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so i'm re-examining my whole philosophy on leans in turns and curves. i want to start over from scratch. the way i've always felt and was taught was that you move the motorcycle underneath you, not your body. which i still believe is mostly true for cruiser motorcycles, but there's some area for body lean, and that's what i want to re-discover. so how much body lean do you guys use? how much do you increase your body lean with tighter curves or higher speeds? do you even think about it?
 

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I started learning about leaning/turning intially from riding dirt bikes as a kid. A few months ago a member made reference to David Houghs books entitled 'Proficient Motorcycling'. I've read the first one and half of volume #2. I highly recommend both as they will help in leaning and turning. Helped me a lot, especially in learning to use the front brakes more efficiently. Just my input.
 

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Your body should actually be on the inside of the bike while cornering. The result is that you are leaning more than the bike. Dragging pegs and what not is a result of poor riding. Your bike actually has maximum traction and control at the least lean angle. It really doesn't matter if it's a sportbike or cruiser. Support yourself with your knees. Find a class like Total Control.
 

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I scrape constantly. CONSTANTLY. But all we have here in AR are windy hilly two lane wooden highways. Floorboard pads, the brackets themselves when the floorboard is fully pivoted up, and even the crash bars.

When turning hard,and on this bike doing 60 in a sugested 30 around a good curve, I just push the inside handle forward, and push the bike down hard, and tell the bike "lean Bitch!" :grin: So I guess mostly, I don't do much with the body.

If its important enough, I'd say find a track, and a class. A guy on my local bike forum rides sport bikes, said track time, and a teacher has made a night and day difference on learning how to take curves. If I had the time, and it was closer, I'd love to do it.

The 950Ts just have an awful clearance to boot. And its been worse since my new tires.
 

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i scrape constantly as well. the 950's setup causes scraping more than any other bike i've ever heard of. and mine is lowered 2.25". but there is a difference in sportbike riding versus cruiser riding in the turns. exhibits A & B below:






these were both on the Tail Of The Dragon. i couldn't find a single photo where a cruiser rider had a leaning knee extended out or the body leaning significantly over more than the bike. i have always tried to sit upright and limit my body lean as i tilt the bike to and fro, but i think this may have been hindering me more than helping. i might check out those books you mentioned. applying your front brake sounds like you're dabbling in trail breaking a little, something else i've been interested in recently and trying to become more proficient. so how much body lean is determined by your speed? how much is determined by the angle of the curve? is this just something you guys just go on feel? do you guys actively try to lean your body over with your bike? or are you like me and try to limit your body lean? do you tend to hug your tank with your knees in the turns?
 

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For me it all depends on the curve, the road surface and condition. And also whether or not I'm alone or have the old lady aboard. Seems like some corners require that you hold back a little, while others are there just for ya to lay into them. Oh yea, and if I'm feelin frisky or not. But mostly I don't give it alot of thought while I'm ridin unless a really sharp curve sneaks up on me. Just enjoy the ride.
 

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i couldn't find a single photo where a cruiser rider had a leaning knee extended out or the body leaning significantly over more than the bike. i have always tried to sit upright and limit my body lean as i tilt the bike to and fro, but i think this may have been hindering me more than helping. i might check out those books you mentioned. applying your front brake sounds like you're dabbling in trail breaking a little, something else i've been interested in recently and trying to become more proficient. so how much body lean is determined by your speed? how much is determined by the angle of the curve? is this just something you guys just go on feel? do you guys actively try to lean your body over with your bike? or are you like me and try to limit your body lean? do you tend to hug your tank with your knees in the turns?
Hey Bevo, Most of your questions are answered in the Advanced Rider Course offered by the MSF. You don't see it on the road because, it has not been learned nor is it practiced by many.

The "Kiss The Mirror " concept. Augie
 

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Hey Bevo, Most of your questions are answered in the Advanced Rider Course offered by the MSF. You don't see it on the road because, it has not been learned nor is it practiced by many.

The "Kiss The Mirror " concept. Augie
I've taken the basic an advanced course from MSF. It doesn't dabble in trying to hit the turns hard, not like sport bike riding, leaning over the seat, etc. Just riding safe in them, braking in curves, the ideas of traction and braking in curves, etc. However- I'm sure instructors teachings change from class to class, outside of the basics.



This is just me, I'm a new rider, take it for what its worth. Front braking a turn will DROP your front forks and you'll scrape worse, and you will scrape like crazy, it will also lighten/raise your rear and remove traction to that rear wheel.

