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Old 04-28-2013, 05:47 PM   #31
Madrox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by single View Post
To re-iterate the point because I think it can't be said enough, the most important thing is for you to be relaxed, confident, and smooth in your technique in the turn. Not being relaxed or comfortable in a turn is the first step before you do something really silly like target fixation (wow that road edge is closer then I thought might as well stare at it) or grabbing brakes and chopping the throttle mid turn, which can lead easily to a low side.

If there is a particular turn that you don't feel comfortable with, I recommend setting aside a few hours and practice is over and over again until you are comfortable. Again emphasize smoothness and getting to a speed you are comfortable with before you start the turn. You should either be rolling on the throttle through the turn or at the very least maintenance throttle with the incline causing you to accelerate through the turn so your entry speed should allow you to comfortably match that outcome.

There are two things important with any turn on the street. Number one is traction, number two is settling your suspension correctly through the turn. Your suspension should be equally weighted through a turn as much as possible front to rear. Try to visualize what is going on with your suspension through a turn and it will help inform your technique. On a downhill turn, your suspension is compressing forward more, so your technique should push more weight off the front then usual through the turn, this means accelerating more through the turn then you would need to to settle the suspension on an uphill turn. The balance is leveraging the downward momentum with gravity with throttle. It's easier uphill since you can be more aggressive with the throttle and it's easier to fight gravity with throttle then to work with it, but you need to trust gravity and throttle together to get you through the turn.

As far as traction, pick a line like you would any other turn to maximize sight distance and minimize lean angle.

It's all going to be about practice and experience. I really recommend you spend a lot of time on that corner which is giving you trouble until you can do it with your eyes closed. There are a lot of downhill corners out there and not being comfortable or relaxed is the first step towards something bad happening. Ask me how I know.

Cheers
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:35 AM   #32
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Just another technique - not the holy grail.

Wide in - tight out.

Gives you a little bit more braking area.
Lets you see the exit line sooner and more confidently apply power in one smooth motion.
Less risk of having to feather the throttle if you overcook it.

A slightly slower entry speed is required resulting in about the same mid corner speed and a faster exit
On a racetrack it leaves you vunerable to being passed under brakes but we're not on a racetrack are we?

Works for all types of corners but I notice it more on downhills.

Like what I think single was saying.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:57 AM   #33
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Yep I suck at downhill turns too. Definitely agree that you have to make a conscious decision to loosen up on the bars, slow down more than you would going into an uphill corner, and gently crack the throttle open all the way around the corner. The bike will immediately feel happier if you do this.

I try to never enter a downhill corner at speed faster than which allows me to accelerate all the way through it. If I have to close the throttle or apply the brakes mid-turn, I screwed up, or there was outside influence (debris, animals, cagers, etc)
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:57 AM   #34
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I don't know what kind of roads you guys ride but my biggest fear isn't how the bike is going to react to the descending turn, it's how the bike is going to react to shit on the road in the curve.

Life isn't like racing. There's nobody sweeping the roads hourly. Ascending/descending roads are usually in the mountains, mountains are made of rock, rock breaks down in gravel, dust and stones. Unless your mountain is particularly smooth and grown over like in the east, and even if it isn't, I would say that debris is the biggest fear.

You would probably never reach the traction limit of your tires normally were it not for friction modifiers like a thousand ball bearing sized pebbles on the road.

There's no cure for that fear other than drive the road multiple times to inspect it before you push it. The rule is, never outride your sight, real hard to see that debris unless you take the road at least down to the speed limit, not necessarily the curve's suggested speed.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:22 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trc.rhubarb View Post
I think many of you guys are missing the issue here. He didn't ask about traction, didn't mention washing out.
This is a part mental, part experience issue.
Heading into a corner on an uphill, the bike only accelerates as much as you give throttle to do so. Slight adjustments to the throttle help with that but you are in full control of the speed.

Downhill, the bike increases your speed whether you want it to or not if you don't use the brakes while turning (which tend to upset your flow/line). It requires experimenting with the right gear, the right braking and confidence of doing it over and over. He's not talking 9/10ths riding.

