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Bikes, Pictures, Stories & more => Chat, Offtopic, Meetings & Everything Else => Topic started by: Greybeard on 09.08. 2019 12:29

Title: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: Greybeard on 09.08. 2019 12:29
I hear there is a riding technique where you steer towards a pothole which makes the bike avoid it. What is this about?
Title: Re: Who knows about this?
Post by: RichardL on 09.08. 2019 12:36
It's "about" as silly as I can think of with regard to riding technique, but I only have about 10K riding miles behind me (virtually all on my A10).

Richard L.
Title: Re: Who knows about this?
Post by: beezermacc on 09.08. 2019 13:00
Woman's Logic?
Title: Re: Who knows about this?
Post by: lawnmowerman on 09.08. 2019 13:01
I hear there is a riding technique where you steer towards a pothole which makes the bike avoid it. What is this about?
It works - give it a try. You need to give it a firm yank on the bars without leaning the bike. I think what happens is that as you steer the bike it tends to make the bike lean in the opposite direction and turn that way. It happens pretty fast too  *eek*

Jim
Title: Re: Who knows about this?
Post by: RogerSB on 09.08. 2019 13:03
I hear there is a riding technique where you steer towards a pothole which makes the bike avoid it. What is this about?

It's called contra steering. Test it by riding in a straight line, relax and pull very gently on one end of the handlebar, you'll feel the bike turning very slightly in the other direction.  *smile*  *conf*.

(Edit): Read 'Method Two of Four - Approaching the Turn'.
https://m.wikihow.com/Countersteer-(Motorcycle)#Approaching-the-Turn

We used to teach this in the training scheme I was part of as an instructor and examiner.
Title: Re: Who knows about this?
Post by: RDfella on 09.08. 2019 13:08
Spot on, Roger. been doing it ever since I started riding. Helps to get a bike around a corner if, on approach, you steer AWAY from the bend. Makes the bike fall into the corner.
Title: Re: Who knows about this?
Post by: Greybeard on 09.08. 2019 13:46
Contra steering, that's it. Thanks. I'll give it a try. If I write my next post from A&E, you"ll know it wasn't a success.
Title: Re: Who knows about this?
Post by: RDfella on 09.08. 2019 14:07
Not really needed on modern bikes unless you're racing, but I find it very helpful on older bikes that seem allergic to changing direction - like the Velo I had or my M21. The latter is a bit of a wrestle into a corner, but apply a little counter-steer and it positively glides into the bend.
Title: Re: Who knows about this?
Post by: Black Sheep on 09.08. 2019 14:12
This remids me...On Shackletons it was the custom when dropping practice bombs at a target to aim at the safety launch knowing full well that the bombsight was so inaccurate that you would never hit the launch. This worked well for many years until my old mate Norman, a Shackleton navigator/bomb aimer achieved the impossible. The launch crew were very unimpressed at the hole in the deck and he had a bit of explaining to do...
Norman was also the navigator on the last plane out of Saigon, but that's another story.   
Title: Re: Who knows about this?
Post by: RogerSB on 09.08. 2019 14:14
Contra steering, that's it. Thanks. I'll give it a try. If I write my next post from A&E, you"ll know it wasn't a success.
Oh Ye of little faith . . . Can I have the salvage?
Title: Re: Who knows about this?
Post by: worntorn on 09.08. 2019 15:34
You are doing it already without noticing.
It's the only way to go around a corner at anything over about 8 mph.
Same thing on a bicycle except the pressure is much lighter.
One of the biggest causes of fatalities with new motorcyclists, particularly those who start riding late in life, is panic steering away from ( not counter-steering) an oncoming vehicle . This moves the bike right into the path of the oncoming vehicle.
Push left, go left. Push right, go right.

Here is an example of forgetting to countersteer in a panic.

https://youtu.be/GKbmBYKu6ow

Glen
Title: Re: Who knows about this?
Post by: coater87 on 09.08. 2019 17:52
 Yes, your body is already doing it automatically or you would be flying off into the weeds and bramble bushes.

 Completely relax both hands so the bike is using physics to go in a straight line, then gently push straight forward on the bars with one hand or the other- you are going to gently turn in that direction.

 Than forget you ever heard this.

 I think they drill this into peoples heads so much that they start to have to think about it, and once a human has to think about something they will screw it up. Than they will be in the brambles, happens all the time on the open harley rides. They get people going uncomfortably fast trying to keep up, next thing someone goes wide in a corner.

 I would say if you have ever taken a corner at more than 20 MPH you have already done this without thinking about it at all.

 Lee

Title: Re: Who knows about this?
Post by: Greybeard on 09.08. 2019 18:32
We may already be doing this while riding but I intend to make more use of it to make those last moment pothole avoidances.  *smile*
Title: Re: Who knows about this?
Post by: RogerSB on 09.08. 2019 18:49
I intend to make more use of it to make those last moment pothole avoidances.  *smile*

