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Left Turns At Intersections

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by mogley, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    Did a search but couldn't find anything specific on this which surprised me.

    So i've been practising some more slow speed stuff (its raining constantly in Sydney and i'm limited to my apartment parking lot) and noticed I have difficulty making nice tight left turns, say at a T junction on an ordinary 2 way street.

    My concern is drifting too wide and into the opposite line but making a tight turn from a stand-still is a little difficult.

    I can manage slow speed in a straight line using the clutch, throttle and rear brake but ideally would like to move off a little quicker (but not like a rocket).

    I have experimented with a full-lock (bike wants to tip to the outside at anything more than snails pace) but figure there needs to be a bit of lean angle to make the corner tight. Problem is i keep tippping inwards with the lean.

    If i angle my bike into the corner it is usually OK as i don't need to bank so much to the left but i know there will be times when I'll come up to the intersection completely perpendicular to the turn and it's these right angle lefts that are giving me issues.

    Right turns are OK cause you usually travel a little further in a straight line before you make the turn although it wouldn't hurt to tighten the rights turns too.
  2. Are you leaning with the bike when you do these corners????

    There is a technique whereby you keep your body a bit more upright & lean the bike into the corner under you, only useful at slow speeds & when having to turn quickly when taking off.
  3. IMO - Try looking as far into the turn (where you want to go) as you can, Not just straight ahead.

    As Sir Doug once kindly said to me 'turn your f*** head' whilst practising. :)

    So while turning around the corner, look where you want to be, the bike automatically follows that line of sight. With this manoeuvre, the speed is also a major factor so try doing this slowly and as your confidence grows, this head-turning will become second nature.

    In simple terms -

    You are Riding Along > Right/Left turn comes up > break to a comfortable speed > Headcheck (depending) > LOOK where you want to go (Line of Sight) > Stop braking > Maintain previous Line of Sight> LEAN > Turn > Keep to Line of sight > Accerleate and Keep riding.

    This is the simplest method to perfect this. Once you get better then there are various techniques you can try BUT this worked for me.
  4. Try starting closer to the middle of your lane. That way you can turn earlier and exit tighter.
    Had the same problem and this worked for me :)

    I don't tend to do it from the right wheel track just in case people assume I just forgot to switch off my signall and try to cut from the inside.
  5. +1

    This is important too but you still need to look towards where you want to be.
  6. If you're taking off from a standstill, also try & get your feet up onto the pegs as soon as you can. Makes it a lot easier to control & grip the bike so your arms can concentrate on the turn.

  7. Sounds good. But still want to be able to make the tightest turn possible just in case I end up in the left wheel track for some reason.

    If anything just to understand my bike better. But from a practical point of view it makes sense to be in the middle (except you are on the scrubby part of the road, car oil etc and all manner of slippery stuff?)
  8. Yes a standstill. I'll give this a go. Although once i've initiated the turn (by looking) there is a small window where there is not enough speed to maintain the lean and then me getting on the throttle too hard to pick the bike up which does not feel controlled.

    Maybe i need to work on my throttle control. :0

    Thanks all
  9. All in due time. Practice at your own pace, and remember not to get frustrated if you're not progressing as fast as you'd like to be. Afterall, the main thing is to have fun while staying safe :)

    You'll find that every manoeuvre becomes heaps easier once you've up your confidence level (either by practice or experience, or both).
  10. This. You don't need to lean with the bike at low speed. Push it into a lean with the inside bar and counterbalance with your body.
    If you are able to do this without applying brakes (esp. front), you will find it easier, but that depends on how good your clutch/clutch control and low speed throttle are. Keep your grip on the throttle nice and relaxed.
  11. So i took on everyones advice and did another 45 mins of practise and feel a lot better.


    1. Point wheel slightly to left.
    2. Manipulate clutch and throttle to get a smooth take off and get the feet up on the pegs asap.
    3. Look around the corner and RELAX the arms. I found i was very tense on the left arm which kept me going wide. Gripping the tank tight as I got up on the pegs let the bike turn on its own and stop my tightness from forcing it wide.
    4. I trail a bit of rear brake which seems to tighten the turn a lot.

    I wouldn't say I am counter-steering in any of this. Its just too slow. Once I've put the bike in a slight lean to get it around the corner as long as I am relaxed the bike follows through ie. i'm not pushing left to go right consciously as i would around a higher speed corner.

    Anyway thanks all. Guess I just need to keep practising.
  12. I'd say it is just noob klutzyness. As you ride more your turns will get tighter.

    Also at the moment while you are worrying about it, you are probably looking at the danger area and not looking where you want to go.

    However why not take you bike to a car park and practice turning left and right from a stop. Nothing beats practice.