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What Is The Proper Technique For Locking Into The Tank?

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What is the proper technique for locking into the tank?

 

This is something I have constantly struggled with. I have attended level 4 at CSS three times now and this is the first year I will just do a few track days and not attend any school.

 

I have found it easier to rest my inner thigh against the tank while cornering. This seems to relieve most of the handlebar pressure I apply while in a turn. It also seems to help me relieve bar pressure when I make a mistake and need to roll off the throttle mid-turn. Now, I know I shouldn’t be doing that. But, again I’m not the best rider out there and I make mistakes.

 

I’ve just bought another set of Stomp Grip pads. I’ve used them in the past but, I always seem to remove them because my technique of locking onto the bike is horrible. I usually go back to resting my inner thigh against the tank (this seems to work ok in the turns, but its pretty horrible under braking). Under braking it seems like the bike is going to lift the rear wheel; whereas, when I’m on my toes and using my knees against the tank, I can hit the brakes pretty much as hard as I can without that feeling of lifting the back tire.

But, again when I’m using my knees against the tank I don’t have the same feeling mid-corner as with my thigh against the tank. When I do make a mistake and need to roll off the throttle, I have to stand the bike up instead of leaving it in the lean. I think this due to my handlebar pressure. It seems easier to remove my handlebar pressure, especially in that situation, when using my thigh. One side note, my body position is twisted when using my thigh. And my body position is relatively good when using my knee against the tank. It’s just that I can’t seem to lock my body to the bike when using my knee against the tank.

 

I have been on the Lean Bike twice specifically to work on my body position. The instructors seem to tell me my body position is good. But, I just don't feel locked into position. I can ride around the track in that position, but again if I have to slow mid corner (or risk running off the track); I seem to give the bike a lot of handlebar pressure instead of being light on the bars when rolling off the throttle mid corner (again I know I shouldn’t be doing that but, errors seem to be part of my riding at this point).

 

Any help of locking into the bike would be useful and very appreciated.

 

I really started to think of locking in because under braking I have a horrible time when using my thigh against the tank. Also, it’s pretty bad when accelerating off the corner because I have used the handlebars to pull myself up closer to the tank (can you say tankslapper).

 

Again any help would be appreciated.

 

-Jim

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What is the proper technique for locking into the tank?

 

This is something I have constantly struggled with. I have attended level 4 at CSS three times now and this is the first year I will just do a few track days and not attend any school.

 

I have found it easier to rest my inner thigh against the tank while cornering. This seems to relieve most of the handlebar pressure I apply while in a turn. It also seems to help me relieve bar pressure when I make a mistake and need to roll off the throttle mid-turn. Now, I know I shouldn’t be doing that. But, again I’m not the best rider out there and I make mistakes.

 

I’ve just bought another set of Stomp Grip pads. I’ve used them in the past but, I always seem to remove them because my technique of locking onto the bike is horrible. I usually go back to resting my inner thigh against the tank (this seems to work ok in the turns, but its pretty horrible under braking). Under braking it seems like the bike is going to lift the rear wheel; whereas, when I’m on my toes and using my knees against the tank, I can hit the brakes pretty much as hard as I can without that feeling of lifting the back tire.

But, again when I’m using my knees against the tank I don’t have the same feeling mid-corner as with my thigh against the tank. When I do make a mistake and need to roll off the throttle, I have to stand the bike up instead of leaving it in the lean. I think this due to my handlebar pressure. It seems easier to remove my handlebar pressure, especially in that situation, when using my thigh. One side note, my body position is twisted when using my thigh. And my body position is relatively good when using my knee against the tank. It’s just that I can’t seem to lock my body to the bike when using my knee against the tank.

 

I have been on the Lean Bike twice specifically to work on my body position. The instructors seem to tell me my body position is good. But, I just don't feel locked into position. I can ride around the track in that position, but again if I have to slow mid corner (or risk running off the track); I seem to give the bike a lot of handlebar pressure instead of being light on the bars when rolling off the throttle mid corner (again I know I shouldn’t be doing that but, errors seem to be part of my riding at this point).

