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post #1 of 38 Old Nov 14th, 2006, 10:32 pm Thread Starter
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Handlebar pressure...i

Disclaimer:
What follows is only my personal reflection and in no way reflect any fact or suggestion for it's readers.

Background/observations:
Ever since I personally experienced, purely accidentally, the phenomenon of "counter steering" when riding bicycles, it has never ceased to bring a smile as I explore it.

What I have noticed specific to the LT is this. I was finding myself keeping pressure on the left or right handlebar, no matter the wind direction, crown of road or other factor.

It is my basic observation that through tenseness (sp?) in my shoulders, upper body, would have me applying pressure to one side of the bars or the other to maintain a "straight line". To "correct" this condition, by shifting some of my 280# to one side of the bike to help it "track" would significantly reduce the needed handlebar inputs....

I've been practicing this in a disciplined manner in the last 5800 miles on my brand new Bridgestone's... and guess what..? The "cupping" of the front tire is negligible! I also do not get the dreaded "wobble" at release of handlebar pressure...

When first purchasing my Misty (05), I realized how much more "tense" I was... perhaps it was the different/new riding position (after riding HD's for a few years)... or the wonderful stock seat keeping my focus in the wrong place... butt I digress...

All this is no "suggestion" to the vastly superior and talented riders on this site, mere speculation of a 38year HD rider who has been freed for 2 wonderful years..

Finally, I'm enjoying more mileage from my BT020's...

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #2 of 38 Old Nov 14th, 2006, 11:57 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfell
Finally, I'm enjoying more mileage from my BT020's...
Guess what? They're even more fun in the corners. Yeah, countersteering's cool. Learned that on an old bicycle also.

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post #3 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 4:38 am
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What's counter steering?

The body can fall into all kinds of bad habits while doing the things we love. A stitch between the shoulder blades, aching hip and fatigue from riding with a tensed body part.

One of the things I'm really loving about the GT is the myriads of positions available, from a sit up and beg to a laid down stance.

I'm now riding with the bars all the way down and with a shift of the butt forward, a curve of the lower spine, bring the knee's tight to the tank, drop the shoulders and voila! Exactly reverse these and a completely new riding position.

And no, I've never experienced any wrist pain.

Remaining in the saddle stationary can not only be detrimental, but boring.



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post #4 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 6:37 am
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Interesting observation Channing...

I was slowly working my way along the same path but hadn't quite come to the same conclusion yet - I'll fast forward and try your remedy and maybe balance out what I carry in the saddlebags as well...

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post #5 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 9:28 am
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I have only been riding since 99 read some books and started the phenomenon of "counter steering". I how find to counter steer I pull on the bars rather then push. It makes it so much easier to steer and make corrections, like to hot in corners. What I mean by pulling to go left I pull on the right bar. Does anybody else do it this way?

DON
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post #6 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 9:43 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donsobeck
I have only been riding since 99 read some books and started the phenomenon of "counter steering". I how find to counter steer I pull on the bars rather then push. It makes it so much easier to steer and make corrections, like to hot in corners. What I mean by pulling to go left I pull on the right bar. Does anybody else do it this way?

DON
Interesting!
While you may feel you are 'pulling' on the right bar to turn left, I suspect you are actually 'pushing' on the left therefore employing "Counter-Steering". Try pulling on the R grip in a hot left turn with your left hand off the grip, of course in a safe area. You may be unwittingly employing "Counter-Counter-Steering" (done at slow speeds)..try Goggling it.

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post #7 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 10:20 am
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Sorry Joe I know what I know. Sitting relaxed in a upright position going into a corner it is easier to give a slight pull then a slight push. And when push comes to shove and the sparks are flying I think you have a little better control by pulling. Try it I think you'll like it.

DON
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post #8 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 10:32 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donsobeck
I have only been riding since 99 read some books and started the phenomenon of "counter steering". I how find to counter steer I pull on the bars rather then push. It makes it so much easier to steer and make corrections, like to hot in corners. What I mean by pulling to go left I pull on the right bar. Does anybody else do it this way?
Yes, one can pull on the bars to promote counter-steering (now more commonly referred to as "push-steering"), but this is a BAD HABIT to get into. And below I'll explain why.
  • Wanna go left? = push left
  • Wanna go right? = push right
You see how simply that is? Now look at this...
  • Wanna go left? = do I push left, or pull right?
  • Wanna go right? = do I push right, or pull left?
Do you see how much more complicated that is? That scenario is a bad habit on two levels. In the fraction of a second that you have during accident avoidance, your mind and body needs to know what to do RIGHT NOW. So you need to keep it as simple, and steam-lined as possible. Also, ALWAYS pushing builds muscle memory and mind-reflexes. And when that car pulls out in front of you, your mind and hands need to know what to do and how to do it FAST!

