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The simple keys to riding faster

2017 Kawasaki Z1000R convenient simple

One of the simple questions many novice and advanced riders ask is how they can ride faster. The answer can be just as simple.

However, the question can be a little vague.

Does the rider want to get to their destination quicker, do they want to reduce their lap time at a track, do they want a faster bike, do they want to negotiate a series of corners faster or do they simply want to break the speed limit?

If it’s the latter, the simple answer is wind the throttle further and pay the consequences.

However, you can still ride faster while staying legal and safe and that is the question we want to answer.

Keep calm and twist the throttle t-shirt
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Getting there quicker

If you really just want to get to your destination faster, then the simple answer lies with a former Iron Butt rider who said “Stop less often and for shorter times”.

It seems like a silly answer, but it’s true.

Most time is lost on motorcycle trips waiting for lunch orders, frequent toilet stops and waiting on others in your group.

So the simple answer is to ride solo and do all your stops – fuel, food and toilet – in one hit and don’t hang around.

An extra 10-minute stop will take an hour of riding 12km/h above the highway speed limit to make up the time.

Read our tips here for riding long distances quickly.

Harley-Davidson Project Rushmore Ultra test simple
Fast touring means stopping less

Reduce lap times

The simple answer is to go to a track and take a course.

No point doing endless laps making the same mistakes. Get professional tuition to find out what you are doing wrong.

There are many great professional track courses available.

California Superbike School BMW K 1200 S track day - simple
MBW leads the pack at the California Superbike School

Faster motorcycle

Making your motorcycle go faster is not about power or torque.

Most production bikes have more power and torque than many riders can handle.

The weak point in most production bikes is the suspension.

The simple answer to making your bike faster is to improve your suspension. It will improve acceleration, lateral grip, stopping power and cornering ability.

Check out our suspension myths.

Otherwise, simple and cheap motorcycle maintenance can make your bike quicker. A simple example is having correct tyre pressures.2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition with Ohlins suspension - simple

Faster through corners

If you just want to be a little faster through a series of corners where you always seem to lose ground to your mates, again the answer is simple.

Look further around the corner.

The problem with corners is usually a lack of confidence in lean angles and lateral grip.

That’s because we often think we are going too fast for the cornerKTM 1290 Super Adventure simple

We think we are going too fast because we have shortened our vision. We tend to look at entry, apex and exit points in a corner, rather than evaluating the whole corner.

If you looks sideways out of a car window, the scenery is a blur, even at low speeds. Look forwards and it doesn’t look like you are going near as fast.

Look as far around a corner as you can and you will not only ride faster through the corner, but also safer as you will see potential hazards sooner.

  1. re faster through the corners – When new riders ask me this, I tell them (in part), “Don’t try for speed, try for smoothness”.

  2. Ride at 80% or less effort, while concentrating on your planning, cornering lines, braking points etc. You’ll have time to evaluate, learn, and improve. Pretty soon you’ll be faster and safer at your 80%, than your mate (who always rides at 100% of his ability, has no time to evaluate and learn, he’s always just panicking to deal with one slight change or misjudgement).

  3. Back in our glory days we had a saying “that to go fast you need to slow down” this when applied to your mental attitude, anticipation & breathing pays off enhancing your situational awareness, smoothness & accuracy.

  4. If you really love speed or flying I suggest track training, once you get to be down 4 or 7 times you’ll be ready to fly in the public high way. Track is where you train and learned what you can do with your bike according to your abilities. Riding on public street and high ways without going to the track is like jumping in the middle of the ocean even if you are an expert swimmer.
    Trust me if you want to be safe on the streets and high ways this has to be your attitude (invisible). With this in your mind and heart vehicles can take your lane, make sudden stops, make that left in front of you on the opposite side, even try to knock you down and it wont be any surprise to you cause you’re an expert. I know I am and working on getting better. Get trained, be responsible and respectful. But they will always see you as the bad guy remember that. God bless!

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