• Counter-steering: The number one steering technique every rider should master

Counter-intuitive, life-saving trick to take the twists and bends in full confidence

You are blazing through the bends of a hill, leaning away in glory across all the sweeps and turns. But at one blind corner, you see a huge truck approaching in the opposite lane, and all red flashes in your brain. It subconsciously tells you to turn the handlebar right to steer right, and when you do that, the bike swings right back to the left, and you go crash the truck.

Unfortunate, but this is exactly what happened to a bloke running a mountain course. Whose fault was it? The blind-spot? The speed? The rider? Well... it is all of the above.

Every rider must know to slow down at a blind spot. You never can predict whats on the other side. Nonetheless, there is a sneaky little trick that if the rider had known, could have avoided the crash. And that is Counter-Steering and a bit of going against your intuition.

Many riders do it without having to think. But for those who don’t, this is your gateway to the number one steering technique. You’ll be in awe when you try it out for the first time and notice it actually work.

It is a pretty simple trick but will take your brain a number of attempts first to trust this technique. All you need is an empty stretch of road for you to try this and make sure you do it on a smaller bike first and at speeds at 15-20 mph.

Counter-steering: The number one steering technique every rider should master
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We all know that to turn the motorcycle, we need to look and lean towards that direction and the vehicle automatically turns towards it. This time, to lean the motorcycle, press on the left/right handgrip forward depending on the left/right direction of the turn.

Press left handgrip - lean left - go left. Press right handgrip - lean right - go right.

It is definitely not magic but a lot of physics. Will not ponder much on that here. It will feel weird in the beginning but trust this technique, and it will keep you safe in all twists and turns. Practice this until you get comfortable with it and you will finally tidy it up to move smoothly and quickly in the direction you desire.

Counter-steering: The number one steering technique every rider should master
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At low speeds, not much effort is needed to counter-steer. But as you start gaining speed, you need to add a firm positive force pushing the handlebar forward, and more importantly, a correct posture will give you a far precise turn. Anchor yourself onto the bike with the knees gripping the tank and your foot firmly on the footpegs.

This technique will revolutionize the way you ride and take turns at any speed. Once you ace it, you will learn a whole new way to brake harder and avoid running wide. Not just braking, you will also know how your tires, suspension, and steering works in tandem.

All you need to do is practice. Ride safe.

Counter-steering: The number one steering technique every rider should master
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Sagar Patil
Sagar Patil
Motorcycle industry expert since 1997! - sagar@topspeed.com
Over the years, a deeper conscience of machines moving body and soul has given him a crisp grasp over the concepts of motorcycling. A sucker for details and common sense, he loves getting his hands dirty every once in a while. His love affair with motorcycles ushers in the specialist skillset making Sagar our go-to expert for everything on two-wheels.  Read full bio
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