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Slow speed drills and figure 8's for training!

1717 Views 27 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  bweighmaster
I had the pleasure of riding some mini bikes this weekend to practice slow speed drills, figure 8's and tight circles. We use a small TTR at the California Superbike School sometimes as well to teach similar exercises. Besides body position, what other things do these kind of drills help you improve? How many of you incorporate this kind of training with your own racing/riding program? (screen shot from a video)
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heh, heh... I like doing this exercise. :)

I find it really helps with disconnecting body from bike and be more relaxed and fluid moving around on bike. Especially transitions side-to-side. I recall in earlier days, I was too tense on bike with tight grip and stiff arms. Now upper-body is just for controlling bars and I support lower-body with my legs & hips. Gym workouts for lower-back also really helps.
I like how you say it helps you be more relaxed, fluid and moving around without tension in the arms is great!
You also mention the importance of using the lower body and legs to grip the tank, this is one of the key factors in being able to keep your arms and upper body relaxed!

Now, you've mentioned transitions before. Have you ever thought about the break down in technique for transitions? We talk about using our lower body to grip the tank but what does that actually look like when you are transitioning through a series of corners, left, right, left? Is there a sequence of movements you should be doing?

I'll try and post the whole video soon :)
When I look at your picture in the opening post, all I can think of is "nope". Getting most of the way off the bike while it's moving just doesn't make sense to me. Sort of like jumping out of a perfectly functioning airplane while it's flying along. Maybe I'm just old. I do spend time practicing figure 8s and circles and u-turns and quick stops in a parking lot, just to build the muscle memory and skills, but aside from shifting my weight and experimenting with different lean angles, my rear stays planted in the seat.
Which brings to mind something I've thought about when practicing. I found that I have a tendency to keep my torso upright when leaning the bike into turns, which means Bike has to do more of the leaning. It takes some thinking to shift my torso over to counter balance so Bike stays more upright and has more lean angle in reserve.
Does anyone else struggle with that? I'm thinking it might be because I spent a lot of time on horseback when I was young, and it was just natural to pivot at the hips and stay upright when the horse was moving around.
Well, you say it doesn't make sense to you to get your body off the bike but then later down in your post you say that if you keep "your torso upright when leaning the bike into turns- the Bike has to do more leaning." That's exactly the reason we hang off the bike, so that we can get around a corner faster with LESS lean angle. If you try and stay upright on the bike or don't hang off at all, you use MORE Lean angle and are apt to run out at some point.

Now, such aggressive body position (like my pic) is more relevant for sportbike riding, track riding, racing and is less necessary for for everyday riders, cruisers, touring bikes. But, you will still want to get that upper body "going with the bike."

Instead of making it complicated, you can simply think of trying to allow your body to remain relaxed and follow where the bike goes.

Do you ever take a passenger on your bike? You know how it feels when you try and take a right hand turn and the passenger stays upright or leans to the left? Riders are often like bad passengers on their own motorcycles. Try being a good passenger on your bike and just allowing yourself to lean with the bike.

What are some other benefits (besides using less overall lean angle) of getting body position correct and being a good passenger on your own bike?
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