Motoette -in forward motion

Proper Riding Posture-it can make all the difference


lean angle1

When you consider that 15-50% of your body weight can contribute to the total weight of your bike, it’s not hard to understand the logistics of why it’s important to have a proper riding posture. 

Although it is true the type and style of motorcycle you prefer to ride influences the riding position, there is still a set of universal rules to use in order to gain the successful results when approaching and banking into a turn.

Arm and legs: For the best comfort and control ,  keep your elbows slightly bent.  Stiff or locked arms impede a natural flow of movement when steering and can influence the front suspension and the bikes stability.  Try to get into the habit of recognizing arm tension while riding.

Your legs and feet also affect control of the motorcycle, because the legs account for a large percentage of body weight.  You can accomplish a more stable position by keeping your knees against the gas tank.  This is especially important when riding at low speeds where a shift in body weight can significantly disturb the balance of the bike.

Hand position: hand position is different for everyone, but one thing to remember is to try and keep the wrists in line with the forearm, this will help to alleviate any problems with wrist fatigue.  It also gives you the most efficient control with less effort and who doesn’t love that??!

A simple trick to get the most consistent throttle control is to anchor your thumb or forefinger on the handlebar’s electrical switch box, this great in slow maneuvers.

Cornering:  The best thing to remember when taking a corner is to lean your body with the motorcycle, not against it, like in counter steering, which is best applied when taking quick swerve movements or in slow speeds.  For the maximum control when cornering,  is to position your body weight inside the motorcycle’s centerline. In other words, lean your weight to the inside of the turn.  This helps the motorcycle to transition from an upright position to a lean angle position, which requires less handle bar pressure and insures more ground clearance. 

The more you practice this technique the more you will feel “one” with the motorcycle, like you and the bike are moving together as one piece of machinery.

Foot position: A good rule of thumb to avoid dragging a toe when taking a tight turn is to move your feet back , so the ball of your foot rests on the foot peg.  This also makes it easier to maneuver fluidly when changing body positions, such as banking left then right.  You can use your foot to help with turns by pointing the toe to the inside of the turn while the ball of the foot still remains on the foot peg and the heel is against the frame or guard.

Dragging a knee: Knee dragging is primarily used on the racetrack and by experienced riders ONLY!  It’s used to gauge a lean angle when taking a turn to indicate to the rider if the lap is slow or fast. It’s also a good way to develope consistency by touching a knee down in the same place lap after lap.  It’s important to know in order to drag a knee you need extreme lean angles and should not be attempted on public roads.  This style of riding is best used on the track where the race bikes are equiped with high-grip radial tires designed for such deep angled turns.  But, you already knew that, right?

To me, the most enjoyment I receive from riding my motorcycle is going out the back roads and just flowing into the turns, one after another, in one fluid motion, like I am one with the road and the bike.  It would be my greatest accomplishment in my riding experience if I could consistently do this dance with the road efficiently and eloquently all the time. 

But, in my four years on two wheels, I am still a work in progress! I have been told by many veteran motorcyclist, nobody will ever “arrive” at the almighty state of perfection in riding.  But, maybe that’s why, or just a great excuse to get out there as often as we can, after all, practice makes perfect or somewhere there within!


September 16, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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