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Bike Height


Alex
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Question:

 

In watching differnce racing scenarioes from AMA to Moto GP, I was wondering if race prepped bikes sit lower than the standard sport bikes that you can buy today? The reason I ask is it appears that they do not have to lean as far to get their knee down onto the pavement. This may be due to the limitations of watching it on TV.

 

I have done quite a few track days and will be entering into class #2 this weekend with your great school. I have rubbed the rubber on my tires within 3/8" to the edge while properly hanging off, knee out but have yet to "touch" that magical pavement.

 

This may sound like a silly question to some but this is a personal goal of mine. I have knee pucks that need breaking in! B)

 

Thanks,

 

Alex

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  • 4 weeks later...

There are no silly questions, just silly answers. Right?

 

I don't know what setup racers use, but I know it would differ between each racer. And yes, lowering your bike will get your knee closer to the ground, but it will also get hard parts of your bike, like your fairing or pegs, closer as well. First off, find a site to show you how to set the sag for your bike, and find a couple friends to help you do it. Suspension height won't matter if it becomes more comfortable to you. It doesn't matter how close you are if you aren't comfortable. Hanging off of the bike more makes it easier to drag also, but personally it gives me less of a feel for the bike when my whole butt is off the seat. Dragging your knee really just comes along with your comfort level on the bike. Gradually you'll get more used to the lean angles, and you'll start getting your knee down. I have a 1000rr and I have the suspension set really really high, cause I'm 6'2, and I had no trouble at all dragging my knee on my first track day.

On the street it's different. Before I could drag my knee, I set it as a goal like you did. No matter how much I wanted it, I just couldn't seem to do it. Then, I went to Deal's Gap, and as soon as I stopped worrying about it and put my focus on my riding and on the road, it happened. It scared me the first time because I wasn't expecting it.

At the track it seemed easy, and in some corners I was able to start dragging my knee, and then lean the bike even more without worrying about the traction I had with the tires. It's still hard for me to do it on the street though because I'm always worried about not being able to see through the turn, or finding gravel, or an animal, or messing up my line and wandering into the other lane or running too wide in my own lane. I'd suggest just doing it at the track. You can't force it though, it just has to come naturally. If you put too much focus on dragging your knee, you may lose site of feeling the bike. I know it's not what you wanted to hear, but it's the only way to safely do it. The only "trick" to help you do it is hanging off more. But be careful with that because it may lessen your feel of what the bike's doing and may cause you some problems.

 

Remember though, you'll never drag your knee until you stop "trying" to do it. It just happens is all. All of the riders I know feel the exact same on the subject. I know that you will too when it happens.

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There are no silly questions, just silly answers. Right?

 

I don't know what setup racers use, but I know it would differ between each racer. And yes, lowering your bike will get your knee closer to the ground, but it will also get hard parts of your bike, like your fairing or pegs, closer as well. First off, find a site to show you how to set the sag for your bike, and find a couple friends to help you do it. Suspension height won't matter if it becomes more comfortable to you. It doesn't matter how close you are if you aren't comfortable. Hanging off of the bike more makes it easier to drag also, but personally it gives me less of a feel for the bike when my whole butt is off the seat. Dragging your knee really just comes along with your comfort level on the bike. Gradually you'll get more used to the lean angles, and you'll start getting your knee down. I have a 1000rr and I have the suspension set really really high, cause I'm 6'2, and I had no trouble at all dragging my knee on my first track day.

On the street it's different. Before I could drag my knee, I set it as a goal like you did. No matter how much I wanted it, I just couldn't seem to do it. Then, I went to Deal's Gap, and as soon as I stopped worrying about it and put my focus on my riding and on the road, it happened. It scared me the first time because I wasn't expecting it.

At the track it seemed easy, and in some corners I was able to start dragging my knee, and then lean the bike even more without worrying about the traction I had with the tires. It's still hard for me to do it on the street though because I'm always worried about not being able to see through the turn, or finding gravel, or an animal, or messing up my line and wandering into the other lane or running too wide in my own lane. I'd suggest just doing it at the track. You can't force it though, it just has to come naturally. If you put too much focus on dragging your knee, you may lose site of feeling the bike. I know it's not what you wanted to hear, but it's the only way to safely do it. The only "trick" to help you do it is hanging off more. But be careful with that because it may lessen your feel of what the bike's doing and may cause you some problems.

 

Remember though, you'll never drag your knee until you stop "trying" to do it. It just happens is all. All of the riders I know feel the exact same on the subject. I know that you will too when it happens.

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