Riding Tip: Why Swerving Matters To You
TEAM ARIZONA RIDING TIP | Why Swerving Matters To You When It Comes To Avoiding a Motorcycle Crash
This month TEAM Arizona RiderCoach Jill Blass tells us how swerving, especially above 18mph, may be the best hazard avoidance technique we can have in our toolbox as motorcycle riders.
Host: Jill Blass, MSF RiderCoach
Guest Host: Bill Seltzer, MSF RiderCoach; Total Control Instructor
Demo Riders: Matt Ginn, Ryan Jones
Avoiding hazards on the roadway is a challenge for us riders. When that tire carcass is splayed across the roadway or that driver stops suddenly, what will you do?
Various forms of research show many riders will do NOTHING! Some riders will under utilize their front brake while other riders will over apply their rear brake. Why aren’t they swerving?
In this video we’ll explore what a swerve is and why it matters to you.
First, we should define a swerve. It is two consecutive countersteers of the motorcycle. The first countersteer is to avoid the hazard, the second countersteer is to straighten the motorcycle and get us back on our path. RiderCoach Bill is going to show us an example.
Watch as the rider first presses on the handgrip to initiate the motorcycle to lean, thus directing the bike away from the hazard. Next, the motorcyclist presses on the opposite handgrip to straighten up the motorcycle and return the motorcycle to its original path of travel.
As you saw in the example, the rider was easily able to avoid the hazard. Research shows, that above 18mph, swerving may be the most effective way to avoid a hazard.
In one test published by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), at 35mph a rider who understands the swerve technique can avoid the hazard in HALF THE DISTANCE it would take to avoid the hazard. But that is just one of the major benefits, what’s another one Bill?
If we stop in the roadway, then we become the hazard. By swerving, we can efficiently and effectively remove ourselves from the hazard equation.
Those are two fantastic reasons why we work on swerving not only in our Basic RiderCourse, but our Confident RiderCourse and Advanced Riding Techniques course too.
So when was the last time you practiced swerving? Why not come out and get your swerve on with us here at TEAM Arizona?
Ride safe everyone!
Bill 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