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Hey Goldwingers: I have a riding technique question. My wife and I took a great ride last Saturday. From Chattanooga, we rode the twisties along Greasy Creek (there was nothing greasy about it) from near the former Olympic white water course near Ducktown TN, over the mountain to Reliance TN (sharp quick twisties), on up to Tellico Plains and over the Cherohalla Skyway to Robbinsville, TN a 43 mile sweeping run along the crest of the Smokeys up above 5400 feet in elevation…., then on through the “Tail of the Dragon” on US 129 known for its 318 curves in 11 miles…. Sharp quick twisties…. It was a great ride… totaling 288 miles…. My wife and I had a great day…. Now here’s the riding technique question… I consider myself an average rider, not great…. but able to hold my own…. I’ve been on and off bikes for 35 or so years…. I’m on my second Goldwing… first was a 95 Aspencade and now I’m on an 06 GL1800. Until this weekend, I always rode the same way in the twisties….I’d press down hard on the inside turn handlebar and lean hard with my body weight into the corner, keeping my body inline with the bike, leaning both bike and body inline together. Doing this I was able to take the twisties faster than some. It’s not a race and I’m not trying to make it one…. I just want to feel comfortable and smooth through the turns. Of course, on the Dragon, the crotch rockets would fly by me…. Hanging off their bikes on the inside with knee pads scrapping on the pavement…A different animal all together….

Here’s what I did different this weekend. As I was going into my turns, I’d lean the bike over to carve the turn, but instead of trying to lean with the bike, I stayed more upright…. This allowed me to bank the bike quicker and easier. Doing this made the bike seem much more responsive…. I wasn’t forcing my body weight down to stay in line with the bike…. I just threw the bike from side to side (keeping my body somewhat upright) as I went from left to right twisty and back again. But the whole thing seems completely counter intuitive…. The crotch rocket riders are hanging off their bikes on the inside, while on my big heavy touring bike, I was not actually leaning outside… but not leaning over as much as the bike…Go figure… I’d love to hear some thoughts on this…. Was what I was doing just wrong… but the bike handled great doing that…... Check out the picture of us on the Dragon…It’s not much, but you can see my head tilted to the left a bit… I guess it’s not much…. but I’m definitely not leaning into the corner. Lets hear your thoughts…..
 

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Know what you mean, WDN. I like to lean into curves in line with the bike, and peg-draggingly low sometimes, but if I'm in tight twisties I just "dip" the bike one way and then the other, staying fairly upright. For me, it's one of the definitive things about a Wing, a low center of gravity that results in a nimble motorcycle. And mine is an '85 Aspy! I hear the 1800s are incredibly responsive this way. I don't dare ride one, as I might never return home and I kinda like my wife of 30 years!
 

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The common school of thought is to offset your body weight to the inside of the corner (also known as hanging off) which allows you to corner tighter with less lean angle input. Yes it's a race technique but highly applicable to 'spirited' riding provided you have some practice with it under a controlled environment (e.g. track and instructor). I do NOT recommend trying to just go out and 'do it'.
Something that you mention that I think is very much on the mark is trying to handle the bike smoothly. Riding twisties is like dancing, flying, and sailing: treat her like the lady she is, don't get ham-fisted and muscle her around, makes for a jerky and uncomfortable (possibly dangerous) ride. The other thing is being able to choose and hold your line in the corner; too high an entry speed or too tight (or wide) a line and things will get sideways big time, with nasty results. Constant sweepers are easy, but decreasing radius corners (the Dragon is famous for them and the Tree of Shame is decorated with the results) will eat the unprepared or outskilled rider in a heartbeat.
 

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just finished a
n 8 day trip through the rockies. Took hwy 97 south from Fort St John then hwy 99. Now I have never ridden any of the routes you mentioned but have seen enough video of the Tail to appreciate it.If you have never ridden hwy 99 then you are missing out on some spectacular scenery and amazing twisties. The tecnique I use is something one of my wife's instructors showed me:
push down on the peg with the inside foot while pushing on the tank with the outside leg and with the hands instead of "pushing" on the bar think about moving your hand so that it is perpendicular to the fork....90 degree angle to the forks.....it is amazing how light the bike feel and how fast it responds. Try this on a safe straight stretch first its actually scary how the bike moves the first couple of times. Whatever you do do not over ride the bike or the road or your ability
 

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As long as you are in the safe envelope of your riding abilities and not already hitting hard parts, enjoy!!
 
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just finished a
n 8 day trip through the rockies. Took hwy 97 south from Fort St John then hwy 99. Now I have never ridden any of the routes you mentioned but have seen enough video of the Tail to appreciate it.If you have never ridden hwy 99 then you are missing out on some spectacular scenery and amazing twisties. The tecnique I use is something one of my wife's instructors showed me:
push down on the peg with the inside foot while pushing on the tank with the outside leg and with the hands instead of "pushing" on the bar think about moving your hand so that it is perpendicular to the fork....90 degree angle to the forks.....it is amazing how light the bike feel and how fast it responds. Try this on a safe straight stretch first its actually scary how the bike moves the first couple of times. Whatever you do do not over ride the bike or the road or your ability
I dont understand the "90 degree to the fork" Please explain.
 

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Hmmm. I guess that's what I do BearandLadyBear, just never thought of describing it so well!:eek::)
 

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Hanging off the bike to the inside lowers the center of gravity of the bike/rider combo. On a light sport bike the rider's weight is a significant percentage of the bike/rider weight total. On a GoldWing the rider's percentage of the total weight is as much, so it doesn't have as much effect. Besides, they do it because that's what the professional racers do.
Completely untrue. With the big Wing with its limited clearance, hanging off, when done correctly, is as easy as on a sportbikes. It takes no more effort for me to do so than on my track bike as on the Wing. Hanging off gives you more clearance for any given speed.
 

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@WDNWing, I noticed that your passenger is 'also' leaning to the highside of the bike.Wouldn't that give you the 'feeling' to follow her weight too.As in,'stay in line with her to steady the bike?

I understand the feeling you get by throwing the bike without the full body weight,but i would think staying parallel with the bike,it would put more centrifugal force/weight on the tires for better grip.
 
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