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 Ur-U-Turn Technique?

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Dimond
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PostSubject: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Thu 27 Dec 2012, 20:47

While I had a productive 2012 year on the SWing (30,000 miles), my low speed manuverability could sure use some improvement. When I do a U-Turn I am hoping nobody is looking. If there are tight or challenging quarters (e.g., curb I may hit, rough shoulder on side of the road, oncoming traffic if I go too far, going down an embankment, you name it) then my technique is even worse. Clearly I need to practice - which I plan to do in 2013. Now for the issues.

When I now U-Turn at slow speeds, my engine has NOT engaged the clutch (going too slow so clutch is not engaged) so I just counter balance and give it the gas if I am not counterbalancing enough (i.e., leaning in too far and potentially going down) - then I give it some throttle and hope that the increase in speed (along with maybe a bit more counterbalance) will keep me upright. This has got me thinking (oh my) that maybe there are some better techniques out there that I can do/learn so that slow speeds are less of a challenge. One thing I was wondering is if I should give the SWing more throttle while holding the left brake a bit - so that the SWing clutch stays engaged and I am not 'freeweeling' through the turn (when motorcycles do slow turns the experts recommend that the clutch be in the friction zone so that you are NOT freeweeling without any engine engagement). I don't want to try this technique without confering with some scooter riders (you!) as nearly all that I ride with have motorcycles - not scooters.

So, do you have any suggestions or techniques you may wish to share regarding this matter. Many thanks.
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masscoot
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Thu 27 Dec 2012, 21:54

It sounds crazy but it works, turn your lower body on the seat in the direction you want to turn. Turn your head (and eyes) all the way in the direction you want to turn, slowly apply the throttle and go. It works!

You are suffering from target fixation, move your mind past the obstruction, finish the turn and you will be fine.

There is a Motorman youtube video on the subject, I'll see if I can find it for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXzbvk_WNts
or
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H084SaM9pAg

You can disregard the clutch part but some (minor) braking may help.
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greyfox30
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Thu 27 Dec 2012, 23:59

After about 30,000 miles in the last 5 years on a Honda Shadow and a Honda ST1300,I decided to downsize since I am 78 years old. After watching "Ride like a pro" video and practicing the techniques on those two,I find the Silverwing is really a lot of fun and no problem at all.

The best way I found to make this bike do what you want is to MAKE SURE you are looking where you want to go and use a little rear brake at low speed and use the throttle as needed to maintain the balance while leaned into any turn. This scoot is as manuverable as any bike I have ridden if handled properly.
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Fri 28 Dec 2012, 00:20

Ride like a pro is very good. I used his techniques in handling my Goldwing at slow speeds. With practice it isn't hard to make lock to lock tight figure 8s and minimum radius turns with the handlebars locked over. The Ride like a Pro technique can't quite be done on a Silverwing but you can adapt the technique a bit and it will still work. The trick is to keep the power pretty well constant, the clutch must stay engaged. Control your speed with the rear brake, the throttle should stay constant enough to keep the clutch engaged and slipping. It won't wear the clutch or brake because of the slow speed and low power settings. With practice it shouldn't be hard to make a U-turn with the handlebar against the stop. It isn't body english either the rider shouldn't need to move his body to keep things upright, the normal riding position is the proper position control the bike with the rear brake, less brake will widen the turn and reduce the lean, more brake tightens the turn and increases the lean. Find a parking lot that's not busy and practice. A couple markers on the ground that you can practice figure eights around are ideal. Start with them far apart and as you gain confidence move the markers closer together. Also as already mentioned eyeball control is very important. Don't look at the ground in front of your bike, look ahead at where you want the bike to go. In the case of a U-turn look where the U-turn will be completed, keep your attention on that target until the bike nears the turn completion and then look ahead again. One critical rule when riding: ALWAYS LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO NOT WHERE YOU ARE. NEVER LOOK AT WHAT YOU WANT TO AVOID LOOK AT WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. Target fixation as mentioned is a killer. You won't even realize you're doing it so get that burned into your mind, look where you want to go. As long as I'm harping it might not hurt to mention dogs and deer.
If a critter runs out into the road in front of you too close to stop, ride through the critter, don't try to swerve, keep straight on ahead. If the animal is that close you won't be able to avoid it and the odds are very high that if you try to swerve you'll hit the animal in a turn which will guarantee you'll lose control of the bike and go down hard. If you collide straight ahead there's a good chance of staying upright and by going straight ahead using the brakes as much as possible the energy of the collision will be reduced and the damage to bike, rider and critter will be as low as possible. One othe thing to remember if it looks like the critter will get past before you collide keep on going straight and stay hard on the brakes because animals often reverse course even after they've cleared the bike.
Sorry for the long post but I used to do some rider instruction and the U-turn business triggered old reflexes.
Here's a YouTube presentation on "Ride like a pro".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzN4Y-C0tL8
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Fri 28 Dec 2012, 06:13

First I would remember SilverWing has linked brakes-----load drive line with a little throttle----left brake drag-----based on my tests, rear does come on first, slight brake drag and "loaded" drive line, seems to work---too much brake, front may come on hard and cause bike to tip/topple. and look in the direction of where you want to end up----of the various modern scooters I have owned, ReFlex (linked brakes) was easiest, SilverWing=not bad, my Burgman 400(no linked brakes)=not fun.

