Countersteering, a must have skill

Discussion in 'New Riders' started by DeeBee, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. DeeBee

    DeeBee New Member

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    Rode bicycles and dirtbikes for years and thought I new how to ride. Problem is my first few rides at moderate speed on curvy roads ,often left me feeling uncomfortable and unable to consciously make the turns. Fortunately, I was going slow remained calm and let instinct kick in. Made it through all the curves with no issues (except alien discomfort knowing I wasn't really in control). The body position I used to "force " the turn would have probably caused a seasoned rider to laugh (or cry out of pity).

    Had a dog run in to me, I kinda froze and just hit the brakes.
    I have been in similar situations before and had various cages pitched sideways out around the obstacle and back.
    I told myself I would get used to it...convinced myself next time I would swoop gracefully around the problem. But deep down I realized I simply didnt know how to ride?

    Fortunately someone here whispered the magic word in a post COUNTER STEERING
    Let me be the first to tell you oh new rider..... that odd feeling you get in a slow curve like you have got to lean the opposite direction to help hold the bike up around the curve. Or maybe you feel like you got to lean lean lean into it. ....you have got to learn how to counter steer the bike.

    Once you learn this skill you will realize that a little forward pressure on the bar closest to the direction you want to go and the bike does the rest..

    It's crazy I wanted to learn counter steering thinking it would help my skills. Boy was I wrong it is the number one first and primary fundamental you must learn before venturing out onto the roads.
    I am really really lucky that :

    I didn't face an emergency on the highway riding home or i would most likely be dead.
    I got took down by a dog at low speeds.
    I was on VFR World where the people gave enough of a Shit about a random aspiring rider to tell me ATGATT , take a class ,learn to counter steer, Dress for the slide not the ride.

    Anyhow if your new to street bikes and want to get it together and truly be in control of your bike , before you find yourself and your bike a broken wreck.

    Take a beginners course or get yourself educated on braking counter steering, situational awareness etc. as each pertains to street bikes.

    You owe it to yourself, your loved ones, fellow riders, and anyone else on the road to learn this one basic fundamental skill before an animal, car , or pedestrian appears in front of you and BRAKEEEESSSS is the only trick in your bag.


    Later and thanks all

    db
     
  2. GigemVFR

    GigemVFR New Member

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    And hitting the curves, "Look where you want to go and not where you're going."

    Still laugh the day our instructor told us about entering curves, "If you're looking down at the curb, you're going to hit the curb"
     
  3. Allyance

    Allyance Insider

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  4. DeeBee

    DeeBee New Member

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    Couldn't remember where is saw , it.
    And thank you a thousand times for doing so.

    It should most definitely be a sticky in the New Rider Sub.

    db
     
  5. Gator

    Gator Insider

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    I thought every kid that has learned to ride a bicycle learned about counter steering. Same principle on a motorcycle.
     
  6. PawnBoy

    PawnBoy New Member

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    Yeah, it's not so much a "great skill to learn" as it is "practically impossible to ride any bicycle without doing it, even if only subconsciously". Pretty sure I saw a video around here of a motorcycle that had a pair of fixed handlebars installed that weren't attached to the forks and the guy was driving up and down a runway showing that even putting all his weight on one peg or the other barely leaned the bike at all. It's too bad that so few people learn that counter steering is actually how bikes are steered, seems most just assume it's by leaning and steering or they plain don't think about it at all until they're about to fall over or have to take evasive action.

    Edit: found it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_5Z3jyO2pA
     
  7. DeeBee

    DeeBee New Member

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    Rode BMX bike for years as a child, jumped , slid, raced down some Karly hills. The only time I ever knowingly counter steered was to keep it straight while sliding.
    Probably was doing it. But a bmx bike weighs 1/10 the weight of the rider not 4X as much such as me on a vf700.
    525lbs wet to my 130 pounds.
     
  8. Gator

    Gator Insider

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    You have to be counter steering once you get past around 10 mph no matter the weight. People do it all the time without thinking. Its how you first learned 2 wheel gyroscopic procession.
     
  9. Jeff_Barrett

    Jeff_Barrett Member

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    This ..... and steer with one hand (both hands on the grips obviously) as they can fight for control, and a loose grip.
     
  10. RobVG

    RobVG Insider

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    Just shifting your weight will require less counter steering.
    When I first started riding my bikes I'd work the bars like I was steer wrestling. (pun intended.)

    One thing you have to accelerate a little through the corner.
    It' shifts the weight to the rear and gives you more traction at the wheel doing the pushing.

    I love the fact the VFR's weigh a lot. It's a change from the RD.
    You "have" to give it some gas in the corner to bring it back up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  11. Gator

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    If your fighting the bars in a turn your set up is off. no matter how you are shifting weight.
     
  12. Jeff_Barrett

    Jeff_Barrett Member

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    Yah, I'm with you on this. Fighting hands is a different story ... my hands used to fight for control when I first started riding street bikes. Then I learned. :p
     
  13. Allyance

    Allyance Insider

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    Ever notice that when a kid goes from a tricycle (vertical steering) to a bicycle they alway fall off? On a trike the kid turns the bars in the direction he wants to go, when he gets on a bicycle he tries the same thing, plop!
     
  14. Gator

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    If your bike is set up right you should be able to almost let go of the bars while in mid corner. When you trail brake into a corner you are compressing the forks which helps the bike turn in (reducing rake and trail), then as you hit the apex and have gradually let off the brake the suspension stays more settled, bike starts so stand up and as you give it gas it completes standing up as you are finishing the turn.
     
  15. PawnBoy

    PawnBoy New Member

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    That's why balance bikes/push bikes are so popular now, trains the balancing before the pedaling. Also, when kids are taught to ride a bicycle they're not really given lessons on the principles and physics of the act (are they?) they're just pushed around on a bike until their body figures out what's needed to stay upright.
     
  16. Gator

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    lmao, yes I have not only seen that but experienced it at about 3.
     
  17. Allyance

    Allyance Insider

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    I think training wheels have same effect, not sure, never had them.
     
  18. Gator

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    I think your body figures it out rather quickly and the principle is just second nature. You can test this on a bicycle. Ride at about 10 mph, pull the bars right and you go left. Now go 3-4 mph. The bike goes to the right. Somewhere in there is the transition from the wheel turning the bike the same way its turned, to the gyroscopic precession that make it go the opposite way. Riders don't think about it, its just normal 2 wheel riding. And one of the big reasons why we enjoy things 2 wheeled.
     
  19. RobVG

    RobVG Insider

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    Sounds like trail braking would take a lot practice.
    If your not getting your braking done before, How much of a chance is there in washing out the front end?

    Personally I try not to brake coming into corners. I'm not racing.
    I think it's a good idea to try to judge your entry speed.
    After a while you start to "see" the corners and know how fast is comfortable for you.
     
  20. Gator

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    The track does wonders for street riding. One of the biggest things is that it really slows you down on the streets. Learning trail braking on the track is for sure the best place and can be used safely on the streets and might just save your ass on the streets. As far as washing the front, there are a lot of factors there but you can trail brake a LOT harder than you might think. Loading the front actually gives you a lot of stopping power.... until it dos't. lol
    Trail braking is not just for racing. Just another skill you should have. Trail braking, look where you want to go, stay OFF the rear brake, and many more skills that will help you avoid problems and can also make you faster if you want.
     
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