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I've just come back from 2 days at Anglesey on the International circuit.

I made some changes to my bike before going out one of which was to fit some drag bike bars in an attempt to get more weight over the front wheel and improve feel.

 

I was going to put all sorts of stuff in about how I felt on the bike and what I need to fix both with my body positioning and the bike's ergonomics but I think I'll leave it up to the forum members:

Apart from the fact that the rider can clearly do with loosing about 5st (70lbs / 30kg) what's wrong here and how would you go about fixing it?

 

These two are the entrance to 'Rocket': (circuit diagram at bottom)

Anglesey_240411_1.jpg

Anglesey_240411_2.jpg

 

The Hairpin: squaring off / apexing very late

Anglesey_240411_4.jpg

Anglesey_240411_5.jpg

 

Circuit map

circuit-map.png

 

Your advice greatly appreciated.

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I love riding here Dave, though I do think coastal flows slightly better than international. What do you think of the place? The facilities could do with a spruce and improve, but there are new pits coming soon I've read?

 

Anyway, onto you sir. What levels have you done Dave? What's very obvious Dave is that you can see you're leaning away from the bike. If you think back to your level 1, do you remember about going with the bike, rather than against it? What conqequences do you think this on things? How much grip do you have, or do you need on those bars sir? Feel any tension in that upper body at all?

 

Let's have a start here, and see where it goes shall we?

 

 

Bullet

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I'm certainly no expert and new to all of this myself, but I'd suggest getting your head down towards where your mirrors would be, your lower body looks good, but you need your top half to be in line with it.

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I love riding here Dave, though I do think coastal flows slightly better than international. What do you think of the place? The facilities could do with a spruce and improve, but there are new pits coming soon I've read?

 

Anyway, onto you sir. What levels have you done Dave? What's very obvious Dave is that you can see you're leaning away from the bike. If you think back to your level 1, do you remember about going with the bike, rather than against it? What conqequences do you think this on things? How much grip do you have, or do you need on those bars sir? Feel any tension in that upper body at all?

 

Let's have a start here, and see where it goes shall we?

 

 

Bullet

 

Bullet

Thanks for your prompt response.

 

It was my first time there and I loved it! The surface is wide and very grippy although there were a lot of high sides - I guess some people were very throttle hungry and really pushing their luck. Personally I found the surface very forgiving of slides. Apparently they are starting work on the new pit complex in June; I imagine Anglesey would not be so hospitable in the pouring rain!

 

I've done levels 1,2 & 3.

I chose the photos because I think it illustrates the worst aspects of my riding right now.

First off - let me answer your last question first: no tension at all - I can ride at this pace (mid fast group) all day every day I don't get tired and I don't get tense. It may look it but that might be because I'm a fat bloke (working on it!) and that imposes certain limitations.

Clearly I think my body positioning is wrong - I need to lean more into the corner and move my upper body further into the bend which will allow me to increase corner speed for the same lean angle. As you can see; my arms are bent - is this the right amount?

The bars are very wide: I was thinking about shortening them so that it is less of a reach to move my body onto the inside.

I was doing hook turns on some corners and also pushing the bike away from me on the exit from a couple of corners which worked very well but it meant my upper arm was pretty much straight and I felt in danger of pulling at it accidentally - certainly displaying some of the characteristics of tightening up on the bars.

Do you think I should move my lower body off the bike further and do you think I'm rotating 'round the bike a bit (clearly I do and its much worse on right handers)

Weirdly I think I am better at moving my body into the bend on fast corners - I don't think I have an issue (or as much) with leaning my upper body into the corner at Turn1 or Church and they are both big lean angle corners for me - much bigger lean angle than you see here.

 

So, to recap:

I think my body position is poor.

I need to lean my upper body in further.

I think I rotate around the bike on right handers

I think my actions: a) increase the required lean angle for a given corner speed, B) reduce my visibility of corner exits on Rt handers at least, c) reduce the effectiveness of my outside leg, d) increase the potential bar inputs and e) reduce my ability to correctly execute hook turns and to roll the bike away from me on corner exit

I don't think my upper body is tense (I'm just fat and am not flexible - broke my back in a mc accident)

I don't think I have a tight grip on the bars

 

Of course - this is just how I think I feel!!!

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It looks altogether like a nice basic BP. We can always improve though, and asking us for our thoughts means you're trying to be better.

