Countersteering confusion : (

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

  1. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    19,768
    Location:
    Begin Op Zoom
    It was not my intent to ridicule you. I was only trying to help you understand that 1 MPH or 50 MPH if you turn a motorcycle you counter steer 100% of the time. It matters not how you made it happen… The FACT is it DID happen. If not you would have
    1. Continued going straight or
    2. Fell over.
    If you are going to teach your Son (or anyone else) Why not teach him (them) the truth?


    Ask yourself: How did they change directions while standing on the seat?

    Right answer: They initiated a counter steer.
  2. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    19,768
    Location:
    Begin Op Zoom

    This is exactly WRONG and a good way to get people hurt or killed.
  3. Valker

    Valker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Oddometer:
    540
    Location:
    Pampa, Texas
    Once again: counter steering is the ONLY way to turn any single track vehicle at any speed. There ARE
    multiple ways to cause the bars to move other than with hand pressure. If you are passionate enough in your beliefs opposed to what I said, very carefully tack weld the steering head into the perfectly straight ahead position (I recommend a really junky old bicycle that only goes slow and full protective gear) and try to ride.
    CAUTION: injury and/or death may suddenly occur, but a ride will not.
  4. hippiebrian

    hippiebrian Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    4,693
    Location:
    Long Beach, Ca.

    How?
  5. Sniperx

    Sniperx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    815
    Location:
    Socal
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgUOOwnZcDU

    Thanks for putting that up. The above video actually put the whole thing solidly in my mind. Now that I know HOW it works and WHY you need to do...I can focus on really practicing it.

    Just to make sure I have it.

    There are three ways to turn a motorcycle. Crank the bars, reserved for parking lots and extreme low speed. Lean with little input on the bars (intuitive counter-steering) producing a long sweeping curve. And a true counter-steer...pushing the bar with the hand you want to turn towards....this initiates a lean faster and deeper, giving you the needed counter weight (I forgot how the vid refers to it) to overcome the bikes nature to bring itself upright again. This allows you to throttle through the turn and get around whatever problem may be occurring (curve, swerve, or etc). The video goes into more detail, but I think I've got the mechanics of the thing understood.... Right?
  6. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    19,768
    Location:
    Begin Op Zoom
  7. DudeClone

    DudeClone Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,914
    Location:
    here, there, everywhere
    well i would like to share my own personal journey (lol) through the world of CS

    i was curious so looked at youtube....um, forget it

    ok, i am one of those "just doin' it" guys. i could always feel myself doing it but over time it has become a deliberate action of PUSHING on the bars. i think more casual riders may not understand THAT and if not told or taught at first they may miss it until experience kicks in. but if you never corner or turn aggressively you may not "get it" fully. do some ride such as that? seems so. i see 'em all the time. so their is counter steering for casual riding and counter steering for aggressive. i think? i mean idk i'm just saying how it feels for myself. i'm no expert or even a phony one

    it helps keep my ass in the seat and points the bike where i want it to go in a turn. it plants the bike down and balanced, allowing to take full advantage of your lean and turn angle. the bike wants to go over, but it is countering this otherwise disaster

    and that is this n00bs understanding of it

    PUSH DOWN on the bar and body and bike follow
  8. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,371
    Location:
    dumfrie scotland

    What's what I was told. Push Down on the left bar and the bike and rider will lean/ go left. Push down on the right bar and bike goes right.

    A British motorbike cop gave a safety talk and told people about counter steering. And said by pushing down on the left bar the bars pivet and the bike leans left with with the rider as one.

    And said look were you won't to go and keep your body inline with bike for better control.
  9. hippiebrian

    hippiebrian Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    4,693
    Location:
    Long Beach, Ca.
    Again, I know you think that those of us who think new riders don't need to have unnecessary information are going to kill people, but other than call us "assholes" you haven't explained why.

