A Twist of the Wrist 2
The mental framework Code is trying to form is founded on the fact that a motorcycle is incredibly stable without the rider. We need to adjust our actions to maintain that stability, often by reducing input and increasing consistency as much as possible.
Gas while steering
You can get on the gas too early if the bike isn’t done steering. It needs that front load on the front wheel to be able to lean the rear wheel over
Note this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be on the BRAKES, but that the weight is leaning further forward than the ideal 40/60
In high-speed entry turns, the most common error is “charging”— going in as far as possible with the gas wide open, then chopping the throttle hard and having to coast in or brake lightly to scrub off the excess speed. -- Code, Keith. A Twist of the Wrist II: The Basics of High-Performance Motorcycle Riding (p. 59). Code Break Books. Kindle Edition.
I honestly find myself doing this very often. I think what this book, or at least the first chapter, has really made me realize is that I fear high speed cornering. I don't feel in control during corners and thus often take them slower than I could. This isn't a matter of street riding and safety, because I also feel unstable at these corning speeds. I should work on this rather than speed during straights.
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This is a very interesting way to conceptualize weight distribution while steering.
This is the next thing I want to work on.
RPM and speed during turns
Leaning into a corner effectively lowers the gear ratio by using a smaller diameter portion of the tire. This is something to keep in mind when entering turns. I do find myself attempting to enter turns at too high a gear, causing instability.. probably because of this!
Use a safe place to try this, like a racetrack. If you’ve got the bike leaned over much at all, you’ll see the speedometer reading drop. You have to be rolling the throttle on just to hold a constant speed (50/50 weight distribution), let alone to accelerate hard enough to reach the ideal 40/60 weight transfer. You haven’t forgotten this from Chapter 2, have you? -- Code, Keith. A Twist of the Wrist II: The Basics of High-Performance Motorcycle Riding (p. 46). Code Break Books. Kindle Edition.
This is crazy, I don't know why this is blowing my mind right now. I have got to try this.
I think the key here is that when you are off the gas, you are decelerating. When you are holding, you are also slightly decelerating. At the end of a corner, you want to be accelerating slightly, and to do so you need to be very slowly rolling the throttle.
These are some survival reactions that get triggered when we get into a foreign or scary sitution while riding. They should be eliminated as soon as possible.
- Roll-off the gas.
- Tighten on bars.
- Narrowed and frantically hunting* field of view.
- Fixed attention (on something).
- Steering in the direction of the fixed attention.
- No steering (frozen) or ineffective (not quick enough or too early) steering.
- Braking errors (both over- and under-braking).
In the first section Code is essentially making this argument:
Isn’t it interesting that “in too fast” or “going too wide” trigger SR #1 (roll-off)? In turns, SR #1 puts the bike precisely where you don’t want it, doing precisely what you don’t want it to do (running wide). -- Code, Keith. A Twist of the Wrist II: The Basics of High-Performance Motorcycle Riding (p. 46). Code Break Books. Kindle Edition.
That if you notice you are in too fast or going too wide, you should not slow down... but you can't increase turn angle without reducing speed correct? I don't entirely understand the process for line correction.
The ability to maintain a wide screen view can not only help with reaction time and removing SRs, but can also remove discomfort while riding! Trying to flick your eyes to all these different spots is so uncomfortable.
- Pick a spot or an area on the wall or space in front of you to look at. Stare at the area, but do it in a relaxed mode, not glaring intently.
- Without moving your eyes, become aware of the whole field of your vision so that each object in front of you can be identified (a chair, a lamp, the door, etc.) without looking directly at the individual objects.
- Still looking at your original spot, move your awareness (attention), not your eyes, from object to object in front of you.
- That’s wide screen. Do it some more.
- With your eyes, find one object about 45 degrees to the right of your field of vision and one 45 degrees to the left.
- Shift your focus from object to object as fast as you can, getting a sense of how long it takes to do so.
- Go back to staring at the original spot in front of you (from Drill One).
- This time, move your attention (awareness) back and forth on the two objects (on your right and left), getting a sense of how long it takes to do so.