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StevenAthas

How Much Weight On The Seat?

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Hey everyone,

 

Been a while since I've been on the forum to post but I always enjoy reading all of the discussions on here. I've been working on my BP a lot this past year and have made some good progress. One thing that I am having an issue with is consistency. I am still having to remind myself to get farther back into the seat so that I can get my knee out effectively and grip the tank with my outside thigh. So my question is how much weight are we supposed to keep on the actual seat? So when we have a one cheek hang off, is there supposed to still be any weight on that cheek or should all of the weight be on our pegs? I catch myself having all my weight on my pegs when cornering which doesn't always allow me the ability to open my hips out into the turn becuase I'm having to support my weight.

 

Any help is always appreciated and thanks in advance.

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For me it seems that varying amounts of weight are distributed to different contact points on the bike. The inside part of the outer leg bears some weight as it keeps me from falling too far to the inside. The foot on the inside peg bears enough weight to take some of the stress off the outside leg but not so much that I can't readily pivot as needed. The half of my butt cheek that is on the seat also holds a bit of weight albeit, it doesn't seem like a lot. Next time you have your bike up on the stands lock in your leg and get off of one side or the other to find your optimal position and distribution. Let go with your hands to see how it feels and insure that your arms aren't holding you up. Also, shift fore and aft in the seat to see what impact it has on your lock and comfort. Of course, in a corner, this is all a dynamic and fluid process that will change depending on your speed, the arc of the turn and your lean angle.

 

I'm sure someone can chime in with more useful information.

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Makes sense. You're spreading the weight around a bit.. So with you having some weight on the seat, how's it affecting you at the more bumpy tracks? Are you feeling any wheel hop/skip? A lot of the time that I have some weight on the seat, I feel like bumps are unsettling the bike.

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Do you have a copy of Twist of the Wrist II? Chapter 19, Pivot Steering, goes into specific detail about weight distribution on the seat and pegs, explains what to do, how to do it, and why, with specific explanations and examples of the effects on the bike. It's far more complete and informative than what could be typed here. :)

 

Take a look at that if you can and let us know what you think, or if you have any additional questions!

 

BTW, if you are like me and want answers as fast as possible, Twist of the Wrist II is available as an e-book now, here is a link to it on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Twist-Wrist-II-High-Performance-Motorcycle-ebook/dp/B00F8IN5K6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461194283&sr=8-1&keywords=twist+of+the+wrist+II+kindle

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Steven, I don't feel any instability in bumpy turns etc, I think I may have poorly described the weight that I am putting on the seat. It's more of a light contact. My outside leg takes the brunt of the weight and the inside leg much less.

 

Hotfoot, I'll have to grab my copy of Twist II and review chapter 19 real quick. I've read that book sooo many times but always manage to find little morsels that I have forgotten.

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Yup, I read that section again when thinking over a response to the original question above. Reading it with that specific question in mind gave me a new perspective on it, and I got more out of it than I had before. I can't tell you how many times I've read Twist of the Wrist II but as my riding has changed my understanding of various parts of the book has evolved to new levels, which says a heck of a lot about the book, because it is as valuable to me as an active racer as it was when I was a barely-intermediate rider. Amazing.

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Thanks for the response. I've owned a copy of the book since 2009 and read it after almost every ride if I have any questionable moments lol It's awseome :)

 

So if I understand what the chapter says correctly, it talks about several areas on the body that can be used to grip the bike and the best of them are the pegs because it keep your weight lower on the bike. So grip the heelguard with my boots?

 

Is that right? not sure if I translated all that right.

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Can you do a calf raise to push your outside knee firmly into the tank, and your foot firmly down on the peg? If you can get your knee locked in tightly on the tank that gives you an additional pivot point. The heelguard can definitely help stabilize your foot position; are you trying to push weight down onto it, or are you trying to use it to keep your foot from coming up off the peg, or something else? Does your heelguard provide good grip? Some (like the carbon fiber ones) can be slippery.

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I have some aftermarket rearsets on my bike now that are set up about an inch higher than stock, so my knee is pretty much on the tank when I hang off the bike. Not really sure how much weight is coming at a downward force, if any, on my pegs though. I can kind of visual use what you're saying; that clinching tightly with my ankle against the heel guard along with my knee being firmly against the tank, would provide a lot of stability. In order to do that though, I would definitely need to have at least a little bit of weight on the inside part of the seat.

 

Should I be pressing downward on that outside peg, or does gripping with my ankle create the same effect? Thank you as always for taking the time!

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I've always struggled with this as well. I feel like I am always putting way too much weight on the inside peg when I corner. On the street I am riding a sport touring bike (FJR1300) with somewhat limited ground clearance, so hanging off on spirited rides through the twisties has the immediate benefit of keeping hard parts from scrapping (other than the peg feelers which I occasionally grind on). I think I am just not locked in with the outside leg well enough. I am usually in textile riding gear and the tank is slippery. I probably need stomp grips or similar to help hold on. I think this probably means I am also not as light on the bars as I should be.