And of course feet up. By the way this is much easier on regular motorcycle and clutch. Tip: press feet into forward position, press right, go right, etc.
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Dimond
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Fri 28 Dec 2012, 10:58

Thanks to all for the tips! I now have some new techniques to work on during 2013 thanks to you!
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Fri 28 Dec 2012, 13:42

The Goldwing also has linked brakes but the rear brake on it as well as on the Silverwing is pretty well biased toward the rear wheel. In other words the rear brake lever doesn't act very strongly on the front wheel until you use a lot of brake. A word of warning though for new riders, using the front brake in a sharp turn at any speed is asking to go down. The old maxim when training a right handed man to box fits here, lead with the left. I always lead with the left or rear brake. I almost always use both brakes since using only the rear brake only gives you about 30-40% of your total braking power. Leading with the rear brake also allows the forks to compress less suddenly than if you use your front brake first. A lot of pogo-sticking front end complaints can be traced to improper brake use.
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midlandchip
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Thu 26 Sep 2013, 17:43

I am absolutely terrible at making tight, low speed turns to the right or left. I have laid my bike down twice trying to make those kinds of turns and I have given up. I simply won't try a tight turn now. If I am on a two lane side road and realize I need to turn around I now continue riding forward while looking for a parking lot where I can turn around in a bigger circle or I will turn into a driveway and then walk my bike around and out the driveway. My friends are telling me there is really something missing in my riding ability with regard to slow, tight turns and I should get some additional training. I haven't done it yet but will give it a shot next summer. Watching those motorcycle training videos really doesn't help me a whole lot. They are talking about clutch, break and throttle control. We don't have a clutch to play with like they do.

My biggest problem in making tight turns is I end up going too slow. The front wheel will then lock over to the left or right depending on the turn I am trying to make and the bike just goes over on it's side. Even though the Silverwing weighs less than 600 pounds it's hard for me to hold it up when she starts to go over in that situation. I have tried using more throttle in the turn and focusing on looking where I want to go but it has not helped so far.

Nice to hear others are having problems with these turns.
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CathyN
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Thu 26 Sep 2013, 18:03

I am not the most confident in my u-turns either. I have gotten better since I started. The Hyperpro springs help. I try not to over think what I am doing and keep my head up and my eyes on where I want to go.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Thu 26 Sep 2013, 18:42

rear brake is the secret!! How people get lic. without knowing/doing this is beyond me. Silverwing rear brake tip in first-----reg bike easier---clutch tip in on Silverwing can be a little jerky. Practice the key. Dropping bike not fun.
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hardee41
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Thu 26 Sep 2013, 20:56

For me, it's the loss of power when the belt slips at low rpm on a tight turn. I think John is right on the rear brake tip; that would help keep the belt engaged with the rpm's up a bit.
PS: To many years on a m/cycle
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DanB
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Thu 26 Sep 2013, 22:45

Motorcycling refers to this as riding in the friction zone. With manual transmissions it's the use of clutch, engine and brake, during low speed maneuvering. With a CVT transmission it's the resistance created between engine power and rear brake together, staying in the friction zone providing adequate power to the rear wheel.
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Thu 26 Sep 2013, 22:56

True, as has been said a several times above. Keep the engine going just enough to keep the clutch in but slipping, ride the rear brake lightly and DON'T TOUCH THE FRONT BRAKE. The front brake will bring any bike down in a slow turn. With a bit of practice it's not hard to keep the bike going in a circle with the handlebar locked over using only a bit of throttle and rear brake to keep it stable. I can do lock to lock figure eights with my Goldwing and I'm only an average rider. It's just a technique that can be learned, lucky for me it doesn't take any talent.
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Dimond
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Fri 27 Sep 2013, 13:46

exavid wrote:
I can do lock to lock figure eights with my Goldwing .....
Who can do this on a SWing? (not me!)
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DanB
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Fri 27 Sep 2013, 13:54

I think the consensus here is not necessarily perfection but adding a little rear brake and modulating throttle for low speed maneuvering/balance. This is a skill set that can be honed with regular practice.


Last edited by DanB on Fri 27 Sep 2013, 13:57; edited 1 time in total
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bigbird
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Fri 27 Sep 2013, 13:56

I agree with John Grinsel. Try very light rear (left) brake application as you use very light throttle. Remember that the left brake lever is linked to the front brake. Too much left lever pull will activate the front brake and down you'll go. To practise, get on your bicycle. I'm not kidding. Make a series of very slow speed U-turns with first no brakes, and then try again with very slight rear braking while pedalling. You'll be amazed.
My last suggestion is to try tight U-turns with no underwear. This also apparently works vey well for John, though I haven't tried it, yet.
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JeffR_
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Fri 27 Sep 2013, 14:50

The reason that Terry (bigbird) is good at U-turns is because he still has his training wheels on. chickendance 
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bigbird
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Fri 27 Sep 2013, 14:58

JeffR_ wrote:
The reason that Terry (bigbird) is good at U-turns is because he still has his training wheels on.  chickendance 
Better training wheels than training underpants.
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PostSubject: Re: Ur-U-Turn Technique?   Fri 27 Sep 2013, 15:00

bigbird wrote:
JeffR_ wrote:
The reason that Terry (bigbird) is good at U-turns is because he still has his training wheels on.  chickendance 
Better training wheels than training underpants.
Have you been talking to my wife ????
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