Jump to content

Help Please


Bolfunga
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi there, first time poster :o)

 

Sorry about the length of this but can someone please help me? I've always been told that when cornering you should try to keep your arms relaxed, particularly the arm on the side you're turning to, the inside of the turn. I've also always understood that it can help if you lean slightly forwards (and drop your shoulder in the direction of turn) as you start the turn. It has also been suggested that depending on the bike, in conjunction with the above, sitting slightly further forward also helps turn-in and helps avoid the straight-arm syndrome.

 

This has always made sense to me but a friend of mine disagrees, as follows:

 

Moving forward on the seat is absolutely the wrong thing to do (unless you are so short you are struggling to reach the bars). By moving forwards you are effectively moving your centre of gravity forward off the pegs, which makes it impossible to take any weight on your feet. This means you take more weight on your bum, which cannot help you steer, and on your hands, which causes fatigue and tension.

 

You are also bringing your elbows back towards your body which limits movement. By moving back on the seat and leaning forward you assume a pose closer to that of a jockey. You can now take some of the weight on to your feet, which can help to turn the bike. You also take less weight on your hands, which allows you to relax your grip, which provides much more feedback. Your range of movement is not constricted so it is easier to get the ideal "forearms parallel to the tarmac" position, this means that when you push the bars the action is closer to perpendicular with the headstock pivot and thereby requires less force = more relaxed = finer control. Closer to the tank means you are pushing (or pulling) closer to the axis of the headstock = more force required = tighter grip = more tense = less fine control.

 

Counter-steering aspects aside, the theory of leaning forward BUT sitting further back on the seat, rather than slightly forward, makes no sense to me. My mate agrees that it sounds wrong but insists that it is right. Which is the better approach of the two?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try sitting all the way over the back and pinning the throttle on a 1000cc bike, the front goes light and any steering control is massively reduced. The optimum distance from the tank is about a fist-length in-between your tackle and the tank, this usually equates to the middle to rear of the seat anyway for me, but when I'm accelerating hard I'll try and shift forward closer to the tank.

 

You do want to be lower down as you've suggested above, this way you're not wasting effort by trying to push down on the bars, and transferring more force into a forward motion which makes applying pressure to the bars much easier.

 

Simon Crafar advocates sitting right up against the tank, but I've found when I do that I'm pivoting too much around the tank and I can't lock-on with my knees anywhere near as well.

 

I think there's too much emphasis in the theory you've detailed above about the benefits you gain for steering with your feet, which don't really give you anything in terms of steering input.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers, fella :o)

 

That basically backs up what I thought and what I've been doing. It also backs up why I think my mate's suggestion is largely incorrect. By the way, the feet steering emphasis is his theory, not mine. I've given it a go in the past but never felt any benefit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers, and welcome aboard!

 

Spend the money, buy the TOTW II book and the video. Why both ? Because there's visual demonstrations on the DVD that no book can hope to match. Also, once you have read the book and watched the DVD, do so again. Repeatedly. I've been riding for 40 years and still learn new stuff every day. In pilot speak it's called re-current training. It will make you quicker around the track and may save your life someday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One more thing: The only vehicle I can steer with my feet is the airplane LOL!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He's right to an extent, you do need to move back a bit, but not too far. You want to be far enough back that you're not pivoting around the tank when you go to hang off, this means you can get a good lock into the tank with your knee(s). When you start going too far back is when you start to encounter problems such as a floaty front-end, it's also much harder to brace yourself against the tank whilst braking if all you've got to do it with is your knees as opposed to your knees and thighs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well he should try sitting as far back as he thinks is sensible, then pinning the throttle on the bike, then moving up close to the tank and trying the same. There's a time and place for everything and for hard acceleration you really want to be over the front of the bike as much as possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For hard acceleration, no issues, but what about when preparing to tip into a corner? I'd have said leaning forward and sitting forward is better because you want weight over the front when braking and to aid tip in to the bend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers, and welcome aboard!

