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Cornering Analysis

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I took a couple screenshots of me on my new (to me) 2010 YZ450F from my GoPro, which we placed in the arc of the corner. There are 5 shots here, just wanted some feedback on body position and anything else from what you can tell from looking at this picture.

Terrain was slightly damp sand with dry sand on top, a rut we formed just by going round and round.

pic1.jpg

pic2.jpg

pic3.jpg

pic4.jpg

pic5.jpg

Thanks!

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Well, its kinda hard to tell what's going on in your pix because of the low-angle. See if you can get some better pix from up higher without the wide angle lens which distorts things.

But... few pointers.

See how your outside elbow is LOWER then your bar, thats tip number one. If your elbow is lower then your bar, you loose leverage, so keep that outside elbow up and you will gain some control and "feeling" in the corner. You don't need it to be super high, just even or above the bar and you'll be all set.

The other thing I see is your doing the very typical body twist. Your body is twisted right as your going left and the upper part of your body is leaning to the right as well. Its one thing to "push" the bike into a corner and keep the rest of your body upright, but what I see in the pix is a clear twisting, your butt is centered on the seat and your torso is bending right. Learn how to sit even with the bike first and then you'll feel more confident blasting through corners.

The good... well, everything else looks good. You've got the throttle down, you've got your leg up and almost straight, you're even looking ahead and got some lean angle. Pickup some speed, get that inside peg dragging on that nice sand, you'll feel real good then! heh :smirk:

Edited by tye1138

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Tye im super glad you responded to this one, I love reading your stuff. When I/we offer input, you and I are on usually on the same page. So with that in mind...

Yep, looking at this now, I see the twist plain as day. The 2010+ YZ450F has a lot of weird handling characteristics as we all know, so for me (these pics also being from my second weekend on the bike coming from a 2009 YZ250F) there is adjustment needed. The suspension is hard (quite literally). It's set up for a freestyler currently. I'm taking the bike in this week to the shop and they are setting it up full custom for my weight and skill with SMART suspension. My buddy has a 2010 YZ450F with full SMART and it's amazing. Nothing left to be said.

Looking ahead and body position really are my biggest focuses, because they are the hardest to learn. We all want to stare at our beautiful front fenders! So while I am looking ahead (not at the fender) and I have the inside leg proper, I agree looking now that the twist is not good. I think I'm reacting a lot to the power of the 450 and compensating. However, I think my body position is good, no? Very forward, almost on the gas tank and upright?

Cornering is an art. I'm lucky enough to have spent a (paid) instruction day this last fall with Jason Anderson here in NM (where he is from) with 7 people in the class with 4+ hours of instruction. Worth every penny. $150? Yeah. Absolutely. He pulled us off one by one to say "here's this, here's that" and we broke the track up into sections and attacked each one. We then did starts, cornering drills (oval with two rights, switch, oval with two lefts), and jump technique. He said I cannot teach you to whip or scrub, but I can teach you to attack rhythms correctly. He then pulled me and my buddy luckyguy19 (TT member, great rider, and close friend) aside and said if we want extra instruction he would help us as we were the only two that seemed really interested and trying to apply what he said.

Long story short, get personal instruction if you can, and, as always, it boils down to seat time. And I cannot WAIT to get this bike dialed in with suspension. It's too stiff!

Thanks again Tye. Happy braaaaaping.

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Low elbows were the first thing I noticed too. Tye pretty much nailed it with his post. I couldn't really find anything wrong that he didn't mention. I'm no Semics or Bailey.

Edited by Ih8Hondas

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how much are you weighting the outside peg?

it would seem like twisting would resist leaning into the rut. Lead with your upper body (shoulders) as you get faster.

Edited by Die_trying

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Im trying to translate the best habits I had from my 250F to this bike, although that's hard. I am trying to concentrate on body forward, weighting the outside peg, and really being smooth as I possibly can on the throttle. Follow the rut, not force it. Obviously this 2010 YZ450F has handling quirks that everyone knows about. So I'm making progress, I hope! This series was two weekends or so ago at this point for me.

