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Pro Tips to Master Quad Bike Cornering

Pro Tips to Master Quad Bike Cornering

Whether you're tearing up the trails for fun or gearing up for a race, mastering the art of cornering can dramatically improve your quad riding experience.

Let's dive into the pro tips that'll have you cornering like a pro in no time.

Body Positioning

When it comes to quad biking, your body is more than just a passenger—it's an active participant!

Leaning into your turns is key.

Think of your body as a counterweight to help balance the quad during a turn.

This isn't just about tilting your torso; it involves shifting your entire weight towards the inside of the turn to maintain stability and control.

Throttle Control

Throttle control is like the secret sauce of cornering. Apply too much, and you might find yourself spinning out.

Too little, and you risk losing momentum.

The trick is to maintain a steady throttle through the turn, gently increasing power as you exit the corner.

This technique ensures your quad maintains traction and stability, giving you a smooth and controlled ride.

Throttle Feathering Techniques

Throttle feathering is a game-changer in cornering, offering a more nuanced approach than simply on or off.

It's about gently rolling the throttle back and forth, giving you precise control over your speed and traction, especially in slippery conditions or tight turns.

Practice by varying your throttle input in a controlled environment, feeling for how your quad responds.

This skill is especially useful for maintaining momentum through corners without overloading the tires and losing grip.

Braking Technique

ESSENTIAL Techniques for Proper Quad Bike Braking

Braking isn't just about slowing down; it's an art, especially when entering a corner.

The golden rule?

Brake before you enter the turn, not during. Use a combination of both front and rear brakes for a more controlled deceleration.

Remember, over-reliance on the front brakes can lead to understeer, while too much rear brake can cause a spin.

Find that sweet spot to modulate your speed without losing control.

Choosing the Right Line

Your line, or the path you take through a corner, can make or break your cornering efficiency.

Aim for the smoothest possible line that allows you to maintain speed without making sharp adjustments.

This often means entering from the outer edge, hitting the apex (the innermost point of the turn), and then exiting wide.

It's like drawing a smooth arc through the corner, minimising the need for drastic speed changes or direction shifts.

Anticipating Line Changes Mid-Corner

Even the best-laid plans (or lines, in this case) can encounter unexpected challenges.

Learning to anticipate and react to line changes mid-corner is crucial.

This could mean adjusting for unexpected obstacles, changes in surface condition, or avoiding hazards.

The key is to stay flexible and not commit too rigidly to your initial line choice.

Keep your vision up and ahead, ready to adapt your line smoothly to maintain control and speed through the turn.

Reading The Terrain

quad biking on mud

Quad biking terrain can be unpredictable—mud, sand, rocks, and ruts can all affect how you approach a corner.

Keep your eyes peeled and read the terrain ahead.

Anticipating changes allows you to adjust your speed, line, and body positioning in advance, ensuring you're not caught off guard mid-turn.


Countersteering might sound counterintuitive, but it's crucial for quick and effective cornering.

By briefly turning the handlebars away from the direction of the turn before leaning in, you initiate a lean more effectively, allowing for a smoother and faster cornering process.

It's a subtle move, but mastering it can significantly improve your handling skills.

Practical Exercises for Mastering Countersteering

Mastering countersteering requires practice to become instinctual. Start in a safe, open area free of traffic.

Practice initiating turns by gently pushing the handlebars in the opposite direction of the turn, then lean into the turn.

Repeat this at varying speeds and turn radii. Focus on the feel of the bike as it leans, aiming for smoothness and control.

Drills like slalom courses can also reinforce this skill, challenging you to countersteer quickly between obstacles.

Weight Distribution

Just like body positioning, how you distribute your weight on the quad can impact your stability and handling.

Keep your weight centred during straightaways, but shift it towards the inside of the turn when cornering.

Proper weight distribution helps keep all four wheels firmly on the ground, providing better traction and control.

Practice Drills

Practice makes perfect, and there are several drills you can do to hone your cornering skills. Set up a slalom course with cones to practice weaving and leaning.

Perform figure-eights to get a feel for both left and right turns.

Time yourself and aim to improve with each practice session, focusing on smooth lines, throttle control, and body positioning.

Incorporating Real-World Scenarios in Practice Drills

To truly master cornering, practice in conditions that mimic real-world scenarios.

This means varying terrains—sand, mud, gravel—and incorporating natural obstacles into your drills.

