Help: My right turns suck

Hey Lee,

So I was wondering. I’m really trying to focus on improving my skills this spring before the race season gets going again. I ride Right foot forward and as far as left turns go, I’m pretty good. I can rail ’em and hold a drift pretty well, open turns and tight turns, but when it comes to turning right, all bets are off. I feel so awkward trying to turn right on everything from open turns to hairpins, though the tighter it is the more awkward I feel. I’ve also noticed that I sort of have my weight going to the outside(left) when I do tight right handers. What can I do to feel more confident with turning right?


If you have 15 spare minutes, practice this sort of thing.

Hey Andrew,

I’ve worked one-on-one with hundreds of riders over the past five or so years, and I can say this:

Almost everyone sucks at right turns.


1) When you drop your outside pedal and set an edge to turn right, all your weight is supported by your left leg. Most of our left legs are weak, inflexible and dumb. A strong, skilled rider can generate 0 to 3 Gs of cornering force. Add the force of gravity, and you get anywhere from 1x to 4x your body weight driving through that weak leg.

2) This makes you less supported, less grounded and less confident. I think, if your leg isn’t doing the job, the rest of you will get balled up as well.

3) I think, too, that if turning right with your outside pedal feels bad, turning right with your pedals level will also feel bad. This stuff is all interrelated and, as smart as we are, we still have the circuitry of dumb animals.

Behind this sublime moment is hundreds of figure eights.


1) Admit this is an issue.

2) Go back to your cornering drills. Rock some figure eights in a parking lot. Really work those right turns. Over time, you will even out.

When I started coaching I really noticed how unbalanced I was. I do a lot of basic cornering drills — and you know what? — these days I’m pretty much Even Steven.

Braaap to the right …

— Lee

Know more. Have more fun!

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8 replies
  1. Davis says:

    I have some nasty scars and a lack of feeling in parts of my right forearm because I suck at right turns. My left arm is untouched.

  2. Marc says:

    Hey Lee,

    What spacing should I/we use to set-up the cones to get the Kung-Fu working? I’m guessing it should start bigger and as you get better tighten-up, but I need numbers… Thanks for the help.

  3. Jeff says:

    I am a very good rider, been riding bikes and motos for a looong time, but I love it when you explain stuff that I thought I knew but really didn’t–people listen to LEE!

  4. Petey says:


    My dad said to me once, if you ever get chased by a motorcycle cop make as many right turns as possible. He told me it had something to do with your heart being located more to the left side of your chest. A balance thing perhaps?


  5. leelikesbikes says:


    Or the rear brake being on the right …

    DUDE: reminds me of the time I evaded the moto cops on my VFR. diving through random streets in Palo Alto, making a gap then disappearing up Page Mill Road … those guys had no chance … super ill advised, but exciting!!!

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