the bike just wouldn't make the turn....

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Andyvh1959, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    Well, the front wheel is a big gyroscope that doesn't want to change direction; the faster the bike goes, the faster the wheel spins, the more force it takes to make it change direction.

    Oregon crash stats show it is a relatively rare occurrence where a rider gets into a situation where the bike couldn't make it- it's their own ability they run out of, long before the bike's ability.
    #41
  2. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    Hi PT,
    What caught my eye in your post were the words "the poor alternative is for the rider to shift body weight" and the the bike "must lean to handle the centrifugal force".

    The most effective way to get a high-speed motorcycle around a fast corner is to significantly shift body weight to the inside corner, and keep the bike as upright as possible. Every professional racer does it, and its my observation that few road riders do it.

    Here's a couple of video's from professionals being paid to give the same advice. As both are track day classes they place a lot of emphasis on traction, but for road riders the greater ability to turn easier, change a line in a turn, not drag pegs, improved braking, etc, etc are all reasons to do it. It's no good picking yourself up out of the dirt saying I should have done it. It has to be continually practiced so its second nature going into every fast turn.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ODL2iqVG9Q

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znU_fyFZBRQ
    #42
  3. BCKRider

    BCKRider Been here awhile

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    Lot's of good info on this thread. I too found that a little "hang off" (not moving my butt, just my head and upper body to the inside of the turn) not only started the counter-steer process without much conscious thought but made my cornering a lot smoother.

    Only "tip" that I know which I haven't seen mentioned yet is to tilt your head so your eyes remain parallel to the road surface. Big help for most of us in not getting disoriented and thus panicked.

    Two other pieces of advice which have worked well for me: 1. keep your speed down at first and 2. only add one or two additional technics per ride, building on the basics of setting your entry speed, picking your turn point, staying on the throttle and looking through the turn. For most of us, it takes time to make a new technic a reliable habit. If you find you are no faster but MORE RELAXED AND SMOOTHER, then that is a good technic for you.

    I believe it was David Hough who stated something like "there are no emergency maneuvers you can call on in a real emergency. Good PRACTICED riding habits may well save your bacon." And trying to always get a little better has its own satisfactions.
    #43
  4. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    Hi BC,
    Can I recommend you progress to moving you butt. To do this effortlessly you need to ride with the balls of your feet on the pegs if not already doing it. Just ride along in a straight line and shift you butt half way across the seat, and drop you shoulder and knee on that side, what happens? The bike just starts to turn in that direction....... magic!!

    Is interesting you used said shifting your body weight "not only started the counter-steer process without much conscious thought but made my cornering a lot smoother". If I knew I wasn't going to get 10,000 posts telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, I'd be saying the counter-steering discussion is to a large degree counter productive. It's because its made out as the be-all-end-all when it isn't, and if you correctly body shift its virtually impossible to not counter-steer even if you've never heard the term.

    Another interesting observation is no one ever discussed suspension setup in a topic like "the bike just wouldn't make the turn". In fact its hardly ever discussed on motorcycle forums, period. Doesn't it strike anyone as unusual that pro-riders obsess with suspension settings to make a bike handle, yet the average road rider seems hardly concerned at all. More interested in the brand of oil to use. The difference in handling between a correctly set up bike and one probably unchanged in how it came from the dealer, is like night and day.

    Just got to excuse me, have to chuck another log on the fire...............
    #44
  5. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    I think he meant this literally as an alternative to counter-steering. Trying to use weight shift to steer the bike, instead of counter-steering, IS a poor alternative. This is the primary reason many riders miss the turn and later believe "the bike just wouldn't make the turn."

    A quick read through the counter-steering threads would find just how many vehemently argue (wrongly) that initiating a turn with weight shift is just as effective as counter-steering. As you point out above, it is almost impossible to steer with weight shift without making counter-steering inputs at the bars. However, I'd wager that some riders trying to weight shift might actually fight the turn by counter-counter-steering at the bars as a fear reflex. Mostly because they don't understand that they have to drive wheels out from under the CG on the side that is away from the turn they want to make, and inevitably will not.

    This has nothing to do with shifting body position to prevent hard parts from dragging at steep lean angles. (something only those who already grasp the use and benefit of counter-steering will employ as a technique)
    #45
  6. RxZ

    RxZ Legal Drug Dealer

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    I don't even have a 6 inch wide trail, or a cliff, or a dirtbike. :cry
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  7. scootrboi

    scootrboi Long timer

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    Sliding around on the seat to shift body weight is an excellent way to lose control or fall off the bike. I just move the handlebars and keep my feet up. Keeping it simple aids in faster reactions.
    #47
  8. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    +1

    What some are talking about in regard to moving the butt is what I would consider an advanced technique. Something to employ only after you have reached the limit of what the simple technique using the bars will provide.

    A rider who is uncomfortable with initiating a turn using the bars has no business trying to learn an advanced method first.
    #48
  9. henshao

    henshao Bained

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    Most of it I suspect is target fixation. it is really hard to not look at the shit you're going to run into. Coming into a turn if you have even a hint of doubt your eyes will snap to that guardrail, tree, parked car, whatever. That is unless you've made that turn millions of times or you can fight your eyes to where they belong, the inside edge.
    #49
  10. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    What?
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  11. scootrboi

