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Body Positioning Fore And Aft


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ok, body positioning left and right gets covered a lot. what doesn't get mentioned nearly as much is body positioning fore and aft...


from my understanding...


straightline stuff:


on acceleration you generally want to be over the front of the bike...

on braking you want to move back a bit...


what about in the turns?


i see racers and sometimes they're over the front, and sometimes they're more towards the back of their seat.


when/why would you choose to be over the front or over the rear in the turns?

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I can't speak for others, but I will go through what I do as it may help to get a better understanding.


While braking, I try to keep the weight back a bit as you said, to keep the rear tyre on the ground.

As I ease off the brakes, I bring my weight forward by lowering my chest onto the tank.

This is to maximise front end grip as I approach the apex. It also helps keep the weight transfer of the bike smooth and to a minimum.

As I get on the throttle and start to roll on, I arch my back, so instead of my chest being over the front of the tank, it's over the back of the tank, if that makes sense.

What this does is put more weight on the rear tyre so I can roll the throttle on earlier, and harder.

So now I'm maximising rear grip.

I find it also helps me feel the edge of traction better.


It also gives the option of easliy shifting your weight forward again if the front is getting too light, without using the bars to pull yourself foward.


It's subtle movements, and mainly the top half of the body, but it makes a positive difference.

It also helps to be fit and have strong stomach muscles.

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  • 11 months later...

It may sound strange, but I feel this is my biggest issue when riding.

I'm a tall guy on a VTR1000. The narrow tank of the v-twin does not give you much to lock your knees into, especially with long legs, but I've found that my legs are just too long for most of the inline 4s out there (knees above the cutouts). When I did SBS level two an instructor said that being tall would create a need to sit further back in the seat in order to get the forearms as horizontal as possible behind the controls. This is true. But when I try to do that, I find that any decelleration (by braking or just rolling off the throttle), or even small bumps in the road, are enough to throw me forward again. Because of this, I end up putting much more weight on the bars to hold me back, and I'm sure we all know by now that a relaxed grip on the bars is important (do they teach the "chicken wing" arm flap relaxation technique in the california school? :P ) I honestly have no solution. Arching my back more helps a bit by bringing my shoulders lower without having to sit quite so far back, but I really need some way to stop the sliding into the tank, if only to keep my privates undamaged!

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I would love to see some more replies on this as I have wondered for a while what the proper technique would be. For me in thinking about my riding I decided the faster the corner the farther back in the seat I would try to be and for the slower stuff I would hug the tank a bit more. I'm not sure if it's right but when I tried it it felt comfortable. In the slower stuff it especially felt like the way to go as it seemed to give a little more bite on the front end for the turn in. This is what I do most of the time however at my home track (pacific raceways) there is a right left chicane that is fairly fast and the exit is a hair downhill before it goes dramatically uphill on this particular turn even though it is fast I hug the tank to an extreme. It seems the bike gets alot of traction through this area and it seems to help keep the bike on the line I'm looking for to set up for my turnpoint for the turn at the top of the hill. Like I said this is what I came up with that seems to work well for me. Would love to hear other peoples take on this.

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First off, pick a spot and STICK WITH IT in a corner. Don't try scooting forward/backward while you're turning or you're gonna end up with a VERY unstable combination.


A lot of it depends on your size and fitment on the bike. I'm 6'2" with a 36" inseam. I can't be forward on the bike while in a full tuck or my head would be over the windscreen. I have to be mashed back against the rear.


For braking/turning, similarily, I squeeze my stomp-grip tank pads (huge kudos to Keith for introducing me to these) with my knees and the lock myself onto the bike before turning.


My personal position in turning is about 1/2 way in the seat. Any further forward or back and I can't lock my position onto the bike...

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Quite apart from the pieces by Keith and others on how or how not to make use of the front and rear brakes when trail braking at speed, how about a short note on the importance of staying off the front brake in tight "parking lot" situations?


Not really an exciting topic! Nevertheless, I am a fairly "new" rider on a 550 pound plus Blackbird who once road featherweight 250s in the 1960s. And the fact is, it took me several months of riding on the Blackbird before I discovered that in order to feel as comfortable in tight "parking lot" situations as I did on the open road, I had to stay completely off the front brake!


I am not sure why this simple habit took me so long to discover, particularly since I had already put a lot of effort into improving my fore-aft braking habits at speed. It just took me a while to recognize that low speed parking maneuvers require a totally different use of the brakes! Or is there something more about linked-brakes that I should be aware of when riding at any speed?

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