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How can there be a 'wrong' way to steer? And if there is, can it be used to advantage in some cornering situations?

 

TOTW II - chapter 19 - page 84 talks about 'pushing the bike underneath you motocross style' as being the wrong way to steer on the road / track. It seems to me to be useful in esses, particularly on a sports tourer.

 

Muppett

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Pushing the bike under you will create excess lean angle, reducing traction and ground clearance. So for anything above parking lot speeds pushing the bike under you to steer is a pretty bad idea.

 

 

However, it can be useful at slower speeds when you want to create excess lean angle to get the bike to turn a tighter radius, like doing a u-turn in a confined space.

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Pushing the bike under you will create excess lean angle, reducing traction and ground clearance. So for anything above parking lot speeds pushing the bike under you to steer is a pretty bad idea.

 

 

However, it can be useful at slower speeds when you want to create excess lean angle to get the bike to turn a tighter radius, like doing a u-turn in a confined space.

 

Also when the bars are away from you (when the bike is pushed under) there isn't as much leverage--like one had to turn quickly in one direction, then back in another. Happened to me when a car pulled out in front of me and then stopped. Quick turn to the right, then another to the left, to miss the curb on the opposite corner.

 

With dirt bikes the speed is also usually a bit slower, and less mass to move--a lot less in just about every case.

 

Make sense to you Muppett?

 

CF

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MOTORRAD suggest pushing the bike down on alpine serpentine roads because it allows quicker changes of direction according to them. For road use, they suggest a combination of pushing the bike down (slow corners) and sitting neutrally (most corners). They advice to leave hanging off the track riding on sport bikes, especially because it requires much more energy and plenty of practice than "normal" riding positions.

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Well, I guess if a quicker change in direction is your goal, and you're willing to sacrifice traction and cornering clearance to reach that, then have at it.

 

I personally don't hang off when riding on the street. However, I do lean my uper body INTO the corner rather then push the bike under me and lean out. Pretty much the way we teach it at the school durring the Steering Drill we do off track durring level 1.

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The magazine and its riders - several accomplished racers - doesn't advocate riding hard enough on public roads that grip or cornering clearance should be a problem. They still do it, though - just as we all do from time to time ;)

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How can there be a 'wrong' way to steer? And if there is, can it be used to advantage in some cornering situations?

 

TOTW II - chapter 19 - page 84 talks about 'pushing the bike underneath you motocross style' as being the wrong way to steer on the road / track. It seems to me to be useful in esses, particularly on a sports tourer.

 

Muppett

As Stuman has indicated, pushing down underneath makes sense when we are riding at slow speed for a tighter turn, which is what the sheriff department teaching the riding officer with a 1000CC cruiser. However, I once make a U turn on highway and use small area of the shoulder where there is sand and the bike just slides. I do not use "pushing down underneath" method and the bike only scares me, but does not drop me. Since then, I would rather hang-off than "pushing down underneath". :blink:

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The magazine and its riders - several accomplished racers - doesn't advocate riding hard enough on public roads that grip or cornering clearance should be a problem. They still do it, though - just as we all do from time to time ;)

 

I guess then it would be important to realize that as a riders speed comes up the necessity for good technique increases. Obviously if you are going quite slow you may have a lot more clearance and traction still to use, but if you keep riding faster you will eventually reach a speed where good body position is essential to your safety.

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Ok. You've answered the question that I asked. But it wasn't exactly what was on my mind. I'll try this.

 

When going through a left / right esses or schicane, can it be useful to flick the bike around the first part of the turn to get a straighter line or exit through the second apex?

Either way, what is it that we do in that kind of situation to 'flick the bike'?

 

As I see it, I'm not just using counter steering while changing from left to right, I'm deliberately trying to move the wheels?

 

Muppett

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Hey Muppett, I'm not sure that I understand exactly what you are asking... maybe I'm being a bit dense, LOL.

I think this is one of those times where a (moving?) picture would be worth a thousand words.

I can tell you what I think regarding the last part of your post.

As I see it, I'm not just using counter steering while changing from left to right, I'm deliberately trying to move the wheels?

Anytime I am steering the motorcycle I am deliberately trying to move the wheel via the handlebar, and the way that I do (at any speed over "parking lot" speed) it is with counter steering. From what I can see that is just the way the machine works and even when a rider isn't aware of exactly what he is doing, it is happening anyway.

Imagine that you are leaned way over in a left hand corner... got it?, now imagine that you were to push forward hard with your left hand... you'd crash right? Now imagine that you pushed with the right hand... did the bike stand up?

