Friday, June 28, 2013

A Student Asks...

While teaching the classroom portion of the BRT last night we discussed countersteering. Yes, the ever confusing, often discussed yet never fully understood countersteer!

Try to explain countersteer to someone and watch their eyes gloss over, explain it to 24 students in a classroom and you may as well be teaching physics.... wait, what?

PHYSICS!?! What does physics have to do with riding a motorcycle? 

Confused yet?

We use the terms "to turn right, press right" and "to turn left, press left".

This is where I confused the students, but this is counterintuitive.... close, you've got the "counter" part down, now let's work on the "steering" part. I mentioned that they've been doing it all their lives on a bicycle, they just didn't know it. Well, talk about adding to the confusion, now they're thinking back to the last time they rode a bicycle, which may be as early as last week but more than likely when they were twelve years old. 

One can explain countersteering until they're blue in the face, it is just something one has to experience on the bike in a controlled environment under the watchful eye of professional instructors to truly appreciate.

After class, a student approached me for clarification and asked "do you press down on the bars or push forward, because you motioned to push but said to press?"

Respectfully, yet somewhat confused myself, I reiterated, "Press left, go left and press right to go right so press forward on the handgrip, not down".

This is where the male brain and female brain work differently and she provided a completely different perspective. 

She explained her definition of press and push while motioning "you press down on a table, so this is press" 


 "This is push, so you want us to push on the bars?"


A young male student shared his perspective and stated that he thinks of push as a pushup. Now we're all confused. 

Pushup vs. bench press 
Push a button vs. press a button
Push your luck vs. press your luck


Exert force on (someone or something), typically with one's hand, in order to move them away from oneself or the origin of the force.


  1. Move or cause to move into a position of contact with something by exerting continuous physical force: "he pressed his face to the glass".
  2. Put (someone or something) to a specified use, esp. as a temporary or makeshift measure.

Either way:


  1. The film explains the physics correctly! Most diagrams I've seen in books don't talk about the dynamically balanced couples.....

  2. While pressing this topic you have pushed it a little too far ...

  3. I used to struggle teaching this concept as well. Wish I had that graphic to use as it's far easier to show than to explain in words.

  4. Never easy to explain, better to try and demonstrate. All else fails find a sushi bar ....

  5. In the immortal words of Yoda.... Do.... Or Do Not... Their is no try.

    Or like Peter Pan.. All it takes is trust and Pixie dust..

    Believe that it works and it will

    And my personal mantra... Don't F'ing overthink it Stupid.. As I usally do.


Comments are more than welcome, however, thanks to an increase in anonymous spammers of late, you now must be a registered user to comment.

Thank you spammers!