Countersteering confusion : (

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

  1. rbrsddn

    rbrsddn 3banger

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    I also was riding for 20 years before I read the term Countersteering, in a book about bicycling. I grew up riding in the Eastern Mass woods, where I had to dodge trees in real tight trails. I had no problem transitioning to street riding. I think it should be taught as part of the curriculum for new riders, but if you have an extensive dirt background, it should come naturally when riding on the road.
  2. curtis6870

    curtis6870 Long timer

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    Rode 700+ miles over the Memorial weekend. Never touched the slab, almost all of it was on twisties in North GA and WNC. We pounded it hard, myself and another guy on a vfr and his buddy on a triump tt600. I didnt consiously counter steer once. I think it just comes naturally for some.
  3. farmerstu

    farmerstu Been here awhile

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    hi , to respond to your civil and honest comments. thank you,
    the rider is me. the choice of bikes is immaterial the wide glide certainly requires more bar input but the results are the same. i could have done the vid on my KLR or my wifes ultra, or my sons wee strom etc.
    the speed without hands is 60+ the curves are signed at 45.
    on the weave it is most definitely not my hips moving the bike. note my torso is straight the bike is leaning beneath me.
    this is not meant to be a how to ride tutorial for learners.
    it is not difficult to do.
    however it (the weaving the lines) Absolutely CANNOT be done without aggressive countersteering bar inputs. be it a cruiser or a motard.
    and yes counter leaning and leaning in have an input. but the main purposes is to add clearance or help with extremely low speed manuvers.
  4. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Long timer

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    Did you, however, encounter a steer…..? They're not natural, and don't come at all.
  5. Errhead

    Errhead Low Miles!

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  6. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Souped-Up Weasel

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    Well, why not? Didn't the thought occur to you, "I wonder if I can make this thing lean over faster if I press on this handgrip? Maybe I'll give that a try and see what happens." I mean, you've been contributing to a 100+ page thread on Advrider. Why not try it?

    This is what I don't get. The steadfast refusal to explore a technique that is guaranteed to make your turns sharper, crisper, and better. It simply boggles my mind.
  7. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic Supporter

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    Because, like me, it is inate. And it HAS to be for any experienced rider that can ride the twisties at a sporting pace. I never thought about it as I circumnavigated some of the most technical roads in the Alps and racetracks in the NE either. I hit my marks and ground footpegs and beveled brake levers. I am known as Mr Smooth, on the street and track.

    It came from experience, the best advice I ever got was LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO, everything else followed.

    Jim, how do you determine the right moment to transition from counter steer to steering in the direction of the corner? Do you think about it, or do you just intuitively do it. I would bet my sweet bippy that there is NO thought involved, or you would look like the guy on the "backward" steering bike video, as that was his problem, he had to think about his reactions, and was .2 seconds too late in making corrections. That is bad at walking speeds, and can be catastrophic at driving speeds.

    I will say it again, want to learn to counter steer with the best, go book a track day NOW, and then next month etc. Practice, practice practice, hitting your marks, look where you want to go with unwavering laser intensity.
  8. Center-stand

    Center-stand Long timer

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    Taken from video description:

    here is a video i made to demonstrate various techniques to new riders I'm helping.
    I haven't edited it yet so bear with me.
    .(all examples at 60 mph faster downhill, slower uphill using the throttle lock)
    1st. showing that a mc can be steered by leaning only
    2nd shows aggressive weaving using counter steering.
    3rd shows how to lessen the lean angle on the bike by shifting weight to the inside
    4th shows increasing the lean angle by shifting weight to the outside
    5th shows two hard stops.(first from 80,second from 60)


    I think experienced riders can be properly judgmental about the video content, however, as it relates to novice riders, there is a mixture of things one should do, things one shouldn't do, and things that are possible but probably shouldn't be attempted in a learning stage on a highway. I think the video has a greater potential for creating confusion for a new rider than offering positive, safe riding technique.

    With some judicious editing and a proper vocal narrative, my opinion might change.


    ..
  9. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Souped-Up Weasel

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    Track day? No way! Those guys are nuts. All that body steering, peg weighting, hip thrusting. No thanks!I much prefer a sedate ride to the Starbucks.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkJXOlHkOjA
  10. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Now with more sarcasm

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  11. Valker

    Valker Long timer

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    This is copyright Keith Code 2015.

