Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Motorcycle Question #2 Right-Left

  1. Jan 23, 2004 #1
    Motorcycle Question #2 Right-Left:

    I'm riding a motorcycle at a modest speed, say 40 mph, on a straight stretch of a road. I see a right-hander (a curve turning to the right) ahead. I want to stay on the road, so I push the right side of the handlebar forward and pull the left side of the handlebar backward (effectively turning the front tire to the left).

    Am I crazy?
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2004 #2
    No - it is called reverse steering. It is the ONLY way to steer a motorcycle at anything above a low speed. You can't help but do this if you ride a bike at normal speeds. It is a technique that is easy to see being used in Speedway and Motocross.
    When racing, you really yank the bars hard to flip the bike from one side to another through the twisty bits.

    Adrian Baker
    250cc Classic Racing Motorycle Club Champion 2003!
  4. Jan 25, 2004 #3
    Re: Re: Motorcycle Question #2 Right-Left

    Or countersteering?

    This is how we steer bicycles too.

    If you don't believe me, experiment in a safe place. The speed should be above 6 mph or so.

    I wrote a piece on countersteering. If you are interested, go here.
  5. Jan 25, 2004 #4
    Re: Re: Re: Motorcycle Question #2 Right-Left

    Yes - I meant countersteering. :smile:

    Nice website Julian - we obviously share an interest! It is amazing how many motorcyclists haven't got a clue on the basic theory of steering. On my Ducati 916, when really hurtling into a tight 'S' bend, without yanking the bars the 'wrong' way mid corner, I wouldn't get through at 2/3rds the speed without going off the road.

    If you like motorcycles and racing, check out my site: Click here
  6. Jan 29, 2004 #5
    i love taking corners and getting really low down. i used to do a lot of races on my mountin bike, and in one downhill section there was a wide 90 degree corner. i'd come from the left, lean to the right, but slightly steer to the left, and get right down. while the other bikers tried to TURN in the direction of the corner (to the right) and end up crashing or having to suddenly go straight and break. 'twas so funny :)
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2004
  7. Feb 3, 2004 #6
    Here I am pedantically wiping out on my bicycle because of steering, or the absence thereof, spiked off of a very small rock, handlebars twisted to the right about 37°/38°, came down, and 'spiked' on the front end right over translating the force through the handle bar onto my arm bone (Radius) right above the wrist, full force of me (~80 Kilos) doing 'bout 12 - 14 mph (maybe?)...and all of that on a bike tire that has the sidewalls decomposing (with a twist 'running itself' around the rim...slowly) but still having a center tread to ride on.... some steering...
  8. Feb 4, 2004 #7
    Well thanks for the warning... :smile:

    We have a saying on the racetrack... "The Bull**** stops when the flag drops"

    I race, I win, I won the championship! (I'm explaining, not showing off).
    I look forward to some future discussion......
  9. Feb 5, 2004 #8
    What do you ride?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook