80% of single vehicle motorcycle crashes happen on corners – which mean we are to blame for making a mistake. Mistakes include:
- Your approach speed is too fast for the curve and you run wide
- Your braking is too late, you are still on the brakes when you start to lean and the front wheel locks up
- Your approach speed is OK but your corner speed is to fast to avoid the debris, cracks or potholes in the curve and you run wide or try to brake and lock up
- You accelerate too soon which forces the bike to straighten up too early and you run wide.
Correct cornering follows these simple steps:
- Plan early for the corner. This will give you time to overcome a mistake with your braking and gearing, or time to change your line if you are surprised by another vehicle
- Check your mirrors to make sure your mates are not too close as you approach the corner
- Set up and squeeze both brakes to slow down
- By this time the corner will be getting close so if you haven’t already done so you should start to look through the corner to check for debris, potholes, water, etc.
- Adopt a suitable posture on your bike. If visibility through the corner is restricted you need to enter as wide as possible to check for oncoming traffic and think about using both the bike in and bike out techniques, whichever will help to maintain your view
- Select a gear that will allow you to cruise through the corner
- Release both brakes
- Lean into the corner.
Your path through the corner should allow you have the maximum vision of the road surface and oncoming traffic so you can choose the best position in your lane to provide a “Buffer” between you and the biggest risk.
The faster you take a corner the less time you have to select the line that will allow you to recover if you make a mistake.