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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Do you guys avoid left turns across traffic? Especially those that might require you to come to a stop in a busy lane to wait for oncoming traffic to clear?

I will rarely make a left across traffic. I will instead go to where I can turn right, to a parking lot perhaps, do a U-turn, back onto the main road and come back so I can make a right turn to my intended destination. There are times when this is not practical but I am of the mind that stopping in a left lane or single lane to make a left turn is Russian Roulette. Of course, if there is a protected left turn lane then I will use that or no oncoming traffic that requires me to slow or stop.

I figure the three places a motorcyclists are most vulnerable are:

1. Cages turning left across your path
2. Cages pushing into your lane
3. Cages rear ending you


Changing subject, I took a work related class recently and the instructor was an avid motorcyclist of the sporty type (as am I). So we talked motorcycles some and he asks me, recounting a story, he told me he was riding his Speed Triple and a fellow began pacing him (racing him). So apparently the kid (squid) took to riding beyond his skill level to keep up and went into the opposing lane on a curve and straight into a head-on with a car. Fatal for the squid and the car driver did have injuries as well. So he asks me straight up if this collision was his fault. Well, wanting to pass the course I gave a gentle answer, but, yes, it was partly his fault because he should have not raced with anyone on a public road. We are responsible for our own actions but there is no need either to tempt a fellow rider or encourage a race.
 

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I take left turns, just like any other turn. I do keep my eyes peeled and am ready to jam to my exit spot if I need to. I fully understand what you are saying. I would rather do the thing I fear and become good at it, so that when the time comes that I have to do it, it's no big deal.
 

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Some places with one way streets, three rights make a left.
Stopping to make a left can sometimes get you drilled from behind. In NZ on the rural roads, you were required to pull over to the shoulder, and cross when it was clear.
I like to have a clear path most of the time before making any left turns.

UK
 

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I don't have a problem making left turns but I do scan the intersection very carefully before proceeding. If I have to stop, I will alternate between checking my rear view and the intersection. I usually don't mind but definitely make sure I "up" my situational awareness!
 
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Call me a thrill seeker, but I make left turns whenever my destination takes me there. I never avoid them by making three right turns. When I'm exposed while sitting at a light, whether it's to make a turn or going straight, I'm watching my mirrors until at least two cars behind me have come to a complete stop. When the light changes, if I've filtered to the front, I check left and right when it changes, before moving into the intersection in case there's someone running the light from either direction.

I also do not think that your instructor was in any way, responsible for the death of the other rider. Everyone should ride their own ride and if someone is faster than me (usually the case) they are responsible for themselves, as am I. I'm not going to try riding beyond my level, to keep up with someone and neither should anyone else. Perhaps you left it out, but I didn't see anything in your description of the incident where the instructor invited or challenged the other rider to a race.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't have a problem making left turns but I do scan the intersection very carefully before proceeding. If I have to stop, I will alternate between checking my rear view and the intersection. I usually don't mind but definitely make sure I "up" my situational awareness!
Intersections are part of my question but as well, stopping in a road, not at an intersection, to make a left turn across traffic. That was really at least 60% of my question. At least at an intersection cagers expect that traffic might stop to make a left turn.

3C
 

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I'd say visibility will help mitigate a crash more than anything. I wear high vis gear and if I anticipate having to slow make a left turn without a lane and there are vehicles behind me, I'll usually do a low speed weave back and forth. Occasionally I'll tap the rear brake too, see if that gets attention.

If you're stopped and some guy is coming up with a phone, really not much you can do there. Sure, maybe you could go make 3 right turns, but that's a whole block extra where something else could happen. Or keep the bike pointed towards an opening and gun it, lane splitting if need be, but then again, it might also put you in a worse spot. I always watch, leave plenty of space up front, and stay in gear.

There is always risk inherent to motorcycling, I just mitigate it the best I can and control the factors I can control. Most crashes are still preventable by my action, even if I have right of way.
 

