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Feet placement.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by lilster, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. Not sure if this is a bad habit:

    In the pre-learners course, we were told to keep our feet under the gear lever/resting on the rearbrake so that we could change easily. This may have been specific to the situation - riding around a small course at low speeds, changing gears every 5 seconds.

    But to this day, I've always kept my left foot under the gear lever, ready to shift, and my right resting on the rear brake. As such, my heel is on the footpegs, both sides. The advantages are:
    • very quick gear changes when needed
    • rear braking is never stomped, always smooth

    Lately though, I've had the pegs dragging on some LH turns, which is not at all good. Firstly, you get the joy of feeling your boots drag on the tarmac, which is disconcerting. Secondly if the movement is sharp enough, you shift up halfway through the turn, no clutch involved.

    Since have started placing my feet so the balls of them are on the pegs. Peg weighting works a lot better, but I fear that you increase the chance of over-braking the back, locking up etc.

    Hence, the question, what is the best way to place your feet when riding generally/corners/in traffic?
  2. It depends on you, and what you're comfortable with. There's no 'right' answer.

    I put my feet where I think they need to be for the conditions. Normal tooling around - transport stage, I have my heel (of the boot) hooked on the peg and a little weight on the instep. My left toe is under the gear lever and I don't know or care about the rear brake because I mostly don't use it.

    When it's hot - and I'm just going straight, I tend to put my heels on the pegs and dangle my feet and knees out in the airstream a bit. On a real hot day, close to the engine on the 14 gets pretty damn warm.

    Riding fast, I have the balls of my feet on the pegs. Except to change gears, when I have to move them.

    It's a bit like "At what revs should you change up or down?" or "Which foot should I try to put down when I stop?" There are people who'll try and tell you there's a 'right' answer to these questions, but there's not. There's only dogma - and lots of different situations.

    PS: If you're going to stomp the rear brake, it's because you've had a fright, and in your mind, the primary slow-the-fukk-down control is the rear brake. That's wrong. Whether you had your foot covering it or not will not make a whole lot of difference. Not stomping it depends on knowing that your right hand, and not your right foot, is your primary slowing down control - especially in an emergency.

    I don't remember a time when I needed to make a quick up-change of the gears, unexpectedly. I mean, you plan to make up-changes. You know when it's going to happen. It's not something like needing to have your toe under there at all times, just in case. I'm not saying you shouldn't leave your foot there - it's a nice natural place for it. I'm questioning the explanation you've been given.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. i pretty much prefer my toes or balls of my feet on the pegs always.
    i think it just helps put me in a position where i have the sharpest control over the machine.
    closer to the tank for one. and kinda allows more mobility for thighs around the tank. and takes the weight of the seat.
    i don't think it's a good habbit to leave your foot resting under the gear lever at all times. you've placed it in a position wedged between two points. would not want it to get snagged in there in a worse case scenario.
    now that i think about it. i think i'm constantly ready to jump of the biatch if she lets go.
  4. Yeah KD is right, and when you're going hard, if you're boot is under the gear lever, there is a good chance you'll be scraping it on the ground a lot.
  5. I usually ride with the balls of my feet on the pegs...obviously only when I am slowing down/changing gears will they move...but like kneedragon, I usually don't use the rear brake. Gives you more control IMO and also helps during cornering...so that you don't scratch your boot on the tarmac if you lean far enough (especially on the race track). As MT1 said...I am also pretty much ready to bail when shit hits the fan.
  6. balls of the feet on the pegs for me, if i want to change gears or rear brake i will change foot position to do so. i got in the habit of putting my toe area of the boot on the peg during even cruising down to the shops so now it is like second nature and i do not think about it.

    unlike phongus and kneedraggon i use a fair amount of rear brake so i will be constantly moving on the pegs on a ride.
  7. Wow the instructor was busting a nut to get you guys through.
    I would say what ever the situation calls for.
    Personally I would rather you didn't do it all the time. You should learn to be at the brake or gear lever in milliseconds anyway.
    If you riding on the balls of your feet then your balanced. That's a good start.
    And I use the pegs a lot to control the bike. So if your feet are not in a good place then it's going to feel awkward and show in your riding.
  8. I dunno, Bretto, HART in Victoria teaches the same at the Learner course. Heels on the pegs, toes beside the levers. Moving the feet around is one less thing for a brand-new rider to have to worry about on top of two brakes, a throttle, a clutch, 'look where you want to go', etc.