Okay, now I know I'm starting to ramble on now but the last thing I'd like to mention is that a motorcycle is what's called an "Inverted Pendulum", it's like the pendulum on a Grandfather clock that swings back and forth EXCEPT, because it is inverted it "swings" from the bottom: like balancing a baseball bat with your hand. If you've got a bat you should try it.

When you are balancing the bat (wooden dowel, rolling pin, priceless Ming Dynasty vase, etc.) you will notice that if you want the bat to lean to the left, you must steer the bottom of the bat to the right, and vice-versa... think about it.

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Ok. You've answered the question that I asked. But it wasn't exactly what was on my mind. I'll try this.

 

When going through a left / right esses or schicane, can it be useful to flick the bike around the first part of the turn to get a straighter line or exit through the second apex?

Either way, what is it that we do in that kind of situation to 'flick the bike'?

 

As I see it, I'm not just using counter steering while changing from left to right, I'm deliberately trying to move the wheels?

 

Muppett

 

Regarding flicking, turning quickly, esses are a great place to do this. Not sure we could make a blanket statement on the rest of your question regarding straighter line, that would depend on a few things: first turn radius, compared to 2nd, straight after the 2nd turn, etc.

 

CF

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... a motorcycle is what's called an "Inverted Pendulum", it's like the pendulum on a Grandfather clock that swings back and forth EXCEPT, because it is inverted it "swings" from the bottom: like balancing a baseball bat with your hand. If you've got a bat you should try it.

When you are balancing the bat (wooden dowel, rolling pin, priceless Ming Dynasty vase, etc.) you will notice that if you want the bat to lean to the left, you must steer the bottom of the bat to the right, and vice-versa... think about it.

 

A ha! The bat helps. (I've had a lot of difficulty in working out what my question is and it might be a complete nonsense)

When you want the bat to lean to the left, you can move the bottom a bit and wait for it to fall into position; or you can move it a lot, so it's at the angle you want straight away. Similarly you can steer so that your wheels stay in much the same line, while your bike and body lean over Or you can somehow move your wheels while your bike and body remain on the line. (Now I don't want to get into quick turning because I think I understand that, it helps a lot, but it's not the point I'm trying to get at).

In the Moto GP at the weekend it was noticeable that the Honda's, after woofing past everyone on the inside down the straight, would use this to get back on line, in front of the overtaken rider, as they turned in. In fact you see it a lot after overtakes.

I suppose I'm trying to find the best way to get a heavy bike through esses and to understand what I'm actually doing to bring it about.

Thanks for everybody's comments.

 

Muppett

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The best way to get your heavy bike through esses is to use the same technique racers and track riders use to get through esses - push/pull (countersteer) really hard on the handlebars (forward/backward not up/down). You can change your position on the bike to get more leverage, like move back on the seat and somewhat lower if necessary to get your fore-arms parallel with the ground. And you might have to think about how you are clamping onto the bike with your legs because when you push on the bars you have to brace yourself against the other parts of the bike. The countersteer is mostly causing the quick lean angle change by moving the tires around underneath as in the balancing baseball bat explanation from Iwarner.

 

The idea that you can "move the bottom a bit and wait for it to fall into position," while it might be applicable to the balancing bat, isn't really applicable to the motorcycle. The reason is, that (assuming good frame geometry, tire condition, yada yada) once the bike is leaned, the front wheel will naturally turn in on it's own by whatever amount it needs to maintain whatever lean angle you currently have, unless you push on the handlebars (countersteer) to knock it off of that natural/neutral path. Thus if you want it to continually lean down more and more you have to continually push on the bar. If you want it to maintain lean angle you should ideally be able to just completely relax your pressure on the bars, if your bike has ideal "neutral steering." So in a left right transition you should be leaning left with relaxed grip, then push hard forward on the right grip and/or pull back on the left grip, turning handlebar to left to move tires to the left, to flick the bike to the right, then relax again to hold lean angle.

 

Leaning the bike more than your body is useful for parking lot speeds, because leaning the bike more actually makes it turn sharper for a given steering angle (test it with a bicycle it becomes obvious why that is). It's quite useful for making a u-turn on a narrow road. Once up to any real speed it's not useful for anything, and it will imbalance the bike toward the outside and thus ruin your neutral steering, or in other words it will cause the bike to want to gradually stand up out of the lean, and you will then have to apply a small amount of constant countersteer pressure on the bars to counteract it, instead of being able to completely relax, and the bike is more stable if you can have no pressure on the bars (and slight throttle on).

 

I like wikipedia's countersteering article, although given the nature of wikipedia it seems to change often:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countersteering

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Harnois made some good points.

 

C/steering is the way to get the bike turned aggressively, and push/pull can work well.

