Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Track/High speed Cornering technique

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by dgmeister, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. when cornering at the track, i tend to hang my body off a fair distance to the inside.
    (enough to feel exaggerated)
    in an effort to keep the bike more upright.

    but more and more, i am beginning to feel this is too exaggerated, and a more natural technique should be used, tighter into the body of the bike, with more of this hanging-off business on corner exit when getting onto the gas.

    the movement over the seat would be the same, but body remaining closer to the bike, much like the gp riders who basically never get their knee down, because they are in tight to the bike.

    i believe this mass movement over the seat is more important (and head movement) , and hanging off is not so important. from this tighter position you should also have better leverage over the front end.

    (although i never try to get my knee down, and rather bring my body in tighter to the bike)

    this way would suit my riding style more efficiently.
    of course the only way is to try it, so i have to wait until march for a track day!
    any experienced riders out there to advise???
  2. I'm no expert but have several track days plus CSS Eric under my belt. I consider myself a fast rider.

    I think it's important to understand WHY you hang off a bike, and you mentioned it yourself. It's to keep the bike more upright and lower the overall (rider + bike centre of gravity), keeping the bike on the fatter part if the tyre is much as possible. More upright bike on fatter part of tyre = more available grip = faster around corners.

    Also realise that when you feel that your hanging off is 'exaggerated' or excessive, the reality is you are probably no where near as hung off as you think.

    I had a real problem with this up until recently, I 'felt' like I was hanging off but everyone told me my style was very upright. Then I did CSS and the instructor who was following me told me basically 'you are at terminal lean angle, FFS get your arse off the bike and hang off otherwise you will be taking the leather sled'.

    Well, the penny dropped, really concentrated on getting off the bike. And whadya know? Knees dragging, faster, more stable, more comfortable in the corners. The list goes on.

    You don't (or shouldn't) need ANY leverage on the bars when cranked over, particularly in the track. Just get it into the corner and get on the gas ASAP.

    Anyway, in rambling and prob haven't answered your question or helped in any way...

    But on the track, 'getting off the bike' is important (less so on the road) and once it clicks you will feel much more confident to push harder, purely because you have more available grip at the same speed compared to not hanging off.
  3. You can definitely hang off too much and have to reduce your lean angle. I think it's very common for riders to hang off, drag their knee and think they're close to the limit.

    I reckon throttle control and feel for the tyres are far more important to corner speed than a good body position -although that's no reason to have a bad BP of course :)
  4. Marc Marquez this weekend...

  5. #5 dgmeister, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
    ^ see how these guys almost never drag a knee, they never exaggerate their hanging off the bike, unless getting onto the gas out of a corner

    you can move your arse and head off to the side like in the picture without the rest of your body hanging off like a tool bag

    this is a much more refined way to ride, i am wondering how much hanging off you actually NEED to do, before it is just useless, i mean you can go too far.

    after all, i never drag a knee, because when i get to the point of touching down my knee, i make my body position tighter, more 'gp like', so may as well ride like this all the time instead of exaggerated hanging off

    (i have no problem moving around the bike, fast transitions, bringing the bike down etc.)
  6. Sorry. To recap, you think Marquez ISN'T hanging off in that picture?
  7. not in an exagerrated way, like the person trying to get a knee down.

    see how tightly packed in he is, how the knee is packed in tight aswell, the upper body has not moved much except for the head position,

    he has moved JUST enough to get his body mass over the centre, but no more than that

    the main thing that moves the body mass is his arse.

    i mean, imagine getting that low without touching down the knee
  8. Mate, knee and elbow are on ground.

    When you are riding a motogp bike at 60 degree lean angle you don't have to 'reach'. The tarmac comes to you.

    Probably a bad example. But impressive none the less...
  9. Awesome picture, Marquez is a machine.

    If he had his knee stuck out, then he wouldn't be able to lean the bike so far. Just for comparison, here's a pic of Australia's greatest motorcycle racer - Mick Doohan :whistle: Horrible style, 5 world championships.

  10. I don't agree I think the GP riders regularly put their knees down and are extremely exaggerated especially in the upper body.

    There are guys at track days who "reach for it" where you can see a huge triangle air gap in their leg and drag their knees on eeeeevery corner but are slow as a turtle. I think reaching for it is super ghey and counter-productive.
  11. Fo shizzle.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. that is my point, how much do you need to come off the bike before you are just 'reaching for it"?

    maybe a more relaxed, natural style works better than 'trying to get a knee down'

    maybe a style where as little is moved as possible, rather than the opposite?

    after all, smoother is generally faster
  13. over exaggerated style, too much body lean and not enough cornering lean from the bike

    body and knee could be packed in tighter to allow ground clearance and smooth out the style by requiring less body movement,like our friend the doctor

    this same tight body position should work at all lean angles, if it works here!
  14. #14 robsalvv, Feb 11, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
    Knee down is a by product of cornering. It's not the goal. Knee down is a tool to measure lean.

