Countersteering confusion : (

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by IrishJohn, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. IrishJohn

    IrishJohn Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    St Louis MO
    Well, it finally happened to me. I'm riding along on my merry way when an anus-head in a pick up pulls out of a driveway right in front of me. The umitigated SOB wasn't creeping carefully out - he was accelerating fast. I don't know how I saw him in time, went back today as part of the 'get back on the horse' thing and he literally had to have been driving with zero conception that anybody could have been approaching that driveway. There was a small gap in his tall hedge and by some miracle I saw the moving flash of color and must have instinctively realised something wicked that way was coming. ANYWAY - I am sorry to report that I did not 'consciously think' about countersteering or leans or anything you have all been good enough to explain. It was sheer luck or reaction or something but all I really remember is swerving around the hua's truck front. I stopped down the road having heard a crashing noise and for a microsecond thought he had actually clipped my bike and that I must be in some kind of shock - am happy to report the Dipstick must have had a bigger fright than me becuase it was the noise of his truck impacting in the wall opposite his driveway. Cops came, he was not DUI, did not appear to be an escapee from the School for the Blind, mumbled something about 'The guy on the motorbike was all over the road and I did not know what to do and I panicked' - which the Cops did not buy for a second and he got a ticket but I did not. I was shaking like a leaf, did not want to try and ride home right away so sat down (before I fell down -knees felt wobbly as hell) for about an hour until I was sure I was OK to ride (very slowly and carefully : ) back to my house. I think, when these things happen, you really don't have time to think about anything including - and no disrespect intended - 'countersteering'. I feel very lucky to not have been in a nasty crash and I think that the main value of teaching things like the 'emergency swerve' is that it reinforces a vital point 9imho) that EXCRETA DOES HAPPEN WHEN YOU ARE ON A MOTORBIKE. I ride a hell of a lot more carefully than I drive - and that is because of all the 'horror stories' balanced with the emphasis on the stupidity of thinking 'right of way equals invulnerability' and such like. To me its like swimming - we have a saying back home 'Only the Good Swimmers Drown' - in other words, enjoy the water without being stupid, and for me its always been a case of 'Better to arrive five minutes late that to be dead on time' : ) Sure paid off in this case just ambling along : )
  2. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,972
    Location:
    NEPA
    I think that's the point of all this, you did it without thinking. By learning and thinking about it you were mentally prepared and it saved you.

    Glad you're ok.
    :clap
  3. hippiebrian

    hippiebrian Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    4,693
    Location:
    Long Beach, Ca.
    I really wish this whole obsession with countersteering would just go away. If you go around a curve or change direction on any two wheeled vehicle at more than about 4 mph you are countersteering, wether you are consciously aware of it or not. Period.

    The real emphasis should be on practicing looking where you are going. Look left, go left...look right, go right. We should be telling people to pay attention to their head position rather than what they are doing with the bars. Slow, look, accelerate. That's where the practice should be. You are already counter steering, so quit thinking about it. For some, it's way too confusing.
  4. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,451
    Location:
    Annapolis MD
    somebody has it right:clap:clap:clap
  5. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,972
    Location:
    NEPA
    +1
  6. farmerstu

    farmerstu Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    Minnesota west central
    no. at least 3 people have it wrong.
    countersteering does not begin at about 4 mph.
    it begins the moment your feet leave the ground.
    learning to actively use the bars to countersteer aggressively is the most important skill to learn. along with threshold braking and situational awareness.
    sounds to me like some people here can't swerve the dotted lines at speed.
  7. shaddix

    shaddix Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    647
    Location:
    Central AL
    If you don't realize consciously that you can forcefully press on the bars to change the direction of the bike and just think "look and you'll go", then how are you going to be able to swerve?

    I came upon a pothole once, I was looking right at it, I wasn't going fast, maybe 30 mph, but I couldn't see it until I was maybe 40 feet away. A hard shove on the left bar allowed me to dodge it without looking away from the hazard.

    With 1 second to dodge an obstacle that is directly in my path, I doubt looking to one side of it is going to work, it requires a deliberate forceful input to the bars in order to miss it.
  8. Capt Crash

    Capt Crash Benevolent Despot

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    249
    Location:
    SW I...DOH! NO!
    Errrrr. How 'bout doing both? Look where you want to go, steer there?
  9. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Oddometer:
    18,902
    Location:
    Jax, FL
    This was shitty advice 25 pages ago, and it's still shitty advice.
  10. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    15,104
    Location:
    Richmond, Va
    What happens when I look in my rear-view mirror?
  11. filmfan

    filmfan Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,276
    Location:
    here
    That absolutely works, in case there is any reason for anyone to doubt.

