Old Habits are harder to change.
Proper prior positioning prevents poor performance when cornering.
As a car driver you know that to turn left after you come to a stop you would position the car with the wheels facing straight ahead, do a head check and then turn the steering wheel as you move off.
As a motorbike rider you know that to turn left after you come to a stop you would position the motorbike facing in the direction of intended travel, complete a head check and then look in the direction you plan to proceed and move off.
As a motorbike rider trainer I have been thinking a lot lately about training methods for riders and it has occurred to me that the concept of looking where you want to go is harder for older experienced drivers to adopt than the younger less experienced drivers. Must be that the old habits are more deeply entrenched in the subconscious.
The two main contributors to the rider’s poor performance are:
A) Not positioning the motorbike facing in the direction of intended travel
B) As the rider moves off they complete another “head check” looking away from where they are trying to proceed.
The outcome from issue A is that the motorbike can only go wide into the intended lane and is likely be so wide that they will be on the wrong side of the road.
The outcome from issue B is that the motorbike becomes unstable as the rider is looking away from the line of intended travel, and we all know that the motorbike will go to where the eyes are looking.
So if a learner does A and B the outcome is always going to be poor performance, and it is the more experienced car drivers that have difficulty adjusting as their road positioning is more deeply controlled by the subconscious.
So to turn left/right after stopping be sure to position your motorbike just to the left/right of the centre of your lane facing at about 40 degrees toward the direction of intended travel.
and then proceed whilst looking ahead.Complete a head check, (no more involuntary head checks please). This procedure will also ensure that you then have an option into the lane to which you are proceeding, in that you can go wide or tight, providing options therefore maximising safety. These two photos depict the ideal position when leaving a property, wide entry -tight finish at all curves.