Countersteer What?? - Page 2 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #11 of 39 Old 08-01-2019, 07:38 AM
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Twist of the Wrist 2 by Keith Code.
Buy it, read it, watch it, then go do the course.
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post #12 of 39 Old 08-01-2019, 09:30 AM
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I think the term "counter-steer" makes the simple complicated for the newby.

I others have pointed out, MSF courses preach, "push right-go right, push left- go left". Of course pushing on the right bar, forces the wheel left, creating counter steering, but a rider need not think about all that. Just teach them to push in the direction they need to go, and look where they want to be (and not at what they don't want to hit) and they'll be good to go.

The above plus the concepts of traction reserve and how rider inputs affect the reservoir of traction available were great take-aways from doing the MSF advanced rider course.
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post #13 of 39 Old 08-01-2019, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by RLBranson View Post
..... a while back there was a video on the news where a newish rider got into a corner and could not hold a tight line. he went slightly wide and physically encountered a fire truck in the opposite lane coming the opposite way. the Newbie had a helmet camera running, showing him unable to tighten his turn......
This is known as "The Handlebar Death Grip". The rider panicked and gripped the bars so tightly that the front seemed 'locked'. This happened to a buddy of mine during a twisty road mountain ride. He encountered severe rough pavement in the corner and gripped to bars tightly causing him to run wide. Luckily there was no oncoming traffic!!! He then began practicing a more relaxed grip during riding to make it second nature when rough pavement is encountered.

"There comes a time in the affairs of men, when we must take the bull by the tail and face the situation."
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post #14 of 39 Old 08-01-2019, 10:56 AM
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I heard push right to go right, left to go left. I bleeb that's what they teach in motorcycle safety course. I seem to remember exercises where we rode at the instructor and had to make a direction change at the last moment to the right or left depending on the instruction from the teacher.
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post #15 of 39 Old 08-01-2019, 11:06 AM
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I read an article that said a lot of the actions that keep you alive in a pinch are counterintuitive to what your brain is telling you to do. Brain says, "you came in too fast, guardrail/cliff is coming, hit the brakes and watch out!" Training says, "release the brakes, look through the curve and let the bike do its magic." You've survived another day.
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Last edited by John V Strom, Jr.; 08-01-2019 at 03:44 PM.
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post #16 of 39 Old 08-01-2019, 04:53 PM
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I was taught the "Push right, go right" technique, and it gets the job done. But recently I've tried what I call "aggressive countersteering", giving the bars a good twist to initiate the turn. Feels weird, but it forces the bike to lean into the corner very quickly.
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post #17 of 39 Old 08-02-2019, 08:31 AM
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Countersteering isn't the only way to steer a bike. It is one way, and perhaps the best way, but it is not the only way. Anybody who ever stands up on the pegs can attest that weight movement from side to side results in incredibly quick direction changes. In most cases you're not even in a position to "countersteer" because your hands are at the top of the bars and cannot "push" or "pull" the bars. But if you are dodging big rocks, simply shifting your weight from one peg to the other results in a far quicker avoidance maneuver.

Don't be misled into thinking countersteering is the only tool in your toolbox. Use everything at your disposal. Target fixation (look to your escape route), body positioning, footpeg weighting, countersteering. It all works together, and in the right circumstance you may need one or the other of those steering tools, or multiple ones in conjunction.

By all means, practice countersteering. But when you're out there in that parking lot, stand up on your pegs and also practice weight shifting from peg to peg. You will surprise yourself with how fast you can turn a bike, and how sharply too. Not that I recommend it, but you can ride mile after mile without even touching the handlebar (assuming you have a throttle lock) by simply shifting your weight on the bike or the pegs. Be familiar with all your tools, whether or not you use them.

Also, as earlier mentioned, rely on your inside arm to do the steering. People who run directly into trees or other objects could be target fixated, but in conjunction with that your arms will fight each other to turn, and the "death grip" result is you'll not be able to turn the bike. Relying on a single hand to do most of your steering helps eliminate that.

Last edited by tjosephtoo; 08-02-2019 at 09:00 AM.
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post #18 of 39 Old 08-02-2019, 08:52 AM
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Be very careful with that "aggressive countersteering" technique. The average rider is strong enough to yank the front wheel sideways, particularly if you are aggressively countersteering at the moment your front wheel hits a bump or otherwise unweights. Smooth movements, not aggressive ones, are your friend. Even in a panic, try to smooth out your inputs. You might be surprised at how close to traction limits you regularly ride, but you'll really be surprised if you aggressively push/pull your handlebars and yank that front tire sideways.
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post #19 of 39 Old 08-02-2019, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by John V Strom, Jr. View Post
I read that Keith Code once welded a motorcycle fork in the straight position to demonstrate leaning does not steer a bike. At all. Only the pushing of the bars accomplishes it. The bike that had fixed bars/fork would only go, you guessed it, straight, even if you hung off it.
Keith also was adamant about "smoother is faster." I read that he had a bike set up so that the brakes could be disabled, forcing the student to control slowing with only coasting and downshifting. For many students this resulted in the same or faster lap times, and improved them once on braked bikes, as they were entering and leaving corners faster.

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"I never said half of that stuff."-Confucius
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post #20 of 39 Old 08-02-2019, 10:36 AM
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If leaning doesnít steer a bike then how do you steer when riding with no hands? Iím not recommending anyone do it AT ALL.

I was younger and only had a Harley to ride, no car. Winters were tough. Iíd ride down the interstate with the throttle locked, no hands because they were both on top of the rocker boxes to keep from freezing. I would lean it through turns. Obviously no steering was going on since my hands were hugging the engine.

I do countersteer when riding casually through turns but if Iím riding aggressively Iím leaning.
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