Jump to content

Draggin' The Line.....


greenbike58
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm a novice, finished Level 1 last Sept and awaiting Level 2 in the Spring with Keith. I ride a '99 GSXR600 fully set up for racing and will be hopefully doing some novice racing with NESBA in my area this Summer. Problem: I have been having a difficult time getting my knee down far enough to actually touch the ground on a corner. Seems like I'm going fast enough but it just doesn't seem to reach. I have seen the technique of Keith doing it on the Twist of the Wrist video, and I see others do it routinely but it's not working for me. I'm getting set up with my butt cheek half and half before the corner, getting the leg out there as much as possible when I lean (I'm a little bit tight jointed and it doesn't just flop out there loosely) and I cannot seem to get over enough to touch.

 

I went down to a track day near me first part of November and had one of the instructors look at me. His opinion was that I wasn't going fast enough in corners and when my speed increases, the knee pad will touch.

 

Any suggestions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gotta get the speed up!!! It's scary at first, but ya gotta get over. You can spend all the money you want on schools, but your the one that has to get the knee down...:o

Have to trust your tires. Don't think the pros keep their bikes up just on skill alone. The tires are doing all the work, they just need to know when to say when and work them. Can't trust the tires or bike, you'll never get it. Everytime I go riding or to the track, I figure I'm gonna bust my ass, so I get use to it. Have I?? No, not yet and with 6 track days and about 30k of twistie riding, I did a light spill at Deals Gap. Got up and started knee dragging the next corner. Go for it!!! I'm 45 and having a blast!!

http://www.sportbikes.net/forums/attachmen...&postid=1551565

http://www.track-dayz.com/Pictures/Eddy/11...903/1591-17.jpg

 

And I do it with a ZRX......of course it's the fastest bike out there......... :D:P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greetings,

 

My advice to you about dragging your knee is, don't worry about it.

 

When you focus your attention on dragging a knee, you actually slow down.

Focus all your attention on the cornering techniques that you?ve learned from Keith to bring up your corner speeds.

 

When you get fast enough in the corners you will be able to drag a knee at will, without thinking about it.

 

RootsMan

http://CVibes.net/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is also true what Rootsman said. The faster I go sometimes the less the knee goes down. I keep it tucked in for more of a streamline profile in a turn, mostly the sweeper type. One thing I will say though is, when I got my knee, then I started to know how hard I could push the bike in the turns. I guess that was my "curb feeler"......... :D Maybe I went too far saying the tires did all the work, but tires can really make a difference even if it's a goofing around in the mountians day. Bikes handle differently when they're worn and or have "chicken strips". The leans are rufffer to make cuz the bike doesn't want to lean as well. Just read the board replies and take out what you feel might be helpful to ya. We all have opinions. I'm no pro, so allot of what I say is coming from my screwups, practice.............and "my opinion". :blink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

something worth noting is that not even GP racers drag knee every corner. the main corners the seem to keep tucked up in more are quick transitions (chicanes) where any more body movement might destabilize the bike, and fast sweepers, where it becomes incredibly difficult to maintain posture without handlebar input with a knee out. yes, the knee can be an excelent lean angle guage, but in and of itself, sticking the knee out isn't going to get you much as far as additional cornering speed etc. rootsman has excelent advice... the first time i drug was at CSS/streets of willow, turn 3, it was the first "riders choice" session where we as the rider picked what we wanted to work on, and the instructors would keep an eye out for it. i was working on my hanging off posture, came into the corner at what seemed to be about the same as all the other laps i did, and sure enough i had contact. the important thing is that i didn't tell the instructor "knee draggin" i told him "hanging off", so i was only working on posture. once you get that smoothed out and comfortable, the knee down comes all by itself and surprizes you

have fun riding :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The advice on this thread is sound.

 

Dragging your knee is good fun and as a lean indicator a good tool. When I was working as a scumbag road tester for mags here in the UK It was the be and end all of pictures and little to do with going fast. In my racing a set of sliders would last all year, in a photoshoot less than a day!

One thing you could try.

When you try and push your leg out do you push it toward the ground or backwards towards the rear seat?

If you push down you will twist on the bike and your knee will go further AWAY from the ground! It's a common misunderstanding and mistake, just push your knee back not down and this will help to loosen your hip if nothing else :D

 

I still remeber my first time. GPz1100 Uni Trak and a super gibbon hang off mo fo stylee :ph34r:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks for the advice. I am getting my butt cheek half and half before leaning, when I lean, I have my toe balanced on the end of the peg. I just flop my leg wide as far as it will go, then I try to get fairly low. Leg never comes close. Check out a photo of my form (such as it is) at Summit Point last month. Lean seems good. Leg doesn't seem comfortable out far.

