What happens if you go too fast around a corner on a motorcycle?

The bike decks out with a footrest or fairing, frame exhaust etc hitting the road, the weight comes off the tyres and you exit the corner at a tangent through the scenery if you’re lucky, or hit something solid like an oncoming vehicle, tree etc if you’re not.

However, in most instances the rider just thinks they are going too fast, panics and either hits the front brake or tries to sit the bike up and then brake, which often leads to a fall or simply running off the road.

If riders are confident and competent, they would simply ride around the corner at a higher lean angle, or apply the rear brake and or countersteer and avoid a crash.

On a racing bike with more ground clearance when leant, you can bank the bike until the tyre grip runs out – at around 60 degrees of lean.

Cannondale Monterra Neo 4 EMTB review (Ideal for keeping fit in the off season)

Arrived complete in perfect condition. Good midrange emtb and great value at the heavily discounted price. I think it is overpriced at full price by at least £500, but at a £1650 discount is great value. The orange colour thankfully refers to a couple of small flashes as the pictures showed, which was a relief.

Assembly and Setup

It does take some knowledge to complete the assembly, so if you’re not mechanically minded, go and collect built and setup from the shop, or get your local shop to build it for you.

First Impressions

It rides very smoothly, it’s relatively powerful, and the suspension works well after setup for rider’s weight. Very stable. Steering feels heavy at first with 29 inch front wheel, but is easy to get used to.

Gear change and switchgear is faultless.


The brakes are probably better overall, but not as sharp as the smaller two pot caliper Shimano brakes on my old bike.


It would be better if the web links for the manuals needed for the bike were included in the packaging, rather than having to trawl the web to find them, which is a Cannondale issue. You need the Shimano info to set up the bluetooth link for the Edrive. Finding the correct model is a faff as the instructions vary by type. It’s actually very simple when you know how. Techies will no doubt love fiddling with the settings.

Power settings

I think the fixed 5 power settings of my old bike is better for me and most riders. No faffing needed – but technology marches on. The standard assistance profiles make it hard work in ‘Trail’ mode for me, but give a huge 80 mile range, but easy to tweek once you know how.


Range is good even with the Trail setting tweeked up a couple of notches – probably over 40 miles over mixed terrain with good assistance. I’m sure I will be able to get it just right.


Saddle however is a crippler so I’ve had to change it. Might suit others better with more meat. Otherwise quite plush


Just hope it’s more waterproof than my old bike which died suddenly and terminally when I washed it. I’ll be even more careful with this one, but it remains a concern for all ebikes I think. This one looks far better sealed by design.

How far will a motorcycle get on reserve?

It obviously varies by bike and how you ride it.

I would not rely on getting further than 20 miles maximum.

Firstly the advice, if you haven’t got a fuel gauge, is to reset your odometer everytime you fill up with fuel.

When the bike goes onto reserve, note the mileage for future reference.

When you fill up you can then work out your fuel consumption, and from the capacity of the tank you can calculate how for you are likely to get on a full tank and reserve.

It can be extremely dangerous suddenly running out of fuel.

If your bike has a reserve tap rather than a light, it can also be very difficult to switch on the move.

Motorcycle braking in the wet

The video below shows how much grip there is available if you just apply your front brake smoothly and steadily as you slow – back wheel comes off the ground.

You gently apply both brakes initially, but you need to release the back brake as the weight transfers forward to avoid locking the rear wheel, whilst steadily increasing the pressure on the front brake lever.

Can you brake and turn a motorcycle at the same time?

Yes, but it requires a degree of skill to prevent locking a wheel and falling.

At low speed when manoeuvring you use the rear brake to control the speed with the engine set at a fast turnover and slipping the clutch.

At speed, the safest option is also to use the rear brake whilst cornering if you need to slow, but this should be avoided if possible by slowing before the corner and using the ‘limit point’ — the furthest ate a of tarmac you can see — to judge the entry speed.

You can use the front brake mid corner, but this is risky and requires a very gentle initial pressure whilst the weight transfers forward onto the front tyre Increasing the level of grip.

Racers ‘trail brake’ into corners using mainly the front brake, which maintains the weight on the front tyre, gradually releasing the pressure as the lean angle increases. This is very risky on the road, leaving no safety margin.

Some modern motorcycles have ‘leaning’ ABS which is designed to stop wheels locking and skidding whilst cornering, but this may not prevent a fall when braking at extreme lean angles.

Can you legally ride your motorcycle between two rows of stopped or slow-moving traffic, if there is no shoulder available?

It’s known as ‘lane splitting’ and is illegal in some US states and in some other countries, so check before you ride there. It’s legal in the UK and known as ‘filtering’.

However it is illegal to use the hard shoulder on a dual carriageway or motorway. It is recognised as hazardous, and you should only filter in slow moving or stationary traffic at no more than 10 mph.

Filtering also means overtaking a single line of slow moving or stationary traffic, and is also hazardous and also needs to be done with great care.

