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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
To bounce off the Chicken Strips thread:

I'm a new rider. I've been wondering about leaning—particularly with respect to counter-weighting (leaning the bike under me as I stay mostly upright) vs. leaning with the bike.

I know it's generally best to CW in slower-speed turns (and in certain other riding conditions). I've scraped the pegs a few times, on faster twisties, and it felt natural to lean fully with the bike in those situation, but in regular commute riding, I find that I counter-weight a lot on the bike.

I find I do this in a variety of situations (from splitting traffic on the freeway [Calif.], to lane changes, to residential riding). Sometimes I feel like I should try to consciously lean with the bike in some of these situations instead of CW'ing, but it feels very natural and quick. I feel like Steve McQueen LOOKs in the Great Escape (this isn't intentional).

I rarely hear about CW'ing discussed online, because it seems everyone is so into knee dragging sport-riding techniques. The only time I read about it online is when it's in relation to slow speed maneuvering—usually for passing the MSF skills test.

Is what I'm doing the product of riding a standard bike vs. a sport(ier) bike, or am I developing bad riding habits?

ray
 

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I believe you should lean with the bike at highway speeds.CW is only for real low speed turns. I had to discourage my son from this bad habit. You want to maintain stability and ground clearance at higher speeds and corner as a unit with the motorcycle.

Above ludicrous speed you begin to go "half a cheek off with a firm push" then if you want to look like a racer you can start really hanging off on the inside. Personaly at high speed I do the "half cheek off with a head bob" which isn't nearly as gay as it sounds.
 

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Sals advice is sound & by & large you are better leaning with the bike. However since I started riding more dirt roads on the scram I have been doing more of what you term counterweighting.
It can be especially valuable in those really tight twisty roads that call for extrmely rapid changes in direction [ parts of the Skywalker valley road come to mind, I think that was its name ]. Leaning with the bike means more stability but slower changes in direction, leaning the bike & hauling on the bars allows you to flick the bike around quicker usually when doing this you wont ground the pegs , if you do its time to reevaluate as you are heading for trouble. All this reminds me of adjusting a metronome for music timing.
 

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I agree at low-speeds the upright position with your bike pivoting under will giving you the best balance.

As mentioned previously this is common in other styles of riding such as Super-Motard and desert racing. Look at one of the best desert racers Bud Ekins, the bike always pivoted under him, which allow him to pull or push the bike in any direction quickly. I’m not old enough to actually see him race but my father raced a lot of races with him and I was taught well.

At high-speeds the body leans with the bike and you ‘hang a check’ pushing your outside knee on the tank looking to where you want to be at the end of the turn and hold you line, and like Sal said you’ll look stylish doing so, especially on those long sweeping on-ramps.

On the tight twisties you can do either, it depends on road conditions and how much you want to work.

Of course this is my opinion I’m sure you’ll hear from others.
 

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TriCycler said:
I've scraped the pegs a few times
The reason to lean with the bike (or hang off) is to change the bike’s centre of gravity. In doing so you decrease the lean angle for a given speed (the less the bike has to lean for a corner the more grip you have… or the more lean angle you have available which means you can increase your speed that much more :D ). If you are not leaning with the bike (or worse, leaning the opposite direction) you will increase lean angle which decreases grip, which could end with some asphalt surfing.
 

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The idea is to keep the bike more upright so that you can counter act inerta and not ground the bike. One of the main points is allow the bike to be more upright while traveling through the apex of a turn which increases entrance and exit speeds. Countering is generally only used for rapid changes of direction around obstacle. It's used as more of a straight line manuver. Setting up for a series of turns you will generally slide from side to side in the seat. It can be used in slow, moderate or fast turns.


Cheers
Jeff:motorbike2:
 

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I think of it this way.... Counter-weighting is used when you are steering the bike and allows you to make a tighter turn. At higher speeds you have to lean the bike requiring counter-steering. A quick change of direction (swerve) is done by keeping your body upright and moving the bike under you from side to side. Hanging off changes the center of gravity and allows you to go faster at the same lean angle.

The MSF BRC covers most of this (not hanging off!) and is well worth most peoples time.

Good Luck
 
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