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hoggyjay

Why Do The Top Riders Let Their Foot Drag The Ground?

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Ever since my interest in riding with a better technic was sparked I have wondered about the pros at the top of the game moving their knee and foot from the tank/foot peg and touch or come close to the ground with the boot.

 

It has to mean they are not locked on during the end of the braking phase and must have some weigh on the bars before turning in.

 

Can anyone describe why this happen and what advantage there is in doing so?

 

 

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MY guesstimate is based on the same theory of wind drag; ie the friction drag helps the top racers to corner faster due to a 3rd contact frictonal force acting on the bike (besides the 2 wheels)

 

Track/race day only technique thou, trying it on the streets = dangerous riding imho

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I'm pretty sure that it's because they're trying to sit as far back on their bike as possible to limit the rear wheel lifting during heavy braking. At the same time they're trying to shift their body weight inside to execute a faster quick turn. Since they're not big people the possibility of setting their body inside the bike before they start their turn as well as sitting far back on their seat is not a comfortable or stable position. It seems to me that as they put the foot back on their also quick turning and their upper body is 'trading places' with their leg.

 

In summary, I think it's an attempt to get inside the bike prior to the turn AND sit as far back as possible to keep their rear wheel on the ground. After all, a quick turn in basically impossible when both wheels are not on the ground.

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And sometimes they don't do it at all.

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And sometimes they don't do it at all.

 

Yeah, at COTA Scott Russell mentioned that Mark Marquez only hangs his foot out when hes pushing for every thousanth of a second. Otherwises its always both feet on the pegs. He showed it too once he made the pass on his team mate later in the race.

 

Since GP racers have shown on telemetry that they can enter a turn every single time within 0.5kph when they're turning out solid laps. With such a critical and small margin for error they have I guess sticking your leg out in the wind could give you just the edge you need to slow down for a corner. If its worth one tenth of a second per lap its worth it for them.

 

Sitting here thinking about it now I wonder if its a balance kind of thing. I ride mountain bikes and used to ride BMX and I used to stick a foot out when doing stoppies because I could move my leg to help me stay balanced on the front wheel. These riders are pretty much riding into every turn with the rear wheel as close to off the ground as possible. Maybe it helps them control how the rear end lifts under hard braking? I'm can't imagine it would let them brake harder, but a little more control would help them be more precise with their entry speed and line.

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"These riders are pretty much riding into every turn with the rear wheel as close to off the ground as possible. Maybe it helps them control how the rear end lifts under hard braking?"
Watching the Races from Jerez on Sunday, there was a slo-mo clip of Marquez's rear tire off the ground while he was leaned into a corner; that image makes this comment make a lot of sense to me.

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I have a picture somewhere of Roberts Sr. doing the same thing back around cirka 1980; rear wheel well up in the air while leaned over. Most of us will refrain from that sort of antics :lol:

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Lorenzo doesn't do it at all.

 

False

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Hi Thomas, you know I hadn't paid attention to whether he did or didn't, I'll look next race and see.

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Hi Thomas, you know I hadn't paid attention to whether he did or didn't, I'll look next race and see.

 

All I'm saying is he does do it sometimes... I think i've seen him do it coming into turn 6 at Qatar. I can't say whether he did it last race (Jerez) or not as my Eurosportplayer subscription expired so I didn't catch the race yet. He may have never done it but I am pretty sure it's a tactic that they all use when applicable. It's possible that due to his EXTREMELY smooth riding style he never gets in that position, but I've seen him brake pretty dang late before and am 80% confident he's done it during his career.

 

We're still talking about the leg off thing, not the rear tire up while leaned over thing, right?

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Perhaps he doesn't. After some looking through all the images of Jorge Lorenzo that google had to offer the closest I found was this...

 

PA1156957.jpg

 

lorenzo_original.jpg

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I still vote for, "stretching out a leg cramp"

 

That's what it is when I do it :D

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See the news feed on the Superbike School Facebook page for a great article about this, with a quote from Leon Camier:

https://www.facebook...?ref=ts&fref=ts

 

"Leon: Yes, it's a balance thing. When you're hard on the brakes, a bike can easily get crossed up going into a turn and sticking your leg out gives you better balance when you're hard on the brakes. It depends on the circuit, bike and how hard you're braking as to how much you need it."

