Saturday, September 08, 2007

Riding tips from Superbike magazine

Here's one person who probably reads Superbike magazine every month...

The September 2007 issue of Superbike magazine has a handy little piece on how to get the best drive out of corners by using your body weight and positioning to steer your bike. The article says, ‘How we use our bodies during corner exits dramatically affects how much drive we get, how easily the bike steers, how settled the chassis is and how smoothly the process of picking the bike up and getting out the corner is.’

According to Superbike, here’s what you should do:

1. If you look where you want to go, chances are you’ll go there. Look two feet in front of your wheel and you won’t see what’s coming. Look at the birds in the crowd and chances are you’ll be running off the track (or road) for a closer inspection.

2. Don’t open the throttle too hard, too quickly. It forces too much power onto the back tyre too suddenly and most likely will have you off. Far better to feed the throttle in gradually, but surely.

Be decisive with the throttle, but also be nice, gentle. Rough, jerky and sudden movements of your right wrist is not the way to do it

3. The only time you should have any great grip of the bars is during braking, the rest of the time you should have a relaxed hold. Why would you need to cling on that tight? A lighter touch on the bars gives you a softer feel for what the front tyre is doing.

4. Be in the right gear. Ideally you want to be somewhere in the middle of your revs, just below peak power. As you wind the throttle on, you don’t want to wait half a mile for the power to pick up, and you don’t want to run out of revs six feet after the apex. Aim to be changing up when you’ve straightened up.

5. This applies more to the track than road. Not having the weight on the footrests will reduce your steering (or put more emphasis on your arms to do the work), and will ask the rear suspension to do more. Keep the centre of gravity down low and use your leg muscles!

You can download the September 2007 issue of Superbike magazine here. (It’s a 22MB PDF file, and you’ll need to open the download link using a BitTorrent client.)

Also see:
First pics: 2008 Yamaha R1! and 2008 Yamaha R6
Track riding for newbies: Ron Haslam tells you how...
Street survival for motorcyclists: 50 tips that could save your life!
Go-faster tips from Kevin Schwantz
Fast riding tips from Motorcyclist magazine
Mick Extance: "The guys that win, don't hesitate..."

Or, you could just buy a Desmosedici RR and look ice-cool. Let the GSX-R guys worry about mundane things like going fast...

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