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mugget

Knee slider as a learning tool... Why? When? How?

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Hi all,

I was just reading one of Dave Moss post on Facebook and it really got me thinking... here's the post: 

 

 

And here's my comment on that post:

Very interesting post... lots to think about. Makes me wonder if I have been missing the benefits of an important learning tool all this time...

 

Like everyone when I started out I viewed "knee down" almost as the pinnacle of riding technique. As time went on I realised that getting a knee down is not an end goal in itself, it's the product of correct riding technique. I also thought that I didn't want to limit myself and stop leaning as soon as my knee touched down - better to feel the actual tyre grip and let that determine your maximum lean angle. So I just let my knee hang comfortably and it doesn't bother me that it almost never touches down. I'm still pretty happy with my riding and I'm within ~6 seconds of very fast racers at my local track (1:06 vs 1:00 flat, where anything quicker than 1:15 is considered pretty fast for the average rider). 

 

Talking about front end slides, I feel like this needs to be qualified - under what circumstances is the front end sliding? In combination with trail braking? I don't trail brake much, and if you're entering a corner with no brakes I've actually found that to be the safest way to increase corner speed and push myself on  corner entry and mid-corner; the gains come from getting the bike to maximum lean in as short a time as possible, and if you're really turning in that quickly we know that the rear end will slide before the front does. 

 

So I wonder how I can use knee sliders as a tool in my current riding level and style? Or does it's use as a tool really only come into play when heavy trail braking is involved? 

 

Thanks in advance for any comments, this seems like a very interesting discussion.

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From some of his other material, I get the impression that Dave is a trail braker.

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Ok so if someone was exploring trail braking (moreso deep trail braking?) or raising their corner entry/mid-corner speed I can see that could be an area where using the knee slider could be beneficial, perhaps mostly as a safety device to save slides?

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On 9/13/2017 at 12:40 PM, mugget said:

So I wonder how I can use knee sliders as a tool in my current riding level and style? Or does it's use as a tool really only come into play when heavy trail braking is involved?

You also mentioned maximum lean angle in your post. How do you know when you are at maximum lean angle? I use the knee as a lean angle sensor, but also the peg/toe sliders. I don't have adjustable rearsets so my max lean angle is when the pegs touch down. Any further and I'm at risk of crashing. So I use the knee to gauge when I'm getting close to touching down the pegs. Currently I don't need to use max lean angle much as there are more gains for me in other areas, but I touch the knee down often and when I do I'm not digging it in like many riders I've seen who go through a lot of sliders. You obviously ride at Lakeside with the times you've mentioned. I mostly go to Morgan Park and am sitting at 1:23 where the fastest in group 1 are doing ~1:20, sometimes down to 1:18.

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Not using my knee sliders, my thoughts on maximum lean angle and gauging surface traction are that it can be done simply by paying attention to feedback from the tyres and adjusting my riding based on this. For example if I was using more lean angle than usual and noticed increased sliding at maximum lean I'd take that to mean that it's pretty close to the maximum lean angle the tyres can take. 

The other thing having gone so long without actually using knee sliders is that it's almost at a point where I feel it would be a distraction if I was regularly using them without actually being close to what the tyres and bike can do. If I only have $10 to spend, I'd rather keep as much as I can focused on what the tyres are doing instead of spending $1 or $2 here and there whenever a slider touches down and thinking "hhmmm light touch" or "wow, that dug in a lot..."

My exhaust (M4 GP) is the most likely part to scrape (already has) and I have rearsets, so there isn't really a risk of dragging hard parts, so the way I see it using the knee slider for that reason just isn't worth it for me. 

I'm happy with the way my riding is progressing, I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything not using sliders but it just made me think if there's any other way I could or should be using them after seeing that post from Dave Moss...

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On 31/10/2017 at 7:25 AM, mugget said:

Not using my knee sliders, my thoughts on maximum lean angle and gauging surface traction are that it can be done simply by paying attention to feedback from the tyres and adjusting my riding based on this. For example if I was using more lean angle than usual and noticed increased sliding at maximum lean I'd take that to mean that it's pretty close to the maximum lean angle the tyres can take.

Does sliding tyres mean you are at max lean angle, or max lean angle for the speed you are doing?

On 31/10/2017 at 7:25 AM, mugget said:

My exhaust (M4 GP) is the most likely part to scrape (already has) and I have rearsets, so there isn't really a risk of dragging hard parts, so the way I see it using the knee slider for that reason just isn't worth it for me. 

I would consider the exhaust a hard part and you can certainly risk crashing if you keep leaning over when it touches down. So I would say your max lean angle is when that exhaust touches down. If you think it would be a distraction then sure, don’t do it. It’s just a tool and it’s your choice to use it or not. Many riders think knee down itself is a goal (and that’s ok), but it doesn’t mean you are fast or an awesome rider. I have video of me getting knee down in a car park doing figure 8’s in first gear ;) I did that to demonstrate that getting the knee down doesn’t mean you are fast

On 31/10/2017 at 7:25 AM, mugget said:

I'm happy with the way my riding is progressing, I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything not using sliders but it just made me think if there's any other way I could or should be using them after seeing that post from Dave Moss...

It’s great that you are happy with your progress, I can definitely relate to that! You’re not missing out. I’ve never saved a crash using my sliders but I do think that’s a good use for them if you ever need it and can pull it off.

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43 minutes ago, DucPati said:

It’s great that you are happy with your progress, I can definitely relate to that! You’re not missing out. I’ve never saved a crash using my sliders but I do think that’s a good use for them if you ever need it and can pull it off.

Here's a related article I read yesterday

http://www.motorcycle.com/features/Marc-marquez-crazy-save-motogp-sepang-2017

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6 hours ago, Jaybird180 said:

Article not required, I think we’ve all watched that video 100 times lol

 

I think it was either Rainey or Schwantz who was interviewed way back and said they save a crash with their knee about twice a lap. So not a new use for knee sliders, but Marc Marquez’ saves are spectacular and on another level!

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Just to be clear - when I talk about "maximum lean" in my own riding I'm talking about my lean angle in any given corner, not the actual possible maximum. But if tyres start sliding a lot more than usual in combination with greater than usual lean angle, it probably doesn't mean that I can't lean more, go faster, etc. - but I'd sure be paying careful attention to that feedback and wouldn't push too much more.

Yeah plenty of fast guys don't need a massive knee slider budget for a year of racing. I did some training with Wayne Maxwell once and he goes through about 3 sets of sliders a year, which is not that much... But I am starting to get the idea that using knee sliders might have any benefit now, I don't really slide on corner entry, mid-corner - mainly on throttle. But as my riding changes and (hopefully!) improves I am starting to see how I could use it. Will keep that one in the bag until then. Cheers guys. :)

And yes I think we can all agree that knee sliders are one of the biggest tools in Marquez bag of tricks! Haha

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