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Where's Your Head At?


SpencerYPM
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Just a quick one, does it make a whole heap of difference where your head is physically during a turn?

I notice from shots taken of me while racing that I'm crossed up a little ala Mick Doohan.

 

Its my natural position when riding, but would forcing my body position to another style make me faster/safer in the long run? Would pushing the head lower and more forward be better?

 

Also would sitting lower on the bike or higher, or further back make a big difference at my level?

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Just a quick one, does it make a whole heap of difference where your head is physically during a turn?

I notice from shots taken of me while racing that I'm crossed up a little ala Mick Doohan.

 

Its my natural position when riding, but would forcing my body position to another style make me faster/safer in the long run? Would pushing the head lower and more forward be better?

 

Also would sitting lower on the bike or higher, or further back make a big difference at my level?

 

Hi Spencer,

 

Well, If you ride a little like Doohan, (and he only did that because he had a very badly smashed up leg that made it hard), you're head is more to the inside of the bike, would that be correct?

 

My question to then is this. Lets imagine we're going through a left hand corner, you're leaned off in Doohan stylee, which way is your head and shoulders facing? Would you agree that a lot about riding fast is about vision, what you look at, where, etc? Do you think that's the optimum position to provide you with great visuals?

 

If we look at today's current crop of MotoGP riders, lets compare say Tony Elias, and Jorge Lorenzo below, what difference can you see..?

 

Bullet

post-15526-1258448771_thumb.jpg

post-15526-1258448784_thumb.jpg

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my 2cents

 

being crossed up doesnt limit riders from turning their head to the direction of the turn. the reason to pull your head and upper body to the inside it to give the bike more clearance/traction at a certain speed compared to sitting crossed up. makes corner exits mor manageable and faster.

 

the only difference i see from elias and lorenzo is that elias likes to hang his ass way out there. hes got both his cheeks off the seat while lorenzo is barely hanging off. both of their spines are to the inside of the bike and is parallel to the bike. besides bayliss and hodgson, vermulen (sp?), i havent seen anyone else in motogp that is crossed up on the bike except when not at pace.

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my 2cents

 

being crossed up doesnt limit riders from turning their head to the direction of the turn. the reason to pull your head and upper body to the inside it to give the bike more clearance/traction at a certain speed compared to sitting crossed up. makes corner exits mor manageable and faster.

 

the only difference i see from elias and lorenzo is that elias likes to hang his ass way out there. hes got both his cheeks off the seat while lorenzo is barely hanging off. both of their spines are to the inside of the bike and is parallel to the bike. besides bayliss and hodgson, vermulen (sp?), i havent seen anyone else in motogp that is crossed up on the bike except when not at pace.

 

Do you find it easy to look over your shoulder, when it's facing the wrong direction, i.e. into towards the bike, and away from where you're actually going. Seems pretty sub optimal to me. There are other reasons why these riders do this, but I'm not going to go into it on here. You'll find all that out if you do level 2 and get on the lean bike, and do level 3 physical drills.

 

Bullet

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my 2cents

 

being crossed up doesnt limit riders from turning their head to the direction of the turn. the reason to pull your head and upper body to the inside it to give the bike more clearance/traction at a certain speed compared to sitting crossed up. makes corner exits mor manageable and faster.

 

the only difference i see from elias and lorenzo is that elias likes to hang his ass way out there. hes got both his cheeks off the seat while lorenzo is barely hanging off. both of their spines are to the inside of the bike and is parallel to the bike. besides bayliss and hodgson, vermulen (sp?), i havent seen anyone else in motogp that is crossed up on the bike except when not at pace.

 

Do you find it easy to look over your shoulder, when it's facing the wrong direction, i.e. into towards the bike, and away from where you're actually going. Seems pretty sub optimal to me. There are other reasons why these riders do this, but I'm not going to go into it on here. You'll find all that out if you do level 2 and get on the lean bike, and do level 3 physical drills.

 

Bullet

 

I'm a bit curious about the other reasons, would you mind going into that a bit more? I'm guessing that fear of leaning can make someone want to keep head or body more 'on top of' the bike, and also that hanging your butt off too far can make you get crossed up, any other reasons? I am fighting a tendency to stiffen up my left shoulder and push it forward on left hand turns, and I can't figure out what's causing it. I'm not afraid of leaning it, and I don't hang off very far - in fact I still stiffen that shoulder even when I don't hang my butt off at all. My position is OK approaching the turn, and stays OK when I get into a hang off position, but at the moment I turn the bike, I throw my shoulder forward. It's worse on downhill turns. I am right-handed, and do a lot of my steering, even on left turns, with my right hand, especially at slow speeds. When I sit on a bike on a stand, my position looks fine, and it looks OK on the lean bike too, but when a coach follows me on track they see me make a weird change in position right at the turn-in - sometimes it looks like a late look-in because my shoulder comes forward relative to my head, which sort of looks like I turned my head. Anything you can do to help would be MUCH appreciated!!

