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Discussion Starter #1
i went riding on the weekend with a bunch of other riders.

The S1000 is hands down the most confidence boosting bike i have ridden around the twisties.

It was abundantly clear to me that any limitations were because of me and the lack of experience, than the bike itself.

Everytime i hit a corner at good speed, my mind went in to this
"Oh crap, this is really quick" or
"Am i holding the right line?" "right lean angle?"
"where am i supposed to look, this thing is hauling ass so fast!"

or "How far do i let my knee out"

Is that normal?
what do you guys think about when you're on a spirited ride?
any calming activities?

how do you know how far to lean? and how do you judge your line?

Yes i am going to CSS in november for level 1.
 

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No offence intended, but you might want to back it off a bit until you attend CSS. Your questions will be answered and more. If you don't have confidence at corner entry, you are in over your head. Just my opinion.
Yes. If you're getting numerous 'oh ****' moments then chances of you making a mistake are going to be high. You'll brake too hard/not hard enough, likely run wide or hit the front brake too hard at the wrong time.

You'll know you're not going too quick when you're not stressed, and when your mind is on what is coming up, not necessarily the two metres in front of your wheel.
 

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When I go on a group ride with my friends (did so today, about 450km in total) its supposed to be a relaxing thing for us, no competition and mostly no speeding. I was almost wiped a few different times today by very older drivers or other asian drivers who seem to have tunnel vision and absolutely oblivious to anything else around them, I mean the kind who wouldn't realize if a f*n bomb went off outside their window; I don't mean to be picking on a category of drivers BUT GOD F'n DAMN.. There's times when the road and the bike just begs you to open it up and give it. I've never been to a track (although its a dream) and I'm sure there's plenty of more experienced riders here who would weigh in..
If I'm not too comfortable with the corner or can't see the exit I usually er on the side of caution and take it easy. Since I've recently been to a class taught by Lee Parks I practice the things we learnt.. body position, sight, etc as I dont get other chances to do so while on the street.
Also, when the ride is relaxing I think about what we're gonna eat, my favorite chocolate and beer, next vacation, the tune playing in my ears or tune into the rumble of the engine and chew gum lol
If the ride is a bit more spirited I make sure to keep my distance from the rider ahead of me so it would give me more of a chance to react.
To be honest, this bike gives me the goosebumps EVERY SINGLE TIME I get near it. I've been riding for a good few years now and been through a few bikes, but nothing compares to the exhilarating feeling you get with this beauty.
 

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i went riding on the weekend with a bunch of other riders.

The S1000 is hands down the most confidence boosting bike i have ridden around the twisties.

It was abundantly clear to me that any limitations were because of me and the lack of experience, than the bike itself.

Everytime i hit a corner at good speed, my mind went in to this
"Oh crap, this is really quick" or
"Am i holding the right line?" "right lean angle?"
"where am i supposed to look, this thing is hauling ass so fast!"

or "How far do i let my knee out"

Is that normal?
what do you guys think about when you're on a spirited ride?
any calming activities?

how do you know how far to lean? and how do you judge your line?

Yes i am going to CSS in november for level 1.
If those are the thoughts going through your head then you are riding over your limit. Dial it down till you learn more skills and are more confident with your riding abilities. CSS will definitely help. When I come into a corner on the track my thoughts and eyes are on these following things...

Speed, turn marker, apex and exit.

On the streets it has to be a road I know and been on before for me to even think of taking a corner at a decent speed (you just never know what's on the other side). Even than I'm not going anywhere near as fast as I do on the track.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Speed, turn marker, apex and exit.
.
Thats what i was looking for.

Thanks dude.

Maybe i should have been more clear - I didnt mean to say, i am trying to ride beyond my ability.

Im talking, i enter a corner at 20 miles an hour and wonder if that is the right speed for the corner. I think about that even on a slight curve on a straight road, i wonder if my line is right.

I didnt mean to say that i was going too fast into a corner. for example yesterday the speed limit on the road was 60KMPH, i was hitting corners on average between 30-35KMPH.
But even then, i am still wondering if i am going too fast, if i have the right line, right gear, right lean etc.

The reason behind this is that i don't know what the good riders are thinking about or looking for when taking corners.

Hence the CSS level 1 visit and also the question here. Hope that clears up any confusion.
 