 

Any help of locking into the bike would be useful and very appreciated.

 

I really started to think of locking in because under braking I have a horrible time when using my thigh against the tank. Also, it’s pretty bad when accelerating off the corner because I have used the handlebars to pull myself up closer to the tank (can you say tankslapper).

 

Again any help would be appreciated.

 

-Jim

 

Jim,

I am not going to give you advice that goes against what instructors might be trying to teach you. I have an analogy about learning to ride with proper technic. Have you ever tried snowboarding? When you first started, I said "what in the hell am I doing", " how many times am I going to fall". I got tons of instruction and advice but there was a learning curve that I just couldn't bypass to learn. Everyone has to go through it, there are really no shortcuts and I think this is the same for riding. Don't over analyze. Step back and look at the whole picture and don't get muddled over situations that cause SR's. This is counter productive.

Take what you learn in school and use a systematic approach to applying what you learn......for example..have you ever thought that where and how you brake might have something to do with your position at corner entry? Wouldn't it be nice if you could apply the brakes at a point where you had enough time to feel comfortable and relaxed at mid corner?

I can say from experience. I went to my second Keith Code school before I realized that I was to caught up with these little crazy details that I couldn't hear what my instructor was saying. His mouth was moving I know! What everyone should realize is that you have to put all the tools together to be a good rider and you have to practice what you've learned. Visualize where you want to brake and how you apply them....what will that feel like? Where is my reference for turning? what should my turn in feel like? Standing the bike up at mid corner is not good! Bad! Bad!

I used to brake so hard that my knees were sore from pressing them into the tank and I was so tired at the end of the day I could hardly move but guess what? The faster you go the smoother you get....the smoother you go the faster you get. My knees don't bother me anymore. Patiently practice what you are taught.....and you will find it.

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I was just reading about someone else who had problems locking on; and he was told to make sure he did the "calf raise" and was also driving the outside leg into the tank. I haven't been doing the "calf raise" and I haven't been really driving my outside leg into the tank. I guess, I'll work on those two items and see how it goes.

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Hey jim,

 

The bottom line is the need to get a grip or "lock" on the bike to create a base from which to freely operate. That is a fact of riding a bike. Whether you are holding on with your hands or your knees or squeezing the seat with your butt cheeks, you are always attempting to "lock on" somewhere all the time, even if you don't realize it. So, if you are just laying your thigh on the tank, where are you holding on? Where can you hold on?

 

I haven't heard it called a "calf raise" outside the gym, but, yes, without attending the school recently, I surmise that is the whole trick. And I find using it to lock on especially difficult (impossible) without grip pads on a bike with a flat sided fuel tank, ie. no lip at the top like the ZX-6R and 10R. Bascally, you put your toes right up on the footpeg, and use the same action as standing up on your tippy toes to jam your knee into that tank lip and/or the stomp grip pad. And that is how you hold on. If you do it right, you can take your hands off the bars and your foot off the other peg and even your butt off the seat and have only those two points, toes and knee, be the only thing holding you on the bike. Personally, I have short legs (29-30" inseam) and I find reaching the tank lip with my knee particularly difficult without higher footpegs. And, even being able to reach it, the grip pads make all the difference to really getting a good lock.

 

r

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Racer, I have a GSXR750 and I'm 6'1" with a 33 inch inseam. I'm going to install the Stomp Grip this week and see how it goes.

 

I probably won't be able to find out if I'm doing it correctly until I go to the track in August and September. My real test is if I'm able to roll off the throttle to maintain my line. Again, I know this isn't good practice or technique, but it seems to be something which happens to me at one point or another during a track day.

 

Until then, I have time to practice the technique on the street.

 

Thanks...

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Racer, I have a GSXR750 and I'm 6'1" with a 33 inch inseam. I'm going to install the Stomp Grip this week and see how it goes.

 

I probably won't be able to find out if I'm doing it correctly until I go to the track in August and September.

Why not? You don't have to be dragging a knee to lock on.

 

My real test is if I'm able to roll off the throttle to maintain my line.