 

http://www.pitt.edu/~crippen/lean.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't believe your hanging off the bike quite enough. I never thought I'd get it, because I swore my leg didn't bend that way :lol::lol: Once your get it, you'll sort of figure it out. Just like the other guys, or girls said, seems the more speed, the more your tucked in. You'll be able to tell, it starts to not feel right getting into a fast sweeper at maybe 90 and up and keeping the knee down. If you look at my pics a couple posts above, the Sportsbike.net pic was a poser shot as I came around a corner up here where I live. I knew Killboy was out there. The other at Track-dayz is at Roebling Road in turn 7 I believe. Look at how much lower I am or for that matter both of us. I don't have any of turn 9 which can carry a speed for me of about 110. The knee is up but my upper body is much lower and I hang off more to give me more clearance. I feel like a freak'n sidecar!! :lol::lol::lol: Man that ZRX is heavy!! but I love it!!! :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you attend the Level III School, Keith will show you a very effective way to set up on the bike (or should I say off the bike) in cornering situations. More importantly, you will see how to plant your outside knee and get your torso lower to and off center of the tank, your elbows pointing to the ground and your grip loose on the bars - but on a static bike in the paddock. He will give your clear feedback as you demonstrate your lateral movement using just your knees to pull yourself up and over from left to right and back again.

 

I don't know alot about how to do any of this correctly but I did find Level III gave me the body position training so that I could get my knee down... and I am only 5' 7" tall. What surprised me the most when it finally happened was that it was almost a distraction. I was not trying to touch down, I was following a track coach through a turn trying to hit the apex as I got back on the on the gas and whalah! Next lap, it was on the ground for a longer time and again, I was focusing on hitting the apex as tight as I could and getting the drive out on the gas. One thing is for certain, the less you focus on getting your knee down and the more you focus on cornering technique, the sooner you will reach this milestone.

 

Anyway, that's 2 cents worth...

 

Kevin Kane

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first time I got my knee down, was by accident (other various body parts also followed) :blink:

 

The second time was also by accident and on my worst corner of any track I had ridden at the time (just the knee puck this time). It just happend!!! :D It then progressed to most other corners after that.

 

Now, running with slicks, I have to lift my knee, otherwise I get stuck at the wrong lean angle (double apex).

 

Also, beware of ripple strip camera holes (the cool shots you see on TV), knee pucks will try to jam in there .... !!! It used to be fun running my knee along the ripple strips. :huh:

 

Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ha! Bones, did you find out just how far out/back your leg could bend?! I hooked my puck on a curb once and it pulled my leg out so far that I was dragging the INSIDE of my knee :o

 

I know pick it up a bit at the apex of curbed turns...

 

I agree with most, it will happen when it happens. This is just another result of practicing the basics. It shouldn't be thought of as a technique in and of itself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah Paab,

 

I was walking with the bikers limp for nearly a week :huh:

 

Come to think of it, the same thing nearly happened at VIR, coming off the main circuit and up the hill (right hander). That would have to be the most vicious ripple strip I've ever touched. <_<

Link to comment
Share on other sites

dragging a knee can be one of the more zen things in motorcycle riding...the more you try the less it tends to happen.

 

esp when you start out on the track, having knee dragging as one of your main goals will keep you from dragging you knee. if you focus on relaxing, and doing the other 25 things you need to do to ride smoothly, the knee will happen. the knee dragging is a result of riding well, and not the cause or the necessarily the indicator, but it is a great feeling to touch it down for the first time (esp when you are not on your way to touching down other parts of your body).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It took me a long time to drag my knee, the first time I did was turn 3 at the streets and I had the bigest stupid grin for the rest of the week.

 

It used to bother me that I wasn't draging my knee but going faster than people who were. I'm 6'2" and was riding CBR600 at the time so my knees should be close to the ground. ( this was when 600's were smaller than open class bikes)

 

So one time I caught up with another guy who was consistantly dragging his knee corner after corner and watched him for a while, he was slow into the corner, twisting off the bike mid corner to get his knee down and stalling on the throttle because he was more bothered about looking good than going fast, that's when I decided it wasn't that important to drag my knee.

 

Later that day I was legitimately dragging my knee all over the place because I was riding faster, now I turn to my knee so I know where I'am and pick the knee back up again because sliders start to get expensive.

 

So my advice to you is concentrate on your riding and the the knee dragging will come to you, then you will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Many thanks for the advice. I am getting my butt cheek half and half before leaning, when I lean, I have my toe balanced on the end of the peg. I just flop my leg wide as far as it will go, then I try to get fairly low. Leg never comes close. Check out a photo of my form (such as it is) at Summit Point last month. Lean seems good. Leg doesn't seem comfortable out far.

