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brxan said:
The guy who showed me that could turn figure 8's inside a space a little larger than a parking spot
Could he do that on the Monster?????
 

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I had to do 2 figure 8's in a parking space for my motorcycle test, but I had a Honda 400.

The Monster , I don't think I could do it.
 

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Find an empty parking lot, and do figure 8's for a couple of hours... slow as you can. That's basically it... you need to find out your bike's own 'sweet spot' of throttle, clutch & lean. No amount of advice will substitute for a couple of dozen 'hopping-on-the-inside-foot' near-misses to teach you how tight you can turn.

G
 

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And I might add, if you insist on practicing, just take a 3lb sledge hammer, and give yourself the Ducati dent, that way when somebody asks you about it you don't have to say that you did it in a parking lot practicing
u-turns. ;D
 

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When Steve got the Speed Four, he took it to a parking lot and was practicing the figure 8's, was doing pretty good, till one got the better of him and down it went!
 

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Countersteering a u-turn?! ugh!

- go really slow (walking speed), slipping the clutch to maintain speed, rather than throttle.
- Turn into the u-turn till you hit the turn stop, while leaning lightly into it. Stay sitting upright.
- Maintain balance with throttle. If you feel the bike falling into the turn, goose the throttle a bit. (counterintuitive, requires practice) That will stand the bike back up.
- If you start to tip, stab the ground in front of your bike hard with your foot to fling yourself upright. Planting you foot will make you fall!
 

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Yes - start a U-turn by counter steering.

The last rider training day I did (in Brisbane with Morgan and Wacker http://www.mwmtc.com.au/ ) we were shown a video of one of there trainers doing low speed u-turns. At the start of the u-turn the you could see the front wheel turn in the opp. direction of the u-turn, slow motion - zoomed in low on the front wheel to really point it out. The bike 'dropped' into the turn and as previously mentioned in this thread, keep you body's weight on outside of the turn, balance the clutch, drag some rear brake and most impotently keep you head up and looking to the exit point of the turn.
 

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JonesBoy said:
- If you start to tip, stab the ground in front of your bike hard with your foot to fling yourself upright.    Planting you foot will make you fall!
Yes, from personal experience, planting your foot is not enough to keep the bike up.  I know as I learnt the hard way, but framesliders saved the day;)  I wish I read these tips before it happened to me  ::)

Missy
 

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practice on a mountain bike...
 
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whitedragon13 said:
practice on a mountain bike...
right on, that might do the trick without potential monsta damage.

thanks for all the tips everyone
 

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Very carefully! ;D
 

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will said:
HUH? I assume any u-turn will be low speed. If you want to go left you push the right handlebar and counterBALANCE... if you push the left handle bar and lean the bike left you will find yourself on your left side... :)? (BTW: nice bike ODrides)
what? you don't pull 50 mph u-turns? ;D

actually, the figure 8 thing from the MSF course was a big help. at low speeds weight the outside of the bike and turn the bars. it's scary the first few times you doit on an actual street, but you'll get the hang of it.
 

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Everybody has the theories covered, but let me put in my 2 cents worth -

If you stand the bike up and just turn the front, it will only turn so much. You'd also be hard pressed to ride a perfectly vertical bike in a U-turn no matter how slow you go. A bike turns by pivoting around the CG. You need to displace the CG to the inside of the turn to get the bike to turn in that direction. Which is you problem since if you lean in, the lack of speed (and centifugal force) makes you want to fall off and the bike fall in. So...you need to ride motocross style and stay upright. Let the bike fall into the turn but you stay more of less upright. You still need to get the bike back up (leveraging the bar and pegs is always an option but will only take you so far).

If you want to play with this concept and are not to big to stand on your bike, stand and flick the bike from side to side - like weaving aorund some cones - to see the CG in action. Then try to walk the bike straight up though the same pillons. Odds are you can't.

Allowing the bike to fall into the turn and then picking it up with the gas is not that scary assuming you have the room to ride out on the gas. You can practice with 90 degree turns and then expand. If you get a feel for when to catch the bike, you don't need to. The gas / speed is going to give you the requisite gyroscopic effect in your wheels to hold you in a lean. Which is why this is just not an issue of gas but speed.

This is actually a great way to learn to scratch the pegs. It can all be done at low speeds from a start. When you get use to allowing the bike to drop over, U-turns become easy.

Assuming you can't gas it out, there is still a reason to goose the engine. The internals of the engine create their own gyroscopic effect - how ever minor. Try it at a stop sign. You should be able to goose the engine and stay upright - sans foot down- for a few seconds. Then try with no help from the engine. Hence, the people who slip the clutch. They try to get the internals spinning but only pull out the power they need.

So a slow speed U-turn still needs to get the CG over, but you can't right the bike with the gas (althouigh staying on the gas with help). This is where a little brake helps. Hitting the rear in a corner will tend to make the bike stand up - it makes the bike want to head toward the tangent of the turn and you get a lifting effect. Dragging it through the entire turn is going to work aganst you. You need it on the second half of the turn. You can practice this one at very low speeds on normal turns to get an idea of what it will feel like.

Feeling dangerous...you can always lock the rear up and slide it out then pick up with the gas before you come to a stop. I don't recommend that approach though unless you don't mind going down learning to do it.

If you need to go so slow that you need to be at a stop after the U-turn, making it a multi-part turn is best. I'll turn as far as I can and then accept the fact that I'll need to puch back and go again. There is no shame in backing the bike up.

Just a comment on the Monster and doing figure 8's - the bike will do them and more. The limitation is the rider as is the case with most cycles. You have more than enough technology at your disposal. Learning to use it is always the problem.
 
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Phew! Thanks for the support, jrfuisz and Phill-B-S4. I was waiting for a warm day to confirm what I had posted above, but now that I see others writing about it I know I'm not crazy. I think the confusing issue may be what jrfuisz mentioned at the end of his great post -- the speed of the exit from the U-turn. If you're stopping at the end of the U (for example, after turning around to pull into a parking space) you won't want to countersteer.
 

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whitedragon13 said:
practice on a mountain bike...
hmmm...I can do a track stand on a mtn bike. Will that work on a Monster? I can also bounce the bike around the turn (works great for swtichbacks). I'm thinking that might be a bit tough on a 400lb motorcycle :p
 
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