Motorcycle Cornering Physics

The other day, my 8 year old son asked me why motorcycles lean when they turn.

I started telling him about counter-steering, how leaning further makes you turn tighter, and generally trying to distract him from his real question. It didn't work. Is there anyone who can explain this in terms that an 8 year old, or better still, that I, can understand? I'm probably the only guy out there who's been riding for decades who doesn't really understand the underlying reason for the lean, so mea culpa for being a dumbass. I've been reading articles on the Web about motorcycle handling, but none of them answered the fundamental question: why does changing the angle of the bike on the vertical plane change it's direction on the horizontal plane?
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George Obradovich
George Obradovich

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