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Body Position - Twist? Motogp Examples


motoshrink
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Ok, so I have something for you. I have been looking at moto gp inside turn pics to look for body position. I started a conversation about this with Michael Lenz at the Reno 2 day camp and I am esp looking fwd to more input here.

 

Re twisting body (inside hip and knee rotate fwd and outside one comes over more) it seems like there is a continuum. Sete does almost none. Nor does Barros. just a little: Nicky, Max. A bit more than little: Edwards and Rossi. All the way to a WHOLE bunch for Bayliss.

 

Check out some pics. I naturally liked doing this at Reno, wonder what your thoughts are re specific question...should this NOT be done? Is it detrimental? How? Not optimal? What is optimal in terms of twisting the lower body some (in addition to good upper body movement) as per Bayliss in the following pics and why?

 

http://photos.motorcycle-usa.com/97591Bayliss1.jpg

 

Thanks...

Dave Sangster

OMRRA #29

fnb-racing.com

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The main difference here seems to be a combination of the fact he is hanging off alot more than most folks, almost his whole ass is off the seat (not sure how good his grip is on the bike like this) and also he doesn't appear to be dropping the elbow.

 

My conclusions:

 

His ass is off the seat more to compensate for his upper body being higher. His centre of gravity/mass on the bike is similar to other riders.

 

This position arguably gives him greater visibility round this bend and possibly in his mind, more aerodynamics, which hardly matters when cornering near max lean, as the power of the bike and the max. corner speed posible at that angle dictate that any savings in aerodynamics are pritty pointless at this stage.

 

I haven't seen any other pictures of bayliss at work. Is this always his position? Is he actually getting ready for the drive out of this corner? Maybe this corner has a crest he is trying to get a sight line over?

 

This style could be for many reasons. I would suggest that the traditional style of not twisting be used mostly, unless there is something you need to adapt your riding position for, ie, seeing over a crest!

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I would agree. The first thing I thought was that he should lower his upper body more.

 

With him being a GP racer and I not... I can't say "He's doing it wrong" :), but I would imagine that he probably is doing that for a specific reason.

 

The first one that comes to mind is that he could lean his body over more and lift the bike at the same time to get it off the edge of the tire and get a better drive out. Keep in mind that the farther you lean a bike, the smaller the tire gets so the more RPM you need to maintain speed (Like leaning to the outside while driving a kart). More RPM equals more POTENTIAL HP so by keeping the bike at the maximum lean angle even though it may not particularly need it at that point is helping a few things... Namely exit drive and options for getting on the gas.

 

Hayden does this very well now (he seemed to have picked it up at Laguna). You'll see him using a lot of lean angle mid corner and then remove bike lean angle while leaning his upper body far into the inside while getting on the gas. Apparently it helps to save tires as well (which is something Hayden has had trouble with).

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Bayliss seems to be doing this as his regular gig. Here is another pic too..there are lots

http://photos.motorcycle-usa.com/98251bayliss.jpg

 

And its not just Bayliss nor just Bayliss in unusual conditions...

http://photos.motorcycle-usa.com/ROSSIG_5816.jpg

 

http://photos.motorcycle-usa.com/f_eliasact.jpg

 

there seems to be quite a continuum out there!

-omrra #29

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This subject got my attention alot yesterday, so I went home and studied the 2003 season of MotoGP to see what was going on.

 

I saw an awesome shot of Troy Basliss on the Ducati, doing this very position, however, he was about to go from hard right to hard left through some esses and upon going left had the standard (non-twisted) body position!

 

I can only assume that the various riders at top level adopt this strange twisting position when special cercumstances call for it. For example, about to swap directions and need some weight transfere from one side to the next, or to see over a crest, or possibly they feel the tyres washing out and are trying to adjust their position to maintain better grip?

 

Who knows, at the end of the day, everyone is different. Look at Yukio Kagayama next time you watch WSB or even Makoto Tamada in MotoGP, they both lean their upper bodies far further towards the inside than any other riders seem to do. should we re-start the debate on this one too?

 

I believe certain body positions offer certina advantages in differing situations and these top-level racers have discovered the optimum position for each and every turn in the ongoing hunt for greater traction and drivability!

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Quite simply, you can attend Level III of the California Superbike School and have Keith explain and demonstrate all of this to you...

 

The riders you see hanging off all twisted up (not parallel to the bike) have found some other way to lock themselves on the bike, and use that. They also eat up additional lean angle because of it. Is this a bad thing? Well, they're all a hell of a lot faster than me, but there are examples (don't have them off the top of my head... ask Keith) where you will find riders with the crossed up form who drag the hell out of body parts and eat through tires much quicker than riders with better form.

