Why countersteer????? - Yamaha R1 Forum: YZF-R1 Forums
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post #1 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-11-2002, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Why countersteer?????

I know this is a question for the Superbike School and if I ever get my copy of Twist of the Wrist 2 I know I'll find out more but I wanted to get your feedback.

What is countersteer? Same as with a car to keep from losing the rear end? When is it necessary cuz I know I'm not intentionally doing it? Or maybe I am and just don't know it.

My canyon carving is really improving and every opportunity I get I try to drag a knee. But I'm not sure what countersteer is for........on a bike that is.

Thanks for the help,

JG

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post #2 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-11-2002, 10:28 PM
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Counter Steering is not turning your clip-ons or (handle bars) to the right to turn right, what you do is push on the right clip-on (push foreward) to go right. Vice-a-versa to go left. What it does is start the leaning action. I know it sounds like it woun't work but it does. At high speed if you turn the bars then you are in essence crossing up your front end. Remember you have two gyroscopes ( two spinning wheels ) and by counter steering is the best and only way to turn a motorcycle. And read Twist of the wrist 2 Keith Code rocks!
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post #3 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-11-2002, 10:34 PM
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if you are riding the canyons at a reasonable speed (not super slow) you are countersteering without even realizing it. In fact, anytime you turn the bike (other than at super slow speeds) you are countersteering. If you were not, then the bike wouldn't turn.
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post #4 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-11-2002, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by KanyonRacerR1
Remember you have two gyroscopes ( two spinning wheels ) and by counter steering is the best and only way to turn a motorcycle.
KanyonRacerR1,

This is simply untrue. Yes, you must countersteer a motorcycle to turn it effectively. But body steering techniques are important as well. Keith Code is the only reasonably qualified school owner I know that tells his students that body steering is a waste of time. Jason Pridmore, Freddie Spencer, and Kevin Schwanz all teach body steering techniques at their schools.

Twist of the Wrist II has a lot of good information in it. But is not always right.

Scott
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post #5 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-11-2002, 10:47 PM
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Didn't say it was gosple but for someone who doesn't understand counter steering it will give them the fundamentals!
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post #6 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-11-2002, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by winders
KanyonRacerR1,

This is simply untrue. Yes, you must countersteer a motorcycle to turn it effectively. But body steering techniques are important as well. Keith Code is the only reasonably qualified school owner I know that tells his students that body steering is a waste of time. Jason Pridmore, Freddie Spencer, and Kevin Schwanz all teach body steering techniques at their schools.

Twist of the Wrist II has a lot of good information in it. But is not always right.

Scott
But isnt it true that by body steering, you are effectively putting yourself in a better position to to have more leverage to countersteer. Granted - the two techniques are related. However, for a new rider, it is more effective to counter steer and then LATER learn about how to get more leverage on the clipons by body steering.....
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post #7 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-11-2002, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ag Surfer
But isnt it true that by body steering, you are effectively putting yourself in a better position to to have more leverage to countersteer. Granted - the two techniques are related. However, for a new rider, it is more effective to counter steer and then LATER learn about how to get more leverage on the clipons by body steering.....
...body steering, as in moving your body to the left ahead of time while transitioning from a right lean into a left helps the bike switch quicker ...IN ADDITION to countersteering. The added weight on the opposite side helps the bike fall to the left quicker.

body steering is like letting go of the bars while on the way to stopping at a traffic light, and trying to correct your line by leaning your head and shoulders towards the direction you want to go...

counter-steering is making the steering head of a bike fall into one direction. ...this is done by briefly turning the bars opposite the direction of where you want the steering head to fall into.
If you want to make the steering head fall to the left and start a left lean, you briefly turn the bars to the right. ever notice racers 'cleaning or warming up' their tires by zig-zagging to the starting grid... that's counter-steering.

another way to describe counter-steering is to think that whenever you turn the bars on a moving bike, you're essentially causing some sort of front wheel braking(friction between tire and road) wherein the least path of resistance for the bike to continue its motion is opposite direction of where you steer. So if you steer to the right, the bike will want to continue moving forward... and left is where the least resistance is so it falls to the left. This obviously is less noticreable at crawling speed.



...sorry if Im a bit long but I too had a hard time figuring this out at first.

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Last edited by crash2; 12-11-2002 at 11:38 PM.
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post #8 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-12-2002, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Well it sure sounds like it is something I have been doing all along as predicted I just didn't know what it was called. Here is how I think about the physics of it all:

Let's take a look at a medium to high speed left turn. Without leaning with the body at all you put forward/down pressure on the left clip on which for a split second is trying to turn the bars to the right. During that split second that momentary turning to the right exposes the left side of the front tire to the oncoming pavement. This friction on the bottom side of the tire wants to make the top of the tire and hence the top of the bike flip forward. However, due to the weight of the bike, it's geometry, and the fact that this action takes place in such a short period of time the bike doesn't flip forward but instead just eases over and leans to the left therefore creating the turn. Now this turn can continue to be maintained even without a purposeful lean until the bars are countersteered the opposite direction.

Now let's add the lean/body position/body steering (whatever you want to call it) to the picture. One can lean off the bike without creating a turn. The classic example of this is "setting up" for a turn as I was taught in my first (of hopefully many) track days. In other words putting ass crack on the edge of the seat swinging the leg out and dropping the shoulder so that as the corner arrives the bike is planted and not being jostled by your body movement in the middle of the corner. BUT you can maintain this body position and keep the bike going straight or even in the opposite direction by countersteering the OPPOSITE direction. I agree that the body position in a lean gives you added leverage to countersteer. It also makes sense that the body steer enables the bike to flip into the turn quicker. This is where Ag surfer and Crash 2 make sense to me.

