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How To Counter Steer On A Motorcycle
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How to Counter Steer on A Motorcycle

First of all what is counter steering? Well it's pretty self explanatory in the fact that it's basically the opposite of regular steering. Don't worry I will explain as this is something every rider should know how to do.

Whenever you are driving a car or other similar vehicle steering is pretty straight forward: turn the steering wheel left to go left and right to go right, right? Right. Phew. Anyway, the opposite holds true for two wheeled vehicles that need perpetual motion to maintain balance. Counter steering is the simple act of turning the handle bars the opposite direction you would like to go. So if you would want your motorcycle to turn right, you should start moving the handle bars to the left. It is a bit more complex than that, but this is the basic idea.

This type of steering will only work whenever a decent speed is built up because if you are merely walking your motorcycle then steering it normally will obviously do the trick. Why does this work though? Whenever you pull/push the handlebars in a direction it causes the tire to attempt that turn. When the tire starts fighting against the road and force of the turn it begins to be affected by centripetal force and thus causes the bike to lean. Once the lean is started then a rider can stop counter steering and just go with it and begin to lean in to make a sharper more complete turn. To get out of a turn you simply start to lean back up and counter steer again enough to level things out.

Some people prefer to push and others prefer to pull to initiate counter steering. What this means is that if you want to go right you can either "push" the right handlebar away from you which will cause the bike to lean right, or you can "pull" the left handle bar to perform the same action. Basically it is the same motion occurring but some people feel enough of a difference to have a preference. Whichever feels more natural is the one you should go with.

That is counter steering in a nutshell. It really isn't a hard technique but it is definitely one that should be learned by every rider as it allows for quick movements which can come in handy for avoiding road hazards and what not. While this move is easy to learn it should be taken seriously and practiced to really master its uses. The one thing to remember when counter steering is that it works WELL so don't overdo it. If you yank to hard on the handlebars you are very likely to fling your bike straight into ground and that is never fun!


Street Talk

This subject is sooo important to learning to ride a motorcycle. This is an excellent article. If you just try to lean a motorcycle to negotiate a turn, you will run wide and likely crash or at least do a little off roading. Countersteering is a SKILL you must learn to ride a motorcycle safely.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I have missed many a critter doing this., Great advice Shannon

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Ha ha definitely. Counter steering can save your life if used properly.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Shannon, it's neat that you so much enjoy motorcycles. When I was quite young, my dad owned a motorcycle; since then, I've never been on one.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thank you! I really do enjoy motorcycles and just love almost everything about them. I'm happy that you appreciate my articles and my enjoyment of this hobby. :)

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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