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Your best riding tips

Discussion in 'Learner League' started by Jono, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Jono
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    Jono Guest

    What bits of advice have resulted in the biggest improvements to your riding? This can be safety in traffic, bit faster and smoother in the twisties, better laptimes, smashing berms and singletrack or whatever.

    For me:

    1. Being encouraged to do a trackday did wonders for my road riding. One major thing is that it gives you a dose of reality - you get photos and can see just how poor your track/road positioning, body position and laptimes are. A lot of people who only ride on the road (and have never had any formal training) suffer from illusory superiority, and truly have no idea how badly they suck. If you can accept that you suck, you can then identify the reasons for your suckiness and start working to fix them.
    2. Gos and a couple of other old racers told me about turning my idle up in the absence of a slipper. I had been at a bit of a sticking point with my laptimes, and this immediately gave me around 1 second per lap in the next session. It might not sound like much, but 1 second is a huge improvement at a short track like Wakefield.
    3. Biggest difference to my safety in traffic when commuting was being told to relax and not treat the commute like a "battle". This means being defensive, and trying to avoid accidents before they happen. Some riders have an inferiority complex, and go out looking for trouble, eg, sitting in a blindspot just so they can scream abuse when the car inevitably tries to change lanes over the top of them.
    4. Dirtbikes? I've got nothing. I doubt I will ever be competent on a dirtbike :rotfl:
     
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  2. PaulWay
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    PaulWay Member

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    My discoveries so far are:

    1. Balanced braking is your friend. Stomping on the back brake when changing down gears coming up to a stop is a good way to lock the back wheel, causing skidding and loss of control. And don't even think about jamming on the front brake when turning.
    2. Learn the road, learn your routes, and learn where to look. There's always going to be someone trying to run that red light, or talking on their mobile while trying to turn and change gears at the same time. Keep looking around, even when you think you're safe.
    3. Do not let it go to your head. If some moron in a Porche Carrera GT turbo that's been chipped decides to drag your 500cc motorbike off at the lights, let the wanker go ahead and imagine him slamming into a cop car. :mad: It's not worth him doing something really stupid with your life on the line.
    4. Look around. Enjoy the day, even when its raining. Have fun. You're not trapped in a car - enjoy it!

    Have fun,

    Paul

    P.S. all from personal experience.:rolleyes:
     
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  3. Lurch
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    Lurch Capt. Sense of Direction Administrator

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    Smoothness will bring speed. If you aim directly for speed, it will end in tears.
    One thing I have mentioned to almost all our learners is to aim for smoothness and they will find that speed will just happen naturally. Start slowing down earlier and aim to tip in smoothly into a corner, aiming for that perfect apex. Then roll on the throttle gracefully out of the corner. Aim to change gear and release the clutch smoothly and not just 'drop the hammer'. Dont let it get to the situation to slam on the brakes... etc etc.
    If you can do 'smooth' you will find over time that your smoothness will speed up as you get used to it and with that will come the speed you're looking for - and in a far safe manner.
     
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  4. Yedi
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    Yedi Member

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    Damn, Lurch beat me to the punch :)

    I remember years ago reading an article in Two Wheels about learner riders and the most important skills they can pick up. Can't for the life of me remember what the rest were, but the one that stuck in my head was the smoothness. No sudden changes of direction/throttle/braking etc which will unsettle the bike, just keep all input smooth and gentle and you'll be amazed at the change it makes in your confidence on the bike :up
     
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  5. CT90
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    CT90 Member

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    Keep your elbows up i.e. the attack position - helps for corners and landing from big jumps doesn't hurt then. Also when you go around a corner keep your toes pointed so your foot doesn't catch the ground and don't let your foot touch the ground - it should be just off the ground. Now get out there and get into it. PS. Let us know when you get that handgrip touching the ground in the corners.
     
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  6. Ed9489
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    Ed9489 Member

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    Keep the dark rubbery side down.
     
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  7. Luke
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    Treat your handlebars like your girlfriends breasts (insert boyfriends bits if appropriate). Hold on too tight and you're likely to get thrown off (read it in some mag a few years ago).

    For me, gripping with the knees and relaxing my arms and grip on the bars was the best advice I've received, made a massive difference to my riding.
     
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  8. Sprinter
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    Sprinter Member

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    Looking through corners as far as you can. Works almost everywhere Ive found
     
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  9. CT90
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    CT90 Member

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    Here is another one for sportsbikes when cornering, lay your outside arm on the tank and relax your inside one. Takes a lot of weight off the handlebars. And what Sprinter said.
     
