New Rider...refuses to countersteer

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by CutterBill, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Ppimouss

    Ppimouss Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
    I am not so sure that bicycle can help.
    When I started training for motorcycle licence,
    after years of bicycle, I had never consciously counter steered.
    I was doing it without knowing, and without strong inputs to initiate turns.
    You don't need strong inputs on a bicycle.

    I think professional training is a very good idea.
    Cannot find a very interesting video from Nick Ienatsch saying that there is no such thing as someone "not meant to ride",
    it is up to the instructor to find the right method if this person is willing.
    #21
    LowInSlo likes this.
  2. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    CANADA-1/4 mile N of International Falls, MN
    This exactly....
    Trying to explain counter steering is confusing, trying to understand it even more confusing.
    When you teach a kid to ride a bike imagine if you tried to make them understand counter steering first!!!
    They would never learn how.
    They learn by getting on and doing it intuitively
    Motorcycles and bicycles—very different but kinda the same
    Or is it—much the same but kinda different
    #22
  3. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    15,817
    Location:
    West is the Best

    Anti-mansplainer???


    Offering logical information around the effects of 2 rotating wheels, much like a spinning top, gives most the perspective of countersteer of a 2 wheeled vehicle.
    #23
  4. Doug Just Doug

    Doug Just Doug Silly Party Candidate Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,182
    Location:
    Newark, Dela-where?
    Lots of good advice above. Maybe also let her know she IS already counter-steering or she would've crashed at the first corner she encountered above a walking speed. Physics makes exceptions for no one.
    #24
    Bitingdog and SmittyBlackstone like this.
  5. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Souped-Up Weasel

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Oddometer:
    32,267
    Location:
    Jax, FL
    This is how the guy in the video was taught to ride. And it worked great for him. Right up to about two seconds before he impacted the truck.

    You may go through your entire motorcycling career happily turning without giving a thought to how it happens. Then one day you'll need to make a quick change of direction. But you can't.
    #25
    Bitingdog, mb289, Alexander B and 2 others like this.
  6. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day. Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,905
    Location:
    Southern Illinois USA
    ^ This.

    OP your over thinking it, take her and the bike to that air strip. Tell her to ride around. LEAVE, GO HOME, GET AWAY FROM HER!

    Did you really learn to ride with someone standing over you preaching "counter steering"? I know I didn't. I rode for years before I even heard the word. My wife has been riding longer than me, she's raced endures, and when we had sport bikes she could hang mid group with the guys. Yet since she doesn't read moto mags, forums or articles, I doubt she has ever heard the term "counter steer". And I'm not bringing it up. Yet she just looped Lake Michigan and Lake Superior with me last week without running off the road. Hmmmmm………..how could it be, a woman that hasn't had countering explained to her can ride over a half million miles in 50 years and never run in to a truck head on on a curve.
    #26
    Bitingdog and Bultaco206 like this.
  7. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,540
    Location:
    Arlington, Texas
    I'm 75yo, got my first bicycle at 4, been riding ever since. Got my first mc in 1968, raced Enduros and finished 9th in the Texas State Trials circuit master class, majored in Physics in college and I still don't believe in counter steering or that I do it to turn. Never heard of it till about a year ago. :lol3
    #27
  8. lkraus

    lkraus Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,055
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Maybe the concept of steer right to go left just sounds too contradictory to seem possible. Try sending her into the middle of a wide, open area at about 15 mph, so that she can simply push on one side and see for herself what happens.
    #28
  9. CutterBill

    CutterBill I hate motorcycles

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    76
    Location:
    Rosamond, CA
    So if you don't counter-steer, just exactly how do you turn your bike? Wait... you live in Texas? There are no curves in Texas; all of the roads are straight! :lol2

    "What the hell do you know about surfing, Major? You're from New Jersey." Col. Kilgore
    #29
  10. CutterBill

    CutterBill I hate motorcycles

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    76
    Location:
    Rosamond, CA
    Hey… OP here. Thanks to everyone for the great comments and suggestions. If I can reply to some of those comments…

    “Send her to an MSF riding course.” Yep, did that first. She asked them twice if this course was for someone with absolutely NO riding experience, and twice they said, Yes, absolutely, this course is designed for you. So Saturday morning comes and she is in a classroom with 19 other students. First question the instructor asks is “How many of you have ridden before?” She is the only one to not raise her hand. Turns out that all the others had been riding dirt bikes for years, and were taking the course only to get their street license. The course quickly devolves into an advanced street riding course. She doesn’t even know how to shift, and the instructor is teaching freeway lane-changing techniques. She asked the instructor if she could go off in the corner by herself and practice starting and stopping. Nope, she has to follow along with everyone else. She was terrified at the things the instructor was asking her to do, and called me that night in tears. (She lives in Portland, Oregon; I’m in Southern California.) I talked her off the edge and got her calmed down; told her to go back on Sunday and try again. On Sunday, the first exercise was to have a pair of riders heading towards each other at about 45 mph, like you would on a two-lane street, and you had to change lanes. (Not sure I understood exactly, but that is how she explained it.) Anyway, she left the class. She knew someone was going to get badly hurt if she tried that exercise. I thought that was a pretty crappy way to run a beginner’s motorcycle course.

