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Counter steering is one aspect of biking that all of us do by instinct --it needs no practice to use it..
You should understand what you are doing when you steer a bike (counter steering) ..
But anyone who ever road a bike has and does use counter steering to change direction.
What you want to practice and make a habit is push left go left -push right go right ,
this is what can save your butt in an emergency (no time to think) situation ..
Truth is you don't even have to know why it works. Just that it does. :!:
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Countr steer

Not sure if this is my imagination or not.

Now that I'm aware of counter steering, I have been looking more critically at racers leaning way over with their knees touching pavement on curves.

Trying to visualize counter steering. :wink:

Is it my imagination or do they have their wheels turned slightly outwards?

Could just be the camera angle.
 

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Re: Countr steer

lilleyen said:
Is it my imagination or do they have their wheels turned slightly outwards?
Of course they do. Press on the right handlebar grip to go right. Which way will the front wheel turn? Slightly to the left.

Don't fight with this mentally too much. It works. It is the only precise way to turn a motorcycle. When you get your scooter, find a big empty parking lot or a road with no traffic, and learn to do it. After just a few days it will become automatic.
 

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As previously mentioned we all use counter steering without realising it but we should be aware of how and when to use it effectively and safely
especially as it at first it appears to defy logic - I think it is all to do with the gyroscopic effect of the wheels especially the front wheel.

It is I feel an important M/C riding technique, although some would argue otherwise, and makes handling safer. Must also remember not to grip handlebars too tightly and or bear too much weight through onto the bars as this appears to automaticaly induce unintended counter steering which in turn creates a wandering sensation.

I found a good way of relatively safely appreciating / experiencing counter steering was by riding my bicycle at a speed sufficient to require counter steering and by using one hand on handlebar.

As a matter of interest I find that I require more thought and effort to counter steer my 650 Burgman as compared to the 400, T Max and especially compared to the motorcycles I drove previously.

Could be to do with differing riding positions.
 

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As Hunter said, The burgman 650 seems to require more effort to counter steer, at least to me. My previous scoot was a Stella (India Vespa clone) it counter steered effortlessly. It was fun to do the slalom turns. I find the Burgman not so instinctive and less fun/more scary to slalom. Its probably just me and my lack of practice. :roll: The Burgman is sure sweet on the highway. One must watch the speedo as it is easy to get above the speed limits with out noticing....
Best Regards,
John in Rockford, IL
 

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I think it is all to do with the gyroscopic effect of the wheels especially the front wheel.
Dave Hough ( proficient Motorcycling ) points out that the gyroscopic effect is negligible. To prove it: take the wheel off and put on a ski. ( snow mobile )...it still counter steers.
 

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I apologize if someone already posted this video:

http://www.vsa.cape.com/~wayg/mrep/pics/csteer.mpg


If you use your mouse pointer on the slider to "step though" the video slowly over and over, you will see exactly what is happening when you countersteer. This video in slow motion "step through" is worth a thousand words.
 

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Article in MCNews sometime back by Dave Hough about one of the "Track Day" School owner modifing a cycle by attaching a set of handle bars to the frame. Had the student try to ride and turn by just using the handle bar attached to the frame. PUSH RIGHT - GO RIGHT, PUSH LEFT - GO LEFT.
 

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Wowy Zowie

Wowie Zowie,
I guess Ive known about this intutively since I was 14 on dirt bikes but reading this thread and links have me much more nimble on the bike especially here in the Houston metropolitan area. Awful streets, awfuller drivers lol, high winds today...Been tryin out the swerve manouver conciously and this [email protected]#t really works better when you know how to do it conciously! Thanks for this thread. It may indeed save my life!
The Force (or vector for you math heads) be with you,
Centrifugal, Centripital,Precession and all the rest...
Cheers,
Steveski :toothy7:
 

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As soon as I started conscously using counter steering, I found that I was early on all my corners. Took a while to get used to the increased efficiency.
 

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I want to add my thanks as well to those who raised this subject. Like others, I instinctively used counter-steering since my trail-bike days in my youth, and had it taught in MSF a few years ago, but had forgotten about consciously using it for tighter control of swerving, etc.

The topic has caused me to practice this skill and, like others, feel much safer and confident now than before.

Thanks again
 

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Countersteering on a motorcycle or bicycle uses the physics principle of gyroscope precession, a force input on a rotating body will take place 90 degrees later in the direction of rotation. Pushing forward on the right bar places a forward force on the right rear of the front axel, with the front wheel rotation in forward motion, apply the principle, the results is a downward force on the right top of the axel imparting a right lean on the roll axis of the motorcycle.
 

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Precession is certainly part of it, but there isn’t one single factor, it’s a mix of things.

When you start measuring and calculating - a major factor is that a small pressure on the bars steals the bike out from under its C of G. The bikes inertia keeps it trying to go on its path so the combined forces roll the bike into a lean and a balanced turn can be initiated.

Inertia works for you instead of against you trying to wrestle it by shifting your weight.

This roll is faster than can be achieved by the rider leaning alone - but both together and you are really cooking.

Steering geometry and other stuff also has an effect.

Gyroscopic forces obviously exist but their importance tends to be exagerated in internet chat.
If the forces were so powerful the rider would not be able to turn the bike at all.
Yes, a spinning wheel is hard to turn by hand, but get hold of a 650 by just the front axle and see if you can turn it.

Also, don’t forget your rear wheel isn’t being turned by the bars but is being leaned, so there is another bunch of forces to include.

You can prove it yourself, but it isn’t easy. You add identical wheels and tyre’s touching the OEM ones such that they are made to spin at identical speeds in the opposite direction. This cancels out directional forces with equal and opposite forces.
Or do it mathematically but it makes your brain bleed.

Once upon a time I had to work out the values involved and given the leverage at helmet height it could be opposed with one hand.
 

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Toy Doll Mythical creature Eyelash Barbie
 

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But, of course it's FM*

Mere mortals do not need to know why Counter Steering works, just believe it works is all. You've been doing it since you started riding 2 wheels, even a pedal bike. But understanding how much it works and then practicing using it even harder will amaze your Harley buddies.

(* Freaking Magic).
 
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