Motorcycle Riders - You're Leaning the Wrong Way

Sep 12, 2021
1 277 723 Views

Ever notice that police motorcyclists lean their bodies *away* from a turn? They're trained to. But why might this uncommon body position be helpful for our motorbikes?

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  • What's a PUTIN? Is that like eating a Russian? Lol

    Floridajames04Floridajames0432 minutes ago
  • lots of dick jokes in this video. is that normal?

    jarred roachjarred roach3 hours ago
  • If I’ve never said this, I’m saying it now. I LOVE YOU GUYS THIS IS SO AWESOME👏

    _Michael__Michael_5 hours ago
  • Wow astonishing video! Great discussion, beautiful photography, perfect edition. Thank you so much

    Alfonso CajiaoAlfonso Cajiao6 hours ago
  • I was never so confused like I am right now.. like.. ever..

    Kikísek ScótermannKikísek Scótermann10 hours ago
  • Imagine counter leaning on a h2

    MaverickMaverick10 hours ago
  • This man makes physics sooo interesting.....if you were my physics teacher with this vibe back in high school...i defo take physics as a major

    Nathan FanaiNathan Fanai12 hours ago
  • Smart Alec face with so much real info! Obviously you are Physics nerd and are a Master at Pedagogy!

    Claude DesaulniersClaude Desaulniers14 hours ago
  • So many references and borderline dirty jokes XD. I'm a new fan.

    Chop SeuyChop Seuy16 hours ago
  • 852 people never passed math!

    concrete manconcrete man16 hours ago
  • This really helped in controlling my motorcycle in the mountains. 🙏🙏👍👍

    Travel with JayantTravel with JayantDay ago
  • Thumbnail looks wrong...

    PrincipleMethodsPrincipleMethodsDay ago
  • It’s answered in one simple way , tuck in all the way with sticky tyres on the track and tuck in slightly with expected counter on the road , usually when hit diesel, ice or wet grids . Ride counter if your expecting to slide . That’s it in the tin fully labelled up as is .

    paul deanpaul deanDay ago
  • A funny story how I "discovered" and then learned about counter leaning(short as I can promise) one day riding my xt225 and the car in front of me slammed on it's brakes, all 4 tires locked up, I always try and keep a good distance when riding but I admit I wasn't on his arsh but still to close and I was going to hit him, total instinct kicked and instead of throwing myself and the bike in a lean I used my arms and knees on the tank and threw the bike over NARROWLY missing the car. After getting my shit together and the shit out of my pants I started thinking about how well that worked even though exactly what you showed in the beginning, that's not what the super bike and GP riders do. So to keep a "short" story from getting longer I did some research and found that on the normal streets counter lean is the best way to go. Awesome video

  • Boy... The attention you got with this video is stellar! And what's more it really brought the motorcycle USplane instructors together. I've seen at least five of the top producers jump in on this topic. Can only help make for better riders 👍

    Gary PetersGary PetersDay ago
  • I appreciate the caveat at the end, cause I like to push my KLR around corners at max speeds when having fun, so I lean hard, but on dirt I've always counter leaned, so intuitively I knew those felt right, but now I understand why each is right in different situations.

    Thomas NealThomas NealDay ago
  • Can you please make a video on which is the best motorcycle engine to cover long distances at a stretch cruising at 100 - 110kmph all day on the highway. - Liquid cooled - Oil cooled - Air cooled Which will be more reliable in long term usage?

    Adithya MohanAdithya MohanDay ago
  • Love the channel but it’s been a long time since the last bike review Ryan!

    NorxmanNorxmanDay ago
  • Why Lean? When you can slow down #ridesafe

    Poco locoPoco locoDay ago
  • you are the best. keep it on =)

    Jacob poulsenJacob poulsenDay ago
  • Ah the expert telling everyone how to ride a motorcycle cannot believe the halfwits that listen to this annoyance

    appymarleyappymarleyDay ago
  • I love this channel, but claiming that IBA has the best drivers is bs. Fat Granpas mostly, miletrolls for sure but the best, no! I know some: a bunch of aholes posing with highwaymiles, lol. What about offroad, sports bike long distance bikers, adventure bikers?? Still laughing at this statement. At least there is now 1 video on USplane which mentions this out of fashion grandpa way to cruise on tarmac without taking risks. Ride safe

    Toni RaffToni RaffDay ago
  • So, I’ve been leaning the wrong way, huh..?

