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Have A Weaker Side?

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I made an astounding discovery today while riding to the nearby macdonalds


I came up with a theory that steering with the clip-ons is basically "balancing the bar pressure on both side" sorta like a "rudder" control


Basically when riding straight, you maintain the same comfortable amount of bar pressure on both sides and when coming to a turn, you maintain bar pressure on the outer arm and fine-tune steering input with the inner arm.


I discovered that subconsciously, my left (non-master) arm is not maintaining and upsetting the balance of bar pressure


I tried it out on right hand (my weaker) turns and trained my left arm to maintain bar pressure.


Amazingly...it made a hell lot of difference in steering/leaning confidence for my right turns..


I believe the key to the weaker side is to train the outer arm to subconsciously maintain proper bar pressure.


If you are having trouble with a weaker side, maybe this will set you in the right directions.


Phew, took me a while to pen this down...





Sitting back in the seat and keeping your forearm level with the ground helps

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Wow. Cool stuff, eh? Allowing your full body weight to push the bar forces the bike over equally each way.


The thing is, the bike will go straight just fine with NO pressure on the bars.


And, any pressure being applied, balanced or no, will amplify a little head shake into a tank slapper if you hit a bump or a pothole ... or cause the front wheel to deflect and tank slap or crash when traversing a slick spot back to dry pavement.


Ideally, the goal is to not put any pressure on the bars until you want to change direction. This leaves you the rider with the most options and with the highest degree of control at any given point in time.


Check it out. It can be uncomfortable at first. But, I promise, you will adapt and the temporary discomfort will be worth what you gain in superior control and confidence.


I might suggest practicing pushing harder on your "weak" side while riding in a parking lot where you don't have the inherent radius restrictions imposed at intersections. However, Keith has posted several times about the "weak" side here and I think he might even have an article about it up top as well. You might try to the search function to see what he has said about it. In any case, I know he has some very clear information on it.



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double post


i need to replace that flux capacitor again

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Think of the act of pivot steering and using the upper torso to push the inner clip-on in a counter-steer.


An constant bar pressure must be apply on the outer clip-on in order for one to gauge and push on the inner clip-on


Suppose a "right master hand" rider has weaker control over his left arm.


Hence, he/she cannot subconsciously maintain the initial outer bar pressure for counter steering into a right corner.


This may explain why some people can lean faster, harder and more confidently on 1 side and not the other.

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I get what you are saying.


I think what you are describing could be a good technique for a rider with "weak" side issues to discover how much faster he might turn in on the "weak" side.


However, in my opinion, it would NOT be a good 'standard' riding technique to handle or overcome that barrier.


Do you understand why I say that?

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Newbie poking my head in here.


I personally relax on the bars, as little to no pressure as possible in a straight line. I actively focus on using my core to support my upper body and minimize pressure on the bars.


Entering a corner, my outer arm is almost completely relaxed and just goes with the bar for the ride as I countersteer in. My inner, countersteering arm, can then push the bar as quick as it can with the least amount of resistance. I feel the amount of resistance from the road is enough to judge the amount I press forward. Even though level 1 showed that I'm still FAR from "quick turning" as fast as I possibly can, I'd still be thinking that outside pressure on the bars would only serve to slow down your "quick turn" ability while also increasing possibly unwanted bar inputs into the bike.


Is there something weird with my thinking?

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Another newbie putting in his two cents.


My personal preference of steering has changed dramatically since learning to "countersteer". I thought I knew what I was doing for the past two years of riding, then I went and did the steering drill at Lvl 1 in Laguna. It turns out that I have been "dirtbiking" it around, pushing the bike underneath me, in effect adding more and unnecessary lean angle. The "countersteering" concept I learned with that drill, pushing right steers right etc, was completely foreign to me for days after that. However, it has started to become natural. What has made a HUGE difference however, has been my body position. I've had to force myself, and still having to force myself, is to hold myself up with my abs/core, and steer with relaxed arms, making it much easier to countersteer. This also adds wonders for braking. I think that the sensation you are feeling Fierygix, is that you are adding pressure to the outside bar to subconsciously counteract the unneeded pressure you are applying to the inside bar. I myself have (sometimes still do) this. Once the steering action is completed, and the throttle is rolled on, I have found that NO further steering input is needed(unless correcting for road hazards while on the street). I have had an extremely hard time making myself not "fight" the bar, or maintain pressure on either side, strong or weak, during a turn, especially while I'm rolling the throttle. However, once I remember to ease off the bar, I can clearly see that all that input after the intial "quick flick" was not needed at all. I use the push-pull technique, not sure why, except that maybe it adds confidence or something. I have noticed this though, and Keith goes over it in his books, but I catch my SR's firing up on my 'weak' side when I get in hot, and I notice that I deathgrip the bar through the entire corner. You might be experiencing this of some sort. On the next time around, or the next "weak side" turn, I slow it up a bit, so that I can focus on my control actions, and not spend my attention "dollars" on speed, braking, etc., and my survival reactions don't flare up, I don't deathgrip the bar, and the corner goes much smoother.

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