Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 20 of 88 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
MPH?
How far do you lean?
How do you negotiate hazards?
How do you CYA?

What's your best advice to newbs about cornering?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,620 Posts
The most important advice, is understand countersteering. It's not just for swerving. Master countersteering, and you'll master the corner. Throwing your weight around is NOT the way to control a motorcycle. Absolutely master pushing on the handlebars to make the bike lean, rather than using your weight to make it lean.

MPH? Depends on the corner. On my 900, I can usually easily handle 10mph over the 'advisory speed' for a corner, but there are always exceptions. If I'm being aggressive I can do more.

Lean? As far as the floorboards will let me. The harder you push on the handlebars, the farther it leans. Just keep pushing until you hit the floorboards!

Hazards? Once again, countersteering. First off, I never ride agressively on a corner I can't see all the way around. You never know what's around the bend. But if I do hit a hazard, I just adjust the lean angle and swerve around it.

Finally, my last piece of advice? If you can't see all the way around the corner, stick to the white line. Make the apex of your corner near the white line. That is, enter the corner at the yellow line, and kiss the white line for a hard turn. This is actually the fastest way to make a corner on a RIGHT hand turn, but it is slower on a left hand turn and you'll have to enter the corner more slowly. If you are on a race track, it's different. But, speed shouldn't be priority number 1, getting there alive should be. LOTS of drivers drift over the yellow line on a corner, and I've encountered 18 wheelers taking up half of my lane before around a corner. If you are cornering hard with an apex that meets the yellow line, your toast. Your choices are into the truck, or into the trees. By slowing down on the blind corners, and by staying near the white line, you won't be surprised by oncoming traffic.

There are plenty of wide open corners that you can see all the way around (my advice is find some farm areas, the crops are out now, you can see for miles, GREAT way to really carve corners), and those you can kiss the yellow line on a left turn. But, don't do it on the corners where you can't absolutely see all the way around it, your luck might run out!

Edit: Oh one last thing, slowing fairly hard before the corner, and then throttling hard out once you hit the apex, is not only fun, it'll improve your lean angles. The deceleration will help you get into the corner, and keep you from being too fast to add throttle. When you add throttle, you'll shift the weight to the rear of the bike, squeezing juuuust a little more ground clearance out of the front of the bike.

Also, pick up 'proficient motorcycling' on Amazon (or wherever). He has a lot of great information on cornering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
I've found looking forward helps when cornering, look into your turn and if there is an obstacle if you look at it (starring) you'll probably hit it so try to keep your eyes forward on the road

Sent from my Nexus S
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I'm really not trying to start something here but if your riding at any kinda speed at all and going around a curve, you are countersteering. If your not countersteering your going straight. You don't have to understand it to do it because you are already doing it. I think all the disscussion new riders see about this does nothing but confuse them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Best advise....
Take a motorcycle safety course ....

NEVER ride the white line at speed around a blind corner. Debris such as gravel and dirt, gathers along this white line, and buy the time you see it, guess what?


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I577 using Motorcycle.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,221 Posts
Hey John,
Those advisory yellow speed signs can vary quite a bit.
Texas gives you lots of room for error, even in a car.
But, about 20 years ago on trip to Colorado, I was suprised by the advisories. They were pretty accurate.

Other than that, I would stress avoiding breaking in the turn.
I know you advised slowing before; but you should specify to do ALL of your slowing before.:)


Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I took the MSC, so I know how to turn in an open parking lot at 10mph on a 250. I can ride so I'm not totally DERP but I'm looking for some advanced advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
If your a noob, take your bike to a deserted parking lot. Find the lines and set paths for yourself to follow. Don't push leaning too hard being a new rider, lack of experience is painful and costly. Try the turns out in the parking lot, and find your level of comfort. You'll look silly to the passers by but take it from me you look real silly when your asking people you don't know to help you pick up your bike off the ground you just dropped it on ( 2 types of bikers, ones who have fallen, and ones who will fall) I'd do this on the machine your driving, not the 250 from mce so.you get a better feel of the bike your dealing with. You'll get to where you don't even think about it much when tackling corners and twisties. My first bike I think I did this about 2 hours, there's no stress of other traffic and it helps you get to know your bike.

Sent from my M865 using Motorcycle.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
578 Posts
NEVER ride the white line at speed around a blind corner. Debris such as gravel and dirt, gathers along this white line, and buy the time you see it, guess what?
Not to mention that potholes are more common on the side of the road then in the middle. A pothole can ruin your day quick! I wouldn't advocate riding the yellow line for reasons stated earlier, but the white line has it's own hazards sometimes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Also, when riding pay attention to the road grooves. Cars, after time, leave 2 grooves per lane on the pavement where the tires hit the ground. I generally stay in the groove while riding, because if you ride down the middle,especially while braking for a stop light,that's where all the oil from junk cars has spilled for years and its very slick when trying to brake. I know this comment isn't about cornering but since you're new it's something to think about.

