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Need Help On The Subject 'prepare For Hang-Off'

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Let me introduce myself quickly before asking you for help.


My name is Ramon, mid-thirties and live in The Netherlands (Europe).

Until July last year I did not have any circuit experience. Did CSS level 1 in the UK in July 2015 and levels 2 and 3 in May 2016. The days at the school where at Silverstone Stowe Circuit (which is a small technical circuit).


So now my question: What is the sequence for preparing to hang-off?


Some context: When I did level 3, it was raining so I wasn't able to get the most out of the 'body position training'. Because I booked myself a track day at Assen mid-july, I went to a very small and even technicaler circuit in the beginning of july to refresh my skills as Assen would be my first 'real' circuit.


At that small circuit I could not apply the things I learned at CSS. In the first sessions I did not see a circuit, only asphalt with Some real corners and some corners made out of cones. After getting used to the circuit and getting my vision straight again (was hunting for 'where is the bloody corner?!'), I went on with trying to hang-off.


As I never had hang-off, I experienced a lot of instability when preparing to hang-off. Also noticed I was using the bars to hold on (even noticed I was neutrolizing my intented steering input by holding on).


So I found out 3 things: 1) I was not able to keep the bike stable while preparing, 2) My lock was not good and 3) I found it very difficult to (quick)steer while my upper body was already to the front and low.


With Assen only a week away I decided to use Assen to focus on vision and hook-turn/pick-up without the knees.


One day before Assen I thought about how I could stabelize the bike. The knee-to-knee came to mind and I now do it as I describe below:

1. When straight up and down: Put both knees against the tank.

2. Push with the inside knee against the tank to move one butt cheek to the inside.

3. Brake/down shift

4. Quick Turn

5. Right after quick turning I bring my upper body to the front and low on the inside


It all feels stable and I even managed to get both of my knees down at Assen. Looking at the pictures and movies I (of course) need a lot of practice.


So hopefully you can help me develop this.




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  • 4 weeks later...

Wow, no replies to this great question.


I can't give you the quality of advice a CSS instructor would, but as an (amateur) racer, I can see some things in your description that are different from what I would do. Specifically, I generally want both knees on the tank and my bum still centered in the seat at least during the hardest part of the braking. I also like to get my down shifting done as early as possible, certainly before getting my body set up for the corner. While still braking I get my bum in position for the corner, but the upper body doesn't really move over much until I initiate the turn - my body is moving into position with my outside arm becoming straight and resting on the tank as the bike is leaning over, during which time I am still trail braking - gradually releasing the brakes as the cornering forces build.


This is a racing style of cornering with significant trail braking and not really a true "quick turn" approach. I love the quick turn but it requires that you set your entry speed really early which isn't so advisable in a racing situation because you will get passed and lose the line, so in the end you will not be able to attain your normal cornering speed. Even with a true "totally off the brakes" quick turn though, I think only my bum would be positioned for the corner before starting the turn - everything else happens as the turn is initiated. I think with a decent lock on the bike this needn't introduce unwanted steering input...


Exception to all this would be two corners in the same direction (e.g., two right-handers), separated by only a short straight. In that case I would leave my bum in position for the corner during the straight, rather than bringing it back to center between the two corners.

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Thanks for your input YellowDuck!


Let me rephrase it to make sure I understand your sequence.

  1. Both knees on the tank and bum still centered in the seat during the hardest part of the braking.
  2. Down shifting done as early as possible, before getting body set up for the corner.
  3. While still braking get bum in position for the corner
  4. Upper body doesn't really move over much until I initiate the turn
  5. Upper body is moving into position - outside arm becoming straight and resting on the tank as the bike is leaning over - during which time trail braking is applied which means gradually releasing the brakes as the cornering forces build.

CSS taught me to use the initial/hard/soft braking method (initial = to get some bite, hard = shredding most of the speed, soft = get to precise entry speed).


Looking at your sequence, I assume that:

  • You downshift during the 'hard' braking part.
  • You move your bum during the 'soft' braking part.

I'm I correct?


Also I'm still trying to get a mental image how this 'initiating the turn' goes.

