Do you believe in magic? Of course you do, why else would you have a unicorn on your diary where you write all of your hopes and dreams? Do you know that you can magically predict the type of corner you are in just by looking at the vanishing point of the road?
Okay. So it’s not magic but it is a valuable skill to have when you’re riding on an unfamiliar piece of tarmac. By looking at the vanishing point of the road, you can tell whether the corner you’re in is an increasing radius corner, a constant radius corner or an evil decreasing radius corner. Let’s take a look how.
First of all, a quick refresher on the three types of corners that live in the wild. An increasing radius corner is a corner where it starts with a smaller radius, going into a larger radius as the corner progresses. In other words, the corner ‘opens up.’ Riders love increasing radius corners because we can get on the throttle nice and early. The aim is to hit the apex at the midpoint of the corner which maximizes exit speeds.
A constant radius corner is, surprise-surprise, a corner where the radius remains constant throughout. In other words, it’s essentially a symmetrical corner. Whether it’s a 90 degree corner, or a 180 degree hairpin, its same radius from entry to exit. For overall corner speed, a midpoint apex is best – for faster exit speed, a later apex is better.
The final corner that you’ll encounter is a decreasing radius corner (also known as the corner of doooom). Think of it as the mirror opposite of an increasing radius turn. This is a corner that has a larger radius at the beginning, with a smaller radius at the end. In other words, the corner tightens up. In keeping with the ‘opposite’ nature, it’s also the trickiest type of corner you’ll encounter.