Countersteer or Die!

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by wadenelson, May 17, 2018.

  1. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    4,107
    Location:
    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    I did a BRC class last weekend. After the exercises that start the process of pressing to initiate lean, and the next multiple curves exercise, I explain to my students that in reality most of their leaning/riding curves is accomplished with intuitive body english. Most leaning and curves are easily done. Countersteering really applies when the rider wants it, but especially when the rider needs it. That comes with a big clarification. If the rider never learns/applies active countersteering and does not have that control option, some day a road or traffic event WILL come up requiring the rider to actively apply effective control. In those instances the right control input saves the ride, the rider. Without it, another crash statistic in in the books.

    Motorcycling is risky. Motorcyclists can only survive with risk management. Motorcycle "safety" is really an oxymoron.

    Side note; in that same class, the "experienced rider" in the group dumped his bike during his third attempt at the swerve maneuver, the previous two succesfull. I indicated a left swerve early to him, he started the swerve with the left press on the grip, and then clamped on the front brake. Even at 15 mph it takes very little to overcome traction on clean dry asphalt. He was ok, ego bruised, same for a knee and elbow, lots of scratches on the bike, dented tank. Good technique, and knowing what to do, when to do it, is survival.
    lnewqban, Andrew and AZQKR like this.
  2. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    30,527
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    Effective intuitive rider input to initiate a turn is counter steer.
    AZQKR, lucky13gsa and Klay like this.
  3. AZQKR

    AZQKR Long timer

    Joined:
    May 8, 2018
    Oddometer:
    1,226
    Location:
    arizona
    I think that about concludes the discussion :D
  4. CROSSBOLT

    CROSSBOLT Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2018
    Oddometer:
    732
    Location:
    Hillville, TN
    Been listening to this forEVER! This business of making a two-wheel machine go where you want is a subject of control PRESSURE more than movement. One contributor said something about if you can ride competently don't read this! All you have to do is think where you want to go, look at where you want to go and you will go there. Look at the good part of the road, not the pothole. The machine is an extension of YOU. Pressure on, not movement of the controls. Another said you start leaning into the turn you are pushing on the bar in the direction of the lean. This has always made sense to me but some seem to go into cerebral lock-up.
  5. Center-stand

    Center-stand Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,892
    ..

    I've been thinking all day I want to go to Colorado, even looked to the west, but I'm still in Kentucky. :-)

    ..
  6. CROSSBOLT

    CROSSBOLT Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2018
    Oddometer:
    732
    Location:
    Hillville, TN
    That's a good one, Center-stand! Next time you think Colorado and look to the west get on yer bike. You won't be in Kaintuck long!
  7. Dolly Sod

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

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    18,873
    Location:
    Richmond, Va
    Hell, I've only been looking at maps of the local mountain bike trails, and have even been looking in that direction out of my office window. Yet the rain hasn't stopped and the trails haven't opened.
  8. Center-stand

    Center-stand Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,892
    ..

    Saw you were having bad weather in your area. Stay safe.

    ..
  9. Dolly Sod

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

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    18,873
    Location:
    Richmond, Va
    I must have looked too hard, we had several tornadoes just a couple of miles from me..

    Thanks.
  10. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminium boxes Super Moderator Supporter

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    11,142
    Location:
    Detroit mostly
    I rode a Spyder this weekend. At least, I tried. The first few minutes were bizarre. Took me a while to get my brain to direct steer.

    Anyone who questions countersteering needs to try to ride a Spyder and then tell us how countersteering isn't real. lol
    Dolly Sod likes this.
  11. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever It turns out you can't delete your account...

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,594
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    IIRC, absolutely nobody on this steaming three-coiler of a thread has denied that countersteering is real. What hundreds and hundreds of posts and all manner of ad hominems and incoherent rage have been focused on is whether a bike is still countersteered when it's going very slowly. The countersteering taliban continuously revised their definition of the word until it reached the point where any hinging of the bike at the headstock was countersteering, and the debate choked on its own vomit. Everybody lived happily ever after... until you bumped the thread.
    lnewqban likes this.
  12. Cloud Roamer

    Cloud Roamer i do it in the road.

