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post #1 of 24 Old Jul 12th, 2010, 9:02 am Thread Starter
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blind curves...something to think about.

"To this day I still pucker a little around blind curves...."

I just read this on a thread. I can agree with that, having rounded a "blind" curve and there sat a Honda Accord across both my lanes - I hit it. But here's the thing to think about. In the basic MSF class, I try to tell folks you should be able to STOP in the distance you can see ahead. So by that theory, you should never have a "blind curve", right?

I'm no perfect rider, far from it. But when I saw that and thought about the phrase and what I actually try to preach, I realize I need to PRACTICE what I PREACH, so to speak.

IF you can stop in the distance you can see, there are no blind curves. And the DOTs are pretty good about giving us those yellow diamond signs with a speed on them. I have been told by a reliable source that the speed on those is suppoosed to be a speed that allows you FOUR seconds of visibility. Which is, in theory, time to stop. OR at least make a valiant effort at saving your bacon.

As I said, I have been there, done that. And probably will again. I have taken the speed on those diamond sings as a personal challenge to better it by 15 or more MPH. But when you do that - you are increasing your risk, right? So if you want to elimate the bllind curves, adjust your speed so that you can stop in the distance you can see ahead, right? Yes that may mean your ride is not as much fun, or that you go a bit slower, but if it gets you home alive and able to ride the bike again, isn't that even better?

Just something to think about/discuss... The roads are not a racetrack where everyone is going in the same direction and the turns are predictable and swept clean.

Randy
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post #2 of 24 Old Jul 12th, 2010, 9:43 am
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

+1 I wish everyone would read this.
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post #3 of 24 Old Jul 12th, 2010, 9:47 am Thread Starter
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Wish I'd read it before I crashed into that Honda Accord. lol ON the plus side I was able to scrub off a lot of speed before impact.... But that was over 3 years ago, and I was just thinking about it again. We all need reminders now and again....

Randy
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post #4 of 24 Old Jul 12th, 2010, 12:04 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rando
...turns are predictable and swept clean.

Randy
+1. I had a get off due to an oil slick. Still paranoid about that more than anything in corners...

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post #5 of 24 Old Jul 12th, 2010, 1:05 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

I recently attended an advanced rider course with my son and son-in-law. I taught both of them to ride. In the course, they emphasized, over and over again, that once you're into a curve, you change nothing: speed, direction, braking etc., with the exception of accelerating out of the curve.
When I taught my kids to ride, one of the first things I taught them was moving around in the curve, shifting in the curve and braking in the curve. My logic to them was that they should be able to move, in any direction, so as to avoid unforseen obstacles. I still stand by that, and it's saved more than one of them, and more than once. That philosophy emphasizes that you're never at your "maximum" in a curve - in other words, you can still lean in further if needed.
With respect to shifting, my emphasis was that they should be able to shift gears so smoothly as to not upset the bike while doing so.
I think that was one of only two things that I ever disagreed with in that course, but never presented it in class out of respect for their curriculum.
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post #6 of 24 Old Jul 12th, 2010, 1:25 pm Thread Starter
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Well, as a rider I would agree with you. Once you reach an advanced level, you are free to explore different techniques. And I have read several books on sport bike techniques that advocate trail braking etc. And yes, you should be riding at a level that allows you to maneuver as needed. Whether in a curve or not.

Trail braking, while a good technique, must be done smoooothly. Someone with limited experience might be too harsh on the brakes and lock the front. Hard to teach in a 8 hour class.

I just hope folks will think about the "blind curve" scenario and try to approach curves so as to NOT be surprised. To have that reserve left to adjust for whatever may be in or around the curve.

