Originally Posted by Center-stand
I have 4 road bikes, an 08 KLR, 87 BMW R65, 02 BMW R1150R, and a 96 FLHTP. Each of these bikes will tend to right themselves and go straight as soon as I relax or release pressure on the bars.
I can't imagine riding a bike that was "neutral", if by "neutral" you mean it requires no effort to put it into a turn or hold it there.
I don't know enough about bike geometry to discuss specifics, but I do know that the gyroscopic effect of the front end geometry wants a moving bike to stay upright and run straight unless directed to do otherwise by the rider.
How much effort it takes to turn in or hold a turn can be debated, but if it requires no effort it would be a dangerous bike to ride, in my opinion.
I believe that many bike accidents that occur in curves are caused by a brief moment of panic when the rider thinks he can't make the turn, relaxes momentarily, and goes straight into a ditch, guardrail, oncoming auto, or whatever. Experienced riders will apply a bit more downward pressure on the down end of the bars and complete the turn.
Every sportbike I've ridden with decent tires on it has been for the most part neutral while leaned over (it doesn't try to stand up or lean further). It does take more effort to counter-steer because of the rake angle and fighting gyroscopic forces but neutral once you let pressure off the bars to hold a lean angle. Its designed this way for racing to let the rider keep their arms relaxed with pressure off the bars right at the traction limits. The reason for this is motorcycles are inherently stable with the geometry thats built into the frame. If there are some meaty fists pushing on the handlebars it prevents the geometry from keeping the motorcycle stable especially at the limits of traction. Relaxed arms also give you a finer feel of the traction limits.
If a new rider is going to run off the road they find ways to do it on any type of motorcycle. Almost anyone on a sportbike is going to try and fly into corners that they can't handle yet so it might up the odds. When you see a motorcyclist get into a tank slapper it is always the rider having a tight grip every single time unless its a mechanical failure (when have you ever seen a bike do that on its own?). A little head shake can happen from a light front wheel and how it reacts with the suspension / pavement.
There are a lot of reasons why beginners shouldn't ride sportbikes. I guess you can chalk that up as one of the many. Tha'ts getting way off topic now anyway
Counter-steering is good, learn it, practice it, and ride it.