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Discussion Starter #1
This probably isn't the right forum for this but I wanted some local hotshoe( hotknee ???) help...

I'm the proud new owner of a pair of Alpinestar Track Pants and now that I have knee pucks I want to work on my body position to touch them down/ corner faster/ corner mo' better. My questions for you gentlemen are:

1. Did you use a book/ guide/ school to get it right or did you just figure it out on your own with time?

2. How much do you still countersteer/ push on the bars? As hard as normal or do you just rely on the weight transfer?

3. As you get back to a neutral body position (i.e. both cheeks on the seat) how do you not upset the stability of the bike?

Thanks for all the help in advance.
 

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Glad to hear you now have the full complement of cowhide. :)

I know you're looking for feedback from those who actually drag knee, but I'll try to answer your questions.. :-/

1) I have yet to do a track school, only took a couple of Motocross classes a bazillion years ago. I'm trying to read Code's 'Soft Science' book, but so far it seems to be written mostly for track racing, and in some dialect I don't understand. There's probably a better book....What speed I've got comes from a heap of seat time, a little thinking, and following our local 'hotknees' as much as I can.

2) I countersteer a LOT. But that just controls how quick the leaning over or straightening up part happens, not how far.

3) To avoid upsetting the bike when I move back to the neutral position, I try to use equal weight on each footpeg and each bar to kind of stand up a bit, then move to center.

Generally, hanging off seems to make it easier to push down with my weight on the inside peg and inside bar to lean the bike over further.

A track day would probably be the best way to learn to corner better & faster. No nasty surprises in the road, you're taking the same set of corners again and again, and there's always some folks there who really know how to go fast.

End of advice from one with no FHE on dragging knee or hardware, only the occasional toe............
 
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Hey David, check out Lee Parks book 'Total Control' if you can't find it you can borrow mine....I think you hit it on the head when you said body position......on the monster hard bits seem to hit first....anyways my mind numbing bit of wisdom is body position first let the knees hit naturally...foot position on the inside is also something to look at when entering a turn.....I believe hanging off is to keep the bike more upright rather then weight transfer...which will do less to steer the bike then bar control.....if you ride follow Ducman sometime and watch his set up.....don't watch his lines though they suck ;D
 

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I think my exhaust would touch down before my knee on the monster but when I used to have my ZX6R the key for me was keeping my butt up off the seat most all the time. I keep the balls of my feet on the pegs and ride off the pegs not the seat when shifting my weight back and forth. If my knee would drag it was never hard or for very long, just a quick touch down to let me know I was at the end of my lean angle.
 

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Yeah, positioning your body on the inside helps keep the bike as upright as possible, it doesn't steer it. You still have to counter steer. Swivel around the tank with the tank cap as your pivot point. Bring your upper body down as if you wanted to kiss your (inside) mirror.

Use our anchor points: your outside elbow and knee on the tank, your foot against the heel guard, but NEVER your hands - your hands are to work the controls only, you should be able to take them off mid-corner while dragging knee without changing the line of the bike. Learn to use your lower back and tummy muscles to support your upper body. Keith Code says to put your weight on the outside peg, but that is a matter of some debate. Do whatever works for you.

When you're done with the corner, pull yourself back onto the bike with your outside leg and maybe your elbow on the tank. Don't use the handle bars! Stay smooth, keep working on these techniques, and you'll startle yourself when you eventually touch down.

And watch out for them Botz dotz...

-R.
 

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someone told me i have to get a custom rearset in order to knee drag, as my footpeg would be the first thing to hit. is this true? i'd rather the peg scrape then my exhaust, but with low mounts i doubt i'd be brave enough to try anyways
 

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I have rearsets but you should be able to drag knee on ANY bike. Your stock footpegs fold back so even if you do drag them, no biggie. Dragged pegs on the R6 today and I'm still alive.

-R.
 

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Oww..that left a mark. I cough up all of that useful riding technique and that's the thanks I get. Some people's kids....
;D
 
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Some purty good images to study I think....first is preturn....note inside foot.
another thing worth consideration is what arm is steering.....in the turn it seems the good guys outside arms are relaxed laying on the tank.....and the inside arm is working it.....notice the leading heads....especially Haga's on top.
Notice also the top two riders centerline is inside the bikes centerline while the bottom rider is over the top pushing the bike underneath him and lowering his ground clearance. Notice also how his belly is up against the tank more.
 
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Oww..that left a mark. I cough up all of that useful riding technique and that's the thanks I get. Some people's kids....
;D
You should know by now that I am that kid..... ;D

Retro, when you set up for a turn do you rotate your inside foot and if so, do you slide it back so that the ball of your foot is on the peg or just leave it at the normal heel/middle position.?

Hagasan at his best on the R7...watched him win at LS in 99 or 00....he was unstopable.
 

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David, I don't think you've ridden with Chad/SoCalSar, he's a SD guy. I rode with him once....well, I watched him repeatedly get small and far away really fast for half a day....

He's got about the same corner speed as Ryan, in fact it'd be really fun and instructive to watch 'em ride together, but that would require some kind of really maneuverable aircraft. Retro's got the chops too...
 

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For a more graphic demonstration go to the link below and watch Episode 10. Although the guy on the Monster doesn't drag a knee, his body position and "hanging off" are what you're shooting for.
Hey SoCal,
Don't you know the "guy" on the Monster in Episode 10? If I remember correctly, you know him really really well. ;D

I have Episode 10 on my hard drive if anyone wants me to try and e-mail it.
 

