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 How do you learn how to lean?

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Dimond
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PostSubject: How do you learn how to lean?   Tue 07 Feb 2012, 13:30

Normally I don't lean much as I don't know my limits or that of the SWing; however, I need to learn how to lean to the maximum as some day I may need to either lean or fly off the road (has not happened yet - but it could some day). What is the best way to learn how to lean? Is the limit of lean when things start to scrape (and what starts to scrape first)? Or is the limit BEFORE things start to scrape? Have you ever leaned too far and gone down (assuming you have good tires and pavement is dry with good traction)? Have you ever leaned and scraped - then lost it due to something catching or some other instability? Thanks.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Tue 07 Feb 2012, 16:12

The idea is to lean as little as possible to get the job done and having the tires do as little work as possible.

Steer/lean are related. SilverWing under normal riding, OEM tires, good traction conditions can be ridden in fairly aggressive manner.

Set up some cones in parking lot, 10-12 ft apart, weave, shooting from cone to cone---in other words gas it, control speed with rear brake(hard with linked brakes, but rear does come on first) this gives you some idea of lean angles and feel for traction. Ever notice road racers.....they sometimes push bike up to limit lean----(making tires do less work?)-reverse is push bike down to increase lean angle and make turn sharper-----like sudden dimishing radius turn, coming down mountain.


Take advanced safety course also and again ride a lot----splitting lanes in CA is real skill builder.
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Waspie
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Tue 07 Feb 2012, 17:03

This is worth a watch regards what the 'Wing' can do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NegpNBY7DIc
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RArch
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Tue 07 Feb 2012, 19:28

That was impressive and it wasn't a dry surface.

Note how he was leaning the bike and keeping his body relatively straight up, at higher speeds you really need to use counter steering. That's something to research and watch a few videos on youtube to learn more about too.
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PHXScooterBill
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Tue 07 Feb 2012, 19:45

Dimond,
I sometimes feel as you do. The pavement material here in Las Vegas can get slippery and is much less gritty than in other states. As stated good tires help. It also helps to know your own limits but be willing to expand them slowly over time.
BTW, I PMed you, you might want to check it. I have only gone online once a week as of late, so I apologize if I hadn't gotten back to you soon enough.
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trouble1100
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Tue 07 Feb 2012, 21:11

This has been brought up here and on many other two wheeled forums, one of the better instructional videos you will find.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHo6kZc33Ks

http://www.ridelikeapro.com/
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Waspie
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Wed 08 Feb 2012, 05:58

From some of the recent threats Dimond has posted it sounds like there is a confidence theme behind all his recent posts. Dimond this is not a criticism merely my observation so please don't take offence as none is intended.

Methinks a few more miles ridden will answer quite a few of his recent questions. Getting to know the 'feel' of a bike is most important as they all have their own individual quirks.

Leaning, this skill is learned by simply riding round a circular route and riding into the corners and starting to lean the bike instead of steering the bike round. As I said previously, start slow and build up speed, the speed will be proportionate to your confidence. I do believe confidence, knowledge of the bike limitations and bike performance are interrelated. If one of the three is missing then riding skills will suffer.

Dimond, find a straight road, no traffic, then simply weave the bike from side to side to feel how far the bike responds to the degrees of lean you input through the handle bars.

But please don't take anything I have written personally, we all have had to learn techniques. I still am. I now drop my shoulder when leaning over helps with looking ahead and evidently effects the c of g in a positive way. The real secret - riding daily like our big John Grinsell says.
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Old Limey
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Wed 08 Feb 2012, 12:11

Until 2yrs ago i had never ridden a scooter of any kind. I have been riding motorcycles since i was sixteen. My last bike was a Deauville 650. This was my second deauville. The first scooter i bought was a 400 Burgman ( a second hand one off Ebay) only bought because i could no longer get my leg high enough to get on the Deauville. I was confident on the scooter till i leaned over too far and the centre stand threw me back over, luckily i recovered and straightened up. I did not make that mistake again. Since getting the Silverwing i rode the same roads gradually increasing my lean angle and speed until i can now match the Deauville's performance(remembering the smaller wheels on the silverwing). I think the answer is Dimond practice at your own level and speed, and lean as much as you feel happy with Smile Smile
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Daboo
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Wed 08 Feb 2012, 15:28

I suggest you take a Motorcycle Safety Course. The Beginner course will have you riding someone else's motorcycle. It won't be yours, but if you drop it, you'll be glad. (Local dealers donate these bikes.) You'll have to put up with going through the very basics, like the classroom portion, but that might be worthwhile as a review.

