View Single Post
Old 07-12-2012, 09:59 AM   #89
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Annapolis Maryland
Oddometer: 1,455
Originally Posted by cliffy109 View Post
Braking in corners is a frustrating topic for me. It is frustrating because I had a pretty good low-side crash on New Year's eve that still haunts me. I still don't know exactly what I should have done, other than the obvious "slow the fuck down before the corner and pay more attention."
It sounds like you know the answer. There is a point where your entry speed is just to high and there's nothing you can do about it, all you can do is try to make it suck less. Get the bike slowed down and try to aim the bike into the runoff straight if you can. If you're going to go off the the road or track do it upright (obviously not an option in your case.)

"Never run out of real estate, traction and ideas at the same time." - Mario Andretti

Here is what happened:

I was on a rental bike on a motorcycle tour in Chile, riding down the side of a volcano. On the way up, I knew the ride down would be a challenge. The road was in very good condition with no potholes or gravel, but it was very steep up near the top. The switchbacks had very steep elevation changes right at the apex which made everything extremely off-camber.

Coming down, I took it very cautious in the switchbacks. I kept my speeds low and wasn't pushing limits. As things leveled out a bit the corners were more sweeping and lacked the steep elevation changes. I relaxed. I was in 3rd gear, again not pushing limits and not worried that a few riders were getting farther out in front of me.

At that point, I came into another corner which I thought was just another sweeper. WRONG! It was the last switchback and it had a very nasty elevation drop at the beginning of the corner.


I was probably going 35 or 40 and was completely off the throttle, esentially coasting in 3rd gear. On the plus side, I had been riding with my toes on the pegs and had been swinging my butt off the seat prior to the corners so my body was at least in a good position. I made a distinct decision to lean harder and not grab the brake. I figured it was my only chance. I was in the wrong gear and by the time I saw the corner, the amount of speed I would have needed to scrub was pretty dramatic.
Imho, never coast, either on the throttle (even if it's just cracked open) or on the brakes, if the bike was still upright when you saw the corner, drop anchor, squeeze that front brake and start panic stopping on good pavement bikes can still stop pretty quickly, this would set you for continuing your braking into the turn, which being downhill off-camber would require some serious finesse.

So, would brakes have helped or hurt by the time I realized I was screwed? My hunch is that anything I did would have still resulted in a crash and that braking could have made things worse, but should I have tried it? I still don't know.
Other than looking farther ahead and slowing down before hand, or a dramatic SuperMoto style backing it in, you where fucked. When hard parts go down at turn in and you still need to turn more, bad things are ahead.
crofrog is offline   Reply With Quote