How do I improve my skillz in the twisites? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 46 Old 08-10-2012, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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How do I improve my skillz in the twisites?

I just got back from a trip to the BRP and I found I really sucked in the twisites.
I didn't do anything dramatic like drive off the road and I think I may have only crossed a double yellow once. But I found myself straightening up and having to hit the brakes to often and taking shitty lines into corners and have to pick another line halfway through. I've been riding for 15 years and by riding I mean 3-5 per week pretty easy. So I wouldn't call my self a newb. But I'd say 90% of my riding is city commuting stop and go type stuff or dirtbiking. So roads and rides like the BRP and dragon are pretty new to me. I also live in the low county so hills and curves are pretty sparse. So how do I improve my riding and cornering in a place where the roads and straight for the most part?


If all you ever do is all you've ever done, then all you'll ever get is all you ever got.
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post #2 of 46 Old 08-10-2012, 10:48 PM
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post #3 of 46 Old 08-10-2012, 10:58 PM
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I strongly recommend you take the MSF advanced rider course. I thought I could ride pretty well until I took the ERC (experienced rider course). I really learned a lot from that course.

Do you know about counter steering--push left to go left/push right to go right? Pushing on the inside of the handgrips. Makes turning a lot easier and safer. Also, try shifting your weight to the inside do a curve. You see the racers do that in an exaggerated manner on the race course. It's also important to carry a little throttle to help keep the bike balanced through a curve.

'09 DL650
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post #4 of 46 Old 08-10-2012, 11:07 PM
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Look up Keith Code's twist of the wrist. It should help a lot.

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post #5 of 46 Old 08-10-2012, 11:27 PM
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While the MSF experienced rider course is good practice, it's mostly just a review of all but the most basic parts of the beginning rider course, and it won't help much with riding at speed. Skip it and take a Total Control course instead if you can, or at least read the book and practice the exercises in it. One of the important topics addressed is fear, and how to learn to trust the bike. It made a huge difference for me.
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Lee Parks (Total Control author and founder) on a strom:

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post #6 of 46 Old 08-10-2012, 11:38 PM
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Maybe not totally specific to your post but I’ve been trying to ride “The Pace” lately.

The Pace - Nick Ienatsch - Motorcyclist magazine

I mentioned this to a riding friend of mine and his comment to me was “slow is smooth and smooth is fast”. I believe this is true. Slow and smooth helps develop skills and once developed then speed can then be increased.

I don’t really know but I’m giving it a try.


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post #7 of 46 Old 08-10-2012, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the feedback guys...keep it coming.

If all you ever do is all you've ever done, then all you'll ever get is all you ever got.
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post #8 of 46 Old 08-10-2012, 11:50 PM
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IMO, you have to follow someone. They should know you and preferably like you. Miles are the answer, lots and lots of them.
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post #9 of 46 Old 08-10-2012, 11:56 PM
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How does a runner train?

He/She runs.

How does a swimmer train?

He/She swims.

How do you train for the twisties?

You ride twisties.

Years ago a fellow from out of town got into a a New York Taxi, and asked, "How do I get to Carnegie Hall" to which the taxi driver replied, "practice, lot's of practice"!
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post #10 of 46 Old 08-10-2012, 11:57 PM
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I've taken courses and read lots of stuff about being smooth and fast in the twisties. Ultimately, though, the biggest thing I lack is sufficient practice in them. Roads around here are mostly straight and boring, with occasional little bits of twisties mixed in.

The first thing I would say is: slow down and get smooth. First you get smooth, and then you get fast. Concentrate on setting reasonable entry speeds that you're comfortable with, selecting the right gear, and picking turn in-points. Don't overcommit and dive way in to the apex (from the outside of your lane in the corner to the inside) until you know where you will finish turning. If you're riding unfamiliar roads, blind corners, etc, this will generally mean going slower. Concentrate on these things and higher speeds will eventually come - with practice. Or not, if you don't, or can't, get the practice. Racetrack schools, or track days, might help in this regard, if feasible for you.

I would also recommend Keith Code's books, despite the fact that they're race-oriented and (IMO) unfortunately marred with Scientology-inspired teaching "tech" (as they call it). He talks a lot of sense about things like survival reactions (SRs), your attention "budget" (or something like that - been a while since I read it, I should get it out and read it again). And the stuff he teaches about turn-in points, lines, throttle control, etc, makes sense (used appropriately) on the road as well as the track.

Just remember (as I sometimes fail to) that the road is not a racetrack, and poor judgement and mistakes can have much more severe consequences on the street.
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