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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I took another course, focused on cornering and mountain twisties. My goal is to learn what I don't know that I don't know, and get feedback on how well (or not) I am putting into practice the techniques and skills.

This course was by a company called Cycleright, in Brisbane. It was 3 hours, with about 30 mins of theory and discussion, about 1 hour of slower turn practice on their little track, and then a ride to Mt Gravatt for a few up and down repeats. Great team and fun day out.

My husband did this one with me, and there were 3 other riders there too. The 2 coaches worked out how we each ride, then split us into 2 groups, each with its own coach, based on skill. I was in the more skilled group.

One thing I learned, over and above what I already do, is that I am not imagining that our bike is a bit finicky through very tight corners, it's true. Even with the 14t front sprocket, corners posted at 20kph are tricky, 1st feeling too short and snappy but 2nd feeling too tall and luggy. The coach said I should experiment with a bit of clutch slip in 2nd, and trying it out felt almost like a revelation. Another thing I learned was to tip in a bit later than I tend to, and that felt great too. Finally, remembering to 'kiss the mirror' as I tip in also improved the feel of smoothness and control.

This is the second formal course I've taken, and in both situations I felt the coaches were limited with how much they could teach me for street riding. Mostly because they have to focus on basic techique and safety. I seem to know most of that, confirmed now by their feedback, and can continue with my personal practice rides (car parks and familiar routes). But I want to learn to master everything about our beautiful bike, safely tho, so from now on, I will hire a personal coach and do one-on-one street and mountain sessions.

Keen to hear any experience you all have had with courses or coaching?
 

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...Even with the 14t front sprocket, corners posted at 20kph are tricky, 1st feeling too short and snappy but 2nd feeling too tall and luggy....
It's actually the 14 tooth sprocket that is causing this. The 15 would be slightly better, you wouldn't need to change to second.

But that's the issue with any gearing. There is a time it works, but on either side of that spot, a different combination would work. That's what makes bigger motors better, they have more torque and can pull when they are not quite in the sweet spot, where a less torquey motor bogs down.

Tipping in later is something a lot of people need to do. It's not so much tipping in but the fact you are taking a later apex. For the street it is a defensive move, a later apex gives you more options on corner exit whereas early apexes are going to put you on the outside of the corner. That means running off the road on right handers or being on the wrong side of the road if you get it wrong on a left hander. It also means you can see more before you commit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's actually the 14 tooth sprocket that is causing this. The 15 would be slightly better, you wouldn't need to change to second.

But that's the issue with any gearing. There is a time it works, but on either side of that spot, a different combination would work. That's what makes bigger motors better, they have more torque and can pull when they are not quite in the sweet spot, where a less torquey motor bogs down.

Tipping in later is something a lot of people need to do. It's not so much tipping in but the fact you are taking a later apex. For the street it is a defensive move, a later apex gives you more options on corner exit whereas early apexes are going to put you on the outside of the corner. That means running off the road on right handers or being on the wrong side of the road if you get it wrong on a left hander. It also means you can see more before you commit.
Re the later tip in, yes that's what I understand too, and great to be more conscious of it now. And with the 14t, I had hoped that tight corners would be easier in 2nd, but yeah just a different set of limitations but I still prefer the 14t overall. Thanks for your insights, @theresanothersteve :).
 

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@Boe This might be more on soft skills side, and maybe goes without saying, but I’ve found over the years that I adjust my riding style to how I feel.

We are all human, and sometimes more at the top of our game. If I’ve got a lot on my mind, I’ll dial it back, or even not ride at all. Also, I love to rip and have fun, but try to be careful to ride up to my personal 8 or 9/10, not 10/10 or 11/10, or for that matter, anyone else’s pace. I do slip every once in a while and “forget”, but not very often anymore. As the expression goes (and applies to many things in life, imo): “Ride your own Motorcyle”.
 

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Switchbacks can be a bit sticky. It's always possible that they'll be curves and elevation that won't match the power and gearing. I agree that the 15T would allow more range in first gear. So it's a matter of benefits and how often a rider will encounter these situations. Sometimes, we'll just have to slow down and keep the revs up.

So far as the riding techniques. I'd say the #1 rule is keep your head up and look down the road as far as possible, all the way to vanishing point. In my experience, the bike seems to follow my eyes, keeps a good line and shifts to the right gear. But the exception for me is sometimes I can cut the corner a little short turning in left hand hairpins, and need to keep closer vision markers.

I think the SS is perhaps the best bike anyone could ride on these types of roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So true @Ed K it's hugely important to ride to how we feel, sometimes I'm tired, sometimes my clutch hand and arm get sore, sometimes I feel so focused and switched on. No bike will forgive bigger mistakes. I enjoy learning, so I can build more unconscious competence to rely on. And to enjoy. This is a sport, a skill, and an escape for me that I accidentally discovered and am so happy I did. Almost nothing else makes me feel as happy. Glad to have you all to share this with.

@LowRyter mountain biking has taught me the importance of looking where you want to go, and I have two broken shoulders as reminders!! I know for sure it's helped on the SS with more than one turn I wasn't properly prepared for.
 
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