Cornering on an LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 5:45 am Thread Starter
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Cornering on an LT

Been thru MSF BRC & ERC, spent a lot of time rehearsing slow/look/lean/roll and head-up turning with great results. Problem is I still have a 'phobia' about hitting a spot of unfriendly road right while I'm at maximum lean in the middle of the curve. Have never wrecked, although I did have the rear end break loose on wet pavement a couple of times several years ago on my Virago. Ever since, I've been afraid to drag footpegs for fear of high-siding at speed.

When I recently got into the market for an LT, I test rode one for 100 miles or so. I found the LT begging me to lean into higher speed turns. "Come on you sissy, let's have some fun," she said. I'm afraid when I buy my new bike, she might get tired of my wimpy cornering and leave me (or mysteriously develop slave cylinder problems).

So if you have some therapeudic advice for me, I would greatly appreciate it. Any problems with slipping in the rear? Does the LT really dive into the corners more easily? Does the size of the bike change how/when you go with the lean as opposed to riding upright while the bike leans?

Dave
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post #2 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 6:09 am
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Just Ride It!

Once the sheer size of Big Bertha is established in your subconscience, file it away and just ride like you would any other bike. I owned a GT before my LT, and find that I can corner even better on the LT than the GT. I tend to get through the corners faster than the other club guys on their various array of BMW bikes, without trying!

Practice and ride. I too was made aware of the "oil line" and have ever since been dead scared of the centre of the road. But, never had a slip (thank goodness)

There was a post a few months back discussing riding techniques, especially stopping and slow riding which definitely needs to be practiced. I'm sure you will find that if you do a search around the forum all will be revealed - Welcome and safe riding

I would rather be riding my bike and thinking about God than sitting in Church thinking about my bike!

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post #3 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 6:12 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtnicks
Been thru MSF BRC & ERC, spent a lot of time rehearsing slow/look/lean/roll and head-up turning with great results. Problem is I still have a 'phobia' about hitting a spot of unfriendly road right while I'm at maximum lean in the middle of the curve. Have never wrecked, although I did have the rear end break loose on wet pavement a couple of times several years ago on my Virago. Ever since, I've been afraid to drag footpegs for fear of high-siding at speed.

When I recently got into the market for an LT, I test rode one for 100 miles or so. I found the LT begging me to lean into higher speed turns. "Come on you sissy, let's have some fun," she said. I'm afraid when I buy my new bike, she might get tired of my wimpy cornering and leave me (or mysteriously develop slave cylinder problems).

So if you have some therapeudic advice for me, I would greatly appreciate it. Any problems with slipping in the rear? Does the LT really dive into the corners more easily? Does the size of the bike change how/when you go with the lean as opposed to riding upright while the bike leans?

Dave

ride in your comfort zone and not one bit above it and enjoy your ride!!

want to be ricky racer, go get a beat up sport bike and go do tract days in full gear in a controlled enviroment

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post #4 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 6:35 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmgs
ride in your comfort zone and not one bit above it and enjoy your ride!!

want to be ricky racer, go get a beat up sport bike and go do tract days in full gear in a controlled enviroment
Probably the best advice you'll ever get concerning motorcycles.

I used to ride pretty aggressively. I've had both the front & rear wheels drift in fast turns (fortunately not both at the same time), & ridden them out. I've ridden through a lock-to-lock high speed wobble, hit 4 X 4's & chunks of I beam at speed on the highway. All without going down, or serious damage.

Those two big gyro's will usually keep you upright, & a little agility applied at the right time will solve any other problems you find yourself in. That being said, I find that as I age my reaction time slows. I no longer react as quickly or smoothly as I did. I have to take that in consideration as I ride. Most motorcycles are capable of out performing their rider so don't let the machine decide your comfort zone. Being the first person through the turn is only satisfying till the next turn. Being the person that got through *all* the turns is satisfying for life.

Jinks ('86fxrs, '07 FLTR)
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post #5 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 7:01 am
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I guess I'm not alone in learning the LT. I'm still getting used to the LT. I had a Shadow and a Vstrom before the LT. Both had taller front tires, which I think, made a difference in how the bike feels on turn in and throughout the turn. This is completely unscientific, but I bet there is something to that. The LT turns in easier, and seems to "want" to turn easier than the Vstrom. At this point I would still be more comfy on the strom, although I am getting used to the LT. But on many occasions, I have found that the LT is turning sharper than I thought it would for the amount of input I gave it.