    If you have Motogp tyres and a motogp bike setup you can go for extreme angles and not crash/stay upright.

    The faster the bike goes for a given trajectory the more it has to lean. The Motogp guys might like to get off their bikes more to lessen the lean angle, but it's kinda academic at those lean angles since there is much reduced "space" for them to weight shift into... They're already scraping elbows.
  15. I think there's two different things here:
    1 - how much you hang your body off
    2 - how much you stick your knee + elbow out to try and drag.

    I think 1 is important as hell and the GP riders do exaggerate to the max. 2 is squid territory and as others have said, hanging your knee out super far actually restricts your lean angle.

    I just flop my knee out and it touches down on its own and travels up and down on the surface like suspension. That's when it becomes a useful guage.
  16. Less bike lean is a good thing. Less bike lean = more available grip = faster and/or safer. I don't think you should be aiming to increase bike lean.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. #17 dgmeister, Feb 11, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
    the picture i meant to post.

    while maybe technically correct this is a waste of time and effort, throwing weight around and de-stabilising the bike when it isn't needed


    one of the riders who doesn't move around too much, mr Mcguinness
    wins lots of races cornering like this, hardly moving his body at all,
    and look, the bike is leaning !

  18. You're reading a lot into some still shots.

    How can you possibly know whether the upper rider is destabalising their bike?
  19. #19 Nickers330, Feb 11, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
    Anyone mention that dragging a knee is a form of friction - perhaps the MotoGP riders try to avoiding do so... 0.01 sec, as a basic example, makes a HUGE difference to a race for these guys....

    Marquez is well and truly hanging off the bike. In fact, he can't hang off anymore ! He's tucked right under the bike and teasing terra firma with his jubblies in that awesome pic above !

    For most of us mere mortals, getting a knee down is what some 'might' reach out to achieve..well, in the beginning anyway. Once achieved and practiced regularly, a rider knows (more than previous) what not only the bike leans angle limits are, but his own, and tends to not 'need' to get there to constantly achieve this...UNLESS he/she is balls out around fast sweepers and the like.

    In this case, he/she MUST hang off the bike to ensure it remains as upright as possible (as mentioned above by many) to permit the tyre lean angles not being exceeded and clearly more contact patch remaining to ensure traction is possible.

    The MotoGP guys ride with slicks in the dry - very sticky tyres which allow them to lean the bike over more, with guaranteed grip/traction, than normal every day sport riding tyres. Now because they ride around track corners insanely fast, they still need to hang off their bikes, for the above reasons.

    With all due respect, have you had someone look at your riding style and (hopefully) offer helpful observations/suggestions ?
    When I first started riding 'fast' it was almost intuitive that I had to somehow shift some weight over to the inside of each turn to keep the bike riding safer than little or no shift at all. I am by no means (far from it !) an 'ace' or 'guru' at cornering etc...but i had mates/experienced riders follow me from behind on many occasions during these times, at my request, to later debrief me on my body position, lines and other areas, to name just a few. Where I thought I was leaning off so much that I could pick some daisies from the side of the road, I was told I was either not hanging off enough, my upper body was angled, head not out enough..etc etc.

    Motorcycling is awesome buddy in the sense that it keeps changing ; constantly evolving. The way a bike is ridden, based on physics, bike engineering etc hardly ever remain constant. Doohan's 'twisted' and weird body position in the picture above (the man IS a legend) is indicative of perhaps the riding 'styles' that were 'tried and tested' in those days of racing.

    If you haven't done so already, book yourself in for some track 'instruction' days (eg Champion Ride Days at Broadford or CSS at PI) and get the guys to give you a hand. When you have, PM/share the results here for me/us all to learn (y)

    Just my humble 2c
  20. i do not consider myself worthy enough yet because my own technique still has far to take me. but when i do get my act into gear i will ask mal campbell who is a regular at symmons plains track days what his opinion is.
    i still need to place in the racer group consistently, otherwise i am just another loser and there isn't any point...

    i am well aware motogp riders have better tyres than everyone else. this is obvious

    i am well aware that body mass must be to the inside of the corner so the bike remains upright to maintain traction, this is obvious.

    BUT my point is there is a point where you are hanging off too far, and are wasting your time.

    if you ever saw casey ride, he would hang off more on corner exit when getting back on the gas than during the corner, to sit the bike up more for traction.

    John Mcguiness doesn't hang off like crazy, but he wins a lot of races.

    my question is how much hanging off is absolutely necessary??

    using my natural style would be easier than trying to drag the bike down on every corner.

    in a 200kph sweeper, i would rather not be trying to drag my whole body off the side of the bike, but remain in nice and tight, and tip the bike over instead ala mcguinness.

    no track days till march but will get back to you...