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Kwest364

Dirt vs street. Drag knee vs leg out. Why?

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I want to know WHY the differences in cornering technique. Some generalizations:

Dirt: weight forward on bike, leg out to weight front tire to dig into dirt, push bike down, counterweight with body to outside of turn, buttcheek to outside of turn, weight on OUTSIDE peg. Weight on the outside/on top of bike to push tires straight down into dirt to grip

Street/track: weight centered on bike, knee out straight to side, keep bike as upright as possible, lean body to inside of turn, buttcheek to inside of turn, weight on INSIDE peg. Weight on the inside of bike to reduce lean angle and maintain traction.

I'm only talking about cornering and traction. Not about jumping, merits of standing, etc.

My question is, why the difference in technique? To me, if sport bikes lean inside of the turn, hanging off the bike to reduce lean angle, which increases traction, then why don't dirt bikes and mx riders do the same?

It would stand to reason that dirtbike riders need more traction due to riding on loose dirt. So, why don't they hang off the bike to the inside like sport bikes? The opposite (pushing bike down), makes sense for sport bikes NOT to do, as they could lean so far and run out of traction/lean angle and lowside.

Generally, dirt bikes don't lean over as far, but sumo riders get about the same lean as sport bikes and they still ride leg out, weighting the outside peg GENERALLY (I know sumos sometimes also drag knee, but sumo races generally are mostly leg out, not knee down). Is traction just not as big of a deal in sumo especially, and dirt? So they can "get away" with pushing the bikes down, instead of hanging off? Gaining better control over bumps and inconsistent terrain, vs better traction on a smooth road track? Is that the only reason?

My take is that dirt riders and sumos prefer pushing bike down and weighting outside peg, which increases lean angle and subsequently reduces traction, in the name of control and quickness: since dirt and sumo tracks are shorter and have more aggressive turns and agility is key. Sport bikes generally have long, sweeping tracks, where they have more time to adjust body position for the turn. That point seems to be the least contributing factor, though. 

But still, pushing the bike down reduces traction by increasing lean angle. Leaning inside the bike keeps it more upright, reducing lean angle and increasing traction. 

I guess my point is, if dirt riders hung off the bike AND had as much control and ability to adjust as being on top of the bike offers in dirt, wouldn't the preferred technique for dirt then be to hang off like sport bike riders?

 

Again, TRACTION IN CORNERS is what I'm discussing. Why don't dirt bikes hang off? To me, the sportbike method has superior traction over the dirt technique. 

 

 

 

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There is just less traction available on dirt.  That's why you ride differently on pavement.  On a flat dirt corner you ride with the flat track style because loss of traction is inevitable.  Weighting the outside peg and keeping a body position closer to vertical allows as much control as possible when a slide develops.  Attempting to corner a flat dirt track like you would on pavement will result in an immediate low side.

In ruts or deep sand, style is not as different compared to street.  Lean the bike over until the pegs are dragging, centered body position.  Lean back, leg forward, but still more or less centered over the bike.  Without a good rut you just can't corner as hard.

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It's a fair question, generally, like flat-trackers, dirtbikes don't always arc around a corner like road bikes, in many cases you are in a controlled slide, if you were to far to the inside your front would wash out.

Road guys do use more a dirt technique at times though too:

image.png.bc9eb7d2fdff02a6078a5f0c53f3d71a.png

Edited by Oregon Comrade
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In road riding, the idea is to keep a larger contact patch on the ground for traction. The more upright the bike, the greater contact patch can be maintained. So, leaning inside allows the bike to make it thorough the corner in a more upright position. IE - requires less lean angle to make the corner.

 

Edited by dhdrider
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One reason ... tires. Look at the side angle profile patch of a sumo tire, now compare to a mx tire, the angles you can lean a sumo would be a low side all day long on mx tires. It also has to do with the firmness of the riding surface and it's ability to give way.

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Another (more obvious) reason is the fact that you just ride higher on a dirt bike because of increased suspension travel.

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I thought due to the weight and gyroscopic stability of sport bikes, riders had to hang off the things to keep them from standing up. 

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7 minutes ago, nots0much said:

I thought due to the weight and gyroscopic stability of sport bikes, riders had to hang off the things to keep them from standing up. 

Keith code goes into detail about this in his book twist of the wrist. 

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36 minutes ago, nots0much said:

I thought due to the weight and gyroscopic stability of sport bikes, riders had to hang off the things to keep them from standing up. 

Remember when King Kenny first started riding like that in europe back in the 70's? Blew them all away! Forced them to adopt that style to remain competitive. I also recall seeing a Euro road racing newspaper of the time, with a cartoon showing him ariving at the track, stepping out of an alien spaceship. They were all like... Who the hell is this guy?  :confused:

Edited by 00boob

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1 hour ago, nots0much said:

I thought due to the weight and gyroscopic stability of sport bikes, riders had to hang off the things to keep them from standing up. 

no. Road racers hang off because if they leaned the bike over more, stuff would drag on the ground and pry the tires off the pavement. Sticking a knee out at right angles proves you are a squid trying to look cool. Modern racers drag elbows and shoulders.