Love the feedback, please keep it coming if there is more. Also what am I doing right? If anything?

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Well, everything else seems to be fine in my book, though pictures can be deceiving!

Proper body position requires you to focus on just that skill as you ride. So for instance, learning how to keep your outside elbow up will come naturally if you drill it repeatedly. I was riding 3 - 4 times a week when I was drilling those skills into my head and ya know what, its all automatic now a year later. It takes a lot more the school, a lot more then someone on the sidelines egging you on. When it comes down to it, basic things like body position and jumping properly have to be done by you, at your own pace. If you try to do everything at once, you will struggle and everything will suffer.

Another thing to think about is the simple fact that a 450 is probably the last bike you wanna learn how to corner on, for a few reasons. The biggest reason is the power, you don't need to maintain speed, so you can get into bad habits of slowing down, squaring off corners and throttling out. We call that, point and squirt method of cornering and its not a great way to learn how to corner sadly. Of course, you can force the issue being the pilot, but most people will give up trying and work on their jumping instead. Its funny, almost all of the 450 riders I know are horrible at cornering, but are pretty decent jumpers. The 250f is probably a better bike to learn how to ride on because it teaches you a bit more on maintaining speed.

Every once in a while I ride someone's 250F and rail on it, absolutely rail. When I hand it back to them smoking and ticking, they are like "holy shit dude why don't you ride one of these?" and I say to them plain and simple; until I can go quicker then everyone else on the track with a 125 (now a 144) lil 2 stroke, I don't deserve to ride a bigger bike. I firmly believe, if you wanna learn how to ride properly, its a long road, it takes years. So why not start at the beginning with the smallest bike you can fit on and work your way up the food chain. People are so focused on today, riding now, racing tomorrow, they don't take a moment to think about their actions and realize its not that simple.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. I just wanna stir up the thought process! :smirk:

ELBOWS UP!! :bonk:

comp_edge_8181_2.jpg

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Man, amazing pic. I agree completely. I put off a 450 because I presumed it would make me lazy, but I've only been on one for less than three weeks. I am trying to translate my 250F corner speed to this bike as best as I can. JA44 told me I use the front brake (well me and my buddy luckyguy19) WAY better than anyone else he has ever coached, so I know I have some skill here.

So I honed my body position and cornering on first a 250F for a year and a half, and then getting used to power on a 250 SX KTM. As much fun as a 2t is, I don't miss jetting it! Fanning the clutch is also a small part of this bike. I want to really get the suspension dialed (as mentioned, full SMART front and rear happening this week) then rail, see where I'm at. I am also interested in the lightspeed 2mm engine relocation collars, but that is for another thread.

Now I'm going to nitpick. Great elbow position, great line of sight, but im curious about your front tire vs the rut. How did that work out?

Anyways, elbows up is huge. Moves weight on the bike. I know it and it's still one of the hardest things to make happen for me personally.

Keep it comin Tye! I feel like you and I are close in skill. At least based on pics and advice I've seen. I need extra perspectives, you know?

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I am trying to translate my 250F corner speed to this bike as best as I can. JA44 told me I use the front brake (well me and my buddy luckyguy19) WAY better than anyone else he has ever coached, so I know I have some skill here.

Well, get some more time on the bike, I think you'll find riding it the same way as a smaller CC machine (250F) to be quite different. Four fifty's have so much more torque that you can literally square off corners without loosing much speed.

Learning how to brake is critical. I came from roadracing and I already had excellent feel for brakes. Sadly translating that feel into dirt was pretty difficult. I spent a great deal of time face planted in the dirt because you just can't ride the same way. A lot of people over-use the brakes, I'm for sure one of those guys. It does upset me a lot when I come into a corner and brake too much by accident and then have to somehow re-build the speed. My best laps are ones that I carry as much speed in as I can and keep that speed through the corner and build on exit.

