Cornering advice - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 54 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 8:57 pm Thread Starter
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Cornering advice

I seem to have read conflicting advice regarding cornering. Some people suggest keeping your body more upright (perpendicular to the road) and leaning the bike, others suggest leaning your body with the bike like the racers do.

What do you think??

David Hogerheide

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post #2 of 54 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 9:12 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

I lean with the bike when I don't think about it. I keep my body upright when I do. Eyes level either way. Nose pointing in the direction of the exit. I don't know if there's anything to it, but I feel more in control when my body remains upright. YMMV. Heck, so may mine!

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post #3 of 54 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 9:15 pm
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Smile Re: Cornering advice

Dave Dragon had an excellent write up on cornering, look it up, it will answer many questions and give you insight on what to do when...

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post #4 of 54 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 9:15 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

I keep my body upright to the bike and I do not lean into the curve or perpendicular to the road.

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post #5 of 54 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 9:39 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Here is the link that will take you to the above referenced link containing the article on cornering techniques. Whew!

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthre...ight=cornering

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post #6 of 54 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 10:06 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Great question!
I so don't get the whole "counter steering" technique in my head.
I am a visual learner, maybe @ the CCR somebody can show me on a bike?

This is one reason I ride so conservatively. I find myself thinking about what " line"
To make than anything else.

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post #7 of 54 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 10:11 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by dthogey
I seem to have read conflicting advice regarding cornering. Some people suggest keeping your body more upright (perpendicular to the road) and leaning the bike, others suggest leaning your body with the bike like the racers do.

What do you think??
Understand *why* people do different things.


Short summary:

At normal speeds on the street there is NO reason to be either hanging off the inside of the bike, or positioning the body outside of the bike (i.e., maintaining a vertical body orientation).

For 99.9% of riders, in 99.9% of riding situations, keeping the body with the bike AND THE HEAD/EYES LEVEL WITH THE HORIZON AT ALL TIMES! (and looking *way* ahead through the turn at the same time) takes care of cornering.



More detail (not well phrased, but, hey, I'm tired tonight):

Why do like the racers?? First, basic physics on a motorcycle in a corner: For any given corner radius, for any speed around the corner there is a corresponding lean angle. In other words, the combined center of mass of the rider and the bike must be at a fixed position inside of the curve (a position which defines the lean angle) in order to balance gravity's pull of you toward the ground, and the centripetal acceleration (felt as the force trying to throw you out of the curve). You know this is true because when you are leaned over at a fixed speed, the bike neither falls on over to the ground, or stands up and runs off the road -- the center of mass is located right on the line which defines the balance between falling and rising up out of the turn.

If you are cornering so fast that you are starting to drag hard parts of the bike on the ground, you are at the maximum speed you can go on that corner on that motorcycle -- UNLESS you can somehow play around with the bike's and the rider's centers of mass, without altering the combined bike/rider center of mass position.

If in the middle of this spark-generating, bike dragging turn you slide your butt to the inside of the bike ("hang off"), your center of mass goes inside and lower -- that permits the bike's center of mass to go higher (i.e, the bike can lean less) to offset your shift while keeping the combined center of mass in about the same place. Because the bike is no longer leaned over so far that you are dragging bits, you can either maintain that speed to complete the corner without the possibility of the dragging bits hitting something hard and flipping you off the road, or you can go faster, until the bike once again is leaned over far enough to start dragging hard parts again. So, racers hang off because it permits them to obtain the maximum possible speed around the turn by keeping the bike up off the ground for as long as possible.

Any application for hanging off on the street? A couple.

First, you can do it on a twisty road to impress your friends with your killer riding skillz -- all while looking like an idiot because your bike is leaned over all of about 20 degrees. On the other hand, if you really are going so fast on the street that you *need* to hang off while you show off to your friends, you are a total f'n idiot, and hopefully your imminent removal from the gene pool will not involve devestating harm to innocent people.

Second, if you know how to hang off and you've been foolish enough to find yourself in the position of hopelessly overcooking a turn, there's a fantastically-slim chance that when you're suddently dragging hard, you might be able to quickly hang off to the inside and reduce the dragging just enough to make the corner -- highly doubtful, though, as if you're in this situation in the first place the suction from the pucker on the seat will probably have locked you in place while you target fixate, staring at the guard rail or tree you're about to hit, instead of continuing to look through the curve to the safe exit.

You might note that between the sarcasm above two primary nuggets: (i) never ride fast into a turn you can't see through unless you're really willing to run off the road at that moment, and (ii) NEVER look at what you are afraid you are going to hit -- because YOU WILL. You WILL go *exactly* where you are looking, everytime. It takes a HUGE amount of training and self-discipline to not follow the human survival instinct (eyes lock on the big pain threat), but instead to ALWAYS look at the turn exit. If you look where you want to go, the bike will almost magically go there (and you'll be surprised how much more it can lean than you think it can).

