Countersteer or Die!

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

  1. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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  2. Vanishing Point

    Vanishing Point Lengthy Member

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    Die. It's a German definite article in the feminine gender. As used it makes little sense.

  3. drmiller100

    drmiller100 Long timer

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    Thank you all. I KNOW I am not a good rider. I KNOW I have overbaked corners on asphalt and got FRIGGING LUCKY and not crashed. I don't like counting on luck.
    So, for me, in this thread, I have learned I need to focus on pushing the handlebar tighter in the corner. I need to learn to move my chin over the inside handlebar. I need to shift my weight INSIDE THE CORNER, not outside the corner, to tighten up the corner.
    I do know this. If I overbake the corner, and I let off the throttle and go neutral, or even think of front brake IN the corner, I go wider, which is bad. On dirt, if I trail brake, or get on the throttle, the rear tire will have a higher slip angle than the front, causing the bike to be agreeable about turning tighter and pointing inwards.
    But learning to do this automatically takes practice, and I'm old and dumb and fat and KNOWING things to try helps me practice when I have room to experiment.
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  4. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    Quoting Keith Code, thinking that will convince me your informed. That's funny!

    Why am I not surprised that Codes bikes collapse in the front end when he rolls off the throttle. After all he's the one in his book telling everyone no value in correctly setting up suspensions (springs and valving). It all in the 'wrist', apparently. What a crock of shit.

    Oh! and by the way Mark, like many things written by Code the above statement is also WRONG. Accelerating out of a corner DOES make a bike stand up. It is true that you have to counter-steer (which is actually a steer torque relative to the initial counter-steer going into the corner) to get a bike to stand up if you just roll through a corner on 'neutral' throttle. And it is also true that most riders aren't aware they do it. BUT .... the harder you accelerate out of the corner the lower the amount of bar counter steer torque necessary. Accelerate hard enough and none is required. Accelerate even harder and the front wheel won't even be touching the road.

    Don't believe me, go out and try it yourself.

    P.S. If you are a Code fan, perhaps you can explain Chapter Nineteen of TOTW - 'Pivot Steering'. In the 24 years since the book was published I've yet to see anyone who can make even the slightest sense of it. :rofl
  5. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Souped-Up Weasel

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    You're laboring under a misconception here. Let's back up a little bit. You enter a typical corner using the slow-look-press-roll technique as taught in the MSF class. Once you're in the corner you should be on the gas and the front wheel is actually turned slightly to the inside of the turn. That's gonna be important in a minute.

    If you decide to slow down in the turn, you can use either the front wheel (via the front brake) or the rear wheel (via throttle roll-off or rear brake). If you use the front brake, the forces on the front wheel cause it to turn further into the turn, basically countersteering you up and out of the turn. Which is bad. You can overcome it by pressing harder on the inside grip, but the first thing that happens when you use the front brake is the bike stands up. Not great if you're already running wide. It's also not great to be introducing new inputs to the front contact patch.

    How about using the rear brake, or rolling off the throttle? That has the effect of pulling backward on the bike, which tries to bring the front wheel into alignment, countersteering you INTO the turn. Hey, that sounds like the ticket. And it is. I'm not a huge fan of trying to use the rear brake in the middle of a turn, but I am a huge fan of using a slight throttle roll-off to tighten up a turn. The key to using the throttle to adjust your turn is having engine braking available. If you're at mid-to-low rpm nothing really happens when you roll off the throttle so you don't get any slowing or wheel-straightening effect. In a serious turn you should be in the upper third of the rpm range. That will enable you to adjust your radius with tiny throttle changes.

    Of course, slowing down by any means will eventually make your radius smaller, as long as you keep the angle of bank the same. But those are second-order effects. The first-order effects are the increased or decreased angle of bank caused by the front wheel being turned by the braking forces.

    So, ride your favorite twisty road. Keep the rpm up. Make tiny changes with your throttle in the corner. Let us know how it goes.

