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Body Position
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singin sweet home alabama
 
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Body Position - June 19, 2008, 09:10 AM

There's a lot of information out there concerning body position on a bike, on the track in particular - some written, some word of mouth and some of it contradictory.

In order to keep me from wasting my whole day in the Bush's legacy thread, I thought I'd start this one instead (give me thy green dots!).

First, a couple questions - where did you pick up your techniques/position? What is the single most important thing you learned?

Some sources will say to weight the outside peg in a turn, others will say to weight the inside peg, what say you and why?

If you're a more experienced track rider, how long did it take for the more extreme body position to become second nature and comfortable?

--------------

Being a track beginner - I have a host of issues I'm trying to sort out.

I think I'm fighting the bike a little bit. I have maybe 10-12 sessions of tracktime under my belt, but I still feel inconsistent and uncomfortable hanging off. I went out this past weekend to practice hanging off and see if I could find a position that suited me, but everything still felt somewhat twitchy and inconsistent. I was dragging knee, the bike was stable, but I was uncomfortable and stiff feeling. I know that lap after lap of doing that is going to wear me down before the day is out.

Also, I notice that concentrating on my body position really screws up where I'm looking - I don't look as far into the turn and my perception of speed is way out of wack such that I end up taking a turn much slower than I'm capable.

I've found that time and time again, I have to kick myself for having a death grip on the clip-ons. I'd relax, feel smooth and slow again and just a few turns later return to strangling the clip ons and lose my zen. A couple weeks ago at Summit, I began to tap/roll my fingers toward the end of straights to try and keep loose for the turn. Thinking about this naturally facked up my body position.

I can't work on multiple things at once and maintain progress - so I'll handle things one at a time and won't move on until I've perfected it and its second nature; this got me thinking. Is there an order of operations here? What would the highest priority be? Loose grip, hanging off, look into the turn etc etc. I've sort of chosen hanging off because not hanging off enough was likely my undoing at VIR last year. For all my efforts, I have good results, but I feel horribly uncomfortable - and I don't know about you, but my brain to throttle hand linkage is governed by how comfortable I feel.

Discuss the progression of a newbie track rider.


"No race has ever been won in the first corner, but plenty have been lost there."
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June 19, 2008, 09:29 AM

So I might be slow, but I do have good body position (unless people were just being nice by telling me that since im slow!)

1)I picked up my techniques from Morph and Mary.
2)I don't think there was a single most important thing, but one that surely comes to mind is simple foot positioning on the peg/rearset (ball of foot on peg with my heel resting against the top of the rearset). Also, tits on tank was a biggie
3) I weight the inside peg.... I am short so, in many cases, my foot is barely touching the outside peg in a turn. That's my reason I find myself using my outside stomp grip quite a bit as well.
4) I wouldn't call myself an "experienced track rider" but the comfort in body position took a few trackdays. As you said, when you are concentrating on body position, you're gonna screw something else up! It gets a lil frustrating. Takes a lil while for everything to come together IMO. But, like most people will tell you... all you need is seat time and it will all come together.

good thread, btw
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June 19, 2008, 09:38 AM

stop being gay people and sticking your knee out thinking youre cool!

knee pucks are used to know the limits of bike and body.

1. ass back
2. front ball of foot should be on the pegs.
3. relax arms
4. press in the direction of lean from your foot.
5. head over bars
6. look in direction of turn, not at your opponents lines.
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singin sweet home alabama
 
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June 19, 2008, 09:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladypink600rr
So I might be slow, but I do have good body position (unless people were just being nice by telling me that since im slow!)

Also, tits on tank was a biggie
You sure they weren't just saying you have a good body?

"tits on the tank" - has a good ring to it.


"No race has ever been won in the first corner, but plenty have been lost there."
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singin sweet home alabama
 
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June 19, 2008, 09:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by StreetFighter
1. ass back
There's another contradiction I've heard. Some will say keep your weight forward, others back.


"No race has ever been won in the first corner, but plenty have been lost there."
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June 19, 2008, 09:41 AM

