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Road riding tips: California Superbike School CEO, Steve Brouggy gives an introduction to entering corners and speed.
This post is part 1 of 2.

Part 1: the variables.

Preparation is key to success in just about any endeavour. Agreed? Let’s say you’re riding down a straight section of road (no challenges there…) and you see a corner up ahead. When do you prepare? How do you prepare? What are you preparing for? Interesting questions no? Shall we discuss this? OK. Let’s begin…

We can look at this literally thousands of different ways, but we’ll keep our attention purely on the physical movements and / or control actions that must be done prior to entering the corner. So what are our concerns at this exact moment? You know the moment I’m talking about…the one that is announced in your head with words like “here we go…” and is usually accompanied by an increase in your pulse.

Factors that influence our riding

  • Speed: too fast, too slow, or just right?
  • Location: too tight, too wide, or just right?
  • Surface: bumps, no bumps, debris, gravel?
  • Traction: will the surface provide enough?
  • Lean angle: What will be needed, Can I lean far enough?
  • Other riders: is the road clear? If not what changes will I have to make?

While this is a minimal list, I think we’ve covered most of the issues / concerns that will enter your mind as you reach that “here we go” moment.

How to respond

What do you do and when do you do it? I’m sure we’ve all pondered these questions, and perhaps even lived a moment of a bad decision over and over in our minds. Breaking this down is no easy task though, as there are many things to consider.

The first thing would be asking the obvious…what do you want from this corner? Exactly what is it you expect to accomplish? Another way of asking this question is, what is the end ‘picture’ in your mind of this corner?

Some of us will have vague responses to questions like this. Others will be more specific.

There are however at least three things we are all looking for at the exit of a corner.

1. Upright
2. In control
3. On the black stuff!

These are needs everything else is wants. Of course we don’t want to dismiss the wants as being unimportant (very few people I know ride out of need).

As this is a big subject, how about we take each issue raised here in the upcoming months and break down exactly what you need to do to be perfectly prepared for the next corner you arrive at?

Does that sound like a plan? Excellent!

Part 2 focuses on getting the right speed when entering a corner. Stay tuned!

 

-Steve Brouggy, California Superbike School CEO.