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how to go around a roundabout?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Raie, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. Hi All,

    Completely nooby question, but I guess I would like to know how people go around the roundabouts... do I look left then right to go straight through? Do I drag the back brake to help myself control the speed? How did people practice their roundabouts when they first started? I don't want to screw up and drop my bike in the middle of one :(

    Any suggestions appreciated.

    Round a bout was also hard to search for, so if there has been a previous thread then please let me know. thanks.

  2. Yep, as you approach, slow down and look both ways for cars. If I'm turning left, it's easy, just look left as you turn. Turning right can be a bit trickier, I use the back brake gently to control the speed, and turn my head early so that my chin is pointing at the exit. Then I keep my chin pointed towards the exit till I exit the roundabout. Same if doing a u turn at a roundabout.
  3. Find a nice big one and return to it at 3am the next morning. Do a couple of slow laps to check for diesel spills and lurking police cars, then gradually increase your speed until you're hanging off the bike as far as possible and everything's still scraping. Or, if you're on a sidecar outfit, hope that there is a diesel spill and try to get the whole outfit pointing at a full 90 degrees to the direction of travel, before flicking it the other way to aim at your exit and leave the scene with two wheels airborne and the other one spinning.

    What? Doesn't everyone do that........?

  4. might sound stupid but its great advice for learners, only thing is, it would be better to find a smaller roundabout as the turns are sharper
  5. Try to think of the turn as a single motion. The bike will feel most stable with the turning and roll-on of accelerator done in a smooth, constant way. Plus you need to be relaxed.

    Being tentative, nervous and tense is understandable but ultimately helpful and if anything will contribute to mistakes mid corner when you do come across an oily patch, or worse, those off camber roundabouts.

    Come to canberra for a day. They are a smallpox upon the city.
  6. Roundabouts often have a fair bit of grimy oily build up in the middle of the lanes, esp when wet! If I'm turning right I try to stick close to the inside (within a meter of the center) as this part is usually free from any oil from cars. And when exiting slowly ease on the throttle.

    Ride the rear brake slightly for extra stability until you feel more comfortable.
  7. #7 robsalvv, Nov 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    But don't use the rear brake as the primary brake!

    On approach to a typical 4 way roundabout, slow & look right, then straight across then left. If u won't be collected from the right then enter at a comfy speed. Use cornering technique (see noob 101 thread). Steady throttle in a lowish gear is good. If ur reallllly slow drag the rear for some stability. Don't get used to that though - it will become a security blanket & get u into trouble later on ur riding life.
  8. Some roundabouts are right bastages. I try to do what Rob has said and his noob 101 thread talks you through standard cornering which can be applied to the (slightly) more complex cornering required by a roundabout.

    One other thing to do in addition to Rob's post is to be peripherally aware for cars entering late and perhaps not seeing you or forcing you to alter your line or even brake hard. This happened to me a few weeks ago when a 4wd towing a boat entered the roundabout in front of me from the left - even though I was well into his quarter of the roundabout - forcing me to brake pretty heavily to avoid his towable money sink. When I was thinking about it afterwards I came to the conclusion that he probably would have been fine without the towage slowing down his accelleration and making his car 3 times longer ](*,)

    Take them easy.

    Fun Ha!
  9. Just loosen up and make sure you can flap your arms while you are turning (they need to be loose). Handlebars are not for hanging on. Best way to loosen up is to grip the tank with your knees/thighs.

    For the particularly slow ones you will need to steer normally rather than counter steering too. I found that after riding on higher speed zones I caked my way through lower speed roundabouts as countersteering didn't work as well and ended up locking my arms more.

    BE VERY CAREFUL OF ALL TRAFFIC. I had my car written off last Sunday by a drunk driver who didn't give way. Never trust anyone, they might just try and make it through and misjudge your speed/think you will slow down for them or just not give a shit at all.
  10. #10 99CIBBER, Nov 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Hi OP, Take Robs advice and practice every chance you get, I sometimes go around 2-3 times just for practice and fun. :) My 2c would be that if you enter a round a bout in the wrong gear and it feels sketchy then just cruise around in that gear, don't try and shift gear mid round a bout. Good luck, when you've mastered that then try this.

  11.  Top
  12. if all of the above fails, just ride straight over it
  13. ...very likely if you fail to steer at all! LOL
  14. Hooray for motards :twisted:
  15. I remember it took me ages to master roundabouts, they are one of the trickiest things when learning. +1 for going out at night and practicing, you need to take the traffic out of the equation to focus on your technique first.
  16. Thanks all for the advice. I guess I will have to find a quiet roundabout to practice on. Otherwise I guess I WILL go over it instead of around..
  17. I have a number of tight little roundabout's over my way.... I have been riding around them at slow speed, with indicator on, and I have assumed that cars have seen me (I was looking directly at the driver)...and they have pulled out right in front of me!! On occassion, I have actually had to stop! WTF!.

    ..Must be a ghost rider!!..... :-s
  18. Tweetster,
    This happened to me on a roundabout (Childs Rd/Dalton St, Epping VIC) a few days ago.
    The 1st a***hole who darted across missed me by ~5 metres ; the 2nd f***knuckle, blanketed by the 1st's idiotic unsafe driving decided he was in the clear to proceed due to 1st guy failing to stop.
    The result ? Stopped about 1m from 2nd w***er, glaring at him (directly in front of me) whilst STILL IN THE ROUNDABOUT VICINITY. He knew he f***ed up, but waved his arms around in the car (loss of face is a hard thing for some to comes to grips with!). I couldn't move from my stopped position until he drove off...
    To say I was mildly upset is a very large understatement. Luckily, the R1's rear didn't slide out too much and that I managed to stand the bike up quickly enough from its lean to commence immediate emergency braking !
    There are some REAL selfish f***wits out there on our roads.
    Rant over - ride safe, one and all.
  19. I think some car drivers are pre programmed to look for cars and nothing else.
  20. So true, unfortunately :(