sorry, I have the same reaction to seeing myself. Feel great at the time, get home & watch a rigid Massey Ferguson.....
Any hoo, when to turn? From watching vids of the cool cats who seem to initiate there turn pretty much as the front wheel passes the cone I've tried to do the same thing. I'm trying to start my head turn & body shift as I approach, use the back brake to drop the bike over as quick as I dare with a lot of lock then back on the gas.
I try to enter the turn close to the cone & have a slightly wider exit, if I'm doing a turn greater than 180o I enter a little wider so the exit is tighter & I don't end up bulging out of the turn. If I start to turn as I pass I'm miles off course on the exit. It's the front wheel I think about getting round the cone, not the whole bike, hence my dilemma..
The bit I'm really struggling with, the mental block, is how far I will lean the bike in the turn. I can keep the revs up & use the back brake to help with the turn so the transition from brake to throttle is ok but I just seem to have an in built limit to my lean angle, slow & tight is fine but dropping the bike right on it's ear on a proper course is real struggle.
I find it easier if I forget about the cone I'm turning around & really focus on the next one or two I'm turning towards, it's also easier if I'm in an aggressive "get im boy" mood. The more I move around on the bike the better it feels, not sure if it is any quicker, though. I notice that some of the pros really urge their bikes around a course, you can read the body language as "come on, come on!" like kicking a horse..
I believe an issue with our practice is over thinking. Whipping the bike around in a tight u-turn on the road is easy, I bet your not thinking about the turn but were you are turning too, your already thinking beyond the maneuvre. I feel on the course I get bogged down with what is ahead of me & lose sight of the flow, where I'm turning too if you like. A series of individual corners rather than a flowing track which is essentially what the course is.
Practice, must practice more.