New Rider...refuses to countersteer

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

  1. Navy Chief

    Navy Chief Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,087
    Location:
    Waynesboro, PA
    Organizations that get paid to teach people to ride would disagree with your opinion on this, it is taught in the classroom before students even get onto the bikes for the first time.
  2. Homer GSA

    Homer GSA R1200GSA 2008

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    438
    There are many ways to ride a motorcycle, drive a car, putt a golf ball ........

    You do not have to deliberately counter-steer to ride a motorbike and many, including myself, don't.

    I have been an advanced motorcycle rider since 1992 when I did my police motorcycle course and then became a trainer. We steer from the knees/hips and we use soft hands on the bars - similar to catching a football/cricket ball.

    The course we run is five weeks after the rider has done a week trail bike course. The first two weeks is done on track/vehicle manouvering area with the first hour of each day doing low speed cone work. The rider is taught to sit on the bike like a 'sack of potato's' and learns to control the bike with their knees/hips in and out of a line of cones eventually being able to do it standing up one handed, sidesaddle and no hands with a throttle lock. The rest of the day is track work and braking etc - but no talk of counter-steering. Its all from the hips.

    Third week is out on the road and the speed builds up until the end of the fourth week when they are expected to be doing twice the advisory corner limits with the final week basically flat out everywhere. Counter-steering is not discussed. The end product is outstanding. We have 15 motorcyclists on squad and over 60 years have had one fatal crash and one that caused serious trauma - taking into account they spend 8hrs a day five days a week in a response capacity its bloody good.

    We do counter-steer, kind of, when really hooking in but that is at the very top end of speed through corners. Most of the control is still from the hips with a slight push on the bar. But for the majority of riding we simply don't. I think it is instinctive to counter-steer when hooking in as you tend to force the bike over into the turn.

    Keep in mind we dont lean off the bike like a GP rider so that may be another reason. We keep our body like the sack of spuds earlier and keep our head horizontal with the road.

    Anyways, thats my experience.

    Cheers

    Homer
    Strong Bad likes this.
  3. Lee R

    Lee R Man in a Box

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    985
    Location:
    Northern Alabama
    I think bikes get confusing because at low speed when you aren’t leaning you just turn the bars the direction you want to go, like you would steer a car. I’m sure plenty of people who rode bicycles never rode them more than maybe 15mph and certainly didn’t lean much so this is what they would bring into riding a motorcycle. Once you pick up speed the transition occurs where you need to tip the bike and set the lean angle for the curve by pushing opposite direction only enough to set the lean angle, then your maintaining by pulling/pushing to keep that lean angle.

    A lot of people don’t ride a bicycle fast and aren’t experiencing counter steering forces or leaning over in corners if at all. They bring that experience into a motorcycle.

    My wife is deathly afraid of motorcycles because she feels like it’s going to fall over in corners. I could see how anyone who feels this way would be very apprehensive about tipping a bike into a corner and would resist those inputs. Just like flying an airplane it’s not for everyone.

    I learned to ride on a scooter without the clutch to deal with, I still think it’s a great way to learn. You can’t get going very fast and everything happens slower on one plus you can get your feet down no problem. Once your zipping around you can add a clutch into the mix later. Nobody knows how to use a manual transmission these days anyway, never mind one on a motorcycle. And they can always stick with a scooter if they want, plus they’re lightweight and inexpensive.

    Get a ruckus on a go cart track and that’s a good days fun for a learner or someone with experience. Or throw them in the bed of a truck and take them out to a quiet set of 25-30mph roads and learn there, you’ll be just a bit faster than bicycle speeds and it’s a nice small step up for someone who will need some time to adjust to the higher speeds and lean angles needed to corner with a motorcycle.
  4. falcn

    falcn Squidless Soul Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,026
    Location:
    Los Altos, CA
    I read a couple times now about the bad riding course experience, just want to let you know I read it. Forget about that one class, GET HER IN A TOTAL CONTROL CLASS IN CA. It doesn't MATTER that it doesn't get her a license in OR or WA or whatever state, that can come later. Not being able to ride won't get her a license in ANY state.

    Ah, damn. Just read that she quit. This is what can happen in these instances when people refuse to go to a competent class. Dang.
  5. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,779
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    Got it.

