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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, so I’m wondering if I am a ‘cornering coward’ - not going over far enough even cornering, resulting in my taking corners much slower than I should be. The dust on my tyres clearly shows how far I lean into a corner (rear and front tyres). Any comments and comparisons much appreciated. Also any suggestions for tyres that allow for faster cornering. Stay Upright.
 

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- The stock 150 rear tyre will always have chicken strips, the geometry of the bike doesn't allow to scrub them off completely. If you want to have a tyre that can work with all it's surface area, get a 140. The 150s have a squished profile because they need to fit the too-narrow rim, which makes their sides too vertical to touch the ground even at the highest lean angle.
- Don't worry about them. I used to ride out the chicken strips even on my touring bike on public roads. These days I no longer do, even though I'm not slower - I'm just better at riding the right line, controlling the balance of the bike, planning ahead and using my upper body. Lean angle is not your friend, you want to lean as little as possible, not as much as possible. My Duke still gets to use all of the rubber on the tyres but only on track and in motogymkhana (and I have a 140 in the rear). I stopped caring what people think about dust on my tyres.

The thing about cornering is, it's not about overcoming your fear, it's about gaining confidence and skill in a repeated environment. If you're approaching this as "other people's tyres are all scrubbed, am I too slow?", it's your ego talking. You'll gain nothing from listening to it. Instead of spending money on "tryes for faster cornering", spend them on a track training (with an instructor). True speed and confidence comes from incrementally improving within your limits, not from just anxiously leaning more in order to boost your self-esteem and get more presentable rubber.

You've got maybe a centimeter left on those 150s before you start grinding pegs. And you don't want to grind them, it's not a show-off move, it's bad technique, evidence of bad body position, poor throttle control and generally weak skill. IMO it's high time to train all the other aspects of turning instead of fixating on lean - there are so many!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dear Big Mac, Wow such a helpful post. Please be reassured this is not an ego thing - it is a concern that I’m not doing it right. I will take up your suggestion to get some professional coaching. Again Thankyou for taking the time to provide such helpful advise.
 

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If you want to scrub your tyres in complete safety use a paddock stand and a belt sander . Bike in neutral and go at them with the sander with a little practice you can soon have the rear wheel spinning . Cannot beat training and practice ( in a suitable safe environment ) . I'm using Michelin Power RS in standard sizes .
 

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I'm also using Michelin Power RS but with a thinner rear (and standard front), I've found that they're good on one track but slippery on another - lost the front twice, once resulting in a crash. Might be that the compound doesn't like a certain kind of pavement? The rear slides more than I'd like when doing aggressive trail braking but it might be due to the stock shock and short wheelbase more than the quality of the rubber, can't say - would need to compare to other tyres. I think I'll try out something else next season.

They worked great on street, I'm only noticing squeaks when really pushing.

I've ditched the stock tyres the same day I bought the bike, and sold them as unused. Even though they're an ostensibly pretty decent model, don't believe you're getting premium rubber on a budget bike. Ryan here explains how it goes:

So the stock Metzeler M5s are likely worse than M5s you'd get in a shop. And it's old technology, we now have M7s and M9s are being released next year.
I've had very good experience with Metzeler Racetec RRs on my previous bike and I like the brand, but neither Racetecs nor Ms are being made in 140 width :( M9RR would probably be a great tyre if you're willing to stick with 150s.

Don't buy Racetecs for the street, you'll love them until your first rainy day and then you'll hate them ;)
 

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You want to get better at cornering? Do yourself a favor take a track class and go to a few track days.... tons of fun and addictive. The street is no place to learn where the edge of the envelope is.
;)
 

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While Big Mac and Motocrash have given you very good info, and you are not going to get all the way to the edge of a 150, I can tell you that you are definitely not leaning your Duke as far as I lean mine (I still have a 150 rear), and I'm not some crazy terror on the streets. But that does not mean you aren't riding "correctly." You should ALWAYS ride within your own comfort level. Riding "over your head" is a quick way to get in an accident. So, if you are having a good time, then everything is fine.

That said, there are other factors to consider:

What kind of roads do you have? It is much easier (and far less scary) to lean it over a lot on slower tighter turns. I have wonderful mountain roads all around me, and I lean my Duke a lot further on tight slow turns than I do on high speed turns - partly because leaning way over in high-speed turns means you are probably going way over the speed limit, but mostly because I'm just not that brave/crazy.

What kind of road conditions are you riding in? I lean a lot more on roads that I am really familiar with, with good clean pavement, and where I can clearly see the road ahead of me. I ride much more cautiously in other kinds of conditions.

If you want to know if you are riding well, take a motorcycle safety course. You can expand your riding skills with track lessons later, but first make sure you have mastered your street riding skills, and a safety course can teach you lots of stuff to work on.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thankyou Softie. My roads - have a look On google maps at route C511 that runs between Warburton and Jamieson in Victoria, Australia. I lost count of the number of 30km/hr turns. I’ll take up the suggestion to do a ‘track day’ to hopefully improve my skills.
 

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Agree with Big Macs good advice!

I wouldn’t take a belt sander to your tyres

I highly recommend motojitsu channel on YouTube. Some good advice there. He’s a big advocate of taking further training.

I’ve set up his low speed manoeuvre drills in a car park and I found they help a lot with balance and cornering. Give them a try if you can.

Here’s just one of his hundreds of videos. Ride safe!


https://youtu.be/aGta32BZJsE
 

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I've ditched the stock tyres the same day I bought the bike, and sold them as unused. Even though they're an ostensibly pretty decent model, don't believe you're getting premium rubber on a budget bike. Ryan here explains how it goes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv97i_-V7hA

So the stock Metzeler M5s are likely worse than M5s you'd get in a shop. And it's old technology, we now have M7s and M9s are being released next year.
I've had very good experience with Metzeler Racetec RRs on my previous bike and I like the brand, but neither Racetecs nor Ms are being made in 140 width :( M9RR would probably be a great tyre if you're willing to stick with 150s.


I saw that video a while ago but I forgot to compare my new m5 rear tyre with the stock one. I’ll check the codes on the stock front and compare them to the new rear. I think they’re good tyres.

Dr Baby, I wouldn’t recommend upgrading to a sportier/stickier tyre until you can safely reach the limits of the stock tyres.

Some good advice in this vid:

https://youtu.be/01YlwusCSlE
 

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That's one school of thought on getting sticky tyres. The other says it's even /more/ important to get super sticky rubber when you're a beginner, because they might be more forgiving if you go too far. It might be safer to search for your limits on a tyre that's designed to go fast, rather than on one that's designed to be cheap and universal.

On the other hand, don't buy race or track tyres for daily riding. You won't be able to reach their operating temperature on the street, no matter how fast you think you ride. These need warmers, track-spec asphalt and the kind of all-out riding that you simply don't do outside of a controlled environment. When they're not warmed up properly, they're actually worse than your street rubber. Also, they're rubbish in rain or cold weather.

Every tyre is a compromise, there are no easy answers. For your first track training, those M5s should do fine. You'll see where to go from there.
 

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If you're not on a track, the only thing that matters is that you safely make it through the corner and cars aren't running up your rear. If cars aren't running up your rear, you're going fast enough. Don't worry about chicken strips and enjoy the ride.
 
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