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Negotiating hairpin bend


Davidtav
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So I was out on the bike yesterday for a ride through the Dales. Following a rout from Ride magazine actually. And it was great. However I did have a moment when I came the nearest I have been to dropping my bike. There were a few hairpin bends on the route. But this one in particular was horrible. I’ve been giving it some thought today about how I could better tackle it. I was going downhill. I was completely thrown by the extreme camber. Not literally, but nearly! I was reluctant to take it wide on the wrong side of the road. As there was no visibility around the bend. And there was a fair amount of traffic around … what did I do?  I wobbled ungainly to a stop. Made certain there was nothing coming and made a very wobbly manoeuvre on the wrong side of the road. It wasn’t elegant. But I didn’t drop the bike. … I found this link today which I’m certain is the hairpin. The pic in the link doesn’t show quite how steep the drop is around the corner. … I bet some of you know this hairpin. It’s popular biking country. … I’ve been thinking a lot about how to better tackle this bend. Appreciate any pointers. I know I’m still learning

https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/6656996

Edited by Davidtav
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Thanks for the advice. It is all food for thought. I think I should maybe have gone wide with a bit of confidence. However at the time, the camber spooked me a bit. 

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Camber can be horrible so you aren't the only one. There is one bend on a route we do regularly than when we have a novice rider I always warn them about. It tightens on you and gets steeper as your turn into it. We take it going uphill so I always go into it wide and in first gear. Going round a downhill bend I'd come in wide and slow down using the front brake before the bend, then switch to a firm foot on the rear brake around the bend.

 

 

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As above, wide as you can till you can turn in and use as much of the road as you can, had similar going uphill in summer doubled right back on itself on a hill, not as steep as yours, glad I did all the u turn practice,  I couldn't use much of the road as I had cars coming towards me. 

 

I was down in first, stupidly I have been that way in the past in the car and should have remembered dohhh. 

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My hairpin bend tips, based on what has worked for me.

 

It is often not possible to ride the inside of a hairpin bend, without crossing onto the other side, so it is best, as much as is possible, to enter the bend on the wrong side of the road and leave on the right side.

 

Be prepared to stay on the brakes the whole way round a down hill bend.

 

Be prepared to just stop and wait for a bend to clear of traffic.

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If it’s any consolidation, I once followed a rider who didn’t make that same bend going uphill - he ran wide. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, Steve_M said:

If it’s any consolidation, I once followed a rider who didn’t make that same bend going uphill - he ran wide. 
 

 

That is really interesting. And I’m not at all surprised. 

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8 minutes ago, Davidtav said:

That is really interesting. And I’m not at all surprised. 

It’s not that tight going up. It’s hardly the Splugen Pass. 

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This is the bend if it helps anyone! 

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@54.4093773,-2.1773663,3a,26.6y,251.85h,78.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s8bSkZkFo78Ws-7DCfvz0Iw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 

 

Looks nasty to be fair 

 

I had one catch me out in Wales it was a really tight left hander up hill and off camber! 

 

I have never had issues before but I had some sort of mental block and it was just a no go! I wasn't fully used to the RT either and I think that played a part in it 

 

I ended up turning round on the steep hill and going back :? 

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Looks the same as the ones you find on the way to Applecross.

I ride them as U-turns.

Works all the time :thumb: 

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One of my reasons for changing bikes was corners like that, they are abundant in the Alps and so having a bike that is impossible to stall, removes at least one worry.

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57 minutes ago, Stu said:

This is the bend if it helps anyone! 

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@54.4093773,-2.1773663,3a,26.6y,251.85h,78.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s8bSkZkFo78Ws-7DCfvz0Iw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 

 

Looks nasty to be fair 

 

I had one catch me out in Wales it was a really tight left hander up hill and off camber! 

 

I have never had issues before but I had some sort of mental block and it was just a no go! I wasn't fully used to the RT either and I think that played a part in it 

 

I ended up turning round on the steep hill and going back :? 

