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Last night was my first night at MSF BRC!  I can now ride around a parking lot and weave in and out of cones at 15 mph!   :D   However, one thing I noticed was it is a lot harder to turn right.  I talked to my friends who ride after class and they said a lot of people have trouble with this so it's not just me.  Does anyone know why this is or how to make it easier?
 

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The explanation I've heard is that your body naturally wants to protect its dominant side. Since most people are right-handed, that's the right side. Since a motorcycle turns by leaning, leaning right is harder to convince one's body to do, for most people.

For me, I'm right-handed but left-eyed. I turn easier to the right, go figure.

David B.
 

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I also found it much harder to turn right... but I'm left handed! [laugh]

My only thought is that your sub-conscious is trying not to let the throttle open with pressure on that grip... using some of the available brain power that would otherwise "calm you down" in the corner.

Anyone else?
 

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I think it has something to do with the throttle being on that side. Maybe trying to do two things at once with the same hand or trying not to upset/ be smooth with it...or something.
 

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Thats odd, Im right handed and I love turning right. I wonder if it has anything to do with my boardsports though (surfing, snowboarding, skating, and wakeboarding) because Im goofy footed, (right foot first)
If anything I have a problem turning left, I dont hang off the seat and get as low........
 

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I might guess that our experience on the road makes us more wary of the right side (in the U.S.) because when you turn right in normal traffic, there are things much closer to your right side (lampposts, waiting pedestrians, etc.) than on the left. The way to check if this is true would be to see if riders in Britain/Australia/Japan are more wary of left turns in general.

philb
 
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supafly is onto it. It has tons to do with body position and a lot to do with experience. You can learn proper body positioning through books like Nick Ienatch's Sportriding Techniques or take a real live class (that's more advanced than MSF) like Pridmore, Fat Freddie Spencer (just kidding, he rules) or the like.

By using proper techniques and practicing you will have Ninja-like abilities in both left AND right handers, grasshoppah!
 

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philb said:
I might guess that our experience on the road makes us more wary of the right side (in the U.S.) because when you turn right in normal traffic, there are things much closer to your right side (lampposts, waiting pedestrians, etc.) than on the left. The way to check if this is true would be to see if riders in Britain/Australia/Japan are more wary of left turns in general.

philb
Well Im down here in Australia and I also find turing right harder (and am right handed). [laugh]

I have, however, had a right side crash so that may be a more reasonalbe answer in my case. I forced myself over a few weekends to really hang off the right side, and i think that it worked, and now i naturally tend to hang off the right better (though still not as good as the left).

I like the "protect the dominant side" arguement!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
so i spoke too soo! [laugh]

last night was night 2 of msf. i was doing terrible at my turning left and leaning to the right amazingly well!
 

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I agree with SupaFly and D-C - When you go to the extremes of control you'll find that left is always easier. Doing a donut to the left is much easier than to the right. The throttle is what gets you.

My lame $0.02 - To cure yourself (as much as you can) practice turning left but treat the handle bar like it is an egg - no more pressure than would break the thing. You need to train your arms to push and pull but not death grip the thing. When your arms are relaxed you'll turn better. You need to apply that same handling technique to your right hand, which gets a tad more difficult. The gas thing. But if you understand the left you should be able to get the smae touch going on the right. I use my thumb and first finger to control the gas - let the rest of the hand to other things. It is easiest to keep the pressure light. Once you do that you should be able to push and pull with your right arm as you do with the left and turning should get eaiser.

Then go to phase two and learn how to use your body. You should be holding onto the bike with your knees and using your stomach muscles to hold your body upright - not your arms. Your amrs should not be carryiing your body's weight. To help this process for those of us with no stomach muscle to speak of, as you turn your outside kneee should be driving down through the center of the bike. Actually push it into the tank and down the enter of the bike. This is not going to turn the bike so much as get your body where it needs to be and doing what is should. It helps you get the lower body doing what it should, which is what it is not doing when you can't turn right. You can't drive your left knee on right turns if your right arm is stiff and your grip is to tight. It also will give you the pecursor to hang off the thing one day.
 

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It's the Coriolis Effect.  In Australia, it's easier to turn to the right.
 

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I'm a right handed (standard footy surfer) in the states and have a much easier time turning right. I think it's because I do all the steering with the inside hand and when I turn left, my right hand has to still be controlling something, while when I turn right I can do it all with one hand and more or less let go w/ my left hand.
 

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Everyone is more comfortable turning one way than the other. Heres a kicker though, you may feel more comfortable one way but actually be better at turning in the other. I "feel " more comfortable turning left, but am faster in right turns! Always have run faster lap times on the same tracks when most of the turns are right then when we run the same track in opposite direction.
What causes it? haven't a clue.
 

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I definitely feel more comfortable turning left at slow speed but at higher speeds I really don't notice the difference. Maybe I suck at both? [laugh]

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #16
WERA#25 said:
Everyone is more comfortable turning one way than the other. Heres a kicker though, you may feel more comfortable one way but actually be better at turning in the other.  I "feel " more comfortable turning left, but am faster in right turns! Always have run faster lap times on the same tracks when most of the turns are right then when we run the same track  in opposite direction.
What causes it? haven't a clue.
totally feel the same way! My uncomfy right turns are so much faster and smoother! my comfy left turns are slow and wobbly!
 

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I would tell you I find no difference left vs. right. But go measure my chicken stripes and you'll find one on the right only. As I thought about it I realized the problem with aggressive right turns is that you usually can't see around the corner as well as you can on a left hand turn. And I've reached the age where I WILL NOT enter a turn aggressively if I can't see the exit. Too many sand traps, potholes, kids on bicycles, dogs, moose, fallen trees, cellphone addled idiots in Volvo station wagons, etc. to take such a stupid chance.
 

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Here's my .02 cents.... I am better in left hand turns. Even on the racetrack I find lefts easier. I don't have problems with sweeping rights.... its just tight turns. I always find that my body position is set up better for lefts than right. I would bet it is because I also use the inside bar for turning. Also, since tracks are counter-clockwise in U.S.A. the majority of turns are lefts.... so that's what you get the most practice on. I will drive faster in lefts on the street because I also like to see through the turn before I ride faster.

Now for fuel on the dominant side theory... I am left handed but was forced to do most things right handed. I write and throw a baseball right handed. But anything I tought myself I am left handed. I shoot pool, eat, and brush my teeth left handed. I must have some inner conflict for dominant side. Maybe that's why I find it easiest to go straight. Dave
 
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