Countersteering confusion : (

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

  1. rbrsddn

    rbrsddn 3banger

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    If it is so easy, why did that guy go wide in the corner on the Dragon and go flying over that vehicles hood??? Countersteering in a panic situation doesn't come naturally. You have to understand it to be able to use it when you need it most. And you are countersteering balancing on the pegs at a standstill. It doesn't " Kick" in at 5 mph.:lol3
  2. Sprig

    Sprig Been here awhile

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    WOW! I find it hard to believe this thread is STILL going and going and going (like the pink bunny).

    I rode and rode and rode bicycles growing up and put more miles on them then any other kid I know. But, for the most part, I do not believe that I spent enough time at speed where counter steering was required.

    There are a LOT of good videos showing that counter steering is NOT required to turn a two wheeled vehicle at all speeds.

    My favorite video is in this thread and is "counter weighting vs counter steering" and it is my favorite so far because it presents the issues going on so well.

    Like a spinning top on its point, the top does not come to a complete stop in it's spinning before the spinning is not enough to keep it upright.

    Counter steering on my small DR200 happens between 25-30 mph and seems to be affected by my placement of my heavy ass on the bike.

    If I want to turn really sharp at low speeds, I MUST counter weight.

    Counter steering is a REALLY EASY way to counter for high speed wind gusts on either side while riding highway speeds.

    My friend told me that I counter weight when he thinks I should counter steer. Maybe I have a better "feel" for what the gyroscopes are doing at the speed I'm going???

    I'd like to see someone ride the the "No BS Bike" without any hands on either set of "bars". Maybe some type of electronic cable control where the rider can have their hands in the air and still command the throttle, clutch, and brakes.

    I think limiting, and locking down, the body mass of a person by having them hold onto fixed bars is affecting how that rider would normally counter weight.

    The top falls over before the top stops spinning completely; there is a point of uncertainty.

    Why don't snowmobiles fall over when stopped?
  3. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    Maybe for the same reason that they don't have to bank to turn?

    Bikes must lean to turn.
    The rider must force that lean because the bike is perfectly happy being vertical.

    Like a judoka (Judo practitioner) does to an adversary, the rider must throw the bike out of balance.
    He has several ways to achieve that: have a friend kick the bike sideways, move his weight over and wait or use the handy and powerful steering bar for a more immediate throw.
  4. Rucksta

    Rucksta SS Blowhard

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    The simplicity of the physics have been revealed.

    Perhaps if the countersteering zealots we able to measure their dogma with this relevation much of their confusion would be relieved.
  5. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    And what is this mythical speed in your opinion? :ear

    Hint The ONLY correct answer is: Moving forward

    If you were moving... You WERE COUNTERSTEERING!

    If you believe this (25-30 mph bullshit) you are a fool.
  6. pretbek

    pretbek Long timer

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    Confuse? OK, compare this:

    "Point their head where they want to go".
    and
    "Push the handgrip where they want to go".

    There, it is even the same amount of words.
    That learners course over there does not do its students any favor.
  7. vfr700

    vfr700 172S

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    I gave my old partner my Twist of the Wrist collection as he decided to start riding and picked up a new GSXR 750 (back in 2000) to learn on :eek1. A week later he asked me how often I countersteered, my initial response was Tuesdays & Thursdays, unless it was leap year. He ended up wadding himself into a ditch, no injury. Replaced it with an R1.
  8. Rucksta

    Rucksta SS Blowhard

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    Now we are making progress of sorts.
    Dakaz tells us countersteering is not an absolute and only works when going forwards.

    Could this be a crack in the wall of the temple of countersteering fundamentalism?

    Does physics care or even know which direction the bike is moving?

    Countersteering effect (gyroscopic precession) could posibly work going backwards but I don't know of anyone who
    has controlled a bike backwards fast enough to have reached speed sufficient for the gyroscopic effect to kick in.
    I have observed sudden loss of control from riders who appeared to previously have "mastered" the art of rolling back off a hill for a another go.

    Maybe one of the acolytes would provide some experimental data.
    A large half pipe may provide a suitable test environment
  9. Sprig

    Sprig Been here awhile

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    Ok, I'm a fool.

