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I saw this clip of a motorbike race where every rider that was turning into a corner would turn the front wheel out, see image below. From a physics perspective, why do they do this?

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ It needs to be noted that this is a dirt track, and the rear wheels are skidding. Conditions would be quite different on an asphalt track, where the amount of skidding would be greatly reduced. $\endgroup$
    – Hot Licks
    May 26, 2021 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ @HotLicks go faster! The classic racing turn on asphalt involves quite a bit of rear-wheel sliding, with the same need to turn the front tire into the turn. $\endgroup$
    – TimWescott
    May 26, 2021 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ @TimWescott Is this true ? I dont think they do this in asphalt racing. Or at least not deliberately like they do on dirt tracks. $\endgroup$ May 27, 2021 at 5:12
  • $\begingroup$ Entertain yourself watching some motorcycle racing on YouTube. Or search on "Moto GT turn". There is not nearly as much drift on pavement as on dirt, but it is there if you look. $\endgroup$
    – TimWescott
    May 27, 2021 at 5:49

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It's the natural way to control a tail-skid. If the rear wheel is sliding out to the rider's right, as is the case in the photo, it has the effect of trying to make the bike pivot around its centre of gravity anti-clockwise. By steering to the right, you correct the tendency by making the bike want to go clockwise. It is called steering into the skid. The same technique works with cars too.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ah the skid, I was thinking about this a bit too much from my experience with a push bike. $\endgroup$
    – jamie1989
    May 26, 2021 at 21:08

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