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Discussion Starter #1
I suck at descending! Hard time staying with my group yesterday. I get nervous, I can't seem to corner or trust my front tire.
Is it my position on bike? I know I keep fighting the stock seat as it slides me forward against the tank.
 

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" I get nervous,"
That's it in a nutshell. Concentrate on being fluid on the bike... no death grip. Keep a couple of fingers on the front brake
and touch it lightly to weight the front end. Practice ,practice, practice.
 

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Care to give us a few more details?
What's your position on the bike?
Why are you nervous?
Why won't you trust the front tire?
What causes you anxiety?
 
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don't sweat it. Gear down and let your engine slow you rather than controlling your speed with the front brake. Don't worry about falling behind, you will improve with experience.
 

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I suck at descending! Hard time staying with my group yesterday. I get nervous, I can't seem to corner or trust my front tire.
Is it my position on bike? I know I keep fighting the stock seat as it slides me forward against the tank.
I like being forward on the tank to load the front wheel in turns.
It all boils down to experience. And.. DON'T WORRY ABOUT ALWAYS KEEPING UP! Now, go back and read that a couple more times. Saying I have.. "I'd far rather wait on you at an intersection for a minute than go back and pull you out of a ditch". Keeping up will come with time, don't even sweat it.
Meantime, see if there's a race track around you. Track days are a complete game changer. You can learn more in a day at the track than you can in years on the road.
In the end, it's all good.. ;)
 

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Turning while going downhill is something you kind of have to build up your confidence at.

I find a slow in, fast out approach works best for me to stay calm going in and keep the bike feeling stable throughout the curve.

Try to set a comfortable corner entry speed well before you tip in and then tip in and use the throttle to stabilize the bike as it goes down around the curve.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Care to give us a few more details?
What's your position on the bike?
Why are you nervous?
Why won't you trust the front tire?
What causes you anxiety?
My bikes (2018) seating position is stock outside of lower, slightly wider bars. I think my body position is centered in the seat area, try and keep it there. However, while bombing downhill in combo with the brakes and engine braking I'm constantly sliding forward.
I don't know why I'm nervous, lack in confidence, get nervy when the speed goes up. I'm tensing up too, focused on the road conditions, lacking the cool nerves I see in my friends. This only happens descending.

Woke up a little disappointed in my riding yesterday, descending well is maybe intuitive, I just need to practice more. MoHillbilly suggestion of track days is something to think about.
 

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Don't go to the track just for the sake of riding in the track — if you have bad habits you will only be repeating them at higher speeds and probably ingraining them deeper into your brain. There are many reasons why you could be experiencing that anxiety and only a properly certified instructor will be able to observe you and give you educated coaching on what you need to work on. If you are going to the track, make sure the event organizers can provide you with such instructors (will cost you more) and practice one thing at-a-time. And be aware that just because Rick-the-Racer is fast at the track it doesn't mean he is an able coach for you — find someone who is actually trained in observation and coaching.
You should also consider attending a Total Control class where you will be coached at more manageable speeds and you will be able to pinpoint every specific aspect of what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong.

Have you read this article? Reducing cornering anxiety (and panicking and freezing)...
It could be a good starting point for you.
 

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My bikes (2018) seating position is stock outside of lower, slightly wider bars. I think my body position is centered in the seat area, try and keep it there. However, while bombing downhill in combo with the brakes and engine braking I'm constantly sliding forward.
I don't know why I'm nervous, lack in confidence, get nervy when the speed goes up. I'm tensing up too, focused on the road conditions, lacking the cool nerves I see in my friends. This only happens descending.

Woke up a little disappointed in my riding yesterday, descending well is maybe intuitive, I just need to practice more. MoHillbilly suggestion of track days is something to think about.
I get it.
Yes, the 2016> seat has quite a downward slope, and it can lead to sliding forward while braking (or using the engine brake while riding downhill). I'm definitely more comfortable after having my seat rebuilt with a flat where I seat.

I'd say that squeezing the tank with your legs (as golden chicken suggests, maybe in conjunction with some tank pads for added friction) will probably help, but I gotta ask: while riding downhill, how is your upper body positioned?
Do you ride with a straight-up torso as you might do when riding on flat terrain, or do you add forward body lean along the tank?
I would say that this situation is very similar to skiing downhill where you would be tempted to back off with your upper body, to counteract the slope and the tendency to gain speed; in reality this is the worst you can do: it takes away confidence and makes controlling the bike (or the skis) a lot harder because you would be seating on the tail(s) with all your weight, moving the centre of mass far from the directional control (handlebar and front wheel).
This way you would be lagging behind the bike, instead of anticipating it, and this constant attempt to keep up with your bike is what (probably) causes you anxiety.

In any case, hard to tell without actually seeing you.
 

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...It all boils down to experience.
No.
I teach advanced riding courses and I cringe at how many "experienced" riders have stayed alive with such bad riding habits for so long.


