Learning to ride a motorcycle can be a completely new experience for many first time riders. It is crucial to learn to ride well to avoid becoming an accident statistic on the roadway. In Illinois, motorcycle drivers with Class M licenses have to take a special road test before they will be allowed to drive.
One part of handling a motorcycle that seems to be especially tricky is how to negotiate a curve when at a particular speed. There are two ways to handle steering depending on the speed of the bike. When traveling below twelve miles per hour, a technique called counterweighting should be used. With this technique, a driver is countering the weight of the motorcycle, which means a change in position on the seat, as the upper body goes toward the outside of the turn. The more a driver leans the tighter the arc in the curve they can maneuver or create.
Another aspect to consider with counterweighting is how to use the handlebar. It is suggested among experts to use the pro-steering technique, which essentially means turning the handlebar into the direction of the turn. Having a wide field of vision will provide the necessary element to assess how much turn is needed.
The next technique is for use when riding faster than twelve miles per hour and is called counter steering, and is also known as push steering. This involves pushing one of the grips forward to go in that direction. To go right, for example, a driver would push forward the right grip of the handlebar and the motorcycle will start to lean right and finally move toward the right. This is instinctual for most riders and they perform counter steering moves often without realizing it.
There are many issues that can happen without proper knowledge of motorcycle steering technique. One is known a swoopy steering. This happens as a result of a lack of knowledge of how to get a bike to move. It can be scary to experience the fact that the bike may not respond as swiftly as intended. Offenders are likely to be seen trying several times to switch lanes on a road.
Another issue is a stiff body. Especially with handlebar technique, it is important to loosen the upper body to allow proper maneuvers on the road. For many riders, their own body is the reason why they are not able to handle turns as well as they would like.
A much debated technique is body steering. It is highly debated in the motorcycle community, but once this technique is tested against counter steering, counter steering will win every time. This technique can be dangerous as it does not allow the rider to react in enough time and it makes it more difficult to turn at high speeds, further increasing the likelihood of injury or death. Most experts recommend a driving school for motorcycles and to understand all techniques completely before attempting to tackle to roadways.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Your case may be different. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you were injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, please call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529.