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K1400 Owners Group of SA

ZX14 BLOG

Since 2008

ZX14 Blog

Enhancing cornering skills with countersteering Techniques on the ZX14 Kawasaki.

Hi my name is Elanza Prinsloo. Proud owner of a Gen 1 ZX14 Kawasaki with a personal speed record of 316km/h. Member 95. “Need for speed“ is my slogan and makes my world go round. Feeling the extreme power below my body and I know that this powerful Motorcycle is under my control gives me a sense of empowerment and being on top of a Beast. All the power and fun make motorcycling so much more worth riding. Miles and miles on an open road can pass with the freedom of the wind through my hair. Rounding it off with a visit to a popular restaurant with some friends that shares the same sentiment makes motorcycling not only a hobby but an amazing lifestyle.

The challenge of Cornering

For many riders, navigating corners can be a daunting task that demands heightened focus and skill. The inherent physics involved in turning a motorcycle creates a delicate balance between maintaining stability and executing precise maneuvers. The ZX14 Kawasaki, renowned for its powerful performance, is no exception to this challenge. The concept of countersteering was completely unknown to me when I initially started riding. The ZX14 is my favorite bike when cruising on the open road, however, it felt heavy through corners and tend to drift to the other side of the road before I could exit the corner. Mastering the art of countersteering on a motorcycle is an essential skill for any rider looking to push their limits and experience the thrill of maneuvering through bends with precision and control. As an avid motorcyclist, discovered the power of countersteering during a transformative encounter with Freddie Snijman, the esteemed founder of the ZX14 Kawasaki group.  
 
The Encounter with Freddie Snijman
 
In 2017 I had the privilege of sharing my riding experience with Freddie. During our conversation, he introduced me to the concept of countersteering, which has since transformed my cornering abilities on my ZX14 Kawasaki. Freddie explained the concept of countersteering in a simple and practical manner as a technique used by motorcyclists to initiate a turn by momentarily steering the handlebars in the opposite direction of the intended turn, by simply slightly pushing down on the handlebar on whatever side the corner might be. I.e., Going into a right corner, then pushing down slightly on the right side of the handlebar. This may seem counterintuitive, but it is a fundamental aspect of motorcycle physics. By briefly steering in the opposite direction, the rider is able to shift the motorcycle's weight and alter its trajectory, allowing for smoother and more controlled cornering.
 
Prior to learning about countersteering, I struggled with cornering on my zx14 Kawasaki. However, once I understood the mechanics behind this technique, I was able to make more precise and fluid turns. I practiced this technique on my way home and could feel immediate improvement. Countersteering has not only improved my riding experience but has also made me a safer and more confident rider on the road.
 
Conclusion
 
Countersteering is a crucial technique for any motorcyclist looking to improve their cornering abilities. By understanding the physics behind this technique and practicing it regularly, riders can achieve smoother, more controlled turns and ultimately enhance their overall riding experience.
 

 
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