You need to be aware that some drivers can react aggressively and try and block your progress, and most will not be aware of you until you are past.

Motorcycling – general advice for ‘born again’ riders.

If you’ve driven but not ridden for many years, you should have the hazard awareness, but the main difference on a bike is that you can be invisible to others, as they are not looking out for bikes.

If so the skills you most probably need are primarily in cornering, braking and throttle control.

‘Positioning‘ is also an issue for riders, with the default position near the crown of the road, so you can see and be seen, when it is safe to do so.

Particularly if you don’t have a bike fitted with ABS, you need to practise high speed braking. Find a clear streach of road and take care.

Squeeze the front brake lever gently at first, then as the front dips and bottoms out you can squeeze as hard as you like, as most of the weight will be on the front tyre. There is little danger of going over the handlebars as you would do on a bicycle, which stops many cycle riders braking properly or a motorbike. The main risk is locking the front wheel on non-ABS bikes.

You can initially press down hard on the rear brake, but you need to gradually release it to avoid locking the wheel as you slow, but it’s the front brake which is far more effective. It is critical to scrub off speed as quickly as possible.

You’ll probably survive a 30 mph impact, but not one at 40 mph, which is why head on crashes are usually fatal for all – the impact is the sum of the combined speeds.

Use the limit point, which is the furthest piece of continuous tarmac you can see, to judge entry speeds.

If you find yourself too hot into a corner, the trick is simply to look where you want to go, around the corner, pushing on the inside bar, which you will do naturally to lean the bike further, but can deliberately push on it if you need to. You can practise this positive ‘countersteering’ with care.

You can also use the rear brake, not the front brake mid corner if you need to, with care. Make sure your foot is hovering over the rear brake as you corner, and your not on the ball of your foot on the footrest.

You can lean a modern bike on any reasonable road surface until something scrapes – just need to be smooth and avoid panicking.

Particularly if you have a large capacity early sports bike without traction control, you need to use the throttle smoothly. Keep your foot over the rear brake if accelerating hard and press it if the front wheel comes off the ground.

Highsides are a real danger if accelerating hard whilst banked, which can result in serious injuries, again apply the throttle gently and smoothly as the revs rise, then if you do lose traction you’ll have a chance of shutting off and saving it.

If you have traction control, don’t rely on it saving you from a mid corner fall if you’re too ambitious with the throttle. From experience it may well prevent a high side, but you can still lowside and slide off.

Above all pay full attention at all times, and assume that you’re invisible.

Counter-steering a motorcycle.

Counter-steering appears to be an issue with many of our riders.

We all counter-steer a motorcycle at speeds above 5-10 mph, as at higher speeds the bike goes in the opposite direction when you turn the bars, due to the centrifugal effect of the front wheel known as precession. The bike leans the opposite way to which you turn the bars as the front wheel acts as a gyroscope trying to steer itself back upright.

So you turn the bars to the right and the bike falls to the left and visa versa. You find this out when you learn to ride a push bike but it’s not obvious – it works without most riders realising.

Positive counter-steering, that is steering away from the corner apex, forces the bike to lean further, and allows you to tighten the radius of the turn. You push on the inside bar, or pull the outside bar, and then let the steering centralise with the bike now banked at a steeper angle and turning at a tighter radius. Racers do this all the time, often while trail braking into a corner, which requires some physical strength, but is also a useful tool if you need to tighten the turn on the road to avoid a hazard, or because you’ve misjudged your entry speed.

You can feel the effect if you push gently on one side or other of the bars when travelling straight, and feel for what is happening.

The best advice, if you do enter a corner at too high a speed, is simply to look where you want to go, not where you don’t, and you will probably counter-steer without thinking.

Motorcycle Riding – Beyond Advanced

Advanced training is mostly based on Police Motorcycle Roadcraft and Police Class 1 riding standards.

Roadcraft doesn’t cover in any detail modern advances in motorcycle design and dynamics, which present new problems and opportunities.

Cornering in particular is somewhat over simplified, no particular ‘lines’ are suggested (since the 1970’s version of Roadcraft) apart from riding around the outside of corners to get a better view ahead. The problem with this, is it puts you close to the scenery or oncoming traffic all the way around the corner.

There are techniques that are routinely used in road racing that can be employed in an emergency, particularly trail braking using the front brake into corners, when you misjudge your entry speed, or encounter a hazard before you enter.

Learning how to change body position to increase ground clearance when leant, can be vital on many bikes, and can be the difference to making it around a corner – or not.

Modern tyres have unbelievable levels of grip to most riders, who often lack the experience and confidence to lean a bike anywhere near as far as they safely could, again making them vulnerable if they need in an emergency to turn at a faster rate.

It is also important to be always in the correct gear, and not rely on ‘block shifting’ as you come to a halt. You can do this by employing a slipper clutch if you have one fitted, or blipping the throttle to match the engine speed to the lower gear on downshifts.

It helps if you are professionally coached in these techniques and others, and given an opportunity to practise in a safer environment than the road, if you are to be as safe as you can be.