 

Spend the money, buy the TOTW II book and the video. Why both ? Because there's visual demonstrations on the DVD that no book can hope to match. Also, once you have read the book and watched the DVD, do so again. Repeatedly. I've been riding for 40 years and still learn new stuff every day. In pilot speak it's called re-current training. It will make you quicker around the track and may save your life someday.

re-current training

 

 

 

 

 

Hmm

 

 

 

 

interesting, gotta read/ view the videos again this weekend~ :D

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you're braking you want your weight back to conteract the weight shift caused by braking (just as you sit forward durign accelerating). Fast riding is dynamic though so you'd move from there to your cornering position which as Steve says is probably more to the middle of the seat than one end. The right position depends a bit on your body, you want to lock on to the bike using the tank and outside peg, so obviously if you're 5'2 or 5'11 or Crafar it'll be a different kettle of fish, also whcih bike you're on etc. Anyway the object is to anchor yourself to the bike with your lower body, so you take less weight on your arms, good bend in the elbows to allow you to work the steering easily (straight arms = bad, think of Al Murray drinking a pint) and so your arms don't interfere with the steering. As said, your feet won't steer the bike at all. Ultimately all this is only a guide, otherwise we'd have nothing to talk about here!

 

Not sure if you've looked at CSS in the UK but countersteering is covered in Level 1, and this includes getting you in the right position to do it properly, which is pretty much what we're talking about. Keith's books etc.are good but having Flash make you ride up and down a bit of tarmac a hundred times is much better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum! smile.gif

 

Hi there, first time poster :o)

 

Sorry about the length of this but can someone please help me? I've always been told that when cornering you should try to keep your arms relaxed, particularly the arm on the side you're turning to, the inside of the turn. I've also always understood that it can help if you lean slightly forwards (and drop your shoulder in the direction of turn) as you start the turn. It has also been suggested that depending on the bike, in conjunction with the above, sitting slightly further forward also helps turn-in and helps avoid the straight-arm syndrome.

 

It seems to me like you have the right idea. I will just add that both arms should be relaxed, not necessarily the inside arm more than the other. But the fact that you will have more bend in your inside arm since your outside arm has to stretch across to the outside handlebar (if your body is positioned to the inside of the bike) may make it seem like your inside arm is more relaxed. True, you can move it more freely, but ideally I think they should both be equally relaxed.

 

As far as helping turn-in, sitting forward will definitely allow for more efficient turn inputs. If you are hunched forward/moved forward in the seat, you're in a better position to have level forearms, which will allow for the most efficient steering inputs. I suppose you could also postion your forearms as level if you sat right back in the seat, but that seems awkward to me (and probably most others as well!) Also think of it this way - do you have more control & power if you try and push something starting at full-reach, or if your reach starts closer to your body? Imagine sitting down and you have to move a 10kg weight that is sitting on the desktop. If you position your chair so that the weight is at full arms length, then try to move the weight, how much force can you put into it, how far could you move the weight? Compare that to moving your seat closer to the desk & weight to where your arm is closer to a 90º angle, now extend your arm and move the weight - you'll be able to generate much more force and move the weight further.

 

On sportbikes I think you will find that simply hunching over and being a model of bad posture will help the "straight arms" syndrome. I notice a lot of straight arms when people especially on sportbikes are trying to sit upright.

 

This has always made sense to me but a friend of mine disagrees, as follows:

 

Moving forward on the seat is absolutely the wrong thing to do (unless you are so short you are struggling to reach the bars). By moving forwards you are effectively moving your centre of gravity forward off the pegs, which makes it impossible to take any weight on your feet. This means you take more weight on your bum, which cannot help you steer, and on your hands, which causes fatigue and tension.

 

Just a comment on moving centre of gravity off the pegs... personally I just sit on the seat, and most of my weight is supported there (centre of gravity is no where near the 'pegs wink.gif ). I may put some force into the outside 'peg to help with lock-on, but the majority of my weight is on the seat. Even moving forward right against the tank, I wouldn't say that it's impossible to keep any weight on the 'pegs - legs can move into a great variety of positions after all! A prime example of this is accelerating hard out of slow turns, I do move forward in the seat and hunch down with my helmet as closeds to the screen as possible to reduce the tendency to wheelie. And during that there is definitely weight on my feet, it's not like my feet are at risk of slipping off the 'pegs, not even close! At that point I would say that there's actually move weight bias towards the 'pegs than at mid-corner - because I lift myself using my legs in order to move forwards on the bike. But I still keep a light grip on the 'bars, the only time my hands are taking any weight is under heavy braking, and even that I try to minimise as much as possible (ideally I would prefer no weight supported through the 'bars, ever. But that's just me.)

 

You are also bringing your elbows back towards your body which limits movement. By moving back on the seat and leaning forward you assume a pose closer to that of a jockey. You can now take some of the weight on to your feet, which can help to turn the bike. You also take less weight on your hands, which allows you to relax your grip, which provides much more feedback. Your range of movement is not constricted so it is easier to get the ideal "forearms parallel to the tarmac" position, this means that when you push the bars the action is closer to perpendicular with the headstock pivot and thereby requires less force = more relaxed = finer control. Closer to the tank means you are pushing (or pulling) closer to the axis of the headstock = more force required = tighter grip = more tense = less fine control.

