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Well I've had my '03 636 for about 6 months now(had a honda F2 before), and I finally decide to go out and hit some twisties. I have to say though that I was a little disappointed. most of the turns in the beginning were long sweepers, and even at 100mph i wasnt getting any kind of decent lean angle. I didnt really want to go any faster cause if i get popped by the CHP, id rather have it out of triple didgit speeds. Once i got further in however, the turns tightened up just to my liking, even necessitating a little hanging off.

My disappointment though was that there are only a couple of corners that you can see through, all the others are blind! And with all these blind corners, i had a hell of a time holding my line because i couldn't look through the corner. I ended up slowing down, and while i was still going much faster than the car traffic, my lean angle was pathetic. What really freaked me out though was the oncoming traffic in the other lane(a lot of them 18 wheelers). As i'm trying as hard as i can to commit to a blind, decreasing radius turn with a rock wall to one side and a guard rail to the other side, a larger-than-its-lane semi truck comes around the corner in the opposite direction! Because i cant see more than a couple car lengths in front of me in most of these corners, the oncoming traffic startles me and i immediately slow down and look at the car/truck, throwing off my line/speed throught the corner.

Now i know it seems like im making a lot of excuses or just plain being chicken, but if im not comfortable with the conditions that i cant control, then i wont be able to focus on the things that i can control(corner entry, speed, lean, etc). I have no problem with on/offramps as i can almost allways see through them and the traffic is only travelling in one direction. I really want to be able to enjoy canyon/mountain road riding though because it seems like thats what everyone does when theyre not at the track. (I've never been to the track, but i plan on going as soon as i get some money for 1pc leathers).

So how does everyone here deal with the challenges i mentioned above? Does anyone know of a place here in SoCal with moderate speed corners that you can see through a little better?
 

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Don't force the lean angles, your not going to be a moto gp racer the first time in the twisties on that bike. When you get more experience you'll know what speeds your comfortable on blind corners. The goal is to have fun and get home in one piece at the end of the day.
 

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Follow telegraph out to Sunrise Hwy. That my be what you're looking for. Then you can take that down Banners grade and back up through Julian.
 
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dont expect to be fast the first few times on turns u dont know. u try to lean a lot thru an unknown turn, ur asking for trouble

part of going fast/leaning is knowing whats ahead
 

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You guys are probably right that i would feel a little more comfortable after learning all the turns out there. Its not a lack of ability on my part that is holding me back though. That's what bothers me, i can ride a lot faster. It's just the oncoming cars that freak me out a little and make me decide to slow to a pace that feels more like cruising than corner carving. How do you guys get past these mental blocks? I just don't want to become someone's hood ornament as they drift over the double yellow while im hanging off on a left hander.
 
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dude it takes EXPERIENCE. thats basically it. i was on the same boat, everyone was at one point. eventually u'll lose some fear but always gotta keep in mind that as ur pushing it on the street, there's always a chance of something happening. if u wanna be real safe, take it to the track.

also u gotta use ur head. for example with me, if im nearing a nice tight turn but i see cars on the other side, im not gonna go as fast. i will still lean, but thru the turn ill be thinking of the cars. sux b/c i hate wasting turns by going slow, but at the same time i dont wanna become roadkill.
 

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ninjakid, i hear ya. I hate wasting turns too. I've got a lot of experience(well, only a few years), and i thought that would translate into me being able to confidently navigate these turns without feeling like i was putting myself in too much danger, but it turns out repetition is key in building confidence through familiarity.

I just got back from riding the same roads today(decided not to let my first experience get me down) and i had a much better experience. After seeing the same turns a few times, it took some of the uncertainty out of it, and i am beginning to identify which turns are too high-risk to try to push it on. Similarly, i am finding the turns that allow me to develop my skills. I am one of those people that learns things through repetition, so I should have expected that navigating these new roads would be a challenge. I think riding the same roads all the time was making me a little too comfortable.

Also, as far as being startled by oncoming traffic around a corner, i worked on that a little today too. It was freaking me out because these cars look like theyre in your lane when you see them in your periphreal vision as you are trying to look through the turn. Today i consciously told myself before each blind turn that i WOULD see another car coming in the opposite direction so that it wouldnt be any suprise to me. Also knowing what is on the other side of the turn helps because now i am not devoting as much attention to guessing if this turn is going to open up or close out on me. Instead of choosing my line based on what i am seeing in front of me, i am choosing it based on my memory of the turn, and the next turn that it leads into. I feel like a dumbass now, because in reality it all came down to fundamentals.

