The Dreaded Fear of Round Abouts - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    Yep,, exactly what the title says.

    Turning right at round-abouts (remember I'm in Australia so I have to exit at the third exit) is getting scarier. Left turns are no problem at all, neither if going straight on. The tighter the round-about, the scarier. I tend to run wide and mainly ride too slow thinking the bike is going to tip in. It's all physiological I know but I'm avoiding round-abouts at all costs.
    padaek - A putrid and fetid smelling fermented fish sauce from Laos. 

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  4. #2
    Cascade Locks, Oregon, US Roadpizza is offline Volunteer Moderator - Global
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    It appears you have company. https://vermeiretim.com/2011/06/21/r...the-sociology/

    Myself I am glad that the roundabout is finally catching on here in the states. Washington, State seems to have embraced them in recent years. I see them as a great improvement to the stop and go stop lights with lines of cars waiting to go. Also, i it slows the traffic enough to go through the roundabout and keeps the wankers that love to speed through traffic at bay.

    There appears to be no medical term for fear of roundabouts but, given the ever growing use of them here, there should be one soon.
    http://www.thefcconnection.com/pictu...the_week22.htm
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  6. #3
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    Round-a-bouts in So Cal are sucky. They put stop signs at all four entries. Americans do not know that the heck to do with them.
    I've seen scenes of some where dorks plow straight though them and send debris all over the place. Can't blame any one of being wary of them.

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  8. #4
    Melbourne, Australia IanA is offline F800Riders.org Supporter
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    Is this to do with the eyesight injury you had a while back, Yogi?

  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanA View Post
    Is this to do with the eyesight injury you had a while back, Yogi?
    Possibly Ian. There could be a few factors causing this problem. One is I don't ride the F800R enough. I ride my little Super Cub nearly every day. When I get back on the Beemer it's as if I have to relearn to ride it. I have to make some obvious adjustments. Even when on the Super Cub I sometimes tense up as I turn right at a round-about. If I consciously relax or make myself relax just before entering, I get around much easier and tighter.

    Also, I've always relied on counter steering. I even counter steer when riding the little Cub (and naturally the Beemer). This comes from many kilometres on Moto Guzzis with long wheel base and slow steering. Counter steering comes natural to me. I can't bring myself to counter steer around a round-about on the F800R but can on the Cub.

    I'm also prone to target fixation. It's become worse since I've had impaired vision in my left eye. When on the Beemer I somehow always look just before the exit point on the round-about. This causes me to run wide. I need to train myself to look beyond the exit point.
    padaek - A putrid and fetid smelling fermented fish sauce from Laos. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadpizza View Post
    I see them as a great improvement to the stop and go stop lights with lines of cars waiting to go..
    Just wait until the road planners add traffic lights to your roundabouts - because they will !?
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  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by padaek View Post
    Yep,, exactly what the title says.

    Turning right at round-abouts (remember I'm in Australia so I have to exit at the third exit) is getting scarier. Left turns are no problem at all, neither if going straight on. The tighter the round-about, the scarier. I tend to run wide and mainly ride too slow thinking the bike is going to tip in. It's all physiological I know but I'm avoiding round-abouts at all costs.
    Best avoid the "Magic" Roundabout in Swindon if you ever go there. It's a series of mini roundabout arranged as, a roundabout :-

    https://youtu.be/s3Vd7dr33o8



    Not as bad to actually negotiate as you'd might think but sweaty palm time for some.




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  14. #8
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    Excellent piece of work there in Swindon, I have no wish to start a game of top trumps but wish to play my card.
    Churchbridge, Cannock, Staffordshire, U.K. junction of A5 / A34/ M6toll and another road whose name I forget. This work of genius although not very old 3 attempts have been made to get it right.
    Locals suspect it was designed by the car body repair shop less then a mile away, constant collisions or near miss, blaring horns and occasional road rage incidents, best avoided.

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    I haven't seen any roundabouts locally, but I did run across a few in the town of Merced that drove me crazy. They had something like 5 intersecting streets and I was unable to read the street signs as I passed by each street intersection as the signs were facing parallel to the street and not facing the direction of travel within the circle. So I just went round and round while trying to guess which street to enter.

    Locally, we do have some raised planters located in the middle of residential intersections but they are designed to slow down traffic and not to facilitate travel.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

  16. #10
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    Generally I hate roundabouts. Many enter to fast giving only the merest glance to see if they should yield to traffic. Been hit once and had countless near misses in roundabouts as traffic approaches then casually glances at the traffic that has priority doesn't see the guy on two wheels and proceeds to accelerate over the give way line.
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  17. #11
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    Surprise! Round-abouts are even out here in "fly-over" land. More and more intersections in Kansas are either round-abouts or diverging diamonds. Both can be troublesome, but only because they are new and most drivers are unfamiliar. I, personally, learned to drive them while living in Europe 40 years ago. I have come to love them, but there is still some extra alertness on my part because drivers around me are not comfortable with those traffic controls. Until current drivers have all given up driving due to age and infirmity, this "problem" will exist. I view it like I view cell-phone distraction behind the wheel: it is terrible right now, but we (at least most of us) will survive these times and my grandkids will have new things to worry about.