...Track days are a complete game changer. You can learn more in a day at the track than you can in years on the road...
Only half true.
I know many riders who, after years attending track days, still have no idea what they are doing. Track riding without proper coaching is not only useless, it's flat out dangerous because it gives many riders a false sense of confidence.
 

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No.
I teach advanced riding courses and I cringe at how many "experienced" riders have stayed alive with such bad riding habits for so long.




Only half true.
I know many riders who, after years attending track days, still have no idea what they are doing. Track riding without proper coaching is not only useless, it's flat out dangerous because it gives many riders a false sense of confidence.
Lol, ok, I stand corrected. Obviously I'm clueless and know nothing.. 😄
 

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don't sweat it. Gear down and let your engine slow you rather than controlling your speed with the front brake. Don't worry about falling behind, you will improve with experience.
Are you talking about being off the throttle through the turn? If so, that's very bad advice. Coasting or or engine-braking mid turn will destabilize your suspension and give you less control when you need it the most. You must learn how to properly set your speed and use your throttle through the turn.
 

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Evidently.
But I do know enough to see that you're pretty full of yourself. So ya gotta give me that. ;)
Every track day I've been to has coaching, classes (first visit requires mandatory classes between every session), etc.. There are control riders that are there to observe, help, whatever. You don't just pay your $$ and go out to ride around the track blindly. I don't know what kind of "advanced riding courses" you teach, but apparently nothing to do with track or you would know this.
And yes, some people never learn, no matter how long they ride. Totally agree with that. See it a lot in the cruiser set. But most do if they focus on what they're doing, and try to learn.
 

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But I do know enough to see that you're pretty full of yourself. So ya gotta give me that. ;)
Every track day I've been to has coaching, classes (first visit requires mandatory classes between every session), etc.. There are control riders that are there to observe, help, whatever. You don't just pay your $$ and go out to ride around the track blindly. I don't know what kind of "advanced riding courses" you teach, but apparently nothing to do with track or you would know this.
And yes, some people never learn, no matter how long they ride. Totally agree with that. See it a lot in the cruiser set. But most do if they focus on what they're doing, and try to learn.
Well, it seems like you are in agreement with everything I said from the start so I don't know why you felt so offended to begin with. Pfft.
 

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BTW, there's a huge difference between a control rider (usually recurring riders who've been to the track for a while and are hired to 'nanny' the track and possibly give you a few tips here and there) and an actual instructor/coach who has been properly trained to observe, identify rider errors and know how to give proper instructions.

Control riders are awesome people but, let's be clear, they don't get paid much other than the day's lunch and free track time. Most haven't invested all the time and money required to become certified instructors and have too much to worry about in terms of track safety to actually pay detailed attention to each rider on the track in order to help them become better. So yes, on a regular track day you can pretty much "pay your $$ and go out to ride around the track blindly" as long as you are not doing crazy stuff and getting black-flagged. But that doesn't mean you are actually learning and becoming a better rider.

And, in terms of clueless "experienced" riders, they come in all ages and types of bikes. I wouldn't single-out cruiser riders.


Yes, I teach advanced classes (and track clinics) and maybe that makes me 'full of myself' but every time I go to the track, I make sure there are colleagues observing me and telling me what I can do better so I can work on specifics instead of just repeating bad habits and making them worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I get it.
Yes, the 2016> seat has quite a downward slope, and it can lead to sliding forward while braking (or using the engine brake while riding downhill). I'm definitely more comfortable after having my seat rebuilt with a flat where I seat.

I'd say that squeezing the tank with your legs (as golden chicken suggests, maybe in conjunction with some tank pads for added friction) will probably help, but I gotta ask: while riding downhill, how is your upper body positioned?
Do you ride with a straight-up torso as you might do when riding on flat terrain, or do you add forward body lean along the tank?
I would say that this situation is very similar to skiing downhill where you would be tempted to back off with your upper body, to counteract the slope and the tendency to gain speed; in reality this is the worst you can do: it takes away confidence and makes controlling the bike (or the skis) a lot harder because you would be seating on the tail(s) with all your weight, moving the centre of mass far from the directional control (handlebar and front wheel).
This way you would be lagging behind the bike, instead of anticipating it, and this constant attempt to keep up with your bike is what (probably) causes you anxiety.

In any case, hard to tell without actu
I do lean forward, low along the tank, try a mimic body posture of those I ride with and see in videos.
I also have tank pads, and here I padded the front part of my seat to level it out. I think this may be making thing worst as its slippery.
I know what you mean by "back off with your upper body, to counter act the slope, kind of the same thing kayaking and going off a drop off.
Thanks for the help.
 

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Is that seat stock? it looks like a kid's slide! No wonder why you keep sliding forward like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I bought some marine vinyl, shaped some close cell foam and stapled it from underneath the seat to level it out. I've had it on and off now several times, don't know what's worst, this or the stock seat. I agree, it is very slippery and not working out the way I imagined. Looking to remove it and try a different material.

Before I take it off I think I'm going to sand it with 120 grit and see if that helps.

Finished sanding it, much less slippery.
 

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