Evil twin wrote:
Graham B, the problem is when the bike leans in a corner the handle bars actually turn towards the direction your turning. It's very disconcerting.
This is how it's supposed to work.
Countersteering is a very mis-understood thing.
Countersteering is only momentary. The wheel, and therefore the handlebars must point into the direction of the turn as you turn.
It doesn't matter if you are on a Goldwing or a 10 speed bicycle, all 2 wheeled bikes have to lean into the turn to counteract the force that is trying to throw you to the outside of the turn.
You were doing it since you were 6 years old and your parents took the training wheels off your first bicycle.
The bike is very stable when you are going straight. The tires, especially the rear tire act gyroscopically to hold the bike upright. In order to turn, you have to de-stabilize the bike. So you turn slightly in the direction away from the turn. This causes the bike to start to fall over in the opposite direction, hence starting the lean into the turn. As soon as the lean is produced, you turn the handle bars back into the direction of the turn. If you turn the handle bars more into the turn the bike comes back upright, if you lessen the amount of turn of the handlebars the bike continues to "fall" or lean more into the turn. To end your turn, you turn more into the turn to bring the wheel base back under the center of gravity, thus uprighting the bike.
The rake and trail of the front of the bike is engineered to keep the bike most stable, and the bike will tend to right itself if left to its own.
You can't not counter-steer. The reason they teach counter-steering is so that newbees will practice and understand the physics so that in a panic situation they won't mess up.
You can steer by leaning. Just like you did on your bicycle when you rode no handed. The purpose of counter-steering is to cause the bike de-stablize and lean. You can accomplish the same thing by leaning your body. It moves the center of gravity and causes the bike to lean. Because of the front end geometry, the front wheel will turn into the lean to re-stabilize the bike. If you keep leaning, you will keep turning. Its all about opposingphysical forces cancelling each other out.
The difference is that your bicycle weighs 20 or 30 pounds.Your Goldwing weighs 800 or 900 pounds. Your body has more effect on the bicycle than on the motorcycle so it is easier on the bicycle. But the effect is the same.
The geometry is much different between the Goldwing and a zoomsplat. The Goldwing is a much more stable platform than a zoomsplat. So naturally it will feel and respond differently. The wheel base is bigger, the relative center of gravity is lower, and the handle bars are bigger (more leverage). So a zoomsplat may be more maneuverable in traffic, but that's only becaues it is so much smaller. The Goldwint will actually be much easier to control.
The tires make a big difference too. I notice every time I put new tires on my bike, that the bike feels more "tippy". It leans back and forth much easier on new tires than when the tires are worn out. Because the tires are rounder and when the tires wear, they wear mostly in the center, so they flatten across the tread. The flatter tread cross section resists the lean. Since it is a slow development, over the life of the tire, you don't notice it. But over time it takes more steering input to create the lean needed for a turn. When you put new tires on, it's instant, so you feel the difference most significantly then.
You may feel differences between different brands, but that would be less than the difference you feel from the amount of wear.
So in answer to the original question, yes this is all very normal. Depending on the condition of the tires, and the bearings in the wheels and in the steering head, you should be able to steer the bike from almost from peg to peg with one finger. Sometimes when I am playing, Iweave back and forth with just slight pressure fromthe index finger and thumb of one hand. If everything is in good condition, you should be able to go into a full lean turn very easily with just one finger slight pressure on the hand grip. I don't recommend riding no handed because of the Goldwing's known tendency to develop a steering wobble. But if the bike and tires are in good condition, riding no handedyou should be able to make slight corrections while riding no handed. The bike will not counter-steer while riding no handed, the steering will follow the lean.
It's only natural that the bike will effortlessly follow a curve with only slight input from you.
One very important thing to keep in mind. Looser steering, meaning the less resistance it gives to your steering input, also works the other way too. It has less resistance to wobble.