Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Roundabout Tips?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by patske, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. Hey guys, I've got my fzr250 up and running recently and I have been riding around a fair bit. On my own I just go around the neighbourhood it's pretty quiet where I live so I just go on a few winedy roads here and there a few cars but nothing to worry too much about. When I go out on major roads my girlfriend rides behind be she wants to do that for a while until she's sure I'm confident to go out on my own. .... anyway I digress.

    What I want to know is how fast do you guys usually turn right left or a full U turn around a roundabout, there are plenty in my area especially along pittwater road and I find myself shifting right down to first gear and going around them at snails pace (max maybe 10 - 15km). I've been trying to get faster but I just can't. I'm thinking I need to lean a lot more but the roundabouts are often bumpy or really convex in nature (ie the point I start from is higher or lower than the point I want to get to), and I'm a bit weary to do it because I go so slow I feel like I'm just gonna stick my foot out. So do you guys have some tips on how I can do left, right and U turns faster. I haven't seen nor do I know anyone else that rides so I can't follow them and see how they do it =\. Oh another thing my bike isn't really torquey at all and if I don't go round in first it will stall on me (cuz I go so slow), thats also a reason I'd like to learn how to go a bit faster, but especially from stop to go I'm really slow.

  2. the worst thing about roundabouts is the grease and oil garbage on them, and the morons who don't know who to use them. Unless it is a very large and steady flowing roundabout, I am generally very cautious.

    If you are struggling for confidence around them, don't worry too much, it will come with time. Consider some advanced rider training, it will help you confidence like you won't believe, and let you know where your limits are.

  3. go out and practice, practice, practice, ride your bike everyday, rain,hail,or shine and PRACTICE, the speed in cornering will come with PRACTICE, time in the saddle and PRACTICE no one can give you advice on this it is PRACTICE.
  4. Best advice is to take each one as it comes. There is no set speed you should be doing anything at. Do what feels comfortable. Roundabouts are generally not very friendly to bikes...often off-camber (sp?), usually very greasy and more often than not, quite bumpy and rough.

    I am always careful going through roundabouts and I've been riding every day for nearly eight years now on the roads....I am yet to come off on the roads (touch wood). My philosophy is to ride it at the pace you feel comfortable. I also am not a scaredy-cat rider and have PLENTY of fun!

    :D :D :D
  5. I go S L O W around roundabouts, and it's not just because I'm getting old. They are usually complex intersections where our fellow motorists are confused/distracted/innattentive etc.
    I agree with the advice given so far and add the question. Why would you want to go fast around a roundabout anyway? Save the going fast for corners where you know you CAN go fast with safety.
  6. I hit them in firs
    t gear as well . Not because of the condition of the roundabout but because of the inability of cages to give way. As the lads have said , patience and practice .
  7. I'd tend to go in first gear if I slow to a stop and take off or in second if I've got a bit of momentum behind me. Steady throttle, gradually open up as I start to straighten up, signal and exit.
    All depends on each roundabout, what I can see, number of lanes, others around, etc.
    I enjoy the challenge because often its a matter of getting all your timing right.

  8. stay in second gear, at a speed that will let the bike run smoothly still. Look into the corner and never at the ground - keep your head level. The speed will depend on the bike, but it should be at least 20km/h.

    If you ever feel like the bike is falling or you are tempted to put your foot down, open the throttle a bit instead - make this a habit. It will make the bike lift up and will be more stable.

    The best advice I can give is to go to a carpark and ride around in circles until you can basically get your knee down. Basically keep leaning and opening the throttle more to stop the falling feeling. You can also start doing small figure 8s, getting as low as possible. Once you've done this, U-turns should be a fair bit easier too. :)

    here's another discussion of the topic:

    have fun :D
  9. I usually go through at about 85, either knee scraping or pulling a huge wheelie.

    But I am a bit of a legend.
  10. I tend ti slide through sideways after backing down the gears too fast on the VTR cause I don't know what I am doing.

    Looks craptacular.
  11. Don't forget the metal plates that councils/vic roads seems to like to stick on roundabouts......and yer since they are all almost off camber its one of the more challenging parts of riding.

    I'm the same as Lil, I'm still cautios on all roundabouts both because of the road conditions but also when you are banked over on the bike is not the best time for you to use your brakes to avoid a car that has entered it without seeing you.

    Take your time, leaving room for error and the appearance of metal plates, and gradually build up as you get more confortable. Every roundabout is different so there is no golden rule on what speed to take them at other than to say a safe speed. If the safe speed is 10-15 km/h, which for quite a few is more than reasonable, then thats the speed you do.
  12. I agree with just about everything said ..

    practice and time spent on the bike are the key. Dont forget, there is no 'correct' speed...

    slow in a roundabout is usually better, gives heaps more reaction time, plus if the unmentionable happened, you wont hit the ground as hard.

    One other thing..dont be nervous...everyone started somewhere similar to where you are...
  13. I find that if you look through the roundabout to the line where you will exit, it helps, otherwise you tend to look down at the road just in front of you or beside you (as someone has already said) and it spooks you. Of course, if you can get through with both knees scraping, or on the back wheel, it looks trick as hell, but it also tends to upset the insurance company.
  14. Carrying on from what Androo posted, he raised an interesting issue. One of the most daunting things for new riders is low-speed manoeuvering, like U-turns and roundabouts, because the bike feels like it wants to fall over so you sit up to counter that and then you're off-line.
    While teaching my 21 year old son to ride, I did exactly what Androo suggested. I took him to a car park, mapped out a slalom course and made him ride it as slowly as he could without falling off. He soon found that riding slowly takes a different type of skill to riding quickly.
    I spent a lot of time when I first started riding, riding a trials bike, mapping out difficult courses over rocks and difficult terrain and then riding through them as slowly as possible without putting my foot down to steady myself.
    Competitive trials riders have a term for it; they call it "body English" and one of the most valuable lessons I learned from that was in the area of low-speed manoeuvering.
    Try going in slower and ever-decreasing circles as Androo suggested, and, when you feel like the bike is going to fall over, lean in the opposite direction to the way the bike is leaning and apply a little more power. The combination of your "body English" and the slight increase in speed will keep the bike exactly where you want it AND eliminate the feeling that it's going to fall over.
    The first time you do this and it works it's like, "EUREKA", it's such a buzz.
  15. There are also a few good tips here... https://netrider.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6267
  16. Well I don't "want" to go fast I just notice cars tend to follow me right on my arse when I do go around slow =\.

    And yeah I want to do the whole slalom slow speed practice but my bikes a little tricky and won't go slow unless I'm riding the friction point (otherwise it stalls) which takes my concentration away from other things cuz I'm still learning alot. so I don't know I remember doing my L's course on a trail bike which was quite happy to put along in 1st gear at low revs and slow speed my fizzer however won't do this at all. My girlfriends dad who's been riding for 20+ years tried to have a ride on it and even said that it's a hard bike to learn on, he kept stalling on it too.
    Hopefully if I learn to ride this bike I'll be better off when I get another one down the track but yeah I really need to practice, I've got Uni holidays coming up soon so I might do some of those courses.
  17. i have trouble getting around too paul

    i dont really notice what i do though.. im trying to remember now .. :(

    god damn drugs
  18. congratulation on your new bike

    take the round about at a speed u feel comfortable with

    if you want to practice your riding and turning skills, i recommend you find yourself a carpark and practice there aftetr hours when there is no cars around, then take your skills to the road!!
  19. the only thing i have to add is begin your braking early, i.e. don't fly up at 60km/h and then slam on your brake at the last minute - give the cage drivers a chance to see your brakelight. 9 times out of 10 they'll back off.