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round abouts... what to do?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Lobsta, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. ok, this is one that i have tried to iron out myself, but still have trouble with. I am having trouble with round abouts. specifically, taking the third exit (i.e. turning right)

    it is not lack of cornering ability. when the round about is empty and i know it is and i can look through the corner, i hit the best line through it and nail the exit, but as soon as there is a driver waiting to enter or approaching the round about, especially when they are at the second position (i.e. opposite where you enter), i am torn between watching them to avoid becoming a skid mark, and looking through the corner.

    watching the 1 tonne of metal with a driver of unknown mental status usually wins which results often in me running wide on my turn (result of target fixation, i know) and coming rather close to the left curb on exit, or having to chop off the throttle and break mid round about (I can feel Keith Code smacking me with a rolled up newspaper as i write this) to avoid going wide, which usually results in me coming in tighter (just this evening i almost overbalanced and had to touch my foot to the inside island as i braked to watch a fully sick commadore show off just how quickly his brakes can slow him down as he approached the round about. he stopped, but i looked like the dick that cant corner...)

    so what do all you guys do in round abouts? is there a secret spot to look at? i know that target fixation is bad and that is what is causing this problem, but where do you strike the balance between looking through a corner and ensuring that you dont become a hood ornament?


  2. there is a point where i find i have to decide to go or to stop and let the other fellow in.

    If i have just entered and I get indecisive about someone entering opposite(remember people give way to all traffic already in the round about) I'll indicate off and go straight through(with a head check) and then do a u-turn and come back.
  3. The street is not a race track, and as such not even Keith Code would be spanking you or whatever those crazy Scientoligists get up to. There is nothing wrong with braking mid-corner, as you should be well within your limits so you CAN do things like brake mid-corner pending traffic. Braking because you can't hold a line, or putting your foot down is just plain bad control and will be ironed out with practice. Same goes with the whole looking thing, go where you look is true for cars too, but do you still check traffic when driving a car? Again, it's a simple control issue, and sooner or later it won't be an issue just with practice.

    A lot of the classic rules everyone likes to talk about go out the window when riding in traffic. Basic control (albeit in taxing circumstances) sounds like it's your first priority.
  4. its just a roundabout.. it dont want to hurt you.. do you indicate and does your bike show in its attitude that it is going around.. hope so.. if you have right of way then the person on the other side should wait. if this appears not to be the case then make a quick smart decision for the best place to bail out of the turn... not off the bike though. eye contact for a split second can also help.if you lock the front and drop the thing through the roundabout then most people will let you through.

    AND... you look at the black stuff around the corner NOT the roundabout. it will bite if it sees you staring
  5. Negotiating a busy roundabout is nothing like negotiating a corner. Don't try to use the same technique. At roundabouts you need a little more of your attention focused on what is happening around you,( other vehicles, oil, gravel etc ), whilst still looking where you want to go. Spend more attention dollars where its needed.
    This all depends on the situation and conditions at a given time, more traffic=more attention spent in defensive mode etc .. IMHO
  6. and dont go to canberra.. true.. roundabouts are NOT corners.. you need all you brain switched to on if its a busy one as you are sure to have some nutbag (read dunnydore) try to kill you.
  7. Yep all good advice!

    A roundabout is not a corner in the classic sense. You certainly can apply the techniques though - but bike stability and smoothness are definitely second to negotiating all the way through. Plus, they're usually off camber and have oil residue... so need a little more care anyway.
  8. Why not, roundabouts are fun (in a controlled and legal sense).

    It's probably been mentioned a few times now, but looking through the corner/roundabout has helped me with 3rd exits. Also, the right gear helps the bike feel more settled during the turn. There's probably a more technical term, but I'm still new to this and enjoying every minute :cool:
  9. Make sure you have the clutch and brake levers covered just in case of eejits who brake at the last minute, and sometimes decide to keep going; perhaps you should go into the roundabout a bit slower, although if you touched your foot down that may not be a problem.
    What about finding a handy spot to practice going round in biiig circles slowly, while altering your speed for imaginary fools. Sounds daft, but it helped me.
  10. Before entering I do a thorough scan of the roundabouts and build up a mental picture of the traffic. Before I start the turn I scan to see what the vehicle on the 2nd exit is doing, then I line up the 3rd exit whilst keeping the 2nd exit vehicle in my peripheral vision.

    3rd exits I usually have a touch of rear brake on just to smooth out the throttle response.
  11. OT and I know it's not helpful....

    Anyone else see the irony in a rider complaining about 'drivers of an unknown mental state' and 'fully sick commodore', yet has issues negotiating roundabouts? Something about stones and glass houses spring to mind.

    Anyway, +1 to Devo. A roundabout is not a corner in the classic sense, there is no apex, no turn point etc..Basic road craft and looking/observation skills are required along with hazard perception. Don't assume that as you have right of way that everyone will respect that, setup for braking and try not to go at a speed that leaves you nowhere to go.

    And practice.
  13. easy.
    simply travel at a safe enough speed, that u can shift your vision anywhere u want, without shifting your steering inputs. you should be able to hold a line yet still change your vision focus. this is something you just pick up with practice.

    going nuts in a corner, you will tend to follow your visoin alot more, but at a safe comfy roundabout crawl, u should be able to look at everything around you and still be able to turn.

    this way you can focus on both.

    just practice!
  14. Well you could on my favourite one :wink: :grin:
  15. I'll add another newbie question if that's ok.

    Somebody mentioned selecting the right gear to go around the roundabout. Obviously this is going to be different on different bikes, but I'd like to know whether it is better to choose a low gear and run around with higher revs, or a higher gear and run around with lower revs.

    Any suggestions?
  16. Best to keep the revs somewhere in the middle-
    * not so low that you don't have any power available
    * not so high that you have to change gears while you're on the roundabout

    Somewhere around the middle of the revrange, really.
  17. Thanks Spots - that's about what I've been doing, so it is good to hear. :)
  18. for the gears, i generally use 2nd. 1st is too twitchy and easy to over-rev, while 3rd doesnt give enough power for your average roundabout, unless its a big mofo, then 3rd.

    but wat spots said, is a good general way to cover it, my gearing is specific to me only :)
  19. My advice:

    Go slow - lots of oil and debris often and off camber

    Watch for tools - dont expect people too see you

    If your feeling unsteady just drag the rear brake a little for added stability

    Dont try to race through, seriously there are many better places to do that

    Indicate your intentions - just incase anyone actually does see you
  20. Well, in Victoria they're typically off-camber for some utterly stupid reason.

    Went to Queensland a few years back, and was amazed that there really are road engineers in Australia who know how important it is to build a properly cambered roundabout.

    Down here in Vic, many roundabouts are so highly crowned that even moderate lean angles has you threatening to drag pegs and slide tyres.

    Roundabouts are just plain nasty things. Too many things can happen at once, and people just don't know the rules. For example, did you know that for roundabouts it NOT a case of give way to the right? Rounadabout are actually "give way to whoever's on the roundabout first". That's not the way many idiots treat them though. Around here if someone is approaching a roundabout while someone is approaching from the left, they'll just blast on through at warp speed even if the guy approaching from the left got there first.