Does anyone feet steer? - Suzuki Burgman Forum
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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone feet steer?

So I've been playing around with my cornering techniques. I'm trying to "hang" off the bike a bit, not knee scraping or anything too crazy, just shifting my body position, putting my body out a bit, keeping the bike more upright than usual. And I noticed something i started inherently doing cause it just "feels" right; I use my feet to help steer the bike.

Now I've known for some time that I could "influence" the bike angle a bit by pushing on the forward floor boards for a while now. I could let go of the handlebars are make lane changes or take long sweepers just by pushing on one side of the floor. Seemed rather useless to do so, so I relegated it to the back of the riding skill tool box.

What I find myself doing now, to some success, is getting the bike into the lean angle going into the turn and then using my feet to correct or fine tune the turn; inside foot for more angle, outside foot for less. Its Like using the rudder pedals of an aircraft. I don't ever remember doing this back in my motorcycle days.

So I'm curious if anyone else utilizes this technique. If so, how do you like it? Anyone going to try it? Is there something inherent to the scooter platform that makes it effective? Are there other twisty techniques that you swear by?

We don't often get in the subject of riding skills, so feel free to comment on what works well for you.

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Ingrid - '07 Blue Burgman 400 (56k mi) - original owner
Jesse - '05 Silver Burgman 650 (27k mi) - 3rd owner

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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 04:10 PM
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First of all, IMHO you are NOT "feet steering" your bike. What you are doing is steering by weight transfer. When you "push with your foot" as you put it, what happens is that you push your weight to likely the other side. This affects the dynamics of the bike and of course it "steers" to one side or the other.


However I'd caution against using this type of technique. First off, weight transfer as a mechanism for steering is very slow to react. eg.... If a car ahead of you (blocking your vision) suddenly swerves around a pothole, weight transfer (foot steering as you call it) doesn't make the bike react quickly enough and you'll end up driving right thru the pothole. Push Steer, on the handlebars is the quickest and surest way to get a bike to respond.


Best to leave this technique of foot steer in the back of the drawer and not take it out IMHO.
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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_YYZ View Post
First of all, IMHO you are NOT "feet steering" your bike. What you are doing is steering by weight transfer. When you "push with your foot" as you put it, what happens is that you push your weight to likely the other side. This affects the dynamics of the bike and of course it "steers" to one side or the other.


However I'd caution against using this type of technique. First off, weight transfer as a mechanism for steering is very slow to react. eg.... If a car ahead of you (blocking your vision) suddenly swerves around a pothole, weight transfer (foot steering as you call it) doesn't make the bike react quickly enough and you'll end up driving right thru the pothole. Push Steer, on the handlebars is the quickest and surest way to get a bike to respond.


Best to leave this technique of foot steer in the back of the drawer and not take it out IMHO.
Hmmm, interesting. It doesn't feel like I'm transferring weight, more like putting pressure on one side. Of course my back is locked into my rather sturdy backrest, so I suppose it could be transferring weight.

Now mind you, I've been using it more for small steering corrections, fine-tuning if you will. I'm still in complete control with hands operating the bars. So there's nothing unsafe about it.

I was just exploring a new technique. Wondering if anyone else had tried it.

"What is your measure of success? Warren Buffett has always said the measure is whether the people close to you are happy and love you." Bill Gates

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Ingrid - '07 Blue Burgman 400 (56k mi) - original owner
Jesse - '05 Silver Burgman 650 (27k mi) - 3rd owner
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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 06:11 PM
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Well the dynamics could only suggest two possible reasons for the bike "steering" when you push with your foot.
1) As I suggested, it's really a subtle weight shift/transfer
or
2) You're flexing the frame/headset, and if that is truly the case, the bike itself is a danger. A frame shouldn't flex that way.


Your choice......
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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 09:24 PM
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Make a bike that has two sets of bars. One set as normal, the other set would be solid-mounted to the frame so they were not connected to and did not rotate the forks. This, as my theory went, would answer the question. And it does.
The Machine

Taking one of our Kawasaki ZX 6Rs and solid-mounting a set of bars 8" above the standard ones would positively isolate the various body shifting from the counter steering. If body steering had any effect it would be simple to show it. I created a bike with that setup. One necessary detail was to mount an additional throttle on the upper, solid-mounted bars, so the bike's stability could be maintained as the user rode down the road. So we wound up with two sets of handlebars and two operating throttles on the bike.
Dirty Exceptions

Before I go any further I want to address off-road motorcycles. An off-road motorcycle will easily steer by pressing down on the inside peg, and in conjunction with shifting the upper body mass, will go over pretty easily . Still not what I would call good control but it can be done fairly efficiently.
Again, I am not a true tech guy, but it occurs to me that the small contact patch on knobbies or dual sport tires plus dirt bike steering geometry (which is not intended to provide an enormous amount of stability at speed) contribute to the reasons why steering results from weight shifts to the degree it does on a dirt bike.
No B.S.

At this writing, we have run nearly 100 riders of all experience levels on this double-barred bike. It has made believers out of every single one in the actuality of countersteering of course. Even at speeds of no more than 20 to 35 mph, no matter how much you tug or push or pull or jump around on the bike, the best we saw was that the bike wiggled and became somewhat unstable. Did it turn? Not really. Would it turn at higher speed? Absolutely not. Could you avoid something in your path? No Way. Could anyone quick turn the bike? Hopeless! The best result was one of my riding coaches. He got into a full hang-off position and was able to persuade the bike, by jerking on it, to start on a wide, wide arc in the paddock at Laguna Seca, a piece of asphalt that is about 500 X 800 feet. Like turning an oil tanker ship, start at noon and be on the turning arc at around 1:00 PM. It wasn't smooth and it wasn't very effective.
We now call this bike "The NO BS Bike". There are no doubts in anyone's mind after they ride it that they have been countersteering all along. No doubts.
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 09:27 PM
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motorcycles do not turn by weight shift. They turn by counter steering
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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 09:55 PM
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I find leaning my knees assists with steering, similar to using the gas tank on a conventional motorcycle. I guess that would transfer some weight to my feet.

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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 10:00 PM
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I've noticed that I absolutely can "steer" the bike with foot pressure on my 400. I haven't tried it in turns.

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".

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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 10:25 PM
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Is it possible that when you push with your feet you subtlety move your body and thus your arms thereby changing the amount of counter steer pressure on the bars.

Just sitting here in my chair with my arms out in front of me like I'm holding handlebars. If I push against the floor with my right foot I notice that causes my right hip to rise up slightly which in turn pushes my right shoulder up and pulls on my right arm. It's not much of a movement but it does not take much counter steer to make a bike want to change directions.
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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honsfun View Post
motorcycles do not turn by weight shift. They turn by counter steering
I was just thinking, if you lean left (or somehow put pressure on the left side), you will pull right arm/hand (and handlebar) towards you to help balance, turning the bike left.

So yes, you are countersteering.
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