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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know why it is more difficult to make right hand turns than to make left hand turns?

Is the opposite true for left handed people?

I've heard that this phenomenon is 'physiological' and that is why NASCAR and other oval races are counter-clockwise (all left turns).

I noticed when I took my MSF course that newbies picked up left turns more easily than rights. I can dive into a left turn much deeper than I can into right turns.

Anyone know the answer to this?
 

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Left hand turns usually allow for more visibility throughout the turn. Turning right on a narrow, 2 lane road can be spooky at times; knowing if you run it in a little hot and cross the center line, there could be a cage coming straight at you. Where as left handers, if you go a little hot, you may run off the road a bit but not encounter any cars.

Personally, I"d say I'm pretty even when it comes to turning in either directions. I do, however, like to ride the clover leafs every now and again.
 

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Probably has something to do with being right-handed/left-handed, or mebbe on which eye is dominant, etc? I remember reading that Jim Allen (Dunlop) could look at wear patterns on a tire and tell if the rider was right or left-handed.
Left-handers feel more natural to me, but I often use cloverleafs (all 4) to practice right-handers.
 

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OBSSV said:
Does anyone know why it is more difficult to make right hand turns than to make left hand turns?
For me there's a lot more to it than just turn direction. On certain right-handers I can toss the bike in with TRO (Total Reckless O-bandon), same with some lefts. On other turns, I just tiptoe around and make the best of a bad situation.
  • I like runoff, hate guardrails, solid rock walls, and redwood trees right at the edge of the pavement.
  • I like long sightlines, hate short ones. If I can't see several seconds ahead, I'm worthless.
  • I don't like oncoming traffic, find it very distracting when trying to go fast.
  • I prefer uphill to downhill.
I find that I'm very comfortable on both rights and lefts on one particular stretch of road I ride often. It's uphill, the terrain slopes downward from left to right (so the road is "open" to the right), the hill on the left is cut back so sightlines are good even on the lefts, and the righthanders have wide turnouts.

On another stretch (or parts of it anyway), I'm not very fast on either lefts or rights. The road is flat but narrow, and the terrain slopes sharply down from right to left. A massive wall of rock on the right severely limits sightlines to the right. Just as bad, on lefthanders a turn-in point in the righthand half of the lane brings one perilously close the the same wall of rock, a distraction I overcome only with difficulty.

Try to think about these other aspects of turns, too. You might find that your perceived limits are more complex. If so, you can then work more effectively to overcome them.
 

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I have trouble in right handers, and so do alot of guys I ride with.
We ride to the left lane in Oz.
I find that my initial turn in on right handers tends to be more timid than when I make a left. I guess its kinda like doing a powerslide on a push bike, you tend to prefer one side.
 

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Very interesting, Professor. I am left handed, but can dip really low (at least it feels low to me) on right turns. Deep leans to the left always feel off and I usually need to correct them.
 

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My observation...

...is that on right handers you are pushing with your right hand, which is also on the throttle, adding another factor to what is going on. I picked this up on the track, where I realized that trying to get my ass off the bike in a right hander was not as comfortable, primarily because having my arm bent while trying to work the throttle was a bit more complicated than when turning left, with my right arm extended on the throttle.

Maybe I'm right, maybe it's just me....


:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Right hand being on the throttle is DEFINITELY why I have trouble with throttle control in the rights; I tend to roll on less smoothly.

Leaning her over still feels awkward though. Seems like quick changes in lean angle to the left feel less severe while smaller changes (acceleration?) to the right excites my oh sh!t gland!!!

I can see my weakness in my rear tire chickenstripes too; left side is about 1/4" while the right is at least 3/4". What a wuss!!!
(Be lenient, I've only been riding since last July with only 2500 miles on my bike.)

Any doctors or biologists out their that know anything about how your ears affect balance? Maybe something in there affects it. That 'eye dominance' concept has promise to.

Thanks for all the great feedback!!!
 

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OBSSV said:
Any doctors or biologists out their that know anything about how your ears affect balance? Maybe something in there affects it.
Laymans explanation (because I can't remember the technical terms):

Your inner ear contains fluid filled sacks that give you your sensation of balance. The movement and "spinning" of this fluid combined with gravity will give you the feeling of which way is up or down. When it gets knocked out of whack due to inputs that it registers improperly it will give you a false sensation. This is what can lead to vertigo. I have experienced vertigo before, and cannot concieve of any motorcycle maneuvers that would cause it. Unless you are doing some kind of funky, standing on your head, starboyz imitation, you should be fine.
 