 

CF

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Pushing the bike under you will create excess lean angle, reducing traction and ground clearance. So for anything above parking lot speeds pushing the bike under you to steer is a pretty bad idea.

 

Most of my riding time is from Harley Davidsons, I thought I had developed a bad habit of counter leaning, but now I see my actions were appropriate for my speed. :P

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  • 2 months later...

For U-turns in parking lots, I push the bike aggressively down under me and look at a "pivot point" on the pavement that I rotate around. The "look down, fall down" rule doesn't seem to apply when I'm giving my mind a visual reference point to pivot around. If I feel I'm falling in, I give it more gas.

 

Out on the street, you certainly CAN look down and push the bike down and it will work okay as long as you aren't going very fast. I've followed people riding that way, and tried it myself. It feels like I'm keeping myself upright from the waist up while the bike does its thing underneath me. While it's fun for a change, I think it's probably a bad habit for someone who sometimes rides much faster.

 

When I want to swoop through a series of quick turns, I feel much better looking up, leaning in and counter steering firmly. My eyes see where I want to go and counter steering makes the bike turn very quickly.

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When I want to swoop through a series of quick turns, I feel much better looking up, leaning in and counter steering firmly. My eyes see where I want to go and counter steering makes the bike turn very quickly.

 

 

You wont know what you are missing until you practiced the hip-flick technique teached in level 3 :-)

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  • 1 year later...

The best way to get your heavy bike through esses is to use the same technique racers and track riders use to get through esses - push/pull (countersteer) really hard on the handlebars (forward/backward not up/down). You can change your position on the bike to get more leverage, like move back on the seat and somewhat lower if necessary to get your fore-arms parallel with the ground. And you might have to think about how you are clamping onto the bike with your legs because when you push on the bars you have to brace yourself against the other parts of the bike. The countersteer is mostly causing the quick lean angle change by moving the tires around underneath as in the balancing baseball bat explanation from Iwarner.

 

The idea that you can "move the bottom a bit and wait for it to fall into position," while it might be applicable to the balancing bat, isn't really applicable to the motorcycle. The reason is, that (assuming good frame geometry, tire condition, yada yada) once the bike is leaned, the front wheel will naturally turn in on it's own by whatever amount it needs to maintain whatever lean angle you currently have, unless you push on the handlebars (countersteer) to knock it off of that natural/neutral path. Thus if you want it to continually lean down more and more you have to continually push on the bar. If you want it to maintain lean angle you should ideally be able to just completely relax your pressure on the bars, if your bike has ideal "neutral steering." So in a left right transition you should be leaning left with relaxed grip, then push hard forward on the right grip and/or pull back on the left grip, turning handlebar to left to move tires to the left, to flick the bike to the right, then relax again to hold lean angle.

 

Leaning the bike more than your body is useful for parking lot speeds, because leaning the bike more actually makes it turn sharper for a given steering angle (test it with a bicycle it becomes obvious why that is). It's quite useful for making a u-turn on a narrow road. Once up to any real speed it's not useful for anything, and it will imbalance the bike toward the outside and thus ruin your neutral steering, or in other words it will cause the bike to want to gradually stand up out of the lean, and you will then have to apply a small amount of constant countersteer pressure on the bars to counteract it, instead of being able to completely relax, and the bike is more stable if you can have no pressure on the bars (and slight throttle on).

 

I like wikipedia's countersteering article, although given the nature of wikipedia it seems to change often:

http://en.wikipedia....Countersteering

 

Very nice! one question tho .. is a maintenance throttle corner(lightbulb shaped turn) what does it mean if you have to push the outer bar slightly to stay in line

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Very nice! one question tho .. is a maintenance throttle corner(lightbulb shaped turn) what does it mean if you have to push the outer bar slightly to stay in line

 

That sounds like a throttle control issue - if you are not rolling on the throttle ENOUGH, you may be slowing down, which will tighten up your arc, making you have to steer the bike to the outside to keep it on your desired line. Do you recall, from Twist of the Wrist or the Twist II DVD, how MUCH acceleration is required for good throttle control? Anyone else want to chime in on that?

 

If you are sure that you are rolling on the throttle enough to maintain at least a slight acceleration, it could be a suspension issue, the front end 'packing down' and causing the bike to steer in tighter - in that case, stiffer on compression and/or looser on rebound might help. But I'd for sure try doing a more progressive throttle roll-on first, that is most likely to fix it.

 

You are using the term "maintenance throttle" and I think that can mean different things to different people - what does it mean to you?