    Mohamed AnshasMohamed Anshas2 days ago
  • When I was younger, I had an opposing viewpoint.riding in my country, they all started looking like noobs. Starting now, he said, counter leaning is pleasure.

    Boopathi BoopathimuruganBoopathi Boopathimurugan2 days ago
  • This video is freaking great..Laughing while enjoying the experience

    J BarnettJ Barnett2 days ago
  • sound like bullshit tp me

    ima piledriverima piledriver2 days ago
  • When I took my MSF course we were taught to counter lean, glad it still hold up. (No pun intended)

    Jackson BochatJackson Bochat2 days ago
  • No upgrade to the yamaha tenere aeeeee?

    brian kohlenbergbrian kohlenberg2 days ago
  • As you point out, there are three ways to turn a motorcycle: lean, neutral, and counter-lean. Each has its application. Neutral is best for touring motorcycles. You can sit upright in the seat and manipulate the handlebars. It works just fine when leaning or counter-leaning would be awkward. Lean is best for sport bikes and many other street bikes. Think of your arms and handlebars as the sides of a triangle, oriented like a "V", with you at the base. Leaning your head and shoulders into the turn puts pressure on the handlebars producing counter-steer. It makes controlling a motorcycle in a curve easier. Lean a little more to make the motorcycle turn faster; lean a little less to turn slower. Return to center to make the bike stand upright. This works best when moving faster on solid, smooth surfaces. The transition between slower and faster depends on the motorcycle. Counter-lean is primarily for dirt bikes. Keeping your body upright and letting the motorcycle move under you allows the motorcycle to respond quickly to disturbances in the road surface. Counter-leaning also allows the motorcycle to respond more quickly at lower speeds. Counter-leaning works best on uneven and loose surfaces, and at lower speeds.

    Ross LangerakRoss Langerak2 days ago
  • You've created quite a storm of controversy videos with this video. I've watched several of them. But they are not listening to what you're saying. You've gotten all three positions and their purposes well covered.

  • 0:46 Vsauce fans : no no no, it's time travel

    Kesaran PasaranKesaran Pasaran2 days ago
  • Cheers Bud...its all clear to me now#

    Road Rash TVRoad Rash TV2 days ago
  • You can always tell a motorcycle rider who started out on dirt bikes, vs the ones that started out on street bikes. Just watch them take a sharp turn. The dirt bike guys always counter lean, while the street bike guys lean as if they're trying to win the next motogp race.

    Mel JohnsonMel Johnson2 days ago
  • thanks! I was confused and it really annoyed me I had found that counter-leaning worked best for me since I am a new rider, but all the videos I watched said to lean in, so I was consciously trying but it seemed unstable and really weird. Counter leaning is how we all learned to drive as kids when cycling. It works. Thanks for clarifying this

    chemgreecchemgreec2 days ago
  • its crazy because i daily a 89 gl500 and a 2012 kx450f lmao. counter lean is the way

    BilboswaggensBilboswaggens2 days ago
  • Great video!

    Mykyta PoluliakhMykyta Poluliakh2 days ago
  • I do that counter lean on my mountain bike, never thought of calling it that. More of letting the bike drop down away from you and pushing down on the outside handlebar grip.

    Michael TowlerMichael Towler2 days ago
  • Thanks buddy for this..

    KVlogsKVlogs2 days ago
  • As always you have provided great information with AWESOME video production Quality !

    Edward RimkusEdward Rimkus3 days ago
  • Sure you control your moto with your butt 😅

    kubi11kubi113 days ago
  • Any MSFT course teaches these basics. At when I went through they did.

    zach sieberszach siebers3 days ago
  • This guy is going to get a lot of people hurt.

    JB JohnsonJB Johnson3 days ago
  • Ok Valentino Rossi

    Carmine 2390Carmine 23903 days ago
  • Interesting and informative. Thank you! Also, would love to see an updated video on security systems/ locks/ anti-theft devices.

    Profane ZugzwangProfane Zugzwang3 days ago
  • Yep learned this from Chris Birch in one of his classes mind twisting at first.

    CDNMach-ECDNMach-E3 days ago
  • Ryan - badass every time. I hang off because it just feels like I have more control because i started hanging off in the 80's so I just keep doing it and because I like it. I just like having my eyes closer to the road. But when I bought a sumo it felt - wrong AF. Good video right here. Good one.

