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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by IrishJohn, Dec 30, 2012.
Slow look press and roll is what is taught in the MSF. Not take it.
In a car I negotiate a curve or turn
On a bike its more like execute.
There's quite a lot that's not taught in the basic, intermediate, and experienced rider's courses.
So where does one go to learn how to "take it"?
... nevermind, I don't think I want to know.
Ride more. Think less. Repeat.
Like a ninja!
Why doesn't the MSF teach the take it method?
Obviously knowing the mechanics didn't help much in this case.
I never thought about or conciously tried to use countersteering until my brother brought it up to me related to bicycles. The old "try to go left by turning left" routine. Interesting. Then I completely let it all go out of my mind. You see, I had done fine riding bicycles and then motorcycles for the previous roughly 15 years (motorcycles for the previous 7). I had done okay riding my trials bike, flat tracker, and then motocrosser so I didn't really see much use in screwing with what was already well lubed and working fine.
That is what the OP should do - forget all the "science and mechanics" and go about with what they obviously learned with bicycling. Single track is single track, the physics are the same, just a lighter vehicle with skinnier tires.
That is my biggest issue with all the countersteering crap. Simply learn what happens then go practice a bit to ingrain it to one's skills. Let the physics and all go by the wayside when riding. I have yet to see any discussion clearly lay out all of the variables since there are probably hundreds, based on geometry (not just steering, but tires and all) and actual physics like laws of motion and such. It just gets freaking stupid. Arguements for those who "know" and confusion for those who are new.
If you have to actually conciously think about countersteering when riding, you are either a very VERY new rider or you have a serious problem you need to remedy through practicing steering until you DON'T have to think about it in a concious fashion. It is all about having the actions and reactions occur instinctively.
OP, forget the science and ride.
The biggest deal to me is people knowing that they push left to go left, push right to go right.
After that it is your choice how conscious you keep it in your everyday riding.
Against the "just ride" argument are the cases where people have been getting by for many years with steering by "leaning I that direction" (causing them to push-steer without knowing it). That works right up until the time that you need to maneuver really drastically. No amount of leaning is going to save you then.
THAT is when you need to know that you push hard to go in that direction.
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.
The number one single vehicle accident for all new and returning riders is blowing a corner because they "think" they are going too fast.
Anyone saying that teaching countersteering to these people is wrong is a Selfish ass and should before their words of wisdom gets some n00b hurt or killed.
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.
But you don't need the physics definitions and all the calculations now, do you.
You know the learning process curve is significantly raised when a rider rides a bit more aggressively and usually starting on a small/midsize bike where you have to ride like that to keep up. They tend to gain, because they have to. It wasn't easy keeping up with those Z1s with my S3 (900 four stroke vs 400 two stroke), so I learned to ride a bit harder to keep up and pretty soon I was leading when in tighter winding roads where the horsepower didn't come in quite so handy.
That and the key point that the OP already realizes how to steer (via countersteering) from their bicycle experience.
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.
Big difference between teaching countersteering and teaching countersteering science.
If I'm teaching someone countersteering I'm telling them exactly what you did in that one quote. Then we're going out and going to do so. One great method of practice is slaloming down the dotted centerline of a road. You aren't studying the science, you are doing. It's easy to describe and be an expert in the science, yet not know how to do it unless you simply do it. When they can do a weave like that intentionally at say 50 mph they're not thinking out every single move, they're just doing it. With that skill development they will have the capability to swerve with minimal thought time. It will just happen because the part of their brain that controls the actions knows how to do so without reasoning it out. (I.e., someone throws something at your head, you duck. You don't wait to analyze how to move your head, you learned that when young and throwing stuff at each other. You instinctively know if it hits you it might hurt you, so you duck.)
Again, the OP has countersteering experience, they can do it. Why make it a cluster with all the science if all it does is interfere? That seems to be the issue. When someone says they know they don't steer the motorcycle they're baffled with the BS (bike science). They just need to continue to do what they did on their bicycle.
I'm betting a lot of people perform a lot of actions like surfing, skiing, even running without knowing all the science of their actions. They simply learned how to do and continued to do. Can any of you describe the science of walking or running? Yet most here can both walk and run - once they learned and practiced. By the way, due to an injury I got to learn it all over again. Still can't tell you all that is involved from the science and all but I can walk fairly well and run to an extent.
I understand the whole accident thing where people react incorrectly. I'm betting very few of them were very aggressive riders in general they never actually learned how to act instinctively (or nearly so). They never learned to "bob and weave" to borrow a boxing term. That is one of the draw backs so many riders DON'T ever really learn to ride by pushing the envelope in a relatively safe progressive manner, then when they need the skill it isn't there. That is why there are performance riding schools put on by professionals who have previously taught racing skills, to give riders some performance skills on their custom/cruiser/tourer. Like when in a corner and in doubt - LEAN OVER FURTHER. Of course that also involves knowing your bike's clearance limits. Even the best roadracer can't easily overcome grounding out the frame. Another skill is that you CAN take a road bike off road (through a yard) if that is a viable excape route. But that one is really hard to teach, takes a bit of off road riding to understand. And yes, I have had my road bike off road for one reason or another. The other options were "layin' 'er down". Going into the grass didn't tear up my bike or my passenger, it got us slow enough to get back on the road. (Lane we were in was an unmarked turn lane that ended at the intersection, nice.)
Just saying that no matter how much science you teach, there is no substitute for going out and performing. Any doctor of physics can tell you all about countersteering and all the forces involved. If they've never ridden a motorcycle they'd be hard pressed to perform in a bind if they could even ride in the first place without a bunch of training.
Do you have to countersteer with this?
Technically, any single track vehicle must lean to turn. Since a single wheel vehicle can't have the front wheel turn opposite to 'outtrack' for the lean, it must be accomplished by rider body movements, the computer, or a combo.
Push right; go right.