Stay off the brakes and on the throttle for fast, safe cornering.
BRAKING DEEP into a corner is all very well on a racetrack, where you can be sure of the surface and may be doing so simply to baulk other riders in a dive-down-the-inside overtake, but on the road it's a high-risk strategy. With the front brake applied, it's the front tyre that's carrying most of the bike's load and make the front tyre that will let go should it encounter a dodgy surface.

All it takes is a splosh of diesel, a gravel patch, or a significant change in surface friction and the tyre can lose grip and 'tuck', dropping you on your face in the front-end lowside. Even if you can save a front end slide, chances are that in doing so you'll run off the road. Watch a race and you'll see riders run into the gravel trap as they save a front end slide.

Another risk when braking deep is the sudden unloading of the front tyre - relies on some load to keep adhesion. To corner quickly in a deep-braking style, while gaining a good exit speed on to the next straight, means getting off the brakes and on the power in a trice, mid-corner. this takes a fine balance, as the weight comes off the front tyre and is shifted to the rear. Suddenly unloading the front and loading up the back when cranked over seriously increases the chances of a slide from either end.

'Slow in/fast out' is a much chanted riding mantra... and so it should be. Should you (correctly positioned, in the early stages of a bend) spot a hazard on the exit of the corners, it gives you a slow in/slow out option. However, trying to lose stacks of speed in a corner when you're leant right over takes all the skill - and perhaps more - of the apex-braking racers.

The fastest, smoothest and safest way to corner fast on the road is to get your braking over with bedor you turn into corner and then accelerate all the way around. Acceleration keeps the bike stable and keeps the main loading on the back tyre, meaning it is far more likely to be the one that moves if you encounter a grip problem... and a rear slide is more easily controlled and more liekly to sort itself out.

Judging the speed at which you should enter a corner depends on how far you can see. You should, obviously, only travel at a speed appropriate to your field of view and stopping distance. As you round the bend and get sight of the exit and beyond, speed can be gathered more quickly. This means accelerating, steadily at first, giving the bike more throttle as you draw it upright and shoot on to the next corner.

Extracted from Bike sept 03