If you’re riding a bike and want to turn right, you might think that you should turn
the handlebars to the right. However, that’s wrong.
Because, unlike a car where turning the wheels merely changes the direction the car is pointed,
turning the front wheel makes a bike lean. When you turn the bike wheel to the right,
the wheel goes to the right, right out from under you and the rest of the bike. So now
you’re leaning to the left, and the force on the bike from the ground will be directed
to the left, and a leftward force, of course, makes you go to the left. Since physics seems
determined that you’re going left, you’d probably better just give in and let the handlebars
turn to the left, too.
And that’s how you turn left on a bike – by first turning right. If you really wanted
to go right, you should have started by counter-steering to the left.
Once you finally get yourself into a right turn, you’ll also need to work to keep yourself
in the turn, since most bikes and motorcycles have a tendency to automatically stabilize
and straighten out on their own. This happens because a right-leaning bike automatically
steers itself even farther to the right to get the wheels back underneath its center
of mass, so you’ll actually need to apply a slight torque to the left to keep the wheels
from turning too far to the right.
Yes, it’s counterintuitive: to turn right on a bike you turn left, then keep trying
to turn left while leaning and turning right. Bikes are weird.