    Some of you suggested taking her to large empty parking lot and letting her practice. Did that. I live on the edge of the Mojave Desert, and we have dry lake beds here that are so big the nearby Air Force base uses them for emergency landing sites. Hard, smooth, flat and no traffic… you can just tool along in any direction you want. So we played “follow the leader” for a while. Her behind me, just chatting on our intercoms, absolutely nothing to hit or worry about. We did that for an hour, then I set up some cones and told her to do figure-8’s. Nope, she couldn’t turn the bike around the cone. She wound up doing huge ovals around the cones. She couldn’t steer the bike between the cones.

    Some of you have suggested that I shouldn’t be teaching someone close to me. Yeah, I totally get that. “Never teach your wife to drive” sort of thing. Except… somewhere around here I have a piece of paper that says I’m a CFI… certified flight instructor. So I know how to teach and I’m pretty good at it… very calm, low-key, never demeaning or get frustrated. She understands everything else I’m teaching her, but she just won’t counter-steer.

    And yes, she is really good at riding a bicycle. The problem is that a bicycle is so light compared to our body weight that we don’t realize we are counter-steering. It takes no effort to make a bicycle turn. But a motorcycle, even a light one, requires a bit of a push on the bars to initiate a turn. And she won’t do it.

    I live about 2 miles from Willow Springs Raceway. I even checked into renting the track on an off-day and letting her just ride around the track… speeding up, slowing down, braking, turning. I thought it would be great fun for her, and I could just sit in the stands with my helmet on and talk to her. But… can’t remember the exact amount… I think they charge about $2500 for a half-day. Ouch. Too much for me.

    Another idea I had was to put a kid’s bicycle in the living room, in front of the TV, and play one of the YouTube videos of some guy going around the Nurburgring in Germany. And she would have to follow along, turning and leaning as if she was riding a bike around the course. I still might try that one…

    Ok, I realize that I’m just ranting here and there is no magic bullet. I guess I will simply let her keep trying until she either gets it or gives up. I would hate to see that happen (give up.) She has always dreamed of learning to ride and I wanted to give her that chance. Thanks for letting me vent, and thanks for all of the great ideas.
    Bill
    #30
  11. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    CANADA-1/4 mile N of International Falls, MN
    OP
    I gotta say you have patience and perseverance man.

    But what I’ve quoted from your last post suggests your student “is” subconsciously counter steering if she followed you for an hour and did “ovals”. Unless you’re going superslow?

    Good luck eh!
    #31
  12. viajero

    viajero Too old to be a nOOb

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,625
    Location:
    Idaho
    Let me guess. She's blond.
    #32
    Bitingdog likes this.
  13. 03WrxRob

    03WrxRob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
    Oddometer:
    119
    Location:
    Camp hill PA
    Maybe try msf again or in a different location. When my buddy went there were people that didn’t even know how to drive a manual car or work a clutch nevermind know anything about riding.
    I’d be quite pissed off at msf too if that was the experience I had.
    #33
  14. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,884
    Location:
    Western Montana
    You've heard the expression, "Too Cool for School"? It's impossible to teach someone who will not learn - either willfully or out of fear or because the student doesn't believe the teacher.

    I think that's what's going on here. For whatever reason, it's a stubborn hold on her own realities. If she won't try to do it right, she won't learn. Maybe it's for the best - a new rider MUST be learning, EVERY day out. Escape routes. How a bike really feels in a panic stop. What you can and cannot do...see a novice rider put his foot down while moving, and what happens of it.

    If she isn't able to get in the mindset of learning, she won't learn. The pillion seat is the best place for her...or a car seat.
    #34
    Bitingdog, Siorc, Alexander B and 4 others like this.
  15. CutterBill

    CutterBill I hate motorcycles

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    76
    Location:
    Rosamond, CA
    Yep!
    Joanne and Bill.jpg
    #35
  16. kiwi_outdoors

    kiwi_outdoors Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    248
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    its NOT steering (counter or otherwise). Bikes don't "steer", tho they do take "input" - this is the problem. You cannot hold and turn a handlebar like a steering wheel. You must nudge it in order to get it to do your bidding. Hence the world famous "push left - go left" and vice versa. (yes, the "nudge" is "counter" to common sense :-).

    No thinking is required, just remember the mantra above, and its companion "push right - go right"

    For good measure - both can be bracketed by "don't panic"
    #36
    Uke, Navy Chief and SmittyBlackstone like this.
  17. kiwi_outdoors

    kiwi_outdoors Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    248
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Not a bad idea at all.
    #37
  18. Vrode

    Vrode Testing...1..2...

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    3,603
    Location:
    Vermont
    Don't mention counter-steering. Keep it simple. Press left to go left, press right to go right. Let her practice simple things she doesn't have to think about. She's not a natural and it'll take longer, but the simpler the better to start off.
    Having said that, I had students that could not trust themselves to turn under power. But if they had longer than a 2 day class I think they could get it. Good luck!
    #38
    RedHawk47 and SmittyBlackstone like this.
  19. CutterBill

    CutterBill I hate motorcycles

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    76
    Location:
    Rosamond, CA
    No. Absolutely not. That's not how it works.
    #39
  20. AustinRT

    AustinRT Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    287
    Location:
    San Maros, Tx
    I'm guessing her issue is not so much about steering but that she doesnt want to lean. Logically pushing right on the bars to go left into a curve would make the bike stay straight up. It also makes the bike go straight off the road. She doesnt want the bike to fall into the turn.
    #40