77Gowing wrote:Yes you are correct the heavy lean scares me, but knowing that leaning and counter steering is very effective I endever to get it down. The wing is heavy and not near as nimble in turns than the Harley 500 training bike I rode.
I was a MSF Instructor for 11 years and about the same time I started teaching motorcycling for the USAF I also started club level road racing with the then CRRC in Texas while I was stationed in Austin. (I have very fond memories of Texas World Speedway in College Station!) From your comments it sounds as though you've taken the Basic Rider Course (or whatever they're calling it now) and I promise, that sets you up better than many of the folks who show up at the Gap since the majority of them have never had any formal motorcycle training. The mantra I bet you heard in your course about cornering is exactly what expert racers do when cornering..."Slow...Look...Lean...Roll". The process is no different really whether you're a sport rider on the Dragon or a casual commuter navigating a country road on the way home.
- choose an entry speed for the turn and adjust your speed accordingly
- Look through the turn and find the exit. Focus on that. Look where you want to go.
- Turn the bike with counter-steering to head for that exit. (By focusing on the exit and heading for it you'll automatically set up the right lean angle to acheive it.) I understand that Instructors now call this stage "Press" which makes sense as you press on the bars to intiate counter-steering.
- As you establish the lean angle with countersteering slowly roll on the throttle and accelerate out of the turn. Start by just cracking the throttle on and accerate harder as the bike comes back upright. By accelerating you'll extend the front forks as the weight shifts to the rear and the changed steering geometery will make the bike feel a lot more stable resulting in a much more comfortable rider.
The best way to practice this would be to find a uncrowded country road and try it out at a comfortable unscary speed. For a lot of folks it really helps to break down the different tasks and practice them seperately. For example, you might decide for the next run over your practice road to concentrate on LOOKING and picking up a good target to head for. The next run might be all about LEAN and trying to be precise in your steering. Concentrate on doing it all correctly rather than trying to increase your speed or deepen your lean angle. Speed and lean will come as a by product of doing it all right. It'll feel pretty awkward at first I know, and disconnected like you're doing those four things separately from each other. But, one of these days, it'll come together and the bike will feel like it's on autopilot, effortlessly going right where you want it without you thinking very much about it at all. Once you start to get to the automatic stage, you'll be able to make adjustments, alter your line as needed, trail brake, or change where your weight is on the bike to improve a cornering situation.
Have faith in yourself since you've already done the most important part by taking that class. Keep that good, "I'm here to learn" attitude and always look for new tips from fellow riders, like you've done here, or read bike mags and books to keep learning about our sport. Another good tip is to think about another class when you gained some practical knowledge, such as the MSF Experienced Rider Course. Those were fun to teach and were usually like seminars with fellow riders where the knowledge flow went in both directions and I learned along with my students and from them.
Hopefully the world will reset back to something like normal and I'll see you at Mid-Ohio for the AMA Vintage Days. And, should you ever want to ride Eastern Tennessee and the Smokys, I'm sure Pid and I would be glad to show you around.
Take Care Buddy