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Target fixation -- look where you WANT to go, not where you're afraid you'll end up.



Lean, and then lean some more -- most riders panic when they enter a turn too hot. Dial in a little more lean, even to the point of pressing your outside knee against the tank to push the bike into the turn.



Ride within your own helmet -- listening to your inner screaming school girl might help you avoid your own private Darwinism...
 

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Trust your bike. It will (usually) be able to turn much faster than you are able to. If you get in too hot, look through the turn, lean the bike farther, and roll on the throttle (a little bit).



In my completely unscientific and unverifiable research, I'd say the most common mistakes in a corner are:

Target fixation - look where you want to go, not at what you want to avoid.

Impropper use of brakes/throttle - rolling on the throttle slightly raises the bike up on the suspesion giving you more cornering clearance and transfers weight to the rear tire, reducing the likelyhood of a front end slide.

Panicking - when many riders get in to a corner too fast or see something they're not expecting, a common reaction is to hit the brakes and stand the bike up.



Now I'm not an expert rider by any stretch of the imagination, but I did stay at a Hoilday Inn Express last night.
 

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But my inner screaming school girl makes me listen to N'Sync, never gets off the phone and thinks that riding motorcycles is, like, so lame, ya know?
 

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For me entry speed is key. Which in turn means proper braking before I get to the turn. Lo and behold, that's what all the texts say, too: Brake properly *before* you start the turn. As I come into the turn, rolling on the throttle the proper amount is what makes turning a smooth process. Of course, if there's oil or gravel involved, all bets are off.
 

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I'll keep it simple and sweet. There are 4 words that you need to learn and practice.



Those words are:



Slow - slow down to a proper entry speed.



Look - look into and through the turn.



Press - press the handgrip in the direction you want to go.



Roll - add some throttle to stabilize the bike.



Works just fine. Once you get them all working together, there is not a corner in the world you can ride safely!





 

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Take a corner so that you subconsciously smile in a way only fellow MOs understand :) The conscious points I consider are:



1. How am I feeling today/now...tired-stressed etc

2. Can I see the apex and have I got the radius of the corner sussed.. ie increasing or decreasing? If I dont know I assume the worst (increasing radius)

3. What is the camber like on this corner... favourable or unfavourable?



I generally use these to get the entry speed and position into the corner, find the apex and look out of the corner as I apply smooth acceleration.... this probably makes me the slowest guy around :)



I recently did a 800km ride out into the country side - taking sweepers at a speed that initiated the above mentioned smile. Great lifestyle this....



 

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The Toad
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There are no problems with corners. There are only incompetent bikers.



One should find a track or deserted road where one can to practice find his cornering limits on his particular bike. Read books by Keith Code,etc. Take a track school.



As a rule of thumb on public roads stay within a reasonable range of those posted yellow corner speed signs. Some of those signs are too slow but some are pretty good indicators. If you want to "push the limits" then go to a track. Pushing extra hard on public roads means you will eventually bite it extra hard. Who knows when you will come around that corner and find a patch of gravel, an elk, a stick or a broken down pickup truck with the banjo player on back?



I've gone without a crash since 1972 simply by A) gradiently practicing on each bike I buy and B) keeping the speed within a reasonable magnitude.
 

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Read the article by Nick Ienatsch (sp?) on The Pace. Great classic article on non-track riding. Some of the main points are smoothness and entry speed (plus correct turn in point, of course). I try to do the same and unless I am really pushing, one of my favorite things to do is to see how fast I can go without touching the brakes at all (ideally, or touching them as little as possible) when I am up the Angeles Crest and other twisty roads.
 

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People afraid to lean/corner need to ride a bike aggressively through corners first to get over that "fear" then add a motor.



You can't learn without trying and refining what doesn't work... just don't do it a 100+mph.
 

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I consider cornering to be the most exciting and dangerous aspect of motorcycling. In my early years, I had a bad habit of target fixation and would panic if I entered a corner too fast. I would look at places that I DIDN'T want to go and was surprised and dismayed that I always went there. Although I rarely crashed, I scared myself silly enough times to (finally) realize that, on a motorcycle, you go where you look. This realization dawned upon me when I narrowly escaped driving off of a cliff while looking at the beautiful scenery. The approaching corner had a posted 10 mph speed limit sign ... I was travelling about 60 mph. As I frantically braked for the turn, I looked into a beautiful valley that was ahead of me - and 300 feet below. I applied maximum brakes (and threw out anchors, popped parachutes, prayed and promised to wash my own underwear) and managed to stop within a yard of the "big drop". I though to myself, "the turn is right here, why didn't you look at it?". After catching my breath and recovering from my extreme embarrassment ('cuz my buddies saw my mistake and casually rounded the corner), I continued. Since then I am constantly reminding myself to LOOK THROUGH THE TURN ... I can check out the scenery afterwards.
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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smooth and steady is the key, you never know what's in the road or backing out of a blind driveway. Stay in your own lane and watch for sand and debris built up in the center of the lane, specially this time of year. All that sand they threw down last winter for the snow has to go somewhere.
 
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