That's the British spirit GB  *smile*.
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: Minto on 09.08. 2019 19:56
If you’d ever ridden a Harley Vrod you’d know how essential a skill counter steering is.
I use it a lot when I’m on it on the Aprilia, gets it dropping into tight bends quicker than not doing.
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: duTch on 09.08. 2019 21:50
Has a lot to do with the rake & trail of the forks and gyroscopic of the wheel
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: muskrat on 09.08. 2019 23:46
G'day fellas.
Learning to ride as an 8 year old in the dirt steering with the back wheel (read opposite lock power slides) was the norm. So by the time I was riding on the road counter steering was programed in without thinking.
When hooking into a 60mph corner your putting more weight on the inside bar even if you don't know it.
Newer bikes with large differences in front/rear tyre widths need more counter steer than our old bikes with similar tyre widths.
Cheers
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: KiwiGF on 10.08. 2019 01:21
Pretty much everyone uses counter steering naturally so one probably shouldn’t need to practice, having said that when taking “advanced” riding training it was brought to my attention a real life example of a time when you may need to consciously use the technique is when you are in a long fast corner and find yourself running wide, seemingly no matter what you do  *help* . Gently pushing on the “inside” handlebar can really help in that situation. I also found counter steering really helped on a hill full of bends I used to commute over every day  *smile* , and where a couple of the bends were cambered the “wrong” way, causing many accidents mainly for cars, and bikers came to grief occasionally as well by drifting wide into the centre barrier  *pull hair out*

The other “advanced” technique one naturally uses, but it can be useful to consciously use, is “trail braking”, I’ve personally found this useful only when riding heavy bikes (like a gold wing  *eek* ).

Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: Black Sheep on 10.08. 2019 06:54
The other thing I learned if entering a corner faster than is comfortable is to put your weight on the high footrest. Steadies the whole plot up and gets you round the bend rather than up the bank.
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: beezermacc on 10.08. 2019 09:26
Most of the above is nothing to do with avoiding potholes. If you push your bike off the stand in the garage and sit on it without holding the handlebars and lean to the left the front wheel will fall to the left so, to avoid going into the kerb, you need to push on the left of the handlebars slightly. This is due to the fork rake angle. The greater the angle of rake the more pronounced the effect. If the forks were vertical it wouldn't happen. I can guarantee that if you point your bike at a pothole, on a straight and flat road, you will hit it!
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: Colsbeeza on 10.08. 2019 11:06
I was told about countersteering when I first started riding. The explanation was that if I pushed on the left handlebar, the bike would initially try to steer to the right, but my body weight would then cause me fall to the left. This would happen quickly enough that the movement of the bike to the right would be so little as to be not perceptable. My weight would ensure that the bike would be set up for the left hand corner.
That all made sense and still does.
Beezermacc's logical theory has made this simple explanation needing more thought.
Col
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: worntorn on 11.08. 2019 15:43
Most of the above is nothing to do with avoiding potholes. If you push your bike off the stand in the garage and sit on it without holding the handlebars and lean to the left the front wheel will fall to the left so, to avoid going into the kerb, you need to push on the left of the handlebars slightly. This is due to the fork rake angle. The greater the angle of rake the more pronounced the effect. If the forks were vertical it wouldn't happen. I can guarantee that if you point your bike at a pothole, on a straight and flat road, you will hit it!

And , if at speed and pointed very close to the edge of that pothole, you can shift your trajectory away from it simply by twisting
the bars toward the centre of the pothole.
This will make the bike lean away from the pothole and turn away from it.

Glen
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: RoyC on 11.08. 2019 15:47
Does all this only apply to solo bikes or does it include combos ?
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: Triton Thrasher on 11.08. 2019 15:59
does it include combos ?

No, although sidecars are perverse in most other ways.
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: Greybeard on 11.08. 2019 19:58
...if at speed and pointed very close to the edge of that pothole, you can shift your trajectory away from it simply by twisting
the bars toward the centre of the pothole.
This will make the bike lean away from the pothole and turn away from it.

That's what I thought should happen
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: duTch on 12.08. 2019 10:27

 
Quote
Has a lot to do with the rake & trail of the forks and gyroscopic of the wheel

 So I just asked my youngsta if we've discussed this before and he fairly much confirmed that we have... result being he's on board with the above...

  Having said that, in this part of the world I say that if you try and dodge a pothole by this method, you'll only encounter the real one they are trying to decoy you away from- the ones you can see are just painted on to trick us..... *rant* *rant* *rant*
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: berger on 12.08. 2019 11:31
it seems to me from comments on potholes all over the place that there is plenty of money for so called traffic calming humps  [that the yuth of today think are launching pads]  but none for the repair of holes. I think the ones who said lets put loads of humps everywhere under the guise of road safety  have shares in tarmac , brakes, suspension, tyres, ball joint makers--- the list goes on. *pull hair out*
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: bsa-bill on 12.08. 2019 11:39
Up here steering away from the pothole in front of you guides you to the pothole to the side of you, to be fair to Northumberland CC they do  now make them more visible by putting a yellow ring around them  *conf*
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: duTch on 12.08. 2019 12:38

 
Quote
...I think the ones who said lets put loads of humps everywhere ...
Yeah- at the work PUBlunch Wednesday (humpday)....

Quote
Up here steering away from the pothole in front of you guides you to the pothole to the side of you, to be fair to Northumberland CC they do  now make them more visible by putting a yellow ring around them  *conf*

 yep- that's fairly much what I was inferring.....
Quote
  Having said that, in this part of the world I say that if you try and dodge a pothole by this method, you'll only encounter the real one they are trying to decoy you away from- the ones you can see are just painted on to trick us..... *rant* *rant* *rant

   *rant* *rant* *rant* *rant* whoops
Title: Re: Who knows about this? (...counter-steering)
Post by: lawnmowerman on 12.08. 2019 14:57
Up here steering away from the pothole in front of you guides you to the pothole to the side of you, to be fair to Northumberland CC they do  now make them more visible by putting a yellow ring around them  *conf*
The yellow ring around them is meant to be so that you can see them and hopefully avoid them thus removing any liability of the local council if you do go down one and cause damage.
One tip I heard was that if you see the local council going round spraying the worst holes for contractors to fill then quickly get some of the same colour paint and spray all the remaining holes and they will get filled too.  >:D

Jim