what to do when going into a curve to fast on a motorcycleI found this in my website statistics. Someone searched Google for these words, and apparently, it lead them to this blog.
Lean it hard.
I'm assuming that you're already into the curve, and you realize you're going too fast for what you're accustomed to handling.
In this case, you might crash in one of two ways, by going out of your lane and into the side, or opposing lane, or, you can lean the bike over too hard and create a "pivot point", causing you to lose traction with the rear tire. There's actually a third way to crash, which I'll discuss below.
But if you think about those two, you'll realize that the latter, leaning the bike hard, is the least likely to cause a crash. The former, which is not turning enough and going out of your lane, is more likely to cause a crash. Therefore, take your chances by leaning the bike as hard as you can, and hope the rear tire won't lose traction.
By leaning the bike hard, you're going to hear your bike scrape the road. All bikes can scrape the road without losing tire traction. However scraping too hard will eventually create a "pivot point", which is when the rear tire lose traction with the road. But still, every bike has a range of lean angle where you can safely scrape the road without creating a pivot point.
You should ALWAYS prepare yourself to hear the scraping sound so that you won't be startled by it. Too often someone will hear the scrape and become so startled by it, that they straighten up the bike and ride into the path of oncoming traffic, or the side of the road.
If you're going to lean the bike hard, you may feel your feet being squeezed up against the engine, due to the ground pushing the pegs or floorboards upwards. In that case move your feet off of them, or else you'll end up creating a pivot point too early.
Using the rear brake is something you can use, if you use it lightly. If you're going really hot into a curve, I wouldn't use it at all. Your chances are still better by just leaning it hard.
Downshifting can also slow you down, but it's very dangerous in the middle of a lean. When you downshift, your bike will lunge forward, causing the weight to come off of the rear tire, and thereby losing traction with the road.
Downshifting, and using the rear brakes are things you can do if you can do them before you enter the curve. Most people usually are already into the lean by the time they realize they've bitten off more than they can chew.
The third way to crash when riding too hot into a curve, is when the bike wobbles out of control. All motorcycles have a point at which they wobble when riding hard into a turn. Harleys tend to wobble at slower speeds than most motorcycles. So, if you lean a bike hard into a turn, it could wobble uncontrollably, and throw you off like a bucking bronco.
But, you're still better off taking your chances with a hard lean, prepare yourself to hear the scrape, don't let that scrape startle you, and hope the tire holds.
Even if you do go down, you're better off going down in a hard lean (low side), than by going down any other way.