Surviving Hairpin Turns – Be Prepared!


Approaching a hairpin turn can create anxiety in the inexperienced rider. Negotiating hairpins can be tricky at best, but for beginning riders, it is an experience in itself. Get some additional training in the slow-speed operation of a motorcycle, then practice, practice, practice, and practice some more. Since you are preparing yourself for riding through hairpin turns, consider wearing Motorcycle Armor Leather Jackets for max safety.


Figure 1: They are called hairpins for a reason


Traveling too fast when entering a downhill hairpin is responsible for many crashes. Gravity is a force to be reckoned with as it is pulling your bike downhill faster than you want or should be going.

Slow the bike down smoothly before the turn with a small amount of brake for stability. Slow into the downhill hairpin to keep gravity at bay, be ready to crack the throttle a little to maintain stability.

Let the slight increase in speed help you steady the drive through the curve. Do your best not to let off the throttle and keep your eyes focused on the turn’s exit. Don’t forget to check your protective armor and, if needed, get that Replacement Armor for Moto Jacket.


Figure 2: Hairpin turn gone wrong


You can be traveling a bit faster when going into the uphill hairpin, but hold a steady throttle throughout the turn. Keep it steady, too much throttle and the front wheel will “skate” causing your bike to drift too close to the outside of the turn. Steady, gradual throttle into the turn will not overload the rear tire with too much acceleration force.

Not Too Slow

It doesn’t matter whether it is an uphill or downhill hairpin; your speed is essential. When the bike speed drops below 10 mph, balance and stability are affected, you can simply fall over. At low speed, the balance can be upset by deceleration or shifting the body, including passengers.

Cornering Line

Entering a curve, especially a hairpin, try to select a cornering line that will help you negotiate the turn with the least effort. A cornering line allows you to steer into the turn with an outside-inside-outside path with the throttle finishing the corner.

This cornering line gives you a full view through the turn and enables you to get the bike into the corner early. Many a rider has gone down traveling too slow into the turn with the last minute adjustment to steering, the tire breaks traction. If you didn’t negotiate the hairpin as expected, you might be glad you were wearing Men Leather Motorcycle Pants.


Figure 3: This is how a corner line is done

Breaking and Gears

Traveling downhill on steep grades can wreak havoc on your brakes as gravity works against you to speed things up. Descending a steep downgrade is hard enough, then up comes the hairpin, and you are breaking hard to slow down, not good.

It might be best to select low gear at the top of the downgrade. Doing this will keep your bike from gaining too much speed, you will use less brake to slow down.

Expect a heavily loaded bike to gain speed when going down steep inclines, slow down by the gentle application of the rear brake. Uphill you won’t need your brakes as much, but you will need to select the right gear for the climb.

Smooth acceleration is the name of the game when entering uphill hairpins, look early, use a cornering line, and get it done safely. When your ride takes you to warmer climates, Textile Men Motorcycle Jacket might be the right choice for comfort. You can have a great Fun with Motorcycles, For Style, Power, and Protection with motorcycle leather jackets.

Last Turn

Learn the safe practices for riding through hairpin turns, making your ride something to remember. Riding on roads that have hairpin turn means you will share the road with slow-moving traffic, oncoming cars, and crazed drivers who think every highway is a race track.

Be careful and live to enjoy the ride.

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