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Braking Technique, How Many Fingers Do You Use?

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Bullet,

 

So you were basically maintaining the index finger grip without repositioning after braking and that was causing you to be constrained in your body position?

 

Am I understanding correctly? If so then my experiment with braking with my last three fingers and maintaining grip with my thumb and index finger might not be the best idea. Currently when I brake with my index and middle finger I have to reposition my grip after braking and this is where you found success?

 

Apologies if I'm being obtuse, I just want to be sure I understand. There is no sense in learning a bad habit early on!

 

Best,

Carey

 

Yes, I was, subconconciously, didn't even realise I was doing it, and I can also assure you it wasn't tight at all, however, it was hooked right around the bar with my connection to my thumb. (if that makes sense). I guess the question for you Carey will be this, try braking with either your Index and middle (which by general consensus most do), and release that index hooking permanently around that bar, see if you notice any differences. We only went to 4 fingers, as it completely removed all ability to grip the throttle tube with which to experiment with. Will I stay that way? perhaps not all 4, I may try 2, we'll see. what was important was the observation that this was a problem (it was only minor by the way), but it made a difference.

 

I would suggest this is a relatively rare problem, as we've identifed most riders use both index and middle, which would mean they would not have this problem by default.

 

clear?

 

Bullet

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I'm interested in the whole screwdriver grip thing, I feel weaker on my right-hand side, but couldn't really practice at Stowe circuit as there's only the one right-hander. I'm considering booking level 2 at the South circuit so I can get some proper practice in. I don't think gripping the throttle like a screwdriver will work all that well on left-hand turns for me though, as if you look in my pic, my right arm is locked onto the tank for support and trying to hold the throttle in another way will probably lead me to bending that arm up and away from the tank.

 

 

 

Don't believe we ever said anything about screwdriver throttle grip in the lefts? B) But ask yourself this, do you hold the left clip on flat and solid, or do you slip the grip on the lefts on the inner (i.e. left clip on)...? would it therefore be neccesary to be able to do the same to the rights? Thus if you gripped the bars with your index finger locked around the tube, could you do this?

 

Bullet

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I'm interested in the whole screwdriver grip thing, I feel weaker on my right-hand side, but couldn't really practice at Stowe circuit as there's only the one right-hander. I'm considering booking level 2 at the South circuit so I can get some proper practice in. I don't think gripping the throttle like a screwdriver will work all that well on left-hand turns for me though, as if you look in my pic, my right arm is locked onto the tank for support and trying to hold the throttle in another way will probably lead me to bending that arm up and away from the tank.

 

 

 

Don't believe we ever said anything about screwdriver throttle grip in the lefts? B) But ask yourself this, do you hold the left clip on flat and solid, or do you slip the grip on the lefts on the inner (i.e. left clip on)...? would it therefore be neccesary to be able to do the same to the rights? Thus if you gripped the bars with your index finger locked around the tube, could you do this?

 

Bullet

 

No you didn't, but I got to thinking about it all the same. Looking in my picture, my hand is loose on the inner grip on the left-hander and I was making a conscious effort to try and almost let go of the grip so I wasn't putting any pressure on it.

 

It would be useful to do the same in a right-hander and I'll have to give it a go next time I'm out, but it's a lot trickier with your throttle hand as you've got to be loose with it, yet still maintain enough grip to roll on the throttle and have it in a position to easily return it to normal once out of the corner in order to take full throttle.

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Bullet,

 

So you were basically maintaining the index finger grip without repositioning after braking and that was causing you to be constrained in your body position?

 

Am I understanding correctly? If so then my experiment with braking with my last three fingers and maintaining grip with my thumb and index finger might not be the best idea. Currently when I brake with my index and middle finger I have to reposition my grip after braking and this is where you found success?

 

Apologies if I'm being obtuse, I just want to be sure I understand. There is no sense in learning a bad habit early on!

