Most riders love taking their bikes around corners, but the fact is, many don’t know how to safely ride curves. Did you know that 75% of all motorcycle fatalities in Washington State are due to rider error? Many riders will see a curve, line up for it, slow down, come into the corner and roll the throttle, which in theory is what should happen, but the danger arises when they don’t account for what comes after the curve.
Riders get into trouble when they don’t set themselves up for the entire series of curves and corners, or ride them in a way to avoid possible hazards on the other side. Through proper training and continued education, curves can be executed with ease. Learn how to safely and confidently ride curves and corners at a motorcycle training school or by attending a motorcycle track day, and remember these tips the next time you take your motorcycle out:
- Read the Road Figure out where the road is going as you approach a corner. Prepare for anything on the other side – another corner, a stopped vehicle, debris in the road or whatever else may be out of sight.
- Slow Down Brake if necessary and make sure you are in the right gear to ride through the entire curve at a safe and easy speed.
- Look Hold the outside so you can look farther through the curve. Look where you want to go, follow the line that you plan to ride, and always practice defensive riding as you approach the curve.
- Lean Instead of navigating a corner by simply turning in the direction you’d like to go, consider counter steering. Lean into the curve by pushing your weight onto your grip.
- Add Throttle Slowly ease on the throttle little by little as you come through the corner. Accelerate more as you ride out of the curve, which will help get your bike upright again as you continue to ride in a straight line.
It’s A Fine Line is an inclusive community of motorcycle riders advocating one common mission: zero motorcycle deaths by 2030. We want to share videos and stories about motorcycle events, rides, clubs, gear, safety and training because we believe that together we can save the lives of our friends, our families and our communities.
Good tips. Former MSF site director/instructor.
I have a Honda 1800 Holding with a motor trike conversion. Had to spend 2 days 200 mile commute and $100.00 because I answered a question wrong when trying to obtain Trike endorsement to my license. Decals and manual say not to lean but instead steer or turn thru curves. Instructor where I had to go to class and pass tests, etc. said he would fail me if I did not lean while on the Trike or answer the questions with the lean term when taking the test. I didn’t like the threat but did what he required.