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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Andyvh1959, Jan 25, 2014.
I can relate my experience, (the bike just wouldn't turn.) Being a new rider ,2 years I'm probably still learning a lot of things you more experienced guys take for granted. I recently upgraded from a DR650 to VFR1200x. The thing I noticed most with the big bike is how much that little dial that adjusts rear preload affects cornering. Before I dialed in the suspension to my needs the force required initiate a turn was huge, and it often took me by surprize coming into a tighter than usual corner. It just felt like the bike wouldn't turn,but I was just to scared to be more forcefull with the steering. I wonder if his panniers were loaded at the time?
Neither do I want to be like that, now. This is why I had to dig back a quarter century to find such a story. Perhaps you always lived the straight and narrow in your youth, or just like to paint it as if you did. Me, not so much. I survived just the same and don't mind sharing if it helps someone by doing so. Well, not you, of course.
I hear scooter gangs are rampant in England .:ymca
Cmon , Really, a pair of grips and the palms of your gloves in one session on a RS 250!I have friends that roadraced and used the same gloves for an entire season of racing.:eek1
If the bike would have made the turn, then I wouldn't have had to lay 'er down.
He said SEASON.
You gave us a good story. And a good moral. I was just thinking of a different one (moral), and it struck me funny. You are right, a conscious knowledge and familiarity with countersteering is precious when a quick response is needed.
I'm an idiot, I could have sworn it said session.
The first time I read it I thought it said "session" too.
Some good discussion. Let's use the extensive counter steering thread to detail how it works and leave this thread as one to describe a lack of skills/ability of the rider as THE cause the bike wouldn't make the turn. I have proved the bike can do it when I dragged my centerstand, my boot edge and my passengers boot edge in a decreasing radius turn. I looked to the exit, looked through the turn, kept the throttle on, and pressed hard on the inside grip. The bike did it easily. To me the rider who claims "it wouldn't make the turn" si my doesn't know what to do.
Went through a mellow turn, not close to dragging anything even sitting straight in the seat. No gravel, nothing tricky at all in this turn. Looked in the mirror in time to see the guy behind me almost run off the road. He just didn't know you could lean the bike over very far. Had never done it before. Never had ridden with someone who enjoyed cornering, apparently.
Kind of like the guy who has never wound a motorcycle engine out and has no idea it gets more powerful at the upper end.
Or like the guy who has never thought about using the front brake to actually stop.
These guys are out there.
I had this happen to me shortly after returning to riding after being out of it for years. Came up on a tighter than expected turn, but not that tight. It felt like the front was fighting me. The harder I tried to turn the more the bike seemed to resist. I knew and used counter steering regularly. I didn't do it that day and just barely made a turn that I could now take at twice the speed. (Well I must have counter steered some since I did make it:eek1)
What I think happens when "the bike would not make the turn"
When relaxed and comfortable riders don't push and are not under stress. So it is easy to "turn left to go right." However when stressed and maybe afraid we revert to the physical responses and reflexes that are most deeply learned. Most recreational riders drive cars way more than they ride motorcycles. For lots of riders the best learned (most instinctive/reflexive) response is to steer around the corner, bummer. When not freaked out counter steering is easy and even unconscious. However the more stressed the harder the rider reacts and tries to steer around the curve and they run wide because the bike "would not turn." The harder they try to turn the worse it gets. The responses to steer and counter steer fight each other. This make the bike and/or muscles feel locked up. If the steering response is the strongest survival reaction the bike goes off the road.
I have never heard this theory elsewhere, but that's my story and I am sticking to it.
Of course target fixation, lack of confidence, not knowing how far the bike will lean, freaking out and hitting the brakes, not knowing how to brake and turn when going in too hot, and other things contribute. However I think with sometimes fear turns on the survival reflex of steering and overwhelms the proper response of counter steering. Keith code talks about this kind of thing in his books and columns.
I find that pulling with my outside arm works best for me, but that was also the way I was taught to do it.
It's like wrenching - you don't push the wrench if there's room to pull the wrench.
I will never forget the first time I deployed KC's Rule #1 under significant duress.
I was out on the Autobahn, A40 west of Duiisburg where there are some awesome interchanges, and I was playing around on the GS just goofing off. gErman cloverleafs are tight and wiggly, not long sweepers like in the US. I was in my own head and got caught not paying attention to the road. A tight right hander that came up like that.
I'd read Twist 1&2 and was working on countersteering and not being afraid to gas it out for a while, but never had to face reality like this time. I'd also typed out the SRs and the rules and taped them to my tank.
I saw the corner of the paper out of my eye and it clicked. I looked up, pushed the inside bar, and started to gently roll on the throttle. Not only did I come through the turn on a decent line, I scraped my right peg in the process.
I rode home with a bit more attention, all the while screaming in my helmet "it works! It really works!"
Then I did a track day on a little vintage Honda 175. Holy crap. Any upper body tension, and that thing was not going anywhere. Relax and it was like I only had to think about where I wanted to go, and it was there.
My gut feeling is that "the bike wouldn't turn" requires a mechanical issue to be truly accurate. Otherwise, it's the rider. I know, because I've been that rider.
a lot of it comes down to confidence
not skills sometimes.
I always tell a beginner
if they get into trouble
as well as the other stuff well mentioned.
is believe in the bike if you freak out
it will look after you, keep going ,cornering, braking etc.
I've been in a few situations where I couldn't get the bike to turn any farther. I knew it wasn't the bike, it was me. I just couldn't bring myself to push harder on the inside bar. A flash of inspiration (or logic) and I pulled on the outside bar, and the bike dove on in.
I had read Total Control, and was going by his advice to relax the outside arms and push with the inner to keep your arms from fighting each other.
The part of the motorcycle most susceptible to failure is the nut connecting the handlebars to the seat. Given any particular motorcycle, this part is replaceable. However, it is usually not replaced until after failure.
BMW and a K1300??? They have the same steering dampener as my K1200RS.
Only time that my bike went across the line and didn't want to come back and I had to really force it back, the front swivel bushing on the dampener was seizing up.
Swivels as the suspension compresses/offloads. Was fine when riding normally but stiff when riding a little faster.
I fixed that the next day.....!!!Been fine for 5-6 years, I just lubed it again.
Yea ,but before I posted I went back to make sure and must have mis-read it again.:eek1