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Hmmmmm
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Discussion Starter #1
My background is that I've ridden dirt bikes pretty much from the time I was a teenager. You get pretty used to the feel of sliding around in corners riding off road. The technique was to lay the bike over but keep your weight over center so as you slide the bike you stay balanced. I don't know if that's a great description but you dirt guys know what I mean.

The pavement is so different to me. I find myself cornering on occasion at speeds below 30 mph using the same techniques. Not sure this is the right way to corner, I was following a sport bike one day and he was using the slide your ass off seat technique. I'm not going to do that!

I'm trying to get rid of the 1/2" chicken strip on the rear tire. Looking for some helpful cornering tips.

 

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There's no point in leaning your bike further than necessary, while keeping your body upright, in order to scrub the last bit of the tires - you're unlikely to impress anyone. For normal street riding, I'd say keep your body basically centered on the street, or, as I do, you might find it useful to lean to the inside a little. Eventually, if you have enough corners available to practice on, you may start leaning far enough to scrub the whole tire and drag stuff. If that's what you're really after...
 

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I wouldn't worry about the chicken strips. Just get out there and ride! The more comfortable you get with the bike, the better you'll feel.
 

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A fun way to get tips is Killboy.com. There are hundreds and hundreds of pictures of motorcyclists riding The Dragon, and lots of commentary on techniques--good and bad.
 

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Hmmmmm
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Discussion Starter #5
I wouldn't worry about the chicken strips. Just get out there and ride! The more comfortable you get with the bike, the better you'll feel.
Totally agree with you, not worried at all about the chicken strip. It's just an indicator of my lean angle. Those next couple degrees of lean angle seem uncomfortable.
 

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Totally agree with you, not worried at all about the chicken strip. It's just an indicator of my lean angle. Those next couple degrees of lean angle seem uncomfortable.

You'll get used to it. Take an MSF Intermediate or Experienced Rider Class for some street-riding education, and get on a low-traffic twisty road and practice.

But the long and short of it is... do not move your weight to the outside of the bike like you would when riding on dirt; instead move your weight to the inside. You don't need to go all road-racer-style and hang off, just sit comfortably on the bike, look through the turn, and let your shoulders/upper body naturally follow your head. This will bring them slightly to the inside without any real effort or thought.

And don't forget to countersteer.

--mark
 

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I know you will get a lot of suggestions but I think you already know how to corner properly. My suggestions below assume a dry roads with no dirt or other things to worry about.

It really comes down to just sitting on the bike as you normally would when travelling in a straight line. As the bike leans into a corner just sit on the bike normally and stay with the bike. Whatever amount it is leaning just do the same and it will feel natural to you very quickly. You don't have to do anything beyond that for any normal riding. As you get used to the sensation you can gradually go faster into the corners and you will find both you and the bike lean a bit more. You should look ahead into the corner at where you are going and just ride the bike. Don't be concerned with sliding off the seat, or using any better tires, or anything else; at least at this point of things.

(If you don't know what countersteering is about you might want to ask about that as that is what initiates the turn.)


..Tom
 

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I am in the exact position as you. Lots of dirt experience and just learning the street. The biggest thing I learned in the Team Oregon course and continue to practice is to look through the turn. Lean becomes instinct to take you to where you are looking. This one tip has helped riding motos, my bikes and driving. Maybe we can ride together soon and pretend like we are practicing. I may be out your way this weekend.
Sprague
 

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If there's a track nearby, maybe enroll in a track school? (It's something I've always wanted to try, but there aren't any tracks where I live. :sad1:) You'll have a coach follow you around in a closed, controlled environment and the bike control skills you learn will make you a better street rider.
 

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Hmmmmm
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Discussion Starter #11
I am in the exact position as you. Lots of dirt experience and just learning the street. The biggest thing I learned in the Team Oregon course and continue to practice is to look through the turn. Lean becomes instinct to take you to where you are looking. This one tip has helped riding motos, my bikes and driving. Maybe we can ride together soon and pretend like we are practicing. I may be out your way this weekend.
Sprague
Give me a holler if you come up the Gorge. I may be busy on Saturday with family but Sunday is looking good.
 

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the easiest way to get your body in the right position for a corner is basically to try and touch your helmet to the mirror of the bike in the direction you are turning. your helmet goes towards the left mirror in a left turn. this will force your upper body weight off the center of the bike and to the inside, making you use less lean angle. after this feels natural, start moving your butt to the inside of the corner, i.e. get a cheek off the seat.

you're limited in corner speed by two things: tire traction and lean angle (running out of tire to use). shifting your weight inside will allow you to make the same turn at the same speed with much less lean angle. the only way to get more traction is to get stickier tires.

i'm the opposite of you guys; almost all street riding with very little dirt, and that was when i was much younger.

frye

edited to add: upsetting the balance of the bike when it is leaned over is BAD. get your braking done before the entrance and slowly roll the throttle on all the way through until it's time to power out. don't chop or whack open the throttle. anything you do with the bike leaned over requires a delicate touch. smooth is fast and fast is smooth.
 

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lean

Learn to lean with the bike, pivoting your neck so your head stays fairly upright. Look at the pictures of racers cornering in magazines, and you get the idea. Note that racers often hang off the low side of the bike to allow for greater cornering speed than ground clearance normally allows. Probably no need for that. Usually comforting to lean a little forward on corners to transfer weight to the front tire. Experiment with putting weight on the footpegs while cornering, which helps to get a feel for what the bike is doing. Realize that on clean dry pavement you will see MUCH larger lean angles than on dirt bikes (excluding berms, of course, where you can nearly drag the handlebar..). If you can, find a parking lot without obstructions, so you don't need to worry about running off the road or into the other lane, get up to about 25 or 30, and practice leaning into turns and straightening the bike back up, gradually work to larger and larger lean angles. You'll be surprised at how far you can lean. Having said that, on the road, the pavement is not always clean or dry, so you want to be a little cautious about demonstrating your new leaning ability, unless a riding buddy is conveniently ahead of you checking for grease and gravel. it would also behoove you (yes, I'm a geezer) to carefully check out the cornering apex sections of the books suggested. An early apex can leave you with the bad choices of either leaning far past what the bike can do, or running into the oncoming traffic lane.
 

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I'm no pro but here's the top two that helped me.
#1) Look way up the road, the bike will follow.
#2) As an exercise practice riding the center of the lane at speed, keeping equidistant from the fog stripe and the center stripe. When you can do that you will learn bike control and be a much smoother rider. I see many riders cutting the corners trying to straighten out the bends (different than using the apex). They're not learning much but bad habits IMO. I almost forgot
#3) good suspension will make those chicken strips disappear w/o even trying, even on stock tires.
Oh, and sometimes it does feel like a dirt bike on the street. The back end drifts a little under power on exiting. Maybe the dual purpose tires?
 

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Hmmmmm
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the tips guys, moving my head towards the mirror really made the difference. It has a feeling of a more pro active approach to cornering.
 

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Good advice so far....also important to accellerate smoothly through the turn. Get your brake & shifting done before you get into a turn. Applying brakes, shifting, upsets the balance and handling of the bike and can exacerbate a bad entry or poor handling situation and make you eat pavement.

Smooth rolling on of the throttle will settle the bike into the turn, and keep you planted.
 
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