The Experienced Rider Course I took was just the riding portion and on your own bike. The advantage was that I knew my bike far better when I left than when I arrived. The disadvantage of course, was that if I dropped it, I paid for the experience. One guy dropped his big new Harley on the course. So it does happen.

There are some reasons I suggest the course.
  1. You're in a controlled environment. You won't find any kids darting out from the side of the street while you're in the middle of practicing something.
  2. The pavement is clean. There's nothing like having the bike leaned over and finding sand in your tire's path...and watching the bike shoot away on its side.
  3. You can go over and over and over again on the same skill that you're practicing with a trained coach to watch you and guide you along. He/she will see things you don't even know you're doing.

When I went through the class on a Kymco Bet&Win 250, the coach said he couldn't tell if I was really accelerating into the corners, or not. So I started opening up the throttle a lot which made the bike sound a lot louder (though the racket was coming from the air box, not the exhaust). As I went through the different skill exercises all day, I tried to do things a little faster each time. I was pushing myself, trying to find my limits.

We set up one course in the late afternoon where we were supposed to accelerate, then make a hard right turn, straighten up, accelerate, then brake only when the coach told us to brake. There was a mirror setup just opposite of us.

I took off on the second or third time and realized as I was coming up on the corner, that I was coming in pretty hot. My choice was to abort...which would've caused problems for the rider coming at me...or to continue. I kept going. (NOTE: This was not the first time on that exercise, but one I'd gone through before a couple times.)

As I laid it over, I felt like my shoulder was much closer than ever before to the ground. I knew that if I panicked, it would be all over, so I just followed what they had been telling us all day. Look to the exit. Accelerate as you come out of the apex. I heard a loud "POP" as the exhaust kissed the pavement, but otherwise all went well. The instructors were a little concerned afterwards, but I felt good. Laughing

My point is that I was in a controlled location where I could explore those limits. And I was going through the same type of exercises over and over again. There's no way you can get as repeatable an experience on the road. Each curve is different. You don't know what will dart out from the sides. And in the safety course, you're getting immersed in proper techniques so you have them in your head when you find yourself over far more than you did before.

I'll push corners on the open road where I know what the pavement will be like and I've done it many times before. Although its fun to have small "chicken strips" on your tires, no one else really cares but you. The main goal is to have fun and do it safely.

Chris
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Ishkatan
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Thu 09 Feb 2012, 02:55

Dimond, I am a new rider - not quite a year and 4000 miles. I had lean issues too until I discovered that below 25 miles you steer into the turn but above 30 you steer away from the turn - ie. to turn left push forward on the left handlebar. That causes the bike to lean and turn... Suddenly leaning became real easy and required minimal effort / body english. Start very slow and practice on a wide dry road.

I often don't counter balance and have found myself at a 45 degree lean while going around a circular ramp to a highway at about 30-35 mph. No scrape at all. However, do not stop while leaning. You will drop the bike. Get vertical then stop.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Thu 09 Feb 2012, 06:41

How about almost always continue with some power to rear wheel? Feet play important role, too. There are at least two ways to ride bike, #1 sit on it like a toliet as dead weight #2 be an active part of the machine, with inputs from feet, legs, hands---don't freeze-----and look where you are going.
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Dimond
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Thu 09 Feb 2012, 07:02

Thanks to everyone for their tips and comments as they are most helpful. I plan to work towards learning to do an 'aggressive lean' - not to ride fast - but to be in better control of my SWing should an unexpected situation arise. This will take some time - but it will be fun trying to get there!
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trouble1100
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Thu 09 Feb 2012, 08:02

