Author Topic: Riding position  (Read 16626 times)

buzz

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 68
    • View Profile
Riding position
« on: May 16, 2012, 12:09:43 PM »
I've noticed something.

I come from a sport bike back ground and my body english shows it.

For years I have been 'hanging off' the bike to take curves faster with less lean angle. Don't get me wrong I can scrape hard parts at speed, and at gymkhana.

Yamahamer was a noticeably faster than me on the course. On a similar bike on the same tires.

His back ground has a lot more dirt bike riding , and his body position shows it.

The pictures below show the difference.

If you look you can see my bike ( white) is under a high G load. You can see the front forks flexing. My body position naturally goes into a sport bike style. This is from habit although I don't have quite enough time in the turn to get in full position.

Mark (yellow) is riding dirt bike style. His body is up right. The bike leans much deeper into the turn.


Is this the advantage that a few riders had on me during the last event?

Which style is better for Gymkhana? I am assuming Marks was was because he was faster.





Elessar

  • Guest
Re: Riding position
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2012, 12:39:40 PM »
First off: I a noobie, ok, so don't take anything I say with too much credibility.  However, I was watching a lot of YouTube last week, analyzing this exact thing, and most, if not all, were riding using the form you are exhibiting; i.e. leaning into the turn on almost every pattern.  There were a few instances where someone was not able to get into position quickly enough, but, for the most part, they were trying to lean in or stay centered.

I have been reading a lot on the dirt forums lately and the reason they profess to sit more upright, does allow more centered riding for quicker responses to dynamic conditions found in off-road riding, i.e. dirt/sand/gravel/rocks.  There are a lot of mechanics involved in contact patch and down forces and physics stuff that I didn't try to understand, mostly because I don't think you need to know why to know how, but I've been working on using the dirt method when practicing for off-road riding at slower speeds.  The trials riders would be able to explain this a lot better than I can, because they ride at all speeds, but tend to work toward more slow speed controls over obsticles of varying terrain, requiring extreme control of a much lighter machine.

I believe, from examining the YouTube videos, as training material, that we will experience faster times with better technique using the methods that you have professed to be showing in the picture you posted.  At least that's how I'm planning on training.  I will be very interested to hear from someone like Motogymkhanaman, who has much more experience that us, to listen to what they have been using, because I must believe that the riders in the UK have tried all this stuff before.

dredman

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 163
  • Melior Reliqua
    • View Profile
Re: Riding position
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 01:42:05 PM »
i have yet to see ANYONE that is fast hanging off like traditional road-racing.  I can't imagine that all the movement it takes to swap sides, especially as quickly as needed on a gymkhana course will have any effect, as the speeds are so slow.  Watch the fastest, they are centered over the top of the bike, chest on the tank.
You can talk all you want about proper technique, but I will listen and watch only those that are fastest to determine proper technique.

even after all that I will probably do something else :)
Learn to ride better before your riding days are cut short.

buzz

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 68
    • View Profile
Re: Riding position
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2012, 03:48:21 PM »
I agree. Road racing style is not going to get the job done.

What you are seeing in my pic is many years of high speed riding taking over where it is not needed.

I am trying to quit the high speed stuff.

Mark was quite a bit faster than me. So I am trying to figure out why.

dredman

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 163
  • Melior Reliqua
    • View Profile
Re: Riding position
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2012, 06:33:29 PM »
he is faster because he brakes and turns harder, and accelerates faster, not much to do with body position.
GP8 will demonstrate this
Learn to ride better before your riding days are cut short.

Lawnmowwer

  • Guest
Re: Riding position
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2012, 06:33:59 PM »
I have been watching also. I have notice some of the same things in the videos. I have notices that some of the fastest rider are staying over the center of the bike and even staying more perpendicular to the ground on the tightest turns sometimes. As Mark was in the picture. I assume it is to move the bike over faster and let it make the transition, but we all know what assuming does.

Motogymkhanaman

  • Guest
Re: Riding position
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2012, 07:16:20 PM »
There are three lateral body positions. Lean in, lean with and lean out. Each one of them has benefits depending on the obstacle that is being negotiated and the personal preferences of the rider. In the main, this means that there are no hard and fast rules as to which position is best. Whatever the position it is very important that the lower body is completely locked into the bike with the knees pressed firmly into the tank.

Trying to get your knee out or down tends to be a thief of time and also means that you lose accurate control of the bike.

An important note about body position is that the backside should be back quite far in the saddle with the elbows out and head up.

It should also be noted that the upper body should move forward when accelerating and back when decelerating so that longitudinal balance is maintained.

buzz

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 68
    • View Profile
Re: Riding position
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 07:44:00 PM »
That is the answer I was looking for. Thanks.

I asked Alex the same thing at the last event. He said in his German ( with a mix of Alabama draw):

"You ride just as good in the turns. Go faster!"

I guess that really is the right answer, but I may be the first time anyone has told me that on a bike.

