As a rider of 12 years, the best advice i can give on this one is "know the road you're riding." When i first started riding at age 18, i'de blast down backroads totally unfamilier to me. On more than one occasion i saw my life flash before my eyes! Now at age 30, i still go fast down the twisties, but only on a ride that know. It also makes for a more enjoyable ride at the end of the day.
I've only been riding for about 5 yrs mostly on the road in Australia we have the "old Pacific Highway" which is about 50-60KM's of just twisties and no cars, but like BWARE said KNOW THE ROAD FIRST!! i found to lean forward to get good feel for the steering, pick good lines through the corners and lean the bike it will lean alot further than u think also make sure u'r always in the right gear for each corner Good luck!
i have a little less than a year worth of experience and i now enjoy twisties more than wheelies. i can ride wheeleis for 1/2 mile, i dont suck at them, but the thrill from a hard corner is probably better. my dad(zx12r) and i blast backroads all the time and hit highway 51 in missouri which is the best. i tend to hang my ass slightly off the seat when really goin low. i still have alot to learn but my chicken strips say im doin alright.
lean forward and hang my ass slightly...ok got those. My question comes up because the other day I was parking my bike and out of curiosity i looked at someone elses bike that was in fron of me. His strips were almost to the edge of the tire. I looked at mine and saw about a good inch to inch and a half of untouched rubber. I thought I had been leaning pretty good but after looking at that I must not be. Also i don't push it too much when i'm taking corners because i feel the front of the bike twitch too much. Any suggestions?
Don't worry about your chicken stripes. That's how people get hurt.
Take your time and your lean angle will get better. You can't go from not knowing how to lean very well to Andrew Pitt style racing because you saw your chicken stripes had an inch left on them.
Just go at a pace you are comfortable with and eventually (believe it or not), your pace will increase and therefore will your lean angle.
However, I do know one thing. In a tight, fast turn with the lean angle being fairly intense...throttle is the key. It sounds wierd, but if you are in a turn, do not agressively let off the throttle. If you keep a constant steady controlled throttle, and don't second guess yourself that the bike may fall over, you will last through the turn.
Try to get someone to show you how to corner better. When I started riding a few years back on the street I wouldnt set my body position right for the corner and I could go through it just as fast as everyone but I need to lean more for the same speed. My friend races AMA 250's and he helped me alot. He helped me set the bike up and showed me the proper way to corner. Now the same corner I can go through like 15mph faster than before without leaning as far as I used to. If you ever have a chance to go somewhere like deals gap you will see how much a differnce it makes to set up the correct way for a corner.
Smooth and relaxed is the key. If you have a chance, take a riding course like Reg Pridmore's CLASS school. It's more street-oriented than most others, and his motto is smooth=fast. Here's a pic from the class I attended at Infineon Raceway (smooth is VERY important in the wet!):
If the front is getting twitchy, you might actually be giving it too much gas. This will put the majority of the weight distribution of the bike on the rear tire, causing the front to lose some of its traction. The optimum weight distribution for cornering is 40 % percent front and 60% rear tire. The feel of this distribution is about equal to a 5th gear roll on in the power curve of any bike greater than a 600. Any more than that when you're in the apex of a turn and you could be unloading the front tire too much, causing that twitch you are describing. Plus, the 636's front suspension is already a little jittery. You need to get to a stretch of twisties, maybe a couple S turns, low speed and high speed, without people, cops, or large, solid objects on the side of the road. Take a buddy with a car and have him watch you. Now tune and test. Play with the your throttle control, your body weight distribution *Are you putting pressure on the inside footpeg? Are you strangling your clip ons? Are you looking through the turn instead of right in front of you?* and find a suspension that works for you. The more scientific you are about the process *recording numbers, times, effects* the more benefit you will get from it. Hell, if you can get your buddy to video you, it'll be a great learning experience to critique yourself afterwards. Keith Code put out a couple great books on the physics of riding "Twist of the Wrist 1 and 2" I encourage you to check these out, because you can only fix what your doing if you know whats wrong. Most important of all, WEAR ALL YOUR GEAR! Accept the fact that you are trying to put your machine on the edge of its performance, and you might just go over that edge. Good luck and have fun!
(2) Have confidence the bike will corner hard
(3) Revs up - drop gears as necessary before entry
(4) Brake to set up your entry speed, accelerate through the turn smoothly
(5) Look where you WANT to go
(6) Don't panic brake
(7) Start slow, build confidence, work up the pace
These tips courtesy of the DJ's chicken strip removal service... and before you do ANY of these things - SET UP YOUR SUSPENSION TO SUIT YOUR RIDING STYLE AND WEIGHT!!!
"Keep yer feet on the pegs and your right hand cranked."
Is there a site explaining the procedures in full detail? dj, when you say high revs, how high should that be?
I have a serious problem getting my revs up. I Don't know if its because I'm a newbie and am accustomed to car revs or if it's that I didn't break-in my bike properly (which I am aware of now...a little too late) but I feel that when I’m at around 11k revs the bike is gonna explode [:0] I adjusted the suspension settings according to a thread previously posted on this forum but I really can't feel any difference. Anyone here in NYC willing to take rides with me so I can absorb some technique?
the only real advice is already itterated by others here, simply take new corners with the respect they deserve, and always always look ahead around corners, you will be able to see most of the time when they are about to close up on you, so you can be prepared and be safe, and the next time you take the corner you will have a better understanding of it. How do you think these racers take track corners so well, by practicing, practicing and practicing.
No offense, but the high rev problem is probably you, and not the bike. I also broke-in my bike pretty close to factory recommendation, but it pulls strong and fast right to redline. 14,500 rpm is pretty extreme, but they're made for it. I have an old Kawi 750 3-cylinder 2-stroke which has a redline of only 7,500! Amazing difference there, but that older bike hits it's powerband much sooner.
You never know how fast you can go, until you crash.
cyberdos, you would probably benefit a lot from at least a trackday (or better yet, a track school). Sure, you can learn on the street, but it's more dangerous. Even just one day on the track helped my street skills improve significantly (able to corner faster and with more confidence).
micty, I've been pondering that idea as well. Does anyone know of any tracks around the New York City area?
meangreenie, No offense taken. I know that it's just me. I've actually been getting it up there more often and have noticed a dramatic difference when coming out of turns when i'm up in revs. I guess I just have to get used to it. It's still a little intimidating[:I]
Here are just a few sites for schools and trackdays. I've yet to attend a trackday myself so I couldn't tell you if one is better than another. Plenty of info though and will give you a good idea on cost and requirements.
hey mate,good on ya,i dont do any stunts but love twisties,on unfamiliar roads its best to go at your own pace,i find it good to first look at the apex and constantly adjust my lean/throttle position as the corner unfolds,ie if it tightens either lean over more or back off the throttle a little,if the corner opens up open up the throttle a bit more.or find a mate who knows the road and try to follow his lines with a bit of restraint just in case.good luck.[^]
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