Countersteering confusion : (

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

  1. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    I hvae a name for it. "Willful ignorance."
  2. Idle

    Idle Been here awhile

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    Lion wrote

    "Now, my question to you is this: at what direction is your front wheel pointing, in relationship to the motorcycle front-rear axis, when you are at a 60 mph curve to the right? Is it pointing to the right (into the curve), straight, or to the left (counter to the direction of the curve)?"

    All of the above...it comes down to all the inputs. Steering, brakes, throttle, rider position, grip of tires, tire pressure, if the rear is sliding and also the changing road surface.
  3. i_4ce

    i_4ce wants a WeeStrom

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    Funny story.

    So it was my first time on a wave runner.

    The wave runner has a steering bar and it leans to turn like a motorcycle.

    So I'm going really fast on the wave runner. I'm planning on a right turn. So I start leaning my body to the right and push the right bar forward (like a counter steer). The wave runner leans it self to the left and turns left. I fly over the right side.
  4. farmerstu

    farmerstu Been here awhile

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    hey you're all right. it's good to have a discussion with someone with manners, i appreciate it. now as for the question.
    1. a motorcycle or any single track vehicle has to lean to turn.
    2.countersteering initiates the lean.
    3.when the required lean angle for the speed of the bike and the radiusof the turn is reached the front wheel is turned into the turn.
    4. if additional lean is needed(decreasing radius corner) or less lean is needed(coming out of the turn) the bikes is countersteered again.

    i still mantain the best way to learn to do this is weaving whitel lines on on m.t. hiway. start at 35 m.p.h. and work up
    50 should be dead easy for any rider. weaving cones in a parking lot doesn't seem to turn on the eureka lite for most new riders.
    hope this helps.
  5. Idle

    Idle Been here awhile

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    Try a Yamaha super jet standup "jetski" 800 two stroke with arm ripping acceleration.

    I'm standing up and 6 times in a row it just dipped out from under me when trying to turn. Finally figured it out, but it defiantly will humble you and help to recognize the counter steering you are programmed to do automatically.
  6. David R

    David R I been called a Nut Job..

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    My dad had a Snow Bug. Single ski snow mobile. Engine in the rear, wide track.

    Get on go for a ride. Turn the bars left like a snow mobile. Fly out the right side like a high side on a bike.

    Get back on , go again. Thow the machine to the left, then turn right. Hmmm it works.
    Counter steer.

    Most everybody that drove that machine dumped it the first time.

    David
  7. duck

    duck Banned

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    Really? I first learned about countersteering from my high school physics teacher. I tried it later that afternoon when doing my paper route on my bicycle and, sure enough, he was right.

    I learned a lot more about it when studying angular momentum in physics/dynamics to get my engineering degree. (Throw in lots of calculus here.)

    When I'm in a turn my conscious brain thinks "turn harder" and my lizard brain does the countersteeering for me.

    The only times I've ever thought consciously about countersteering when riding is when I'm bored on flat straight shit and just playing around.

    If you actually have to think about countersteering while riding then you really need to work on developing your riding skillz.

    Your definition of willfully ignorant is woefully ignorant.
  8. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    ... While tracking slightly outside the rear.
  9. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    Woah, an engineering degree! With calculus! Well, never mind then.

    Just kidding. You're still being willfully ignorant. It's not a huge deal to me, but I think you're giving out bad advice. You are advocating deliberately not thinking about countersteering, and letting your "lizard brain" take over. I'm advocating making countersteering part of your deliberate thought process. IMO I can be more precise in my day-to-day operations if I'm actively engaged in the act of turning the motorcycle. Also, I'm more likely to get it right in an emergency if I have trained myself to operate the controls, rather than hoping the lizard brain gets it right. YMMV, and it obviously does in this case.
  10. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    Both of you should go find a copy of "The Upper Half of the Motorcycle", which discusses this sort of thing.
  11. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    I don't want to read it unless it agrees with me.
  12. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

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    To answer to my own question:

    When at speed, when I enter a corner, from the time of the turn in, to the apex and to the exit, when on a smooth arc with no need for corrections, the *impression* that I get is that I'm counter-steering the whole way through. That is, my from wheel, at best, is moving straight, if not to the outside of the curve during lean. (Normal riding here, body straight or upper body slightly turned towards the inside of the curve, with normal tire pressures and NOT power steering - or steering with the rear tire).

    The impression I have is that if I'm turning the front wheel to the curve (after initial counter steer), I'm riding too slow (u-turn example).

    Lion
  13. shaddix

    shaddix Banned

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    It can be pointing straight ahead because the direction then wheel is pointing is not the only thing that causes a direction change where the rubber touches the ground. But this point is irrelevant because you are still pointing the tire further inward toward the curve than you would if you were countersteering. Countersteering is just the act of moving the tire out from under the mass of the bike and rider, that's it.

    I think the car explanation posted was the best. If you turn left in a car your weight shifts to the right. If you slow down to 10mph your weight doesn't start shifting to the left. I hope that paints clearly how absurd a magical line where countersteering starts really is.
  14. David R

    David R I been called a Nut Job..

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    I like the last part. Thank you

    David
  15. Fajita Dave

    Fajita Dave Been here awhile

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    The front tire is always following the direction of travel (there are some small variances but its complicated details that don't add up to much). If the motorcycle is actively turning left than the front wheel is pointing left in all riding situations with the front tire on the ground. A counter-steer is just briefly turning the handlebars further right to make the motorcycle lean left and vise versa. Once your lean angle is maintained (whether its up right or at maximum lean angle) than the counter-steer is over and the front wheel is following the exact line of travel.

    Here's an example and we'll use a slow turn so you get lots of movement from the handlebars to make it work. Lets say your maintaining a left U-turn and the handlebars are halfway between straight, and full left to make the turn (so there's steering input available left to use). That handlebar position is basically the motorcycles current "center" to maintain that given lean angle and stability. If you turn the handlebars right of that "center" in the U-turn it will lean lower and tighten the turn. If you turn to the left of that "center" it will make the bike stand up and widen the turn. Mean while the front wheel is still always pointing left going through the left U-turn. That might be a little hard to follow after reading it but I suck at wording some things clearly.
  16. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

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    Lion BR and Fajita Dave are both correct. As Dave said, you are ALWAYS turning the front wheel in the direction of the turn - WHILE IN A TURN. You turn the wheel the opposite direction to INITIATE THE TURN via countersteering.

    So in a turn, you may correct the radius of the turn/lean angle with additional countersteering inputs. So technically in a turn you are doing both... turning the wheel in the direction of the turn and countersteering to provide additional inputs as needed.

    Barry
  17. shaddix

    shaddix Banned

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    Sorry to complicate things but I was under the impression that the fact the tire is leaned over provides enough camber thrust to cause lateral acceleration of the front end without having any steering angle at all. Of course this only applies to wide angle turns, and at higher speeds 40mph+ you can actually have the wheel turned in the other direction.
  18. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    Erm. So we're now completely discounting the "ice cream cone" effect that's been used for so long to explain why motorcycle tires are rounded instead of square?

    (Which is neither here nor there, as far as countersteering is concerned...)
  19. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    +1 :1drink
  20. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

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    There you go. A magic number finally appears. And my impression that at 60mph on a curve, that my front wheel is NOT turned into the corner could be correct. It may not necessarily be the counter steering we speak of, but it is a counter steering.