Countersteering confusion : (

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

  1. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    Thanks Jim, I'm sure you'll keep me on the straight and narrow if I start to stray again.
  2. Buliwyf

    Buliwyf Been here awhile

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    I'll agree it has effect once countersteering has started the turn. Or offroad. Offroad it's huge. My sportbike does respond to outside peg weight on exit. But inside peg weight on entry isn't needed. I have my engine brake control maxed out, if I wanted to be looser (or use more inside peg) on entry, I could just dial back in more engine brake.

    And it's a good thing, can't get much weight down on the inside while hanging off. My outer leg is locked into the tank, helps a ton, but I look like a squid because my bikes so narrow. So I have to slide over one cheek to lock it in. Kinda hanging off in turns that don't really need it.

    Inside peg to loosen, outside to grip. Squeeze bike tightly for more aggressive rear wheelspin or "smoother looseness" on exit. Grip loose to hook up. Lock into the tank frame with out side leg.

    But people that don't understand countersteering need to start there. Peg weighting is an advanced technique used with countersteering. Countersteering is a newb technique that should be mastered ASAP.
  3. farmerstu

    farmerstu Been here awhile

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    clearly you don't understand context. throttle out will definitely stand up the bike. no dispute about that. the problem comes when the rider thinks that's the only way to steer.
    as to the rest, i have a video posted in this thread way back. it demos riding curves with no hands, leaning off the inside on curves, counter leaning on curves and aggressive countersteering with no body lean.
    please search it and report back
  4. Center-stand

    Center-stand Long timer

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    There is always room for doubt with most any reading material, including what I write.

    I think you put far too much stock in magazine articles. This particular one you have linked to, is supposedly written by by Schwantz and Lance Holst. Who is Lance Holst? How well is Schwantz's words and action being interpreted?

    The following paragraph is an excerpt from the article;

    http://www.roadrunner.travel/magazine/read/winter-2002/page/97/

    "The is effective because once counter steering banks a motorcycle into the turn, increasing lean angle is a matter of pivoting the bike around its center of mass. The greater the lean angle, the tighter it carves through the turn. More than footrests, footpegs essentially function as levers sited on either side of, and slightly below the center of mass. Pressing down on the inside footpeg helps pivot the bike around its center of mass and steers it into the corner with less effort from your upper body at the bars."

    When the bike is in an extreme lean, the center of mass is no longer above and centered on the footpegs, or levers.

    This next paragraph is taken from an article by the same authors about body positioning;

    http://www.roadrunner.travel/magazine/read/fall-2002/page/95/

    Hold your outside thigh against the tank so that it supports most of your body weight and allows your arms to be relaxed at a natural bend. As you exit the corner pull your body back up with your outer thigh and weight the outside footpeg to help the bike stand up and to transfer traction to the rear tire. Be careful not to pull yourself up with your arms as it will cause the front tire to get light and could initiate headshake while accelerating off the corner.

    Now. You don't have to be physicist to understand that you can't weight a peg by any appreciable amount when most of your weight is supported by the high thigh resting on the tank. Raising the bike back up from a lean is accomplished with the same physics as is putting the bike into the lean, counter steering. These guys can call it what they want, I still believe that body positioning is all about traction, which certainly aids in getting around turns, but the direction of the bike, i.e. steering, is controlled by the handlebars.

    If you read through the article there are points made about how delicate a touch is required on the handlebars in order not to upset the balance of steering /traction. That delicate touch, constant input, is what keeps the bike on it's intended trajectory through a turn while the rider is shifting his weight to maintain traction.

    I can see where there is information in the article to support your thought process, but I think it is information misinterpreted by the riders, the writers, and consequently the readers.

    Just my opinion.

    ..
  5. Center-stand

    Center-stand Long timer

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    I would like to watch your video. How about you find it and provide a link?

    ..
  6. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    You can weight the inside or outside peg easily when completely off the side/under the bike, the foot pegs are still where you interface with the machine. Most riding school teach you that you are only ever on the seat on a straight away, the rest of the time you are hovering, staying a couple mm off of the seat.

    However, once you are actually off of the bike, you are only holding any weight on that outside tight during the beginning of the corner, once you are at apex that is the high/outiside point and EVERYTHING is trying to pull you past it.

    You stop that with your feet, so depending on the corner you actually go from inside to outiside and back. For example, you have tracks with long compound curves, so you apex, pull, apex again, brake apex, well you aren't getting back onto the seat between apex, you would need to much lean, so you stay off the side WFO, and you weight is then carried on the inside foot/outer leg...its a set-up pose, AT apex you are on the outside foot, and you basically don't need the inside there is no weight on it.
  7. Mtneer

    Mtneer Been here awhile

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    I haven't read through all this thread but I just did the California Superbike School 2 day camp level 1 & 2, the first thing you do is use counter steering to weave a bike through cones so the riding coaches can evaluate your ability to steer the bike, throughout the 2 days it was emphasized that the steering is done with bar inputs, body positioning such as locking your outside leg into the tank is done so all your weight is supported by your legs keeping your arms as relaxed as possible to just give steering inputs to the bike.

