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Hey racer/track type people. Got a question about right hand turns. Are right handers, in general, more difficult to navigate than lefts? And if so, is it a mental thing, or a physical thing, or a mix of both? I've always wondered this because when I'm out riding, right handers tend to be a tad slower and less leaned over for me. It's got me puzzled. Thanks for any info.
 

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It seems most people have a preference for one side or the other. Never been able to figure out a consistent pattern to it. Personally I think it's because I'm left footed so I feel more comfortable with my left leg being over the bike and controlling it.
 

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I sometimes have to 'thottle back' so to speak while riding on the road taking left hand corners because I see all that pavement on the opposite side of the road....but I pretty much never cross the yellow, I don't want to get smacked by a car. Sharp Left handers don't seem as blind either. On the track I didn't notice myself favaroing either direction more than the other.
 

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I'm more confident on my left. I also land with my left foot from a jump, lead with my left on a board, and shoot left with a hockey stick. I am right handed BTW.

Metalhead, just keep practicing right handers. I know it sounds really elementary but try and do some figure 8's in a parking lot without stopping and get them tighter and tighter until you're as comfortable on your right as you are on your left. Don't forget to lean your head in to the turn and hang your ass off the bike.



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Interesting question that comes up from time to time.

I think I used to favor left handers, but nowadays, I really don't have a preference. Years of track time will do that to you. But it seems like most people you talk to favor left-handers.

I've always had a theory about why people prefer left turns. Actually, I have two theories, but I don't know which one is closer to reality:

Theory number 1:

In the U.S., where we drive on the right side of the road, you have an advantage in left-hand turns, in that you can see further through the turn (as pointed out above), and you have more margin for error since there's just a painted line on the inside of the curve, as opposed to a curb, cliff, or guardrail. Also, in city street intersections, left turns are generally faster, flowing turns, where right turns are more stop-and-go. Therefore, you become more used to taking lefts at speed.

(If folks in places like the U.K., Australia, and Japan tend to favor rights, that would probably confirm this one, right?)

Theory number 2:

The way motorcycle controls are laid out, when you're leaning into a left turn, your right arm and leg are extended, which gives you better control of the throttle and brakes, whereas in right turns, your right arm is kinked into a 90 degree bend, and the ball of your right foot is on the peg, which makes it a little harder to modulate the throttle and brake.

(If this theory is correct, I imagine the left-turn bias would be fairly universal, no matter where you live, since bikes are all laid out the same way any more.)

This could be bullshit, but that's how I see it...
 

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My penis dangles to the left which is just enough mass to create a greater moment when turning to the left. When I turn to the right it naturally rest on the seat pad creating no moment at all, so naturally I turn better to the left.

























or I could be full of shit ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interesting question that comes up from time to time.

I think I used to favor left handers, but nowadays, I really don't have a preference. Years of track time will do that to you. But it seems like most people you talk to favor left-handers.

I've always had a theory about why people prefer left turns. Actually, I have two theories, but I don't know which one is closer to reality:

Theory number 1:

In the U.S., where we drive on the right side of the road, you have an advantage in left-hand turns, in that you can see further through the turn (as pointed out above), and you have more margin for error since there's just a painted line on the inside of the curve, as opposed to a curb, cliff, or guardrail. Also, in city street intersections, left turns are generally faster, flowing turns, where right turns are more stop-and-go. Therefore, you become more used to taking lefts at speed.

(If folks in places like the U.K., Australia, and Japan tend to favor rights, that would probably confirm this one, right?)

Theory number 2:

The way motorcycle controls are laid out, when you're leaning into a left turn, your right arm and leg are extended, which gives you better control of the throttle and brakes, whereas in right turns, your right arm is kinked into a 90 degree bend, and the ball of your right foot is on the peg, which makes it a little harder to modulate the throttle and brake.

(If this theory is correct, I imagine the left-turn bias would be fairly universal, no matter where you live, since bikes are all laid out the same way any more.)

This could be bullshit, but that's how I see it...
Your theory #2 is something I have thought about for a long time. You mentioned 'modulating' the brake and throttle. I've always done that. So in right handers, I've always felt less in control due to arm/foot positioning. I'm glad that you put that out there. I was begining to wonder if it was just me.

Also, that's not a bad idea about making some figure 8's in a parking lot. No worries about traffic, so I could work on positioning a bit.
 

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My penis dangles to the left which is just enough mass to create a greater moment when turning to the left. When I turn to the right it naturally rest on the seat pad creating no moment at all, so naturally I turn better to the left.


+2
 

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It all comes down to which side that you have gotten a good scare from. Mentally you never forget.

