Road riding tips: California Superbike School CEO, Steve Brouggy gives an introduction to entering corners and speed.
This post is part 2 of 2.
Part Two – Speed.
First off, let’s expand on the first (and probably the most important) thing you need to get right when entering a corner: Speed.
How do you prepare to get the correct speed when entering a turn?
“Do you know what the correct speed is?”
How will you determine:
a) What is the correct speed is and b) that you are travelling at the correct speed?
Why the ‘correct’ speed is so important
Have you ever considered what is the ‘correct’ speed and why is it so important?
The correct speed allows you to do all the other things you need to do to make the corner successful, and, as you may have guessed already, “correct” is completely relevant to you and you only. Now, I’m not saying it’s a guarantee that the corner will work out exactly the way you want it too just because you’ve got the correct speed, but it is pretty much guaranteed that if the speed isn’t right, not much else will be.
Regardless of what the actual speed is, there is a speed that is ideal for you to enter a corner based upon the desired outcome of that corner and considering your own particular strengths and weaknesses (and your bike, tyres, weather, road surface, etc).
How do you know you’ve got the ‘correct’ speed for that scenario? Easy, it doesn’t feel either too fast or too slow! Recall a corner where you know your speed is good when you enter. How did you discover the ideal speed to enter that turn at? I’d hazard a guess that you discovered the ideal speed not by knowing when it was ‘right’, but by realising that it wasn’t ‘wrong’.
Meaning, it wasn’t too fast or too slow. True?
Control actions that impact speed of the bike
In getting the speed of your motorcycle set ideally for any corner, you have ten control options.
2. Roll off the throttle completely.
3. Change down one gear
4. Change down multiple gears.
5. Roll off the throttle partially.
6. Hold a constant throttle.
7. Roll the throttle on partially.
8. Change up one gear and continue rolling on
9. Change up more than one gear and continue rolling on.
10. Roll the throttle on fully.
These are the only control actions that affect the speed of the bike. You do realise that you MUST be doing one of the above as you approach each and every corner, don’t you? So now the question is, which one do you do? Well, that’s going to depend on the corner and your desired outcome, along with your strengths and weaknesses isn’t it?
As riders we all use the same basic controls to operate the motorcycle. If someone can enter a turn more consistently with the ‘correct’ speed (whatever that means to them…), then they simply must be doing one (or both) of two things better than you.
2. They do one of the above control actions more successfully than you.
Simple huh? And that’s the really interesting thing about riding motorcycles well…it is extremely simple. It is not necessarily easy though…In the next issue we’ll talk about when and how you start your line…which is probably the second most important thing, is it not?
Until next time…
Good luck with your riding…
-Steve Brouggy, California Superbike School CEO.