Jan 31, 2007

Cornering: Lean it in

There is a misconception that leaning out of the corner (as in letting the bike do the leaning while you don't) is a good idea. It isn't. Leaning out is only useful in two situations the first is in the dirt (if you have knobbly tyres) and when taking slow speed U-turns (this requires a bit of skill). In all other situations, you should lead into the corner with your shoulders. Which means you will lean into the corner. In effect, you lean angle should be greater than that of the bike. It allows the bike to stay more vertical (gives you more grip, and if you're fast enough, more clearance and time before stuff begins to scrape). Don't believe me? Rossi leans in too. In the pic, the dashed red line is the lean angle of the bike (always measured in degrees from the vertical (red line with arrowhead). The white line is Rossi's lean angle.

Experientially learnt riding isn't always right, it only appears to be.

Image: Yamaha Racing. Ugly but effective graphics: rearset


Glifford said...

I love "leaning" into a curve by "hanging off". Fun is you actually don't need to slow down but can slowly accelerate through it. It is real fun once you get the hang of it. Have been recommending it to others too!

One thing you need to take care of is that you lean more than the bike. Hence the bike obviously leans less than the ideal bank angle physics recommends for the turn. So.. you cannot hold your handle dead straight as you would normally do if you just lean and don't hang! So in order to get the desired turning radius you have to turn the steering towards the direction of turn (like you do when doing a slow walking-pace turn). This just adds to the fun and you can hear the front tyre squeal :)

Haven't been able to do a Rossi (or Carl Foggy) type hanging off as yet! Where they actually take their butt off the seats and lean in! All I can do is move my shoulders outta line and thus my torso kinda works against centrifugal force. Still works! Maynot be as much tho'!

Now that I have my permanent pillion (my wife) for all my long rides (or atleast rides where I can corner fast) all I ask her to do is just follow and replicate my body movements in the turn! She enjoys it too and finds it exhilirating. With a good counter weight (of both of us) cornerning can be much faster :)

There's one thing I haven't figured out as yet! Counter Steering!

The BATFAN said...

"Experientially learnt riding isn't always right, it only appears to be."

Do you mean to say what we learn with experience while riding is not always correct. Well, then how do we actually learn. Everything about driving that we learn is out of other's or own experience. So basically we must say that it is experience that teaches more and it teaches faster as it relates to a physical incident more than knowledge which associates more with concept.

I need the knowledge to know the concept or working of an automobile. After that I experience teaches us what to do get the best out of it time after time.

rearset said...

What I am saying is that experience forms habits. But they may not be the right ones. Sort of like the way we all countersteer, and then report that we've never done it, or don't understand it. Something you do in your riding might appear correct to you simply because you've done it for years and haven't come to harm. Yet. That does not make it right.

What I'm suggesting is that you get online and consult the 'experts.' There are millions of websites with good advice. All you need to is ask. They'll tell you why what you're doing is correct/incorrect and what you need to do improve/fix it.

Archeriostichaos said...

Cant agree more! Some links of me leaning in for reinstating your fact! You can use these pics in your blog anytime you wish ( Indian bike, Indian rider on Indian road = more closer to reality than Rossi on Laguna Seca :D )




Anonymous said...

Small chips in wide ocean of riding technique. Theres so much to learn