Cornering With Your Cruiser

Motorcycles are the ultimate expression of independence wrapped up in a compact, powerful frame—and no motorcycles are more iconic than cruisers. But these machines aren’t always easy to control, and cornering can be particularly challenging if you’re not sure where to start. We here at Big Moose Harley Davidson® want to help keep your ride as safe as it is exciting, so we’ve put together a few tips for cornering with your cruiser, below. To learn more, or to see the cruisers we have for sale, contact our store in Portland, Maine, today!

3What’s Different About Cruisers

Cornering with a motorcycle is challenging normally, but cruisers can be even harder to control through the turn. That’s due to a couple of factors related to unique features on these bikes. First, cruisers are often heavier and bulkier than many other models, which can make it harder to lean in any particular direction.

Second, cruisers are lower to the ground and certain parts are placed lower on the chassis and can hit the ground if you’re not careful. Taking a turn improperly can cause foot pegs, the exhaust, and the side stand to hit the ground beneath you. That can cause your tires to slide out, leading to serious injury or worse for you and those around you.

Cornering Strategies

Brake Carefully

You typically want your cruiser’s suspension to be as high as possible when taking a turn, but engaging the brakes lowers the bike and the suspension with it. Try to be finished breaking by the time you start into the corner in order to keep the suspension higher, which will make cornering easier and safer.

Slight Acceleration

In fact, when you’re starting or even midway through the turn, accelerating your motorcycle can be helpful. That causes the front suspension to actively lift upwards slightly, which further improves the turn.

Shift Your Weight

This may sound obvious, but it’s worth repeating: when cornering, shift your weight inwards on the turn to help tilt the bike and shift your center of gravity. Just make sure you’re sitting up straight before you start the lean.

Larger Arc

The wider the turn, the less angle you need. With how low a cruiser motorcycle is built to ride, that makes a difference. A larger arc also means better visibility and control, so focus on getting the largest arc you can without drifting out of your lane.

Listen Carefully

While turning, keep an ear out for any scraping sounds. That’s an early warning that you’re hitting your maximum lean and shouldn’t try to sharpen the angle any more. Adjust to avoid scraping your pegs or exhaust further.

We hope these tips help you corner more smoothly and safely! For more information, or to see the cruiser motorcycles we have available, contact us at Seaside Harley-Davidson. We proudly serve the people of Manchester and Portsmouth, Maine—let us serve you today!