As for leaning outward (another way of saying keep your body vertical, i.e, perpendicular to the pavement), the only place for this is in *very* slow parking lot maneuvers -- again, the "why" tells you whether and when to do so: On a motorcycle, the further a round-profile motorcycle tire leans, the more its contact patch with the ground moves up toward the wheel's axle -- the further up the tire, the smaller the effective rotation radius of the wheel. What has this got to do with anything?? At low speed, the farther over the bike leans, the smaller the effective radius of the wheels, and the tighter the turn the bike can do.

Search the web for some of the police motorcycle rodeo videos and note their body position as they execute various radius turns -- the tighter the turn, the more they are letting the bike fall over under them while they keep their bodies upright. Interestingly, they are applying the same principles as the hanging off racers -- for any given turn, for a given speed around the turn, the center of mass must be leaned over toward the center of the turn by a fixed amount. The racers move their center of mass inward so the bike's center of mass can be farther outward (i.e., more upright) -- all the while the combined center of mass stays at the same place, as required for that speed around the turn. In very tight low speed turns, for a desired speed aound the turn, the combined center of mass must be at a corresponding fixed lean angle. If the rider moves his/her center of mass *outward* (staying vertical as the bike leans), then the bike's center of mass must move inward to maintain the combined center of mass at the correct location for the desired turning speed -- and that increased lean makes the tire's effective radius smaller and thereby allows the bike to go through the turn much tighter than if the rider stayed aligned with the bike.

HTH!

Mark Neblett
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post #8 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 7:29 am Thread Starter
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Re: Cornering advice

Wow, thanks for the responses.

That is a great article but almost to technical for me.

I don't have any trouble with sweeping corners or regular riding.

My question had more to do with going faster thru the twisties.

Do you lean more with the bike or let the bike lean and try to stay more upright?

David

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post #9 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 8:22 am
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Re: Cornering advice

While in the Air Force many years ago we were shown how all of this works with a bicycle wheel. While sitting in a chair that can spin, holding the wheel by the axle have someone spin it up (the faster the better), take your feet off of the ground so the chair will spin and try to tilt the tire from side to side and the chair will spin. The tire is, for lack of a better term, HAPPY while spinning and going straight. When you turn or lean, it applies torque trying to get back to that happy state. By pushing on the left grip and turning the wheel out to the right the bike leans left, the push has to be maintained or the bike will attempt to correct itself. Stay in your normal seated position while cornering. Start slow practicing this, build up your skills and you will be diving into turns like a pro in no time.

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post #10 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 8:25 am
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by dthogey
Wow, thanks for the responses.

That is a great article but almost to technical for me.

I don't have any trouble with sweeping corners or regular riding.

My question had more to do with going faster thru the twisties.

Do you lean more with the bike or let the bike lean and try to stay more upright?

David
Until you are scraping hard parts on the ground, you don't need to lean further in -- concentrate on your line, predicting and identifying potential hazards around the corner, smooth operation of the throttle and brakes -- and most importantly, looking through the curve to the exit and beyond.

Once you start going fast enough to reach your bike's cornering limits, then you *definitely* lean to the insode (hang off inside) to go faster -- if you lean outward, the bike must counter your lead out by leaning farther it -- putting hard bits into the pavenment even sooner.

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
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post #11 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 8:27 am
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafirecapt
While in the Air Force many years ago we were shown how all of this works with a bicycle wheel. While sitting in a chair that can spin, holding the wheel by the axle have someone spin it up (the faster the better), take your feet off of the ground so the chair will spin and try to tilt the tire from side to side and the chair will spin. The tire is, for lack of a better term, HAPPY while spinning and going straight. When you turn or lean, it applies torque trying to get back to that happy state. By pushing on the left grip and turning the wheel out to the right the bike leans left, the push has to be maintained or the bike will attempt to correct itself. Stay in your normal seated position while cornering. Start slow practicing this, build up your skills and you will be diving into turns like a pro in no time.
That's good advice for learning countersteering, but that's not what he's asking about. He's asking for info on the best way to lean to go faster around a corner -- apparently he already knows how to countersteer to get into the corner in the first place.

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post #12 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 9:56 am
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Re: Cornering advice

I have the peg lowering kit on my ride and it is quite easy to drag in the corners. The best advice is to look through the corners to where you want the bike to end up. NEVER EVER EVER look t the guard rail, tree, rock, cliff, etc that you are trying to NOT hit. You will hit it every time.

There is really no reason, short of racing, that requires you to maximize cornering performance. If you are having trouble keeping up with your buds, don't worry about it. If you can't stop worrying about it, find new buds!

If you are looking to improve your skills "just in case" then find a stretch of curvy road to practice on and try the techniques listed above to gradually increase your speed. Once the techniques start to work for you, then move on to another stretch. The idea is to stay comfortable and not to scare the bejeebers out of yourself. You will be amazed at how far over it can go without upsetting.

