Mar 20, 2001
That's kinda stupid, the reason for leaning into turns is NOT to make the bike turn, it's to better the balance and effectively harness the power of forces. To turn a tight corner on a superbike with no leaning is virtually impossible, when you lean you reduce the amount of wheel surface on the ground, making it's radius smaller, so you end up using a combination of centripetal force and a slight amount of turning. I might be way off, and if I am tell me, but I'd like to see that bike do a hairpin.



Jan 19, 2000
I don't know, it sounds pretty weak. I mean with no details or explanations anyone can say anything. I would expect to see discussion of gyroscopic forces and vector cross products before some "fellow" :eek: convinces me I can't turn a properly designed bike without using my hands!!

Just take a look at the neighborhood kids turning their bicycles no-handed. I used to do it myself. I guess you could say "you can't turn without the bars turning, but you certainly can turn without turning the bars."


2005 Lori Nyland Award Winner
Nov 12, 1999
they missed a very big factor in that little article.

braking and accelerating!

both or combined will turn a motorcycle.

brake sliding into a turn........hard acceleration spinning the rear tire and leaning most certainly will turn a bike.

i think they should mount the handle bars in another area!


just my opinion


Mar 14, 2001
I think the article may be technically correct, but is misleading.

It is true that no amount of body (i.e., the rider's body) lean will turn the bike.

You must lean THE BIKE in order to make it turn. We lean the bike by counter steering. I doubt anyone who rode the bike in the article had the guts to lean the bike over without the ability to steer. Once the center of gravity was out of line with the wheels, the bike would fall over.

When we steer, we are essentially moving the wheels out from under the center of gravity of the bike and the bike leans over the opoosite way from the steering. Gyroscopic and centripital forces and your body position keep the bike from falling over.

If you think about it, you will realize that a lot of the time we keep our bodies vertical and lean the bikes over in turns. And sometimes (say to avoid that branch aimed at your head) we will lean our bodies out ot the side and keep the bike vertical so it goes straight.

This is a pretty simple explanation and there are other forces involved (braking, acceleration, rotational), but if memory serves my is basically correct.

BS Physics '92 (see I do know something about these things).


2005 Lori Nyland Award Winner
Nov 12, 1999
One thing to notice is that the total article is based on road racing or road bikes. Now yes they only have 2 wheels, but you go blowin into a corner at warp 9 and lock it up hit the curb to turn?


the dirt side of this conversation i think has many more varibles not to mention that i would suspect that less then 10% of the readers of this board could give a rats rear how a killer power slide is figured out on paper.........unless its photo paper and its a photo on the cover of a race mag!

just a thought

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