Riding Skills: How To Safely Handle Decreasing Radius Corners


Category: How To

Step Four: When To Use The Brakes
Rapidly chopping the throttle or applying the brakes will cause the bike to heave forward, potentially overwhelming available grip and spitting you off. If you've listened to all the above advice, and are still caught out by a corner, your best bet is to skip to the tip below. But, if you've already learned the fine art of trail braking, then decreasing radius corners are the perfect time to employ it.

Because a decrease radius corner begins gently, then tightens, an advanced rider won't need to shed speed until they're well into the corner. And they can do so by employing the front brake only, slowly applying pressure to gently sharpen the suspension geometry and expand the tire's contact patch. This increases available grip, allowing you to brake and corner at the same time.

Employing trail braking, you're able to perfectly match speed to the tightness of the corner, decreasing that speed as your lean angle increases and slowly fading off the brake as you do so.

The same method applies to decreasing radius corners even if its raining. Just go slower!
The same method applies to decreasing radius corners even if its raining. Just go slower!

Step Five: Trust Your Bike
It's more capable than you are. Look where you want to go, don't do anything sudden with any of the controls and, even if you're caught out by a tighter corner than you expected, you should simply be able to lean way over and ride it out. Without jumping around or otherwise upsetting the bike try and hang off as far as possible, moving your torso way inside the bike's center line, thereby decreasing the lean angle necessary to make the corner. Relax, you should be fine.

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