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Perfect Cornering Posture for the Street and Track Riding | Motorcycle Riding Techniques


How we sit on a motorcycle can make
dramatic changes to how the bike behaves. So stick around, because we’re going to
be talking about how to have great cornering posture for the street and the
track. Hi I’m Dave with Canyon Chasers dot net. Today, we’re going to be talking
about one of my favorite subjects; posture. How we sit on a motorcycle can
really enhance how we interact with that motorcycle, and don’t worry the
fundamentals of what we’re going to be talking about today work no matter what
kind of bike you’re on. From a cruiser, to a tour bike, to a scooter. But first a key
point. The more a motorcycle leans, the more traction is being used for
cornering. So one of the great things we can do with our bodies, is use our weight
to reduce how much that bike is leaning, thereby reducing risk. Why do racers hang
so far off the bike? Well, the reason you hear most often is so that they can
reduce lean angle and go faster. But there is another reason that is rarely
brought up. One of the key reasons why professional riders sit on the
motorcycle the way they do, is not only to reduce lean angle, but to also enhance
how well they can see through a corner. And we would argue that, for us mere
mortalsm enhancing our visibility through a corner is more important than reducing
lean angle. For the street, or for the track. For a cruiser or a super bike, the
fundamentals are effectively the same. But on the street, we travel at lower
speeds, and since we don’t necessarily want to draw undue attention to
ourselves on a Sunday street ride, street posture is less extreme. But since most
of us start riding on the street before we go to the track, we’re gonna’ cover
street posture first. Because correct street posture will translate directly
to correct track posture. so how do we make this happen?
Well, you’ve most likely heard, or you had your buddy tell you, that you need to get
your butt out of the seat. And that’s true… to a point. The problem with this
advice is that it focuses our attention on the wrong part of the body, and if
it’s done incorrectly, it can actually compromise how well we can see through the corner. Let me explain. If one of the key things
we’re trying to do with posture is to enhance our ability to see through a
corner, then we want to think with our chest and shoulders. Slightly rotating our shoulders, or pointing our zipper
through the corner, can really enhance our ability to see where we’re going. Now
if we go back to the butt and we just slide our butt off the seat, like a lot
of riders tend to do, it actually takes our shoulders and points them away from
where we’re trying to go. It actually makes it harder for us to look through
the turn. And then finally, our bum is actually really close to center mass on
the motorcycle. Where we put our bum actually has very little impact on
reducing lean angle of the motorcycle, compared to where we put our head and
our shoulders. The average human head weighs about five kilos. The average
motorcycle helmet weighs just under two kilos. So, let’s use a four kilo bowling
ball as an illustration, with the basic understanding, that your head and helmet
weighs just a bit less than double what our bowling ball weighs. Everyone meet
William. -Look at the size of that boy’s heed – When we hold William close to our
center mass, he doesn’t have much of an effect. he’s pretty easy to manage. – I’m not kidding that’s like an orange on a toothpick – But if we hold William out
and away the farther away he gets from center of mass the harder he is to
manage and the bigger impact he actually has. – You’re give the boy a complex.
– Well that’s a huge noggin. – How that relates to our posture is that while yes, where we put our bum on
the motorcycle does make a difference, where we put our head and chest and
shoulders makes a far bigger difference relative to the rest of the motorcycle. – William! Move your head! – When we see riders that are focused on where their butt is, they’ll slide
their butt out of the seat, but in order to stay connected to the bike, they’ll
tend to hold onto the handlebars tighter. Which causes their head and chest to
stay on top of the bike. Twisted away from the direction of travel. Most will
even start counter weighting the bike, which causes the bike to actually lean
more. That’s a lot of work for a negative impact. We want to reduce lean angle, as
well as enhance our ability to see through the corner. So if we focus on
where we place our head and chest, less effort will result in more gains. – Head! Move! – For Street riding it’s unnecessary to
hang way off the bike, but little adjustments can make a big difference.