    ... And then a few months later, during the Provisional/Full course, they teach balls of the feet on the pegs because of the lean angles the riders will be generating in the emergency swerves and 'free ride' gymkhana. :)

    To the OP.
    Like KD said, it's a situational thing and there's no "right" answer except that for sporty cornering it's best to have the balls of the feet up on the pegs for extra cornering ground clearance. It doesn't take much practice to learn 'where' the foot controls are relative to the balls-of-feet-on-pegs position, too. :)
  9. Balls of the feet for me, for reasons of ground clearance and overall body position (as MT1 explained). The only exceptions are obviously when I'm using one of the pedals, or when the road's straight and my legs are tired.

    Yeah I learnt this the hard way. Front wheel hit something mid-turn and the bike went down with my foot under the lever ready for an upshift. The lever tore a big chunk of meat off the base of my big toe.
  10. So if you have your foot under the gear lever ready to change up, doesn't this mean you are not ready to change down?

    Personally I don't think it is a big deal for slow casual riding, but get a bit of lean up (and not necessarily very much lean) and it's amazing how close feet can get to the ground if you don't have the balls of your feet on the pegs.
  11. If you leave your foot under the shifter during a turn and your foot hits the ground you can also pop the gear from first into neutral. Do that around a corner at speed and you will only do it once.
  12. Another issue one might have, if the foot is over the brake pedal, is that you may inadvertantly press the pedal enough to activate the brake light without actually braking. Confusing for anyone coming behind.
  13. Balls of the feet on the pegs for hard riding, unless you want to use up an entire toe slider in one run of a twisty road as i did on my brand new A* boots.

    If riding slow in the city, i sort of hook the heal onto the pegs for maximum use of the foot controls.
  14. Balls of the feet on the pegs for me... spirited or otherwise.
  15. True, but for me (and I'm guessing most), flicking the ankle around the lever is also faster than moving your leg from the knee so that your toe is now over the gear shifter.

    At any rate, I think we've come to the answer. Balls of feet on the pegs for anything involving turning, personal preference otherwise.

    Hah- you may be overestimating the speed at which the LAMS-challenged of us ride around in first gear. My cb-twofiddy manages about 45km/hr...
  16. When riding on the street i have my feet in the "duck feet" position.

    If im riding in the mountains then i have balls of feet on the pegs
  17. My favoured style as well. I actually asked experienced riders about this too when I started riding and the answer was generally "depends on the situation but I ride duck feet" so feet on the pegs, slightly pointed out for easy access to gear or brake levers as required.
  18. Tootling, i am pretty flat footed with the rearset under the soul of my feet. Toes NOT hanging down. Left side over my gear lever, right side over the rear brake (which i only use for slowing to lights sometimes.

    Around suburban streets i will usually move the inside foot up onto the balls, to remain clear of gutters etc.

    If i'm out for a run, i'm habitually onto the balls of both feet, for more committed cornering where my feet need to be up out of the the way. If the corners are'nt linked tightly together, i will place my outside foot so the rearset is under the soul.

    It depends on your riding mode, and the type of bike you have. Ie...cornering with gusto on a sportsbike you need to swivel your inside boot so the toes are pointed into the corner a bit. For that, your inside foot must be on the balls, to allow the heal-rize and boot swivel.

    Whatever you are doing now, will probably change, so you will become adept at different placement.
  19. I ride with my toes on the pegs always. Gives me more control I feel. Kinda like, if you were at the start of a 100m sprint would you be flat footed or on your toes. That's how I feel.

    I said that to the HART people in QLD during my RE to R course and they said "Yeah I know what you're saying but if you want to pass the course you have to go duck foot"

    I reluctantly did as they said and passed.

    I then rode off with my toes on the pegs.