By the way speaking of light on the bars, how about this guy? Elbow down with one hand :blink:
5jQGOBK.jpg

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Sit in the seat, don't hover over it. There is no advantage from levitating over the seat unless you happen to be going over a severely bumpy section for a moment.

 

The majority of your weight should be taken by the butt in the seat.

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It's interesting how as you progress along in your riding, the same questions pop up.

I'm experiencing the same issues as the OP.

I find that weighting the pegs let's me countersteer the bike and get to lean quicker, but then I find myself sitting on the inside footpeg to maintain my line through a corner.

I imagine I'm looking a little crossed up at the moment and this year am really trying to shift my weight more evenly over to the inside.

In doing this I have experimented with sitting on the seat vs hovering over it. It is a much different feeling.

 

Looking at the motogp boys (and the SS and superbike as well), I don't see how they can go from leg dangle with their weight on the seat to help rear traction while braking to all of a sudden, weighting the inside peg with most of their weight.

 

I know peg weighting is not emphasized here but this is an interesting read. And opinions from racers.

https://www.sportrider.com/art-science-body-steering-vs-counter-steering-part-two#page-15

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Peg weighting is pretty much a joke among physicists. If you put weight on the peg versus the seat, does the shock know any difference? Does the contact patch know any difference? If you are in a row boat and press down on the bottom of the boat, does it sink further into the water? If you sit in a car seat and push on the dashboard, does it move the car forward?

How effective is putting weight on the pegs? Have a look at the video:

 

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I have seen the video, yes!

With all due respect to the vast wealth of knowledge here, I totally agree that as a static mass in steady state peg weighting has little (but not nothing) to do with changing the direction of the bike, however...

 

That rider in the video in the first clip moved his center of mass(not that much either) and the bike moved. When he tried to turn it back to the right, although the bike did not go right, it straightened up.

In the second clip he was VERY careful to keep his center of mass in line with the bike.

I think the video demonstrates that YES, peg weighting does little, but does something (!) when you move the center of mass off the centerline. Physics says it must. Practically speaking, removing a heavy mufller off one side of the bike makes the bike feel different.

 

Even in twist of the wrist 2 code and chandler mention several times, weighting the pegs and getting some weight off your backside allows your legs to absorb some of the suspension work your bike would normally have to deal with. I think of it as decoupling the two masses, the bike and you. And since one can greatly influence the weighting of a bike with body position, I think it can't be dismissed.

I think of fast transitions, you are out of your seat moving from one side to the other. If you sit like a rock on top of the seat, I would imagine the effort to turn with pure countersteering input would more easily upset the bike.

I realize this might be two different things, but I think they are related in control of the bike.

 

The problem I see with it comes with using it too much entering the corner (or at all?). If you really de-couple your body and "push" you bike down and away, you are essentially riding at best crossed up. Totally incorrect and not how the fast riders these days do it. I guess that's the difference between motorcross and road racing.

 

I understand not wanting to stress peg weighting (or better yet center of mass movement) because of several reasons. It's less effective, and puts you in an unstable and less advantageous position.

Help me understand...

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It seems like you are trying to take everything you have heard on the subject and get them all to agree. Or maybe just stimulate an interesting dialog. Judging by your response it seems like this could be a circular conversation for some time, but if you really do want to actually know, I'd suggest you do some more of your own experiments, but read the definition of "confirmation bias" each time before you do any of the experiments.

Also, remember that if you have contrary facts, it means that one or both are false.

 
noun: confirmation bias
  1. the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one's existing beliefs or theories.

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I am slow (on the bike) and realize it. I am on the steep part of the learning curve and realize it.

But I desire to go faster. 

There is no benefit for me to have this confirmation bias you speak of. My motivation is not to stimulate controversy.

If I was at your school and you told me to stop riding the pegs and sit down I would.

If you told me that at my level of learning it's best you keep your ass in the seat, i'd listen.

And I am trying...

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I see so much of myself here that I felt I needed to follow the discussion. 

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7 hours ago, jcw said:

I am slow (on the bike) and realize it. I am on the steep part of the learning curve and realize it.

But I desire to go faster. 

There is no benefit for me to have this confirmation bias you speak of. My motivation is not to stimulate controversy.

If I was at your school and you told me to stop riding the pegs and sit down I would.

If you told me that at my level of learning it's best you keep your ass in the seat, i'd listen.

And I am trying...

You sound hurt...

