Counter-Steering

CafeBrakes

Coffee Brakes
Jul 26, 2019
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I ride a
2018 Yamaha R3
So I recently addressed an issue that I noticed. Not many people who get licensed for a motorcycle train their counter-steering especially when it comes to sharp curves. I know you can learn at a parking lot but there no factors of danger in an empty lot. (Cars, trees, people, etc.) I noticed many crashes happening because of people not looking through their turns or leaning enough. Your tires have alot more tread than you think. Am I the only one that notices there isn't enough light on this issue? Maybe I'm wrong?
 

lupin

2016 Solar Bear Champion.
Jul 5, 2015
2,199
1,359
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Australia
www.imlupz.com
I ride a
FZ1N
Umm I don’t think you understand what counter steering is.
You can’t ride a 2 wheel motorcycle without doing it.
So even though it may not be taught when doing your test. Your actually naturally quite good at it.
 
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Riderguide

Wannabie Member
Feb 24, 2019
242
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Naturally doing it - yep we all do it, but I get what you're saying ...... I still say it needs a level of understanding which would possibly give a bit more confidence in the practice side, having the theory taught in the case of a sudden required change of direction might I would hope give you a half a second or so advantage which can be the difference between 'an off' and an off home. Yes we should always be able to stop in the distance we can see however if an object/person/deer/kangaroo jumps in to view suddenly, it helps (in my opinion) to know that that push on the bars will have you heading that way quicker than you can almost blink. I advise not to have 'spirited rides' on roads that are unfamiliar, a mis-read line has caught all of us out at some time or other on a road we might have been racing along, deep in to a curve and a chance of armco or on coming traffic might require that extra push in them circumstances - if you properly understand it you'll be more prone to having it in the 'tool box'. It bothers me just thinking about that scenario (I did it once and add it to my rich list of near misses I now share to help others!) ..... at the time I wasn't aware of the theory other than my natural riding - I wonder if I'd have scrubbed off my chicken strips on that left-hander if I'd known just to push that left hand bar. Only mistake I ever made with the first Mrs Rider Skills on board. I got quite a stare. Plus a divorce eventually LOL. :D ....... I also agree that our rubber has more grip than the majority of us use - I still like to play with the bars a little and deliberately sharpen up a turn now and again when the opportunity arises. Nice to have all the tools we can.
 

WheelyPerd

Everywhere @WheeliePerd
May 18, 2017
374
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I ride a
Triumph Tiger 800 XCx
Doing a track day is one of the best ways of learning about intentionally countersteering and learning just how far you can lean a bike over in the bends. It's a safe environment to gradually push yourself and you have time between your sessions to analyse how you rode and to let the learnings sink in.
People really need to start going to tracks, its almost never a race and you learn more in 1 trackday than years of street riding.
Also tracks are where you see that its not about power, its about being smooth.
 

L. Bilious

Huge member
Aug 2, 2019
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People really need to start going to tracks, its almost never a race and you learn more in 1 trackday than years of street riding.
Also tracks are where you see that its not about power, its about being smooth.
I agree. I think people are put off from track days because they think they will be too slow. I'd say just don't worry about that. Faster riders will get past you safely.
I would recommend doing MSVT Road Bike only track days as they are more relaxed and track bikes and tyres warmers aren't allowed.
You also get the chance to win prizes such as Sports bike Shop vouchers or a free trackday. Like I did.
 

HippoDrone

Admin
Jan 2, 2017
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I agree. I think people are put off from track days because they think they will be too slow. I'd say just don't worry about that. Faster riders will get past you safely.
I would recommend doing MSVT Road Bike only track days as they are more relaxed and track bikes and tyres warmers aren't allowed.
You also get the chance to win prizes such as Sports bike Shop vouchers or a free trackday. Like I did.
I won my trackday on an MSVT Roadbike Only Trackday from SportsBikeShop, awesome day! <3
 
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CafeBrakes

Coffee Brakes
Jul 26, 2019
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2018 Yamaha R3
People really need to start going to tracks, its almost never a race and you learn more in 1 trackday than years of street riding.
Also tracks are where you see that its not about power, its about being smooth.
I've heard that exact same phrase from a friend. I guess my next purchase is a tracksuit
 
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RideOnTwo

Smart Ass
Jun 14, 2019
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rideontwo.net
I ride a
BMW F750GS
With the cost of all of the bike, gear etc. Track days are another major expense at least here in my area. $400 to take my bike to a road only track day, to which I have to have their specific gear requirements or you can not go. Or for $500 there is a track that will let you ride and just have to bring a helmet. For some this is not a purchase that is reasonable, and I have not seen any promotions by any of the tracks for free to win times.

