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I'm still learning how to ride, and my biggest problem to overcome is leaning around turns. Did anyone have that, or a way to help me over come it?
 

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There are many more folks here that are more experienced than me. I've only been riding for about 6 years on and off and mostly 125s.

But you get more comfortable as time goes on. Also while you are learning leaning isn't really easy because one does go slow. With speed comes more leaning. Also just a word of advice, just be a little careful with sand, grime liquid in turns..they will get you (they have got me in the past).

My very humble 2 pennies. Get to the comfortable speed that you are to go around a corner. Make sure you are in the right gear and all your breaking is done prior to the corner. Get on constant gas, not more or less...just constant.
As you turn (say left) start turning and push the handle bar with you left hand. Also try to maintain the same arc through out the corner. Keep you body straight and look thru the corner but always keep you eyes parallel to the horizon.

Basically it's physics. Centrifugal force to be exact. At low speeds you turn the bike with you steering. At higher speeds you motorcycle pushes outward (centrifugal force). To counter this (and going straight) you lean inwards. So speed does help.

NOTE: try the same corner again and again and varying speeds. Start slow then get faster as you get comfortable & always wear all the safety gear you can gets you body into. :D
Suresh

PS. Other experienced riders will have better advice, these are just my personal experiences/observations.
 

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Some things you want to keep in mind when cornering... Always lean with the bike maybe even a bit farther. When you see the guys racing and hanging off the sides of their bikes it is because the farther you throw the center of gravity to one side the less you have to lean to make the corner, thus letting you take the corner faster. If you don't believe me try this. Keep the bike streight, then hang off to one side or the other when riding, don't let the bike lean at all, you'll see that its still moving in the direction you are leaning off the bike even though it is vertical. This is the whole purpose of knee dragging, to get the center of gravity farther into the curve.

Also in racing you'll notice that they let off the throttle untill the appex of the corner (middle). Then they start to throttle up. I don't have the full explanation of this I just know it works. If you'd like some more info on this go to this web site. It has some of the best info I've seen on cornering, wheather you're street riding or on the track. http://www.cornering.com/
 

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once you hit the apex and roll on the throttle your bike chassis is going to stay more stable than if you were slowing.

Heres an experiment, find your favorite slow turn around 25mpg and go normal into it but just coast through it.

Now...go into that same curve and when you hit the "apex" as it is called roll on the throttle that way your chassis is more stable and it will feel like you're being sling shotted around it
 

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Welcome, _TC_.

First of all, watch out for sand on turns. It's bad news. Now on with my story.

One of the things I had to tell myself when I first started riding was "lean -- the bike can take it." It is to me still amazing how far I can lean over in a tight corner.

The other thing that I still think is strange is that I don't steer the bike with my hands. I steer it with my body (by leaning). And that means that I have to deliberately lean more agressively.

One of my favorite corners is right in front of my garage. I have a very sharp left turn when pulling up to the garage. Even at low speed I really lean on that one.

Suresh mentioned centrifugal force. That's a big part of why you have to lean. Another part is gyroscopic action. Your front wheel is a gyroscope. It wants to keep spinning on its axis. If you turn your steering wheel to the left, the gyroscopic action will make it tip to the right. I remember studying the physics of how this works when I was in college. There was a lot of calculus involved. So if you turn left, the bike throws you off the right. My physics professor said that the solution to this problem is "don't turn left!" But really leaning does the trick. If you have a toy gyroscope, you can play with it to do the same thing. Turn it left, and you'll feel it tip right. It's a surprisingly powerful force.

Now to answer your question, yes, my biggest problem was, and still is leaning around turns. I think that's true of the professional riders, too. Like Green Knight said, "Cornering is what riding is all about." ( http://www.kawasakimotorcycle.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3357 ) If you really want to get good at it, enroll in a racing school.

One practical thing that may help you is "don't coast into a corner." I did that a few times. But it makes it too difficult to match up the gear selection and throttle and clutch when you're ready to accelerate (halfway through the corner). That's a bad time to make a mistake, because your rear wheel could slide out from under you if you accelerate too hard. So instead, keep the bike in gear, with the clutch out while you're going into the corner. Then you'll be ready to roll the throttle while you come out -- no clutch, and no shifting -- just gas. It's a lot easier and quicker and safer that way. After you've done it a few times, you'll be ready to corner faster, and that means leaning harder.

