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Jasonzilla

Is Body-Steering Ever Effective?

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The point is that we want to shift the mass of the upper body forward to get the front fork to compress slightly, so the steering geometry changes to make the bike make a tighter radius turn.

 

That's exactly right. They could be doing this without even knowing it. I also figured that that the ones who think they're making "fine course corrections" are just putting additional steering inputs into the bars as they're shifting around, just as when upright and thinking they're body steering.

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there is a "new wave" of coaches who doesn't even mention counter-steering as a rider input, like Simon Crafar, Troy Corser, Ken Hill, and a few old fellas as Freddie Spencer/Pridmore as well.
I don't really know if it is intencional or what, but it's rather strange.

 

Check the video below: Ken Hill showing how to corner... no countersteering mention, totally weird, and since I have plenty of respect for him, I'm confused right now.

 

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Check the video below: Ken Hill showing how to corner... no countersteering mention, totally weird, and since I have plenty of respect for him, I'm confused right now.

 

 

This could have been used in the TOTW video as the horrible advice you can get from somebody. That's insane! I saw Pridmore in November being interviewed and he was talking about how counter-steering is wrong, it's body steering that effectively turns a bike. I had to walk away. I'm doing research on lack of rider education and accidents, and it's not just that he's wrong, but the advice he's giving is DANGEROUS. It's infuriating. Keith gets a couple of things wrong, but nothing he's getting wrong is potentially dangerous.

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I just watched the video. The advice given would raise a number of questions in my mind to think about. There are elements of what he say's that's reasonable. Not the part about the peg weighting.

 

In the guy's defense though, people attempting to teach (even ones who are wrong) are trying to help other people. He probably believes what he is saying is correct. I have been given questionable advice on track days by coaches who have wanted to help me. Advice like this is only dangerous if you follow it without thinking about it for yourself.

 

Some food for thought. People who give out wrong information often don't have ill intentions. They just lack knowledge. Rather than shutting down the conversation by challenging their knowledge (people generally stop listening when you tell them they are wrong) you could ask them a series of questions that makes them think and perhaps lead them to a better understanding of the topic. If you have ever spoken to a Superbike School coach in a briefing you will notice some of the carefully thought out questions that they ask you that helps you find the right answer on your own.

 

Rather than spend energy on a topic focusing on the "wrong way" why not focus on the right way? The wrong way is not really important to us if our ultimate goal is to improve our riding.

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I just watched the video. The advice given would raise a number of questions in my mind to think about. There are elements of what he say's that's reasonable. Not the part about the peg weighting.

 

In the guy's defense though, people attempting to teach (even ones who are wrong) are trying to help other people. He probably believes what he is saying is correct. I have been given questionable advice on track days by coaches who have wanted to help me. Advice like this is only dangerous if you follow it without thinking about it for yourself.

 

Some food for thought. People who give out wrong information often don't have ill intentions. They just lack knowledge. Rather than shutting down the conversation by challenging their knowledge (people generally stop listening when you tell them they are wrong) you could ask them a series of questions that makes them think and perhaps lead them to a better understanding of the topic. If you have ever spoken to a Superbike School coach in a briefing you will notice some of the carefully thought out questions that they ask you that helps you find the right answer on your own.

 

Rather than spend energy on a topic focusing on the "wrong way" why not focus on the right way? The wrong way is not really important to us if our ultimate goal is to improve our riding.

 

I would also love to see how aerodynamically advantageous the hook turn technique would be at different speeds/bigger/smaller riders

but that requires wind tunnel testing facilities...

 

oh well at least it works for me :)

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In order to tighten turns, most of us lean forward as we hang off (i.e. hook turn), however many racers also swear by leaning more sideways (i.e. body steering).

 

I recently had a track day that got washed out. Riding in the rain on DOT tires (S1000RR on Metzeler M7RR), the name of the game was to keep the bike as upright as possible. I caught myself leaning sideways more than forward as I didn't want to put too much weight on the front wheel. Just thinking about it after the track day, you shouldn't have to worry about putting too much of your weight on the front wheel if you follow the throttle rule of smoothly and continuously applying throttle through the turn and thereby shifting the contact to the rear tire.

 

My opinion is the same that leaning sideways works by veering the bike, however hook turns work better at actually tightening corners.

