Not all riders know how much time or
distance it takes to bring a motorcycle to
a complete stop. As a result, they may
make errors in judgment that can lead to
a collision. Three factors that determine
the time and distance required to stop are
perception, reaction, and braking.
The riderís visual skills, level of attention,
decision making abilities, degree of fatigue,
and use of alcohol or other drugs will affect
perception, reaction and braking.
Perception time is how long it takes
you to recognize a situation and understand
the need to stop. This can take about threequarters
of a second. Less experienced
riders are often slower to recognize a
danger. Perception distance is how far a
motorcycle travels during this time.
Reaction (response) time is how long
it takes to move your foot or hand over the
brake once the need to brake is realized.
The average reaction time is three-quarters
of a second. Reaction distance is how
far a motorcycle travels during this time.
Braking time is how long it takes the
motorcycle to stop after the brakes are
applied. The distance travelled in this
time is called the braking distance. The
actual braking distance will depend on the
speed, weight of the motorcycle, traction
of the tires on the road surface, the
quality of the brakes, road and weather
conditions, and rider skill.
Stopping distance is the total of
perception distance, reaction distance and
Remember, when you increase your
speed, you increase how long it takes
you to stop and how far your motorcycle
travels before stopping.
Turns and corners
There are different methods for steering a
motorcycle when turning a corner (from
one street onto another street), and for
traveling around a curve.
Practice turning in a safe and trafficfree
area before riding in traffic. Approach
a turn at a slow speed (less than 20 to 25
kilometres per hour). Shift to the proper gear
before the turn. Use first or second gear.
Control your speed when turning. Turn
and steer the front wheel and look in the
direction you want to go. This requires
good visual skills and balance, as well as
coordination between the clutch lever,
throttle and rear brake. Use a light but
firm grip on the hand grips for all turns.
To travel around a curve (at speeds greater
than 20 to 25 kilometres per hour), you will
need to master the skill of push-steering.
(Push-steering is also known as counter-
steering.) Push-steering is pushing on
one hand grip to cause the motorcycle to
lean. Push on the left hand grip to lean the
motorcycle to the left to travel to the left.
Push on the right hand grip to lean the
motorcycle to the right to travel to the right.
When travelling around a curve, you
and the motorcycle must lean toward
the inside of the curve. When you pushsteer,
increasing the amount of push on
the hand grip will increase the amount