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How do you steer?

Old 12-03-23, 03:45 PM
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How do you steer?

If your going to take a left do you push down on your handlebar with your left hand or nudge the the bar from the right?
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Old 12-03-23, 03:53 PM
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This should be entertaining...
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Old 12-03-23, 03:59 PM
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Left rudder.
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Old 12-03-23, 04:00 PM
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Push forward with the left hand to initiate or tighten a turn left.

I think this action, called counter-steering, is more obvious to most motorcyclists than to most bicyclists.
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Old 12-03-23, 04:00 PM
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I steer the way any sane person would. Obviously.

I accept that counter-steering may technically be involved in steering any two-wheeled, one-track vehicle, but I believe that only bicycle riders who are also motorcyclists ever deliberately counter-steer their bikes. I certainly never did, including during my racing days. I valued traction on twisty descents too much.

Last edited by Trakhak; 12-03-23 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 12-03-23, 04:07 PM
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Old 12-03-23, 04:17 PM
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Countersteering is for higher speeds. At low speeds I turn in the direction I want to go.
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Old 12-03-23, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
I steer the way any sane person would. Obviously.

I accept that counter-steering may technically be involved in steering any two-wheeled, one-track vehicle, but I believe that only bicycle riders who are also motorcyclists ever deliberately counter-steer their bikes. I certainly never did, including during my racing days. I valued traction on twisty descents too much.
I dunno. I'd have thought you valued pointing the bike to the optimum line and making any sort of correction necessary even more.

As Fredo76 said. Motorcyclists are well aware of counter-steering and consciously utilize it. Bicyclist who are not motorcyclists "just ride" by intuition and let the rest sort itself out. Blissfully unaware of the physics involved and how to consciously utilize them.

Counter-steering will make you faster anywhere there is speed plus corners.

Last edited by base2; 12-03-23 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 12-03-23, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by base2
I dunno. I'd have thought you valued pointing the bike to the optimum line and making any sort of correction necessary even more.

As Fredo76 said. Motorcyclists are well aware of counter-steering and consciously utilize it. Bicyclist who are not motorcyclists "just ride" by intuition and let the rest sort itself out. Blissfully unaware of the physics involved and how to consciously utilize them.

Counter-steering will make you faster anywhere there is speed plus corners.
Steering should become an unconscious action. Anything you do consciously is going to be much slower. If you learn to steer a bike as a kid then counter-steer will just happen automatically.
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Old 12-03-23, 05:06 PM
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PeteHski Well, If you don't care to know how to avoid an unexpected pothole or that last second ride ending bit of road debris at speed...I don't know what to tell you.

The biggest skill in a motorcycle endorsement class is how to utilize counter-steering. The test is designed to achieve basic competence for your own safety. A single failure. A single cone touched. You fail. You will not be licensed to ride a motorcycle today. The skill is a real thing.

...And you're right. Steering should be unconscious. 6 year-olds do it. Many adults ride their entire lives effectively with the skill of a 6 year-old and get along ok.

But, if you are the unskilled 6 year old adult, you are going to panic, freeze, hit that thing, or run off your line simply because you don't have a conscious practiced understanding of how to recognize the hazard and consciously effect the necessary correction.

That's the difference between rider and operator.

Last edited by base2; 12-03-23 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 12-03-23, 05:08 PM
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I drift thru turns.
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Old 12-03-23, 05:10 PM
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I thought the discussion was going to center around pushing on the handlebars vs. pushing with your a$$.
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Old 12-03-23, 05:22 PM
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Without trying to overthink this, I have to go with nudge.
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Old 12-03-23, 05:34 PM
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I turn the wheel.
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Old 12-03-23, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by base2
PeteHski Well, If you don't care to know how to avoid an unexpected pothole or that last second ride ending bit of road debris at speed...I don't know what to tell you.

