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You can the entire collection of Safety Tip articles in a 33 Megabyte PDF Portfolio

 All Forums
 Motorcycle Safety
 Motorcycle Accident Reports - WITH COMMENTS
 Wide right turn into oncoming traffic
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DataDan
Advanced Member
540 Posts
[Mentor]


Central Coast, CA
USA

Yamaha

FJR1300

Posted - 11/22/2015 :  8:26 PM                       Like
Add this to the many ways a novice rider can crash: Turning right from a stop at an intersection or exiting a driveway, space on the destination street is limited, so the turn must be fairly sharp to get the bike pointed correctly. But due to the rider's lack of skill in low-speed maneuvers, he is unable to complete the turn in the available space and runs wide. Worst case, the motorcycle collides with an oncoming vehicle or runs off the road.

That kind of crash was reported today near Salt Lake City, with fatal injuries to the rider. A 19-year-old rider on a bike he had purchased the day before, riding in a group with two others, exited the gas station here (Google Maps link) to go south. But he was "kind of wobbly" according to witnesses, couldn't get the bike turned, and collided with an oncoming SUV. A photo from one news outlet shows that the crash occurred in the center turn lane. Rest in peace, rider.

Over the years, I have come across at least two similar fatalities. In Orange County California, an inexperienced rider on a borrowed motorcycle turned into oncoming traffic on a busy street. And in Texas, a rider exited the dealership on his new motorcycle, rode into a grassy median, and hit a sign post.

rkfire
Advanced Member
1689 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Posted - 11/25/2015 :  10:34 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I wonder if it would be a good tip to a new rider, or the one picking up his new bike and insists on riding it home....take a route that requires left turns, until they have time to practice.

Half jesting there, but, I must admit, I usually do a slow turn around, like in a parking lot to the left instead of right. I just realize for me a slow left is easier for me than a slow right. I know it's been discussed before here, still not quite sure it's a somewhat common issue.

I guess I'll force myself to make slow right turns in the future on purpose, just to practice until it's as comfortable as left turning.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6886 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 11/25/2015 :  2:37 PM
quote:
Originally posted by rkfire

I guess I'll force myself to make slow right turns in the future on purpose, just to practice until it's as comfortable as left turning.

That would be the perfect thing to work on during parking lot practice.

You do do parking lot practice, right?

You just keep making left and right turns until you can do them equally well each way. If it takes 20 or 30 of each to get it, do that many. Practice your braking from 25 mph while you're at it. A dozen or two stops with measurement of how well you're doing will do wonders for your maximum stopping brake feel.
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DataDan
Advanced Member
540 Posts
[Mentor]


Central Coast, CA
USA

Yamaha

FJR1300

Posted - 11/25/2015 :  4:51 PM
The big factor in slow right turns is that it's easier to initiate a tight turn with a bit of forward speed, and in right-side roadway countries we sometimes don't have much speed when entering from an intersection or driveway. I think that's why novices have the problem.

When I discovered this, I started doing a drill I call "square 8s", like figure 8s but bigger and with all 90-degree turns. Keep moving. No full stop that allows you to pre-steer the front wheel. The idea is to do them slowly and make sharp, square turns.
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17282 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 11/25/2015 :  6:47 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Though this thread is particularly important for new riders, those who have hundreds of thousands of miles of experience are not immune - in fact, may be just as likely to have trouble with tight turns at slow speeds.

Seven years ago I posted a thread here called 'Just Do It!'. I invite you to read it again.

http://www.msgroup.org/forums/mtt/t...OPIC_ID=7168

When 99% of your riding uses counter-steering, guess what 'muscle memory' thinks is the way things are?
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1689 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Posted - 11/26/2015 :  6:52 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
No Scott, I don't do PLP. Never even heard of it before I joined this group. I practice emergency braking, but typically on a road with no traffic.

To be clear, I have no problem doing a normal tight right turn where it's needed.

On those occasions where I have the option, like doing a U-turn in a parking lot, I find I almost always do it to the left. It's like automatically thinking, easier/smoother left than right.

Which brings me to think, maybe I should just "DO IT" and choose right for the practice until that notion of easier/smoother goes away.
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commonground
Male Standard Member
155 Posts


Windsor, PA
USA

Yamaha

V Star 1300

Posted - 11/26/2015 :  7:52 AM
As Jim stated, "When 99% of your riding uses counter-steering, guess what 'muscle memory' thinks is the way things are?" I live in the hills of Pennsylvania and seldom ride the big roads. Some of the curves I take have a sight distance of 20 ft. or less. That means down into first gear and direct steering through the turn especially if you are on the inside lane. We also are blessed with a lot of intersections in which the turn angles are far less than 90 degrees and on a hill. Getting off the big road keeps your slow skills intact.

Jerry Palladino's Ride Like A Pro DVD has some very good instructional information on tight turns from a stop.
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greywolf
Male Moderator
1492 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 11/26/2015 :  9:41 AM
Do the parking lot practice. On the road, left turns are more dangerous than right turns if your skill set is adequate. You're only dealing with one direction of traffic. There are plenty of places where I avoid left turns. It's safer and uses less fuel. http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/m...ly-minimyth/
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wmcooper
Male Junior Member
33 Posts


perry, ga
USA

Honda

shadow aero

Posted - 11/26/2015 :  4:08 PM
As a new rider I had an issue with right turns going too wide until I followed the advice in this video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gzAgCSfnQM
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commonground
Male Standard Member
155 Posts


Windsor, PA
USA

Yamaha

V Star 1300

Posted - 11/27/2015 :  5:14 AM
Good information. Capt. Crash the maker of the video is a member here. He's got several good videos on his site. Augie
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1689 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Posted - 11/27/2015 :  7:35 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I did some tight left circles yesterday. Went fine, but I thought at the time, that since the throttle side gets turned into the bike, maybe it's the diminished ability to turn the wrist that causes the problem. Hard to paint the picture of what I'm talking about.

The other thing that came to mind is, it's the U-turn that I usually choose to go left, where I have a choice like a parking lot. Of course, if you drive on the right side of the road, any U-turn there it's always going to be left. Maybe I get accustomed to left that way.

No doubt it's not just beginners either. Seen some awful right turns by older guys, and parking lot speed maneuvers as well.
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