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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, so I've been watching a lot of MotoGP and WSBK lately. I always watch closely to each rider's riding style since I'm still learning. One thing that I noticed from a few riders is that some won't fully 'hug' their outside leg while cornering. I attached a recent race photo from WSBK to show you what I mean.

I've been taught at California Superbike School to use your outside leg to hug against the tank. Even for me I still have problems fully hugging the tank at times. I've adjusted my seating position and my rearsets to try to find that perfect point of contact between my knees and the tank at a race position. Just as people say with a fist between the tank and your crotch, I find that the best position for me to have the most contact with my knees and the tank while leaning.

I've read several threads about this and have gotten different input. I feel that having my outside leg having solid contact with the tank while cornering, I'm able to relax pretty much all of my upper body and inside leg. But whenever I see a few racers NOT have that solid contact with their legs against the tank, I'm just curious to know if there are any advantages with that style. Are you able to hang off more and keep the bike more upright? What do you guys do?
 

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One thing that pictures do not tell is the bike's dynamics at the time (under accel, under braking, surface camber angle, elevation change, etc) and what is coming up next. As you know, when you're at the track you are much more agile on the bike than on the street. On the street, you ride on top of the bike like a chair; on the track, you try to be as transparent to the dynamics of the bike as possible, as the bike tracks best when there is no rider at all (or rather, that the inputs are as smooth and light as possible to maintain control; wrestling against the controls often has poor results.)

With this in mind, you can't truly read body position in a photograph as a value between right and wrong without being the rider in question at the time. I know my form is different when I am entering a 100mph+ uphand sweeper versus the top part of a 40mph chicane that moves downhill; a lot of that will change where my butt is on the seat, which will cause my knees to be further or closer to the tank at various times.

Sorry about the non-answer; I would say, this kind of study doesn't bear much fruit. I liked to look at trackday photos of myself, and compare them to other riders in the same corner, and think back to how I felt in terms of physical comfort and confidence. A TD coach that offers filming and analysis can go a long way towards this as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
One thing that pictures do not tell is the bike's dynamics at the time (under accel, under braking, surface camber angle, elevation change, etc) and what is coming up next. As you know, when you're at the track you are much more agile on the bike than on the street. On the street, you ride on top of the bike like a chair; on the track, you try to be as transparent to the dynamics of the bike as possible, as the bike tracks best when there is no rider at all (or rather, that the inputs are as smooth and light as possible to maintain control; wrestling against the controls often has poor results.)

With this in mind, you can't truly read body position in a photograph as a value between right and wrong without being the rider in question at the time. I know my form is different when I am entering a 100mph+ uphand sweeper versus the top part of a 40mph chicane that moves downhill; a lot of that will change where my butt is on the seat, which will cause my knees to be further or closer to the tank at various times.

Sorry about the non-answer; I would say, this kind of study doesn't bear much fruit. I liked to look at trackday photos of myself, and compare them to other riders in the same corner, and think back to how I felt in terms of physical comfort and confidence. A TD coach that offers filming and analysis can go a long way towards this as well.


Wow I did not expect a write-up like that but it was very detailed and explanatory. Thanks for taking your time posting! And I also agree with pretty much everything you said!
 

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Also consider that you just need enough contact from your thigh that you don't load the bars. Depending on how lanky you are and the shape of the tank, that might mean your knees stick out past it in certain places.

Chaz is pretty tall for a Pani at 6ft.

If you look at this pic you can see he is holding on with his outside leg.

 

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I agree with the above statement of it's tough to tell in pictures.

If i were to venture a guess in pic one he is still more upright and trail braking hard. He is in more of a neutral position. There is a transition of body lean between this first pic and then to the apex (second pic) where you get more of the upper body off the bike and will require more holding on with the leg. If you look at pics of top riders from the opposite side of the bike you will always see little of their body and to allow this will always require holding with the leg/thigh.

just my .02
 

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It all has to do with how close your nuts are to the tank. If you are up on the tank then your leg will stick out. (Like in the picture) If you are ass back as far as you can go in the seat, then you can get your knee to "hug the tank", right where your Spec Pads are. The problem is that in every corner you can not always be "ass back" and some riders like the nuts up style. It is all preference... They also teach every novice rider that you want to weight the outside peg while cornering and use it to pick the bike back up. Most the fast guys use the heel and back of the calf to hug the outside of the bike and hardly ever put any weight on the outside peg. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Also consider that you just need enough contact from your thigh that you don't load the bars. Depending on how lanky you are and the shape of the tank, that might mean your knees stick out past it in certain places.

Chaz is pretty tall for a Pani at 6ft.

If you look at this pic you can see he is holding on with his outside leg.



That probably explains why sometimes riders look like a gorilla on the bike and yeah all tanks are slightly different.
 

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trying to copy other people's body position isn't going to help you. the best body position is the one that works for you.

in case you haven't noticed, the best on the planet all do it differently
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I agree with the above statement of it's tough to tell in pictures.