LOOK THROUGH THE CURVE WHERE YOU WANT TO END UP NOT AT THE ROAD IN FRONT OF THE BIKE OR AT THE OBSTACLE YOU ARE TRYING TO AVOID!!!!!!

I'll try to sum this up:

"When cornering, it is better to go in slow and come out fast than to go in fast and come out dead." Stirling Moss

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post #13 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 10:23 am
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Re: Cornering advice

I think everyone has covered most items. The line you pick will also be helpful. If you go into a left hand curve I will move the bike to the far right of my lane and try and hit the far left part of my lane at the top of the curve and then sometimes come back over to the far right on exit unless I am going into a right hand curve.

So here is what I do, first I slow down using the engine revs, get the bike were I want it to set up my line, I then come into the curve looking were I want to exit, at the top of the curve I most likely am turning the throttle to gain speed coming out of the turn. I find by coming in slow and twisting the throttle out of the curve I get a better line thru the turn and feel more in control.

I have had the bike all the way over in a S turn and scrapped every peg and part of the bike. The only thing that helped me was I stayed calm, gave it a bit of throttle and looked were I wanted to go. After I learned that I will never take the bike to that level again and I need to watch my speed going into S turns.

So it is good you want to work on your skills and I think many of the others have told you all the things to do. Good luck and keep practicing. Another item to do is take the Advanced rider course and you will learn a ton from that.

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post #14 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 12:43 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltdavey
Great question!
I so don't get the whole "counter steering" technique in my head.
I am a visual learner, maybe @ the CCR somebody can show me on a bike?.
I think one of the easiest ways to get counter steering onto your head is to imagine when turning right you're pushing the right side of the bike down...left turn pushing left side of bike down.................

That's not what's happening but helps with your head.............................................. ........

actually if you sat your bike and someone held the front end off the ground while you pushed the handlebars, it would all become crystal clear........although where you gonna find a gorilla to help with that ??

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post #15 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 12:52 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

The hardest part of hard cornering aside from balance is maintaining eyesight with where you want to end up not with where you currently are you'll have a really bad day if you target lock going into a hard corner.. it takes more practice then the act itself.

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post #16 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 1:21 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by mneblett
That's good advice for learning countersteering, but that's not what he's asking about. He's asking for info on the best way to lean to go faster around a corner -- apparently he already knows how to countersteer to get into the corner in the first place.


This is absoulutely correct. I can corner with no problem and am familiar with countersteering.

I am just curious about leaning with the bike or staying upright and leaning the bike.

For some reason I feel more comfortable keeping my body upright and leaning the bike over to go faster around the corners. I was talking to a buddy about that and he indicated that I should be leaning (somewhat like the racers) to go faster around the corners not staying upright.

Just wondered what you all thought and what your techniques are.

David.

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post #17 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 1:36 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltdavey
Great question!
I so don't get the whole "counter steering" technique in my head.
I am a visual learner, maybe @ the CCR somebody can show me on a bike?

This is one reason I ride so conservatively. I find myself thinking about what " line"
To make than anything else.


you already countersteer, whether you realize it or not

To see the effects, find a large, unobstructed parking lot. Get up to 15-20 mph (countersteering is a neat animal, up to about 12-15 mph your bike steers as you'd expect, after 15 mph, it's the opposite--i.e. counter-steering)

riding straight, PUSH forward on the right handlebar grip (which actually "steers" the front end left, but for the rest of this, don't use that terminology). Pushing the right grip forward will result in the bike going...RIGHT. Push on the left grip to return to straight.

Now do the same thing, pushing on the left grip. Notice that the bike goes LEFT.

Next, make a mark on the pavement (or if you have one, put a small traffic cone up). Approach the cone at say 20 mph. Wait until about 30 feet before the cone and try and finesse your way around the cone by deliberately leaning while consciously NOT giving any steering input. Notice what happens.

Now do the same thing, but 30 feet before, five a FIRM push on the right grip. Watch what happens (give an equal FIRM push on the left to return to a straight path).

Do the same thing and give your push-push quicker, simulate going around an unexpected obstacle in the middle of the road.

Do the same with LEFT-RIGHT pushes instead.

Practice getting closer and closer to the cone/mark before you push-push. Then increase speed a little and see how dramatically a push-push moves you out of the obstacle. Then, for grins, try and do the same thing at speed using only "body english" but no steering input--watch what happens.

You've been counter-steering since you were a kid, riding a bicycle. You just didn't know you were.

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post #18 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 1:42 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

For the original question, it's a combination of BOTH.

The LT isn't set up for "ass off the seat, drag a knee" leanings, nor is that necessary.

HOWEVER, and this will be interesting for any of you who haven't tried it, heavily "weighting" the inside footpeg when you turn/go through a curve can have a big positive effect on your cornering.

