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.

Back to top