    Good luck to all of you.
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  18. #12
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    We've had one roundabout in my town for 8 years and I'm hopeful that one day everyone will learn how to use it.
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  20. #13
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    Hello Friends. I fully understand the feelings expressed by Padaek. I think, as he suggests, part of the problem is being relaxed when entering the roundabout and trusting the bike. But I also think it is something to do with what line you take. Whether the roundabout has one or two lanes, I always take to the left of my lane (this is the UK), so leaving room to move towards the centre of the roundabout as your turn. Also, where possible, I don't stop or approach the roundabout at 90 degrees but so a slight move to the left on reaching the roundabout, so my steering is a little less sharp as I enter the roundabout. Not sure if you can make sense of that or if it is any help. Rob.

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  22. #14
    308bever's Avatar
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    one laned suburban round abouts suck in Vic too, they are tight, you are going around a reverse camber turn, while looking out for idiots that don`t give way, plus there`s arrow signage on the edge of the circle, i`ve accidently rubbed pegs on the ground on the [email protected]@dy things. arrrrr it keeps you awake i guess (((-;

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  24. #15
    Cascade Locks, Oregon, US Roadpizza is offline Volunteer Moderator - Global
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    The roundabouts here are either one lane and two lane at the most. There is plenty of marking as to what you are to do and the speed is 20 mph in the roundabout. They seem to be working and excepted by the people around here as they are a great improvement to the over stop signs , traffic lights and the yield signs in places that had some pretty weird entrance lanes onto the main road. Many of the roads here were designed for logging trucks rather than car or motorcycles. I do understand the confusion of multi-lane roundabouts that require changing lanes to get to the other side to get to the exit. Like those I saw in the UK. And to add to it, they drive on whats is left of the road.
    Last edited by Roadpizza; 02-25-20 at 06:39 PM.
    http://www.thefcconnection.com/pictu...the_week22.htm
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  25. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobA View Post
    Hello Friends. I fully understand the feelings expressed by Padaek. I think, as he suggests, part of the problem is being relaxed when entering the roundabout and trusting the bike. But I also think it is something to do with what line you take. Whether the roundabout has one or two lanes, I always take to the left of my lane (this is the UK), so leaving room to move towards the centre of the roundabout as your turn. Also, where possible, I don't stop or approach the roundabout at 90 degrees but so a slight move to the left on reaching the roundabout, so my steering is a little less sharp as I enter the roundabout. Not sure if you can make sense of that or if it is any help. Rob.
    Make perfect sense, Rob. Going through a round-about the idea is to straighten it out. Not always possible if the round-about has lanes. I tend to approach the round-about as far left as possible and then tip the bike in. My head tells me to pick the bike up which causes me to run wide. The camber of the round-about probably has a bit to do with this.

    In general riding, I always set up right hand bends more carefully than left hand bends. I'm faster around left handers than right handers.
    Last edited by padaek; 02-26-20 at 02:38 AM.
    padaek - A putrid and fetid smelling fermented fish sauce from Laos. 

  26. #17
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    I love roundabouts! Thankfully they are finally showing up in the upper Midwest. In the past 5 years, 4 have been added in the 4 miles between my house and the freeway. They have saved me an average of 2-3 minutes on that stretch in moderate traffic because I no longer have to stop at all the stop lights or 4 way stop signs.

    Plus it gives me a very brief opportunity to use the sides of my tire tread up here where all the roads are straight . My only concern (other then the old people who stop at the yield signs, or even while they are already in the roundabout) is the huge painted arrows in the middle of the lanes. They are slippery, especially when wet!

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  28. #18
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    Need to be on your toes if your riding a bike in our area, Vancouver, where they, "round abouts" are relatively new and quite basic mostly one lane-ers,. They are efficient but lots of bad drivers don't take the time to understand the simplicity,,. With the bike you need to be cognisant but also fairly aggressive and always know where your point of retreat is,,.

    That Swindon thing is unbelievable!!!

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  30. #19
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    A lot of this has to do with most riders feeling more comfortable on left handers than right hander. Most riders can perform a left hand U turn easier than a right hand one. Here is a tip for the OP and others; enter the roundabout as far left as is legal and safe, alternate vision between your exit point and the incoming traffic, as you pass the incoming traffic then look at exit point and apply a bit of throttle. If you feel the bike is falling over then use counterbalance i.e. lean in the opposite direction. I remember you Yogi on the super cub at the Distinguished Gentlemen's ride, I was riding a Vincent.

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  32. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albervin View Post
    A lot of this has to do with most riders feeling more comfortable on left handers than right hander. Most riders can perform a left hand U turn easier than a right hand one. Here is a tip for the OP and others; enter the roundabout as far left as is legal and safe, alternate vision between your exit point and the incoming traffic, as you pass the incoming traffic then look at exit point and apply a bit of throttle. If you feel the bike is falling over then use counterbalance i.e. lean in the opposite direction. I remember you Yogi on the super cub at the Distinguished Gentlemen's ride, I was riding a Vincent.
    G'day Alyn..
    padaek - A putrid and fetid smelling fermented fish sauce from Laos. 

