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Old May 24th, 2008, 8:40 pm   #1 (permalink)
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I'm having trouble making left and right turns....

Any advice on where to look for assistance? Online videos, tutorials, recommended books? I took the basic MSF class and now I'm thinking about taking the next class.

Basically it's very difficult to make low- to medium-speed turns such as 90 degree angles at an intersection or rolling up to a left protected arrowed. Harder to make right turns than left turns for me. I don't have problems if I come to a complete stop first. And I don't have problems if I am at [higher] speed and countersteer, corner, lean, etc around moderate bends and twisties. It's when I have to approach at speed, slow down with the brakes, downshift, and turn without some to a craw or crossing the line swinging wide.

I've only been riding for a 1.5 years and I had a fall early on last year while making a right turn (hit some gravel while downshifting and braking). I need to practice and that's all I do mostly everyday but I don't seem to be improving much. I need to better understand the role (while turning) of the rear brake vs front brake, leaning and countersteering, and why I always end up in 1st gear. The good news is I'm looking ahead of the turn so I got that down, the bad news is I'm still getting that rear tire sometimes breaking away on me and I have to stand up.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old May 24th, 2008, 9:31 pm   #2 (permalink)
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take that next rider course that you are "thinking about". also, the lee parks courses are supposed to be very good for street riding. the keith code school [california superbike school] has helped me a lot, but it is more of a high performance situation; from what i get from your letter, that could be next year's project, si? also, reading lee parks' book [or nick ienatsch's book or code's "twist of the wrist"] and applying what you read can be far more helpful than continuing to blindly flounder, if you will. best to you on your continuing education!
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Old May 24th, 2008, 9:43 pm   #3 (permalink)
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Old May 24th, 2008, 11:41 pm   #4 (permalink)
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Old May 25th, 2008, 6:10 am   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kensteele View Post
Any advice on where to look for assistance? Online videos, tutorials, recommended books? I took the basic MSF class and now I'm thinking about taking the next class.

Basically it's very difficult to make low- to medium-speed turns such as 90 degree angles at an intersection or rolling up to a left protected arrowed. Harder to make right turns than left turns for me. I don't have problems if I come to a complete stop first. And I don't have problems if I am at [higher] speed and countersteer, corner, lean, etc around moderate bends and twisties. It's when I have to approach at speed, slow down with the brakes, downshift, and turn without some to a craw or crossing the line swinging wide.

I've only been riding for a 1.5 years and I had a fall early on last year while making a right turn (hit some gravel while downshifting and braking). I need to practice and that's all I do mostly everyday but I don't seem to be improving much. I need to better understand the role (while turning) of the rear brake vs front brake, leaning and countersteering, and why I always end up in 1st gear. The good news is I'm looking ahead of the turn so I got that down, the bad news is I'm still getting that rear tire sometimes breaking away on me and I have to stand up.

Any help would be appreciated.

Ken,

Take your scoot to a nice big parking lot for some practice. When conducting slow speed manuevering you should be applying rear brake while modulating your clutch. ie; clutch not all the way in our disengaged or all the way out engaged. (This is sometimes refered to as the grey area) It takes some dedicated practice to find and then master the grey area of your clutch and every bike is a little different. Dry clutches seem to be a little trickier too.

The key is to keep some power to the rear wheel using the grey area while using the rear brake to help control the power output. Once you let off or lose that power to the rear wheel you generally fall over and have to put a foot down which is what it sounds like you are describing. I know this doesn't sound very difficult but to become efficient it take practice.

Go give it a try and report back. Hope it helps and goodluck.....
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Old May 25th, 2008, 6:49 am   #6 (permalink)
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Ken, In harmony with Motard-Menace's advice, you may find this article helpful:


"Resetting Your Lean Sensor"

www.duc.bz/Resetting%20Your%20Lean%20Sensor.htm
-don
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Old May 25th, 2008, 8:20 am   #7 (permalink)
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I started riding two years ago (almost exactly now) and can relate to the challenge of getting up and going. The trouble you are describing can suck the life right out of what should be one of the greatest things in your life. at least in my opinion.

After MSF and once I had actually gotten a bike I literally spent a month just riding around inside my neighborhood and in a high school parking lot. In the parking lot I would do the MSF drills over and over until I was completely confident in my ability to turn and stop the bike.

One last thing -relax. This is supposed to be fun.
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Old May 25th, 2008, 9:27 am   #8 (permalink)
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I can relate.

I was like, "Why can I take fast turns but I have so much trouble with slow turns? This is nuts!"

I've gotten better at the slow speed turns by applying the same technique we all use on high speed turns LOOK THROUGH THE CORNER NOT AT THE CORNER.



On long sweepers I was great at looking the exit, but on slow corners I kept staring down right at the corner almost watching a patch right in front of my front wheel. Now I work on looking through the coner even if it's just a 1st gear right hand turn at an interersection.

Try it. Hope that helps a bit.

I'm also going to work on throttle/clutch with rear brake. Our instructors use to tell us that it 'stretches out' the bike. I need to start doing that again.
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Old May 25th, 2008, 9:29 am   #9 (permalink)
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You just need to get "out of your head" and stop thinking so much about making those slow turns. Practice in a large parking lot (many schools on the weekends don't use them) and invite a friend to observe. That way you don't have to think about what you are doing so often and you will get objective feedback. You can use some of the drills that the MSF courses use to work on that technique.

I think a great deal of people that are trying to "figure out" slow turns make target fixation errors. When you are about to turn, look to where you want to go: beyond the turn, not at the curb/corner where you immediately are. I'm sure you already know this, but when you let go of the thoughts about having to make a left/right slow turn and just relax into making the turn (by targeting beyond the turn) then all of that stress and "oh no" energy goes away and you will make a smooth, relaxed turn.

Cheers!
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Old May 25th, 2008, 12:41 pm   #10 (permalink)
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If I may suggest perhaps ur braking too late and then panic to catch up with gears and revs, thats what I do and workin on it getting better by letting everyone behind me wait! I also suck at predicting which gear to be in at my speed during a turn i.e. maybe I can make it through the yellow or if I need to stop. sometimes I need to be in a higher gear and I can hear the engine buzz, will this damage the bike?
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