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Counter Steering


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Counter Steering (track Cornering)

 

Let's me be honest - my current cornering style is bad!

 

When approaching the corner, I pull upright into the tank, move my body weight across as I brake/change down and bring the bike over – this is where it all starts to unravel – the first part of the curve is fine. The initial lean is the result of forward pressure on the inside bar, but once I start to enter a deeper lean I find I am pushing down on the inside bar. After a few laps I am exhausted.

 

I have tried relaxing and keeping my weight off the front of the bike – but I always seem to end up pushing down with my weight to gain the angle/curve I am after. A lot of it has to do with my body position in relation to the bars - i feel unable to use forward pressure on the bar. Maybe I am too high up and need to get down lower as I drop down into the curve – this might allow me to counter steer throughout the corner. Of course the other option is to pull on the outside arm/grip – however, once into the turn that arm doesn't seems to be under my attention/control.

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

Russell

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Counter Steering (track Cornering)

 

Let's me be honest - my current cornering style is bad!

 

When approaching the corner, I pull upright into the tank, move my body weight across as I brake/change down and bring the bike over – this is where it all starts to unravel – the first part of the curve is fine. The initial lean is the result of forward pressure on the inside bar, but once I start to enter a deeper lean I find I am pushing down on the inside bar. After a few laps I am exhausted.

How is under lower arm positioned? Your lower arm should be as horizontal as possible, to get the maximum leverage from your push* on the handlebar.

 

*) Technically, we should push perpendicular to the steering heads rotation axis, but that's would mean that the elbow should be even lower than the handlebar...

 

Cheers, Kai

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How is your riding and your exhaustion levels when you don't lean off the bike, and stay in the middle?

 

Bullet

 

I usually do the first lap without much movement on the bike - but I'm also not moving around the corners very fast. Once I start to speed up and move around on the bike I find myself pulling the bar 'down' toward the track on corners - it actually doesn't help that much - a lot of effort for little gain.

 

Russell

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Counter Steering (track Cornering)

 

Let's me be honest - my current cornering style is bad!

 

When approaching the corner, I pull upright into the tank, move my body weight across as I brake/change down and bring the bike over – this is where it all starts to unravel – the first part of the curve is fine. The initial lean is the result of forward pressure on the inside bar, but once I start to enter a deeper lean I find I am pushing down on the inside bar. After a few laps I am exhausted.

How is under lower arm positioned? Your lower arm should be as horizontal as possible, to get the maximum leverage from your push* on the handlebar.

 

*) Technically, we should push perpendicular to the steering heads rotation axis, but that's would mean that the elbow should be even lower than the handlebar...

 

Cheers, Kai

 

Hi Kai - I think you are right - I don't think my body is in line for a straight push on the bar. I will check this next time i'm out + will drop my shoulder / elbow. Will let you know how it goes.

 

Russell

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How is your riding and your exhaustion levels when you don't lean off the bike, and stay in the middle?

 

Bullet

 

I usually do the first lap without much movement on the bike - but I'm also not moving around the corners very fast. Once I start to speed up and move around on the bike I find myself pulling the bar 'down' toward the track on corners - it actually doesn't help that much - a lot of effort for little gain.

 

Russell

 

So it's easier then, but as you say you're going slower right? Did I note that you sit up to the tank as well? How much of your arse you have on the seat? And how much of your weight you think you have on your legs/arms?

 

Bullet

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I have tried relaxing and keeping my weight off the front of the bike – but I always seem to end up pushing down with my weight to gain the angle/curve I am after. A lot of it has to do with my body position in relation to the bars - i feel unable to use forward pressure on the bar. Maybe I am too high up and need to get down lower as I drop down into the curve – this might allow me to counter steer throughout the corner. Of course the other option is to pull on the outside arm/grip – however, once into the turn that arm doesn't seems to be under my attention/control.

I did the same thing, and when I went to the level 1 school it was pointed out in the steering drill that I needed to get my forearms more level with the ground as Kai said. Now I sort of got this picture in my head of an Egyptian sphinx- forearms out horizontal, back more horizontal too, feet back up on the pegs on the balls of my feet.

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As you approach the turn, make a conscious effort to slide your butt back on the seat, and then off to the side for the hangoff, then move your shoulders down and out as you look through the turn. It's not just about getting lower to get that arm angle, you also gotta move back to get back behind the handlebars. Once turned in make a conscious effort to relax both arms. All the "conscious effort" and different positions means that you are going to feel awkward at first so you'll need to slow down to be able to focus on it. That's what worked for me. Moving back on the seat also helped me with locking my knee into the tank.

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We often see racers with blisters in their hands and many of them use sports tape to protect the skin on their hands. Obviously, this means they use a lot of force on the grips. Naturally, you cannot relax while using this much force. Yet I read a lot about staying relaxed, especially in the arms.