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    182
    Location:
    Old Dominion

    That's exactly why I cannot drive a direct steer vehicle in less that has a steering wheel . If it has a hanfke bar I am counter steering automatically .

    I've been doing this for 48 years and the counter steering is embedded. If you gave me a Seadoo...... I will roll it over.
    .. ,(I tried for 3 hours one day and I swallowed a gallon of Lake water)

    if you give me a trike I'll flip it over.
    so I have to stay off them.

    This is this time of year I practice my instant counter steering techniques .....when the leaves fall on the road I select a path through them.... it demands in instant reflexes because the leaves are skittering across the road and the pattern is constantly changing. For a change of pace I try to dodge and weave to avoid the flying leaves that's fun also.

    M->
    4bikes and Dolly Sod like this.
  13. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    120,125
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    Of course you're countersteering when going slowly. You always have to balance the bike. Nobody is revising any definitions of words.
    Dolly Sod likes this.
  14. Dolly Sod

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

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    18,873
    Location:
    Richmond, Va
    You seem angry for a guy who lived happily ever after.
  15. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever It turns out you can't delete your account...

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,594
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    This has been a 106 page troll. The problem is that there have been SO many posts that it's too long to read, so people are arguing with things nobody has actually said. Everybody who rides a motorcycle countersteers almost all the time, and counterbalances the rest of the time. Some people are happier calling both of those things countersteering, which is fine. But the indisputable fact is that at low speeds, the principle of physics that is actually changing the direction of the bike is slip angles, initiated by direct steering. You might be doing something else in addition to that to keep the bike balanced, but that's not how you're steering. This is what intuition and observation tells us. This is what every expert willing to put their name and an actual resume behind it tells us. The rest is semantics, or crazy-making from someone who for whatever reason doesn't seem to be riding much this season, given his post count.
  16. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    120,125
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    No, it's not. You have to briefly steer opposite the direction you want to turn, same as at higher speeds. At higher speeds, you are also steering in the direction of the turn after the lean is initiated, same as at lower speeds. The physics is the same, and the differences are in degree of motion, not direction of motion. Please stop spreading dangerous ignorant nonsense.
  17. lucky13gsa

    lucky13gsa lost

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    262
    Location:
    off the beaten path
    Slip angle, as in an oversteer/understeer situation? At a speed low enough that countersteering is not involved to initiate a turn? This sounds exciting.
  18. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever It turns out you can't delete your account...

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,594
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Nope. It's a physics term... a slip angle is generated when a turning front wheel is pointed other than in the vehicle's true heading. The result is a change of direction to that in which the wheel was pointed. It's not how motorcycles generally change direction, but where speed is insufficient to generate camber thrust, it can be.

    Apologies if I've slightly misapplied the terms here, but this is basically it. You have to be careful with all the Nobel Prize winners on this thread...

    EDIT: Here's a reasonably clear explanation from Tony Foale, both terms used in context. He doesn't deal with low speeds and motorcycles, here, but slip angle is well defined.
  19. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    120,125
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    It would probably be best if you stopped using your moronic "slip angle" reference altogether. The front wheel is always going in exactly the direction it is pointed unless it is slipping, whether at high or low speeds.
  20. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    120,125
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    Here's what wiki defines as slip angle:

    "
    [​IMG]
    'Deflected' tread path, sideslip velocity and slip angle
    In vehicle dynamics, slip angle[1] or sideslip angle[2] is the angle between a rolling wheel's actual direction of travel and the direction towards which it is pointing"

    Betterlatethannever is using the term in exactly the wrong way. We're talking about countersteering under normal conditions here with the front wheel in good traction and not slipping...everything changes when the front wheel is slipping or skidding.
    CROSSBOLT likes this.