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Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by kaiser2001, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Hi guys,

    Hoping someone can help me with some tips. I've just started practicing for the MOST and am having huge troubles with the U-turn. I've practiced the rest of the test in an empty carpark and have it pretty much down-pat but the U-turn is proving elusive.

    I have no trouble doing a left U-turn but when doing a right one my right hand gets all cramped up and I lose throttle control. So I either end up going too fast (despite clamping down on the rear brake) or more commonly I don't give it enough gas and lose drive to the wheels and it all ends up pear shaped (lucky I haven't dropped the damn thing yet!!).

    Just wondering if anyone else has had a similar problem and any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. G'day mate

    Sounds like you are having a similar experience to me.

    I've been slowly getting better and better at it as I've practised.

    One problem I have found is that if I am turning at a very slow speed I can't easily look through the turn and so I tend to fixate on a spot of ground on the inside of the curve and the bike topples towards it resulting in a foot-down.

    But if I approach the entry to the U-turn a bit faster, feathering the clutch and holding a constant throttle and use the back brake to regulate speed in conjunction with slight clutch in or out movements then the turn becomes much smoother and I can look past the exit point "down the road". By travelling a bit faster through the turn you can also incorporate a lean which increases your rate of turn and reduces the slow speed wobblies a lot.

    Mind you I am just a beginner so my explanation might not be 100% right. But I base it on feedback from others (Sydney Homebush learner sessions) and watching other people perform the manouver.

    If you want to head out sometime this week in the evening for a practise PM me and we can meet up as we are not too far from each other. :)

    Fun Ha!
  3. Hey Kaiser,

    I'm still on L's too so I'll leave diagnosing the problem to others. Ohmigosh is good for this as he got the entire run down on Saturday.

    Also, you don't need to practice the left hand U turn.

    I felt a bit sheepish when I asked OzYoda the same question on Saturday and he replied with "Why would you U turn left on a road?"

    Good luck with the practice!
  4. Look over your shoulder to where you want to go, have a good amount of throttle, feather the clutch, drag rear brake, and importantly, lean away from the bike/turn as you enter the turn.

    Setting a highish amount of revs means you minimise stalling risk - it's just a small resetting of the mind to control the power via the clutch and not the throttle.

    Once you've got a handle on it, you can get the finesse of the throttle sorted out.
  5. When you set out your "box" to do the u-turn in, make it very large to start with, then gradually make it smaller.
  6. robsalv's spot on.

    If you care for a more detailed reading - this is chapter from Total Control.

  7. Sounds like you might be holding on too tight as well, try relaxing your upper body more.
  8. kaiser, join us at Homebush on Saturday, i'll get u up and running :)
  9. Forget U turns for a moment. Go find a nice open car park and start riding big lazy figures of eights. As you get smooth and comfortable with it, tighten the circles as you get more confident and slow the speed as well.
    Use brake against a set throttle to modulate speed, try to forget the clutch, leave it at one setting but use rear brake to control speed. Of course, if you need a bit more throttle, use that, but generally leave the clutch alone, it's just another control to confuse you.
    Figure eight turns teach you EVERYTHING you need in slow speed manouvering and give you good practice in transitioning the bike into and out of tight turns as you flip over from one turn to the other. You'll find you naturally pick up the skills you need doing figure eights to get the bike into nice, tight circles. All the advice above will also help with regards posture on the bike etc.
    Once you're good at it, then you can start practising U turns from a standing start, which you will find pretty easy if you do the above.
    I do figure eights every time I get a new bike.

    Regards, Andrew.
  10. Thanks for all the help guys. I'll have to try and make a practice session on Sat when I get a chance.
  11. Hey mate

    If you want an escort down to Homebush then post up here as well. There are a few of us (actually quite a few) in the Hills or nearby who can meet you and ride down with you.

    Fun Ha!
  12. This is some wonderful advise :) i'm gonna practice this a lot!! :)

    agreed, happy to ride along as well :)
  13. God that Goldwing looks awkward.

    Go down and see Goz. Once you've got the technique right then you'll be dropping them at will in carparks and the rest. Then you can start making bets with your mates who don't ride bikes on weather you can do a U turn in that tight space... Easiest $20 I ever made...
  14. Hi all,

    Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who helped me with tips etc. I passed my MOST a week ago so now I have my Ps. I stupidly left it till the last minute (i.e. a day before my Ls expired!!) so my nerves wasn't great but the only mistake I made was on the U turn (put a foot down).

    I still need lots of practice with the U turns and slow speed stuff in general so I'm aiming to come out to Homebush for some practice sessions in the near future.
  15. I think you guys missed the point? Is'nt the OP talking about getting their throttle hand jammed in tight to the bike?

    Just in case...When doing a U-turn on a sports bike especially, stick your inside elbow out. this will rotate your wrist, then regrasp the throttle again in that position...it will prevent your elbow from getting caught "inside" and jammed up against your body.
  16. I vote for page 87 of that instruction manual. I was having trouble turning my bike..... then found that if i laid the bike right over and i hung off it on the outside, i could turn on a dime, almost in the bikes length. MOST instructor was impressed.
    +10000 for turning your head and looking at where you want to go, even if its nearly 180 degrees.

    As for your hand, no need to turn THAT tight, use your weight to your advantage and try the above.
  17. Why not learn as much as you can about your bike and how to handle it!?
    Not a sheepish question at all.

    Great thread guys!