Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Hamilton, ON, Canada
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.