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Old 05-12-2020, 02:12 PM   #1
sanjuro
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Shifting weight/standing on pegs during U-turns

I'm about to give some beginner lessons on how to do U-turns. At the same time, I'm working on my own mountain biking technique of doing tight, off-camber switchbacks.

For me, I'm working on shifting weight, and I like to hear any feedback if I should mention this to my student.

Off road, standing off the seat and shifting weight are critical, but I rarely do it on the street.

I'm trying to emphasis good fundamentals but I also don't want to teach unnecessary techniques since it may be distracting.

FYI this person is planning a Honda Rebel or a Harley 883 as the first bike.
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Old 05-12-2020, 02:33 PM   #2
Tom G
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Alameda county sherriff you stay seated while doing u turns in the parking lot.
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Old 05-12-2020, 03:35 PM   #3
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For a beginner, consider putting emphasis on turning the head and looking into the turn in making a U-turn. And maybe lowering the inside shoulder some. Make the lesson simple. The rider can work on making tighter turns later.
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Old 05-12-2020, 08:06 PM   #4
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Turn head before turning bike
Keep head turned all the way through the turn
Keep eyes up, looking through the exit of the turn, not down at theground
Shift shoulders to the outside before turning the bike
Feather the clutch to control the speed
Keep throttle steady
Apply a little rear brake
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Old 05-12-2020, 08:49 PM   #5
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Teach the beginner about steady throttle control in 1st gear. That'll help immensely. Especially mention that the bike will "stand up" as long as the throttle hand keeps a steady pace.
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Old 05-13-2020, 05:44 AM   #6
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Doing U turns is the one time I will tell a noob to use the rear brake. I want them to learn the balance of throttle, clutch and rear brake to keep the bike stable. Looking way around the arc is very important too. Expect them to drop the bike at least once. I suggest either taking off the pretty bodywork or putting on some rashed stuff. Making tight U turns is actually one of the more tricky things to learn.

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Old 05-13-2020, 08:09 AM   #7
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I drop my foot down, dip my bike and spin out. It is almost a full 180 turn, and it's something I adopted from dirt riding. I wouldn't recommend that for a noob, tho.

Definitely do not stand up on my pegs, and I stand up on my pegs often for terrain adjustments.
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Old 05-13-2020, 01:57 PM   #8
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It's natural for experienced mountain bikers and dirt riders to stand on pegs. The ergos of those bikes facilitate that.

Heavy street bikes (especially cruisers that aren't set up for standing) and new rider - I don't think so. It's too much a balancing act, and you're better off just focusing on throttle control and vision. You can still counter-weight be sitting on the outside edge of the seat during a u-turn.
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Old 05-14-2020, 07:59 PM   #9
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The safest and easiest way to perform a u-turn is by putting your inside foot down in the middle. Efforts to avoid that are purely ego.

Also, ya know, look where you want to go.
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Old 05-15-2020, 05:01 PM   #10
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A U-turn is clutch control and little to no lean angle along with little speed. This is the one time a beginner should understand (and be taught) to PULL the inside bar. They likely will still be thinking of actively counter steering.
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Old 05-15-2020, 05:20 PM   #11
sanjuro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddevill View Post
Doing U turns is the one time I will tell a noob to use the rear brake. I want them to learn the balance of throttle, clutch and rear brake to keep the bike stable. Looking way around the arc is very important too. Expect them to drop the bike at least once. I suggest either taking off the pretty bodywork or putting on some rashed stuff. Making tight U turns is actually one of the more tricky things to learn.

Mad
Yeah, it's a trick a friend told about how to pass the DMV key turn, clutch and rear brake.
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:01 PM   #12
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Depends on bike youíre on. Some setups allow you to stand on pegs, all weight on outside peg, leg up on seat, push bike under you. (I was taught this in a clinic on my R1200GS).

Regardless, as others said, turning head and really looking where you want to go is key.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by sanjuro View Post
I'm about to give some beginner lessons on how to do U-turns. At the same time, I'm working on my own mountain biking technique of doing tight, off-camber switchbacks.
Re MTB switchbacks, presumably you have gotten proficient at normal switchbacks in terms of your technique - wide line, late turn in, fast cut to apex, wide out.

Off-camber is a whole Ďnother story/skill set as near as I can tell. We only have one on my usual trails, and in addition to being slightly off-camber, itís also goes from level to uphill, and gnarly with sharp rocks and a slight step. Iíve sessioned on it a few times and have only cleaned it once. Highly technical. I think the answer lies in getting three things just right: keeping up your speed/momentum, trusting your front tire, and having your crank in exactly the right position so you can apply power at exactly the right time.

PS - during the adventure riding clinic I did on the GS they set up a switchback course on the side of a hill with cones and had us ride up to a cone, do a tight u-turn around it, and then ride down to the next cone and do a u-turn around it, etc etc. Oddly, I found that doing the u-turn at the top of the hill was easier than the one at the bottom. Something about heading down and getting the bike to turn tightly going slow was harder than starting on the uphill side.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:43 AM   #14
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Agree. Start with fundamentals.
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:13 AM   #15
cellige
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Relying on the ability to stand is pretty bike dependent, better to have control seated.
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