The R1100RS had its MOT booked for this morning at 09:30, so I was out early and used the opportunity to go out for a ride and try some different options for cornering.
I’ve started the advanced riding training again for 2007, and I’m on to weak areas in the lead up to the test. My slow speed maneuvering and cornering are needing work. A big part of this is how I get on with the bike, e.g. sitting in a different position or leaning forward or back can make a big difference to both of these. I went out to look for some twisty roads to see if I could work out what was better for me.
I headed out on the A71 and decided to turn left down a road to see where it went. I turned left at the roundabout outside the Hermiston Park and Ride and discovered that following this road (Gogar Station Road) took me to join the A8 just outside the new RBS campus. I headed along the A8 and decided to try one of my “Nemesis” roads. There is a back road to South Queensferry which I take to go to drop the bike off to get serviced that has a tricky set of low speed corners that I ran wide on once. This was a classic running wide on a left hander, so ever since I’ve almost tip-toed along there. As I passed over Newbridge I spotted Peter Woollven, the EDAM Secretary and gave him a wave going the other way. Through Newbridge on the A89 I turned right at the lights into New Lisbon Road. This road goes from a 40 mph limit into a 60 mph, with a sweeping right hander just before the road goes under the M9, then a tighter left, kink right then 30 mph limit. I gave a go at leaning foward on the bike to stop my elbows locking up – the recommendation is to have your lower arm parallel to the road. And I think it worked, it was a lot easier to apply the countersteer to keep the visibility line through the corner. It’s not quite what you would call a “racing crouch” but it points to what I need to do to tidy up my cornering.
I headed up Path Brae on to the High Street, then Station Road and turned right into Main Road. Then a turn left, leading out of the 30 mph limit into another 60 mph. This road is quite narrow, then leads to a 80 degree left, 90 degree right, then another left then right. It wasn’t as tidy as it could have been, but it wasn’t a problem. So I followed this road out to the A90 and headed North. I turned off at South Queensferry before McDonalds and headed West along the A904. I headed along there and cut left under the M90, then headed back east through Winchburgh and back to Kirkliston to try those sweeping corners again.
I’ve still got practice to do to get used to it, but it seems that how you sit makes a big difference.
After all that I headed to C & J Wilson in Uphall to put the R1100RS in for its MOT, and it passed. A couple of advisories on the front left hand disc bobbins and the front shock lower mount.