In part 2 we discussed speed - in particular setting the correct speed for the turn you are about to engage.
In this post California Superbike School discusses the importance of choosing the correct location for a turn.
Location, Location, Location.
An old real estate adage, but as with real estate where you chose to invest has a direct relation to the dividends paid. Let’s look at how this applies to your location through a turn. Are you investing wisely?
When considering a turn we can break it down into three parts – the entry, the middle and the exit.
A riders line through a turn is everything, the line (arc) you choose can be the difference between a stressful turn or one that you exit with a smile, saying “let’s do that again!”. So, what part of the turn is the most critical to achieving this arc, the entry, middle or exit?
Some say the exit is most critical and I think we’d all agree that nothing gets your attention more than driving out of a turn and running out of asphalt!
While the result of our poor line choices are most noticeable at exit, it was our earlier decisions that caused us to end up there. Where you chose to steer your motorcycle (start your arc) has a direct correlation to your exit location. So knowing how to choose a good entry location is a critical skill to develop. But how do you know where is a good or bad turn entry location?
Information is King.
The more visual information you have about a turn the better informed you are and can therefore make better decisions about the line you will take.
The shape of the turn will determine things like entry speed, lean angle, how much and when you get back to the throttle etc… If any or all of these things are slightly out it can have a dramatic effect on your ability to get through the turn. Have you ever committed to a turn only to find out it was not as you first thought?
Where the rider locates themselves on the road as they approach the turn has a direct impact on the amount of visual information available.
Imagine a country road with a tight right hand turn up ahead. As you ride up to the turn the options are, hard to the left of the lane, hard to the right or somewhere between. Where would you position yourself?
In this right-hand turn scenario, upon approach if the rider locates themselves as far left as they are comfortable and looks into the turn, they would have the best vantage point to gather the visual information needed to decide on a line.
Just having the information is not enough, at some point you need to start your arc, so when should you steer into the turn?
Steering in early makes for a more causal turn in, but the rider hasn’t enough information to understand the turn and chances are they’ll be running out of the black stuff on exit. Leaving it too late is an opportunity missed as they’re now trapped into turning much tighter which means a slower entry. Somewhere in between would be perfect, but we can’t be perfect all the time, so if in doubt which would you prefer? To turn in too early or too late?
By waiting to turn in you’ll have the information you need to get the exit you want.
Remember, your exit is a result of what you did at that start, turn entry location is key- choose well and enjoy the ride. Until next time…
This post was contributed to BMWRIDER by the California Superbike School.
California Superbike School are the leaders in advanced rider training, and have trained thousands of riders how to feel confident on their motorcycle and master the art of cornering.
For more details on the school and available courses, visit superbikeschool.com.au.