Make sense? FWIW, I got into the same bad habit several years ago. Just trying to help a brother out.
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post #9 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 10:57 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Yes, one can pull on the bars to promote counter-steering (now more commonly referred to as "push-steering"), but this is a BAD HABIT to get into. And below I'll explain why.
  • Wanna go left? = push left
  • Wanna go right? = push right
You see how simply that is? Now look at this...
  • Wanna go left? = do I push left, or pull right?
  • Wanna go right? = do I push right, or pull left?
Do you see how much more complicated that is? That scenario is a bad habit on two levels. In the fraction of a second that you have during accident avoidance, your mind and body needs to know what to do RIGHT NOW. So you need to keep it as simple, and steam-lined as possible. Also, ALWAYS pushing builds muscle memory and mind-reflexes. And when that car pulls out in front of you, your mind and hands need to know what to do and how to do it FAST!

Make sense? FWIW, I got into the same bad habit several years ago. Just trying to help a brother out.
Joe is correct, I know you can counter-steer using your meathod but what happens in your mind when you want to come out of a slide and need to steer in the direction of the turn to upright the bike?
In the event of a slide, you can even steer into the turn. I.e. making a left hand corner turn the handle bars left. This is in effect counter-counter steering and can keep the bike upright in the event of a slide! The point is to pick the bike up if it slides. So while in a slippery turn, I'll make sure I position myself so that I'm completely loose on the bars and at any given moment, if I have to, to turn the handlebar correctly.

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post #10 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 11:00 am
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Just Joe: If you look closely both of your statements are the same. And why is it that you can only built muscle memory if you are pushing? Also ask those who had accident why they didn't steer away from it.
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post #11 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 11:03 am
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Sorry forgot to sign post #10.

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post #12 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 11:05 am
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Never mind...

Quote:
Originally Posted by donsobeck
Just Joe: If you look closely both of your statements are the same. And why is it that you can only built muscle memory if you are pushing? Also ask those who had accident why they didn't steer away from it.
My statements are NOT the "same". One is simple. One is not simple.

Don't worry...just keep doing what you're doing. But one favor: Film the crash if you would be so kind? That way, I can have a visual aid for the next handle-puller that comes along.
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post #13 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 11:05 am
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Does anybody else do it this way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Yes, one can pull on the bars to promote counter-steering (now more commonly referred to as "push-steering"), but this is a BAD HABIT to get into. And below I'll explain why.
  • Wanna go left? = push left
  • Wanna go right? = push right
You see how simply that is? Now look at this...
  • Wanna go left? = do I push left, or pull right?
  • Wanna go right? = do I push right, or pull left?
Do you see how much more complicated that is? That scenario is a bad habit on two levels. In the fraction of a second that you have during accident avoidance, your mind and body needs to know what to do RIGHT NOW. So you need to keep it as simple, and steam-lined as possible. Also, ALWAYS pushing builds muscle memory and mind-reflexes. And when that car pulls out in front of you, your mind and hands need to know what to do and how to do it FAST!

Make sense? FWIW, I got into the same bad habit several years ago. Just trying to help a brother out.
Joe is correct, I know you can counter-steer using your method but what happens in your mind when you want to come out of a slide and need to steer in the direction of the turn to upright the bike?



In the event of a slide, you can even steer into the turn. I.e. making a left hand corner turn the handle bars left. This is in effect counter-counter steering and can keep the bike upright in the event of a slide! The point is to pick the bike up if it slides. So while in a slippery turn, I'll make sure I position myself so that I'm completely loose on the bars and at any given moment, if I have to, to turn the handlebar correctly.

I suppose my answer to your question "Does anybody else do it this way?" Would be no, and I wouldn't suggest doing it as Joe said.
Traditional-steering is generally done in very slow parking lot walking speeds. Whatever you do stay safe!

