Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-3565

Motorcycle-Rider Servomechanism Steering Theory 2000-01-3565

The known “countersteering” theory on how a motorcycle (or bicycle) is steered, fails to explain the sudden steering precision and smoothness gained as soon as the hands are put on the handlebar. We have derived an enhancement to this known countersteering theory that includes servomechanism concepts. The new servomechanism steering theory gives calculated stable speeds that correlate with testing. It explains the steering difference observed with and without hands on the handlebar. It predicts leaning angles in steady state curves that also correlate with testing. It explains how a single track test vehicle can be stable and can be steered with hands on the handlebar, even though it has zero fork angle, zero front trail and skates instead of wheels to have zero gyroscopic forces and zero power. Based on this servomechanism theory, a technique is suggested to develop enhanced motorcycle riding skills. Finally, this servomechanism theory is used to explain how added driving mechanisms can be developed to enhance stability and steering of a motorcycle equipped with roll cage, back rest and seat belts.


Subscribers can view annotate, and download all of SAE's content. Learn More »


Members save up to 40% off list price.
Login to see discount.
Special Offer: With TechSelect, you decide what SAE Technical Papers you need, when you need them, and how much you want to pay.