We all know that ABS on motorcycles has been around for a while, but what it might surprise you to know is just how long it’s been around. According to the Wiki, BMW launched an 11kg (!!) ABS system on its K100 series way back in 1988. I was only 13-years-old back then and am in my forties now…. Because the system has been around for a long time and is becoming a standard feature on most bikes nowadays, a long-held assumption I’ve had is that the vast majority of today’s riders are au fait with the system…
With the dozens of riders I’ve coached over the years, it’s always a source of bemusement to me that the two most important tools for riding a motorcycle are the two I always find used the least – counter-steering and the rear brake. Counter-steering may be considered an advanced technique but rear-braking is firmly in the “basic motorcycle control” one.
There are so many different factors and variables that contribute to successful corner execution and reading about them on a blog isn’t ideal, mainly because of the problems involved in learning a practical skill from the written word, but since so many riders have a tendency to corner extremely badly, I thought I’d examine a few of the major areas of cornering that you can take with you and practice.
This blog post might be the first time you have come across the term “counter steering”, or maybe you’ve heard of it but think “pfffft I don’t need to do that in order to steer MY motorcycle! I just lean it over!” – but here is the honest and total truth: in order for the motorcycle to turn at higher speeds, you must counter steer, whether you realize you are doing it or not. Consciously counter-steering, and practicing it will open up a whole new world to you as a rider because it enables incredibly precise, quick and effective turning – far more than using your body to lean the motorcycle over will ever achieve.