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Kawi for Life!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So too start off I'm on an old bike, 97 Ninja 500 and I'm right handed. I'm having trouble with right hand turns/ cornering. I can get pretty low and fast in left hand turns but right hands scare me. I almost ate it once right handed but was curious if anyone else experienced this and how you got over it. I'm not a newb but I feel very sketch coming into right hand turns. I've done track days on friends bikes and never been fast in the rights... lefts I'm fast in, rights scare me. You get the point
 

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Most people are better at one or the other turns. If you can't get in down yourself do a school? You might want to try posting on Cali Superbike forum.
 

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I'm right handed and I can turn left way better/harder. I thought I was just crazy ;)
I'm like that in the car too, It's weird.
 

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I don't know what to say to help you but just stop being scared! I don't have a weak side and I scrap knees on both sides so I guess you just gotta go in there without the fear of crashing.
 

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I have the exact same issue as the OP. Just practice getting lower in a wide, empty lot and you should build confidence in no time. Make sure you wear FULL gear in case you dump it.
 

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i know what you mean, but then i sorta accidentally went real hard into a right hand turn, and its the farthest ive leaned in a turn. so that kinda got me over it real quick. just go for it man
 

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Even if you have been riding a long time, do a school!

It is supposed to be pretty common for righties to prefer left turns since they feel that they are more in control when they can counter balance towards their "good side". I kind of remember being that way when I first started riding dirt on a tiny little kx50 two stroke, but I got over it by the time I was like 10(kx80 2stroke by then)from TONS of riding - I was a motocross junkie growing up, and although street riding is a whole different animal, the years of experience did help the transition feel more natural. I would blaze through the left turns powersliding that little thing, but always approched the rights cautiously - which is more dangerous because you lost concentration and just think too hard about the stupid turn and not your speed or lines.

Completing a riding course, even if it is just a basic one, will help your confidence a lot on the right handers - they are the same thing after all and its all in your head!

I took an MSF course two years ago, thinking it would just be a cakewalk for the insurance break, but actually left feeling more comfortable on two wheels just knowing that I completed the course - and I had already been riding for quite some time.
 

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Even if you have been riding a long time, do a school!

It is supposed to be pretty common for righties to prefer left turns since they feel that they are more in control when they can counter balance towards their "good side". I kind of remember being that way when I first started riding dirt on a tiny little kx50 two stroke, but I got over it by the time I was like 10(kx80 2stroke by then)from TONS of riding - I was a motocross junkie growing up, and although street riding is a whole different animal, the years of experience did help the transition feel more natural. I would blaze through the left turns powersliding that little thing, but always approched the rights cautiously - which is more dangerous because you lost concentration and just think too hard about the stupid turn and not your speed or lines.

Completing a riding course, even if it is just a basic one, will help your confidence a lot on the right handers - they are the same thing after all and its all in your head!

I took an MSF course two years ago, thinking it would just be a cakewalk for the insurance break, but actually left feeling more comfortable on two wheels just knowing that I completed the course - and I had already been riding for quite some time.
I can relate to you except for the fact I haven't been riding street that long.
 

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and one thing on riding dirt...most dirt riders dont like right handers because you dont have your foot next to the rear brake! LOL at least that was my thing...i loved squaring up left handers, but when it came to squaring up a right hander it was tough since i had to keep my foot on the peg and not out to put more weight up front.

as for leaning on a street bike...i cant say im uncomfortable with left or right handers, unless theyre slow, tight turns. but thats where clutch control comes in...just give it some revs and slip the clutch and if i accidentally give it more gas when turning right its no problem, because im slipping the clutch enough so there isnt much acceleration.

no knee dragging yet though...im gonna wait until i can hopefully take a track school for that kind of thing!
 

