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Thread: Counter steering

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    Default Counter steering


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    Right, I only just found out about this...

    Counter Steering.

    No one mentioned it on the CBT or in training for the full test.

    I tried it, and it was a bit of a revelation! I actually feel totally in control of the bike on fast corners...

    Previously I was just leaning, so using body weight (I guess) but now with a gentle push on the bars, the bike just moves over!

    I did find it a bit odd that this seems to have been ignored in the training as I helps to give me a load more confidence in taking corners at any sort of speed.


    Is this a common thing to discover, or maybe it's just me?

    My understanding is that it's using the gyroscopic effect of the front wheel to force the bike to lean rather than shifting you weight to lean it.

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    Default Re: Counter steering

    The wheels spinning work as gyroscopes to keep you upright. Precession isn't how it works.

    Don't worry about how and why, instead make it instinctive for every turn. Look (head turn), press.

    Quicker you press, quicker it steers. Longer you hold pressure, the further it means.

    Works as you're coming to a halt too: just as you do the final pinch of braking and squeeze in the clutch, decide which foot to put down and give a brief press that side. AKA the Betty Boithroyd technique

    Ignore anyone who says "it only works over 15mph" or similar.

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    Default Re: Counter steering

    Once you're used to it, try it the other way around. Pull on the outer grip. Its gives you more 'feel' because you're sensing the pressure you're exerting with your fingers rather than your palms.
    Works for me anyway.

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    Default Re: Counter steering

    Also, as part of the learning process, ride one-handed. Unless you have a throttle lock, it will have to be your right. Use a very light grip.

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    Default Re: Counter steering

    Quote Originally Posted by Horse View Post
    The wheels spinning work as gyroscopes to keep you upright. Precession isn't how it works.

    Don't worry about how and why, instead make it instinctive for every turn. Look (head turn), press.

    Quicker you press, quicker it steers. Longer you hold pressure, the further it means.

    Works as you're coming to a halt too: just as you do the final pinch of braking and squeeze in the clutch, decide which foot to put down and give a brief press that side. AKA the Betty Boithroyd technique

    Ignore anyone who says "it only works over 15mph" or similar.
    Will try the BB method! It will stop that thing where the bike sometimes ends up leaning over on the wrong side when stopping...

    I believe (after some more reading) the gyroscopic effect is responsible for 12% of the force leaning the bike (when at speed), the rest coming from the tyre out tracking, moving out from under the bike in the opposite direction to the turn. Interesting.

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    Default Re: Counter steering

    So if it's 12%, ignore it. [And ignore, too, that any % value will probably be specific to a particular bike, taking into consideration it's steering geometry and wheel mass - but I don't know anything like enough to go further]

    Ignore the why, concentrate on the input (whether press/push or pull) and output (lean). Because that's what it does, it makes the bike lean, after which it corners, and to achieve that the front wheel needs to return past in-line and point in the intended direction of travel. [Give or take, depending on slip angles. Ditto caveat above]

    BB is particularly useful for two reasons:
    - if stopping by using the rear brake, you'll need to be able to get the bike leant left
    - stopping on cambers, where one foot might not reach the ground

    Many riders simply wobble as they slow, then 'grab' stop when it leans the way they want, or drop both feet off the pegs and use the front, also mildly out of control.

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    Default Re: Counter steering

    Link for the 12%? Ta.

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    Default Re: Counter steering

    My grandchildren, who are all about 2 y o, are learning to ride balance bikes. It's interesting to see how quickly they learn to countersteer instinctively and skilfully, without realising that that’s what they’re doing. I don't think they've learned about C of g, angular momentum, centripetal forces or gyroscopes yet at school. Forget about the "how" - its only a distraction. Just practice it, as described above, until you do it without thinking, at speed and slowly.
    Last edited by Wossname; 27-04-19 at 13:12.

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    Default Re: Counter steering

    Quote Originally Posted by Wossname View Post
    My grandchildren, who are all about 2 y o, are learning to ride balance bikes. It's interesting to see how quickly they learn to countersteer instinctively and skilfully. .
    I saw 'stabliser wheels on bicycles' described as the worst trick a parent could do to a child - learn to pedal [√] and learn to direct steer [√]. Great, now we'll remove them ...

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    Default Re: Counter steering

    Quote Originally Posted by Horse View Post
    ...

    Ignore the why, concentrate on the input (whether press/push or pull) and output (lean). Because that's what it does, it makes the bike lean, after which it corners...
    "...it makes the bike lean..."

    That's the important bit. For a bike to turn it has to lean. Counter steering is the easiest way to make a bike lean. The counter steering label is relatively new but the effect has been known for a long time:
    "I have asked dozens of bicycle riders how they turn to the left. I have never found a single person who stated all the facts correctly when first asked. They almost invariably said that to turn to the left, they turned the handlebar to the left and as a result made a turn to the left. But on further questioning them, some would agree that they first turned the handlebar a little to the right, and then as the machine inclined to the left, they turned the handlebar to the left and as a result made the circle, inclining inward." Wilbur Wright
    Last edited by saga_lout; 27-04-19 at 13:30.

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    Default Re: Counter steering

    I have tried a million and one times to consciously counter steer....never once managed it.

    Then I tried thinking about how I was steering and I couldn't work that out either.

    Similarly I have never had to consciously think about what to do to make the bike 'drop' left or right when I come to a stop. I just make it happen.

    In the end i just gave up and assumed I had been counter steering since before I even got on a motorised bike

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    Default Re: Counter steering

    Can we discuss rear wheel steering yet?

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    Default Re: Counter steering

    Quote Originally Posted by Horse View Post
    Link for the 12%? Ta.
    wikipedia: Countersteering: How_it_works

    which gets it from:


    Motorcycle Dynamics (Second Edition)
    by Vittore Cossalter | 2 Oct 2006



    Yes, wheel speed, diameter and mass dependant.


    Not to get too bogged down in the how, but just out of interest, if you just lean the bike by moving your weight, I assume the steering will move of it's own accord, due to gyroscopic effects or involuntary action of the rider?

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    Default Re: Counter steering


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