Active Counter Steering Advice

I’m aware of the basics of counter steering i.e. I’m aware that when cornering at speed, turning left means pressure put on the left handlebar etc.

I was out yesterday along the good old Crooked Mile and went into a couple of bends a bit to fast - I think my line was OK but started to drift… not good when traffic is coming the other way ! :blink:

Now I know that you should not brake as this can send you wider, but I panicked a bit and ended up putting some pressure on the rear brake and even trying to point the bars in the direction of the corner… not good riding, but I sort of couldn’t help doing those reactions if you know what I mean.

I have read/heard about active counter steering being able to let you lean the bike more, but can anyone explain the process behind this - if you were going into say a left hand bend and started to drift, how would you apply counter steering to achieve more lean and increase the angle of the turn ?

Cheers for any advice, will hopefully negate any soiling of underwear by myself and the other motorists on the road ! :doze:

Can’t give you advice ACS! but imho you are not as good a rider as you may think! and are riding outside your capabilities:w00t: Dangerous!!!Sorry but would hate you to have an off mate;) ride within your limits:cool: (on the public highway):slight_smile:

The best explanation is actually on this site:

Anything to save underwear! :smiley:

I think you are looking at this from the wrong angle.

Instead of worrying about countersteering, concentrate on reading the road better and setting yourself up for a bend ie. being in the right gear and at the right speed. That way you won’t hopefully need to get into panic mode.

There is a good thread on here about vanishing points, it will help you read bends:)

hi, counter steering is exactly what it says! If your turning left, steer to the right and vice versa.

Agree with Chunky,get your positioning right for the corner and once it opens out start to drive out of the corner and it will feel fine,remember slow in fast out.If you’re running wide its because you’re going in too fast and/or you’re not leaning over enough.The Crooked mile is a nice piece of road but very unforgiving if you get it wrong.:w00t:

counter steer will not get you out of the poooo if you already have to much corner speed for the conditions. more corner speed means more lean angle to get round the same radius.most bikes will lean untill the peg or something else touches down…

but only in good conditions!! good tryes with heat in them and good road suface.

active counter steer means puting presure on one bar to set the lean angle you need.

with practise you can counter steer once and not need to adjust your line or amount of lean in the corner. the idea is to make one imput, set lean angle and then be neutral mid corner letting the bike do its thing.

as has been said then best thing to practise is being smooth picking a line and relaxing and following the bike.

bend you inside elbow as much as you can, that will help you relax on the bike.

pick a speed well within what you think the limit may be will also help you relax giving you more time to enjoy the bend and think about what the bike is doing under you.

if you go steaming in 80% of your brain will be thinking … im not going to make this, you will tence up putting unneed imputs into the bike.

bends are way way more enjoyable at 75% than 100% on the limit. if your riding the GS in your pic you also need to look at the limitations of your bike even the best rider in the world will soon find the limits on twisty roads if hes riding a bike designed mainly for commuting…

wot he said…


good advice:)mark, when you have time we wil go down CM again and follow me into the bends, i know that road well, as broady said it tis unforgiving if you get it wrong as its tight!always slow in fast out, you realy should come out on teh BCR, just following george for a morning will sort out you cornering and setting up corners, he realy knows his stuff mate, hes been on teh lanes for years!:w00t::Dbut also as said teh GS has its limits,maybe its time you got an SV!:P;)

slow in fast out is a load of old bollo&s! grabbing a load of brakes then pinning it out is not good riding on the road or track (as i have also seen advised)

geez asked what to do if he runs in to hot. Which happens to everyone no matter what level you ride at as too hot is simply faster than you think you can cope with. he’s not after a 400 point review of how to ride a bike and what angle his freakin elbow should be in. Forget all that useless to$$ mate. forget gears and forget this magical ‘countersteer’ as none of it is gonna help.

simply find a road you know well already. and very smoothly hold a constant speed entering and through the corners and increase this gradually and you will learn to lean the bike more naturally…not by counter steer but simply because thats how the bike WILL turn. Just like you must have done to make it round that corner you thought you screwed up. just keep very smooth with everything and your confidence and pace will come.

biggest hint…get some training. be it trackday coaching or some road thingy.

mate i dont ‘grab’ a load of brakes and pin on the way out, very far from it, what i think it is mark is you dont know that road well thats all so as said next time were out we will head straight for it!, you naturally countersteer otherwise you wouldnt go round teh corner? some people call it ‘leaning’.

