Top rid­ing tips

‘Don’t have a boo-hoo mo­ment’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - NEWS - Mark Ed­wards Re­tired po­lice mo­tor­cy­clist, now an in­struc­tor for Rapid Train­ing

Don’t rush into any­thing

On the face of it ne­go­ti­at­ing a round­about seems like pretty ba­sic stuff – es­pe­cially if you have been driv­ing cars for years be­fore start­ing out on bikes. But some rid­ers make a much bet­ter fist of it than oth­ers. Your ap­proach speed will de­pend on the amount of view avail­able: for ex­am­ple, the view could be ob­scured by trees and shrubs planted in the cen­tre of the round­about. Build in enough time to as­sess the round­about prop­erly and also al­low other traf­fic time to see you and un­der­stand your in­ten­tions.

What are the other driv­ers up to?

If you charge into a round­about in­tent on get­ting your knee down don’t have a ‘boo hoo’ mo­ment when some­one pulls out in front of you. Be very care­ful about go­ing in be­tween lines of ve­hi­cles on the round­about ap­proach – driv­ers will be look­ing out for them­selves and may well not be aware of your pres­ence. If they are un­sure of which exit they need, driv­ers of­ten change lane with­out warn­ing.

Just like a corner: in slow, out fast

En­ter the round­about at a moder­ate pace, iden­tify your exit and then stand the bike up and fire it out with your head and eyes up. Re­mem­ber, an empty round­about is just an S bend so take the short­est line through, this keeps lean an­gles to a min­i­mum and you can get back on the gas quickly and safely. Re­mem­ber to check your mir­rors or look over your shoul­der be­fore chang­ing lanes on the round­about.

Over­take on the way out

Round­about ex­its are a great place to look for overtakes as traf­fic speeds are low and the cur­va­ture of the road can open up views ahead – giv­ing you a chance to make use­ful progress.

Don’t get caught out

Road sur­faces on round­abouts should al­ways be treated with cau­tion and big lean an­gles are a recipe for an em­bar­rass­ing disaster. Watch out for gravel around the edges of the en­try and exit points. Diesel spills are an­other round­about haz­ard, es­pe­cially in the wet. Con­cen­trate on get­ting in safely and save your speed for a sharp exit.

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