TEAM Arizona Motorcycle Riding Tip: Low Speed Sport Bike Control

August 8, 2018 Tags: , ,


Hey gang, Bill from TEAM Arizona back again. Huge thanks to all those viewers who watched our four part series on low speed maneuvering. We received several requests asking us to demonstrate low speed turns on a sport bike.

In this video, RiderCoach Jill will show you how to whip that sport bike in and around tight spaces. Shout out to Eladio Garcia. He asked us to demonstrate low speed turns on a sport bike and we’re happy to accommodate. If you have any video requests or comments, please place them in the comment section below.

Let’s get started. RiderCoach Jill is at our Gilbert, Arizona, Training Headquarters where she will be riding one of our training sport bikes. Now Jill has never ridden this particular training bike, so she will take some time to secure that clutch-throttle-rear brake relationship in a straight line. Eventually, she practices those very same elements while turning the handlebars in a weave.

Compared to other types of bikes, sport bikes differ due to their steering range of motion, so it is important to test those limits while steering the handlebars in a weave. While the steering range of motion for sport bikes is typically less compared to other types of bikes, that fact shouldn’t prevent us from operating a sport bike competently at low speeds. The core fundamentals on slow tight turns is the same for all bikes.

And don’t forget, when you’re practicing these techniques, take some rests so your bike can cool down to prevent your clutch from overheating.

Once Jill finishes her rest, she switches to practicing the counterweighting technique. As we showed in previous videos, leaning the bike is necessary to scribe a smaller arc. To counteract the bike from falling inward, Jill moves her weight to the outside of the turn. She practices going in a circle, adjusting her counterweight, as she makes progressively tighter circles.

Once comfortable with her body positioning while counterweighting, Jill moves to practice tear dropping. Tear dropping is an effective way to destabilize the motorcycle to turn it efficiently. As you can see, Jill is easily making 20′ u-turns after just a brief familiarization period with the motorcycle.

Of course, all that practice is about translating those skills into real world success. Watch as Jill proficiently completes a u-turn on her CBR and then easily snakes her way through a parking lot thanks to practicing these valuable techniques.

Thanks again for watching. If you liked the video, give it a thumbs up. If you want to see more, hit that subscribe button and check out our other videos. Be safe and have fun out there everyone!

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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:


  1. Eric S Robbins 2 years Reply

    I seem to be struggling with my u-turns with my Electra Glide, compare to my Road King. I know there’s a weight difference, but, any advice?

    • Eric, beyond our videos, it is impossible for us to provide any coaching input on techniques without training with you. The key to rider training is that an experienced professional with a trained eye can assess your riding on a real-time basis to see exactly what is happening and what needs to be fixed or enhanced. Hope that makes sense.

      If you have taken a course with us before, we’d recommend doing a two-hour private training session. If not, we’d recommend taking the Confident RiderCourse.