Steering is a system of components and linkages which allows the vehicle to follow the desired path. All vehicles have definite steering except the rail transport which use railroad switches to provide steering function.
Following the terms which are used for defining the steering of motorcycle
Significance of rake –
Note: Rake angle is also called “Caster angle” or just “Rake”. Below is figure 1.
Significance of trail –
In fact trail is what makes the motorcycle stable (balanced) on two wheels.
Suppose you are riding the motorcycle in a straight line, and the front wheel passes over some obstacle(for eg. Small stone), the motorcycle with more trail will be more stable than the motorcycle with less trail , as it (trail) forces the motorcycle to stay in the straight line.
There are two trails, one is ground trail and another is normal trail.
Normal trail = Ground trail x cos(Rake Angle) [refer figure 3]
For simplicity grasp the fact that normal trail is more useful than ground trail when we are considering the stability of the bike.
Note: Wherever trail is mentioned it is ground trail not normal trail unless specified.
Steering head –
It is the front wheel assembly attached to chassis on which the front wheel turns, when we turn the handlebar.
Steering axis –
Steering axis is the axis around which the front wheel assembly swivels as we move the handlebars (left or right).
Steering offset (or fork offset) –
Significance of steering offset-
It is the distance between the contact patch of front and rear wheel.
Significance of wheelbase –
For this reason, short bikes are much more suitable for performing wheelies and stoppies.
1.Triple clamp is one of the structural components of a motorbike which connects the chassis to the front forks.
Tree Turning angle –
The maximum angle that a tree could turn about the head is called tree turning angle.
Semi tree turning angle is equal to half the tree turning angle and defined as the maximum angle handlebar could rotate to either direction(left or right).
It is the smallest circular path motorcycle can follow .
It is to be noted that the front wheel and the rear wheel will have different turning radius, with front wheel having the higher turning radius.
Leaning angle –
Wheel Flop –
It refers to steering behaviour in which a motorcycle tends to turn more than expected due to the front wheels flopping over when the handlebars are rotated.