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my 2cents

 

being crossed up doesnt limit riders from turning their head to the direction of the turn. the reason to pull your head and upper body to the inside it to give the bike more clearance/traction at a certain speed compared to sitting crossed up. makes corner exits mor manageable and faster.

 

the only difference i see from elias and lorenzo is that elias likes to hang his ass way out there. hes got both his cheeks off the seat while lorenzo is barely hanging off. both of their spines are to the inside of the bike and is parallel to the bike. besides bayliss and hodgson, vermulen (sp?), i havent seen anyone else in motogp that is crossed up on the bike except when not at pace.

 

Do you find it easy to look over your shoulder, when it's facing the wrong direction, i.e. into towards the bike, and away from where you're actually going. Seems pretty sub optimal to me. There are other reasons why these riders do this, but I'm not going to go into it on here. You'll find all that out if you do level 2 and get on the lean bike, and do level 3 physical drills.

 

Bullet

 

I'm a bit curious about the other reasons, would you mind going into that a bit more? I'm guessing that fear of leaning can make someone want to keep head or body more 'on top of' the bike, and also that hanging your butt off too far can make you get crossed up, any other reasons? I am fighting a tendency to stiffen up my left shoulder and push it forward on left hand turns, and I can't figure out what's causing it. I'm not afraid of leaning it, and I don't hang off very far - in fact I still stiffen that shoulder even when I don't hang my butt off at all. My position is OK approaching the turn, and stays OK when I get into a hang off position, but at the moment I turn the bike, I throw my shoulder forward. It's worse on downhill turns. I am right-handed, and do a lot of my steering, even on left turns, with my right hand, especially at slow speeds. When I sit on a bike on a stand, my position looks fine, and it looks OK on the lean bike too, but when a coach follows me on track they see me make a weird change in position right at the turn-in - sometimes it looks like a late look-in because my shoulder comes forward relative to my head, which sort of looks like I turned my head. Anything you can do to help would be MUCH appreciated!!

 

You've covered a couple of the reasons Hotfoot. With respect to you, in all honesty, you'll find it very hard to fix this kind of problem that you're explaining without a coach seeing you on a bike, following you etc, it's really the only way.

 

Sorry its not the answer you wanted, but to give you any coaching without being with you would be improper and possibly dangerous/detremental to your riding.

 

You could maybe discuss this with Cobie or Pete over the phone or by mail? If they've worked with you, see you, they could offer you some further insights into your little quirk..

 

Bullet.

 

p.s. We all have little quirks on the bike, I've got a weird thing I sometimes do more to the rights than lefts. Tried for years to irradicate it, still doesn't quite feel the same as to the left. Weird eh!

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I had a search around and this is classic me at Druids/Brands from last season.

 

http://www.racing-line-photography.com/BZ_...ge=wl7w2389.jpg

 

See what I mean body is off but twisted - I'm doing this naturally?

 

I raced at Croix in France and as it was a non championship round for me I went and purposely tried to eradicate this "dated" style and I did I think.

 

http://www.racing-line-photography.com/ima...es/pveo6806.jpg

 

But as soon as it was important, I reverted subconsciously. :angry:

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Do you find it easy to look over your shoulder, when it's facing the wrong direction, i.e. into towards the bike, and away from where you're actually going. Seems pretty sub optimal to me. There are other reasons why these riders do this, but I'm not going to go into it on here. You'll find all that out if you do level 2 and get on the lean bike, and do level 3 physical drills.

 

Bullet

 

 

me? i dont ride crossed up at all. the vision thing doesnt have anything to do with body position though. bayliss was able to look through turns and so does everyone else i know who rides that way. it doesnt mean that its right though. its all about traction and clearance. everything that you do boils down to those two things. vision is something else. its given that riders should look where they should go.

 

i dont have very many photos of myself since im usually photog duty but the 2pics below kinda shows how i usually ride. these were back in july.. ive since made some breakthroughs and body position is a lot closer to the tank.

 

559219831_GgBog-S-2.jpg

 

631415949_k4boT-S.jpg

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me? i dont ride crossed up at all. the vision thing doesnt have anything to do with body position though. bayliss was able to look through turns and so does everyone else i know who rides that way. it doesnt mean that its right though. its all about traction and clearance. everything that you do boils down to those two things. vision is something else. its given that riders should look where they should go.

