... Racing involves speed, concentration and commitment; the results of a mistake are usually catastrophic because there's little room for error riding at 100 percent. Performance street riding is less intense and further from the absolute limit, but because circumstances are less controlled, mistakes and over aggressiveness can be equally catastrophic. Plenty of roadracers have sworn off street riding. "Too dangerous, too many variables and too easy to get carried away with too much speed," track specialists claim. Adrenaline-addled racers find themselves treating the street like the track, and not surprisingly, they get burned by the police, the laws of physics and the cold, harsh realities of an environment not groomed for ten-tenths riding.

 

.... But as many of us know, a swift ride down a favorite road may be the finest way to spend a few free hours with a bike we love. And these few hours are best enjoyed riding at The Pace.

 

.... A year after I joined Motorcyclist staff in 1984, Mitch Boehm was hired. Six months later, The Pace came into being, and we perfected it during the next few months of road testing and weekend fun rides. Now The Pace is part of my life - and a part of the Sunday morning riding group I frequent. The Pace is a street riding technique that not only keeps street riders alive, but thoroughly entertained as well.

 

THE PACE

 

.... The Pace focuses on bike control and de-emphasizes outright speed. Full-throttle acceleration and last minute braking aren't part of the program, effectively eliminating the two most common single-bike accident scenarios in sport riding. Cornering momentum is the name of the game, stressing strong, forceful inputs at the handlebar to place the bike correctly at the entrance of the turn and get it flicked in with little wasted time and distance. Since the throttle wasn't slammed open at the exit of the last corner, the next corner doesn't require much, if any, braking. It isn't uncommon to ride with our group and not see a brake light flash all morning.

 

.... If the brakes are required, the front lever gets squeezed smoothly, quickly and with a good deal of force to set entrance speed in minimum time. Running in on the brakes is tantamount to running off the road, a confession that you're pushing too hard and not getting your entrance speed set early enough because you stayed on the gas too long. Running The Pace decreases your reliance on the throttle and brakes, the two easiest controls to abuse, and hones your ability to judge cornering speed, which is the most thrilling aspect of performance street riding.

 

YOUR LANE IS YOUR LIMIT

 

.... Crossing the centerline at any time except during a passing maneuver is intolerable, another sign that you're pushing too hard to keep up. Even when you have a clean line of sight through a left-hand kink, stay to the right of the centerline. Staying on the right side of the centerline is much more challenging than simply straightening every slight corner, and when the whole group is committed to this intelligent practice, the temptation to cheat is eliminated through peer pressure and logic. Though street riding shouldn't be described in racing terms, you can think of your lane as the race track. Leaving your lane is tantamount to a crash.

 

.... Exact bike control has you using every inch of your lane if the circumstances permit it. In corners with a clear line of sight and no oncoming traffic, enter at the far outside of the corner, turn the bike relatively late in the corner to get a late apex at the far inside of your lane and accelerate out, just brushing the far outside of your lane as your bike stands up. Steer your bike forcefully but smoothly to minimize the transition time. Don't hammer it down because the chassis will bobble slightly as it settles, possibly carrying you off line. Since you haven't charged in on the brakes, you can get the throttle on early, before the apex, which balances and settles your bike for the drive out.

 

.... More often than not, circumstances do not permit the full use of your lane from yellow line to white line and back again. Blind corners, oncoming traffic and gravel on the road are a few criteria that dictate a more conservative approach, so leave yourself a three or four foot margin for error, especially at the left side of the lane where errant oncoming traffic could prove fatal. Simply narrow your entrance on a blind right-harder and move your apex into your lane three feet on blind left turns in order to stay free of unseen oncoming traffic hogging the centerline. Because you're running at The Pace and not flat out, your controlled entrances offer additional time to deal with unexpected gravel or other debris in your lane; the outside wheel track is usually the cleanest through a dirty corner since a car weights its outside tires most, scrubbing more dirt off the pavement in the process, so aim for that line.

 

A GOOD LEADER, WILLING FOLLOWERS

 

.... The street is not a racing environment, and it takes humility, self assurance and self control to keep it that way. The leader sets the pace and monitors his mirrors for signs of raggedness in the ranks that follow, such as tucking in on straights, crossing over the yellow line and hanging off the motorcycle in the corners, If the leader pulls away, he simply slows his straight way speed slightly but continues to enjoy the corners, thus closing the ranks but missing none of the fun. The small group of three or four riders I ride with is so harmonious that the pace is identical no matter who's leading. The lead shifts occasionally with a quick hand sign, but there's never a pass for the lead with an ego on the sleeve. Make no mistake, the riding is spirited and quick in the corners. Anyone with a right arm can hammer down the straights; it's proficiency in the corners that makes The Pace come alive.

