Cor­ner bet­ter now

Want to know the se­cret of safe cor­ner­ing? It’s a ques­tion of tim­ing

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - Rupert Paul

Find a quiet coun­try road with a bend in it. 45mph and 90 de­grees is ideal – it keeps things sim­ple. Now find a cou­ple of safe places to U-turn, so you can go round the cor­ner sev­eral times.

Warm your­self up with a few passes, and then no­tice how you’re get­ting round. Let’s say it’s a left-han­der. As you ap­proach, the vanishing point (the fur­thest point on the road that you can see, where the two kerbs meet) will be fairly static. That tells you it’s a fairly tight cor­ner. And as it’s a left-han­der, you will prob­a­bly be mak­ing your ap­proach on the right-hand side of your lane, near the cen­tral white lines, so that you can get a bet­ter view of what’s com­ing up.

What­ever, there will come a point in your ap­proach where you de­cide to make the bike be­gin chang­ing di­rec­tion – in other words, to choose a turn­ing-in point. No­tice where that spot is, and next time try turn­ing in be­fore that. It’s im­por­tant that you aren’t go­ing very quickly here, be­cause you will rapidly no­tice that an early turn-in throws you wide as you get fur­ther round the cor­ner. If you were go­ing quickly, you would drift into the path of on­com­ing traf­fic, but as you’re pot­ter­ing you can just steer a bit more and sort your­self out that way. The same thing hap­pens on righthanders, ex­cept that you gen­er­ally ride into the ditch, rather than the prover­bial coachload of nuns com­ing the other way.

Now try the op­po­site: de­lay your turn-in as late as you can. This time it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to run wide. You may even dis­cover that you have taken a safer, more con­trolled line than the first one, be­cause you are gath­er­ing more in­for­ma­tion about the cor­ner be­fore you com­mit to get­ting round it. Try de­lay­ing your turn-in on a few more cor­ners. It’s re­ally hard to crash, isn’t it?

Then add in some smooth­ness and try to carry cor­ner speed.

Al­most all the peo­ple who bail out on a bend on a coun­try road turn in too early. They might be tired, or rid­ing be­yond their abil­ity, or car­ried away rid­ing in a group and try­ing to keep up with the big­ger boys. But their ac­tual mis­take is not pay­ing at­ten­tion to the turn-in point.

‘De­lay your turn-in and it’s very hard to run wide’

Find a quiet sec­tion of road and be­come a mas­ter of cor­ner­ing

Learn as much as you can about the bend be­fore com­mit­ting

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