 

Your right mate, you don't ride crossed up, all looks good.

 

Guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this point. For me as a coach, it's just about making things better, making incremental changes to make things easier, better, rather than harder, and there is improvement to be had by getting the head and shoulders into the turn.

 

There are many examples of riders that don't do this, and have their own style, I think if we were to look at the 4 very best riders in the world right now, (MotoGP) none of them rides crossed up. Whilst it's not that single factor in itself, it can surely be of no concidence they're trying to optimise and make best use of as much techniques as possible to their disposal?

 

Bullet

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Guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this point. F

 

Whilst it's not that single factor in itself, it can surely be of no concidence they're trying to optimise and make best use of as much techniques as possible to their disposal?

 

Bullet

 

you got me wrong buddy. i completely agree with what you are saying. there is a reason why all the best riders hang off that way. i was just pointing out that not everyone who is crossed up have troubles turning their head... its actually easier to move your head around with a more upright position than when you are all low and to the inside...

 

;) and in the end, its all about traction management especially at the point when the tires start giving off in a race.

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Guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this point. F

 

Whilst it's not that single factor in itself, it can surely be of no concidence they're trying to optimise and make best use of as much techniques as possible to their disposal?

 

Bullet

 

you got me wrong buddy. i completely agree with what you are saying. there is a reason why all the best riders hang off that way. i was just pointing out that not everyone who is crossed up have troubles turning their head... its actually easier to move your head around with a more upright position than when you are all low and to the inside...

 

;) and in the end, its all about traction management especially at the point when the tires start giving off in a race.

 

I completely agree, there have been some stunning examples of riders that had horrid body position and totally dominated their class. Doohan, looked horrible, though some of it was injury related. Bayliss another great example. I do agree with what you say about being too low, some people are so low, they can't see up the track enough, and some of the crew have experimented a lot with body position too little, too far, see what's best.

 

Yeah, at the top level, its about traction, feel, vision for sure. Oh to have a go on one of those bikes... :-)

 

Bullet

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hi all

gonna throw my 2 quid (dollars for all those u.s ) worth in here just because based on personal experience during another level 4 at silverstone this year . coach pointed out to me that my initial head postion on turn in was hunched forward and at 45 degrees visually a bit like elias i guess ( only wish i was a quarter as fast l.o.l !!)

basically with help on turn point approach , i tried sitting my upper body more upright and sticking my chin out when looking to apex so that my field of vision was more horizontal as coaches said do you think thats gonna be easier on the brain as i try and process this and other things especially at speed . ???

yep it was ..

Now this was fine tuning i guess but i couldn,t quite figure it out for myself up to this point and am still having to work at not doing what i previously was .

 

out of interest after corner entry , my head at hook position and looking for exit has always looked pretty good so from what i interperet it was just my head position at corner entry that was problem .

Getting back to bullets point , at my level (not elias,s) the visual input is very important and if i can make the picture easier on the brain i,m sure it,ll help incidentally this came up after working on a prior visual based drill .

will try and upload a couple of pics but i think my personal photo on here although small is a good mid corner / exit body / head position shot .

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Where abouts is the optimum position for your head, mine is always in the bubble - hence the crossed up.

If I put the head lower and to the inside does that not make the speed seem faster?

 

See my point?

 

Some riders ride with the the head parallel to track while others orientated to the bike - what is best???

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Where abouts is the optimum position for your head, mine is always in the bubble - hence the crossed up.

If I put the head lower and to the inside does that not make the speed seem faster?

 

See my point?

 

Some riders ride with the the head parallel to track while others orientated to the bike - what is best???

 

Where do you think optimum is? Where do rossi, Lornezo, Stoner, etc, all have their head?

 

As was noted earlier in the thread though, head position is a consequence of good body position really, which is about other things, stability, lean angle, etc, etc.

 

The reason you, and many other peopl do that with your head, is that you're used to trying to keep your head level, is a natural human being reaction, You need to get used to your head not being level I'm afraid, as it's almost impossible to stop this at the very top level, you have to learn to go with the bike, not counteract it, which is what you're doing.

 

Does it make the world seem to go faster, not really, its just you're uncomfortable with having your head at angle! It goes exactly the same speed, unless you look at the floor, and we were only just talking about visual consequence of body position earlier in this thread.

 

The reality Spencer is Body positioning, is icing on your cake, if you consider fundamentals of level 1, and vsual skills of level 2 as the base and cream of your cake, you'll begin to understand how you get your complete cake.. If that makes any sense.. (it's been a long weekend).. :lol: . Learn the fundamentals, get the visuals, your body position si the last set of key components in going fast, and in itself, it won't make you that much faster.

