Assessing Corners

Assessing Corners

There five basic things to consider when approaching a corner and remember just because you know a bend well you will always need to reassess it every time you approach it, things change!
Visibility
Road surface
Camber
Obstructions
Sharpness

Visibility

Obvious I know but how far can you see ? There are plenty of corners that you can get round at 60 MPH, but have a safe visibility of 30 MPH. Remember you will have problems braking in corners unless you are very skilled, even when skilled braking in corners is pushing your luck and is very easy to get wrong, get it wrong and you will fall off.

Road Surface

What is it like, wet, dry, polished, grippy, loose, diesel ? With experience you will be able to assess the available grip. The best way is to gently work towards the edge of the available grip, that way you will feel it when you get near the edge, and you can pull back from it. Do not go in big time to find your self looking for more grip than there is. Do not squander the grip you do have by braking in the corner, braking in a corner will always make the situation worse.

Camber

Which way does the road slope, is it going to help or hinder ? Not sure ? It can be deceptive, where are the drains, that has to be the low side.
Most roads are cambered to help you through the bend, e.g., on a right hand bend the road will normally slope to the right. Very occasionally it is just not possible to design a road this way ( I used to do this for a living ), and the camber will the wrong way for the bend. It can make a surprising amount of difference to how stable the bike feels through the turn. You will tend to find adverse cambers at junctions, and on some roundabouts, you may also find adverse cambers on old roads that have never been rebuilt to a more modern standard.

Obstructions

Things in the way, it could be moving, it could be blocking the visibility, it might be stopped.

How sharp is the corner

The most obvious one but usually overlooked !
None of these five factors come in any particular order as to which is the most important, any one of them or any combination of them may determine your safe speed through the bend. Having said that lack of visibility tends to be the greatest safety factor that is over looked. You will get round the corner but you might not be able to stop if you needed to.
Still not sure about this ? Give us a call 01179866200