(In other words, keep yourself in the saddle, straight-up if you will, but weight the inside peg--shift your weight so you have very little on the outside, and are almost standing up from additional "pressing down" with the inside foot on the peg). This little bit of weighting, initiated as you set up for the curve, increased as you get deeper into the apex, will really have 'her' going after that corner.

Try it if you haven't...take your favorite curve as you normally do, then try it again while deliberately weighting the inside peg. (By the by, that also leads you to push forward on the inside handlebar grip, initiating counter-steering, but that's not the only reason to do it)

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post #19 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 1:45 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Just a couple of observations based on the detailed explanation above.

Most people who think they are remaining vertical through the turn are not. If you relax & let the bike move under you as you ride the curve with your eyes looking through the exit point (don't fixate here either), you will be leaning you won't feel it because the centripital force and friction of the tires make you feel like you're just siting on the bike.

If you try to adjust your seat position in a curve because you are dragging hard parts, you'd better be an experienced racer or you will cause what you are trying to avoid (a crash).

Don't try to learn hanging off anywhere but at a track day where you have a qualified instructor and a bike that makes sense. (Not an LT)

The primary reason for hanging off is to maintain maximum friction (tire contact) while maximizing speed through a curve. Not only are the hard metal parts reducing the tire contact when they drag, the shape of the tire causes a reduced contact patch the farther the bike leans. I throw sparks occasionally but something seems out of place about knee pucks and hanging off on a Touring bike. ...Like Steve Urkel in a corvette, or Valentino Rossi on a Vespa...

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post #20 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 2:18 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Always make sure you practice in a controlled environment.




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post #21 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 2:39 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Most of what has been said here agrees with and is perhaps better explained by David Hough in "Proficient Motorcycling", still one of the best books on cycling in general and in urban warfare. You might find it in a public library if the city is large enough.

As to the schools of thought, they are really different schools of driving motorcycles. To get back to the top here, there is not much difference at speed in the end, whether you sit upright and lean the bike or lean over with it. Under 10 MPH and along with high rpm, trailing the brake, and even leaning the other way, you might get the LT or GTL to turn inside a 20 foot box.

For turns, its enter slow, lean at the apex, and throttle on to provide the power needed to turn the mass of the bike. Leaning the bike increases the contact patch of a motorcycle tire, which is what wears rubber off in exchange for forcing the mass to a new vector.

Keeping the eyes level no matter which way you decide to lean makes it easier for the brain to judge the curve an your line, including maybe seeing any hazard on the road slightly sooner.

David Hough, MSF, and most state programs are in the "full leaner" camp, but there are other groups that are just as empathic that the bike should lean but you should stay straight upright. Lee Park's "Total Control" is an extreme example and would have us all wearing steel knee protection. Lee's book is a good one if you are taking you 1600 GT racing, or you have an S1000RR to go to work on in a big hurry.

You can drive an LT almost like a car, not counter steering, not leaning, and get away with it on the highway and on most country roads. You can change lanes and nearly turn corners with you hips and knees if you want.

But I think it is a lot more fun, and safer to enter the turn slowly,look, counter steer (at 15 MPH or above) lean, get on the throttle and come upright at the end of the curve.

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post #22 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 3:02 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

One other item I do when going into a curve is to drop my inside shoulder and this helps with the lean, counter steer and so on.

My guess is if you just relax and look were you want to go with coming into the turn slow and coming out faster then you went in most of the stuff just happens. (Lean, counter steer, shift of weight on the pegs and so on) But if you think about it and practice it you will teach your body to maybe do a bit more lean, more counter steer and shifting of weight to the inside peg.