    I'm trying to teach my son to ride safely. He is currently only riding about 20mph top speed (local area limit that he respects and follows) and even though I have shown him the counter weighting vs counter steering video, he says that he can't understand how counter steering works; but he hasn't yet pushed the bike any faster then the posted limit.

    A spinning top does NOT stay up just because it is spinning a "little". There is some point where a spinning top is not spinning fast enough to remain upright.

    I've seen video of guys standing upon the seat and navigating to maintain center of lane. How is that counter steer thing working then?

    I've seen video of motorcycles with wide open throttle change from being on the ground to righting themselves and charging ahead on two wheels WITHOUT a rider (no rider ... ).

    I'm a fool ...

    hrrmmm,

    Counter steering is something everyone must learn, as well as looking where you want to go.

    Was on a section of 129 and had an Orange pickup go over the center line, and took away my prefect line. Look right for an out and see a wall of garbage dumpsters.

    My only choice was a very imperfect line on the pavement that was between the truck and the garbage bins. I actually mentally turned my head where I wanted to go, locked my eyes forward with my head, and counter steered like crazy trying to avoid impact with the garbage dumpsters.

    The tires held the line ... I almost had to change underwear.

    Counter steering works when you are going fast enough, and is the ONLY way one can control the machine when the gyros are going faster then the spinning top that falls over.

    I don't really think I am a fool.

    Spinning things exhibit different behavior depending upon how fast they are spinning.

    I believe in both counter weight and counter steer ... and it all depends on how fast the spinning things are spinning.
  10. henshao

    henshao Bained

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    Countersteering does not rely on gyroscopic precession! You could have wheels made of light and it would still work!

    Think about this: when driving a car, if you turn to the right which way does the body go? It goes to the left and it has shit to do with gyroscopes or centrifuges.
  11. Sprig

    Sprig Been here awhile

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    I'm thinking about a scene in the movie "Cars" where the old guy advises the young guy to turn left to go right...

    The devil is in the details.
  12. DudeClone

    DudeClone Long timer

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    :rofl
  13. DudeClone

    DudeClone Long timer

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    ^ hey look i am counter-rolling
  14. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic

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    OK here is something for both sides to argue about.

    Thais is an excerpt from Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design the art and science, by Tony Foale Considered the Bible of motorcycle dynamics by many.

    First is explains in detail what initiates the turn. For those that feel they must know exactly how it works in order to do it. (have fun trying to consciously apply this while riding). And for those that claim you counter steer all the way through a corner it shows why normally you do not, but at a point turn in the direction you want to go.

    And the point I have tried to make , at the end, the brain with visual and information from our cochlea, and semicircular canal (inner ear) process and adjust rapidly. Yes people run off corners, not because they don't know how to counter steer, but because they get scared and look for an out, and as soon as they turn their head to look away from their target, 1/2 of the brains input changes channel, and your brain steers you there. IMHO LOOKING WHERE YOU WANT TO GO is a better lesson than learning the dynamics of counter steering.

    So here is Tony Foale's in depth analysis.