 

Best,

Carey

 

Yes, I was, subconconciously, didn't even realise I was doing it, and I can also assure you it wasn't tight at all, however, it was hooked right around the bar with my connection to my thumb. (if that makes sense). I guess the question for you Carey will be this, try braking with either your Index and middle (which by general consensus most do), and release that index hooking permanently around that bar, see if you notice any differences. We only went to 4 fingers, as it completely removed all ability to grip the throttle tube with which to experiment with. Will I stay that way? perhaps not all 4, I may try 2, we'll see. what was important was the observation that this was a problem (it was only minor by the way), but it made a difference.

 

I would suggest this is a relatively rare problem, as we've identifed most riders use both index and middle, which would mean they would not have this problem by default.

 

clear?

 

Bullet

 

Thanks Bullet, that makes sense. I just wanted to be sure I understood what you were saying.

 

Thank you sir.

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interesting bullet very interesting

don,t think i,ve got a prob that i,m aware of (i,ll let you guys decide when i come for next school) hopefuly get out next week and this is something i can go out and play with out of interest and i,ll probably get a better slant on it but i can see where your coming from - i imagine this could also be good considering for previous injuries too .

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Hello,

 

1 (index) or 2 fingers (index, major), no body position problems (but haven't done Level 3 yet). I like my brake lever quite hard with very little free play.

 

Cheers

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A LONG time ago (almost 4 years now) a rider who was helping me when I was new to track riding explained something like this to me. I stored it WAY in the back of my brain as unimportant because of everything I was learning, but he told me about the finger use, position and grip after he noticed one of his friends having an issue with rights. He had the guy use two and then three fingers until he found a comfortable spot grip-wise. I was too new so I didn't quite get it and my right hand taking flaws weren't noticeable yet. Thanks for mentioning it.

 

He's the same guy who was explaining how far out to put my hands: all the way. It increased my fulcrum for turning by an inch and gave me a choice in how I wanted to place my thumb and index finger while gripping the bars. I allowed me to not have my hand forced into the rubber inner grip and adjusting from there. I mostly remember the increased ease of turning.

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OK, here's what we learned, well more specifically, what I learned, as this learning is my own, as it was noticed in my own riding.

 

...

 

It was an odd observation, and a very small tweak in technique which reaped an interesting improvement. So, there you have it, if you're struggling to the right hand side, consider your grip on the actual twist grip. Can your braking technique be making you twist and be constrained? Can you make an improvement in it, that may enable you to better apply the drills?

Interesting. Incidentally, I did Level 3 + 4 just this weekend (Friday/Saturday). My Level 3 coach complemented me on my (very) Quick Turns and effective Hook Turn on both sides, and did not point out any BP errors.

It was only when we were reviewing the video footage of the final L4 session on Saturday that JET noticed on the footage that while my body positioning on the left side is fine, I am sitting slightly crossed up on the right side - it was plain as plain on the video to see. A working hypothesis is that the crossed up position during right-hand turns is causing me to lean the bike a little under me and that's why I'm wearing the right kneeslider much quicker than the left kneeslider. And what Bullet have noticed, might mean that all this is coming back from my 2-finger grip (index+middle finger) while braking. It's definitely worth giving a try, going back the the normal 4-finger grip to see what difference it makes to the BP in right hand turns.

 

Kai

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OK, here's what we learned, well more specifically, what I learned, as this learning is my own, as it was noticed in my own riding.

 

I've ridden for about 10 years, and coached for 5 now, and I've always been tighter and struggled to get really low into the Hook Turn on the right hand turns, in observation, my riding looks tighther, more of a struggle to the right. As part of our coaching development, we're also reccomended to keep working on our own riding, and despite my best efforts for many years, and whilst making improvement, I've never got it satisfactory.

 

We began to look at Body position, and my position is good, I'm locked on well, and don't carry weight in my arms, so the conversation moved onto braking technique. I've used a moderately unusual approach since i started (certainly from reading your comments/posts), which is why I guess this is a quirky thing we've discovered, in that I only ever used 1 finger, (my middle finger). What this has meant, is that my index finger has always been wrapped around the grip, regardless of what I'm doing, blipping, braking and so on.

