Direct Steering - Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Direct Steering

I'm asking this because a small bike racer made a statement that I don't quite agree with. Is it possible, once leaned into a turn and hanging off, to tighten the line by steering INTO the turn? Or does it always require counter-steering or slowing down to tighten the turn at higher speeds?

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 09:04 PM
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Yes to first question.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rekkuuza View Post
I'm asking this because a small bike racer made a statement that I don't quite agree with. Is it possible, once leaned into a turn and hanging off, to tighten the line by steering INTO the turn? Or does it always require counter-steering or slowing down to tighten the turn at higher speeds?
Any time I hear a discussion with "counter-steering" I cringe because it's generally made by people who don't get the physics behind motorcycle steering.

If I want to tighten a line, and I'm very close to the limits of traction, generally I'll ease off some of the maintenance throttle that was holding me on my trajectory. Can't come off the throttle too fast of you loose the front. Yeah, basically slowing down.

If at the limits of traction and you want to tighten the line while maintaining a speed, steering into the turn will wash out the front.

And any change in direction for a given speed requires counter-steering. And if you are tightening a line you better have some lean angle to spare.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaph View Post
Any time I hear a discussion with "counter-steering" I cringe because it's generally made by people who don't get the physics behind motorcycle steering.

If I want to tighten a line, and I'm very close to the limits of traction, generally I'll ease off some of the maintenance throttle that was holding me on my trajectory. Can't come off the throttle too fast of you loose the front. Yeah, basically slowing down.

If at the limits of traction and you want to tighten the line while maintaining a speed, steering into the turn will wash out the front.

And any change in direction for a given speed requires counter-steering. And if you are tightening a line you better have some lean angle to spare.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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What Zaph said is basically what I think, but I haven't ridden track, so I don't know from personal experience.

Related question: For a given speed and given lean angle, does hanging off simply allow more velocity, or does it actually help the bike turn sharper without leaning more?

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Yes to first question.
How tho? If steering into the turn reduces lean angle, how does it help tighten the turn? Does it maybe make a difference if the bike is small and light or if the speed is lower?

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Last edited by rekkuuza; 06-20-2016 at 11:16 AM.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by rekkuuza View Post
What Zaph said is basically what I think, but I haven't ridden track, so I don't know from personal experience.

Related question: For a given speed and given lean angle, does hanging off simply allow more velocity, or does it actually help the bike turn sharper without leaning more?
Hanging off gives more ground clearance for the bike allowing you to take a corner a little faster before hard parts start grinding. A quicker velocity requires more overall shifting of the center of mass into the inside of the turn. This usually entails the bike leaning or you hanging off and leaning. Think of the rider and bike as a complete system. The center of mass shift to the inside of the turn while turning is a relative constant for velocity and turn radius. If the rider just stays centers on the saddle, the bike will have to lean more to get the center of mass shift it needs. If the rider hangs off more and shifts more of their weight to the inside of the turn, the bike itself has to lean less as the system as a whole(rider and bike) has met the CoM needs for that turn and speed. This is of course if you're clearance limited versus traction limited.

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How tho? If steering into the turn reduces lean angle, how does it help tighten the turn? Does it maybe make a difference if the bike is small and light or if the speed is lower?
Directly steering the bike mid-corner into the turn would be exactly doing a counter-steering input to the outside of the turn. At faster than congested parking lot speeds this will end up with you picking the bike up and widening the turn.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by FreelancerMG View Post
Hanging off gives more ground clearance for the bike allowing you to take a corner a little faster before hard parts start grinding. A quicker velocity requires more overall shifting of the center of mass into the inside of the turn. This usually entails the bike leaning or you hanging off and leaning. Think of the rider and bike as a complete system. The center of mass shift to the inside of the turn while turning is a relative constant for velocity and turn radius. If the rider just stays centers on the saddle, the bike will have to lean more to get the center of mass shift it needs. If the rider hangs off more and shifts more of their weight to the inside of the turn, the bike itself has to lean less as the system as a whole(rider and bike) has met the CoM needs for that turn and speed. This is of course if you're clearance limited versus traction limited.



Directly steering the bike mid-corner into the turn would be exactly doing a counter-steering input to the outside of the turn. At faster than congested parking lot speeds this will end up with you picking the bike up and widening the turn.
Aptly put. Another reason you might want to keep the bike a little more upright is so that the suspension can absorb any bumps better.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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All that makes sense to me. Now, the actually physics of how the bike turns, that's another story. This is just about what the rider does consciously or subconsciously to make a turn happen.

Counter-steer to lean. Lean to turn. Lean more to turn sharper. Hang off to turn at a higher velocity for a given lean angle. Yes? Or hang off for more traction and better suspension response.

Ah! See. That last thought it what leads to thinking hanging off allows for a sharper turn without adding lean angle. More traction just allows you to go faster, not turn sharper at a given lean angle, right?

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Last edited by rekkuuza; 06-20-2016 at 02:19 PM.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 05:20 PM
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Hanging off moves the center of gravity allowing you to take the same curve with less lean. Or, when on the track, take a curve even faster when at max lean.


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