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Hi everyone,

About 8 years ago i went to a safety course and those 3 days of riding i picked it up really fast, and overall was comfortable while in motion. However i noticed the only thing that gave me difficulty was turning from a stop....driving forward for 1 second then quickly turning.

Is this a common problem for new people?

Long story short, i failed the tests twice because of that issue....but it sucks because i was fine with everything else.....

I tried my buddies bike recently and rode it around the community with ease...but once again i noticed i have some balancing issues with turning from a stop......i feel like balancing is my problem, where i either have to adjust the steering to balance in the turn or i feel like i might need to put my foot down to balance...and prevent myself from falling down.

Can anyone give some tips/pointers? (I know practice makes perfect, but some tips to assist during my practice would be greatly appreciated)....
 

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Remember in MSF what they taught you about turning?
Slow
Look
Press
Roll

You need to do that, and the bike will balance. Once the bike is moving, balance really shouldn't be a problem anymore. The bike WANTS to continue moving in the path of least resistance.

you can forget about SLOW if you're turning from a stop. so:

Accelerate to your target turn speed (i.e. slow) - hold this speed with the right hand.
Look where you want to go - actually move your head and look. The bike goes where you look.
Press - press the the handlebars in the direction you want to turn. To turn right, press right. To turn left, press left.
Roll - smoothly roll the throttle on some more to accelerate out of the turn. As you do this, you will center the handlebars and bring the bike up, and be on your merry way.

It sounds like you need some parking lot practice! You've got a buddy that rides - take advantage and have him help you out. Also, if you're serious about riding, you might want to take the MSF class again, as a refresher.
 

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The most important thing with balance is keeping your head up. Dont look at the ground right in front of you. Look where you want to go and the bike will follow.
 

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The best idea is to not put yourself in a position where you have to do it. Plan far enough ahead so you are poointed where you want to go when you sotp. It's not always possible, but it sure makes it easier when you can do it.
 

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At slow speeds, a little bit of clutch modulation and slight pressure on the rear brake can help balance you out as you complete your turn. Practice this in the parking lot as it's easy to give a little too much of both and simply STOP, which, if you're not ready for it, might make you drop the bike.

Also, when you know you'll be turning from a dead stop, as Jim Moore said, plan ahead. Coming to a stop sign and turning right? Get into the far left-hand position of the lane, which should give you the most room and make a wider turning radius available to you, which should allow you to use an increased speed and less abrupt turning than you could if you were on the inside portion of the lane at the stop.

In short, plan ahead and turn from the outside portion of the lane opposite of the direction you're turning into and make the widest turn possible.
 

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If you are in the left lane position while turning right, the chances of a car wedging themselves in there to turn right are very high. People don't pay attention to the small turn signals on motorcycles.
I think for the OP we need to go back to the basics of balancing here. Please don't take it as an insult, because I truly believe this can help you. Go to an empty parking lot and mark off a certain distance (100 ft. or so) Now go from one end to the other as SLOWLY as you can, without putting your feet on the ground. Keep doing this until you are literally able to do this at slower than normal walking speed and I can guarantee your balancing problems will be over. Remember to keep you head up and look at a point in the distance. Also don't be afraid to slip the clutch.....motorcycles aren't like cars, they have wet clutches (most!).
 

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If you are in the left lane position while turning right, the chances of a car wedging themselves in there to turn right are very high. People don't pay attention to the small turn signals on motorcycles.
I didn't say to get into the left lane to turn right, that's a traffic offense and completely stupid. I'm not saying to hug the center of the lane to turn right (or the outside shoulder to turn left) either, but rather than hugging the inside corner of your turn (which makes for a sharper turn) or stopping in the the center of the lane (to avoid oil/slick spots), get into the left-hand third of the lane and stay closer to the outside portion than the inside (you may also be somewhat more visible to opposing traffic this way). In a single lane situation, the only way a car is going to wedge itself between you and your turn when you're stopped in this lane position is if they intend to cut you off or go around you where by law, they're not permitted to. Better that they do it there and you let them go than to have that kind of an asshole behind you. Maybe lanes are WAY wider where you're from (I thought lane width was pretty standard), but the lane position I'm talking about would require most cars to hug or even bump the curb/shoulder to get past me (or nearly hit me while I'm stopped).
 

