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I noticed something about my cornering technique recently and it was kind of an "ah-ah" moment. I've been riding again after a 25 year break. I rode a series of four different bikes all through my 20s. I NEVER rode for pleasure. They were simply a mode of transportation. (Or to try and pick up chicks with.) I even did a stint as a motorcycle messenger for a big law firm. I was paid by how fast I got from A to B and how many deliveries I could make in an afternoon. Back then, I never even wore a helmet and I'd lane split on the freeway at dusk at 60 mph. I can hardly believe I did that! So, even though I was never "trained" I thought I at least had some skills. Maybe a few bad habits, too. :(

Jump forward 25 years and two divorces and I just bought myself another bike. I'm a little embarrassed to say what it is… No, it's not a Hyabusa, but not far off. (BTW, I did take a beginning safety course.)

Anyway, I noticed recently that if I go into a corner even moderately hard it somehow seems easier if I kind of counterbalance with my head. Do you know what I mean? I had been going into corners and leaning my body with the bike, including my head, which distorts your view sideways, right? But I just noticed that if I lift my head up a little more near vertical I feel more confident about the turn.

Does any of that make sense? Am I doing it all wrong?
 

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What I mean is if I'm leaning left for a left turn, I pick my head and shoulders up a bit so that I'm actually a little to right of cf the center line of the bike. Almost like I'm pushing it down to the left. This seems so fundamental, but when I do it that way it seems like i can corner tighter. If I'm doing a slow turn I counterbalance with my body, but it seems to work a higher speeds, too. I'm not talking about high-speed cornering here. Just a basic aggressive turn.
 

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I noticed something about my cornering technique recently ...

I'm a little embarrassed to say what it is… No, it's not a Hyabusa, but not far off. ...

Anyway, I noticed recently that if I go into a corner even moderately hard it somehow seems easier if I kind of counterbalance with my head. Do you know what I mean? I had been going into corners and leaning my body with the bike, including my head, which distorts your view sideways, right? But I just noticed that if I lift my head up a little more near vertical I feel more confident about the turn.

Does any of that make sense? Am I doing it all wrong?
Welcome back to riding. As an adult riding for pleasure, you'll find yourself thinking about technique. It's how mature adults become better.

If you like the bike, then enjoy it. The cure to the embarrassment is to learn to ride the bike like a pro. This means learning to ride it SLOW. Riding a bike fast doesn't take skill so much as judgement. Riding a bike slow (under 15 mph) is where you need to practice skills. Don't be the guy that's paddling his bike around the parking lot because otherwise it will tip over. Check out this thread for some fun ways to practice the slow stuff: Gymkhana - ADVrider

It's hard to WALK with your ear touching your shoulder. It makes sense that it would be the same riding a bike. Your head being tipped over doesn't effect your cornering much physically, but it will throw your balance off. Try to push your chest off to the side instead. You will have good weight transfer that way and still be able to see where you're going well.
 

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Cornering Techniques

What you're describing is the natural feeling of orienting your eyes parallel to the horizon. It's a function of your vision and inner ear. It's what you do when you walk upright as you were designed to do. Riders at extreme angles (MotoGP and World SBK) do the same thing. I'm doing it in this photo.
I've written about cornering and many other subjects. You can check it out at Index Page. It may help you more confidently get back into riding.

 

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A real simple trick a buddy let me in on was to point your inside elbow in the direction of the turn. In Bob's pick above you see his elbow in tight. Just raising your elbow up and out sets your body ever so slightly in a better positon for the turn and made turn in that much easier. Try lifting your chicken wing (chicken dance anyone?) as you tip in and see what you think. Granted I hang off alot and have no peg feelers left but that little tip was interesting to say the least. Think "Spies", AKA, "Elbows."
 

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A real simple trick a buddy let me in on was to point your inside elbow in the direction of the turn. In Bob's pick above you see his elbow in tight. Just raising your elbow up and out sets your body ever so slightly in a better positon for the turn and made turn in that much easier. Try lifting your chicken wing (chicken dance anyone?) as you tip in and see what you think. Granted I hang off alot and have no peg feelers left but that little tip was interesting to say the least. Think "Spies", AKA, "Elbows."
Dude, where ya been?

Those posts were last September.

Back road Bob looks like he has shytty technique in that picture if you ask me.
 

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This is a good thread, or was until the SPAMMERS pushing pills showed up here.

Helmet Sports gear Font Happy Personal protective equipment


Now this pic makes me want to have a friend with a smartphone record me doing a curve on some local road, because I'm not sure what I do with my head.
I know that I have been trained to look at where I want to go, but of course you can do that with your head more upright and less leaning over than your shoulders are leaning.
I might need pics to become aware of how I've been doing it recently, and how I might improve.
I'm pretty slow at taking curves-- and I mean curves that I'm familiar with from having driven them in my car hundreds of times and now, more recently, with my bike at least a couple of times.
 

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This is a good thread, or was until the SPAMMERS pushing pills showed up here.

Now this pic makes me want to have a friend with a smartphone record me doing a curve on some local road, because I'm not sure what I do with my head.
I will see if some cleanup is needed.

BUT......it probably is more important what you do with your BODY than with your head......and I don't think that picture is a good example at all. Looks to me like he is leaning the WRONG way, unless maybe he is going less than 10 MPH.
 
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