So, when you’re riding along, start by sliding back in the seat, to leave a
little bit of room between your pelvis and the gas tank. Slide your inside foot
back, so that the ball of your foot is on the foot peg, or imagine you’re holding
onto the foot peg with your toes. Slide your outside foot forward, until the heel
of your boot catches on the peg. This helps rotate our hips towards, or
into the turn. It also connects our outside leg to the bike, making it easier
to hang on with our legs. Also, our inside foot is less likely to drag, and we can
put more weight on that inside foot peg to help the bike turn. Now,
simply put all of your weight on your inside sit bone. The easiest way to get
all of our weight on that inside sit bone is to lean our head and chest to
the inside of the bike. Plus, if we’ve allowed our hips to rotate, it makes it
much easier to point the zipper through the corner enhancing our visibility through
the turn. How much you move your upper body depends on how much you want to
reduce lean angle, and how much you want to enhance your visibility. A lot of this
depends on your speed, and the radius of the corner. The quicker you’re going, the
more you should be moving your body. So, if you need to move more, drop your
inside shoulder. Straighten your outside arm. Open your chest to the corner, and
lean towards where you want to go. Remember to keep your head and eyes up.
You are going to be leaning so you’ll need to look up even more to keep your
eyes up and out. Because we are focused on our head and chest, even a little bit
of movement can make a big improvement, to not only reduce lean angle, but also
enhance our ability to see through the corner. You can get a sense if you’re
doing this correctly if you start to see chicken strips on your tire again. But
don’t think of these as chicken strips so much as your “margin for error” because,
remember, the objective here is to reduce the bikes lean angle. It’s the exact same
technique as the street, only we need to do more of it. Because we’re going really
fast, we need to really get off the bik,e to really reduce lean angle. Again, slide
back in the seat to make room, but you may need to slide back more than you do
on the street. Slide your inside foot back; toes on the peg.
And your outside foot goes forward. You’ll notice that your knee really gets
locked into those scallops on the tank, really enhancing your security on the
bike. There’s a lot of ways to think about what needs to happen next. We’re
gonna mention the ones that we’ve found seemed to help riders the most. Make that
upper or outer arm a straight line. Drape your upper outer arm across the tank.
Make a straight line through the lower clip-on to your elbow. Point your inside
elbow at the ground. Put your chin above your wrist. Kiss your inside mirror (or
where it would be). Put your upper ribs on the lower side of the gas tank. Find one
of these that works for you, one that helps you find a physical reference that
you can return to and be consistent. Now, you’re likely going to notice that in
order to do this, your bum has to be moving around on the seat. If you’re
doing it correctly, you’re gonna find one cheek out of the seat and one cheek
still in the seat. We still want to avoid taking our entire butt out of the seat
because that disconnects us from the motorcycle, and we still want to maintain
that connection. Particularly if we encounter a bump mid corner. You’ll also
notice that your inside leg, your knee, has come out and away from the bike to
help support the weight of your upper body, and is now in the correct position
to potentially drag your knee. But what about your hands? Instead of holding on
to the inside grip like this. Hold on to it like this; the way you would turn a
doorknob. All you have to do is rotate your wrist. Less effort and more
precision. Plus, with all that weight on your inside leg, and your outside leg
locked into the tank, it should be a lot easier to be light on your hands. Try to
let go with your hands and maintain the same position. This helps us stay light
on the controls. Still holding on too tight? think about engaging your core or
pressing down on the foot pegs with your feet. If you do it right you should
notice the weight on your arms and hands just melting away.
In either case for the street or the track we want to keep our spine straight.
Not twisted or curved. If you’re struggling keeping your spine straight,
you probably just need to slide back in the seat a little further, to make more
room. If you’re doing everything right, when you get those track day photographs,
you’re gonna feel just like Valentino Rossi, or Andrea Dovizioso, or Jorge
Lorenzo… Look at that outside foot. Their spine is straight, leading with their
head. Small changes can make a big difference. Good posture will help you stay light on the controls, help you see better through
a corner, help the motorcycle change direction, and help reduce lean angle. All
of which works to reduce risk. For me, personally, I really enjoy working on
posture, and it’s something I find myself playing with almost every time I ride my
motorcycle. We’ve added a link in the description to some great resources,
including “Sport Riding Techniques.” This wonderful resource covers these tips and
many others in great detail. We’ve also provided links to some credible riding
schools where you can work on these skills with a qualified riding coach. If
you have anything you’d like to add, or you have any questions, be sure to leave
a comment below. We read every comment and try to respond to as many as we can.
Be sure to click like and subscribe and click on that little bell if you’d like
to be notified whenever we upload a new video. Be sure to check out CanyonChasers
dot net or our YouTube channel for more great content. Thanks so much for
watching and ride well. – Head! Move!

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