Sitting straight up vs. partial hang when cornering hard? - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 21 Old 08-24-2016, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Sitting straight up vs. partial hang when cornering hard?

So I just got done riding tail of the dragon a couple weeks ago and wanted to know what peoples thoughts are on sitting straight up versus hanging one butt cheek off when taking corners fast. I felt like my FZ1 mechanically had more potential than what I physically did. I didn't hang off through the tight turns, just stayed straight and leaned with it. On the extremely tight turns (10 mph rated turns), I would shift my weight opposite of the bike like you would in a slow tight turn in a parking lot for instance. I was wanting to know what the correct protocol is when riding aggressively.

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post #2 of 21 Old 08-25-2016, 05:34 AM
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Do one track day and you'll learn heaps.
People will debate whether or not hanging off (even 1 cheek) is appropriate on the street, but i believe you learn to ride the right way and do it always. it can be especialy helpful on the street because the bike will be less leaned giving you more traction, so when you suddenly realize it's a decreasing radius or there's gravel on your intended line, you have room to lean in to it more without running out of tire. In the rain leaning off can help you keep the bike more upright (more contact patch) improving traction.

what you described on the slow tight corners is what's called crossed up. you do it at parking lot speeds because it enables you to turn the bike sharply when you don't have the the power through the tires required to beat gravity.. ie if you leaned a bike 55degrees at 5mph and weren't on the gas it would fall over.
It is also how you ride dirtbikes because you don't have the traction to put that much lateral force on the contact patch without it washing out.

When you do it on a street bike, you lean the bike farther than necessary and minimize your contact patch.

See how this looks wrong compared to the modern day motogp pics? How small his contact patch must be (and how huge his balls)

this rider has minimized his contact patch, but if he had correct body position he would increase his traction and be able to take the turn faster:

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post #3 of 21 Old 08-25-2016, 06:20 AM
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HERE'S THE BIG THING ABOUT MOVING YOUR BUTT OFF.. it's not that important:

your upper body has more weight and leverage (because it's farther from the center of gravity of the bike) than your butt.
Move your upper body toward the inside of the turn by bending your inside elbow. Pretend your blind and trying to read a wristwatch. and move your head off the centerline of the bike


watch twist of the wrist II. it's on youtube. Do a track day.
For most street riding there's little need for moving your butt off. it's fine if you want to, but it can be a lot more work than is necessary. once you start using correct body position you might feel slower on the street because the bike isn't leaned as much.

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post #4 of 21 Old 08-25-2016, 07:03 AM
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insert obligitory self gratifying photo here.... moving any part of your weight lower than the bikes center of gravity will always help. That being said, dragging knee on the street is downright dumb in my opinion. Scooting a cheek off the edge of the seat makes me feel more comfortable when taking turns as well, so I usually do it more out of habit than anything.
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post #5 of 21 Old 08-26-2016, 10:29 AM
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You would need a coach to show you proper body positioning at a track. Bad habits are learned from riding on the street. Your FZ1 will always mechanically have more than what you can give it on the street. The track is the only place where you can really push a bike to it's limits. Once you know how, there's really nothing wrong with dragging knee on the street in my opinion. I just gotta make sure that I know the road really well, scouted it to make sure there's no sand or new potholes, and always ride with a buddy if I can.

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post #6 of 21 Old 08-26-2016, 11:19 AM
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Body positioning will come naturally if you follow the basics and that starts with Foot Positioning where the balls of your feet on always on your footpegs. By placing your feet in that position you modify the way you sit on the bike which then lends itself to naturally moving off the bike side to side using your feet as the pivot point. This in turn also aids in proper position of your upper body for not only maintaining a proper grasp on the bars, but also helping to move your head into the correct position which allows you to move your focal point further out in front of you for a wider field of vision and allowing the bike to go where you are looking. All of these things are building blocks to riding proficiently.

Dragging a knee on the street is neither needed or prudent. All you are doing is making it more difficult for future generations to enjoy the sport by riding around like a twat on public roads. If you want to ride aggressively take it to the track period.

