Turning Soulutions
Studies have consistently reported for many years that 40%, and in some cases more, all motorcycle crash fatalities happen in curves. Additionally, those same twisty parts of the road are the main points where bikers have single vehicle crashes. And with the sight of the spring riding season not too far in the horizon, this might be a good time to review proper riding skills through those treacherous turns. Most of us yearn for a great set of twisties, but, unfortunately, too many of us are not living through the turns to enjoy others down the road.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and other rider education organizations promote the four basic steps for turning a motorcycle to properly execute a curve: slow, look, press, and roll. Performing each step correctly is important to achieving the greatest (and safest) outcome.
SLOW: This means just that - slow down! The possibility of an accident increases dramatically when coming into a curve too fast, due to the potential for losing control of the motorcycle. Always slow to an appropriate entry speed, and do so before the radius of the turn starts. Your speed prior to entering the turn should dictate how much you need to slow down. Rolling off the throttle, using both brakes, downshifting, or a combination of any or all options are prescribed methods for slowing to a safe speed. Whichever way you choose, decelerate as smoothly as you can to help keep the bike's suspension steady, this will allow for a slow, smooth increase of the throttle as you start to exit the turn.
LOOK: Physically turn your head and look through the turn to where you want your bike to go. Keep those eyes up, and constantly adjust your line of sight through (and past) the turn as far as possible. When coaching riding students, MSF instructors tell them to look where they want to go and they'll get there. Where do you think you'll wind up if you look down at the road? There are only two things under those tires - pain and misery - so keep those eyes up! Also, set yourself and the bike up in the lane position that gives you the safest and best view of the whole turn.
PRESS: Leaning your motorcycle to get around that turn is where countersteering comes into play. To initiate a lean in either direction, press forward on the hand grip in the direction of the curve. If you want to turn left, press forward on the left handgrip; to turn right, press forward on the right handgrip. Moving at speeds above 12-15 mph, you can no longer turn the motorcycle like a bicycle; you need to countersteer to make it safely through a given curve. This technique seems to confuse new riders, but if you've been riding for some time, you're experienced doing it - maybe not smoothly, but you're still making it through those turns. It's important to remember that you should lean with the bike through the turn. If you ride with a passenger, remind that person to lean with you. An easy way is to ask your riding partner to look over the side of your shoulder in the same direction as the turn.

ROLL: Roll on the throttle throughout the turn. You need to either keep a steady speed through the entire curve, or slightly increase it, to maintain stability and make the bike easier to control. This is why it's important to slow down prior to entering the turn. You'll need to use a little more juice in the turn; when the bike is leaning over, a tire's diameter at contact points decreases. So, due to physics, if you decrease the diameter on a spinning wheel without increasing speed, you're slowing down, which will lead to losing control.
Notice that I never mention the use of brakes while in the turn. Using your brakes, especially the front, can have serious consequences while leaned over. Depending on the model, type of drive system, brake system/setup, etc; a bike will stand up from a lean when the brakes are applied which may cause possible improper handling conditions, or it may be pulled down to the ground extremely quick. In either case, it's going to hurt. Granted there are advanced training programs that can teach you how properly applied brakes can be used when the bike is leaned over in a turn, but as stated – these are advanced skills that need to be taught/learned. There are also some situations where you may use your rear brake in a turn, but that skill too should be learned from a riding instructor.
With the spring season here for most of us, we're eager to get out and once again thunder down those roadways. Practice each turn by skillfully using the four steps of slow, look, press, and roll. Keep in mind that it's better to err by going too slowly into a turn; you can always give it more gas as you roll through that twisty. Practice these steps and you'll soon be carving through another riding season with confidence.


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Long Island ABATE
is now having meetings in Nassau & Suffolk Counties. The Nassau meeting will be informational only and the Suffolk meeting will remain the primary meeting time.

NEXT MEETING IS Tuesday February 13th at the Lake Ronkonkoma Fire District Meeting Hall Corner of Hawkins Ave & Portion Road Ronkonkoma, NY
BBQ Dinner is at 6:30pm . Meeting starts at 7:30pm

Nassau Meeting (informal) will be Tuesday February 20th at the Marine Corps League 99 New York Ave Massapequa NY @ 7:30pm

Empire State Motorcycle Safety Education Program, Inc(ESMSEP) is a not for profit, 501(c)3 outreach education organization group of like minded motorcycle safety enthusiasts working towards the goal of promoting motorcycle awareness and the benefits of rider education through FREE informational seminars at libraries, adult continuing ed programs, dealerships, club/group meetings, rallies, etc. Our primary goal is to present the information to licensed motorcycle operators as to the importance of continuing rider education, but our information can also be extremely useful for newer riders as well. To date, there is no one in NYS that presently addresses what we do..

ESMSEP has a Member Benefit Program that includes discounted offers from our Sponsoring Partners. ESMSEP currently has 90+ Sponsoring Partners listed on our website that have joined our team with many of them offering a benefit offer for our membership that have pledge to support this new exciting venture. All of them are extremely supportive of our task and recognize the value of it for the motorcycling community plus the potential for future customers that appreciate their support of motorcycle safety. We have more sponsors than any other not for profit motorcycle organization in the country.

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