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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
I tried searching for it but nothing of use came up. Im a relatively new rider and after doing a lot of reading and research (and riding) Ive been feeling a lot more comfortable on my bike. Almost to where things are becoming second nature.

However, on a recent ride with a bunch of people on roads I didnt know, I had some issues. People were going faster than I would have gone but I kept up pace pretty well. I watched the line of the people in front of me and then translated them into what I felt comfortable with.

The issue is when it came to blind corners. It was very hilly and there were a lot of elevation changes. Most of the apex's in the turns were blocked by walls of earth on the sides. Im still getting used to making myself look at the end of the turn, not whats in front of me. I couldnt see the riders in front of me and I couldnt see how the turn completed itself. I got really scared a couple times because I didnt know if I was coming in too fast or if I could pull through and I was just looking in front of me through the whole turn.

How do you deal with this?
 

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HyperM3 said:
Hey all,
I tried searching for it but nothing of use came up. Im a relatively new rider and after doing a lot of reading and research (and riding) Ive been feeling a lot more comfortable on my bike. Almost to where things are becoming second nature.

However, on a recent ride with a bunch of people on roads I didnt know, I had some issues. People were going faster than I would have gone but I kept up pace pretty well. I watched the line of the people in front of me and then translated them into what I felt comfortable with.

The issue is when it came to blind corners. It was very hilly and there were a lot of elevation changes. Most of the apex's in the turns were blocked by walls of earth on the sides. Im still getting used to making myself look at the end of the turn, not whats in front of me. I couldnt see the riders in front of me and I couldnt see how the turn completed itself. I got really scared a couple times because I didnt know if I was coming in too fast or if I could pull through and I was just looking in front of me through the whole turn.

How do you deal with this?
Well first - always make sure that "keep up" means "keep upright."

On blind corners (typically right handers), a late apex will give you the most sight distance. So, you want to stay to the outside until you can see your exit. Don't ride faster than you can react to what you see. This will speed up as you learn the limits of your bike and learn to use more of it.

Hope this helps, don't know what else to tell you.
 

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After nearly clipping a deer last year after coming to a blind corner, I have a lot more respect for what you DON'T see. It's all a matter of what your comfortable with, but I know my limits are a lot lower now after the experience last year. And you know what, I don't care! I still have fun riding. To each their own, but I'll save my need for hot corner entry for the track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
d8ve said:
Slow down if you're not familiar with the road you're on. Don't worry about keeping up....it'll be even more embarrassing if you crash.
Im definitely not trying to 'Keep Up' outside of my limits. I wasnt being foolish trying to hang with anyone just to prove anything. My main question is even if I was riding by myself, how do I prepare for a blind corner? Where should I be on the road? What should I do to instigate the turn as opposed to normal? How much gas should I be giving if I dont even know when Im at the apex of the corner?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Templar said:
Here is a link that can really help with understanding what a corner apex is and what early, late and very late apexing looks like in line form.

http://www.red4est.com/pdapi/jpegs/
Uh yeah, while that is really helpful, I understand all that (I raced Auto-x for over 10 yrs). My main focus here is with BLIND CORNERS on a bike.
 

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HyperM3 said:
How do you deal with this?
Slow down.

Especially if you are with other riders you are unfamiliar with. If you don't know them you don't know how familiar they are with the road. Also watching someone else and following their lines can lead to bad things as everyone take different lines with different speed with different lean with different braking... So learn the road as much as you can before trying to keep pace...

There are lots of quick riders here on the DML that are local to me and I stay with them as much as I feel comfortable but I let them pull away as they gain speed especially on roads I'm not very familiar with. Ride your own ride, set your own pace. The only way to know a blind corner is to ride it previously.
 

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As a "newbie" myself, I make point of going slowly (even ridiculously slowly) the first time down an unknown road just so there are no surprises. Even on a known road I'd be more comfortable doing one slow pass just to make sure there's no debris/leaves/etc before picking up the pace. Late apexing does help with blind turns (even the ones you're familiar with), grab a copy of Proficient Motorcycling by Hough.
 

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I hear a lot of people say, "If you're scared, you're going too fast." I try and listen to those people. As for lines, I think that a setting line that puts you in the middle of wherever you're going is good on the street. IMO tight lines are for the track.
 

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HyperM3 said:
Uh yeah, while that is really helpful, I understand all that (I raced Auto-x for over 10 yrs). My main focus here is with BLIND CORNERS on a bike.
Sorry, I had misinterpretted what you said in the earlier post about when you said that you didn't know when you were at the apex of a corner. I took it to mean that you didn't know what an apex was, not that you didn't know where it was in the particular corner because it was a blind curve. I didn't mean to offend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Templar said:
Sorry, I had misinterpretted what you said in the earlier post about when you said that you didn't know when you were at the apex of a corner. I took it to mean that you didn't know what an apex was, not that you didn't know where it was in the particular corner because it was a blind curve. I didn't mean to offend.
No worries, I was just getting frustrated.

Thanks for all that have answered. Pretty much the resounding answer is SLOW DOWN until you know the corner. Makes sense.
 

