Countersteering confusion : (

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

  1. Center-stand

    Center-stand Long timer

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    ..

    Thanks PFFOG, for your video. Not only does it illustrate precisely what I was trying to describe, it is a fine stretch of highway with very little traffic. Looked like the Dogwoods were in bloom. The wet turn at 8:29 was a good example of making a momentary correction to bring the bike out of the lean just long enough to get through the water.

    Would you care to tell us the highway number and location?

    ..
  2. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic

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    Not publicly, like you said, fine pavement, no traffic and twisty as hell, and I want to keep it that way, especially the no traffic or LEO part:deal
  3. Mr Fast

    Mr Fast Slowly striving

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    Point I'm trying to make is that you guys are trying to complicate something simple. And I'm no noob. I've gone to race schools, club raced & raced in Baja. Keep it simple.
  4. dazeedmonds

    dazeedmonds Been here awhile

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    65 Pages in...impressive.

    So I am a n00b. I have put less than 2000 miles on my bike. I actually took an MSF course (twice in about 4 years) And they explained counter steering. It made no sense the first time around. The second time however I was a little more comfortable on the bike, and played around with pushing the handlebars a little more, and wow! All the sudden the bike fell into the turn the way it should, like MAGIC! All well and good at 25 MPH in a controlled environment.

    On my commute to work there are some twisty bits :clap and as I became more comfortable I rode a little faster through the twisty bits until :eek1 then I remembered what they said in the MSF class "if you're going a little too fast in a turn, push harder and the bike will lean more letting you go through the turn" Before I crossed into the other lane (this particular curve is a right hand curve) I pushed the RIGHT handle bar FORWARD and the bike leaned harder RIGHT and I made the curve with minimal fuss.

    So should Counter steering be taught? Yes absolutely, KNOWING that pushing the handlebar would make the bike turn tighter probably didn't save my life or anything, as that road is a relatively tame 55 MPH back road with almost no traffic, but I knew what to do in the situation. Counter steering won't save the Squid who's doing 120 and dumps his bike because he ran out of traction, or couldn't make a turn, but it may well save someone who is riding a little to hot for their entry angle. It does need to be practiced, and that's what I'm going to tell the LEO who is certain I am drunk weaving down the road. :evil

    For those who would like a demo to explain to people get one of the kid's toy gyros ( like http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/eafc/ ) turn it sideways and spin it up and then have the person you are trying to teach push the gyro and see what happens. It's basic physics, but it is often easier to show than explain. having someone feel how the gyroscopic action wants to move may help them believe/understand how it works on a motorcycle.

    As they say on Mythbusters: WARNING SCIENCE CONTENT
    Knowing what will happen when you push on the handlebars is important, why, how, and specific properties less so, but for the scientific minds, a gyro responds to an input on an axis 90 degrees from the input axis. Push up it goes left, push down -> right, twist left it rolls in a funny way. Anyhow here is a good wiki article on gyros. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyroscope

    Source: I am a gyro.
  5. Center-stand

    Center-stand Long timer

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    And you made it around all those turns without turning the front wheel. Amazing what they teach you in race schools.
  6. Fajita Dave

    Fajita Dave Been here awhile

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    The reason why I asked is because I used to do exactly that on my dirtbike. Sort of like pushing the handlebar down toward the front tire when you make your steering input right? The only thing that pushing down on the handlebar does is make the steering input feel harder (because it is harder). Riding around on the street and not trying to race it doesn't make much of a difference at all. If you need to swerve quickly it can become an issue.

    After I learned about counter-steering years ago this is one of the things that took time off my laps around the track. I realized that direction changes are done entirely by turning the handlebar with a counter-steer. Obviously the handlebars are on a fixed axis. So the easiest way to turn is to push the handlebars on that fixed axis. If you try to push on the handlebars in any other direction its nothing but wasted energy.

    While standing on a dirtbike its hard to get at that angle but it doesn't take much effort to turn the handlebars anyway. It makes a HUGE difference on the sportbike at speed. It feels like it takes half the steering effort when you push on the handlebars from the right angle.