 

Bullet

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i always thought that was interesting how the top racers just let their head lean with the bike and not twist it so that its parallel to the ground. ive always ridden like that. i always thought it was a lot harder to see than when you have your head level. but im so used to it that it really doesnt bother me. i catch myself having to stretch my eyes to look for the apex though.

 

and bullet, we have the same suit. lol :lol:

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Pretty hard to keep the head level, with as far over as modern bikes will lean, and have the body going with the bike (not crossing up against it).

 

Taking the torso and crossing up the other way on the bike (often done with the head leading the parade), takes the biggest hunk of meat on a human and makes it counter lean. Will that mean more lean angle as opposed to the rider that gets his body over to the inside?

 

CF

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Slightly confused, I understand that having the nut lower and to the inside is better, but struggling with the orientation of the head.

 

Your Avatar has your visor line almost parallel to the ground, but bellevuetlr has his inline with the bike?

 

Like the cake theorum - works for me :lol:

 

Hi Spencer,

 

If you look closely, you will actually see my helmet is indeed sloping over, and isn't parallel to the floor. The main difference between myself and Belle really is that he's hanging off the bike much further than I, and this means he can't have his visuals as far up the track as myself. Essentially, I'm a pretty good position as a compromise for body and visuals really. Of course, it's all relative to bike setup, body size, etc, etc.

 

Can you see that? I've attached the larger pic here for you to see.

 

Bullet

post-15526-1259331339_thumb.jpg

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below are a few pictures to ponder on... note Lorenzo's eyes on the first photo. that is the only challenge visually... having to strain your eyes to look upwards.. other than that, when i do it, i do not have a problem looking through the apex and exit.

 

and to comment on my avatar picture, im actually not hanging off too much there. my body is to the inside but i was still sitting pretty upright. i made breakthroughs with my riding that helped me gain more speed through the corner. i pretty much focused on getting my nipples on the opposite side of the tank for each corner pulling my body down to the tank. i cant wait to ride again next year.

 

 

2n8ufyo.jpg

 

 

 

 

stoner010australie2009.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the Master at work... Im the same size as Rossi btw except that im about 200 lbs.

 

633814459257787000valentino-rossi-catalunya-03.jpg

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just a thought, body position is only correct when it allows you to follow bike technology. for example mick i would think was dealing with the awesome(lol) handling of the nsr,not that i know personally but have read much, and remember the bike not being fond of changin direction. suppose the crossed up style was to keep the monster from acting out, perhaps it didnt handle as smooth with a lower gravity so he had to keep some wieght on the front.

who knows, think what im getting at is body position is personal to the turn,bike,setup, rider and so on. to worry bout what anothers body position looks like in comparison to yours is focusing on the wrong thing. which i would think would come back to bullets's statement of, needing a coach with experiance in critiquing(sp) ones riding style, to watch you(in general) and let you know what is holding you back.

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Those are some cool pictures bellevuetlr, Its rare to see a photographer get pics with the track horizontal to the bike, usually the twist the pic to make the lean look more extreme!

 

The thing I noticed here is the position of their inside shoulder, Its almost in line with the centre of the bike, Lorenzo's a little less, by my shoulder width that would only mean my upper body should be about 10 inches maximum off centre to achieve this, you said that you aim to get your nipples in line with the outside edge of the tank, I'm not an expert but in my opinion thats too much, you must sacrifice some of your ability to lock on to the bike being that far over! Personaly I aim to get my nipple in line with the filler cap!

 

Visuals, what do you think Lorenzo is looking at in that picture, or maybe what is it he's looking for?

I would think that by that point in the corner he is finished with that turn visually and is looking up the track for his next RP!

 

Back to head position, studying 3 pictures of the 3 top riders in the world shows the same thing none of them tilt their heads to either side, they all rotate their heads in the direction they want to look, and they do tilt their heads back to achieve better visuals!

 

Bobby

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i actually dont have a problem with hangingoff.. i do think its a little too far.. its really trivial... but i think i exagerate it more during corner exit to pick the bike up a bit earlier.. excuse all the jabber from the other posts.. i just miss riding is all. the last post was more to share the cool pics i stole from another forum.

 

as far as the head thing... the general position that they have it from what ive observed in leaned along with the bike.. obviously, they would turn it to look for the apex and exit but once they are inline and exiting, the head will be back in that position.. i dont see many top riders position themselves like doohan or schwantz... i think the only time your head will be completely leveled like that is if you were sitting straight up or riding crosse up.

 

if you go to the site where i got the pics from, theres one picture of spies exiting a corner with his head leaned with the bike looking straight. pretty cool photo.

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