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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Having just finished with sport bikes (Honda VTR, and Buell) I was always intruiged by counter steering. I could lean the Buell just with the slightest twitch of my fingers on the bars! But with a steep rake angle of 21 degrees, that's what I would expect...

I find that riding the Vegas, I rely on a lot more steering by the bars rather than the body weight lean. The tendency to 'tip in' at walking pace soon diappears as the speed picks up...but at what speed does in happen. More intruigingly...why?
 

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guess its all up to the rider every one pushes or pulls a little different.
Isn't this more a sport bike question then a victory question.:rolleyes:
 

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Counter steering works above 15mph or so. At slower speeds the bike probably just drops, as you have to have some momentum to lean and continue to roll. It should work on anything with 2 wheels, from bicycles to gold wings.

The angle of your lean has to match the speed and radius of turn you're trying to negotiate. Without leaning, you cannot take the turn - turning the bars alone works only at very low - almost standing still speeds.

One thing to consider is that a 2-wheeler with wider tires will be harder to lean than one with narrower tires. Does your Vegas run a fat tire in the back?
 

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One thing to consider is that a 2-wheeler with wider tires will be harder to lean than one with narrower tires. Does your Vegas run a fat tire in the back?
Seems like just about every one I have talked with over the years, has said, when the rear tire gets up close to the 250 wide range they start to get harder to handle in the curves.
 

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The Diamond
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My Jackpot is my first bike. So, the 250 was never an issue. People always asked me how does the bike handle with the 250. I never understood why they were asking me that because since it is my first bike and my training bike I didn't know anything different.

Then my buddy and I traded bikes. He has a Vegas. We leave the house. I go to turn right at the corner and almost flop over. That's when I realized how much i put my body into leaning the bike.

Saying that, counter steering is second nature to me especially now that I have a 280.

To me getting off my bike and on a skinny tire bike is night and day. The skinny tire bike seems to turn at the flip of my finger.
 

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I tend to disagree with this....You "counter steer" almost all the time and do so at any speed....If you go to do the proverbial figure eight on a full size bike you do so by counter steering, not by turning the bar....and the term "leaning" is sometimes misrepresented as you are actually pushing the bar down in the direction of travel....Anyone that took the MSF course can attest to this....
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
guess its all up to the rider every one pushes or pulls a little different.
Isn't this more a sport bike question then a victory question.:rolleyes:

It's just a bike question, not meant to be sport or Victory ....just a discussion topic!...LOL
 

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I fear some of us confuse the term "counter steering" with something else.

Yes, you must lean in order to turn. No way around it, unless you're at crawling speed, point at which, you can just turn the handle bars without leaning (you are still leaning, but since you're going slow, you can deem the position as vertical).

Countersteering is when you push forward, not downward, on the side of the handlebar of the direction you wish to turn. Pushing downward causes the bike to simply lean in that direction, which is fine, but that's not countersteering. Pushing forward on the handle bar causes your front wheel to turn in the opposite direction of which you wish to turn, causing the bike to fall into a very quick lean in the direction you wish to turn. There is no way for anybody to lean the bike as quick to one side or the other as quick as countersteering.

Countersteering is not the only way to get the bike to lean, but it is the fastest. You cannot push the bike down in a split of a second, but you can by using countersteering. The need for you to lean the bike quickly rises exponentially with speed. Why would you have to countersteer at 5mph? You have all the time in the world to lean the bike when you go slow - when going fast, countersteering becomes essential.