You slow before the turn, and accelerate during the turn (lightly). That's MSF 101. That will keep your suspension as high as possible, and gain traction and balance through the turn.

Bevo, we just hit the limits on these bikes is all. Hell my 06 Vstar 650 didn't scrape like the 950 does. I wanna corner harder and can't. I've had enough butt puckering trying to push this bike, turning hard and fast on a curve, bottoming my suspension out and scraping a hard part is no fun, it acts like a fulcrum and removes weight/traction from the tire as your scraping (hard scrape, not the board). The 950 is going to the wife for her "new" bike. I'm going to be looking soon for something else.
 

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Excellent point MSP, the books I've purchased and read point out what you're stating. I'm using both brakes prior to a curve and accelerating thru the curves giving me more control of the bike. I went out and practiced and it's made a difference. I barely scrape in a curve now and have more confidence in my 950t.
 

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Does this help?
Dunno how old that photo is. What they teach is to be finished braking by where that 50% marker is. And begin light acceleration (or to maintain speed) the rest of the way. Basically to be slowed down completely before the turn, to whatever a safe travel speed is for that turn.


But that's everyday safe and proper riding. Not pushing turns hard for fun/experience.
 

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i'll usually push the bike into a lean only a low speeds ( counter balancing) at road speed i keep myself inline with the bike, if i go into a turn to hot i'll lean past the center of bike to stop the boards from touching down. i'ts pretty basic, the more you lean your body the less you need to lean the bike which for me is only useful if you need more ground clearance. it doesn't make sense to hang off just to get a knee on the ground.
 

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I generally ride mellow and follow the basics on my 1100 classic (esp with the wife). Even if I'm out with the boys and we sometimes tend to get a little more aggressive I still follow basic training just more lean at higher speeds. In the event that I get real aggressive on occasion, I do lean my butt off the seat some to help keep the bike more upright. Also if I find myself coming too hot into a corner I misjudged.
I will occasionally go out and practice in corners I know well, trying increasingly faster speeds trying to improve myself and build muscle memory. Sometime somewhere it will come in handy.
 

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I generally ride mellow and follow the basics on my 1100 classic (esp with the wife). Even if I'm out with the boys and we sometimes tend to get a little more aggressive I still follow basic training just more lean at higher speeds. In the event that I get real aggressive on occasion, I do lean my butt off the seat some to help keep the bike more upright. Also if I find myself coming too hot into a corner I misjudged.
I will occasionally go out and practice in corners I know well, trying increasingly faster speeds trying to improve myself and build muscle memory. Sometime somewhere it will come in handy.
I do the same. There is a 17 mile stretch of twistys that I ride all the time. It has a combination of hills and blind curves and in the middle is a 180 degree tight hairpin turn. I ride through, take a break and then come back through. I do that 34 mile stretch at least twice a week.

On this run I use various techniques, sometimes trail braking, sometimes "Kissing the mirror" and always exercising maximum alertness because of deer, raccoons, Amish buggies, and other unexpected obstacles. The lean is always determined by the applied technique.
 

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I'm a newbie so please pardon me speaking from my ignorance. From the MSF basic course and reading 'Proficient Motorcycling' I've been particularly aware of my actions. Leaning into the turn and accelerating to increase traction through centrifugal force of the turn has been both successful and fun. I have an 1100 classic with boards and highway bars and have had no scraping problems.
 

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I don't think I actually lean all that much but there is a lot of weight shifting that happens instinctively to facilitate cornering or lane changes which might be the equivalent of leaning on a sportbike.... Most of the turn on my bike happens from pressing down on the handlebar for the direction I want to go (unless I'm going really slowly!) so I guess if I'm pressing down my body is leaning that way a bit? It would be interesting to have someone ride with me and video my riding style so I could analyze it!
 

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Good description, MSP. And its all about the speed en lean combination. I always learned, in my profession from certified instructors that you take a turn with traction and if needed a light tension on the rear break. Especially in combination with the Big Twin engine. You can keep your rpm a little higher and this gives a better feeling in turns, specially in hairpin bends. Other benefit wile using the rear brake its smoother reacting and you can keep your hands better on the handlebar en better throttle control.
And yes, the set-up of the bike is your limit. But I never intended to get the Roadstar to the circuit to set a record time. Everything nice and easy, for 'knee on the tarmac" you need another bike.
And last but certainly not least, take your bike regular on the road and make a lot of miles.
So you can become "One" with your bike!!
 
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