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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am going into my 4 riding season. June was a busy month of planned riding from Canada to Baker City. This year I have become very frustrated at myself for not riding up to my ability.

Those who have rode with me, know I suck BIG time on the corners. Why I do not know but I slow down on corners to the point of a crawl, very unsafe. I told my hubby this year that if I don't get this corner thing down I was going to reitre from riding :eek:(

Rode with a good friend of ours back from Sunriver this last weekend and he asked me a lot of questions about the corner issue I have. After listening and watching him I have come to the conclusion that I truly don't know how to corner on a motorcycle. One would think it would come naturally but not with me!

I decided to look for a class to take on cornering. I contacted a man by the name of Ron Burch with Motofit Group out of Grass Valley and spoke with Ron for a few hours about my issues. July 9-10 he is having a track course training program and asked me out to learn from his group. Ron promisses he can make me a better rider :0)

I registered for the class and look forward to learning all I can from this group! Told Ron I was a little afraid of the "track" course and he explained the track is the safest place for me to be and for him to teach me the proper way to ride. I will keep you posted as to how I do!!!!
 

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Good for you Lisa.
I know you'll get a lot of good information and on-track practice.

Keep us all posted. I'm not too old to learn something new.
 

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You're absolutely doing the right thing!
A big part of confidence in cornering is finding the ability of your motorcycle. Once you see just how much your tires will grip, how much you can grind the pegs into the pavement, you will have so much more confidence in what your bike can do. You will relax, and the bike will respond better when you are relaxed.
I had a similar problem after low-siding on some gravel. I worked through much of it myself, but found that I was "choking" when coming into a corner where the surface conditions were not perfect. I was looking down at the road and hyper-analyzing my path instead of looking through the turn. Part of the solution for me was to get out onto the track and lean the bike all the way over hard. I found I was still riding faster than most the people in my group, even though I was not completely confident. At that point I realized the bike is capable, and the tires will stick unbelievably well.
Practicing the correct body position and good technique allows the bike to respond well in all situations; including those when the traction is not the best. Since I've worked through this, I've had times where the tires would wash out underneath me some, and have found that it really doesn't mean an instant low-side. I'm still in control, and you can ride through these things.
Good luck with your track school. I think you will enjoy it.
 

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This sounds like a good approach.

Have you already taken the beginning riders course?
 

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+1 what everyone above said.

Also if you took the basic MSF course they probably taught you to keep your knees against the tank. Most people forget to do this. Doing so will allow you to "feel" the bike more. I coached a friend through the same issue on the Blue Ridge by telling them to hug the tank with their knees. If you are not doing it now you will be surprised how much more confidence it will give you.
 

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Lousy on the corners eh? Well don't tell anyone but so am I.
I can tell you this though ......... I go out on my own a lot just to practice and I stay where I'm familiar. I have found I can do better than I thought and I have also found that the less I think about it the better. When I think about it I think about the bad stuff. When I just go and focus only on the bend at hand, not the scenery or cars coming or both, it goes really well. I also have gone on a quiet straigh stretch of road and just swerved the bike side to side at different speeds just to feel the bike lean. I took off the throttle boss and forced myself to relax my grip way better. Now when I get home my hands are not all black from squeezing the dye out of my gloves.
You will find your own way to relax around the bends and when you do your going to say to yourself ......"wow!! I'm going to turn around and take that one again"! :wayhappy:

Have fun at your course.
 

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Lisa,

For what you've been thru it's understandable....Your on the right path to recovery. Relax, I know you will be successful after the training.

{Hugs} :wayhappy:
 

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I know what you mean, cornering is something I struggle with sometimes. Glad you signed up for a class, that made a big differance for me. I hope this works for you also.
 

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You go girl! Don't give up. Just a thought, maybe try riding with a women's group or with women. Apparently some of the ladies say men and women ride differently, with the men being more aggressive riders. Personally, I just happen to ride with women, and I haven't had too much trouble keeping up, even since as a beginner.
 

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There are days I feel my 'mo-jo'. i can fly thru really hairy corners with no tension of fore-thought whatsoever. then there are days that i just can't seem to pull it all together.

just remember to counter-steer. PUSH the handle bar FORWARD...push left hand grip forward to lean/go left, right forward to lean/go right. do NOT push DOWN on the grip but push it towards the front of the bike. remain seated straight in the saddle.

try this in a parking lot. do not try to turn the handlebar, OR lean into a corner. you'll be amazed at how responsive the bike is using this method.

good luck in your class...and hopefully you'll find YOUR mo-jo too.
 

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You're not alone, after 7 years cornering and twisties are still hard. I realized my first bike was all wrong for me when I traded it for a second one. I just couldn't get the counter steering down on the first bike. Now with the Vol and heavier weight of the bike under me I find I am a much better rider and not as scared to try the things MSF taught me about cornering. The class sounds like a good idea and some fun too. I'm going to find something like it here. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 

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good luck and hope you get the confidence to go into the corners without any second thoughts after your visit there... everyone develops their own style to find what works for them..personally I prefer to slow down as i approach the corners and then apply some throttle. Bike seems to respond better for me using the throttle vs reducing speed going thru the corners. You'll find your comfort level, enjoy.
 

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I am also taking the course with Lisa.. We got rid of her C50 and moved her to the Honda VFR specifically for its ability to corner. It may be the perfect Sport Tour for a small frame person. (notice I did not say woman). I don't quite get the counter steer stuff either. I tend to just use my *** and hips to steer. I am looking forward to both us use being better riders. I figure being a better rider could save our life someday.
 

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Every bike is different, I ride my Nomad different then the VOL. Set-up on each bike is different; weight, forward controls, seat position, being lowered on VOL. Get to know your bike and what it can do. But the basics about cornering is the same (I actually corner the Nomad more aggressive then the VOL, strange). But if I remember correct you had a pretty bad accident not to long ago, hopefully this class will help the mental block you are dealing with and build your confidence back. Have fun also, I would love taking my bike to a track, I go to large parking lots and practice, never hurts to practice, I enjoy it.
 

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Good luck on this Lisa. I know how you feel about making turns. I used to ride a sports bike for years. I did not have any 'confidence' issue in making turns or riding zigzag roads in the mountains of Colorado. In fact I got too confident that I took a few 'spills' as spring riding in the mountains meant sand and gravel on the road. I since sold that bike and purchased a Suzuki Intruder vs1400. I am still not very confident in regards to making turns with this bike. One of the issues is my mind is playing games with me. The 'feel' of the handlebars is a bit different between the two bikes. I find the steering on the cruiser style bike lighter, a bit more loose if I may say that. But the technique to turn the bike is still the same. Will share with you my technique and hope it could be useful. Prior to reaching the turn, I will pick a line or envision in my head where I want the bike to be. Usually will tend to bring the bike to the left part of the lane (if I am turning right). I will slow down once I start this process. When I reach the point were it is time to 'turn' using the countersteering technique, I will accelerate thru the turn. Just enough so when the bike leans, the 'acceleration' will cause the bike's tire to grip the road better. Best way to practice this is in parking lot. This way you will get the feel of leaning the bike at slower speeds. I still do this exercise every chance I get. Also, remember to follow with your eyes that imaginary line you picked prior to the turn. Where you look is where the bike will go. Hope this helps.
 
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