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Bp Advice


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After lurking the boards for some time I'm ready to impose the many respected regular's advice onto my own situation. I've been riding for 8 mos and just recently had my first track day...I've read TWIST II and watched the DVD...changed my game quite a bit and am looking forward to enrolling in the CSS. The following pictures are of my first ever track day and I'd like them to be the subject of this discussion: What tweaks need to be made to my overall BP? As obvious in the photos...I'm still getting comfy actually leaning the bike over, and forearm pump was a huge issue and reading over Keith's statements in my head, I actually improved my (lack of) grip on the bars. Absolutely any input is appreciated.



Shot at 2011-10-09



Shot at 2011-10-09



Shot at 2011-10-09



Shot at 2011-10-09

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Well I figured I'd set myself up for a flame for my first post by screwing up loading the pictures. I've since done my second track day and I seriously do stare at the 'big boys' avatars, as well as watch hours of WSBK on DVD and a little MotoGP when it's on the tube. I'm honestly thinking my next big step will come from hitting up a parking lot and just getting more comfortable leaning the bike over, therefor having more confidence to carry that speed into the corner that I know the bike's capable of. I'm kind of stuck being as fast as I can be while keeping the bike only leant over as far as my 'sticking point' (brain) will allow. In your experience, is there an "ah-ha!" moment that happens during one's learning curve, or did you grab a couple of degrees of lean angle & mph each day out at the track? Thanks for the comments already lol...especially considering the lack of pictures!



By vstate60 at 2011-10-09

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First, and without trying to start anything, you can't simply mimic the pro's and be successful. There are intricacies to what they perform, and if you just see them laying down keeping their BP low, they're also positioned to relax their arms and so forth. You can get so far just mimicking what they do, but at one point you're going to learn there is more to it, and either be stuck (plateau), or trying forever to get your bike dialed in because something will feel wrong.


I digress to your photos.


One basic problem I see is that you're different on your right and left BP. When you're turning right, you look more compact and comfortable. When you turn left, it looks like you may be trying to get too far off the bike. More people are comfortable turning left than right, but some like right better. If you're having trouble with lefts and feel stiff, it may be because you are. Leaning too far off the bike forces you to hold onto something: THE BARS! I've said, for a while now, that your cockpit will stay the same and that you need to adjust to it. Both sides of the bike are the same.


I don't know which side of the bike you like putting pressure on, but you look like you're weighing the inside peg. If you like this style, by all means, keep doing it. But if you don't have a preference yet, I'd recommend learning about locking into the outside peg. You will be able to learn weighting the inside peg and controlling rear tire slide later, but getting comfortable laying down on the bike will help you improve faster. And help you learn to relax your shoulders. It will also take less energy to brace, versus putting all your weight on one leg.


Your forearm pump is because you're not relaxing. I know people say it over and over, but it's never explained adequately. As soon as you make your steering input, RELAX! I literally lay on the tank. If you can't get that far down, lean your belly on the tank and totally relax your arms and shoulders. The way I've devised to gauge exactly how relaxed you are is paying attention to your shoulders. While you're sitting there (right now), or next time your reading a book, take a second to pay attention to your shoulder position and just let them drop. You should be doing this after your steering input. It's been successful so far.


My "ah-ha" moment was at the superbike school when I learned the two-step. It's hard to explain verbally and the DVD does it no justice, but it will change the way you corner. Review it again and exaggerate where you're looking while you're looking ahead. Real far ahead.


You look like you're sticking your knee out. Relax. It'll come. After a while you'll tuck it more to spare your sliders.


Your basic position looks good. Your head is up and way into the corner. Your butt looks like it's far back, and your feet look to be on the pegs properly. Your torso looks to be in line with the bike. Making your left look like your right will help a lot also. Paying attention to your shoulders will get rid of the forearm pump.

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[ditto with jason zilla

i know what he means the dvd is fantastic but you can,t beat doing it with a cooach at school and getting all those eureka moments , then go and do track days and monitor yourself and get more little break throughs .

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Jzilla....thanks for the the thoughts and until your response I honestly thought I liked my left turn BP better than my right...but now looking at all my pictures I think I agree with you. Hanging off so far on my left turns is wearing my legs and left foot out. Fatigue has been a problem when it comes to being locked in...I wish there were less grey area in my BP and more black & white, 'locked in' going on. I'm attaching a picture from another thread and I'd like your advice as to which position is best, or if this graphic even depicts a 'great' overall stance...and also, I'd like you to tell me where I fit on this chart of the variations in BP. Thanks again for all the help.


Link to thread with illustration referenced herein:



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Hey there Vstate60,


I know exactly what you mean about the 'sticking point'. I was stuck for a long while, I just didn't feel comfortable going past certain lean angles. I'd always think to myself "can I lean more, is there more grip available or not"? I'll admit that I was my own worst enemy in this regard... I would overthink the situation.


I noticed your profile says you haven't attended the CSS yet? Have you done any other sort of tuition? If not - go and do it, you can ask about body position and when someone shows you the correct body position and you know the sort of 'locked in' feeling that you're looking for it will make your riding alot easier and you'll be much more confident. I had the exact same questions as you before I got some tuition, we sat on a bike on a paddock stand and were shown the correct BP. That was a real turning point for me.