If i were to venture a guess in pic one he is still more upright and trail braking hard. He is in more of a neutral position. There is a transition of body lean between this first pic and then to the apex (second pic) where you get more of the upper body off the bike and will require more holding on with the leg. If you look at pics of top riders from the opposite side of the bike you will always see little of their body and to allow this will always require holding with the leg/thigh.



just my .02


The pic that I provided probably was a bad example since he wasn't at the point of apex and he wasn't at full lean, like you said probably trail braking hard and being upright. I also rely on holding on to the bike with my outside leg at full lean. It's just that I see some riders don't 'fully' hug the tank with their leg. It's not an issue to them obviously, but like someone mentioned, just enough contact with you outside let and the tank should be enough to get that lock position?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It all has to do with how close your nuts are to the tank. If you are up on the tank then your leg will stick out. (Like in the picture) If you are ass back as far as you can go in the seat, then you can get your knee to "hug the tank", right where your Spec Pads are. The problem is that in every corner you can not always be "ass back" and some riders like the nuts up style. It is all preference... They also teach every novice rider that you want to weight the outside peg while cornering and use it to pick the bike back up. Most the fast guys use the heel and back of the calf to hug the outside of the bike and hardly ever put any weight on the outside peg. LOL


The fist between the tank and crotch method is what works for me. I've tried to use my heel and back of the calf to hug outside the bike but it feels really weird so yeah I stopped doing that lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
trying to copy other people's body position isn't going to help you. the best body position is the one that works for you.



in case you haven't noticed, the best on the planet all do it differently


I'm not sure if your reply is directed toward me or the general audience. If it's directed towards me, I'm not trying to copy another riders body position. I have my own and I'm pretty comfortable with it at the moment. Sometimes I just like to take a step back and learn why people do certain things with their riding style. My coach at track school gave me suggestions on what I could do to improve my speed rather than telling me "this is what you need to do." I understand that there is no "one way" style of doing things especially in this sport. I don't think there is anything wrong trying new styles or making little adjustment. Who knows if you could improve off of it?
 

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im not a pro nor am i in advance group so my experience is limited, but for me it all depends on the speed and on the turn on some turns im balls deep hugging with my knee and on some turns my knee is way out and i dig deep with my heel to hang on so from my experience it all depends on the rider and on your surroundings. dont copy the rider in front of you you, it might leave you sliding on the track. what works for others might not work for you.

for example: some riders stick out their leg when braking for the turn like dirt bike riders while other say its dumb.. it works for some doesnt mean you have to do it.
 

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I'm not sure if your reply is directed toward me or the general audience. If it's directed towards me, I'm not trying to copy another riders body position. I have my own and I'm pretty comfortable with it at the moment. Sometimes I just like to take a step back and learn why people do certain things with their riding style. My coach at track school gave me suggestions on what I could do to improve my speed rather than telling me "this is what you need to do." I understand that there is no "one way" style of doing things especially in this sport. I don't think there is anything wrong trying new styles or making little adjustment. Who knows if you could improve off of it?

it was in response to the dozens upon dozens of threads we get about body position.

there are instructors who will preach a certain method (probably so the students feel that they've actually been told something for all the money they handed out) and others who will say do what works for you, because you're the only one riding the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #15


This is a good article about body positioning in general, especially for the riders that are so badly wanting to get their elbows down or even drag their first knee.

The one thing that I took away from track school is to do what works best for you. Everyone has a different riding style than others. I still think it's good to talk about these certain topics because we can all learn a thing or two even if you're already comfortable with your own body position.
 

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Ive noticed what your talking about as well i kinda came to the conclusion that it looks like there hanging on with there calf or heel like wit said. Almost looks like the calf digs into the subframe on most pics.

Ill disagree with wibs copying anothers riders bp may or may not help you only you can know after you try it. Im general it gives you a good idea of what works for some
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ive noticed what your talking about as well i kinda came to the conclusion that it looks like there hanging on with there calf or heel like wit said. Almost looks like the calf digs into the subframe on most pics.



Ill disagree with wibs copying anothers riders bp may or may not help you only you can know after you try it. Im general it gives you a good idea of what works for some


That calf and heel method I primarily see racers do. I'll see some guys do it at the track too. But myself and all of my riding buddies just stay at the balls of the feet on the peg for the outside leg. Then I'll do a small "calf raise" to secure my leg against my tank grips. This method has worked for me and able to do a whole session without my legs being completely exhausted. In the beginning, I couldn't make it through a whole session without my legs being completely exhausted but once I found that sweet spot grip for my outside leg against the tank, it made things a whole lot easier!

So yeah I'd say it's riders preference. Maybe if I was on a different bike with a different tank, my body position would adjust again.
 

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I will say this about some specific positioning:

My initial track days, I was really getting sore knees after each session. This was fixed by moving my butt back on my seat and truly squatting, rather than kneeling - also key to this, was putting the *middle* of my foot on the outside peg, and not the ball. (actually the hard step on the sole of the boot where the heel starts). This helped immensely (well, for me anyway.)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I will say this about some specific positioning:



My initial track days, I was really getting sore knees after each session. This was fixed by moving my butt back on my seat and truly squatting, rather than kneeling - also key to this, was putting the *middle* of my foot on the outside peg, and not the ball. (actually the hard step on the sole of the boot where the heel starts). This helped immensely (well, for me anyway.)


Perhaps something like this? Image1460590937.166757.jpg I've also tried that before and am able to lock my outside leg doing that, but it felt unnatural to me. I see a lot of racers do it that way. I'm not sure if there's actually a real benefit to doing it that way.
 

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Yes, correct. You will find that putting the outside foot on the peg there is almost universal among racers.

If you put the ball of your foot on the outside peg, you will squat using too much of your patellar tendon instead of your quadriceps, which is both hard on your knees and very tiring.
 
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