I also find that if I'm not careful, I sit too upright when cornering, and have my arms too straight. After coaching MSF classes for 5 years, I know that sitting too upright with stiff arms does not contribute to smooth cornering. The rider should strive to "become one" with the bike, i.e. lean a bit forward and lean WITH the bike. A much tamer version of the race bike posture. Lead with your chin. Point your chin and jacket zipper inb the direction you want to go. The bike feels much better that way.

I have drug the sidestand once already, and think there is much more handling to be found. Keep riding in a comfortable spot and you;ll get used to it.

Rando
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post #6 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 7:29 am
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Think of it this way: if you ride where you feel comfortable, and it's only 50% of what the bike is capable of, you have that additional 50% available to you should the situation arise. You may surprise yourself in the way you handle the bike, and the way the bike handles, but at least you'll be upright and riding down the road while congratulating yourself, and wondering where your underwear went.
If you ride at, or very close to, your (or the bike's) limit all the time, when that unexpected situation comes up, you have no margin for error.
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post #7 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 7:48 am
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Don't worry about the bike.

You can drag centerstand, pegs, and even gear shift and fairing.

Dragging parts is a sign that your going in too hot. If you make it a habbit, eventually that peg will stick, left the rear wheel, and down you go.

The thing to worry about is YOUR skill and ability. Take slow steps building your skill. It won't take long to be too fast to be safe on the street. Then you need to think about track days.

To UNDERSTAND the whats and whys of bike performance, there are several good books. Sport Riding Techniques, Twist of the Wrist I and II, and others.

I would reccomend you read all you can, take baby steps. If you feel fear, there is a reason, back it down. You should be in control at all times.

The most important thing is to be comfortable while having your fun, so that you may continue to have fun in the future. Mistakes while riding are not very forgiving.

Enjoy the LT !!

James Ranks
2008 BMW R1200RT 7200 miles
2005 BMW R1200GS 13000 miles (Sold)
2002 Yamaha FZ1 (Sold) 11000 miles
2002 BMW K1200LTC 29900 miles (Sold)
2002 Yamaha VSTAR-650 Silverado (Sold) 9100 miles
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post #8 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 7:54 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmgs
want to be ricky racer, go get a beat up sport bike and go do tract days in full gear in a controlled enviroment
Or buy Wilburs so you can lean the LT past the rear tire's tread pattern . . . right Tom?!


But really...My LT's hard parts are very scraped up. It's when you lift the rear tire, things get interesting quick! My advise? Take your time and grow comfortable with the LT's maximum lean angles. A scrape here and there won't hurt anything. But if you're scraping all the time, it might be time to look into buying the new GT, or a GS. Worked for me.
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post #9 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 8:40 am
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Lots of good thoughts in this thread. The most important of which is to ride your own ride and stay well within your own comfort zone. If you want to push hard and scare yourself do it on the track or at the amusement park, not on the highway. The best way to increase your skill level, and therefore your confidance, is to spend time in the saddle. Remember, the LT is an incredible machine but doesn't have to be ridden at it's limits to be enjoyed. Motorcycling is different things to different people. For some of us it's sufficient to know that that extra margin is available should we need it but it's not something that we need to consume every time we throw a leg over the saddle.

Lynn Keen
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MSF #28271 Retired
'99 Canyon Red RETIRED AT 93,000 MI
'05 GRAPHITE METALLIC retired at 87,000 MI
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post #10 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 9:56 am
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Agree with all, but would add..

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtnicks
Been thru MSF BRC & ERC, spent a lot of time rehearsing slow/look/lean/roll and head-up turning with great results. Problem is I still have a 'phobia' about hitting a spot of unfriendly road right while I'm at maximum lean in the middle of the curve. Have never wrecked, although I did have the rear end break loose on wet pavement a couple of times several years ago on my Virago. Ever since, I've been afraid to drag footpegs for fear of high-siding at speed.
.....
Howdy Dave,

I agree with all that was written so far. But in looking at your resume', I do not see a "track day" with instruction. That type of education would be very helpful in expanding your skills and to better understand the limits of your m/c. The result being an increase in your confidence.

Regarding fear: In general, fear is a good thing. It is what keeps us from going too far with risk. The trick is to reduce irrational fear by increasing ones knowledge regarding technique, motorcycle dynamics and confidence in one's judgement.

Judgement is the most important component and can be improved by continuous practice in a disciplined manner while riding. That last piece may sound a bit cliche', but it is a truth. We need good information to make sound judgements and the only person that gather and process information in order to make sound judgement call is each of us individually, the rider.