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post #23 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 3:36 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Reading technical articles helps but for me there is no substitute for time in the saddle. I don't know if what I've been trying is correct. I can only say that some of these things seemed to have helped me. Until I can afford professional help, I"m left to my own devices.-- I prefer an abandoned parking lot to practice panic stops and avoidance measures. Ideally with a friend to help get you out from under, in the event perceived abilities exceed actual abilities. Always start out slow. I ride with 2 fingers on the front brake and my foot poised over the rear brake pedal. Its a habit carried over from my dirt bike days. The distance you travel in the time it takes to reach these controls can be substantial depending on your speed. Learning to feed in power by manipulating the rear brake at slow speed while slipping the clutch is also valuable. I never got that good at it because I need my clutch to live to 100k at least. For the non-abs guys a finger near the clutch can save the motor from stalling in the event the rear tyre begins to lock up going into a turn under heavy braking. If it does lock up you need to get the clutch in pronto. I followed a kid on a dual sport thru Deals Gap this summer. He went into a turn too fast, locked up the rear tyre and didn't get the clutch in so even after getting off the rear brake the stalled motor wouldn't allow the rear wheel to turn and as he leaned into the turn he went into a tail out flat track configuration only to lay it down. Fortunately it was a left turn with a paved accommodating apron before the woods line. As he came in contact with the road he was separated from the bike and slid along behind it.The bike made it into the woods and he stopped just short of woods line.I reminded him that if it had been a right hander with on coming traffic it wouldn't have been so pretty. Being 17 years old with full leathers and a dainty Dual Purpose he pumped the motor back to life and we went on. If it had been me the LT and I would still be laying there until mommy came and made it all better. Practice looking ahead. I catch myself wanting to look just a short distance in front of me. I try not to look at just the exit of the turn. Before I enter the turn I first look at the apex and as I approach the apex I fix on not just the exit of the corner but exactly what part of the exit I want to be in when I come out. The commercial corners like Deals gap can have allot of distractions, from the truly fast guys filling your mirrors to on coming traffic and photographers . I allow my peripheral vision to notify me of what is around me but I try to keep my focus on my line. I only glance at my mirrors and when that fast guy appears behind me I move over before he gets to me and make obvious my intentions. If you hold them up your inviting them to make a risky pass. I know from watching footage I take that other riders were waving at me but the only ones I saw were the ones I saw after the bike was on the center stand. Forgive the rant but its been raining here and I'm too much of a wuss to play in it anymore.
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post #24 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 3:46 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Many good points have been made by our members, but remember....practice makes perfect.
Most communities offer a bikers safety course and I highly recomend such, because you get to practice over and over again--even the counter steer--untill it becomes second nature. Even experienced riders learn something of value, particularly--emergency avoidance and emergency stopping.
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post #25 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 5:35 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Finding someone to straddle the front tire while you push on the handlebars is EASY!!!!! Finding someone to help you pick her back up when she goes over center. Now that's the tough part!!!!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by STARFIGHTER
I think one of the easiest ways to get counter steering onto your head is to imagine when turning right you're pushing the right side of the bike down...left turn pushing left side of bike down.................

That's not what's happening but helps with your head.............................................. ........

actually if you sat your bike and someone held the front end off the ground while you pushed the handlebars, it would all become crystal clear........although where you gonna find a gorilla to help with that ??

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post #26 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 5:54 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

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Originally Posted by wa1200lt
Finding someone to straddle the front tire while you push on the handlebars is EASY!!!!! Finding someone to help you pick her back up when she goes over center. Now that's the tough part!!!!

Loren
This can be dangerous.Keep in mind the headlight will be eclipsed and you will be less visible to on coming traffic. Next time your going straight down the road just push on left grip. Release and straighten. Now just pull right grip. Now push and pull together. The harder you do it the more violent the response so be careful. Combine all that with a lean and Smokey The Bear will pull you over for arson.
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post #27 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 6:48 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Gentlemen
This is quite interesting if not comical. All these posts on cornering and only one is right. I would pay good money to see this race firsthand.
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post #28 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 8:16 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

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Originally Posted by 1dbweldor
Gentlemen
This is quite interesting if not comical. All these posts on cornering and only one is right. I would pay good money to see this race firsthand.
Not necessarily. Marty Tripes was considered one of the fastest riders on an MX track in his time. When everyone else sat down for the turns Marty stood up. Riders develope styles and techniques that work best for them and their specific motorcycle and how they have that bike set up. In general terms the accepted popular approach talked about in most articles does apply to most riders and bikes. But not always or for everyone. Some Winston Cup guys like push in a corner some like to be loose. We don't have that particular luxury with just 2 wheels but I think you get the point.
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post #29 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 8:47 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by dthogey
I seem to have read conflicting advice regarding cornering. Some people suggest keeping your body more upright (perpendicular to the road) and leaning the bike, others suggest leaning your body with the bike like the racers do.

What do you think??
I think for normal riding you should keep your body aligned with the vertical axis of the bike and thus you lean at the same angle to the road as does the bike, but relative to the bike you are "straight up." It helps to tilt your head so that your eyes stay closer to level with the road surface, but you should not try to keep your body vertical as compared to the horizon.

Most racers not only lean with the bike, they tend to shift such that they are hanging off the inside of the turn. That is a little tricky on a bike as wide as the LT, but it doesn't hurt to shift a little towards the inside of the turn as this lessens the lean angle required for the bike and gives a smidgen more ground clearance.

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post #30 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 8:53 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by petevandyke
you already countersteer, whether you realize it or not

To see the effects, find a large, unobstructed parking lot. Get up to 15-20 mph (countersteering is a neat animal, up to about 12-15 mph your bike steers as you'd expect, after 15 mph, it's the opposite--i.e. counter-steering)

riding straight, PUSH forward on the right handlebar grip (which actually "steers" the front end left, but for the rest of this, don't use that terminology). Pushing the right grip forward will result in the bike going...RIGHT. Push on the left grip to return to straight.

Now do the same thing, pushing on the left grip. Notice that the bike goes LEFT.

Next, make a mark on the pavement (or if you have one, put a small traffic cone up). Approach the cone at say 20 mph. Wait until about 30 feet before the cone and try and finesse your way around the cone by deliberately leaning while consciously NOT giving any steering input. Notice what happens.