 

Apparently, they will also vary their body position some up to 20 times around a corner (shifting which foot is weighted the most, moving back and forth on the seat to stop a spinning tyre or prevent a wheelie etc. etc.), another thing I would expect would demand that the bars are gripped at least some?

 

So my question is; do the racers switch between relaxing and tensing much in the same manner as cross country skiers do, in order to conserve energy and keep blood flowing through their hands and forearms? Or does it take more or less constant fighting and a firm grip in order to win a GP race?

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We often see racers with blisters in their hands and many of them use sports tape to protect the skin on their hands. Obviously, this means they use a lot of force on the grips. Naturally, you cannot relax while using this much force. Yet I read a lot about staying relaxed, especially in the arms.

 

Apparently, they will also vary their body position some up to 20 times around a corner (shifting which foot is weighted the most, moving back and forth on the seat to stop a spinning tyre or prevent a wheelie etc. etc.), another thing I would expect would demand that the bars are gripped at least some?

 

So my question is; do the racers switch between relaxing and tensing much in the same manner as cross country skiers do, in order to conserve energy and keep blood flowing through their hands and forearms? Or does it take more or less constant fighting and a firm grip in order to win a GP race?

 

It's very physical turning a bike at high speeds, even a motogp bike. all that rotationa staibility generated by the front wheel/disc/tyre is very difficult to steer at 130mph plus, and so you can expect that they may want to protect their hands.

 

I don't think MotoGP rider's move that much, though of course they do move backwards/forwards into/out of the turn, once in the turn, lower body position stability is pretty important (using the legs), and as such varying the upper body to make alterations is done . Coming off the turn, you see a lot of riders picking the bike up, again, lower body stable, upper body and arms working very hard.

 

You'll find the phsycial effort is peak in turns and braking, relaxed down the straights to rest. being tense all the time knackers you out in about 1/2 a lap. One thing we all assume, which isn't neccesarily the case, is that MotoGP riders must all have great technique, but you can see that some are exceptionally competent, others much less so. We just assume they are. Andy Ibbott did an interview a couple of years back with a high level MotoGP rider and he did not know how he steered the bike, couldn't explain it at all. Seems natural ability can get some people through to the top.

 

Bullet

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Interesting - thank you!

 

Do students tend to end up with blisters as well after a long day at one of your classes, or does the relative lack of speed and aggression usually protect them?

 

I've never had anyone complain of it, they usually complain of mental fatigue or physical tiredness.

 

I suspect some of the students may well be able to comment if they have or not. guys/girls, any comment?

 

B

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Interesting - thank you!

 

Do students tend to end up with blisters as well after a long day at one of your classes, or does the relative lack of speed and aggression usually protect them?

 

I've never had anyone complain of it, they usually complain of mental fatigue or physical tiredness.

 

I suspect some of the students may well be able to comment if they have or not. guys/girls, any comment?

Never had blisters on my hands from riding a motorcycle.

Other sports like running, taekwondo (even a double-blister once) and tennis/squash yes. Motorcycling no.

But then again, I'm very far off from MotoGP level of riding - I might be able to qualify for a Rookie600 race, but that's all.

 

 

Kai

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Yeah. I've never had anything close to a blister, and I've recently gotten over it. My problem was locking into the tank with my legs, and I started pulling my inside elbow in a little. Huge difference. Even when I'm just running a little wide I focus on getting my inside elbow in and pushing.

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Interesting - thank you!

 

Do students tend to end up with blisters as well after a long day at one of your classes, or does the relative lack of speed and aggression usually protect them?

 

 

Erik,

 

You have many questions typical of most bike riders who have not taken CSS or understand TOTW. We all start out with the same mind set. Keith has taught that our instincts are mostly counter intuitive to correct riding techniques. I used to have blisters before CSS, but we were taught to relax our arms, and grip on the handle bars. Taking the course really helps put you in the right direction.

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I've never gotten blisters, but I've put so much pressure on one arm that I was SORE the next day, and have even had a numb left hand for a week after a trackday. I don't have any soreness in my arms anymore. Not even after two days in CSS. My calfs and thighs are another story. I'm surprised I didn't blister on my inner thighs.

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Heya Russell,

 

Over the pond at the Eastern Creek and Phillip Island trackdays, CSS offer a free steering drill with a CSS coach. There is the potential Darren *may* follow suit over there. This would be a great opportunity to get some great solid improvements we all need prior to CSS.

 

This steering drill takes a few minutes yet may change your riding for the better forever. No dramatisation there! The issue of the blisters will be resolved by this drill.

 

Best to call Darren again to see if he can work a steering drill with you on a trackday, if he can then the ball is in your court - I'd highly recommend moving heaven and earth to get there for it but it's entierly up to you.

 

Jason

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