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post #7 of 21 Old 08-26-2016, 12:45 PM
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LDH I very much respect your opinion and I absolutely agree that the track is the place to go, but not everyone is able to get to a track. I live 4 hours away from the nearest track. On top of that, they are by no means cheap and I'm sure you know that pretty well. While I will still be making that trek this monday, sometimes a spirited ride is needed to fill in the gaps.(Obviously in a place where I'm not bothering anyone else.) So for those of us that don't exactly have the money or the time to dedicate to a full blown track day every time we want to ride, what would you suggest?

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post #8 of 21 Old 08-26-2016, 12:45 PM
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"insert obligitory self gratifying photo here...."

heh heh


and some guy i got a pic of that i think looks really cool:
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-26-2016, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanktm View Post
LDH I very much respect your opinion and I absolutely agree that the track is the place to go, but not everyone is able to get to a track. I live 4 hours away from the nearest track. On top of that, they are by no means cheap and I'm sure you know that pretty well. While I will still be making that trek this monday, sometimes a spirited ride is needed to fill in the gaps.(Obviously in a place where I'm not bothering anyone else.) So for those of us that don't exactly have the money or the time to dedicate to a full blown track day every time we want to ride, what would you suggest?
I have a semi-unique perspective on this because I used to be exactly like you. I used to rip it up on public roads both solo and in riding groups all over the South and Midwest. I even got arrested at a Honda Sport Touring Association event way back when. Then occasionally I would go to a trackday and then spend another several months trying to emulate what I did at the trackday while riding on the roads. Over the years as I became more proficient at riding and way better prepared to evaluate myself as a rider I learned there is no place for that kind of aggressive riding on public roads. It does not exist. There is no place in all of the public roadways where you have the right to put yourself or others in harms way. It doesn't matter how desolate the area is or how many recon missions you made before letting it loose. Anything over the speed limit is illegal and public roads, complete with dirt and debris, anti-freeze and oil from vehicles and even remains of dead animals let alone the live ones that wander into your path, are NEVER as grippy as a prepared track surface. May not even be you that is the problem, could be some idiot cager crossing the double yellow line on a blind turn and leaving you no out. Either way you are going to be on the losing end of any motorcycle crash when you are the rider.

Ultimately riding fast on public roads is a futile, deceiving exercise. As an instructor I can tell you beyond any shadow of doubt that you aren't even beginning to touch the capabilities of the bike on backroad twisties and the only thing you will teach yourself is how to increase the level of disregard for your own personal safety by taking more risks than you should as you get more comfortable not with the bike and its handling traits, but with the amount of personal risk you find acceptable.

The track on the other hand will teach you control and allow you to push the bike way way further than ever possible on the street all while maintaining a much higher margin of error and safety. Additionally if you do mess up there is at least one ambulance if not two just waiting for you right there on site a mere seconds away from you. That is where you should be riding aggressively at.

If you think the track is too expensive and too far just wait until you hit a car head-on or get your body slammed between a guardrail and your bike or just get caught up in one good speeding ticket plus the add-ons they like to charge for by a Highway Patrol with a grudge against bikers. The court costs alone will make a trackday seem cheap let alone lawyer fees, insurance hikes and getting sued by someone you injured or caused property damage to. The reason I know your justification is flawed is because I have already been there and done that.
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-26-2016, 03:33 PM
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Trackdays ruined street riding for me, and i've only done three.

+1 to LDH's futile comment. even some of my favorite local twisty roads (prior to track riding) are now just frustrating because you feel slow in comparison to what you know you can do. I'll still go out and thrash them occassionally but it's not nearly as satisfying as it used to be.
In a sense it's ruined sporty streetbikes for me. i'm looking forward to having some fun on this 88 hawk gt i got, the whole "slow bike fast thing".
On the street i'm finding it more satisfying if i have a smooth run through the twistys vs as fast as i can. that said, i still speed and still push it, but i'm definitely conflicted about it. i think my road riding will become more so about exploring and travelling or character once i have the space for a track bike, classic, and adventure or sport touring.