Roll off to maintain your line? Huh?

 

Again, I know this isn't good practice or technique, but it seems to be something which happens to me at one point or another during a track day.

Actually, it's called a survival reaction, not a technique. And it's a bad deal because it makes the bike run wide.

 

Until then, I have time to practice the [proper] technique on the street.

Yes you do.

 

Thanks...

No worries. My pleasure.

 

Good luck.

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I?m no expert but from reading the twist books rolling off is a big no no!

 

page 16 TOTW2

what is the basic rule of throttle control?

once the throttle is cracked on, it is rolled on evenly, smoothly, and constantly throughout the remainder of the turn.

 

I am working on this at the moment always trying to improve my throttle control!

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Racer, I have a GSXR750 and I'm 6'1" with a 33 inch inseam. I'm going to install the Stomp Grip this week and see how it goes.

 

I'm no expert either but when shopping for a bike I rode the GSXR750 (2007) on the track and I had a similar feeling under braking to what you described earlier. That bike felt short from front to back, to me, and I am much shorter than you. I had a really hard time getting locked on during braking, and kept feeling like I was loading up the front too much. The reason I was test riding bikes is because I worked for about three years to get really locked on and comfortable on my previous bike, and never really could - it just didn't fit me right. No amount of StompGrip or rearset adjustment fixed it. My new bike, the new ZX6R, was a huge change and I was instantly more comfortable, more secure, and faster, plus I don't get as tired or muscle sore at track days. I don't know if trying different bikes is an option for you, and I know the GSXR750 is a kick-ass bike, but I can tell you I wasted a lot of time and money trying to fight the ergonomics of a bike, so you may want to see if a different bike would be more fun for you.

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My real test is if I'm able to roll off the throttle to maintain my line.

Roll off to maintain your line? Huh?

 

Again, I know this isn't good practice or technique, but it seems to be something which happens to me at one point or another during a track day.

Actually, it's called a survival reaction, not a technique. And it's a bad deal because it makes the bike run wide.

 

I know that its correct that rolling off the throttle will not tighten the line but at a recent track day I was running wide on a very tight turn, rolled off the throttle (unthinking survival reaction) and the bike tightened its line. It did, I know it shouldn't but it did and no I didn't adjust the steering, not conciously anyway. How is this explained.

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My real test is if I'm able to roll off the throttle to maintain my line.

Roll off to maintain your line? Huh?

 

Again, I know this isn't good practice or technique, but it seems to be something which happens to me at one point or another during a track day.

Actually, it's called a survival reaction, not a technique. And it's a bad deal because it makes the bike run wide.

 

I know that its correct that rolling off the throttle will not tighten the line but at a recent track day I was running wide on a very tight turn, rolled off the throttle (unthinking survival reaction) and the bike tightened its line. It did, I know it shouldn't but it did and no I didn't adjust the steering, not conciously anyway. How is this explained.

 

 

Consciously or unconsciously, actively or passively, you probably leaned in further when you rolled off. If you had been at maximum lean angle when you did that, you would have ridden off the edge of the tire... or run wide.

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Something to consider is stomp grips are good. But they more so rely on the surface area for additional grip. Run your finger along the smooth part, the material has hardly any grip.

 

Tech spec rely on a grippy surface more then outright surface area.

 

My road bike (K6 1000) has the teck spec grips, and its near impossible for me to lock on using the tank's lip so I more so rely on the grips. I also ride my works bikes with stomp grips which is a K6 750 and every now and then, I feel my leg slipping so I have to dig into the tank harder and as a result I put even more weight on the outside peg. They also have K6 600's which dont have any grips and while a stomp grip is better, its no where near as good as my bike.

 

Mind you, its only because I ride so many differnt bikes at the track that these small things are more apparent, while someone who has only ever used stomp will rave about them. Which is understanable as I would have done the same in their situation.

 

When you tend to get the feeling your not locked on the bike, the top of your body goes into an SR where it wants to get further away from the ground- you start to tense up and it has a domino effect.