Try cornering on slopes or incorporating elevation changes to understand how gravity affects your approach and exit strategies in turns.

The goal is to prepare for the unpredictability of real trails, enhancing your adaptability and confidence.

Safety Gear

Never underestimate the importance of safety gear. Helmets, gloves, boots, and body armour can be the difference between a minor tumble and a trip to the hospital.

Invest in quality gear, and make sure it fits properly.

Safety first, always!

Maintenance and Setup

How to Service Your Quad Bike at Home (Step-by-Step Guide)

A well-maintained quad is a responsive quad. Regularly check and adjust your tyre pressure, suspension settings, and brake condition to suit your riding style and the terrain.

A correctly set up bike will handle more predictably, giving you confidence in your cornering abilities.

Tailoring Your Quad's Setup for Cornering

Optimising your quad for cornering can significantly improve performance.

Start with suspension settings; softer suspension can increase grip in turns but may reduce stability at high speeds.

Experiment with different settings to find a balance that suits your riding style and the typical terrain you encounter.

Adjusting tire pressure can also affect cornering, with lower pressures offering more grip but too low can lead to tire roll-off.

Consider the weight distribution of your quad—adjustments to the seating position or handlebar setup can influence how easily you can shift your weight and balance through turns.

Visual Awareness

Look where you want to go, not where you're afraid of ending up. This simple rule of thumb is crucial for effective cornering.

Keeping your eyes focused ahead and through the turn naturally steer the quad in the right direction, helping you navigate corners more smoothly and quickly.


No two corners are exactly alike, especially on varied terrain.

Be prepared to adapt your cornering technique based on the conditions—mud, sand, gravel, and asphalt all require different approaches.

Flexibility and adaptability are your friends on the trail.

Seeking Professional Instruction

Sometimes, a little professional guidance can go a long way. Consider taking a class or seeking advice from more experienced riders.

They can offer personalised tips and insights that you might not find elsewhere, helping you improve your skills faster.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Overbraking in the Turn: This can lead to loss of control. Brake before the turn, not during.
  • Ignoring the Terrain: Failing to read the terrain can result in poor line choices and unexpected surprises.
  • Neglecting Safety Gear: Always gear up, no matter how short the ride may be.
  • Inconsistent Practice: Like any skill, cornering improves with regular practice. Don't expect to master it overnight, and don't get discouraged by setbacks.

Cornering on a quad bike is an exhilarating experience, but it requires a mix of skill, practice, and respect for the machine and the terrain.

By focusing on your body positioning, throttle control, braking technique, and all the other aspects we've covered, you'll not only enhance your riding experience but also ensure it's a safer one.

Remember, the most skilled riders are those who continuously learn and adapt.

Each ride is an opportunity to improve, to push your limits safely, and to enjoy the incredible thrill that quad biking offers.

So gear up, get out there, and start putting these pro tips into action.


Can quad bike cornering techniques be applied to all types of quad bikes, including those for kids and recreational use?

Yes, the fundamental cornering techniques discussed, such as body positioning, throttle control, and line choice, are applicable across all types of quad bikes, including those designed for kids and recreational use. While the size and power of the quad bike might necessitate some adjustments in the application of these techniques, the core principles remain the same. It's about understanding and respecting the physics of the bike, regardless of its size or intended use. For younger riders on smaller quads, it's especially important to emphasize the importance of safety gear and supervised practice to develop these skills safely.

How often should I practice these cornering techniques to see improvement in my quad biking skills?

Consistent practice is key to mastering any new skill, including quad bike cornering. For noticeable improvement, aim to practice these techniques in a controlled environment at least once a week. Incorporating drills and exercises into your regular riding sessions can also help reinforce these skills. Remember, progress might be gradual, and every rider progresses at their own pace. Focus on the quality of your practice, ensuring you're practicing correctly, rather than just the quantity of practice.

Are there specific safety precautions to take when practicing advanced cornering techniques on a quad bike?

Practicing advanced cornering techniques does come with increased risks, so taking appropriate safety precautions is crucial. Always wear full protective gear, including a helmet, gloves, boots, and appropriate body armor. Start practicing in a controlled, familiar environment, free from traffic and unnecessary hazards. It's also advisable to practice with a more experienced rider or instructor who can provide feedback and guidance. As you become more confident in your skills, gradually introduce more challenging conditions, always within the limits of your ability and the capabilities of your quad bike. Remember, the goal is to improve your skills safely, so never push beyond your comfort zone too quickly.

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