Here we have put together our top five riding tips articles that discuss some of these skills, culled from almost 20 years of Riding Skills Series printed in Sport Rider magazine. The list is based on a number of criteria, and includes a mix of street- and track-based motorcycle riding tips. If you are a regular reader of the magazine you will most likely have seen some of these stories before, but we feel they are well worth another look for a refresher.
Scroll down to view them all.
1: How To Properly Warm Up Your Tires
While many riders at the track, including virtually all racers, use tire warmers, we still get asked regularly, "How do I warm up my tires?" and "How do I break-in new tires?" We talked to Cristoph Knoche, the Racing Manager for Pirelli Tire North America's Motorcycle Division, for the answers to these questions and more. Read the article here: How To Properly Warm Up Your Tires
2: Throttle Control
Because the motorcycle needs power to overcome friction and aerodynamics, it's possible to have the throttle open while still decelerating. Expert-level riders have the throttle open before the apex of the turn, ready for a smooth drive at the exit.
Many riders use the throttle as almost an on-off switch, without paying attention to the subtleties involved. Pay more attention to the throttle, however, and use it in some ways that are not so intuitive, and there are some big benefits. Read the article here: Throttle Control
3: Mid-Corner Corrections - Street and Track
You should be riding with enough of a margin on the street that adjusting your speed or lean angle to change the riding line can be accomplished with no drama.
One difficulty that many riders—even experienced track riders—struggle with is making corrections to their line in midcorner. The typical scenario is that the rider turns in toward the apex of the corner, realizes that he is running slightly wide or tight, but can’t make the necessary adjustment—either from fear of a crash or just not knowing what to do. There are a number of options available for changing your line in a turn, however, and often it can be the counterintuitive one that works best. Read the article here: Mid-Corner Corrections - Street and Track
4: Weight Distribution
Don't weigh a scant 112 pounds like Dani Pedrosa? That may actually be to your benefit if you can learn to use your weight properly when it comes to transitions, changes in direction, braking and even acceleration. If used correctly, the extra pounds you carry could be the secret to quicker laps at the track, plus safer riding on the street. Read the article here: Weight Distribution
5: When Slower is Faster
Most corner exits and chicanes call for aggressive steering inputs and quick changes in lean angle, but in the middle of a long turn the requirement is for tiny inputs and a light touch on the bars. To see the difference and how well a rider discerns between the two, a gyroscope can be used to directly monitor changes in direction, or a rate-of-change math channel can look at how quickly lean angle changes.
Balancing smoothness and aggression is a big part of going fast on the racetrack and can also improve safety on a canyon road; it is also key to making the next step in your riding. Every incremental improvement in speed on the track requires that those quick inputs be even quicker and that the smooth inputs be even smoother. If you have trouble discerning between the two requirements at your current level of riding, it will only be more difficult when you try to up your pace. Read the article here: When Slower is Faster
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