Over the last year I feel my cornering has improved a lot, I’m definitely more confident, leaning further over and carrying more speed (safely) through a bend. This became very apparent following a trip up to North Wales at the weekend and comparing my chicken strips to doing the same trip last August 2015.
A few tips I’ve picked up over the years, mainly from IAM training and a little studying of Keith Code’s Twist of a Wrist, are:
- Before you enter the bend, look across the bend, check for upcoming hazards, oncoming vehicles etc; the line of hedge rows/telegraph poles etc to gauge just how tight the bend is.
- Position yourself on a wide line for maximum visibility around a bend, so you spot hazards sooner and afford yourself greater braking distance. But, do consider hugging a more inside line on left handers when visibility is poor in case oncoming traffic is large or is cutting the bend.
- Get all your braking down before you enter the bend (if needed).
- Next, get into the right gear for the bend (if not already), you should be in the mid range of revs to allow for some acceleration through the bend.
- Tip the bike into a bend by pushing down on the inside bar (counter steering), whilst applying a small amount of progressive acceleration.
- Keep looking around the bend to the vanishing point (where the left and right road edges meet), don’t let yourself fixate on the verge or oncoming cars.
- Consider angling your hips as well towards the vanishing point.
- Stay relaxed on the bars.
- As then bends opens up, slowly apply more acceleration and let the bike naturally sit up.
But be flexible, when there is dodgy road surface or other road hazards, you must be prepared to adapt and ease off. If you take nothing else away, at least concentrate on getting where you look right, this is by far the biggest thing to nail.
Seasoned London commuter, doing my best to stay rubber side down and never stop moving forward.