counter-steering - BMW G310 R/GS Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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counter-steering

just to share, as I was ignorant of this thing for a long time myself. I noticed that there are many experienced riders here, but also beginners, so I want to share about counter-steering. I know many experienced riders, who are more skilful that me, but they have no idea how they actually turn the bike in the corners. So I asked them a simple question - how do you turn the bike when cornering? And almost 98% of them could not answer this question!

What is counter-steering? you turn the bike in a opposite manner than a car. In a car, when you want to turn left you turn the wheel to the left. If you do that on the bike, you crash. another strategy to turn the bike is to lean, but it is very ineffective. so the paradox of turning the bike on the corners is that you push the handlebars in the opposite direction to where you want to turn, which causes the bike to break its natural tendency to go straight (gyroscopic force). In other words, you are cheating the bike by giving it a sense that you want to turn to the other direction, and the bike resists and leans actually into the direction that you want to turn. Knowing the principle of counter-steerings will transform completely your ability to go fast through the corners. there are many youtube videos on the subject. counter-steering saved my life several times.

I am not sure if I expressed myself clearly. if you want to turn left, you push the left side of the handlebar away from you, and this causes the bike to lean left and take the corner effortlessly. however, that principle only applies to bike in motion, above 20km/h. on the parking lot, you turn the bike like a car. you want to turn left you pull (not push) the bar left.
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Last edited by Kris; 03-21-2019 at 02:07 AM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 02:35 AM
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This is worth a watch to understand motorcycle dynamics. It contains foundation skills for any rider and yes, it has a section on countersteering. Twist of the Wrist is a good starting point. This was first published back in 1983 and it is still true today. He made a VHS on it in the 90s. I remember being a new rider and trying to wrap my head around cornering. I know a lot of people who has practiced the stuff in this book/video. They are all still alive and still ride and enjoy it


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Originally Posted by Kris View Post
just to share, as I was ignorant of this thing for a long time myself. I noticed that there are many experienced riders here, but also beginners, so I want to share about counter-steering. I know many experienced riders, who are more skilful that me, but they have no idea how they actually turn the bike in the corners. So I asked them a simple question - how do you turn the bike when cornering? And almost 98% of them could not answer this question!

What is counter-steering? you turn the bike in a opposite manner than a car. In a car, when you want to turn left you turn the wheel to the left. If you do that on the bike, you crash. another strategy to turn the bike is to lean, but it is very ineffective. so the paradox of turning the bike on the corners is that you push the handlebars in the opposite direction to where you want to turn, which causes the bike to break its natural tendency to go straight (gyroscopic force). In other words, you are cheating the bike by giving it a sense that you want to turn to the other direction, and the bike resists and leans actually into the direction that you want to turn. Knowing the principle of counter-steerings will transform completely your ability to go fast through the corners. there are many youtube videos on the subject. counter-steering saved my life several times.

I am not sure if I expressed myself clearly. if you want to turn left, you push the left side of the handlebar away from you, and this causes the bike to lean left and take the corner effortlessly. however, that principle only applies to bike in motion, above 20km/h. on the parking lot, you turn the bike like a car. you want to turn left you pull (not push) the bar left.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kris View Post
just to share, as I was ignorant of this thing for a long time myself. I noticed that there are many experienced riders here, but also beginners, so I want to share about counter-steering. I know many experienced riders, who are more skilful that me, but they have no idea how they actually turn the bike in the corners. So I asked them a simple question - how do you turn the bike when cornering? And almost 98% of them could not answer this question!

What is counter-steering? you turn the bike in a opposite manner than a car. In a car, when you want to turn left you turn the wheel to the left. If you do that on the bike, you crash. another strategy to turn the bike is to lean, but it is very ineffective. so the paradox of turning the bike on the corners is that you push the handlebars in the opposite direction to where you want to turn, which causes the bike to break its natural tendency to go straight (gyroscopic force). In other words, you are cheating the bike by giving it a sense that you want to turn to the other direction, and the bike resists and leans actually into the direction that you want to turn. Knowing the principle of counter-steerings will transform completely your ability to go fast through the corners. there are many youtube videos on the subject. counter-steering saved my life several times.

I am not sure if I expressed myself clearly. if you want to turn left, you push the left side of the handlebar away from you, and this causes the bike to lean left and take the corner effortlessly. however, that principle only applies to bike in motion, above 20km/h. on the parking lot, you turn the bike like a car. you want to turn left you pull (not push) the bar left.
yes, know that video. he is clever. mostly into racing though. here is a tragic accident when rider fail to counter-steer

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Last edited by Kris; 03-21-2019 at 02:46 AM.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 03:00 AM
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A super simplified way of explaining it is that you push 'down' on the side of the bike that you want to go down (i.e. lean into the turn) and instead of pushing straight down, you push mostly forward.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by porth View Post
A super simplified way of explaining it is that you push 'down' on the side of the bike that you want to go down (i.e. lean into the turn) and instead of pushing straight down, you push mostly forward.
it is not simplified. there is indeed another school that speak of pressing the handlebar down, but the result is the same, because you are still pushing forward, just from top. some even suggest to push the opposite side you want to turn to, while pulling the other side. I personally was not so successful in this: too much multitasking for my brain. pushing away the side of the bar you want to turn to is just more easy. also pressing down is more relevant to sport bikes where the handlebars are much lower. pressing down the bar in gs does not feel natural to me, especially with all the risers I fitted. but each person is different. still the basic principle here is what counts.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 06:16 AM
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"Counter-steering" is a skill we should all try to understand.
Then practice and repeatly test and try it out. (its fun)
1. it will make your cornering much more enjoyable / predicable.
2. it could save you from a 'bad' riding experience ..
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 08:12 AM
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What was said about steering, it's all right!
But!!!
If you start thinking, in an emergency situation
or simply while driving in a turn or a curve
what whay to steer or push the handlebar
you will crash?

G 310 GS
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 09:04 AM
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Inexperienced riders need to practice counter steering until it becomes muscle memory. As you gain experience it will be come automatic.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toldi View Post
What was said about steering, it's all right!
But!!!
If you start thinking, in an emergency situation
or simply while driving in a turn or a curve
what whay to steer or push the handlebar
you will crash?
Sorry, wrong spelt:


"way to steer"

G 310 GS
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 12:58 AM
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Also remember to look round the corner, you go where you look, in that video of the guy that hit the truck, once he saw it, his line of sight was locked on that truck....we know what happened next...
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