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This is a shot of me on a CBR600RR at my first ever track day:

 

13.jpg

 

As you can see, in this case it is because I was a Novice. Body position is high and apex is not in the frame! :lol:

 

This position is ok, if you don't really want to go too fast, but when I now get my bike completely on song round fast corners, I have to have my upper body parallel with the bike. Anywhere else and I feel I should back off a little!

 

I shall always endeavor to keep my body low from now on, this upright style I reserve for when I'm getting all screwed up on track! ;)

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Have you looked at 5 times World Champion Mick Doohan?

 

He rode "crossed-up" and rotated at the hips pretty successfully.

 

My point is that we at the CSS know that coaching riders to lock-on and square-up on their bikes will remedy 99 out of 100 riders problems with stability. Its not the only way but we are certain that it works.

 

David

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Great questions,

 

Riders get used to riding a certain way for lots of reasons, some of which have been sited here on this thread, vision is a good point and it is one of the major reasons riders try and stay high on the bike, it is easier to see.

 

In the end you have to weigh one position against the other and put that up against what is trying to be accomplished with the hanging off riding position.

 

If lowering the combined C of G is the purpose then the upper body across the top of the tank, twisted on the bike, is counter-productive and neutralizes the butt cheek out in the wind, the rider might as well just sit on the bike like a touring rider does.

 

Another reasons riders adopt the twisted position is that they feel compeled to hang onto the bars as it gives them the impression they are in better control. Its just their feeling about it and that is hard to argue with.

 

I worked hard with Roger Lee Hayden on this point. His mechanic was worried about him using too much lean. But to give you an idea of how hard it id to break the habit, it took Roger Lee at least 8 races to begin to get down into the bike and he is a talented rider for sure.

 

What I'm saying is: It is not so easy to change it once it becomes a "habit". It is very easy to see that almost every rider on the planet starts out twisted on the bike (it is one of the easiest ways to spot the novices) so there is obviously some survival instinct that has to be overcome in order to get into the bike in what we see as "good" body position.

 

Best,

Keith

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here are three advantages to being square (not crossed up) on the bike:

 

1) Having your body parallel to the bike gets more of your weight down and to the inside of the bike. Keith mentioned

this too and this is the primary reason to hang off in the first place. Riders who cross up lose some or all of this

advantage.

 

2) When you are crossed up, your hips rotate around the tank. This forces your outside knee off the side of the tank

and prevents you from using your knee against the tank as an anchor. Most riders can't fiind a substitute for that

very critical anchor and end up latching onto the bars because they feel like they're about to fall off.

 

3) If you are going around a right-hand corner and you cross up, your body is rotating to the left. In order to look into the

corner (to the right), you need a neck like an owl.

 

ab

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks AB...very well said. I think I was overusing the inside quad and underusing the outside calf-knee to lock in.

 

It's all about kinesthetic re-familiarization for me. More laps, more laps.....

:)

-Dave

 

Here are three advantages to being square (not crossed up) on the bike:

 

1) Having your body parallel to the bike gets more of your weight down and to the inside of the bike. Keith mentioned

this too and this is the primary reason to hang off in the first place. Riders who cross up lose some or all of this

advantage.

 

2) When you are crossed up, your hips rotate around the tank. This forces your outside knee off the side of the tank

and prevents you from using your knee against the tank as an anchor. Most riders can't fiind a substitute for that

very critical anchor and end up latching onto the bars because they feel like they're about to fall off.

 

3) If you are going around a right-hand corner and you cross up, your body is rotating to the left. In order to look into the

corner (to the right), you need a neck like an owl.

 

ab

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That is so wierd. I thought I was doing that because I am tall. I found that position while riding and it felt more comfortable not to mention I was getting my knee down through turns I couldn't before. I guess that goes to too much lean angle. Plus it helped me keep my head leveled out to look at future reference points.

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  • 2 months later...

Other than CofG, what about the benefit of having more pressure on the front wheel?

 

It seems that those guys who twists their body kind of hold them selves up, more by using the back muscles I would guess. While those who go out all the way just lay their chest on the fuel tank (e.g. Elias), resulting with more weight on the front wheel and thus better grip/stability.

 

Just observing, am I right about this one?

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  • 2 weeks later...

One thing that isn't always considered is, if they are not holding themsevles on with their legs, then that leaves holding on with the bars. When bikes slide around, they will correct (if left alone), but are not allowed to if the rider has to much pressure/weight on the bars.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have noticed there are alot of different thought pattern going on in this thread and many different area's of riding style and C of G being investigated.

