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MCN  says:

You Ask/You Answer: Countersteering

"I'm new to riding, and people keep telling me to steer the wrong way into corners – which certainly wasn't mentioned in my training! I've done some digging online, and have read up on the theory of 'countersteering' but there seem to be lots of conflicting opinions on the practice. Is it the right thing to do, or is it...

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  • Posted 2 years ago (10 December 2012 13:28)

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Oct 08

Posts: 47


Problem is, if you didn't get round safe and sound, would you understand why so you could avoid doing it again? Most people won't benefit from a lecture on the physics, but knowing that a bike does require countersteering, and getting a feel for doing it (semi) consciously are essential for good bike control, especially when it comes to adjusting your line mid-corner. Also helps when moving from a light, nimble bike onto a much heavier one, or one with a seriously raked out front end etc. Incidentally, it's actually a combination of gyroscopic force (which acts at right angles to the steering effort) and the 'bowling ball on stick' effect that makes a bike tip in the opposite direction of steering.


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Sep 10

Posts: 30

Histy says:

Twist of the wrist

Countersteering in simple turms just leans / turns your bike in quicker. You would only turn your bars to the left to turn left when riding very slow even on a push bike. Have a look at twist of the wrist book or vid.

When your riding in a streight line just put presher on your bars first the right side and then the left, see what happens to the bike. It leans to the bar with presher, Thats counterstearing.

Histy - Kk Rider Training -


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Apr 10

Posts: 116

tim8061 says:

Well I'll be . . .

With r/c motorcycles you have to set up the steering servo to move the bars the opposite way i.e. counter-steering with small opposite lock movement. Google "steering rc motocycles" or read this thread;

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Jul 11

Posts: 27

Cypher6 says:

Its natural

If you can get your bike around a corner then you already counter steer. I'm not sure why this subject causes so much confusion. Once your bike is up and moving you naturally lean the bike into corners using a combination of pressure on the handle bars and a shift in body weight. It isn't a huge turn of the bars, but a small amount of pressure on the inside bar (To turn right, you apply a tiny amount of pressure to the right hand bar and the bike natural pitches to the right in response), you then use a combination of steering input and body positioning to maintain the lean angle through the corner. Seriously, don't think about it, and just ride the way it feels natural. You'll steer the bike into corners just fine.

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Dec 12

Posts: 1

sstevens057 says:

Not has hard as you might think

Firstly, if you watch the pros, ie, Casey Stoner, on the super slow mo's on tv you can see them pushing the bar closest to the ground away from themselves. This proves it works, something to do with the shape of the wheel, gyroscopic effect and magic or something! Secondly, if you go out and try it, you will see for yourself. Make sure you have some speed going into a corner you know well, lean the bike into the corner and let it settle, gently push the bar closest to the ground away from you, or the highest bar, pull towards you. Whichever is best for you. It doesn't need to be much, just put some weight on it and trust it works. Start building it up, pushing/pulling harder each time. You will feel the bike try and drop down a little giving you a higher lean angle. Another trick is out of a chicane, on the road it could be a roundabout. After the first part of the corner, to get the bike sat up and ready to lean the other way, give the bars a yank the opposite way. It will sit you up quicker than you can do it by pulling your body up. So a left/right chicane, lean in left, pushing the left bar away, to sit up the bike, push the right bar away from you. It will flick the bike over to the right side for the right hand corner. I use this technique to get me out of trouble. Taken a corner a bit fast, running wide on the exit, don't panic, just counter stear and pull it back.

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May 12

Posts: 130

Valko says:

lean, countersteer , body position.

you already do it - lean, countersteer , body position.


On low speed say low speed handle you turn the wheel in the direction you go, however above some speed (say 20mph) the only way to do a turn on a bike is to do countersteering and leaning the bike.

Here is the way how you do it (without knowing):

From experience you have learned that if you do not lean the bike you cannot turn.

Say you approach left turn. You lean to the left. Actually when you lean you also do: pull the right handle and push the left handle - voila you have done countesteering :-)

Its important to understand that countersteering makes bike to lean, and in high speed leaning makes bike to turn.

So the question is not how to do it, because you already do it. The faster the speed the more gentle is your touch. Again nothing to learn here because you cannot ride without doing it.

Hope this explains it to you :-)

One more thing related to turning is if you transfer your weight from the saddle to the pegs by standing a little bit on your feet, and you move your bum in the direction of your turn, this actually makes the bike way more stable because the weight go transfrered low and you do not need to have more leaning.

It was very common mistake for me to try to move my body in the opposite direction of bike leaning - then in fact in order to turn the bike it needs even more lean angle because of the weight distribution.

If you have wrong body position and weight distribution you will need more countersteering and more lean in order to turn the bike. Countersteering itself does not make you good rider. In fact best riders turn the bike with less countersteering and less leaning.

So better and lower weight distribution - less leaning and countersteering in order to do the turn.

So turning bike is a complex process and countersteering is one part of it. Your body position and weight distribution also counts.

Look at dirt riders and the way they stand on pegs - the reason is dirt riding extreme condition require the weight to be distributed as low as possible. On track race they do the same distributing the weight to the pegs, but it is not as visible because of the high speed and the facts of aerodynamics they aslo need to stay in overall very low body position not stand as dirt ones.

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Nov 08

Posts: 122

rcraven says:


Can i ask why my piece of yesterday  that i put on this thread relating to countersteering hasnt been published.  I have found that after writing a piece  and it appears on the page the following day for some reason its gone, not there. Am i being   somehow  vetted and removed. If so why.


I believed this to be an open forum but if one is to be denied the right to opinion or input that one doesnt agree with then its wrong.


I merely put this forward to see that it appears today and will be gone tomorrow.

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Sep 07

Posts: 2881

James600zx says:


I seriously doubt there's any vetting going on.

If you've taken some time to compose your reply you'll often be automatically (and annoyingly) logged out before you send, which can cause some odd problems.

I try to remember to copy my text before sending so I can have a second (third, fourth!) attempt.

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Apr 10

Posts: 198

arryace says:

Keep it simple

forget the physics or the complex explanations as to why it works just keep two simple phrases in your head as you ride.

  • Look Right, Push Right, Lean Right Turn Right.
  • Look Left, Push Left, Lean Left Turn Left.

its as easy as that!

Looking in the direction you want to go

Gently push the bar on the same side as you are looking

Lean in the same direction

The bike does the rest

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Jan 11

Posts: 8637

snev says:


to have your text deleted is nothing compared to having your opinion dismissed or be-littled.

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