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Discussion Starter #1
I took a long ride last weekend, and noticed that I have to counter steer very hard around corners. This is especially true when 2up. We messed around leaning more and less, and found that in order to balance the bars in a turn, we need to lean way too far into the turn. I usually try to stay with the bike when I lean (I lean as much as the bike). I have stock shocks, rake, and bars. Is this just something I have to deal with? It seems worse on my 2009, than my 2004 was. Any help?
 

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If you're talking about getting the bike to turn at speeds over 20mph?

Counter steering is always applied lightly.
A light push on the bars will make it lean, and the bike will turn.

Leaning your body into a curve will allow the bike to tighten the radius without as much lean angle on the bike.
But, if you're not scraping the boards; leaning your body into a curve is unnecessary.

Sometimes counter steering is over-explained and made too complicated.
You should never need to manhandle the bike to countersteer.

Scott
 

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If especially with two up, perhaps a couple things...

1. Instruct your passenger to "don't help me turn, just sit there and enjoy the ride". If they want to do something, tell them just to look over your shoulder on the side you're turning towards.

2. Check your tire pressures and tread wear. If the tire(s) is flat in the middle or low on air with two up it could make it harder to turn.
 

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In my opinion only, stop overthinking how to ride a motorcycle. Did you go through all that when you were riding a bicycle? Exactly the same principles apply on a motorcycle. Relax and let the bike do the work, you are just the helmsman who gets to decide which way she goes and how fast. Concentrate on watching for idiots in cars who don't see you and just ride the bike.
 

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In my opinion only, stop overthinking how to ride a motorcycle. Did you go through all that when you were riding a bicycle? Exactly the same principles apply on a motorcycle. Relax and let the bike do the work, you are just the helmsman who gets to decide which way she goes and how fast. Concentrate on watching for idiots in cars who don't see you and just ride the bike.
Hey Coolpig,

I don't know about your experiences on a bicycle; but I sure as HECK don't want to repeat my bicycle experiences on the highway at 70mph. :D

I haven't seen Trip back on this thread so it's hard to identify the problem. But, if he is having to lean his body hard into a curve then either he needs a better understanding of countersteering or there is a mechanical problem with his bike.

ANYONE who is having issues with steering their bike needs to pay a lot of attention to correcting the problem.

Scott
 

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Unless someone has changed the rake on a bike, you should be able to steer any bike all the way over to grinding pegs with just a couple of fingers and a thumb. Learning this was the most valuable lesson of all for me, for both safety (proper steering control) and enjoyment (can actually relax and enjoy the ride) of riding a motorcycle. It is well worth the time to watch a few videos (I prefer Keith Code's Twist of the Wrist II) and do a little reading to grasp the "science." Then spend some time on some little traveled roads with lazy curves to practice on. You'll be glad you did!
 

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Unless someone has changed the rake on a bike, you should be able to steer any bike all the way over to grinding pegs with just a couple of fingers and a thumb. Learning this was the most valuable lesson of all for me, for both safety (proper steering control) and enjoyment (can actually relax and enjoy the ride) of riding a motorcycle. It is well worth the time to watch a few videos (I prefer Keith Code's Twist of the Wrist II) and do a little reading to grasp the "science." Then spend some time on some little traveled roads with lazy curves to practice on. You'll be glad you did!
Good advice!

Scott
 

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Hey Coolpig,

I don't know about your experiences on a bicycle; but I sure as HECK don't want to repeat my bicycle experiences on the highway at 70mph. :D

I haven't seen Trip back on this thread so it's hard to identify the problem. But, if he is having to lean his body hard into a curve then either he needs a better understanding of countersteering or there is a mechanical problem with his bike.

ANYONE who is having issues with steering their bike needs to pay a lot of attention to correcting the problem.

