Line Choice is an Art!





Tufbusa

Track Coach / TufPoodle Coach
Registered
#1
Line Choice is an Art! Yes, choosing a proper line is an art which takes time and much practice to achieve.

I was just reading some of Keith Code’s writings about line choice and it sparked much thought on my behalf. I will attempt to manifest some of his points into my thoughts here.

Keith says: Riders crash on both track and road. Often it is a single-vehicle accident explained as “Loss of controlâ€. That means the rider concocted his very own set of circumstances that led to the crash. From a technical perspective, citing “loss of control†is about as useful as tits on a bull. There is always an inciting cause for the incident and it isn’t always obvious.

While there are many choices in lines both for safety and for speed, not everyone who rides is adept in the fine art of choosing a line. And it is an art! Compared to the street, track riding is more forgiving. A racetrack may be 40 feet wide, whereas your slice of a two-lane road could be as little as 8 feet. That means an error in line judgment on the road is roughly five times more critical than on a track: i.e. a 1-foot error on the road is equivalent to a 5-foot error on a track. Thus your turn-entry position, mid-corner and exit all must be five times more precise. One point: If you couldn’t hit your lines under control on a track, it would be hopeless to think you could do so on the road. From a coaching perspective, seeing someone make 5 or 10 foot errors on a track….well, you wonder how they survived this long.

Get your exit right and all is well. Get your mid-corner or apex on the money and you are good to go. It can also be argued that a right choice on turn entry influences the others. All are true to a degree. But which one do riders struggle with the most? Their turn entry position, hands down!

Consider a corner’s three main divisions: entry, middle and exit. Which of them seems the busiest to you? Even the best riders run wide every now and then. Proper cornering technique begins with not blowing your entry.

Having the corner’s entry under control generally gives rides a breath of confidence. Getting entries wrong tends to start one off on high alert, induces panic mainly because the moment to correct the line passes too quickly. What apex and exit lines can be achieved past that point is more luck than skill.

Control inputs, too, become haphazard and often misguided, like an untimely grab of the brake or throttle chop and steering corrections - possibly all three in a really dire circumstance.

Are there solutions to perfecting lines? Many will tell you it’s all about visual skills like picking reference points and looking ahead: that it can’t be done on unfamiliar roads: that you have to be smooth or just slow down. This may be good advice but something tells me you may have other problems that good advice won’t cure.

Here is my advice: Get out on the track and make your mistakes: get coached: get trained. Whatever speed you go is irrelevant. Once you are running consistent lines, within 1 to 3 feet, you will be doing way more right than wrong. And your chances of surviving spirited street rides will soar.

:beerchug:
 

BA BUSA

MotoGP Wannabe
Donating Member
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#3
If you can't find the correct entry point of a turn then you have to make corrections mid corner :banghead:

Slow down, do it right...then you can pick up the pace, but bottom line...have fun and ride safe :thumbsup:
 

skydivr

Jumps from perfectly good Airplanes
Donating Member
#6
Another great learning post Steven! With my very limited experience on the track, it appears that entry seems to start the process - good or bad - for the rider. If the entry is bad, then it's hard to adjust; if the entry is good, then it seems minor corrections can be made thru the remainder of the turn. I haven't posted it yet, but yesterday at Barber one of the control riders was passing me, missed the entry point and ended up going off the track and riding in the grass (didnt' crash) Clear as a bell on my video how he cut the entry too short/too fast, and could not recover thru the rest of the turn....
 

Tufbusa

Track Coach / TufPoodle Coach
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#8
while i appreciate this post.. does anyone care to explain HOW TO CORRECTLY ENTER A TURN?
It's not something that is easily explained with text. An instructor with a writing pad can point our where you shoud enter, where you should be in the middle (Apex) and where you want to be on exit. Best way to learn is to take a track school and learn from an instructor. Race lines on the track will be different than proper lines on your favorite back roads. Read the last paragraph on the OP.

IMO improper lines are more responsible for corner crashes than excessive speed.
 

b4thenite

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#11
If it's an art then I shall ask, "what's the objective of the artist/rider?" If you know the answer, then one also understands each turn is an opportunity to express oneself. Again, the question refers to "what are you trying to accomplish"
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#12
It also helps to "know your turn" in order to put yourself in the correct position for the best line. i.e. When riding a track you've studied/walked the course and have done a few warm up laps. So you know what to expect.

When riding hard on the street, especially if it's a road you have not ridden before.... It is obviously much more difficult to choose the proper position & speed without knowing the full apex of the turn. Of course this only applies to turns in which you can not see all the way through it.
 
#13
I get the Keith Code articles via email subscription and browsing the CSS site. Took the first course last year and learned LOADS! Started the day a COMPLETE ROOKIE - Never been on a track, never rode a true modern sport bike, really worked the corners. By the end of the day, with the Code training, I had dropped my lap times by about 50% and I was running middle of the pack, including the level four guys who were laying down seriously fast time. Can't recommend the Code and his course enough!!!

Oh yeah, and Code is very down to earth and completely entertaining in the classroom. I would guess that one reason he's been so successful is that he tells it like it is, doesn't accommodate pretense and is responsive to anyone that genuinely wishes to learn and improve in their riding.

PS: The #1 lesson that helped my riding was learning to DELAY the turn in. Dramatic difference in my cornering!!!
 

Mr Bogus

Trouble Makers Inc.
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#15
If it's an art then I shall ask, "what's the objective of the artist/rider?" If you know the answer, then one also understands each turn is an opportunity to express oneself. Again, the question refers to "what are you trying to accomplish"
Posted via Mobile Device
Art and artistry are different.. you may/may not combine them as a single entity depending on the discipline... Rossi has the art down pat, his artistry might be that leg off the peg on hard braking to set his balance point, the artistry may or may not contribute to the quality of his art work... Knowing an "Art" is not always the same as an expression of "Art" :laugh:

the objective is to get from point A to point A in the shortest amount of time possible (Point A being the start/finish line)
 

Tufbusa

Track Coach / TufPoodle Coach
Registered
#16
I had an instructor tell me once, "I don't care how you enter the turn, it's the exit I'm concerned with". I quickly learned the entry has a huge effect on the exit!

A smart rider is thinking ahead and has a plan before reaching the turn. And a good rider can maintain his predetermined line all the way from start to finish.
 

Mr Bogus

Trouble Makers Inc.
Donating Member
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#18
I had an instructor tell me once, "I don't care how you enter the turn, it's the exit I'm concerned with". I quickly learned the entry has a huge effect on the exit!

A smart rider is thinking ahead and has a plan before reaching the turn. And a good rider can maintain his predetermined line all the way from start to finish.
I got lots of passing practice but the real trick was when I had to blow my entry to complete a pass.. found myself way inside and left with a choice of an either making a big turn out of a little one or a exceptionally quick short turn and trying to maintain my apex.. The longer turn option felt faster but am guessing that is a wrong option due to lean time?

both seemed to need more speed bled off.. what options are there?
 

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