Usually I don't respond to these but I'm bored this morning. I'm back to working on my own body position because I'm gunshy after the recent crashes so I'm typing this for my own benefit as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DvlsAdvc8
First, a couple questions - where did you pick up your techniques/position? What is the single most important thing you learned?
Bending my inside elbows toward the apex. That was a huge step forward for me because I used to straight arm the bike into corners. Once I started doing that, it instantly dropped my chest closer to the tank and helped develop body position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DvlsAdvc8
Some sources will say to weight the outside peg in a turn, others will say to weight the inside peg, what say you and why?
Although opinions differ, I'd say leave this one alone for now. Everything follows body position after a certain point and footpeg weighting is no different. Weighting the outside peg is used to help keep the bike locked to the pavement as you accelerate coming off the corner. As a new track rider, it's pretty safe to say that you're not locking the throttle at exit. Worry about this one once you can remember what cornerworker was in which turn. Meaning that you're comfortable enough on the bike to notice things outside of the tunnel in front of you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DvlsAdvc8
If you're a more experienced track rider, how long did it take for the more extreme body position to become second nature and comfortable?
Comfort is a relative term as is experienced. Some people take to this sport like a duck to water, others have to work at it, some use reading and ride mechanically, others never get it. You have to find a body position that works for you yet still allows you to achieve your speed goals. My body position now is very poor yet I would hazzard a guess that I'm faster than I was when I was Geoff May'ing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DvlsAdvc8
I think I'm fighting the bike a little bit. I have maybe 10-12 sessions of tracktime under my belt, but I still feel inconsistent and uncomfortable hanging off. I went out this past weekend to practice hanging off and see if I could find a position that suited me, but everything still felt somewhat twitchy and inconsistent. I was dragging knee, the bike was stable, but I was uncomfortable and stiff feeling. I know that lap after lap of doing that is going to wear me down before the day is out.
Keep trying. Once you find something comfy, stick with it. Eventually as your experience level increases, you become more comfortable with the track environment in general. Then you can really start playing with body position. Take note of certain things and commit them to memory as being "your style". For instance, I know that I'm in the right positions when I can feel the narrow part of the seat under my outside (of the turn) thigh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DvlsAdvc8
Also, I notice that concentrating on my body position really screws up where I'm looking - I don't look as far into the turn and my perception of speed is way out of wack such that I end up taking a turn much slower than I'm capable.
I used to have the same problem! I overcame that issue by concentrating on specific parts of positioning. Head over inside spar, outside chest to inside corner of tank (something I have to work on again), pivoting body to square up on corner, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DvlsAdvc8
I've found that time and time again, I have to kick myself for having a death grip on the clip-ons. I'd relax, feel smooth and slow again and just a few turns later return to strangling the clip ons and lose my zen. A couple weeks ago at Summit, I began to tap/roll my fingers toward the end of straights to try and keep loose for the turn. Thinking about this naturally facked up my body position.
Simple fix for this. If you catch yourself mid-corner with a death grip, just tap your fingers like you're typing. That was one of the best pieces of advice I ever received. I still do it now just to remind myself that it's there if I need it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DvlsAdvc8
I can't work on multiple things at once and maintain progress - so I'll handle things one at a time and won't move on until I've perfected it and its second nature; this got me thinking. Is there an order of operations here? What would the highest priority be? Loose grip, hanging off, look into the turn etc etc. I've sort of chosen hanging off because not hanging off enough was likely my undoing at VIR last year. For all my efforts, I have good results, but I feel horribly uncomfortable - and I don't know about you, but my brain to throttle hand linkage is governed by how comfortable I feel.

Discuss the progression of a newbie track rider.
Pick one thing per session and work on it or work on one thing until you're comfortable. Whatever you do, get everything done before the corner. I had a problem with upsetting the chassis during transition from brakes to lean. I corrected that by getting my balls against the tank and moving off the inside as soon as I popped out of tuck. I also stick my knee out as soon as possible (trick passed to me by Ben via Jim Gaal). That leaves me with just dropping my shoulders as I turn the bike.

If you try to work on too many goals at once, you diminish the fun and that's the most important goal of all.


13 KTM 200 XC-W
15 KTM 350 XC-F

I might have a dirt bike problem.

Last edited by Stillie; June 19, 2008 at 09:47 AM..
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June 19, 2008, 09:43 AM

In my limited experience what worked best for me was finding what was most comfortable.

Don't try to mimic anyone...as you get faster you will natually hang off more...or end up crashing more...

The best way to go about improving is to work with someone at the track, they'll be able to watch everything you do and offer input. Problem is, you could have good body position but your lines/inputs could be poor so to be honest they all go hand in hand. The details of your riding will dictate not only your body position but how the bike responds so again...the details of your riding will determine how you will hang off and where your points are on the track along with how the bike feels. I wish I could offer you some advice but I'm still trying to figure it out myself.

That being said...for me I just try to do what feels natual and allows me to be as smooth as I can but seeing pics of me on the track I see that I have a long ways to go before I can say my position is "ok" Don't rush it...as you gain experience you will also find yourself hanging off more.


Chris
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June 19, 2008, 09:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DvlsAdvc8
You sure they weren't just saying you have a good body?

"tits on the tank" - has a good ring to it.
copyright sportbikerchic

seriously it's great advice, and advice that you will remember
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June 19, 2008, 09:44 AM

I went from this..



to this in 1 track day. The one single thing that helped me the most was people telling me to get my ass off the seat and get my head where my mirror would be. I also weight my outside peg.



