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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Understanding counter steering is paramount to your survival. This video contains actual footage of a new rider who panicked and did not counter steer. Fortunately he survived due to paramedics on site. See if you can see where he made his mistakes.
 

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We have been thru this movie many times.
There are many ways to make a bike go where you want it. Counter steering is a modern invention, and one of the ways. It also helps to confuse riders when they need to make a very quick decision.
The last time the rider in the video appeared, it was referred to as target fixation. Nothing like scientific formulas to usurp basic riding skills, that can be obtained by riding in the dirt. Have fun. UK
 

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Yeah, I was counter-steering my childhood bicycle long before I learned it was called something other than just steering.
I've asked this question before... Can you even turn a motorcycle (at speed) without counter-steering?

S F
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry @Unkle Krusty , I’m not trying to cause issues here. I thought it was useful info, and yes I’m sure “target fixation” was also in play.
Should I just delete the video?
 

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Sorry @Unkle Krusty , I’m not trying to cause issues here. I thought it was useful info, and yes I’m sure “target fixation” was also in play.
Should I just delete the video?
No need. Never has, been there done that, has been done enough for safety. New threads and activity on perspective is what we want to see, comments were meant just as that not to discourage you from posting on subjects.
 

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I've seen this video before but I watched it several times again. This guy approached the curve at about 46 MPH, so he wasn't going too fast. He was down to about 43 MPH when he first sees the truck and he was still going over 40 MPH at the time of the collision.

Panic caused him to do everything wrong. To him, meeting the truck was a problem, but he never hit the brakes. I don't know if he fixated on the truck, but he steered right in to it.

I glad the paramedics were there to save his life, but I wonder, after it was all over, does he blame himself for the crash, or does he blame the motorcycle?
 

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Sorry @Unkle Krusty , I’m not trying to cause issues here. I thought it was useful info, and yes I’m sure “target fixation” was also in play.
Should I just delete the video?
I would suggest you do not delete the video. It may have a benefit to new or seasoned riders that haven't seen it before. I think it is a better example of target fixation, panic, and being over his head. Steering away from the danger would be the solution, instead of into it and counter steering would be the most effective way to accomplish that.



I've asked this question before... Can you even turn a motorcycle (at speed) without counter-steering?
My answer would be, no! You can steer by weight shifting, but the bike still is counter steering. Weight shifting assist the bike in steering, but the counter steering is still in effect.



Yeah, I was counter-steering my childhood bicycle long before I learned it was called something other than just steering.
The curiosity based on reality science has always been with us. For the older generations it may appear be a new thing, but it has always been there, just not widely understood. Counter steering, effects of fluid dynamics, sub-sonic/sound barrier/super-sonic speeds, and internal/external/terminal ballistics are but a few which have been studied in recent years to explain how things really work. With the advent of the computer, many have been better understood and the internet allows for more folks to discover these realities gained by research and study.

We know that the 2 wheel vehicle, motorcycles and bicycle as the example, turn by leaning and directional stability is due to the geometry of the steering head. Weight shifting can effect leaning, but without the steering head movement inducing counter steering, it would not be possible. The heavier the bike, the faster the speed, and the lighter the rider, weight shifting is less effective. However counter steering is relatively effortless for street riding and works effectively regardless of the bike and rider size and speed.

Regardless, a rider doesn't need to understand counter steering to ride, however they would be a safer rider if they did. Unfortunately the rider education industry has done a poor job of explaining and teaching riders the principle and providing the environment to develop the skill of using counter steering.
 

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Sorry @Unkle Krusty , I’m not trying to cause issues here. I thought it was useful info, and yes I’m sure “target fixation” was also in play.
Should I just delete the video?
No worries CG.
Also read Body Steering by Reg Pridmore.
Counter steering is the primary motive for turning modern tanks, bikes that weigh too much.
Lighter bikes and some sport bikes will respond well to body steering.
Watching speedway bikes is interesting, with bikes turning left, while the front wheel is turned to the right.
Watching MotoGP is interesting, because some will go thru an S curve, left right left, with the front wheel off the ground.

The term counter steering was not used by early riders. We used other ways of describing what was required to go round a corner. A brain freeze like the guy in the video, is a common problem for new riders, and guys riding beyond their skill level.
For many riders, it is not easy to think, ignore the truck, go round the corner.
The go round the corner thinking and action, may not be in the riders skill set. UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well said @Eagle Six. IMHO the person annotating the video does make it somewhat confusing by saying “To go right you STEER left.”
I thinks it’s easier to grasp the dynamics by stating PUSH right go right. PUSH left go left.
At least that’s the way I was taught. Riding bicycles isn’t quite the same because the gyroscopic forces are minuscule compared to a motorcycle.
Just my take.
 