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  10. Trumpcard
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    ensure your corner speed, body position and gear are correct well before entering the corner as this enables a neutral throttle to be carried through the corner , this will result in the smoothness everyone discusses. As experience grows the time for this set up becomes shorter and braking gets later with no loss of smoothness. Also ride to your knowledge of the road dont be "pressured" into riding quicker than you are comfortable by others. Allow yourself to develop at your pace not others
     
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  11. 2ndclasscitizen
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    2ndclasscitizen Member Veteran Member

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    The best defense is a good offense.
     
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  12. princess_8578
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    princess_8578 Member

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    By all means, scan for obstacles and hazards but after that, if you don't want to hit it - don't look at it!
     
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  13. dmac666
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    + 1 to all that has been said and here are my top tips after many years of riding (in no particular order):



    • Always ride on the balls of your feet and keep your knees tucked in. Just move your foot forward to change gears then pull it back again. Live by, If it’s not sticking out, it won’t get broken off.
    • Keep your weight forward. A bike steers with the front wheel, not the back.
    • Turn the throttle like a door knob, not your knob. This also helps keep your torso forward.
    • Steer with your foot pegs. When you’re up it in a corner, put your weight on the outside foot peg, not the seat.
    • Don’t hang your knee out on the street, see dot point 1.
    • When having fun going around corners on the street, lean your upper body into the corner.
    • Relax, it’s all about flowing and enjoying your self.
    • Look where you want to go, not where you are.
    • I recon the biggie if you ride in traffic (commute), don’t ride like you drive.

    Dave.
     
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  14. vinniebarbarino
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    vinniebarbarino Member

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    All good keep them coming,

    My top few.

    Externalise;(v) to attribute results to external influences.(yeah, but _ _ _ _ )

    Where you look is where you go.
    If you don't want to, run off the side of the road/hit that pothole/etc, don't look there.

    Space and time,
    The more you've got the better decisions you can make.
    If you run out of either, it's called a crash.
    Always look as far ahead as you can see, scan back, check your instruments and mirrors.
    repeat every 5-10 seconds.
    If you can't see at least 5-10 seconds ahead, slow down.

    I can see,_ _ _ _ _ _
    It might, _ _ _ _ _ _
    I will, _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    Plan ahead, do it early, be prepared to change your plan as required.

    When using the major controls( ie steering, throttle, brakes, clutch and gears,) smooth inputs give smooth responses from the bike.

    Push on the left handlebar and the bike turns left, Same applies to the right.
    Once you develop a feel for this, precise steering is yours to enjoy.
    This was a revelation when pointed out to me, after many years of riding.
    A word of caution though, don't get on a different bike and expect it to handle the same, every bike has a different "feel" and you need time to get used to each other.

    Curves,
    Set your speed, and gear before you start the curve.
    The road line is Enter wide, buffer the "head on zone, exit tight.
    String them together for best results.
    Plan ahead, do it early, be prepared to change your plan as required.

    When coming to a stop, bring the bike upright and the handlebars straight, BEFORE you use the front brake, (not doing this is the quickest way I know of to drop your bike).
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
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  15. somelad
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    somelad Member

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    With many things, the simple things are often the best and tips on riding are no exception:

    My best tip: Ride within your ability regardles of whether on the road, dirt or track.
     
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  16. MIZ
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    MIZ Member

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    Ooh i like that. Time for a new sig!
     
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  17. CT90
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    CT90 Member

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    So if you don't try different things how are you going to improve? Very slowly I would assume. Is that why there are so many mediocre drivers out there?
     
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  18. CT90
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    CT90 Member

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    Why is that anyway? I notice riders in Sydney seem to do it although it might have been because the road was wet (I'm trying to think the best).
     
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  19. Ice
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    More riding equals faster learning. Ride in all sorts of conditions and learn to be smooth.
    Be aware. Your light is green and you're at the front of the intersection. Make sure someone isn't about to run a red and make you a hood ornament.

    When learning follow someone with experience and watch where they position their bike, when they start braking etc.
     
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  20. 2ndclasscitizen
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    2ndclasscitizen Member Veteran Member

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    +1. If you move your arse back and across, and keep your outside leg locked in to take your weight, your inside knee is going to want to dangle out. I don't see any reason to tuck it in. If anything, that'll probably make you start to cross up.
     
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