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I have about 500 miles under my belt on my 00 M900 so far. Ive gotten the hang of low speed tight turns. My body stays mostly upright, and i push the bike down into the turn. Works great.

Higher speed turns are a mystery to me. Ive been taking some back roads home from work lately. Some nice curves to be had along the way. Im slowly increasing my speed through them. Ill talk about this one tight right hander, about a 90* when you compare the in and out of it.

I shift my weight to the right of the bike, sitting mostly on the left cheek. I lean forward, with my head somewhere between the bars and the gas cap. I slow, look at the exit of the corner, and scan back from there to about 40 ft in front of me, then back to the exit. This repeats until the bike starts to stand up in the exit. The scanning is just double checking for any debris that may be in the road. I ride near the double yellow, countersteer, roll on the throttle, apex on the right of the road and drift back toward the double yellow.

Im pretty sure i have the theory down. Its the application of it that im lacking in. I understand that a lot of this will progress as I progress as a rider, and more than that, get more used to the Monster.

I always feel like i slow down too much on the entrance. Don't get me wrong, id rather it be that way than have to figure out how to deal with overcooking it.

Even at the max entrance speed (that im currently comfortable with) it seems like I can only get the bike to lean so far, and that seems to limit my speed. Once im at this max lean I find that adding more throttle just makes me go wide. When that happens I just cant tighten up the line for the life of me. Also, when i say max lean, im not talking about touching down hard parts, im far from that happening.

So does anyone have any advice for me? Practicing is a no brainer, but if its something other than that, Id love to hear it.

Kevin
 

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Aside from actually being there and seeing your technique. The only real solution I could recommend for you would be to invest in a set of leathers (if you don't have some) and sign up for a track day. Identify some other "mature" older riders who are not out there to prove their R1 is the fastest. Ask them to tow you around the track to find the lines and work on your technique by observing theres. This is the safest way to improve your form on the street IMHO.
 

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I usually recommend reading Proficient Motorcycling by David L. Hough, but it sounds like you also need to read A Twist Of The Wrist II (not the first book) by Keith Code. It explains how to corner properly.

What works well for me is to take a late apex like Hough recommends, with all my braking done before the corner starts, then enter the corner at the outside of my lane. At this point I crack the throttle at tiny bit as both Hough and Code recommend, then hit the apex of the corner near the end as I'm gradually feeding in more throttle. I try to look way down the road rather than close (like 40 feet away). I find that I'm able to get more lean and have a smoother corner when I look far down the road.

The big advantage of a late apex is that you can see further around the corner, you have more options for adjusting your line in the corner, and you're way less likely to go in too hot or get out of your lane at the corner exit.


The other thing I feel that I need to warn you about is that people who try to find their cornering limits on the street often find them, then exceed them. Order a book or two, study them, and practice what they teach.
 
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Reading books are great, but it does sound like you have already done that.

As far as straight up advice on "make me lean more," all I can do is tell you what helps me.

Make sure you keep a good eye at the exit. It may seem a little awkward, but it limit target fixation. And promote better cornering with increased speed.

Also, note that if you don't increase the lean angle, but you increase throttle you will run wide. Increasing throttle makes the bike tend to stand up and blow the exit.

Try this, as you settle into a corner and realize you could crank it on a little more; as you twist the throttle, slide your body (hang off) toward the inside of the corner.

Your one cheek off the bike technique is great for learning, but the object of hangin off is to get change the center of gravity toward the inside of the turn, if done correctly this actually decrease lean angle. And, with a decreased lean angle you have the range to lean a little more with a little more speed.

But, honestly Kevin, the thing that helped me the most was riding with old dudes. It doesn't matter what I find to do, there are always old SOB's that can still make me look like I have no business out there. But, the cool thing is, the more they have to teach you, the better friends they will be.
 

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An obviously don't try to learn on enterance and exit ramps on the freeway. I was a little rusty the first time I took mike bike out this year and tried to take a enterance ramp too fast. Lets just say thank god their wasn't any cars comming along side of me in the first two lanes. (Ended up exiting wide.) My riding days might have been over. Scared the bajeezes out of me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The other thing I feel that I need to warn you about is that people who try to find their cornering limits on the street often find them, then exceed them.
 

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Based on your discription, you technique is incorrect. Your body should NOT remain upright in turns and should lean at least as much as the bike, and more then the bike when riding hard.

