Damn lefthanders - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-17-2003, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2002
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Damn lefthanders

I spent all day riding in the mountains today. For some reason I couldn't get through a left turn to save my butt. The tires were hooking up well so it's not like I was worried about that. I was totally comfortable through the rights. I think spending the better part of the past 2 months plowing my DRZ through the desert is showing up in the twisty stuff. I gotta get back on street more and scrape some of this rust off. It was great just having the day off and spend it riding.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-17-2003, 09:17 PM
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i have trouble negotiating left turns also in the canyons as well as the track so i think it has nothing to do with the idea we drive on the right side of road etc. i do think however, i may have a problem with body positioning as when i get off on the right, i feel planted on the bike, because i am right hand/footed, i feel my right leg aid in holding me up, as i weight the inside peg. ont the left side, i am at a loss for words and position. i just cant seem to get it right.. and this is what i focus on entirely on left handed turns.. when i first finally felt i was doing a decent pace and leaning bike well, i felt as if i was leaning off the bike leading with the very edge of my shoulder/back. i do not feel this anymore as it has been a while since feeling like i can lean off. am i riding incorrectly? to 1 side? both sides?

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-17-2003, 09:55 PM
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I'm blind in my left eye (about 6 years ago) so I have to really turn my head more to be able to see through the corner on a lefty. And yes, I have had more crashes in left handers than rights.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-18-2003, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
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Normally I don't any preferrence to right or left. I was just having a kind of crappy day on roads. I've been spending too much time in the dirt. I just couldn't find the groove yesterday.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-18-2003, 12:25 PM
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Rider magazine columnist Lawrence Grodsky recently wrote consectutive columns on the problems of lefts and rights. Of lefts, he noted that the problem some riders experience is what he calls "edge fear," which he characterizes not as a phobia, but "a rational policy based on the need for self-preservation." To set up optimally for a lefthander, one must venture close to the shoulder, and likewise to exit optimally. On the street, you must always maintain a margin for error, so trying to put your tires inches from the edge of the pavement is just stupid. But you should be able to ride confidently in the right-hand third of the lane.

To combat edge fear, we may turn in too early on lefts. But that can force an early apex, which may require a mid-turn steering correction to stay out of the weeds on the exit. The solution to the early apex problem is to turn in later. But the original problem--anxiety about the shoulder--remains.

When I started out, I was more nervous about lefts than rights, and I still get that uneasy feeling at times. What works for me is Keith Code's "two-step" process for visually mapping a path through a turn. As you approach the turn, spot your turn-in point, where you'll make your steering input. Before you get there, look through the turn and select a target point. When you reach the turn-in point, which you spot out of the corner of your eye while looking at the target point, steer.

By planning your line, you reduce uncertainty about running off the edge. To make it work, it helps to use what Code calls "wide-screen vision", a visual techique help you get the big picture and avoid "tunnel vision". He describes it in his book, Twist of the Wrist II: The Basics of High-Performance Motorcycle Riding. I describe the two-step and other features of Code's method in this article (full text is in the fourth post of the thread).
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-18-2003, 03:59 PM
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i've read his book several times and plan to read it agian.. you just cant ingrain that stuff in your head enough.

must have for anyone desiring to go faster..
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-18-2003, 04:52 PM
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Must be true. I have a new bike therefore new tires. I've scuffed about 1/4" from the edge on the right and about 1/2" on the left. That last 1/4 is hard to get to on 17 x 180s. My first sportbike also so, hopfully it will even out soon.

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-18-2003, 05:46 PM
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In the UK....

The opposite is true......We tend to prefer left handers because we exit a left-hand corner moving away from the oncoming traffic!
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-19-2003, 04:52 AM
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This is an interesting subject. As a pilot I prefer left hand turns, which is strange I don't know if it came from training and most of the airports use left hand circuits or what, but if I am rolling in to land or a close inspection of the ground for what ever reason I almost always go left. I am right handed but I skateboard goofy foot (left), I also shoot my handgun using my left eye (its dominant 20/20 my right is 30/20) but a rifle normally. It's been so long since I road my bike I don't know if I prefer one turn to another, probably do, I think I like lefts better.
I am wondering how you like your DRZ? I was thinking about getting the offroad version and putting the Baja Kit on it and getting it plated. Do you jump yours? Wheelies? Is it a lot of fun in the dirt? Interesting enough your feelings of too much dirt riding making your street skills rusty, are in direct contradiction to the pro's like Eric Bostrom and Haden, who actually ride their dirt bikes to keep in good shape for when not on the track. They actually find motorcross closer to the race track then street riding which most of them actually don't even bother with.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-19-2003, 06:36 AM
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Lefts are common & easy for most of us. Take a look at any oval track be it a track for foot racing, horse racing, or cars & everything is counter-clockwise being LEFT. Here in North America the sharp right-hand turns in the city/town streets are not as easy as the easy left-turns. Over 90% of the m/cist get ON & OFF their bikes from the left side, for why is the prot/kick stand on the left(?) & often take off with a slight push from the left foot still on the ground, but really do not notice it & when we come to a stop at a stop sign if just ONE leg/foot is to go down it is usually the left.
Ever done any militay marching & if so then which is the lst foot to be put into the forward swing? Yes the left while the right is the last to come to a halt. If you are or have been into Amateur Wrestling, Judo or such you probably cought onto what is called right-hand throws which are all to the LEFT. You golf, play hocket, or baseball & good chance most are pivioting the body to the left.
I could go on & on with so many more theories, but what the 'ell it becomes so boring. What one prefers, what is more common to each person & how we have been doing it for yrs is what really counts. To many with beliefs & theories are just being people that fiddle around with words, numbers & such, but are not in the sport/hobby of m/cing or possibly just beginners & they do give me a pain in the arse.
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