Sent from my M865 using Motorcycle.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,887 Posts
Practice! go to a road with little traffic and curves that you are familiar with. Ride it in both directions, taking it easy at first, then gradually increase your speed with your comfort level. I tend to do most all my braking before I enter the turn, releasing the brake as I enter the turn, then ease into the throttle about 1/2 way through. The more you slow before te corner, the sooner you can get back into the gas coming out. Dont push your comfort level!! Before you know it, you'll be able to scrape your pegs at will. Dont push it on roads you haven't road before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
It varies, of course, depending upon the radius of the turn and/or whether it's an increasing- or decreasing-radius turn.

How far do you lean?
As far as necessary to properly negotiate the turn.

How do you negotiate hazards?
I either stop before getting to them or swerve around them, both of which are very critical skills that are not necessarily intuitive, especially when the hazard is encountered in a curve, so practicing these skills is a must if you intend to master them.

How do you CYA?
In addition to wearing tighty-whities and jeans, I also carry as least one, and usually more than one, firearm. Did I misunderstand the question?

What's your best advice to newbs about cornering?
Find a safe place to practice all that you learned in the MSF course. There is no substitute for experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,620 Posts
Hey John,
Those advisory yellow speed signs can vary quite a bit.
Texas gives you lots of room for error, even in a car.
But, about 20 years ago on trip to Colorado, I was suprised by the advisories. They were pretty accurate.

Other than that, I would stress avoiding breaking in the turn.
I know you advised slowing before; but you should specify to do ALL of your slowing before.:)


Scott
Nice catch! Yes, absolutely, once you enter that turn, steer with your throttle. Throttle and counter-steering input are the ONLY controls!

Well, I hope, (and if not the OP will read this) that I came across as 'this is what I do'. I NEVER take an unfarmiliar corner hard. But I have found that, for the most part, I can do 10 over without soiling myself! There's a great corner on a 55 mph road that is advised at 25 mph and I take it at 45-50 all the time, it's a blast! But I would never breeze past a 25mph advisory sign at 50 if I hadn't been there before!

Also, on the white line, I'll clarify that that was a suggestion for the 'apex'. On a lazy corner you can just stay in the middle (or in the tire tracks of the other cars, which is what I prefer due to oil and such being towards the middle) of the road. But when talking about aggressive cornering, the line the bike follows is rarely the curvature of the road, requiring you to use the most of the lane. Some will turn left by entering from the right hand side of the lane, kissing the yellow line, and then returning to the white line. That is the 'correct' way to do it, per any track school that doesn't deal with traffic in the opposite direction :p. The way I do it, assuming a blind curve or a curve where I can see traffic coming up above, (though 9 times out of 10 in those situations I just slow down enough to just corner in my lane, but every once in a while it'll just make sense to do it this way) is enter the left turn closer to the yellow line, make the apex near the white line, and so on. If you are going slow enough to 'ride the white line', you are going slow enough to keep yourself in the lane position you were already in. I would just avoid the yellow line and say, 1/5-1/4 of the lane past that. Truckers seem to be the worst about that, taking a corner and eating up your lane with a giant hunk of steel. Though out here, LOTS of drivers do it on these back roads, they are used to not seeing other cars and leisurely cross over the yellow line. Today I was out riding and a lady in an SUV was STRADDLING the yellow line around a corner! (Good thing I was not kissing the yellow line on my apex and had plenty of room to get out of the way!)

Finally, to add what scott said, one of the leading causes of single-vehicle motorcycle accidents is braking around a corner. Often the scenario is, a rider enters a corner and, come to find out, it's a decending radius curve. They are setup for a certain curve, but this one is much sharper. They panic, hit the brake, and that's it! In those situations, it takes a TON of discipline, but the answer is to push HARD on those hand grips. Put that bike down onto those floorboards, it WILL make the turn 99% of the time. Just keep pushing on the handlebars, the bike will keep leaning, and you'll make the turn. You MIGHT, MAYBE, still miss the turn and find yourself in a ditch. But if you brake hard in that turn you most CERTAINLY will end up in the ditch. Your odds are much better if you stay away from the brakes and push those bars!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
I rode to Oatman a month ago. Pretty slow going out, lots faster coming back. Knowing the road and knowing the corners makes a big difference. Also, I have found you don't really know a road from driving a car over it. I go around corners in 2nd almost all the time. that is a good comfortable speed range for me. One thing I am always watching for is sand and gravel. I am new at this and I am not going to make fun of the learning I did on a little bike in a parking lot during my class. That was the stuff I could take out on the road and learn with.
 
1 - 20 of 88 Posts
Top