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Old 01-25-2014, 09:41 PM   #33
rfulcher
Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Oddometer: 10
I had this happen to me shortly after returning to riding after being out of it for years. Came up on a tighter than expected turn, but not that tight. It felt like the front was fighting me. The harder I tried to turn the more the bike seemed to resist. I knew and used counter steering regularly. I didn't do it that day and just barely made a turn that I could now take at twice the speed. (Well I must have counter steered some since I did make it)

What I think happens when "the bike would not make the turn"

When relaxed and comfortable riders don't push and are not under stress. So it is easy to "turn left to go right." However when stressed and maybe afraid we revert to the physical responses and reflexes that are most deeply learned. Most recreational riders drive cars way more than they ride motorcycles. For lots of riders the best learned (most instinctive/reflexive) response is to steer around the corner, bummer. When not freaked out counter steering is easy and even unconscious. However the more stressed the harder the rider reacts and tries to steer around the curve and they run wide because the bike "would not turn." The harder they try to turn the worse it gets. The responses to steer and counter steer fight each other. This make the bike and/or muscles feel locked up. If the steering response is the strongest survival reaction the bike goes off the road.

I have never heard this theory elsewhere, but that's my story and I am sticking to it.

Of course target fixation, lack of confidence, not knowing how far the bike will lean, freaking out and hitting the brakes, not knowing how to brake and turn when going in too hot, and other things contribute. However I think with sometimes fear turns on the survival reflex of steering and overwhelms the proper response of counter steering. Keith code talks about this kind of thing in his books and columns.
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