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The way my MSI friend explained it, is that if you have not trained your body to react properly using counter-steering, then when something is in your pathway you will revert to the old thought pattern of riding a bicycle or driving a car. That means you will turn the steering wheel away from the object, but all that will do is put you on a collision course with what you are trying to avoid.

He said "that simple fact, and a failure to look at where you want to go", are the big reasons why so many bikers get into accidents, instead of simply steering around them. :(
 

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Randy said:
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
Randy and Vdcaptain bring up an important point. You should continually practice stopping in the shortest possible distance (emergency braking) and swerving. Like they said, you want to make these techniques habit. In a real emergency situation, you will react out of habit. You won't have time to think about how to react.
Don
 

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Counter Steer

OOPS!!
Horman you are correct I wrote that post and later the next day it hit me and when I got home I went back to look at my post. Thats when it hit me you big dummy you can't think and type at the same time. Ok so I can't type sort of hunt and peck but my line of work dosen't require typing.
Push? More like apply preasure to the left to go left Right to go right.
The lean is a result of that if you think just leaning is how it works talk to someone who has been to a schol or has raced on a track.
 

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magyver wrote
Push? More like apply preasure to the left to go left Right to go right
.

If I understand you correctly, then I have to disagree with you.
Push-turn-shove- what ever force you care to use or call it.
If the bikes handle bar turns the wheel, the bike will lean & turn in the opposite direction
--Not in the direction the wheel is turned --
 

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Applying pressure to the left grip turns the wheel slightly to the right, and you turn left. Applying pressure to the right grip turns the wheel slightly to the left, and you turn right. It is a forward pressure in each case - I'm sure he meant that.

Anyhow... Magyver rode those curvy roads in Arkansas at Scootercade without mishap, so he knows what he's doing - just doesn't type quite as well as he rides. :lol: :wink:
 

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If you want the feeling of 'leaning' the bike into the turn, try pulling up on the bar opposite the desired direction of travel. That is: to go left, pull the right grip 'up' (you're actually pulling it toward you, but it seems the same as tipping the bike over), which essentially leans the bike to the left. (Really. Try it. It works.) That concept sometimes simplifies things for beginners.

Also, magyver, I'm not trying to be confrontational, but dirt bikes operate exactly the same as any other bike - when the traction is good. When the traction goes away, counter-steering actually increases. That is: steering is accomplished as much as with throttle and brake as with the handlebars, but the front wheel is pointed away from the direction of travel (relative to frame alignment) to a greater degree with the rear wheel drifting to the outside of the turn.

Steve
 

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A Detailed Analysis of WHY/HOW Countersteering Works

When you try to turn a gyroscope i.e. the front wheel there are three vectors involved :eek:.

The first one can be thought of as an arrow pointing through the front wheel axal to the left of the bike. This is the vector generated by the rotation of the wheel. The faster the wheel rotates the longer the vector. If and only if you were going backwards would the front wheel vector point the other way.

The second one is generated when you turn the handle bars. This one's direction depends on which direction you turn them. Turn right and the vector points down, turn left and the vector points up.

(note: all of these vectors follow a right hand rule. Fold your fingers so the tips point in the direction of rotation and stick your thumb out straight to represent the vector created.)

Now when you turn the handlebars you are turning a gyroscope. If you remember your high school physics rotating a gyroscope generates a force (another vector) that is 90 degrees to both the vector of rotation of the gyroscope and the vector you are applying to turn it.

What this means is if you turn the handlebars to the right creating a vector pointing down applied against the vector pointing to the left from the rotation of the front wheel you get a vector pointing to the rear of the bike (in other words you're trying to rotate the left pointing wheel vector into the down pointing handlebar vector and by the right hand rule again a vector is generated to the rear.). Again by the right hand rule a vector pointing to the rear of the bike causes a rotation of the bike itself to the left. i.e. the bike leans left.

Now, for those not mathematicians, and uncomfortable dealing with vectors, substitute "force" everywhere I've used "vector" and you will have the same result.

Because we are dealing with forces, they are generated even if when you apply a force to turn the handlebars the wheel resists turning, because of the gyroscope effect, and doesn't actually turn. Just the force trying to turn it does the trick. This is why at higher speed (above about 30 km or 20 mph for our American friends), when you push on a handlebar a fast camera would actually show that the handlebars do not actually move in the direction you are pushing, but the bike leans anyway.

For those who remember their vector mathematics, rotating the wheel vector towards the handlebar vector results in the cross product which is always a vector at right angles to the original two and in a direction created by the right hand rule and of magnitude the product of the two vectors. Because the result is a product or multiplication the larger the wheel vector (the faster you are going) the smaller the handlebar vector has to be to generate the same lean of the bike. You will find, if you pay attention, that it is much easier to lean the bike into a turn at highway speed than at city street speed. Now you know why :idea:.
 