Now do the same thing, but 30 feet before, five a FIRM push on the right grip. Watch what happens (give an equal FIRM push on the left to return to a straight path).

Do the same thing and give your push-push quicker, simulate going around an unexpected obstacle in the middle of the road.

Do the same with LEFT-RIGHT pushes instead.

Practice getting closer and closer to the cone/mark before you push-push. Then increase speed a little and see how dramatically a push-push moves you out of the obstacle. Then, for grins, try and do the same thing at speed using only "body english" but no steering input--watch what happens.

You've been counter-steering since you were a kid, riding a bicycle. You just didn't know you were.
Actually, counter steering works from 0+ MPH all the way up. There is no change below 15 MPH or any other speed.

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post #31 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 9:10 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
Actually, counter steering works from 0+ MPH all the way up. There is no change below 15 MPH or any other speed.
I have not found this to be the case. Proved it to myself just this morning pulling into the parking lot at my office and turning into my parking space. Bars left, go left, bars right, go right, at parking lot speeds anyway. I have not found countersteering to activate until 25 mph or so.

And I've never gone fast enough on my bicycle to countersteer. Not sure I want to go that fast on it either.

Not interested in starting a peeing contest. This is just what I found to be true. During the MSF Beginner's class in 2006, I tried like heck to get that Nighthawk to countersteer like we were taught. In the size of that parking lot and the speeds we were going, it would not work. After 2 or 3 tries, the instructor called me over to ask me what in the world I was doing. I didn't have a clue, but on the next try, turned the bars the way I wanted to go, just like on my bicycle. Just like on my bicycle, it worked. Took some time (and more speed) to make countersteering work for me. YMMV!

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post #32 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 11:29 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

There is little to no gyroscopic effect from 15 MPH or 22 kph down, . Hmmm.

As to standing in turns, that produces a very different dynamic that many GS riders are very familiar with. tt is just plain difficult to put much force on the handle bars while standing, thus the bike runs well through gravel and sand and other loose materials, going straight or turning. The weight of the rider on the foot pegs also changes the center of gravity. Not the one most expect. But it does come closest to the story of the racer who fell off his race bike as he came into a corner 40 MPH faster than he could possibly manage, but the bike, 180 lbs lighter and without the interference of the rider, made the corner before slowing down and eventually falling over. Very interesting factoid about Marty Tripes.

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post #33 of 54 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 11:40 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Uh Samir, you do realize that the bike isn't moving when the person straddles the front wheel. This is a technique used in the MSF Rider Street Safety Skills class. When the front wheel is held in place it becomes very obvious what happens when you counter steer. Best done on a bicycle instead of the LT though!

Loren

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samir
This can be dangerous.Keep in mind the headlight will be eclipsed and you will be less visible to on coming traffic. Next time your going straight down the road just push on left grip. Release and straighten. Now just pull right grip. Now push and pull together. The harder you do it the more violent the response so be careful. Combine all that with a lean and Smokey The Bear will pull you over for arson.

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post #34 of 54 Old Aug 31st, 2011, 6:24 am
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Re: Cornering advice

Do a track day in the B class. Cost @ 250.00, tape up the glass and go. Most of the time you will get 7 sessions and do over 130 miles at speed and learn a lot about the bike. Most track days have coaches who can help you correct what you are doing wrong and let you know what you are doing correct.
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post #35 of 54 Old Aug 31st, 2011, 9:39 am
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
Actually, counter steering works from 0+ MPH all the way up. There is no change below 15 MPH or any other speed.


I'd LOVE to watch you doing slow-speed cone exercises, then.

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post #36 of 54 Old Aug 31st, 2011, 10:34 am
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Re: Cornering advice

If you want a laugh you should watch me doing slow speed practice with cones on the LT some day. I laugh at myself, but keep practicing.

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post #37 of 54 Old Aug 31st, 2011, 2:39 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by wa1200lt
Uh Samir, you do realize that the bike isn't moving when the person straddles the front wheel. This is a technique used in the MSF Rider Street Safety Skills class. When the front wheel is held in place it becomes very obvious what happens when you counter steer. Best done on a bicycle instead of the LT though!

Loren
Yes Loren-- Just had an image of a couple newbies misinterpreting and taking the letter of the law to heart. I say you and I practice this and sign up for Americas Got Talent. Uh-I'll drive you straddle-Look out vegas
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post #38 of 54 Old Aug 31st, 2011, 4:45 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

I will add my two cents, amybe a few more. I am not going to try and argue the science one way or another, but I have some thoughts on cornering with the LT.

Prior to picking up the LT I spent a few years on sport bikes, a 93 zx-1100 and an 03 VFR800. These bikes I would hang off on for tight corners at high speeds. The LT, not so much, partly because the beast is so heavy that I did not think that I could ride through a corner as fast.

