Cornering is an essential skill for any motorcycle rider, as it plays a significant role in both safety and enjoyment while on the road. Mastering the art of cornering can make your ride smoother and help you confidently tackle twists and turns.
Let’s explore some tips and techniques to improve your cornering skills and enhance your overall riding experience.
Look Where You Want to Go
As they tell you in any beginner rider course, “where you look is where you go.” It’s not a motorcycle myth. It’s a crucial aspect of cornering.
Keep your eyes focused on the road ahead, specifically on the exit point of the turn. This technique, known as “visual target fixation,” will help guide your bike through the corner smoothly and efficiently.
Slow Down Before the Turn
Before entering a corner, make sure to slow down to a comfortable speed.
Use both your front and rear brakes to reduce your speed, but avoid braking during the turn, as it can cause instability. Properly managing your speed before a turn will make it easier to maintain control and execute a smooth corner.
Maintain a Steady Throttle
Once you’re in the corner, maintain a steady throttle to keep your motorcycle stable. A smooth, consistent throttle will help balance your bike and prevent any abrupt changes in speed or direction.
Gradually roll on the throttle as you exit the turn, which will help stabilize your bike and improve traction.
Lean with Your Bike
Leaning is an integral part of cornering, as it allows your motorcycle to maintain its balance and navigate the turn effectively.
As you enter the corner, lean your body into the turn, shifting your weight towards the inside of the curve. This will help counterbalance the motorcycle’s natural tendency to stand upright and provide better control through the turn.
Keep Your Body Position in Check
Proper body positioning is critical for cornering effectively. Keep your upper body relaxed, with your elbows slightly bent and your knees gripping the tank. This will allow you to move fluidly with the bike and make it easier to lean into turns.
Additionally, keep your feet on the footpegs, with the balls of your feet making contact for optimal control.
Practice Makes Perfect
As with any skill, practice is essential for mastering cornering techniques. Spend time practicing on quiet roads or in parking lots to build your confidence and fine-tune your cornering abilities.
Remember that every rider is different, so take the time to find the techniques that work best for you and your motorcycle. Once you’ve got it figured out, it’ll be easier to relax and enjoy the stress-relieving benefits of riding.
The Art of Cornering
Mastering the art of cornering will not only enhance your riding enjoyment but also improve your safety on the road. By focusing on visual target fixation, managing your speed, maintaining a steady throttle, leaning with your bike, and practicing proper body positioning, you’ll be well on your way to conquering corners with ease and confidence.