Useful Tips

How to counter-steer a motorcycle


For a long time, the myth that counter-steering is something of a high-tech, complex skill that needs to be specially learned and which is used only in certain situations has been firmly rooted in the biker environment. In fact, counter-steering is the usual driving of a motorcycle. Without it, you simply cannot turn the bike.

The essence of counter control

This technique can be tried at any speed, even in a cramped area parking a motorcycle. The thing is that the bike moving in a straight line is quite stable. It is difficult to unbalance - and this is precisely what needs to be done for him to turn.

Drop thoughts that you control the motorcycle by tilting the body - more than once experiments were carried out with the steering wheel fully jammed in the central position. The pilot can at least somehow hang from the bike - without turning the steering wheel, he bends over - but continues to go straight.

So, to bring the motorcycle off balance, you need to apply this mysterious trick - counter-steering. For a split second, the motorcyclist turns the wheel, for example, to the right. The motorcycle immediately loses its balance, and begins to tumble to the left. Then he self-stabilizes (when the pilot ceases to act on the steering wheel), and again leveled off - but on a new trajectory. Turn - turned out. This was that mythical counter control.

Why is this happening?

Most motorcyclists who have heard from the corner of their ears about counter steering begin to talk about the gyroscopic effect and the desire of the wheel to align in a vertical plane. Allegedly, this explains the possibility of counter-steering. In fact, everything is much simpler: the matter is in steering geometry:

  • The axis of rotation of the front wheel is located in front of the point of contact with asphalt,
  • This is no longer the effect of a gyroscope - but the effect of a weather vane,
  • Therefore, counter control works at all speeds and on any two-wheeled vehicle, from scooters and bicycles to large touring motorcycles.

The gyroscopic effect in driving a motorcycle, of course, also plays a role. But here it just works at high speeds. Did you pay attention? At low speeds, turning on a motorcycle is very easy. It is as if he himself falls into a turn. And on high it’s already harder to do. The gyroscope created by the rotation of the wheel causes the motorcycle to drive straight and only straight. And only with the help of counter steering can this stability be violated.

Do I need to additionally train counter control?

The myth of the peculiarity and uniqueness of counter-steering has given rise to the myth that “normal” taxiing is used during normal driving. In fact, for any turn, you must first bring the bike off balance, and this is done with the help of counter-steering. This is the only possible way to turn on any two-wheeled vehicle. Each pilot uses it while riding unconsciously and always - otherwise he would not be able to maneuver.

But the whole problem lies precisely in unconsciousness. The separation of counter- and “conventional” taxiing is caused by a complete lack of understanding of the physics of driving a motorcycle. And this is - a serious reason for many accidents that could have been avoided. It is one thing to unconsciously steer the steering wheel slightly to simply turn - and it is another thing to consciously unscrew the steering wheel in the direction opposite to the turn in order to go into a sharp maneuver.

When an obstacle suddenly arises ahead, reflexes and instincts begin to work. The human body does everything to avoid a collision, and the installations introduced into the subcortex that “turned the steering wheel to the right - went right” play a cruel joke in this case. The pilot is trying with all his might to steer "from the threat", and this sends his bike directly to the obstacle. And if he threw aside instincts and applied counter-control consciously, he would have a chance to evade.

That is why counter steering must be practiced on site. To do this, it is not necessary to enroll in a motorcycle school (although this, of course, is an ideal option), it is enough to find a place with good asphalt, a friend with cones and flags, and watch a few training videos.

The very essence of the training is as follows:

  • Drive straight at a steady speed
  • Put your hand on the steering wheel on the opposite side of the turn,
  • Do not brake, but do not accelerate,
  • Gently push the rudder handle away from you,
  • The motorcycle will quickly tilt towards the bend,
  • Stop acting on the handle,
  • Straighten the bike
  • Done! You made a turn by consciously applying counter steering,
  • Complicate the task so that a friend plays the role of an obstacle, throwing before you, for example, a hand or a flag.

It helps to understand one-handed steering. When the pilot holds the wheel with both hands, they seem to enter into a struggle between themselves. If at each turn you take only the inner handle, which will need to be "pushed" - any snakes and other elements will be much cleaner (of course, the "gray adhesion zone" will play here, but more on that another time).

How to counter-steer a motorcycle

Counter steering is a motorcycle control method that runs at speeds when the motorcycle has gyroscopic stability. The term "counter-steering" is used to maneuver when, while driving, the driver slightly drives the steering wheel in the direction opposite to the turn, and due to centrifugal force the motorcycle turns quite sharply in the opposite direction. For example, if you eat and want to turn RIGHT, you push the steering wheel LEFT slightly, this leads to the fact that the motorcycle takes RIGHT enough sharply.

Anyone who rode a motorcycle used counter steering, but just didn't think about it.

Understanding the technique and the principle of counter steering will allow you to more confidently avoid obstacles and make your driving more technical and safe.

Good examples of counter steering

Counter control consists of several phases: In the first phase, when moving in a straight line, at the point of entry into the turn, a short, smooth movement of the motorcycle steering wheel is performed in the direction opposite to the turn, which gives the trail of the motorcycle away from the stable fulcrum of the "racer-motorcycle" system. Due to the force of attraction, this creates a tipping moment in the direction of rotation, the motorcycle begins to “fall” into the rotation.

In the second phase, the steering wheel is brought back in a constant position for the intended trajectory, so as to compensate for the newly formed moment of gravity by centrifugal force, which has now formed due to the movement along a concentric trajectory.

At the exit point from the turn to restore the vertical position by the same method - counter-control is carried out in the opposite direction.

To pass a turn along the same trajectory at a higher speed, a larger angle of inclination of the vehicle is required, therefore, the displacement of the wheel during counter steering should be either longer or have a greater amplitude.

This technique works at any speed and, in fact, is the only way to change the trajectory of a two-wheeled vehicle by directly affecting the steering wheel.

Good examples of counter-control work edit |