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Road position when turning at lights

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Free Lunch, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. Howdy.

    What are people's views on road postion when turning at lights.

    I've been kind of moving over to the side of the lane that I'm turning towards, I think this a habit from riding my pushie.

    I thought it would be good to get out of the way of any fool who doesn't see you turning and/or wants to speed through, but it cuts down the amount of road you've got and therefore speed through the corner.

    The other night I had cars overtake me in my lane whilst going through two 90 degree corners in a row :? Probably a combo of going too slow and giving them enough to do it. Don't think I'm going that slow however.

    Should I be getting closer to the middle of the lane and blocking it up? Or something else?
  2. I always try to ride assertively and keep control of the lane I am in, very much with the attitude - it is my lane and is not for anybody else to share (except maybe for another bike).

    At lights I would usually stay near the centre of my lane, but road conditions would dictate my exact position.

    Apart from the tosh I've just written above, the sides of roads usually contain all sorts of rubbish that has been swept there by rain, car tyres etc. Stuff that generally doesn't have a very positive effect on motorcycle tyres. For that matter, the centre of lanes can also be a dangerous place when wet.
  3. It suppose it is a trade off between road condition (and traffic) and finding the best (straightest) line between through the corner.

    If I am turning left at a set of lights, I generally start out a bit wider to the right of the lane to try and reduce the turning angle.

    If it is wet or their is gravel etc, I will slow down even more and take the cleanest line.

    As for people coming behind me, I try not to think about them too much as it takes focus of going forward, but if i have to slow down and turn in the flow of traffic, I may keep a bit more towards where I am turning (to let the soccer mum on the phone who doesn't see me until she puts the make up mirror away an option to miss me) ;)
  4. Each situation calls for its own plan of attack. On a bike, obviously you can choose what part of the lane you occupy. If there is debris on any part of the road, common sense calls and avoid it.

    With left hand turns I generally stay to the right of the lane before going around... with right hand turns I occupy all parts of the lane depending on the circumstances (that probably doesn't help explain what you should do though :roll: ).

    For the majortity of cases I try to occupy my lane as though it was mine. Whilst I feel and accept a bike doesn't take up much room and I could slip to one side of the lane whilst waiting to turn right to allow other vehicles to pass, it's too dangerous. I really don't want cars and trucks sqeezing past clipping my mirrors or worse. I'm a road user like anyone else and for my safety will take up most of the lane to be seen better.

    If you can be both considerate and safe, then moving over to allow traffic to get past is fine, but your safety is paramount.

    That said, just make sure that while waiting to turn (or stationary at a set of lights), use your mirrors to keep you safe. Don't get too cautious but just be on the lookout.

    While stationary, you are most vulnerable from behind so keep a look out at the traffic coming up from behind as you may need to take evasive action if they don't appear to be slowing (flash the brake light or even move over etc).
  5. The rule of thumb is that people should see you when you get in their face. Take control of the lane and make sure no one can go past in your lane. I've had F-wits do all sorts of things when I didn't get it right. I even had some bloke pull up my left side once while I was turning left. Given that I was looking to the right for on comming traffic, it's just lucky I noticed something change in the rearview as I was taking off. I waited for him at the lights & gave him a serious talking to but at the end of the day I shouldn't have given him the room to do it. After all, it's not his fault he was born without a brain. There's plenty of morons out there, so you need to assert yourself. Block the lane, hold your ground and LOOK in EVERY direction ALL THE TIME.
  6. or drive a HD, and take up the whole lane. :LOL:
  7. Cheers for the tips. I reckon riding a little less timidly with practice is helping me out.
    Balancing controlling your own space with avoiding fools seems to be the trick.