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and one thing on riding dirt...most dirt riders dont like right handers because you dont have your foot next to the rear brake! LOL at least that was my thing...i loved squaring up left handers, but when it came to squaring up a right hander it was tough since i had to keep my foot on the peg and not out to put more weight up front.

as for leaning on a street bike...i cant say im uncomfortable with left or right handers, unless theyre slow, tight turns. but thats where clutch control comes in...just give it some revs and slip the clutch and if i accidentally give it more gas when turning right its no problem, because im slipping the clutch enough so there isnt much acceleration.

no knee dragging yet though...im gonna wait until i can hopefully take a track school for that kind of thing!
Same here. I get my knee like 6 inches off of the ground not counting slider distance.
 

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my advise would be just to get over it. Thats the best way I have gotten over my fear.
Much easier said than done, and to be honest, I hate when people give advice like that. I've gotten it from track instructors too, and I don't think that's overly wise, especially from a track day instuctor. Some people may just have a phobia that takes them a lot longer to get over. And bear in mind, that you can read everything about the logistics involved in turning or what ever, and there is literally NO way to prepare or "try out" it unless you are actually doing it. Everyone says lean it more, do this, do that. Well if you have a phobia about doing something and are skittish about committing to it because there is no way to prepare, that WILL take some time to "get over it".


To the original poster, I was the exact same way. I was so better at left turns than rights, then I had a low side on the right side, and I still was shy on right turns. 3yrs later, I have a low side on the left side, and now I can't turn left worth a shit. I am FAR better at right turns now than lefts. I think there may be something to the right handed/left brained thing, but I tend to think that some people might be more afraid of right turns because that's the side of the throttle. Maybe they're subconsciously afraid of giving it too much gas. I'm far from an expert but that could be a factor for some people. Just ride your ride and don't fuss too much. I've reached the point that I'm just giving up on the things I want to do with riding (trackdays, taking corners faster, getting the knee down, etc..) because I've been told I'm too slow, that I can't do it etc. Fuck em, I'm happy to ride anyway and that's what I'm going to do.

edit: I am right handed too, but I now can almost get my knee down on rights, maybe 8" off the deck. Left I'm practically upright on turns sometimes.
 

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You just have to get over your fear of doing it, which is essentially what bikerchick was saying. The best way to get over that fear, like BP88 said, practice in a controlled environment.
Even if you dont have faith in yourself at first, have faith in the machine. You know it can do it, it's not going to favor left vs right, it is after all, just a machine.
Just remember, when you're approaching the corner, you should have already done all your braking well before you hit the apex so you can accelerate through the corner, thats gonna keep you from dumping the bike in the turn.
 

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i can't say i prefer one over the other, thats just one of them things your going to have to keep doing to get yourself able
 

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I think a thing to be said here regarding trying to lean more in parking lots is that unless you can get into a lot that's large enough for you to safely get up to at least 45mph or abouts, I wouldn't try it. Turning at 25mph and trying to get more lean angle, gravity will pull you down. You need to go faster to counteract the force of gravity trying to pull the bike down when you lean it. You will not be able to hit the max lean angle with this method. Not many parking lots will be able to accomodate this, and watch out if they are concrete, those seams will cause wheels to slip.
 

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I have the same problem.. Just trying to ride a little harder in right hand turns everytime I take one..
 

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Kawi for Life!
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks to all the advice, good to know I'm not crazy and that others have this problem. I'm just gonna go put some more track time in on a buddies bike and hopefully just kick the problem/ fear.
 

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One thing I noticed I was doing on my left hand turns, which I was uncomfortable with, was overthinking the turn and because of this I was approaching the corner way too slow. I found that rolling throttle through the turn and getting low really improved my feel for the bike and got me over my shakiness right away.
 

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my instructor at the msf course mentioned something about this being pretty common, his thoughts were that its simply because the throttle is controlled by the right hand, and that its just kinda awkward when learning to push down that right handle bar while also trying to roll on the throttle, i hope i explained that right, i dont remember the exact wording he used but the point was your trying to do 2 things at once with the same hand, which is wierd at first, im not sure i buy this explanation 100%, but it kinda makes sense to me, and i think its worth mention/consideration
 
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