Cornering breaking transition to gas?

# Thread: Cornering breaking transition to gas?

1. ## Cornering breaking transition to gas?

I'm very curious about racing cornering versus street riding. Unless I'm mistaken they seem very opposite.

Street I like to go in wide and come out tight. Race seems like generally you want to go in tight and come out wide so that people can't take you on the inside.

Street I like to setup the corner before I enter it. I was taught not to break in the corner. I set my entrance speed and body position before I hit the curve... then I begin rolling on slightly to the apex and then moreso after the apex.

In racing it seems you break hard until the apex and then hard on the gas on after the apex. Doesn't this upset the geometry and destabalize the bike? I just don't understand how it works or how you can be smooth doing that.

2.

3. holy, your question is call the "art of going fast". That is what racing is all about in a nut shell. I don't even know where to begin but i can answer one of your questions: we do go in wide at the entrance and turn in as late as possible. You see some racer going in tight is called the "defensive line". You "generally don't go faster but you can prevent people from stuffing you, sort of protecting your position.

4. Well really I just want to know about the transition. Seems like it would be a major jerk to go from hard breaking to hard on the gas - especially when the bike is already leaned over.

5. I'll try to handle that one Takie.

It's not abrupt like you're suggesting. Far from it actually. Follow me through a corner.......

I come in fast and at the right place the brakes go on quickly but smoothly so the bike can settle without any shocks to the tire contact patches (keep this last bit firmly in mind). From there I hit the turn in point and as I lean in gradually I ease off the brakes in one smooth action all the way to the apex. The braking has put most or of the bike's and my weight onto the front tire and this extra pressure really helps with this action. The false weight loading increases the front tire's load capacity for handling braking and turning tremendously.

Only at the apex, or for a short point on either side, am I finally totally off the brakes and at full lean. The approach to that point has been a smooth and graduated exchange of braking for lean. The forks were compressied during the braking and if you did it right they stay compressed at the same point all the way to the apex to help the tire contact patches avoid any excessive loading or unloading. It's all about keeping it even.

Once just past the apex I've got my exit point in sight and I roll on the power smoothly taking almost all of the second half of the corner to come back to full throttle while slowly bringing up the lean angle to once again trade cornering traction for acceleration traction to avoid overloading the rear tire's contact patch with too much total loading and the lowside that would result otherwise.

So the corner is NOT a circular path as you would think and as I'm sure we all were taught for street riding. Rather it's now an elliptical or "pointy end of an egg" shaped path where you progressively drop into the tightest spot while slowly easing off on the brakes and then for a moment you slingshot around the tight spot while cruising and then progressivley accelerate harder while opening your line back up.

It's not in any way a light switch action like you're suggesting. If you tried that you'd drop it for sure.

This concept was one that I heard from Steve Dick during my track course classroom session. When he first described this I really felt like standing up and calling "BULLSHIT" but since he has a bit more time on the track than me I sat back and tried to wrap my mind around the concept. At the Tradex session I started easing into this on the second or third time out when the speeds were starting to rise. As the speed of each session rose so did my skill with this technique. I found that this works extremely well with tight hairpins like the one at the pit end at Tradex and on turn one at Mission and the two hairpins at Spokane. Of course it works well on 90's as well as other corners but it's on the hairpins that I find you REALLY feel it working.

Open corners like Mission's 2 and Spokane's 1 and 10 are harder to keep the apex so defined. For those long sweepers I find I'm all done braking and at full lean by the 1/4 to 1/3 of the way through the corner and I'm cruising through the middle part while waiting to lift and accelerate when the last part into the exit comes up. But then I get passed by the serious go fast guys that probably see the same corner as just another hairpin at their speeds.... I have more to learn, believe me.

I was very surprised at a Tradex track school a while back to see many if not most of the riders letting off their brakes way early of the apex in that tight turn by the pits. That was where Steve's words really hit home for me and I think at least 3/4's of the cost of the course was paid for by Steve's words and in that corner where I learned this technique. It's certainly been one area where I find I have an advantage on the track as it's through braking and that initial corner entry where I find that I really get held up by others or can pass the people that would otherwise be as fast or faster than me on my old iron.

Well there's another long answer but I hope it helps. It's not a technique I'd recomend for the street but if you tone down the severity of the braking and turning to street levels then there's no reason it can't work. Certainly if you learn this at the track it may come in handy one day where you need to brake and turn at the same time to avoid becoming a statistic but for normal use I'd be inclined to modify it a little to better set up for escape zones in the real world.

6. IIRC Keith Code's metaphor in Twist of the Wrist II, you have a bank acount representing available traction. You can spend your money on a bunch of different things like braking, turning, accelerating, but once you run out of money, you at your limits. Spend more than you have and you crash!

You can brake in the turns, but as your lean increases you must ease your braking! Transfer those traction dollars from the brakes to lean angle. Same as accelerating out of the turn: as you straighten up, more traction dollars become available for spending on acceleration

And as Takie says, you are asking the holy grail of questions There is no simple answer.

7. This is where I insert my traction circle matra but I just get flamed over it since people think the laws of physics are different for bikes.

YES. A bank of traction. Once you learn to never exceed it you're set.

8. Originally posted by TeeTee
...
I was very surprised at a Tradex track school a while back to see many if not most of the riders letting off their brakes way early of the apex in that tight turn by the pits.
Bruce and I were marshalling the same corner at Tradex when he pointed this out to me. We watched many of the students forget what they had been taught. Most of their braking was done while straight up before the turn entrance.

Another reason to come out and corner marshall! Good learning experience.

9. I come in wide,hit the apex at the same time getting on the throttle and coming wide out.

Actually,I`m on the gas a little before the apex.

10. See Gord's post for the short but so much more understandable answer....

I DO tend to pontificate too much don't I....

I saw the video tape and it was "A dollar's worth of traction". Try to spend more than the dollar and you crash. But you can combine braking/accellerating and cornering up to that dollar and you're fine. (still, no sudden moves. Smoothness is important too)

I think the tape was available at the Burnaby Pulic Library.

11. If the laws of physics change in favour of motorcycles, how would it work for unicycles

12. Cos, that diagram works for me. I don't see that many differences between cars and bikes. I used to trail brake my sedan at Westwood and the other tracks just fine. And smoothness counted there too. That same "buck o' traction" or circle of traction applies for both. It's just that administrating what you got varies a little from one to the other. Also cars can and do set up drift angles with reasonable ease which blurs the border line into a shaded area. But for those of us gifted enough bikes can do the same thing to a degree. But I'm sure it won't be ME exploring that shaded area for bikes too much.... Does MY last name look like it's spelled B..O..S..T..R..O..M or H...A...G...A ?

Speakin' of Haga.... You don't see much of the SliderMeister these days do ya. More's the pity, he was one very entertaining rider..... Not to mention fast too.

13. you ever see someone lowside a unicycle? i havent

14. Thanks guys... it just seems very backward to me. The guys are likely breaking straight up because they are scared as hell - not cause they forgot! I've done street for 7 years and I that's the biggest thing I have worked on NOT BREAKING IN CORNERS . I always try to pick my entrance speed so I don't have to break in the corner. If I have to adjust in the corner I get very nervous. I think my first track day is going to be a lot of unlearning on my part...

I guess I just pictured the suspension unloading at the apex and the bike getting all squirly. Scary stuff this racing!

15. Just remeber, it's all about smooooooooth transitions. Nothing sudden that will upset the bike and thus the contact patch.

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