By the way, if I misread and/or misunderstood your post, I apologize. I'm really nothing more than a rookie, and I don't mean to be lecturing anybody. I just wanted to clarify the topic, to be sure we're all talking about the same subject. :)
 

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Counter steering is a art. It takes time and practice before it becomes natural. Natural means you just do it without thinking.
I explain like this riding a bicycle we pull the bars. When turning right our right hand pulls on the bar to make it turn. with counter steering it is the opposite you push. Counter steering does make the front wheel go in the opposite direction you are going and it also allows you to be more upright (you will not notice this) which gives more control of the bike. Ever go into a curve and almost run out of road before getting through it. Counter steering will help eliminate that. With counter steering you can take the same curve at the same speed and have plenty of road left and that is because you are not leaning as far over. I am not saying you will not lean but I am saying you will not notice that you are not leaning as much.
Without counter steering switch backs would be a pain and would not allow you to make the fast switch that is needed when running hard.
I think crossroads explained much better.
As far as speed goes I have always explained to use it above 20 mph. Below that you will automatically turn the bars. Figure 8's are easy and you do a certain amount of counter steering but the counter steering is used when doing the switch for 1 direction to the other plus you are using your friction zone due to the slow speed. And then the diameter of the circles will determine a lot.
A 16 foot figure 8 will control your speed.
Go to a parking lot and practice your slow speed maneuvering using counter steering and you will know what speed you can use it and when not to. Practice, practice is the best way.
I do not have much left on my floorboards on my Ultra and the Goldwing is worse on the peg. I hope I never scrape on the XC it could get ugly since they are stationary.

I think I made this worse

Oh well
Come on down or up to Sand Mountain and ride with us you may decide to stay. Most folks do.
Oh, I have a spare room if ya decide to say a while

dd
:rolleyes::eek:
 

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The Diamond
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I tend to disagree with this....You "counter steer" almost all the time and do so at any speed....If you go to do the proverbial figure eight on a full size bike you do so by counter steering, not by turning the bar....and the term "leaning" is sometimes misrepresented as you are actually pushing the bar down in the direction of travel....Anyone that took the MSF course can attest to this....
Not true. I took the MSF course. I had about 1 hour of riding time before that. I knew nothing about countersteering and had I not taken the course I probably would not be here today from a little episode I had about 4 years ago.

I was rolling down I80 at 65mph. I wasn't real familiar with this part of the highway. There were two gravel haulers in front of me spewing gravel all over the place especially on me. I decided to pass them on the left. I rolled on the throttle and came into a right hand sweeper and I was doing close to 90mph. I didn't realize how fast my bike accelerated and I was still pretty green riding. Needless to say I was heading towards the cement divider and I was leaning. I was not going to make it then it dawned on me what I was taught about counter steering in the MSF course. Counter steering put me right back in the lane. I got off the next exit, went to a car dealership across the street, into the mens room and checked to make sure I didn't mess my pants!!

Counter steering is not something you naturally do. I am a testament to that.

I do it now!!
 

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In Paul M's defense, I think he was talking about something else, not counter steering. Misunderstanding? :D
 

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OK....Let me ask you this...How would you do a figure "8" on a bike this big...? You sure aren't going to turn the bars and make it...I can do them all day long....Leave the throttle alone use the clutch to regulate speed and counter steer...the "lean" isn't something you should have to think about...occurs naturally (or it should)
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks Dirtbobber; I also find it helpful to initiate the tip in, and pick the exit line, at just the right point....

Diamond, that sounds like a close call..I live in a quarry area and those flippin gravel trucks are a real menace.

To test if a rider instinctively counter steers, just ride along on a straight road at say 50 mph. Now, without shifting your body weight, gently nudge the bar away from you with your right hand...your bike will immmediately lean to the right. It's a great and easy way to make changes to your line...or to make lane changes..
Not trying to sound like a know all, coz I'm certainly not that, or my name would be Mr Rossi...I'm just a novice, but enjoy this topic!
 

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OK....Let me ask you this...How would you do a figure "8" on a bike this big...? You sure aren't going to turn the bars and make it...I can do them all day long....Leave the throttle alone use the clutch to regulate speed and counter steer...the "lean" isn't something you should have to think about...occurs naturally (or it should)
The bike goes where you look.
The XC isn't all that big, really. I can do the same thing with my Goldwing or Ultra that I can on my XC. Size has nothing to do with it, not really. Beginner yes, advanced rider, no. That is unless you have not taken the time to do a advanced riders course.
If you are not using a friction zone on a figure 8 what size of a circle are you doing the figure 8 in? 24 foot?

