Author Topic: Ask a RiderCoach!  (Read 1236 times)

Offline rscottlow

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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #60 on: April 11, 2017, 11:31:23 AM »
What about downhill cornering? I ride one road full of twisties on the way to work where it's mostly uphill, and I feel like I can breeze through it with no problem. On the way home, where I'm riding primarily downhill, I always find myself braking much harder on my approach in order to feel comfortable enough with my speed to roll on the throttle through the corner. I try to stay down a gear in order to fight the forces of gravity, but there are a couple of negative camber turns mixed in where I really have to brake hard before I turn in to scrub off some speed. Even then, I find it hard to roll onto the throttle since gravity is already causing me to accelerate.
Scott - Cincinnati, Ohio
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Offline Watcher

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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #61 on: April 11, 2017, 03:53:19 PM »
The biggest danger (for me) when turning downhill is you naturally want to lean on the handlebars.  Putting weight on the bars doesn't allow the front wheel to "find" it's natural path, and you have to put more effort into steering control.  So you really gotta work that core and your legs to hold yourself up.

You will be braking more downhill, as you said the force of gravity wants to accelerate you more, and through the turn the same principles apply where you want to roll on that throttle smoothly and steadily through the turn.  You just have to do it less since gravity is also speeding you up.
Engine braking will save you from having to brake as hard, and in cases where maybe you're going down a mountain it'll keep the heat off your brakes which is a good thing.

As far as being jerky on the throttle coming back on, it's just something you'll have to learn as you experience it.  I would not be using the friction zone to help smooth the process out, as disengaging the clutch will cause gravity to accelerate you even more and compound the problem.

Maybe you are hesitating too long before rolling back on.  I trail brake a lot naturally, so I'm coming off the brakes AFTER I've already started the turn and I'm immediately rolling that throttle back on.  If you are braking for a good entry speed, releasing the brake, and giving gravity time (even a second) to speed you up a little before entering the turn then it could be causing you to misjudge how much throttle you need to add back on.  As soon as you're done braking for the turn get on that throttle and keep it smooth.
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Offline mr72

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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #62 on: April 11, 2017, 04:20:28 PM »
I also get iffy turning downhill and I think the reason why is a combination of three things:

1. braking ... you are using some of the tire's adhesion (static friction) that you ordinarily want for cornering with braking
2. head angle ... you are steepening the head angle, see where we had this debate before in this very same thread. this affects steering stability and feel
3. weight bias ... you are shifting most if not all of the weight of the bike onto the front tire. you lose traction in the rear so directional stability really suffers and you feel like there's a big loss of grip

In all I would say the reality is you are really compromised turning going downhill for purely physics reasons not to mention the feeling you have doing it. Normally you "roll on" the throttle to shift some weight to the rear in a corner and you simply can't shift weight to the rear when going down hill, even worse you are probably braking and not accelerating so it's compounded.

IMHO. But I'm no ridercoach. I just ride and understand physics of vehicles.

I don't like cornering downhill. My commute to work, when I take it, involves a corner at the bottom of a big hill. I hate it, even though I have a ton of experience cornering downhill on a 2-wheel vehicle (bicycle). The motorcycle just feels a lot worse cornering downhill.

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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #63 on: April 11, 2017, 04:39:11 PM »
I also get iffy turning downhill and I think the reason why is a combination of three things:

1. braking ... you are using some of the tire's adhesion (static friction) that you ordinarily want for cornering with braking
2. head angle ... you are steepening the head angle, see where we had this debate before in this very same thread. this affects steering stability and feel
3. weight bias ... you are shifting most if not all of the weight of the bike onto the front tire. you lose traction in the rear so directional stability really suffers and you feel like there's a big loss of grip

1.  While this is true, braking and thus loading the front tire can actually increase the amount traction you have to use.  That's the principle behind trail-braking.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvWmN85HLv0

2.  But if you are going down an incline, while the steering head angle is steeper in relation to a level surface it's still the same as it always is in relation to the current road surface.  The only difference is the suspension may compress more when braking downhill and cause a very slight increase to the overall effect braking has on changing the steering geometry.
Or did I miss something again  :dunno_white:

3.  Yes, I'll agree with that.  Weight is already on the front, so it will be easier to overload the front wheel.  There is an increased risk, then, of overbraking before the turn or weighting up the bars while in the turn which will make the motorcycle feel less responsive and reduce your overall confidence.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 04:40:31 PM by Watcher »
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Offline rscottlow

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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #64 on: April 12, 2017, 08:21:52 AM »
Maybe you are hesitating too long before rolling back on.  I trail brake a lot naturally, so I'm coming off the brakes AFTER I've already started the turn and I'm immediately rolling that throttle back on.  If you are braking for a good entry speed, releasing the brake, and giving gravity time (even a second) to speed you up a little before entering the turn then it could be causing you to misjudge how much throttle you need to add back on.  As soon as you're done braking for the turn get on that throttle and keep it smooth.

I think you're right about this. There are a couple of particularly tricky corners that are steeper and tighter than the rest. On those in particular, I know I start braking early in order to ensure that I can reach an appropriate entry speed, but there's definitely a delay between the time that I release the brake and the time I roll on the throttle. I'll work on tightening that interval and see what happens.
Scott - Cincinnati, Ohio
2009 GS500F

Offline Suzi Q

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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #65 on: April 13, 2017, 10:26:34 PM »
Strictly MSF focused thread or WERA/N2/Etc?
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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #66 on: April 14, 2017, 12:10:57 AM »
Strictly MSF focused thread or WERA/N2/Etc?