The combination of the two with a lot of practice is what comprises the high performance cornering of a motorcycle. I'm sure there are many more details involved than that so don't flame me.

FYI: my orginal question definitely made me look like a newer rider than I actually am. I got (getting) the street smarts but I'm still coming up to speed on all the lingo and countersteer was one of them.

So Winders. Pretty bold statement about Jason Pridmore, Freddie Spencer, and Kevin Schwanz!!! You must be THE MAN!!! How much does it cost to attend your school? A pretty penny I'm sure! All I know is I definitely wanna attend yours cuz that way I'll get the best training on the PLANET!!!

My $0.02 worth,

JG

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post #9 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-12-2002, 03:55 PM
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why countersteer?

You'll go faster[hold better corner speed]
You'll corner better[hold better corner speed]





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post #10 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-12-2002, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ag Surfer
if you are riding the canyons at a reasonable speed (not super slow) you are countersteering without even realizing it. In fact, anytime you turn the bike (other than at super slow speeds) you are countersteering. If you were not, then the bike wouldn't turn.
couldn't have said it better myself. next time you hit a straightaway, try lightly pushing on your left OR right grip. essentially, by pushing on your right grip, you are turning the wheel so it points left, yet the bike goes to the right. that's a small example of countersteering.

leaning + countersteering = superior cornering

just make sure you are at the right speed

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post #11 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-12-2002, 04:43 PM
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I agree with most all of the comments for us that are experianced riders we use both in conjunction in turns while trail braking as I myself do. But to a new rider as was brought up earlier you should start off counter steering and when you do that you don't push down you push the bar foreward ie: push on the right clip on to go right, push on the left clip-on go left.
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post #12 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-12-2002, 04:49 PM
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If you go to Code's School he has a ZX-6R that has had it's clipons and forks welded straight ahead. He says, if body steering works, jump on this bike, and lean it through turns. You won't be able to turn that bike the slightest. I think countersteering initiates the turn then body positioning helps your corner

Just my .02, maybe we need a resident Grand Prix Champion to give us his experience?

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post #13 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-12-2002, 04:53 PM
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I agree with most all of the comments for us that are experianced riders we use both in conjunction in turns while trail braking as I myself do. But to a new rider as was brought up earlier you should start off counter steering and when you do that you don't push down you push the bar foreward ie: push on the right clip on to go right, push on the left clip-on go left.
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post #14 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-12-2002, 04:59 PM
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a good way to learn how to counter-steer is to go for a mellow ride on the twisties using only the throttle hand

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post #15 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-12-2002, 05:17 PM
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I think countersteering initiates the turn then body positioning helps your corner

There is no think about it, its an absolute fact. I don't care if your a 400 lb person you can't lean a motorcycle (@ speed) without countersteer. Its all in the physics. Even in mid corner if you misjudge a corner and lets say its a right hander and your angle is cutting the apex to sharp which will cause you to end up in the grass on the inside of the corner. To "shallow" out your lean angle guess what input you make. Either push on the left clipon or pull on the right one, or both simultaneously. The input would be gentle but countersteer nevertheless. This is not an issue for debate its fact, plain and simple. Its all based on the physics of a gyroscope like someone else earlier in this thread already stated.
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post #16 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-12-2002, 08:10 PM
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yea I countersteer

so when I pass that chump on the inside while scraping everything under the sun, he'll know the deal!

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post #17 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-12-2002, 08:15 PM
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My .02, it in canadian so its worth even less. I'll just walk through the process. going straight, push right bar, wheel points to left and out from underneath the bike, bike falls to the right, gyro from the large turn you just initiated holds you up. you can see this at a walking speed with a bicycle, just the big gyro isnt there to keep it from falling all the way over.
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post #18 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-12-2002, 08:16 PM
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Just get going 50 mph or so and push on the right clip on. Which way does the bike go?? That is counter steering. As said above, I believe that body steering is used in conjuction w/ counter steering to get the bike to corner most effectively during very aggresive cornering.

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post #19 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-12-2002, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Droog
If you go to Code's School he has a ZX-6R that has had it's clipons and forks welded straight ahead. He says, if body steering works, jump on this bike, and lean it through turns. You won't be able to turn that bike the slightest. I think countersteering initiates the turn then body positioning helps your corner

Just my .02, maybe we need a resident Grand Prix Champion to give us his experience?

You are partially correct. The forks are not welded, they operate normally, as does the steering head. If they didn't, the purpose and operational integrity of the No BS Bike would be nullified. There are two sets of bars, one being the nornal clip-ons, and another a set of fixed bars a tad above the clip-ons. The stationary fixed bars have an auxilliary fully functional throttle control.

I have personally ridden the No BS Bike, and I know many others who have also. No one who has ever ridden it, regardless of their talent or notoriety, has ever been able to steer it with body steering, peg steering, or whatever you want to call it, in the absence of the ability to apply countersteer inputs into the normal clip-ons. And I do mean no one.

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post #20 of 1042 (permalink) Old 12-15-2002, 01:16 AM
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I'm not sure what your question is about? Counter steering is the only way to steer a motorcycle. You're not going to be able to steer motorcycle (at speed) any other way. If you can turn your motorcycle at speed in the direction you want to go, you are counter steering whether know it, or not.

To me the important thing is to know is that you are counter steering so that when you get in a situation where you have to turn the bike quickly in a particular direction, you'll consciously turn the handlebars hard in the opposite direction you want to go.

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