Motorcycle Safety Info Homepage

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Cornering

Poor cornering is responsible for most bike accidents which do not involve other vehicles. Enter a corner too fast, grab the brakes mid corner when you realize you can't make it and you're well on your way to a visit to the ditch and possibly the local Emergency Room.*

A corner should be taken in a fluid line, at a correct speed (not too fast!), in the proper gear, and with the throttle slightly on.  Accelerate gradually through the turn and use counter-steering to initiate the lean into the corner.  Maintain pressure until the desired lean angle is established. Adjust the pressure to allow the front end to stabilize at an appropriate lean angle to follow the line through the turn.

Your acceleration should begin only when you can see the exit to the turn, before you can see the exit, maintain your entry speed.

Again, this is something to practice, start at slower speeds until you feel more confident.

If you are not sure how fast to enter a turn, look for road signs, they often have some sort of warning about the severity of a turn.  The behavior of vehicles in front of you is also a good indication, if they are braking hard as they enter the corner, it may be more severe than you think.

Key Cornering Tips

Keep the power on slightly as you round the turn, to counter the effect of the turn and maintain your bike's stability. Keep your head up and physically look where you want to go, this will help you put the bike where you want it to be and the position will feel more natural. If you stare at the edge of the road, that's where you'll end up.

Avoid using the brakes when cornering If you need to slow down use engine braking, if that is not enough then apply brakes with caution, you do not want to exceed the traction limit.

Keep your arms loose and your weight off the bars, as this will increase your control. If you press down slightly on the pegs you'll find the steering becomes a lot lighter and the bike will be more responsive.

Target fixation

While driving (any kind of vehicle) and turn your head, you tend to steer in the direction you are looking.

Target fixation is simply a way to take advantage of that fact. All you do is look in the direction you want to go (preferable AWAY from danger)!   As a reaction you will steer yourself in the direction of your gaze.

*http://www.motorcycle-training.f2s.com

Learn more about:

Braking
Cornering
Lane Placement
Obstacles
Riding in Weather Conditions
Steering and Riding at Slow Speeds

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