 

http://www.pitt.edu/~crippen/lean.jpg

Hi,

 

In looking over your picture, I see you have the biked leaned over enough to touch your knee down, but you're just not sticking it out enough. There could be many reasons for this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like many of the others here I say don't worry about it. Put your attention back on riding. Everytime I get out on a track, the first time my knee touches down it scares me because I'm just not expecting it. "WOW! I'm leaned over that far? Cool! Oops, Next turn..."

 

In the picture, you look a little big (could just be an odd angle there), leathers don't seem to like stretching around big mid-sections. I know that from personal experience.

 

Relax, develop your skills, go faster, the knee thing will happen.

 

Greg Gorman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have dragged my knee by accident... Basically, I wasn't thinking about it. Anytime I try and drag my knee (and put thought into it), I am unable to.

 

Like everyone else has said, just kick back and let it happen when the time is right.

 

No worries,

Rip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My friend Mark is an extremely skilled rider. Probably the fastest I have ever ridden with and I think faster than me too( :( This is uncertain because we live many states apart and always end up riding his roads with him as leader due to the blind nature of the roads and his infinite familiarity therein. We are never on a race track where I can compare my skills ounce for ounce. Although I dream of that happening this year.

When he goes to trackdays at VIR etc... he is the fastest guy there. He rides on off the shelf SportTecs. Just like you. So, yes, you can achieve mass lean angles with Supersport tires. According to him, the tires do slide for him regularly. He just rides through it.

The funny part of this is that he is passing local racers and other trackday participants who are on Race tires! Now we are talking 20 minute sessions of course so don't expect a supersport tire not to heat up after extended hoon time. They will ultimately heat up and get greasy. Speaking of which... his tires do.

Its funnier to mention that Mark's track bike is an old Honda CBR900RR(93 I think?) with the only modification being stiffer front springs(Mark is a big guy!) and a 17" front wheel off of an F3. Every trackday, guys are walking up and asking....who was that guy on the silver bike? They can't believe that old 900RR can go that fast. Especially with a big guy like Mark onboard. He's like 230lbs...6'1" or so.

So to answer your question. Yes you can run street supersport tires just fine. I have actually been to trackdays locally where there were guys on Kwak 636's with the stock tires(Bridgestone BT012SS I think) and they were achieving some impressive lean angles. I was on my g1k and running right on their heals and just not using my acceleration potential in the straights to keep it fair. I run takeoffs myself with good success. I find no problem getting them up to temperature. But, speaking of supersports, I think the SportTecs are a great tire. I am just not too impressed with their longevity but heh.

Mark was actually out in the rain with the above combination and the only guy who passed him(with difficulty) was a local racer on a current 600 with full rains mounted. How sweet is that?

To answer your question. Yes. Supersport tires work quite well up to a very advanced riding level. You would be surprised. I don't see a way to put a pic here or I would post one for you guys but anyone interested can email me. He uses so much lean angle he barely sticks his knee out and it is dragging. His whole riding technique is smooth and fast through the corners with throttle on as much as possible. It works. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stock tires have come a long way from the 70's and 80's. No I am not quite that old. I just like to read up on things. I have run stock Dunlops on all of my bikes. All my friends would give me ###### about not changing up to race/street tires. I always thought about it, but I never saw any real reason to since I was able to keep up with them, even at max lean!!! It did take a little while for me to gain that much confidence in stock tires, but they can and will hold. Just be sure to take the time to warm them up properly. Properly warm tires can make all the difference. I actually dropped my first bike do to cold tires. Never mind the fact that it was winter and the temp as 15 degrees. A cold road and cold tires is like black ice. Dangerous combo. I had made the turn several times before during the winter, but had always warmed the tires. I was running late, forgot to warm them, and whoops there I went. I have never forgotten to warm my tires since. Just warm your tires and they should grip fine for none hard core race purposes. If you race them they will hold for a while then get all greasy and slippery on you.

 

later,

Goods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I recently passed through this barrier and found that taking my mind off of dragging knee and just riding did the trick. Make sure you are confident in your tires and your overall bike setup. Gradually increase your corner speed. I also found that it was helpful to get comfortable with a specific amound of hang off and knee-out angle to use on all corners where significant lean was involved. This results in a very stable bike going around the corner because you're not moving your body relative to the bike while you're turning.

 

Then it will just happen once your confidence and corner speed are sufficient to require enough lean angle. You will feel a light tug on your leathers and hear that puck scraping along the ground. I found that once I had my knee down on the track, it was very natural to do it on subsequent laps and sessions. You may be only 1/2" away now and not realize it.

 

I don't recommend doing this on the street. I know many people do, but I feel that it cuts too far into your safety margin.

 

Good Luck!

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...