If you haven't taken the MSF course yet, now is a good time to do it. They talk about leaning. Once you understand what to do, then practice is what you need. So get out there and ride!
Curt
 

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_TC_ said:
I'm still learning how to ride, and my biggest problem to overcome is leaning around turns. Did anyone have that, or a way to help me over come it?
One of the things that helped me on turns is to remember to snap my head and look through the end of the turn and not look straight down in front of you. If you look down its harder to turn and you will probably stall at slow speeds or have to put your foot down.

Snap your head, look through the turn and accelerate through. Most people have a hard time setting up prior to the turn and the secret is to go into the turn slowly and accelerate out.

Newbies tend to go fast into the turn and brake while turning causing their tire when hitting sand to slip from under the bike and low siding or go too fast into the turn and not being able to make the corner.
 

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1Adam12 said:
Most people have a hard time setting up prior to the turn
That's it. It's all about preparation. Supposedly Napoleon said that the battle is not won on the field. It is won the day before. The same logic applies to the turn. If you are set up going in, you'll be fine while you go through. If you're not properly set up before you begin, you're in trouble no matter what you do.
Curt
 

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Hm... well, I'm not an experienced rider. But recently I have become more confident about leaning into corners and just recently touched my foot peg down. I didn't have a problem with going in too fast on corners, but too slow. I was paranoid about finding sand, gravel or something else in the corner and laying the bike down.

I've found that the only way I have become more comfortable with leaning the bike is practice and repetition. I've read two books that give advice on cornering (Twist of the wrist 1&2) and that helped a lot too. My biggest problem was not looking thru the turn, so I would slow down to turn as far as I was looking. I've learned to scan the corner before I head into it for any debrie or obstacles and then focus on my four steps for a turn. (1) Slow, (2) Look, (3) Lean/Turn, (4) Roll (on the throttle).

I'm still learning, but the biggest thing that built my confidence was repetition. I found a road that was somewhat curved and scared the crap out of me to ride on very fast. I've practiced it for about 5 months now and it's a pleasure to ride on. I've also found other roads that I practice on as well. Whatever you do, don't give up or panic. Just find more advice and knowledge to help you ride better.

Hope that helps... Good luck out there. :)
 

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Curt said:
1Adam12 said:
Most people have a hard time setting up prior to the turn
That's it. It's all about preparation. Supposedly Napoleon said that the battle is not won on the field. It is won the day before. The same logic applies to the turn. If you are set up going in, you'll be fine while you go through. If you're not properly set up before you begin, you're in trouble no matter what you do.
Curt
Amen!
 

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Just so no one gets confused. You cannot turn a bike with your body weight. A lot of people will argue with me and say that you can. But after you get over about 50 MPH there is no way in hell you're going to turn that bike just by leaning. The ONLY way to turn is to counter steer. To do this you "press" on the same handle bar in the direction you want to go. This sounds strange to someone whos never ridden before but thats how it is. The reason for this is because your front wheele is turning rappidly and has a lot of gyroscpic force. A good expample of this would be: take a bicycle tire off a bike. Put some pegs on it so you can hold them and the tire will spin freely. Now have a friend spin the tire as fast as he/she can. Try to flip the tire upside down. You'll find out that it will want to go in the opposite direction. The same applies to a bike turning. Now I'm not going to argue with someone who says they can turn their bike with no hands. Because that person is not going fast enough to create enough gyro force. If you would like a link to see a clip of a modified bike that proves this here it is. http://www.cornering.com/us/machinery/no_bs_machine.shtml
 

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Green Knight said:
The ONLY way to turn is to counter steer.
Not entirely true, but close...

Next time you're on the higway and you'd like to get into another lane press a little bit on your footpeg in the direction you'd like to go and there you'll be, you can also create the same effect of countersteering with a lean but I wouldn't recommend it.
 