I can say that I'm always faster uphill than downhill. You will get better with time and practice. You will have good days and bad days as well.

You also get a better view of the drop-offs on the mountains when going downhill Don't focus on them.
Well, this one is my pick of the bunch so far. ^^

My 2c, when going uphill, you slow down faster when you roll off the throttle. If you are getting into the turns a bit hot for comfort, as many people do when they are getting the hang of things, the uphill turn soothes that discomfort. So that you feel that you are getting into the turn nice and fast, but still making the turn (because you slow down plenty after entry even if not using the brakes).

Going downhill, that is not going to happen. Get in a bit hot, and you are in a bit of trouble.

Now, if getting in hot is what you take to be normal, then uphill turns will make you feel like a god while downhill turns will make you feel like a wimp.

My suggestion to the OP (if he finds any of this relevant) is to switch focus from his entry speed to his exit speed. He might then recognise that his exit speed on the downhills is at least as great as his exit speed on relevantly similar uphills. He could then get off his own back about his entry speed on downhills. (And might also discover something about the way he gets through the uphills).
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:47 AM   #36
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Basicly agree but....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarky View Post
I don't know what kind of roads you guys ride but my biggest fear isn't how the bike is going to react to the descending turn, it's how the bike is going to react to shit on the road in the curve. .
I don't want to race - just get down the hill effectively and enjoy it.
Pebbles, debris, minor oil spills and errant traffic can all be dealt with if you are under control.
Reaching the limit of traction is not game over as there are still control options available.

Knowing the road is a good prerequisite for any spirited riding.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:22 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Moronic View Post
Well, this one is my pick of the bunch so far. ^^

My 2c, when going uphill, you slow down faster when you roll off the throttle. If you are getting into the turns a bit hot for comfort, as many people do when they are getting the hang of things, the uphill turn soothes that discomfort. So that you feel that you are getting into the turn nice and fast, but still making the turn (because you slow down plenty after entry even if not using the brakes).

Going downhill, that is not going to happen. Get in a bit hot, and you are in a bit of trouble.

Now, if getting in hot is what you take to be normal, then uphill turns will make you feel like a god while downhill turns will make you feel like a wimp.

My suggestion to the OP (if he finds any of this relevant) is to switch focus from his entry speed to his exit speed. He might then recognise that his exit speed on the downhills is at least as great as his exit speed on relevantly similar uphills. He could then get off his own back about his entry speed on downhills. (And might also discover something about the way he gets through the uphills).
Agreed. I've gleaned tidbits from a bunch of these posts, but I think the biggest new idea for me, seems so obvious now, has to do with the correlation of entry speed coupled with power+gravity making me feel like i am ending up going too fast through the turn. Duh!

I use engine braking for the most part in all my mountain driving. Brakes are for when you really need them. Overheat them, and you are out of luck. On the MC, because it is recommended, I will add a small amount of brake as needed going into a turn, but I am relying on the engine to do most of it. However, I do not coast through the turn, I always want to add throttle through the turn, so obviously, now, with the addition of gravity, that means a slower entry speed. Eureka!

I will say this just one more time so everyone understands, I really am a very conservative rider, no desire to race, no desire to treat public roads like a race track. I do my best to evaluate my skills and level of progress, then I ride when I can with experienced riders and ask them to critique me. I want to do this well, and safely for the rest of my life. I am not a speed guy in any of my pursuits. This is why I ask questions like this, and i really appreciate all the input.

That said, the only reason I am striving to learn to carry a little more speed through turns, is that it can also be dangerous to be the slowest thing on the road.

Thanks to all.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:02 AM   #38
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Another advantage to taking it slow is that it makes it easier to take those dirt turn-offs and go and explore!

Funny that I read "sit back" and "sit forward" over and over throughout the thread. I'll throw in my $.02 too... sit forward, especially on a dual sport! The bike will handle a lot better, which will boost your confidence, and help you relax.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:50 PM   #39
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This is a great thread. Something I have been focusing on more lately.

