How do you steer a motorcycle? This is the most basic skill everyone learns in their 2 wheel training, starting with that first bicycle, and yet knowledge of countersteering is often completely lacking or misunderstood by many riders. If you want to get a good debate going in any group of riders, ask about countersteering. It might be a better debate generator than talking about torque versus horsepower, and we all know how those debates go.
Keith Code, who runs the excellent California Superbike School, figured the best way to end the debate was a demonstration. He built a bike he calls the “No BS Machine” where he installed an extra set of handle bars. The bars are solid mounted to the frame, they do not move the front wheel in any way but are simply a place for your hands with a throttle to maintain speed. Riders are then given an opportunity to try turning the bike with any amount of leaning, weight transfer or body english they desire so long as they are holding on to the solid mounted bars. The result? The bike continues forward in an uninterrupted straight line. It may wobble or do any number of weird things but it doesn’t turn.
Keith Code never mentions anything like gyroscopic precession to explain any of it, he simply says here’s the demonstration. He leaves the technical debate to others. It sounds like a great bike to add to basic motorcycle safety courses around the country. It’s the kind of thing that could save someone when they drift wide into oncoming traffic and have to react fast. Just remember, push right – go right, push left – go left.
Thanks Bob, for the pointer.