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Road Riding Technique

A category on the site devoted to training and technique articles for all levels of rider Read More
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How to stay on in the dirt and get over those things that you shouldn't go through Read More
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Articles that take Greg's fancy...mostly written by him Read More
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All about the idiot who put this site together and thinks he knows a little about riding motorbikes Read More
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Road Riding Technique

RoadCraft - Chasing the Vanishing Point

The Vanishing Point

Is Not the point where you leave the road, forever to be consumed by the native bush, it’s a conceptual point best illustrated by the picture above.

It has been described as

 

 

“Vanishing points refer to the point in the distance where the two verges of a road appear to converge.”

It’s a technique for gauging the correct maximum speed for the corner.

A vanishing point is a point in a perspective drawing to which parallel lines not parallel to the image plane appear to converge. The concept was first used by Renaissance artists such as Donatello, Masaccio and Leonardo da Vinci.

 

Confused?  Yeah thought you would be, so let me explain; firstly let me explain what you are looking for and then let’s cover off how you use that point once you have identified it.

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RoadCraft - Finding Traction

 

Traction is an essential element

 

 

 

With out it, your sliding around on the ground, not cruising through your corners.  So how do you tell when you've got traction, what's all this talk we hear about "feeling" for the grip?

I mean seriously how do you feel for grip? and how do you learn that feel without pitching yourself down the road.  Well the good news is that you can learn this skill and you don't need to risk yourself or your toys to get it.

Firstly you need to understand that the grip we talk about is mechanical adhesion, or grip that is based on Guillaume Amontons laws of friction.  The first of these laws probably makes an incredible amount of sense to you.

The friction between two surfaces is proportional to the force pressing one to the other. The weight of a motorcycle pressing the tire into the pavement. "Proportional" just means that if you double the pressing force you double the friction.

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RoadCraft - What Are the Limits

LIMITS

A good friend of mine, when he was learning to ride always wanted to know what the actual limits were.  Apparently I never answered him preferring to encourage him to learn the skills to feel for grip, measure his lean angle etc.  But it is a good question;

 

Throughout this article I will make reference to Steve Mundane's website and efforts (http://www.stevemunden.com); whilst developing the maths I discovered Steve's site and his work along the same lines.  Steve has approached it from a slightly different perspective and math but his work is fabulous and well worth the read.  Further he has given permission for it to be shared with you.

 

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RoadCraft - Exceeding the limits

 Stepping over the precipice!!!

 

 

Wow sounds pretty dramatic really, but it some times feels like that doesn't it.  The consequences can be pretty dramatic and range from a simple and well executed, intentional, powerslide coming out of  a corner to highside off into an approaching wall being driven by a  hairy trucker who is simply going to be annoyed about your impact on his business because, lets face it your not going to have anywhere near as much impact on his truck as it is going to have on your family!!!!

 

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Roadcraft - Slow speed corners

Slow speed corners

Slow speed corners are a problem and the bigger the bike the bigger the problem.   But not simply because of the weight. You’ll find that even riders of modern 1000cc sports bikes that are tiny and light struggle with tight corners. The reasons are far more to do with balance, control and those damn wobbly bits.

 

 

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