During a ride, constant gathering and processing of information
regarding adhesion in corners by:
-evaluating the characteristics of the road (gravel, tar snakes, paint, leaves, wetness)
-evaluate the potential for debris dropping from trucks (is there construction nearby)
-evaluate consistency and accuracy of roadway signage
-evaluate potential for abrupt changes in road conditions, i.e., has it rained in the last day such that "run off" water can be around the next blind curve, is it windy and the location near sand that can be blown onto the road.
-continuously evaluating my level of fatigue and ability to deal with the task load
-evaluate consequences of an error in judgement (low siding on a track with no obstacles as compared to on an outside turn with a cliff and no guard-rail)
-etc., etc., etc.
-Do it all continuously throughout the ride.

Practice of the above will lead to increasing confidence in one's judgement and allow for a decrease in irrational fear of pace.

.

Bill "Omaha"

"Life may have begun at 44, but it didn't get thrilling until I shot past 100"

'04 K1200LT "Dieter" Titan Silver, FB 4/23/04
'06 K1200R "Wolfgang" White Aluminum Metallic, FB 6/7/05

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post #11 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 2:46 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinks
Probably the best advice you'll ever get concerning motorcycles.

I used to ride pretty aggressively. That being said, I find that as I age my reaction time slows.
I friggen GUESS SO, it's been three years and you still have not made it the 600 miles here!

Friggen OLD people! Sheesh!

Tom

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post #12 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 4:24 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyOmaha
Howdy Dave,

Regarding fear: In general, fear is a good thing. It is what keeps us from going too far with risk. The trick is to reduce irrational fear by increasing ones knowledge regarding technique, motorcycle dynamics and confidence in one's judgement.

Judgement is the most important component and can be improved by continuous practice in a disciplined manner while riding. That last piece may sound a bit cliche', but it is a truth. We need good information to make sound judgements and the only person that gather and process information in order to make sound judgement call is each of us individually, the rider.

During a ride, constant gathering and processing of information
regarding adhesion in corners by:
-evaluating the characteristics of the road (gravel, tar snakes, paint, leaves, wetness)
-evaluate the potential for debris dropping from trucks (is there construction nearby)
-evaluate consistency and accuracy of roadway signage
-evaluate potential for abrupt changes in road conditions, i.e., has it rained in the last day such that "run off" water can be around the next blind curve, is it windy and the location near sand that can be blown onto the road.
-continuously evaluating my level of fatigue and ability to deal with the task load
-evaluate consequences of an error in judgement (low siding on a track with no obstacles as compared to on an outside turn with a cliff and no guard-rail)
-etc., etc., etc.
-Do it all continuously throughout the ride.
.
Billy? Just gorgeous... I wish I had said that. Can I pass this around to the pocket rocket crowd? I'll even throw in your tag line...

Uncle Mark

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post #13 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 4:25 pm
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I've been doing it all wrong, I thought that levering the bike over on the centerstand was the proper method to change a line midcorner!
Seriously, I wouldn't want to own a bike that didn't corner decent and this bike does. I hate to drag hard parts, that's why my peg lowering kit is sitting in a bag. Still too much centerstand scrapage, I was going to get new shocks but a deal came up on a 79 R100. Hmmm...never had an airhead, wonder how hard it is to drag the heads?
BTW- we've raced a CB350 for years, I don't envision Honda thinking the CB would ever make a racebike. I find it satisfying to gently exploit a bikes cornering abilities, that's why I ride. Ironically, the last fall I had was at a standstill with wife on the back coming back from CCR. It did hurt less than a getoff in a corner, the ego damage may have been worse though!
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post #14 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 4:42 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleMark
Billy? Just gorgeous... I wish I had said that. Can I pass this around to the pocket rocket crowd? I'll even throw in your tag line...
I thought it a bit pedantic, but if you're serious, be my guest.

.

Bill "Omaha"

"Life may have begun at 44, but it didn't get thrilling until I shot past 100"

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post #15 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 4:46 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyOmaha
Regarding fear: In general, fear is a good thing. It is what keeps us from going too far with risk. The trick is to reduce irrational fear by increasing ones knowledge regarding technique, motorcycle dynamics and confidence in one's judgement.
I've been biting my tongue, but have decided that I need to say something here...

If I may nit-pick for a moment? I would like to replace the word "fear" with "caution". Fear is what can freeze you in your tracks. Fear is what causes object fixation. Fear hinders you from doing the right thing at the right time. I like the saying, "What I lack in skill, I make up with caution.".