 

.... Following distances are relatively lengthy, with the straightaways taken at more moderate speeds, providing the perfect opportunity to adjust the gaps. Keeping a good distance serves several purposes, besides being safer. Rock chips are minimized, and the police or highway patrol won't suspect a race is in progress. The Pace's style of not hanging off in corners also reduces the appearance of pushing too hard and adds a degree of maturity and sensibility in the eyes of the public and the law. There's a definite challenge to cornering quickly while sitting sedately on your bike.

 

.... New rider indoctrination takes some time because The Pace develops very high cornering speeds and newcomers want to hammer the throttle on the exits to make up for what they lose at the entrances. Our group slows drastically when a new rider joins the ranks because our technique of moderate straightaway speed and no brakes can suck the unaware into a corner too fast, creating the most common single bike accident. With a new rider learning The Pace behind you, tap your brake lightly well before the turn to alert him and make sure he understands there's no pressure to stay with the group.

 

.... There's plenty of ongoing communication during The Pace. A foot off the peg indicates debris in the road, and all slowing or turning intentions are signaled in advance with the left hand and arm. Turn signals are used for direction changes and passing, with a wave of the left hand to thank the cars that move right and make it easy for motorcyclists to get past. Since you don't have a death grip on the handlebar, your left hand is also free to wave to oncoming riders, a fading courtesy that we'd like to see return. If you're getting the idea The Pace is a relaxing, noncompetitive way to ride with a group, you are right.

 

RELAX AND FLICK IT

 

.... I'd rather spend a Sunday in the mountains riding at The Pace than a Sunday at the racetrack, it's that enjoyable. Countersteering is the name of the game; smooth, forceful steering input at the handlebar relayed to the tires' contact patches through a rigid sport bike frame. Riding at The Pace is certainly what bike manufacturers had in mind when sport bikes evolved to the street.

 

.... But the machine isn't the most important aspect of running The Pace because you can do it on anything capable of getting through a corner. Attitude is The Pace's most important aspect: realizing the friend ahead of you isn't a competitor, respecting his right to lead the group occasionally and giving him credit for his riding skills. You must have the maturity to limit your straightaway speeds to allow the group to stay in touch and the sense to realize that racetrack tactics such as late braking and full throttle runs to redline will alienate the public and police and possibly introduce you to the unforgiving laws of gravity. When the group arrives at the destination after running The Pace, no one feels outgunned or is left with the feeling he must prove himself on the return run. If you've got some thing to prove, get on a racetrack.

 

.... The racetrack measures your speed with a stop watch and direct competition, welcoming your aggression and gritty resolve to be the best. Performance street riding's only yardstick is the amount of enjoyment gained, not lap times, finishing position or competitors beaten. The differences are huge but not always remembered by riders who haven't discovered The Pace's cornering pureness and group involvement. Hammer on the racetrack. Pace yourself on the street.

 

© Copyright MOTORCYCLIST Magazine

November 1991 issue

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90RedRider

" but have only recently become serious about roadcraft " That would seem to be the answer IMO . Maybe the other guy has been riding the same bike or style of bike for years and is familiar with it. Maybe you just don't ride worth a crap now. Give it a few years and see where you are. We're not all Kenny Roberts or Eddie Lawson.

Don't ride over your head and in time you should be better than you are now.

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Yeah, what they said. You've heard from some of the best o' the board.

 

the only thing I'll add is to keep an eye out for the next RideSmart (or Riding Smart, depending on the poster) class within a day's ride of you. It's a free, grassroots class unique to and sponsored by this board, and originally designed by proprietor emeritus David Baker and friends. What you learn about proper body position and getting into it at the right time will make for a huge improvement in your cornering!

 

P.S. Is it me, or is our Nashville BMWST community growing? clap.gif

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While I ride aggressively, it is impossible to ride a new corner at the bike's limit, especially tight turns with blind exits. If you do, then you are asking for trouble. Even racers need to practise their line.

 

So to do it right, ride the road aggressively for 2 miles and note the corners. Then U-turn and start again. You will be amazed at the difference.

 

Plus all of what everyone else said.

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Vicious_Cycler

Wow! Thank you all for your interest in this topic and your thoughtful advice. Much more helpful than friends who say, "uh, I dunno, you just do it." The ultimate answer seems to be, practice, practice, practice.

