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Late Apex Idiocy

I am passionate about motorcycle riding skills, and devote my time to coaching.  It makes me crazy when I identify a bad habit, and the student tells me that he or she learned this from some motorcycle school.  There may be differences of opinion on certain techniques.  But there is also objectively WRONG advice out there.  It is making you slower and less safe.

The very worst technique taught by some schools is to go for a “late apex at all cost.”  That is, to drive deeper into the turn, then make a more violent tip in, shooting for a very late apex.  Sure, there are track situations when the true apex is more than halfway through the turn.  But habitually following this line is not necessarily the best line on a track, and can be deadly on the highway.

I spend too much coaching time teaching that the “late apex at all cost” concept is wrong, and breaking the bad habits based on bad advice.  In a right turn on a road with oncoming traffic (or a potential of oncoming traffic around a blind turn), it is unsafe to go to (or over) the center line just to make a late entry into the turn.  It can be deadly.  If you think you need to drop in so late to make a reduced radius turn, you are certainly over the speed limit, and probably over a safe speed.

On the track, focus on the fastest line through the entire course.  The best line for a particular turn necessarily depends on what follows.  A “late” apex may be OK if it sets up one or two turns down the track.  Building total track awareness takes time and focus.  Professional coaching will identify bad habits and techniques, and will greatly reduce the time a rider needs to build speed and safety.

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Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp

Definition Of The Ideal Line

Let’s find it out…

In racing sports, the racing line is the route the vehicle must take in order to minimize the time taken to complete the course. When analyzing a single corner, the optimum line is one that minimizes the time spent in the corner and maximizes the overall speed (of the motorcycle) through the corner. If one used the path with the smallest radius, that would minimize the distance taken around that corner. However, by fitting a curve with the widest possible radius into the corner, the higher speed which can be maintained more than compensates for the extra distance traveled.

The apex or clipping point is often used in motorsport, though other racing sports such as skiing and bicycling have similar concepts of an ideal line. The apex is often but not always, the geometric center of the turn. Hitting the apex allows the vehicle to take the straightest line and maintain the highest speed through that specific corner. It is also the tightest part of a corner. Within the context of motorcycling, the apex is referred to the point where the motorcycle is closest to the inside

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