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Steering column

Letters

Many of the accidents of the type described in the feature on motorcycling where lone riders run out of road are the result of widespread ignorance of countersteering cornering.

This involves setting up the motorcycle to bank for a bend by pulling the left hand grip towards you for a right hand bend and vice versa for a left.

Riding through the bend, line and angle of bank are fine tuned by adjusting the level of opposing pull applied to the handlebars. All riders use this technique unconsciously, but unless they learn active countersteering they will not benefit from the ability it gives to regain control when things go wrong.

The natural reaction to try and slow down when a bend gets tricky actually makes things worse as the bike sits up and tries to go wide.

Countersteering is not a part of rider training in this country and even the police rider's bible, Motorcycle roadcraft, does not try to explain how a motorcycle is made to bank. By contrast, the principle is well understood an explained in riding manuals from the USA. If anyone is interested in learning how to do it I can send them a copy of an article I wrote for Motorcycle Sport and leisure which goes into more detail.

Tony Collins (G), unreborn biker, arcollin@devon.gov.uk

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