When making slow turns or u-turns, try dragging your right foot on the brake pedal lightly. Now you can use the throttle AND the rear brake together for much better control. If you enter a small turn too fast, apply a little more brake. If you feel about to fall over, quickly apply the gas, but still drag the rear brake, and the brake will keep you from shooting foward too fast if you give it too much gas. The trick is to feather the gas and brake to control your lean.
There is a sharp right turn by my house that I was determined to master last year. I always had to make sure no cars were coming before I made the turn because I would always end up going wide and into the oncoming traffic lane - NOT GOOD! After riding alot last summer, I went back to that corner - which I used to avoid at all costs, and I mastered it! My om was watching me in his mirror and saw me hitting my fist up in the air and shouting YES!!!!LOL The more you ride, the more you will understand what to do with your bike to make it go where and how you want it to!
Never brake in a turn. If you are going too fast, and it is too late to brake, push hard on that handle bar, look at your target, and hang on. If you get on the brakes, you may level out your bike and go straight.
They teach you that in the course, and I know first hand what happens if you forget to do that.
When I first started riding, I noticed that I could turn like a pro (I do ride a sport bike) to the right, but I was horrible to the left. So I found an area with a good place to practice where no one was. I would go by there and try it a few times on my way home from work each day. Now, I turn left better then right , and I can't find a place to make right turns
One thing that I have had to hammer into my own head is this: YOU GO WHERE YOU LOOK. In slow sharp turns......always look where you want to end up. That is way on down the road.........Not at the road right in front of your bike. In real short slow turns.......shifting your weight to the oppisite side also helps keep the bike balanced. Go to a parking lot and practice.....practice......practice.
Just got into a MSF Course finally and finished the 1st riding course last week took the test and passed and then one more riding course this Saturday. I did fine on the tight turns right and left on the little 125 honda's so I'm getting comfortable with turns. Although I will have to practice alot on my own bike. Thanks you guys for all the help. And yes practice, practice, practice.
Cheri, have you done some dirt biking? There is no substiution for a few days on the trails. I think it's where all the guys on this site got their first few hundred miles, and few dumps, which I think is an advantage that alot of women bikers aren't going to get. If you have a freind that will let you buzz around on his 125 2-Stroke or something, I really think you will learn alot, that you don't want to learn in the street. Good luck Saturday.
One of my class instructers had learned on a dirt bike as a child. His father made him wear some kind of shield under his face so that he could not see the ground. He said one problem dirt bike riders have is that they look down too much and that isn't good for street bike riding. Is that true about dirt biking? I've always wondered.
Good job, Cheri! Good luck today! Have fun! Be sure and post how you did.
Thanks guys - Yes I have heard about dirt biking I even think my instructor had mentioned it. Yes I go for my last riding day this afternoon. Jesus, I have butterflies in my stomach. But totally stoked. My instructor said last week while I was riding I looked like a professional.... yeah well what kind of professional... But I really enjoyed it. Can't wait.. I will keep you posted. Thanks Deb.
Another thing to remember when turning (especially emergency maneuvers to avoid something in the road) - Push Right - Go Right. If you want your bike to go right then apply pressure by PUSHING the right handle bar, your bike will countersteer to the right. Apply more pressure quickly in evasive maneuvers to quickly steer around an object (you have you push left to go left after clearing the obstacle) Try it while rideing on the street (lightly at first - aggressively at low speeds to practice maneuvers once confidant).
Never brake in a turn. If you start to swing too wide, push more on the right handlebar (in a right hand turn) to stay in your lane. Once you have negotiated the turn, apply gentle pressure to the left handlebar, roll on the throttle and your bike will almost stand up by itself automatically.
Never heard anything about looking at the ground when in the dirt, I guess the point being that on the road you need to look ahead at traffic vs. looking a few feet ahead for the next bump. I wouldn't think that's an issue for a person with a drivers licence. Besides the skills you will pick up riding dirt bikes, they are so much fun. Give it a shot ladies, I think you will be surprised what fun they really are. -crap! now I want one again.
For new riders I agree you shouldn't brake in a corner, but i disagree that you should NEVER BRAKE IN A CORNER! You certainly should not apply so much brake that you would skid but you can scrub off a little speed. I am also surprised nobody mentioned counterbalancing(for more experienced riders) if you are in a corner and are already scraping if you shift your weight towards the corner(hang off like you were going to scrape your knee like a racer, why do you think they do it ) your bike will stand up a bit giving you more cornering clearance.
All of the advice above is sound, but for slightly different circumstances.
For very slow (walking speed) tight U turns, Jefros original advice is spot on. Increasing the engine revs is essential (it helps stabilize the bike), and feathering throttle and rear brake ensures a controlled stable turn.
For anything other than the above, get set-up with the correct road position / speed / gear, prior to the turn, then mildly accelerate round the turn, increasing acceleration as you exit. Again, this is the best way to keep the bike stable. Countersteering always being used in the turn, with counterbalancing as an option (speed dependant). Light usage of the rear brake on the turn (to scrub off some speed) can safely be used, if you do get in trouble (road position and surface conditions dictate how much you can get away with).
Looking where you want to go, rather than what you want to avoid, applies in all circumstances.
That's what Her Majestys Police Dispatch riders drilled into me over numerous training sessions (during advance rider training courses). What those guys can do on our roads over here (UK) is incredible to watch.
Anyway, for me correct road positon and always looking where you want to go, can cover a multituse of sins.
Hope it helps some way - Cheers and good practicing.