 

After some discussion around the crew, we debated whether this grip was allowing me to be relaxed and enable myself to slip my grip around the bar? If you look closely at MotoGP riders, they don't generally maintain a static (flat), grip on the bars, and as they move into the right turns, they effectively grip the clip on with a grip more akin to a screwdriver. We debated whether this index finger grip and braking technique was constraining my ability to look looser and hook turn better.

 

So, it was suggested we made a correction to braking technique, by way of experimentation, it was suggested ot move entirely to a 4 finger braking technique to remove any ability to grip with the index finger or middle finger( which are the two fingers with the vast majority of gripping power). And voila, it worked. It took me 1 20 minute session, and my right hand ability changed dramatically. I was able to hook turn very easily, and the tension from the right hand side was gone. I was braking, and then removing my hand from the grip and repositioning it.

 

It was an odd observation, and a very small tweak in technique which reaped an interesting improvement. So, there you have it, if you're struggling to the right hand side, consider your grip on the actual twist grip. Can your braking technique be making you twist and be constrained? Can you make an improvement in it, that may enable you to better applu the drills?

 

Bullet

 

 

Hi Bullet,

 

Thanks for posting this up, I know I am slow in the uptake but I wanted to test a couple of things before I posted anything.

 

I have been having a problem with being able to twist the throttle per the throttle control rule and get into the hook turn position on right handers and I was putting it down to the throttle action on the bike being to long (to the point that i was going to modify it, it is standard 1/4 turn), but with your post regarding the screwdriver grip it got me thinking. Basically before a couple of recent test days where I tested a the screwdriver grip, different braking methods and clip on positions, I found I could move my hand to suit the hook turn position but by the time I got to WOT my wrist was to far contorted and I needed readjust my hand by letting the throttle off, no good, or I could set my hand for the straight after braking but this meant holding myself up midturn and I couldn't get into the turn where I wanted and needed to be (this was the usual choice). In the end, I was hanging on way to tight and things really started getting messy. Note that on left turns I feel much better and corner much quicker (probably not true but thats what I feel).

 

So what I tried (note the days are not consecutive and are at different tracks):

 

Day 1: After reading your post regarding the screwdriver grip and not sure on what I was actually doing i decided to focus on it. First up I found the above so decided to back it off a bit and complete my braking earlier in the turn giving me the chance to readjust my hand to allow me to get into a position to get my upper body into the turn and still get on the throttle. It was working quite well but I was still not 100% satisfied however as I wanted to work at some vision skills as well I left it at that, happy with an improvement but still not 100%.

 

Day 2: This is where it started getting interesting (for me anyway). After being left feeling short on Day 1 (with alot more than just hook turns) I was looking for more. So I starting looking at the differences between my bike (1994 YZF600) and the more modern bike (the schools GSXR-600). Biggest relevant difference for this topic, seating position, my bike is much more upright with the bars sitting slightly above the tank. Investigation found out I could drop the clip ons below the triple clamp, resulting in a more agressive riding position (bars about 1.5-2inches lower). Long story short, BINGO, after a couple of sessions getting used to it and dealing with an arm issue I was having (probably need a different thread for this one but very much to do with braking and which fingers), I found myself able to move my body into the corners more, rest my outside elbow on the tank (before it sat to high), get the screwdriver grip on the throttle I wanted and all in all much looser on the bars. No photos for this day yet, hope they get a good one (helps my ego :rolleyes: )

 

So, after that long story I just wanted to thank you Bullet for drawing this solution (screwdriver grip) to my attention as it was that catalyst that sent me off on another great learning curve (which I haven't described well but hey, you don't want to read all that anyway). It also pointed out that I can still get more out of this bike yet!!

 

 

 

To the Aussie coaches (Sir CRC, Jason, Julian), when are the dates going to be released for the next half of the year? Keen as mustard to get sorted on Level 3 properly (the DVD and books help but not as much as proper coaching!!). Also bringing a few others along for their first taste with Level 1. Nothing like learning how to do things properly!!!!