Jerry
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Your theory #2 is something I have thought about for a long time. You mentioned 'modulating' the brake and throttle. I've always done that. So in right handers, I've always felt less in control due to arm/foot positioning. I'm glad that you put that out there. I was begining to wonder if it was just me.
I used to prefer right-handers because I knew that if I definitely had to (heaven forbid there is a car there), I can overshoot a curve and just go into the other lane. On a left-hander, you go wide, and you're in a ditch, the side of a mountain, or shooting off the mountain. BTW, I broke my left femur in three places in a left-hander, but....

Now I prefer left turns. There are two reasons for this, with the loss of some mobility in my right leg, I just never feel comfortable positioning myself in a right-hander. I can't seem to get my leg and hip in a position similar to lefts. Additionally, I can usually see through a lot more of the curve in a left-hander, so I have more time to act or react if something comes up. Throw into the mix that the roads that we ride on around here, the vast majority of right-handers are blind curves. It's difficult wanting to rail through a curve where you can't see 30 feet in front of you. Flying through a blind curve and finding that someone's gravel driveway washed out into the road is not something you want to find out about when doing 60 mph through a blind 35 mph curve with only about 50 feet of visability.

I've been wanting to do a trackday at CMP to work on my right turn body positioning since that track has more rights than lefts....and is a much safer environment.
 

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Matt you agree that Rob's penis dangles to the left?

Rob- Do you stand up when riding? Mine doesn't dangle- it and his little buddies are firmly squished between tank and me.

Actually, in all seriousness, it's running down my left pantleg and that might have something to do with my balance and turn in. :eek:

I wholeheartedly agree with Scott's #1 because that's my own reasoning for what is being asked and haven't ever thought much about #2.
 

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Matt you agree that Rob's penis dangles to the left?

Rob- Do you stand up when riding? Mine doesn't dangle- it and his little buddies are firmly squished between tank and me.

Actually, in all seriousness, it's running down my left pantleg and that might have something to do with my balance and turn in. :eek:

I wholeheartedly agree with Scott's #1 because that's my own reasoning for what is being asked and haven't ever thought much about #2.
Stop talking about men's penises.



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Metalhead and everyone else;


Friend of mine gave me the advice about right-hand turns. I would 'cramp up' my elbow to my waist, making my throttle hand sketching and body position all screwed up.

So, try sticking your elbow out. Have your forearm essentially in line with the clip-on. This little bit of advice, for me, REALLY helped me out getting comfortable with right hand turns and knee downs. If you're elbow is in, right next to your waist, it screws up everything.

Try it out and report back.
 

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I personally feel a bit more comfortable on left handers, but not enough to bother me on right handers. I think its because you need to keep a more delicate grip on the throttle than you do on the left side grip, so on a right turn your position is compromised by the angle your forearm is to the throttle. Maybe this is why Ben Spies holds his elbows up, it gives him more precise throttle control.
 

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Riding ACH I prefer the rights. (Bear in mind that I am a shameless and chronic canyon speeder who treats it much like a personal racetrack) Perhaps because almost all of them are blind it forces me to be more instinctive, commited and trust my technique - I have to let myself go. In the lefts there is often more visual information that can cause me to tighten up - such as the giant rock cliff smack in front of me - which I will hit very hard if I low side, as well as worrying about my head crossing the DY when I'm leant over. With the rights the unknown doesn't bother me - if its going to end there - I won't have seen it coming. Consequently my lean angles are greater. Also, in general, the right turns are tighter than the lefts. At the tracks: Willow, Streets and B'Willow I find there are more exciting and more demanding rights than lefts - so perhaps this has rubbed off on me in the canyon.
 

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Interesting question that comes up from time to time.

I think I used to favor left handers, but nowadays, I really don't have a preference. Years of track time will do that to you. But it seems like most people you talk to favor left-handers.

I've always had a theory about why people prefer left turns. Actually, I have two theories, but I don't know which one is closer to reality:

Theory number 1:

In the U.S., where we drive on the right side of the road, you have an advantage in left-hand turns, in that you can see further through the turn (as pointed out above), and you have more margin for error since there's just a painted line on the inside of the curve, as opposed to a curb, cliff, or guardrail. Also, in city street intersections, left turns are generally faster, flowing turns, where right turns are more stop-and-go. Therefore, you become more used to taking lefts at speed.

(If folks in places like the U.K., Australia, and Japan tend to favor rights, that would probably confirm this one, right?)
Hmmm, I am an Australian I ride on the left hand side of the road and I don't like right handers as much as lefts. When I was an Australian riding in Italy on the right hand side of the road I still didn't like right handers as much as lefts. I know lots of Australian's who think the same way too! My best friend will ride around the block doing left turns, rather than turn right.

I asked my husband once if he had a preference and he said it didn't make any difference to him, a corner was a corner and he judged them all for difficulty and rode them accordingly so he couldn't solve my dilemma.

My right ear has been a bit problematic from time to time so I am putting it down to a balance thing.

So Metalhead, you are really an Australian. Its obvious.
 
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