 

I'm going to sort of build on where Bullet was leading you: how's your grip on the bars? It's obviously easier for you to rest on the tank than the rest of us, and even when you lean into the turn, literally laying your weight on the tank will do wonders for relaxing your arms. I see you're on a motard type bars, so it's not really going to be possible for you to rest your outer arm on the tank, but what I've figured by following other riders, is that watching the shoulders will tell most of the story. Regardless of what you're riding next time (commuting or track riding) once you've gotten yourself in motion, forget about your hands and arms for this test, but pay attention to your shoulders for a minute. Then just drop them. Relax them. That's how you should be when you're not making a steering input. Your shoulders are tense in this photo. Lifted. You're not as relaxed on the bars as you should be. You probably did it just sitting there reading this. If not, just drop your shoulders. Relax your shoulders.

 

 

Check that outside leg. Is there any way you can get your butt farther back in the seat so you can use more of the tanks over hang to lock in? That will help even more with your relaxing. I do understand that at some point it just is what it is though. Plenty of people lock in pretty well with that much leg hanging out.

 

You can see real clearly in the second pic that your hips are out of alignment with the bike as well. In both shots you can see that even though your hips are out of alignment, your shoulders are kinked even farther over. No bueno. Align your hips with the bike so they're opened just a little into the corner and lean forward. That's where you should be. And relax your shoulders.

 

I can't see your inside foot on either photo, but your outside foot isn't on the balls. They both need to be there going into a corner when you're done shifting and braking (if you even use the rear). It's not only for ground clearance, but if you get on a stationary bike and put your feet where that outside one is and shift side-side 10 times, then get on the balls and do the same thing, you'll feel why you need to be on the balls. They incorporate more muscles and the more muscles you use to do one thing, the less each one has to work.

 

 

I have a friend who's "husky" and we did level 3 together. Watching him during the hip flick was a riot. I followed him just to watch! He gave up after less than 1 1/2 laps, but instead worked on another method he thought would be affective getting the bike back over quickly.

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Just read your post above mine. Even with those bars I was going to recommend you try getting your hands a little farther to the outside. I don't get them off the rubber like some do, and having shorties are a limiting factors for some people (I have big mitts though) but the longer the bars the more easy it is to turn. Shortening the bars will make your turning input require more push. It's OK to have your arm off the tank as long as your arms are relaxed. I thought I was, and when I went back to CSS for level 4 I found that I'd gotten lazy about it and had a death grip on them. Changes everything.

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Jasonzilla

 

Some good pointers there: thanks very much.

I will work on those leg / hip positions

Until you mentioned it: I simply hadn't noticed my foot! I think its lazyness on my part; the KTM has a very limited power range 6,500 - 9,500 is pretty much all she wrote so I have to ride it like 2-stroke swapping gears all the time. I must work on getting it back on the peg in the right position.

I don't think I have a problem with the hip flick - it seems pretty natural to me and pretty stress free.

Any ideas on how to practice the hip flick and check I'm getting my body positioning correct?

 

With regards to my shoulders/grip on the bars: I really am relaxed, honest! I occasionally just go through the drills to make sure I'm relaxed but, honestly my hands are relaxed my head is mobile and my shoulders are relaxed - it must be the armour or something!

 

I don't think I need to worry about having to push harder on the bars to make the bike turn - an R1's bars are 4" narrower each side (you can see this because that is an R1 fairing you're looking at) and they don'r need massive force to flick them on their sides. I am definitely thinking that shortening the bars by 2" per side will help me move my upper body to the inside of the curve and not have the outside arm too straight.

 

I'm at Donington on Thursday (5/5/11) so will be keen to try and put your advice into practice.

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I'm just learning where to put the hip-flick in on the track, so I haven't figured anything out for ensuring I'm getting into the right spot, but I think ultimately if we end up close to the normal position we normally get into, we're doing well. I focus on my butt only and go from there for now. Normally I have my butt off way before I start braking, and sometimes never even get back on the seat, so I just open my hips and fall into position. It's just practice, practice, practice.

 

And I mentioned the bars because you brought up changing them on a previous post. Your bars are awesome. If I wasn't so lazy I'd change the ones on my ZX to be bigger like yours. If that's what would get you more comfortable, by all means, do it. Comfort is one of the keys to learning and improving.

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Hey mate,

 

Just having a quick look at your body position (and by no means am i an expert but i have done levels 1-3 also) and i think you might be trying to hang off too far (I had the same problem), all you need is a couple of inches across. Another suggestion I have is to bend your inside arm more, this will release your upper body and allow you to get your head and shoulders lower.

