Sunday, January 27, 2008


In the world of motorcycle riding, one of the most important but not well understood maneuver and skill is the countersteer. Basically it is steering the motorcycle in the direction opposite of where the rider wants to go. Want to turn left? Steer the bike to the right.

This manuver only works when the motorcycle is traveling at a speed where the gyroscopic effect of the wheels start playing a role in stability. Usually that is around 15 miles per hour.

What countersteering does, is lean the bike effectively in the direction the rider wants to travel. The gyroscopic effect of the wheels help the bike pivot on an axis parallel to the direction of travel.

Perhaps some videos of effective counersteering could help...
Countersteering on a Honda Rebel...

A more scientific description of countersteering...

I hope that helps some of the new motorcycle riders out there that wonder what the heck countersteering is.

Ride Safe!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I ride a 250 cc scooter and have been looking at motorcycle accidents and believe counter steering could have prevented the crash. My scooter handles very well by leaning below forty mph but to avoid road hazards I learning to counter steer. It works and works well.
My understanding on why the cyle leans when you move the handlebars is caused by the cycles momentum.
Momentum is mass volicity.
Momentum makes a object want to maintain the direction it is traveling so when we turn left the bike leans right.