Scott
For Pete's Sake, no one said anything about riding a bicycle at 70 mph on the highway. I didn't think I would have to explain this but here goes. I was talking about when you were young and rode a bicycle BEFORE YOU OWNED A MOTORCYCLE.
Certainly there needs to be some looking done to see if something mechanical is wrong or if the problem is the driver.
I have been riding since I was 22 years old and I am 67 years old now. I have ridden everything from 250 honda dirt bikes to 2000 Kawasaki Vulcans so I guess I have a pretty good grasp on riding. I can scrape the boards on my Vulcan on any curve or corner I came to so I have a good grasp on riding.
Now, having said that ttry to concentrate on how to help the guy instead of trying to put me down about a comment I made about a bicycle.
 

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I would bet the farm that you have a low front tire I went out and bought a new back tire because it looked like it was flat I checked the pressure's the front was 8 and the back was 22....not cool at all aired them up she handles just like a brand new bike.....

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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For Pete's Sake, no one said anything about riding a bicycle at 70 mph on the highway. I didn't think I would have to explain this but here goes. I was talking about when you were young and rode a bicycle BEFORE YOU OWNED A MOTORCYCLE.
Certainly there needs to be some looking done to see if something mechanical is wrong or if the problem is the driver.
I have been riding since I was 22 years old and I am 67 years old now. I have ridden everything from 250 honda dirt bikes to 2000 Kawasaki Vulcans so I guess I have a pretty good grasp on riding. I can scrape the boards on my Vulcan on any curve or corner I came to so I have a good grasp on riding.
Now, having said that ttry to concentrate on how to help the guy instead of trying to put me down about a comment I made about a bicycle.
I don't think I put you down.

But, I am going to call anyone who gives that bad of advice.
(now you can take issue with what I've said.)

I always had skinned knees, bent forks and plenty of dirt in my teeth from riding my bicycle; at slow speeds. And it wasn't because I was clumsy; it was because I was a rough and tumble country boy. We pushed our limits and took a lot of risks. If you didn't wreck your bike a couple of times a week; then you're the only kid I ever heard of that didn't.

Telling riders that it's just like when you were a kid, riding a bike is bad advice.

The same principles may apply; but the addition of greater weight and huge amounts of power change the application of technique greatly!

Beginner motorcyclists wreck and injure themselves all the time due to poor control of the motorcycle. Do you think none of them knew how to ride a bicycle?

I don't think I need to remind you; that even with all the experience you have, it's still pretty easy drop your bike in a turn and cause a lot of damage to the bike and injure yourself.


Scott
 

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In my opinion only, stop overthinking how to ride a motorcycle. Did you go through all that when you were riding a bicycle? Exactly the same principles apply on a motorcycle. Relax and let the bike do the work, you are just the helmsman who gets to decide which way she goes and how fast. Concentrate on watching for idiots in cars who don't see you and just ride the bike.
Great advice on the last half.

Let the BIKE do the WORK! That's what it's all about! You shouldn't have to fight it or force it. I can scrape pegs by grasping my cramp buster throttle rocker in between two fingers and pulling it. Wouldn't recommend it, but I can do it! It does NOT take much effort!

As far as the first half, that's up to you, sir! But the reason I hopped on a bicycle and just figured it out is because I was 6 years old and it went 5 miles an hour. When I was 20 and hopped on a motorcycle I really wanted to learn how to control the best the best way possible. It amazes me how many very experienced riders actually don't know how to ride a motorcycle and are way over-doing it by trying to throw their body weight around to control it, or who haven't even heard of counter steering! That's not a knock on you or anything; but for the sake of discussion I'm just throwing that out there!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I hear a lot of you saying "you shouldn't have to counter steer much, let the bike do the work". While I agree, that doesn't help me. I asked precisely because the bike doesn't do that. Maybe I should have been more informative in my original post. This is not my first bike, not even my first V2K, and I am not new to riding. I know how to lean in a corner. The fact is, I do have to counter steer a lot in corners. That's the problem. My rear tire is up for replacement after this season, but I don't think it's too flat. I haven't checked my air pressure lately. Barring a slow leak, I can't imagine it's gone down much in a month. We shall see. Thanks for the info Jimmychef!
 

