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Hey guys, I'm Moe, a brand new biker to the scene and my first bike is no other than the Suzuki Bandit GSF600S (2001) Now for me, I am a young male, 18 years-old, 130 Lbs. So this bike is huge for me, a friend who has rode for years told me that I may want to come to a complete stop before turning because the bike is in fact big on me, keep in mind I knew what I was stepping into buying a 600cc as a first bike, and definitely am planning on growing into it, but for the time being, what tips can I use for turning to avoid dropping it!
 

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Super Moderator
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Where, or what are you doing that makes you worry you'll drop it? Are you talking about walking it around or turning on the street?
 

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Aging & Worn
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I'm gonna start out by saying, "at 18, you have a LOT of life ahead of you; so take it slow!"

Secondly, I'm going to assume you spent SOME amount of time on two wheels in your younger days, right? (non-motorized or motorized). So you have SOME concept of balance and some experience with "riding."

If you took the BRC (Basic Riders Course) in order to be a Licensed motorcyclist (most States require this now) then you already learned about cornering to some extent.

Getting used to a "new" bike ("new" to you at least) can be a bit of a challenge. I'm going thru that right now with my THIRD bike. Each bike has its own nuances to accustom yourself to. There is nothing wrong with going out to a parking lot, early on a Saturday or Sunday morning, and practicing your parking, slow turning, etc..

If you DIDN'T take a "BRC" you might consider signing up for one. THOSE folks can give you practical pointers to help you do some of the more basic maneuvering that is required in an every day riding situation.

Learning how to handle your bike in less that perfect (rain, for example) situations is better done under controlled conditions, rather than getting caught in a storm and having to learn the hard way. Slick conditions add another dimension to how your bike handles.

There is good and bad in everyone, but as you look around for friends to ride with, be careful who you listen to and emulate. The folks in here can keep you from stupid stuff if you listen to them........they understand the need to be responsible about their advice and try to show it in what they say. They will joke around, but you can trust em, generally speaking.

As for the corners themselves, you are going to find that keeping on the throttle when your bike is leaning (no matter WHAT angle of attack) is better than laying OFF the throttle. It's not about speed in terms of "fast," but it is about speed in terms of "control." If you lean and have no power, you have "fall over" as your next option!! (lol). Learning to use your clutch (feathering) in conjunction with the throttle, is a HUGE help!!

-Soupy
 

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If you're talking about control at low speeds then practice makes perfect. Find an empty parking lot and practice low speed riding, figure of 8's and U turns. Maintain constant revs (I find about 3000 rpm about right for me) slip the clutch and feather the back brake to control your speed, this keeps the bike stable.

Good luck and be safe.
 

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Swamp Rat Rider
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If you're talking about control at low speeds then practice makes perfect. Find an empty parking lot and practice low speed riding, figure of 8's and U turns. Maintain constant revs (I find about 3000 rpm about right for me) slip the clutch and feather the back brake to control your speed, this keeps the bike stable.

Good luck and be safe.
Saved me some typing other than maybe find some way out rural roads with little to no traffic and practice your turns there .. I usually turn in 2nd gear at about 20 MPH but this takes a little experience .. Nothing Wrong with a slow speed turn but shouldn't be necessary to stop unless needing to yield to traffic or a Stop Sign or Signal ..
 

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Stopping then turning is actually harder than taking a typical turn nice and slow ( 10-20 mph) in 2nd gear, keep the power on, slip the clutch if needed and stay off the brakes during the turn..later on you can work with using the brakes during a turn but for now slow down first then turn under gentle power. You'll learn about this during your BRC.

Spend some time in a large empty parking lot doing starts, stops, turns in both ways, etc. Take your time, go slow, don't get in over your head in traffic etc until your totally bored in that parking lot, then try some really quiet rural roads or side streets. At 18 you have MANY years to ride ahead of you, no rush. I rode when I was your age, but I stopped around 22, and didn't get back on the iron horse until 2 months ago at 50, so I have to get a lot of riding in quickly, I figure I only have 50 years left to make up for lost time:)

Nothing wrong with a medium sized bike to learn as long as your a bit cautious in the beginning, my wife's daughter just learned to ride on a Marauder 800. It was a choice by default but we figured to take it slow in a lot and see how it worked out, and she did just fine. Your a little lighter than her but you will be OK too as long as your careful and use your head, just take it slow and if you can find an experienced friend to help you out that would be a GREAT help. Take the BRC, no question about it, it's a good thing, I just did, it was well worth the time invested. Ride safe!
 

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I'm not sure exactly what you're asking, so if I'm off target here, just ignore me.

The first thing a new rider needs to learn about turning is LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO - NOT AT THE GROUND IN FRONT OF YOUR TIRE! If you are looking at the ground as it approaches your front tire, you will definitely have a problem!

New riders are understandably cautious, and tend to look at the ground right in front of the bike for potholes, rocks, gravel, sand, etc. that could be a hazard. But instead, you need to train yourself to LOOK AHEAD TO WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. Be aware of any anomalies in your line of sight that could indicate a pothole, rock, stick or other hazard in your path, but DO NOT stare at the ground in front of you!

Sorry for the ALL CAPS - I don't mean to yell - but I believe this cannot be emphasized enough for new riders. I've seen new riders who consistently took turns either too wide or much too slow UNTIL they learned this critical information. Then - VOILA! as soon as they mastered the ability to look ahead to where they want the bike to be, instead of inspecting the road between them and where they want to be, their cornering improved instantly by a large factor!

