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Bad Habits With Too Much Hanging Off


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I just completed the Two Day Camp in Las Vegas, and one feedback I got from my coach was too much hang-off (inclusive of being crossed-up). So much so that when he leads me, he usually cautions me NOT to use too much butt (pardon the pun). Though it got a lot better during Day #2 as I was more conscious on the amount of butt I use - it is indeed a challenge, as my body subconsciously reverts to "habit." Particularly with corners that I am NOT most confident in...

 

Basically, I never had any track day experience - I learned to hang-off / knee drag in a parking lot with cones. My source of reference then were motorcycle magazines in Japan that advocated (if you are a casual rider / non-pro) the Kevin Schwantz style:

 

39549schwantz93.jpg

 

So much so that, this is how I tend to do it on my own bike, a Kawasaki Ninja 1000 (non-supersports / sports tourer):

 

IMG_20121203_095057.jpg

 

That said, in Day #1, this is how I tend to do it in the track:

 

IMG_20130216_221921.jpg

 

I do know/understand the disadvantages (inclusive of the safety reasons) for NOT being crossed-up, etc. however,

BAD HABITS are indeed difficult to fix...

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It can depend a little on where in the turn the photo is taken. Early on some might be crossed up (and in the old days many were), but as technology of riding has evolved, many have found it has advantages to not as you get later in the turn.

 

This is one of the more common issues riders can end up dealing with.

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Here is my question, obviously the size of the rider plays a role in this. A shorter rider like myself being 5'5" I would need to be off the bike a little more to reach my lean angle reference point (my knee) then someone who is significantly taller with longer legs.

 

We do know that if you are not off the bike enough you use more lean then need be and too far off is also bad. Your body position can "look" good but whether or not how well its actually working is only reflected in how your lines compare to speed and ect.

 

So where is this balance? I personally think being shorter you need to be off the bike a little more then most people but what do you guys think?

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It can depend a little on where in the turn the photo is taken. Early on some might be crossed up (and in the old days many were), but as technology of riding has evolved, many have found it has advantages to not as you get later in the turn.

 

This is one of the more common issues riders can end up dealing with.

 

Indeed Cobie - not only is bike technology evolving, but so is riding technology... Made more sense to me when I got to finally watch the Twist of the Wrist 1 DVD (which I bought at the 2 Day Camp). Even Keith was crossed up! Picture is a comparison shot between TOTW1 and TOTW2:

 

20130221_045901.jpg

 

The way I look at it for myself, is not actually breaking a bad habit; but actually evolving my technique!

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I personally think, no matter your size you can hang off as much as you need until it starts to negate the benefits. You may loose a good lock on the tank, use the bars for stability, create general instability, at the expense of additional fatigue of the rider to name a few.

 

First question I would ask is; How relevant to scraping hard parts/running out of tire is your reference of knee down while comfortable and confident in the saddle?

 

Let me ask you some other questions so you can think about some other factors that may help.

What effect would adjusting the rearsets have here?

How about clipon height?

Where you sit on the seat. Far back, middle or against the tank?

Some riders raise the rear of the bike how would that effect the outcome?

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I personally think, no matter your size you can hang off as much as you need until it starts to negate the benefits. You may loose a good lock on the tank, use the bars for stability, create general instability, at the expense of additional fatigue of the rider to name a few.

 

First question I would ask is; How relevant to scraping hard parts/running out of tire is your reference of knee down while comfortable and confident in the saddle?

 

Let me ask you some other questions so you can think about some other factors that may help.

What effect would adjusting the rearsets have here?

How about clipon height?

Where you sit on the seat. Far back, middle or against the tank?

Some riders raise the rear of the bike how would that effect the outcome?

 

You raised some nice points here for further reflection...

 

Personally, I prefer to hang off more than "half a butt cheek," contrary to what my coach recommends...

 

Why? As I found out in the 2 Day Camps, if ever my knee starts dragging at that point, Im near the edge of the tire. Well, not so much the default foot pegs of the S1000RR (someone did crash in Day #2 - he was already scrapping his pegs). Hence, a little more than a butt check gives me some more margin... Basically using my height advantage (longer legs) - Im 6-ft tall.

 

Though, I did realize that my usual way of doing things (more than one butt cheek off) was making me lose stability. Particularly with that long sweeper of Turn #13 at Vegas.

 

Hence, going forward - not TOO much.

 

Albeit, I need to work on my inner shoulder having a tendency to face towards the side opposite the turn... Darn...

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So where is this balance? I personally think being shorter you need to be off the bike a little more then most people but what do you guys think?

 

aslcbr600,

 

As you know, reducing the lean of the bike is about moving the CG of the rider off the center-line of the bike.

 

In sport riding position, our CG is located approximately under our chest and at the height of the belly bottom.

 

Extreme hang-offs don't gain much in moving over that CG, respect to more moderated postures.

 

All the mass of the rider concentrated in that point in space will have the same effect.

 

Your legs and torso together are 6 inches shorter than those of a 6 foot-tall person.

