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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I'm new to this forum and wanted to say hello. I just took the MSF course two weekends ago and have since ridden 100 miles. I'm new to motorcycling and love it so far. I've read "Proficient Motorcycling - The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well", and watched "Twist the Wrist II" prior to the course. I've also been reading many blogs and magazine publications. I think I have a fair understanding of what I should be doing as I continue to develop my skills, but there is one area I'm having difficulty with.

When I counter-steer at speeds around 55mph (the speed limit in the country where I live), I feel like I can't get the bike low enough to take some of the sharper bends at speed. I end up slowing down before the turn like I learned in class and taking it at a more 'comfortable' speed, accelerating through the turn. I'm hugging the gas tank with my knees, while leaning with the bike, pushing on the inside handlebar (right bar to go right, left bar to go left) as I'm turning. My head may lean in towards the inside mirror as well. It just feels like the bike doesn't want to lean and I've pushed as far as I can go (or I'm afraid to push any more). Am I missing something? :confused: Should I be throwing more weight around to lean the bike over further? Should I be flicking the steering for a quicker lean? (I'm a little scared to do that) Should I lean off the bike like the racers do (half a cheek)? I don't want to 'race', I just want to commute obeying speed limits. Turning at 35-40mph is becoming natural, but the higher speeds still cause concern. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 

· Get off of my lawn Dammit
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Sounds like you're on the right track. Just remember, Rome wasn't built in a day and nobody becomes an expert rider overnight. You will gradually become more comfortable at those speeds as they begin to "slow down" for you and become more normal. Remember to also look where you want to go and not where your are. Looking through the turn as well as looking down the road when on a straight will really slow things down for you. Keep relaxed and give yourself time to gain experience and you'll be fine. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. I do notice that I don't look far enough ahead in turns and consciously have to make the effort. I will continue to work that in and get better at it. :)
 

· Get off of my lawn Dammit
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Thank you. I do notice that I don't look far enough ahead in turns and consciously have to make the effort. I will continue to work that in and get better at it. :)

Yea, you have to scan the road obviously but look thru the turn as best you can. Of course, blind turns you only see so much so be careful.
 

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You got the basics down. Sometimes you get into a corner a little too fast (so your mind says) and need to tighten up your line. Picture yourself leaned over in a right hander and you need to turn a little sharper to stay on line. Simply turn the bars a little left and the bike will lean more to the right and tighten your line. Of course if you are at max lean angle this will not work, but it is how I tighten my line in a decreasing radius corner. I hope this makes sense and helps, and as others have said, be patient, practice and it will come.

Best tip I have for new riders is Look as far ahead and through the corner as you possibly can. As you get tired on a ride you will notice this shortens up, so make a mental note, if it does not feel like it is flowing smooth then are you looking far enough ahead. Cheers and good luck.
 

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I have spent the last couple weekends with my big riding group in Ottawa and got some 1 on 1 lectures in how to do race style til I could drag my knee if I had pucks on my leather pants.

IMO the key thing is speed. If you're not fast in a turn you just won't have to lean it... or more, it's impossible since you would be turning on the inside until there's no road anymore.

Getting the bike really low without hanging off á la race style is doable but I wouldn't recommend it. I just imagine when looking through the turn, still sitting in the middle, not looking beside the bike... would need more turn in the head.
If you have a car or a riding buddy 50m in front of you, stare at that in order to look through the turn. You will still see the lines of the road in the corner of your eye. So don't worry about getting off the road when looking way ahead in the turn. Helps big times when you see gravel all over sudden and wanna avoid it. Your head is already looking away from it, so it's less likely you gonna hit it by going straight towards it.

In general leaning off helps the bike to make it through the turn with less lean.
About needing to push harder on the handlebars in order to turn really tight and low... I have no steering damper on mine and can turn it with three fingers, while in the turn I almost have to do nothing.

My mentor told me that now I've found my lines for taking turns and I got the lean. Now I gotta work on my higher entry speed.
Before that, I've gotta work on taking it way more relaxed, not getting excited for the upcoming turn and take it easy. Just to avoid fatal mistakes by being too tensed up!
 

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You got the basics down. Sometimes you get into a corner a little too fast (so your mind says) and need to tighten up your line. Picture yourself leaned over in a right hander and you need to turn a little sharper to stay on line. Simply turn the bars a little left and the bike will lean more to the right and tighten your line (push more on the right bar). Of course if you are at max lean angle this will not work, but it is how I tighten my line in a decreasing radius corner. I hope this makes sense and helps, and as others have said, be patient, practice and it will come.
Sorry didn't read that earlier...

I've crashed doing that cuz I was not smooth enough and had no time/road left = reacted too late! And I was only doing 2/3 of my possible lean before my stupid correction. Got into the turn too hot (70km/h).
Ended up sliding on my butt, sending the bike down a ditch cuz I pushed hard and fast on the bar wanting to tighten the turn.
 

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it may be your tires. my first bike had tires that were totally fried. the front one looked like an arrow because the sides were so worn. i had no idea that it made a difference in how the bike handled. once i got some new tires, it was like i was on a brand new bike. the shape of the new tire made everything better...


s3aturnr
 

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I run BT-16s harder compound with a medium-soft shoulder. They're not the stickiest, obviously, but they kept me on the road even with some more G throughout the longer tight turns. When they started to give in a little it was at my exit point. Fuck, yesterday was great with losing my chicken strips!

Just make sure your tires are not older than a year when buying them (tire stamp like 3609 is 36th week of 2009). Rubber dries out and gets stiff and hard. If you run squared off tires, due to too much straight riding with not enough pressure, it makes it even harder to lean further. Just feels wrong.
 

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I have had the same thing the first 3 weeks it goes away if u apply few things

1 Look as far as u can in the middle of ur lane then after 2 or 3 seconds of travel time u need to continue Look as far as u can in the middle of ur lane for an other spot ( what i am trying to say here is Don't just star at the spot coz thats where ur going to end up and then start all over again then it looks like ur just doing big hoops in ur turn ) instead u need to continuously scan for a other point as far as u can look.. I hop it doesn't sound weird to u if i had a piece of paper i can explain it better for u .. 2 Turning is a hythm thing u need the ( RHYTHM ) this is how it worked for me
 

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What you're doing is exactly right for the street. You do not want to get down to the edges of you tyres or to the point of dragging a knee because if you do and you need to tighten your turn for any reason, you're stuffed.

With only 100 miles, carry on exactly as you are. You will get faster and smoother with practise and experience. In 10,000 miles you'll see a big diofference. Later, do a track day or take a track course to do some really agressive cornering, but keep that for the track.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all for the advice and words of encouragement!!

About needing to push harder on the handlebars in order to turn really tight and low... I have no steering damper on mine and can turn it with three fingers, while in the turn I almost have to do nothing.
I didn't think to look at my steering damper settings. Being a new bike, I figured it was set up correctly when it left the dealership. Come to find out, it was set to its hardest setting!! I adjusted it as recommended in the user manual (to the softest setting) and that made a huge difference! I now can see why they call it 'flicking' the bike. So, now I can find a setting in between that works best for me. :D

Thanks again everyone. Have a great weekend and ride safe! :cool:
 
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