    As a note, there is also one immutable law of motorcycling. We're seeing some evidence of it here. That is, if JohnCW says it, it's wrong.
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  6. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    I have done it. Done it a lot when out goofing around. I find that whenever I add a bit of throttle I tend to go deeper, not full or hard throttle like when exiting a turn. When let off too much throttle or add something more than trail braking my bike will tend to stand up and move out, requiring some action to correct it, the reason I know it happens for me is I've done it. That is also why I say to simply try it. May or may not do anything for a given rider. Just know what it does for me, especially on the dual sport.

    As for pivot turning, sounds a bit more dirt related, but didn't get to read much there. In racing it maybe using rear tire slip, pivoting on the front sligtly. Kind of like how a speedway or flat track ride tends to do what they do, but to a more radical extreme. Ever see a speedway rider or flat tracker let off the throttle when in a turn a bit hot? Sure screws up the hay bales.

    When your authority reaches the level of teaching national and world class riders maybe you will be quoted too.
  7. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    What world class riders? Another pile of cow dung.

    Share a funny story. There is a female rider in the USA who recently retired. She was competing in the national supersport class I think, had a bit of limited success. Can't remember her name but I'm sure anyone familiar with your national league will know who I mean. Anyhow your 'authority' was taking a lot of credit for her success. Went to her web page and she has written up quite a bit about her career. BUT not a mention of your 'authority', not a single one.

    But now to the funny bit. She does give credit to a riding coach for helping her with her career. And that person is Jason Pridmore, son of 3 times national champion and AMA hall of fame member Reg Pridmore. If you really know much about your 'authority' you will understand why I think that is so funny.

    P.S. I'm a former world champion and have taught Marc Marquez everything he knows about racing. Believe that also?
  8. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Long timer

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    Somebody needs to explain this to me, because it sounds insane.

    I have used some front brake in a turn in order to briefly steepen the head angle so the bike turns in quicker. This is a lowish-speed situation, for me, anyway. But if was simply going too fast for the turn, grabbing the front brake would be a last resort, no? Isn't the right thing to do to just push harder and stay with it? I'm less afraid of the consequences of a low-side than I am of the front end washing out.

    I feel like a lot of this advice is bench racing.
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  9. no

    no dreaming adventurer Supporter

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    Countersteering works at all speeds. It feels different at low speeds, but you're still countersteering.
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  10. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    World class? Sure.... https://superbikeschool.com/keith-codes-biography/

    I'm thinking if he was lying they'd call him out on it. Haven't seen it.

    Of course an unnamed source comes into play, the POTUS does that too. Make a claim that is not able to be verified. When repeated enough it becomes his "fact".
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  11. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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  12. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    First, it was a quote from a source.

    Second, I'm not sure how "use some front brake to slow the bike and make the turn" becomes "grabbing the front brake". If you read both articles you might find they comment on covering the lever with a few fingers to enable a rider to use "some" brake, not "grab" it. Seems that is advice given in almost every cornering discussion above a pure noobie level.
  13. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Long timer

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    So, per my previous post, you can't actually explain it, then.

    It was a serious question. By 'grabbing' the front brake, I mean braking for the purpose of slowing the bike down to some considerable extent. This is not something I would do after committing to a turn. Maybe in your mind, that makes me a "pure noobie", but to be frank... I don't think a lot of this discussion is very relevant on the street.
  14. drmiller100

    drmiller100 Long timer

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    So I'm new to riding, old in body, and fat. Nearest track is 300 miles away.
    I ride 90 percent dirt, and have put 18,000 miles on my DR650 in the past 30 months. Before that I had never ridden asphalt.
    I ride a decent pace. I can't keep up with the ex desert racers, but they don't have to wait that much for me.
    On asphalt is where I'm most likely to get killed. I like Late Apex - brake early and hard going straight, and initiate the turn. Once I'm into the turn, accelerate out. Sometimes I ride a bit spirited, sometimes I screw up and enter the corner too fast. I want to add conscious countersteer and body shift to adjust my turn mid corner.
    So I'm braking (mostly the front tire), and all of a sudden realize OH CRAP THERE IS SOMETHING IN MY PLANNED LINE (like a truck or a big frigging rock in the road). So I brake as much as I can, let off the brake, and turn in. If I don't "turn in" enough, I want to be able to "turn in more", which is countersteer and body movement. But the THEORY of countersteer, and the practical reality of really doing it is NOT intuitive to me when I'm over cooked in a corner. So, I'm working on that.

