Turns - Counter Steer Verses Steering with a Sidecar Rig

Two wheelers make a turn by forcing the front tire to the other side of center of gravity. This causes the bike to lean into the turn and is commonly called counter steer. Most bikers counter steer without even thinking about steering the machine. But sidecars actually steer their way through a turn just like a four-wheeled vehicle. The most dangerous sidecar operator is someone who has rode two wheels for years and then decides to try a sidecar. The first thing he wants to do is counter steer which points the rig in the opposite direction. I made that very mistake the first time I tried my sidecar and almost ran into a tree in my friends front yard!

Also, an untrained operator who has a lot of two wheel experience will invariably steer right into danger during a panic situation because his brain is telling him to counter steer. The only way to combat this is to practice until you are as familiar with your sidecar rig as you were (or are) with your two wheeled motorcycle. A sidecar rig can be deadly to an occasional rider who refuses to lean how his unique machine performs.

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E-mail: tom@hackpilot.com