I always cringe when I hear the phrase “counter steer” or “push the bars away from the turn.” What makes more sense is “push right go right, push left go left.” What you are doing is pushing or leading those two big gyroscopes around a curve.
Take note while watching any high speed motorcycle race, the rider looks like he’s physically pulling the bike over in to the turn, he uses his whole body to counteract the gyroscopic effect.
I agree with Mr. Grinsnel on his take on cruiser style bikes. You lose a third of your leverage to control your machine and the ability to lift your butt off the seat with your legs and slide it to in to the direction of the turn. I don’t suggest you do this but you can take your hands off the bars while at speed and steer a motorcycle by pushing right or left on the tank with your knee. Remember rubber pads on the sides of the tank?

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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Thu 09 Feb 2012, 11:53

Agree with Trouble 1100----I have been around since before "counter-steering" became a word used by some. Probably got going in late 60's early 70's.

Before that bears and monkeys could ride bikes without thinking about it.

Scooter, push right, etc works. Feet very important.

My MSF instructor card dated 1974----don't agree with them on much as very few people get creamed in parking lots. Had to work fixing their work in Germany, when all Army motorcyclists had to be re-trained as result of Gen BB Bell's pilot getting killed on bike----of course he was on wrong side of road in no passing zone. Point as DA Safety Manager had to supervise re-do of training......most had US MC endorsement and current MSF.......and they fell all over themselves in simple training....much had to be re-done to make them motorcyclists....my instructors were Germans and had track time/lots of high speed experience....... cruiser riders seemed to be least skilled but most had their "halloween custumes" or pirate outfits Also had near 8 year stint in Japan, running motorcycle schools full time---saw a lot,learned a lot. Experience/lots of hours of seat time probably good way to learn to lean.
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eddy
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Thu 09 Feb 2012, 12:18

Yes... beginning to slow in the turn and hold grip on the rear wheel by giving throttle is the basic rule.

But nobody can take a turn without leaning.
Chief Sitting Toilet is not possible.

To compensate the centrifugal force is always needed.



Eddy.
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RArch
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Thu 09 Feb 2012, 13:04

Yes, “push right go right, push left go left.” is how counter steering was explained to me.
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Ishkatan
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Sat 11 Feb 2012, 13:10

Dimond wrote:
'aggressive lean'

Err... don't get too aggressive on the lean... I just rode to work and most of the turns were at less than 30 degree lean and that was plenty. I think the 45 degree lean is on a ramp that has a tilted road surface.

You might try what they do in motorcycle school. In a parking lot set up a few plastic cones as staggered 6 ft wide barriers and put a white chalk line down 10 feet away. Forces an S pattern. Practice riding at increasing speed to the white line then swerving around the cones before breaking. Let's you build speed and skill and you can go off on tangents without damage.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Sat 11 Feb 2012, 14:33

Why would you do it without braking?? Bad riders do that. Skilled use rear brake. There is video floating around of SilverWing being ridden very skillfully between cones. Watch brake light. MSF lets you jerk around cones.
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Sat 11 Feb 2012, 15:13

john grinsel wrote:
Why would you do it without braking?? Bad riders do that. Skilled use rear brake. There is video floating around of SilverWing being ridden very skillfully between cones. Watch brake light. MSF lets you jerk around cones.

John, my first post on this thread is the 'Wing' being ridden around the cones..
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Daboo
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Sat 11 Feb 2012, 16:24

I always cringe when I think of new riders going to a parking lot for practice. I think more bikes are dropped there, than anywhere else.

The temptation is to always go a little faster and a little tighter into the turns. Eventually, there comes a time when you went a little too fast or tight and you're in trouble. You jam on the brakes, and if the front wheel is turned any at all...an easy to do thing in a slow speed parking lot exercise...you dump the bike.

Chris
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Sat 11 Feb 2012, 16:38

But you do not use front brake!.....or you die, rear is balancing aid, speed controller.
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Daboo
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Sat 11 Feb 2012, 18:44

Oh I understand that John. And you understand that. But neither of us is the type to engage in parking lot practice.