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Trip,
I guess I was fishing for a little more info in my first post.
Like Romans said, there are people that have been riding for quite a while that don't coutersteer well.

My first rear tire on a motorcycle got pretty flat. With Big ol chicken strips.:eek:
When I changed it, steering got easier; but not dramatically.
I hear the darksiders talk about only needing a little more input for curves.
So, If it's that bad I would doubt its a flattened profile on your tire.

If it isn't the air pressure like Who99 & Jimmy adivised; I would be a little worried.
Has the rake been modded? Do the bars turn from stop to stop freely?
Riding a buddies bike with footpegs in a different location felt a lot different on sharp turns.

Hope you find the issue soon.

Scott
 

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Trip,

Same here. Just trying to see HOW you countersteer. Lots of guys go a really long time doing something different than they need to. If you are pushing DOWN like a lot of guys do, it'll take more work; for example.

If the tire needs replaced it should be replaced, no reason not to. Maybe swap out that rear tire, make sure the air pressure is good, and let us know from there? While I've never had a bike that was 'hard' to counter steer, tires and air pressure do make big differences on how it handles.
 

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I hear the darksiders talk about only needing a little more input for curves.
So, If it's that bad I would doubt its a flattened profile on your tire.

Scott
Not to start a Darkside crapfest, but as a fairly recent Darksider (just shy of 1K miles) it's not really just a little more countersteer. It's a fair amount more but not enough more that I'm thinking to change back. It's like most anything, you get use to it. Since I drive a crotch rocket too I think I may be a little more in touch with the feel of Darkside vs. MC tire than some that have tons of miles on Darkside only who have gotten accustom to the added countersteer required.

Darkside compared to a "flat" MC tire is more too, but definitely can tell when the MC tire is getting flat and it does add to countersteer, although with flat MC tire once you have gone over the flat the tip in is still there.
 

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Not to start a Darkside crapfest, but as a fairly recent Darksider (just shy of 1K miles) it's not really just a little more countersteer. It's a fair amount more but not enough more that I'm thinking to change back. It's like most anything, you get use to it. Since I drive a crotch rocket too I think I may be a little more in touch with the feel of Darkside vs. MC tire than some that have tons of miles on Darkside only who have gotten accustom to the added countersteer required.

Darkside compared to a "flat" MC tire is more too, but definitely can tell when the MC tire is getting flat and it does add to countersteer, although with flat MC tire once you have gone over the flat the tip in is still there.
Yeah; any information I relay about the darkside is nothing but hearsay.:p

You're right about people with tons of miles not always having a clear perspective.:)
(just look at some posts on this thread)
Sometimes, the best advice when your trying something new, comes from someone who is still pretty fresh themselves.

After riding a huge flat spot, with a straight wall on your darkside; do you think a flattened MC tire would cause that much difficulty in leaning?

Scott
 

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From my perspective, no, a flat centered MC tire wouldn't produce "very hard" counter steer. I thought my post essentially said that but maybe not.

That said, "very hard" is somewhat subjective. I just take that to mean noticeably harder than before. I can notice quite easily a flat centered MC tire but, again, I wouldn't consider it very hard additional countersteer.
 

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I was running too much pressure on my 9, thinking I could get a little more life outta the tires.....two weeks ago, I thought, "what the heck am I doing, possibly sacrificing ride quality for a few hundred extra miles"...so, I took the pressure back down and MAN, what a difference. The bike was more "plush"...handled WAY better and reminded me yet again how something as simple as tire pressure can affect the bikes performance. I second or third the suggestion to check your tire pressure and change it according to your riding style. This might require a few attempts to find the "sweet spot" but, it makes a huge difference and absolutely could be the source of your troubles.
 
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