Riding Tip: Penalty for Slow Steering Your Motorcycle

October 29, 2020 Tags: , ,


Ever have that pucker moment when you realize you are heading on an undesirable trajectory in your corner?  The outside of the curve is arriving sooner than you would like and the bike may end up off the road.  You’re not alone.  The challenge for us as riders is to understand the causes for why we run wide in a curve.  With roughly one-third of motorcycle rider fatalities occurring in curves, it is necessary for us to attempt this important introspective measure.

Upon reviewing crash reports in curves, we discover a major reason why riders run wide in curves:  slow steering.  It is a flaw in our riding that affects all riders from newbie to veteran, from competitive racer to novice track day rider.  It is incumbent upon us to understand the consequences for slow steering and why it occurs.


Slow steering refers to how quickly you steer your motorcycle from a neutral, upright position to the required lean angle to successfully navigate your corner which includes hitting your apex.  When it comes to high speed cornering mixed with slow steering, we could pay the ultimate price.  Slow steering causes us to spend excessive amounts of time at lean which adds risk to our riding.  Slow steering also increases the opportunity to miss our apex, sending us wide and possibly off the road or into another lane.  Slow steering prevents us from getting to the throttle sooner which could mean we are unnecessarily reducing ground clearance at a point in the corner when we need it most.


The reasons for slow steering are myriad.  We will begin with the top reasons we see most often on the range and at the race track when we are performing track clinics.

  1. General lack of confidence with aggressively and precisely manipulating the handlebars
  2. Lack of visual certainty
  3. Fear in general; fear of losing traction resulting in a crash
  4. Overall poor cornering technique including improper body positioning



Lucky for us riders, fixing the issue of slow steering is as easy as registering for the next Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic.  In this course we discuss not only the causes of slow steering, but we will offer you the solutions to slow steering your motorcycle so that you can fix this issue on the fly.  We will perform several exercises to help you gain the confidence to quickly steer your motorcycle to the apex for any corner you may face on the roadway.  Our experienced, professionally trained instructors will observe you in these exercises and will provide immediate feedback to help you overcome the challenges you face with slow steering.  Our commitment to you is that you will, in a short period of time, see specific and measurable improvements in your riding during and after this course.

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Bill Seltzer Yamaha FJ-09Bill Seltzer has been a Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach since 2003 and a Total Control Advanced Riding Instructor since 2011.  He currently serves as the Marketing Director for TEAM Arizona and is a member of the Arizona Strategic Highway Safety Planning committee.  Have questions or comments about the article?  Email him: Bill@MotorcycleTraining.com

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