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Obstacle Turn (MOST) tips for a cruiser?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Lesha, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Hi guys,

    I am new to the NR and a newbie in riding, so don't kick me too hard, please :) I did a search on the topic, but there is nothing related to the cruiser-specifics.

    Getting ready for my MOST and have been practicing with cones and tennis balls for a while. I do want to use my bike for the MOST, it's a Hyosung GV250 - not a full-size cruiser, but has a rather long wheelbase and weighs about 180 kilos with all crashbars in place. Overall - not too hard, U-turns and cone weave were a bit of a challenge at first, but are totally doable with a bit of a practice.

    What concerns me most, is the Obstacle Turn. I either hit a cone (the one that I should pass through) or half a tennis ball in 30-40% of the attempts. I sure use counter-steering and try to lean into the turn (which is hard at this stage and usually destabilizes myself and a bike). I think my chances get better when I am slightly using the rear brake, but that affects the speed.

    The fact that I hit a cone with my foot or with the side of a bike makes me think that the wheelbase has something to do with it, probably, and may be I should try to stay further from the cone on side of a turn.

    Has anybody faced the same difficulties? Will highly appreciate any advice.

    Thank you.

  2. Firstly, welcome and good on ya for asking.

    I have a friend who did his test on a spanking new Yami 650 cruiser. So it isn't impossible on a long, low cruiser. Just harder.

    My recomendation to him, as it is to you, would be to do the testing on one of their provided bikes. I think my costs were similar regardless of using my own bike or theirs. You're cruiser is longer, lower, heavier, has a greater turning circle, and likely more bits hanging out of it (crash bars, for instance) to contend with. What ever you do though, do not take the crash bars off to make your bike thinner for the test.

    But either way, *do not look at the obsticle*. If you look at the ground or the tennis ball/cone than you are going to hit it.
  3. I'd say get off the cones for a while...
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Thanks for the tips, guys.

    I really do want to pass MOST on my bike, and this yearning grew in size each time I heard people talking about compatibility of cruisers and MOST :) Just kidding :)

    Anyway, how do you reckon is it a good idea to drag the rear brake while counter-steering at a speed of 20-25 km/h? I do so in hope that it might help to stabilize the bike, but in theory the bike should NOT need that kind of stabilizer when in 2nd gear and going well.

    I reckon that I do not fix on the target as my main task at hand is to start countersteering as soon as I pass the cones, so I monitor the cones with my peripheral vision and push the bar quickly as I pass them.
    I manage not to hit anything in about 60% of the time, so I think it is doable, but my technique needs improvement :)

    If you have passed the MOST recently, can you tell me what is the gap / space between the last pair of cones (right before the obstacle line)?
  5. I did my MOST on a Yamaha XVS650. It takes practice, lots of it. I reckon if you're going to ride it, you should pass the test on it.

    Edit: Ahh crap, wrote an answer about the wrong element of the MOST. Deleted.

    I wouldn't drag the rear doing the 20-25k stuff, it's more to get wrong and will probably mean you aren't going to swerve quickly enough.

    If you go to the RTA site here, they have diagrams with all of the specifics of each element.

    Any chance of getting to the Homebush learner session or are you not in Sydney?
  6. ok... congrats on getting out there and practising firstly!

    More often than not it seems cruisers struggle with the U Turn, not the emergency swerve. One tip is to actually enter the channel (the narrow lane before the first two cones) slightly on the opposite side to the direction they want you to swerve. Means you have a little bit more room to get the longer wheelbase around the corner as I suspect it is your rear wheel that clips the cone not your front?

    This allows you the extra room to clear the cone, do the counter steer and pass the MOST!!!

    Not sure if I'm being very articulate... but if you are doing the swerve to the left hand side - then start down the right side of the lane / channel, and vice versa. Gives you a bit more room for your rear wheel to clear the cone.
  7. By the way - welcome - you should pop over to the Welcome Lounge and introduce yourself!
  8. +1 to what DJY said.

    It sounds like you may also be starting the turn towards the tennis balls too early and clipping a cone. Keeping slightly off-centre maximises will help. It's also tempting to start the countersteer as soon as your front wheel is past the ball, which can bring the back wheel across the ball with a cruiser. I found there was plenty of room to swerve back and make it through the markers for the exit points, so don't be worried about going a little further to make sure you don't clip the ball. Not that its much further to go, mind you.
  9. I reckon you need to just flick the bike harder. This doesn't mean muscling it. I don't think leaning will help you much at those speeds.

    Grip the tank hard with your knees and lock yourself in anyway you can, loosen your arms and give it the quick flick.

    As you approach the cone maintain light throttle till your ready to turn. Roll off the throttle quickly but smoothly then give it a sharp counter steer movement to turn left then flick it back over to the right and gently roll the power back on. If you try to stay on the throttle while you make the swerve the bike won't be "loose" enough to flick it quickly. If you back off too soon before the turn you won't have enough momentum to get through the weave. Remembering the turning itself will wash speed off like a brake, which is why it's important to get back on the power on the way out because if you don't you might want to put your foot down on the exit because you've ran out of momentum.

    PS: good on you for persisting with your own bike. Learning to do this stuff on a harder bike will make you a better rider.
  10. Hi guys, me again.

    Thanks a lot for all your comments and advice - all of them were totally helpful.

    Have passed my MOST yesterday - piece of cake :) Zero points on a cruiser.

    The problem with my "practice" obstacle turn was not enough space between the last pair of cones - I was putting them too close, leaving the gap of about 0.7 - 0.8 meters. On the real exam, though, the gap was about 1.2 meters - same as the length of the obstacle line! 8-[ So, I have easily passed through those gates, although was a bit nervous about it.

    And just a few tips for those who want to take the MOST on their cruisers.
    Apart from simple general tips as to look ahead and keep your eyes levelled with the horizon, remember to give it a bit more throttle on the cone weave and U-turn sections because of the mass and heavy steering. Compensate the increased speed with the rear brake.
    Counter-balance, if you can do it without affecting the slow and steady pace that you need to maintain (I couldn't do it on the cone weave, but it served well at the U-turn).
    Again, on the cone weave do not look at the next or second-to-next cone, look full ahead and level your eyes with the horizon (start with looking at the last cone, if that helps) and follow yourself trough the chain with peripheral vision only.
    At the U-turn, you would want to turn your head all the way back (180 degrees) before you actually start turning the bars. It could a bit tricky, but really helps to maintain a good lean and steady forward motion of the bike. That also works well for any kind of turns in real life situations :)
    And don't forget to use the rear brake.

    • Like Like x 2
  11. Glad to hear you passed on your own bike. It must be a good confidence boost for your riding.