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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Counter Steering

Every day I take my bike out, I try to be a better rider. Each day I try to learn something new. Each day I try to baptize myself towards riding the mighty liter.

So, in that effort, one of the most crucial thing one needs to learn before riding any higher capacity bike is to Counter Steer. So, what is Counter Steering??

As per Wikipedia - "When riding a bicycle or a motorcycle, countersteering is a method of initiating a turn by a small, momentary turn of the front wheel, usually via the handlebars, in the opposite (counter) direction."

Tough definition!! What we are trying to achieve here is the Lean!! In order to make a well balance turn, we need to LEAN the bike into the turn. But what's the correct way of leaning the bike into the turn??

So, basically we are playing with the Centrifugal force acting on our bike which has a tendency to throw the bike away from the direction of the turn. So, in order to Counter that we unbalance the Centrifugal force away from the direction of the turn, by slightly turning the bike in the opposite direction of the turn, and then turning it back to the direction of the turn.


Suppose we need to make a Left turn, so the steps for counter steering would be -

1) As you approach the turn, turn the front wheel of the bike slightly to the Right, so that the Centrifugal force allows us to lean the bike towards the Left, i.e. the direction of the turn.

2) Once we are into the lean, then we can turn the bike INTO the turn and maintain the lean angle, else the bike would continue to lean with gravity.

3) The same process of counter steering is needed to be applied while exiting the turn.



But at the same time, we must keep in mind that depending on the road conditions and the condition of your tires, gaining too much lean angle can be very dangerous. So, if your tires are kinda worn out or there is wet patch, gravel or sand around the corner, be very very cautious with your lean angle.

Hope this was helpful!! Ride safe:)

Image Source : Wikipedia, Ninjette.org
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6 comments:

  1. I think this is a concept most know in practice and do without really realizing it but when you try and teach them the concept of what they are doing it becomes hard to grasp. No really press your right hand out and you will go right...just try it!! I will look for more Sajals riding tips in the future. Here is some good reading, even if you have read it before it's worth a refresh now and again. The Pace http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/flashback/122_0911_the_pace_nick_ienatsch/index.html

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  2. Anonymous Dude!!

    Rightly said man!! Even I've been doing it un-knowingly, but as you said, when you try to do it with a consious effort... a lot of things start playing into your mind, and then you start thinking that you should know more and more to prep you up for possible good and bad scenarios for the technique :)

    Thanks for sharing the link bro!! Really awesome read.

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  3. I am the anonymous one, forget to sign that one.

    Doug

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  4. aaahhhh!! missed that one :( I should have guessed!! :)

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  5. Nice.. the illustration was specially worth a thousand words.

    I wish there were more tracks for track days. 2 tracks, that too down South for a country of a billion plus is just terrible

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  6. Payeng Dude!!

    Yeah man.... we have a reall terrible scenario over here. I've heard that Bajaj's Chakan Test track is one of the best in the country.... eagerly waiting for your Ninja review on that!! :)

    I'm practicing the counter steering in my day to day and you won't believe that with a little support from the tires (which is going less grippy) it works like magic!! More confidence in making turns, less turning radius... depending on traffic conditions, now I can make turns (for example at round abouts) much faster

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Item Reviewed: Counter Steering Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal Chakraborty
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