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^^

Dude...he said left lane _position_, not left lane.

As in "the left third of the right turn lane".

What he's saying is...when you're in the "left third" of the "right turn lane" (as you are suggesting), cagers will still try to come around your right, blindly ignorant of your signals.
 

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Also, if you don't want to turn sharp, then all you have to do is go from the right lane position before the turn, directly to the left lane position while turning......therefore making the turn not quite as tight.
 

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Also, if you don't want to turn sharp, then all you have to do is go from the right lane position before the turn, directly to the left lane position while turning......therefore making the turn not quite as tight.
In regards to the turn the OP seemed to be talking about, which was an immediate turn from a dead stop (i.e. you are in the first position at the stop sign/traffic signal), your suggestion is pretty silly. Stop signs and stop markers at traffic signals -- at least everywhere I've been --are usually a foot or less from the actual turn with the exception of intersections with crosswalks or other hazards/accommodations (rail road tracks and whatever). Why on earth would someone come to a stop at a stop sign in the right hand portion of the lane, attempt to swing into the left lane from a dead stop while making a right hand turn, crossing through the accumulated oil, coolant and gunk from the cars that pools in this very place and risk confusing the cager behind them? What happens when the cager is ignoring your signals and thinks you're turning left when you swing out into the other lane? Same thing that you claim happens when you occupy the left hand portion of the lane, signal and turn from there I would imagine.


12' is that standard width of the interstate, 10'-11' is common on regular surface roads with many municipal roads being narrower (I have some in my area that are about 8.5' wide). On a 12' wide road, starting from the inside portion of the lane probably gives the OP a wide enough turn radius --assuming he's 2-3' from the curb or shoulder turning into a 10-12' wide lane of travel.

On a narrower road, turning onto another narrow road, right hand turns from the inside portion of the lane are more difficult. Tight turns aren't always a good idea even if you can make them. Here, we have gutters that collect debris against the curbs, sewer grates which are slick when wet and represent hazards for motorcyclists due to their depression in the road surface (not to mention for those of us who ride in the rain, water pools here too). A right hand turn is more difficult than a left hand turn because the left hand turn gives extra distance due to travelling through the right hand lane of oncoming travel to get to the left hand lane you're turning left into. I suppose I assumed the OP was mainly talking about right hand turns from a dead stop position as the first vehicle (otherwise it wouldn't be a dead stop, he would move forward to the intersection behind the car/s in front of him before negotiating his turn) as they are tighter, more difficult to manage and represent more hazards coming from the right/inside portion of the lane (sewer grates, gutters and debris, pedestrians stepping off the curb right in front of you and so on). I have found that those hazards are best mitigated by coming to a stop in the left hand portion of the lane when I am the first vehicle at a dead stop and negotiating my turn from there. Your mileage may vary and I have no need to argue about the only way to do it, in the end it depends on the road and traffic conditions and the physical qualities of the road as well as the skill of the rider, the handling characteristics of the bike and any environmental or situational hazards.

Regardless, the OP needs to work on slow speed control, keeping in mind that some bikes handle better than others at slow speeds when turning even with the help of the clutch and rear brake.
 

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You clearly have no clue what lane position is on a motorcycle. I suggest you do some much needed research before you instruct a new rider on something you clearly know very little about. I did not say swing out to the left before you make the turn. Do I need to draw a diagram for you? Lol Each Lane is separated into 3 LANE POSITIONS.
When you are turning right, you want to be in the right hand LANE POSITION of the right hand turning lane, and when you complete the turn you should already be in the left LANE POSITION where you will continue on riding. I surely hope you can comprehend that explanation ;-)
 

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I noticed though, when going from a stop I just turn the bars in the direction I want to go and ease off the clutch and am fine. Not too much throttle input and once you get moving the bars will straighten out and you will lean into it naturally.
 
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