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The ABC's of Traction - Cornering (Page 1 of 7)

So what does traction do for us? Why is traction such a concern to us? Because there is a limited amount of traction available to us, we must understand how that traction is used. That's where the ABC's of traction come in. There are three distinct consumers of traction when we ride. Traction is used for Accelerating, Braking and Cornering. In the first article, we said we'd look at each of these individually. This article will explore cornering force.

Understanding what traction is and how it is used is the first step towards managing our traction. The challenge is that our available traction comes from the friction between those two little areas of contact where our tires actually meet the road. All of these traction users must vie for their traction needs from the same pool of available traction, namely that generated by those two little contact patches. And any of the three traction users can acquire an appetite that eats up all of our available traction. This is especially true when we are riding under less than desirable conditions like when riding on a wet road surface.

Cornering ForceCornering force is what keeps us from sliding off the road when we lean our motorcycle while turning. As such, it is critical to our ability to effectively negotiate curves and corners. Unlike accelerating and braking forces, which act in line with our motorcycle and the direction we are traveling, the effect of cornering force is perpendicular to path of our wheels.