Position in the lane while taking a turn

Forums Introductions and General Motorcycle Chat New Riders Position in the lane while taking a turn

  • This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by Nick Ienatsch.
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    Yoad Feder

      Hello 🙂

      I am new to your site and it is great fun to learn from you

      I have a question that I couldn’t find an answer to in the new rider course

      When driving on a straight road, I drive on the right side of the lane, in order to avoid oil stains (which usually drip in the center) and hitting vehicles in the opposite lane.

      I didn’t understand, where is the motorcycle supposed to be placed when entering a turn?

      Should I stick to the inside of the lane (closer to the dividing line) or take the turn from the farthest right part of the dividing line?

      I couldn’t get an answer to that, in the video that describes the directional umbrella

      Aaron Kittle

        I am a new rider, but I have learned the answer is “it depends.” We must be aware of conditions so we can adapt our line depending on things like the road, bank angle, weather, traffic and even time of day. Some days you may need to take the same turn with a different line than usual. Generally, think “middle, inside, middle” – and if that’s “middle right” for you, that’s okay it sounds like. I wouldn’t subscribe to a designated side of the lane though for every road. Let the conditions dictate where you position your bike for both straightaways and turns.

        Nick Ienatsch

          Hello Yoad and Aaron…”It depends…” is often the beginning of many answers in regards to riding technique, so good job Aaron.

          Part of the joy of street riding is using our lane to maximize radius, with two caveats: Oncoming traffic and road debris.

          In a clear, clean, right-hand corner when riding on the right side of the road like we do here in America, we would turn into the corner from near the centerline, put the bike down on the white line at the apex (closest we come to the inside of the corner) and then accelerate out to the center line. This would give us the most radius and the least lean angle at the speeds we use.

          In a left, it’s fun and safe to steer into the corner from the white line, apex near the centerline, then drive the bike out to the white line.

          In a long-radius corner, we will need to “leave the bike on the apex” for whatever time it takes to get to the Decision Point, the place we can see out of the corner and begin the drive…or continue to steer or slow due to problems at the exit.

          In a double-apex right-hand corner, it’s fun to steer in from the center line, apex at the white line, allow the bike to settle out by the centerline mid-corner, steer back to the white line for the second apex and then exit to the centerline.

          Ah, but the real world often enters into our line-selection plan, and this fact is why we discuss Radius=MPH and Umbrella of Direction so much. An approaching vehicle in the oncoming lane must be adjusted for, so we must give the centerline at least three more feet. If it’s a big truck or a motorhome, get well off that centerline and adjust your speed to your new entry radius: these are the moments when trail-braking a bit longer keeps you on line, smiling, and healthy.

          Our second adjustment must be for road debris, such as gravel, potholes, tree branches. If you ride in a snowy area, you will often find left-over sand during your first few rides after winter. That means the right edge of the lane and often the center of the lane are sandy, so suddenly we are on a narrower lane, and that’s when everything we teach in ChampU becomes important.

          Playing with lane position makes riding even more fun. Thanks for your support of ChampU…Nick

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