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Tank gripping - the theory behind the practise

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Lobsta, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. I am sitting here at uni having a full out argument with a tutor about the merits of gripping the tank with your knees.

    he maintains that there is no reason for one to grip the tank, and every site that i google does not explain it to him in enough detail.

    does anybody know the basic physics behind gripping the tank during cornering?

    he wont listen to anything that isnt explaining it physically, not logically.

  2. Might not be 100% right, so more experienced people feel free to tell me to stfu...

    I do it so I can keep weight off my arms and stay 'loose' on the bike. It also stops me squishing the boys up on the tank under heavier braking as otherwise I slide forward. I don't really know where physics come into it, although if your arms are tense and you hit bumps etc you might not have the greatest experience.
  3. just race the f*&ker
  4. What are the tutor's reasons against the benefit of gripping the tank in cornering?
  5. He's a goose!....who does'nt understand the fundimentals of riding a bike but wants to argue the point.

    If you don't grip the tank with your legs when necessary, what else is left to hang onto the bike with?...Your hands!...and they are attached to your bars.

    If you brake hard and the weight is overly transfered through your arms and hands onto the bars then you can have an adverse effect on the stability of the bike via the suspension...hit a bump at the same time and you are likely to upset the balance of the bike also...
    You will also be unable to turn correctly since one arm/hand will be fighting the other in your efforts to properly counter-steer...
    blah blah blah...the list goes on...

    If he can't understand it practically, then don't waste your time trying to explain the physics of it just to show him what a dickhead he is.
    It's common knowledge and HE should be able to work it out, more than most I would think...eurgh! :roll:

  6. He rides a XV250 virago and is not a small lad, no challenge on a GPX250
    He sees no point in doing it, it neither helps nor hinders
    + See above.. his max lean is probably like 10 degrees, and that would be at scraping the pegs :LOL: :LOL:

    I pretty much quoted everything above as resoning, and he reckons that it doesnt show that gripping the tank has any advantages over gripping the bars and having your feet on the pegs and ass on seat... the more i argued, the more i realised that his view was tainted by years of cruiser riding, where tank gripping isnt as important, and a bit of stuborn-ness

  7. There's your answer why he doesn't get it. Bloody cruiser riders, ask him if he's ever actually leaned into a corner and moved his ass on the seat? :roll:
  8. If he ever leans his body into a corner while on the virago and doesn't grip the tank, he'll have no choice but to hang onto the bars. This'll probably make him run wide, then he'll target fixate right off the road... providing himself with plenty of sitting in the ditch time to think about the folly of his misunderstandings.

    As in most bike technique arguments, most people argue from the reference point of their own bike and experience. He's probably never tackled a corner at a decent clip and certainly hasn't explored much of the two wheeled spectrum. As far as he's concerned, his view is actually right. At his level it doesn't make much difference what he hangs on to! If he takes those skills up the performance envelope curve though, he's probably in for a world of hurt.
  9. Debating riding technique with a v-rag rider? :LOL:

    FWIW it's very difficult to hold onto the tank on those pieces of shit. Not that they can go around corners much either.

    But yes, the simplest way to explain why you'd do it is the "bad pillion" argument. In the same way as the best pillions make themselves completely neutral on the bike and don't upset your steering, you should consider yourself a pillion on the bike, in that you need to give it certain physical inputs to make it go where you want, but you should be as relaxed and neutral as possible, particularly on the steering, to let it move midcorner and correct surface anomalies etc. And yes, it's very hard to keep your arms loose and floppy unless you have a solid grip on the tank with your legs.

    You should also grab the tank under braking, this saves precious goolies.

    Still, don't bother arguing with an idiot - nobody can tell the difference between you.
  10. Hmmm... maybe you should find a new tutor? He definately cant be very intelligent...

    ...back to the question... at the very least, it gives you more stability and allows your upper body to lean more.
  11. when you get the bike right over on the edge of its tyres but sitting inline with the bike, your centre of gravity is hanging over the road. What stops you from falling off is the 'centrifugal force' pushing you outwards from the corner and into the seat (its not a real force, just a result of geometry. centripetal force on the other hand is.)

    now, if you lean the bike over any further then you:
    - go past the edge of the tyre with bad results.
    - scrape pegs/foot

    however, if you move the centre of gravity further inside the line then you can keep the bike more upright. - so you hang off the edge with your knee pressing on the tank.

    the other thing this allows is a lower centre of gravity so stability increases and the force vectors are going more through the centre of the tyre where there is more traction than the edge.

    other reasons may include:
    - forming a rigid connection with the bike will stop movement from the rider that can cause traction losses.
    - too much grip on the handlebars can induce tankslapping.
  12. One thinks that this boyo may be a fair weather rider?

    One thinks perhaps this boyo avoids gusty winds?

    One thinks gripping via the hands will produce a rigidity that will transmit wind affect from the body directly to the bike's steering.

    One thinks this may be a recipe for :cry: if the afore mentioned boyo were to happen on a gust to two, but feel free to correct oneself :roll:

    Or perhaps, if one were to take this as a key indicator, one would feel through one's psychic abilities, that perhaps ridng a virago is like riding a brick on wheels (one means no offence to any real virago rider :LOL: )?
  13. i guess you dont really grip the tank with your legs on a cruise like you do on a sports bike. thats prob why he doesnt get it.
  14. I hate to disagree with the replies, even if most are made by riders with far more experience than I.

    However, there are certain circumstances where gripping the tank whilst conerning is not only unnecessary, but also impossible.

    Your tutor may have a point.






  15. Maybe your tutor is not tlaking about bike riding....

    I only grip the tank when I'm 'appling myself' to a corner or some bit of road. Helps on gravel too, you know - when the front looks like it's gonna plough through some deep stuff... anyway.
    Gripping the tank (on my bike) with my knees works for me. I't like a 2nd pair of hands, or feet, or another point in which you're connected to that hunking mass of unrivalled power beneith you..
  16. Being a Noob, some things for me are still a process of manual checklisting in my head as it happens. I sometimes forget to grab the tank with my legs or corner. If Im going faster than Im used to on a known bend I feel so unstable, un skilled and stiff through the arms becuase of nerves (that moment when your chest gets a hit of 'uh oh' adrenaline). I have started going back to the same corners and changing nothing except being really consceince of that rather than strangling the grips. The same corner 2 mins before hand that felt like hell is then taken about 15 km/h faster with plenty of confidence and enjoyment just due to this one thing. I have no understanding of the physics why or how this is so, but this one basic technique has changed my riding for ever. I was browsing a thread similar to this about a week ago, read it thinking WTF? Grip the tank? and sure it enough its GOLD! I dont understand how you couldnt not notice the difference and then persist in shi*t canning it as a technique. Its like night and day for me.
  17. Hey Vinnie...what circumstances do you have in mind when you say that, mate?...wondering what you are thinking..
  18. Having a sachs madass, there is no tank to grip. To compensate you have to consciously put some weight on your footpegs and hold your stomach muscles so you don't lean too heavily on your hands. Everything said so far about transferring all your weight to the bars is spot on.
  19. As you can see in the pic John, I don't think the guy has a hope gripping THAT tank :LOL: