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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Learning to ride again...been riding the country roads mostly. Once in a while I’ve ventured out on some curvy country highways with some 25/35/45 mph curves.

Experienced some butterflies on some of them and am amazed that I feel far more comfortable on four wheels going around curves than I do on two. On my bike (Honda CB500) I am not even going over the recommended posted speed limit for the curve... and still pucker up in the seat a little. Yes I am new, but is it normal to feel like I should be crawling around these curves right now?




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Well like ya said it's been a while, just take it easy, enjoy the ride, do your pre-ride make sure ya got a full tank of go-juice,
I did that shortly after I got the Sporty, made sure my tires were up oil all lites an horn workin' 4got the gas. Luckily when I
hadda flip into reserve, I was near a gas station !
 

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I'd suggest that you take some training classes to remind you of the basic skills. The act of leaning that accompanies cornering on a bike, upsets a basic human instinct to remain upright and it takes some time to acclimate.

Perhaps it you'd let us know where you're located we could make some recommendations.
 

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You will never be able to keep up with a four wheel car. You will never have the same comfort level you had in a car. That said, as long as you know the four ways to make a turn in a curve and can deploy any of them at will, then you will become a confident rider. Too many don't know the four ways and get in trouble. Outlined here:

1. Slow before the turn
2. Slow (trail brake) in the turn
3. Lean the bike into the turn more
4. Kiss your mirror

Of course the first thing you would be taught in any schooling is to always look where you want to go, not where you might be headed in a turn. It helps to take lessons or read/watch videos/books on riding and try to practice the suggestions. It's important for most actions to be natural trained actions rather than thinking you won't need them enough for impressing the habits in your brain and muscles while learning.

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is it normal to feel like I should be crawling around these curves right now?
Yes! The key is to be smooth, not fast. The speed will come with familiarity and practice... see below...

always look where you want to go, not where you might be headed in a turn. It helps to take lessons or read/watch videos/books on riding and try to practice the suggestions. It's important for most actions to be natural trained actions rather than thinking you won't need them enough for impressing the habits in your brain and muscles while learning.
This! I would often feel I had entered a corner too fast and struggled to not fixate on the edge of the road or guardrail. As I practiced (and practiced and practiced) looking all the way through the corner, it began to feel much more natural and my speed picked up. A year in and I'm still working on it at times but corners that used to make me nervous are now a joy to take at... um, let's say a "brisk" speed... :smile_big:

Just give yourself some time and push yourself gradually.
 
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Practice, practice and practice:grin: It will all come back to you quickly.:wink2:

Sam:grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd suggest that you take some training classes to remind you of the basic skills. The act of leaning that accompanies cornering on a bike, upsets a basic human instinct to remain upright and it takes some time to acclimate.



Perhaps it you'd let us know where you're located we could make some recommendations.


In between Springfield and Joplin Missouri. And yes, it upset my basic human instinct.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That makes me feel a lot better. I was pushing myself a little beyond my ability and lost my nerve a bit.

I’m finding that I am experiencing sensations that I’ve never had before just driving on four wheels.

I need to find some other riders on here from this area.


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But you don't know how to execute the four ways, do you? If you practice the wrong actions, then you will learn the wrong actions. You can't just ride along with someone else and "absorb" their skills.

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I’m finding that I am experiencing sensations that I’ve never had before just driving on four wheels.

I need to find some other riders on here from this area.
I know that my first few months were filled with many anxiety inducing moments! I really had to plan my routes, as well times of day, in order to keep from getting too stressed over traffic flow and I was coming from a highly modded Forester XT that I loved to drive quickly! Finding an empty parking lot and just getting comfortable with the controls until it became second nature eased so much of the stress.

Man, I'd love to find someone to ride with who has more experience than I do! I "feel" like I'm pretty good for a beginner but we all know that feelings don't always translate into reality and I'd love some constructive criticism on my form/technique. A track day is something I'm working up to and might be a good investment for you as well!
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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But you don't know how to execute the four ways, do you? If you practice the wrong actions, then you will learn the wrong actions. You can't just ride along with someone else and "absorb" their skills.



