Counter steering

Discussion in 'Victory General Discussion' started by ttwntec, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. ttwntec

    ttwntec New Member

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    Saw a discussion on here a couple weeks ago and the discussion turned to counter steering vs. body steering to avoid a accident/object. I stayed out because it started to get a little hot.

    That's been bugging me.

    Am I an expert about motorcycles, no. Buy I can say I have had advance training and I have more ass time on a big bike in traffic then most. I can also say, yes I am an expert in accident investigation and reconstruction. I will say this YOU CAN NOT BODY STEER A BIKE FOR ACCIDENT AVOIDANCE. period no if and or buts.

    How to Steer a Motorcycle: Countersteering vs. Body-steering

    The front tire on a motorcycle is a gyroscope. It is hard, at speed to move a motorcycle tire off an upright line. That's why when riding we don't fall over, and the faster we go the more stable we are. As matter of fact at speed if you hit something and your handle bars start vibrating or you get a high speed wobble, you should let go of the handle bars. The gyroscopic effect will take over and want to remain up right. Try hitting a highway cone at 60+ under acceleration in traffic, I had cleaned my shorts after.



    To turn you have to cause the tire, gyroscope, to fall over and lean. Remember above the tire want to remain upright. To start the tire to fall allowing us to turn you apply pressure to the handle bars in the opposite direction of your turn, push left to go left push right to go right. After your tire falls then you can turn the bars in the direction, but if you need to adjust your counter steering.



    Why do we need to know this. As a kid riding you bicycle you naturally did this. You had to there is no other way to turn. As bigger kids on bigger bikes we do this, it's subconscious, we have to to turn. So in a PANIC situation when we do the oh ****, we need to make a conscious decision to turn. That is the kicker.

    So how do we make counter steering a deliberate act. Start with a 30mph cone weave. Then throw up some cones get some light hit the cone pattern at 40 the light flashes for you danger and you counter steer to the clear lane. Problem not everyone has access to the above and you need to start slow and if you crash it's your bike.

    So here is my challenge and practice for the masses. Dashed line on the road start at 25mph ON AN EMPTY ROAD and weave the lines. Then as your riding and see manhole cover treat them as a pothole and drive around them. Pushing left to go left and right to go right. Just those little things will make counter steering a conscious deliberate act.

    Please learn this, it could save your life and/or your passengers life.

    Rant over thanks.
     
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  2. PDXLaserGazer

    PDXLaserGazer Well-Known Member

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    First, thanks for the videos and the new non-oil thread.

    Next,
    You contradict yourself here. You are applying pressure on the side of the direction you want to turn. I think we should do away with all of the complicated words and just stick to "Look left, push left, go left" and "Look right, push right, go right". Because we all get this.

    Huh? Can you clarify this maybe or reword it?

    Where do you live? If I'm on an empty road, which I do wish I could find, it doesn't mean there isn't a friendly state trooper coming around looking to give out tickets for weaving, improper lane changes and reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

    Not to say your information isn't good. Fact of the matter is people end up relying on muscle memory and habit when in emergency situations. Parking lot is way safer and the cones run about $1 apiece online. Can even pick up cheap painter's pyramids $8 for a 10-pack.

    Part of the reason the conversation got heated was because many of us have been riding for a long time and the term "counter-steer" is relatively new to the motorcycle vocabulary. So, whether we know it or not, we've all been doing it forever, just now they've given a fancy phrase to the activity. What we really need is a veteran biker <-> new rider translator.

    I feel fairly confident in saying that more often than not the guys that say they "body steer" and those that say they "counter-steer" and those that say they "push the direction they want to go" are all doing the same thing just using different terminology.

    That being said, sometimes I like to take my hands off the bars stand up and body steer the bike down the freeway for a mile or 2. I usually clap my hands and sway to the beat of whatever 90's song happens to be on the radio.
     
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  3. Half_Crazy

    Half_Crazy Well-Known Member

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    If you want to understand countersteering... Go to a curvy road and ride one-handed.

