# Level 3 Confusion

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After attending Level 3 at VIR last week I am still not sure about the first two drills and how they interact. I think my primary conflict is with the pivot steering drill. The first part of the hook turn drill was to lock your leg into the fuel tank. I assumed that you would do this for any turn and that your leg remained in this locked position until you are out of the turn. Based on these assumptions it seemed to me that you were always pivot steering. After searching the forum I found a comment from Keith on this topic stating that your leg was flexed at the same moment that an input was put into the bars to turn the bike and then relaxed once the lean angle was obtained. I did not pick this up from the pivot steering lecture. But, if you relax the tension in your leg how do you remain stable on the bike?

Robert

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Not having done it yet, my answer comes purely from my understanding of the books and dvd.

For the pivot turn, your knee is still locked onto the tank, you're just pushing with your outside foot to add more force up through your body to the bars. Once your steering input is complete, you release the pressure on the bars along with the force on the peg.

Throughout all of this, your knee is locked on to the tank to provide support, you shouldn't need to add any real force to your knee against the tank, gravity will do most of the work for you.

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Hook Turn

Yeah, it can be a little confusing on these drills. There are two things they are teaching here.

1) Locking onto the bike with your outside knee, so your comfortable and don't have unnecessary pressure on the handlebars when your body is correctly hanging off.

2) The 'Hook' Turn is how you can use your body position to assist the bike to turn tighter (hook). When using the above body position, you just drop your inside elbow to put more weight inside and forward, more weight forward drops the front => shortens wheelbase => steepens rake angle = tightens turning radius. In a short tight turn, you'd be in the position with dropped elbow when you turn the bike. Where I found I was aware of the effect it had on the bike the most (and my riding) was on long corners that tightened (closing radius); When I needed the bike to 'hook' at the point the corner tightens, I drop my elbow.

Pivot Steering

For pivot steering, I personally prefer to call it 'power' steering, as it makes it a lot easier to turn the bike. Steve (above) has already covered this. I tend to push from the outside foot peg (whilst still locking the knee in the tank). Where I find the most benefit is on the fast corners. I can take the corner a bit faster and still turn (increase steering rate) by pivot (power) steering.

Cheers

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After searching the forum I found a comment from Keith on this topic stating that your leg was flexed at the same moment that an input was put into the bars to turn the bike and then relaxed once the lean angle was obtained. I did not pick this up from the pivot steering lecture. But, if you relax the tension in your leg how do you remain stable on the bike?

Robert

Hi Robert.

There are two muscles at play; you raise your heel to push your knee into the tank - this is the 'locking-on' part, and that's what you keep doing throughout the turn. Personally I don't think gravity does enough, if you want a stable lower body you need to be locked on solidly.

The other muscle - and the one I assume Keith is referring to - is your thigh muscle, which you flex whilst you're steering so that you're using more of your body, and pushing across your body (ie right leg, left arm). Do you recall practicing this on the bike? Once the steering input is complete and you're at your chosen lean angle, you don't need to keep flexing your thigh muscle (when you relax your steering arm, you relax your thigh). However, if the turn has some bumps you might still want to, just toremain light in the saddle and allow the bike to move under you.

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Julian,

Thanks for the reply. I think the mistake I was making was that I was raising my foot and flexing my thigh to lock on to the tank, for every turn, and I never relaxed my thigh muscle after making a steering input. This led to my thighs being shot by the third drill and to a lack of focus.

Robert

After searching the forum I found a comment from Keith on this topic stating that your leg was flexed at the same moment that an input was put into the bars to turn the bike and then relaxed once the lean angle was obtained. I did not pick this up from the pivot steering lecture. But, if you relax the tension in your leg how do you remain stable on the bike?

Robert

Hi Robert.

There are two muscles at play; you raise your heel to push your knee into the tank - this is the 'locking-on' part, and that's what you keep doing throughout the turn. Personally I don't think gravity does enough, if you want a stable lower body you need to be locked on solidly.

The other muscle - and the one I assume Keith is referring to - is your thigh muscle, which you flex whilst you're steering so that you're using more of your body, and pushing across your body (ie right leg, left arm). Do you recall practicing this on the bike? Once the steering input is complete and you're at your chosen lean angle, you don't need to keep flexing your thigh muscle (when you relax your steering arm, you relax your thigh). However, if the turn has some bumps you might still want to, just toremain light in the saddle and allow the bike to move under you.

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