It's counterintuitive because pressing on the right handlebar, for example, sounds like it should turn the wheel to the left as if you're turning left. But the front wheel acts like a big gyroscope and this causes the wheel, and the bike, to lean/turn to the right. It's a simple matter to give it a try. You won't crash. Try it on a wide straight highway without any nearby traffic.
Here's an excerpt from the California Motorcycle Handbook, which is oriented towards entry level riders:
Basic Vehicle Control
3. Press—To turn, the motorcycle must lean. To lean the motorcycle, press on the handlegrip in the direction of the turn. Press left—lean left—go left. Press right— lean right—go right. Higher speeds and/or tighter turns require the motorcycle to lean more.
Once you're leaned over you don't have to press any more. An advantage is that it's the fastest way to lean.
A consequence of it involving the gyroscopic effect of the front wheel is that it doesn't work at very slow speeds. There you must use the technique that you learned on a bicycle.
I don't notice this on my GSXR, but on my XT225 if sit upright, loosen my stance on the bike a bit, and press a bar, I can feel the bike lean beneath me.
Last edited by billv; 10-13-2019 at 09:12 PM.