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Whassup fellas,

Lissy and I just got back from UCLA's ICU. That's where a buddy ended up after he spent the morning riding with me, so careful who you follow... :-[

He's intubated, fractured spine, kneecaps (notice the plural), pelvis, femur (in several places), badly bruised lung. They did an echo on his heart while we were there, the doctor asked me if his heart had stopped beating at any point. I didn't know, told him that Matt was responsive the entire time I was there, but am wondering what the doc isn't telling me.

Anyway, just a little reminder of just what kinds of risks we're talking about here, especially in light of the fact that Matt never tried or intended to drag knee.

So to get back to the topic at hand, here's another little bit of advice to add to all of the above: point your inside shoulder toward the apex. It helps with the countersteering. I didn't know that about the ankle, Chad, I'll try that next time I'm out. I usually try to steer clear of the yellow line for two reasons: a) Botz dots really hurt when you hit them and b) I want to have as little of me hanging over the double yellow when I'm encountering oncoming traffic as possible.

For me it helps to just dive into the corner deep and then throw her on her side, sometimes so violently that my inside knee really slams onto the asphalt. Or you can find a stretch of road that's really, really slow but very tight, first-gear material. Do it in second instead, a bit below the powerband so you can allow yourself to be a bit jerky on the throttle without getting penalized by a bucking bike right away; voila, you'll be touching down at 20mph before you know it.

I'm still working on all of the above techniques, I'm far from perfect. But I know what it SHOULD look like, and I'm very willing to follow you next time we're out and provide some constructive criticism 8)

But the single best advice is probably to just forget about the knee-dragging for now and just concentrate on the technique. The rest will just fall into place nicely (btw, I've seen you ride - you'll be draggin' in no time at all).

Good luck and be safe,

-R.

PS: Forgot to mention, the Monster's tank really isn't designed for kneedragging - it's very narrow on top so if you're going to hold onto it with your outside elbow that elbow really has to come in. It's much more convenient on the superbikes.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Retro, when you set up for a turn do you rotate your inside foot and if so, do you slide it back so that the ball of your foot is on the peg or just leave it at the normal heel/middle position.?

you can kinda see the foot here....I am on my toes, more then anything else...very similiar to preturn photo from my previous post....I am normally on the balls of my feet everywhere else....oh and the rear sets helped a lot.....the monster is still weird compared to an SBK to me....I miss the 748, but felt right at home on Ryan's R6, the knees come right down....the next thing is to learn saving a low side with the knee
;D
 
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Just have to hope Matt comes through all the trauma okay.
 

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Ryan,
Sorry to hear about your buddy Matt. That's going to be a tough road back for him. Sounds like he hit a guard rail...Any helpful info on how/where/why he went down?

Retro, I recall reading an interview of Eddie Lawson years ago, he said he saved it about once a lap with his knee. Thinking about it, seems like you could save it if the front lets go with your knee down. No small thing that....Dunno if you could save it that way if the rear went away.

Looks like Retro's pointing his shoulder (as Ryan described) in his pic.
 
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Ryan,

Looks like Retro's pointing his shoulder (as Ryan described) in his pic.
Speaking of pointing that way, when I first started following racers, I would mimic their pre-turn set-up, the most noticable thing at first for me was the sit up and shoulder point, butt slide. I used that as a way to feel the pre-turn set-up. Eventually I noticed other things, and incorporated them into it.
I think since that photo was taken things have continued to improve, or at least my understanding of my body positioning has improved mentally.
If you notice the distance between the inside knee and inside elbow, there is a fair amount of distance between the two, which does not normally exist if you look at racers. I realize a good part of this is Monster geometry compared to SBK's, but it is also bad form on my part. My upper body was up to high, and not laid down enough, and there was too much tension on the inside arm and shoulder. I guess my point is I don't have any chops, I am a newbie really, and that I think mimicry,
 

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I believe once Ryan saw some photo's from Willow, he also improved significantly.
That is very true. I feel like I keep improving every day I'm out. For example, I noticed that I seem to be hanging off significantly less in right-hand corners - at least the bike seems to be leaning more, I'm dragging pegs much sooner on the right side. But if you get a corner just right, man what a rush.

I've saved two or three front-end slides with my knee, but I haven't had any in a long time. Rear-wheel slides just seem to catch normaly as long as you stay smooth with the gas, I'm not sure about the 2-wheel slides I've been having while throwing the bike into the turn lately. I don't know if they are caused by slippery road conditions after the rains we've been having, if I'm asking too much of my M1s, and whether I've actually been "saving" them with my knee or whether they would've just caught naturally anyway.

OFF TOPIC CONTENT: Nick, Matt went down heading north on Mulholland from Decker Canyon. There's a long straight, a right-left "chicane", a right, another right, a SHARP right, a set of turns followed by a 180-degree left hander. Then a long straight with farm houses on the right, a very light right-hand kink followed by another long straight, followed by a blind, decreasing-radius right-hander. That's where he went down.

I didn't see it happen since I was in front of him, I made it all the way to PCH before I realized he wasn't going to show up and turned around. When i got to him, the Fire Department was already there. His bike had struck an oncoming pickup truck, and the driver said the Matt was already flipping when he came around the corner. He said he didn't think he'd hit Matt, but them aren't your regular highside injuries.

Matt was lying face down in the middle of the road across the yellow line when I got there. My guess is he really whipped his FZ1 on the straight to try and keep up with me, went in hot, panicked when the corner suddenly became much tighter than he anticipated, highsided, and while his bike hit the truck head-on he side-swiped it with the left side of his body, redirecting his fall from towards the outside of the curve down the centerline instead.

He was responsive when I got there, and I didn't think it'd be much worse than a broken leg. Seeing him all sedated and intubated and hearing of his injuries was a bit of a shock. Definitely a wake-up call.

Sorry, Dave, for high-jacking your thread. Back to kneedragging now... ;)

-R.
 
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