Just a little food for thought. I've seen riders do dumb things because of fear. Whether it's coming into a curve too hot, or riding on wet roads.

OK...I'm done. Carry on.
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post #16 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 5:21 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
I've been biting my tongue, but have decided that I need to say something here...

If I may nit-pick for a moment? I would like to replace the word "fear" with "caution". Fear is what can freeze you in your tracks. Fear is what causes object fixation. Fear hinders you from doing the right thing at the right time. I like the saying, "What I lack in skill, I make up with caution.".

Just a little food for thought. I've seen riders do dumb things because of fear. Whether it's coming into a curve too hot, or riding on wet roads.

OK...I'm done. Carry on.
Howdy Joe,

It was good meeting Ken.... er....you at CCR....and pulling pulling your leg a bit

I thought about that word before using it and don't have a problem with you using a different one if you feel better with it..... although you seem to feel okay with farkle now, so there is hope for you.

Fear is a spontaneous response, not a choice or approach, that is based on one's perceptions regarding the conditions they are in at a particular moment. My point was that the objective is push back the advent of fear by increasing skills.

.

Bill "Omaha"

"Life may have begun at 44, but it didn't get thrilling until I shot past 100"

'04 K1200LT "Dieter" Titan Silver, FB 4/23/04
'06 K1200R "Wolfgang" White Aluminum Metallic, FB 6/7/05

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post #17 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 7:40 pm
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Ooh, can I join in? I would call those reactions that freeze a rider or cause object fixation "panic", not fear. I guess it a matter of degree.

Dale White

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post #18 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 7:51 pm
 
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Ooh, can I join in?
No Nietzsche Boy! Sit down and SHUT UP!!!
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post #19 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 7:56 pm
 
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BillyOmaha has good advice. You may wish to read a couple of Proficient Motorcycling books by David Hough. I've been to the MSF, police motor school and ridden many years. Hough's books gave me some outstanding tips and I have become a much better and safer rider due to his advice. Countersteering is magic, especially on a heavy bike like the LT. Even on slow speed turns I can scrape my sportboards at will. I don't think I can ever ride well enough to surpass the LT's capabilities .... read Hough's books, have great tires and be confident (and realistic) in your abilities. The LT will respond accordingly.
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post #20 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 7:56 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtnicks
So if you have some therapeudic advice for me, I would greatly appreciate it.
BillyOmaha's post was really good. I have not been to a track day yet, but the next best thing I have done is read Keith Code's "A Twist of the Wrist II." It is chock full of good stuff. The thing that was hard for me to do is to learn to stay loose even when faced with a scary situation. Panic can cause you to freeze, which can be a really bad thing!

Blessings!
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post #21 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 8:06 pm
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Well Dave, I'm not sure what your really looking for but,

I love looking at your bio then thinking about your post - a HD ME on an LT looking for the edge - Priceless.


Thanks for joining us.

John

2004 - LT - Anthracite
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post #22 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 8:14 pm
 
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Originally Posted by bowlesj
Well Dave, I'm not sure what your really looking for but,

I love looking at your bio then thinking about your post - a HD ME on an LT looking for the edge - Priceless.
John, You see what happens when you start hanging around me too much!
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post #23 of 25 Old Sep 6th, 2006, 8:26 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
John, You see what happens when you start hanging around me too much!
So - you were thinking the same thing, Eh?

John

2004 - LT - Anthracite
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post #24 of 25 Old Sep 11th, 2006, 8:09 pm
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Cornering fearlessly

Keep your rpm's up going into corners and use the engines natural braking to control speed. You will find that you will enter smoothly and exit faster. Practice a bit and you will steadly increase your cornering speed and gain confidence. Don't be afraid to keep the rpm's up even if you're reving the bike more than you normally do. Every bike I've ever ridden likes to accelerate out of a corner, if your rpm are up in the power band you will find the bike gets out of the corner faster and you can get a good push into the next corner. It's all a lot easier on the tires than braking coasting and accelerating. It's easier on you too!
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post #25 of 25 Old Sep 13th, 2006, 9:11 pm
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Wink An airhead, drag the heads??!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanforn
Hmmm...never had an airhead, wonder how hard it is to drag the heads?
The pic below is me on Phantom. I'm almost out of rubber and still have plenty of clearance. If you drag metal on an airhead, you are really leaning way over. No chance of draggin the heads, unless you have some newer generation wheels and tires.
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