Anyway what I'm saying is that your approach is flawed and there may be some fundamental flaw in your research process. Looking over some basics on logic and the scientific method may help. Not saying I have those subjects covered, but I see a lot of circular conversations coming up with no resolution. Fully understanding something as complex as motorcycle dynamics is not possible with today's depth of understanding of the physics and mechanics. We can't even easily explain how a bicycle steers with math: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-bicycle-problem-that-nearly-broke-mathematics/

Maybe you should start with steering if you want to understand these topics; read the article.

The other thing you have to realize is that this all must help you get through a corner better. Maybe you don't need to know exactly how a brain works in order to think...

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Nah, just trying to figure out how much weight to put on the seat...

 

If I can understand a little more bike dynamics in the process, so much the better.

 

It is warmer finally today. I'm going out after work and will experiment on a few things. If you have any suggestions pertaining to the above, it would be greatly appreciated.

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The section of the bike that the seat is connected to is also the one with the pegs. If you put weight on one versus the other, the bike can't tell any difference. You still weigh the same as far as the bike is concerned.

Try sitting on the seat as that's what it's for. We know racers don't hover over the seat while cornering, and even if they did, the bike would not know any difference.

You said you wanted to understand bike dynamics more. So start with steering and read the article. Also the wiki article on countersteering:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countersteering

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That’s ironic you link the wiki article. I have read it.

they describe countersteering by weight shifting and being able to initiate turns by making the bike lean right or left through peg weighting. You may not change the center of mass very much, but the fact that bike is now leaned, it induces the front wheel to swivel and create the countersteering input. 

‘They point out that the movement is minor the heavier the vehicle is, but might this be what is best in the middle of a turn to hold a line if needed?

its not that I don’t believe in countersteering, it obviously is the most effective way of getting to your lean angle quickly. I just wanted input on how much weight I should have on the seat vs crouching on the pegs. Now that you’ve made it somewhat clear, I can make my adjustments.

 

i went out for a ride and found a nice feeling of stability cornering when firmly seated on the bike. And I was surprised at how much I was actually squatting on the pegs before and how hard it was to break the habit the faster I entered. I still felt like I wanted to be up on the pegs as it felt I was in better control of the bike, but I know this is not my goal.  Maybe it’s a survival reaction, like I’m ready to jump off if I slide. Lol.

 

my goal is to be in position before the corner. Enter the corner firmly seated in good position to apply the initial countersteering input. Get to my lean angle without moving my body position around to upset the bike. Then, pick up the apex and apply gradual throttle to settle the suspension, then the exit point, maybe at this point move the upper body or weight the outer peg or counter steer to get the bike up and out of the lean.

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Well I think you've read enough data here and there to have plenty of food for thought. Really the rest is up to you to experiment with.

It seems to me that a person like you is all about the journey vs the destination so enjoy your journey!

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Thank you SO MUCH for your help.

I'd rather be naturally fast than stubbornly, studiously slow, but it is what it is. Rather I think it's the way I learn. I've always been a watch and watch and watch then copy. Not so much good at working it out myself on the fly.

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On ‎4‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 10:25 AM, Dylan Code said:

It seems like you are trying to take everything you have heard on the subject and get them all to agree.

There's a lot of material available. Some of it good, some mixed and some just plain poorly understood and communicated. (Note: right here would be a great place to insert the video clip from TOTW2 of Keith talking about bad advice, but I can't find JUST THAT online to link here.)

Sometimes, motorcycle writers even acknowledge where they could have communicated better and then make the correction, but this is a rare person.

As a long time moto subscriber, I've had affinity for reading Nick Ienatsch for YEARS and I'm not alone in that; he's got a huge audience. Someone linked to an updated article in another forum I participate in and I thought the responsible thing to do would be to read it. I finally got around to it this morning and came to this line, reminding me of this thread.

Quote

This statement is an example of alternate realities on steering that is a cause of much consternation when one is trying to understand what's happening. I think it wise to ask questions, observe, listen and think. This site is a breeding ground for such things accompanied by others who do the same.

@Dylan Code I think you perfectly described above the concept of Cognitive Dissonance. Heck, I might even be the poster child for it -LOL But I keep at it; I keep trying to sort through to find usable morsels of truth, what I can use and what might be better reserved for another time. It's a double-edged sword trait.

I'm grateful for all of it. And most of all, I'm grateful that I didn't grow up in the "Dark Ages" of motorcycle riding technology.

Thank you for reading these words.

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Most discussions of steering and "weight shift", "loading" and "helps it to steer" are riddled with illogic, and the people discussing will not reach a conclusion predicated on so many errors in thought. Rather, going to the basics of logic is the best way forward lest they get entangled permanently in confusions. Forums have become a popular platform to air ones flawed thought process, while other visitors try in vain to overhaul their whole logical approach to problem solving. Not saying I've got logic down myself, but some statements and articles have so many flaws, it's like: "where do we start?..." and just skip it.

Remember when you have contrary facts, one or both are false.

Some things to consider:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consistency

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Validity

 

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