    David SteadDavid Stead3 days ago
  • I think you're totally wrong I think the most skilled writer ever is Valentino Rossi That and Kenny rothman

    EPAT IdeasEPAT Ideas3 days ago
  • I've been riding on and off for the last 35 yeas and solid the last 4. I am by no means an expert. However, what I know to be true is this ... Each ride or situation during a ride requires different techniques because of the style of bike you're riding, the speed, and road conditions. As I have learned many tricks/tips by watching videos about riding motorcycles. I have found this to be another truth ... Without practicing those tips/tricks it does me no good and makes me a potentially unsafe rider. Ride smart. Ride often. Cheers!

    Russ TreacyRuss Treacy3 days ago
  • so basically you told us nothing. interesting . typical .. what do you prefer ?

    HighGrasHighGras3 days ago
  • @голос бездока не спи и пой)

    Evgeny GolovlevEvgeny Golovlev3 days ago
  • My man is rocking his F-91WM, great choice!

    Szymon CzaprackiSzymon Czapracki3 days ago
  • So ive been riding round, grinding my footpegs and exhausts all over the tarmac for nothing 🤔

    Tommo RidesTommo Rides3 days ago
  • The amount of reactions and video responses to this video from other youtubers is pretty amazing! It goes to show how good Ryan and FortNine develop their content! Good job!

    TZ FieldtestingTZ Fieldtesting3 days ago
  • Please stay irreverent (i.e., funny).

    AnonymousAnonymous3 days ago
  • I realized it was a video for fun when he said that marquez is the most skilled rider. For info, Stoner is still alive bruh

    ave92meave92me3 days ago
  • only one problem with your explanation. Leaning increases the torque that the gravity can produce (so you can have a steeper angle) but the normal force remains the same, and thus your friction force does as well.

    James SeverJames Sever4 days ago
  • I've seen plenty of dudes on adventure bikes doing trackdays and they are slow af. wanna go fast? you need your weight down low, knee kissing the ground. yes I've seen plenty of supermotard v roadracer battles and the roadracer always wins unless its a kart track

    flytodayflytoday4 days ago
  • Getting back into motorcycles after a while, it was nice to see this video. I know how important leaning and counterbalance is. Thanks for explaining how it "works" and the different methods.

    ReallyRandomRidesReallyRandomRides4 days ago
  • this video is dumb

    flytodayflytoday4 days ago
    • too much math for you?

      John HenryJohn Henry4 days ago
  • So, no need t call it "the wrooooong waaaay" -.-

    cetusrojocetusrojo4 days ago
  • Is there any danger of counter lean on any vehicle for fuck sakes I counted lean a little on citibikes I counter leave on the electric moped I just wanna know if that habit is bad?

    비토비토4 days ago
  • I enjoy all these videos, please make more, giggity!

    Michael BergantzelMichael Bergantzel4 days ago
  • When he cut to the US bike tutor, it was so painfully boring to listen to, I had to fast forward to get back to F9! Amazing - the/his sheer power of great USplane & vocal demeanour!

    Arif LArif L4 days ago
  • I heard about this (supposedly) very controversial video from the responses from MC Rider and Moto Jitsu first, so I was expecting it to be off the rails, but it's not. Greg at Moto Jitsu is an advanced instructor in the Total Control motorcycle classes owned by Lee Parks. Total Control (NOT the MSF) has the statewide contract with the CA Highway Patrol to teach the basic rider classes to get your M1 motorcycle endorsement. At slower speeds they teach counterbalancing (say 15 MPH and below) and leaning with the bike at higher speeds. Total Control also has Intermediate and Advanced rider courses where they teach body position inside the bike, as well as trail braking and other advanced techniques. Watch the Moto Jitsu response and he explains why you want to be inside the bike at higher speeds and more on top of the bike at slow speeds. It's like using the right tool for the right job, and NOT just one or the other. The body position technique reduces lean angle and keeps the suspension working more upright. Lean angle is especially a big deal when riding a Harley, which maxes out typically around 32* - 33*. Dragging hard parts and low siding is a big fear of mine when doing spirited mountain twisty rides. Note that Fortnine is riding and demonstrating these techniques on a BMW GS with ample lean angle. For ME, I feel like I always have more turning ability in reserve by being inside the bike, and I'm not talking a lot. I'm not taking it to Moto GP extremes and Moto Jitsu has a video where he talks about using that technique on the street vs the track. I don't shift my weight much in the saddle. I mostly turn my shoulders with my head and eyes and lean maybe halfway between the center of the tank and the grips. I ride in groups where I see guys outside the center of the bike with their shoulders turned the opposite direction of the turn in 35+ MPH turns and then they about about "dragging metal" after the ride. I have never scrapped the floorboards on my RG Limited and I'm keeping up with everyone I ride with. They are LOSING lean angle vs gaining it and increasing the chance of lowsiding (think the famous video of the white Street Glide crashing on The Snake on Mulholland Hwy. by Rnickey Mouse). In the more advanced Total Control classes they teach you to "kiss the grips", but that is an extreme application of the technique and if you need to do that on the street you're probably riding too fast and taking too much risk. So, although I agree with just about everything Fortnine said for lower speeds, I agree with Moto Jitsu more because he makes a distinction between slower speed and higher speed turns.

