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  #1  
Old 30 Oct 2008
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counter steering

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teering a motorcycle at low speeds is a straightforward process. The rider simply turns the handlebar in the direction he wishes to go. This only works at speeds below five miles an hour. If a motorcycle is traveling any faster, the rider must use a different kind of steering, known as counter-steering. This type of steering may seem counterintuitive. That's because motorcycle riders must push the handlebars to the left to make the vehicle turn right and vice versa.
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Countersteering is indispensable for bike steering. Most people are not consciously aware that they employ countersteering when riding their bike any more than they are aware of the physics of walking. Their bodies have learned to include the well timed countersteering jolt.
As is well-known in bicycle racing, the countersteering phenomenon becomes evident when there is an obstacle preventing the wheel from countersteering (e.g., when closely overlapping wheels or riding very close to a curb). In these situations, the only way to initiate a turn away from the obstacle is to come into contact with it, that is, turn towards the wheel or curb in order to avoid crashing into it.[3] Lack of understanding of this principle leads to accidents in novice bicycle races.
wikipedia

I never got taught this in my CBT! I almost refused to believe it but under closer inspection it appears to be true. Amazing if you ask me, question being is if you travel at great speeds does this come more into effect?
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Old 30 Oct 2008
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Talking Yep

It works at any speed over walking pace like the article says.
Get on your bike get up to about 30mph and personally I like to push the bar the way I want to turn.So just gently to to get the feel of it push your lefthand and you,ll feel the turning,then try it on the other side.Once you get used to the effect gently use going into a turn and the bike will drop in nicely.Myself I tend to do all the countersteering with my lefthand,pushing to go left,pulling to go right!
You,ll just have to try it out and see what works best for you.
Al theturtleshead
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Old 30 Oct 2008
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You unknowingly learnt to do it as a child riding your bicycle and have been doing it ever since !
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Old 30 Oct 2008
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The bit about bicycle races is rather specific IMHO. It assumes the wheel/tyre won't grip or ride over the obstacle. In a motorcycle sense, imagine a kerb or berm touching the rims/sidewalls. Turn the bars and the leverage brings you off the wall and into open space where you can counter steer. If our big, knobblie tyres smash through, ride up or ride over you just keep steering normally for the speed you are at. Racing pushbike bike tyres have a lot of gyroscopic effect, but not much grip or weight, so won't always react the same way in that specific circumstance. Mostly they work exactly the same way of course.

Andy
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Old 30 Oct 2008
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well just had a go, and it worked. i guess it has been locked up there in my sub conscious for years but applying it even more lines the corners up nicely like al said.
cheers guys/gals
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Old 30 Oct 2008
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Well, that's you in trouble if you ever get a sidecar

Andy
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Old 30 Oct 2008
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It's funny isn't it, I don't think we realise we're doing it, I certainly didn't and so like Tommy I went out and did it deliberately, and aside from the obvious "OH MY GOD, I'M GOING TO CRASH INTO THAT CAR" feeling it's true, we do do it.

As for the bicycle thing, that's a nightmare in a close peloton, your wheels are all overlapping, so you can't ride up over them, one wrong move and you're all down - just watch the Tour de France.
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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There are a couple other ways to affect a bike's turning or stability.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 20:05.
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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In the first instance counter steering is the first thing to happen, this is turning the bike after that everything else is cornering. If you ride with no hands on the bars and turn the bike by moving you weight towards the inside of the turn you will see the bars counter steer all by themselves
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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yeah that whole knee thing worked a treat. shame i didnt kno about it sooner but only been on two wheels for 6 months. its crazy that the cbt misses such things out.
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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I am getting sort of tired of repeatedly reading about "countersteering" .From all the fuss about the so-called phenomenon I get the impression that it is seen as some sort of voodoo magical way of steering a motorcycle or other two wheel conveyance in an alternate fashion, a secret not revealed to the uninitiated,gained only by meditation/cation and spiritual introspection.
Pshaw ! I defy anyone to steer a motorcycle in any other way than is dictated by the physics involved in moving a gyroscope ,which is the front wheel.From highschool physics it is remembered that a force aplied to the axis of a gyroscope will cause it to move in a plane in a direction at a right angle to the applied force. Nothing magic , very predictable. Pulling the right side handlebar back causes the wheel to want to fall in to the left, and you are banked already and turning left due to the tire camber and radius of the wheels scribing slightly different arcs on the ground.
The only unpredictable part is getting riders to understand how to use this physics principle. That is the function of skinned knees when you are a kid learning to ride a bike. In the same way body input ,or body-English , and throttle control are simply other ways of imparting the required forces to the bike chassis to move the front wheel.Transfer that gained knowledge to motorized riding and you are well on the way.The truly skilled at this turn out to be the racers who use all these techniques and can slide around under power at will.
"Countersteering" really is only a semantic exercise, wordplay. Do boat owners waste as much time talking about "countersteering" because they push the tiller right to make the ass end of the boat try to come around to the front via the right side in order to make the boat turn left? I've wasted too much time
Lets just keep things realistic and simple and speak about just steering.

Last edited by Sjoerd Bakker; 31 Oct 2008 at 22:03.
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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Not the best example I've ever read, a boats tiller has a rather small gyroscopic affeck, belive me my riding is better than my spelling
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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my thread my rules. let the conversation continue guys.
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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I may be the only one here who doesn't get this at all.
I've been going round corners for years and the only time I fell off was when the chain came off and wrapped itself round the back wheel.

So let me get this straight.
Counter steering - to common sense this means to go right you steer to the left.
That is you turn your front wheel to face the opposite direction to that which you want to go.

Tommy said, via How stuff works, "That's because motorcycle riders must push the handlebars to the left to make the vehicle turn right and vice versa"
So - you pull with your left hand and push with your right hand, however gently, the front wheel changes direction from the centre position.
It was pointing straight ahead at the twelve o'clock position, now it is pointing at 11 o'clock - and you turn right.

Yeah?
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Old 31 Oct 2008
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So these are counter steering then?







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