A motorcycle can be steered using a number of different inputs.
Handle bar pressure, body weight and changes in speed all have an effect on a motorcycle's direction of travel.
Good riders use a combination of these inputs to achieve smooth and precise turns.
HANDLE BAR PRESSURE
A motorcycle can be steered by direct steering or counter steering.
With direct steering the motorcycle goes in the direction to which the handle bars are turned.
With counter steering the motorcycle goes in the opposite direction to which the handle bars are turned, for example a slight forward pressure on the left handle bar will make the motorcycle turn left.
Direct steering is only used for very low speed turns, such as u-turns and turns at intersections.
Counter steering has more effect as speed increases.
How a rider uses their body weight will have a significant effect on a turning motorcycle.
Leaning with the motorcycle in a curve allows the motorcycle to be more upright thereby giving the tyres better grip and the motorcycle greater ground clearance.
With low speed turns leaning out from the turn can help balance the motorcycle.
EFFECTS OF SPEED
The faster a motorcycle is travelling the harder it is to turn.
Reducing speed before turning is essential.
Wait until the motorcycle begins to straighten before accelerating.
Accelerating will stand a motorcycle up and too much will make the motorcycle run wide.