One of the biggest challenges when riding a motorcycle is cornering. It can be a daunting prospect for a new rider and an Achilles heel even to an experienced motorcyclist. Here are our top tips to keep you going round the bend (in the right way!):
- Don't tense up. This is sometimes easier said than done, but your body position is crucial to nailing those perfect corners. Try to stay calm and relaxed while putting yourself in the prime position to guide the bike. Gently lean into the corner with your body, starting with your shoulder and elbow and let the rest of you naturally follow.
- Look where you're going. Okay this one seems obvious, but its very often forgotten! You go where you look, so make sure you are eyeing the line you want to take. Forget the oncoming traffic/quaint little church or whatever else has your mind wandering, concentrate on exactly where you want to end up.
- Nail counter steering. This one comes up a lot and can be confusing as it seems counter-intuitive, but there's a reason people bang on about it all the time - it works. To steer right, you need to gently push forward on the right handlebar (to steer left, push left). This will lean the bike to the right and enable you to negotiate the bend.
- Get a grip. Good tyres will help instil confidence on whatever road surface you're riding and whatever bike you're on. Make sure you research brands and types before fitting new tyres - don't just get the cheapest (or most expensive for that matter). Keep on top of them too - check regularly for wear and tear as well as replacing after the shelf life has passed.
- Control yourself! We mean your speed of course. This is absolutely critical. Its better to approach with caution (slower) than to come in hot and have to try to regain control. Slowing down in appropriate time allows you to position yourself correctly and get back on the gas quicker - so its more effective. It's also worth noting that taking a corner too slow can actually be difficult so practice really does make perfect on this one.