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Tale of Turning - Pleasantly Suprised

183 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Fuzzcat
A bit of background - I've ridden motorcycles mostly on/some off my life since 5 years old. Not great at it, but I've gotten good at my bad habits.

One of those bad habits is occasionally coming into a corner too hot. I'm talking a gravel road corner, that's usually carved into the side of a spur and has exposure on one side that would be catastrophic to go over.

I'm riding a 2020 AT base model, mainly because that's what was available and I don't like computer overrides on my bike - when the robot takes over and changes my inputs, it changes what I'm expecting to happen. That causes a slight mental reset because it's changing my intended outcome. If I want to spin the rear wheel, I don't want the robot taking over to stop it.

Anyway, besides being a top-heavy, large bike, with lots of power, I've noticed something positive. The two times I've come into a corner too hot on gravel, hard on the brakes (with ABS kicking on, increasing my stopping distance), I've had to make a split second choice. Go over edge or force the bike through the corner. Both times, I've opted to force the front end down and into the corner and surprisingly, the bike responded well enough to make the turn. No going over the edge for me.

Gravel roads I ride are silty/heavy gravel, and usually very dry. The other thing I've noticed about this bike is that if you keep the rear wheel pushing around a loose corner, it'll keep the front end tracking. This is in contrast to slowing down and gingerly turning. It's as if the bike needs to be riding more aggressively in loose gravel corners rather than gently.

Does anyone else have this same experience or is it just me? I ran shinko tyres on the front and rear and recently swapped to a GPS rear and Rallz front.
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Even though you’re in too hot, you can make this curve

"It’s happened to most of us. We’re enjoying a winding road and then we get into a curve too fast and suddenly we think we can’t make it.

The most common reaction at that point is to panic, give up, stand up the bike, brake, and run off the road, as seen in the video above, which I wrote about a few years ago. Giving up is not the best choice, however, because it may mean plunging into a ravine (as happened in this video) or smashing into the grill of an SUV (as almost happened).

If you’re on any kind of performance motorcycle, odds are very good it’s capable of making the turn, even if you feel you can’t. Your best option is to look farther ahead to the exit of the corner (look where you want to go), lean the bike over more and try to make the curve. If you’re on a cruiser with limited lean angle, your odds may be a little worse, but if you shift your body weight (you’re going to have to have practiced that before it is needed in a panic situation) you still have a fighting chance of getting through without dragging hard parts badly enough to cause your tires to lose traction.

So believe you can make the curve. It might not be true. Maybe you really did screw the pooch and get into that curve so fast there’s no way your motorcycle can get you out the other side and still on the tires. But you’re better off believing and trying, because you probably can make it."
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