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    I live in Utah, where there are roundabouts everywhere. It's unbelievable; they're actually digging up intersections and building more roundabouts at an alarming rate. While I don't fear exiting the roundabout (on my right), I do not like entering them at all. It seems I'm always going a bit fast, and have to grab a handful of brake. But your caution should serve you well. Don't let anyone ever talk you out of being cautious...

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  35. #22
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    We have a major traffic circle near my home. One police officer I met said they call it the Circle of Death because of the number of accidents.

    When my son started driving and taking my wife's car to his job at at the grocery store, he was apprehensive about the circle. So for the first few days I followed him and we had a set of walkie talkies. I told him don't worry about talking to me just listen, keep your eyes on the road and drive. I coached him on shifting lanes and possible hazards. We still laugh about that today.
    Last edited by TheMeteor; 02-29-20 at 07:01 AM.
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  36. #23
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    A roundabout was installed on my commute route about 25 years ago and locals still have trouble. Is a 2-lane design providing immediate safe lane for those making the first right exit. The outer lane is supposed to end at each of the 4 intersection roads. City was finally forced to install collapsible barricades to get the point across. Three of the 4 intersecting roads are 2 lane.
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  37. #24
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    We lived in Vientiane Laos 2007-2015. During that time quite a few round abouts were built to supposedly reduce traffic congestion. As the country developed, people had more money and bought cars. The Toyota Hi Lux (called a Toyota Vigo there) truck rules there. The number of cars are becoming greater than the humble motor scooter.

    No instructions were given on how to use round abouts. Round abouts are a total cluster f**k in Vientiane. Everyday you would see people doing the most stupid things in round abouts. Giving way to other drivers while they were already in a round about was a huge problem. I once saw a guy stop in the middle of a round about to let his family out. Total madness.

    Round abouts cause more congestion than any other road infrastructure.
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  38. #25
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    I actually came to like roundabouts in England when I was stationed there. It became a fun challenge to gauge my speed to enter smoothly. And when my wife and I were trying to find which exit to take, we would go round and round and round and round till we were sure of where to go.

    Here in the colonies, people still aren't used to them. I watched the other day as a driver was waiting for the entire roundabout to clear before entering. I finally gave a light tap on the horn and they moved on. It'll get better. A four-way stop isn't nearly as efficient, and when you have a five-way stop like there used to be in one location, it was really a mess.

    Now in places like McCall, Idaho, roundabouts would be really beneficial. There are two traffic lights in the entire town. When two cars come up to a four-way stop, there's a traffic jam because no one knows who should go first. I really want to move there, but my wife's response is, "Just send money."

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    I've never had a problem with roundabouts, maybe it's because the UK is littered with them.

    Here's an example of a large roundabout with 6-mini roundabouts. It's in a place called Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire north of London - google it!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	hemel.JPG 
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ID:	357545
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  41. #27
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    If you're interested in a twisty turn filled afternoon ride, just get into that roundabout and explore all the possibilities.

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  43. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxytotl View Post
    I've never had a problem with roundabouts, maybe it's because the UK is littered with them.

    Here's an example of a large roundabout with 6-mini roundabouts. It's in a place called Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire north of London - google it!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	hemel.JPG 
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ID:	357545
    Bloody hell!!

    The problem here with many round abouts is you veer left before entering, then veer right to go on.
    padaek - A putrid and fetid smelling fermented fish sauce from Laos. 

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  45. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by N4HHE View Post
    … City was finally forced to install collapsible barricades to get the point across. Three of the 4 intersecting roads are 2 lane.
    "Collapsible barricades?" I would like to see a photo of that if you can get one on this thread. Thanks.
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  46. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by padaek View Post
    Yep,, exactly what the title says.

    Turning right at round-abouts (remember I'm in Australia so I have to exit at the third exit) is getting scarier. Left turns are no problem at all, neither if going straight on. The tighter the round-about, the scarier. I tend to run wide and mainly ride too slow thinking the bike is going to tip in. It's all physiological I know but I'm avoiding round-abouts at all costs.
    I was the same for a while padaek but you get used to it. I quite like them now. Find one on a deserted street and just keep riding round it for 20 minutes til you nail it. (I'm an aussie too)

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  48. #31
    Toto's Avatar
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    I've heard counter-steering doesn't work under 20km. That could be the problem if you're doing 80 through them.

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  50. #32
    padaek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toto View Post
    I was the same for a while padaek but you get used to it. I quite like them now. Find one on a deserted street and just keep riding round it for 20 minutes til you nail it. (I'm an aussie too)
    Thanks Toto. I'm certain with me it's now a confidence thing. I've been riding for over 40 years and this has never happened before. Practice is the way to go.
    padaek - A putrid and fetid smelling fermented fish sauce from Laos. 

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