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Discussion Starter #1
I was thinking about going to Mount Palomar next wknd, which pretty much means I would have a week's riding experience b4 I headed there. I've never been on palomar, even in a cage. I don't plan to take any of the turns hard and just cruise around, but I'm wondering if it's still a safe/good idea.
 

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Just take it real easy and you'll be fine.

make this an oportunity to practice what the MSF taught you (you did take it right??)

1] look through the corners and where you want to go.

2] counter steer into and out of corners (Mt P will give you plenty of practice with this)


Also, trust your tires, they'll lean farther than you'd believe as long as the road is clean, so make a first pass to look for cops/dirt.

Wear good gear, all of it (boots/gloves/helmet/leather)

Start wide in the corner then turn hard to the inside as you can see a bit better but remember, most turns there are 180's so once on the inside keep leaning as needed to stay inside of the corner. This'll keep you out of the cage/squid impact zone near the double yellow.

Above all else, trust your tires to hold, look into the turn, keep leaning until you're going where you need to go.

never give up and don't grab the brakes

Good luck
 

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What is your gut telling you? I can guess since you asked the question. How confident are you? I don't know the road, but it sounds like it could be a good downhill (uphill first) run through some twisties. If there is a lot of traffic on weekends, how would you feel about having some moron in a cage right on your a$$ if you are a little slower than traffic? Without pressure like that, you may be able to handle the road just fine. Maybe you should try it on a weekday first with less traffic since you don't know the road. It's a good idea not to get in over your head especially the first week.
 

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assuming you have taken the msf course, go for it. if you haven't, don't. you need a lot of time to adjust to counter-steering and making it a reflex.

also, if you are riding slower than traffic, just pull over when you can. it's easier to pull over and let porsche-driver-stud go around.

stay calm and relaxed and remember push right, go right. practice is as much as you can on the way there.

i've been street riding for 10 years or so. i still practice it.
 

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apexismaximus said:

Also, trust your tires, they'll lean farther than you'd believe as long as the road is clean......

Above all else, trust your tires to hold.....

This is one thing I am still struggling with after 7,000 miles in the saddle.

This might be a stupid question, but how can you tell how far you can push tires without pushing them too far?

I have gradually increased the speed I take the same corners at over months, but I still have no idea how much harder I can push them. Sometimes I will drive my cage through the same corners and see what speed a car will handle them at. I am even considering having two friends follow me in a car through the twisties with a camcorder so I can see my lean angles.

Any suggestions?
 

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sjn2560 said:



This is one thing I am still struggling with after 7,000 miles in the saddle.

This might be a stupid question, but how can you tell how far you can push tires without pushing them too far?

I have gradually increased the speed I take the same corners at over months, but I still have no idea how much harder I can push them. Sometimes I will drive my cage through the same corners and see what speed a car will handle them at. I am even considering having two friends follow me in a car through the twisties with a camcorder so I can see my lean angles.

Any suggestions?
the problem is there are too many variables to say it's safe to go x when road says y.

a good source of info for you would twist of the wrist, volume 2.

believe it or not, tires slide quite a bit on a bike before they get evil and drop you. the reason they seem to be so quick with pro racers is they are sliding them to begin with. but the front especially, can be pushed out really far if you understand how and when to bring it back. rears slide pretty good as well, but i think they take more experience to slide well.

a really fast bike will also slide with less pridictability and needs more finese to straighten out than a smaller bike, like an sv or fzr400 or ex500, etc. on the little bikes when your sliding the front, you can pick them up so easily with the throttle. the big bike takes a gentler hand. the principles are the same, it's just rider control that's different. in other words, practice this stuff with the 250. the f4i is a lot of bike learn cornering on. the 250 will teach you a lot more.

if you want the easy answer, if you corner right, you'll most likely lose traction on your tires when the exhaust can lifts it off the ground. if you corner wrong, you can crash at pretty low speeds. one piece of advice i like to give to people is to relax when riding. make sure you have your arms loose, legs loose, etc. look far ahead. if you never stop doing it, it gets harder to crash. but a word of warning, it sounds MUCH easier than it is.
 

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One more ? Tony.

I have seen riders corner three ways.

1) they leave the bike in a more upright position while leaning thier body to the side they are turning, or

2) they lean the bike over more while keeping thier body more upright

3) They lean both bike and body.

The only thing I can come up with is:
#1 would be good if the street was wet or has debris on it.

#3 technique is used by Hayden and company on Speedvision.

So what is the advantages/disadvantages of #2?
 

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this isn't gonna be an easy answer and they are all debatable, but this is my opinion.

#1 is good for parking lots or anything that is in first gear and really slow and tight. it limits your ground clearance and water dispursement capabilities the most. i wouldn't use this for gravel or rain. #2 or #3 would be much better in slippery conditions. it's plus side is it gives you balance while getting more lean angle at slow speeds

#2 is great for just riding. not going balls out, but riding. you can see what's ahead of you. you have the best leverage on the bars and it's the most comfortable and natural. the disadvantage is it leaves you less options than #3 when you go in too hot.

