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Discussion Starter #1
Hello
If I hang off my bike more in the corners does that help the suspension work better , I ask because if the suspension does not have my weight on the top of the bike but to the side of the bike when turning in does that mean that the suspension can cope better
Thanks
 

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Short answer is no. Hanging off will not help your suspension. Proper suspension tuning will help your suspension. This technique is something you should do on the track. Not as much on the street but some movement is good. Some good books that explain better are Total Control by Lee Parks and Twist of the Wrist by Keith Code. If you are hanging off and dragging knee on the street you are too committed and will eventually end up crashing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I ve read and watched TOTW I don t know how many times now and your so right great stuff and watched Utube stuff very helpful, I can lean off the bike without getting my knee down , I understand street riding vs track but if the suspension does not have my weight on it could it react better, quicker ?
 

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Body position is a complex subject. Your weight should be on the pegs. I learned by going to the track and classes. I’m pretty fast but not really qualified to teach others. Suspension setup is complicated also, but you should be able to do it yourself with practice. I learned by becoming a member of Dave Moss’s website. I can setup my own stuff. It amazes me how many guys are fast yet have no clue how to setup suspension. BTW your weight is always on the suspension.
 

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I think in general terms, that 'hanging off, when done well, creates less overall lean angle and allows you to keep farther away from the point of loosing grip/low siding.
As said, your weight and the dynamic forces are always on the bike.
 

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Hello
If I hang off my bike more in the corners does that help the suspension work better , I ask because if the suspension does not have my weight on the top of the bike but to the side of the bike when turning in does that mean that the suspension can cope better
Thanks
This is a good question and the answer is yes, proper body position CAN help your suspension work better. Think about it like this, why do you hang off the bike in the first place? What purpose does hanging off serve? When you hang off the bike you essentially end up REDUCING overall lean angle. Reducing overall lean angle helps with a few things, first of all it gives you some margin for error so if you need more lean angle you can access it, but also, reducing overall lean angle means that the bike is more upright. Suspension is designed to work best with the bike straight up and down and the suspension in the correct range, so the more upright the bike is, the better the suspension can then work. Now, we all know that cornering is a huge part of riding and so we need suspension to work well while cornering (hence the importance of having a properly set up bike) BUT how you sit on the bike and interact on the bike will have an effect on how the suspension works as well. What constitutes good body position?

Body position is part of it, but throttle control is also a huge influencer on how well the suspension works.

How can/does throttle control have an effect on how well the suspension works?
 

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How can/does throttle control have an effect on how well the suspension works?
I would say it loads the rear shock a bit, and makes the front kinda float. (Hammer Mode) Hanging off the side has always felt very unnatural to me because you have to 'unglue' yourself from the bike. I hang onto the bike with my ankles and knees, not so easy to do while pointing a knee towards the ground. I point mine at the gas take to hold on. So when I hit a sharp dip, it doesn't bounce me off the seat, I stay planted ready for the next one.Part of me feels it's a monkey see - monkey do sort of thing, where everyone is just copying each other.

I would guess there is a speed/centrifugal force minimum that hanging off the side would have any effect on things, and I would bet that speed is very fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So does that mean that the suspension works the same at all lean angles, no matter how much weight it being put though it , I mean if you ride down a very bumpy road and you get your butt off the seat and just use the pegs to hold your weight the bike handles the bumps better , even though it still has the same amount of weight over the top of it so going around the corner is the same ?
 

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I would say no (but I really have no idea) because of centrifugal force is pushing straight, and you are heading left or right..
 

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I would say it loads the rear shock a bit, and makes the front kinda float. (Hammer Mode) Hanging off the side has always felt very unnatural to me because you have to 'unglue' yourself from the bike. I hang onto the bike with my ankles and knees, not so easy to do while pointing a knee towards the ground. I point mine at the gas take to hold on. So when I hit a sharp dip, it doesn't bounce me off the seat, I stay planted ready for the next one.Part of me feels it's a monkey see - monkey do sort of thing, where everyone is just copying each other.

I would guess there is a speed/centrifugal force minimum that hanging off the side would have any effect on things, and I would bet that speed is very fast.
Let's take a look first of all at how the throttle can effect the suspension of the bike and then we can get into how BODY Position comes into play.

You said that rolling on the gas "loads the rear shock a bit, and makes the front kinda float. (Hammer Mode)" and ya, that's true to some extent. Hammer mode as you said would be a little bit more aggressive than a smooth throttle roll on, lol but the basics are still the same.

From Twist of the Wrist II "Shocks and forks produce the best road holding/traction mid stroke (in approximately the centre third of total travel). Fully compressed (bottomed) suspension is rough and "topped out" (fully extended suspension similarly lacks good response to road conditions."

Also from Twist II "Good suspension depends on both the hardware (shocks, forks weight on parts) and its position on the bike, (head angle, fork offset, engine location for stability. Throttle control has a huge effect on both."

So your job as a rider is to use throttle control to put the suspension in the correct range. If you don't roll on the gas while cornering and coast (especially during a downhill corner) then the suspension isn't in the correct range because you haven't transferred any of the weight off the front and to the rear....the bike can feel heavy on the front, a bit unstable or worse, can lose traction because it was pushed to carry too much load while cornering. The reverse can also occur, if you corner and give it too much throttle, too much weight goes to the rear, not enough on the front and again suspension isn't in the correct range so the bike doesn't feel as stable or planted as it could. Also, a stable bike will hold a predictable line.

What would the ideal situation be when cornering then? When would you want to roll on the gas and how much in order to get it into the correct suspension range?
 

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Without reading this thread yet, so you get my honest unadulterated answer, personally I believe any of these riding tactics probably will work and actually yield faster lap times 'IF' you know what you're doing with them. However, just because we see Marc Marquez employing these tactics, that doesn't mean we can get out on the track and expect the same results. Most likely the only thing you will gain from this is a guaranteed trip to hospital very soon..

Al
 

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Without reading this thread yet, so you get my honest unadulterated answer, personally I believe any of these riding tactics probably will work and actually yield faster lap times 'IF' you know what you're doing with them. However, just because we see Marc Marquez employing these tactics, that doesn't mean we can get out on the track and expect the same results. Most likely the only thing you will gain from this is a guaranteed trip to hospital very soon..

Al
Certainly. I think it is really important to first understand WHY a skill or technique is used and then get proper instruction on how to do it correctly from a professional instructor or riding coach. I remember coaching a young racer and upon watching him for about 30 seconds, noticed that is biggest issue was that he was trying to hang off the bike so far and drag a knee or elbow on every single corner.

When I asked him why he was doing it he said because a faster racer told him to do it but he had zero understanding of why racers even hang off in the first place. I ended up teaching him the reasons WHY we hang off and what proper body position does for the motorcycle, and then coached him on how to effectively accomplish good body position.

Just trying to emulate faster riders or pro racers for the sake of it without understanding WHY defeats the purpose. First learn why a technique is useful and then learn how to properly execute it.
 
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