Motorcycle Forum banner

Leaning...? Help a new rider out!

4124 Views 32 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  DannoXYZ
Hey guys. Got my first bike, rode it for the first time yesterday, just a few blocks around residential streets. I actually got the hang of shifting....

But leaning/turning: I'm fuzzy on that.

The DMV handbook says that you "push right, lean right, go right". Meaning that you actually turn the handlebars to the left....:confused:

One guy I work with confirms this. But that's just TOO counter intuitive for me to understand.

Another guy I spoke to says, no, you actually push with your left, and the handlebars, to go right.

Can anyone shed some light on this, or point me someplace that can help me a bit?
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 4 of 33 Posts
You guys can actually turn the handlebars in the direction of the curve you want to create at speeds of even 30 miles an hour(??)

I thought counter-steering was something you used pretty much as soon as you let the clutch out all the way going maybe 12 miles an hour or so.
The only time I turn the handlebars the way I want the bike to go is when I'm going so slow I have the clutch partially pulled into the friction zone and I am dragging the back brake a bit.

(Or when I've stopped the bike, put my feet down, put it in Neutral, and am duck-walking it into a parking space or parallel parking along the curb.)
I have never looked at my speedometer while doing this type of tight parking lot maneuvering , but I would estimate that my speed is something like jogging speed-- maybe 6-10 miles an hour?
See less See more
One way to think of counter steering
is to imagine .... (wait, I need a picture because it will be worth 1000 words)

Okay, I can't find any picture on the Internet so later I'll take a couple of my own but what I want to suggest is a new rider or somebody who wants to consciously use counter steering can think of two triangles hugging the frame of the motorcycle:

one triangle extending from the back of the fuel tank to the right handlebar grip, along handlebar itself back to the center directly above the forks, and then back underneath the fuel tank along the bikes frame.

The other triangle extending from the back of the fuel tank to the left handlebar grips, and the handlebar itself forms the other side of the triangle, up to the center point above the forks and then the triangle goes straight through the centerline of the fuel tank.

Once you envision these two triangles,

imagine that each one has a certain amount of surface area --so many square inches or square centimeters.
So if you were to push one side of the handlebars forward, you are increasing the size of that triangle, giving it more surface area, and you are shrinking the other triangle similarly.

Then think of the newly-expanded triangular space as a "big opening" that you should lean over as if you were going to "fall into" that new hole you just created.

The combination of pushing forward
(imagining that you're creating a larger void or space on one side of the bike than the other)
and then you physically leaning that way as if you were about to fall into that "hole" is what causes your turn.
See less See more
Bicycle Bicycle handlebar Bicycle tire Bicycle frame Bicycle fork
Bicycle tire Bicycle frame Bicycle fork Bicycle part Road surface

So, that's what the triangles look like when you are still riding straight,

not yet beginning your turn,

and the "surface area" in each triangle is the same size.
See less See more
Then, the rider IMAGINES , or VISUALIZES,

Pushing one side of the handle bar forward
to make that side's triangle larger.

(We know that the handlebar will not actually turn, noticeably, and it will never look like this during countersteering,
But that's what the person should think about trying to make it do as they push.)

Bicycle Bicycle tire Bicycle frame Bicycle fork Tire

Now that the red triangle on the left side of the bike frame is the bigger space,
(bigger than the blue triangle)
the rider leans over, head and shoulders,
as if paused to fall into that hole.

Then the left lean and left turn starts.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 4 of 33 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.