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The hook turn (ie moving your upper body forward and down) moves weight from the rear to the front wheel, and thereby affects the effective rake and turning radius.

 

Moving your body weight to the inside of the turn moves the CoG to the inside of the turn, allowing you to keep the bike more upright.

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The key is what is used to initiate the turns. It's always a bar input. Hanging off can assist the bike in turning by shifting the weight off of the center line of the bike and giving the bike more turning capabilities with less lean angle used.

 

In the wet using less lean angle is a good thing! :)

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I just got some theory that I am going to try on my bigger 2nd hand bike soon:

Rake / trail + body size in relation to aerodynamic steering

 

IMHO

 

Rake trail part:

My Kawasaki bike came with a lowered triple clamp and hence the figures are more like 24 degrees of rake and less than 100mm of trail (stock is 24.5 / 105mm)

I can easily oversteer the bike and I have to use the body to actually stabilize the bike into and out of corners .

> that might explain the body steer as there is already too much oversteer present hence using the body to "steer" the bike becomes a " primary " way to steer.

compared to the small bike have which has tonnes more rake (at least 25 degrees) , countersteering works better on that small bike as i need more effort to break the gyro forces for the bike to turn.

 

The small bike is aready set up to be too oversteering on stock settings hence i set it up to slightly understeer at the front as the short wheelbase will make up for it once i commit to the corner after CS-ing

Aerodynamic steer part:

Im 175cm 75Kg with gear , anything higher than 60MPH and my helmet will try to rip my head off if i dont stay tucked in the bubble

that brings to upright aero braking ; I can use my chest and arm area to effectifly act as a faux parachute to "pull" the bike's front up during heavy breaking (yes my conv forks rebound damping sucks , its a street bike tuned for comfort first)

 

Arms are STILL limb and fingers on the front brake , I created the front "pulling" effect using tank pads and clamping on the gas tank.

and also use the air resistance to help slow the bike down who knows how much ?

 

hanging off also creates a faux stepping out effect on the rear wheel (i was hanging off at 40-50mph and the rear wheel ran over a leaf, instant slide for 0.5 of a second, good throttle control prevented a disaster!)

 

As for hotfoot , she has much less area for aero braking / stabilization / aero "rear steer"

 

 

Simon Crafar is a HUGE guy on a small bike relatively speaking
-(he has to brake VERY VERY LATE compared to smaller riders to gain any sort to competetive advantage , more of a "block" rider)
hence the "body" steer parts... imho its more like body aero assist to me and im trying to integrate it into my cornering skill toolbox

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I rely on counter steering for cornering, with lean, hanging out supporting that. I am aware however that on my smaller GSX 400x I can and do use body steering, particularly on the road on loose surfaces. Too me it feels as though I'm rapidly pushing my weight to the side, using pegs and tank as push points rolling hips very firmly (with soft hands). At its most vigorous I'll add in a distinct sideways push to the bars ( not around the pivot point, nor up or down, but across the bars). It's kind off like shoving a bicycle to avoid debris. most times its when I've been watching traffic, and traversing road works behind another vehicle and a hole or boulder turns up in my peripheral vision elbow - a very short distance ahead. It changes my position on the road, NOT my direction!

It doesn't seem to upset the bike, rather the bike seems to like the positive input in this context. It is not an abrupt maneuver but rather quick and firm. Sideways about 1/2 a bike width is common.

 

Quite differently positive counter steering seems to be much more useful at higher speeds, heavier bikes, and when one is attempting to use a direction change that one can see ahead, or swerve around an obstacle. But even here simply turning my head with no counter steering (loose hands) often provides sufficient steering input in conjunction with tensing the inside side of my gut to tip the bike into a moderate corner. I guess it is the decisive way I turn my head that establishes the change in direction, either that or my bike requires buggier all counter steering. when I say light on the bars I mean light enough to allow the throttle to roll off smoothly, with the other hand thawing itself out under the carbs in cold weather.

 

The "body steering" I describe above is almost the firmest and most vigorous input I put into my bike, excepting when the bike is severely overloaded with gear doubling the weight of the bike and holding counter steering on the throttle to avoid cutting a corner I've missjudged.

 

I'm very new to Keith's perspective, and lack any bike schooling my description may lack finesse, but is based on almost a million miles of sometimes overconfident sport and touring riding with very few incidents. I'm sure Keith's students will be wondering how I survIved. Well, me too.

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