 

That sounds familure B) .

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All I'm saying is he does do it sometimes... I think i've seen him do it coming into turn 6 at Qatar. I can't say whether he did it last race (Jerez) or not as my Eurosportplayer subscription expired so I didn't catch the race yet.

 

Lorenzo definitely did it at Jerez. I finally found a channel here in China that shows MotoGP .. and live too!

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It could be a psychological defensive riding tactics that the riders just got used to and do it all the time.

What i'm saying is perhaps they feel less vulnerable to inside passes made on them if their leg is out taking up more space that could psychologically effect the rider behind into imagining less space than there actually is.

 

Also it could be a security thing. You know how when you are dragging your knee you feel more stable than when you are not leaning as far to drag? It's almost like our brain "thinks" that our knee can support us if the bike would attempt to lowside.

Alot of the crashes in motoGP are quick violent lowsides under threshold braking phase transitioning to the trail braking phase. Maybe they feel more confident pretending that if they lowside under trailbraking, that their leg will hold them up... What we do for an extra ounce of confidence out there! It's all confidence!

 

I have thought about the dynamics of the leg out thing, all I can see is negatives. Less locked on the bike, more weight on the handle bars etc...

 

People are funny - like sheep. They saw Rossi doing it for a while, thought it's the secret for going fast, now they are all doing it.

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I have thought about the dynamics of the leg out thing, all I can see is negatives. Less locked on the bike, more weight on the handle bars etc...

 

As far as I can figure you can never use the inside leg to "lock" on the bike as if you drag your knee it's not touching the tank for most of the turn anyway.

 

People are funny - like sheep. They saw Rossi doing it for a while, thought it's the secret for going fast, now they are all doing it.

 

This may well be true... except Stoner, who basically showed Rossi what's fast... like a boss.

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As far as I can figure you can never use the inside leg to "lock" on the bike as if you drag your knee it's not touching the tank for most of the turn anyway.

This is partly true. Locking on the tank with both knees while you're braking prior to the turn allows you to keep weight off the bars, upper body relaxed, and thereby reduce unwanted bar inputs. Once you initiate the turn then it would become a lock with only the outside knee. However, the GP guys are letting their leg hang out while they're braking so there's no lock on the tank and all the force is on the bars. They're the best of the best and maybe this works for them; I don't think it's necessarily good for the rest of us.

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They're the best of the best and maybe this works for them; I don't think it's necessarily good for the rest of us.

AGREED

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I sometimes do this during low speed turns just for safety and as an angle gauge. Obviously not why they are doing it...maybe it is as a sort of gauge and comfort factor...thinking out loud here.

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Crash.net:

Do you leg dangle when braking?

 

Colin Edwards:

I don't and I never have throughout my whole career. I thought there might be something to it so I tried it in Malaysia a couple of years ago and I almost fell of the bike. I need my knees and feet on the bike so that I can squeeze it.

 

When you take a leg off the rest, you put all the weight on your arms, you ride a lot of the motorcycle with your core. The only time I take my leg off the rest is because I'm about to crash my brains out or it's an 'oh sh*t!' moment. I never do it on purpose because I'm trying to take as much weight off my arms as possible already.

 

When I was behind Valentino, I know that when he did it, he out braked himself and almost ran into the gravel. If there is an advantage, I don't know about it.

 

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Recently watched the US MotoGP championship at Laguna Seca. Almost every rider did the foot dangle as they started to enter the turns, with the notable exception of Rossi and Pedrosa, the latter with a busted collar bone. The announcer, who purportedly was a retired racer, said they do it because they think it makes their CoG lower and their flick faster allowing faster entry. Sounds like a load of garbage to me, but who am I to not take him at face value.

 

For what I can gather from DVR viewing at low frame rates, each time they did it the back end was shimmying under heavy braking due to some inconsistency in the pavement. They didn't do it - much - before coming into the corkscrew, but almost every time hitting the final curve coming out of it. Some wold even let their foot slide across the pavement for, say, 1/2 second or less before going into a knee drag. Most of the other turns as well, especially those with flat to reverse camber.

 

My 2 cents, YMMV.

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