i don't really agree with people that make it seem like doing anything aggressive on the street is abhorrent, i still think you should be able to enjoy the bike/road, but not be pushing things to the edge.
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post #11 of 21 Old 08-26-2016, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CKutz_GO View Post

i don't really agree with people that make it seem like doing anything aggressive on the street is abhorrent, i still think you should be able to enjoy the bike/road, but not be pushing things to the edge.
this summarizes my thoughts
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post #12 of 21 Old 08-26-2016, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH View Post
I have a semi-unique perspective on this because I used to be exactly like you. I used to rip it up on public roads both solo and in riding groups all over the South and Midwest. I even got arrested at a Honda Sport Touring Association event way back when. Then occasionally I would go to a trackday and then spend another several months trying to emulate what I did at the trackday while riding on the roads. Over the years as I became more proficient at riding and way better prepared to evaluate myself as a rider I learned there is no place for that kind of aggressive riding on public roads. It does not exist. There is no place in all of the public roadways where you have the right to put yourself or others in harms way. It doesn't matter how desolate the area is or how many recon missions you made before letting it loose. Anything over the speed limit is illegal and public roads, complete with dirt and debris, anti-freeze and oil from vehicles and even remains of dead animals let alone the live ones that wander into your path, are NEVER as grippy as a prepared track surface. May not even be you that is the problem, could be some idiot cager crossing the double yellow line on a blind turn and leaving you no out. Either way you are going to be on the losing end of any motorcycle crash when you are the rider.

Ultimately riding fast on public roads is a futile, deceiving exercise. As an instructor I can tell you beyond any shadow of doubt that you aren't even beginning to touch the capabilities of the bike on backroad twisties and the only thing you will teach yourself is how to increase the level of disregard for your own personal safety by taking more risks than you should as you get more comfortable not with the bike and its handling traits, but with the amount of personal risk you find acceptable.

The track on the other hand will teach you control and allow you to push the bike way way further than ever possible on the street all while maintaining a much higher margin of error and safety. Additionally if you do mess up there is at least one ambulance if not two just waiting for you right there on site a mere seconds away from you. That is where you should be riding aggressively at.

If you think the track is too expensive and too far just wait until you hit a car head-on or get your body slammed between a guardrail and your bike or just get caught up in one good speeding ticket plus the add-ons they like to charge for by a Highway Patrol with a grudge against bikers. The court costs alone will make a trackday seem cheap let alone lawyer fees, insurance hikes and getting sued by someone you injured or caused property damage to. The reason I know your justification is flawed is because I have already been there and done that.
Very well said.
Includes all relevant points.
Says what needs to be said.

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post #13 of 21 Old 08-27-2016, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CKutz_GO View Post
Trackdays ruined street riding for me, and i've only done three.

i don't really agree with people that make it seem like doing anything aggressive on the street is abhorrent, i still think you should be able to enjoy the bike/road, but not be pushing things to the edge.
+1 to everything LDH has said. I also agree with CKutz in regards to street riding being ruined. I haven't gone to a track day in 3 years but will finally be able to go to one for my birthday within the next couple of months. It's so worth it.

I understand what CKutz is trying to say in regards to the abhorrent comment. The point people try to make with this approach is the risk factor. The reward compared to the risks does not even come close.

I feel like going to the track helps me remain a sensible rider on the street. It's good risk management while having fun.

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post #14 of 21 Old 08-29-2016, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH View Post
Body positioning will come naturally if you follow the basics and that starts with Foot Positioning where the balls of your feet on always on your footpegs. By placing your feet in that position you modify the way you sit on the bike which then lends itself to naturally moving off the bike side to side using your feet as the pivot point.
I can't agree with this enough... It's amazing how quickly things started coming together once I got my feet doing the right thing. The biggest thing I had an issue with was I was keeping my feet straight back instead of heel in toe out, which basically locked up the whole rest of my body. After tracking down a coach and showing him where my boot was wearing he very quickly set me straight and everything started making much more sense.