    scootrboi Long timer

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    Being the pilot of a low power machine (but a good handler) gets me a lot of symbolic pats on the head from riders on large high powered machines who often have less experience riding. It is quite annoying. What is not obvious is that being on an old scooter I am often hotrodding around, conserving momentum, preparing for hills, running at redline, and countersteering vigorously. Evasive maneuvers when I am faced with the clumsy and inattentive driving of others fits right in with the kind of energy that is required to keep a vintage scooter in play on modern roads. When it comes to turning, nothing tips the bike over more reliably than turning the front wheel. I am always sitting with weight on the handlebars, thinking in terms of the front wheel. Shifting weight, changing from left to right buttock, this kind of tactic doesn't work when I want to change direction quickly. I am not a fancy rider. I keep my body in line with the bike, lean exactly with it, work the handlebars and keep my feet off the road. As luck would have it, I am usually close to the posted speed limits, so my maneuvers are made with reasonable reaction time and can be occasionally creative. I had a large motorcycle for a while but got rid of it because it was heavy, fast, and infinitely powerful, and I felt strongly I would get killed on it.
    #51
  12. farmerstu

    farmerstu Been here awhile

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    +2
    shifting your ass off the seat is fine when setting up for a known corner or preplanned maneuver. if this if the way you handle every maneuver sooner or later it will end badly. shifting yourself around takes a lot more time to do than a yank on the bars. when a car pulls out in front of you , it's time you may not have.
    first learn to ride correctly. than learn to ride fast, best on the track doesn't mean best on the street. that includes mental attitude and where you look.
    #52
  13. Paebr332

    Paebr332 Good news everyone!

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    I had this happen to me once. Came into a turn a little hot and my monkey brain fixated on the mailbox dead ahead on the outside of the apex. Lo and behold, the bike started to head straight for that mailbox mounted on the sturdy 4"x4" post. :eek1

    Fortunately the trained part of my brain screamed "Look through the turn!!!" I turned my head to look through the turn and the bike magically turned right through the curve, easy-peasy. I missed the mailbox by a mile.

    I am glad I took training classes that drilled "look through the turn" into my brain. Without them I expect I would have watched the bike roll straight into that mailbox with me on board for the fun.
    #53
  14. RxZ

    RxZ Legal Drug Dealer

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    I find that riding my mountain bike on the local bike trail is helping me to look through the turn. Especially since most of the turns are trails no more than three feet wide, with trees on each side. Every time I look at a tree while turning I typically get very close to nailing it. Looking through the turn I normally have no issues with the trees.
    #54
  15. farmerstu

    farmerstu Been here awhile

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    a teaching tool i use to take two foam sticks ( they sell them for kids swim toys, 4 or 5 feet long ,5 or 6 inches in diameter, brightly colored) put them in the windows of two cars parked ten feet apart. roll the windows up to hold the tubes sticking straight sidways out from the cars. , adjust them so a rider has only a few inches to spare when riding between the ends of the tubes. they quickly learn to look ahead and not at the tubes.

    I
    H I H
    H-- I --H
    H I H
    I
    crappy illustration but the Hs are cars the -- are the foam sticks and the Is are the path of the mc.
    #55
  16. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

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    No, but try this...very carefully. When riding pretty slowly, just steer to turn. Steer left to turn left. You'll feel very tentative and have to move your upper body to the inside to counterbalance the centrifugal force. Try this too fast, and you'll end up in the weeds. Really poor way to ride, and it's all some riders know...or think they know.

    I'm not sure about target fixation. Yes, it certainly is real, but it is presuming that a rider actually knows how to turn their bike if they'd only look where they need to go, not where they're about to go. If the rider doesn't know how to turn his bike, it doesn't matter where he looks.
    #56
  17. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Shifting your weight, or "weighting the peg" as it's commonly referred to is a very important turning technique. You seem to be confusing it with hanging off. These are TWO SEPARATE techniques. The first allows the bike to turn in quicker, the other is to give you more lean angle. I do the first all the time on the street and on the track, I only do the second on the track. Now of course there are two methods for weighting the peg. For street riding you weight the inside peg, for dirt riding you weight the outside peg. If you are falling off from shifting your weight, then you probably shouldn't even WALK without wearing protective gear and a helmet. :lol3
    #57
  18. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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    I also think target fixation is overused .I believe in a lot of cases with new or lower skilled riders that they don't realize that they are countersteering when they ride because it happens naturally. Then in a situation they aren't prepared for they "think" about what they're about to do and their mind says turn right to go right or vice versa and they head straight for what they want to miss.
    #58
  19. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    Well, no matter how it is described I think we are on the same page. Many riders get through turns based more on hope and belief than by skill and understanding.

    There is no way to initiate a turn on a motorcycle without moving the contact patches out from under the CG to the opposite side from the direction of the desired lean/turn. When the CG is to one side of the fulcrum the bike will lean to that side. As will any object that is balanced over a point.

    Fast, slow, doesn't matter. I argued against this in a counter-steering thread, once, then observed more carefully and found I was mistaken. Physics only works the one way. The rules don't change based upon velocity.

    A cycle will not turn until the bike is leaned.

    A cycle will only lean by initially steering opposite in order to move the fulcrum (contact patch) away from the direction of the turn. (true even for darksiders using the wrong oil and low on blinker fluid)

    If you stand beside a bike on the right and steer it slightly to the right and try to push the bike, it initially will try to lean to left as the front wheel moves to the right of the CG. Use some rope to fix the bars in place and eliminate the human factor. Video the experiment from directly behind. See what happens.

    If what you are describing seems different this experiment should clear up any misperception.
    #59
  20. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    Hi MT,
    And why after thousands and thousands of posts debating weigh-shift v's counter steering does the debate continue? The reason is because both work. You can steer a motorcycle with no hands on the bars at all. A heavy muffler on one side of a bike will make it turn that way rather than run straight with no hands on the bars.

    Counter-steering works. So what not utilise an appropriate technique that shift the centre of gravity and automatically induces counter-steering.
    #60