A motorbike has none of the stability of a car. At rest, it will simply fall over. On the move, even the smallest input from the rider can make a difference to what the bike does. So, as a rider, you have a permanent job: to make the bike stable.
Accelerating, braking, cornering, in unexpected situations; in every situation the bike needs to be stable so that you can exert control.
At low speeds, the need for stability is very clear. It’s all about balance. The gyroscopic forces created by the wheels are minimal, since they’re turning so slowly. To keep the bike upright you naturally make very small movements, and subtly adjust the steering and your bodyweight to balance.
On the move, the bike doesn’t want to fall over. In fact all it wants to do is head straight on. It’s a tempting sense of stability, but it’s an illusion. Yes, it’ll go straight. But the moment you want to do something else - brake, swerve etc - that stability will disappear. In fact, you’re going to have to destabilise the bike and then put it into a new stable state.
What is smoothness? One expert described it as ‘the seamless transition from one set of forces to another’. Think about that. It’s not just dawdling about, is it? It’s about changing from one set of forces to another. From going straight to turning into a corner; from being hard on the brakes to getting off them; from being off the power to opening the throttle - in fact, every change of state on the motorcycle.
The smoother you change from doing one thing to another the more stability you have.
Stability. It’s the opposite of crashing.