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When, Lean Angle?

8382 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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If it helps:

The way I discovered new possibilities with lean angle was by grossly underestimating a turn while running canyons. It came down to two choices. Hit the brake, stand it up and pray like hell there was no oncoming traffic or push that inner bar a bit harder and dip my inner shoulder.

I took the push/dip approach and it saved my bacon while also cracking that door open just a wee bit more. Obviously not the best approach and I don't suggest that anyone go out and play roulette with oncoming traffic, but it WILL motivate you to try harder. That I promise. :)
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Good post.

Lean angle (like knee dragging) is not a goal, it is the result of high speed relative to the radius of the corner. In other words, if you are successfully making it around the corner at your current speed, then you are at the appropriate lean angle. There is no reason to add more. In order to use more lean angle, you will need to go faster. Just keep in mind it only takes 2mph to set off a "survival instinct" and cause a mistake. So it is something that has to be very gradually worked on.

As a side note, most people don't realize how much difference a few mph makes. For example, when referring to the average mph over the course of an entire lap, just 3-5mph makes the difference between finishing 10th in a Novice race and finishing on the Podium in an Expert race. Another 3-5mph is the difference between that Podium Expert position, and winning an AMA Superbike race.

Just keep in mind that lean angle is finite, you will eventually run out of it. That is why BP is important. Proper BP reduces the lean angle for any given speed/radius. That is why some people can be using a lot of lean angle, but then you will see someone pass them on the outside (obviously carrying even more speed), while using either the same or sometimes even less lean angle. Of course I am talking about track riding.

I find this to be one of the best explanations yet. Nice Job.
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Indeed. I definitely understand that carrying more corner speed is going to allow one to put in more lean. However my initial intention for making this thread was to find out if lean can be added at any point throughout the turn. But then you pros come in and all sorts of questions come to mind as we circle around the topic that I want to bring up. Can't thank you guys enough for the clarifications. Hopefully some day (maybe this Fall) I could come to a track and get coaching/following done by you if you have time. Would much rather pay a racer such as yourself than go the CSS...although I would love to experience Code's coaches too.

And yes. I do know that lean angle is finite, subjective to your speed. I like to think I can feel this break point fairly well.

One thing I think about in teaching myself, is that if I can learn to get extreme lean angle (dragging or close) at low speeds, my apprehensiveness to lean further at fast speeds will be that much less and more confident to pick a faster line. I mean guys can get max lean angle on some slow rolling hairpins...

One more question to touch back on the subject of tires...would you suggest I (or any track day rider) start running slicks for track days? I run in the intermediate group at the "local track" and I have run street tires each time I have gone. Even if I'm not running WSBK pace, wouldn't running slicks enable me to push the envelope a bit more to get better; have a bit more confidence in the back of your mind knowing that you're running on a track oriented tire...?

However my initial intention for making this thread was to find out if lean can be added at any point throughout the turn.

I watched a YouTube vid over the 4th that helped a bunch. I know, Youtube? Really, however it helped and it actually saved my bacon that weekend.

In a nutshell it was implied that if you're committed and discover that your running wide an alternative to touching the brake lever is dipping the inboard shoulder.

Well it worked. For me at least. I caught myself looking 20' in front of the bike and I was headed right where the eyeballs were looking, which was not where I wanted to be. I did two things to correct it. Picked my head up and threw the right shoulder down as far as I could.

Everything changed in that split second and I learned something. I've been using it since and can feel the ceiling being raised on a progressive level now. The wall is starting to come down. Slowly, but at least its moving now where's before I just could not bring myself to push any harder.

That's been my experience anyway.
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