Practicing Cornering at Speed

Foxtrot144

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I practice slow speed turns and riding in a circle in a parking lot, but where and how do I practice 15, 25, and 35 mile an hour curves from going highway speed or slightly less? The parking lot isn't big enough and out on the public streets I could see myself having a messed up day.

Presently when I come upon a 15 or 25 mile an hour curve I slow up quite a bit, but my friends all zip on through.

Any help's appreciated.
 

AK64

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If you can find roads with curves and little traffic, start there—slowly. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that show proper technique. I’m a fan of MC Rider. Eventually, your comfort level and skill will improve. Until then, let your friends zip through. Ride at your comfort level. Don’t push it.
 

Foxtrot144

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I’ve watched a lot of videos on cornering but I think I am getting a little impatient with my progress. I will continue to practice and “ride my own ride“ as they say. Thanks for replying.
 

Madison Sully

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Any time I get nervous in a corner I think my own personal mantra.
"Steer the wrong way, go for the thing you want to avoid."
Which gets me to turning the bars to the outside of the curve.
Which at least until now has never resulted in any problems....
Countersteering is your friend.
 

Jt105

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I agree. Find some roads that have curves and take your time. Ride at your own pace.

I find that parking lots have loose debris on them and are not good for any quick maneuvers.

Taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) class will also help. The skills taught are under controlled conditions and you are supervised by an instructor. They will give pointers on how to improve your turns, leans, braking, etc. I took the Advanced class and there was a lot of the higher speed maneuvers included. The class was 1 full day. There was a short classroom part and then we were in our motorcycles for the rest of the day. I enjoyed the class and learned a lot. The class was $50 and I considered it more than worth the cost.

JT
 

MZ5

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I've ridden around a lonely (meaning extremely low-traffic) traffic circle before, starting very slow and gradually increasing speed. Still have to watch to see whether someone is coming in, and of course don't make yourself sick. (-:

Rider training (classes where you ride, not just sit in class) can be very helpful, too. Some of those courses have access to larger areas so that speeds can be _somewhat_ higher. A Lee Parks Total Control class may be worth looking into.

Rent track time, if there's a racetrack near you? I know there isn't for at least a great many of us, but it's a good option if it's available to you.

It can be hard to lose the nervousness or plain old fear that we sometimes have. I don't know that I know how to communicate to someone I've never met how to do that. A thing that helped a riding partner of mine who felt unsteady and rather nervous for a while was to do his best to remember to try to kiss his mirror in a turn. That is intended to help you lean toward the inside of the corner as far as you can. If you lean as though you're trying to get over (and _forward_ enough to kiss the mirror, you'll both feel and _be_ a whole lot more stable in corners.
 

2wheels4fun

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Parking lot is only good for very slow speed turns and u turns.

I find if you practice on the very tightest curves you can find over and over as fast as you are comfortable, the not so tight curves becomes so much easier. The tight curves should be a section of a few miles of road you do over and over again over a hour or two over many days and weeks so there are no surprises. You should ride it so much that you remember each curve and try different ideas to increase your speed. Outside, inside, outside.

Somewhat near Austin, Tx is the "Three Sisters" aka "Twisted Sisters", Hwy 335, 336, 337 and then use 41 to make a circle. Ride this loop about 5 times each day you go out and in a few weeks you will be as good as they are or better.
Capture.jpg
 

Red Rider

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I practice slow speed turns and riding in a circle in a parking lot, but where and how do I practice 15, 25, and 35 mile an hour curves from going highway speed or slightly less? The parking lot isn't big enough and out on the public streets I could see myself having a messed up day.

Presently when I come upon a 15 or 25 mile an hour curve I slow up quite a bit, but my friends all zip on through.

Any help's appreciated.
Well, depending on traffic of course, find some clover leafs to loop around on repeatedly. They’re consistent, visibility is good all the way through, and you can vary your entry speeds and exit speeds as well as your ride-through as much as you need to within that range you’re talking about. Just a thought - hard to find a perfect scenario on the open road
 

dduelin

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I still practice skill drills in parking lots. There is a large shopping mall near me and early on weekend mornings the lots are deserted. I set up ovals and figure eights around light poles. It's easy to achieve 35-40 mph which is plenty fast to practice cornering skills. There is no need but you can go faster by skipping a few poles and making the course much longer but this is not necessary for skill drills plus security or police may show up. I've attended two riding schools that used parking lots like these - Lee Parks Total Control was one.

The other place I go is a large modern industrial/business park and it is deserted every weekend. The roads through and around the perimeter of the park are curves, good pavement, and no traffic.

Austin is a large city with nearly 1 million population. I'm sure if you look around or Google " Austin industrial park" you will find some places to check out. Get a copy of Lee Parks' book Total Control and have fun.
 

Foxtrot144

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Industrial parks are a good idea! I hadn’t even thought about going out to the industrial areas on the weekend and practicing. I was able to take the NSF introductory course but there are very few intermediate or advanced courses offered regularly. The three sisters is really neat. I could probably only do that on the weekend unfortunately.

Thank you all for your support and suggestions so far.
 

Rapturee

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Hey FT144, welcome to the RIDE! Keep up the practice, it doesn't make perfect but it does make you better. "Seat Time", i've heard a lot of guys talk about the 3-Sisters ride. It comes highly recommended by many. :{)
 

Jt105

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A thing that helped a riding partner of mine who felt unsteady and rather nervous for a while was to do his best to remember to try to kiss his mirror in a turn. That is intended to help you lean toward the inside of the corner as far as you can. If you lean as though you're trying to get over (and _forward_ enough to kiss the mirror, you'll both feel and _be_ a whole lot more stable in corners.
They teach techniques like this and more in the Advanced MSF class.
Don’t let the title ‘Advanced ‘ scare you. Basically there’s the Beginner class for those who don’t know how to ride and there’s the Advanced class that continues on where the Beginner class left off.

JT
 

drdubb

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I once saw a video where a fellow set up a circle in a parking lot and went around repeatedly, gradually increasing speed, thus forcing more lean. After awhile, he reverses direction. Been thinking about trying that myself.
 

GregC

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When I got my 2015, as a 1st time rider, I spent many hours over several weekends doing this in the big parking lot of an abandoned grocery store lot. It helped a LOT before I went out on the “big boy” roads.

Also +1000 on the Total Control book


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DirtFlier

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The Advanced class would ideal but finding one actually on the schedule is difficult-to-impossible. They publicize the class but finding a training site that offers it may be much more of a challenge. At least that's the case in Ohio.

One other factor is actual demand. I ran the Honda Rider Ed Ctr in OH for 16 years and the number of Basic Classes outstripped the ERC (advanced course) by at least 20-to-1 and my site was one of the only locations in the state where the ERC was offered. Most of the other site administrators would NOT offer the ERC because it usually was a bust with not enough students signing up to make a class.
 

GregC

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You can also check with local police and the state troopers - they run classes, though not often. What those folks can do with a 650lb motorcycle is amazing.


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Foxtrot144

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I am happy to report that an intermediate and advanced course are being offered the next town over in Elgin. I’ll take those courses as well as practice in the industrial areas.

Thanks.
 
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