Cornering Technique Essentials – Infographic

Even a monkey can accelerate on the straights

The difference between an experienced rider and a rookie can be spotted from miles away only by watching both approaching a corner. . More than half of the motorcycle accidents take place inside a corner so make sure you don’t end up in the statistics. Here are five tips you should take in consideration every time you ride.

Read the corner

Every corner can be split in three parts: entry, apex and exit. 
The entry is the part where you hit the brake, match the gear, position yourself on the bike, close the throttle and move your eyes towards the apex.
The apex is the half of the corner. The typical car apex is usually positioned exactly in the middle of a turn, but motorcycle apex is moved a bit towards the exit. This way you can turn your bike using just one lane.
The exit is the zone where you can roll the throttle open while keeping the traction. 

cornering 02 19 04 2017 100

Eyes on the inside

The beauty of riding a bike is the full view of the surroundings. When it comes to cornering, you have to focus your sight towards the inside of the turn. This way you can’t end up fixating other vehicles on the other lane. Rotate your head towards the apex and then the exit, so nothing will surprise you.

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Brake only on the straights

The asphalt conditions on the road are not always perfect. Don’t be surprised if you find sand or bumps in the corner. That's you should brake before the turn. Trail braking is very helpful, but you never know what you will find inside. Try not to carry too much speed inside the corner, this will make you approach it faster, and you will run wide at the exit. Find a comfortable speed, and by comfortable, I mean a speed that makes you feel safe while cornering. Don’t rush things, the more you ride, the more experience you gain. 

tom sykes was fastest in world superbike practice today photo by tim keeton

Stay close to the apex

The safest way to go trough a turn is to come as close to the apex as possible. This way you will be safe from other drivers cutting the corner. If you don’t manage to close the turn enough towards the apex or you feel your bike is running wide try to lean it a bit more. Professional racers reach the maximum lean angle just above the apex, so that’s the safe point for you to be.

Close the throttle before the entry

The physics might get you in trouble if you try to bypass some steps. Release or close the throttle at the entry and leave it like this until you reach the apex. This way you will keep the front suspension loaded, and the bike will turn more easily. Entering with the throttle open translates in a bigger effort to steer the bike and finally a wide exit. 

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Choose your line

The lines vary depending on the angle of the turn or camber. The inexperienced riders turn early and exit wide, this is called the rookie line and is very dangerous on the open roads. The key is to turn a bit wider and later this way you can turn your bike easier towards the apex. Late and wide entry ensures you a better view of the corner and more room to exit.

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Accelerate after the apex

Don’t start accelerating before reaching the apex – it will compromise the grip on the front wheel. The front suspension will bounce, and the chances of falling are high. Roll the throttle steady only after the apex. If you chop it or brutalise it at the exit, you will lose the grip of the rear tyre. 

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