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Body Positioning Questions

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Hello, former CSS student here :) I have been riding track for just a little over two years and although I have improved a lot I am told my body positioning is not quite right.


I feel comfortable with my hangoff style, but if I am doing something wrong that is affecting my performance I would surely like to know. Here is my question. Is body positioning so incredibly important as most people make it out to be? I have heard things like "your spine should be perfectly parallel to the bike" etc. yet I have seen pictures of Doohan and Bayliss with a spine positioned crooked to the axis of the bike. What is the truth to this?


My second question is regarding the pics of myself I have attached below. What do you think I should change? I have been told that I hang off too much, I feel comfortable doing it, so is this necessarily a bad thing?


Thanks very much, any advice is appreciated :D Planning to sign up for CSS Level 2 soon!






- Kevin

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Keith mentions in one of the Twist books that Doohan 'breaks the rules'. For most riders it seems that getting securely 'locked on' to the bike in the turn using the outside knee and arm aids them in several important ways- you are comfortable, your arms do approximately zero work in the turn, you are not as likely to pull on the bars when actaully in the turn and track bumps/ripples are less likely to upset you/ the bike. If you are crooked on the bike it gets harder to 'lock on'.


Doesn't look to me like your arse is off too much but you have left your shoulders behind somewhat. Certainly appears you look well into the turn- in pic #1 anyway.


I'm just noticing that the tread on the tire is clearly visible- hell of a photo.


You will be pleased to know there is a level 2 off-track drill- the Lean Bike- that addresses hanging off directly and precisely.


get yersel to level 2 and try it!


Good luck

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if you are "crossed up" on the bike (i.e. not parallel), it causes a number of stability issues. so, yes, it is very important. if you ride at a level like bayliss or doohan, you can probably compensate pretty well for those issues (but there are very few riders at the top level that use a body position like those two). if you aren't quite that good, it is much easier just to use the correct body position. if you are that good, there is a very good chance using a non-crossed up position will help you go even faster.


level 2, and esp. level 3 will answer all of your body position questions and more...look forward to seeing you in class!

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Will we be allowed to experiment with body positioning at all in Level 1? I'd like to know so I don't get pulled over for doing it and I'm already all signed up for the June 12 class.

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You ask: "Will we be allowed to experiment with body positioning at all in Level 1?"

The simple answer is yes...and no.


I don't think that your instructor will pull you over to comment on your body position (unless you are doing something really unsafe) but they will want to know how you are doing with your Level I drills. It has been my experience that the School really knows how to teach cornering; if you allow them to take you through the progression of drills that they have perfected over many years and many thousands of other students, you will be amazed with how much your riding (read cornering) will improve.


The drills build upon each other so jumping ahead to body position before you have the foundation concepts will only confuse you. But can you experiment? My guess is yes but don't be disappointed if you don't get feedback on your body position experiments. Frankly, you may have to unlearn them once you advance to the upper levels but that is just my personal opinion.


Good luck!


Kevin Kane

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Thanks, Kevin. I appreciate the heads-up. I'm planning on trying out some of the body position techniques I've learned about but I will definitely not allow it to overcome or supercede the drills and the purpose of being on the track. I put my faith in the school and the curriculum to help me become a better rider and in no way would I attempt to derail the system by focusing on my body position.


Anyway, I'm really looking forward to next Saturday. Hope to see everyone there!

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Speaking of body position, Why do people (yes, I am talking about myself) have "good" sides" and bad sides. I am MUCH more comfortable hanging off in left hand turns vs. right hand turns. When I have steep lean angles to the right, I feel like I am "falling" off of the bike and working more on that than proper cornering technique?

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As far as left and right sides I suppose it also has to do with being left handed and right handed. There are just somethings you will never do exactly the same on either side but I'm sure you can make it work either way. I'm left-handed, but somehow I feel more comfortable leaning to the right and hanging off to the right. I don't know, maybe it's psychological. I believe this question has been addressed by Mr. Code himself, if not in this forum then possibly the books.

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