I also asked about how much to weight the pegs, I was doing my old overthinking trick and I'd got the idea into my head to weight the outside peg. I was trying to put all my weight to the outside peg. (Yes it was tiring and my knees really hurt after a couple of sessions at a track day.) So I asked about how much weight to put between the footpegs and seat, basically the answer was "it's a seat - sit on it." tongue.gif Again that was a real turning point, I relaxed a whole lot more and everything was easier, I wasn't getting as tired. Since you're a big guy you'll likely notice a very big difference when you're more relaxed on the bike. But like I said I can't recommend enough to go and get some tuition or attend CSS - once someone walks you through body position it will all click.


As far as leaning more... apologies in advance - this may turn into a lengthy post. tongue.gif

Can you describe what it is that is keeping you from leaning further? Is it uncertainty, fear of the unknown?


One thing I found helpful was to make sure that my subjective observations were as close as possible to the objective reality. That is - making sure that what I thought was happening was actually close to what was really happening. How many times have you been riding on the track thinking that you're really leaning it over? Then you see some photos the photographer has taken and the lean angle you imagined was nothing like what it actually was? That's a great example of where a subjective observation is very different to the objective reality. This can actually be quite dangerous because if a rider imagines that he is at the maximum lean, it will be a mental block and he will not lean past that point even though it may mean running off a road or track. How many times have we seen riders on the road or track who are clearly nowhere near full lean, yet they run off even though it could be prevented by simply leaning more? That's the first point - evaluate your subjective judgements against the objective facts, the closer they are, the better for you.


Once you're able to make an accurate judgement of your lean angle, your brain will start to accept that you can lean further, and so you most likely will. But this leads to another question - how far can you lean, and how do you know when you're reaching the limit? I'm not sure if you're like me - but when I started out riding I was very cautious, I almost had an irrational fear that my tyres could suddenly slide out if I went past a certain point of lean. The fact is - that is just not how tyres work. (Let's assume a good road surface and tyres that are in good condition - if you're unfortunate enough to run over a diesel spill then I can only say to remain relaxed, not make any sudden movements and the best of luck to you.) Very few people are immediately comfortable with the considerable amount of lean angle that a modern sportsbike is capable of. This is because of what we're used to in daily life. On a natural surface our limit of traction is around 20 degrees. Be it running, or riding a horse - any more lean angle than around 20 degrees and we will lose traction. Because of this even new riders readily use up to 20 degrees of lean angle, but are very hesitant to use more because their life experience tells them that is the limit of traction. Simply recognising this should help by explaining why you may feel that way about lean. Thinking back to the fact that tyres will not just suddenly slide out - think about a slope that gradually becomes more steep. Most people have experience with a situation like this - imagine that you are walking up the slope... eventually you would stop walking because you know that you can't go any further without slipping - yet you don't actually slip on the slope. But your subconscious knows the exact point where you need to stop to avoid losing traction. How is this possible? Your subconscious knows the limit of friction from all those experiences through life - slipping on wet grass, sand, dirt etc. Your subconscious will also know this limit of friction while you're riding a motorcycle. There is a transition zone from static friction to sliding friction, your body knows this feeling of traction - so basically just go and ride. Constantly using questions like "can I lean more here" or "do I have enough traction" just takes your attention away from what it should be on - your subconscious knows the feeling of traction - why are you trying to re-educate yourself?


Just briefly on the subject of how far the bike is capable of leaning - we can practically say that a bike will lean until parts start scraping. Footpegs, low mounted exhausts or something similar will most likely scrape before you are at the edge of the tyres (at least that is what I keep hearing, I definitely haven't yet experienced that myself). Taking that into consideration should give you confidence that you can really lean a bike over, combined with the knowledge of why you naturally only want to lean so far, and that your body already knows the feeling of traction - this will lead to faith. Faith works, more faith works better.





Hopefully that all makes sense, let me know if I haven't explained it clearly enough. Finally I will just say that hopefully this helps with your 'sticking point' with lean, but you'll want to get to CSS to get some personal input on your body position and to learn how to become a better rider at the times when your bike is transitioning from full upright to full lean. smile.gif

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I think overall your body position looks really good. Just take the photo cut out the image of you and your bike and lean it at about 50 degrees.....Perfect!

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Photoshop... good idea! laugh.gif


Hey Vstate, I took some liberties with your photos, hope you don't mind...


From what I could see it looks like your original photo shows the bike at about 34 degrees. This one would be about 43 degrees





This one would be at around 50 degrees (or 'round about... aside from the crazy mid-corner knee-down wheelies blink.giftongue.gif )





I guess how far you extend your knee depends on what you're wanting to achieve. As you're just feeling your way and gaining confidence you can stick your knee out further and have confidence that it will touch down well before you reach the max lean angle. As you get more comfortable you'll naturally extend your knee less (otherwise spend a significant portion of your budget on new sliders. laugh.gif )


I'm not sure that I can actually claim 'knee down' yet, only some light scuff marks but I noticed that as I get more confortable I don't actually 'stick out' my knee as much. huh.gif (I lean more and I still don't get my knee down, what's with that?! tongue.giflaugh.gif )

Sure saves a bit of energy when you're not always moving into such an extended position though.

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