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Poll--Body Position For Street Ridng


Crash106
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Body Position for Street Riding  

23 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you use your body when street riding?

    • I lean my upper body IN before turning.
    • I grip the TANK with my knees when braking.
    • I hang a TOE off as a feeler gage.
    • I lean FORWARD to make sure my elbows are bent.
    • I actually HANG OFF in fast turns.
    • Are you NUTS? Public roads ain't no race track!


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Since I am exclusively a street rider, I'm constantly looking at Racing Technology and trying to understand how I can apply it to my situation--riding on public roads at normal speeds. With that in mind, please take the poll and tell me how you use your body position for street riding. You can also reply to this post and tell me body position info like:

 


  •  
  • What works and what doesn't work for you.
  • How your track riding and street riding differ.
  • What is too much trouble, and what is essential on every turn.
  • How you keep the flow when playing out in traffic.

 

You can choose multiple answer to the poll questions.

 

Thanks for your help.

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Only one option fitting for me, using my toes as guides to how far I'm leaned over. Very, very seldom I will find myself sticking my knee out a bit and sliding sideways off the seat around hairpins without thinking about it - just happens. However, for me it's an anomaly.

 

I sometimes grip the tank with my knees during braking, but usually not. If the tank is really wide, I do it more often, but never on a bike with a tank so narrow my knees doesn't more or less touch it when I sit relaxed.

 

I've always felt that I lean out slightly from turns, but in pictures I tend to either sit either neutral or minutely leaning in. However, when visibility is poor, I will hang outwards so I can see further around the bend.

 

I do not use the back brake much and never cover it, but I still find myself putting it to use without thinking if I need to tighten my line or have to stop very quickly. But I virtually never touch it when it's slippery; then I prefer the front brake.

 

Generally, though, I don't use my body much during riding. A quick push+pull on the bars to get the bike to turn is just about it. I've become pretty decent at relaxing my grip and arms after the steering input is done with, something I never did before joining this place. Instead, I tended to keep a death grip and stiff arms. My legs don't come into play.

 

 

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I don't ride on the street much anymore, but when I do I lean my upper body into the turn, going with the bike. I grip the tank with my knees when braking, especially downhill or over bumps, but I do it to keep my arms relaxed on the bars, not to support myself for hanging off.

 

I do not hang off when street riding, mostly because I am never, ever riding fast like I would on a race track, and I find hanging off unnecessary and tiring. IF I got into a corner too fast or if the surface was slick, I might hang off to reduce my lean angle, and/or lean forward to make sure I didn't brace with my arms (that was my hardest-to-overcome survival reaction, so now I automatically lean forward and into any scary turn to combat that).

 

On a sportbike, on a long ride, I sometimes rest my left arm on the tank and lean on it to take some pressure off my lower back.

 

One thing I really notice now about some sportbike riders on the street, is how much their toes hang down off the pegs, they must hit their toes a LOT!

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I use my knees a lot on the road - like Hottie writes, for gripping the tank during breaking, but I do it also for acceleration and providing a good pivot point during turning actions.

Whenever I've been coaching students for a MSF-style course, I've been hammering the "pin the tank with your knees" into their heads all weekend.

 

Given the length of my arms it is quite natural to have a good bend in the elbows, which help on getting better leverage when pushing the handlebars and to stay relaxed on the bike.

 

If I'm riding longer distances I will tuck in from time to time and rest my elbows on my knees. I never use my toes as "feelers", but then again I've never been close to touch down with pegs or peg-feelers neither on public roads nor on the track (I ride a YZF-R1 2003, so I have plenty of available lean angle).

 

Sometimes I practice hanging off just a wee bit, but that's just for the practice. I find that I ride significantly slower on public roads that I used to do 5-10 years ago. It just doesn't seem worthwhile when I can go to the track instead and go faster and safer at the same time.

 

Kai

 

Edit: Never heard about an R3 before. Where did that come from?

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The poll opens up some questions, and answering just what is there for me would be a little incomplete, so here is a short answer:

 

Lots of technique involved around braking and bracing both knees on the tank (hung off or not) has benefits, so I do on or off the track.

 

I don't hang off when street riding, haven't needed to, don't go that fast. A toe down, after having a shoe tuck under when I was a kid didn't seem wise, so I stopped doing that, and wearing holes in boots doesn't seem economically sound.

 

Virtually all the technique we train at the school can be used on or off the track, highly recommend all riders to do all 3 levels as there are some that could really save one's bacon.

 

Best,

CF

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  • 2 weeks later...

I do a lot of road riding; on a good year I might do as much as 25,000miles.

I almost always grip the tank with my knees when braking and often bend my arms during braking so my hands are pushing forwards not down.

I practice the throttle rule all the time as well as two-step and imagining my line and making a plan even in London traffic.

 

I practice the hip flick and hook turns quite often especially in the wet or when on country roads traveling a bit more quickly or negotiating fast roundabouts.

Mostly I practice these things because I need the practice and it keeps rides interesting.