 

Let's assume that the upper portion of your leg, which connects the tank and your CG, is 2 inches shorter.

 

Since while you hang off, that upper portion of your leg is at certain angle, let's also assume that you can locate your CG 1.5 inches shorter than the taller rider can.

 

If you weight as much as the taller rider, let's say 150 lb; and each bike weights 425 lb wet, you can push the CG of the bike to the outside of the curve 0.52 inches less than the taller rider, which in degrees is around 3.5 degrees more of lean for the frame of the bike.

 

Those 3.5 degrees are only significant to the suspension, since the lateral forces on the tires will remain the same, either if you hang-off much or not at all.

 

If the suspension of the other rider is working at 40 degrees respect to the vertical (only direction in which the road bumps work), the suspension of your bike is working at 43.5 degrees respect to the verticals.

 

As csmith12 questioned above, is that little gain worth you over-stretching and adopting any uncomfortable posture, which could compromise your confidence and smoothness?

 

As for using your extended leg as a gauge for lean angle, yes, you will drag knee at a higher lean angle than taller riders, but not for much either.

post-23333-0-98150800-1361470967_thumb.jpg

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Wow thanks for breaking that down for me! I am not a big fan when it comes to numbers but I see your point, the change in confidence could do worse for me in an awkward BP to achieve one thing.

 

I suppose I could always just get thicker knee sliders.....

 

csmith12:

 

True that their are a lot of adjustments you can make for the bike to fit you better, I haven't explored all of these options yet simply because the rider is easier and cheaper to adjust lol.

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True that their are a lot of adjustments you can make for the bike to fit you better, I haven't explored all of these options yet simply because the rider is easier and cheaper to adjust lol.

 

I feel you there, I am by no means a rich man. I scrape and save pennies to make my way to track days and races.I always explore adjusting the rider before I buy. That is just plain smart.

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True that their are a lot of adjustments you can make for the bike to fit you better, I haven't explored all of these options yet simply because the rider is easier and cheaper to adjust lol.

 

I feel you there, I am by no means a rich man. I scrape and save pennies to make my way to track days and races.I always explore adjusting the rider before I buy. That is just plain smart.

 

 

Would be nice if we were factory supported wouldn't it? lol "eh I don't like those gas charged ohlins forks, test out something else"

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How far back are you really cranking your knee out ? In my limited experience, most of the time your not sticking your knee out sideways nearly as much as you think you are, and as such won't make knee contact in corners where you are already carrying enough lean to have your knee down. Twisting your knee out a few more degrees will most likely help a lot more then double thick pucks and cost you nothing.

 

Tyler

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Hi all,

Hope this reply doesn't go off point. Even though I've been riding my Yamaha FJR with a sport bike group for almost 5 years, I'm going to my 1st track day in April at Texas World Speedway. In researching the riding school, I saw a YouTube video where an instructor referred to the "triangle of daylight", in reference to getting your leg out. That was a helpful description for me. So, I've been trying to practice that technique, with 1/2 a cheek off. Reading this topic, I might be realizing something. It's easier to get my leg out if I twist my butt away from the turn. That obviously causes me to get crossed up and makes it impossible to lean off the "correct" way. I imagine the rest of the solution lies in dipping my inside shoulder. Am I just too old and stiff in the crotch or is there still hope for me?

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Are you sitting all the way up against the tank? If you sit TOO close to the tank, it can cause your hips to rotate around the tank (which I think is what you are describing when you say you are twisting your butt away from the turn) and THAT makes it hard to get your upper body low and inside.

 

For most riders, it helps to leave at least a hand's width between your crotch and the tank - more if you are long-legged. The idea is to get a REALLY GOOD LOCK with your outside knee, if that lock is getting lost when you hang off, try scooting back and experimenting until you are well anchored.

 

Your hips should be "opened up" into the turn, not twisted away, and that should help you reach out with your knee.

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.........Your hips should be "opened up" into the turn, not twisted away, and that should help you reach out with your knee.

 

Mind elaborating?

 

For example, looking for above during a left turn, the hips should be turned CCW?

 

Yes, you got it, and that is a better way to describe it. :)

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Thanks for the input, Hotfoot and Lnewqban! And for not making any crotch jokes :-) And, that's a great point! In trying to get my head between my windshield and mirror, look through the turn and hold on with my legs, I probably am quite a bit into the tank. That would also refute another technique I've given up on, which was to rest my inside knee on a "ledge" of my side fairing, which really threw me forward, but which I thought might work to "weight" the front tire, thus improving contact patch/steering, etc. Anyway, like I said, I gave up on that one. I'm going to try that hands width between the crotch and tank thing. Makes sense.

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Yeah those were the ones I was referring to, think that would really help or would I just be wasting my money at that point?

 

As long as you understand the reasons for hanging off and/or knee drag; I believe that it is okay to do what is necessary to achieve this. Basically, if you cant knee drag, then you wouldnt have a reliable indicator of lean angle. But if your body makeup is such that you need to achieve this through having more than "half-a-butt cheek" out - which leads to potential instabilities with the bike, having thicker pucks would be the way...

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