    Initiating a turn
    The basics
    How do we actually initiate the turn, we have already seen that a moving motorcycle has an automatic tendency to stay upright? Do we lean first or steer first? If we were to turn the handlebar in the direction we want to go, both centripetal tyre force and gyroscopic precession of the front wheel would cause the bike to topple outward. Therefore, if we momentarily turn the bar in the opposite direction, then the centripetal tyre force and, to a much lesser extent, the gyroscopic reactions will cause the machine to
    bank to the correct side. There are four main effects to be observed.
    • A steering action to the right, will cause the machine to start turning right, and just as in a car,
    centripetal tyre force will cause a lean to the left. This is the major banking influence.
    • This steering action as we have seen, will also produce a small precessional tendency to lean the
    machine to the left. This is a small effect when the wheels are on the ground, as shown later.
    • Gravity will then initially augment the banking effect, but this will become less important as the tyre
    cornering force builds up and balances the gravitational moment completely, when the bike reaches
    the steady state lean angle.
    Balance and steering 4-7
    • The velocity of banking or roll rate will give rise to gyroscopic torques which oppose the rider’s
    counter-steering input helping to steer the front wheel into the curve. This gyroscopic torque is in
    opposition to the rider applied steering torque, and in fact balances most of his input and hence
    works against rapid steering. However, without this “negative feedback” the bike would be rather
    unstable and very hard to control, as we shall see.
    These forces will also act on the rear wheel which, because it is rigidly attached to the bulk of the
    machine, will tend to make the machine yaw into the curve. However, this reinforcing effect is secondary
    to that of the front wheel. Steering rake and front-wheel trail, also help steer the machine into the curve
    as the lean angle builds up. When we have established our correct lean angle, the processes for
    maintaining balance, as described above, will come into effect and help keep the bike on our chosen
    path.
    We have seen, then, that a turn can be initiated by steering momentarily in the “wrong” direction.
    Termed “counter-steering”, for most riders this action is accomplished subconsciously. In racing, riders
    often make use of deliberate counter-steering to achieve the high roll rates necessary under those
    extreme conditions. Briefly, it is the combination of gyroscopic moments and centripetal force that
    requires this counter-steering action, we don’t have a choice in the matter. There are those that would
    have us believe that counter-steering wasn’t known about until the 1970s. or ‘80s.. This is nonsense, it
    is well documented that around the start of the 20th century the Wright Bros. were well aware that this
    was the mechanism for turning a bicycle. In the early 1950s., whilst chief engineer at the Royal Enfield
    motorcycle factory, Wilson-Jones did a series of tests with real motorcycles to investigate this further.
    The results of these and some of his other experiments into steering geometry were published in
    engineering journals.
    However, counter-steering doesn’t explain how we can corner “hands-off”. Although, whilst it is possible
    to do this, it is accomplished only with a lot more difficulty. So let us consider what happens if we try to
    lean without being able to steer. As there is nothing solid for us to push against, the only way we can
    apply bank is to push against the machine with the inertia of our own body. To lean the bike to the left,
    we must therefore initially move our body weight to the right. The left leaning bike will now generate
    camber forces from the tyres tending to lean both rider and machine over to the right, the roll rate will
    again cause a gyroscopic steering torque which helps ensure correct balance. The initial bike lean to the
    left might well be considered as a ‘counter-lean’, analogous to the ‘counter-steer’ of hands-on turning.
    Anyone that has tried changing direction ‘no-hands’ will know that we have far less control over the
    machine with just body movement available. The mechanisms involved with counter-steering produce
    much greater response and more finesse of control.
    So, we now have two possible methods of initiating a turn and it is interesting to note that in both of them
    (banking and counter-steering) our physical effort is in the opposite sense to that which might be thought
    natural. When learning we adapt quickly and the required action becomes automatic. It is these reverse
    actions that require us to learn to ride in the first place. The required responses are clearly counter
    intuitive. When learning most of us initially wobble about out of control until our sub-conscious latches
    on to the fact that counter-steering and counter-leaning is the way to do it. Once the brain has switched
    into reverse gear, it becomes instinctive and is usually with us for life, and we can return to riding after a
    long layoff with no need to re-learn the art of balancing or steering.
    In practice, we sub-consciously combine both methods, with some steering and some body motion. The
    relative proportions by which we combine the two methods depend partly on riding style but also on
    speed and machine characteristics. For example, a heavy machine with light wheels at low speeds
    demands a different technique from that appropriate to a light machine with heavy wheels at high speeds
    4-8 Balance and steering
    and hence a different feel. However, humans adapt quickly and the correct technique soon becomes
    second nature.

  15. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic

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    More from Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design the art and science, by Tony Foale

