( 2) Stay off of the brakes, especially
the rear brake. A rolling wheel won’t
bounce as much as one that is locked
( 3) When you are out of control,
get over the gas tank and keep the
front tire pointing straight down the
track. Moving forward will remove
your mass from the cross-up equation.
The lighter the rear of the bike is, the
easier it will be to stabilize.
IN A CORNER
Fear of sliding out is the num-ber-one reason racers refuse to lean
far enough into a turn. There is a wide
range of lean angles that will get a
motorcycle around any given corner,
because the rider can compensate for
judgment errors with body English.
Cornering forces build up quickly,
however, and once you pass the point
of no return, weight-shifting antics
won’t save your bacon.
How it happens: You enter the
corner at a blistering speed, get the
bike leaned over and suddenly realize
that you are going too fast. If you
want to make the turn, you need to
lean the bike more. If you fail to lean
enough, the bike will want to continue
going straight. As it starts to depart
from the racing line, you will try to
wrestle it back. This rarely works.
Even worse, once you realize that your
momentum is too great, you might be
tempted to chop the throttle. If you
chop, the rear tire will stop spinning
and grab traction. In essence, the bot-
tom of the wheels will stop moving
forward while you and the top half of
your motorcycle will continue merrily
onward at 30 mph.
How to prevent it: There are
three ways to stop from high-siding
in a turn.
(1) Change the radius of the corner
by widening the arc of your turn until
it matches your lean angle. Do this
even if it means riding off the track.
You can always find a way back
through the hay bales.
( 2) If you are high-siding out of a
tight, low-speed corner, you can fan
the clutch to break the rear tire loose.
When you initiate a powerslide, you
dramatically reduce the lean angle
required to turn the corner. Keep the
power on; you’ll need to keep the rear
tire roosting until you have squared
off the corner and are pointed safely
down the next straightaway.
( 3) Step off to the inside. It will damage your dignity but not your skeleton.
The best way to avoid a high-side
is to never allow yourself to get into
the situation in the first place. Learn
to read the signs. You must commit to
every corner. It’s easy to correct things
if you have leaned too far, but virtually
impossible to correct things if you hav-
en’t leaned far enough. Don’t be afraid
to twist the throttle when you are in
a jam, and, most important, when you
sense a high-side is imminent, always
keep the front wheel pointed in the
direction you are traveling, regardless
of where the track goes. ❏