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Never heard these ‘four’ ways quite put like that. Especially #2 & #4 . Where would one observe and learn these particular secrets of the motorcycle arts?


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There are a number of ways to say the four basic moves I mentioned above. Most motorcycle skills classes, books and tapes will cover these things with pictures, videos and descriptions. Plus, you can Google "leaning techniques on a motorcycle (or what I call 'kissing the mirror')" and "trail braking on a motorcycle" for info.

I get the feeling you only want to have someone hold your hand while you are learning. Buck up, Man! Do the research and the classes. Then, and only then, should you be practicing those correct techniques. If you learn the bad habits, you'll have twice the work.

There's the "constructive criticism" you asked for.

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Trail braking - light pressure on the rear brake in a corner, slows you down without making the bike unstable

Kiss the mirror - get your weight over the inside of the corner by trying to kiss the mirror on that side. try it sitting still you will see what it means.
 
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Trail braking - light pressure on the rear brake in a corner, slows you down without making the bike unstable
...
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Actually, the 'trail' part of this type of braking means to 'trail off' of the front brake. Usually it's the front brake that is used in cornering with the judicial use of gentle two finger squeeze.

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The 4 steps of good cornering are
1 Slow down so you can safely make the curve, doing this while still riding in a str8 line, using both brakes.

2 Look into the curve and see just where the road is going also looking for loose gravel, pot hole and of
course good lane positioning right hand turn? get in that part of the lane that will allow you to see what's
beyond the blind spot of the curve, if you have two lanes in your direction, being in the outer lane will allow
you to see more into the curve than you would if you were in the inner lane. Left turn, you'd want to be in
the outer lane so your sight line would show you what's coming up.

3 With the bike slowed and being able to see whats coming up you can start to lean into the curve, applying
pressure to the hand grips.

4 Roll on some throttle as that will raise your suspension giving better ground clearance, when I am 1/2 way
through a curve, I start to lay on some gas, slow in fast out.

When I got back into riding in 2012 I went into a few curves rather 'HOT' and ended up on the shoulder than
into the grass. I did not dump the bike but yeah it damn well made my butt-hole tighten up ! I was on rte. 275
S to Bradenton going through the junction of 275 to 75. Apparently I thought I was better than I was, naw, not
that time anyway and I was doing about 10 over the limit on a not so gradual turn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Good to here it explained in different ways. Aced the test, but it gets a little real when u are heading into curve.

I over learn most things I do, and the interaction on these new forums is valuable for me (even with the occasional grumpy old turds). I’m taking a nearby three day safety course but there is nothing like the experience others.

Love that u guys took some time to share what u know. Keep it coming.


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Hello RonK,
Yeah I wasn't trying to confuse anyone, just that it seemed one of the more popular ways in cornering, I learned with the MSF course,
that there are other ways like early and delayed apex's depending on how tight or decreasing radius the turn is.
 

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Hello RonK,
Yeah I wasn't trying to confuse anyone, just that it seemed one of the more popular ways in cornering, I learned with the MSF course,
that there are other ways like early and delayed apex's depending on how tight or decreasing radius the turn is.
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I know you weren't trying to confuse. Thing is, MSF courses are designed by a committee, not all of whom are active riders in a variety of situations. The procedures they outline for, in this case, making turns on curvy roads leaves out a lot of variables. I won't list them all, but just to say a class has only so much time to cover a lot of area and can't be real detailed or complete. That's why I always suggest a rider wishing to learn a lot use some of Palladino's Ride Like a Pro videos, or Hough's Proficient Motorcycling to get much detail.

In real life, when we go into a turn too fast, what to do? I mean, we don't worry that we were going too slow in a turn ever, it's always due to speed. Now we might lose control due to not focusing on our intended path, or a sudden obstacle is in the roadway, or we may just panic. By having the prudence of (as you suggest), approaching at the proper speed, etc., is best 90% of the time. But including the knowledge and practice of trail braking when too hot into the turn can save your butt. Many times just increasing the lean or counter steer will do the trick, but you have to have practiced that enough to believe in it (and I mean believe in it within one-hundredth of a second). And then there's over leaning into the turn, which gives your bike an increase in traction usability to avoid dragging hard parts. These are all additional techniques that add security to your ride.

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