Engine braking is a huge help. Learning to come into the downhill turns at higher rpms was a big learning experience for me. The engine can manage the load quite well and it's not going to stall, so you can focus on your line. Trying to turn, manage throttle, and manage brakes all at once while going down hill and fighting gravity is ridiculous brain overload. Dropping it into a lower gear means less attention required for throttle, brakes, and gravity, and more for steering and down hill.

Another trick a racing buddy taught me was that you will always have some tension in your body, so rather than forcing yourself to fully relax, instead teach yourself to focus the tension. Teach your body to tense up where it will be useful for riding. For me, (and for others, I imagine) that is the inner thighs. Move all of the muscle tension into gripping the seat with one or both of your knees. This has the weird effect of loosening your entire upper body, which makes it extremely easy to steer.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:18 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucksta View Post
I don't want to race - just get down the hill effectively and enjoy it.
Pebbles, debris, minor oil spills and errant traffic can all be dealt with if you are under control.
Reaching the limit of traction is not game over as there are still control options available.

Knowing the road is a good prerequisite for any spirited riding.

The answer is entry speed. Enter slower and the treat like any other corner.

The bike is more supple when you are on the throttle, it's more planted, and has better traction. So a good deal of it is head work, the other part is just lines. What spooks people is on a good grade the bike accelerates faster, its just a matter of getting used to that. After that its just a matter of keeping your head up and your eyes where you want to go, the bike follows your eyes, that is as true in the hills as it is on the track.


Personally my favorites are down hill in up out corners, its like banking you KNOW you have a lot of traction in the cup so you can gas it like crazy.
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Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
This is a great thread. Something I have been focusing on more lately.

Engine braking is a huge help. Learning to come into the downhill turns at higher rpms was a big learning experience for me. The engine can manage the load quite well and it's not going to stall, so you can focus on your line. Trying to turn, manage throttle, and manage brakes all at once while going down hill and fighting gravity is ridiculous brain overload. Dropping it into a lower gear means less attention required for throttle, brakes, and gravity, and more for steering and down hill.
.
+1
Learning to blip your up shifts under braking helped me a lot, it takes away the urge to clamp on the clutch

I also tend to drag the rear brake if it is really tight and really steep, my style invloves riding the piss out of the front a lot of the time, so I try not stress it that much.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:25 AM   #41
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OP, might I suggest a class? Not a typical basic riders course, but an adv type, even a motocross perhaps.

I don't think you're in the wrong at all for approaching downhills with more caution than an uphill. Especially those spooky steep ones where you look down your forktubes at them before diving in. Things can go real wrong, real fast on those.

If you've got an area to practice on, I'd also suggest doing it there. Not on a series of downhills, or a long ride covering different ones, but a single track spot where you can practice technique over and over again without distraction and additional variables.

And coaching if you can get it. Having a skilled rider watching you and giving you feedback on what they see can be tremedously helpfull.

And, no matter what, a genuinely steep downhill is a demanding ride. There is *nothing* wrong with approaching it with caution, or with feeling less than bullet proof with the increased snow up on the mountain peak.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:58 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Snarky View Post
The rule is, never outride your sight, real hard to see that debris unless you take the road at least down to the speed limit, not necessarily the curve's suggested speed.

At first I was like what the hell, then I noticed you live in TX, and I was like, OK that explains it.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:33 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by jnclem View Post
I started riding motorized two wheelers again last fall, after about 30 years of on and off road bicycling. Let me say that I'm 55 years old, and not at all interested in setting any speed records. My interest in riding is doing a lot of dual sport miles here in western Colorado, enjoying myself, and becoming a smooth, safe rider, and doing some longer cross-country tours.

I guess I have put on about 3500 miles since I got my GS last September. It has been a blast, and I learn a lot every time I get it out. Today was the first time this year that I had enough confidence in the weather to take a longer ride outside of our valley, which always requires crossing some high passes. It was a beautiful day and a great ride.

But, what I'm noticing is that I am much more confident going up passes than descending. The roads are in good shape, but being Spring, you always have the possibility of sandy patches, snowmelt running across the road and carrying debris, and rocks coming down, just around any corner, not to mention the yahoos that don't seem to realize there are two lanes on road.