 

Limiting movement - the example of sitting at a desk and moving the weight shows this point well. In the case of steering inputs I would say that elbows closer to your body gives more power & movement - don't forget that steering is a forward push movement on the inside 'bar. Extend your arm to near straight and see how much further forward you can move your hand, not much compared to having your elbow closer to your body.

 

Sitting forwards for me does not mean a tighter grip on the 'bars. I always keep a light grip on the 'bars - whether I'm sitting back or forward in the seat. (Braking hard is the only exception I can think of.)

 

Counter-steering aspects aside, the theory of leaning forward BUT sitting further back on the seat, rather than slightly forward, makes no sense to me. My mate agrees that it sounds wrong but insists that it is right. Which is the better approach of the two?

 

As others have said, there's a time & place for both sitting forward and sitting back - it all depends on what you're trying to accomplish on the bike. Accelerating hard - sit forward to reduce wheelies. Braking hard - sit back to place more weight over the rear wheel and keep it on the ground.

 

But I think you're talking mainly about setup position prior to turn-in? Personally I would not advocate sitting forward, or backward in the seat. The primary concern should be whether or not you can "lock-on" with the tank & footpegs to give yourself stability. If you don't have that stability, that's when you'll have problems with unwanted inputs at the 'bars as you try and hold yourself on the bike using your hands and arms. Having a good lock-on I believe is also vital to pivot steering?

 

On the subject of sitting forward during cornering... I think this can also be done without any bad consequences, under the right circumstances. If you look at most racers these days, they don't really seem to have a good lock-on with their outside leg.

Davies-Miller.jpg

 

Look how much the outside knee is sticking out away from the tank. How much leg could be in contact with the tank? Maybe a little, a fairly small amount? How is this not a problem? I think it has to do with the cornering speed. If a rider is consistently cornering at speeds that generate 1G cornering force, they simply won't slip off the seat and they require zero effort to keep themselves on the bike. Think of your bike on paddock stands, you can hop on and sit on the seat in any position, you don't even have to hold on with your hands and you can be confident that you're not going to fall off (unless you do something silly). You're stable because gravity is holding you on the seat, you're not going to just float away. If a rider is cornering fast and generating 1G of force, it is exactly the same for them mid-corner as it is for you sitting on an upright bike - you both have the same forces keeping you on the seat. So if a rider can do that and decides that they gain more by sitting forward mid-corner, and that they don't need that lock-in, that's fine for them.

 

But the main thing that should influence that choice is whether or not it will cause undue input to the 'bars (IMO).

 

One other thing I should say is that my friend says that his described method, moving back on the seat and leaning forward, is what's advocated by the CSS. This is primarily why I came here for some input.

 

 

It sounds like there is some confusion over moving back and sitting back. I think most people will find that moving back in the seat is required to have a good lock-on, and to have a decent portion of your leg in contact with the tank. I would say that is the primary technique advocated by CSS, rather than a specific forward/back seating position. Whatever your seating position is - if it allows you to lock-on and is comfortable etc., then that's what you want. That then forms the basic of being able to keep a light grip on the 'bars and just about everything flows from there.

 

 

For hard acceleration, no issues, but what about when preparing to tip into a corner? I'd have said leaning forward and sitting forward is better because you want weight over the front when braking and to aid tip in to the bend.

 

When setting up your body position for cornering, the same goal should apply - to get a good lock-on. Apart from that there are many variables depending on corner speed, how much braking before the corner, what's coming after the corner etc. Personally I aim to get my helmet as close to the screen as possible and to the inside of the bike when cornering. But if I was coming from a high speed straight into a slow corner (for example 260km/h braking down to 80km/h), I position myself back on the seat (maybe not at the very back of the seat, but further backwards) so I can brake harder without the rear wheel coming off the ground. Then I just keep that position for the corner. Most other times I just set up in a position that allows good contact with the side of the tank for a good lock-on.

 

I can say that I don't sit right forward in the seat, and it hasn't ever seemed to hurt my turn-in ability. It seems to me like the much more important factor in turn in is your quick-steer capability, which revolves around having efficient and powerful steering inputs.

 

Those are my main concerns as far as cornering body position goes: having a good lock-on, and being able to make efficient steering inputs.

 

Hope that helps!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...