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Old 05-30-2018, 11:05 PM   #1
MotorcycleMan
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Friendly backroad cornerning advice

Ive been riding for a few years, 99% on backroads (other 1% getting to the "good roads") and there are a few things I have picked up I'd like to share.
If you have anything helpful to add feel free to comment and hopefully we can help some people out.

Always be aware. Know what your line should look like. Where your apex should be. Not for speed; you should be thinking to yourself where is the safest place for you to be at your apex. Is oncoming traffic visible? Does oncoming traffic have a blind turn? You don't want to hug that yellow line too much, you never know when a car will stray even a few feet into our lane.

Ride within your own personal limit and always leave some room for error as we never know what is around the corner. Crashed cars, deer running across the road, a massive buffalo, a driver making a U-turn in the middle of a blind turn, the list is endless.

Ride safe my friends and always wear your gear.
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:49 AM   #2
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All good suggestions!
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:44 AM   #3
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Always keep your eyes up. The farther you look ahead the more time you have to adapt changing conditions. Keep your upper body relaxed and loose. Riding stiff will make the bike run wide in turns. TRUST THE BIKE. Modern bikes can corner very, very well. If you feel you're too fast into a corner, stay loose and try the corner anyway. In the vast majority of cases the bike will make it, IF you let it.

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Old 05-31-2018, 09:41 AM   #4
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And don't come flying through downtown Boulder Creek at 50 mph! No-one is impressed.
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:52 PM   #5
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And don't come flying through downtown Boulder Creek at 50 mph! No-one is impressed.
But when I do 50 up in the hills there's no one to SEE me!!!

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Old 06-01-2018, 04:52 PM   #6
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If you see ONE deer, there's likely some more around that next corner.
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:52 PM   #7
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If you see ONE deer, there's likely some more around that next corner.
Same with LEO's.
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Old 06-01-2018, 05:55 PM   #8
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Nice post.

To add: expect bicycles. Always.
Expect cars in the other lane to give them way more room that the law dictates in the most silly places.

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Old 06-02-2018, 10:59 AM   #9
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Nice post.

To add: expect bicycles. Always.
Expect cars in the other lane to give them way more room that the law dictates in the most silly places.

Very very important, especially when going downhill as oncoming cars might be partially or fully in your lane passing a slow bicyclist.

I try to ride with the oft quoted idea on BARF of maintaining 2 seconds of clear vision ahead.

That means very slow speeds at times on upcoming right hand turns in dense twisties.
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Old 06-01-2018, 07:00 PM   #10
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If you come up behind a car going slow and there is anything to the left for them to turn into they will.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:18 AM   #11
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A technique I've developed when riding mountain roads is to always keep my eyes on the inside line in right hand turns, especially blind ones that I've unfamiliar with. Using the concept that the bike goes where your eyes point, if the turn tightens up , my vision will pull my line to match the road. If I were looking at the center line my line would drift out to meet it.
Of course ,I keep my vision moving from corner to corner. Inside,middle.repeat...
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Old 06-02-2018, 12:09 PM   #12
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Try the Vanishing Point technique for reading blind turns. The link is to a BARF post I wrote 10 years ago, but it's timeless.

Experienced riders probably don't need it because they're subconsciously picking up the cues. But developing that intuition takes a while. In the meantime, making the VP observations will help you anticipate turns that often catch noobs unaware.

Geoff, did you mean "4 seconds of clear vision"? I wrote about the Four-Second Rule here and here.
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Old 06-02-2018, 12:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DataDan View Post
Try the Vanishing Point technique for reading blind turns. The link is to a BARF post I wrote 10 years ago, but it's timeless.

Experienced riders probably don't need it because they're subconsciously picking up the cues. But developing that intuition takes a while. In the meantime, making the VP observations will help you anticipate turns that often catch noobs unaware.

Geoff, did you mean "4 seconds of clear vision"? I wrote about the Four-Second Rule here and here.
Oops, 2 seconds minimum for following distance 4 seconds for blind turns.
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Old 06-08-2018, 02:04 PM   #14
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Many long-time riders execute their moves without conscious thought, but I started riding only 10 years ago at 44 and I approach it more analytically.

I’ve always been very conscious of, and bothered by, the intrinsic asymmetric nature of left and right turns. Some of the factors are NOT present when you practice in a flat parking lot, but very apparent when riding on a tight and steep road like Mt Hamilton.

These are things to be aware of, and watch out for:

• Right turn:
o for the same curve, the right turn is always tighter than left.
o Sightline is better on right turns than left, especially uphill.
o The right hand controls throttle and brake, and tend to dominate steering too. You have to change the angle of your grip on the throttle on tight right vs. left turns.

• Left turn:
o You’re closer to, and easier to fixate on, the edge of the road/cliff. This is where looking thru the turn is especially critical.
o When you brake hard (with the right hand) into a downhill turn, you tend to stiffen your right arm, which can be fighting the left arm and interfering with turning left.
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Gary856 View Post
Many long-time riders execute their moves without conscious thought, but I started riding only 10 years ago at 44 and I approach it more analytically.

I’ve always been very conscious of, and bothered by, the intrinsic asymmetric nature of left and right turns. Some of the factors are NOT present when you practice in a flat parking lot, but very apparent when riding on a tight and steep road like Mt Hamilton.

These are things to be aware of, and watch out for:

• Right turn:
o for the same curve, the right turn is always tighter than left.
o Sightline is better on right turns than left, especially uphill.
o The right hand controls throttle and brake, and tend to dominate steering too. You have to change the angle of your grip on the throttle on tight right vs. left turns.

• Left turn:
o You’re closer to, and easier to fixate on, the edge of the road/cliff. This is where looking thru the turn is especially critical.
o When you brake hard (with the right hand) into a downhill turn, you tend to stiffen your right arm, which can be fighting the left arm and interfering with turning left.
I'm always slower on right handers in the twisties because of sightlines plus blowing a right hand turn can put you over the centerline into oncoming traffic.
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