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he term counter steering was not used by early riders. We used other ways of describing what was required to go round a corner. A brain freeze like the guy in the video, is a common problem for new riders, and guys riding beyond their skill level.
And when that happens, unless you trained to look where you want to go, you're toast. But looking where you want to go instead of where you are going is very very hard to do. You need to train to look where you want to go on every turn. Unfortunately many don't look far ahead to begin with. I do believe that was part of the problem in the crash. Had he already been looking where he wanted to go, the truck would have just been a side note in the curve. Poor road conditions cause us to look for potholes rather than where we want to go. I'm not saying that's what happened here but it does contribute to looking too short ahead.
 

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One of the VERY few areas where I feel the "state" should be more strict re: training and licensing. Waaay too many people riding (and driving) who have exactly zero business being allowed to do so. But, eh, whatta ya gonna do? Me, I'll vent on the internet about it! 🤬 :LOL:
 

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I think UK makes a good point in the case above. If the rider had just leaned away from the perceived danger, the movement on what appears to be a light(er) bike would have caused the bike to move away from the truck. Pro racers are always hanging off their bikes on the side they're turning.

A light rider on a Goldwing or heavy Harley probably couldn't do it and a light push on one side of the handlebar is needed to start the bike turning one way or the other.
 

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Here's a concept for you to mull over; Counter-steering at speed is how you can initiate a lean angle in the motorcycles travel attitude and leaning is how a motorcycle turns at speed, but if you fail to follow through with your body and lean into the turn, the turn will be slower or far less likely to happen. Have you ever tried counter-steering and maintaining a straight path down the highway? <- it's not that hard to do, you just lean your body to the wrong side and the bike will continue to travel in a straight line. Most probably already do that to ride straight when there is a strong sidewind and never even noticed.

Have you ever had a passenger on your motorcycle and they lean the wrong way because they are scared so they sit bolt upright? <- It makes you go wide in turns.
 

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It might look a little funny doing it on a heavy cruiser type bike, with a low ground clearance, but when the hard parts start dragging, hanging off to the side can get you around a curve you might have hit a little bit too fast. If you lean over far enough, you can stop the hard parts from dragging.
 

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And when that happens, unless you trained to look where you want to go, you're toast. But looking where you want to go instead of where you are going is very very hard to do. You need to train to look where you want to go on every turn. Unfortunately many don't look far ahead to begin with. I do believe that was part of the problem in the crash. Had he already been looking where he wanted to go, the truck would have just been a side note in the curve. Poor road conditions cause us to look for potholes rather than where we want to go. I'm not saying that's what happened here but it does contribute to looking too short ahead.
Agreed.
At the track, you have to be looking ahead, what happens with the bike has to come naturally. As in any reaction to a pump or squiggle or slide, needs to be fairly instant, and not take away from the job at hand. That being going where you want the bike to go.
RG and Trials touched on another part. Lighter bikes and sport bikes will react to an inside knee out, and an outside knee pressing against the tank. That comes first with these types of bikes. What the steering dynamics are does not really matter. Amount of tippy, the application of lean, bits scraping, angle of attack, brakes and throttle, are all factors.

On the heavier bike like my 575 pound flexible 79 Yamaha, counter steering is the logical way to get it to turn. And reason why it is taught, especially with heavier bikes. BUT, it will respond to body steering, and I have often said, it is worth pursuing. Reg Pridmore won more races than all of us here put together. UK
 

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Counter-steering at speed is how you can initiate a lean angle in the motorcycles travel attitude and leaning is how a motorcycle turns at speed,
Yeah... I don't know how a guy would make a bike turn (at speed) without counter-steering.

Did anybody else notice the wallowing and rear wheel hop the bike looked like it was doing while the rider was heading for his head-on collision in the video? I've had bikes act like that on uneven surfaces when pushed to the limit if rear suspension tuning was a little off. Could a bad road surface and inadequate suspension be contributing factors to the crash or even a big part of the cause? It looks like he may have lost rear wheel traction first, then things went south from there...


S F
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think I would respectfully disagree with your assessment @SemiFast. First off, his speed is not excessive as he was only doing 47mph. The road condition is clearly evident as being pretty good except for some tar snakes, yet the angle of his “cornering” wasn’t hard enough for those to be a factor IMHO.
The “bouncing” you see is due to him going into and out of the corner.
 
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