I would love to do a track day but when I look at the prices I can do a trip with the wife and practice other things in parking lots and back roads.

As for counter steering if you are not aware of this as a rider you are asking for trouble. Watch the slow mo parts later in the video and you see the problem clear as day

Problem with this is there are too many videos with bad information, Cycle Cruiza understood that he was doing it but was so wrong in how it was being implemented and had several bad videos on the subject. I think they have since been removed, but this is a perfect example of bad information and the ease of someone who does not fully understand things being able to influence people. To his credit he fixed it and released a video admitting he was wrong here:
 

HippoDrone

Admin
Jan 2, 2017
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2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
As a side note to that first video, the rider also applies the front brake hard which will cause the bike to sit up in a turn, and if he also locks the front, the bike will also slide wide into the danger. The message in the video is correct, but it doesn't also take the other factors into consideration.
 
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RideOnTwo

Smart Ass
Jun 14, 2019
179
194
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Massachusetts USA
rideontwo.net
I ride a
BMW F750GS
As a side note to that first video, the rider also applies the front brake hard which will cause the bike to sit up in a turn, and if he also locks the front, the bike will also slide wide into the danger. The message in the video is correct, but it doesn't also take the other factors into consideration.
Agreed, he is riding above his skill level and freaks out when he sees the truck. I have been riding for 40 years and practice of good skills(habits) is what keeps you fresh and reactionary with good habits. It does explain for any that do not understand why understanding counter steering is important.
 

CafeBrakes

Coffee Brakes
Jul 26, 2019
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Yeah, I apologize if I came out at this subject wrong, but being a new rider and actually going around curvy back roads, there were times I felt like I was going to fall but thanks to a friend who teaches riding classes, helped me learn to lean more and utilize the treads on my tires. I agree, it's all about training good habits.
 

RideOnTwo

Smart Ass
Jun 14, 2019
179
194
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Massachusetts USA
rideontwo.net
I ride a
BMW F750GS
Yeah, I apologize if I came out at this subject wrong, but being a new rider and actually going around curvy back roads, there were times I felt like I was going to fall but thanks to a friend who teaches riding classes, helped me learn to lean more and utilize the treads on my tires. I agree, it's all about training good habits.
No it was a legitimate question. There are many videos on the subject but some do not explain it properly.

Track time would be great and if it as a bit more affordable I would be on it as much as I could. I can ride at a MX track all day for $30 - $40 but as stated before road course is $4-5 hundred or about that for a day.

That being said MSF courses are almost as expensive.
 
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WheelyPerd

Everywhere @WheeliePerd
May 18, 2017
374
337
63
30
South Africa
I ride a
Triumph Tiger 800 XCx
Yeah, I apologize if I came out at this subject wrong, but being a new rider and actually going around curvy back roads, there were times I felt like I was going to fall but thanks to a friend who teaches riding classes, helped me learn to lean more and utilize the treads on my tires. I agree, it's all about training good habits.
I think we've all had this, but time forgets. If you can afford a track day, go, if you can afford proper training also go.

If you can afford none of the above, you'll need to find an empty spot to practice.
 

mainemonty

Live in the Maine woods with cats and a GF
Sep 3, 2019
13
21
3
I ride a
2006 FZ1...Red with the full fairing.
i practice while i drive...push the right handlebar to turn right...opposite to turn left...the thing is when people are in a scary situation they revert to instict...and if the leaning is not working to turn the bike they will turn the handle bars into a turn which does the opposite and stands the bike up...i worry i will do the same thing in a panic.
 

Riderguide

Wannabie Member
Feb 24, 2019
242
231
43
South Australia
I ride a
BMW F800GS
i practice while i drive...push the right handlebar to turn right...opposite to turn left...the thing is when people are in a scary situation they revert to instict...and if the leaning is not working to turn the bike they will turn the handle bars into a turn which does the opposite and stands the bike up...i worry i will do the same thing in a panic.
Practice will stop you doing it if you have a ‘moment’. You make a good point though about riders turning in, in panic.
 
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mainemonty

Live in the Maine woods with cats and a GF
Sep 3, 2019
13
21
3
I ride a
2006 FZ1...Red with the full fairing.
When doing your exams here you have to do a sharp turn and a 8 circle.
And you need to show during these practices that you can countersteer (i know every corner is a countersteer ;) )
I got my first license while living in London in the 80's..the cone stuff was done with slow speeds..too slow for counterstearing...under the slow conditions u turned where you pointed the tire...same think when i took my license in california...all the cone stuff was done slowly...not fast enough for counterstearing
 
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