With the balls of your foot on the tip of each peg, use your weight to lean the bike by transferring weight to the inside peg, then initiate the turn with countersteering. Always look at the exit of the corner. Your actions will follow your eyes, and you do NOT want to be looking at anyplace you don't want to go, 'cos you will end up there. As you get more advanced, move your weight over the tank, that will improve the bite of the front wheel. Leaning to the inside of the turn and moving your body even slightly to the inside (say 1/2 a butt cheek) also makes a BIG difference. Take an advanced riding course, you'll leans more in one day then riding on your own in a full season.
 

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I don't know how you are doing without seeing it. So try:

Have someone with a movie cam take a couple of short movies of you riding through a corner. Show that around, ask people for advice.

How large are the "chicken strips" on your rear tire? That's a *general* indication of what the bike can do. If you see a wide strip, that indicates you have lots of room to "move."

Hope that helps.
 

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I'm by no means an expert, but staying relaxed and loose on the bike has really helped me.

I also read a bunch of books and articles on the internet, but this all just made me think too hard. I just gave up one day and as soon as I did, things started to click!

;D
 
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Hey Kevin,

I think when people get curious about things, that's when the learning starts to take off. Which seems to be your case.
My highest recommendation would be a track day class. It's great to have the same turns over and over again, and instruction on how to go take them. It's a really great Monster mod. The best route I can think of.


If not on a track I always looked for somewhere I could do repetitions, going through the same turn over and over again is highly informative.
But what you are doing sounds right......sounds like you are doing really good for 500 miles. You'll be taking them differently at 1000, and differently again.....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Based on your discription, you technique is incorrect. Your body should NOT remain upright in turns and should lean at least as much as the bike, and more then the bike when riding hard.

My body leans with the bike. It was only in the really slow turns (like pulling out into traffic from a stop in 1st gear) that i stay upright. Im pretty sure they taught that to us in the MSF course as well.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey Kevin,

I think when people get curious about things, that's when the learning starts to take off. Which seems to be your case.
My highest recommendation would be a track day class. It's great to have the same turns over and over again, and instruction on how to go take them. It's a really great Monster mod. The best route I can think of.
Id love to do a track day. BeaveRun is less than 2hrs from me also. I should check out when they have track days going.

Kevin
 

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Also, note that if you don't increase the lean angle, but you increase throttle you will run wide. Increasing throttle makes the bike tend to stand up and blow the exit.
Giving it enough throttle to maintain speed, as recommended by Code and Hough, doesn't make you run wide. It allows you to keep the tightest line because your traction is balanced.

Giving it more throttle so that you're accelerating will help stand up the bike, but it's not a strong "stand up" force on the Monster or ST2. Not like hitting the brakes will stand a bike up, at least.
 
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I remember the first track class I took used a Code school lesson.....they marked the apex of every turn with an 'X', so that you had to initiate
the turn there. Plus you had to go around the track 3rd gear, no brakes.
 

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I have recently taken two track classes ( still a novice).Using reference points, like the X Retro was talking about really helped me to realize the correct lines through the turns on the track and that knowledge has helped a lot on the street as well.. You mentioned a 90 degree turn, but I dont think you mentioned if it was an increasing, decreasing or constant radius turn ? Or is it one of those long ass sweepers ?
 

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Having read your description....
I would think of 2 things:
you lean more by counter-steering more. if you want to turn sharper, push more on the inside bar (dont lock your elbow)

the other is where you look. look at the end of the corner where you want to end up, not where you are going. when you look really turn your head, not just your eyes. forces you to look in the right place.

i wouldnt worry about the other things like body position and cornering lines right now. those will come later.
also dont worry about how far you are leaning over. it's getting through the corner safely and at a decent speed that matters.
find a nice empty corner somewhere and do the same one over and over. try to relax and take it a little faster and smoother each time.
 

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Discussion Starter #18

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Discussion Starter #19
Having read your description....
I would think of 2 things:
you lean more by counter-steering more. if you want to turn sharper, push more on the inside bar (dont lock your elbow)

the other is where you look. look at the end of the corner where you want to end up, not where you are going. when you look really turn your head, not just your eyes. forces you to look in the right place.
Well, that was the problem. I couldn't get it to lean more, because for whatever reason, I couldn't add more countersteer.

As an update to the original post:

Yesterday i went through the same corner. I was out riding with a friend and I was leading. This time I had a higher entrance speed. I wasn't trying for it, i just sort of ended up going a little faster at the entrance than i have before. I looked way through the curve, head was turned, etc. I had the bike leaned over probably the farthest I have ever had it, rolled on the gas as i started the exit and blasted out of it.

I have to say it was almost zen. For the 3 seconds i spent in this corner, it all made sense and I understood.

Could I do it again? I think probably yes.

Ive also put a bid in on "A twist of the wrist II" on ebay. So whoever outbid me yesterday, knock it off ;)

Kevin
 
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