 

Just my thoughts, other than that, doesn't look to bad.

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I think we might need Bullet for this one:

Its my understanding that 'a couple of inches' is not enough. I have had CSS instructors and lots of other people telling me to hang off more not less. I used to hang off a lot less and had ground clearance issues and was told to hang off a lot more even a few weeks ago.

 

Take your point about the arm thing.

Shouldn't both arms stay bent though?

If I bend the inside arm more won't that mean I start to straighten the outside arm and risk pulling on the bar ?

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Check that outside leg. Is there any way you can get your butt farther back in the seat so you can use more of the tanks over hang to lock in? That will help even more with your relaxing. I do understand that at some point it just is what it is though.

 

Sorry for the little hijack, but personally I prefer to slide as far as I can towards the tank and keep my torso high when riding briskly - particularly around sharp bends. Scooting back and leaning forwards makes me seriously uneasy. Any idea what I do wrong since my preferences obviously goes in the opposite direction of the norm?

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HI DaveB,

 

We were parked up next to you on Sunday. Glad weather held out for you on Monday.

Your body position looks far better than mine. I need to relax more in the corners.

 

post-17564-0-49659800-1304069278_thumb.jpg

 

Andy

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Check that outside leg. Is there any way you can get your butt farther back in the seat so you can use more of the tanks over hang to lock in? That will help even more with your relaxing. I do understand that at some point it just is what it is though.

 

Sorry for the little hijack, but personally I prefer to slide as far as I can towards the tank and keep my torso high when riding briskly - particularly around sharp bends. Scooting back and leaning forwards makes me seriously uneasy. Any idea what I do wrong since my preferences obviously goes in the opposite direction of the norm?

 

mmm i was taught to have your bum further back in the seat thus allowing your legs to grip the tank more effectively (because then your gripping with the inside if your knee and not the inner thigh) and get lower on the bike.

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I think we might need Bullet for this one:

Its my understanding that 'a couple of inches' is not enough. I have had CSS instructors and lots of other people telling me to hang off more not less. I used to hang off a lot less and had ground clearance issues and was told to hang off a lot more even a few weeks ago.

 

Take your point about the arm thing.

Shouldn't both arms stay bent though?

If I bend the inside arm more won't that mean I start to straighten the outside arm and risk pulling on the bar ?

 

mm ok fair enough, it just seems from your photos that you look a little crossed up (especially i the last one) and hanging of too far can be a cause. Yes you should bend both arms (this should also make inputting steering directions easier too).

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wow, this thread has moved on a bit since I left it. I don't know, you go out the room to make a cup of tea, and look what happens. :P

 

Ok Dave, there has been some good input, but let's see if we can't simplify some of this down a bit, as I think we've got a lot of text and a lot of complication going on, so let's cut it right back. I'll tell you what I see first;

  • So, you are definitely crossed up, as you can see very clearly that your spine is not in line with your backside, you're shoulders are effectively pointin the wrong way, making it tricky to look into the turn, hence why you have the crossed up head thing going on.
  • It looks to me, (and it's a little hard to tell from the pictures though) you have too much ass off the seat), you only need a few inches to the inside, and really, the biggest decider should be in you only move enough to get weight to the inside, and if you're outer knee isn't locked in well, that's your decider
  • final thing for right now, you've definitely got tension/weight somwhere on those bars or in your back, in order to be twisted like that, your upper body counter against the bike is being supported somewhere, and it's most likely your arms.

So, suggestions to change?

 

  • Less ass off bike and statically try and ensure you have a good lock in with your outer knee into tank
  • Being away from the tank (which might trickier for you physically), will enable on most bikes a better connection with outer tank
  • inner arms into the turns shouldn't be as straight as this sir, you want to be able to get an angle of your inside elbow much closer to 90 degrees (mid turn), you have very straight arms, you're outer arm will do what ever it needs to do.
  • Try and rotate your shoulders (and hips) into the turn, so your helmet and shoulders are pointing into the turn, not away from the turn as they are now.

I think this is more than enough right now to concentrate on fella.

 

All make sense? Any questions? If not, let us know how you go on your next day.

 

Bullet

 

 

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Check that outside leg. Is there any way you can get your butt farther back in the seat so you can use more of the tanks over hang to lock in? That will help even more with your relaxing. I do understand that at some point it just is what it is though.