    Countersteering is how a motorcycle changes direction, wether you know that's what you are doing or not. It's basic physics, and people (like myself) have ridden for years successfully and as agressively as is safe on public roads without having even heard the term. No need to fill a new person's head with information they do not need. There is enough to think about.

    IMHO, when a new person enters a fairly technical curve with anything in their head other than slow, look, and accelerate through the curve there is a danger of overloading the brain and screwing it up. Just sayin' (again).
  10. Center-stand

    Center-stand Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,055

    A lot has been said in this thread, fact, fiction, and BS, but surely nobody believes they could actually turn a bike with out turning the front wheel in one manner or another.

    There is no argument to prove by welding the steering into a straight ahead, inoperable state.

    It has been said here recently that countersteering is how a bike changes direction. I would offer that countersteering is how we set the bike up to change direction. Once the lean is initiated we can then steer the bike through a turn. Should we need more or less lean we adjust that by countersteering.

    I don't think speed is a deciding factor in whether or not we countersteer, however, anytime we lean the bike or manipulate the steering of a bike to overcome the forces of gravity and / or centrifugal forces we have countersteered, irregardless of the speed we are traveling.

    Decreasing radius turns have been mentioned a lot. What about increasing radius turns? Once we have set the bike into the lean we steer through the turn, as the radius increases we countersteer out of the lean to a more upright position.

    To lean more, we press to turn in the direction opposite the lean. To lean less, we press or turn, into the lean. For the purpose of riding, Countersteering is as simple as that statement.

    If you have ever been around the bend, you countersteered. Congratulations, you have graduated from this thread.

    ..
  11. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    19,768
    Location:
    Begin Op Zoom
    RIGHT. No need for them to actually know how to tighten the turn up a bit when their heart starts to race and they taget fixate on that truck that just came around the corner.

    Run with that one Spanky! :loco
  12. Fajita Dave

    Fajita Dave Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    717
    Location:
    Barboursville, VA
    I'm just curious what you mean by pushing down?

    The easiest way to steer is by pushing in line with the handlebars range of motion. If you push down (straight toward the ground) on the handlebar its like trying to spin a tire by pushing on the sidewall.
  13. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,322
    Location:
    Tool Shed
    Imagine a motorcycle balancing on the tires' contact patches.

    Looking at the bike from front or rear there is a straight line from the pivot points (a line drawn on the road between the tire patches) up through the CG of the bike/rider above it.

    When leaning through a turn, the CG must be to one side of this vertical line up from the contact patch. How did it get there?

    Work with me here. Let's get this balancing act rolling.

    You are moving forward, balanced on the contact patch/pivot point and you want to turn left.

    To lean left you have to get this vertical line to right of the CG.

    To get the vertical line to the right of the CG you steer the pivot points out from under the CG, moving the patches to the right. (this is counter steering)

    This miniscule course correction can be nearly imperceptible, or, it can be very deliberate. Either way, it MUST happen any time a moving motorcycle leans into a turn. There is no other way to accomplish it.

    Even with weight shift, this will cause the front end to go ever so slightly the opposite way. There is no way to initiate a turn without moving the pivot point to the counter side of the CG.

    To turn a motorcycle you drive the pivot points out from under the motorcycle to the opposite side of the CG, counter to the way you want to lean/turn.

    The more you want to lean, the further you drive the patches opposite.

    The faster you want to lean, the faster you drive the contact patches the opposite direction by using the leverage at the bars, rather than weight shift.


    This is an immutable law of science, regardless of the perception some riders may have of what is happening. ( I even thought differently and argued vehemently earlier in this thread, until I realized that this is indeed how it works.)

    The gyroscopic effects add stability and can provide some amplification to manage the mass of bike and rider, but driving out from under the CG is what initiates a turn. Driving back under the CG gets you back on the straight and narrow.