I have recently flogged the LT through some nice 20MPH hairpins, the bike handles so nicely, it really is easy to forget that I am on an 850+ # beast vs 560 # for the other bikes. One this I have found in common between the LT and the sport bikes that I think is more crucial than the argument of how to lean is the throttle/engine speed. From my perspective entering a corner with high engine speed so that you can madulate your speed with just the throtle is key. The LT did not mind at all running from 5K to 7K as we negotiated the hairpins. My friend was on his 954RR and was hanging off of his bike. I sat squarely in the seat, but I do shift my torso to the inside of the curve.

More clearly stated, and I do not knwo why this works, but is does. I drop my inside elbow which pulls my torso over the center line of the bike. It also pulls my head down by the tank. From here I am looking over the mirror vs. looking through the wind screen, I do not do this for weight transfer. I do this because it helps me find and hold my line.

No bragging here, using this technique, I have scrubbed the strips from the rear tire, dragged the right foot pad, and the center stand on the left. I do not know the lean angel extremes of the LT, but I think that I am pretty close to it. All credit goes to the bike - the suspension just simply sticks the bike to the road.

YMMV
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post #39 of 54 Old Aug 31st, 2011, 5:25 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Alex: Agreed. Your discription sounds close to what I think I'm doin. I don't know why it works either. I read and listen to what the truly fast guys are saying but I also listen to the seat of my pants. If that makes sense.-- Lately I discovered that I can increase lean by just opening up my inside leg while keeping outside leg against the tank. I just tried it on my PC chair that is on a swivel. Feet have to be on the base. Open left leg chair swivels left etc.. etc...hey this is fun-- Wow think of the gas I'm gonna save.
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post #40 of 54 Old Aug 31st, 2011, 5:26 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee510
I have not found this to be the case. Proved it to myself just this morning pulling into the parking lot at my office and turning into my parking space. Bars left, go left, bars right, go right, at parking lot speeds anyway. I have not found countersteering to activate until 25 mph or so.

And I've never gone fast enough on my bicycle to countersteer. Not sure I want to go that fast on it either.

Not interested in starting a peeing contest. This is just what I found to be true. During the MSF Beginner's class in 2006, I tried like heck to get that Nighthawk to countersteer like we were taught. In the size of that parking lot and the speeds we were going, it would not work. After 2 or 3 tries, the instructor called me over to ask me what in the world I was doing. I didn't have a clue, but on the next try, turned the bars the way I wanted to go, just like on my bicycle. Just like on my bicycle, it worked. Took some time (and more speed) to make countersteering work for me. YMMV!
Yes, no peeing contest here either, but the fact is that you are incorrect. Countersteering is used at all speeds on both motorcycles and bicycles. At slow speeds it is very subtle and hard to perceive, so it is not at all surprising that you don't even realize you are doing it. It just comes as second nature to those of use used to riding on two wheels as most of use have been doing so successfully since we were five years old. And the countersteering is used only momentarily to initiate the turn. Once in the turn, you definitely do steer into the turn as you say above. And then you counter steer again to stop the turn, by turning sharper into the turn to bring the bike back upright again. People like Tony Foale and Keith Code have covered this topic in great detail, but since a picture is worth a thousand words ... I suggest viewing this video. It shows countersteering down to something like 3 MPH.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C848R9xWrjc

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post #41 of 54 Old Aug 31st, 2011, 7:02 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samir
Alex: Agreed. Your discription sounds close to what I think I'm doin. I don't know why it works either. I read and listen to what the truly fast guys are saying but I also listen to the seat of my pants. If that makes sense.-- Lately I discovered that I can increase lean by just opening up my inside leg while keeping outside leg against the tank. I just tried it on my PC chair that is on a swivel. Feet have to be on the base. Open left leg chair swivels left etc.. etc...hey this is fun-- Wow think of the gas I'm gonna save.
I HAVE to try this tomorrow - sounds like fun.
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post #42 of 54 Old Aug 31st, 2011, 7:40 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
but the fact is that you are incorrect. Countersteering is used at all speeds on both motorcycles and bicycles. At slow speeds it is very subtle and hard to perceive, so it is not at all surprising that you don't even realize you are doing it.
I'm going to check this out in the morning. I watched the video and there was a definite swerve one direction before going the other. IF I do that, I wouldn't have considered it countersteering. Not by the definition as I understood it. Push grip to go that direction. Push more to turn in more, not so much to turn in less. Swerving one direction starts the turn, but doesn't maintain it as it does at speed.

Ride report tomorrow.

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post #43 of 54 Old Aug 31st, 2011, 8:43 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee510
I'm going to check this out in the morning. I watched the video and there was a definite swerve one direction before going the other. IF I do that, I wouldn't have considered it countersteering. Not by the definition as I understood it. Push grip to go that direction. Push more to turn in more, not so much to turn in less. Swerving one direction starts the turn, but doesn't maintain it as it does at speed.

