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Knee Down "Style" On The Road?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by mogley, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Do you guys think there is any point with the knee down style on public roads?

    Ok let me clarify - I call it knee down "style" because I can't actually knee down but I can shift my bum into the corner and hang my head and weight off to the inside past the inside mirror which I find helps turn without needing to lean over as much (i've tried kneeing down but just can't do it - maybe i need to go faster?)

    I don't want to look like a show-off or anything but I find, particularly taking roundabouts that the lean required (particularly with the camber on the roundabouts) is quite steep and I know my bike should be able to make it (I've seen people scrape pegs on the round abouts and still maintain traction) but I've lowsided before and my nerves get the better of me sometimes and I end up either running wide, or chopping the throttle - both of which I don't want to do.

    Trying to get my knee down actually makes me feel more confident and I can take the round-about with a smooth throttle and am just wondering if my thinking about all of this makes sense.

    Also makes me wonder - why don't I just take every turn like this (within reason - ie not at car park speeds)? Is there any downside? Cause i can't think of any, bike stays more upright.

  2. Bike being upright means better tire contact and better suspension travel, less frame flex. I reckon it's good, I can't do it going right cause knee is cactus, but I stand to be corrected.
  3. If done correctly, hanging off makes sense, as it requires the bike to lean lesser. Less lean = more traction. more traction = more corner speed.

    However, most road conditions can be done without hanging off. Its all a matter of how much traction and reserve do you want to have available?

    Consider this, blind corner marked at 40 kph, you're thinking, oh yeah, 90 kmph easy. You go in and you actually find that the corner is more acute than most 40 kmph corners and its actually much tighter. If you are sitting on the bike (not hanging off), you can throw the bike down (i.e. push the handle bars and counter steer hard) in to the corner and hope you dont run out of tyre and make the corner. In most situations, if your SRs dont show up, you will make the corner okay.

    However, lets say you were hanging off, you actually have a lot more lean (i.e. reserve tyre contact patch) left to go and you can safely lean a bit more and make it. You will not run out of tyre and make the corner.

    You mentioned you feel "confident" hanging off. If you do, then I suggest you continue doing it. Because when the blind corner turns very steep, if you are dead bolt upright on the bike and you dont have the confidence of making the corner, you will go wide and stack it. Confidence is everything. If your mind is trained to be more confident having the extra reserve, do it as your mind is less likely to experience SRs.

    My 2 cents on the matter. happy to be corrected.
  4. I think it's Rob (or maybe Raven) that has the great saying (which I'm paraphrasing) that "getting the knee down is a byproduct of correct cornering technique - not the goal".

    Trying to get the knee down, especially at low speeds on the road, only makes you look like a tool. Learn to corner correctly (using the many, many guides available - including the numerous threads on here), and it will happen naturally.
  5. On roundabouts and intersection corners (sub 30~ish km/h), I find it much much easier and safer to put my weight on the outside peg and lean the bike only. Same for U-turns.

    (I am a new rider, so still working out stuff...)
  6. I always shift my weigh, even if it's just a little bit.
    Makes it easier for the person in the car behind to cope a perv at my arse.
    Also confidence, tyre profile, grip etc.
  7. I can see how getting around the roads foot down power sliding everywhere could be a crap load of fun.

    Fun will quickly end if you do that past a unmarked car.With a unimpressed officer wondering how hard to throw his book at you.

    Pretty sure we are supposed to have traction and both wheels on the ground where reasonable to do so. I also like my licence
  8. Seems likely this is directed at me? Given your posts in the supermoto thread.

    I can't power slide. I don't ride like a maniac. More correctly, I can't ride like a maniac. 1. Because my bike isn't run in yet, and 2. I don't have the skillz.

    Putting my weight on the outside of a bike at low-mid speeds makes me focus on leaning the bike, and I feel more in control. At higher speeds, once I lean the bike, I can then lean myself over for a traditional 'knee down~ish' turn, or stick a foot out for stability on crappy roads like in the Dandenongs.

    Peace. I'm sorry I'm not doing things the 'proper' way.
  9. So long as your not crossed up then its fine, but a racing body position is considering best practise for such situations such as: Racing and riding too fast in public, if done well it will allow you to corner faster, with more grip and have way more fun.
  10. As long as you don`t fall off your doing it `proper` enough.

    While not directed at you, Comments like mine ,may help you stay on your bike on a wet road one day.

    I don`t think training yourself to foot down is the best way to learn to ride.

    And you will build skill if you ride
  11. This is the correct technique. At very low speeds you should be leaning you should be leaning in the opposite direction to keep the weight over the wheels. It's one of the reasons new riders often have a lot of problems (and drops) making u-turns.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Not so much knee dragging but the amount of idiots I see out there hanging their ass off the seat but leaning their upper body in the other direction makes me sick.

    My way is to counter-steer aggressively, then lean my upper body as required to help the bike stay a bit more upright so I don't scrape the pegs. In two years of "spirited riding" I've never had to drag the knee in a road situation. I wouldn't know how anyway as I've never done a track course but I still seem to go round corners faster than most try-hards on the race bikes with their bodies contorted into weird positions as they try to channel Casey.
  13. How else can they be expected to break in their new titanium arse-sliders?
  14. U-turns i agree it helps to counter-lean but roundabouts I find the whole leaning the bike over too much thing worrying. ie. because of the camber.

