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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I admit it I am conflicted. In all of the motorcylcl training information it tells that we are supposed to turn our heads and eyes and look through the turn. In a perfect world I would agree with this but with todays unpredictable road conditions, I find myself looking a lot closer than this for the ever present gravel, sand, oil etc. I find that looking well into the turn precludes me from seeing properly hazards which to me seem more dangerous than a slightly imperfect line.

Help me out guys. What am I doing wrong here or do you agree?

So far after 24,000 miles in 1.5 years of riding the rubber side has always been down.

R. Todd
 

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Well Ive not had any formal training (its on the list) when I first got my bike after being off one for over 37 years I had to make myself look to where I was going. Now I try and scan the curve if I can before I enter but with shadows and such its tough, where I ride the killer is a tight curve where people have gone off the road and brought back debris as they recovered, or the gravel driveway in the middle of a curve. I wish I could answer your ? . Have a safe one.
 

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Looking through the turn will help you to make the turn more proficiently. Look for the gravel, oil, trash, etc while you are looking through the turn, you will still be able to avoid it because you will have already seen it. You can look closer to your bike if you're going slower, but be careful doing that because if the turn sharpens, you won't be as ready for it.
 

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The less familiar you are with the curve, the slower you should take it. Those guys on GP and SuperBike races must ABSOLUTELY TRUST that there are no road hazzards. You can't afford to do that.
 

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You should continue to look forward unless you plan on stopping.

The idea is to keep looking where you will be. When you direct your attention at something that is coming nearer to you, you lose sight of where you will be after it.

Often times, you can ride/slide through considerable amounts of sand/gravel/dead bunnies if you have your head up looking where you want to go. If you however, are looking at said objects, you will most assuredly be taking a closer look at it momentarily.

Concern yourself with things that you can clearly make out in your view ahead. A small rock on the road may slide under your radar as a blip ("What was that?") and shouldn't be given much thought. A big rock you'll definitely show up clearly on the radar and that's when you take action.

The most confusing part of people telling you to look ahead is just how far ahead. On a long straight road, you can see very far ahead, but you don't want to be looking at the horizon. You should focusing on the area just ahead of your stopping distance but no closer than about 1.5s.

For example, at 65mph you may need to look 3 or 4 seconds ahead. At 5mph, you could be looking right in front of your tire because bikes stop so fast, but you want to be looking at least 1.5s in front of where you're going.

The most confusing area is in the corners. I hear people say that you should be looking into the turn. What i think this ends up between the ears is that people think they should be looking as far around a corner as possible. You should be looking where you want to go.

Let me explain. I've seen far too many people get up to a corner and start cranking their heads. What they then do is cut the apex too early and swing wide on the far end. They are so focused on looking ahead that they lose track of where their bike is going. As you get to a corner, you should be looking at where your turn in and apex are, but, here's the trick, don't linger at any given point. Your bike is still moving forward and so should where you're looking. Your vision should "roll over" these key points as you go through a turn.

Here's an exercise you may want to try. Find a road with some bends in it. Nothing too terribly twisty. Then visually cut your lane in half. Now ride the left half (closest to the middle) through the bends. Don't lean the bike over either the middle line, nor your imaginary line. I will often see newer riders try this and they can't stay in the half lane. Going straight in a half lane is easy. In turns, it forces you to focus on where your bike is. Your bike is where you told it to go when you were looking ahead.

Anyways, i'm rambling now. Just remember to never drive faster than you can see forward and stop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. I appreciate the response. I have struggled with how far to look forward in my riding. I love the twistkes but I have not been confident with my style in this aspect.

R. Todd
 

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Let's see how I can make this simple (I tend to get wordy):

If you like to corner fast regularly and DON'T look through the turn as matter of habit, you won't be around long enough to look for gravel, leaves, debris.

A huge chunk of crashes are due to cagers violating motorcycle ROWs. (we all know that)

But another huge chunk of crashes are due to FAILURE TO NEGOTIATE a curve. i.e. Single vehicle, rider error, crash.

