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Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by corvus, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. So, my Ls run out in August and I'm realising I have to get myself ready to take the Ps test. I'm reasonably confident with my road riding, and while the weaves need a little work, I spent a long time in the early days mastering low speed, so I think I will be right with a little brush up. It's the U-turn that bothers me. I haven't been able to find anywhere to practice one where I feel confident enough to commit to it. I've been practising weaves on my road, which is a cul de sac with very little traffic, but it's too narrow to do a U-turn in a car and while I think I should be able to do one on the bike it is too tight an area for me to commit to it. Last time I tried I got almost the whole way around and then realised I was going to be short and dropped the bike. I was going too slow and I turned the handlebars too much.

    So anyway, now with the bike drop behind me I'm even more nervous about it. There are some small roundabouts in the area and I thought I could try doing U-turns around them, but they are in high traffic areas and I always chicken out.

    Any suggestions for mastering the U-turn? How big an area do I need? How fast/slow should I do it?

  2. Counter balance and steady throttle should see you through the tightest of Uturns.

    Not sure what your P's test is like, but up here the Uturn test is a figure 8. You have only just enough time to complete it if you throw in a bit of throttle once or twice. So the thing is to switch to 2nd (unless you are good with your throttle and know the bike) so its smooth on accelerating, and counter balance yourself.

    The other trick is to look where you want to go. It applies in the twisties and it applies doing a Ubolt.
  3. +1 on 2nd gear.
    It really helps with smoothing it out. If you still find it touchy sliping the clutch can also help.
  4. Corvus get down to Homebush for the practice sessions. The boys have marked out the MOST test so you can practice the U Turns there and get advice from some experienced riders. Go to the NSW Rides/Events section. Thats what the sessions are designed for.
  5. [​IMG]

    Ok go to a empty car park. get some cones/ plastic bottles or something. mark out say 2 carpark spaces, (start big then gradually get smaller). come into it on 2nd gear at low speed. 2nd gear bit more stable than 1st. (3rd is okay too). lean your half your ass off the seat on the left side (counter-lean).

    When you cross the line, turn your head right behind and look at something between your 4-5 o'clock position and do the turn. if you keep looking at that thing, you steer the bike towards that. if you look down or infront of you your gona stack
  6. Willzah those are some sweet paint skillz

    Continue with your discussion
  7. Hey, nice diagram. :)

    I've been thinking about Homebush for ages, but it's like an hour drive from here (I'm in the Shire). An hour on busy roads on my Ls? Not real confident about that one.

    Someone told me they leave the course up in Loftus when they go for their road ride and you're allowed to go in and practise. I might check that one out. I can totally handle a quick ride to Loftus, although I would truly appreciate some help from experienced riders. I'm leery of developing bad habits.

    I did the ramps of the parking lot in Sutherland and gee whillikers I reckon that was practically a U-turn. That would have challenged the turning circle of my old Excel. I think it's all in my head. It can totally be done at the end of my street, but with trees on every side I am overly nervous about screwing it up.
  8. Is this an example of someone riding to "pass the test?"
    You've had ample time to practice and whether you have a test coming up or not you should be competent to do a U turn.
    While we're on the subject, how much E braking have you practised?

    U turns are easier on some bikes than others but seriously you must be able to do them. There's more to bike riding than sitting your arse on the seat and twisting the throttle.........

    Flame suit is on :roll:
  9. Not going to work, I have a flame suit eating flame thrower.

    But I agree with what you have said. The practice is boring but needed. U-turns are a pain in the arse on the real rodes when you haven't practiced them enough.
  10. Don't get annoyed if you struggle a bit. It took me a year to get my low-speed maneuvers downpat. When its easy, its a LOT of fun. :LOL:

    My dad still does U-turns with his legs out, and hes been riding for 25 years.

    btw if you've got a choice, pick the lightest and lowest bike you can find.
  11. mate, youll have plenty of time to practice on the day of your test, it is an 8 hour day and the instructor will help u
  12. also make up your mind, are u confident or not?

    i think your not confident in yourself :?:
  13. Willzah's hit the nail on the head with his suggestions (nice drawings as well mate :cool: ). Definitely grab some plastic bottles, markers etc and place them strategically in a quiet car park...in accordance with the exact distances specified on the applicable website/s.