#3 is great for track speeds. it's really done to get more ground clearance try to change the bike's center of gravity. i've also found that when really hanging off, it's good for rain. the thing most people don't get and you can see it in my avatar, is i'm just hanging off. but in reality, you actually want to make an effort to push the bike up and keep it on the fat part of the tire. the disadvantages are comfort and the attention cops pay to you.

EDIT: i think i misunderstood what you posted for #1. the comments i made for #1 were keeping the body upright and leaning the bike. after re-reading #1, i'm not sure what advantage there is in leaning your upper body over. actually can't think of one. disadvantages are limiting vision, making your muscles more tense in the arm (to balance). i'm assuming you mean it looks like this below:

\ <<<rider
l <<<bike

i was commenting this:

l <<<rider
/ <<<bike

make sense???

\
< \ <<<nicky hayden and his rc51 :) i'm reaching at straws...

either way, it's usually best to lean with the bike.
 

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FZR400Tony said:

believe it or not, tires slide quite a bit on a bike before they get evil and drop you......

a really fast bike will also slide with less pridictability and needs in other words, practice this stuff with the 250. the f4i is a lot of bike learn cornering on. the 250 will teach you a lot more.
Sorry if I am being a pain, I just want to become more confident in the turns.

I sold the 250 last week. But I did not feel comfortable cornering hard on it anyway. The suspension was too soft (non adjustable) and the tires were not what I would consider "high performance".

So are you saying, by the first part of your quote, the only way to learn the limits of the bike, tires, and my skill is to take a corner faster and faster each time until the rear tire slides out a bit?

I had the back of the 250 slide out a couple times, so I know what that feels like. But the 250 would slide out at much slower speeds than my F4. Guess I am just chicken.
:)
 

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AlwaysNewbie-

You should avoid Mt Palomar for a while. It will be a handful for someone just learning. It is very steep, tight, and usually has a good bit of traffic.

Head out towards Otay Lake from Chula Vista. There are some nice twisty roads that way without the steep hills and traffic.

Good luck.
 

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sjn2560 said:


Sorry if I am being a pain, I just want to become more confident in the turns.

I sold the 250 last week. But I did not feel comfortable cornering hard on it anyway. The suspension was too soft (non adjustable) and the tires were not what I would consider "high performance".

So are you saying, by the first part of your quote, the only way to learn the limits of the bike, tires, and my skill is to take a corner faster and faster each time until the rear tire slides out a bit?

I had the back of the 250 slide out a couple times, so I know what that feels like. But the 250 would slide out at much slower speeds than my F4. Guess I am just chicken.
:)
don't worry about being chicken. when i first started streetriding, i wasn't scared one bit. i was a dumbass and totalled my first bike (which didn't have full coverage). then i decided that i wasn't a speedracer, but still wanted to get a sportbike. so i got one and did a lot of sport touring with it, while reading all i could on how to ride.

i don't think you need to have a bike sliding around understand the dynamics behind it. once it starts moving around, it's good understand what exactly is happening though.

the reason the little ninja is easier, is offers more feedback and is much more controlable.

when you push the front on the f4, it's gonna happen at speeds so fast that it's gonna be much harder to force yourself to open the throttle and get the front back up. the 250 will it's 16" bricks will slide at slower speeds and let you know what the edge of traction feels like, slower and will be easier to control there.

but you don't have to learn through sliding a bike around, it does help to do it to understand the whole thing. a great learning tool for this is a little honda xr100. i know a lot of people who do a lot of "flat track" kind of riding on them so them can get a feel for doing these things. they make 9hp and the list of guys who ride them to train on include; mike himmelsbach, chris carr, kurtis roberts, i think hayden brother still use them, chris ulrich, and those are the guys who talk about it.

i don't want to say go out and try to get the front to slide. at this point, i think you should really focus on relaxing and counter-steering. when they are second nature, work on opening up the throttle earlier and earlier in the corner. as you start to get faster, you'll start staying off the throttle as you go into corners (survival enstinct) and that's when you'll really start to push the front. then you'll start learning to get back on the gas sooner so you don't push the front so much. then the rear will start moving around more. it's a balancing act. :)

btw, these later things should really be done at the track though. for your f4, you'll be well into the killing yourself on public roads speed to try sliding anything with any real authority.
 

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For a new rider I would HIGHLY suggest technique #2 at Mt P and most other places. Especially at Mt P the turns come up pretty fast and as a new rider you'll have enough to do without trying to shift your weight from one side to the other. Just stay upright so you're not tense and yanking yourself all over the bike which just upsets it and diverts your attention.

