Originally Posted by niel_petersen
To understand where I'm coming from, I'm a retired hydraulics controls engineer (mechanical).
The originating post (where a squid drove directly into a signpost) is the consequence of a control reversal. If that driver thought he could make a motorcycle go where he wanted by bending his torso and turning the handlebars away from the post, he would actually be sucked right into a direct impact. It is an example where what a person has been incorrectly told much of his life and since he believes it, gives exactly the correct input to the handlebars to hit the post. Unfortunately that is not the desired outcome.
For some reason there is a lot of emphasis on where to look in driver training. The reasoning for that is not made crystal clear, and I can successfully go around a corner looking most anywhere. Depending on traffic threats I may even do that. I don't think it is correct to say it is necessary for control.
The BRC instructor also said that countersteering only applies at higher speeds. That's incorrect in my book as it applies right down to near-zero speed, only technically the amount needed goes inversely as the square of the speed.
Even after 35 years of motorcycling I still have to remind myself about countersteering in demanding situations. The greenhorn especially needs to understand this paradox with his new toy.
I *think* the emphasis on the "look" part is to avoid target fixation. Look where you want to go. If your body is trained properly, then the body will respond properly with proper inputs. Yes, experienced riders know that they can look almost anywhere and make a given turn. When looking in the proper direction becomes critical, IMO, is when you really need to avoid something, i.e. a signpost, edge of the road, etc.
I can ride the U turn box on the class bikes by looking down at the gas cap. I feel my body is trained well enough to do the U turn box on class bikes that the look is not as important. Put me on the LT in the box and the look becomes more important.
All these things, countersteering, looking, braking with BOTH brakes, etc. becomes most critical when in, what you call it, a demanding situation.
All of the skills involoved in riding a motorcycle must become second nature. I had a close call once where I was looking at a stopped white Ford F150. It pulled right out in front of me. I remember looking at that big white door, then being past it. Only later was I able to think about it and dissect what actions my brain and body took to get me out of that situation. I guess I went on "auto pilot"?
I feel that's how a person must be able to respond. Without thinking.
And yeah, I think there should be a graduated system in the US. Some sort of limitation that keeps someone with little or NO experience from going out and buying a 150+hp bike. Or even a 65 hp bike like a Harley. These bikes have too much bulk, power, torque for most beginning riders. Without experience, the fine motor skills needed are not there to control these big, heavier, more powerful bikes. Motorcycling could be more fun, learning to ride a smaller bike, I think. Where the rider didn't have to be so stressed about what's happening around them as they try to keep up or whatever.
A young buck here at work has recently bought a 600 sportbike and often tells me about his latest close call. And most of that comes from his riding style, which could be best described as "balls to the wall". No previous bike experience. no training. just doing it. Scary to me.