Counter-Steering

Posted at 7/1/2012 7:20:45 PM

Racer1

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Meanie said:As Skyhawk indicated, don't overthink it. The entire counter-steering issue is overhyped. Just ride.


The problem with "just riding" is that without solid training you don't have the experience and muscle memory required when the unexpected happens or if you simply want to improve your riding and ride smoother and faster.

The vast majority of single bike accidents occur when people enter a corner too hot - or more to the point, what they perceive as being too hot. They panic, flinch and either try and stand the bike up and brake as hard as they can (running off the road, into traffic, whatever), or attempt to take the corner without decent technique and crash out anyway. Solid counter steering inputs, smooth on the controls and looking through the corner would 99% of the time have taken them through the corner with no trouble whatsoever.

I can tell you from years of track day instructing that the vast majority of street riders (and these are the ones that are committed enough to come to track days) have no idea how capable their bikes and tires are. They panic when they lean further than have before, once they follow the leader and get some instructed days under their belts they lose that reflex and ride with confidence knowing how to navigate corners - using countersteering (as well as footpeg weighting, body position, throttle control, trail braking, etc.)



Edited by Racer1 at 7/1/2012 7:21:50 PM

Posted at 7/1/2012 9:05:08 PM

thesoapster

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I've started incorporating trail braking into my backroads riding for better tip in. It's pretty handy.

Posted at 7/2/2012 11:51:02 AM

Easy Rider

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Kootenanny said:I like to do all my steering with the inside hand--


Nothing wrong with that, and it probably is the "preferred" method.....but even after 45 years of riding, I still like to practice stuff that is not "comfortable" or "natural" or "best practice"......like going around curves with only one hand on the bars (or sometimes even none :woot: ) and making hard stops using mostly the back brake.

You never know when you might NEED one of those "uncomfortable" skills. :wink:

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Posted at 7/2/2012 11:54:00 AM

Meanie

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Racer1 said:

The problem with "just riding" is that without solid training you don't have the experience and muscle memory required when the unexpected happens or if you simply want to improve your riding and ride smoother and faster.

The vast majority of single bike accidents occur when people enter a corner too hot - or more to the point, what they perceive as being too hot. They panic, flinch and either try and stand the bike up and brake as hard as they can (running off the road, into traffic, whatever), or attempt to take the corner without decent technique and crash out anyway. Solid counter steering inputs, smooth on the controls and looking through the corner would 99% of the time have taken them through the corner with no trouble whatsoever.

I can tell you from years of track day instructing that the vast majority of street riders (and these are the ones that are committed enough to come to track days) have no idea how capable their bikes and tires are. They panic when they lean further than have before, once they follow the leader and get some instructed days under their belts they lose that reflex and ride with confidence knowing how to navigate corners - using countersteering (as well as footpeg weighting, body position, throttle control, trail braking, etc.)



Edited by Racer1 at 7/1/2012 7:21:50 PM


Training to be a better rider through continuous practice is one thing, but the explanation of counter-steering, IMO, is overhype. One can learn about the handling of their bikes without the vast explanation of counter-steering. I won't claim to be an expert on the track, but after 30 years of riding, I think I can handle my bike (and past bikes) very well (and have proven so) considering the lack of MSF training (not available in my days) and the fact I never even knew about counter-steering, yet, I'm fully aware of the details you describe about cornering with throttle control, weight shifting, etc.

IMO, too many riders are focused on counter-steering thus, losing focus on the other finer points of bike control. Again, IMO, it's overhype.

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Posted at 7/2/2012 6:43:18 PM

skyhawk04kilo

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It's important for sure. But consider that the OP is 18 years old (so he has very little experience dealing with traffic in a car) and approximately 0 experience on a motorcycle. Hence why I recommended just paying attention to the traffic around him instead of concentrating on fine-tuning skills that haven't been developed yet.

Posted at 7/2/2012 10:30:24 PM

Kootenanny

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Meanie said:Training to be a better rider through continuous practice is one thing, but the explanation of counter-steering, IMO, is overhype. One can learn about the handling of their bikes without the vast explanation of counter-steering.

Reading back through this thread, I see no "vast explanation" of counter-steering. That's not what the OP asked.

Push right, go right; push left, go left. It's not complex, and it's not "hype."

As for "losing focus on the finer points of bike control" because they're too busy thinking about countersteering--uh, no. Countersteering is the basic foundation skill of cornering on a bike...everything else is window dressing. Best to start with the foundation (again, it's pretty damn simple...anyone who can't "get it" in a few minutes of practice probably shouldn't be riding a bike...)

