Countersteering helps the rider to turn with control and balance. If you are unfamiliar with this term, learn this technique to get tons of benefits while riding a motorcycle. Don’t know how to countersteer a motorcycle?
Well, countersteering is done by using the handlebars. For a turn to the right, the rider should press the right handlebar gently. This will steer the front wheel and the motorcycle lean to the right. The rider now needs to balance his body to stable the motorcycle.
Countersteering is a very popular technique among riders. Whether you are a beginner or professional, learning this technique will surely enhance your riding skill. Check this article to know more about countersteering.
6 Easy Steps To Countersteer A Motorcycle: Learn Now
Countersteering is a combination of steps. It’s not possible to master the technique without practicing them. Here are the steps with details.
1. Prepare For Countersteering
During a ride, you should always keep yourself prepared for countersteering. This technique requires relaxed arms so that you can push the handlebars comfortably. Also, ensure that your body is in a relaxed riding position.
2. Ensure The Balance
To ensure balance, you should maintain a proper grip on the bike. As you may need to lean during countersteering, you will need to have a good balance at that time. Use your knees to embrace the motorcycle which will help you to get a better balance.
3. Maintain A Decent Speed
Countersteering can be applied at any speed. Though it’s not mandatory, you will get a good result at a decent speed for countersteering. It’s recommended to have at least 12 mph for countersteering.
4. Apply Countersteering
It’s time to initiate a turn with countersteering. As you know, you need to push the right handlebar for the right turn and the left one for the left turn. Let’s assume you’re aiming for a turn in the left direction.
First, push the left handlebar gently. You’ll notice the front wheel of the bike is slightly moving in the opposite direction of the push.
5. Lean Your Body
As you just push and leave the handlebar while countersteering, the motorcycle will now lean back in the opposite direction of the turn. You now need to balance yourself with the lean. This may sound complex but can be mastered after a couple of practices.
6. The Final Step
Well, you just turned left using countersteering. For a turn to the right, you need to do the same and balance yourself with the bike. Countersteering is not difficult at all and can be mastered by a beginner as well.
Mistakes One Should Avoid While Countersteering: Check Now
Countersteering is a technique that may take time to adapt. If you are a beginner and practicing countersteering for the first time, here are some mistakes you should avoid.
1. Push With Pressure
The most major mistake one may make while countersteering is pushing the handlebar with more pressure. This may get you into serious trouble. Because of the speed, a gentle push will work fine for countersteering. If you are feeling lean while pushing, leave the handlebar immediately.
2. Improper Grip
Without a proper grip, it will be very tough to bring the bike back again in a stable position. Gripping is very much important for both learning and balance. The grip should be ensured with both arms and the knees.
3. Wrong Timing
Timing is always the most important factor for mastering any technique. There are a couple of situations where you need to follow the proper timing. For example, applying pressure should be done on time.
4. High Or Low Speed
This mistake may lead to serious injury. Don’t try countersteering at very high speed if you are not an expert. On the other hand, counter-steering at low speed won’t be that effective. So, you may try handlebars when you are riding at low speed.
5. Incorrect Body Position
There will be serious trouble with the balance of an incorrect body position. Proper body position while countersteering will let you have comfort and confidence for the turn.
Tips For A Better Countersteering: Read Now
Countersteering will definitely boost your confidence as a rider. Here are a few tips to improve countersteering.
1. Practice & Practice
Practice makes a rider perfect. Without enough practice, you will never be able to master countersteering. It’s recommended to practice countersteering in an open space. This will save you from accidents.
2. Improve Lean Control
You should have good body control while leaning. Without proper body control, it will be tough to bring the bike back to a stable position. This can be done by practicing weight transfer while riding.
3. Grab Your Bike
This tip will let you have better control of your bike. Hold the handlebar with a gentle grip, ensuring it’s secure but not so tight. Hug the body of your bike with the knees. This will make you feel very confident about the balance of the bike.
When To Avoid Countersteering On Road: Explained
Countersteering is a life-saving riding technique that should be known by every motorcycle rider. However, it’s not recommended to apply countersteering in every situation. Here are some possible scenarios when you should avoid countersteering.
1. Riding In Heavy Traffic
It will be very much difficult to maintain balance with countersteering in heavy traffic. There will be vehicles around you in this situation. So, it’s better to avoid countersteering in such a situation.
2. No Change Of Direction
If you are driving in a straight line and there is no need to change direction, you should not apply this technique. You can keep the handlebars straight in a lane where you don’t need to change the direction.
3. Sloppy Road
As you need to balance yourself with the lean and bring the bike back in a stable position, it’s recommended to avoid countersteering on sloppy roads. Riders find it very difficult to get stability in hazardous road conditions.
As there are some techniques involved with countersteering, you should maintain a speed limit while approaching this technique. Don’t try countersteering at a very high speed or at a very low speed as well.
Is Counter Steering Easy?
Counter steering is quite easy and can be mastered very quickly. This may seem complex for beginners but it’s possible to adapt after a couple of weeks. Experienced riders will find no difficulties while counter-steering.
The techniques of motorcycle countersteering require practice to adapt. There won’t be any problem even if you are a new rider. With enough repetition, the method will become natural to you.
Can You Countersteer At Low Speed?
Well, countersteering can be done at any speed. There is no difference in countersteering at low speed or high speed. However, it’s recommended to have at least 12 mph for countersteering.
There are so many physics theories related to countersteering. Most of the theories suggest a medium speed to get the best countersteering. Thus, 12-18 mph is considered the ideal speed.
Is Counter Steering Push Or Pull?
Countersteering is basically pushing the handlebars. When you want to get a turn right, push the right handlebar for countersteering. In the same way, push the left handlebar if you want to turn left.
When you push the handlebar, it creates a force on the front wheel to steer in the applied direction. During countersteering, the rider also needs to balance or lean his body with the bike.
Can Countersteering Be Used On All Types Of Motorcycles?
Countersteering can be applied on any kind of motorcycle and even on bicycles. The technique is appropriate for two-wheelers. So, as long as you are riding a motorcycle or two-wheelers, you may use countersteering.
Countersteering works fine on sports bikes or scooters as well. You should just ensure proper grip and balance with the motorcycle. The counter-steering technique applies to all motorcycles, regardless of their individual body control and leaning characteristics.
Do You Lean When You Countersteer?
To maintain balance with the bike, you need to lean during countersteering. When you countersteer to the right, you push the right handlebar. This creates a leaning movement to the right. When the bike is leaning towards a side, as a rider you should also lean in that direction.
This is done to keep the body balanced with the bike. Also, if you don’t lean with the bike there will be an imbalance and you may fall from the bike.
I guess now you know how to countersteer a motorcycle. Don’t confuse it with the left or right. Just push the handlebar in the direction you want to turn and balance yourself with the motorcycle. If you practice countersteering multiple times, it will be set in your subconscious mind. So, don’t get worried and keep practicing.
Countersteering a Motorcycle Correctly (and Safely). (2021, March 18). Harley-Davidson® Insurance. Retrieved June 7, 2023, from https://www.insurance.harley-davidson.com/the-open-road/tips/countersteering-on-a-motorcycle-correctly#
4 Ways to Countersteer (Motorcycle). (n.d.). wikiHow. Retrieved June 7, 2023, from https://www.wikihow.com/Countersteer-(Motorcycle)
Motorcycle Counter Steering Guide. (2013, March 7). TEAM Arizona. Retrieved June 7, 2023, from https://motorcycletraining.com/team-arizona-riding-tip-march-2013-countersteering/#