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Left or Right?

This month's article from California Superbike School looks at how a fear induced Survival Reaction may be hampering your riding.

It seems that every rider on the planet has a good side and a not so good side when cornering. Some of us prefer rights, others lefts. We often get asked at the seminars and CSS courses - what is the ‘cure’ for one side or the other?

The reasons for having one side better than the other isn’t because you are left or right-handed. It isn’t because one side of your brain is bigger than the other. It’s because at some point in your riding you had an incident that, at a sub conscious level, has given you a fear induced Survival Reaction to that side. Maybe you had a crash on that side; maybe it was on your pushbike when you were seven years old. Maybe you had a bad experience trying to turn one way when you were learning to ride. The incidents that could create this reaction are numerous and far reaching.

The results of your ‘fear’ of one side or the other can create a couple of tangible results:

We try and keep our body and head more upright on the weaker side than on the strong side. This in effect makes us a bad passenger on the bike and the bike reacts to this. Liken it if you will to the difference between the good and bad pillion rider. One goes with the bike, the other tries to stay upright.

We don’t steer as well on the weaker side. We steer slower on our weaker side giving us a different arc through the turn than we would like and therefore not getting to the place we would like to be at the apex or exit of the turn.

Thankfully we can do something about this as we understand the Survival Reactions associated with a weaker side. You are either not at one (going with) the bike in the first case or not steering the bike because of stiff arms in the second.

The Cures:

First you need to identify which of or both of the problems you have with your weaker side.

Solution 1. Relax your inside arm. Get some bend into that inside arm so that, in turn, it will bring your upper body forward and in line with the bike.

Solution 2. To steer the bike well on both sides you need to be pushing through the bars not down on the bars. This means you need to get your arms parallel to the ground when you steer. This is the most efficient way of getting the bike to turn. Make sure your arms are in the same position for left AND right turns.

Info from ebike insurance email 2 May 2008

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