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Question about taking bends


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Hi folks. I'm finally getting some miles under my belt after passing my DAS, and wondered if you could help me out.


I understand counter-steer, but I think I'm hesitant about just how much to push and lean. I guess I'm worried about tipping over.


If I'm cornering to the right and I misjudge the speed, I end up veering towards the gutter on the left. If to the left, I veer towards the middle of the road.


Guess at solutions: either I slow down considerably, or I lean and steer much deeper. I guess what I'm asking is: what's happening to the contact patch and my traction on the road when I'm taking bends? Am I safe to just use the right amount of steer and lean it'll take to keep a line through the middle of my lane, or should I slow down?

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Howdy fellow new ER6f rider :thumb:


One thing I've been conscious of is even though it feels like I'm really slowing a lot for a bend, when I actually check my speed I'm doing the same speed I'd drop to in a car for it. Not sure why it feels like I slow more on a motorbike.


I can probably go a bit faster but like you I'm still building up to it.


And I'm also aware that if you manage to come out of a corner successfully on the other side then it can only be described as a successful corner :lol:

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The Keith Code video is a little cheesy but there is a lot of very good explanation and advice in it. Video is based on book of same name. The other book well worth getting is Total Control by Lees Parks.

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The best bit of advice I know of is to look where you want to be. A lot of novice riders end up in the gutter or over the centre line because that's precisely where they are anxious about so they fix their focus there. Keep your eyes on the place you want to be, keep your speed to where you feel confident....and with experience your cornering speed will reach an optimum safe level.

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I've never consciously countersteered, just steered. The more you think about it , the more likely you are to get it wrong. Just lean into the bend, or corner.

 

You’re definitely countersteering, even if you don’t know you are. There’s plenty of evidence that you can’t actually lean your bike around a corner.

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I'm still surprised how far a bike* will happily lean in a corner, even at modest speed, and I'm nowhere near what better riders are capable of. As my instructor was so fond of saying: "The rider will run out of talent before the bike runs out of grip." :D


* By which I mean a sensible bike, like my K1600 or old ZZR1200. Not the Electra Glide I had a dalliance with, which whilst an admirable machine in many respects had the cornering ability of a potting shed.

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Lean angle is proportional to speed, you can't have one without the other, lean too far going too slow bike will turn in way to fast or want to fall, not enough lean for the speed it will run wide.


Find a roundabout on an industrial estate or a nice bend, go when it's quiet and practice at different speeds, all legal of course, you shouldn't be thinking about it your probably mucking corners up over thinking it.

Edited by Bender
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Lean angle is proportional to speed, you can't have one without the other, lean too far going too slow bike will turn in way to fast or want to fall, too not enough lean for the speed it will run wide.


Find a roundabout on an industrial estate or a nice bend, go when it's quiet and practice at different speeds, all legal of course, you shouldn't be thinking about it your probably mucking corners up over thinking it.

Thanks Bender!

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I'm still surprised how far a bike* will happily lean in a corner, even at modest speed, and I'm nowhere near what better riders are capable of. As my instructor was so fond of saying: "The rider will run out of talent before the bike runs out of grip." :D


* By which I mean a sensible bike, like my K1600 or old ZZR1200. Not the Electra Glide I had a dalliance with, which whilst an admirable machine in many respects had the cornering ability of a potting shed.

 

Jerry Palladino might disagree.

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Well I must have been doing it without thinking then. For 42 years.

 

Same here , 40 years and never crashed a bike while cornering . I fail to see how anyone can ride a bike according to a formula, you just get on the thing and go somewhere.

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Well I must have been doing it without thinking then. For 42 years.

 

Same here , 40 years and never crashed a bike while cornering . I fail to see how anyone can ride a bike according to a formula, you just get on the thing and go somewhere.

I'm not looking for a formula as such, I'm just new and don't feel 100% confident yet!

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I'm a new rider and like you are getting to grips with effective cornering. Like most things I think the key ingredient is practice, practice, practice to build your confidence. I find my confidence fluctuates even day to day. For example, yesterday I was feeling the most comfortable I ever have with corners, yet today it just didn't feel natural at all. Maybe tonight it'll be ok again, or maybe not, but either way I gotta get home so I'll ride anyway. It's all practice.

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Well I must have been doing it without thinking then. For 42 years.

 

Same here , 40 years and never crashed a bike while cornering . I fail to see how anyone can ride a bike according to a formula, you just get on the thing and go somewhere.

I'm not looking for a formula as such, I'm just new and don't feel 100% confident yet!

 

To be honest, it's all too easy for guys who have been riding for decades to brush this kind of stuff aside with an air of superiority - I suspect they forget what it felt like when they first got on a bike themselves.


Understanding countersteering is to my mind at the very heart of riding, so keep learning about it. You'll find that it actually becomes very instinctive once you have a few miles under your belt.

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Well I must have been doing it without thinking then. For 42 years.

 

Same here , 40 years and never crashed a bike while cornering . I fail to see how anyone can ride a bike according to a formula, you just get on the thing and go somewhere.

I'm not looking for a formula as such, I'm just new and don't feel 100% confident yet!

I've been at it 40 years and nor do I ! 😀

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