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Thats what i was looking for.

Thanks dude.

Maybe i should have been more clear - I didnt mean to say, i am trying to ride beyond my ability.

Im talking, i enter a corner at 20 miles an hour and wonder if that is the right speed for the corner. I think about that even on a slight curve on a straight road, i wonder if my line is right.

I didnt mean to say that i was going too fast into a corner. for example yesterday the speed limit on the road was 60KMPH, i was hitting corners on average between 30-35KMPH.
But even then, i am still wondering if i am going too fast, if i have the right line, right gear, right lean etc.

The reason behind this is that i don't know what the good riders are thinking about or looking for when taking corners.

Hence the CSS level 1 visit and also the question here. Hope that clears up any confusion.
I think chin over wrist. Look as far "through" corner as I safely can. Steady throttle till I know corner is clear (street) and nail it.
 

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I had the same questions as you being new to sportsbike (I rode mostly dirt bikes for years).

Either do CSS, or better do a couple of private track day coaching like I did. They made a drastic difference for me. You get to use your own bike. Be sure to have your bike setup correctly for you (rearsets, suspension, levers, etc...).

Body position is a matter of style. You need to find out what works best for you. I developed two styles; On the street I keep my legs tight around the tank. On the track due to high speeds I slide one butt cheek to inside of turn, and rely on my outside leg to hang off of the bike. Very little pressure on handle bars. Legs and core support most of the body. On the street or track I try to kiss the area between the mirror and my wrist. Most new riders to the track lean to the side instead of diagonally. It was the first mistake my coach corrected.

Being mentally ready and focused is very important. Picking the right line, pre apex, at apex, post apex. Looking through the turn are the things I think about.

I'm still working on my throttle control, it's not as smooth as it should be.

I suggest you stay away from group rides unless everyone is with the same skill level as you. Ride at your own pace.
 

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Also, when the ride is relaxing I think about what we're gonna eat, my favorite chocolate and beer, next vacation, the tune playing in my ears or tune into the rumble of the engine and chew gum lol
If the ride is a bit more spirited I make sure to keep my distance from the rider ahead of me so it would give me more of a chance to react.
i guess everyone has their own ways of relaxing on the bike, but personally i find listening to music a distraction from what's going on around me (other vehicles, mechanical issues with the bike etc). I would also recommend NEVER chew gum while riding!! Can block your airway in the event of an accident and could mean the difference between life and death! Just sayin :wink2:

CSS will really help but could also be worth doing an advanced road riding course? Not sure if they teach you how to read limit points etc on CSS but can be really helpful on the road when you have limited vision around a corner. Also, bend assessment/positioning on the road isn't same as track so CSS may even lead you the wrong way for street riding?? :-/
 
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Thats what i was looking for.

Thanks dude.

Maybe i should have been more clear - I didnt mean to say, i am trying to ride beyond my ability.

Im talking, i enter a corner at 20 miles an hour and wonder if that is the right speed for the corner. I think about that even on a slight curve on a straight road, i wonder if my line is right.

I didnt mean to say that i was going too fast into a corner. for example yesterday the speed limit on the road was 60KMPH, i was hitting corners on average between 30-35KMPH.
But even then, i am still wondering if i am going too fast, if i have the right line, right gear, right lean etc.

The reason behind this is that i don't know what the good riders are thinking about or looking for when taking corners.

Hence the CSS level 1 visit and also the question here. Hope that clears up any confusion.
Sent you a PM.
 

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Very hard to write down a single formula for how to ride and how to corner on the street.

There are basically two kinds of roads: 1) Those you know and travel frequently, and 2) Those you don’t know or not too familiar with.

For number 1, I memorize the safe speeds for each curve and I try to stay within those limits (they may not necessarily be the posted speed limits by the way). Of course depending on the ever changing road conditions, I make further adjustments usually on the safe side.

For number 2 (as well as 1), I tend to stay below my limits and I always play safe. I do all my braking before entering the turn, stay inside the curve to leave a safety margin, keep a steady and smooth throttle during the cornering and as soon as I see the exit, I slowly get on the gas.

Being smooth and consistent is my number one priority. Before I try to improve my cornering speed on a particular curve, I try to improve my smoothness first.

If you are making mid course corrections, then you are not as smooth as you should be and you are also not riding at your skill level.

