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QI was told at my last trackday that I was a bit ‘turn and gas’ but I didn’t really understand what he meant. Er, help?
AHere are three scenarios where the same term is used: 1) You enter a turn but instead of having a completely closed throttle while you start leaning the bike over, you have a little bit of throttle still open. 2) You enter a turn with the gas fully shut but as you start leaning you get straight back to gas. 3) You start leaning with a closed throttle, but before you have finished getting to the lean angle you want, you start opening the gas. Either way, it means your bike will want to run wide. The rule is, start the turn with a completely shut throttle, lean the bike to the lean angle you need, so that the bike is on the line that you want, then crack the gas to stabilise it and roll it on to maintain that stability. Like any rules, there are some exceptions: so do have a look at the next question below!
QI know you’re supposed to shut the throttle as you change direction on a bike, but I heard that the quick guys go down Craner curves at Donington full gas all the way so that doesn’t fit the ‘rules’ does it?
AYou are right about Craner. Shutting the gas fully here (a fast, downhill change of direction) will likely result in overloading the front tyre enough for it to lose traction with the sort of consequences I don’t need to go into. A bike on the throttle, especially at speed (I’m thinking also of the kink at Pembrey and most of the mountain section of the TT) only wants to go straight on. In these turns you are going to have to put an awful lot more effort into the bars to make it steer. Make sure you are fully locked on to the bike with your leg/legs, using your core to stabilise yourself and when you push on the bar in the direction you want to go, try pulling on the other bar with your other hand for maximum steering power.
Andy Reid through Craner, deffo on the gas! Get off the gasser before turning... All the CSS coaches have spent years honing their riding, and are perfectly placed to answer your riding questions. So don’t be shy, ask Andy ‘Spidey’ Peck!