Sorry for the long post - any advise?
As long as you break up your rambling every four or five lines like you did, some guys will read most of what ya said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarhack View Post
It sounds to me like you are just exhibiting good common sense.
Never, ever over ride your line of sight, it's where a lot of that sand in the corners drops riders that think the street should be swept ahead of them.

I went for a 190 mile ride today through the front range twisties (DR 650 for reference), there's sand every where. I use a lot of front brake on downhills, I just do it in a straight line and only when the tires are actually on pavement. On a right hander that means I'm in the left track braking, as I get near the turn I release the brake a bit, cross over the sand strip into the right track and finish my braking before the turn. If I'm a little hot, I'll drag the rear brake gently (trail brake) until I'm happy with my speed and gently roll on the throttle through the rest of the turn.

On a blind single lane left hander, I'll stay in the right track so I'm not leaning across the double yellow and offering my shoulder as a sacrifice. I'll be going pretty slow and careful because there's frequently no right shoulder to go wide onto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trc.rhubarb View Post
I think many of you guys are missing the issue here. He didn't ask about traction, didn't mention washing out.
This is a part mental, part experience issue.
Heading into a corner on an uphill, the bike only accelerates as much as you give throttle to do so. Slight adjustments to the throttle help with that but you are in full control of the speed.

Downhill, the bike increases your speed whether you want it to or not if you don't use the brakes while turning (which tend to upset your flow/line). It requires experimenting with the right gear, the right braking and confidence of doing it over and over. He's not talking 9/10ths riding.

I can say that I'm always faster uphill than downhill. You will get better with time and practice. You will have good days and bad days as well.

You also get a better view of the drop-offs on the mountains when going downhill Don't focus on them.
+1

OP: an observation, you've been riding bicycles for 30 years and they don't have a motor. No shit. Point is: you have to pedal to go. (duh). The last thing you want to do is brake off the speed you pedaled your ass off to get up to, so you roll your corners as smooth and as fast and with as little braking as possible. Now that you have a motor, the brakes can be used into every downhill turn if ya want. Does your bike have dual front rotors? If so, you can brake all you want, depending on the surface directly under the front tire.

Learn to use your front brake, gently at first. Use it for every stop, you're developing muscle memory. I had a guy turn left right in front of me last week. A full panic stricken squish of the front brake gave the Mocha brown F-150 just enough time to clear, I missed his rear bumper by a foot. It was a reflex available because of always using the front brake, not just when I feel like practicing. Front knobbies sound really weird when they're just about locked up.
Dakez will be along inna-minit to tell me I should have known he was going to turn and allowed for it.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:41 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Charlie Gary
The one thing I found that makes it easier to corner going downhill is to downshift one or two gears so you can slow down if you ease off the throttle. It's not the proper thing to do in a corner, but it also means it's easier to control your forward progress with the throttle. Proper technique stabilizes your emotions as much as your suspension. A confident rider is usually a competent rider.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Huzband View Post
But closing throttle in a corner, downhill or up, pushes you wide.
Which is why I included the statement now made more visible with bigger and redder font.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:51 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by jnclem View Post
Agreed. I've gleaned tidbits from a bunch of these posts, but I think the biggest new idea for me, seems so obvious now, has to do with the correlation of entry speed coupled with power+gravity making me feel like i am ending up going too fast through the turn. Duh!

I use engine braking for the most part in all my mountain driving. Brakes are for when you really need them. Overheat them, and you are out of luck. On the MC, because it is recommended, I will add a small amount of brake as needed going into a turn, but I am relying on the engine to do most of it. However, I do not coast through the turn, I always want to add throttle through the turn, so obviously, now, with the addition of gravity, that means a slower entry speed. Eureka!

...

Thanks to all.
jnclem, sounds like you have got the answer you were looking for.

I am always sceptical about how much help a board like this can be for riding concerns that mostly defy accurate description. It is great when someone gets something back that he (or she) can use.

It might be fun if you replied to this thread when you've tried out your Adv-enhanced insight.
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