    Bob DeLellisBob DeLellis4 days ago
  • "only left" oh yeah you did!

    Vector ZeroVector Zero4 days ago
  • well done, sir.

    Vector ZeroVector Zero4 days ago
  • 2:36 giggity

    Carlos M.Carlos M.4 days ago
  • In an MSF course they teach you to counter lean with low speed maneuvers like parking lots (u turns, figure 8) and to lean with the bike (kiss the mirror) during high speed cornering. In both cases proper body position is encouraged. I see people, especially noobs, over exaggerating the body position and leaning way too much, hanging their whole ass off the bike at 30mph, trying to drag a knee. It’s stupid… But what do i know, i’m not a physicist.

    Mickey BauerMickey Bauer4 days ago
  • I do this all the time... Didn't even know this is a thing..

    Xerxes BreakXerxes Break4 days ago
  • how important is ABS to a new rider? The market is tough and hard to come by the bike I want with ABS :(

    Lucas ThackerLucas Thacker4 days ago
  • Im surprised this man hasn't reviewed a Royal Enfield Himalyan.

    saumya shyamsaumya shyam4 days ago
  • Just found a race video that show all three styles of turning.

    keyogenkeyogen4 days ago
  • Marquez is the most skilled? At what, sliding in his arse? It takes more skill to stay on your bike than it does to fall of otherwise any tool could be the most skilled.

    Andrew GrundyAndrew Grundy4 days ago
  • "If I'm tucking down here, my view is only left, like VOX." Dats a goot juan! 😆

    Bob BellendovichBob Bellendovich4 days ago
  • NO

    ppk fccppk fcc4 days ago
  • Shots fired 😂

    ad78ad784 days ago
  • dammit, no matter the topic, I always find myself enjoying these videos.

    Matthew HoffMatthew Hoff5 days ago
  • When do you ever lean normally? Coming from a dual sport I've always counterland not knowing it was weird

    reptilesgamers00reptilesgamers005 days ago
  • I thought “giggity” too loll

    joel jamesjoel james5 days ago
  • Horrible

    Bhaskar BhattacharyaBhaskar Bhattacharya5 days ago
  • This is not the first time you’ve seen this video and you know it

    alejandro mendoza Jiménezalejandro mendoza Jiménez5 days ago
  • The second time you brought that (man with 2 penises joke) up .. just like the man with 2 penises says

    Avocado's ConstantAvocado's Constant5 days ago
  • Beg to disagree: the physics is always right but the interpretation not so. In wet weather your advice is plain dangerous for the reasons below. Counter leaning always sacrifices grip.. you've got less than the max .. but you do it to maintain a stable centre of gravity compared to *where the bike is going*; so it is *only* appropriate on corner exit (where the requirement for max grip lessens as you bring on judicious throttle; NB 4.22m mark) or when sliding to avoid outcomes like a highside (ie. extremes of bike v body c.o.g too far apart) and to dampen the effects of too much throttle on exit, where the rear of the bike skids out but towards and under your counter-leaning body. The question to ask is not whether your bike is fast in a straight line etc. Thats nonsense. You're trying to induce better grip at the tyre patch thats it. What ever makes the patch bigger the better. So we likewise agree, the more weight over the patch the better, but the area of the patch in combination with the weight through it, will always provide a higher safety margin when leaning in to the corner... especially in the wet.

