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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wish I had my bike license and joined this forum back in 2003 when Keith Code was posting. I have read the Police Road Craft book, Lee Parkes Total Control and Andy Ibbots Performance Riding techniques. These books do not address the one fundamental question I would like answered. How hard should you Countersteer? do you push harder at higher speeds? or does the gyroscopic precission help the bike to lean at faster speeds? how far do you push the bar, is it more important to physically turn the bars or is the amount of pressure more important, does a greater steering angle translate to more lean? how quickly you push the bars does this make the bike lean quicker, further or both?. I know that as the bike speed increases so does the force causing the front wheel to keep straight. I also know that the faster a bike goes the stronger the castor effect and gyroscopic precission which causes the front wheel to track in the direction of the curve. Some riders believe once you set your lean angle by countersteering you should release some or all of the pressure on the bars to allow the bike to use its castor and gyroscopic precission to turn the wheel in the direction of the turn. The bike apparently will not straighten up if you release the pressure after setting the lean but will continue on its chosen arc. This is the web site where I got this information from http://www.geocities.com/american_mo...rashcures.html
can someone please answer the above regarding how much force is required to countersteer, how quickly and hard it should be applied, how quickly and when the pressure on the bars should be released? I appreciate Keith Code is not posting any more but I am certain the rest of you are very knowledgeable and should be able to help me please.
 

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Hi There,

I am a coach with the California Superbike School and will do my best to answer some of your questions here, though you have many! To clairify first and foremost, countersteering very simply means that when you want the bike to go to the right, you would push on the right bar, and when you want the bike to go to the left you would push on the left bar.

Now, let's talk first about how much force is required to countersteer. This will change depending on the type of corner it is, as well as how fast you are going. You will find out if you pushed too hard or too soft by where the bike ends up in the corner.

Your next question about when the pressure on the bars should be released is an important one. When do you usually release the pressure, and what happens to the bike when you do this? Does the bike continue to hold it's arc if you release the pressure, or will it stand itself up?

Misti
 

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my .02,
The answer to your questions depends on the riding condition which will be dictated based on your skill level and previous experience. Example.....the first time you take a corner and make it through safely will tell you what inputs were needed to negotiate that turn,in that condition, at that speed. Changing just one of those variables will give a completely different formula for negotiating that turn......if you increase speed by 10mph and what to run the same line, your gonna have to turn the bike quicker, requiring more force.......but no one can tell you how much because everyone is different and has different experiences. All you can do is say you took this turn at 50mph and ran a perfect line.....to go at 60mph on the same line you have to make X adjustments......hopefully that helps....at least that is what I tell myself
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Misti,

Thank you very much for your reply, I have just finished reading Keith Codes a Twist of the Wrist 2 and I believe it has sorted out the majority of my cornering problems. I now try to use as much force as is needed to get the bike to the appropriate lean angle asap, I try to steer the bike as quickly as possible and I now choose a turning in point which helps me to gauge the force required. Before reading this book I was not using turn points and was accelerating into corners before turning in. I now know that by checking or rolling off the throttle before tuning in I am placing weight on the front wheel allowing it to bite and lean the bike. AS soon as the bike is leaned I am gently rolling on the throttle to maintain the 40/60 weight distribution. If I fail to lean the bike enough I stick to the throttle plan which 9 times out of 10 pull me through. Once I achieve the desired lean angle I release pressure on the bars and simply slowly accelerate until I need to countersteer into the turn to straighten up. Keith Codes book is simply awesome and it has allowed me to idenitfify my survival reactions and control them. That book combined with Andy Ibbotts performance riding techniques has helped alot. The one difference though is code in sharp bends would rather you time your roll off so u are only coasting for a fraction then turn in then roll on the throttle smoothly, evenly and constantly. Andy Ibbotts style in his book is similar but they recommend 5% throttle is maintained coming into a corner for stability rather than completely roll off. Either way it works and I think by accelerating into a corner the front was too light to steer the bike quickly which was my original fault. Also I didnt realise that once the bike is leaned you release the pressure on bars to allow the bikes castor effect to turn the front wheel into the turn. I passed my car test first and bike test 10 years later and like a car driver I was maintaining steering all the way through a turn because I thought like a car you needed to maintain the steering on a bike all the way through. I didnt realise the bike could track itself. I am currently practicing quick steering so my question is now whats the hardest I can push on the bars or rather what would someone consider to be too harsh. Also is it amount of force or speed of force applied which turns the bike in the shortest time. In Keith Codes book I believe he said someone bent moustach bars in a race so I am thinking it is right to push HARD to countersteer quickly at speed. My friends keep saying they hardly use any pressure on the bars at speed but use their weight by leaning into corners. This reduces bar pressure required to countersteer by giving gravity a lever. Is this correct?
 

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the faster you go, the harder you have to push on the bars to turn in.... jsut as people have posted before.

Leaning into a corner without any steering input doesnt turn the bike in very much. Its possible to do, but I wouldnt call it steering, more like "veering". Once you start to corner at say 130mph you need to put some effort into the bars to flop it in. work up to it slowly and you can see for yourself
 

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the faster you go, the harder you have to push on the bars to turn in.... jsut as people have posted before.
This is correct, when people lean into the turns they think that it is the leaning that is making the bike turn when in actual fact they are putting more pressure on the bars which is what is steering the bike.

There is benefit to leaning into the turns though, besides looking cool, there is a technical reason why you want your body to go "with the bike" into the turns. Why is that?

Misti
 

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There is benefit to leaning into the turns though, besides looking cool, there is a technical reason why you want your body to go "with the bike" into the turns. Why is that?

Misti
Something to do with center of gravity?
And to keep your body mass as close to the corner as possible? That doesnt sound right but sort of like reducing gyro effect
To reduce lean angle needed for a given speed/corner?
To be able to pick the bike up quicker while accelerating out of a corner instead of keeping it leaned over for extended periods?
 

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At barber motorsports park there are 2 sections of the track where I literally steer with all the strength I have.

But then again, Thermosman did tell me I needed to go to gym....:flex: :lol
 

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Something to do with center of gravity?
And to keep your body mass as close to the corner as possible? That doesnt sound right but sort of like reducing gyro effect
To reduce lean angle needed for a given speed/corner?
To be able to pick the bike up quicker while accelerating out of a corner instead of keeping it leaned over for extended periods?
Reduced lean angle needed for a given speed/corner is the most important reason. I like how you answered the questions with a question mark...hahahaha. By going with the bike you can reduce the amount of lean angle needed for a corner, thereby giving you more traction.

The next comment is a good point too.....sometimes you have to push the bars as hard as you can. I do it at barber in the fast chicane as well as at Sears Point. I push so hard and sometimes still worry that I wont make it though the turn!

Hope this helps,
Misti
 
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