    Dear riders,

    I'm probably preaching to the choir on counter-steering but here is a piece I wrote that talks about what it is and some of the science behind it.

    I've been on a crusade to educate riders on counter-steering since the '70s. It's always been a problem when a pro rider comes along and says something about peg weighting or body steering. It's a problem because it puts rider's attention on something that is counter-productive and doesn't get the job done.

    Hope you enjoy it.

    Keith Code
    Director
    California Superbike School
    Rocket Science
    Debates tend to degenerate into generalities and opinions in the absence of defined terms. Debating generalities gives me a headache. In the Counter-Steering vs Body-Steering debate it often stalemates into “My expert won more races than yours”. Let’s forget 'Body' and 'Counter' for a moment and just define steering. To accurately and predictably place, guide and direct an object towards or away from a known location in space. With that definition in mind, let’s investigate the common claim that bikes will 'steer' with footpeg or some other kind of body pressure.

    Beside Einstein probably the most famous scientist ever was Sir Isaac Newton. His three Laws of Motion, developed in the 17th century, have stood firm for the past 300 years. His third law, often shortened to, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”, sheds light on this Body Steering vs Counter Steering argument.

    The law is often misunderstood. It sounds like an object being pushed upon, like your footpeg or tank, will respond to the pressure and move an equal amount as the pressure applied to it. That isn’t what the law means. It means force always comes in pairs. The force initiated and the resistance to that force.

    Press on your desk with a force of ten pounds and the desk pushes back at you with a force of ten pounds, nothing moves. The desk pushes back? Yes. You can say that it resists your press but in the end it is pressing back at you with an equal and opposite force. If that gives you a headache, I understand. Some examples might help.

    Picture sitting in a rocking chair. If you sit still and press on one of the rocker tips with your foot, the rocker does not rock. Same idea applies if you sat in your car and pressed on the dashboard. The car does not move forward. Pressing on the footpegs (or the tank) of your bike is precisely the same Law of Motion in operation. They will resist, in an equal and opposing direction, any force you can apply to them.

    On the other hand, if you shift or throw your body’s mass in a rocking chair, forward or backward, the chair will begin to rock. You have created an imbalance of forces and the chair moves. Throwing your body around on your bike like that would look and feel ridiculous and very little, if any, steering would occur.

    Riding a bike with no hands is a similar phenomena. By pressing on one peg or the other, or leaning your body mass, it creates an imbalance in the bike's center of gravity and the bike compensates for that by tilting a little. The tire rolls over onto a smaller diameter and the bike will begin to arc, slightly.

    The possible imbalance from peg weighting can account for, possibly, a 1 or 2 percent of steering, if that. Do it if you wish but, without the C-Steering component a bike will not weave through cones at 15 mph, carve precision lines at speed avoid a pothole or car and you’d never get your bike into your driveway. It isn’t, as defined above, 'steering'.

    Counter-Steering isn’t rocket science to perform, it is simple and obvious. Press the right bar and the bike quite nicely cooperates by leaning and turning right and vice a versa for lefts...press more and it leans and turns more. Stop pressing, it goes no further. It is quick and easy to teach, works 100% of the time and performs brilliantly by the definition of steering.

    If Body Steering doesn’t work how do riders, even some at professional level, misread what is happening and think they are body-steering? A similar misunderstanding may shed some light on that question. Ask 10 riders (even some top pros) if their bike comes up out of its lean from rolling on the throttle and 9 will say yes. What is the answer? Aside from some major mechanical problems or really badly worn tires the answer is No. Throttle application steadies the bike, holding its lean angle. Riders counter-steer their bikes back up as they are rolling on the throttle but do it quite unconsciously.

    Most of us, unaware of how, learn counter-steering from riding a bicycle. Once an action is committed to so called muscle memory it remains there, uninspected. If weighting pegs makes you feel more connected to the bike, fine, but the 2% influence peg weighting has to offer cannot correct a bad line or save your bacon in an emergency swerve.

    Newton’s Laws of Motion are in direct conflict with the peg weighting, tank pressing theories. Without the understanding and application of those laws of motion, motorcycles could never have been built nor could space ships be launched and accurately steered to the Moon or Mars. Maybe it is rocket science after all.

