Weighting the outside footpeg is a popular riding tip now a days. We’re talking low center of gravity here. Many riders may know that in general weighting the outside peg is a good thing but why, when and how exactly does it work? That is the million dollar question. Yes, it certainly is beneficial in many cases but in many other cases it really isn’t necessary and has no benefits. Therefore if you’re doing it anyway you are just wasting energy. Even when you should be doing it if you’re trying to put all your weight on the outside peg while sitting on the seat you are also wasting energy. While standing on the floor try to stay in a half squat on one leg and you'll feel how difficult this can be. So when should you be weighting the outside peg and how much? When the surface is somewhat slippery and there is no berm (rut) in the corner is the most common place to use this technique. This is usually when you want to slid the bike through the corner. In this case the extra weight on the outside peg lowers the center of gravity (CG) and gives the tires more traction; keeping the bike from sliding out. If you fail to do this and maintain a higher CG more weight is pushing down and out from a higher angle on the bike which will offer less traction at surface contact making it more likely to slide out.
So it is clear that weighting the outside peg in this situation helps a great deal but how much weight is enough without wasting energy? Too much weight will not only waste energy but it can also cause other important techniques to be roosted away. You see while sliding through a corner it’s important to keep all your body weight on the seat and outside footpeg and not too much body weight on the handlebars. While doing this your body movements would be pivoting form the seat in order to maintain the center of balance. This technique allows your upper body to remain loose for good upper body movement which is a very important factory to maintain control. If you were trying to put too much weight on the outside peg (like half of your body weight or more) your upper body would also half to tense up in order to hold yourself there.
The proper amount of weight you should put on the outside peg is just enough to comfortably maintain good upper body movement. So it’s more like a little pressure down on that outside peg. Let the rest of your weight remain on the seat and keep your upper body loose enough to move and go with the flow. If you just take 15 pounds from the seat and put it on the outside peg; that’s a difference of 30 pounds from high to low; that’s the difference you need to keep up some good speed and momentum through the corner.
You don’t need to weight the outside peg when there is good traction through the corner; especially when there is a berm (rut) in the corner. In this case just keep your weight on the seat and of course keep your foot on the outside peg. This will save you're energy and allow your upper body to remain loose for good movement.
Sometime it’s even beneficial to weight the inside peg; that’s right I said inside peg. This is if you plan to keep both feet on the footpegs. This technique works really well on slippery higher speed corners that you would take standing up. By weighting the inside peg the CG is placed even lower and this extremely low CG will anchor the tires in traction like a plow cutting through a furrow. Just make sure you have the ball of your foot on that inside peg so it doesn’t wind up around the back of you neck.
These techniques have proven to work well for many, many riders, I hope it also works well for you and gives you that extra speed and control you’re looking for.
Quotes to live by:
"If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results."
"Nobody's a natural. You work hard to get good and then work hard to get better."
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