So I honed my body position and cornering on first a 250F for a year and a half, and then getting used to power on a 250 SX KTM. As much fun as a 2t is, I don't miss jetting it! Fanning the clutch is also a small part of this bike. I want to really get the suspension dialed (as mentioned, full SMART front and rear happening this week) then rail, see where I'm at. I am also interested in the lightspeed 2mm engine relocation collars, but that is for another thread.

The 250SX is one heck of a beast and will for sure be my next bike. You shouldn't have to constantly jet it though, that sounds like something is wrong unless you were constantly changing altitudes. :shrug:

The suspension of course will help, but not as much in the corners as you'd expect.

Now I'm going to nitpick. Great elbow position, great line of sight, but im curious about your front tire vs the rut. How did that work out?

Ahh, glad you picked up on that. :lol:

There wasn't a rut, even though it looks like there was. It was just a berm and I was truck steering to try and get some more lean angle. That was actually a really bad day for me, 35mph winds, 42 degree's, unfamiliar track and if I recall a flat rear tire... so yea, pretty amazing I was able to get a decent pix out of it! I didn't even know there was a photographer in that corner. How I got that pix was a real funny story and I was happy to have gotten it! :bonk:

Anyways, elbows up is huge. Moves weight on the bike. I know it and it's still one of the hardest things to make happen for me personally.

Its not you, trust me! Everyone has problems with it, even the pro's. So don't get yourself in a twisty fit bout it! heh :lol:

Heck, between me and you, I don't like big jumps. That is my BIGGEST weakness and I'm hoping with a little bit more powah, I won't have the same feeling.

Keep it comin Tye! I feel like you and I are close in skill. At least based on pics and advice I've seen. I need extra perspectives, you know?

I was a pretty decent roadracer in 2009/2010, had I stayed on that track, I could have qualified for a pro race by now. So I have the bike handling skills, sliding the rear around, understanding breaking/body position. I can get on pretty much any bike right now dirt or pavement and have my way with it, which is nice. Sadly though, in roadracing I had one of the most stable and effortless bikes to ride. In motocross, I have one of the most difficult bikes to ride, the 125 drains everything from your body and while it does make you a better rider, you have to work for it. Being 33 years old doesn't help and this year I'm focusing on training every day to try and bring my level of fitness to where it belongs. Plus the addition of the 144 and a 250 up the road a bit, those will help greatly with my abilities as a bit more power is always welcome.

So yea, I wouldn't doubt for a second that we are evenly matched on our respective bikes. But put me on a slightly easier bike to ride, that might be a different story, only time will tell! :smirk:

Ohh and for shits and giggles:

entering4.jpg

intocorner2.jpg

new848firstride2.jpg

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Tue I have read some of your posts and you sound very knowledgeable so I have a question for you..

Here is my story..I am 6'3 270lbs without gear and for the most part I am muscle..I just joined the world of two wheels and have been riding every weekend that weather permits..I have come a long way in just a few rides..I have gone from falling over in every turn to keeping up with my mid level C class friends..I am almost 22 and have been on sport quads for 11 years so I totally understand how to manage a clutch and power..I actually rode through a harescramble track the other day with a friend that is top of A class and he told me.that he has never seen anyone ride a 450 as slow through sections without it stalling so I think I have pretty decent clutch and power control..and I'm not trying to brag on myself in any of this..

With all of that said I traded a quad for a 250f and literally couldn't ride it..second gear would bog so bad no matter what I did..so I sold it and now ride an 08 kx450f..I totally see how it can make you lazy learning on a 450 but I am very eager to learn and wanna do ky best at everything I do..I picked up two different sports and taught myself how to play good enough without coaching to have scholarships for.both so I definitely have the capabilities to pici up something and learn it correctly..

