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Is there some trick to steering a motorcycle?


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I bought a motorcycle and a scooter and I've spent a little time riding on public roads and on railroad tracks, and I have a lot of trouble steering. It's hard to keep going straight, even on a flat, direct stretch of road. When I start to drift left or right, and I ever-so-lightly touch the opposite arrow to correct, it goes too far. Especially when going uphill, I tack back and forth like crazy, and sometimes go flying off the road. I've also tried stopping for a couple seconds when I need to straighten out, but my aim is still not accurate.

Is there some trick to steering? Do I need to get a better vehicle? Am I doing something wrong?

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In RL you don't steer with the handlebars except in emergencies or at very low speed, because steering with the handlebars is jerky and potentially dangerous (could flip the bike). Instead, you lean your body left or right and allow physics to steer. Problem is, using arrow keys to steer an SL bike is like steering with handlebars. It jerks the bike around and makes it less controllable. Some more recent SL motorcycles allow the rider to adjust the steering sensitivity. That makes turns a little less jerky, but an SL bike will never steer as smoothly as an RL bike. It's just something you get used to with practice.

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On 2/27/2021 at 3:23 PM, Waialae said:

In RL you don't steer with the handlebars except in emergencies or at very low speed, because steering with the handlebars is jerky and potentially dangerous (could flip the bike). Instead, you lean your body left or right and allow physics to steer. Problem is, using arrow keys to steer an SL bike is like steering with handlebars. It jerks the bike around and makes it less controllable. Some more recent SL motorcycles allow the rider to adjust the steering sensitivity. That makes turns a little less jerky, but an SL bike will never steer as smoothly as an RL bike. It's just something you get used to with practice.

As a further explanation, depending on what kind of motorcycle you have, you would need to go into the "config" notecard inside the motorcycle and adjust the sensitivity.  One I had was set to "10" and left/right would send me off the road.  I set it to "3" and it was nice and easy adjusting straightaways, but then full turns are a bit tougher.

 Note that the motorcycle may show as "no mod" in inventory/rezzed, but for at least some motorcycles the config notecard is editable.  Make a backup of the notecard contents just in case.

 

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Full disclosure: I build and sell Moto Bazzi motorcycles using my own heavily modified scripts.  Former KCP/ACS user and I still use a very few of their products, but not mainly.  This is not about me, but about experience and observations.  And, to set the record straight, in RL you do use the handlebars to steer, but this isn't about RL.  

SL motorcycles can run on several  script 'engines' for the motion and operation of the bike.  Cory Linden wrote the first motorcycle script and most bike scripts trace their roots back to that one, which is still available as an open source script.  Several people have made attempts to come-up with their own scripts with varying degrees of success and some are heavily modified variations on Cory's original script.  Karyn's Chopper Parts sells KCP/ACS scripts that have been around for a long time and they are the most widely used because of availability.  They are based on Cory's script, but were heavily modified over the years and are now protected internally, but with careful modifications and adjustments in the menu you can tailor the ride within certain parameters. 

Some builders (raises hand), used KCP/ACS for awhile, then tried others, then modified, re-wrote, modified, cussed, swore, quit, started again, wrote and spent a lot of hours of seat time developing their own 'engine'.  A lot of butt-in-the-seat riding on every imaginable region and road found, lag or no lag.  In-fact, the more lag the better, as it shows the flaws faster. Those who spent a lot of time fine-tuning these are very protective of their creations and are often no-mod.  The parts and how they are used also has direct impact on the ride and function.  Some bike scripts use notecards for configuration, although they seem to be in less use than others.

Information on adjusting KCP/ACS scripts is readily available with a Wiki search on the internet.  They are in common usage with literally thousands of builders in SL, though few of them understands how to properly set-up a bike.  Some no-mod scripts use a menu with steering choices at the click of a single button within parameters built into the script or written by the creator.  In mine, I use 3 presets (Street, Sport, Track) and inside each of those is written, no-mod parameters that change the speed, torque, braking, lean, turn-in and gravity in a progressive manner to simulate riding in RL.  

Many moons ago, I learned to ride on a KCP v3.0 on a crappy laptop with dial-up modem.  Brutal!  Today KCP/ACS scripts are v7.0 but even that one has not been updated in many, many years and it's full of a lot of extra bells & whistles for flying, cars, boats, motorcycles.  It's a 'heavy' script so-to-speak and some of that comes at a cost when you cross regions.  Just saying. 

Have fun.  YMMV

 

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