I get yer point.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The bike goes where you look.
The XC isn't all that big, really. I can do the same thing with my Goldwing or Ultra that I can on my XC. Size has nothing to do with it, not really. Beginner yes, advanced rider, no. That is unless you have not taken the time to do a advanced riders course.
If you are not using a friction zone on a figure 8 what size of a circle are you doing the figure 8 in? 24 foot?

I get yer point.
Dirtbobber, can you pls explain friction zone? When I did my course (Kawa Z750 standard street bike) the instructor told me to hold a little rear brake to help with slow speed control. And yes....it worked for me. Is that what you mean?


BTW the course was the best thing I ever did for road safety...and I started riding bikes in 1971...ya never stop learning!
 

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Dirtbobber, can you pls explain friction zone? When I did my course (Kawa Z750 standard street bike) the instructor told me to hold a little rear brake to help with slow speed control. And yes....it worked for me. Is that what you mean?


BTW the course was the best thing I ever did for road safety...and I started riding bikes in 1971...ya never stop learning!

Pretty much.
See ride like a pro DVD


Clutch Friction Zone The friction zone is the area of the clutch between completely open and completely closed. Let's begin. Now, pull the clutch in and put the motorcycle in 1st gear. Put your right foot on the brake, begin by letting the clutch out and begin feeding a little throttle and stay in the friction zone.

You should be feathering the rear brake so that it holds the motorcycle back slightly. You now have 3 ways to control your motorcycle, the clutch, the throttle and the rear brake. You must keep power to the rear wheel and stay in the friction zone and feed a little throttle. Now, let's try the slow race.

http://www.ridelikeapro.com/

I use this video in all my advance rider classes.
I am the VFW riders/American Legion riders (ALR) advance rider instruction and road captain.
 

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OK....Let me ask you this...How would you do a figure "8" on a bike this big...? You sure aren't going to turn the bars and make it...I can do them all day long....Leave the throttle alone use the clutch to regulate speed and counter steer...the "lean" isn't something you should have to think about...occurs naturally (or it should)
Are you sure you're not mixing up counter balance with counter steering?
 

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The Diamond
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OK....Let me ask you this...How would you do a figure "8" on a bike this big...? You sure aren't going to turn the bars and make it...I can do them all day long....Leave the throttle alone use the clutch to regulate speed and counter steer...the "lean" isn't something you should have to think about...occurs naturally (or it should)

My whole point is that counter steering and leaning is NOT a natural thing. It is something you learn.

The funny thing that was 100% true from the instructors in my MSF class is that the people that have been riding for years have the hardest time learning counter steering and leaning unless they come from an off road background. They tend to try and TURN the bars. 3 riders in my class the least with 12 years riding experience did not pass the class.

Just because YOU can do figure 8's all day long doesn't mean everyone else can.
 

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My whole point is that counter steering and leaning is NOT a natural thing. It is something you learn.

The funny thing that was 100% true from the instructors in my MSF class is that the people that have been riding for years have the hardest time learning counter steering and leaning unless they come from an off road background. They tend to try and TURN the bars. 3 riders in my class the least with 12 years riding experience did not pass the class.

Just because YOU can do figure 8's all day long doesn't mean everyone else can.
:I agree:

That is so true.
I had a fellow that was really hard to get him to stop looking down. He had been riding for 20 years with no accidents.
Almost everyone can if they take the time to practice, practice, practice. My grandson and I practice once a month at 1 of the church's parking lots. Oh, I have dropped my bike's more times than I care to remember. But that is part of the practice and getting experience. Figure 8's are for practice only. But it gets you prepared to be a good rider. I carry a very precious cargo most of the time. So safety is the most important part of riding to me.


I do get yer point and understand what you are saying.

dd
 
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