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.

U Turns Guys

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by fightingtiger, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. Hi Guys

    Had an issue with a uturn out the frotn of my place. How I can not make it around when there are 3 lanes is beyond me but hey - it happened and it meant that today was go to a car park and practice day.

    Did lots of uturn and practice between poles and trying to keep between marked lines in the car park.

    I found that doing uturns in second gear (after about an hour practice) was not too bad and by a little countersteer to start and by focussing on the throttle smoothly through the turn it was all good.

    But First gear uturns still seem a bit of a black art to me.

    I find if i try and control with the throttle, it is too jumpy. My son (who has heaps more experience than me) suggested that using the clutch to control the power is the way to go.

    Not that I doubt his word, but what do the old heads of the forum think.

    I am keen to learn.

    Thanks guys
  2. pull some rev's and ride the clutch. Don't let it all out, you can use the clutch to control the power being delivered at low speeds easier than the throttle. a little bit of back brake might assist as well if you drag it a little. You can also counter lean i.e. bike into the turn, your body out if your worried about balance.

    Car Park - Practice - Go!
  3. Revs up, slip clutch, and drag the rear brake. You may find it easier to control speed by keeping throttle and clutch constant and control with rear brake instead, I know I do.

    Plus, dont forget to really spin your head around and look back where you want to go, it really helps.
  4. are you starting from a complete stop in second gear?
    that's not neccessary... your son is right, ride the clutch to assist with a smooth take of in first... you combine clutch and throttle for the desired acceleration... it's not like a car, it won't hurt the bike... drag the rear brake too if you want.
    there is no countersteering involved here.
    you do not lean into the turn.
    you are steering the bike with the handlebars.
    just full lock, *look where you want to go, dial up your revs, release the clutch smoothly, trail the rear brake... you will find it easier to apply acceleration by smoothly releasing the clutch, rather than controlling the throttle in first gear.
    ducatis don't have great turning circles, full lock is the best you can get... unless.....

    *disclaimer> none of the above will work unless you look exactlty where you want the bike to go, eyes level with the horizon and do not look away from that point., and i mean point your nose there, do NOT look at that point out of the corner of your eye...your helmet is facing that point dead on ....seriously that is all you have to do... even if you're really crap at everything else. (that is why you ran into the kerb, you looked at the kerb)
  5. Go to the saturday morning learner practice session and you will polish up your u turns and slow riding skills in no time. In a 2 hour session you will probably do close to 50 or more u turns. If you can't make it then go to a carpark and practice yourself.
  6. Hi Guys

    Some great feedback there and next weekend will be more practice with clutch and back brake - awesome.

    Yes it was from a standing start, my 2nd gear practices today were all moving not from a standing start.

    And also yes I was looking and focussing on the gutter when I ran into it.

    More practice, and mor practice will mean that it all starts to come together.

    I will join into the Sat morning ride. I will also be bringing the Wife when we pick up the new Aprilia scooter and hopefully in a couple of weeks I will have the Pantah on the road and can start practice with that.

    Thanks Guys
  7. #7 robsalvv, Jul 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
  8. Spot on!...the rear brake is your best friend when slow riding.
    As has been said...maintain contant revs via clutch and throttle, regulate speed via the rear brake - very stable. After a little while you will be able to come to a complete stop, balanced for a second or two, and then move off again.

    Remember to counter-lean (away from the corner), for low speed turns...

    You'll get the hang of it...practice practice practice. :)

  9. #9 Captain Seven, Jul 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    When I see my u-turn coming up, I'll brake to the point where I know I'll have enough power to make it all the way around, then pull the clutch in, lean the bike and counter lean with my body (only a little). It works every time. No walking the bike which means you look 7% cooler! Just remember to turn your head and look where you want to go.
  10. #10 Ohmigosh, Jul 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    Hey mate - I know it works for you but I'm not sure it would be the most appropriate technique... :)

    Having done hundreds of u-turns and learning by practising the consistent suggestions of experienced riders here and elsewhere it's definitely a matter of clutch, throttle and rear brake, with counter balance if required. Some bikes and riders can handle the u-turn with no clutch but a lot require the friction point and fast idle revs clutch/throttle combination with rear brake adding control.

    Rob's link demonstrates what can be done on a mothership of a motorbike with clutch control and rear brake.

    Here's another example but this time on a smaller bike with a Right Hand u-turn (as we need in Australia) --> [URL="]Link[/URL]

    Find a quiet parking lot and practice till your hands fall off - then staple them back on and practice some more! :D

    Fun Ha!
  11. Omygosh... You've been paying attention mate! :)).

    You are perfectly correct, with your technique.

    Well done, matey!

  12. Excellent stuff Guys. I thought the first video was very impressive and the second one very instructive.

    Can't wait to get out there on the weekend :)
  13. HAd a nice ride down from Coburg to Brighton and back yesterday. Following my wife though and stupid Tom Tom thought it was a great idead to go past the MCG, on a Saturday, when hawthorn is playing Geelong at 1 o'clock :-(

    But all good.

    Did some uturn practice this morning and i think it will take plenty of practice to master this. The car park atop Northland was a bit wet still, but did start to get more of an idea.

    Clutch control is certainly easier and the way to go.

    Thanks again for all the great advice.

    Catch ya

  14. and rear brake.
  15. Update.

    Got my P's this week :) :)

    Did some practice on the slow u turn and slow manouvering technique of clutch and rear brake so a bit more practice and should have that nailed.

    I was getting into the slalom around the witches hats on the CB250 soooo much I now have a couple of scrape marks on my left boot - had that sucker right over :)

    An awesome days practice and the License test was heaps easier than the L's.
  16. Wow that's impressive lean you are getting there for slow riding.

    Well done on the Ps. I'm glad to hear you found it easier than the Ls. As someone who had never sat on a bike before, I did find the Ls a lot more challenging than most others that post here.

    The MOST elements do seem fairly straightforward while I'm practising on my own. It might be a different matter in the real thing, under pressure, so I've been making my own course a little more difficult - more offset to the cone weave and a tighter U turn for example. I like the challenge of being stationary for a second or two and been working on that too, as well as trying to stop on a line, rather than in a box.

    I hope I'm not threadjacking here but one problem I am having is maintaining constant throttle while feathering the clutch, rear brake and steering on full lock. I'm gonna fess up and say I'll probably stick with what I find easiest to pass the test. I find, for example, that I can make the cone weave and uturn using only L hand for steering and R hand off the bike (and that rear brake). ie the CB400 seems to idle at the right speed for this slow riding stuff.

    I will keep practising the correct technique, though, as I'm sure it will be the way to go when I get it right.
  17. #18 raven, Aug 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    It's working for you because you've done a vary good job of perfecting the wrong technique, I'm afraid.

    You will find this out the hard way, if you don't correct it.

    It's been advised a million times - clutch and throttle to set power/revs, ALWAYS rear brake to set/adjust your speed.