Whatever you do - BE SAFE AND HAVE FUN!
 

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Stopping before turning is actually going to put you more at risk for an accident. That car that is driving behind you, well he/she may be texting and is not going to be expecting you to be stopping and will hit you.

There's alot to riding than people expect. You need to pay attention to whats on the road, around the road, ect. That patch of sand you hit with your car, well, on a bike will send you flying. Road rash hurts. And like the previous poster said, you need to be looking ahead not at whats right in front of you.

Taking a corner/turn at slow speeds is harder to do than taking it at an appropriate speed. You want to be able to throttle through a corner. Slow before enter, throttle through for smoothness. You will know when you get the corner right, you'll have a smile on your face.

Stop listening to your friend and sign up for a Basic Rider's Course in your area. It can and will save your life.
 

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Goliath

shoot your friend. or ditch him. that advice was useless.
you WON'T lose your bike on turns. Motorcycles are made to turn.
You will screw up if you're nervous and thinking too much.

make sure you understand Counter-Steering.
that is probably what your friend was trying to tell you.
WHEN you are totally sure that you know what Counter-Steering is ...
then ride a lot of turns.

to avoid dropping your bike.
- when you STOP, make sure the kickstand is DOWN completely before you get off.
- don't park your bike in the dirt
- don't do low-speed U-turns

Have fun!
dT
 

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I'm still a little unclear about what you are asking. There are two opposite dynamics to turning. At very slow speed you turn your wheel in the direction you want to turn. At very moderate speeds on up, that reverses when the wheels start acting like a gyroscope. A lot of this is intuitive to an extent, but once you gain speed, leaning does nothing until you initiate the turn with counter steering (push foreword on the right handlebar to turn right and push foreword on the left handlebar to turn left) once the bike starts leaning, leaning in the direction of the turn can help change the center of gravity to assist in a smoother turn. Be careful where streets join and there is a rain gutter. Stop back a little. In the middle of the drain closer to the street you might find your leg too short to touch the ground. Find a safe place and practice until it is natural to you.
 

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I second taking the MSF BRC course. I wanted to take the course all along, because I enjoy learning and feeling confident about what I'm doing, but I was very surprised at the amount of times they were able to identify something I wasn't doing correctly. Be it not going fast enough, or not looking through my turns entirely, they absolutely want to give you pointers.
 

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Leaning

At very moderate speeds on up, that reverses when the wheels start acting like a gyroscope. A lot of this is intuitive to an extent, but once you gain speed, leaning does nothing until you initiate the turn with counter steering (push foreword on the right handlebar to turn right and push foreword on the left handlebar to turn left) once the bike starts leaning, leaning in the direction of the turn can help change the center of gravity to assist in a smoother turn.
There are many bikes where leaning does everything to initiate a turn. Any counter steering comes after the lean. Many riders are not keen to lean, so may not experience this. Many ride bikes that are rather heavy, and that changes things. But there are some quick turning bikes where the lean starts the wheel turning, just like pushing a bicycle by the seat. Sometimes my Suzuki requires the opposite of counter steering, depending on the turn and the camber. Many ride with a death grip on the bars, so may not or do not feel the subtle push or pull.
On the old light weight race bikes the pull on the bars was pretty much non existent. Something i have said a few times before.

The new rider will figure it out with practice and a helper.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Riding course, riding course, riding course. I coach with the California Superbike School so I'm happy to answer any questions you may have about technique or the school in particular. As for stopping before turning the bike, that makes no sense to me. As others have said, motorcycles are made to corner, you just have to learn how to do it properly.

So, you're coming up to a right hand turn. What are the proper steps to take to get around that turn (without stopping?)

Ride safe!
 

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Slow down and set up for the turn, be in the right gear countersteer into the corner apply smooth even power as you leave the apex. Get ready for the next turn?
 

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And that set up is key. Try to straighten the turn out by going wide as possible, then look thru the turn and power thru it smoothly.
 

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counter steering is for turning at speed but if you have to make a sharp slow turn it is best to slow down quite a bit. don't go into a turn too fast or you will wreck.
 

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There are many bikes where leaning does everything to initiate a turn. Any counter steering comes after the lean.
Countersteering is the method one should use to initiate the lean (at faster-than-walking speeds), which initiates the turn. Moving your body around on the bike and sticking your knees out is not recommended.
 

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Countersteering is the method one should use to initiate the lean (at faster-than-walking speeds), which initiates the turn. Moving your body around on the bike and sticking your knees out is not recommended.
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Not exactly. It's actually more like 15-20 mph before there is no more turning handlebars into the direction of movement. That's more like running speed. The countersteer phases in after that.

True that at speed, most recreational riders won't gain much by moving their body around unless they are trying to keep their bike more upright on a fast turn where they might otherwise be dragging hard parts. But at parking lot speeds, it can help you tilt the bike so it will lean and turn if you are either moving your body to the outside of the turn or, more practically, shifting your weight to the outside cheek on the seat. This enhances the bike's lean although you will be fairly upright.

Of course there are more things to turning, especially at low speed, than just shifting your weight and turning the handlebars. That is the slight increase of engine speed, feathering the clutch, and holding the rear brake on part way. All this in addition to turning your head to look where you want to go and (here's the biggie) believing you will go there. Loss of confidence, and you will drop a foot and wobble around.

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