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I hate blind bends, my Japanese friends hurl themselves around blind mountain roads with abandon but I have too much city riding experience; what you can't see will kill you. I feel very uncomfortable following them.

Basically follow the rule slow in fast out. You really have to slow down when you cant see ahead around the bend, but as soon as it opens up and you can start seeing further ahead get on the power early and smoothly.

A rider I was with fell off today because he entered a corner too quickly, he didn't follow this rule, he was a beginner and panicked.

One other thing, be selfish, ride at a speed you feel confident at not the speed that your friends ride at. Just cause someone is faster than you, doesn't mean that they are a better rider, they may just be stupid.

Regarding being scared. I say ride (slightly) scared, it keeps you sharp. Find out where you comfort zone is then add 10%. This is really a personal decision however.
 

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Ride to your sight distance and comfort level. If you're on a road with a speed limit of say 45 and you're approaching a blind right hander marked as 15, you'd be recommended to ride through around 15 or 20 using the late apex. As mihama01 said, slow in, fast out. Make sure you're doing all your braking in a straight line and getting your bike down to a comfortable speed before your turn in (I'm sure you know that already). If you're going in truly blind (never seen the road before), you need to look at the road markings to see whether it's off camber, up hill, down hill, etc. If you can't make any of this information out from the road itself, assume the worst - off camber, decreasing radius, down hill with dirt and a suicidal deer bouncing off a car at least half way in your lane, i.e. get ready to stop. If you can make out some of this information by looking at the corner on approach then that will help you prepare more effectively of course. You can also look at how much your friends are braking (if at all) and what speed they're entering. Compare this to how they've taken other corners and that'll give you a little more info. If they're going super fast through the corner then 25 through the 15 might be ok. If they're slowing down more than usual, make sure you back off. I'm not saying base your speed of theirs, just that that can be another indicator of the road ahead. Something else you might like to check for is the speed of cars coming out of the corner in the other direction (it's a left hander for them though).

David Hough covers some of this in More Proficient Motorcycling, get the book, read it. :)

Good luck and ride safe. :)
 

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Im definitely not trying to 'Keep Up' outside of my limits. I wasnt being foolish trying to hang with anyone just to prove anything. My main question is even if I was riding by myself, how do I prepare for a blind corner? Eyes up and looking as far ahead as you can see. It helps you start picking reference points and slow the sense of speed just like in autoXing.Where should I be on the road? To the outside of the lane. Let's say it's a left hand corner you want to be close to the fog line (or cones) as you can get taking into account the trash and detrius you see because you're keeping your eyes up right. What should I do to instigate the turn as opposed to normal? Adjust your speed early. Get all your braking done before you make your steering input, the steering input and setting your speed early should allow you to keep some reserve lean angle in case it tightens up. I assume any corner I can't see the exit of as being a decreasing radius corner with a bunch of gravel and crap in it.How much gas should I be giving if I dont even know when Im at the apex of the corner? Roll on the throttle slowly and smoothly as you see the road start to open up. The tree line and or terrain will give you clues if your eyes stay up and off your front tire.Worst case scenario is you will have to turn around and run that road again. My wife and I rented a couple bikes when we were in CA last summer and she kept saying "why are you going so much slower than usual sweetie?" It was because I didn't know the roads and I couldn't think of anything less fun than spending our vacation in a hospital. THe roads we did a few times like Skyline I went a bit faster everytime, that way there was no panic and I could keep a safe reserve. Like everyone else said Slow in Fast out, it works and helps keep me upright.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks guys. Youve all been really helpful. I feel much more confident looking forward to my next forray into blind turns and roads I dont know. Hope this helps anyone else in the future with the same questions but were afraid to ask.
 

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One of the things I think separates an experienced (and good) rider from a new rider is the ability to change lines mid-turn. New riders often panic when they come around a blind corner and there is debris, or an obstacle in their line, so they brake, which of course straightens them up and they go wide (into oncoming traffic, or bushes if they're lucky). An experienced rider is able to see the obstacle and initiate more lean/a tighter line without giving in to the panic reaction.

Of course sometimes that isn't an optoin, like a fool taking a U-turn on the wrong side of a blind corner, so you really need to ride at a sensible pace for the conditions.
 

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This is probably a well known fact or something, but has anyone else noticed that people in group rides will ride way, way more recklessly than alone? My friends sometimes seem to want to show off or trust each other's judgement. A lot of times I think they're all trusting the other guy, so no one is doing any thinking at all. I have under a year's experience, so I hang back, but I don't think I'd try to keep up on public streets even after 5 years riding.

Does this happen or am I just too inexperienced to take (blind) corners with them at high speeds?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
nerm said:
Does this happen or am I just too inexperienced to take (blind) corners with them at high speeds?
No, it happens when driving in a pack of cars too. I remember some GTG's with fellow M3 owners and we were all on back roads carving them up. Well there were times when I was having a blast leading the way and assuming everyone could keep up because they also had M3's. I totally forgot that nobody was as good a driver as me no matter if they were in an M3. So I slowed my pace down a bit.
 
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