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LEANING

WOW! Everyone is sorta right...andI'm not going to step on anybody because at different speeds all of this stuff is true. Bottom line on the whole leaning thing is that when you find that you know the roads that you travel on every day and on some very hot day when the surface is really hot nad your tires are really hot you will find yorself dragging a footpeg or the side of your boot, and it may surprise even scare you, but just continue through the corner as you would anyway. Always look ahead to where you want to go and NEVER look at a sign post or guardrail if you think htat you may be liding...ALWAYS look at where you WANT to go. Don't panic, even if the bike wants to go down or even if it does...In time you will be riding fine. Read some books and if you get the chance to tape or have a cd of a bike race just watch it is slow motion and very carefully watch how and what they are doing. Now that you have a bike go to someplace and watch other riders going around corners and get at diffeent angles so that you can see and hear what they are doing. Braking, downshifting coasting perhaps setting the chassis with a tap on the rear brake then rolling on the throttle. The bike will want to stand up when you roll on the throttle and pick up speed...ther is nothing to be embarrased with if you have what some guys call "Chicken strips" on your tires from not using the FULL tire in turns and scrubbing it off. If you were going faster or leaning over further you could literally scrape off the footpegs on most bikes...but WHY? We all don't need to be going that fast , and some people will or shouldn't EVER try to achieve something that they can't understand, or control. Some people would never be able to get into a Race car and even get close to the times that the racers get...my dad couldn't drive as well as I can. Some people just have the desire and ability...some never will.
 

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Stuart said:
Green Knight said:
The ONLY way to turn is to counter steer.
Not entirely true, but close...

Next time you're on the higway and you'd like to get into another lane press a little bit on your footpeg in the direction you'd like to go and there you'll be, you can also create the same effect of countersteering with a lean but I wouldn't recommend it.
You have to put a hell of a lot more force into the foot peg than you do by counter steering. Anything you do beyond counter is just aiding you. I've tested all this out on my bike before because, like many people, I was skeptic. Putting weight on your the foot peg will change where the center of gravity on the bike though. Just like I was talking about leaning over the edge of the bike.
 

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footpeg/pushbar

Actually, tyre/tire, grey/gray, you get the idea...you are both riding diffent style bikes and although it's the same only a little different. No sense getting into a word game or which way sis correct...they sorta work on each bike a litle different. C'mon, a cruiser bike isn't exactly like a sportbike, the handling is diffferent. You try changing bikes and riding hte same roads the same way, and you'll find out real quick that it just is NOT the same!
 

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Turning

Turning is a great thing and Curt could take you through the Technical Physics and math of it. Personally I enjoy actual practice of different types of turning. In a tight situation you will want to sit as close as you can to the gas tank, clutch-throttle and use rear brake and try to keep the bike as upright as you can going VERY slow. This is difficult to do equally as well in both directions...just try it. In town, you can actually lean if you are going fast enough to get you around the traffic and you look far enough ahead (this is fun as well), and on the open road at 70MPH you do what works best for you on your type of bike! You lean and the wind will try to rip you off of the bike unless you are really holding the gas tank firmly between your knees...you might try pushing on the inside handlebar, stepping on the inside pedal...or both...or again what ever you find works the best...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
thanks for all the tips/advice/links....
when i ride my bike and go into a turn, and start to lean, i lean not very far cause i feel like i am going to fall. i dropped my bike awhile ago, that was going slow, turning it around (on dirt, they just paved my road) and i grabbed the front brake. i wasnt leaning there, but i'm afraid of leaning and it sliding out, leaning too far for the turn and droping it, or taking it too fast and not leaning enough and not making the turn. i think i would have been fine on the problem with leaning if i hadnt dropped it....or if i had got back on right away.
 

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Taking a spill is a common reason for being "gun shy" on turns. The trick is to identify what went wrong, correct it, and then practice.

Also, even experienced riders can get into bad habits. At one point, I found myself looking at the ground below me when making right turns. No idea how or why I started doing this. Looking below really throws off your balance and makes turns clumsy. Once I realized what I was doing wrong and started to look at where I wanted to go, instead of where I was, my turns were smooth as silk again.

I'm sure that guys with many more miles than me will tell you that riding is a constant learning experience.
 
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