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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Some roads here in north Georgia are narrower than the 20-24 feet curb to curb found on "standard" roadways. Sometimes conditions call for reversing direction and the multi-point turn, where there is a pronounced crown on the road, can be hard on the legs. I'd prefer to do a u-turn but find that from a stop I can usually turn within 16 feet, but feel tighter is possible, but the high COG has me reluctant to lean the bike way over at a stop.
What have you found to be the tightest u-turn you can make consistently, on your V-Strom, from a stop? What technique do you use?

All this assumes a u-turn CCW from the right side of the road.
 

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I never measured and I dont tell I'm particulary good, but i think it's under 16 feet, and the technique is called (translated from french) counterweight.
You have to shift your weight outside (your body) so the bike lean inside, wich lead to tighter turn.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When moving forward I do this but from a stopped position my left foot is on the ground so I can't position my body very far to the right. All this assumes a u-turn CCW from the right side of the road.
 

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There is another method to turn a motorcycle around 'on a dime'. (The kickstand turn)

Basically, you put the weight of the bike on the kickstand and 'spin' the entire thing around using the kickstand as the pivot-point.

There are several videos on youTube showing this technique.
 

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MSF BRC

Since I took the Basic Rider Course, I go out sometimes and just ride really slow in parking lots. I can consistently turn around in about one and a half parking spaces (15ft?). I haven't had to do a U-turn like that in my day-to-day travels, but I feel the counterweighting practice makes me a better rider.
 

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The Vee's are able to make a 15' turn at full lock, full lean. Proper technique for a tight left u turn from a stop is;
Right foot on rear brake
Bars at full lock left
Left foot on ground at a perpendicular angle to the bike
Bike at hard lean left
Head rotated to the intended direction of travel
Gas, friction zone and rear brake if needed while continuing full lock and lean and immediate placement of left foot on peg
Commitment and momentum are your friend

Although easily done with enough practice, begin with a lesser lean angle and bars not fully locked. This maneuver is highly prone to accidents or dropage, even with professionals.
Those of you quoting 15.5 and 16' turns should get some cones and a measuring tape before posting bragging rights. Even the old police competition courses set up for the KZP1000's were at 16.5'
In time, you can butt your front tire to the center of a 3' diam. Concrete parking lot light post support with hard bags on the bike and execute a u turn without scraping the bags on the concrete
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I agree with what you said and that's the way I attempt to execute the turrn from a stop.I'm encouraged to hear 16.5' is about what I can expect when all goes well. I have 20' marked and know I turn a few feet short of that but 16' for me may be an exaggeration.
I don't picture the maneuver you've described here in the quote.
In time, you can butt your front tire to the center of a 3' diam. Concrete parking lot light post support with hard bags on the bike and execute a u turn without scraping the bags on the concrete
 

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The Vee's are able to make a 15' turn at full lock, full lean. Proper technique for a tight left u turn from a stop is;
Right foot on rear brake
Bars at full lock left
Left foot on ground at a perpendicular angle to the bike
Bike at hard lean left
Head rotated to the intended direction of travel
Gas, friction zone and rear brake if needed while continuing full lock and lean and immediate placement of left foot on peg
Commitment and momentum are your friend

Although easily done with enough practice, begin with a lesser lean angle and bars not fully locked. This maneuver is highly prone to accidents or dropage, even with professionals.
Those of you quoting 15.5 and 16' turns should get some cones and a measuring tape before posting bragging rights. Even the old police competition courses set up for the KZP1000's were at 16.5'
In time, you can butt your front tire to the center of a 3' diam. Concrete parking lot light post support with hard bags on the bike and execute a u turn without scraping the bags on the concrete
Think of us poor blokes in the land down under, we have to do all this backwards :green_lol:
 

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Think of us poor blokes in the land down under, we have to do all this backwards :green_lol:
Ha, better start driving on the "right" side of the road :yesnod:
In some ways that's good. You're forced to learn the more difficult right side making any lefts seem easier. You've got to be able to dodge those Roo's
 

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There is another method to turn a motorcycle around 'on a dime'. (The kickstand turn)

Basically, you put the weight of the bike on the kickstand and 'spin' the entire thing around using the kickstand as the pivot-point.

There are several videos on youTube showing this technique.

I have used the kickstand turn.
It is really hard to do with the engine running and in gear and on a road shared with other vehicles where the OP needs to do it:mrgreen:
 

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Think of us poor blokes in the land down under, we have to do all this backwards :green_lol:
Yes, but you get do it in metric feet.
 

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When I was teaching MSF we used to have the students do U turns within a 6 meter or approx. 18 Ft radius. So if you never touched the pylons you would be doing the U turn in about 16 ft. With practice an experienced rider can do it in less. Your only limiting factor is the actual turning radius of the bike, lock to lock.

It does take practice and you have to use good slow speed control & stay off the front brake while you are in the turn, otherwise you will go down. A good place to practice is an empty parking lot that has been marked off for vehicle parking. Start off keeping the bike within two parking spots and then work your way down. Keep you head up and look to where you want to go.
 

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When I was teaching MSF we used to have the students do U turns within a 6 meter or approx. 18 Ft radius. So if you never touched the pylons you would be doing the U turn in about 16 ft. With practice an experienced rider can do it in less. Your only limiting factor is the actual turning radius of the bike, lock to lock.

It does take practice and you have to use good slow speed control & stay off the front brake while you are in the turn, otherwise you will go down. A good place to practice is an empty parking lot that has been marked off for vehicle parking. Start off keeping the bike within two parking spots and then work your way down. Keep you head up and look to where you want to go.
A key factor indeed!
Most MSF classes down here use 125cc-250cc bikes. Their short wheel base coupled with their generous lock to lock distance enables them to turn tighter without much lean. I've heard many complain that they can't execute an exercise on their own bike that they could complete in their MSF class. Sport bikes are lots of fun too, a very short throw from lock to lock
 

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Motorcycle donut - YouTube

Not very tire or law enforcement friendly, but it looks like you can have any angle of turn without moving your front wheel... So basically in the same space as about twice the length of the bike...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Heh, that is me! Thanks.


And this is a video of realy tight u turns from stop.
Interesting that this rider, while stopped, points the front wheel opposite the turn to lean the bike into the turn (a la counter-steering) then moves forward a few feet before turning the bars into the turn.
Mighty slick. I wonder how long (and how many drops) it took to get that maneuver down.
 

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Interesting that this rider, while stopped, points the front wheel opposite the turn to lean the bike into the turn (a la counter-steering) then moves forward a few feet before turning the bars into the turn.
Mighty slick. I wonder how long (and how many drops) it took to get that maneuver down.
That's another effective method. I've tried it and it does require perfect timing or you end up too far out and forward. A much quicker method in competitions. It's a modified "dip" from a stop. Some teachers here have students roll forward, dip, and then execute a u turn, which is most effective for the street in urban settings as often one is turning around a median. Notice in the video that the officer looks over his shoulder to make sure all is clear before beginning the exercise.
 
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