I only have working knowledge of MSF but as an "educated" rider I'll gladly talk about other curriculums and techniques if you have a topic worth discussing.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 12:11:39 AM by Watcher »
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Offline qcbaker

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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #67 on: April 17, 2017, 01:18:04 PM »
RE: downhill cornering

http://www.ridinginthezone.com/how-to-survive-downhill-curves/

Scott, that blog you posted in my thread has a post that has some tips on managing downhill corners. I'd be interested to hear Watcher's perspective on what they have to say as well.

Offline rscottlow

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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #68 on: April 17, 2017, 01:28:58 PM »
RE: downhill cornering

http://www.ridinginthezone.com/how-to-survive-downhill-curves/

Scott, that blog you posted in my thread has a post that has some tips on managing downhill corners. I'd be interested to hear Watcher's perspective on what they have to say as well.

Haha, this is actually how I found RITZ in the first place. I was doing a google search to supplement Watcher's thoughts on the matter, and came across that site. Good looking out!  :cheers:
Scott - Cincinnati, Ohio
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Offline Watcher

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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #69 on: April 17, 2017, 02:49:10 PM »
RE: downhill cornering

http://www.ridinginthezone.com/how-to-survive-downhill-curves/

Scott, that blog you posted in my thread has a post that has some tips on managing downhill corners. I'd be interested to hear Watcher's perspective on what they have to say as well.

Haha, this is actually how I found RITZ in the first place. I was doing a google search to supplement Watcher's thoughts on the matter, and came across that site. Good looking out!  :cheers:


 :thumb:


Great article.  It mentions a lot of the same things I did, perhaps in more detail, to include slowing down more and being sure to get back on that throttle regardless of acceleration via gravity.  The throttle serves to stabilize the motorcycle, you can't omit it and expect to feel confident in the turn.
They even mention trail braking, which is an advanced technique but has many benefits.


In MSF we teach "Slow, look, press, roll" (basically identical to what they say) as our cornering mantra, which later evolves into "search, setup, smooth".
The idea is the same: pick a good entry speed based on what you can see and your judgement thereafter, pick a line (outside inside outside, middle middle middle, outside outside inside, etc), press (countersteer) to initiate the lean and the turn, stabilize the bike with some throttle.

The "perfect" apex (outside inside outside) might be the bread and butter but it's honestly safest IMHO to ride a purely middle path and follow the curve.  It gives you some space cushion to go wide if the turn unexpectedly tightens up, or to go tighter in case of a hazard.
I don't usually recommend early apex as it's a good way to make a decreasing radius turn a double-apex turn, and a delayed apex is often the fastest way to ride a curve but the hardest to judge as if you come in a little to hot or too wide you really have to press that bike down hard to make the turn.

The rest comes from comfort level.


I'm off work tomorrow, I might go up the mountain and make a video on this.  If I do I'll upload it to the training videos thread.
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Offline qcbaker

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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #70 on: April 18, 2017, 08:59:54 AM »
I thought of another question to ask you Watcher, as it's something I actively am trying to improve whenever I ride. Regarding downshifting when slowing up for a curve or something, do you (and I guess by proxy the MSF) advocate throttle blipping to rev match or easing off the clutch to let the engine "catch up" to wheel speed?

Personally, I LOVE how smooth a perfectly rev matched downshift feels and sounds, but I can see how getting the blip wrong and causing the engine to surge or abruptly engine brake a little bit could be problematic.

Offline rscottlow

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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #71 on: April 18, 2017, 10:25:33 AM »
It may or may not be the "correct" way of doing it, but I always blip the throttle to match revs.
Scott - Cincinnati, Ohio
2009 GS500F

Offline Watcher

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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #72 on: April 18, 2017, 12:12:34 PM »
As far as I know MSF doesn't advocate any particular method of downshifting.
Every instance of downshifting in the class is coming to a stop so there's that...


That being said, a clutch only downshift when slowing causes heavy engine braking as the clutch is released, and I've had the rear wheel slip when doing this as well, so a little throttle blip in there to bring the engine up helps immensely with being smooth.

It can be hard to do, but if you can figure out how to throttle blip while braking you can rev match your downshifts while setting up for a turn.
Just keep thinking "clutch in, roll on, downshift, roll off, clutch out".
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Offline Suzi Q

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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #73 on: April 19, 2017, 01:43:51 PM »
I've got a question for ya' ahead of this week's BRC.

Is it customary to tip the instructors? If so, what is appropriate per person?

Thanks
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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #74 on: April 19, 2017, 02:11:49 PM »
Customary?  No.  I've never been, I never have.

I can't speak for every coach that teaches, but for me, my colleagues, and the people I trained with it is less about the money and more about honest mentorship.
We're out there to make riders safe.  I do get a paycheck but it's not a livable wage.  At best it's just some extra cash for me to buy motorcycle stuff.

That being said, most of the business we get is from word of mouth, so the best "thank you" any student can give me is a recommendation to others.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 02:17:28 PM by Watcher »
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Offline Suzi Q

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Re: Ask a RiderCoach!
« Reply #75 on: April 19, 2017, 02:29:26 PM »
Okay, thank you.
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