Yes. That’s the bend. Thanks for finding it. Interesting to look at it again on Streetview. … I think the answer is to go in fairly deep. As a few posters have suggested.  There is no visibility around the corner though. And you can see that on Streetview. Part of my problem was that I was using the front brake. One of the links someone posted details using rear brake only at that stage. I think that might have been a good idea.  There was a reasonable amount of traffic around yesterday afternoon. I really didn’t want to go over to the wrong side of the road before the corner. There were other motorbikes around as well as cars.  Its all giving me plenty to think about

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Just now, Davidtav said:

Yes. That’s the bend. Thanks for finding it. Interesting to look at it again on Streetview. … I think the answer is to go in fairly deep. As a few posters have suggested.  There is no visibility around the corner though. And you can see that on Streetview. Part of my problem was that I was using the front brake. One of the links someone posted details using rear brake only at that stage. I think that might have been a good idea.  There was a reasonable amount of traffic around yesterday afternoon. I really didn’t want to go over to the wrong side of the road before the corner. There were other motorbikes around as well as cars.  Its all giving me plenty to think about

 

One thing I did notice is that you can see over the left hand side so I would have been watching for any traffic approaching as I was coming down it would at least give you some idea 

 

The way I would have treat that would have been as wide as I dare and on the brakes coming down in to it and at the point of turning in I would have been in first gear off the brakes and just let the bike roll in and get as tight as you can to the nearside 

 

Little bit of lean and look where you want to be and cover the brakes just in case 

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1 hour ago, husoi said:

Looks the same as the ones you find on the way to Applecross.

I ride them as U-turns.

Works all the time :thumb: 

They were a f**k sight easier on the Harley than they were on the GSXR !

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The scariest hairpins I've ever negotiated were on Porlock Hill in pitch darkness . I'd never been there before and I just couldn't find the campsite ( Pre smartphone ) I went through the village and up the hill with no idea that there were any hairpins until I found myself at 30% with my headlight pointing up into the trees and absolutely nothing to get my bearings . I managed to get into first and get my feet down in time to carefully walk the bike around the curve but it was touch and go . The same thing happened on the next bend as well , bloody terrifying. The next day a coach load of OAP's had managed to  ground itself at both ends with all the wheels off the ground on the same bend . 

Edited by fastbob
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Want to see a tight airpin?

 

check this one out.

Follow the road all the way down to the little place.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@57.6780087,-2.2596719,3a,75y,13.17h,72.94t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1slWRTGu8Y0d3hN7QcoBU7hw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

For those of age, you will recognise it from the movie "local hero"

Not only it is tight, but the over 10% inclination makes it a good challenge 🙂

 

And you won't fit 2 cars easily...

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4 minutes ago, husoi said:

Want to see a tight airpin?

 

check this one out.

Follow the road all the way down to the little place.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@57.6780087,-2.2596719,3a,75y,13.17h,72.94t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1slWRTGu8Y0d3hN7QcoBU7hw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

For those of age, you will recognise it from the movie "local hero"

Not only it is tight, but the over 10% inclination makes it a good challenge 🙂

 

And you won't fit 2 cars easily...

Been down there. 

 

 

This was mine. 

 

 

Screenshot_20211122-180723~2.png

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ooh.. a bend comparison contest. is there a prize?

 

"my bend is tighter than yours" -  well, how can you answer that?

Edited by Gerontious
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Right then . I've been up this one on a GSXR 1100 in a severe gale and a whiteout and up it on a Harley which was a doddle ,  but the most fun was going all the way from the top down to sea level with my engine switched off on my dear old ER5 . 

Screenshot_20211122-235531.png

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10 hours ago, Davidtav said:

 One of the links someone posted details using rear brake only at that stage. I think that might have been a good idea.  

Back in day when I did my training (which included avoiding stray dinosaurs) the instructor made a point of teaching us to use the rear brake during slow tight manoeuvres. 

 

I've seen a few posts recently that suggest this is no longer taught. At least some younger riders don't seem to aware of it 

 

Is that the case?

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