So you want to do a better, tighter turn?
Well here’s a good way to practice that skill (and it’s a skill that needs to be practiced). Lets start out by doing figure 8’s. An easy and quick way to really nail down slow turning on your bike. The smaller the 8 gets the tighter the turn.
The Drill Setup
Set 2 cones 40′ apart then start doing a figure 8 around them. If you have to go wide at first that’s ok, but try to get it tighter. When 40′ works easy for you set the cones at 30′. Again start a little wide and get it closer and closer. When a 30′ turn works easy then go to 20′ apart. That is what you eventually want to be able to do.
The road is actually 30′ wide even on most back roads so if you can do 20′ in a lot, you can easily make a U-turn in the middle of the road.
How Do You Actually Do Them?
The technique for these are:
- You must be in the friction zone. That’s where you let the clutch out slightly enough and give steady throttle so there is power to the rear wheel.
- You must counter-weight. That is where your body stays upright and the bike leans under you. Similar to the pose of the Heisman trophy! There’s a good reference for all you sports enthusiasts.
- The handlebars have to be turned completely in the direction you are turning. If the bars aren’t locked then the turn can’t get that tight. Realistically speaking you won’t need to lock the bars to make a U-turn in the road.
- The final piece of the puzzle as they say is drag the rear brake. A small amount of pressure to the rear brake makes the turns even tighter. That is how the police officers can those turns in competition that tight.
Under no circumstance are you to touch the front brake! If you touch the front brake and the wheel is turned, the only place you will go is down and hard. Remember you go where you look and looking through any turn is critical. Signing off for now.
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Want to learn to ride a motorcycle in a fun and safe environment? Head on over to The Riding Center.