 

Sorry for the little hijack, but personally I prefer to slide as far as I can towards the tank and keep my torso high when riding briskly - particularly around sharp bends. Scooting back and leaning forwards makes me seriously uneasy. Any idea what I do wrong since my preferences obviously goes in the opposite direction of the norm?

 

There's the ideal way to do it, then there is everybody else's. That's not to say it's the wrong way. As an example I'll use pushing inside vs/ pulling outside to turn. It's taught all over the world to push inside. I asked some instructors which is the preferred and was told across the board that the way they like doing it is the best way if they're getting the same result.

 

If you've worked out a way to get comfortable and can't find that switching to the preferred way is better, by all means, do what's comfortable. Think of the main reasons that having your butt farther back is beneficial and ask yourself if you're affected by this and have a trusted rider evaluate you. If you don't have the problem with pivot steering, pressure on the bars, twisted around the tank, then you're not wrong. Look at plenty of the amateur and pro riders on the track and TV. A number of them are successful with their legs out and holding on with their thighs.

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Bullet / everyone

 

Thanks very much for the advice:

 

  • Less ass off bike and statically try and ensure you have a good lock in with your outer knee into tank
  • Being away from the tank (which might trickier for you physically), will enable on most bikes a better connection with outer tank
  • inner arms into the turns shouldn't be as straight as this sir, you want to be able to get an angle of your inside elbow much closer to 90 degrees (mid turn), you have very straight arms, you're outer arm will do what ever it needs to do.
  • Try and rotate your shoulders (and hips) into the turn, so your helmet and shoulders are pointing into the turn, not away from the turn as they are now.

I think this is more than enough right now to concentrate on fella.

 

I am at Donington on Thursday and will endeavour to put your advice into practice and report back. I will get some photos done and again post up the ones I think are the worst.

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OK. So here are 2 snaps from the Melbourne loop yesterday.

Same thing as before a slow, right hander: easily my worst corner.

What do we think? An improvement on Anglesey or not?

What do I need to work on?

Your help and comments very much appreciated.

 

8K9U7391.jpg

 

8K9U5720.jpg

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I just put the two same images next to each other and and flicked between them, there was a small improvement but i think you can still bend that inside arm more and not hang off as far. Just my opinion.

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You can see quite clearly that your torso/shoulders are twisted the wrong way compared to what is taught. I probably do the same thing (see pics), although I do not lose sleep over it ;) Admire your hip flexibility, though!

 

Faffi_gsxf_01.jpg

 

Faffi_gsxf_03_front.jpg

 

Faffi_gsxf_10rear.jpg

 

Faffi_gsxf_07_side.jpg

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Hi. I'm new to the forum. Please let me know if I'm not supposed to chime in and give advice. That being said, here is a tip that has helped my body position. I attended level 1 last year. I REALLY liked the Quick Turn exercise. I incorporated it into my day-to-day riding immediately. One thing I quickly noticed though was that as I tipped the bike into the turn my body would frequently end up on the wrong (high) side of the bike. I was too slow getting my body to the inside.

 

To fix that problem I have started very deliberately moving my upper body to the inside as I approach a turn. As I approach a turn, I'm braking, downshifting, sliding my butt over, and moving my head / body to the inside, all while the bike is straight up and down. Then as I tip in I make sure my upper body stays in the same place relative to the bike. It really seems to help me get my upper body in the correct position at the beginning of the turn instead of having to move it to the inside after the bike is leaned over.

 

That concept may be blindingly opbvious to everyone here, but it was an absolute revelation to me.

 

Jim Moore

Jax, FL

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The newest pic (second one) really shows how crossed up you are. Also, I don't know the track, but where are you looking compared to the guy in front of you? His head is WAY into the corner. I know you say you're relaxed, and wouldn't argue it, but are you resting on the tank? Just lay on it. Like you're taking a nap.

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I thought I'd add some on-bike video from Donington:

 

 

I'm a real beginner when it comes to on-bike video and unfortunately it lost the sound when importing and I don't know how to fix it so you're stuck with a little AC/DC.

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OK. After a summer of trying to improve this is where I'm at.

I think my upper body is leaned into the turn and I'm leaning off the bike less.

I'm right back against the bum stop to leave a gap between me and the tank but this does mean that I can't bend my arms quite as much as I'd like (winter improvement plan - loose weight!)

My foot is tucked well in and the knee slider is touching down over its entire surface rather than an edge.

 

Comments / improvements please!

 

8K9U4640.jpg

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