Having said that there is no doubt that I get a lot of pleasure out of dragging a kneeslider, a footpeg and a pannier on my GTR1400 (Councours 1400) road bike so I do have the tendency to be a bit childish about these things!

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Heard that Concourse is a nice ride...but we are German now--still haven't had a leg over that 1600, like to try that on for size.

 

CF

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Heard that Concourse is a nice ride...but we are German now--still haven't had a leg over that 1600, like to try that on for size.

 

CF

 

Of course! That BMW is quite a beast 1600: across the frame 6 cylinder. I bet its amazing!

The Concourse is a good bike - the suspension is a bit basic but the motor is a gem with a huge mid range and a really good top end. I've got an aftermarket end can on mine mostly because the finish on the stock item is a bit suspect and I've fitted a power commander and removed the 2ndary butterflies which make the pickup smoother and more instantaneous if that makes sense. Is putting down about 164bhp at the rear wheel which is fine which, coincidentally, is exactly what it will do flat out with the panniers on according to the gps.

When the time comes I might replace it with the VFR1200. I've test ridden one and it is very nice with huge ground clearance and a lovely motor.

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Of course! That BMW is quite a beast 1600: across the frame 6 cylinder. I bet its amazing!

The Concourse is a good bike - the suspension is a bit basic but the motor is a gem with a huge mid range and a really good top end. I've got an aftermarket end can on mine mostly because the finish on the stock item is a bit suspect and I've fitted a power commander and removed the 2ndary butterflies which make the pickup smoother and more instantaneous if that makes sense. Is putting down about 164bhp at the rear wheel which is fine which, coincidentally, is exactly what it will do flat out with the panniers on according to the gps.

When the time comes I might replace it with the VFR1200. I've test ridden one and it is very nice with huge ground clearance and a lovely motor.

 

Some nice big bikes out there these days!

 

I'm currenlty confiscating an F800 to use over the winter.

 

CF

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

 

  • What works and what doesn't work for you.
  • How your track riding and street riding differ.
  • What is too much trouble, and what is essential on every turn.
  • How you keep the flow when playing out in traffic.

 

You can choose multiple answer to the poll questions.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

What works and what doesn't? When I'm not able to get to the track I ride a lot of canyons that don't have many cars on them... but have a lot of road debris from time to time. Entry speed on the street and keep way low... Gives me a better look at what's coming at me... especially going into blind corners. I NEVER hang a toe off... someone mentioned they see a lot of street riders duck footing it... I'd very much agree. I think it comes from not knowing where they should actually keep their feet.

 

Track riding vs. street... I don't lean forward near as much. Though I will definitely be in the best body position I can. But sitting up a little higher helps me see what is ahead. (I'm also 6'3" tall and 37 years old so being in a tuck all day starts to hurt on a long day...lol) If it's a road I'm very used to and I know certain turns very well... I WILL get a knee down as long as I feel safe and have gone through the turn once already to see if there's anything to be worried about such as dead animals or rocks/sand, etc. Don't hang off in every turn though... just when it's a nice section of turns I'm very used to. And I tend to stay in the center of the lane for the most part.

 

I think it's essential in EVERY turn when on the street to keep the entry speed down. I've been out on rides through canyons where guys are going all out into a blind turn. With 5 bikes behind them. Scares me to death! Just takes a golf ball sized rock to ruin all 6 of their days.

 

Keeping the "flow when playing in traffic"... ??? I'm kinda confused... I don't "play " in traffic. :)

 

 

Gear selections? If I'm carving canyons pretty good... track gear just for safety's sake.

 

Not hitting hard turns? Sidi Vertigo boots, A* leather pants, Icon Jacket, gauntlets, and lid. I might swap the leather pants for jeans if I'm just cruising around town.

 

In the first pic... Street riding... 2nd gear... maybe 35mph? The 2nd pic... track day. 3rd gear about 70mph

post-22615-0-09559200-1318967924_thumb.jpg

post-22615-0-65900300-1318968011_thumb.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

Can I throw a spanner into the poll works? tongue.gif

I'd say all of the above, and none of the above.

 

Or lets put it this way - a corner is a corner is a corner, right? So would good cornering technique on the track suddenly become bad cornering technique if used on the street?

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I NEVER hang a toe off... someone mentioned they see a lot of street riders duck footing it... I'd very much agree. I think it comes from not knowing where they should actually keep their feet.

 

 

For me, the toe is a great indicator of how far I'm leaned over. Especially around corners on an unfamiliar road it can be a life saver, when the corner have a different camber than what it appears to and you suddenly find yourself touching down sooner than anticipated. With the toe down giving the early warning, you can scrub off some extra speed before the apex. Or, if you expected to touch down and it doesn't happen, you can get on the throttle earlier and harder.

 

Another benefit is that I sometimes get startled if pegs or stands or exhaust system touch down unexpectedly, but having been warned by the dragging toe I know the sparks will likely fly soon.

 

It may not be the proper way to do it, but I like it :P

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