Jump to content
Jaybird180

Better Body Position for Steering

Recommended Posts

One of the things that I continue to work on is effective steering. My confession is that I don't Quicksteer well enough. Leading up to that is that my body position doesn't lend itself very well to being in-line with the plane of rotation of the bars.

My new bike's clip-ons are pretty low and being a tall guy, I have to sit mostly to the back of the seat or hunch over significantly to get in-line to steer rather than push down on the bars (bad). Sitting that far aft of the CoG comes with another compromise in how aggressive I can get on the gas, considering that I don't have wheelie control on my analog literbike AND the fact that with a brand new chain & sprockets my wheel base is in factory specs, which is wee bit shorter than it has ever been during my short ownership.

I'm considering a set of bar risers that will bring the clip-ons higher. I've read good reviews on the Apex brand that gives a 2" increase and I'm thinking long and hard about making the change- it will also require a change to the hydraulic lines. Their 3" kit will require a change to the throttle cable and probably anything higher will require a change to the upper fairing.

My thoughts are that it would be a good ergonomic mod for me however I'm thinking about how it will affect my steering. I can't think of any cons to making the change other than the expense of new hydraulic lines- which I was thinking about doing anyhow- but they must be cut to spec given the need for another 2 (or 3) inches.

OTOH, perhaps there's something that's been overlooked in my steering technique itself. Scooting back was the solution provided at my days at the school and I'm not sure but I'm leaning toward  it being a possible contributor to my back pain, the onset of which came with it's own cornering challenges.

Scratching for ideas and a solution here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MOTORRAD tested a ZX-7R (so a long time ago) stock and with 4 inch riser. Eveybody went significantly faster through the slalom tests with the taller bars. The less experienced riders gained more than the experienced racer. After doing a ton of laps, pushing himself to his limits, the racer finally managed to set the fastest time around the race track with the stock bars - it was a pride thing for him - but it took a lot more effort to ride with the lower handlebars.

Take a look at the handlebars used in the early Superbikes AMA days. Pretty tall and especially wide to gain leverage. Now look at the handlebars of Kenny Schwantz' RG500. That's a bike only 285 lb light, yet Kevin still had wide and tall bars compared to most of his competitors. 

In my humble opinion, you would love moving the handlebars up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are the designers trying to achieve with low bars?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I shop for clothes I always have to take into account my requirement for long sleeves. Couple that with a torso thats taller than average and it's a non-aerodynamic recipe. It's one of the fun things about engineering- making wise compromises.

I would just like to be able to get through a full track session at 80%+ without cramping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my last 2 rides something became apparent to me in that I'm doing something odd with the right side of my body. My fist is clenched pretty tightly and my right arm gets fatigued. I'm thinking this is a cause-effect loop and directly contributing to my back pain. When I notice it, I can tell myself to relax. Will attention on relaxing my grip and right arm solve the problem?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought of this when I saw your post... Dave Moss comes out with some very insightful comments every now and then: 

Take particular note of your clip on angle as well as the position relative to the forks. To me moving the clip ons 30mm in front of the forks is a fairly radical setup, but what I take away from this is that the riders comfort and ergonomic fit is the highest priority. Move the controls to wherever you need them, the bike is always going to steer better for you if you can use the controls more effectively. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this. IIRC my stock clip-ons have 3 positions. I just may give the further out position a try before plonking down cash for the risers.

This part was very interesting

We use out hands and wrists constantly so getting the cockpit comfortable is critical and remember,

it is not a set and forget topic!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×