    There's no science in this one, just technique.
  7. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    The gyroscopic effect of the wheels is what keeps a two wheeler from falling over , like standing still. Countersteering is something else.
  8. dazeedmonds

    dazeedmonds Been here awhile

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    No.....both are gyroscopic properties. The wiki article in my previous post has a pretty informational gif.

    The gyroscopic action of the wheels does help balance the motorcycle, however the same gyroscopic properties are WHY counter steering works.

    Some people have said that it's because you are turning the wheel slightly and thus is falls into line, that is not correct. You don't turn the wheel enough in a counter steer to cause the tire to fall far enough out of line to have the bike fall over.

    Try this: In a SAFE place initiate a lean by counter steering. Then release all input in the direction of the lean, unless you are far enough over that the camber of the tires will carry you through the turn, the bike will right itself. You actually have to continually apply the same amount of pressure throughout the duration of the turn to maintain the turn. That is the gyroscopic action at work.
  9. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    No , that's the steering rake and trail realigning the wheels. The gyroscopic effect only try's to keep the wheel at its current orientation , be it horizontal , vertical or whatever. Hold a spinning bicycle wheel in front of you with the axle horizontal. It does resist movement , but turn it 45 , 90 degrees or whatever and it wants to stay there now.
  10. Center-stand

    Center-stand Long timer

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  11. aferiksson

    aferiksson Been here awhile

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    I'm still learning to ride a motorcycle, and as I've written earlier - it helps knowing about countersteering. I don't care how or why it works, but when I push the right handlebar the bikes turn more to the right.

    I've been riding bicycles for more than 40 years, and drove a cage for almost 30. I was not aware of the countersteering effect until my MC teacher told me a few weeks back, and when I got it I realized that's exactly what I've been doing on my pedal bike and why it helps on a moto as well.

    Over here most MC teachers explain what countersteer is and why you might want to know it. I was fully able to swivel between cones without knowing it, but it turned out to be a lot easier when I got it explained :)
  12. David R

    David R I been called a Nut Job..

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    :clap
  13. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    That's because by the time you got done , you had twice the mileage under your belt.:lol3
  14. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8H98BgRzpOM

    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/NeXIV-wMVUk?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  15. aferiksson

    aferiksson Been here awhile

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    Is that a bad thing?
  16. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    Because it is an acceleration, the gyroscopic reaction of the front wheel helps leaning the bike, yes, but only while the handlebar is being turned.
    It also depends on the rotational speed and mass of the wheel-tire.

    Even when you stop the turning of the handlebar, the bike may continue falling into a lean.
    The reason is that centripetal acceleration is another force inducing that lean.
    As long as both tires are aligned to turn and describing a circular movement, that centripetal acceleration is present (stronger for higher speed and lower radius).

    The bike reaction that you describe is proper of under-steering bikes.
    Depending on tires' profiles and steering geometry there are also neutral and over-steering bikes when turning.
  17. dazeedmonds

    dazeedmonds Been here awhile

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    Correct, that is what I said. Release the handlebar and the bike will right itself, UNLESS you have pushed the bike far enough over that other forces will guide the bike and continue the lean. Perhaps I did not make my previous post clear enough. I was only stating that that the gyroscopic action of the wheel causes the bike to begin the turn. There are many different forces at work when turning a bike.

    I was merely rebutting joexr's opinion that the gyroscopic forces only keep the bike upright; which is incorrect. Gyroscopic principles also (and perhaps I should have said it this way to begin with) BEGIN the turning process.


    ALL of this however is not relevant to helping a new rider learn about counter steering. I was simply saying that showing a n00b how turning a gyro will cause it to lean, may be helpful (if an over-simplification of the process) in explaining counter steering.
  18. Dolly Sod

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

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    Nope, the out steering of the contact patches starts the lean. The gyroscopic force that the front wheel exerts on the bike by turning the handlebars is much less than that of the moving contact patches. So much less that it's force can be considered zero.

    It is equivalent to the force of your input into the bars. Which is why the bars get harder to turn the faster you go, but is not enough force, for instance, to pick the bike up from a 30 degree lean.
  19. dazeedmonds

    dazeedmonds Been here awhile

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    In search of knowledge I ask: Why then do I press on the left handlebar to pull the bike out of a right handed turn?

    (seriously asking, accepting the possibility that I may be wrong)
  20. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    COUNTERSTEERING.:deal