The biggest skill in a motorcycle endorsement class is how to utilize counter-steering. The test is designed to achieve basic competence for your own safety. A single failure. A single cone touched. You fail. You will not be licensed to ride a motorcycle today. The skill is a real thing.

...And you're right. Steering should be unconscious. 6 year-olds do it. Many adults ride their entire lives effectively with the skill of a 6 year-old and get along ok.

But, if you are the unskilled 6 year old adult, you are going to panic, freeze, hit that thing, or run off your line simply because you don't have a conscious practiced understanding of how to recognize the hazard and consciously effect the necessary correction.

That's the difference between rider and operator.
Somehow I appear to be able to do these things without having ever attended a motorbike course. Maybe if I had stopped riding when I was 6 and then started to ride again as an adult things would be different. Learning skills like this as an adult is a somewhat different process. I see this with skiing. Kids learn intuitively, adults don’t!

But my point is that any decent bike rider will subconsciously counter-steer regardless of whether or not they ride motorbikes.

Last edited by PeteHski; 12-03-23 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 12-03-23, 06:29 PM
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Oh god, not this again…

This is countersteering:



Anything else one might do at the bars should not be called countersteering, just for clarity’s sake.

Of course, as amply noted in other threads, one needn’t touch the bars at all to steer a bike, and as seen upthread, handlebars are not the only way to steer if you do use hands, which gives lie to the claim that one has to countersteer if they ride a bicycle. Here’s a steering wheel bike in action:

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Old 12-03-23, 06:33 PM
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aimlessly & as speeds increase, willnilly. add in challenging surfaces conditions, it skillfully goes haphazardly.
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Old 12-03-23, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster

Of course, as amply noted in other threads, one needn’t touch the bars at all to steer a bike, and as seen upthread, handlebars are not the only way to steer if you do use hands, which gives lie to the claim that one has to countersteer if they ride a bicycle. Here’s a steering wheel bike in action:

https://youtu.be/2Uzm--BxzMw?si=WTDvTHyE9QeXTpNm
The steering wheel in the above video is just like having a very short conventional bar, especially the way he holds it.
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Old 12-03-23, 07:09 PM
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Once I get up to speed and don't have to slow down very much ts usually leaning into the turn. At slow speed its turn the handlebars as required with both hands. Is this something the OP finds mind-blowingly complex?
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Old 12-03-23, 07:29 PM
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I don’t think about it. I just do it.
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Old 12-03-23, 07:36 PM
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I guess so much of the contrarian ignorance relates to the difference between steering a 2 wheeled thing and being in control of it.

One of the posters here in this thread also doesn't believe wheels have gyroscopic effect and that effect (if any, apparently) changes the feel and responsiveness of a bike.

I'm out. Stupid is the refusal to learn.
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Old 12-03-23, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by base2
Stupid is the refusal to learn.
That is true
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Old 12-03-23, 07:52 PM
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One has to steer a bike? Telepathic Magic, perhaps.
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Old 12-03-23, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1
One has to steer a bike? Telepathic Magic, perhaps.
No steering required — I bend the roads to match the direction I’m going.
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Old 12-03-23, 08:11 PM
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At any speed above walking pace, counter-steering is used because of the effects of gyroscopic precession of the spinning front wheel. Even if you are not aware you are doing it.

Try two things :

1) Riding straight at a moderate pace with plenty of room around you, ( very carefully ! ) slightly nudge the left bar forward ( i.e. "turn right" ) and be prepared for the bike to lean to the left as in a left turn.

2) Take a removed bicycle wheel, spin it fast and hold it by the axle ends. Holding it up in front of you with the wheel vertical, turn it slightly to the right. And then you'll see why you turn the bars to the right, to initiate a left turn.

p.s. I think counter-steering is only used to initiate ( and exit ) the turn. Once the bank and turn are established, the handlebars may even be now turned ( slightly ) in the direction of the turn. And then to leave the turn, you have to counter-steer out of it.

Last edited by redshift1; 12-03-23 at 08:29 PM. Reason: Add info.
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