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June 19, 2008, 09:48 AM

Do not ride like this guy (2003)


Me in 2006


The more you ride on the track the faster you will get, you will learn what you are doing right and wrong, you will crash, you will spend money. Other riders will make you ride harder and harder everytime. I learned a lot from ROSSI. One thing I've taught myself to do is to not let a crash or a wreck effect your riding. If you crash, get back out there. If you left a crash get to you, you will not ride the same.

Last edited by Carnage; June 19, 2008 at 09:54 AM..
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June 19, 2008, 10:01 AM

There was a great article in the most recent Sport Rider abot this, its a good read.

I picked up my position from TV, and from CRs at my first few TDs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladypink600rr
Also, tits on tank was a biggie
Fru. I had a German CR tell me to put my nipple on my gas cap, body low. Head where the mirror stalk use to be.


In the SR article it actually mentions the trade offs of hanging off, and how far, too far and you lose feel for what the bike is doing and traction, and you dont have the ability to properly adjust the bike mid turn if necessary.

I also sit at least one to two fists width back from the tank to put enough weight on the rear tire in turns, all the way back when braking.

This is what I consider my optimal body positioning, well best Ive found for me so far:

My body is still a bit high off the tank.



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Attack Life! It's going to kill you anyway.

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June 19, 2008, 10:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by zx6rfool
There was a great article in the most recent Sport Rider abot this, its a good read.

I picked up my position from TV, and from CRs at my first few TDs.



Fru. I had a German CR tell me to put my nipple on my gas cap, body low. Head where the mirror stalk use to be.


In the SR article it actually mentions the trade offs of hanging off, and how far, too far and you lose feel for what the bike is doing and traction, and you dont have the ability to properly adjust the bike mid turn if necessary.

I also sit at least one to two fists width back from the tank to put enough weight on the rear tire in turns, all the way back when braking.

This is what I consider my optimal body positioning, well best Ive found for me so far:

My body is still a bit high off the tank.
I do that because I only weigh 135lb's and take the R1 to the track
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June 19, 2008, 10:04 AM

No expert here either. As for form going into a turn here's my take on things:

Going from making the motions to actually doing it (to the degree I am able to) took several trackdays for me. At first I would hang off but be using my inside foot to support my weight.

1) Weighting your inside foot means you're not really driving your outside knee/thigh into the bike and getting locked in. Without this you really don't have a stable platform to work from. As was stated above driving your outside leg into the bike starting from the foot and working up makes everything lock in better for me. Twisting your hips into the turn helps make it all happen and also helps with upper body position.

2) It's fairly well accepted that having the outside peg weighted at the apex is the proper form. Weighting the inside peg can speed turn-in they say. But so can driving the outside knee into the tank. I find it less complicated to drive the outside knee into the tank from the start rather than switching which peg is weighted during the turn. I would consider shifting the weight from one pag to the other with everything else there is to concentrate on an advanced technique.

3) I still struggle with just how far to look thru a turn. If I look too far into the turn I loose where I am on the track. I guess thats where the term (Wide eyes) comes from. You really have to be able to know where the bike is AND be looking as far ahead as possible.

I tend to set up body position late on turns I'm comfortable with. I set up much earlier for turns that bother me. Reason? Because if I set up late on a turn that bothers me it can and has put me into mental overload at a critical time. Being set up early is like a nice cozy safety blanket.

Feet: Toe position, YES be on your toes, particualry on the inside. I also tend to lock my outside heal against the bike in a turn which is evidenced by the wear marks on the swing arm. I'm not sure this is a good habit, but it helps me feel locked in.

Notice that in none of this did I mention dragging a knee. With everything else right about your form then when the time comes that you need to drop the knee for a guage it will be there. Trying to stretch out your knee to touch the ground before you feel right on the bike is counter-productive IMHO.

Last edited by windblown; June 19, 2008 at 10:08 AM..
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June 19, 2008, 10:24 AM

you just needs lots of T time...

T time is everything.


1. ass back
2. front ball of foot should be on the pegs.
3. relax arms
4. press in the direction of lean from your foot.
5. head over bars
6. look in direction of turn, not at your opponents lines.

seriously...this is the basic of all basics of track riding...

JUST REMEMBER!

DONT BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE ON DCSBN...

DONT TRY TO LOOK COOL AROUND A TURN...

EVERYONE CAN PUT COOL LOOKING PHOTOS UP RIGHT BEFORE THEY WRECK, BUT THEY ARE SLOW AS BALLS...TRUST ME...I WITNESSED IT.

ANYWHO, SPEED IS THE GOAL, AND MOVING YOUR BODY AROUND TO GET YOU FASTER IS THE ULTIMATE GOAL!

SPEEEED!
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June 19, 2008, 10:30 AM

Another comepletely subjective thread!

EVERYONE! Let's argue about whos right!


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