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What is it?

I have seen dirt bike riders sliding around corners with their front wheel pointed in the direction of their slide to get straightened out etc., but I can't for the life of me, see that working on a street bike on a normal turn.

When I use to ride my old 650 AJS, I remember turning the handlebars in the direction I wanted to go, along with leaning into the corner (still catch myself leaning even in my cage), but I have no recollection of counter steering. :?

So what is the technique/theory here?

It is briefly mentioned in the government issued motorcycle safety course book, as something we will be learning about, but no expanations given.
Can anyone explain this simply (So I can understand it)? :lol:
 

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lilleyen said:
What is it?


It is briefly mentioned in the government issued motorcycle safety course book, as something we will be learning about, but no expanations given.
Can anyone explain this simply (So I can understand it)? :lol:
Hi - read this Counter steering - easily found on this site using the search facility.

Counter Steering - once discovered you join the fold of accomplished riders - grasshopper! :lol:
 

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NormanB said:
lilleyen said:
What is it?


It is briefly mentioned in the government issued motorcycle safety course book, as something we will be learning about, but no expanations given.
Can anyone explain this simply (So I can understand it)? :lol:
Hi - read this Counter steering - easily found on this site using the search facility.

Counter Steering - once discovered you join the fold of accomplished riders - grasshopper! :lol:
Sorry, still don't get it.
Unless it's something I aready know intuitively and don't realize it.
Rode for 3 years, never thought about it or heard of it until now.
It sounds counter "productive" :wink:
 

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At speed your front wheel works like a gyroscope. When at speed and you apply pressure/push on one either end of the handlebars the bike will move that way. This is a result of the gyroscopic effect of the front wheel. Now if you are at crawling speed or barely moving the front wheel will not exhibit this effect.

An over exaggerated image would be that of the speedway racer.
 

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I have used counter steering to good effect for years on my bikes but have not had chance to try it on a Burgman yet.
A good test for you to try is easy,get up to about 30mph in a straight line on a clear road and practice gently pushing on the left bar grip and the bike will steer left and right when gently pushing on the right bar grip, no need to lean and only push gently.Once you have got the feeling you can then try it in a bend.Go into a bend in the normal way and again gently push on the bar grip and the bike will turn in tighter. This method is particularly good if you find that a bend is tighter than you thought. When you get the feel for this and after moderate speed practice you will find you use it most of the time.If you have ridden bikes before and leaned into a bend and put your weight on the inside of the bike like you see the racers do, that has the effect of pushing on the bar grip.
IF YOU ARE INEXPERIENCED GET SOMEONE TO SHOW YOU.
Cheers
Ian 8)
 

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lilleyen said:
NormanB said:
lilleyen said:
What is it?


It is briefly mentioned in the government issued motorcycle safety course book, as something we will be learning about, but no expanations given.
Can anyone explain this simply (So I can understand it)? :lol:
Hi - read this Counter steering - easily found on this site using the search facility.

Counter Steering - once discovered you join the fold of accomplished riders - grasshopper! :lol:
Sorry, still don't get it.
Unless it's something I aready know intuitively and don't realize it.
Rode for 3 years, never thought about it or heard of it until now.
It sounds counter "productive" :wink:
Yeah it does sound weird.
The only solution is to find a safe, dry and wide spot to try and learn.
Set speed at 30 mph, keep your bike to the right side and line up to take a left hand hand bend and initiate the turn at your 'normal point' NOW apply gentle pressure to the left handlebar (as though you were turning your handlebars to the right) but it is only the slightest of movements you are inducing - the bike will respond to this very very quickly and tuck you into the corner on a much tighter line. Try it, practice it and gain confidence with it - it could save your life one day! :shock:
 

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lilleyen,
Don't feel bad. I rode for over thirty-five years before I realized I was counter-steering. I first noticed it when I got the (tall) DR350. It has the heaviest countersteer feel that I've ever encountered. When the 'eureka' moment occurs, your abilities may improve exponentially. Happy counter-steering! 8)
Steve
 

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First off dirt bikes are a different thing all togher. For the most part you don't counter steer a dirt bike most of the time you slide it around or actualy point the front tire where you want to go.
When you counter steer you apply preasure to the side oposite of the way you want to go ( push left grip to go right ) hence the term counter steer.
When you do this you move the contact patch of the frount tire the bike leans over the back end follows and around the curve/corner you go until you correct it back or apply more preasure to turn in sharper. You would be surprised how many riders think this is not true or they don't do this but they don't realize that they do it without knowing it.
If you can try taking your hands off the bars and lean to adjust the bike and you will find this to be slow to get the bike to respond. Imput from the bars by counter steering is the only way to go.
 

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The ONLY way to turn a motorcycle at speed is to make the FRAME LEAN in the direction of the turn. To turn right, you "push" on the right grip. Naturally, this makes the front wheel turn left. But, at the same time, the FRAME (and rider) LEANS RIGHT and the wheel then snaps quickly to the right (it's so quick you don't see it or feel it) and the bike follows to the right. For a left turn, push on the left grip.
Like Norman said, try it on a clear road at about 30 MPH. Gently push on the right grip and the bike will start to turn right. Then, gently push on the left grip and the bike will turn back to the left. Once you get the "feel", try gently pushing alternately right and then left as you go down the road making a series of gentle right and then left swerves. If you don't believe this, go down the clear road at 30MPH and concentrate on turning the bar to the left to make the bike turn to the left - but be ready - the bike WILL turn to the right.
A good static demo is to have someone sit on your bike (motor off) with the kickstand up. You hold the bike steady by standing at the rear, straddling the rear wheel as best you can. (Don't hold on too tight so as to prevent a little left-right movement). Have the rider iniatiate a right turn by pushing forward on the right grip (which will turn the front wheel left). You will see how the frame and rider start to lean right and the front wheel goes back to the right ( have the rider keep a light grip on the bars so the wheel has free movement). Then, try pushing the left grip.
If you have ever ridden a motorcycle and made a turn, you have done it in this manner. Most likely, you weren't even aware of it and thought you were turning the bar and shifting your weight or some other method. Most of us only became aware of "counter-steering" through the MSF courses.
The reason you want to be aware of it and perfect it is that, once you are aware of how your bike will react by counter-steering, it will allow you to react much more quickly should you have to suddenly swerve to avoid a pothole or debris in the road or a car that pulls into your path. And, through practice, pushing harder on the grip while in a turn lets you tighten up the turn to avoid running off the road should the turn tighten up unexpectedly or you misjudged it on entry.
Hope this helps. :D
Don
 

