Because of the wheel gyro effect, motorcycles when at speed are maneuvered
completely against one's natural instincts. For example, if you want to turn
your motorcycle to the right, you have to lean to the right. To lean to the
right you have two options, either you displace your weight to the right
(which is too slow, by the time you got the bike leaned, you crashed
already) or you countersteer. Countersteering is like that: you want to go
to the right, then turn the handlebars to the left... weird hughn? But it
works, actually in practice it only works like this. (I know, I ride a bike
In race pictures, you can actually see racers leaning in one direction and
the wheel turned at the opposite direction. At extremes, the front wheel
drags on the ground.
At lower speeds though, the well familiar bicycle riding style applies... I
wonder if the ghostrider guys took that into accound when they designed the
steering control software...
I've had 4 motorcycles, and rode for years. And countersteering is by
far the coolest thing. Not too weird. Only works well at high speeds,
since at low, you might just fall down. You push the right handlebar -
sharply, but not **too** hard - in effect turning the front wheel to
the left. Then momentum/inertia pushes the mass of the bike at a net
vector angle that causes it to start to "fall" to the right [because
the front wheel is going to the left]. This causes the bike to lean
rapidly to the right, which is how you want it when turning right in
the first place. Of course, you then have to quickly straighten the
wheel to avoid taking a nose-plant. All in all, counter-steering is a
way to rapidly "initiate" a turn, but you have to immediately
compensate, once the bike is heeled over. But it is great when you come
into a turn too fast, or the turn radius decreases half way through, or
you just want to juke around a pothole in the road. At 65 mph, it will
juke the bike a couple of feet sideways in a flash.
I've raced at Streets of Willow (Rosamond, CA), and I'll tell you something,
when you are at the end of the back straight at about 140mph and you have to
make that chicane, you better push it hard and fast 8^)
All this sounds good, but the problem is you stand up an bike and it
falls over. period. The gyro effect only happens when the bike is
in motion, not at rest. That's why last year and this year the
bike just fell over and crashed at the starting gate.
Yes, I remembered you making this suggestion a while ago. Seems promising,
but correct me if I'm wrong, it doesn't seem to have a good suspension
system. It seems it was made for good torque at very low speeds, isn't that
Thanks for the link though
You might consider "small, fast, rough terrain...., chose any
two." I'd save fast for last, as the platform is the easy part. I
think it would handle a normal auto gravel road at full speed.
Below are some links where lawn mowers and lawn tractors do go
quite fast if you really need the speed.
How about a dune buggy? Its a grown-up version of a go-kart. They're
under $1000, powerful, fast, and look to be really hackable.
The second one looks real cheesy (doesn't seem to have a suspension system),
but I liked the first one a lot. I'll try to find more information about
that model and company, thanks!
At first glance, it sounds more promising than an ATV. Seems to have
reverse, easier to customize, strong enough motor and a heck of a price...
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