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Hey guys , I'm a new rider and I'm taking the MSF in Sept . I've got a '93 EX500 . I spent some time on my driveway and on my cul de sac getting used to the clutch , brakes , etc. I took the bike out on some back roads yesterday and my question is should I be countersteering , or should I first learn to lean the bike by shifting my body weight . Also at what speed does counter steering no longer have the desired effect (10mph , 5 , 3) ? Thanks in advance , The Chimp
 

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when you say "lean" their probley a 95% chance that your sub-conciesly counter-steering. You should use counter-steering, its not hard to get used to. Also, use whatever speed that feels natural to switch to counter-steering, think bicycle days. In my opinion, turning was the first thing on a bike that felt natural first when i started riding. Before the clutch, switching gears, looking through corners all becamse instict i found myself turning at all speeds naturally very easily, again, think bicycles, thats the reason im sure.
 

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No, don't lean first and don't shift your weight at all for the next year or so. As you countersteer, you and your bike will lean. Focus on that for now. You can perfect your superbike style in a couple of years.

When you make upright turns at low speeds you aren't countersteering but this is the slowest of turns. Forget about it for now, you'll slow-steer properly by trial and error.
 

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DANGER DANGER!!!

Please make sure you understand countersteering BEFORE you hit the freeways! I took the MSF course before I even bought a bike. The entire time the instructors discussed countersteering I thought it made NO sense and wrote it off as bullshit. It just didn't make sense to me WHY I would turn the steering the OPPOSITE way I was trying to turn. Why would I steer to the left to go to the right? Well, I almost learned the hard way. I was cruising the interstate at 75mph and came up on a corner. As I was getting closer, I tried to LEAN the bike into the corner.... and OH SHIT... the bike wouldn't turn!! Luckily I didn't panic.. too much.. and I countersteered the bike in time to save my skin and possibly my life. After I made it through the corner I had to pull off the freeway and regain my composure. My knees were shaking so much I had trouble walking and needed to sit down and calm myself.

If you have a pedal bike, ride it down a hill at a relatively high speed you'll learn how countersteering works. Maybe a SAFER way to learn than on a freeway with cages running up your ass?
 

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Jim , I'm not trying to perfect my superbike style , I'd like to learn to ride safely and conservatively . Neutom72 ,I think I have a pretty good understanding of how countersteering works , Hough explains it well in Prof. Motorcycling . Yes , while its effect is the opposite of what we would expect , the little experimenting I've done with it certainly makes it seem like the preferable method . Any other advice for a newbie on New Hampshire backroads ? Thanks for the replieas
 

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At any speed above about 15 mph you can't help but counter-steer. The bike won't turn othewise (as neutom found out). At around 10 mph or below, I find it's usually best to turn the bars in the direction you want to steer and counter-weight (shift your weight a little to the outside of the turn to prevent the bike from falling over). In the absense of the MSF course, find an empty parking lot and carefully practice turning at different speeds (all less than 30 for now) until it all makes sense. As Jim said, don't worry about shifting your weight for now unless counter-weighting.
 

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Hey Chimp ~ this article really helped me even after I took the MSF course. I hope it helps you. Good luck and keep the rubber side down ~ :)

http://www.msgroup.org/TIP048.html
 

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I'd say anything above a brisk walking pace (maybe 3-4 mph) you should be counter-steering. Stay square on the seat and lean WITH the bike, initiate the turn with by pressing on the grip on the inside of the turn. The "superbike", or racing style referred to is when you actually move your body off (or somewhat off) the seat towards the inside of the turn (you actually just kind of rotate horizontally a little around the tank.) This helps you when you going fast by letting you lean the bike a little less for a given turn, thus retaining a little more traction and allowing a little more speed through the turn. Even with the superbike style, you still initiate the turn mostly with the bars, not by throwing your weight around, because you want a smooth transition into and through the turn to keep the suspension settled.
 

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go ride your bicycle really fast. and make a few turns. it's the same mechanics.

push go right, push left go left.

don't worry about leaning of the bike. you need to learn how to turn first. if the bike leans left keep the same centerline.


ride your own ride. don't try to keep up w/ more experienced rider, your asking for trouble.

ask the MSF class if they have "stand-by" slots........
 

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In my MSF course they stressed 'pressing' not counter-steering even tho it's the same thing. As Racer X states, push right go right, push left go left. As you incorporate your lean and your pressing you'll notice the bike will turn so easily.
 

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I STILL DO NOT UNDERSTAND!! I swear man ...If Im taking a right tight turn ....I drop my right sholder ..Push right..Lean right ... Maybe Im countersteering without knowing It but I just dont feel it. Sometimes just for shits Ill throw my weight to the left then thro the bike into the turn right just to get an early lean or whatnot. "confused"
 

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You have no choice but to countersteer.

When you push down on the right to go right,it turns the front wheel to the left.It's realy that simple.

If you have turned a bike at a speed over 15 mph then you did it.Now pat yourself on the back and go learn something else.
 

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"Steering is Simple enough-you push the bars in the opposite direction of the direction you wish to travel. That begins the turn, and the bike leans as it turns. Deliberately turing the bars in the opposite direction of travel is counter steering. Counter means "against," and to steer means to "guide or direct." To go right you must turn the bars right-to go left, turn the bars right. Counter steering is the only way you can direct a motorcycle to steer accurately.

This, in fact, is how you've been steering your motorcycle all the time, whether you knew it or not. You cannot steer a motorcycle simply by leaning it. You can get it to veer off in either direction by leaning your weight off to one side at low speeds, but that isn't steering. We are talking about controlling the bike, and that method is something less than control. You can only guess where the bike will go. at speed you can't do much of anything if you're not holding ont to the handlebars.

Lets take a look at what happens when you steer. You are approaching a right-hand turn. You lean right, and the bike begins to go right. Since you are holding onto the bar and moving over to the right your left arm is pulling the left side of the bar towards you, which turns the bars to the left. If you lean left to go around a left turn, you pull on the right bar. This must happen if you're holding onto the bars. If you're not holding the bars, the bike will not begin to turn where you lean. You may be ppushing the other bar as well as pulling- it all depends on how you hold your bars."

Keith Code-Twist Of the Wrist...Chapter Nine(Steering, It Happens Backwards.)
 

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Dont thank me, thank Keith Code :twofinger


:)
 
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