(Roland Sands with a little countersteering 101. Photo @mrpixelhead courtesy of RSD)

Countersteer

Verb (third-person singular simple present countersteers, present participle countersteering, simple past and past participle countersteered)

  1. To steer a vehicle in the opposite direction at the beginning of a turn in order to adjust the rider's center of gravity.

That's the basic dictionary definition. Wikipedia breaks it down further.

Countersteering

When countersteering to turn left, the following is performed:

  • A torque on the handlebars to the right is applied.
  • The front wheel will then rotate about the steering axis to the right and the tire will generate forces in the contact patch to the right.
  • The machine as a whole steers to the right.
  • Because the forces in the contact patch are at ground level, this pulls the wheels "out from under" the bike to the right and causes it to lean to the left.
  • The rider, or in most cases the inherent stability of the bike, provides the steering torque necessary to rotate the front wheel back to the left and in the direction of the desired turn.
  • The bike begins a turn to the left.

While this appears to be a complex sequence of motions, it is performed by every child who rides a bicycle. The entire sequence goes largely unnoticed by most riders, which is why some assert that they do not do it.

It is also important to distinguish the steering torque necessary to initiate the lean required for a given turn from the sustained steering torque and steering angle necessary to maintain a constant radius and lean angle until it is time to exit the turn.

  • The initial steer torque and angle are both opposite the desired turn direction.
  • The sustained steer angle is in the same direction as the turn.
  • The sustained steer torque required to maintain that steer angle is either with or opposite the turn direction depending on forward speed, bike geometry, and combined bike and rider mass distribution.

Now that we have the nuts and bolts definition out of the way, what does "Countersteer" mean as it relates to our Countersteer platform here at J&P? While it sounds counter-intuitive, countersteering comes natural, just as creating content and covering the industry we love comes natural to us. Our nucleus is comprised of a former AMA Pro racer who can shred on anything, be it a superbike or supermoto, a former drag racer and current super hooligan who's hell on wheels and handy with a wrench, and a managing editor who's been covering the motorcycle industry from the front lines for over 14 years. Countersteer is the natural evolution of a company who's been helping steer the industry for 40 years straight. We've been turning right to go left for a long time now, and are eager to lean into the next turn with our new content division. Here's what you'll find on Countersteer.

  • How-to articles with step-by-step instructions to get you though even the most technical installs.
  • Lifestyle pieces keeping you up to speed on the latest happenings in the moto-world. Or maybe us just talking trash on a certain subject we'd love you to chime in on. We're not afraid to stir the pot.
  • Moto 101 will feed information to new and seasoned riders alike, from tips on moto-commuting to integrating Google Assistant into your motorcycle communications system, useful info for riders regardless of their experience level.
  • Reviews will give you the information straight from the horse's mouth so to speak. Real-world reviews from J&P staffers who are actively using the products we sell and reporting back to you, the reader, on what the pro's and con's are.
  • Buyer's Guides will give you a wide look at the latest products on the market, everything from gear to hard parts, arming you with the knowledge to make the best decisions for you and your riding style.
We're not afraid to go against the grain here at Countersteer, and if there's an alligator in the room, we want to talk about it! 

So what does all this mean to you, the motorcyclist? It means we are providing you a virtual tool box to access the best motorcycle content whenever you please. To check in daily with your first cup of joe, get your moto-fix, and kick start the day off right. And we don't want this to be a one-way street. We want to hear from the motorcycle community, tell us what you think, or what you'd like to see more of. Unlike a lot of other sites out there, we aren't necessarily here to take the middle of the road, we're gonna tell it like it is and push back on the bars a bit (hence the "countersteer"). We may not always side with popular opinion, but that's what this is all about.  We love bench racing fellow bikers, so feel free to drop us a comment, whether it's a tech question, a hell yeah or to tell us you don't agree with our stance on biker fashion. We want to hear from you so we can make Countersteer the best motorcycle website on the internet!