The hardest part of any corner is judging how fast it can be safely taken. Here’s how to break down the corner into sections to help get your approach speed correct
Many riders, the experienced as well as the inexperienced, often have difficulty with the right choice of approach speed, as well as accuracy of position on the road, when it comes to cornering. The majority of the time the problem can be as simple as not allowing themselves enough time to assess the bend properly to put the bike in the right position at the right speed. One of the techniques instructors use is to explain a bit about when and how much acceleration to use between hazards - in this case corners.
The application of speed
How fast should you be travelling? A speed that you can always stop in the distance you can see to be clear on your side of the road is the easy answer, but putting this into practice is the difficult bit. Practicing stopping is very important; different riders on different machines all have variations in their ability to stop. Most riders are familiar with stopping in a straight line, and we have a guide in the Highway Code with some figures on this, but sometimes the awareness of these distances gets falsely applied into corners as well.
The angle of lean has a detrimental effect on the rider’s and machine’s ability to brake due to the tyre’s grip being used for cornering as well as braking. Physics tells us that the tyre can only give you so much grip and as a result of it being asked to do two jobs both are compromised. This is technically known as ‘tyre grip trade off’, and as a consequence riders can sometimes grossly underestimate the distance they need to stop in. So how do we practice stopping? In a safe environment on known roads that are clear of other road users both ahead and behind. When you start, build up gradually to get a feel of what’s happening and the distances taken to stop. This can be a bit of a hang up for riders who have never experienced braking in corners before, but when you come across a stationary tractor just around the bend, or a driver from the opposite direction overtaking a horse mid-corner, you will be glad you’ve practiced.
Yeah, I'd probably say the first thing I'd do to keep my safe on a bike is wear some fucking gloved (ref the picture).
Posted: 23/08/2010 at 13:07
Gosh, people do get wound up when they're behind a keyboard don't they?
Calm down Ben, he's got gloves on. Either that or it's a prosthetic hand...
Posted: 23/08/2010 at 14:01
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