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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them

Reader Question: I’m Afraid of Dropping My Motorcycle in a Turn

Help this rider with tips for making u-turns and tight turns on a Harley


afraid of dropping bike from a stop
I was not only one of the top three riders to pass the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic RiderCourse (BRC) in my class, I was the only female. I scored higher than my husband who took the course with me. For my first bike, I bought a Harley-Davidsons Street 750 and gained confidence greatly. However, it went downhill quickly.

About six months ago I bought a Harley-Davidson Street Bob (107 cubic inches)—very different from the Street 750. I still had the confidence of riding and having a great time with my fancy new bike. Then I realized I needed to work on my turns: U-turns, right turns, and tight right turns from a stop. I’ve watched YouTube videos with male instructors and have been practicing in a parking lot with my husband. Married women know what I'm getting at. His instruction is, “Just practice … you gotta ‘just do it’.”

dropping motorcycle in a turn
I can't practice when I don't know what to do. I'm not sure what exactly my problem is. I have tried a right turn from a stop angling the bike, starting off with the bars turned, with the bike several feet behind the stop, and duck-walking first. I know the techniques on how to turn, so that's why I think it may be the bike that I'm afraid of.

Can anyone give me some words of wisdom to help me get over the fear of dropping this heavy bike while turning? And what are some of the ways I can try differently? I know sometimes the “proper” technique doesn't work for some of us, so I'm open to suggestions that work for you.

Thank you!

Lori Vaile,
Bossier City, Louisiana

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