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Knee Down ?


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Hi,

 

I am having a hard time finding it comfortable to get into a knee down position, just feels so alien and awkward, im riding a 1988 FZR1000 Genesis.

 

Im not someone whois a hero, I dont take silly chances but I would still like to learn and understand why I cant do this at the moment, im right to the very edge of my rear tyre ( chicken lines etc ) so im guessin im getting enough lean angle just not the correct body position, trouble with my bike is on roundabouts and other likely places to try and practice this my bike just feels unsteady and top heavy making the situation even more dodgy whilst trying to learn :(

 

Also another thing I wanted to ask is about spinning up, im really comfortable doing big powerslides on my motorcrosser ( YZ125 ) does the same feel and theory apply when getting to the limit of the road tyre, not really wanting to try a hunch :D

 

Any advice appreciated.

 

thanks

 

Mark.

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Well here's my straight up answer. Get a friend that is use to sport riding and can get a knee at will and let him/her take the bike for a spin and let them see if the bike setup is worthy of a knee drag run. The bike might be out of whack causing you to feel very unconfortable trying to do it. I took a couple friends bikes out for a spin for that reason also. It was just them. They needed better body position and speed. Just make sure your tires are up for the task, get a clear shot at a corner with visibility and a soft shoulder incase you over shoot... :lol: I know I should tell you to go to the track, and I do myself, but the reality of it is, everybody is gonna take a shot at it on the street. I just got a secluded area and went for it. I swore I could never do it on my bike because my legs wouldn't bend right, but it was all me. When you get it, you get it, and it gets easier. If you do make it to a track and start getting your speeds up, you'll understand why the guys/girls say it isn't as important, but in the same breath, we still always do it..... :P

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Hi,

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

Thankfully living in the UK gives me some lovely country lanes to play in and some real nice A and B roads.....something im sure most american bikers would die for ( no pun intended ).

 

None of my mates who I ride with are able to get the knee down LOL, but we all manage to touch our toes and get to the edge of our tyres with no problem without riding with feet stuck out like penguins :D

 

Wish we had somewhere in the UK with the training bike I have seen on this site..... :(

 

Mark.

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Mark, we have "metric tons" of roads over here.. :lol: No pun intended... :lol: Ever wanna come over here for a test run, let me know. I live close to Deals Gap, www.tailofthedragon.com

 

Great riding, so come on over, rent is free!

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Call this a question from Nicky New-Guy, but I recently became re-addicted to sport-bike riding, and I'm looking forward to getting some coaching on my riding skills. So, while it might seem obvious, what is the actual (real?) reason that one lays the puck down and drags a knee? Is it for a better sense of the degree of lean? A helpful 3rd point if you start to lose tire grip?

 

Understanding the philosophy will help me focus on the goals. :)

 

Thanks,

Peter. :)

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I believe that getting a knee down, at the start, is a result of having everything else right and driving at such a speed that the lean angle puts your knee on the ground. If you're not crossed up on the bike and tucking it under (most everyone does without a lot of experience and good coaching - like me,) you end up developing this wierd style I have seen at a track day where riders push their butt off the seat and reach for the tarmack with their knee. It looks uncomfortable and their upper body is above the centerline of the bike. They are defeating themselves at good riding technique for the chance to scrape their knee pads. And they look really unsettled coming out of a turn. Larry Pegram is the only pro that I know of that gets away with this style of tucking the bike under. He stands out like a sore thumb at a race. Take a look at Haga for the oposite extreme of body position.

 

If you body position is right, your knee will usually just flop out since it isn't holding on to anything. If you push it out about 4 inches it will touch. I saw someone drag their knee in a parking lot at about 20 to 30 miles an hour. I've seen other people run their tires to the edge and not get a knee down. Getting a knee down is the result, not the goal.

 

As far as racers go, they have such incredible lean angle that I have seen them lift their knee up because it is hitting too hard. Yes, they use it as a lean angle guage and maybe they could save a crash; maybe.

 

You could go double the posted speed or up to double plus 10mph with a 190 on a 6 inch rim and still have a slight "chicken strip". Or you could go just above posted, use up all your lean angle and be riding way above the recommended 70% or your ability, and drag a knee.

 

Pictures of me at the track during my limited track experience show that my knee is about 2 to 4 inches off the tarmack and my body position is almost right - emphasis on almost.

 

Bottom line: If you get your body position, turn entry, throttle control, etc...right, your knee will touch. Without the rest, trying to just get a knee down is an empty gesture that might make you feel good, but would probably lead to bad habits you will have to unlearn later to become a better rider.

 

If your knee is touching on the street, your going too fast for the street and are taking on a large amount of risk. Will the pavement change in this corner, will it go off camber, will it have gravel, do I have enough reserve to avoid the tree, truck, road kill, etc...in my lane? And most importantly, can I stop my bike in time to avoid the truck going 5mph in my lane? If you are so committed to a turn speed that you are dragging a knee, you're really not giving yourself many options if things go wrong. That's why you save it for the track.

 

Just my 2 pence.

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In TOTW 2 Mr. Code simply uses his knee and toe sliders as a guage. If you are in the same position, a$$ half off, foot on the peg in the same place, ect.... then when the knee touches the lean angle should be the same every time.

 

now of course it looks kewl and the men are distinguished from the boys in a number of different ways, this being one of those way in many riders eyes.

 

Rman

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