Please help me turn better!!!

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Guy Jinbaiquerre, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. beemerkid

    beemerkid Do you ADV

    Feb 14, 2009
    North Bay, CA
    A track school is really the single best thing you can do. The basic safety courses usually have you doing countersteering drills at 25 mph in a parking lot. With a track school you have instructors following you around at speed and giving you instruction every few laps. The fact that all the corners are the same is helpful as you can concentrate on your technique and not about what the next corner is like.

    I think i was pretty good at corners before i took the STAR course from Jason Pridmore, but now its like OH MY GOD!!! (This is probably just my overinflated view of myself)
  2. flatland964

    flatland964 Been here awhile

    Jan 16, 2009
    Chicago suburbs
    I have not read this whole thread and others may have already mentioned this, but I highly recommend Lee Park's Total Control Clinic. I have been riding again for about a year (about 7k miles in that time) after a 25 year layoff. I am from the land of the flat and straight (Chicago). Earlier this year I went down to the BMW ralley in TN and scared myself around quite a few curves. It seemed every curve was a negotiation with the bike.

    Last weekend I took the Lee Park's course, and then the next day left for a week ride down to the Smokies. What a difference! Now, admittedly, I was smarter (read, more conservative) about entry speeds while I practiced the new techniques, and that certainly helped too, but with my body in the right position, and my eyes focused in the right place, I found the bike just floated around the curves. No matter how sharp the curve, the bike always seemed ready to go even tighter if I needed it. In fact, I tended to go too sharp for awhile until I got used to it. No puckers the whole trip! Even riding 441 across the mountains in the rain was a relaxed ride.

    I am not saying I am now good around curves. I still take them at a relaxed pace. But I am now comfortable, which is a start.
  3. scotteee

    scotteee paranoia=total awareness

    Mar 6, 2005
    Astoria, OR
    coming late to the conversation, but...

    First of all, read "The Pace" by Nick Ienatsch. Best article ever written on safe street riding in my view. (I've not read a lot of motorcycle writing lately so if others have better recommendations I'd love to hear them.)

    My recommendation for learning to corner faster (and safer)

    Read "The Pace" then find a nice long clean twistie road.

    Practice, practice practice.

    Here's Nick:

    "The Pace focuses on bike control and de-emphasizes outright speed. Full-throttle acceleration and last minute braking aren't part of the program, effectively eliminating the two most common single-bike accident scenarios in sport riding. Cornering momentum is the name of the game, stressing strong, forceful inputs at the handlebar to place the bike correctly at the entrance of the turn and get it flicked in with little wasted time and distance. Since the throttle wasn't slammed open at the exit of the last corner, the next corner doesn't require much, if any, braking."

    This article has probably saved a lot of lives and really helped my riding. (That and Reg/Jason Pridmore's CLASS.)

    And as Nick Ienatsch says: " If you've got some thing to prove, get on a racetrack."
  4. jeckyll

    jeckyll Kneedragger

    Jan 20, 2007
    As has been said, take race course or at least attend a track day.

    If it's a sportbike then:
    Read Twist of the Wrist II
    Read Sportriding Techniques
    Figure out the differences, make them make sense in your head.

    Go back do another track day.

    If you have experienced riders that ride well, perhaps someone can mentor you a bit.

    Just my $0.02
  5. tankara fishing

    tankara fishing tierra encantada

    Mar 7, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    Consciously shift weight onto the inside butt bone. This made a real difference for me.

    Don't try to keep up with somebody outside your comfort-zone.

    Stop thinking of yourself as somebody who sucks at turning and instead think of yourself as a skilled twisty guy.
  6. VaderSS

    VaderSS Canyon Carving Goldwing

    Mar 5, 2009
    Cordelia, CA
    I have the books you mention, as well as Lee Park's Total Control. I feel that Total Control is the best, by far, but I have gotten useful info from all.

    Having talked to people who have done Total Control ARCs, track days, and even big name track schools, most said that they got more out of the Total Control clinics, and all said that those clinics helped them to do better during the track days and track schools.