    Pc GrovaPc Grova5 days ago
  • nice video bro love from pakistan

    akhri vlogakhri vlog5 days ago
  • Imagine MM93’s MotoGP 2022 comeback with counter leaning. 😂. Counter leaning is correct in low speed turns or on non sport bikes, but in high speed turns you’re going to die counter leaning because your tire patch with be too small for the speed. Lean the bike less and your body more in high speed turns to keep fatter rubber on the ground. There’s a reason professional paved track racers lean in down to their knee sliders, it’s not just for show.

    IL MOSTROIL MOSTRO5 days ago
  • Thank you Ryan, your content is alway informative, practical and often down right hilarious!

    Jana CunninghamJana Cunningham5 days ago
  • Nope, each end every one of you all got it completely wrong! Every single one of you!! When I'm taking my turns at 210+ miles an hour the trick is to lean backwards and outwards as far as you can midturn. It's also essential to lube up your treads and rotors to help keep the temperature down. Trust me, your bike will end up doing most of the work from that point on 🤛👊✊👍

    Patrick QuinnPatrick Quinn5 days ago
  • I always steered with my feet when I had my 86 ex-500. sharper turn, step on that peg harder. I ride more neutral on my 11 special.

    Luke WarmwaterLuke Warmwater5 days ago
  • Excellent content, as always.

    DaveM3FanDaveM3Fan5 days ago
  • It's interesting to hear "for most of you riders, counterlean might look wrong". I'm a very new rider (1 year) and I've done ALL my corners (both slow maneuvres and fast corners) counterleaning because I felt more comfortable, more stable, more in control and overall faster at turning. It just felt so intuitive ever since the first day I sat my butt on a bike. Body position was not taught in classes, probably because neutral generally works fine for never going past 80 or 90km/h. Only like last month I thought "well, I should learn proper cornering, because everyone leans into turns" and am positively bad at it. Glad to see it explained with the vectors, makes a lot of sense and I'm just fine counterleaning, even if everyone else says I look stupid doing it.

    Soraya ImperialSoraya Imperial5 days ago
  • the underrated channel became popular 👏

    Aldrin Jay MonteroAldrin Jay Montero5 days ago
  • Ok so I am right to lean and not counter lean when ripping my crotch rocket around always going for max corner speed. I knew my math was right.

    Graham PinkstonGraham Pinkston5 days ago
  • A bit raunchy but love it !!!

    Graham PinkstonGraham Pinkston5 days ago
  • You inspired me to get my lazy ass going and taking motorcyling classes. Yesterday I had my first two driving lections and holly I love it Thank you for your awesome work!

    Lukas von DaheimLukas von Daheim5 days ago
  • Got to be the most punctual and informative automotive journalist I've come across .. much better than Clarkson 🤔

    Dean ForrestDean Forrest5 days ago
  • I am on the island--you are great! Now, what adventure bike? Norden 901?

    eGalteGalt5 days ago
  • I wish he would have mentioned it here, but SBK and GP racers a lot of the time enter heavy braking corners crossed up a bit, then will lean after they are into the corner. I raced SBK for several years and it feels like the front sticks better, not to mention you have more of a chance keeping the bike up if you lose the front. Once you are set in the corner, it’s back to biz and hanging off as usual. I believe these methods are meant for a racetrack though. My opinion of all this is that people should do whatever works for them depending on the type of motorcycle, corner and riding. Also, one method could be safer than the other - I’m thinking of those street rides where you are tearing ass down a country road that tends to look like a dump truck dropped a load of limestone randomly at every other corner - if you are GP leaned off mid-corner and you hit a patch of gravel your buddies will be picking you (hopefully alive) and your bike out of the ditch, woods, or whatever. All the Ricky Racers out there in sportbike racing are pulling the craziest of yoga moves in order to drag their elbows mid-corner. It’s great for pictures, but we should never forget that not long ago crossed up racers like Larry Pegram were turning laps consistently right on the lap record at tracks all over the USA, some of them possibly having records which still haven’t been broken yet.

    Shocka1111Shocka11115 days ago
  • i have never thought of it like that, but i gave it a try and it work flawless ... thanks man !

    Filip MucalaFilip Mucala5 days ago