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Knee Dragging


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Please allow me to first of all emphasize that dragging my knees on the street is NOT something I strive to do. I do however want to scrape my knee sliders once I get on the track (which I haven't had the chance to do yet). Let me clarify that a bit: Dragging my knees on the track is not a goal either, but going fast with the correct BP will eventually make the knees touch down. I just want to learn how to go through a corner fast, like the rest of you :)

 

Here's the thing. Now and then, here and there (on the street), I get the opportunity to practice what I've been studying in TOTW 1&2. And let's face it, you can't really practice cornering technique (Flicking the bike, BP, cornering lines, vision etc) doing 45mph on a more or less straight road. So yes I have been speeding through a few hand picked corners when there is little or no traffic, and "safe" run-off areas on the outside (like a corn field etc). But the thing is, I never got my knee down! Yes, I'm fully aware of that there are several things that come into play, especially BP and of course the main ingredient: speed. I just can't seem to build up enough confidence to lean her that far over on the street. I think I will be able to do so after a couple of hours on a track, because then I know for sure that I won't be surprised by mid-corner diesel spills, traffic, debris or anything like that.

 

My question is therefore NOT "how do you drag your knees on the street", but I wonder if you ever DO drag your knees on the street? If you do, doesn't it take a lot more err.. BALLS (for the lack of a better word) to do that on the street VS. when you're on a nice, predictable track??

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Perhaps once you have had your knee down on a track, you will have better idea about what conditions need to exist in order to achieve the same elsewhere? Sorry for being a bit off topic. I think that your not having big enough balls to do so on the road is due to your other than conscious survival skills. There may be oil, diesel, loose gravel or deer just round that bend, like you mention. I think that the risks that do or may exist on a track v normal road are different.

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Perhaps once you have had your knee down on a track, you will have better idea about what conditions need to exist in order to achieve the same elsewhere? Sorry for being a bit off topic. I think that your not having big enough balls to do so on the road is due to your other than conscious survival skills. There may be oil, diesel, loose gravel or deer just round that bend, like you mention. I think that the risks that do or may exist on a track v normal road are different.

 

That's my theory too, that once I get some knee dragging experience from the track, I should be able to do it on the street too. While we're on the subject, are you guys comfortable with getting your knee down in low speeds (30-50mph) as well? I find it much easier to lean her over to the limit of my comfort zone when taking on a long, high speed corner. Probably because the increased gyroscopic effect helps stabilizing the bike. I guess it doesn't help that my bike is about 550lbs (CBR1100)? :-S

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I have never touched my knee down on a public road. Neither before nor after grinding through my first set of knee pucks on the track. Nor do I have any desire to do so either. After you have been on the track and understand what is involved, I think you will lose the desire to do so. In fact, you may even lose the desire to ride on public roads at all. I did. For me, it became something akin to masturbation, if you'll pardon my saying so.

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I have never touched my knee down on a public road. Neither before nor after grinding through my first set of knee pucks on the track. Nor do I have any desire to do so as well. After you have been on the track and understand what is involved, I think you will lose the desire to do so. You may even lose the desire to ride on the road at all. I did. For me, it became someting akin to masturbation, If you'll pardon my saying so.

 

I really appreciate that comment, racer. Because I totally agree, dragging your knee on the street seems incredibly risky and just plain stupid. There are way too many unknown variables out there that might cause (potentially deadly) problems.. And for a noobie like me, it would probably be a lot safer to play on a track that is five times wider than the street lane. If you blow a corner on the track (i.e. a SR kicks in, and you get off the throttle), there is always room for a slightly wider line than you intended. Not always so on the road..!

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I started racing in 2000 and was dragging my knee fairly soon at the track. In the summer of 2001 myself and 4 friends rode 1100 miles to the Parry Sound Sportbike rally. While there we participated in a Poker run, where the speeds were quite high, at one point I found myself leading my group and riding a little more spirited shall we say. I was not wearing sliders but was close enough to touch my knee down if I wanted to. At that point I decided to back it down a little. I was comfortable at that speed but far beyond what I would consider a safe speed for the unfamiliar roads with unknown conditions. Every rider will find their comfort level of course but now having had that experience my agression level has certainly decreased on the street. By the way I ride and was riding that day a 2000 ZX12R so a similar class bike to your CBR1100XX. So long anwswer to your question is no , I haven't dragged a knee on the street and now wouldn't even try.

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By the way I ride and was riding that day a 2000 ZX12R so a similar class bike to your CBR1100XX. So long anwswer to your question is no , I haven't dragged a knee on the street and now wouldn't even try.

 

That's an interesting story, thanks for sharing :)

 

Did you use the ZX12R on the track as well? In that case, how does it perform on the track vs. a smaller bike like an R6, CBR600 or GSXR600 ?

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I have used it on the track for instructing track day riders, a lot of fun but our race track is very small, only 1.1 miles with 9 turns. The 12 requires a much more point and shoot riding style than my R6 or ZX6R does. You have to be much more aware of the throttle! I know there was some teams endurance racing them in France. At one point I had the back wheel in the air while braking into turn 8 and decided that as this was my street bike I'd stop having so much fun. That being said I'd encourage you to take the CBR to the track anyway, it will give you a lot more confidence in what the bike is capable of. I finally convinced my buddy to bring his Busa to a track day and he is now one of our biggest promotors!

 

www.mrasuperbike.ca

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