However, the newbie who follows everyone's advice to go to the parking lot for a few hours of practice...may not know that. And will grab a fist full of whatever brake lever is handy in a panic...and dump it.

Chris
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Sat 11 Feb 2012, 20:31

Another question is, how much can the SWing lean on the left and right before scraping anything?
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Sat 11 Feb 2012, 20:56

MSF does not work on gas/clutch/rear brake coordination----great for lane splitting or general slow stuff-----nor do they work on starting/stopping on steep hill. Their charter in my opinion=sell more motorcycles. Linked brakes can limit use of rear brake as balancing aid.....but industry wants to keep bikes as idiot proof as possible....but before somebody jumps in on ABS-----Regardless of skill level I consider ABS real help in rain/slippery and soon will be law in EU as I understand.

To answer how far SilverWing can lean-----first why make it lean anymore than it has to? Keep tires doing as little work as possible. On SilverWing I never scraped anything other than front mud flap on speed bump. My SilverWing never touched on several runs thru Tail of the Dragon (really not very difficult) I always kept rear suspension jacked up high. Now how it would do on Stelvio or Col de Iserian I don't know. My BMW's/MZ/Concours/ or Vespas presented no scrapping problems.
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Sun 12 Feb 2012, 11:49

Fazli wrote:
Another question is, how much can the SWing lean on the left and right before scraping anything?

Not really an answer, but in the 2.5 years I have been riding the 'Wing' I have never managed to scrape anything whilst riding.

I could not say the same with my AN400 Burgman over a similar period. The centre stand was always sending up sparks on left hand turns.

I think experience will be your answer. (Never bothered to fit an inclinometer either!!!!! Laughing )
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Sun 12 Feb 2012, 19:52

Am I the only one thinking this topic is now getting rather silly? Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Sun 12 Feb 2012, 21:44

Time in the saddle. Turning on to my street the center stand drag, normal, this time it hooked the road reflector lifting the rear tire. it came down and stuck making my turn sharper than normal. I continued home where i found the cntr stand bent to the tire, I removed it. Point. you don't have time to think. Time in the saddle you will feel what to do and what NOT to do... Enjoy the Ride. You are learning every mile.
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Sun 12 Feb 2012, 22:47

Meldrew wrote:
Am I the only one thinking this topic is now getting rather silly? :roll:

Now?
Ill see your "getting rather silly" and raise you one, "Seriously?"
For once i agree with Meldrew!
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Sun 12 Feb 2012, 23:03

john grinsel wrote:
Why would you do it without braking?? Bad riders do that. Skilled use rear brake. There is video floating around of SilverWing being ridden very skillfully between cones. Watch brake light. MSF lets you jerk around cones.

In the Motorcycle training class the instructors had us doing that. It is practice for an emergency swerve maneuver. You can't break until you hit the white line or the instructor waves at you, and you don't have time to stop before the cones so you swerve around them then brake when you are going straight and vertical. Braking while leaned is advanced riding.

...... | ....... | ........ Brake zone
...... | ....... | ........
...... | ....... | ........ Brake zone
^^^^ ...... ^^^^.. Cones
........... X ............. Instructor (hit = fail)
...... ^^^^^ ......... Cones
.............................
----------------------- White line
(Dots adots used to get the drawing aligned and are empty space.)
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PostSubject: Re: How do you learn how to lean?   Mon 13 Feb 2012, 01:59

Am I the only one thinking this topic is now getting rather silly?

+ another 1.

However, if you really want to know without falling off, get a length of wood and a protractor.
Draw a straight line on the ground and park the bike with both wheels on the line.
Find the lowest & widest part of it, put one end of the piece of wood on the line at that point, raise the wood, keeping the end on the line, until it touches widest lowest point then measure the angle the wood makes with the ground. Repeat for the other side.
The bike needs to be on the centre-stand and you'll need to compensate for the height of the back wheel off the ground - a little piece of wood under the end of the other bit should do the trick.

Eesy peesy! cheers
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