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Old 07-11-2008, 12:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question about twisties going downhill

I've never really enjoyed tight twisty mountain rides all that much. I don't dislike them but it just seems like a lot of work and I guess I'm more of a cruiser...diggin the freeway at 90mph or windy, lazy curves on a back road. But we do have a lot of mountain roads we ride and I've never felt I had this part down:
Going UP the mtn on the twisties is okay, no problem. But what is the correct way to tackle really tight curves when you're on a steep downhill grade? I tend to keep it in as low a gear as I can, she's usually winding out, and everyone else seems to be pulling ahead. Then I think I should upshift and brake a little but that seems dangerous and not correct. I'm not looking to keep up with anyone but I just don't think I have a good technique.
How do you handle this?
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ride your own ride, do what you think is safe. I ride slow. I would rather be able to ride my bike through this corner slowly again tomorrow than go through it too fast and lose my bike and maybe my life.
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Right.

A lot of times there's loose gravel in those turns.

I downshift into them and immediately accelerate most of the way through to catch up if necessary.
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I think your using the right technique of using a lower gear, you have more control over the power of the bike this way as apposed to a higher gear that wants to go at a faster speed than the road permits.
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. Pitch hit the nail right on the head too. Just last weekend we were going around a turn marked for 15mph. I'm in 1st and sure enough, gravel all over the inside of the turn. I was at least able to see it well ahead of time but yeah, that's a big concern of mine.
Thanks again.
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Read a motorcycle safety article a week or so ago that said the single largest cause of motorcycle fatalities was the operator carrying too much speed through turns or curves, not thinking her/his bike could handle the lean, and running out of road.

Pitch has it right. Slow down going in. Once you see the curve is clean of debris and you get a better idea of how sharp it is, you roll on the throttle coming through and out.

Biggest thing is that you don't ride over your head. Stay safe.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Talking

Slow your bike down be alert,lookout for gravel or some goofball stopped around the corner.Better safe than sorry dont play catchup so you run into your buddy ahead of you.
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Start easy

Take easy rides tell you get better. in time you'll know what you and your bike can handle. we all stared someplace the thing to remeber its not a race enjoy the ride and move out of the way when you have faster cars or motorcycles behind you. they can make you ride above your skill level if you let them push you.

Ride safe.
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I agree with others as far as going slow and watching out for loose gravel. To feel better about the twisties though you should practice your counter steering. With good counter steering skills you will feel much better in the turns. Above all always be carful of object fixation. Look where you want to go not at where you might go.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loclhero View Post
I've never really enjoyed tight twisty mountain rides all that much. I don't dislike them but it just seems like a lot of work and I guess I'm more of a cruiser...diggin the freeway at 90mph or windy, lazy curves on a back road. But we do have a lot of mountain roads we ride and I've never felt I had this part down:
Going UP the mtn on the twisties is okay, no problem. But what is the correct way to tackle really tight curves when you're on a steep downhill grade? I tend to keep it in as low a gear as I can, she's usually winding out, and everyone else seems to be pulling ahead. Then I think I should upshift and brake a little but that seems dangerous and not correct. I'm not looking to keep up with anyone but I just don't think I have a good technique.
How do you handle this?


It's called mind over matter... It (bike) doesn't mind and it don't matter... Use common sense and don't ride above your skill limits...

The best go down (wreck) just watch a motocross or GP racing etc...

The main point is don't do harm to yourself or someone else...

