Lady Rider – U-turns on a Motorcycle

Hi Everyone! This is my 2nd post about riding a motorcycle from a Lady’s perspective. 

     There has been recent discussion in my Lady Rider circle (Facebook groups) and with my local lady rider friends about U-turns and what freaks us out about them.

     I will be the first to admit, Left U-turns really make me pause and I can’t say that I ever remember making a Right U-turn. Boy was I relieved to also see that there are many others that feel the same way. After much discussion on the matter, I actually feel less stressed about the subject; I’ll let you know when I have the opportunity to do a U-turn again.

     For this discussion, the only people that weighed in were Lady Drivers of motorcycles so let’s hear from passengers too, so please comment below. I feel less stress because it wasn’t 5 minutes this post went up that ladies started giving advice and encouragement. My own advice on the post was “Look where you’re going, don’t look at the ground and Breath!” well that’s what I tell myself every time I have to do it.Uurns2

     The discussion also went to “counter balancing” in the turn, what!? I had not heard that term before and the thought of shifting in my seat really never occurred to me and the thought of it now is a little unsettling to be honest. However, I have personally talked with experienced drivers about the art of counter balancing (that’s what I am going to call it, because it takes lots of practice to get comfortable with the technique) which was very eye opening. So it doesn’t have to be a huge shift in your seat but you need to skooch (technical term LOL) to the right of your seat a bit just before you make that tight left turn, turn your whole head (not just your eyes) towards your shoulder or in the direction you want to go, do not look at the ground and breath. You will also hear advice about only using your rear brake (your right foot only) and feather the clutch to keep your momentum. Sounds simple, right?Counter Balance

     One of the people I talked with said, he thought the reason that people are uneasy with making tight turns, especially to the right was your right foot is lower or closer to the pavement while in the apex of the turn and on occasion you will scrape the floor board. (Side note: scraping the floor board is kind of fun but scary all at the same time, ask me how I know? LOL) Even making the tight turn to the left you can scrape the floorboard which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but you do have to be careful not to lean too far for obvious reasons.

     That brings me to a little nugget about being right or left handed and which turn do you feel more comfortable doing. There was a small discussion about it where the person said that people who are right handed are less comfortable making right U-turns and if you are left handed you are less comfortable making left U-turns. So now I am curious because I am right-handed and I have been nervous making any tight turn, so what do you think? I really thought it only had to do with your skill/confidence level.

     Now being a passenger during one of these turns myself, I can tell you in my opinion, you should sit up and lean into the drivers back and look in the direction you are going. As a passenger, it is paramount that you pay attention. Hmm, this might be another topic to talk about.

     How do you feel about U-turns? Do you have any advice about them? Do you have any topic suggestions? Please comment below…Ride Safe!

Ride Safe to Ride Again

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Lady Rider – U-turns on a Motorcycle

  1. One of the reasons riders struggle with the right U-turn is because of grip and throttle. You will notice when making a left turn that you will automatically tighten your grip on the left-hand grip. It is simply a natural instinct. When doing the right turn you fear the grip more on the right grip, again natural instinct. Also when doing U-Turns you should be using the back brake to moderate your speed. This puts your foot at a different angle during the turn than the left foot experiences. So to be somewhat basic, during left u-turns the left side is relaxed and while doing right u-turns the hand and foot are working.

    The easiest way to become proficient at u-turns when starting out is to find a very large parking lot and right figure 8’s and circles. Start out doing very large ones and gradually make the 8 and circle smaller and smaller.Hope this helps a little.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My comfort zone in u turns and sharp turns went up when I learned to use the back brake in the turn. A CHP officer gave me that hint. Find the friction zone. Get comfy with that. Then when you turn with head and eyes in the direction you are going, tap the back brake. Just tap while going through the turn. It balances the heck out of the bike. Don’t ask me how, I don’t know but it works every time. Happy riding!

    Liked by 1 person

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