    Couldn't recommend car park training any more myself. We've all been there and funny enough, car park training is sometimes the best place for even seasoned riders to 'review' life-saving manoeuvres once in a while. You'll find that after a few attempts, your confidence will build and you'll soon be smoothly carrying out U turns easily. Flat surface for starters - if you're like me and couldn't find such luxuries, even a slightly sloped (up/down) will do wonders to your training, if not more :)

    As goz has said, you WILL get plenty of practice on the day and before you know it, the day will be over and you'll be grinning from ear to ear. In the meantime, follow the suggestions of what a lot here have been saying. More importantly, get out there and PRACTISE, and heaps.

    You'll be the U-turn superstar before too long. Good luck mate.
  14. No, this is an example of someone asking for help.

    How would you know how much time I've had to practice?

    Don't see that it's any of your business.

    Glad you have that flame suit on, because I've been spoiling for a fight in days. If I'd known all I had to do was ask a question I would have done so sooner. Honestly, who do you think you are? How dare you make provocative assumptions about me with next to no information to go on.

    FYI, and because I just LOVE defending myself from egotistical off-the-cuff remarks from people who like to feel superior (why are you in the newbie forum playing Judge Judy?), I am thoroughly committed to riding that bike as safely as humanly possible. But everyone has to start somewhere. Excuse me for not being born willing to throw myself recklessly into a maneuver I'm not confident I can do until I've practised it somewhere safe. If I thought all I had to do to ride was sit on my seat and twist a throttle I wouldn't be on this forum asking advice. Next time you want a flaming match why don't you leave the flame suit at home and come and talk to me face-to-face? At least then I'll know you're worth the effort.

    And for anyone else that "agrees" well, so do I. Hence my reason for being here. Thanks for the support.

    I am confident with my road riding but not *THAT* confident. I can handle traffic, but a long ride through traffic would stress me out. I'd rather kinda build up to it. Plus, I'm a busy girl. I don't often have half a day to go riding. But I'll try to clear the schedule to make time for it.

    The trick is finding an empty parking lot.

    Thanks for the tips, everyone.
  15. #16 Spots, Jun 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    The U-turn width for NSW is 6.1 metres, which is approximately the width of two carpark spaces.. or the width of a "standard" two-lane road.

    Here are a pair of Youtube videos which might help:
    [media=youtube]7zhFXfX4bl4[/media] The first half just talks about the reason for the "width" of the tested U-turn in the USA, but the second half is about technique. The dirtbike doesn't get leaned over much either, but anyhow.
    (Edit: Oops, this youtube link is dead now. Lemme find something similar...)

    Motorman explaining U-turns on a big Harley police cruiser. Skip ahead to 2:18 if you're impatient. [media=youtube]yGtCMxu8PyM[/media]

    [media=youtube]OdU9UFSYZds[/media] Full steering lock, bike tipped in, rider a bit more upright. Because they're going quite fast, the rider doesn't have to "lean outwards" as much to counterbalance the bike's lean.

    In both cases, the riders are steering the handlebars into the turn as far as they will go, and adjust their speed to maintain balance. To make the bike lean more, they slow down. To make the bike 'stand up', they increase speed.

    Counter-leaning your body allows the bike itself to lean more into the turn, which tightens the turn even more thanks to the rake of the forks giving the bike a bit of 'bonus steering angle' when the bike's leaned over.

    I personally prefer to do U-turns in first gear, slipping the clutch and dragging the rear brake to control my speed, but that's just me. :)

  16. Pretty sure thats the textbook quote ;)

    And to the OP... lol. :popcorn: :popcorn:
  17. But you missed my point. :roll:

    You should be saying I need to be able to do U turn as part of my riding skill set. Not I need to do a U turn to pass the bl00dy test. Think about it your motivation is screwed.....
  18. Rogue01 is pretty much spot on IMO.

    Cant stress enough the benefit of looking where you want to go, you will notice instant improvement with your u'eys with this technique.
  19. after hours shopping centre. try flat concrete carpark. not gravel... but obvious you know that.

    NUFF WITH THE FLAMES, WE HERE TO HELP. IF YOU DONT WANT TO HELP KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. i thought the whole point of this forum was to help other riders