Enjoy your ride...
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Agree with all the others and add that a couple of very well written and illustrated books go into detail on how to perfect riding the twisties. "Proficient Motorcycling" and "More Proficient Motorcycling" by David L. Hough. Got these books from suggestions on the forum a number of years ago, and still review them from time to time. Good luck and practice.
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Question about twisties going downhill
I've never really enjoyed tight twisty mountain rides all that much. I don't dislike them but it just seems like a lot of work and I guess I'm more of a cruiser...diggin the freeway at 90mph or windy, lazy curves on a back road. But we do have a lot of mountain roads we ride and I've never felt I had this part down:
Going UP the mtn on the twisties is okay, no problem. But what is the correct way to tackle really tight curves when you're on a steep downhill grade? I tend to keep it in as low a gear as I can, she's usually winding out, and everyone else seems to be pulling ahead. Then I think I should upshift and brake a little but that seems dangerous and not correct. I'm not looking to keep up with anyone but I just don't think I have a good technique.
How do you handle this?

Hello-

In my opinion, the best way to learn how to ride downhill, is to starting RIDING your bike downhills! Sounds silly, I know, but it really is that simple.

With that said, here are some motor techniques you can use when you find yourself going downhill in the mountains.

1. RELAX! Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast. If you're riding too tight, with too much tension, you'll find that you are "fighting" the motorcycle, instead of being a part OF the motorcycle.

2. a. Remember to keep looking FAR ahead of the motorcycle. 10-12 seconds if at all possible.

b. Keep your wheel speed, in direct correlation to your site distance. The farther ahead you can see, the faster you can go, and vice versa.

3. When a motorcycle is going downhill, it gains a natural momentum. Most people fight this momentum by putting the motor in a "low" gear, when they should be covering the rear brake and countersteering even harder. This is very counterintuitive to most people and why I suggested that you ride your bike more often downhills. Put simply, when traveling downhill, most people overuse the motors transmission, when they should be overusing the motor's HANDLEBARS!

PUSH! PUSH! PUSH! those bars! A motorcycle can lean over A LOT further than you can imagine. Your floor boards will tell you when you reached the maximum angle.

3. Remember to keep TURNING your HEAD in the direction you want the motorcycle to go. Again, sounds silly, but this is absolutely essential.

4. Countersteer, countersteer, countersteer.

5. Go out and buy the book "Proficient Motorcycling" by David L Hough. Most riders regard this book as the motorcycle Bible. It is a MUST read.

good luck!
David
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nazzdak View Post
Question about twisties going downhill
I've never really enjoyed tight twisty mountain rides all that much. I don't dislike them but it just seems like a lot of work and I guess I'm more of a cruiser...diggin the freeway at 90mph or windy, lazy curves on a back road. But we do have a lot of mountain roads we ride and I've never felt I had this part down:
Going UP the mtn on the twisties is okay, no problem. But what is the correct way to tackle really tight curves when you're on a steep downhill grade? I tend to keep it in as low a gear as I can, she's usually winding out, and everyone else seems to be pulling ahead. Then I think I should upshift and brake a little but that seems dangerous and not correct. I'm not looking to keep up with anyone but I just don't think I have a good technique.
How do you handle this?

Hello-

In my opinion, the best way to learn how to ride downhill, is to starting RIDING your bike downhills! Sounds silly, I know, but it really is that simple.

With that said, here are some motor techniques you can use when you find yourself going downhill in the mountains.

1. RELAX! Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast. If you're riding too tight, with too much tension, you'll find that you are "fighting" the motorcycle, instead of being a part OF the motorcycle.

2. a. Remember to keep looking FAR ahead of the motorcycle. 10-12 seconds if at all possible.

b. Keep your wheel speed, in direct correlation to your site distance. The farther ahead you can see, the faster you can go, and vice versa.

3. When a motorcycle is going downhill, it gains a natural momentum. Most people fight this momentum by putting the motor in a "low" gear, when they should be covering the rear brake and countersteering even harder. This is very counterintuitive to most people and why I suggested that you ride your bike more often downhills. Put simply, when traveling downhill, most people overuse the motors transmission, when they should be overusing the motor's HANDLEBARS!

PUSH! PUSH! PUSH! those bars! A motorcycle can lean over A LOT further than you can imagine. Your floor boards will tell you when you reached the maximum angle.