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Intersections are part of my question but as well, stopping in a road, not at an intersection, to make a left turn across traffic. That was really at least 60% of my question. At least at an intersection cagers expect that traffic might stop to make a left turn.

3C
Ah...now I understand the question more. Couldn't figure out why you wouldn't want to make a normal left turn unless you were a new rider. But a left anywhere other than a intersection is different. There it all depends.

If there is room, like what we have here sometimes, 3 lanes where two are the travel path with yellow lines for the center lane, then that's not much of a problem. But watching rearview mirrors all the time anyway is advised.

On just a two lane, I'll still do it but I purposely start slowing down way before I need to stop to make that left turn all the time hitting the brakes to flash the brake lights and watching rearview mirrors to see if the line of cars are slowing. Then the stop just has a line of cars all wondering what the hell is going on while I wait for traffic going the other way to open up a spot where I can cross.

So I set up the left turn basically. I never ever make a sudden left turn unless there are zero cars behind me and I can see there is a spot where I can cross between traffic going the other way. Still watching those rearview mirrors though.

Any other time, if I can't start slowly them down I'll just go by that turn and come back. U-turns are easy on scoots so no reason to push a hazardous left turn unless everything is perfect or perfectly set up.
 

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Will just say a few times I have avoided turning left in a place that looked like a disaster waiting to happen and turned a bit farther up and came back to my destination ..
 

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I start slowing down early, turn on my signal as soon as it becomes non-confusing (in other words, as soon as my left turn is the only one available, even if it's a few hundred feet ahead), pulse the brake lights, and keep a good check on my six to be sure any following traffic is taking note. Even in taking three right turns to avoid a left you can have cross-traffic to contend with, and they can smack you just as easily as oncoming or following traffic.

Keep in mind -- life itself is a sexually-transmitted disease with a 100% mortality rate. It's ALL risky!:smile_big:
 

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As they say - two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left. :D
I take any turn as it comes, with care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As they say - two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left. :D
I take any turn as it comes, with care.
Certainly I will take a left turn if I can take the turn without stopping or slowing to a crawl leaving my rear exposed.
 

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Call me a thrill seeker, but I make left turns whenever my destination takes me there. I never avoid them by making three right turns.
Let me rephrase what I said.
In some places with one way streets, and no left turns allowed on the main thru streets, three rights makes a left. Honolulu is one example.

UK
 

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Let me rephrase what I said.
In some places with one way streets, and no left turns allowed on the main thru streets, three rights makes a left. Honolulu is one example.

UK
If left turns are not permitted by law, then they shouldn't be made. But I don't think that this thread is about violating the law.
 

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“Left turns,” especially in MY case with a sidecar, are a real adventure!! I can turn her for all she’s worth, and FLY around the corner!!

It’s the RIGHT turns that I have to be careful of!! “Flying the car” can mess with ya!!

In a general reply to what seems to be the OP’s theme........risks we take, are not worth being neurotic about. Face your demons and learn how to overcome! Bravery is only available to the living!!
 

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If left turns are not permitted by law, then they shouldn't be made. But I don't think that this thread is about violating the law.
What earthly concept have you failed to grasp today Mork, asked Mindi.

Let us head North on a four lane road, two in each direction. It is a main road and left turns are prohibited. The road we want is a one way heading West, but we can not turn left on to it. The next crossroad North is one way heading East, so we make a right hand turn. At the next main road heading parallel to the North road we turn right. Then at the road we want heading East we turn right again. And bingo we are on the road we want, and going the direction we want.

Perhaps you have another solution, which does not matter because it is my story. Like Mork, I fail to see where I have suggested making a left when not permitted, and I fail to see any suggestion about violating the law. Please enlighten us.

UK
 

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I sat here watching that video, and I said to myself, "HEY! I know those roads! The video ends with him turning into the back driveway of the (now defunct) Chatterbox where we used to have Bike Night!
 

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Yep that use my last visit before they closed. The date stamp was wrong on the video, It was only a few weeks ago. They will be missed!
 
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