Countersteering only works on two-wheeled things that lean to turn. That means countersteering does NOT work on mechanical stuff such as four-wheelers, Can-Am Spyders, or motorcycle trikes.
Turning a Motorcycle
On a motorcycle (which uses countersteering), you push left to go left—or turn the handlebar in the opposite direction that you want to turn.
Figure 1 (below) shows a motorcycle entering a left-handed curve. Using countersteering, the rider pushes on the left handlebar to make the motorcycle lean to the left.
Turning a Can-Am Spyder
On a Can-Am Spyder (which doesn’t use countersteering), you push right to go left—or turn the handlebar in the same direction you want to go.
Figure 2 (below) shows a three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder entering a left-handed curve. Since it doesn’t use countersteering, the rider pushes on the right handlebar (or pulls on the left) to make the motorcycle turn left.
If you want to feel countersteering, ride something that doesn’t use countersteering soon after you’ve ridden your motorcycle. You’ll notice the difference immediately.
Wasn’t that amazing?
The last time I rode my friend’s Sea-Doo at his lake house (tough life, right?), it felt awkward since I had to turn the Sea-Doo in the opposite direction that I was used to on my motorcycle. But in a matter of seconds, my brain made the adjustment.
* This article is an excerpt from my book Motorcycle Smarts.