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2014 KLR 650!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ran across this video on youtube. Just showing counter steering. I wasn't expecting the intro.




I will say that a better way to understand counter steering is pushing in the direction you are turning. So if I'm on a curve to the right, I push my right hand into the turn. Same as turning left you can say but the feel I get is pushing the nose into the turn.
 

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Super Moderator
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Sadly, as many who in fact do "understand" countersteering, sometimes when faced with a panic situation still treat the handle bars like the steering wheel in their car. They panic, and years of instinct from driving kick in instead. Same happens with braking...they stomp on the rear foot pedal and lock the wheel, or sometimes adrenaline pumped into their system makes them grab the front brake with too much force. (This is why I'm a huge supporter of ABS on bikes)

The key is to practice stopping and evasive maneuvers, and of course learning to think through stressful situations. Riders with years (and years) of experience tend not to have as many (if any) accidents as those who have only been riding a few years (but have decades behind the wheel)

Am glad the rider in the video survived.
 

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2014 KLR 650!
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3,361 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Always brake with all three of your brakes. I wish I had ABS but wonder how that feels. It freaks me out in a car.
 

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Cool video showing difference:

My FJR had ABS. However it also had extrodanary brakes, so even when I tried to trigger the ABS, the bike always just stopped before the ABS kicked in. Just couldn't get myself to try and lock them up on a wet road at 70 to "test them"
Other riders however posted on the FJR forum how the ABS saved their ass.
Modern bike ABS is far better than what was first offered in cars. It's virtually transparent now, as systems can now "pulse" the brakes at over a hundred times a second.
The opposite of this now is what they call "traction control" which can prevent you from spinning the rear wheel (and breaking it loose) accelerating out of a turn. Some bikes have multiple settings for this depending on the situation...e.g. ...Off/Rain/Street/Track.
 

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1986 VN750
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The video was filmed a few hours from me. It's a road a lot of the guys like to ride sportily on, and I don't know why.

Single lane. Blind corners. Often dirty (dirt in the turns.)
 

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Good subject!

It's amazing how many people don't understand counter-steer, and they'll just say, "oh you just lean the way you want to go!"

Anyone that can successfully ride a bike, is counter-steering whether they realize it or not. Most of us have been doing it since we learned on bicycles as kids.

There's a certain speed where counter-steer takes over, maybe 25+, not sure. We all know to turn the bars in the direction we want to go if we're at 10mph or slower in a parking lot.

Had a friend that kept wrecking bikes. He brought one to me saying it wouldn't turn. I rode it, it was bent, since he's already wrecked twice, hit a car once, and a chain link fence. He told me about trying to turn and the bike just goes straight. Had him describe his actions, and he was turning right to go right above 25mph. He didn't understand what I told him about steering, but he finally gave up riding bikes. Watched him in my mirrors once, went straight off a turn and stopped 4" from a drop into acreek..

One way I describe it to people... Push on the right hand grip to go right, push on the left to go left. Once you understand counter-steer, you can quickly dodge almost any obstacle in the road, potholes, roadkill, mufflers, etc. You need to be careful about snapping the bars though, some bikes will go right into a tank slapper at the right speed.
 

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2014 KLR 650!
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3,361 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Good subject!

It's amazing how many people don't understand counter-steer, and they'll just say, "oh you just lean the way you want to go!"

Anyone that can successfully ride a bike, is counter-steering whether they realize it or not. Most of us have been doing it since we learned on bicycles as kids.

There's a certain speed where counter-steer takes over, maybe 25+, not sure. We all know to turn the bars in the direction we want to go if we're at 10mph or slower in a parking lot.

Had a friend that kept wrecking bikes. He brought one to me saying it wouldn't turn. I rode it, it was bent, since he's already wrecked twice, hit a car once, and a chain link fence. He told me about trying to turn and the bike just goes straight. Had him describe his actions, and he was turning right to go right above 25mph. He didn't understand what I told him about steering, but he finally gave up riding bikes. Watched him in my mirrors once, went straight off a turn and stopped 4" from a drop into acreek..

One way I describe it to people... Push on the right hand grip to go right, push on the left to go left. Once you understand counter-steer, you can quickly dodge almost any obstacle in the road, potholes, roadkill, mufflers, etc. You need to be careful about snapping the bars though, some bikes will go right into a tank slapper at the right speed.
Yep, I think a much better way to explain it to people is pushing it into the turns. I push down on the turn side. So it feels like you are pusing the front wheel down into it and gripping the road better. It's actually kinda like riding a ave in that you can actually feel the grip of the tire.
 

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2014 KLR 650!
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3,361 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The video was filmed a few hours from me. It's a road a lot of the guys like to ride sportily on, and I don't know why.

Single lane. Blind corners. Often dirty (dirt in the turns.)
The only time I've ever had issues with sliding is when I lived in Myrtle Beach. Seemed like every damn corner had sand on it. Sht is like ice.
 

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2014 KLR 650!
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3,361 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Cool video showing difference:
https://youtu.be/M3MfLcJLaCs

My FJR had ABS. However it also had extrodanary brakes, so even when I tried to trigger the ABS, the bike always just stopped before the ABS kicked in. Just couldn't get myself to try and lock them up on a wet road at 70 to "test them"
Other riders however posted on the FJR forum how the ABS saved their ass.
Modern bike ABS is far better than what was first offered in cars. It's virtually transparent now, as systems can now "pulse" the brakes at over a hundred times a second.
The opposite of this now is what they call "traction control" which can prevent you from spinning the rear wheel (and breaking it loose) accelerating out of a turn. Some bikes have multiple settings for this depending on the situation...e.g. ...Off/Rain/Street/Track.
I want anti-lock brakes and I want them NOW!
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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2014 KLR 650!
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3,361 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I looked and the new sportsters have that as an option. I would never ever in a million years buy a new bike but, in 20 years I will definitely by a bike with ABS baby!
 

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Firm believer in ABS!

Saved two young kids that jumped in front of my car. There was no time for skidding, pedal modulation, none of that jazz. Just one quick stomp on the pedal and the car was stopped 3ft from their surprised faces.
 

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After starting of riding dirt for 4-5 years before I ever went on a street bike, counter steering was the hardest part for me to learn. I had to take a class to get my motorcycle license at 16 and I remember the instructor getting pretty mad at me because I kept letting my dirt instincts take over and throwing my body into the swerve instead of counter steering. Took me a while to get it but it has saved my ass numerous times over the years. If I had just leaned any of those times, I definitely would have laid the bike down.
 

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I hate to break it to you TR_, but even in the dirt you were in fact counter steering, even if you weren't aware you were doing it. Unless you only rode at under 5 mph, you can't accurately turn a two wheeler without counter steering. Period. Leaning does little if anything. Keith Code proved this on his "No BS motorcycle" years ago :

If you road a bike in the dirt and encountered any turns over 10 degrees, you were counter steering to get the bike to lean...and you were maintaining countersteering pressure to maintain the lean.

So, no, countersteering is not something that only applies to street bikes....
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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16,080 Posts
as an ex-dirtbike rider,I'm gonna have to agree with KM. only on slow speed corners,you know,the ones where your foot is down, do you not countersteer

Sent from my LGL34C using Tapatalk
 
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