There are three main forces fighting for traction. Braking, cornering and accelerating. Entering a corner there can be a fight for traction between braking and cornering. Exiting a corner the fight transitions to accelerating vs cornering.

The fight is compounded by the decrease in the area of contact patch that a tire has as it leans into the corner. The contact patch of a tire is greatest when the bike is bolt upright, with no lean angle. Braking and acceleration can be maximized here.

It is very important to properly judge your entrance speed and get most of your braking done before the turn in point (downshifting too). As you approach the turn in point, you should be gradually releasing the brakes. Turning is initiated by leaning the motorcycle. As you begin to lean, you start to lose contact patch. You also start to introduce a lateral cornering force. Your available traction for braking has now decreased to almost zero %. Cornering forces now want a piece of the traction pie. As your lean angle eats more pie, there’s less available for braking. If you feel you are going to fast, grabbing a handful of brakes mid-corner rarely works out. You definitely don’t want to be at maximum lean angle and decide you need brakes.

The first response when you feel you’re going too fast should be to look where you want to go and push steer through the corner. Use compression braking from the motor and light braking to get you through the corner. If you’re way too fast, use all the tools you have to survive and promise yourself to be a better judge of corner speed before you turn in next time.

Maximum lean angle generally occurs at the apex of a corner. The apex can be defined as the transition point from slow to go. After the apex the fight transitions from braking to accelerating. Braking force tags out and accelerating force jumps into the ring. If you apply the throttle too quickly while leaned over there may not be enough contact patch or traction available. Cornering still needs the traction. This can result in the classic high side crash as your rear tire suddenly loses traction. The best way out of the corner is for cornering to gently hand over the traction to acceleration as the lean angle decreases and the contact patch increases.

Electronic rider aids like Cornering ABS and Traction Control are designed to referee the traction fight to make sure no one gets tossed out of the ring. If you find them being used all the time, you may need to re-evaluate your riding skills.

In this battle for traction no one force reigns supreme. They have to work together and make the transitions as smooth as possible. If you can create a smooth flow, judge your speed well in advance of a corner your rides will be much safer and more enjoyable.