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.
I haven't had to conciously think about steering on a motorcycle in over 40 years. You see I LEARNED how to ride. I INGRAINED the responses in to my instincts. When on a motorcycle I am RIDING A SINGLE TRACK VEHICLE, not a four wheel vehicle. I have different responses to the vehicle I am operating.
I also had the same skill to separate one vehicle from another when I rode both a motorcycle with right hand shift and one with left hand shift. It is rusty now, but wouldn't take long to bring back around.
Now you may ask, "Geez, how did you do that?"
I actually just plain rode. I wasn't some cruiser rider though. I started and learned mainly off road, but I also learned the road habits due to being a bit more aggressive rider and making the skills instinctive by repetitive actions. I just rode, just a bit harder and with some thought process at first, then eventually more and more by what could be called pure instinct. When it happens I act with minimal concious thought processing. Concious thought processing would take too long. I see, I know, I do. One great example actually does come from the off roading. I've had a few times when I've had the rear wheel step out on slow turns when the tire hits a bit of gravel or the like that blended in to the surface. I instinctively dab, put a foot down, to keep the bike from sliding out. It gets grip again and we're down the road. Less than a second to act, but it happens.
If a rider has to CONCIOUSLY THINK about steering or braking in a tight situation, they're screwed - and that's putting it mildly. The action has to happen faster than what is considered to be concious thought process, which means a bunch of reasoning. The reaction or action has to be without reasoning for the most part. It is a case of recognizing what is happening and acting, not taking time to reason out the actions. No time to think, " I want to turn right so I have to pull or push... " crunch.
Reaction has to be near instinctive otherwise valuable time and distance are lost.