It is often misleading to think that motorcycle steering involve shifting your body mass. If you really believe that shifting your body will make your bike turn do a simple experiment. Leave the handlebars alone, rest them for example on the tank and whilst you go straight, try to turn only by moving or leaning your body to one side. You'll see that your bike is still going straight ahead and your effort is for nothing as motorcycles are designed to go straight with no action on handlebars. If your bike turns on leaving the handlebars it means the wheel alignment has suffered which needs fixing.
Yes, shifting your
body will play a role but once you've made your bike turn and lean in the
corner. However, we should start from
the basics first on how to turn the motorcycle.
Whether you aware of
this or not, you do it anyway, otherwise you will not be able to make any kind
of turns on you bike. This is the same as with any bicycles. In order to turn
right you need to first turn your handlebars left which deflects the front wheel
to the left which forces the bike to fall to the right. This maybe sounds
complicated but is simple and natural thing that you many not yet realised.
When you start to use this technique more consciously and more intentionally you would want to gently push one or the other side of the handlebars. Simply, if you want to turn right, gently push the right hand side and if you want to turn left, push the left hand side. This would do the trick and it is a good starting point.
When you begin
experimenting, you will notice that the bike's willingness to turn is
proportional to the force on the handlebars. To turn quickly you will need to
be more abrupt with the push and if you push it lightly, the bike will slowly
bend in the desired direction. At higher speeds it will be more difficult to
turn and any steering would require more force on the handlebars than at lower
speeds. This is caused by the fact that with increasing speed the gyroscopic
effect of spinning wheels, brake discs, chain etc., creates increased
At the design stage
of any motorcycle chassis a great care is taken to ensure proper steering feel,
balancing stability against turning ability. However, no matter what motorcycle
you ride, on experimenting and perfecting your inputs at the handlebar you will
discover new abilities of your bike. Make sure you've mastered the
countersteering techniques before diving into more advanced steering techniques that will
add further control and confidence to your riding.
Read more on the advanced motorcycle steering techniques in Motorcycle Steering - Part II
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