    Next, put the bike 12" away from the white line (against the shoulder) and set the cruise. Switch back and forth between steering with your right hand and steering with your left hand while maintaining that 12" off the white line.

    Now... find a road with no shoulder and big ditch on the right. Make it 6" off the white line.

    After these exercises you will fully understand countersteering and it will become second nature... like walking. You will also sharpen your ability to maintain a line.
     
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  4. kaitiff

    kaitiff Well-Known Member

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    ...or you'll get very good at using a parachute. :)
     
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  5. Jeb27

    Jeb27 Well-Known Member

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    Baptism by fire? ;)
     
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  6. Jeb27

    Jeb27 Well-Known Member

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    Talking about this subject face to face, and not on the Internet, would be much more productive. Words are being misconstrued. This I believe is why the original thread stop in the first place. Enjoyed your videos though, very informative. :)
     
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  7. Squatch

    Squatch Well-Known Member

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    My two cents on the subject, if you want to alter your line use body English, if you need to avoid something quickly you need to push the bar in the direction you want to go (Counter steer)
     
  8. Half_Crazy

    Half_Crazy Well-Known Member

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    When you use body English you are countersteering. Might as well just steer it.
     
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  9. Half_Crazy

    Half_Crazy Well-Known Member

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  10. Half_Crazy

    Half_Crazy Well-Known Member

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    I ride with no hands sometimes. I CAN steer the bike just by sticking a knee out in the wind or shifting my weight... but without my hands on the bars I'm causing countersteer, it's just not obvious.
     
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  11. jmstang302

    jmstang302 Well-Known Member

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    Wait, what there was a lesson to be learned when my hand fell asleep on I-40 headed to Maggie Valley last year. I just thought I was having fun.
     
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  12. jellybean764

    jellybean764 Active Member

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    Don't think about it or you are liable to get screwed up.Just ride the bike and look where you want to go and you will get there.
     
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  13. CPT PYRO

    CPT PYRO Well-Known Member

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    I recently noticed on a tight right hand curve, that I don't counter steer as much as I do on left hand curves.

    After I noticed it I started to pay attention to what I was doing wrong. It caught me by surprise actually when I found the cause. As I was rounding the curve, a car came around the corner and I when I went to counter steer, my hand pushed the throttle boss and then it dawned on me. I have been avoiding counter steering hard on right hand curves because of the throttle boss. I'll be taking that off soon.
     
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  14. Squatch

    Squatch Well-Known Member

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    All riders think when they ride. Instincts and learned techniques help survive the roads many surprises... Cows come to mind, down hill left hand curve at speed..... the thinking process happens very quickly for the experienced.

    For some who have the inherent skillset this might apply. For others who just bough a bike and have little idea about the dynamics and techniques of riding , there is some great information here. I have seen this time and time again, bottom line everyone benefits from riding courses, techniques are learned and can be applied in a controlled environment. These techniques are honed and refined on the road thru practice until they are second nature. Some folks catch on really quickly and others , well you have ridden with those folks too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  15. Half_Crazy

    Half_Crazy Well-Known Member

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    There's no substitute for practice. Some people ride for 20 years and never practice. There are just a few basic techniques to learn, simple stuff, but it all requires practice.

    The biggies are planning way ahead, keeping your eyes level with the horizon, and looking with your whole head. Add the countersteering to this and you're on your way to being a great rider.

    After that, there are mental techniques. Look without looking is the big one. It takes time to change your visual focus from one object to another... it's much faster to change your mental focus instead. You don't have to look right at something to see it.

    When following other vehicles... concentrate on your line and have the other vehicles in your mental picture... don't look at the vehicle in front of you. If he slows or brakes, you'll see it peripherally.

    If you read through this and practice the look without looking and the $10 worth of attention thing, you will be a much more effective rider.
    http://files.meetup.com/1510087/A Twist of the Wrist II.pdf
    Actually, all of it is great stuff, but you cannot apply sportbike technique to riding a cruiser, you'll use up your ground clearance in a hurry. On a cruiser you need to draw gentle arcs for lines through curves to make the most use of your limited lean angles.
     
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