    I had that exact situation about an hour ago. Happened to be on my bicycle, but no matter insofar as countersteering and looking go.
    Came over a small dip in the road and a snake was sunning himself across my path. Not wanting to give him a major back ache, I looked just beyond his tail twitched the handlebars right and made a left swerve around him.
    Countersteering is so much a part of my muscle memory, there was no thinking about it, brain automagically said gotta go left, move hands right.
  12. shaddix

    shaddix Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    647
    Location:
    Central AL
    Don't get me wrong, I've done my fair share of being surprised at an obstacle int he road and running right over it cause I was staring at it and wondering what the hell it was.(usually a pothole or a spot of grease or paint on the road). I'm responding to the folks saying you don't need to know how countersteering works, just look and you'll go. Well no, not necessarily, I can look at an obstacle and countersteer around it, or I can look somewhere and not go there at all.

    My point was that I doubt just looking and hoping your lizard brain takes you around an obstacle when you have less than 1 second to do something about it is going to work if you don't understand that you need to forcefully press the bars.

    Edit: I had a good bit of confusion in my BRC when we were setting up for the first exercise where we actually turned the bikes at some sort of speed. They said we're going to go in an oval, and I said how do you turn the bike? They told me "don't make this too cerebral". Ok, that doesn't help me at all. There's something you're physically doing to make the bike turn, what the hell is it? If you teach someone to ride by telling them, you steer with your eyes, I suspect they will be quite poor at making very quick and abrupt course corrections.
  13. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,223
    Location:
    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    My response to that question from my MSF students would be: Look at the students, ask them "If getting a bike to turn involves intitiating lean, how do we initiate leaning?"

    I'd look around the group and invariably, someone would respond, "press or push on the grip in the direction of the turn." Just like I taught them on the first night of class.

    Questions like that are always best anwered by the students as it reaffirms their own learning patterns. For an instructor to answer like was done, either the RC is new, uninvolved, or trying to speed things along to save time. NEVER ever pass up a student question to support and reaffirm previously covered material. Big mistake in my book.
  14. shaddix

    shaddix Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    647
    Location:
    Central AL
    Question. If I recall, the reason I initially asked the question was because nothing about pressing was mentioned in the demo portion prior to executing the exercise. Is that correct or are they supposed to tell you to press on the left grip to turn during the explanation of the exercise?
  15. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,972
    Location:
    NEPA
    Do you absolutely HAVE to PUSH, could you pull right to go left?
    :wink:
  16. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Oddometer:
    7,700
    Location:
    Fredericksburg, Va.
    Yup... in VERY aggressive situations you can push/pull on the bars to initiate an immediate turn.
  17. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,624
    Location:
    Oregon
    Which one, the right or the left one? :D
  18. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,972
    Location:
    NEPA
    It depends on whether you're running synthetic oil or a car tire.:D
  19. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    15,104
    Location:
    Richmond, Va
    Ah geez, you guys are making this too difficult.

    That's it, I'm never looking my mirrors again. :norton
  20. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,223
    Location:
    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    Shaddix, to your question: "If I recall, the reason I initially asked the question was because nothing about pressing was mentioned in the demo portion prior to executing the exercise. Is that correct or are they supposed to tell you to press on the left grip to turn during the explanation of the exercise?"

    IF the RC had not described the action of "pressing to initiate lean" then that was his/her mistake. In this exercise (small oval) it is key that riders understand and use the "slow-look-lean-roll" sequence because it is the first time we really use it. It is key to at least make the students aware of it. If not, students WILL wander wide as they apply throttle through the turn. That exercise also includes a reversal of direction so the students ride the oval to the right, which again reinforces the action of now pressing to the right to initiate/control lean and path of travel.
    <table style="width: 18px; height: 12px;" id="post21425558" class="tborder" align="center" border="0" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td class="alt2" style="border: 1px solid #575757; border-top: 0px">
    </td><td class="alt1" style="border: 1px solid #575757; border-left: 0px; border-top: 0px" align="right">
    </td></tr></tbody></table>