    I came away from these two days with some sore leg muscles and I'm fairly active, I tried to do all the drills taught in the class and work on body positioning. I was fortunate that the first day I had 2 coaches to work with me on the track and debrief me after each session, everyone else had 2 riders to 1 coach, the second day I had 1 on 1 with the lead coach. I took this class to get familiar with the track and riding on it since it had been 2 years since I had done a track day, it was pricey but I feel I got a lot out of it, plus I got to ride an S1000RR for 2 days even in rain mode the thing is fast. I was happy that my coach said I had a good grasp on riding and we were working to tweak my riding more than fixing any flaws in it.

    If you can afford to do it, I would take this class or the Yamaha Champions school, they both focus on making you safer by making you understand the dynamics of riding and making think about riding and your inputs and the outcomes. Most of the people who took this school were street riders just looking to improve their riding. The books by Keith Code and Nick Ienstach are good references to have and look over anytime you ride, both of their philosophies are pretty much the same, riding should be fun but you should try to learn something anytime you set out to ride.
  8. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    I genuinely looked hard to find the video but couldn't. If you could please post the link again and I'll watch and comment.

    Thanks,
  9. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    Trust me, a weight bias on one side of a motorcycle will make it turn in that direction is not countered or opposed by some other factor.

    My light XT250 (like all of em do) will immediately start to curl to the left if I try and ride with no hands because of just the weight of the muffler on that side. To get it to run straight I have to lean my upper body the other way.

    The instant you move your ass of to one side of a motorcycle approaching the corner it will want to run of in that direction. Most riders are probably unaware they are applying a tiny and nearly imperceptibly amount of steering input toward the corner to keep the bike going straight. I only became aware of this recently from an internet article and went out and rode to see if it was true. It is.
  10. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    Being half a world away, obviously I haven't seen them ride- but if they were 'merkin riders, I wouldn't hold that to be a truth, especially if they haven't had any previous training.

    Besides, you're in the southern hemisphere. Everyone knows it's push right go left down there....





    :hide

    More seriously, it may not take as much as you think. I also see riders, especially on bikes with sportier riding positions, trying to ride with locked elbows or otherwise fighting themselves for control of the bike. And this is also the point where bigger head turns helps the rides convince themselves to make one smooth corner instead of chopping it up into pieces.
  11. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    It would be fascinating to take these "experts" you guys like to throw about- the racers and writers, I mean- and put them on bikes equipped with pressure sensors in all the places they each claim they're using- handlebars, pegs, seat, sides of the tank- turn 'em loose for a few laps and see what's really going on.

    Because short of that, all you have is what they think they're doing- like the student I once had who "knew" he was only leaning his body, until I pointed out that when he did so, he also pressed on the handlebar...
  12. PJay

    PJay Any bike, anywhere

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    BTW, do any of the experts on here hold that countersteering does any more than make a change in direction (ie that you countersteer throughout an even turn)?
  13. Steigs

    Steigs Been here awhile

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    1579 posts on how to steer a motorcycle.

    Epic.
  14. PJay

    PJay Any bike, anywhere

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    Thousands of crashes every day world-wide graphically demonstrate that a hell of a lot of motorcyclists don't know how.
  15. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    You mean, constant radius, steady throttle?

    I think it's a factor of the bike's geometry. I don't currently have any bikes that seem to take any effort to stay in a steady corner, but I don't do many long steady corners to play on. (Got any roundabouts near you? :deal)

    That said I seem to recall some machines I've owned or ridden in the past that did require constant pressure to stay in a turn.
  16. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    Depends on what you are doing.

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    At low (constant or slowing) speed you can countersteer to initiate, but you'll notice the bars turn in while the bike remains leaned.

    If you are railing a sweeper under heavy throttle, you are likely countersteering all the way through because as speed increases the bike wants to stand up more and more.
  17. Center-stand

    Center-stand Long timer

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    I think your last paragraph supports my point of view. Moving around on the bike is capable of upsetting direction of travel but, we make corrections with the handlebars. Those tiny and nearly imperceptible steering inputs are the same as we use to get through a turn while hanging off the bike, assuming one rides in a manner that requires hanging off to maintain traction.:wink:

    ..
  18. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic Supporter

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    Target fixation, fear to lean and poor braking technique cause most IMHO
  19. Jedl

    Jedl Been here awhile

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    Not an expert but countersteering is not really about changing direction per se, but it does come into significant effect relative to balancing, changing & managing the lean (roll angle) of the bike. Countersteering enables turning but doesn't directly cause turning to happen. Turning happens after the roll angle is initiated & CoG moved such that the bars and bike can turn into the turn without tossing the rider into the reeds.

    Some bikes want to "fall into" the turn, some want to "stand up" and others feel neutral in a turn. Any bike that does not feel neutral in a turn may require some degree of countersteer, oversteer or body english to compensate for the lack of neutrality - in order to maintain a steady turn.

    cheers,
  20. Jedl

    Jedl Been here awhile

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    Any action that affects the CoG (perpendicular to the direction of travel) will cause the bike to lean. Once leaned, the steering geometry causes the front wheel to turn. Body english can reduce the perceived effort of countersteering, but it doesn't fundamentally change the physics.