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Thread: New "old guy"

  1. #1

    New "old guy"

    Hi All

    New old guy here.
    Have not ridden in more years than most of you have been alive.
    Just getting started again on a very small bike.
    And I do have question, probably one that has been asked of you before.
    I did try the search and did not get the exact answers I was looking for.
    So, please indulge me. It concerns counter steering,
    I am reading David Hough's book Proficient Motorcycling. And when he says
    if the bike is getting close to, lets say, a parked car on your right...push on the left
    handgrip. Does he mean push forward or down?
    I know it probably sounds really dopey of me to ask. But as a novice again (lol)
    I think its good to be clear. Push down or forward?


  2. #2
    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! ds5160's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Portland, OR

    You'll get more technical answers, I'm sure.
    I still make a runny one now and then, but the goo is good on ice cream.

    -- Overcaffeinated

  3. #3
    Contributor We've stopped counting... Bugguts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    BBO Bartender
    Don't matter. Either steering input will cause the same effect....the bike will go left if you cause a steering input to the left, regardless of whether it's forward...or down. The bike will use the side of it's tire on the side that you push on.

    Now...I'm so very happy you said "most" of you have been alive...because, like, I'm ancient.

    Welcome to the forum, happy you joined us!
    Quote Originally Posted by bikebitsmall View Post
    64 is not old, we have one poster here at 110
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCrash View Post
    A body not rattling was a body unsure.

  4. #4
    RiderCoach 2000 Posts! KACinPA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Lansdale, PA
    I am going to disagree with Bugs here. The only way pushing "down" induces counter steering is if there is a "forward" component to the "down."

    Just read about Lee Parks "NO BS BIKE."

    You can push down on the added bars all you want and it's not going to turn. You need to turn THE WHEEL in the direction opposite of the way you want the bike to turn to induce lean. That is why it's called COUNTER steering. You steer COUNTER to the direction you want to turn.

    My suggestion to you Chromedome, go take a BRC before you hit the road again. I promise you will learn counter steering and a bunch of other useful stuff.

    '11 Triumph Sprint GT - Blue (The fastest color)
    '05 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 - Blue (The fastest color)

    Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
    It feeds my love of machinery to be that close with my whole body.

  5. #5
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Kootenanny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    British Columbia
    Push the grip forward. Left grip forward, bike leans to the left...right grip forward, bike leans to the right. It's really natural once you get used to it.

    As KAC says, pushing down doesn't do anything in and of itself...however, as there is almost always some forward pressure when you push down on the grip, the bike will respond. I believe that many riders actually do this, pushing down, and since the bike responds they assume that the downward push is what's doing it...but no, it's only the forward push that really does anything.

    And I believe it's best to learn that, incorporate it into your everyday riding, make it an ingrained response, so when something happens that requires an instant response, you respond correctly.

  6. #6
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Kootenanny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    British Columbia
    Oh, and hello--welcome to the forum! From another "old guy" who returned to riding after a few years off (but not as ancient as Buggs, I don't think... )

  7. #7
    Thank you all for the answers and the warm welcome.
    KACinPA--thanks for the was excellent.
    Now it is time for full disclosure. I did take the MFS course at a H-D dealership.
    Here is what happened. The first evening was just reading, watching video and
    discussion. Then we took the 50 question test. I passed with 100%.
    Next morning was day 1 of 2 of actual riding. Now you cannot use your own bike.
    Mine is a Suzuki GZ250. They make you use a Buell Blast. Now I don't want to make
    any enemies--I'm sure the Blast has its fans. But these were perhaps a bit worn. I don't know.
    Everything about them was imprecise. And they are about 200 lbs heavier than my GZ 250.
    And the seat height was higher also. So, I was much less comfortable than on my own bike.
    First part of the day goes OK....then after a short break, we are riding again and I guess I
    grabbed too much front brake. Down I went on my right side. Bike lands on my right ankle.
    I need help getting it off of me. I force myself to get up and walk a bit. I get right back on and ride a little bit more.
    Then I'm hurting pretty good. So I call it a day. go home to lick my wounds.
    Damage to me--Real bad bruised and sprained right ankle. Ankle swollen on left and right sides grossly.
    Right knee bruised, right elbow bruised and probably chipped. And at least one rib on right side cracked.
    I did myself in pretty good.
    I knew I would need at least 4 weeks to recover enough so that I can get back on a bike and support its weight.
    Now the rider coach who is a superb, very smooth rider, never discussed or showed us during the riding portion
    anything about counter steering. Was it is the book learning? Probably. Also I feel that the coach never made it fully clear that
    when you touch that front brake---you barely need to touch it. The touch must be very light and gentle. That was
    never made clear to me. Yes, they want us to apply both brakes together but I suppose my muscle memory for the
    front brake is I panicked and pulled it in hard.
    I feel that I could have been given better instruction and much firmer instruction than I did. Is that fair. I dunno?
    All I know is I dropped a bike and got hurt. Out of 3 in the class 2 dropped bikes. And the coach told me his previous Sat. class
    had 2 people with broken ankles. Out of 8 in that class--2 broken ankles---is that normal? I dunno.
    Anyway, all of this brings me to this.....for me, I think just getting my permit and knowing all the written knowledge from the
    MSF course, and reading David Hough's book and me going out and taking my time and practicing for 45 days at my own pace
    will prepare me to ride safer and better than this particular MFS course will.
    Perhaps for an old guy like me, cramming all that into a 2 half day course is too much all at once.
    Perhaps I need to use 45 days....maybe 25 rides to experiment and learn.
    But I wanted to make it clear that I did take the Safety course and maybe just for me, it was not
    the ultimate.
    Thanks again to everyone for making it clear that counter steering requires a forward push on the bar not a
    downward push.

  8. #8
    RiderCoach 5000 Posts!
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Bealeton, VA
    Wow, sounds like you had a shitty RiderCoach IMO.

    While accidents/drops do happen in the BRC, it's not common that people get hurt every weekend. I can go several weekends without a dropped bike and then have a weekend where there are a few drops. But in my nearly 3 years, I've only had 1 student who had to leave due to injury.

    I'm going to have to disagree with your assessment that you'll be a better/safer rider practicing on your own. I strongly suggest you look into taking the course again through a different provider.

    And FTR, I don't like the Blast at all.

  9. #9
    Flirting With The Redline 4000 Posts! taylorcraft07's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Conesus, NY
    That should not be normal for a class. When I took the class a few years ago nobody dropped a bike and nobody got hurt.


  10. #10
    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! atomicalex's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Detroit, MI & Düsseldorf, Germany
    OP - have you looked for a returning rider course? Some states offer that option.

    I think we are all going to agree with you, that is completely not normal for a BRC, and the RiderCoach was not helping things. In my BRC, we had one fall and the guy walked away with a bruised ego.
    Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
    2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...


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