 

In response to Miriam's questions, I never know what to assume about a curve, which of course functionally decreases my attention distance. Secondly, I seem to be searching for a technique. Sometimes I hang off the saddle, sometimes I lean from the waist (head and eyes horizontal of course). At present, either weight shifting technique usually finds me turning tighter than intended. Finally, I've got a couple thousand miles on this bike, '03 R1150RT w/ Metzler Z6's.

 

As an aside, I have noticed that my tires have much thinner chicken strips , for lack of a better term, than my riding mate's tires. Indicating to me that not only is he cornering faster and smoother (as above), but also with much less lean angle, though he does not hang off at any time I have noticed.

 

Chistopher, regarding your observation of the Nashville area, I see more and more BMWSTs every Saturday. The community is definitely growing. I would like to see our dealer do likewise wink.gif.

 

Again, thanks all. I look forward to any other thoughts or advice anyone cares to share.

 

VC

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Actually, i was talking about members of this board (BMW Sport Touring), not the 1200ST...though I'm partial to those too thumbsup.gif

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I seem to be searching for a technique.
Then you need to take the BMWST.com inspired RidingSmart class. And you live in the city of the guy who started it all to boot! "VC" meet David, David meet "VC."

 

PS: It might be nice if you fill out your profile here and tell us a bit about yourself so we know who we are talking too!

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Vicious_Cycler

Again thanks all. I'm a little vague on the RideSmart program. I see posts regarding past RideSmart programs, e.g. McMinnville, TN. However, I haven't seen any information on future programs. How does it work?

 

VC

 

PS- Yes Christopher there is a growing Nashville area BMWST online community. Sorry I missed the pickup there. blush.gif

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Here are a few other things you can play with. First, what rpm are you riding at? If you are trying to ride aggressively, you should be above 5K rpm at the very least, and you should be spending a lot of time between 6K and redline. High rpm does two things for you. First, it allow you to power strongly out of corners. Second, it allows you to make tiny power corrections mid-corner without rolling too much off the throttle.

 

Next, lots of folks, after learning to counter steer, end up with incorrect body position. They press on the inside grip, the bike leans over, but their body stays upright. Their upper body and head actually end up on the outside of the turn instead of the inside. The best way to cure this is to very deliberately put your head over your inside handgrip prior to entering the turn. That will pull your upper body to the inside.

 

To recap: Look where you want to go. High rpm. Head over the inside grip. You'll be a rocket next time!

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{slight hijack}

If there is going to be a ridesmart somewhere in TN,VA,WVA,NC etc..basically within a days ride of Richmond Virginia keep me posted, I would love to go!!!

 

{hijack over, you may now return to your regularly scheduled thread}

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I'd suggest that you make a distinction between positioning your feet for "cruising" and "attacking." For the former, I think a relaxed foot position is fine, and it's what I do. But in "attack" position when I'm on high alert, which is probably 10-15% of a ride, I much prefer having the balls of my feet slightly in front of the pegs. Why?

 

1) Clearance is an issue. These are not sport bikes we typically ride, and there's not that much clearance. The notion of not dragging a foot on the street is foreign to me. In a cruise position, even with excellent technique and a strict subscription to speeds that allow for sight lines, I'll still touch my foot more than I want.

 

2) It gives me more leverage to lock onto one or both sides of the tank so that I can keep my upper body relaxed.

 

3) It signals that I'm in a different riding mode, and that's very useful to me. I need a physical "muscle memory" position to reinforce that.

 

I'm just explaining what works for me, and why it works for me. I'm not going to snicker at someone who does it differently or denigrate their method by making fun of it. thumbsup.gif

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VC

You took the words right out my mouth. The only way to get better at riding, cornering, etc. is practice, practice, practice. I actually like to call it seat time. 11 years ago I took a Keith Code school and to this day I practice those techniques when I am riding. It is so much fun when you have a group of riding buddies you know and trust and you can do some fun hooning through the mountains or the twisties. By accumulating more seat time I am sure your buddy will not get so far ahead of you in the future.

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+1 on the "ATTACK POSITION"

 

I have started making a conscious effort to pre-position myself for the attack. My foot position, seat position, and general posture change. I move my feet so the balls of my feet are at or just in front of the peg. My butt slides forward to get my legs closer to the tank and fairing. I keep my back straight. As I approach the curve I stay to the outside and begin to shift my body weight simply by looking into the turn. As the head looks and turns the body follows and it just seems to happen. As long as I can keep my eyes far into the corner I have now problems. It certainly takes some getting used to and overcoming the little bit of anxiety in not seeing as far as you would on a straight stretch. But like has been said...practice...practice..PRACTICE. Go over roads you have ridden a hundred times and just try different angles and postures. You'll know when you find the right one! thumbsup.gif

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