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When, Lean Angle?

8378 Views 60 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Misti Hurst
As I sit here thinking about my cornering, which I am comfortable with my ability at the moment...I think about my mental barricade that keeps me from getting lower.

You know...that feeling you get when you think that you are over as far as you can go, yet you are still 6" from dragging...of course lots of things come into play (i.e. speed, body position, throttle control etc)...let's just focus on the lean angle for the sake of this thread.

The biggest thing that holds me back I guess in a question is,

"May/can you add lean angle at ANY point throughout turn?"

I ask this in order for the placebo effect to play a role for one of you to tell me yes and my confidence is pushed further.

I am sure a lot of you have felt this feeling...I do all the feel that once you have that line and your lean set in, you need to stay right where you are throughout the turn.
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The easy answer is that you can do anything at any time, as long as you are within the limits of traction and ground clearance. If you need more lean angle and aren't dragging hard parts, then lean the bike more. If you want more throttle and you aren't spinning, then give it more gas. If you need more brakes and you aren't locking or tucking the front, then apply more brakes. You can do anything, either while vertical or leaned over, as long as you aren't dragging hard parts or exceeding the available traction.

The biggest mental hurdle for newer riders is this idea that you can only do 1 thing at a time (brake, gas, or lean). The fact is that you can do any combination of them at any time. The only limiting factors are ground clearance and traction. But even exceeding the limits of traction isn't a big deal, it just takes a good feel and throttle/brake control to be able to stay comfortable with it.

I posted this picture in another thread, but this is an example of doing 2 things at once. All things being equal, if you aren't spinning the rear, then you can go faster. That fact holds true no matter who you are, what bike you are riding, which track you are on, so on and so forth. If you haven't exceeded the limits of traction, then you can go faster. The trick is to be able to ride right on the limits of traction, possibly even a few % over the limit of traction (as in this picture with the rear spinning and leaving rubber behind), to ensure you are going as fast as the circumstances will allow at that moment.

Great post ...
Welcome to GDC ... where thin skin + flaming don’t mix ;)
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