Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a noob, but I like to practice on Highway 9 around Los Gatos/Saratoga.

Going uphill, I feel way more confident than going downhill, even in a car. Feels like its much more stable.

This is what I do. Please give me tips or pointers if I am wrong or what would help me.

Going Uphill... I brake before turns obviously, but I'm in like 3rd or 4th gear most of the time going 25-45 MPH. Uphill seems so easy compared to downhill.

I guess my question is mostly on downhill. Of course you have to brake much more but what I try to do is keep it in low gear for engine braking and I tend to go much slower downhill than uphill (or feels like it). (Going downhill on Highway 9 the roads are more crappy in that lane)

I guess the best advice you guys would tell me is to go slow anyways. I don't know what range these answers will range from. But just spit out whatever. Thanks
 
G

·
It sounds like you may not be comfortable with the jerkiness of the throttle, among other things.

When going uphill, you're using gravity to complement your brakes in order to slow the bike down. So - you're not depending on engine braking. Right? You feel comfy just using those two forces to slow the bike down.

When going downhill, gravity is working against you. But you're using engine braking because you want/need another way to slow the bike. Right? So you find yourself going slower, being more hesitant, because A) you're having to use more braking force than going uphill, and B) because you're higher in the revs in a lower gear, you know that any little twist of the wrist could get the bike all squirly on you.

If I'm right - try this. Get used to using JUST the brakes on your descents. Of course - you should still downshift and blip the throttle to match engine speed and stay in the powerband (it doesn't sound like you're staying in the powerband going uphill. Sounds like your dogging the bike). But after you work in the next lower gear, pull the clutch back in, and use JUST the brakes to stop the bike. Not engine compression. This will help you sort out what the brakes do for you without the complication of engine braking, and without the fear of accidentally gassing it.

In the meantime, get as much riding in under your belt as possible, focusing on throttle control, and keeping your bike in the powerband. You want to develop your throttle control so that you can smoothly deliver the power right where it's most plentiful - higher RPMs. Most beginners dog their bikes because of the twitchy throttle, but as long as you know how to use it properly (experience) it's always better to have your bike in it's powerband. That's where engine braking is at it's max, that's where you can instantly use acceleration or deceleration to avoid an emergency, and while touchier, that's where your throttle will be the smoothest.

Once you get the brakes down, and the throttle down, put the pieces back together & start using some engine braking to help you stop again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the information. I was wondering. Did you mean I should practice (downhill) braking while in the turns as well?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,168 Posts
Originally posted by YelloJello:
Thanks for the information. I was wondering. Did you mean I should practice (downhill) braking while in the turns as well?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">If your having problems in downhill turns, try getting your weight off the seat, and more on the pegs...I wise ole racer on this board gave me this tip, and helped me a bunch in downhill turns..and yes, adjust your speed accordingly..
 
G

·
No.

Regardless of what whether you're going uphill or downhill, you should have your corner entry speed set before you actually enter the corner. You should be off the brakes as you come into the corner.

Later, when you're much more experienced, you may (or may not) want to experiment with transitioning off the brakes, the front especially, as you enter the turn to keep the chassis stable and/or scrub off a little extra speed. But that's not something to work on now, if at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for some more information =)

So this is something to add again. When going downhill, I do brake before the turn, but since we are going downhill, I begin to speed up, but I adjust to a lower gear to keep the same or to slow down. correct?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,249 Posts
I been riding for 20 odd years ,done hundreds of thousands of km's on bikes an i still feel more "comfortable"(if thats the right word) going uphill than down hill, although if i had to time myself going both ways i would prolly be doing the same times both ways anyway. Something in my psyche tells me uphill is better
 
G

·
Originally posted by YelloJello:
Thanks for some more information =)

So this is something to add again. When going downhill, I do brake before the turn, but since we are going downhill, I begin to speed up, but I adjust to a lower gear to keep the same or to slow down. correct?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Bro... I'm not exactly sure what you're asking here. But I think you're thinking this through a bit too much. Whether you're going uphilll, downhill, whatever - doesn't matter. You use whatever means you can - brakes, engine braking, gravity, whatever, to slow down to the correct entry speed for the turn. That's it. It the turn happens to be downhill, and you know the bike's going to accelerate slightly from the force of gravity as you continue through it, then you set up your entry speed a little slower than you would if it was flat before you enter the turn.

And yes - in descending turns, being in a lower gear, where engine braking is available to you, is advantageous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,502 Posts
I think his point is that he ends up accelerating through the turn on a downhill and the turn feels more sketchy because of the odd-weighting of the bike that you always get in a downhill situation.

That just happens, it will probably always feel a little bit sketchy, but if you can set up a little slower coming in and just crack the throttle on the way down (if you set up properly, then this shouldn't be a problem), then you'll feel much more in control. It's more of a weight trasfer issue than anything...you end up weighting the rear more when you get on the gas, which is what you want to make the bike feel more stable.

Of course this doesn't work if the corner is really long, or the hill is steep, but it works on medium-speed downhill corners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok. Thanks for all the info guys. I guess I am just making it way too complicated. Downhill will always feel more iffy. So just go slower. =)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,527 Posts
I am newbie as well, and I always hear what lean-angle is saying, "set your corner speed first". My dad used to race cars, a little. He always told me the same thing, you dont want to be caught in a corner under hard braking. that holds especialy true on the bike, because you go down, not just push the front, like a car. I alaways avoid braking in corners, with my limited experience. I had to once, over shot a corner(bigtime), I could feel the brakes would lock the front, luckly I was in the middle of no-where and was just a Newbie driving on the wrong side of the road. After I thought about how it could have ended, I didnt feel so good. Take the corners slow and learn. good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,168 Posts
Through any corner, you want to be rolling on the gas..SMOOTHLY...this will settle your bikes suspension..don't crack the thottle, but slowly roll it on...For the purposes of new/newer riders..have all of your downshifting, shifting your weight, and brakeing complete BEFORE you enter a turn..making weight changes, braking, and abruptly using the throttle will unstettle the bike..let it do the work..Also, one of the most important things in cornering, and just riding, is to stay RELAXED, at all times..
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top