It’s time for another TechTip. This month we’re going to talk about Body Position. There are so many different ways to ride and turn a motorcycle, the trick is to find the one that suits the type of riding your doing.
For the sport of motogymkhana which is dominated by quick transitions and changes of direction, you have to give thought to how you must get the bike to move under you from cone to cone in the most smooth, settled way possible. On a race track, shifting your body position, setting up for a turn which is well ahead of you is a long deliberate act that doesn’t require rapid changes in steering angle, etc… The procedure is fairly thought out: from under the bubble looking at the breaking point, sitting up/squeezing on the binders, down-shifting , sliding across the seat to right/left, etc…
Gymkhana riding requires much more rapid and direct inputs in a much shorter amount of distance and time. So shifting your body from side to side across the seat can not only make it more difficult to actually navigate the course, but can upset the bike. If you’ve notice for the most part, most gymkhana riding happens when riders backsides are firmly planted on top of the seat and legs squeezing the tank. The reason why this is because it’s quicker to “stay on top of the bike” and squeeze it with you thighs when on course. Because the speeds that are achieved are lower then what would be reached on track/street (in some cases) the need to get your body off the side of the bike to turn it, is much lower. The bike is turned much more with the front wheel than body weight. Turning the bike with the front wheel with your core fully engaged (legs/thighs, stomach, back and up to shoulders) is what will help you flick the bike from side-to-side more effectively. You can/will let a knee out occasionally depending on the course layout, (larger radius turns) but generally speaking keeping your body connected with the bike helps a great deal more in motogymkhana riding. Getting you head turned, activates the shoulders, stomach and legs to have a better feel of what the bike is doing underneath you. Your toe sliders can be used as more of a gauge to how far you’re leaned over. It takes some time to get accustomed to doing this because but it will be much more effective on a motogymkhana course.