    © Keith Code, 2015, all rights reserved
  12. hippiebrian

    hippiebrian Long timer

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    "Most of us, unaware of how, learn counter-steering from riding a bicycle. Once an action is committed to so called muscle memory it remains there, uninspected."

    This is what a lot of us have been saying all along. Period.

    From the above article.
  13. kneeslider

    kneeslider Insufficient privileges!

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    I kept pushing on the right rocker & never got it to go, now I press both & I find myself off my rocker!
  14. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Souped-Up Weasel

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    Uhhh ... hey dummy. The point just wooshed over your head like a Chinese satellite. He's saying that "uninspected" is bad. It should be inspected, learned, practiced, perfected.

    (Sure, saying "hey dummy" is not a good way to convince anyone, but goddammit, have you read some of the stuff he has written in this thread?!)
  15. Kikemon

    Kikemon Buffoon Emeritus

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    I never understood the confusion over counter steering until now. I have been riding since I was 15 (1977) and have owned many different bikes since then. I never heard about counter steering until about 20 years ago when I read about it somewhere. Next time I rode I paid attention to what I was actually doing on the bike and realized I was counter steering! Who knew? It was just something I started doing as a kid and never gave a thought to. For the past 15 years I have ridden mostly sport or sporty street bikes and they handled fairly similarly - push and lean left to go left, push and lean right to go right. Some bikes I had to continue pushing more or less hard on the down bar to maintain the turn.

    Then I got my current ride, a 1994 BMW R100GS. I am still getting used to how this bike handles. I am not sure if it is the same with all 100GSs or unique to this one, but the bike feels very odd in turns. I am sure that part of this is just going from a 17" to 21" front wheel. It seems like the amount of counter steering effort is minuscule and many times I feel like I need to direct steer to go around a corner. Now I find myself having to think about my inputs much more than ever before and am having to relearn how to turn a bike. It is getting better the more I ride it. I guess I need to reprogram my muscle memory or something. Makes me admire moto journalists that can jump on vastly different bikes and ride them fast right away. It took me a month of wobbling around corners on the GS before I started to become remotely smooth.
  16. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

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    i used a bmw r100gs as my 1st big bike found it easy to ride before i moved to a 600 sports bike and only found out what counter steering was not long ago. Ie push left bar towards the ground and bike goes left. Push the right bar towards the ground and it goes right.
  17. hippiebrian

    hippiebrian Long timer

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    Hey dummy, where does it say that in the article?

    In fact, aside from the physics lesson, this is all he says in that article about changing direction and changing back.

    "If Body Steering doesn’t work how do riders, even some at professional level, misread what is happening and think they are body-steering? A similar misunderstanding may shed some light on that question. Ask 10 riders (even some top pros) if their bike comes up out of its lean from rolling on the throttle and 9 will say yes. What is the answer? Aside from some major mechanical problems or really badly worn tires the answer is No. Throttle application steadies the bike, holding its lean angle. Riders counter-steer their bikes back up as they are rolling on the throttle but do it quite unconsciously.

    Most of us, unaware of how, learn counter-steering from riding a bicycle. Once an action is committed to so called muscle memory it remains there, uninspected. If weighting pegs makes you feel more connected to the bike, fine, but the 2% influence peg weighting has to offer cannot correct a bad line or save your bacon in an emergency swerve."

    Unconscious, even some top pros. Go figure.
  18. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Souped-Up Weasel

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    People, do you see what I'm dealing with here? Imagine going through life being deliberately obtuse like that.
  19. hippiebrian

    hippiebrian Long timer

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    Really? Please tell me, then, where you see that "uninspected" is bad in that article, and if you can't, please stop attacking me merely because I disagree with you.
  20. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Souped-Up Weasel

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    Brother, you're quoting Keith Code. He's the original guru of countersteering. His entire empire is built on the idea of teaching people to countersteer deliberately and understand how it works. I've been to his school. I've heard him talk. I've done his exercises designed to teach people to countersteer. He has actually built a motorcycle with the handlebars welded in place to how people that you can't turn a motorcycle without countersteering. In short, you're quoting the world's main proponent of deliberate countersteering in order to show that you don't need to deliberately countersteer. It's just stupid.

    And so we're clear, I'm not attacking you because we disagree. I'm attacking you because you're an idiot. And I would leave you to your idiocy, except for the nagging idea that some noob may still be following this thread.