3. Remember to keep TURNING your HEAD in the direction you want the motorcycle to go. Again, sounds silly, but this is absolutely essential.

4. Countersteer, countersteer, countersteer.

5. Go out and buy the book "Proficient Motorcycling" by David L Hough. Most riders regard this book as the motorcycle Bible. It is a MUST read.

good luck!
David

Excellent post!
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nazzdak View Post
Question about twisties going downhill
I've never really enjoyed tight twisty mountain rides all that much. I don't dislike them but it just seems like a lot of work and I guess I'm more of a cruiser...diggin the freeway at 90mph or windy, lazy curves on a back road. But we do have a lot of mountain roads we ride and I've never felt I had this part down:
Going UP the mtn on the twisties is okay, no problem. But what is the correct way to tackle really tight curves when you're on a steep downhill grade? I tend to keep it in as low a gear as I can, she's usually winding out, and everyone else seems to be pulling ahead. Then I think I should upshift and brake a little but that seems dangerous and not correct. I'm not looking to keep up with anyone but I just don't think I have a good technique.
How do you handle this?

Hello-

In my opinion, the best way to learn how to ride downhill, is to starting RIDING your bike downhills! Sounds silly, I know, but it really is that simple.

With that said, here are some motor techniques you can use when you find yourself going downhill in the mountains.

1. RELAX! Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast. If you're riding too tight, with too much tension, you'll find that you are "fighting" the motorcycle, instead of being a part OF the motorcycle.

2. a. Remember to keep looking FAR ahead of the motorcycle. 10-12 seconds if at all possible.

b. Keep your wheel speed, in direct correlation to your site distance. The farther ahead you can see, the faster you can go, and vice versa.

3. When a motorcycle is going downhill, it gains a natural momentum. Most people fight this momentum by putting the motor in a "low" gear, when they should be covering the rear brake and countersteering even harder. This is very counterintuitive to most people and why I suggested that you ride your bike more often downhills. Put simply, when traveling downhill, most people overuse the motors transmission, when they should be overusing the motor's HANDLEBARS!

PUSH! PUSH! PUSH! those bars! A motorcycle can lean over A LOT further than you can imagine. Your floor boards will tell you when you reached the maximum angle.

3. Remember to keep TURNING your HEAD in the direction you want the motorcycle to go. Again, sounds silly, but this is absolutely essential.

4. Countersteer, countersteer, countersteer.

5. Go out and buy the book "Proficient Motorcycling" by David L Hough. Most riders regard this book as the motorcycle Bible. It is a MUST read.

good luck!
David



Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoffatboy View Post
Excellent post!


Yes it is. Thanks

Nicky
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Very nice post Nazzdak.

If I could add anything, here's a lesson I have learned over a lot of years of riding. Most riders panic when they go into a curve too hot. When they panic, they begin to "think" and they try to "steer" through the corner. Steering works in a car, not on a bike.

So - may sound odd, but Panic begins with a P, so does Press. Panic = Press. Keep this mantra in your head. Say it over and over again.

By pressing in a curve in which you panic, you let the bike take you through the curve. I'd much rather over press than do something that would cause me to high side or run out into on coming. If you do over "press" or lean the bike down too far, you'll low side, which is the least damaging of the ways to go down.

Like Nazzdak said though, chances are you have more lean angle than you may think.

With that said, I was just riding through the mountains this weekend and the rider in front of me got too close to the line and the on coming car decided to get too close to their line. The result was bad news, but the rider wasn't hurt at all because he "pressed" through In fact, the lean of the bike kept the critical controls, the handle bars, from the on coming car and enabled the rider to keep the bike up and ride through the collision.

So - on mountain roads - you never know who, what or if anything is in that road. Often times all you see is a big rock and not the other side of the curve. The only time it's safe to breeze through such curves is if it's a closed road and the road has been inspected prior to your ride. So... never.

Take your time. And remember if you EVER panic in a curve - P=Panic and Panic =Press.
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