    I do want to do a track school at some point, but the Total Control book and clinics put me where I am very comfrotable on the street, and able to hang with sport bike riders while riding a Goldwing in the tight twisties.
  7. ikonoklass

    ikonoklass Kountersteering Krew

    May 5, 2002
    Denver, CO
    OK you cheeky bastards, I just signed up!
  8. plasticweld

    plasticweld You break it we fix it

    May 9, 2009
    UP State New York
    My method was simple and cheap $140 in walmart saftey cones and a empty parking lot on the weekend

    My son and I video taped each other going through the cones and worked on all of the different styles of corners It was amazing when you have run off room and the cost of making a mistake is next to nothing how fast you can learn through trial and error

    This is a short video of some of our learning experiences
  9. Guy Jinbaiquerre

    Guy Jinbaiquerre Monorail Conductor

    Oct 1, 2008
    Tokyo, Japan
    It's been a few years, so time for an update! :norton

    I'm still not going to be mistaken for a pro racer any time soon, but I got better. I'm not always the last guy through the twisties; in a decent-sized group, I'm usually in the middle of the pack. And some people have even accused me of riding too fast and aggressively! :lol3 (No, I'm not doing anything stupid out there. At least not IMHO.)

    What helped?

    (1) Taking a skills course at a local motorcycle school. Repeatedly. (I took their full-day course about 10 times in a year.) Endless runs through slaloms and gymkhana-style twisty courses, with instructors offering advice along the way.

    (2) REALIZING THAT I DO NOT HAVE TO BE IN A HIGH GEAR BETWEEN TURNS. This was even more important than the skills course for me. I used to try to shift up between turns and down for turns. Now I'm much more likely to keep the bike in 2nd or possibly 3rd the whole time on a twisty road, while letting the engine rev a lot higher between turns. It is SO much easier to ride when you are not worried about being in the right gear. And now I always have the ability to maintain speed through the turn and accelerate out of the turn.

    (3) Practice, practice, practice. I ride a lot more than I used to, so I get a lot more chances to work on my skills. And I try to stay on the tail of the really fast guys (as much as I can without getting in over my head) and follow their lines.

    (4) Looking through the turn. I still have trouble with this, but I try to do it as much as possible and always try to push myself to look farther through the turn than I used to.

    (5) Getting a bike that likes to turn! My old Honda X4 is not really a nimble bike. The front is raked out too far and it's kind of a pig. Good for highway blasts, but not made for the twisties. My R1200GS ADV has absolutely allowed me to become a better rider.

    Anyway, there you have it: 5 things that made a difference for me. I could still get a lot better at riding, but I'm at a point now where a twisty road is enjoyable, not frustrating.
  10. Bollocks

    Bollocks Farts with an Accentâ„¢

    Oct 14, 2005
    Watauga lake, 10-E-C

    One thing I've found really useful is hand placement on the bars.
    Try and hold the bars as if you are holding a screw driver, notice the hand placement in the pic, the hands aren't flush with the bars but angled.
    It gives you a lot more input and will stop you from gripping the bars to hard.....relax grass hopper.
  11. btao

    btao RIP Lilolita

    Jul 8, 2013
    Hidden amongst the celebrities of CT
    All good stuff... All designed to make you confident enough to push yourself by knowing what's on the other side of that door.

    You don't realize how capable your bike really can be if you know how to ride it effectively.

    When not on a track, look far enough ahead to see an oncoming vehicle with enough time to stop if you are going in a straight line. If you are looking where you are going, your body steers by feel not thought and intention.

    I happily can share that I just scrapped both pegs tonght on my new tiger 800 xc with the stock tires and having it for only a week. (note to the noob, if you are really going to push it, be ready for the ground to hit a boot or peg on occasion and let your foot come off without moving another muscle and upsetting the corner. You won't like the results...)

    Rule of thumb, don't shift your weight until you start scraping hard parts (pegs, boots) It just wastes energy and is hard to do on a non sport bike without a flat seat. Also, keep your weight as low as possible. It makes it easier to initiate turn if your not trying to lean over a skyscraper DS bike.

    Your Center of Gravity will follow your head, so lead with your head... This applies to walking as much as it does to riding at any speed. If you consciously place your dome over the intended path you want to take, the rest will follow.


    Pretend it's a bicycle that's light as a feather. Lead the bike and make it submit to your bidding. Don't follow the bike or you might get lost...