I think I'm over-doing the quick-turn by using it when it is not necessary. I see that most riders take a corner gradually.


Thinking about it... most of the time I'm in the 100% position with my upper body (down and low to the side) before I hit the apex. Is this a correct way of doing things?


Thanks for any input,


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Again, I don't think there is a single correct way to do this - it varies by rider and by what is going on in that particular corner.


The first part of the 3-phase CSS braking method you describe is common to all hard braking - you have to initially brake a bit gently to get the weight transfer onto the front tire, so it has the traction to then permit the much harder braking that follows.


What is not universal is the idea of getting your speed set early so that you are braking much more softly at the end of the braking zone, maybe even being fully off the brakes before you initiate the turn. That allows for true quick turn - seriously, at that point you can turn the bike as hard as possible with all your strength and you will never break front tire traction. It's very confidence-inspiring and is a really good method for upper intermediate track riding and for feeling out what the limits are for corner speeds on an unfamiliar track, but it's not ideal for racing, for the reason I mentioned. In most racing situations for corners that follow heavy braking you turn more slowly because you are still on the brakes and there is only so much traction available from the front tire.


As for everything else you wrote re: the sequence and timing of braking, bum positioning, upper body positioning etc., yes that is exactly what I was trying to communicate. And yes it is perfectly okay (I would say, normal) that you are "hanging off" to maximum extent before reaching the apex. For me the steering and upper body positioning pretty much all happen in one movement with only minor adjustments after that.

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  • 2 months later...

Ramonius - I doubt you're still looking for feedback on this but I'm trying desperately to avoid work right now so I'm going to chime in.


CSS teaches that you slide over while on the gas and before you start braking. To the point where they also say stay slid over the entire way down the straight if you have 2 corners in a row the same direction. YCRS says the same thing. That's how I prefer to do it. One instructor says that when racing she can't get enough lock for the really hard braking zones so she slides over after the initial braking period is done. This is what YellowDuck seems to do too but I just wanted to throw out there that she says "this is not how we teach it"


It's also not how the pros appear to do it. And it's not how Troy Corser teaches it. Check out his vids on youtube. They helped me.


I do this:


1) slide over before braking but keep body over bike (butt moves, upper body stays still)

2) brake and downshift

3) with a little brake pressure still remaining, I simultaneously move my body to the inside and I pull the inside bar to turn. *


* I don't mean pull the bar toward me. It's technically a push. But my elbow is very bent and to the inside of the bars it's sort of a pull. I promise we agree on the directly the bar should move (inside bar moves forward) but I'm just highlighting the fact you want to accomplish that by getting yourself inside with bent elbow and your body position will be better than if you're on top of the bars pushing away/down.


Personally I wouldn't get too hung up on quick turn. If you're on the racing line, you're probably doing a quick turn. If you turn in slowly, you'll either have to turn in early and/or miss the apex. If you can hit the turn-in point and still make the apex, you turned in quickly enough. Think about where you want to be on the track and using the vision skills you picked up in class (2 step, 3 step, etc) then simply ride the correctly line. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel like the quick turn was simply to give us the fundamental skills to do the subsequent drills. I never consciously think "this is how fast I need to drop the bike into a corner". I just think "this is where I want to be before I turn and I have to get back to that apex" and by looking at the correct spots on the track it just intuitively happens.

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Hi BikeSpeedman,


Thanks for your input (same to YellowDuck for his last reply).


Upcoming season I'm going to focus more on one part of riding when doing a track day (instead of trying to progress on many things in only one day) and first 'exercise' will be on getting the most out of straights. So I will be reviewing my prepare-sequence again.

I want to try the different approaches (bum off while hard braking vs bum off after initial braking) and experience what the difference will be when I'll be more gradually.


And I will use this "If you can hit the turn-in point and still make the apex, you turned in quickly enough." to review it all. Thank you for this eye-opener.




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And I will use this "If you can hit the turn-in point and still make the apex, you turned in quickly enough." to review it all. Thank you for this eye-opener.



If you wanted to enter that same turn with a higher entry speed, what would you have to do with your turn rate to still make that same apex? :)

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