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There is an interesting discussion about different lines for riding twisty roads, like The Dragon, here. While lots of riders had good feedback, a few had questions about different kinds of lines and how to approach a curvy road. Here is a little summary of some ways you could approach a real motorcycle road.

First off, you need to think of the road as having Three Lane Positions.


  • Lane Position One. Left side. Near the center line. About where the left wheel of a car would go on American roads.
  • Lane Position Two. Center of the lane. Where the drip line is in city traffic. Directly under the car.
  • Lane Position Three. Far right. Near the fog line. About where the right car tire might go.

If you find yourself on a famous road, like The Dragon, a road you have never ridden before, one approach is to ride that road at a slower pace, forwards and backwards, riding the whole time in Lane Position One--near the center line. Not dangerously close to the center line, but over in that general lane position. Then go back and ride the road again in Lane Position Three, near the fog line. Again, not getting yourself into the gravel, but over on that side of the road. Of course, you would move over for trucks, gravel, crazy squids or anything else that makes you nervous. Then, having been over the road four times, and knowing where some of the bumps, blind corners and road hazards are located, THEN you could think about going back and taking different LINES at a little faster pace.

So, what about LINES? Here are a few you can try:


  1. The Qualifying Line. This is your classic Outside-Inside-Outside line. For a right turn, you start out in Lane Position One, get the bike pointed toward the apex over in Lane Position Three, then sweep back out to Lane Position One again as you exit. IMHO this line is great on the track, but not as good for playing in traffic.
  2. The Outside-Outside Line. For right hand turns, you ride in Lane Position One. Left hand turns are taken in Lane Position Three. This is a nice, conservative line that gives you a good view around each corner.
  3. The Cruising Line. You ride from here to Katmandu in Lane Position One--about where you would be if you were sitting in your car. You get the best view around right hand corners and a pretty good view around left hand corners. This line works fine most of the time.
  4. Delayed Apex Line. You stay in the Outside Lane Position until you can see the way ahead is clear, then, if appropriate, you turn MORE into the corner (cut the corner), hitting a late apex and exit onto the straight. This may not be the fastest line for a 600cc race bike, but this line is often used by 1000cc superbikes--and isn't the GW and superbike? Some experts feel this is the safest fast-line for street riding.

There is more to lines, but this explains a few of them.

I would be interested to hear what you folks have experienced using different lane positions and cornering lines on your Gold Wings.
 

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Well...I can tell you that from experience, I try and stay off the CENTER line of the lane since that's where most cages drop oil.
 
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