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Tezznique: Inside hand steering in the twisties.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Loz, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. I've been doing a fair bit of riding lately, working on little bits of technique to get smoother and quicker, notably trying to learn to hang off the bike and keep it a bit more upright to help the Hornet's fairly basic suspension deal with the roads.

    Yesterday on a fang through Kinglake to Chum Creek to the black spur with Caz and Mad Dog, I found myself in a good clear frame of mind with some concentration to spare so I spent some time working on inside hand steering.

    I think I first read about it in Code's Twist of the Wrist 2, it's where you try to completely relax the outside hand in a corner, and steer only with the hand you're turning towards.

    It gets a little complicated on lefthanders because you need to relax your right arm while still maintaining full control of the throttle, and that can be confusing. Also, if you're hanging off the bike quite a way, it can be daunting to relax your outside arm because it feels like one less limb is helping you stay on the bike.

    But it definately makes for smoother cornering and tighter turning - in fact, on the way back up Chum Creek rd I was having a proper crack at it at a pretty feisty speed, and bugger me if I didn't nearly run off the road on the INSIDE of a few corner exits!

    With less contradictory steering inputs (because your outside hand isn't gripping the bars so tightly), the bike seems more planted and relaxed at higher lean angles, and correcting a bad line, pushing the bike down further or tightening up an exit is a snap. It's like a cornering confidence boost, although I wasn't game to use it much on the gravelly Kinglake road because I don't trust that surface with the higher lean angles it produces.

    I still need to be very conscious of doing it at this point, but I'll work on internalising it over the next few rides (if I remember to!). I wish I'd had enough concentration left over at the Calder Park trackday to think about applying it there, I'm sure it would have made a big difference.
  2. Is that in the part of TOTW2 where he talks about weighting the outside peg?

    IIRC, he calls it something like "cross-steering", which I took to mean that you work with the outside peg and inside bar.
  3. Yep, identified by several instructors as my most glaring fault. When you work out how to do it right, come and show me! :?
  4. i might try this tonite on the way home through some twisty roads. :D

  5. Hmm, not sure but they're for totally different reasons.

    Weighting the outside peg is supposed to help push extra weight down vertically on the rear tyre and help give it a bit more grip. It's a technique that has come across from dirt track racing where traction is at a premium.

    I've given that a fair go and not noticed a heck of a lot of difference - I've got nice sticky tyres on at the moment and I rarely lose the rear end more than an inch or two.

    Inside hand steering (well, at least the relaxing of the outside arm), however, seems to make a very big difference.
  6. No idea if I'm doing it "right" or not but I'm just totally relaxing the outside arm, letting the bars play freely on that side. On a right hander you can almost take your left hand off altogether.

    The cornering feeling is much looser, the bike tips further in with great ease, and the ride seems smoother as the bars quietly oscillate to deal with surface imperfections unhindered by the outside hand. The whole thing just feels easier.

    The trick is in having your lower body well positioned so you don't need that outside hand to feel secure on the bike. Which is tough when you're hanging off. I don't have any goood tips there, I can't remember how I was doing it but it proobably involved stomach and thigh muscles.
  7. That's how I've always ridden, didn't know there was another way (nice to know I've been doing at least one thing right).
  8. At the Superbike School level 1 course, they have you riding around doing the "chicken dance" with your elbows flapping. The idea being that you should have very relaxed upper arms at all times. You initiate the turn and pretty much leave it at that while the bike's actually turning.

    So I found the "cross-steering" thing in TOTW2 a bit hard to place in context.
  9. Hey Loz,

    after reading this thread, I got the book out again and I am starting to apply it to my cruiser :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

    It feels real nice to relax the outside hand and you feel like you should be waving a national flag ( a la GP winner) as you go around the twistie :LOL: :LOL:

    I am going to see how much I can apply to my mid size cruiser and hopefully suprise some sports riders one day!!! :LOL: :LOL:

  10. I decided to practice this yesterday when I went on the GOR.
    I found it a little more relaxing because I'm not using my arms all the time.
    It is a little hard to do it without thinking
  11. Just wanted to say thanks Loz. Read this the other day and have been playing with it in countersteer on my commute. There certainly is an increase in the smoothness of the curve and it's tighter. I haven't read the source text, But while experimenting this morning i found that you seem to get much the same effect as relaxing your off hand by bringing in your offside elbow to your body, seems to take the muscles out of play on the push/pull. Again thank you.
  12. I've been trying to do this better for the past two or three weeks. In order to do it though, I stopped getting off the seat sideways, and I slowed down my speed on the roads, so I didn't have to use the brakes so hard coming into a corner (if at all), which unsettled the bike and mucked up my corner setup. I guess that really what I have been doing is cornering by counter steering only, to improve that aspect of my riding.