Posted at 7/2/2012 10:39:02 PM

Kootenanny

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Easy Rider said:
Kootenanny said:I like to do all my steering with the inside hand--


Nothing wrong with that, and it probably is the "preferred" method.....but even after 45 years of riding, I still like to practice stuff that is not "comfortable" or "natural" or "best practice"......like going around curves with only one hand on the bars (or sometimes even none :woot: ) and making hard stops using mostly the back brake.

You never know when you might NEED one of those "uncomfortable" skills. :wink:


Fine and good...but when a newbie asks me a specific question, I'm gonna give a "best practice" answer.

And actually practicing "best practice" is the best way to ensure that's what you revert to in an emergency situation.

As for cornering with one hand, or none...well, you might ease around a few gentle bends that way, but you won't be riding my local roads with no hands on the grips. :wink:

Posted at 7/3/2012 11:06:49 AM

GAJ

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Meanie said:
Racer1 said:

The problem with "just riding" is that without solid training you don't have the experience and muscle memory required when the unexpected happens or if you simply want to improve your riding and ride smoother and faster.

The vast majority of single bike accidents occur when people enter a corner too hot - or more to the point, what they perceive as being too hot. They panic, flinch and either try and stand the bike up and brake as hard as they can (running off the road, into traffic, whatever), or attempt to take the corner without decent technique and crash out anyway. Solid counter steering inputs, smooth on the controls and looking through the corner would 99% of the time have taken them through the corner with no trouble whatsoever.

I can tell you from years of track day instructing that the vast majority of street riders (and these are the ones that are committed enough to come to track days) have no idea how capable their bikes and tires are. They panic when they lean further than have before, once they follow the leader and get some instructed days under their belts they lose that reflex and ride with confidence knowing how to navigate corners - using countersteering (as well as footpeg weighting, body position, throttle control, trail braking, etc.)



Edited by Racer1 at 7/1/2012 7:21:50 PM


Training to be a better rider through continuous practice is one thing, but the explanation of counter-steering, IMO, is overhype. One can learn about the handling of their bikes without the vast explanation of counter-steering. I won't claim to be an expert on the track, but after 30 years of riding, I think I can handle my bike (and past bikes) very well (and have proven so) considering the lack of MSF training (not available in my days) and the fact I never even knew about counter-steering, yet, I'm fully aware of the details you describe about cornering with throttle control, weight shifting, etc.

IMO, too many riders are focused on counter-steering thus, losing focus on the other finer points of bike control. Again, IMO, it's overhype.


Ooops, I accidentally hit "report" instead of "quote" so my apologies.

All I can say is that before I learned about countersteering I had several crashes as a youngster on a 50cc road motorcycle in Belgium; a very light motorcycle and one which should have been easy to turn but wasn't because of my lack of knowledge leading to incorrect steering inputs. Sure I was 16/17 at the time but I was an accomplished bicyclist so, at least for me, countersteering didn't just "happen."

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Posted at 7/3/2012 3:49:52 PM

Meanie

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Kootenanny said:
Reading back through this thread, I see no "vast explanation" of counter-steering. That's not what the OP asked.


I never said he did. I'm referring to the continuous discussion of counter steering in general, whether here or elsewhere amongst riders alike. It's almost up there with politics, religion and oil.

Kootenanny said:Push right, go right; push left, go left. It's not complex, and it's not "hype."

As for "losing focus on the finer points of bike control" because they're too busy thinking about countersteering--uh, no. Countersteering is the basic foundation skill of cornering on a bike...everything else is window dressing. Best to start with the foundation (again, it's pretty damn simple...anyone who can't "get it" in a few minutes of practice probably shouldn't be riding a bike...)



I'm willing to bet there are more riders who have no idea about the true aspect of counter steering than there are who do. As children, most of us learn to ride a bicycle. Does anyone explain counter steering then? It just comes natural.

Again, honing the skills on the track or simply to get better would require the explanation of CS. Otherwise, most just do it unconsciously.

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Posted at 7/3/2012 3:53:11 PM

Meanie

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GAJ said:
Ooops, I accidentally hit "report" instead of "quote" so my apologies.


Sure ya did. :poke::wink:

GAJ said:All I can say is that before I learned about countersteering I had several crashes as a youngster on a 50cc road motorcycle in Belgium; a very light motorcycle and one which should have been easy to turn but wasn't because of my lack of knowledge leading to incorrect steering inputs. Sure I was 16/17 at the time but I was an accomplished bicyclist so, at least for me, countersteering didn't just "happen."


...and I know some who have crashed even knowing about counter steering. Exceptions to every rule, but death, taxes and shipping/handling.

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