Jump to content

Are All Principles Universal?


faffi
 Share

Recommended Posts

Trials, road racing, speedway, mx, rally, ice racing, dirt track - do all bikes and types of (racing) use apply to the very same principles regarding handling and actions? Or are there differences that demand totally different actions in order to control the machines? I'm thinking about the basics here, not the obvious differences in style that we ignorant see.

 

Did I manage to display the question in a way that makes sense?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

......do all bikes and types of (racing) use apply to the very same principles regarding handling and actions?.....

That is a good question, Eirik.

 

I would say that, for all modern forms of classical motorcycles, the handling and actions are similar to those of the first practiacl bicycles designed and built after the introduction of the first practical pneumatic tire (1888), the rear freewheel, brakes, gears and Bowden cables.

 

Either powered by human muscle, engines or motors, the principle, the physics, the uses, the riding techniques and joy and reward of any cycle have remained more or less the same for more than a century.

 

Competitions of equivalent disciplines for bicycles and motorcycles look alike and demand very similar approach and control skills from the pilots.

 

Diferences in power and weight of each machine may be huge, but gravity and friction acting upon them are the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you mean also riding technique, or is this more a mechanical question? We get many for example, that have a harder time see countersteering in the dirt (it of course still works, but other factors come into play).

 

CF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say the techniques required to steer Speedway and Dirt track bikes vary a bit from road racing, while counter steering will always apply I was under the impression most of the steering in those forms of racing is done with the rear wheel and the engine, and while there is still a bit of "backing it in" in road racing the degree with which it is used is considerably uneven between them. That may fall under your definition of "Obvious differences in Style" but I think the principles of handling and control will vary somewhat based on the available traction and the type surface on which the racing is taking place

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand that technique will vary according to what is the most beneficial to create the speed and safety required to be competitive - or just being in control. What I were thinking of, was if counter-steering always will work, hanging off will always reduce lean, steering with the rear will create oversteer etc. etc. Also, if some basic tehcniques always apply, or if they change with the conditions. For instance, we see MX riders lean out and push their machines down, and there are probably good reasons for this. But could they go faster by hanging off road racing style? Would every type of bike benefit from 40/60 weight distribution after turn-in is completed? Would slow in, fast out be the safest way to corner every machine? If available, would the front brake always be the preferred one?

 

I may be mixing things up a bit, but I guess what I'm asking is two things; can every motorcycle be ridden in the same way (even if it isn't the most efficient) in its intended habitat, and are there some principles that will be the most efficient for optimum speed regardless of bike and surface - but that perhaps isn't used today for one reason or the other?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand that technique will vary according to what is the most beneficial to create the speed and safety required to be competitive - or just being in control. What I were thinking of, was if counter-steering always will work, hanging off will always reduce lean, steering with the rear will create oversteer etc. etc. Also, if some basic tehcniques always apply, or if they change with the conditions. For instance, we see MX riders lean out and push their machines down, and there are probably good reasons for this. But could they go faster by hanging off road racing style? Would every type of bike benefit from 40/60 weight distribution after turn-in is completed? Would slow in, fast out be the safest way to corner every machine? If available, would the front brake always be the preferred one?

 

I may be mixing things up a bit, but I guess what I'm asking is two things; can every motorcycle be ridden in the same way (even if it isn't the most efficient) in its intended habitat, and are there some principles that will be the most efficient for optimum speed regardless of bike and surface - but that perhaps isn't used today for one reason or the other?

 

This question is very broad; but here are some things that I can think of that would require differences in technique:

Traction: Maximizing your traction in deep sand or mud or dirt is different than maximizing it on smooth pavement with sticky tires; an example that comes to mind is the common use of back brake in dirt, since having the rear wheel drag or slide in dirt is quite controllable, but on a road racing bike sliding the rear wheel can be very dicey.

Suspension: Riding a dirt bike over big bumps and very irregular surfaces requires a much different body position than going around a smooth corner fast on a street bike; for road racing being well anchored and not upsetting the bike is critical, on a dirt bike you have to keep your body more separated from the bike to allow it to bounce around beneath you so it doesn't fling you around.

Speed: There are some things you might do at 25-30 mph that you wouldn't consider doing at 120mph; standing up on the pegs, for example, or sticking a foot out to catch a slide. The full tuck you need on a roadrace bike at high speeds to reduce drag wouldn't be much use on a tight dirt course.

 

Those are things you might classify as style differences but they do have a real effect on how you would want to ride different bikes for best results.

 

That being said, physics is physics; so I think most of the basic principles would apply; for example, any two-wheeled bike will countersteer - however, counter steering is dependent on traction so the RESULT of your counter-steer effort will feel different on ice or sand compared to asphalt, and you might have to approach things a little differently to get the bike to do what you want. Does that make sense?

 

Also, depending on the type of riding, your priorities might change, or the desired overall results might be different from type of riding to another. With regards to hanging off, I'm sure hanging off would reduce lean angle on a dirt bike, but I don't know if that is always the primary goal. I'm definitely not a dirt bike expert, but in soft dirt or mud, I'm thinking the tire will dig in, and you have the knobbies that wrap around the side of the tire, so the traction might still be really good even when leaned over quite a bit, and when you figure in the bumpiness of the surface and the way the front wheel gets yanked around by ruts, it might be impractical for the rider to hang off - too hard to stay balanced over the bike as it bounces around! So the benefit of hanging off might be overshadowed by the benefits of staying over the top of the bike.

 

That being said, when a good rider switches from one style of riding to another, sometimes they bring or create a whole new technique that works great, gets picked up by other riders, and changes the game fpr everyone!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the explanation. In conclusion, it seems that while the overall physical rules are the same for all bikes, you may want to use them differently or focus on different aspects to best suit the actual needs. What works fine for one scenario may be counter-productive for another. In other words, if Keith had written a book for MX riders it would likely have been a completely different story from TWOT.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the explanation. In conclusion, it seems that while the overall physical rules are the same for all bikes, you may want to use them differently or focus on different aspects to best suit the actual needs. What works fine for one scenario may be counter-productive for another.

 

Well put, that is very clear and succinct!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was a good question Eirik. I started riding dirt bikes pretty late, and it was a real adjust ment to note hang off.

 

In that particular case, the ratio of bike to rider weight seem sa factor. Its quite easy to let the bike move around underneath you on a dirt bike. In that case getting your body from one side to the other can be a bit of work.

 

Also, more suscpetible to where your body is placed in the dirt. I kept finding that I had to move up, or I would push the front (from not enough weight). Not the same factor on a road bike.

 

CF

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...