Countersteering, shmountersteering

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by garandman, May 27, 2011.

  1. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    On another forum there's a countersteering thread with two opposing points of view.

    The majority view, summarized:

    The vocal minority view:

    #1
  2. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice On the Fringe

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    Schools of thought

    1. Ride down the road, set the cruise control, let go of the handle bars and move your upper body (NOT weight on the pegs) from one side of the bike to the other. You will note there is very little effect on the bike.

    2. When riding, remove one hand from the bars (Yes while cornering) steer with only one hand. You will note there are other effects, but it is always a countersteer effect. You will push or pull with the one hand.

    This does not need to be argued, just go out and see for yourself.

    Remember where you are in any given turn and how you are riding, under deceleration, under power, etc. Will all also have an effect on what you are doing with the bars, so some might not fully understand the implications and not have a true sense of what is actually taking place until all the factors are noted for any given situation.
    #2
  3. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    "You only "countersteer" to initiate a turn.

    Once you are in a turn, you're steering - turn left, bike goes left, turn right, bike goes right. Lean angle accomplishes most of the actual turning."


    There seems to be a bunch (majority) of idiots on the other forum. :deal

    Please post a link.
    #3
  4. JDLuke

    JDLuke Ravening for delight

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    Count me in the vocal minority, then.

    I will agree that the front wheel tracks in the direction you're going, but that's not something you do, it's a passive result of the way a single-track vehicle works. Inputs made to the bars during a turn are not somehow magically different from inputs made while moving straight. If you're moving fast enough, you're countersteering.
    #4
  5. Dirt Road Cowboy

    Dirt Road Cowboy I aim to misbehave.

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    I think people get confused by the terminology.

    I don't worry about what it's called, I just do it! :nod
    #5
  6. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    I prefer synthetic oil.
    #6
  7. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan from Scottsdale Supporter

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    That is exactly why people run wide and into oncoming traffic or off the road. It is also why people get blown into other lanes in gusting cross winds.

    Anybody who ever attempted to race motorcycles will tell you that when you want to put that wheel on your mark, you do it with counter steering. When you over cook a turn, you either stand the bike up and take an escape, or you commit to the apex with aggressive counter steering and either make the turn or lowside.

    Even hustling a big old KTM twin down a fire road requires forceful counter steering to make the bike carve an apex and fire out of the turn on the line you want. Simply put, the bike requires you to pick your apex, scoot up on he tank, push the inside handlebar forward to get the bike lower then normal and slide to the outside edge of the seat. You change your arc through the turn by counter steering one way or the other while picking up the throttle. In that way you can control the trajectory of the motorcycle throughout the turn regardless of it's shape.

    Consider a casual street ride through the twisties. The turn you set up for suddenly tightens radius and your speed is more than you want. You can't depend on your body to control a sharper lean angle when you are looking at running wide and off the road! Instead, you push forcefully on the inside handlebar (counter steering) and presto, the lean needed to make the turn is there.

    Consider cruising the great plains Interstates with their ferocious quartering winds. The bike is all over the place. You keep your lane by getting loose on the bars and forcefully counter steering into the wind gusts when they strike.

    Everybody should practice conscious counter steering until it becomes habit. It allows you the best chances of controlling the arc of a motorcycle while navigating turns. It allows you to adjust to the conditions and IMO improves your self preservation. :deal

    :D
    #7
  8. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice On the Fringe

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    Being Loose is a great help and people often do not realize the reason they are getting blown all over the road is not the bikes fault, it is the death grip the rider has on the bars.

    Counter steering like any things else has to be actively practiced, Like braking, then when you get into that turn and find the decreasing radius or other problem, it does not require time and thought, you just do it, problem solved.
    #8
  9. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    If you're curious about countersteering try initiating a turn at 150MPH or so. Surprising how much effort it takes.
    #9
  10. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

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    Another thing for some of you to consider.

    Push on the left bar to initiate a left turn... WHILE IN THAT TURN if I need to tighten my line, I push more / again on the left bar. Some argue that isn't the case.

    So, yes/no, you don't "turn the bars" once you are in a turn... but the wheel is turned to the left (for a left turn) or the bike wouldn't be going left. But you are still adding more counter-steer while turning, to turn more sharply.

    As indicated above. TRY it. It will occur 100% of the time.

    Barry
    #10
  11. #46

    #46 Been here awhile

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    Anytime you want to change direction, be it to go left to right, right to left, entering a increasing or decreasing radius turn, etc, you are countersteering. If you are going straight down the road, you are not countersteering, you are just going straight. If you are riding through a turn with no input at the bars, then you are not countersteering, just maintaining a steady arc through the turn.
    #11
  12. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Link please.
    :D
    #12
  13. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    I used to be in the countersteer to initiate camp until late last fall when I went darkside, with the initial tire pressures I was running, the effort made it obvious that you continue to countersteer thru the corner, however now that I have my pressure figgered out, effort is similar to a MC tire
    #13
  14. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    On a singletrack vehicle in order to turn you must first coutersteer to create a primary imbalance. Then you steer/countersteer to correct or maintain a line. Always correcting,never corrected.
    #14
  15. Dirt Road Cowboy

    Dirt Road Cowboy I aim to misbehave.

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    Don't you know that stuff will ruin your deer whistles???? :huh








    :rofl :rofl :rofl :rofl :rofl
    #15
  16. TortillaJesus

    TortillaJesus Cockbag

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    It seems to me that the wind automatically initiates the counter steer: Crosswind from left hits front fender/tire, turns fender/tire slightly right, a left lean is initiated into the wind. Keep it loose and let this process happen.
    #16
  17. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice On the Fringe

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    We even teach this hands on in Total Control Level II class
    #17
  18. James Adams

    James Adams Long timer

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    Depends on the bike.

    :hide

    #18
  19. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice On the Fringe

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    :lurk
    #19
  20. Terrytori

    Terrytori Namaste

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    Wow!

    We're actually having this discussion again.

    Walk by your bicycle in the garage on it's left side.
    Accidentally hit the handlebars with your right hip.
    Watch which way the bike leans/falls.

    Two types of countersterring:


    A.) Passive: push on the left bar to turn left. Push on the right bar to turn right.

    B.) Aggressive: ( perhaps your arms are locked or a little too tight on the bars and you have to tighten your line in a hurry. )

    As you push on the left bar, pull on the right bar to turn left.
    Push on the right bar, pull on the left bar to turn right.

    Trying to avoid the car that is coming across your path from the left
    by turning the bars to the right will likely make you a hood ornament.
    #20