 

I have something that I am testing and will post how I went when tested

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I put stomp grip on my bike, but it was at the same time I completely changed my body position to knock off 5 sec a lap, so I can't tell how much it improved my cornering, but I can tell you that it did help noticeably, and was part of the reason I was able to improve my position so much.

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My real test is if I'm able to roll off the throttle to maintain my line.

Roll off to maintain your line? Huh?

 

Again, I know this isn't good practice or technique, but it seems to be something which happens to me at one point or another during a track day.

Actually, it's called a survival reaction, not a technique. And it's a bad deal because it makes the bike run wide.

 

I know that its correct that rolling off the throttle will not tighten the line but at a recent track day I was running wide on a very tight turn, rolled off the throttle (unthinking survival reaction) and the bike tightened its line. It did, I know it shouldn't but it did and no I didn't adjust the steering, not conciously anyway. How is this explained.

Rolling the throttle off will eventually slow you down (if you don't lose the front while doing that). Going slower with same lean angle will reduce the turning radius. That's why the line tightened. It probably isn't the best way to come up with a line for that turn, but if you didn't lose your front, then it worked. OTOH, if you didn't lose the front, then maybe you could use more lean angle?

 

As for the "common knowledge" that rolling the throttle off widens the line, there's one scenario that I know out of personal experience in this regard, and that's a situation where you apply the front break during a turn which causes the bike to "stand up", therefore widening your line. I don't know if the same happens when you apply the rear break (gently), which is equivalent to rolling the throttle off.

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When traveling at relatively low speed, ie. low centripetal or cornering forces and low degree of force applied to the front geometry, then the bike can lean, or perhaps more accurately, "fall" in more.

 

At standard speeds, shifting the weight onto the front of the bike makes the rear end want to "come around" and stand the bike up.

 

 

I've heard riders say they use the rear brake to help get the bike turned in without sliding it.

 

I'm not certain what that is all about, but, using the rear brake can put more "weight" on the front wheel giving a better "bite" to turn in and allowing some speed to be scrubbed without overstressing the front contact patch with additional braking forces there. This works well when a rider needs to steer the bike over a crest when the front is light.

 

Of course, some riders actually use the rear brake to slide the rear wheel into the corner, "backing it in" so to speak.

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I have a locking on question, hopefully someone can help me with!

 

Since reading TOTW 1and 2 it seems to have opened a big can of worms regarding every area of my riding, this is one I have been practicing recently and am having problems with!

I do a calf raise to lock on no problem but looking at pics of racers and even alot of you guys in this forum they are locking on with knee and outside forearm parallel to the knee on the tank, this looks to me like a very secure way to lock on but when I try it my arm rests on my knee as I have no room to get my forearm onto the tank, I am 6ft tall so I feel that maybe I just have to develop my riding style to suit, hope this makes sense but is it ok then to rest my elbow on my knee while turning or is there somewhere else my arm should be instead?

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Being tall has some disadvantages on a small sport bike. Without see you actually on the bike it is a bit difficult to make some corrections, but try this. Most importantly, scoot back in the seat (really helps for tall people). Then lock in your outside leg, get your butt off by one cheek and lower you upper body to the inside. Line up your head with the inside edge of the windscreen. Try this with the bike on the side stand and simulate a left turn. See if that helps.

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I've seen this term mentioned few times but couldn't quite understand what it is. Can anyone please describe what "calf raise" is? thx.

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My understanding, is pushing on the peg with the ball of your outside foot will “raise” your calf. This will therefore allow you to “lock” your knee against the upper “ridge” of the gas tank.

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Being tall has some disadvantages on a small sport bike. Without see you actually on the bike it is a bit difficult to make some corrections, but try this. Most importantly, scoot back in the seat (really helps for tall people). Then lock in your outside leg, get your butt off by one cheek and lower you upper body to the inside. Line up your head with the inside edge of the windscreen. Try this with the bike on the side stand and simulate a left turn. See if that helps.

 

 

thanks that is great and such an easy way to find a comfortable riding position, I am doing level 1 here in the uk in two weeks so hopefully will get some pointers from my coach then!

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