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Very nice! one question tho .. is a maintenance throttle corner(lightbulb shaped turn) what does it mean if you have to push the outer bar slightly to stay in line

 

That sounds like a throttle control issue - if you are not rolling on the throttle ENOUGH, you may be slowing down, which will tighten up your arc, making you have to steer the bike to the outside to keep it on your desired line. Do you recall, from Twist of the Wrist or the Twist II DVD, how MUCH acceleration is required for good throttle control? Anyone else want to chime in on that?

 

If you are sure that you are rolling on the throttle enough to maintain at least a slight acceleration, it could be a suspension issue, the front end 'packing down' and causing the bike to steer in tighter - in that case, stiffer on compression and/or looser on rebound might help. But I'd for sure try doing a more progressive throttle roll-on first, that is most likely to fix it.

 

You are using the term "maintenance throttle" and I think that can mean different things to different people - what does it mean to you?

 

11-0930-079.jpg

 

Here is the track running clockwise turn 5 (the long left hander) people just hold the throttle .. I know Keith says you need just a little throttle to keep the 40/60 weight but that turn is so freaking long you cannot do that or you will end up running wide screwing up the next turn

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[Here is the track running clockwise turn 5 (the long left hander) people just hold the throttle .. I know Keith says you need just a little throttle to keep the 40/60 weight but that turn is so freaking long you cannot do that or you will end up running wide screwing up the next turn

 

WOW. That is quite a turn, and you weren't kidding about it being light bulb shaped!

 

Maybe see if you can find a place where you can get on a constant circle, set your speed and then try doing a slight, gentle roll-on, then gentle decrease of throttle, with your arms VERY relaxed on the bars, and observe how your line changes. Too much will make you go wider, but not enough will end up slowing you down and making your arc tighten. Cornering and wind forces will have the effect of slowing the bike, so holding the throttle FLAT with no roll-on at all will end up with the bike slowing down.

 

So, if you are smooth with it, you should be able to use your throttle throughout that whole long turn to widen or tighten your line as desired. If, at the end, you find that you are a little wider than you want, hook-turn would be very useful - have you been to CSS and seen that technique?

 

It is a challenge in a long turn to use enough roll-on to stabilize the bike and hold your line but not so much that you end up with TOO much accumulated speed at the end. If you feel like you are having to steer the bike back out, though, I'd try adding a bit of throttle instead and try to correct it that way.

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[Here is the track running clockwise turn 5 (the long left hander) people just hold the throttle .. I know Keith says you need just a little throttle to keep the 40/60 weight but that turn is so freaking long you cannot do that or you will end up running wide screwing up the next turn

 

WOW. That is quite a turn, and you weren't kidding about it being light bulb shaped!

 

Maybe see if you can find a place where you can get on a constant circle, set your speed and then try doing a slight, gentle roll-on, then gentle decrease of throttle, with your arms VERY relaxed on the bars, and observe how your line changes. Too much will make you go wider, but not enough will end up slowing you down and making your arc tighten. Cornering and wind forces will have the effect of slowing the bike, so holding the throttle FLAT with no roll-on at all will end up with the bike slowing down.

 

So, if you are smooth with it, you should be able to use your throttle throughout that whole long turn to widen or tighten your line as desired. If, at the end, you find that you are a little wider than you want, hook-turn would be very useful - have you been to CSS and seen that technique?

 

It is a challenge in a long turn to use enough roll-on to stabilize the bike and hold your line but not so much that you end up with TOO much accumulated speed at the end. If you feel like you are having to steer the bike back out, though, I'd try adding a bit of throttle instead and try to correct it that way.

 

Some good points there and that is a very good experiment to do, going around a circle and playing with throttle control and bodyposition aswell .. The thing is I feel I can carry more speed if I continuously countersteer and hold it throughout the whole turn and actually build some speed and even holding my line .. but I realize I am not supposed to do that but I do that when I have to pass people on those long turns so one countersteering action per turn goes out of the roof. It might be that the bike will stay in that line even if I do not countersteer but I am not certain. Yea I am saving up for the Level 1 :)

 

 

http://forums.superbikeschool.com/index.php?showtopic=2547

Found this thread later and it answers my questions .. I need relearn some stuff tongue.gif

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.........

I suppose I'm trying to find the best way to get a heavy bike through esses and to understand what I'm actually doing to bring it about.

Thanks for everybody's comments.

 

Muppett

No "pushing the bike underneath you" here:

 

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

It looks like he's pushing at the time I braking. I'd guess he's doing it to increase compression of the forks to decrease rake and trail so he steers faster.

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Hi Deep,

 

It will be interesting to see what you discover about steering. If the tires are good (not worn square), the bike should hold a nice line after turned in...but check this out for yourself, let us know what you observe.

 

CF

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