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31 minutes ago, pat22043 said:

no. Road racers hang off because if they leaned the bike over more, stuff would drag on the ground and pry the tires off the pavement. Sticking a knee out at right angles proves you are a squid trying to look cool. Modern racers drag elbows and shoulders.

 

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6 hours ago, TexasBlues said:

Now THAT is just plain bad ass!

 MotoGP is bad ass for sure!  Before I plated my dirt bike I watched a lot of motoGP, and when I started riding on the street with it, I mimicked the riding style of the GP guys with poor results. So I started doing the exact opposite with body positioning and my bike handles pretty well on pavement... this was before I had internet and had to find out things on my own!  

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4 hours ago, Bigfatredpig said:

 

I think that falls into the category of

just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you SHOULD

one weird spot on the track and he’s Abraham Van Brunt

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Street squid or not having a knee out can save a low side. This is assuming you are over dressed accordingly. 

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20 hours ago, Kwest364 said:

I want to know WHY the differences in cornering technique. Some generalizations:

Dirt: weight forward on bike, leg out to weight front tire to dig into dirt, push bike down, counterweight with body to outside of turn, buttcheek to outside of turn, weight on OUTSIDE peg. Weight on the outside/on top of bike to push tires straight down into dirt to grip

Street/track: weight centered on bike, knee out straight to side, keep bike as upright as possible, lean body to inside of turn, buttcheek to inside of turn, weight on INSIDE peg. Weight on the inside of bike to reduce lean angle and maintain traction.

I'm only talking about cornering and traction. Not about jumping, merits of standing, etc.

My question is, why the difference in technique? To me, if sport bikes lean inside of the turn, hanging off the bike to reduce lean angle, which increases traction, then why don't dirt bikes and mx riders do the same?

It would stand to reason that dirtbike riders need more traction due to riding on loose dirt. So, why don't they hang off the bike to the inside like sport bikes? The opposite (pushing bike down), makes sense for sport bikes NOT to do, as they could lean so far and run out of traction/lean angle and lowside.

Generally, dirt bikes don't lean over as far, but sumo riders get about the same lean as sport bikes and they still ride leg out, weighting the outside peg GENERALLY (I know sumos sometimes also drag knee, but sumo races generally are mostly leg out, not knee down). Is traction just not as big of a deal in sumo especially, and dirt? So they can "get away" with pushing the bikes down, instead of hanging off? Gaining better control over bumps and inconsistent terrain, vs better traction on a smooth road track? Is that the only reason?

My take is that dirt riders and sumos prefer pushing bike down and weighting outside peg, which increases lean angle and subsequently reduces traction, in the name of control and quickness: since dirt and sumo tracks are shorter and have more aggressive turns and agility is key. Sport bikes generally have long, sweeping tracks, where they have more time to adjust body position for the turn. That point seems to be the least contributing factor, though. 

But still, pushing the bike down reduces traction by increasing lean angle. Leaning inside the bike keeps it more upright, reducing lean angle and increasing traction. 

I guess my point is, if dirt riders hung off the bike AND had as much control and ability to adjust as being on top of the bike offers in dirt, wouldn't the preferred technique for dirt then be to hang off like sport bike riders?

 

Again, TRACTION IN CORNERS is what I'm discussing. Why don't dirt bikes hang off? To me, the sportbike method has superior traction over the dirt technique. 

 

 

 

 

13 hours ago, pat22043 said:

no. Road racers hang off because if they leaned the bike over more, stuff would drag on the ground and pry the tires off the pavement. Sticking a knee out at right angles proves you are a squid trying to look cool. Modern racers drag elbows and shoulders.

What Pat said. Your knee is used as a sensor, so you can feel how far over you have the bike leaned. It helps a bit with confidence when you're still learning to go fast too, like putting your foot down on a dirtbike.

_DSC9288.JPG.37e3802a24567b27c2eddafc334ba6e1.JPG

On a dirtbike you're trying to get max grip more than anything, so sitting on top and pushing the bike down seems to work better. Plus you have more control, hanging off roadbike style is harder to recover slides etc from.

0f4d30fe0f576b6bcacfedd319b784b3.jpg

Super Motards (not hyper motards, they're just roadbikes really) are different, they still handle like a dirtbike, so work better if you ride them like one. Having said that, some guys can ride them like a roadbike too.

11738065_905466712844027_633387273343584backing%20it%20in%201.jpg?itok=vzIDV1qT

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1 hour ago, Dirtstache 556 said:

I always thought other than being ready to catch yourself in a slide, riders use that extended high leg to help get more weight on the front wheel for more traction. 

You aren't meant to use your foot for keeping you up, though sometimes it helps. It's not even for weight distribution, the idea is you get your foot up high enough that it won't touch down at full lean, or at least as much as you can. It was one of the things Gary Bailey taught 'every time you touch the ground with your foot, it stands the bike up'. It being forward is just the best/easiest place to put it.

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