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There are much more difference between your old YZF and a modern sportbike than the handlebar position. Most importantly, you sit further back with a much longer stretch to the 'bars than current bikes. So while current motorcycles can have a fairly high seat and low bars without placing too much weight on your hands, older bikes will require that you lay down more and reach a long way while having quite a substantial amount of weight on your hands - unless you manage to rest your torso on the tank? You'll still have a riding position quite different to current.

 

Good thing the alterations you made worked for you, though B)

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OK, here's what we learned, well more specifically, what I learned, as this learning is my own, as it was noticed in my own riding.

 

I've ridden for about 10 years, and coached for 5 now, and I've always been tighter and struggled to get really low into the Hook Turn on the right hand turns, in observation, my riding looks tighther, more of a struggle to the right. As part of our coaching development, we're also reccomended to keep working on our own riding, and despite my best efforts for many years, and whilst making improvement, I've never got it satisfactory.

 

We began to look at Body position, and my position is good, I'm locked on well, and don't carry weight in my arms, so the conversation moved onto braking technique. I've used a moderately unusual approach since i started (certainly from reading your comments/posts), which is why I guess this is a quirky thing we've discovered, in that I only ever used 1 finger, (my middle finger). What this has meant, is that my index finger has always been wrapped around the grip, regardless of what I'm doing, blipping, braking and so on.

 

After some discussion around the crew, we debated whether this grip was allowing me to be relaxed and enable myself to slip my grip around the bar? If you look closely at MotoGP riders, they don't generally maintain a static (flat), grip on the bars, and as they move into the right turns, they effectively grip the clip on with a grip more akin to a screwdriver. We debated whether this index finger grip and braking technique was constraining my ability to look looser and hook turn better.

 

So, it was suggested we made a correction to braking technique, by way of experimentation, it was suggested ot move entirely to a 4 finger braking technique to remove any ability to grip with the index finger or middle finger( which are the two fingers with the vast majority of gripping power). And voila, it worked. It took me 1 20 minute session, and my right hand ability changed dramatically. I was able to hook turn very easily, and the tension from the right hand side was gone. I was braking, and then removing my hand from the grip and repositioning it.

 

It was an odd observation, and a very small tweak in technique which reaped an interesting improvement. So, there you have it, if you're struggling to the right hand side, consider your grip on the actual twist grip. Can your braking technique be making you twist and be constrained? Can you make an improvement in it, that may enable you to better applu the drills?

 

Bullet

 

 

Hi Bullet,

 

Thanks for posting this up, I know I am slow in the uptake but I wanted to test a couple of things before I posted anything.

 

I have been having a problem with being able to twist the throttle per the throttle control rule and get into the hook turn position on right handers and I was putting it down to the throttle action on the bike being to long (to the point that i was going to modify it, it is standard 1/4 turn), but with your post regarding the screwdriver grip it got me thinking. Basically before a couple of recent test days where I tested a the screwdriver grip, different braking methods and clip on positions, I found I could move my hand to suit the hook turn position but by the time I got to WOT my wrist was to far contorted and I needed readjust my hand by letting the throttle off, no good, or I could set my hand for the straight after braking but this meant holding myself up midturn and I couldn't get into the turn where I wanted and needed to be (this was the usual choice). In the end, I was hanging on way to tight and things really started getting messy. Note that on left turns I feel much better and corner much quicker (probably not true but thats what I feel).

 

So what I tried (note the days are not consecutive and are at different tracks):

 

Day 1: After reading your post regarding the screwdriver grip and not sure on what I was actually doing i decided to focus on it. First up I found the above so decided to back it off a bit and complete my braking earlier in the turn giving me the chance to readjust my hand to allow me to get into a position to get my upper body into the turn and still get on the throttle. It was working quite well but I was still not 100% satisfied however as I wanted to work at some vision skills as well I left it at that, happy with an improvement but still not 100%.