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Oh. Yeah. That's what I meant to say. :shock: :?
 

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OK understood!

Rover vector victor.

Over but no out! :wink: :lol:
 

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NormanB said:
OK understood!

Rover vector victor.

Over but no out! :wink: :lol:
If you apply too much vector you will definetly go over and may be out.
 

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Take 2 when you apply preasure to the bars push left to go left for instance you steer the front tire to the right a small amount about 1/2 to 1 degree this moves the contact patch off center and leans the bike to the left. I f you did nothing to change this you would go in a big circle. Now if you do the same thing again you turn tighter and lean farther you can do this until one of three things happen
1. You loose traction and crash
2. You start touching parts to the ground
3. You regain your senses and straighten out and go straight.
Now on to the belivers that you lean to turn as apposed to this counter steer hocus-pocus yes you can do that to it just takes longer for things to set into motion because of the gyro-scope action that has to be over come to shift the contact patch off center and start the turn.
 

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The best way to practice is on a road with a switch-back turn (left to right or right to left). Just keep going through the turn quicker and quicker. It will soon become apparent that you will not make the transition until you are pulling HARD on the bars. The non-believers simply get left behind........ usually in the ditch!

Thanx,
Russ
 

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Just tried it out on the street today. It's not so much counter-steering as just a gentle pressure. As you lean you automaticly apply the counter pressure. The amount you actually turn the tire is almost inperceptable.
The concept appears to be to apply the counter pressure deliberatly & first or at least as you lean.
 

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gruntled said:
Just tried it out on the street today. It's not so much counter-steering as just a gentle pressure. As you lean you automaticly apply the counter pressure. The amount you actually turn the tire is almost inperceptable.
The concept appears to be to apply the counter pressure deliberatly & first or at least as you lean.
Brilliant - well done! :thumbright:

It really is a eureka moment when you start to understand something you have been doing instinctively.

Now you can take it further with practice and exploit it to increase your 'manoeuverability' and to keep out of harms way. :)
 

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gruntled said:
Just tried it out on the street today. It's not so much counter-steering as just a gentle pressure.
:idea: Way to go! By jove, you've got it! In the MSF classes we describe it as "push", but it is in effect, as you describe, just pressure on the grip in the direction you want to go. The more the pressure, the more the lean and the tighter the turn.
There are other ways to make the bike turn (lean) but counter-steering is the most instinctive and, in an emergency, the quickest way to make the bike turn or swerve. Just remember, you don't want to brake while swerving and don't swerve while braking.
Most of us have experienced entering a turn too fast or finding the turn tighting up more then we anticipated. This is where many riders just freeze and run off the roadway or get on the brakes too hard with the bike leaned over and the bike goes down. By increasing the pressure on the inside grip (the way you're turning) you can make the bike lean more and tighten up the turn and, hopefully, stay on the road. (You'd be surprised how far over you can lean a bike without losing traction).
Don
 

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Counter-steering

Another, very handy, use for counter-steering that's not been aired yet is in coping with strong sidewinds. If you have the misfortune to ride along an exposed straight road while the wind is hitting you from the side you do, of course, have to do something to counteract it, otherwise you'll be blown right off the road.

The natural reaction tends to be to lean your body weight and the bike on to the wind. This is very tiring and also dangerous as you cannot organise your weight transfer quickly enough to counteract any gusting effects and you'll risk running off your carriageway with possibly disastrous results. This problem is magnified when you're overtaking large vehicles that give temporary wind-shelter, to be replaced by a sudden blast as you emerge from the lee.

The correct, sane, way to handle this problem is by counter-steering - you merely keep a bit of pressure on the side of the bars that the wind's coming from, which leans the bike's weight against the wind, enabling you to ride in a straight line. It's also easy to remove, then instantly re-apply the pressure when you pass sheltering walls, vehicles etc. Try it sometime - you'll be amazed at how much more comfortable and re-assuring this technique makes riding in sidewind conditions.
 

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Good points, Hatman. Riding in Nebraska & Iowa, winds of 25 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph are common, particularly in the Spring and Fall. If you are on an East-West highway, these winds will be from the side. This can be absolutely terrifying if you aren't prepared to handle it. But it can be managed with countersteering and proper suspension setup. I've found that having 41 psi in the rear tire and a firm rear suspension setting helps, since it causes more weight to be transfered toward the front tire. You also have to avoid tensing up. Let the wind push your head and shoulders around a bit without transfering those inputs through your arms to the handlebars. With practice, it can be safely managed.
 

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I've never really thought about it before, but think I've been countersteering in side wind by instinct. I've noticed I rarely shift road position when hit by a gust of wind but the bike leans under me. I guess all the practice countersteering has made it a natural reaction.
 
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