    THE DEAD SQUIRREL SWERVE :huh

    One thing I've done while riding that illustrates this well is the Dead Squirrel Swerve. The object in question is in the path of your tires. You wait until nearly at the dead squirrel, then drive the tires out to the right to avoid the object. At this point you may notice how your body goes over the object, if not to the left of it. You are leaning LEFT, but your tires' contact patches are on a path to the RIGHT of the Dead Squirrel that was directly in the path of the tires.

    (for the record :deal, you can use other road debris, stains, patches in the road or other stationary objects in place of dead squirrels for this experiment)
  14. hippiebrian

    hippiebrian Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    4,693
    Location:
    Long Beach, Ca.
    I'll run with it. As I said, I was riding a good 25 years before I ever heard of countersteering. In that time, as you can imagine of a dude who averages 10-15 thousand bike miles a year, I faced many decreasing (and has been mentioned increasing) radius turns, some of which I was going faster than I should have. I successfully negotiated them all and, in fact, did not have my first crash until AFTER I knew what countersteering was.

    How did I manage to negotiate them when I had no idea that I was countersteering? Simple. I was countersteering. Basic physics. Works wether I know it or not. Same way little kids who don't know what gravity is are able to stay here on Earth. Gravity works wether you know about it or not. Basic physics.

    What a new person needs to know and practice is slowing before a curve, looking through the curve, accelerating through the curve, and to slow down on unfamiliar roads. Anything more is unnecessarily cluttering they're brains and could lead to confusion, brain freeze, or worse.
  15. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    291
    Location:
    Florida
    ............and are able to ride and turn bicycles without training wheels........... :freaky

    From the very OP:
  16. Mr Fast

    Mr Fast Slowly striving

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Oddometer:
    332
    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ
    You know, it's funny. I thought that I had actually got onto the perfect line & FINALLY there was no stupid thread on counterstering. Guess I was wrong. If you have ridden a bike for any length of time then you know how to countersteer. You either learn it or you crash. I've watched videos of lots of bikes crashing before a turn & invariably they try to turn the front wheel. You don't turn the front wheel above parking lot speeds. The posers & morons on this site can talk about countersteering until the fucking cows come home but it's this simple. You want to go right, you push right. You want to go left you push left. Nuff said.
  17. Center-stand

    Center-stand Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,055
    Hmmmmm, "you don't turn the front wheel above parking lot speeds"????????

    So what, in your mind, determines when the front wheel has been turned. Is it 3 degrees, 10 degrees, 20 degrees from center? Even a moron should know that you have to turn the front wheel to countersteer.

    You know not of what you speak.

    Let me offer something else to think about. If we go around the same curve twice, once at 60 MPH and once at 25 MPH we will not lean the bike the same amount. The amount of steering input will be different for each trip through the turn. At a slower speed we can see / feel both the lean and the steering input. At the higher speed the lean is greater and the steering input not as obvious, but it is still there. Just because input is subtle doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    ..
  18. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    105,205
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest

    You countersteer at all speeds. There is no lower limit.
  19. DudeClone

    DudeClone Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,914
    Location:
    here, there, everywhere
    its how it feels for me. i recall hearing and reading a lot of "press left to go right" stuff and it always sounded strange to me? its not a button. how do you press a handlebar? and so i always imagined it more a push

    when i turn now or even change lanes quickly at speed i feel a downward force, the bike planted firm. its just a feeling. and when i am leaning hard into a turn and applying the "press" it feels to me like i am pushing against something that is pushing back. and that push and push back is what is keeping me and the bike straight up and even as one. is the bike straight up? i would argue yes. but its in a turn so appears to be leaning

    :eek1

    you see guys all this science is now going to make my head explode. i mean wtf did i just post up there? i feel like i am in another dimension

    i have crossed over into The Matrix. and i hate that movie!!
  20. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,062
    Location:
    Western NY, further from NYC than 6 entire states
    Just watch the relationship between the forks and the tire, I AM counter steering, but the nudge into the turn is barely visible, but once leaned into the turn, you can clearly see the angle being into the turn. The video does not lie. This was a pretty good pace on a very tight road.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/a4apIlXHR3I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>