Leaning the bike...

BulletTrain

Call me Daddy...
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Ok, I read somewhere that when doing a wheelie, the front tire is never as high as you think it is. I'm beginning to think that leaning in the twisties is similar in that you're never leaning as far as you think you are.

I started out on my busa taking it easy and not leaning quite far enough for some situaitons. I have gradually learned to lean 'er on down. The thing is, even though I feel like I'm getting on down there, my chicken strips are still freakin' huge compared to what I see on the boards.

Don't get me wrong... I ain't gonna push past my limits just to get rid of the chicken strips. It's just like in the top speed thread. I ain't out to impress anyone. I just want to enjoy my busa at my pace and not hurt or kill myself in the process.

It's just that I feel like I'm leaning the HELL outta the thing sometimes and I still haven't come anywhere close to using all the tire. So, I have a question for those of you that have thin to non-existant chicken strips. Are you actually to the point of knee dragging to get that far over on the tire? Or, am I just not getting down as far as I think I am?

I'm hitting more and better twisties as I get used to the bike and pushing it just a tad harder as I feel comfortable. I'm just curious as to how far it has to be pushed to eliminate the strips. I just want somewhat of a measuring stick to judge my progress by. How close can you get to eliminating the strips without knee draggin'?
 
I dunno how close my knee would be to the ground if I stuck it out there.. just FYI though.. I've seen dudes drag a knee when the bike is almost straight up and down.. they just lean their bodies off like a buncha 'tards... I dunno really how to tell you.. I know some of the guys I ride with use their feet to tell them when there close to the ground.. just kinda poitin' their toes toward the pavement while it's still on the peg of course when it starts draggin they know it's startin to get pretty close to hard parts draggin. I tried that for while.. but it's hell on boots... I can normall tell i'm DEEP into a curve when the bike starts feelin' like it's binding up or something.. I dunno how to explain it really... I feel it bind up then countersteer a little more and it smooths back out.... not sure what the deal is with all that... but thats how I know I'm really leaning in hard.


I don't knee drag.. but I don't have any chicken strips front, or rear though.
 
:drink: I would find it to suck if I were to kneee drag with jeans on...but I don't lean off the bike and I have >1/4 inch of strips left, not too many curves and no time. my suggestion would be if you want to get good at your cornering ability would be to go to stretch of road that no cops will find you that has a very sharp corner ie. a 25 mph is a good one. and practice riding that corner from both directions gradually increasing your speed till you get good. make sure that there is no gravel in the corner though...this wiil not help your confidence.
 
BT, I suggest finding a large empty parking lot and doing some practice there. Grab some cones, plastic water bottles or whatever you can find to setup a practice turn and go at it. Start slowly and keep increasing speed. At first don't hang off. Eventually you will find a comfort zone and you can look at your tire to see the angle.

Next start shifting your body position and see how it feels. if done correctly you'll notice less lean angle for the same speed. Now you know the bike can lean further from earlier, so SLOWLY increase the speed until you hit the same angle.

Repeat until tired, unconfortable or knee touches ground. Yea, there is all the stuff about looking throught the turn, making a delayed quick entry to increase lean angle etc. Mainly, practice. No matter what, don't look at the knee, the tire will tell exactly you what you are doing.

The parking lot allows you to panic and exit when ever you want or find a line and keep turning.

I'm a re-entry rider and have been doing this myself since my earlier bikes were shorter and lighter and I was faster, younger, dumber. I have also found a good book that is a little more user friendly than the Keith Code books. It is called Total Control and written by Lee Parks. It has a lot of good drills like the one above which I actually used years ago when I first started riding hard.

Ah, the older I get the better I was.
 
I have no idea how close to the ground I was but this is the best that I have done to date.  I'm still learning.
 Deals Gap and surrounding area.  8/2003
 
My new tire is bout the same as jwcfbd's........my old one the strips were pretty much non-existent........havn't taken any good trips with lots of twisties on the new one.
Even though the strip was almost gone, I still didn't feel like I could touch the ground with my knee.........chicken I guess. :super:
 
Ok, based on the replies so far it appears that I'm just not leaning as far as I think I am. It also appears that I have a LOT more to learn about carving the twisties on a sport bike. Maybe the parking lot practice thing isn't such a bad idea.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll try them all as I have time. I guess I should hit Amazon.com and see what kind of books they have on the subject. I'll definitely take a look at Total Control, ojo.

Thanks again.
 
Ok, based on the replies so far it appears that I'm just not leaning as far as I think I am. It also appears that I have a LOT more to learn about carving the twisties on a sport bike.  Maybe the parking lot practice thing isn't such a bad idea.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll try them all as I have time. I guess I should hit Amazon.com and see what kind of books they have on the subject. I'll definitely take a look at Total Control, ojo.

Thanks again.
Just be careful BT........parking lots can sometimes have a dirty surface compared to the road where higher speed traffic keeps it relatively clean. :beerchug:
 
Yeah Parking lots are good. But Make damn sure they are clean. I started shifting my weight around more a few years ago, now I am really shifting it around. I notice that as I get my ass outta the seat and hang over just a bit it really helps the bike settle in and just turn.