Track experience is obviously helpful but street riding is a totally different ball game. For one thing, unless you are riding in circles, you never have a chance to learn the entire circuit on a street as opposed to a track. Also, there are no hidden surprises on the track, like potholes, melted tar strips, painted pedestrian markings that become ice slick in the rain, wet leaves, cow dungs, cars, animals etc etc.

All I can say is stay alert, look ahead, learn to read the road and try not to scare yourself.

Oh, one last thing, I really don't enjoy group rides. Two bikes are fine, three bikes I can tolerate but more than three bikes, I rather ride alone.
 

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Track experience is obviously helpful but street riding is a totally different ball game.
So true....here in the UK we have two advanced motoring associations IAM & ROSPA. Both offer 6 week road riding courses based on the UK Police advanced pursuit training. Invaluable training for the street....saved my bacon many times! I'm guessing you guys have a similar course in the US??

A key moto they teach is "you must at all times be able to stop on your own side of the road within the distance you can see to be clear." If you're not sure that you could stop then you're riding too fast for the situation

They also talk a lot about "what if?" ...e.g. what if there is a broken down car hidden around the next corner? ....or what if a rider in front has fallen and is lying in the road around the next bend? etc....

I'm always thinking "what if" when i approach every corner with limited vision and expect the unexpected.

Fail to plan - plan to fail! :surprise:
 

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They also talk a lot about "what if?" ...e.g. what if there is a broken down car hidden around the next corner? ....or what if a rider in front has fallen and is lying in the road around the next bend? etc....

I'm always thinking "what if" when i approach every corner with limited vision and expect the unexpected.

Fail to plan - plan to fail! :surprise:
Absolutely right! One of those what ifs happened to my buddy, years ago, when he came to visit me from Texas. We are friends way back from College and have been riding together since 1986. I consider him a more skilled rider than I am, yet I cannot say the same thing for his "street skills".

We were riding together and I was leading on a narrow winding forest road. On one of the curves, I saw a thin strip of some kind of fluid that must have leaked from a car or a truck. I immediately avoided touching that part of the road with my tires, slowed down and wanted to warn my buddy. Looking back and not seeing him coming around, I stopped, turned around and went back fearing for the worse.

Sure enough he was lying unconscious in the middle of the road, bike in the ditch and some truck driver on top of him. One of the worse scenes of my life.

His front wheel slid on that strip and he low sided and slammed his helmet on the road, which knocked him unconscious but saved his life. After the truck driver poured some water on his face he immediately jumped back to life. At the hospital, after a full check up, they fixed his dislocated finger and sent him back home. He was lucky to come home in one piece to tell the rest of us his version of the story.

The moral of the story is: street is full of surprises and you have to constantly watch the road and be prepared to make a quick evasive maneuver.

I love riding on empty twisty country roads and nothing scares me more than a wet strip of unknown fluids, sand or dirt, wet leaves, cow & horse manure in the middle of the road and animals. In urban areas, painted road marks, man hole covers, water drainage grills, streetcar rails are just as dangerous - things you normally don't encounter on a race track.

So, to answer OP's question about what do I think and ask myself while cornering, I always think if any of the above mentioned surprises are around the bend. That's what I think.
 

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You should be looking through the turn, the apex and exit. If you are thinking about anything else than you need to ride extra slow. A super bike is not a bike for you to ponder the "what ifs" of life when you are hauling ass. Just ride it to your comfort level. Blind corners, i ride like a grandpa because i don't want to low slide from tree debris/gravel/everything else.

There is no "how far you should stick your knee out". You just lean and the knee goes where your muscle memory is - and sometimes you don't even need to stick the knee out.

Take CSS, do lots of track days and you should be able to handle the bike in no time.
 

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When did you attend CSS?
I took private track days with CSS instructors one month after I got the bike. Best money spent.

I'm going in Oct for their free form and BMW sponsored day in NorthCali.
 

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Damn you rented them out for a day? Money Money :wink2:
I did the math, it was actually cheaper than paying for CSS weekend. I got more personal attention, time, and got to use my own bike that I'm comfortable with.

Actually 2 days, not in a row. Two different instructors. I'm not friends with the second one, I ride with him on the streets. It helps he lives 25min from me. This alone was worth it. He showed me the best roads to ride around.
 
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