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magyver said:
When you counter steer you apply preasure to the side oposite of the way you want to go ( push left grip to go right ) hence the term counter steer.
I don't know about dirt bikes but, on a street bike, it's "Push Right - Go Right" and "Push left - Go Left". "Counter-steering" means you are actually turning the front wheel in the opposite direction from the direction you want to turn. When you "push right to go right", the front wheel turns LEFT just enough to lean the frame and rider towards the right and the front wheel then quickly turns into the direction of the lean and the bike goes right. The same happens in reverse when you push on the left grip.
If anyone doesn't understand this theory, thats ok. Just remember "Push Right - Go Right" and "Push Left - Go Left"!
Don
 

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magyver said:
First off dirt bikes are a different thing all togher. For the most part you don't counter steer a dirt bike most of the time you slide it around or actualy point the front tire where you want to go.
When you counter steer you apply preasure to the side oposite of the way you want to go ( push left grip to go right ) hence the term counter steer.
[snipped].
May I be so bold as to suggest a correction here?

Push the left grip to increase the turn to the LEFT - the counter intuitive aspect is that you would expect to pull the left grip to increase the turn to the left as you do when slow speed manv'n.

Sorry. :)
 

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I remember as a kid, (a long time ago) doing that on a bicycle coasting down hill, about 25 mph and over.
 

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counter steering

In my motorcycle safety course they taught us in order to turn right, you must
look right, push right and lean right. The opposite is true for left.

As strange as it sounds it seems to work .
 

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Actually its very simple:

You can try to go on a speed(50-60km/hr) where you can balance the bike without holding the handle bar. if you lean to the right or left, the bike does not really goes into the direction where you wants to go, its when you tried to push the handle bar slightly away from the direction you want to go then the bike turns in.

experimenting:
during the normal ride to work or touring, you can try and straighten the bikes and keep it going in a straight line. Now you try to push forward the right handle bar(meaning try to make the front wheel face the left side, and you can feel that your bike will lean towards the right. Its the same applies to the left turn.

But please be careful if you are trying it for the first time, because you might not expect the accessive leaning force, its good for fast reaction(meaning to turn your bikes into the direction you want in a quicker time... happy trying but in the initial stage just push a little and you can see the result.
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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Dirt bike -street bike - scooter - any inline two wheel vehicle , at speeds over about 5 or 10 mph turn by leaning, the more you lean the sharper the turn. What type of "bike" it is makes no difference.
Just like you steer a truck the same as a car.
---A very simple experiment (although not fool proof) which may help explain why you have to turn the wheel in the opposite direction you want to go - -
stand in front of a bicycle hold it straight up then let go, the bike will fall left or right depending on how well it was balanced, Now turn the bars full left (or right) again let go, the bike will fall opposite the way the bars are pointed again depending on how well you have it balanced to start.
Now if you think about two things, 1 a bike turns by leaning , and you just proved it leans opposite the way you turn the bars. # 2 while riding, balance is not a factor because the spinning wheel (gyroscopic effect) cancels out balance.
Or to put it another way -while riding -push right go right, push left go left -
You have been doing it since your first two wheel ride even if you did not know it. :)
One last minor point, when "they" say push , while true, it's more a gentle nudge then a hard push because we control how tight the turn with the amount lean. And we control how much lean with how much we turn the tire
 

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I had been riding for 15 years before I heard about counter-steering from a friend of mine who was an Motorcycle Safety Instructor. I was un-persuaded until he took me to an area that had lots of tight turns around a lake. Although I had a 250cc edge on him, he consistently :shock: beat the pants off me. Then he had me practice counter-steering at slower speed for the next hour. When we went around the lake again, there was no way he could get anywhere near me :D ...I was gone & he ended up in the bushes. :( (ouch!)

I have consciously used counter-steering ever since. Through the years it has saved my life so many times. I was able to steer exactly where I needed go because my body was trained to react that way (faster than I could consciously think).

I don't care about the physics, I just want the results. Most people who don't use counter-steering, will end up hitting what they are trying to avoid in panic situation. Happens every day! :cry:

Your body does what it's trained to do, so practice counter-steering until it's "second nature". The rest will take care of itself. 8)
 

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vfdcaptain wrote
to avoid in panic situation.I don't care about the physics, I just want the results. Most people who don't use counter-steering, will end up hitting what they are trying Happens every day!
Everyone who rides will use counter steering they just don't know that they are, the rider may not understand the physics involved but he/she is doing it.
One point I had forgotten is while it is natural to do it, ( like any kid getting on a bike the first time).
Vdcaptian's point about practicing is important because as he states you need to train the body (mind) to react in a panic situation, or you well find your self heading into trouble instead of away
 
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