Understanding the Apex of a Turn

Apexing diagram

Motorcycles, unlike cars, have the advantage of being able to find their best “line” while taking a curve or turn. When you choose your line you should visualize not only your entrance and exit, but also the middle point that is the top of your curve. This is called apexing and there are 3 basic ways to apex a corner; early, normal, and late. The safety of each varies depending on the situation. Understanding the basic concept behind all three will allow you to apply this information when riding.

Early Apex – leaning into the corner too early. This places the motorcycle closest to the inside of the turn early, and forces a sharper turn near the end of the corner to straighten out. This type of apex will give a rider the lowest exit speed, but this can be dangerous in a blind corner because it can send you into the oncoming lane accidentally. You might be forced to take this kind of line to get around something in the road (especially if you like riding in the mountains), so it’s good to be familiar with it.

Normal Apex – most common for a normal, relaxed ride. The turn-in point and the end of the line are equally distant from the center of the corner making the entry and exit form a consistent arc. This is the line that will “straighten out” a curve the most for a motorcycle. It will also provide the most traction throughout.


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Late Apex – most aggressive way to navigate a curve and provides the highest exit speed. Turning-in late provides a slower entry speed but with a fairly straight shot through the corner resulting in the highest exit speed possible. This allows the rider to see farther through the corner before turning, so in many instances this is the safest method from a visibility standpoint.

Information provided by LateralG.org.

While it’s good to understand proper apexing techniques, turns you encounter on the road might not be as straightforward and easily maneuvered as the ones described above. Be informed but use your instincts and make the right decisions for your circumstances. Being aware of your surroundings is vital to staying safe on the road. Unfortunately, even the safest riders have accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Carolinas’ Biker Lawyers at 877-376-7982. From accident through recovery, we’ve got your back. 

The Karney Law Firm has been representing injured bikers since 1975. With a clear understanding of the obstacles motorcyclists face both on the road and in the courtroom, our attorneys fight for motorcycle accident victims. Protecting bikers throughout the Carolinas with offices in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh. From accident through recovery, we’ve got your back. Contact us for your free consultation 877-376-7982.

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