    Based on what you said it appears that you have failed. Too bad.
    JETalmage and sieg like this.
  6. Janus9

    Janus9 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2016
    Oddometer:
    589
    But do they hold the bike up at the front of the bike and try to walk them through it, turning the bars for them etc... as if this is how you turn a motorcycle, before they get on the bike and try to ride it?

    I am very curious, are these organizations physically doing this because they believe if they don't explain it, physically force the rider to do it, these people will never learn how to ride and won't be able to turn the motorcycle while riding. This is what this guy was doing.

    Maybe they do, I don't know, and this is where this guy got the idea.

    Not everyone learns the same way, and some pick it up much quicker than others, some take much longer.

    Talking about it for a few minutes vs trying to force someone to do it, because this is the RIGHT way and you will never learn to ride unless you do, is two different situations.

    I also said, that talking about and learning about counter steering was important, but not at first IMO.

    From reading the posts she was able to ride some, but had problems with slow speed maneuvers at the very least.

    IMO, this ladies problem was that she was scared, was all tightened up etc..... She didn't want to lean the bike over too much out of fear that she was going to fall over. She needed to learn how to get over her fear, get more comfortable etc.. not learn the physics of counter steering and this is how the bike turns, you better start doing it this way etc....

    It's too bad this lady had this experience from someone she trusted.

    Maybe she will in the future enroll in a class with only women from an instructor that isn't so caught up on teaching how to ride from the perspective of the physics of riding. Some people just take longer than others and need a more human perspective of teaching.

    I also wonder if this guy is an engineer or physicist or something similar, that would explain a lot.
  7. CaptCapsize

    CaptCapsize Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,249
    Location:
    Corrales, New Mexico
    Evidently he to defered to the great philosopher W.C Fields.
    "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit no use being a damn fool about it."
  8. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Oddometer:
    33,215
    Location:
    "Swednavia" - f5ederation of Scandwegia
    [​IMG]

    Hear, hear... the above post should be mandatory reading for all of the Johnny come lately riding school graduates out there, that espouse ad infinitum the (omg it's a goddamned epiphany :norton ) "counter steering" rhetoric amongst their fellow "riders" like it is some sort of be all and end all secret to steering a motorcycle. :clap
    blk-betty and sieg like this.
  9. fateddy

    fateddy \m/

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    233
    Location:
    Front Range, CO
    This is the best countersteering thread in a while. How will you all decide who gets to have the last word?
    CKutzGO likes this.
  10. Lee R

    Lee R Man in a Box

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    985
    Location:
    Northern Alabama
    Keep it simple learning, no need for a physics lesson. You can watch twist of the wrist once your comfortable riding around and eliminate you’re bad habits.

    The OP is from aviation and that’s how they train. I don’t think he was trying to be harmful explaining how things work. That’s very common for pilots (I’m a pilot also). I think end the end she probably had fears that couldn’t be overcome and riding wasn’t for her, which is fine, it’s not for everyone.

    I didn’t know what counter-steering was for the first 10 years I rode on the street, I just knew what to do to get the bike to behave how I wanted.

    When my father learned to ride in his mid 60’s having just ridden bicycles his entire life I handed him a bunch of my riding books and told him to watch a twist of the wrist over and over and wipe out the bad habits. He’s a solid rider in just a few years with decent cornering skills and just rode a bike to Alaska 13k miles. He knew what counter-steering was way before me thanks to Keith Code’s video and the total control books.
  11. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    5,372
    Location:
    Phoenix
    Me....err wait
    It will be @no
  12. ETZ

    ETZ Gary

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Oddometer:
    71
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand.
    You don’t need to know the physics to be able to do something. People have been falling flat on their faces for ever without knowing the first thing about Newton’s inverse square law.
    Richarde1605 likes this.
  13. Berchunis

    Berchunis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Arizona
    It may came to some as a shock, but there are people out there who would last 20 minutes on a motorcycle before they crashed.
  14. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,779
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    WHAT??!!! Say it ain't so!!

  15. JETalmage

    JETalmage Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Oddometer:
    720
    Clearly, all those crashes were due to omission of an erudite lecture on "counter-steering."

    JET
    Richarde1605 and sieg like this.
  16. Tool.Nerd

    Tool.Nerd An idiot that owns a bike

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    507
    Location:
    Southeast TN
    Rather enjoyed the pair of "stunters". Then I started wondering if the left one burnt her head/shoulder against her friend's engine. Probably not an attractive scar.