there isnt an instant fix to going in too hot, teh anwser is to go in sensibly, or get used to going into coners faster gradually, i have gone in to hot a few times and had to stand the biek up to slow down, its not good, but i do it a lot less now:D;)

scratcher43 (16/02/2008)

slow in fast out is a load of old bollo&s! grabbing a load of brakes then pinning it out is not good riding on the road or track (as i have also seen advised)

Bit harsh I think,no one said grab a handful of brakes and then bang it out of the corner.Until you’re truly confident and able I don’t see the problem in not steaming in to a corner and then easing on the power on your way out.It will help on unfamiliar roads to properly read the road ahead.Familiar roads are different,problem being too familiar and taking too many risks.

In the end it comes down to personal choice and what works for you and what sort of training you’ve had.Probably a subject that people will have different opinions on.

nah its ********

only joking. yes i agree we all have differing opinions on all manner of things especially when it comes to bikes :wink:

This reminds me of many years ago when the Met took delivery of their first BMW bikes. All the riders were expert at riding Norton Interstates but almost every one of them ended up on their arse because of the totally different riding style needed to hustle a shafty through bends.

You can’t ride a GS in the same way as you would a supersports in the same way you wouldn’t ride a Supermoto the same as a Gold Wing.

There is no one way to ride a bend, but the common vein is training and practice:)

I’m going to answer the OP without reference to any of the replies so far, some of which have good advice, some very dangerous thinking.

If you find yourself in a bend - lets say one that tightens unexpectedly - and your sphincter tightens because you know you are riding outside you comfort zone, conscious counter-steering will help. Your bike will lean more than you believe.

The fear is that you will lose sideways grip - think on this, how much ‘grip’ do you use when doing an ‘emergency’ (yes I know it is called ‘controlled’) stop? Loads more fierce rubber-road interaction than you will get on a corner, so forget about the rubber-road aspect, you can (in dry conditions) trust it implicitly.

The only limit is what bit of the bike touches the ground first, and most bikes allow a bit of grinding of pegs etc to let you know. Even so you can take a sparkly corner, no worries.

There is no way to give one explanation that all will take on board, we all think and ‘feel’ our bikes in different ways. However, here’s a way to ‘feel’ counter-steering. When flicking the bike through bends, not at top speed mind, try to keep your upper body vertical, not in line with the bike. You’ll then be very conscious of how you have to put input into the bars to lean it over without leaning yourself.

Also very good for instant obstacle avoidance…

Jim, superb advice, succinctly put.

Particularly about keeping yourself vertical and moving with the bike from the hips to monitor the lean.

I have a couple of bends (one with a zebra crossing on it) that I use on the way home to practise a bit of “in-corner” countersteering (when the road’s clear, of course).

As folk have said, the best thing is to be at the right speed anyway, but there will always be roads that you don’t know and which tighten up unexpectedly and/or you’re not paying attention and are going in too fast, and/or there might be an obstacle mid-corner that you need to aviod, and personally it gives me a bit of added confidence to know that I can do something about it if I ever need to.

Reason I mentioned a zebra crossing is that I use the black and white stripes as markers (i.e. I’m going round the corner, heading for one stripe, and then I can use some mid-corner countersteering to change my line and go over another stripe to the right or left). Works for me…

Try and get on a Californian Super School day of you can. They help you understand the whys and wherefores of the principles of cornering that can be applied to any bike and any corner. It’s not cheap but you’ll learn more in one day than in months of ‘try this, try this’. If you understand why you do something it gives you more personal confidence. Well thats been my experience anyway! :Wow:

Oh yeah and get out there on the track where you can experiment with your riding in a safer environment. :cool:

Ride safe. :slight_smile:

CS as I understand it is as follows, Turning right, line up the turn, power off, lean over (as much as I do anyway) and the bike tips into the corner, but to keep her from going all the way over, I apply pressure to the right hand handle bar (effectively the same action as if I was turning left not right) and control the corner using that pressure… have I got the concept, or am I doin something completely different to what CS actually is…?

I think you have Toby. The only way you can control a bike at speeds over about 15-20mph is by counter-steering. Pedal-cyclists use it too. Here is a good explanation, Keith Code’s No BS bike: