Does anyone feet steer? - Page 2 - Suzuki Burgman Forum
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post #11 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 10:45 PM
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As for tighter turns in twisties, I've been hanging my knee out and just that action alone helps me make tighter turns. Of course hanging the knee out is a " weight transfer action".
While hanging a knee out is a "weight transfer action" it is not making the bike steer. What it is doing is altering the center of gravity. That allows the bike to go around a corner in a more upright position.

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post #12 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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No doubts that counter steering is the major component in directional control, but is it the only one? Or more succinctly, are the handlebars the only way to generate a counter steer?

One need only to have a top heavy pillion rider throw their weight around to experience a fluctuation in the bike's direction. We're always telling passengers to lean with the bike in turns. If the handlebars were the only input, the pillon's actions wouldn't matter. Right?

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post #13 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 11:30 PM
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No doubts that counter steering is the major component in directional control, but is it the only one? Or more succinctly, are the handlebars the only way to generate a counter steer?

One need only to have a top heavy pillion rider throw their weight around to experience a fluctuation in the bike's direction. We're always telling passengers to lean with the bike in turns. If the handlebars were the only input, the pillon's actions wouldn't matter. Right?
The movement of the passenger is simply changing the center of gravity, usually left or right, thus causing the bike to shift. When the passenger moves, you feel the shift of the bike and you automatically and unconsiously countersteer. When this passenger movement catches you unaware, especially leaned over in a turn, you automatic countersteer could be problematic, to say the least!
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post #14 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 02:13 PM
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The movement of the passenger is simply changing the center of gravity, usually left or right, thus causing the bike to shift. When the passenger moves, you feel the shift of the bike and you automatically and unconsiously countersteer. When this passenger movement catches you unaware, especially leaned over in a turn, you automatic countersteer could be problematic, to say the least!
Update 03/28/16 1pm: I tried foot steering today on my 08 B400, at between 35 & 60 mph, over some long flat 4 lane highways here in town on a mild windless day. I tried different positions and different leans, with hands, and with no hands. The only way that I could steer the bike not using the handlebars was to lean my weight to the left or right. Once I had the bike going perfectly straight with no hands and sitting perfectly upright, I pushed hard on the left front floorboard, then the right front, then back and forth, NO difference, the bike kept going straight as an arrow.
So maybe I don't have the "Karisma" to make it steer that way!

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post #15 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 07:15 PM
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Counter-steering can be viewed as a rapid weight transfer; the wheels move out from directly under the C of g, although it is the wheels that are doing the moving it amounts to the same thing (because their relative position is what matters).

Counter steering is quicker/more effective because the tyres have something to act against ( the road ), shifting your weight will cause an equal/opposite reaction in the bike (because you are levering against it) and things stay almost in balance.

The experiment with the additional fixed handlebars isn't scientific because it isolates several variables, not just the one it is investigating - particularly the way we use the bars to prevent the bikes geometry from automatically righting the bike.

Ok, it prevents you from counter steering , but it also prevents you holding the bars still.


What tends to happen when riding a bicycle/motorcycle at speed is that the bike will frequently unbalance to one side or the other. When going straight we allow the geometry to correct this or we add some input if needed and we keep the contact patch under the c of g.

When we want to turn, a novice will allow one of these variations to be uncorrected and develop into a lean.
(Technically known as a capsize)


When we get more experienced we don't feel these random opportunities come around soon enough so we take positive action and steer the wheels out from under us - or counter steer.
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post #16 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-29-2016, 05:03 PM
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It isn't scientific to conclude that someone is dead, just because his head is no longer connected to his torso.
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post #17 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-29-2016, 05:30 PM
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...but I'm not going to waste time discussing what colour tie to buy him.


I don't understand your comment or believe it to be true.
If "scientific" is a dirty word just substitute "accurate" or "empirical" in its place.
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post #18 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 08:09 AM
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You are always Mary Contrary and dismiss solid empirical data as being not scientific, and therefore not valid, because minor (<5%) contributing factors are not accounted for.

On the No-BS bike, Keith Code probably did turn up the steering damper a bit more than minimum required to avoid head shakes when riding without hands on the movable handlebars, to prove his point to the students that the only efficient way of steering a motorcycle is to actually steer it.

I have tried to ride bicykles where the handlebars could turn freely without turning the front wheel, but I can't remember how it went.

Riding down a bumpy hill without brakes didn't end well - a bit deeper cut, and I would have been a eunuch.

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post #19 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 09:24 AM
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Must say I'm confused about the science behind this discussion, but interested in it.


My substantial experience on bicycles and limited experience on motorcycles says counter steering and weight shifting are two distinctly different methods of steering applicable to both.


While I haven't tried it much on my 650, I have taken my hands off the handlebars and made minor steering movements through weight shifting.


On a bicycle, I've ridden for long distances never touching the handlebars and doing all the steering with subtle weight shifting. When I was a kid, I used to make it a game to see if I could ride the 3.5 miles to school without ever touching the handlebars (I had a 3-speed with coaster brakes at the time). During my brief bicycle racing career, most of my turns were done by weight transfer. Obviously a front wheel that can freely rotate is essential to steering through weight transfer.


I would add, it wasn't until I started riding motorcycles that I'd ever even heard of counter steering. Not sure it applies to a bicycle or not. I'm going to test that out one of these days.


Anyway, I find this interesting.
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post #20 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Must say I'm confused about the science behind this discussion, but interested in it.


My substantial experience on bicycles and limited experience on motorcycles says counter steering and weight shifting are two distinctly different methods of steering applicable to both.


While I haven't tried it much on my 650, I have taken my hands off the handlebars and made minor steering movements through weight shifting.


On a bicycle, I've ridden for long distances never touching the handlebars and doing all the steering with subtle weight shifting. When I was a kid, I used to make it a game to see if I could ride the 3.5 miles to school without ever touching the handlebars (I had a 3-speed with coaster brakes at the time). During my brief bicycle racing career, most of my turns were done by weight transfer. Obviously a front wheel that can freely rotate is essential to steering through weight transfer.


I would add, it wasn't until I started riding motorcycles that I'd ever even heard of counter steering. Not sure it applies to a bicycle or not. I'm going to test that out one of these days.


Anyway, I find this interesting.
Lol, I used to ride with no hands for miles too. I rode everywhere, school, work, leisure, well up into my thirties. I was even in a cycling group for a while. I've probably got at least 25k+ miles Riding bicycles in my life, so it didn't seem right that weight transfer did nothing. However, it does come more into play during positive steering phases (i.e. Slower speed) on a two wheeled machine.

Counter steering does work on bicycles, just like motorcycles, but you must be going fast enough, 10+ mph. I was a road rider and spent many a time careening down some mountain hill at breakneck speed on very thin tires. Its slight, but you do counter steer.
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