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post #15 of 21 Old 08-29-2016, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by badmoon692008 View Post
I can't agree with this enough... It's amazing how quickly things started coming together once I got my feet doing the right thing. The biggest thing I had an issue with was I was keeping my feet straight back instead of heel in toe out, which basically locked up the whole rest of my body. After tracking down a coach and showing him where my boot was wearing he very quickly set me straight and everything started making much more sense.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with heel in / toe out as long as it does not hinder the natural movement of your body on the bike which can be an issue with a more upright sitting position. Generally speaking though heel in / toe out is exactly what you want and allows you the extra leverage you need to weight both inside and outside pegs as needed. in some cases when more leverage is needed to stand the bike up on exit you will see Pro riders use their heel (see rossi below), but maintain the same angle of heel/toe. The inside foot placement is more critical though as you do not want the toe of your boot getting pulled under the foot peg which will hyper-extend your ankle with the quickness.


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post #16 of 21 Old 08-29-2016, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH View Post
There is absolutely nothing wrong with heel in / toe out as long as it does not hinder the natural movement of your body on the bike which can be an issue with a more upright sitting position. Generally speaking though heel in / toe out is exactly what you want and allows you the extra leverage you need to weight both inside and outside pegs as needed. in some cases when more leverage is needed to stand the bike up on exit you will see Pro riders use their heel (see rossi below), but maintain the same angle of heel/toe. The inside foot placement is more critical though as you do not want the toe of your boot getting pulled under the foot peg which will hyper-extend your ankle with the quickness.

I think some wires got crossed. My problem was that I was NOT doing heel in/toe out and was keeping my feet straight or even heel slightly out. This was causing me all sorts of issues with body position, scraping my soles/etc.

So I think we're in agreement, I just wasn't clear enough.

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post #17 of 21 Old 08-29-2016, 11:16 AM
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Roger that.

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post #18 of 21 Old 08-31-2016, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvster View Post
+1 to everything LDH has said. I also agree with CKutz in regards to street riding being ruined. I haven't gone to a track day in 3 years but will finally be able to go to one for my birthday within the next couple of months. It's so worth it.

I understand what CKutz is trying to say in regards to the abhorrent comment. The point people try to make with this approach is the risk factor. The reward compared to the risks does not even come close.

I feel like going to the track helps me remain a sensible rider on the street. It's good risk management while having fun.
As I got quicker on track, I went slower on the street.

As I got more proficient on the track, my street riding got smoother.

I still love road riding, but know that the fastest street pace is putz pace on track, plus realizing that fastest street pace is one thing and one thing only, an invitation to disaster, the consequences of which will most likely affect more people than just the rider.
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post #19 of 21 Old 09-15-2016, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't been on here in awhile, but I was talking to my buddies dad who is a very experienced and knowledgeable rider about how to corner safely and also aggressively. He told me to hang one cheek off the side and push on the opposite peg when cornering. He also mentioned that the entrance/exit of the corner is more important than your body technique. Enter high, mid turn low, exit high. He said when partially hanging off it allows you to get your head farther out to, "kiss the mirror." He said to make sure that you are still reaching your head out, or you'll get crossed up which means that your head is still inline and your lower body is on the outside. Basically getting off the bike a little allows your head to reach out more which creates better contact. Does this sound correct? I believe what he says because I have been told by many that ride with him he is an amazing rider who is hard to catch. One of the guys I talked to said they went to the dragon and my buddies dad has a KLR (traded his 919 after 9 years for the KLR) and the guy has an RC51 and he said that it was hilarious because he couldnt catch him in the turns.

P.S. wish I wouldv'e bought his 919. He takes immaculate care of his machines and it was done up right.

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post #20 of 21 Old 09-17-2016, 01:33 PM
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It's official..... I'm a twat.

I refer dragging a knee, or peg on the road as a Circus Stunt. But I succumb to it once in a while. Don't ask me why.

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post #21 of 21 Old 09-18-2016, 08:01 AM
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Putnam still does motorcycle Track Days. I'm a little surprised. I thought the facility had been bought by a bunch of rich guys from Indy.

my old 2 piece Honda leathers were a bit snug 12 years ago. They have since, shrunk a bit. Go figure. Joe Rocket 6.0 seems to be a decent value for a light duty suit. Or maybe I can find a nice used set.

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