    More detail
    Having considered the basis of initiating a turn in fairly general terms, let’s now look at this very
    important aspect in more detail.
    Consider a racing bike approaching a corner and the rider needs to heel over as fast as possible. He
    strongly applies counter-steer and the machine starts to lean over rapidly, but getting a quick roll
    acceleration also means we need a quick roll deceleration. We start off upright with no roll velocity and
    we end up at 45-50 degrees lean, again with no roll velocity. In the process the roll velocity must have
    increased up to a maximum value somewhere around about half of the final roll angle, and then
    decelerated back down to zero roll velocity at the final lean angle. So the whole lean-in process is not
    just as simple as a bit of counter-steering followed by straightening out at the end. Basically, we use
    counter-steer to lean the bike in, at about half way through the roll we have to remove it and possibly
    give it some "pro-steering" to cause the roll deceleration.
    For a long time those that read various motorcycle magazines may have been somewhat confused by
    the rather conflicting “explanations” often given for this process. There would appear to be two
    conflicting theories and the adherents of one seem to deny completely any possibility of validity in the
    other. We might term these two theories
    • Gyroscopic or precessional theory. Where it is taken as read, that at least the majority of the
    lean-in torque comes from gyroscopic reactions.
    • Steering out from under theory. Which basically assumes that as the front tyre steers out from
    under the CoG., gravity will then continue the lean as the steering straightens up.
    I imagine that most open-minded people interested in this subject would be inclined to the view that there
    are probably some truths and untruths in both points of view with reality lying somewhere in a
    combination of both. We shall see that this is indeed the actual situation, but we shall also see that the
    physical mechanisms from either theory alone is capable of explaining the motorcycle lean-in. However,
    neither theory alone properly explains all the observed phenomenon. Both theories however, require
    that we use “counter-steering” i.e. the initial rider’s input is counter to that necessary for a very slow
    speed turn.
    The whole process of establishing a stable cornering attitude is extremely complex and to understand it
    properly needs a mathematical explanation outside of the scope of this book, but the following is a
    detailed description of the process using graphical rather than mathematical results from computer
    dynamic simulations. In order to fully understand what’s happening some of the simulations represent
    impossible situations, but are never-the-less useful. For example, in the first simulation we consider the
    case in which the tyres produce no lateral force, thus leaving us with only gyroscopic reactions to lean
    the machine. Another simulation is done with no gyroscopic effects, this approach allows us to clearly
    see the individual forces and is useful to test the two theories above. The simulations allow us to
    investigate the effects of parameter combinations that just aren’t possible with a real machine, and this
    can provide valuable insights to the detail behaviour. All the simulations are for a bike travelling at 100
    km/h, and the rider is aiming for a final lean angle of 44 degrees. The bike data is not for any specific
    Balance and steering 4-9
    bike but, except where noted, are typical of an average large capacity machine. Before tackling the
    following, the reader is advised to read Appendix 4 describing the mechanisms of gyroscopic effects.
    The following text is quite detailed and possibly tedious to read, but is included for those that want to
    better understand the detailed mechanisms of the lean-in process.
  16. hippiebrian

    hippiebrian Long timer

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    Like I said earlier, the dude went wide in the corner because he was riding faster than his ability and experience were prepared for. Do that, and you'll screw up every time wether you know the physics of turning a bike or not.
  17. hippiebrian

    hippiebrian Long timer

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    Okay, push your bike around your driveway and countersteer. At that slow a speed, countersteering will just make you drop your bike at worst, go the wrong direction at best.
  18. hippiebrian

    hippiebrian Long timer

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    I just have a hard time with people who teach new people how to ride filling their head with unnecessary information. There is enough for a new person to concentrate on when they are out there riding and practicing. Adding more information than necessary makes it not only more confusing and difficult but potentially more dangerous. Countersteering is a "nice to know" for those who have been riding for a while just to learn the physics, but unnecessary for a new rider.
  19. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    Counter-steering is more necessary for higher speeds, when turning a bike requires real force (some GP racers have bent handlebars); a realm very far from a new rider while riding like a new rider should.
    Maybe we should teach a person to ride in simple terms with the caveat of later returning to us to learn counter-steering, before he/she becomes over-confident and stupid and tries negotiating that curve "riding faster than his ability and experience were prepared for".
  20. farmerstu

    farmerstu Been here awhile

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    I don't think anyone here is saying you need to teach the physics of why a m.c. needs to countersteer to initiate a turn.
    however,explaining that a bike has to lean in order to turn,and further explaining that in order to get the bike to lean you have to countersteer.
    just saying look where you want to go and having a new rider figure it out from there borders on the criminal.
    if it works for you,great. but please,please don't be teaching anyone else how to ride.

    you don't know what you don't know. imagine a person born blind. sight can be described to them be any number of sighted people. but they can never really know what it is to see.

    now we're off to Wisconsin for the weekend. hope you have a great labor day weekend as well!