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Can anyone give me insight on this? If you are going through say a kinda tight curve, and you feel you are starting to run wide. You look where you are supposed to, but in your mind, you still see the shoulder coming at you. This kinda happened to me. I looked way through the curve and I still almost ran wide. It seemed like it's not just important to look where you want to go, but you have to 'believe' you are going to go there. Maye that goes without saying, anyway. Am I reading a bit too much into this and need more sleep, or does this sound right?
 

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It takes well-developed concentration and discipline to focus on where the hazard ain't instead of where it is. This is how Nick Ienatsch describes the effort required in Sport Riding Techniques:
Sometimes during a roadrace a rider will fall in front of you. It's happened to me several times, but the most dramatic example was at an AMA 250GP race. I had been chasing Jon Cornwell and finally caught him about two laps from the end of the race. We were fighting for second place. As we wheelied over the hill just before the hard right that dumped us into Thunder Alley, I got as close as I dared without actually becoming his passenger. Jon ran into the next right pretty hot, and he overdid his braking, bottomed his front fork while he leaned over and locked the front tire.

In a split second Cornwell was on his right side, crashed out of the race. I remember fighting to keep my eyes on the racetrack, on my chosen line, a job as strenuous to me at that moment as bench-pressing 300 pounds. I had been looking ahead of Cornwell's bike when he crashed, and despite the distraction of a TZ250 and rider sliding off the track in a haze of aluminum, dust and debris, I kept my eyes and mind on my line. As a result, my bike stayed at the desired lean angle, I made the corner, and climbed onto the podium.
You can practice by forcing yourself to focus on a reference point on your line and away from some non-threatening, off-line point. For example, as you approach a right-hander, you notice a skid mark near the centerline, off the line you want to take. Pretend it's a deadly hazard and immediately turn your focus to a reference point on your line.

That kind of "rehearsal" drill really works for me. When an actual hazard comes along--recently, a pickup halfway in my lane--my natural reaction is to turn my eye to my line and away from the hazard.
 

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the thing thta' so hard about target fixation is... how do you KNOW how much you have to countersteer, or ... move out of the way without actually looking at the object? Let's say something fell out of a truck ahead of you and fell in front of you ....you need to keep your eye on the road rather than the moving object, but how can you tell how much to swerve and all that only using peripheral vision? isn't it kind of hard/impossbile without taking a little glance? Same thing with taking a curve... and looking THRU it, rather than looking straight at the shoulder that you might hit. So how you do know you're not actually getting closer and closer when you're looking straight ahead?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Superstuddc27 said:
So how you do know you're not actually getting closer and closer when you're looking straight ahead?
I think I can answer this one. If your bike isn't going where you are looking, you need to countersteer more. That is basically how I knew I still was running wide. Then I did as has been suggested, pushed a little harder on the left clip-on, and even leaned into it a little more. I did come through unscathed. So if your bike isn't going where you are looking (presumably the path you want to take around a hazard), lean more.
 

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Superstuddc27 wrote: how do you KNOW how much you have to countersteer, or ... move out of the way without actually looking at the object?
Good question. You don't look at the hazard, but at a path around the hazard. However, that's contrary to MSF gospel, isn't it? A similar question came up in a different forum recently, and this is the answer I posted:

With due respect to MSF, I think instructors sometimes "steer" riders astray with visual techniques for turning. The gospel is that you must look to the end of the turn before you've even made your steering input. Sorry, but interpreted literally, that doesn't always work.

The problem is that you can't make an accurate steering input when you're not looking at the path you want to follow. In an MSF drill where you're going through a 90° turn at about 15mph, the instructor will have you turn your head toward the exit of the turn before you enter it. In that case you don't have to look at your path through the turn because the speed and the bend require a gentle steering input that can be adjusted dynamically. Press gradually on the inside bar until you're sure you will get to the end point you're focusing on. But in the real world, not all turns are like that.

Consider the turn pictured below, which I ride often. Terrain rises steeply to the north, so the turn is "open"—as you enter from either direction, you can see across to the exit. But do you really want to be looking at the exit as you make your steering input? Good grief, no! Looking at the exit, with the apex not in your field of view, the tendency is to steer too sharply. Taken as a right-hander, you're likely to ride off the inside shoulder; taken as a left, you'll cross the centerline.

To steer a good line, I progressively move my focal point around the turn. As I approach, I look at the apex I want to hit (the mid-turn point where my path will come closest to the inside of the turn) and steer. Because I'm aiming at the target when I steer, I can put the motorcycle right where I want it. But immediately after I've steered—before I reach the target I was aiming for—I move my focus to the exit of the turn. I've established the mid-point of my trajectory, now I'm concerned about ending up in the right spot, some point comfortably between the shoulder and centerline. My eyes are always ahead of the motorcycle, but not so far ahead that I miss my intermediate target.

For a better description of visual technique than I can give, I recommend Keith Code's systematic visual sequencing technique called the "two step" in his book Twist of the Wrist II. As you approach a turn, first find a turn-in point. Before you get there, find an aim-point and move your focus there. Then, when you reach the turn-in point, which you spot out of the corner of your eye, steer. Practice at moderate speed to ingrain the habit, and soon it will become automatic.

In another good book for visual techniques, Sport Riding Techniques author Nick Ienatsch describes a method similar to Code's (using former Superbike champion Scott Russell as an example) : "As Russell approaches his braking marker at the entrance of the corner, he moves his eyes off the braking area and into the apex of the corner. As the bike turns into the corner, Russell moves his eyes off the apex and to the exit of the corner, and continues to move his eyes up the track..."
 

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Street riding and track riding require you to CONSTANTLY be scanning the surface and your desired line. At the same time, you need to 'see' things just off your line (ie. that cage that's coming towards the upcoming intersection) using your peripheral vision. This is one of the things Keith Code talks about in his level one class. It definately takes some time and practice, but it's something that can be practiced any time of the day while doing anything. While you're looking straight ahead, can you see objects off to your side without turning your eyes? By being able to 'see' what you aren't looking at (ie. that object that just fell off that truck) will help you avoid it while your eyes are focussed on your exit path.
 

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wow so complex. i guess it takes a lotttt of practice. But, i do understand the main point. If you're not going where you're supposed to, lean more.
 
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