Vulfy

  • Guest
Re: Riding position
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2012, 09:07:04 PM »
Motogymkhanaman: can you clarify why sitting in a saddle further back is better?  I saw a Japanese video of motorcycle riding instruction in general, and the instructor was showing that there should be a space between  rider's crotch and the tank, about the size of the fist (length from index to pinky).  Since I don't speak Japanese I couldn't make out why or what exactly he was explaining, but it was pretty clear that he wanted rider to sit further away from the tank.  Can you chime a bit more on that?

Elessar

  • Guest
Re: Riding position
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2012, 08:01:57 AM »
Motogymkhanaman: can you clarify why sitting in a saddle further back is better?  I saw a Japanese video of motorcycle riding instruction in general, and the instructor was showing that there should be a space between  rider's crotch and the tank, about the size of the fist (length from index to pinky).  Since I don't speak Japanese I couldn't make out why or what exactly he was explaining, but it was pretty clear that he wanted rider to sit further away from the tank.  Can you chime a bit more on that?

Yah, me too, I'd like some clarification on that as well.  I have a tendency to sit a bit closer to the tank, so I'd really like to hear about that recommendation.

Motogymkhanaman

  • Guest
Re: Riding position
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2012, 02:00:28 PM »
Why do we ride Moto Gymkhana with our butts back in the seat? Well, as you would expect, the answer is quite complicated, but that is the way of Moto Gymkhana I'm afraid.

Essentially the Moto Gymkhana riding technique is to ride the shortest possible distance around the course in the fastest possible time. As you will know, the geometry of the bike dictates that the rear wheel will always travel a slightly shorter distance (it has a smaller turn radius) around a bend or curve and therefore it is this distance that is critical for a fast time.

The Japanese have worked out over many years that the rider essentially needs to steer the rear wheel in order to minimise the distance travelled. This might sound a bit strange, but if you imagine you were riding a unicycle, then you would pretty much be sitting directly over the wheel that you are steering. Treat the bike as a unicycle, but use the handlebars to make the back wheel go where you want it to go rather than the front.

This technique does require a recalibration of the brain and the method I use is to say to myself "What do I need to do with the front wheel to make the back wheel go where I want it to".

This then is the reason for the butt back, elbows out, head up, knees in, basic body position.   

Vulfy

  • Guest
Re: Riding position
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2012, 02:28:54 PM »
whoa...
This might need a bit more clarification.  As I have never ridden a unicycle, its a bit hard for me to relate, what needs to be done to make it go where I wold want it to go.
Since rear wheel does not steer, the only way I know of, that would make it turn, is to lean it,  i.e.  leaning the entire bike.  Which we do.  But how sitting closer to the rear wheel (further away from the tank) makes it more responsive or makes it turn in a tighter circle?

This does coincide with technique of turning the bike with hips and legs, rather than arms, though.

When I turn at a cone,  I  get the bars to full lock, which makes the bike turn at a smallest radius it can, IF it was ridden straight.
After that, while keeping bars at full lock,  controlling the LEAN of the bike with knees and hips, ensures an even tighter radius of a turn, since we are now controlling, as you said, the rear wheel by leaning it with the entire bike. 

Can you explain a bit further why sitting closer to the rear wheel would make it more responsive? 

I definitely need to try this out myself, very interesting tip, but as you said, needs some re-calibration of the brain, as I just can't wrap my head around how it physically adds to the control of the bike. 

Motogymkhanaman

  • Guest
Re: Riding position
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2012, 05:37:03 PM »
Steering by rear wheel? As I said, it's complicated. The ultimate for any Moto Gymkhana rider is to have the bike at full lean and full lock so they can describe the smallest possible circle around the pylon without actually touching it. To achieve this, top riders use a number of techniques in machine control, riding style and bike setup which are probably a bit advanced for new riders, but it has been proven that a rearward weight distribution promotes quicker turning and faster drive during the recovery from the rotation. Mr Kimura, our technical guru over in Japan really shouts at us if we let our body slide forward in the saddle and Hunter Tabibito uses an even more extreme method to prevent him moving forward on his Street Triple R. He has entirely removed the front 6-8 inches of the saddle leaving the frame rails exposed. He says that sitting on the rails is very painful which helps him to keep his weight back.

I am just finishing writing a book on Moto Gymkhana Riding Techniques which will go into some depth on this very subject. A near to final draft is going over to Japan in a few days time so that they can sign off everything in it and once that is done, then it will initially be available as an e-book with a printed version being available thereafter.       

Vulfy

  • Guest
Re: Riding position
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2012, 06:29:00 PM »
Well, I guess we will wait for your book to come out.  Hopefully you will go into a bit more detail on why this works and other techniques employed by other riders, as well as a proper sitting posture and ergos for Gymkhana.
For now, I will definitely try sitting further back, and see how it feels and what difference it makes in handling of a bike. Good info.

Birds

  • Guest
Re: Riding position
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2012, 12:25:36 AM »
haha this is great. 

I've been watching a lot of videos while not practicing this past week, and I couldn't figure out what it was about their turns that looked so different from mine.  Now I know what I'm looking at it makes more sense.