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Preverence Vs. Habit.

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What I've noticed is that there are a large number of people who take a "right or wrong" approach to riding. Top local racers, trackday riders, and even schools do this. There are people who THINK they're doing a certain thing (steering with their bodies), then there is just what each rider actually does differently.


I'd like to have everyone try to write what they think is bad habit and what is just preference. We can discuss what each thinks about the other if there is disagreement.


I believe that weighting inside or outside peg is preference. How many people are really affected by weighting one or the other. I know some fast people who prefer weighting the inside. My preference is the outside, and it's for a number of reasons, but to each his own, I believe.


Shifting ones butt over while turning is bad habit. It throws the bike off of balance and interferes with stability going into a corner.

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Need to think about this one. But it reminded me that after watching the TWOT2 DVD I can now see clearly that even top rank MotoGP riders make SR mistakes. And quite frequently, too, I might add. I would to at their pace. Well, long before that, actually :D

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Good question, Jason. I often think about that subject this way:


If you could ride out of the parking lot and from coast-to-coast weighting the inside or outside peg and not crash, then weighting the pegs is a preference. You could NOT get out of the parking lot on the no BS bike (unless you sat on it while the bike was in the back of a truck). Stearing is not a preference. It is a requirement.


Here is a harder one to swallow: Could you ride out of the parking lot and coast-to-coast sitting straight up in the seat, not leaning your body into the turns or hanging off at all? Yes. Leaning your body into turns and hanging off are preferences. They are not requirements. Could you win a race that way? Nope. So, conditionally required? Required under certain situations? A good habit? A powerful tool to keep in your pocket? Yup. But not required.


Want a tricky one? How far could you ride with your eyes stuck 50 feet ahead of the front tire?


I like to say, Master the essentials, and have fun with all the rest. But what ARE the essentials of riding?

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Interesting perspective, Crash!


Doohan won several titles with a riding style that was utterly wrong by definition. Hailwood won big races like the IoM while out of shape and after an 11 year hiatus without hanging off at all. Sitting tall and upright in the seat without hanging off require about the same amount of lean that Elias' extreme hanging off low does.


A lot of riders at the top level suffer from arm pump, carpal syndrome and blistered hands, clear indications that they are clinging hard to the bars. You can also see them use stiff arms as the brake hard. So while it may not be ideal or even preferable, it does seem to be good enough to win titles.


I would say that bad habits are those that markedly increase the risk of making errors. Turning and looking behind is a bad habit during races. Riding in a way that trigger SR is a bad habit. Riding in a way that endanger others is a bad habit.


But poor form can be just preferences. If you want to win races, habits are bad if they prevent you from your goal. However, if you want to ride on the road with no other ambition than returning safely after each ride, staying within your safe limits is all you need to worry about as long as you accept the drop in speed that follows poor style and technique.

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