Riding around bends
To ride safely around a bend, you must look well ahead and decide
- how sharp the bend is
- at what speed you need to be travelling so you can ride around it under control.
There are various ways to judge how sharp a bend is, including
- looking at what you can see of the bend
- taking notice of road signs before the bend
- using ‘limit point analysis’: ask your trainer to explain this to you if you do not know this method.
When you’re deciding on the line you should take and the best speed for a bend, you’ll also need to think about factors such as
- adverse camber – where the road slopes downwards towards the outside of the corner; this makes it harder for the tyres to grip the road in the corner
- banking – where the road slopes upwards towards the outside of the bend, making it easier for the tyres to grip the road
- uneven or slippery surfaces
- weather conditions, which can affect the amount of grip the tyres have on the road
- visibility – how much you can see of the road ahead
- road junctions – if vehicles are emerging from a junction or slowing down to turn, you’ll have to be ready and able to slow down
- other road users who may be travelling around the bend at a different speed to you
- the performance and handling of your motorbike: different motorbikes will handle differently through bends.
You’ll need to use the gears, throttle, brakes and steering in the correct combination to drive around a bend safely and responsibly.
- Control your speed as you approach a bend.
- Choose the correct gear for your speed.
- Use the throttle carefully.
- Steer to hold the correct line through the bend.
If you’re carrying a passenger or a load on your motorbike, it’s likely to handle differently through bends. See Carrying passengers and loads on your motorbike for more information.
As a rider, you should be aware of the risks posed by other road users at bends. Motorbikes are less easy to see than other vehicles so there’s a risk of drivers not seeing you on bends; for example, when they’re
- joining from junctions or driveways
- driving past an obstruction.