    It seems to me if I'm worried about making the corner, the LAST thing I want to do is fuck with the front brake. Or, really the rear either, cuz I'm not that good yet. but, if I want to tighten the corner, a bit of rear brake makes sense - if I increase the rear tire slip angle, the bike will indeed turn "sharper".
    I suppose if I had a ton of horsepower I could accelerate and increase rear tire slip angle, but let's be real - I'm going too fast already and more throttle isn't natural.
    And the advice to learn to countersteer MORE if need be, and move my body inwards, and LEAN THE BIKE IN is great - if it low sides that is still no worse than highsiding and head on into the truck. And, it sounds like the bike might turn MORE than I believe it will.

    I don't know any of you people, nor the people you are referring to. I watched Jimmy Lewis once do a demo in Pahrump, and watched a couple of his videos. He indicates you use your front brake to slow down, and do it going straight. That makes sense to me.
    And he says use your rear brake to position the bike. I've been practicing that on dirt, and that seems to make sense also.
  15. GravelRider

    GravelRider AKA max384 Supporter

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    Try countersteering in a parking lot at walking speeds. You'll find that you go the direction your handlebars turn, and there is absolutely zero countersteering. Countersteering does not occur at all speeds.
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  16. Steve in Golden

    Steve in Golden Long timer Supporter

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    True, at low speeds the bike will go the direction your handlebars turn. But countersteering still works even at walking speed. Try it.

  17. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    Being new to riding on asphalt, I kindly suggest you not to try making sense of the conflicting theories lately discussed here: some of those peculiar approaches can make the heads of even experimented riders spin.
    :dunno:hmmmmm:confused

    As I mentioned before, counter-steering and leaning with the bike, like anything related to riding motorcycles, is not intuitive to anybody who is new to riding.
    The more frequently and progressively you practice those, the better to make them less NOT intuitive.

    Consider that what you feel like entering the curve too fast or leaning too much may be very magnified perception.
    Our natural sense of balance revolves around verticality and departing too much from that safe-feeling state triggers some mental alarms, which purpose is to loudly alert us and decisively make us recover the vertical balance.

    Most street bikes with decent tires on dry asphalt can lean around 45 degrees before start sliding over or dragging hard parts.
    While leaned close to 45 degrees, your rear end will be pushing on the seat with double force than normal (yes, your entire body feels twice heavier).

    If you and the bike are leaned at less than that extreme angle and your body still feels relatively light, as I suspect you are and feel when you perceive that you have entered the curve too fast, no brakes or any other sophisticated technique are needed, just additional counter-steering and trust on the tires.

    As explained before, pre-entry controlled braking and entering into curves from slower to faster is the healtiest approach to mastering proper entry speed for each curve.
    Practice, practice, practice...........and experiment things by yourself, trying not to go too fast in public streets.

    :muutt

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  18. no

    no dreaming adventurer Supporter

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    Sure, after countersteering. You're always countersteering to initiate a turn at any speed. Of course I've practiced countersteering at walking speeds.
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  19. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    "When in doubt throttle out"

    It'll either fix the situation, or end the suspense.
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  20. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    there is no 100% correct answer.

    So can you brake? Likely. Even on a track you are rarely at 100% of your lateral traction limit, anywhere before or after that point you CAN brake, whether or not its a good idea is a judgement call.

    This is the basis of your track coaches telling you MOAR throttle, until advanced paces most have not idea where that limit is, they just know they don't want it sliding, this leads to panic reactions like grabbing a fistful of brake leaned over or completely shutting down the throttle that cause more issues than they solve.

    So if you can trail brake, you can do it in the other direction, that is to say going to the brake and add more as the requirement to lean to stay on the surface lessenes with speed.

    ...and I if you have ever overcooked a turn and had to gather it up outside of the racing line you have likely already done it.

    Because there are extremes of over cooking, there is screwing up the set up for the next corner, over cooking it, there is leaving the race line and having to gather it up, and there is no way in hell to make the bike complete the arch on the track surface, the reaction to each is different.
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