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In Twist of the Wrist book by Keith Code, he suggests that you turn better in the direction you are most flexible in. Hard to believe we are all looser to the left, however. I believe he also mentions the right hand throttle factor and, when your right arm is extended/pushing/tense, you are bound to have a less smooth throttle action. Abrubtness would sap confidence and bring on what he calls "survival reactions", one of which is slowing down/being more conservative. Therefore, we all turn to the left better.

How's that?

Keith should at least give me an "A" for paying attention!
 

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For a while I was religiously "pushing" in the direction I wanted to go. I found it harder and harder to get the bike leaned hard at higher speeds. I read somewhere to practice "pulling" on the opposite direction of the turn. ie: if you want to go right, pull with your left.

I did this for about a week, off and on. Man, did it help. Now I'm not saying "only pull" instead of push, but if you practice weaving pretty hard with just pulling you'll find that you'll start using both push and pull to get a deeper lean (probably subconciously)
To turn right; push with your right and pull with your left.


I don't know why I was only pushing before; it was killing my hands. Nowhe bike goes exactly where I point 'er
 

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right?

ok, so I have only been riding for a little over two years, maybe I'm talking out my arse, but...

I used to hate right hand turns, especially 90 degree turns in city. These turns are always sharper than left turns. They are a tab more difficult. I have worked really hard on all my biking skills, and a few things I have learned might help.

1 right entry speed. too fast and you'll go wide, or have to really lean her over. too slow and the bike will fight you, it will take some muscle to turn and hold your line. The right speed will seem effortless. this seems like "duh!", but when I added a little more speed, right turns got much easier.

2 throttle control and smooth roll on. One of the first things you should learn and use religiously is covering both levers with two fingers. it's great for reaction times. in a turn, with the brake lever, I will move my fingers close inboard almost to the pivot, to the wide flat part of the lever. I use the fingers as a brace, so if I hit a bump or something, it doesn't effect the throttle.

3 another "duh!", but as with all riding, relax, relax, relax, keep the arms bent, not locked, and let the bike do her thing. it will handle most of your small mistakes.

~R
 

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How many of you mount your m/c from the R/H side?

Have a hunch most will mount from the L/H side ----- lst reason why most will like turns to the left.
Think of school days & so many sports like track & field, baseball, etc & most are with countclockwise turns which means LEFT.
As someone pointed out in town the R/H turns are the sharp ones while the lefts are easy sweeps.
If you are right handed I will bet if you were in numerous sports like Judo, Amateur Wrestling, skating, skiing you will have found the left turns the easy ones while the right wee the tought ones.
Here is an interesing thing. In wallking a bicycle the women are usually on the RIGHT while the men are usually of the left. Another one to quibbke over ---when one is mounting a horse then from what side to they usually mount?
Lastly I raced in flat tracking & guess which way one goes into the slides ---- yes left again.
So the above are just some of the reasons why most of us prefer left turns.
 

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Re: How many of you mount your m/c from the R/H side?

Smitty said:
Have a hunch most will mount from the L/H side
Um, my MSF instructor told us to ALWAYS mount from the left (assuming your bike's stand shifts weight to the left). It only feels right to mount from the left!
 

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I think it actually is less psychological than it is a matter of physics. here in the states we ride on the right side of the road...so therefore right hand turns are well always sharper than left handers...even on a 2 lane road a left hand turn has a greater radius than a right hand no matter what direction you are headed. easiest way to visualize is an intersection...right turns are from right lane to right lane...very tight, left turns are from middle of street to whatever lane you want, usually back to middle of street...you can easily see the radius difference. It's the same on 2 lane roads...since we ride on the right, we are that much closer to the inside on all right turns and that much farther away from the inside of all left handers...even though it seems like on 2 lane road it would be equal...but it's actually not. I know this seems very basic and well obvious...but it's the biggest part of why left handers are easier/better/more fun etc...they physically are easier, and that translates psychologically or physiologically or any other logically you can t hink of :)
 

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i have been racing bicycles for 13 years, ROAD, and i am really new to motorcycles, Just got a 97 ZX-9R , FUN FUN!!

Anyway, i find right turns on the bicycle a whole lot easier than the motorcycle, I can take a 90 at 30mph on my road bike , but proportionally to a motorcycle i can only take it at aroung 50 or so, seema a little weak , what do ya all think?
 
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