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90 degree turns from a stop, turn wheel or not?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by evman, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Ok, so I'm a new rider, generally I'm feeling ok on the bike, I have practiced in a car park doing slow speed figure of eights and turns and think I can turn the bike mostly where I want.

    However, I'm I little confused about how to start off a 90 degree turn from a stop, such as at an intersection or driveway. On our learners course we were told to keep the wheel straight, left foot on the ground and right foot on brake whenever starting off. But when I do that when turning hard right or left, I find it very hard to do it smoothly as I need to go out into the road a bit before turning. After bit of reading and looking at some youtube videos, it seems that turning the front wheel first before starting is ok, and even having your right foot on the ground when turning left :-O

    Where do I point my wheel?

    Also do people usually change up to second at the beginning of the turn or leave it in first? I have been leaving it in first until I'm straight, but the high revs and touchy throttle don't help the smoothness.

    Thanks heaps.
  2. Turn as hard as you want just ride the clutch and feather the rear break to make it smoother. Look where you are going. Treat it like a tight uturn.
  3. What ever makes you comfortable. I never think about it I just do it.
  4. Don't worry too much about where your wheel is pointed, as soon as you start rolling it's going to straighten out and then respond to your input. As mentioned above the most important thing is where your looking.

    I've gotten to the stage of pulling extremely tight 90' turns in 2nd/3rd and trick is to turn your head all the way to where you want to end up.
  5. Try leaning it a little just before you take off, play with different techniques and see what suits you best. Me for example I start leaning the bike almost as soon as i'm moving in a lot of situations.
  6. thanks for the replies. Sounds like I'm thinking about it too much! I'll try some of the ideas posted and see what works.
  7. It also depends on the radius of the turn, and your distance from the start of the apex.
    Normal intersections where you do a right turn over one single lane might mean you are a few meters away from a smooth radius turn, so you'd travel straight ahead for 3m and then do a smooth arc at a 2m radius to be pointing the way you want to go.
    On a left hand turn at the same corner, it's a tighter radius on the curb, but you're still a few meters away from it if you're behind a stopping line & pedestrian crossing.
    I'd have stopped in the middle of the lane, nearer to the left, but angled towards the corner I'm going to.
    Then for the turn its straight ahead for a few metres and then a tight radius left turn of around 80*.
  8. Bit more experience, and as others have noted, you'll just look where you want to go and it will happen naturally.

    Like learning to drive a manual car, at first you want to look at the gears to change them, then you get to changing slowly without looking, then one day it's just an extension of your body so to speak.

    But yes, you can turn the bars the direction you want to head in.
  9. The roads with pedestrian crossings are ok, I guess it's more the smaller side streets that end at larger streets with only a single stop line, so you're stopped right up at the edge.

    I just went and had a practice in a car park, using the 90 degree parking spaces and turning left out of them. Turning the wheel first definitely helped, it felt a bit wrong, but if I just got my feet up, the bike was fine :)
  10. And you have to turn the indicators off yourself too!
  11. If you take off with your wheel turned there is a tendency for the bike to tip which can catch you off guard if it is a little more than you expect.

    It's OK to take off with the wheel turned but if you have sufficient space I prefer to get the bike rolling with the wheel straight and then once things are stable to tip into the turn. Even in a short intersection you can usually do this and also tip in pretty hard. Certainly doing it like this feels more stable. If I was starting a U-turn from stationary I would do this too.

    If you are having trouble in a short distance it will because you are not tipping hard enough. That probably means you are being hesitant. Give it a bit more throttle to get the bike moving to a pace where it will sustain tip and then just tip in.

    Like all things two wheels, if your having difficulties, find your self a quiet place and practice. An empty car park is ideal.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Is this what you're trying to do?

  13. Yeah, that's the same video I found. It just seemed a bit odd, but I've tried it and it does work. I'm not sure I like the idea of not having by foot on the rear brake just yet as I find I use that to control the bike starting off.
  14. I can't think of any situation where this would be helpful.

    1. I can do that from a standing start with the wheel pointed straight.

    2. With the bike pointed straight and upright I have the ability to turn left or right, or even proceed straight ahead in an emergency.

    3. Even the guy in the video warns of the dangers of any kind of hesitation with the bike in this position

    4. Every time I have seen someone drop their bike from a standing stop it has been with the wheel turned hard

    Just learn to do it properly.
  15. That's the part that made me feel uneasy about it. Sitting on corner with the bike in a less than stable "ready" position.

  16. this is a better video, it explains the turn the only way that is needed "look where you want to go". If someone is explaining some riding technique to you and it requires more in instruction than turn your head and push on the bars it's probably a load of crap. It explains the turn in less than 1 minute what took the other idiot 3 minutes

    If you are having difficulty actually tanking off and turning all at the same time then you need to go back a step and practice your taking off just in a straight line until you can do it all the time every time with out stalling or lugging the engine.
  17. I'm not an expert(only been riding for a year and a half), but here's how I usually do it. If there is no rush and I have reasonable amount of space before the actual turning starts(I have a couple of cars in front of me or it's a right-hand turn through more than one lane), I try to gain some speed and switch into 2nd gear. But for quicker turns(most left-hand turns for instance), I just go in 1st and switch gears right after the turn. As other people suggested here, you should use clutch for smoothness and finer control in 1st gear. So with a bit of practice you will make smooth turns while still in 1st.
    One more thing: if I need to turn really quickly, I prefer not to waste time on shifting gears and just rev up in 1st, unless it's a really wide and long turn(intersection of two multi-lane highways or something) where I will have enough space to gain speed and shift mid-turn.

    And as I've said, I'm no expert so if someone will notice a flaw in this, feel free to correct me.
  18. Thanks guys. As stated above, one of the issues may be that I'm just not confident enough getting on the throttle, so being hesitant then not tipping enough. As iClint mentioned going back a step and being happy with starting off will probably help a lot.

    In terms of the gears, I'm realising that it is ok to rev the bike, it's not a car :) I haven't found out what speed my bike will do in first, but I'm sure it's more than I need for a corner.
  19. You can see from Morotmans video that he actually took off with the front wheel straight and turned it immediately. If you do it right it won't matter whether you start with your wheel straight or turned. However if you do it wrong having the wheel turned may cause a drop. If you stalled on take-off and have the wheel turned the bike will jerk to a stop and the jerk with wheel turned will cause the bike to tip massively and be hard to catch.

    Even if you don't turn as quickly as Motorman's video shows, you usually have heaps of room to get the bike moving straight before you turn. If you don't it is because you aren't leaning and turning the bike hard enough. This is what the real issue is, so focus on that. Once you can do that, the turn form stop becomes easy.

    Starting with the wheel turned is probably a faster and tighter turn and that is probably what the likes of VicPol do. But they have practiced shitloads during their training which is why they are such good riders.

    evmanevman I don't think the worry is sitting at a stop with the wheel turned. You shouldn't be doing that. Even if you are going to take off with bars turned you would still only do it before take off.

    SiilkSiilk I wouldn't be changing into second. If you have the room to get the bike up to second it is not a turn from stopped. If it is a true turn from stop you would be turning way before the bike should be in second and you would be changing way too soon.
  20. Something else to consider too, it that if you are in a tight turn and decide to change gears mid way. You run the risk of getting your foot caught between the gear lever and the road. Nearly did this a few weeks back on a 150deg dog leg at a stop sign.