With all of that being said do you think there are certain exceptions to learning on a 450? I have caught a lot of flack from people on here and at the track..if I could afford to have both bikes I would get a 250 and learn how to corner with it but.its just not an option

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With all of that being said do you think there are certain exceptions to learning on a 450? I have caught a lot of flack from people on here and at the track..if I could afford to have both bikes I would get a 250 and learn how to corner with it but.its just not an option

Well, to put it lightly, the bike has to push the rider along, so the heavier the rider, the more power the bike needs. There is a cut-off where the weight of the rider exceeds the need of a light weight machine because there won't be a benefit. So in your case a 450 is really your only option and yea sure. Because your a bigger guy, you probably can muscle it around no problem, where a light-weight like myself will be struggling. I don't think you'd benefit from a 250F, it would just frustrate you and not have the power. But I weigh 148lb on a bad day, so we're in different leagues... :smirk:

Sadly, thats the only advice I can give.

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Gotta agree with Tye here. I'm about 165-170 depending on the day, before gear, so I'm right in the middle of a 250F and a 450. My progress went 250F for about two years, a 250 two-stroke for about 4 months (got used to the power, hated the twitch and loss of traction; loved the "hit!"), and now I'm on a 450. Now that I'm used to a lot of power (albeit the 450 has a LOT more available torque down low) I can concentrate on working on riding the bike and not vice versa.

We rode with a guy this weekend who is like, 6'6" and I guesstimate around 250 or more, big dude. He was riding a Husky 511 as his first bike! Granted, he was a dual-sport rider (he has a BMW R1200GS) before, but still...the bigger you are, typically the more bike you need to feel comfortable.

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Get further forward, don't slouch (look down the number plate), leg higher and stand on the outside peg (don't sit on the seat). Your elbows should be on the same plane. Your elbows are the biggest limiting factor in your riding. Elbows in cornering allow you to simply lay the bike over and stay on the gas because your body remains perpendicular to the bike allowing the suspension to load and the power to get to the ground most efficiently. Getting your angles out of whack creates weakness in your system (just like a building) and it becomes less efficient and takes more energy to accomplish the same goal. Everything looks good, just seems like you need to tighten everything up a bit.

My two cents.

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Got some fresh pics and been really working on elbows, leg position, etc. A lot better angle, too. Thoughts? Progress? I feel like I have a solid base now and I just really need to start leaning that bike over and carrying speed now that I (I think) have it down...

pic6.jpg

and

pic7.jpg

Eh? I know when I start leaning more that leg needs to come up...

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is that berm loose dirt with out any ruts? How much does it keep turning after the edge of the photo? If it's a 90 and and your already looking at the exit, sometimes you break up until your enter the corner then use the throttle to bring that rear around and power through and out of the berm. Like tye said, inside foot up and in, closer to the fork.

Edited by Die_trying

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Yeah it's a 90-degree left. It's pretty loose, but I'm sure if I really pitched into it and put down some throttle it would stick better. Our track is mostly just...sand. It's high desert on a mesa, but it is ripped and watered pretty well for the most part.

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I can't see the corner it's self very well so i'm only speculating, but with corners like that where you can hit really hard and change direction quick, a lot of the lean angle you get is dictated by entry speed and lean coming into the corner. Like any corner, the more speed you carry into it the faster you go through, but unlike a 180 degree corner when you have to be a little more precise going through where you have to be more cautious of losing the front end or accidentally standing the bike up early, on 90s like that you can almost smash into them. You get the bike leaned over early and making the turn with throttle should stand it back up as you come up. Smashing into might not be the best description because you still want to be smooth, but thats the idea. The berm/loose dirt 'catches you' and helps you 'stick' and make the turn.

Edited by Die_trying

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Yeah I get what you mean. Especially on this YZ (2010+) it really likes to be plowed into corners. Sometimes you can't really feel the front end a lot so you really just have to trust it will stick. I've only got maybe 3 races under my belt on this bike though, so it's still a learning process. Definitely have a list of things I want to work on next time I have practice at the track (Saturday).

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