As far as slides go Mt P is too slow IMHO to load the front enough for it to slide and the only way you're gonna slide the reart is through too much throttle. I recommend going into these corners with about 5000 RPM so the bike has enough pwer to settle the chassis on the rear wheel with a little power but not enough to drive hard out of it. With this technique you'll be nearly immune from big slides if the road is clean as it has been 99% of the time I've been there.

Wisdom says not to chop the throttle because you put too much weight on the front and it may wash out so try very hard to maintain slight positive throttle in the corners but neutral won't get you in too much trouble either at medium speeds like those achieved on Mt P's tight corners. You're almost safe chopping the throttle there also with the low speeds but try very hard not to.

Most likely you'll be able to tak the entire 7 miles in a single gear if you don't speed up too much in the straights. I think this is actually a great road for beginners since the speeds are held down by the tightness. The down side is how blind the 180's are, be ready for someone to be comming the other way, don't get spooked and freeze up.

I'd be happy to ride with you the first time you go but my bike's down for maint. for another 10 days waiting for some parts so if you wait a while I'll show you around?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
thanks all for your help and opinions, this thread was a lot more useful than i'd thought it'd be

apexismaximus said:


I'd be happy to ride with you the first time you go but my bike's down for maint. for another 10 days waiting for some parts so if you wait a while I'll show you around?
that'd be awesome
:D
 

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Maybe a group ride Sunday the 29th if I get my parts in in time I can put her back on her feet on the 28th and be ready.??


Have you done the MSF and have you found some local corners to practice on (get used to more and more lean angle). I cut my teeth on clover leafs since Dallas was all flat and straight for a 300 mile radius. 4 interconnected 270 degree constant radius corners with good run off:drool: :drool: :drool: (Pioneer Pkwy and HWY 360). It's about the only thing I'm looking forward to since I'm moving back in Dec. since you can't find a full 4 loop clover in SoCal.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yea, I've taken the msf course...was more boring and less informative than i expected, but it definately made me a more knowledgeable and safe rider.

Hopefully my gloves will be in by the next wknd...planning on getting alpinestars sp-1...hopefully get boots or pants sometime in next 2 months.

Oh yea, which should I get first...boots or pants, I dont have enough money to buy both at the same time :(
 

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great idea

just go slow

I took my friend Jeremy out on some twisties his first day, we just went the speed limit (35-45) so that there was really no reason to slow down, and if we did have to slow down... well we were already going slow.

You WILL encounter turns, each and every time you ride, so the more practice the better.

Some tips:
-Weight your INSIDE peg when leaning the bike over.
-Keep your head/ body slightly inside (left if you are turning left) of the center of your bike.
I see lots of people making left turns, and their bike is leaned way over, but they are sitting straight up, or almost to the right of their bike like they are dirt tracking it.
-When turning properly you should sorta be leading with your head, the bike will follow.
-And remember to be gentle on the brakes, especially the rear as its easy to mis judge and lock up if you panic brake.
 

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Get the boots first, you're far more likely to sustain a significant foot or ankle injury with lifelong impact even though abrasion injuries to the leg are no fun either. Lose some skin or bust a difficult to heal joint??

Boots for sure IMHO.

PS, I would not get "pants" in the future, I'd get a good starter full suit for 300 or if you can afford it the armor and features get pretty good around 5-600.
 

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Have been thinking about this one since I read it yesterday.

I would say YES & NO. So much will depend upon the traffic, if they are simple flat twisties, or ones with a steep climb or going down.
Flat twisties are a piece of cake & something I grew up to like when I lived in the Prairie parts of Cdn., but here in B.C. said twisties are tight ones with quite a drop or climb. Even after 17 yrs on the flats these in the mountain area were something I had to learn how to handle & you have to be on your toes all the time. Fact is a group of such twisties are just 30 minutes away from me, so I hit them each time I ride, EVEN if I will eventually be going the other way.
We do have some lovely curves on slight inclines with suggested turns of 60KPH, but I take those at 175 to 185KPH in 5th cog. They are nice but I would not call them twisties for 'curves' are a better wording.
It will be up to you, how your mind is & your experience. Do not be influenced by others to ride beyond what you feel is comfortable.
 

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The idea of m/cing is to enjoy riding the darn thing & one should not be frightening themself in trying to ride beyond their ability.
Something I feel many riders have forgotten or missed. It is close to Autumn, so get out & enjoy the roads, see the beauty of the harvesting of the farmers, see cattle or horses, take in the smell of freshly cut hay. Stop & soak in the view be it mtns or the change in the colours of the trees or the running of a stream or river. This is an advantage one has with a m/c ------ it is not out to scare the crap out of ourselves so we can rave about it at a coffee joint to fellow riders.
 

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Just got back from hitting my favorite twisties again. Still can't bring myself to push it. There is little less than an inch of tread on the outsides of my tires that looks brand new. Therefore, I think I can still lean it over a bit furthur (Or can I?).
 
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