    I too found that the corner line became much tighter, and smoother, while at the same time taking less effort. I have been told in the past that I should be able to ride twisties with open hands, just pushing on the inside bar. This didn't seem like a good idea to me, but I have found that this is precisely the best way to execute pure counter steering. Of course, by not getting off the side, or getting my elbow down, the bike leans much more into the corners, so it is best practised on good corners. I always wondered how to get a real lean on, until I started doing this, which makes it easy.

    Once I get good at it, I will have to start getting back off the seat, or my shoulder down, and then practise my corner setup and braking, and incorporate it all in together. Never stop learning. :grin:

    By the way, I noticed that pure counter steering is much easier at the beginning of a ride, and gets harder as you get tired later in the day. I would guess that this is because it requires a lot of concentration to avoid doing what feels natural, which is holding on hard to the handle bars. :roll:
  13. Good advice RoderickGI. :applause:
    It's good to see you use reflective practice too.
  14. Well done Loz!

    I can't stop myself from saying more... but I'll preface by saying, I'm not an expert, but I love this sort of stuff... and I've read those damn books a few times!... plus the SBS lvl 1 and 2 are fresh in my mind...

    All the theory says that a rider shouldn't use the bars as a hang on point in a corner - because:

    • - you're likely to unknowingly put in additional inputs,
      - one hand/arm fights against the other in the leaning stakes (you push to lean and the other hand pushes to stop how far you lean meaning you're tight on the bars),
      - Holding onto the bars stops the suspension working properly and encourages the bike to go wide
    ... and other negative things.

    SBS actually teach you to relax BOTH arms, but especially the outside one. (Relaxing is just one of a coordinated set of things to do to improve cornering ability)... they do the chicken wing drill to remind you to relax.

    Anywayz, to get full use of the relaxation technique, you need to be locked onto the bike via other means, but until that's sussed, consciously relaxing the outside hand/arm in a turn is a great start.

    When confident try this:
    • - On a right hand corner take your left hand off the bar!!
      - On a left hander, relax your right arm and hold tension only at the finger tips to keep the throttle open.

    Safe riding everybody.
  15. ...and on a fast right hander, be sure to avoid the throttle rocker...

  16. In-bloody-deed!!!

    Taaa Loz! :p
  17. I hear what you are saying Loz.
    These days while my predominant input is through the push of the countersteering side (or inside hand), I finesse the manoeuvre with some pull on the opposite (or outside) handle bar. :)
  18. so.. do you relax the arm after you have made the counter steering input to lower the bike to the turning angle? or are you meant to only use one arm to make the entire countersteering input?

    does this mean the push/pull technique for fast tip in is something that isnot used for faser overall riding or is that mainly a track/hard riding technique? where the inside arm thing obviously sounds like a street useable technique...
  19. Ronin, not sure what G does, but the two-handed push-pull counter steer is what I use to pick the bike up in a hurry. It's great when doing slaloms... lurve doing slaloms!

    A single push countersteer though is easiest in the twisties, and allows you to have all the other bits in place: looking in, relaxed arms, locked knee against tank, hanging off position...

    The theory goes that once you've made the counter steering input, if you roll the throttle on gradually, the bike will happily stay in that leaned position without any further inputs... so once the input has been made, both arms can be relaxed. The only reason you'd need to keep pressure on the inside bar is a) tightening the turn, or b) counteracting the (unaware) push the other hand is making on the outside bar.

    Read TOTW and it all becomes revealed. :)
  20. Yep, I find it easiest to just push on the inside bar to tip into the corner as I lose the smoothness if I use a push-pull technique. I start to become too agressive and eventually muck up my balance cause I get over excited and my timing suffers.

    I do have one question the super bike graduates could answer though.

    When I go into a corner I go in wide and push the bar to tip the bike. Immediately I get onto the throttle gently to maintain the balance before rolling it on towards the exit.

    There's nothing wrong there but this is the odd bit. During the corner, I tend not to stop pushing the bar but prefer to continue tipping the bike during the turn, using the throttle to balance and contol the bike (ie, tipped too far=go faster). This has developed to a point (given that I generally approach slower than I think I need to) where I now tend to over tip the bike into corners knowing I can give more gas to hold it up if I need to. Am I heading for ouchies or do you think this is ok? :?