MOTORCYCLE CORNERING. COUNTERSTEERING: A BETTER WAY OF GETTING OUT OF THE WAY

The technique of countersteering is presented as the best means for the motorcyclist to avoid an obstacle in the fastest time and shortest distance. The collision-avoidance technique and its application are illustrated and discussed. The physical principles involved in the maneuver are explained and illustrated; basically, a gyroscopic action is taking place. When entering a right-hand turn and suddenly noticing an obstacle ahead, a rider, using countersteering, will apply pressure to the right handlebar, causing the front wheel to steer left briefly. This forces the motorcycle to lean to the right. Done correctly, a third of the turn has already been accomplished. As pressure on the right handlebar is let up, the front wheel positions itself in line with the bike. Since the machine is already leaning into the turn, it will stay at that angle of lean and continue around the turn in proportion to lean and speed. It is recommended that the cyclist consult a rider experienced in countersteering (e.g. Motorcycle Safety Foundation instructor) to assist in understanding and practicing this technique. Low speed, supervised practice in the technique is advised before attempting the maneuver without trained supervision. A separate section, "Everything Resists Change," illustrates and discusses the technical side of countersteering: inertia, gyroscopic force, center of gravity, and centrifugal force.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • At head of title: Technical and Applied Science.
  • Corporate Authors:

    US Air Force Inspection and Safety, Center

    Norton AFB, CA  United States  92409
  • Authors:
    • Owens, R L
  • Publication Date: 1980-4

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 14-18
  • Serial:
    • Driver
    • Volume: 13
    • Issue Number: 11
    • Publisher: US Air Force Inspection and Safety, Center

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00382559
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-029 040
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Apr 30 1984 12:00AM