 

There are amny arguments about high and low body positions giving more or less lean angle, but try hanging off one side of the bike in all the varying positions when it's upright and going straight, you'll soon notice the bike is leaning the other way. Proof enough for me! the more you get off the side, the less lean angle you eat into.

 

As for sitting high or low when hanging off, I believe it only affects vision and helps control your fear of being too close to the ground, hence pushing your SR's back yet further. Some folks say sitting higher when hanging off and therefore raising the CofG helps turn the bike quicker and gives you less lean andgle, but if this is true, it has to be such a small amount of change it would hardly be worth investigating or practicing!

 

The picture above are interesting too. Again, hard to see motion in a picture, or whether the rider is racing, practicing or just having a laugh, but there are some key points to note:

 

The guys riding crossed up have the butt checks so far off the seat, if they had their body parallel to the bike, they'd slip off. As mentioned by Cobie above, they'd end up clamping onto the bars, not good. There is only so far you can get off the side of a bike before you have to compromise your position. Each rider has their own style.

 

There is a link to a picture of Rossi further up the thread. His body position is what I believe to be spot on. He isn't crossed up at all. He's hanging off just the right amount, not too little, not too much, he has a good lock on the bike. His upper body is parallel to the bike, not twisted at all, but he is sitting tall, possibly making his position appear crossed up.

 

Rossi's position would be the most favourable for several reasons. Better visibility over a larger area. More confidence due to his head being further away from the ground. greater wind loading on his chest, possibly holding him up alittle, as if he were clamping onto the wind for stability.

 

This is a shot of me racing a honda CB500.

 

Andrew_Cunningham_001.jpg

 

 

As can be seen here, I am hanging roughly parallel to the bike, but with my upper body high. this is partly because the track temperature was 1 degree C and I was nervous about binning it (wasn't my bike) and also because I was still getting used to the bike. but visibility was never a problem, neither was ground clearance, as can be seen by the rear brake lever, in stock position.

 

Another quicky:

 

100_21.jpeg

 

 

As can be seen here, I'm riding a Suzuki TL1000R on a track day and scrubbing the tyres in. The body is parallel with the bike and ever-so-slightly lowered. If I were racing, I would no doubt lower the upper body a slight amount and get lower as I got on the gas. but fundamentally it's all there!

 

Something to note with Rossi's position, is when he gets on the gas hard and leaves a corner, his upper body gets very low. He stays parallel with the bike but gets down, therefore pushing the bike slightly more upright and obtaining more tyre grip. he then starts to bring his head in, behind the screen as the bike is nearly vertical again but leaves his butt hanging in the wind until the cornering is over and he's on the straight, where any sudden moves would not compromise on grip.

 

Last point from me today: The shots of riders above with their chest accross the bike. I believe there is actually a gap between their chest and the bike and that if anything, they are holding onto the outside of the tank with the inside of their elbow. Having my chest on the bike during cornering makes me feel that I have no room for adjustment. An elbow can really assist with clamping on. however, this does not nesesarily mean you putting lots of weight on the front wheel. With your chest, you would be. An elbow become preferential again, due to lack of weight implications. If anything, you are helping to pull the bike over and hold it down!

 

I wonder what questions this reply will through up? lol

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  • 8 months later...

Here are three advantages to being square (not crossed up) on the bike:

 

1) Having your body parallel to the bike gets more of your weight down and to the inside of the bike. Keith mentioned

this too and this is the primary reason to hang off in the first place. Riders who cross up lose some or all of this

advantage.

 

2) When you are crossed up, your hips rotate around the tank. This forces your outside knee off the side of the tank

and prevents you from using your knee against the tank as an anchor. Most riders can't fiind a substitute for that

very critical anchor and end up latching onto the bars because they feel like they're about to fall off.

 

3) If you are going around a right-hand corner and you cross up, your body is rotating to the left. In order to look into the

corner (to the right), you need a neck like an owl.

 

 

 

4) those old sportbike riders like me can get their excess frontal protruberance (that's belly to you boys) off to one side of the tank. As a BAB of one year (27 yrs off) it works for me and keeps my body square. Still probably no excuse not to lose those extra 40lbs tho!

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LOL@ trumpy

 

I'm sure I have NO idea what you mean, haha.

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Mr Bayliss may have an unorthodox style, going against some of the reasons to hang off, seems to work for him though and interestingly he doesn't ride on the balls of his feet, check out the photo of him in an earlier post.

I guess thats why you see the sparks fly from his titanium toe sliders

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