Good stuff.
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post #7 of 24 Old Jul 12th, 2010, 4:56 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Agreed Randy, it's just that this was an advanced class, and I was hoping for more technical information. But, as the instructor told me away from the class, he didn't want the class to become too confused over technicalities, and he was correct.
I had sort of wished he could have discussed the lazy S skid out of the rear brake, and why you don't need to let off the brake.
I don't trail brake as a practice, but do on occasion just to keep my limited skills up. I also "cover" my brake into nearly any curve, even with just one or two fingers.
I really do enjoy the technical aspects of motorcycles. Really cool vehicles when you explore them in depth.
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post #8 of 24 Old Jul 14th, 2010, 1:47 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpmlt
I recently attended an advanced rider course with my son and son-in-law. I taught both of them to ride. In the course, they emphasized, over and over again, that once you're into a curve, you change nothing: speed, direction, braking etc., with the exception of accelerating out of the curve.
When I taught my kids to ride, one of the first things I taught them was moving around in the curve, shifting in the curve and braking in the curve. My logic to them was that they should be able to move, in any direction, so as to avoid unforseen obstacles. I still stand by that, and it's saved more than one of them, and more than once. That philosophy emphasizes that you're never at your "maximum" in a curve - in other words, you can still lean in further if needed.
With respect to shifting, my emphasis was that they should be able to shift gears so smoothly as to not upset the bike while doing so.
I think that was one of only two things that I ever disagreed with in that course, but never presented it in class out of respect for their curriculum.
It may be ideal to never change anything once in a curve, but that assumes a lot. It assumes you can see the entire curve going into it. It assumes there's no gravel in curve that you see and have to avoid at the last minute. In Iowa, you're always looking for debris in a curve and it's there a lot of the time.

Greg
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post #9 of 24 Old Jul 14th, 2010, 3:09 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

I think the point of the MSF approach is to get riders in the mode of preparing for the curve to eliminate the need for adjusting in the curve due to foreseeable factors. Not sure how they could teach in curve evasive/corrective maneuvers unless they dedicated a complete class to it knowing that a lot of drops would be the outcome. Trail braking, and skid control in curves is really a track day item that has specific roadway application.

Dealing with a crisis thrust at you is one thing, having created the crisis yourself .... Doh!

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post #10 of 24 Old Jul 14th, 2010, 3:41 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpolakow
In Iowa, you're always looking for debris in a curve and it's there a lot of the time.
There are curve/s in Iowa??

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post #11 of 24 Old Jul 14th, 2010, 7:14 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Interesting. I didn't realize the posted speed for a curve was to allow you 4 seconds of vision. Like you, I took it as a challenge. Even in the semi I drive, it's usually no problem to exceed that posted speed and not be in danger of a rollover. I just assumed they were underestimating things. Thanks for the education.

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post #12 of 24 Old Jul 14th, 2010, 10:26 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

IIRC your yellow signs for the bends also show the SHAPE of the bend giving you a clue as to what's around apex. Ours are a standard sign which could mean a long sweeper or a tight hairpin.
I believe the phrase used over here was "Always make sure you can stop (on your own side of the road*) in the distance you can see to be clear "
* added by some instructors


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post #13 of 24 Old Jul 15th, 2010, 1:07 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Keep my GPS in WASS mode and zoomed down on unfamiliar roads .... saved my bacon more than once seeing what the road ahead had in store

That said, another thing entirely is doing back country one-lane stuff and having no place to go other than off the road or stop ... so SLOW and safe is paramount !!

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post #14 of 24 Old Jul 18th, 2010, 4:03 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hallzee
+1. I had a get off due to an oil slick. Still paranoid about that more than anything in corners...
After 170K miles of curves and sweepers on my 2005 LT I had a low-side, 360 degree spining, 120ft long slide after hiting oil while turing right on a merging sweeper.

Lesson learned was to be cautious of "YIELD" signs. After going back and looking at the exit of the turn it was obvious that vehicles had been stopping and dripping oil at the spot. I'm now treating all yield signs as oil spill signs.

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post #15 of 24 Old Jul 18th, 2010, 10:31 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlieg
After 170K miles of curves and sweepers on my 2005 LT I had a low-side, 360 degree spining, 120ft long slide after hiting oil while turing right on a merging sweeper.

Lesson learned was to be cautious of "YIELD" signs. After going back and looking at the exit of the turn it was obvious that vehicles had been stopping and dripping oil at the spot. I'm now treating all yield signs as oil spill signs.

Chuck
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post #16 of 24 Old Jul 18th, 2010, 11:29 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Been to both sides of the issue...........have trained myself to stay flexible throughout the parameter of the curve, and have found myself in the situation where the only way through it was to 'Change nothing' albeit lean into the throttle a bit.....and of course, stay focused on where you want to be..........Not saying I know what is best for all but on the other hand, it really is good to be able to stay flexible........Chuck; sounds like some place I spun through once..............hope all's well...B-Safe

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post #17 of 24 Old Jul 19th, 2010, 11:54 am
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razmataz
Dammer Skippy! First: How much damage to yourself?
Second: How much damage to your bike?
ATGATT Saved my hide. I stayed with the bike and kept my feet on the pegs, sliding on my arm an back, just a slight scrape through my jacket on my arm. The LT lost the right mirror, scuffed the right grip and the right panier. Also bent the right handle bar, it straightened easily with a pipe while the grip was off.