 

Day 2: This is where it started getting interesting (for me anyway). After being left feeling short on Day 1 (with alot more than just hook turns) I was looking for more. So I starting looking at the differences between my bike (1994 YZF600) and the more modern bike (the schools GSXR-600). Biggest relevant difference for this topic, seating position, my bike is much more upright with the bars sitting slightly above the tank. Investigation found out I could drop the clip ons below the triple clamp, resulting in a more agressive riding position (bars about 1.5-2inches lower). Long story short, BINGO, after a couple of sessions getting used to it and dealing with an arm issue I was having (probably need a different thread for this one but very much to do with braking and which fingers), I found myself able to move my body into the corners more, rest my outside elbow on the tank (before it sat to high), get the screwdriver grip on the throttle I wanted and all in all much looser on the bars. No photos for this day yet, hope they get a good one (helps my ego :rolleyes: )

 

So, after that long story I just wanted to thank you Bullet for drawing this solution (screwdriver grip) to my attention as it was that catalyst that sent me off on another great learning curve (which I haven't described well but hey, you don't want to read all that anyway). It also pointed out that I can still get more out of this bike yet!!

 

 

 

To the Aussie coaches (Sir CRC, Jason, Julian), when are the dates going to be released for the next half of the year? Keen as mustard to get sorted on Level 3 properly (the DVD and books help but not as much as proper coaching!!). Also bringing a few others along for their first taste with Level 1. Nothing like learning how to do things properly!!!!

 

 

Hi,

 

 

 

No problem, I hope you find my own learnings useful in developing your skills.

 

I've just returned from Jerez where I've been working on my own development in this area, and I can advise it's definitely improved ny position on right handers. It's definitely enabled me to get the bike turned, and get my body in line and not be twisted, which wasn't always the case, though I suggest it was only subtle, rather than being hugely pronounced.

 

Keep up the practice, and let everyone know how you go.

 

Bullet

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4 fingers on track: I've got more feeling in my pinky that all others combined and I need this feeling when i'm driving on the/my limit.

On the road it's more comfort braking and 1 or 2 fingers will do, but still, braking in a turn usually gets the attention of 4 fingers as well.

 

Personally I don't see the need for blipping anymore between gear changes. On the track I just go TAK-TAK-TAK through the gearbox and use my left hand as a slipper clutch. Never had any gearbox problems. Maybe I'm lucky, maybe it's Honda... who knows :)

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With the standard SV650 brakes I'll be every finger I've got to pull her up coming into a hairpin especially! haha

Funny how many flashier bike the standard sv will out brake though :)

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With the standard SV650 brakes I'll be every finger I've got to pull her up coming into a hairpin especially! haha

Funny how many flashier bike the standard sv will out brake though :)

 

Reminds me of an old git on an even older machine that caught up with a group of far more modern, competent and powerful machines on a winding road. When the group stopped for a break, so did the old bloke. The younger riders with the pretty decent bikes took a look at his ancient 350 single and asked how on earth he could be so fast on it?! The old chap pointed towards the bicycle style front wheel and muttered: "No brakes."

 

If you cannot slow down, you're only option is to go fast :lol:

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Fascinating stuff Bullet,

 

I've only ever used the index finger for all my braking due to it being the only one left on that hand when I started riding ;)

 

Due to the tip joint being permantely broken (ie no bend ) and limited bend in the middle , I often found myself with a 'scredriver' type grip at the end of the bar where I got more 'feel' from the end of the brake lever....

 

Before level 3 though, I always had my elbow pointing out after the turnpoint....and now with my elbow pointing down ,(when I remember that is !!!) I find my grip has relaxed and that in turn has meant that on the last few laps of a race I can still brake hard (ish !) and me arm don't hurt so much !!!!!

 

Amazes me how small changes can have the effects they do..(never thought about things in any depth before I started the school !!!!! )

 

Hope it makes sense.......

 

Nige

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hey guys back now after a short spell of no riding whilest me ankle got fixed

 

i use either 2 or 4 fingers depending on how hard i need to brake body position althought im strugling a little to get back into the rythem of hanging off again my right hand side is fine howeva ive always strugled to hang off to left hand side let alone even think about getting my knee down

 

 

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