Join Date: Jul 2012
Thanked 114 Times in 62 Posts
This is a good topic but I'm not sure it should be in the "Introductions" section. On other forums, there are Riding Skills sections to talk about these things but I don't see one here. It should still be moved.
On topic: I try not to discuss counter-steering in detail with new riders. They have enough to learn that it might end up confusing them even more. The term "counter-steering" also doesn't help matters since it implies that you're doing something opposite of turning when in fact it's it is just a small part of the turning process.
At speed, even as low as 10 mph, bikes turn by leaning in the direction of the turn. To initiate the LEAN (not the turn), you use the counter-steering technique of pushing the handlebar in the opposite direction. Good ol' physics cause the bike to lean and initiate the TURN. Once leaned and in the turn, the handlebar will want to turn more in the same direction so you keep pressure in the opposite direction to balance the front wheel, keeping it relatively straight.
To do a right turn:
1. Flick the handlebar left (counter-steer), happens instinctively and quickly.
2. Bike will lean right and begin to turn right
3. Keep pushing on right grip to hold front wheel straight while in lean
4. Straighten up out of turn.
Once comfortable on the bike, it's easy to see this happen. In a parking lot, go straight at about 15 mph, flick the the handlebar left and right and see which direction the bike wants to lean.