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Last edited by SmokinJoe; Nov 15th, 2006 at 11:33 am.
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post #14 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 11:11 am
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Huh?!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinJoe
Push-steeringis generally done in very slow parking lot walking speeds.
That is a false statement. Push-steering (counter-steering) is how one steers a bike at speed. "Traditional steering" is how one steers a bike at slow speeds.
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post #15 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 11:36 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
That is a false statement. Push-steering (counter-steering) is how one steers a bike at speed. "Traditional steering" is how one steers a bike at slow speeds.
My bad, The pisser is you caught me whilst I was fixin' it!

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post #16 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 11:39 am
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Just Joe: In your statement you just added more words. If both hands are on the handle bars and you push one left the other will be the same as pulling right.
Smokin Joe: I have never been in a slide but if I do get in one I hope I turn into it.

DON
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post #17 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 12:00 pm Thread Starter
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Don,
Same "effect".. the input on the HB will affect front wheel and tire... that's "counter steering". In the MSF course it's taught as "press the handebar in the direction you want to go". No "translation" required of pulll left to go right...

What you are saying is correct.. that to "pull" on the left bar will cause a counter-steer and right turn...

My experience has been to seek a "neutral" body position where AFTER a turn is induced by 'counter-steer', the bike will remain, generally in that state. It is kind of against the way we usually think from driving cars. A car's 'neutral' state is to go basically straight ahead and force against the steering wheel keeps it in a turn. Release the pressure, car tends to straighten up. When you get a MC into a turn, if your weight is "neutral" to the bike's lean, very little "HB pressure" is needed.

This may require a "lean" with the bike, but the difference is amazing...

...............
J.M.J...
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post #18 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 12:04 pm
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Exit, stage left...

Quote:
Originally Posted by donsobeck
Just Joe: In your statement you just added more words. If both hands are on the handle bars and you push one left the other will be the same as pulling right.
This is my last reply...as I am really trying to help here, and to clarify. If not for you, for the other guys out there that need to learn this stuff. After all, I truly believe that making push-steering a rider's "second nature" might mean the difference between life and death someday.

Yes, pushing left or pulling right yields the same end result. But it complicates the issue. It doubles one's options needlessly. And in a split-second, a rider's mind and muscles need to know what to do. Need to go left, push left. Fast. Simple. Concise.

I'm outta here...
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post #19 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 12:27 pm
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cfell: As you know you started these threads by suggesting that after a while a guy can get tight and tired after a while, and gave ideas on how to relax with different positions. I have found that you have to check constantly to see if you are tightening up, one way is to move my elbow away from my sides like a bird and to remind myself to loosen up. I do stop about every hour and a haft and quit after nine or ten hours and as you can see I have alot of time on my hands and this how I found ( dare I say) that it is easy to pull the HBs.

DON
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post #20 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 1:59 pm
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What happens if you pull right in a panic situation and grab more throttle than you wanted?



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post #21 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 2:23 pm
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Grif: Never had it happen, the initial pull is just to lay the bike over so there should be no large throttle movement and half through the corner you giving more gas. Actually the movement of the HBs is no different and the grip on the throttle lever is the same, I guess it can boils down to preference and I like the pull toward the body for it seems to give me more control.

DON
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post #22 of 38 Old Nov 15th, 2006, 8:33 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donsobeck
Grif: Never had it happen, the initial pull is just to lay the bike over so there should be no large throttle movement and half through the corner you giving more gas. Actually the movement of the HBs is no different and the grip on the throttle lever is the same, I guess it can boils down to preference and I like the pull toward the body for it seems to give me more control.

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post #23 of 38 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 4:32 am
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WOW...a thread where everybody's got a side...and their all RIGHT!

I'm a "pusher" myself. I've "pulled" just to feel it; but it doesn't feel as natural.

The way I see it Joe is both right and wrong. If you ALWAYS PULL then you can't help but develop the SAME instantaneous muscle memory to pull correctly, just as us pushers have, in a panic situation. The secret is not to switch between the two...and in that Joe is spot on.


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post #24 of 38 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 11:54 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Yes, one can pull on the bars to promote counter-steering (now more commonly referred to as "push-steering"), but this is a BAD HABIT to get into. And below I'll explain why.
  • Wanna go left? = push left
  • Wanna go right? = push right
You see how simply that is? Now look at this...
  • Wanna go left? = do I push left, or pull right?
  • Wanna go right? = do I push right, or pull left?
Do you see how much more complicated that is? That scenario is a bad habit on two levels. In the fraction of a second that you have during accident avoidance, your mind and body needs to know what to do RIGHT NOW. So you need to keep it as simple, and steam-lined as possible. Also, ALWAYS pushing builds muscle memory and mind-reflexes. And when that car pulls out in front of you, your mind and hands need to know what to do and how to do it FAST!

Make sense? FWIW, I got into the same bad habit several years ago. Just trying to help a brother out.
Howdy Joe,

If we change the last part of the rules to:
  • Wanna go left? = push left and pull right.
  • Wanna go right? = push right and pull left.
Then it's pretty simple and not too much more complicated.

I would also add that are benefits to this method. I do not claim to be an expert on the physics aspect of gyroscopes, but I do know that as the speed of the wheel is doubled the effort to affect a change in direction is doubled. In short, if I keep the "push" equal and double the speed, then my turn will 1/2 the rate. If I double the effort of "push" then the turn rate is equal.

By using "push" and "pull", more turn force to turn can exerted in a shorter time. I'm pretty sure that most riders instinctively do this when rapid turns are desired, but I could be wrong.

In the LT world, if I want to snap the bike from right to left, then I "push firmly left and pull hard right". Truth be told, I've learned not to do it too aggressively because I don't like the feeling of the front tire losing contact with the road as the bike crosses over the vertical axis

.

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post #25 of 38 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 1:28 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Yes, one can pull on the bars to promote counter-steering (now more commonly referred to as "push-steering"), but this is a BAD HABIT to get into. And below I'll explain why.
  • Wanna go left? = push left
  • Wanna go right? = push right
You see how simply that is? Now look at this...
  • Wanna go left? = do I push left, or pull right?
  • Wanna go right? = do I push right, or pull left?
Do you see how much more complicated that is? That scenario is a bad habit on two levels. In the fraction of a second that you have during accident avoidance, your mind and body needs to know what to do RIGHT NOW. So you need to keep it as simple, and steam-lined as possible. Also, ALWAYS pushing builds muscle memory and mind-reflexes. And when that car pulls out in front of you, your mind and hands need to know what to do and how to do it FAST!

Make sense? FWIW, I got into the same bad habit several years ago. Just trying to help a brother out.

I say whatever works. Leave it to Joe to out and out say it's a BAD HABIT, vis-a-vie wrong. Horse$hyte!

The following distills the reality of what's really going on and the "proper" way of thinking about it:
  • Want to go left? = torque the steering axis clockwise
  • Want to go right? = torque the steering axis counter-clockwise (anti-clockwise to you Brits)

How the steering axis is torqued is irrelevant. As long as musculo-kinetic memory is attuned to the physics, the job gets done. Besides, after enough time riding, who the heck is thinking in verbal left-right other than while reading road signs?

When using a ratchet and socket, you don't say "Push the wrench handle to tighten the nut; pull the handle to loosen" do you?

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post #26 of 38 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 3:32 pm
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For me on a Solo bike it is:

Wanna go left? = push left
Wanna go right? = push right

But , on our sidecar rig it is

Wanna go left? = Pull left
Wanna go right? = Pull right

I don't have any trouble going from a solo bike to a rig , but some folks do get in trouble going from one to the other .(;-) ...patric ...

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post #27 of 38 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 5:23 pm
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I learned to countersteer by pulling on a bicycle's handlebars years ago while racing BMX as a kid. Years later I took a Control Systems engineering course at college, where they were discussing the finer points of control circuits and plotting responses. Suddenly it clicked that the principles applied perfectly to counterseering. A two-wheeled vehicle is inherently unstable, and that is what makes it so controllable (and fun). If you plot the path of the tires during a turn, you will see a perfect representation of a system in a steady state (bike moving forward) responding to a control input (rider wants to turn).

In fact, the same principles do apply at slow speeds, it's just that things are happening much slower so that other forces tend to dominate the situation.

I also noticed a definite shift in how countersteering was being taught over the years. The "push right to go right" is just simpler to explain to most folks and easier to remember. It is the exact same response as pulling on the opposite bar, but I agree that simple is better in this case.

However, there's only one person riding the bike, so ultimately it's up to them to figure out what works best for them.

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Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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post #28 of 38 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 7:24 pm
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Ever since I made the statement that I like to pull the opposite grip to lean the bike over a few days ago. I started thinking how did I get into this mess. It came back to me we were on the BRP and I got into a corner to hot, and bad things were about to happen, parts were scraping and the out side of the corner was getting bigger, I thought counter steer. As I was pushing and pulling the HBs the force needed to get the bike to lean further was extreme, and this was when I found out that I could apply more pressure to the HBs, if I pull the opposite grip and push the inside one. And now it seems like the thing to do. But remember, this isn't the end of the world and I always critique my ride while riding and also when I get home.