Man, i really need to get to a track. soon.
 

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Originally posted by scott636
You guys are probably right that i would feel a little more comfortable after learning all the turns out there. Its not a lack of ability on my part that is holding me back though. That's what bothers me, i can ride a lot faster. It's just the oncoming cars that freak me out a little and make me decide to slow to a pace that feels more like cruising than corner carving. How do you guys get past these mental blocks? I just don't want to become someone's hood ornament as they drift over the double yellow while im hanging off on a left hander.
Take it to the track. Push your luck in blind corners (even if you know the road) and one day you're going to be road pizza. The answer is to slow down and cruise roads that aren't condusive to getting a lean on. That's maturity and discipline, not testosterone talking.
 

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Take Telegraph road all of the way to the end at the stop sign then hang a right turn. Continue to follow the road and you will find miles and miles upon twisty roads. Beware of hauling ass on those blind corners though because I have heard of several people crashing into slow moving water trucks.

Another great twisty road in SD is Palomar mountain. I just moved back to this area and am looking to take on some twisties myself [:p]
 

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The on coming cars freak me also....What I started doing was getting up real early...like starting out in PB at first light (5 or so) and get to the highway at 6 or so....there is no traffic at that time....BUT later in the season there will be water/dew on some of the turns....I would run it slow/mod. speed checking conditions, then return loop a pace....
 

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You should be scared of the oncoming cars. I don't know what the speed limit is out there, but it doesn't really matter. Even hitting a stationary brick wall at 100 MPH is very likely going to kill you. You're smart for slowing down and riding at your own pace. Trust me, I have done the track scene and it's worth every penny.
 

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Originally posted by scott636
You guys are probably right that i would feel a little more comfortable after learning all the turns out there. Its not a lack of ability on my part that is holding me back though. That's what bothers me, i can ride a lot faster. It's just the oncoming cars that freak me out a little and make me decide to slow to a pace that feels more like cruising than corner carving. How do you guys get past these mental blocks? I just don't want to become someone's hood ornament as they drift over the double yellow while im hanging off on a left hander.
What's "holding you back" is common sense, self-preservation instincts, and the innate desire, that only the more educated people have, to not be a squid. You get around that mental block by not riding such that the mental block comes into play. A buddy of mine in Vegas just highsided into an oncoming car that had just pulled out at the last second over the weekend because he successfully removed those mental blocks you're talking about. He's not too happy about it, now.
 

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Yeah i guess self-preservation is a good thing, just doesn't look as fun. I'm in it for the long haul though, i dont want any stupid mistakes i make now to prevent me from riding when im 50 or 60. I think im a different rider than most people, because i dont do it for the thrill or the speed. I ride to get better, and to gain knowledge of both myself and my machine. My ultimate goal is to race, because im highly competitive and i want to be the best. I know everyone's standard, rubber stamp reply "take it to the track" will soon ensue, and i was close to doing just that when my job dicked me over and put me in a financial situation that will prevent trackdays for a while.
 

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Originally posted by scott636
Yeah i guess self-preservation is a good thing, just doesn't look as fun. I'm in it for the long haul though, i dont want any stupid mistakes i make now to prevent me from riding when im 50 or 60. I think im a different rider than most people, because i dont do it for the thrill or the speed. I ride to get better, and to gain knowledge of both myself and my machine. My ultimate goal is to race, because im highly competitive and i want to be the best. I know everyone's standard, rubber stamp reply "take it to the track" will soon ensue, and i was close to doing just that when my job dicked me over and put me in a financial situation that will prevent trackdays for a while.
I hear you on that. I took a low-paying job to get my foot in the door with my career, and it's looking like I'll be stuck there for a while. I'm hoping for a decent pay raise next year, but who knows.

By all means, have fun on your bike, I'm not saying be a total prude. Motorcycles are fun, that's the whole point of them. Sure, it goes deeper, and for some people they really fulfill this need to ride and such, but it all goes back to the ride, the machine, the community, the freedom...it's just fun. Just be careful. If you feel uneasy, there's always a reason for it, you know? Don't try to take huge leaps by ignoring those feelings, and you should be fine. =)
 
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