So, as a seasoned rider that moment of panic when you realise that you’ve taken a corner too fast probably doesn’t happen that often, but when it does (and it will).. it scares the shit out of you, right? It certainly does for me, its that moment when you suddenly realise the corner is a little tighter than you expected, panic, grip the brakes as hard as you can and mutter profanities while trying to wrestle the bike around the bend and stay on! Well, many of our guides are IAM trainers and observers and they have some useful tips for just such occasions.
It seems that cornering with safety and precision every time comes from assessing the vanishing point and riding accordingly, which may sound obvious, but it really does make a difference. When you’re approaching the corner, act as you usually would, moving to the left of your lane for a right hand corner and approaching the centre line for a left hand corner, then make your speed adjustments while your bike is still upright. Changing your speed now helps to make the movements more controlled, and gives you a decent amount of time to work out just how tight the corner is.
Working out what speed is safest for the corner in question is key, and this is done using the vanishing point. This ‘vanishing point’ that everyone keeps mentioning is essentially the point at the end of your field of vision, where the two verges appear to join. This is a point that is not fixed, moving faster or slower towards you dependant on your speed and the tightness of the bend. The aim here is to get to a point where the vanishing point appears to be static, rather than moving towards you. Then all you need to do is make sure you’re in the right gear and open the throttle just a tiny bit, helping the bike to ‘settle’ into the the corner. The most important thing is to make sure when you’re using this trick is to try and keep the vanishing point static. If it starts getting closer, you need to slow down as the bend is getting tighter, whereas if it appears to be moving away then the corner is opening up and you can start to increase your speed.
When you’re tackling corners like this one on the Grossglockner high alpine pass, you need to have your wits about you! Its useful to know that this vanishing point trick works whether you’re driving on the left or the right, so its perfect for tourers and commuters alike. Keeping this in mind, as well as the simple rule that you should always be able to stop on your side of the road, under control, in the amount of road you can see, should keep you safe and speedy.
Ride safe guys! If you fancy practising this new trick on one of our tours we would love to have you. We are going to be launching a new Spain tour for this September that includes some advanced rider training for those that want it to. Make sure you sign up to our newsletter so that you hear about this first as there is already a big waiting list for it!