Originally Posted by Valker
During my investigation of many motorcycle crashes, the part of countersteering that I've noticed is that if you don't CONSCIOUSLY think about how to turn, in an emergency situation, your reactive brain will tell your muscles to do something to avoid death or injury. What it will tell most people is to steer the front wheel the way you want to go. Fully 75% of the crashes I've looked at where "lost control / went wide" resulted from the rider causing the bike to go the wrong direction while trying to turn or swerve which resulted in the crash.
The biggest issue with just 'riding like you know how' without the brain training (you training your own brain) is it usually results in causing the crash which is trying to be avoided. I've even investigated crashes where the bikes skid marks (braking errors too) went from their proper lane into the oncoming lane simply because they tried to steer when they swerved. Not stupid, but very ignorant of how the brain works under stress.
Yup, even teaching yourself proper counter-steering isn't enough for most people either. It needs to be practiced under stressful situations. Only relatively safe place for that is a race track (on or off-road) with people to help and a trained medical crew. If you ride smart you shouldn't need them... but shit happens.
Like I said in my earlier post I didn't know what counter-steering was for the first 12 years of my riding experience (17 if you include bicycles) and I rode and even raced just fine. I also started my motorcycle riding on motocross tracks where everything was performance riding under demanding conditions. There is a huge difference between track experience and street experience. They aren't even on the same planet with what it does for your riding skill. For normal street riding counter steering is only noticeable if you are seriously paying attention to doing it. The only times where I still KNOW that I'm deliberately counter steering is when I ride aggressive, or if I have to avoid something. You don't necessarily need to think about it but you will certainly be aware of it.
One big thing that helps in emergency or stressful situations is confidence and believing that you know what your doing. If you understand what counter-steering does on a motorcycle its easier for your brain to accept as the right move; so that's what it does without any second guessing. If your a bit uncomfortable or not sure of the concept than your almost guaranteed to get it wrong when it matters most.