Riding your motorcycle through a corner depends on one thing, the riders assessment, and resulting line the rider chooses through the turn.

You can't make that assessment if you are staring at the ground in front of your bike looking for pebbles.

That's not saying you aren't looking for obstacles and debris, it's saying that you do this while you look out ahead of the bike.

If you are riding fast, and you spot debris 10 feet of the bike, you won't have the reaction time anyway, to make a correction.

Told ya I was wordy.


:lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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I consider myself to be pretty vigilant about scanning the road for debris, but I am convinced that it really doesn't help much. You'll see the big stuff while looking ahead and through the turns. The small stuff you'll probably miss regardless of where you look. A thin sandy patch on the road is just about invisible.
 

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You go where you look, so don't focus (mentally) on anything else but where you want to go. This is said so often it tends to lose its meaning, but it is still absolute fact. With experience you can size up road conditions and cup size (I'm thinking of the pedestrian on the sidewalk rather than the wobble in the front tire) with a glance or peripheral vision. You don't ride faster than you can see. The point was made, competitive riders know a course exactly but are still tuned to wrecks and fluid spills.

This is true even when you are microtuning your way around a moving obstacle (e.g. on the street the driver who just left turned in front of you). You may be able amuse yourself by counting the threads in the car passenger's tunic but the mental focus is on the escape route.

Your reflexes have total control. They are like trained dogs let loose. By the time your brain gets around to sizing up a situation you're already past it (or part of it :( ). In fact you get to the point where your brain has very little to do, so why not watch yourself reacting. You think about something on the ground or off to the right and the first thing you notice is the bike is no longer positioned properly to make the left corner and your muscles are helter skelter. Think about where you are going, and remember it is always better to press the inner grip as hard as possible and maybe make it through, or low side, than let off the back brake and high side :) Practice, practice, practice. Wear your leather.

Nanuk
 

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Even Simpler......

Keep you eyeballs moving. No need to stay focused 50 or 100 yds ahead of you. You can glance down, left, right, and back up. Don't move your eyes so fast that you don't register what you're seeing, but don't fixate on one distance/direction either.
 

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Keep looking as far ahead as possible. If it is big enough to casue problems you will see it. If not by the time you notice it it will be too late to do anything about it. Learn proper technique, practice, practice, practice, and you won't have to worry about it. Loss of traction momentarily in a corner should not be a problem if you are riding correctly.
 

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coltergeist said:
Even Simpler......

Keep you eyeballs moving. No need to stay focused 50 or 100 yds ahead of you. You can glance down, left, right, and back up. Don't move your eyes so fast that you don't register what you're seeing, but don't fixate on one distance/direction either.
I agree. it's all at the same time. As I look to where I will be I scann for traffic, gravel ect. I dont think it can be written in a book how to do it.
jmo :wink:
 

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Moekazi said:
Let me explain. I've seen far too many people get up to a corner and start cranking their heads. What they then do is cut the apex too early and swing wide on the far end. They are so focused on looking ahead that they lose track of where their bike is going. As you get to a corner, you should be looking at where your turn in and apex are, but, here's the trick, don't linger at any given point. Your bike is still moving forward and so should where you're looking. Your vision should "roll over" these key points as you go through a turn.
Well, what can I say, I've taken a number of rider training courses, including a day on a road racing course and all they ever do is tell you to TURN YOUR HEAD and look thru the turn. They also teach proper leaning technique and peg weighting and one of the biggest things they stress is to be relaxed with your arms but with a good grip on the handlebars, you should be able to easily wiggle your elbows or ever take your hand off the grip on the inside of the turn if you are doing everything properly. Of course the majority of students at these courses are riding sport bikes, but the techniques are applicable to all types of street bikes thus the recent (within the last year) example of a Saddlesore 1000 that was complete by Yellow Wolf on the GL1800 board in Deals Gap, that's 1000 miles in 24 hours running 11 mile laps thru 318 curves. :shock:

Take a close look at my avatar and you will see a proper head turn while taking a sharp curve at high speed........
 
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