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post #18 of 24 Old Jul 19th, 2010, 12:03 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

By staying close to the recommended speed on the yellow advisory signs going into curves, I find the ride much less intense and more relaxing. I have tried the whole bombing down the road and through the curves thing on my own and in groups. No thanks. I prefer the slow, relaxed pace. After all, its about the ride, not who gets there first for me.
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post #19 of 24 Old Jul 19th, 2010, 12:41 pm Thread Starter
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

That's where I'm getting to at this point in my life. I'm not a racer boy and there is ALWAYS someone faster, so why not just enjoy the ride?

Randy
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post #20 of 24 Old Jul 19th, 2010, 12:46 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sit
By staying close to the recommended speed on the yellow advisory signs going into curves, I find the ride much less intense and more relaxing. I have tried the whole bombing down the road and through the curves thing on my own and in groups. No thanks. I prefer the slow, relaxed pace. After all, its about the ride, not who gets there first for me.

No slight intended - but I might as well be in a wheel chair at that point. I do try to be safe as possible though.

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post #21 of 24 Old Jul 20th, 2010, 8:57 am
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

I have had 3 friends killed in downhill, right hand, decreasing radius corners. They were all much better riders than me on the track. This has made me change my rules of engagement on the highway.

1. One can go as fast as they want through a corner, as long as one can see the exit of the corner. Until that point we control entry speed by braking early, reapplying the throttle (maintenance throttle only) ride outside in, and wait for the apex. after we can see the apex, all bets are off and I go as fast as I feel comfortable . Put simply do not override your line of sight.......

The friends who were killed were diving into unfamiliar corners, hard on the brakes, riding the front tire, they went in too hot, crossed the center line and hit a vehicle head on killing them instantly.

RIDE SAFE -------------HIGHWAYS ARE NOT RACETRACKS--------------Kieth

ps these guys had training they just forgot they were on the road, not the track
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post #22 of 24 Old Jul 20th, 2010, 9:28 am
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieth
ps these guys had training they just forgot they were on the road, not the track

Riding on the road actually scares the hell out of me. Any curve scares the hell out of me, until I've ridden it a few times. Of course, my idea of scared is quite different than many, definitely falls into the respect category. And personally, when other riders think I'm just pushing the limits, I'm actually no where close, because the road is such a dangerous place.

Those that have been "on the track" really don't even know what fast is. Until one has banged fairings, elbows and knees with the competition, week in and week out, it's just plain hard to imagine what can be done on these 2 wheeled machines. Viewing does little to shed any light on the matter.

So, would that be Hallet where you guys used to hang out. The 2nd paved motocross course in the country, other than the old Mid America Raceway in Wentzville, MO?

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post #23 of 24 Old Jul 20th, 2010, 11:33 am
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Thumbs up Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Yes we ride at Hallett, its the track that makes one a better rider. You must learn how to set a bikes' suspension up or it will beat you to death. It actually has gotten better in the last couple of years. I never did race but did sponsor K&N Yamahas race team for a few years and have done my share of track days. I have always tried to ride on the track like I ride on the street since that is where I spend the majority of time. You are correct about racing, it sorts out the men from the boys on race day and I am just one of the boys. I do love to ride but I do love to survive..........Kieth
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post #24 of 24 Old Jul 20th, 2010, 1:30 pm
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Re: blind curves...something to think about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieth
Yes we ride at Hallett, its the track that makes one a better rider. You must learn how to set a bikes' suspension up or it will beat you to death. It actually has gotten better in the last couple of years. I never did race but did sponsor K&N Yamahas race team for a few years and have done my share of track days. I have always tried to ride on the track like I ride on the street since that is where I spend the majority of time. You are correct about racing, it sorts out the men from the boys on race day and I am just one of the boys. I do love to ride but I do love to survive..........Kieth


Very good! Well, if you were around to see Sam Mcdonald, Schwantz, Turkington, and Polen go around during endurance races, then we were there together. The CMRA guys have always been good fun for us old MCRA guys. Enjoy life!

John

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