Ride report tomorrow.
I believe that most accept the definition of counter steering to relate to the initiation of a turn rather than maintaining a given turn radius. Motorcycle dynamics are very complicated as anyone who has read any of Tony Foale's writings can attest. The only time I feel I am "counter" steering during a turn, even at relatively high speeds, is when my rear tire is heavily worn such that the center is becoming fairly flat. In this condition, as you lean into a turn, the contact patch moves rapidly away from the point where the vertical axis of the bike intersects the road. This gives the bike a fairly strong "self righting" tendency and can make it hard to maintain the lean angle.

Be sure to ATGATT during your tests tomorrow! I have experimented at slow speeds with my bicycle and if you pay attend really closely, you will see that you are counter steering even on a light bike and even at really low speeds. What complicates things is that at low speeds you are making so many rapid steering corrections just to maintain balance, that it is hard to tell if a given movement of the handlebars is a counter steer for a turn initiation or just a steering motion to maintain balance.

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post #44 of 54 Old Aug 31st, 2011, 9:23 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by dthogey
I seem to have read conflicting advice regarding cornering. Some people suggest keeping your body more upright (perpendicular to the road) and leaning the bike, others suggest leaning your body with the bike like the racers do.

What do you think??
Remember the basic cornering technique learned in your MSF class. As you approach any curve, size it up, look into it as much as you can then-

Slow, Look, Press, Roll. Keep your body centered on the motorcycle. There is no reason to be slinging yourself around on the motorcycle. Leave that to the racer wannabe's. Remember to enter the curve on the outside, lean the motorcycle towards the inside of the curve and exit on the outside portion.

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post #45 of 54 Old Sep 1st, 2011, 6:56 am
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by dthogey
I seem to have read conflicting advice regarding cornering. Some people suggest keeping your body more upright (perpendicular to the road) and leaning the bike, others suggest leaning your body with the bike like the racers do.

What do you think??
If you notice, the racers keep their heads upright. That's my preference. It gives me a much better look at the curve.

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post #46 of 54 Old Sep 1st, 2011, 10:30 am
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
Very good video, thanks. I unconsciously do this every time I make a right hand turn onto the highway to make sure I don't get out into the other lane. Just didn't know what it was called.

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post #47 of 54 Old Sep 1st, 2011, 7:46 pm
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Talking Re: Cornering advice

I am almost ashamed to admit it, but after reading all the above post I did not see the suggestion that worked for me. and has become instinct for me and given what I feel is better control in corners and ah s**t avoidance half way through a curve.

Rode a CX500 for over a year laid it down on a curve trying to keep up with a HD sportster. wore off a 4x4" patch of hide on butt. (became believer in ATGATT). Knew I was not a learned rider and began to ask questions and look for answers. found article in some cycle rag that tried to explain counter steer. Push right to go left and push left to go right. they went on and on and on about the mechanics.

here is the proof they said, test it this way. In a safe area on a clear road going between 30-35 mph lift your left hand from the clutch side of the steering yoke. Now steer only with your right hand. gently very GENTLY, push the steering yoke away (counter clockwise) to the left. The bike will turn, track towards the right. Pull the yoke to you (clockwise) the bike will turn, track to the left. REMEMBER the gently part of the test!!!!!!!!!

One of my fellow workers who had been riding for many years told me this was crazy, and that s**t like this should not be allowed to be printed, and that a lot of people would get hurt following this advice. All i do to steer is lean the way I want to go and it just happens. He was amazed.

the harder you push or pull, the sharper the movement in the desired direction.

I have since seen several explains like what is posted above, I think I get the drift of the words and impact of turning wheels, but putting into practice what I learned from the test above I feel has given me a method that has helped me avoid several close calls.

HTH

Toby in New York
1983 R80RT Red (sold)
'03 R1200CLC (T-boned and replaced with)
'04 R1200CL Sidestand problem, BMW traded me for
'05 K1200LT. Goldie, Priceless
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post #48 of 54 Old Sep 1st, 2011, 10:07 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

If you want to completely understand counter steering, and how it works, look up and study gyroscopic precession.
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post #49 of 54 Old Sep 2nd, 2011, 9:23 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpmlt
If you want to completely understand counter steering, and how it works, look up and study gyroscopic precession.
The gyro effect is only one part of the equation. Counter steering would work even with zero gyro effect.

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post #50 of 54 Old Sep 2nd, 2011, 10:23 pm
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Re: Cornering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
The gyro effect is only one part of the equation. Counter steering would work even with zero gyro effect.
Which is why I said "completely". Low speed "counter steering" is nothing more than throwing your bike out of balance and quickly recovering. That's a technique I love using when turning from a stop, fun. But in fairness, that's not something I would consider teaching a novice rider.

The problem with threads like this one is that, first, most of us don't know the level of riding ability of any person that asks a question like this. And second, the person asking the questions really doesn't know how qualified the person posting the answer is.

And I guess, without sounding condescending, the third point is that everyone thinks he or she's a pretty damned good rider (expert) and the pissing match starts.
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