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.

Turning handle bars vs. leaning

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Spud Gun, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. I am still getting to grips with this, and I find that its most evident turning right on a small roundabout. I start the turn by turning the bars to the right, but I find that I am too slow when I do that. If I start to lean into the turn then I get unsteady as the handle bars aren't straight. Obviously I need to get on and off the roundabout as quickly as possible, what turning tips can you provide? I will be getting more tuition from Stay Upright, but any advice would be (once again) greatly appreciated!

  2. Make sure you're looking where you want the bike to go (not at the handlebars) and if moving very slowly it may actually be necessary to shift your weight over the bike not into the corner.
  3. Damn, now I'll start thinking of my technique in this situation...

    cornering can be hard to describe. The slower the bike is going the more unstable it is which is what you sound like you are describing. Try riding your bike straight at 5kmph vs 100kmph and you will find the slow ride takes a lot more effort and minor corrections than the fast ride. In a corner it is the same. Cornering works by using the smaller radius part of your tyre, gravity and momentum working together to get you around it. A countersteer gets you onto the side of the tyre (the slight push right into a right hander). If you are riding quick enough centrifical force and momentum means you can lean right with the bike. If you are riding very slowly, leaning right with the bike will make you fall off. If this situation the bike would nearly be upright and you need to counterbalance by having your weight a bit ot the left. When going very slow you should almost be able to just keep the bike upright and steer it round.
    In roundabouts, take it easy turning as cars are unpredictable at best in these intersections, a surprising number of drivers don't know the road rules and there can be lots of oil. Find yourself some new roads (eg. roads in a new housing estate without houses), make sure the corners are clean and practice cornering at different speeds.
  4. -Try dragging the back brake, this will assist in smoothing everything out.
    -Keep your eyes up and head level, where you look you will go.
    -When riding at manouvering speeds, which I define as any speed at which the bike won't balance itself, either keep your body upright, or take it one step further and lean away from the direction of turn, called 'counter lean'. Useful for when riding real slow, such as walking pace or less. It's all about the C of G.
    -Don't be too aggressive with your inputs, smooth is fast.
  5. If you're going into a roundabout pal, you'll be turning right. Therefore, with the magic of countersteering you ought to be turning the handlebars slightly LEFT.

    Works better with a touch more speed, but that's the easiest, smoothest and most reliable way to turn a bike. The leaning over bit sort of happens by itself if you countersteer properly.
  6. I've only been riding for a short time so i'm not sure how useful this advice will be but...

    I found that the less i thought about what i was doing the smoother it all happened. As soon as i started analysing what specific actions i was performing it all started falling apart. (have you ever tried walking while concentrating on the movement?)

    I think just look where you're heading and relax your arms would be my suggestion
  7. Not thinking too much was my first thought when I said I'd have to think about technique. Try spending your energy on processing the environment factors(other traffic, surface, entry speed etc.). Totally agree, relax and look where you are going.
  8. I would suggest you find yourself a big carpark (ina factory or industrial area) and go and try some things ppls have mentioned above....
    until you get the hang of it...
    the basic rule is-
    to go right, as you start to lean to the right, you push the RIGHT bar
    forward slightly so it goes towrds the LEFT (no, don't try and steer it, just put your hand on top of the bar and push forward slightly)
    you will turn to the right quite easily (and what you have done is turn by countersteering)
    Unlike a car, on a bike you push the bars to the LEFT (by pushing the RH bar forward) to turn right.
    These actions need practice before you do them on the road...

    and once you have mastered that, then there is the practice of using the back brake to accentuate this type of steering around a sharp corner (or roundabout)


  9. I'm with Ashes, my theory is that is far too complicated to think about so just let your subconscious deal with it :)
  10. This is the best advice and I can attest to it's value. I have been riding a few weeks and have taken every opportunity to get to a big car park late at night to practice. I've got a long way to go but my skills are coming along. The best thing about practicing in a car park is that you can isolate and work on exactly what you need to improve. For example, when slow turning, you can concentrate on nothing else but getting exactly the right amount of rear brake. You isolate it by setting up for a slow, tight turn but then doing whatever is necessary to keep upright while you concentrate on the one thing. Once you have that down, start concentrating on keeping your head up and looking into the turn. Then start on counter-leaning etc.... Eventually, all the bits come together and you will be doing tight turns.

    Plan what you want to achieve while in the carpark. If turning is the thing you need practice on, then use the carpark lanes as a target. Start off at 3 car spots wide, riding along the direction a car would park. Do this over and over again. And remember to reverse the direction of turn(it can be easy to forget this). As you get better and doing 3 cars spots wide is becoming a sinch, make your target 2 carspots wide. Within a very short time, roundabouts will be no issue at all.

    If you get a bit tired of turning and it isn't working then stop practicing turning and start practicing emergency braking. You can never have enough practice of that. Then go back to turning. I also try to practice emergency braking in a turn. I get some speed, start a moderate turn, and try to visualise that I am in the hills going around a twisty. I then, gently at first, straighten up and brake hard. As I get more comfortable with the procedure, I try to straighten up more quickly. But I find you really have to visualise the twisty road when you do it and try to imagine how much road width you would have to straighten and stop in. Again, car park lines can be good for that.

    It may seem silly at first, riding around in small circles at 11pm, and slightly embarassing if there is a bus stop audience, but I quite enjoy it because I feel I am really getting to know my bike and am improving my skills as a rider. Not to mention the fact I am investing in my own safety.
  11. this is my advice:

    -try not to enter the round-about too slowly once you can enter safely (about 20km/h - should run smooth in second gear)
    -let go of the brakes and apply enough throttle to keep your speed
    -enter the round-about and stay a bit to the left
    -then look to the right, keeping your eyes level with the horizon
    -lean your upper body to the right and push gently on the right handle bar
    -as you lean over, ease on the throttle. this will stop the "falling" feeling.
    -when you are nearly at your exit, start opening the throttle. this will get the bike upright again.
  12. Look where you are turning, don't look down
    Clutch and throttle and counterlean if you are going too slow.
    Best thing to do is just turn and don't think about it.