Hey BulletTrain, Before you go getting all fiesty, read Keith Codes Book Twist of the Wrist and TOTW II, Parks book is good looking as well. The best way to do it is to read ,I mean really READ a chapter for retention, then go to a big clean parking lot and try what you have been reading. Take it real slow though, you do not want to drop it, but apply what you have read and see if it works for you. I have done a whole lot of reading and to be honest a good portion prolly 70% of the tips and techniques really do not work for me, but the stuff that does work, really has made a difference.
My prefered cornering method is to keep my outside foot heavily weighted, the majority of my weight up forward over the tank, ass off the seat towards the inside about 2-4 inches, knee kept in tight Jeans make poor sliders, and a big stupid grin. Your results may vary....
 
Another thing to consider is whether or not you are counter-shifting your weight. If you are pushing the bike away from you in tight turns, you might be leaned over more than you'd think.

On my first bike I was scraping metal bits once in a while and wondering why -- I wasn't that fast was I? No, I wasn't, but I was leaning the bike a lot by pushing it away from me instead of the bike and I both rotating through the turn.

The MSF Basic Course taught 'push turning' at low speeds and it works great beacuse you can force more lean angle that way. But at shall we say elevated speeds... it's not the best method.

Ever since then I have been working on a technique more like leaning off the bike a little. Where I put my body past the centerline of the bike in the direction I am turning and also shift some weight forward. Like I am 'reaching' in the direction I want to go. Which I like because in the middle of a turn I feel like I have more control for making small adjustments to my line. Just move the bike a bit under me and I have very quickly adjusted my lean angle and turn radius.
 
Good stuff, folks. I'll check out the books and try some of it out. I know plenty of roads with no traffic on them so I have roads to practice on as well. I just need some good instruction and tips. I'll definitely see about getting my hands on the recommended books.

Thanks again...
 
FLCN,

I started out pushing the bike away from me and pretty much keeping my upper body straight up. I found it hard to make tight turns at low speeds that way. Now, I lean with the bike and just go. I trust the bike and tires much more now than I did initially so I can let myself just go with it. I'm doing MUCH better on slow tight turns already.

I can now U turn on the width of my driveway when coming in from a ride and turning the bike around to back it into the garage. No way I could have done that to begin with. I ended up just pulling in, getting off the bike and walking it around with the engine off. Now it's a piece of cake to U-turn it on the driveway.

A lot of my apprehension was from the fact that I'd never done any real riding on a sport bike and I guess I let it intimidate me a little to begin with. I'm gaining confidence on it now and realizing how much I was gimping at first. The bike will do SO much more than I gave it credit for. ;)
 
You are right my friend, you are not leaned over as far as you feel. It takes an insane amount of speed to get down that far.

Lean off the bike, put your but crack on the edge of the seat, lean forward, look through the curve. I was taught that your knee should hit the ground before your pegs do. Leaning off the bike greatly improves stability in my opinion.

Invest in some sticky race tires, they boost confidence so much I can't even tell you. They will help you learn farther and safer.

Practice as much as possible, in the same bend, get a little faster each time.

Get a trackday. If you can afford it, this is the best thing you could ever do.

Be careful. Don't forget to counter steer.

Maybe try a 180 rear, that helped me on the old R1, I have not put one on the bus yet.

Everything else I have read in the post is good info, take it to heart.

On a personal note, I do not like dragging toes, I put my inside foot on my frame rail. I turn it up so my sole is facing in. Does that make sense? I am the only one of my friends that does this.
 
I almost forgot the most important thing.

DO NOT focus on getting your knee to touch, or how far you are leaning. You must focus on the curve, and getting faster. The others will come when you get faster.
 
I almost forgot the most important thing.  

DO NOT focus on getting your knee to touch, or how far you are leaning.  You must focus on the curve, and getting faster.  The others will come when you get faster.
Since I ride in jeans I'd come a lot closer to focusing on NOT letting my knee touch. ;)

Seriously, thanks for all the info. I haven't tried weight transfer by sliding off the seat yet. Something new to try on my next ride. :D
 
I have noticed that when I hang off the bike in a fast sweeper I take everyday to work that the bike is not leaned over as much as if I am centered on the seat. I also like weighting the front end too, gives more feedback and keeps the front from pushing.
 
Practice practice practice.
You don't have to lean off very far to get rid of the strips.
Be careful too, leaning off will help the bike turn quicker.
I got this at the track, barely leaning off, and never did scrape my toes.
 

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Practice practice practice.  
You don't have to lean off very far to get rid of the strips.
Be careful too, leaning off will help the bike turn quicker.
I got this at the track, barely leaning off, and never did scrape my toes.
I was wondering when you would pull out this shot of your HERO strip...You Da' Man.

Just a reminder to everyone though, this tire got this way from being on the track. Not on the roads. Remember to allways leave a little bit for emergancies on the road. 90% Rule folks.

Bullet, before you get out there and start trying to shift your weight around too much, Buy Twist of the Wrist 1&2. Then watch SpeedVision, on Sundays and watch the pro's. You can learn a lot about weight transfer, and braking buy watching them. But basically you want to have all your moving around on the bike done before you begin your corner.
Take it slow though. If your not comfortable doing something, don't do it.
 
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