    I'll give it a go anyway and see how it feels.
  15. Roundabouts can be tricky what with the usual off-camber road surface and high likelihood of oil or metal plates in the road.

    To counter steer at low speeds though (ie less than 30-40kph) you do need to compensate for the lack of centrifugal force by keeping you bodyweight over the bike - rather than hanging off the side of it. It's part of the reason why cornering on a motorcycle feels so much different to a bicycle (unless you're one of those lycra clad road crayons used to cornering at 40+kph).
  16. We've both said that more than a few times. :)
    And it's about as correct as the sun will rise tomorrow .

    Anyone who goes out trying to get their knee down will fail in just about every aspect of good cornering skill and technique, because there is only one way to get ones knee on the deck, and that is through good cornering skill and technique.
    And that assumes that you have a quality bike shod with approriate rubber.

    OP....if you are hanging your body off, your tyres will cover you and your bike has a reasonable suspension package and ground clearance to corner that hard and you are'nt getting close to dragging a knee, then it's fairly obvious why. Your cornering skills and techniques need more work.
    For that, I would contact an experienced Mentor to take a look at you, or do a few advanced riding courses that focus on cornering. It is very easy to end up with a totally crap cornering style, just from trying to drag a knee.

    The whole point of getting a knee down, is NOT getting a knee down....you are tipping the bike over further and further until your outstretched knee feels the pavement, so that you have a very good idea of your lean angle, the amount of tyre you have left and whether or not you can push it any more, and if so, how much...
    Your knee is a feeler...and it's out there to tell you when you have reached a specific configuration in that corner. From there, you know precisely how much traaction you have a available, based on your throttle settings, for the amount of tyre you have remaining etc.

    It is NOT all that useful on public roads, due to bumps, potholes, poor surface generally. although if you know of a few corners where the surface is consistant and and you REALLY do know the corners, there is full visibility etc, then I've been known to drag here and there.
    But seriously...it is on the track that having a knee on the deck is really a good tool, that can provide you with ALOT of important information.

    As jd said...if dragging a knee is all you are trying to do because you thinkj it looks good or something, then you'll just look like a goose, and if you keep at it, a goose with a crap cornering style.

    Dragging a knee proficiently, ONLY, happens because everything you need, to take a corner on the edge, has been well developed.

    Said largely for the sake of noobs or developing riders, who may be contemplating the idea for this summer. Don't make the first time, your last.
  17. Read all the cornering threads on here...what you are doing is quite correct, for low speed cornering and manouvering like u-turns etc.
  18. Bloody hell...as I said...LOW SPEED turns and manouvering, staying upright while leaning the bike is the correct (i did'nt say mandatory), way to handle the bike...WHILE DRAGGING THE REAR BRAKE.

    But then you seem to lose consciousness and and add mediium speeds to that technique. NO!
    and then you continue with a dangerously incorrect method to traverse a corner at speed....WRONG!...you do not lean your bike and then bring your body into it later. In fact, it is the EXACT opposite.

    If you don't start reading up, looking through the billion or so cornering threads on here as well as the cornering tips 101-104, you'll be lucky not to have a major incident!

    No!...I'm NOT just taking a swing at ya...I'm deadly serious.
  19. When I see guys riding crossed up, it embarasses me...eurgh! (yes yes, I know some top riders do it successfully - that's not the point.)

    May I suggest, since it sounds like you've got your act together reasonably well on 'late turn-ins, that you get your arsk over prior to tipping in, then lean your upper body out and down WITH or slightly ahead of late your tip in. Of course (for the sake of others), don't rotate around the tank...that's just pathetic and very poor riding.

    If you tip in ahead of your body then you are slightly out of position, since you end up following the bike, instead of slightly leading it.
    Caution, this adds alot of power to your push on the bar...you don't want to over do it, and wash out. This will also keep your bike from leaning over any more than it needs to, and positions you earlier so that you can stand the bike up a bit to balance your body position and regain that little bit of tyre.

    In a quick turn, you are'nt on the edge for as long, but will have a higher peak lean angle for a few short seconds. Being ahead of that is important.

    Of course, I am referring to the tighter corners where hanging off aggressively is required if you are "on it". Which brings me to another point...if you are late turning aggressively during spirited riding, then you you will have a body position to match, yet you don't get your inside knee close to the surface...(don't need track courses for that btw). But I am curious how you are pulling highish lean angles, at highish speeds, without your knee being quite close to the road. (I pull mine in a bit if I know it's going to touch down). I mean...to run hard...the body position demanded to match your speed and lean angle, should have your knee hovering over the road fairly closely. Are you pointing your inside foot into the corner, or just rolling your heel off the end of the inside peg?

    Just curious.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. A lot of questions and I'll have to pay closer attention to how I actually do things. I ride intuitively and havent done advanced or even intermediate courses, so I'm sure my techniques leave a lot to be desired. I've never ridden on a racetrack. I also find I'm inconsistent, flog it round some bends and then wobble through others. I'll answer your questions as best I can though.

    I definitely pick my line, tip in first then start to change body shape. I tend to keep my arse still on the seat then lean my upper body. I'm not really sure what my arms and elbows are doing apart from staying reasonably relaxed. Occasionally I've noticed my knee wanting to flop out in the lean direction but its not really a conscious thing and its nowhere near actually sliding. I dont really think about foot position on the peg either.