DON
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post #29 of 38 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 8:52 pm
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Hey most of us riding have two arms. I push and pull both directions. If any of you guys are actually thinking about what you are doing, especially in a panic situation, you need to ride more and quit BSing on a forum.

Rick
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post #30 of 38 Old Nov 16th, 2006, 9:37 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemCyclist
Hey most of us riding have two arms. I push and pull both directions. If any of you guys are actually thinking about what you are doing, especially in a panic situation, you need to ride more and quit BSing on a forum.
Thinking about what I'm doing has helped me to quit wadding bikes with spectacular frequency.

You have to be sharper than a bag of wet mice to consistently ride, it isn't magic.



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post #31 of 38 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 12:05 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
Thinking about what I'm doing has helped me to quit wadding bikes with spectacular frequency.

You have to be sharper than a bag of wet mice to consistently ride, it isn't magic.
A wet mouse? I've never been referred to as that before!


.

Bill "Omaha"

"Life may have begun at 44, but it didn't get thrilling until I shot past 100"

'04 K1200LT "Dieter" Titan Silver, FB 4/23/04
'06 K1200R "Wolfgang" White Aluminum Metallic, FB 6/7/05

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post #32 of 38 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 7:03 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyOmaha
A wet mouse? I've never been referred to as that before!


.
Referred? I think I came right out with it



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post #33 of 38 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 7:16 am
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Lessee...how's this thread doing without me? Still looks good. Game 'on' fellas.

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post #34 of 38 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 9:04 am
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Heck I've got faith in my riding abilities. No need to think.

Rick
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post #35 of 38 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 9:15 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemCyclist
Heck I've got faith in my riding abilities. No need to think.
I have to agree. If you have to think about what to do - your done

If you have time to think - you have time to avoid

And that's all pretty consistant with what most are saying here - practice or apply the technique's until it is perfectly automatic.

Now, I think I'll mosey on over and post on the "time since last crash" post

John

2004 - LT - Anthracite
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post #36 of 38 Old Nov 18th, 2006, 12:01 am Thread Starter
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Ok, guys, I have been reading as this thread weaved into a somewhat different topic.

Let me revisit this from a slightly different perspective.

Have you ever had your car front-end "aligned"? Probably most of us have. Why? Maybe it was "pulling" or we want to minimize wear on the tires and components.

Now, think about our bikes. There isn't much of an adjustment on our bikes.. they are "set" and shouldn't move. Of course there may be some "flex" in the system, but that's usually not a problem.

From that perspective, the only factor that will cause "scrubbing" of the tires is input we provide. Riding in a straight line, we can unknowingly apply forces or place weight in an uneven way on seat and footpegs. Riding curves, the less pressure I apply to the bars to maintain the "line", the more "true" the machine will track, thereby minimizing "competing" forces.

I submit these "forces" are generated by leaning more/less and applying more/less pressure to the bars (pulling/pushing) to maintain the "line". It is something I often practiced on other bikes, but it is a very perceptible experience on the LT.

This must be experiened. Riding position and "tenseness" of your body will be key in feeling the "balance point" of these forces... once aware of this felling(if not already aware), the LT ride changes. The bike actually feels like it is holding the road better and the suspension works better.

Maybe it's all the years of my ham-fisted, THOR theory of "forcing" the bike to perform (necessary for some kinds of bikes), but the LT actually responds better to a gentle, confident touch...

Hey, I'm rapidly approaching 2 years ownership of Misty... I'm "unlearning" many of my techniques... and try to change one thing at at time and notice the changes... and the LT always gives good feedback.... It's up to me to properly 'interpret' the feedback and respond accordingly.....

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #37 of 38 Old Nov 18th, 2006, 5:58 am
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Sometimes its just best to use both in tandem (push/pull) that gives instant reaction and also allows for muscle memory to develop with both sides of the body. That way when I'm drinking coffee I can push or pull with right hand and when I'm smoking my cigar on cruise control I can push or pull with my left.

Chuck J

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post #38 of 38 Old Nov 18th, 2006, 9:18 am Thread Starter
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That's correct, Chuck.. the bars move together... and while coffee drinking and cigar puffing, one hand will be occupied with the handlebar... anyway it is hard to push or pull on both bars at the same time and expect the bike to change direction... usually.

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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