Yamaha R6 Forum: YZF-R6 Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Here is something interested that California Superbike School posted on their Facebook page. Have a look at the coach's left hand then to the next image for a close up view.

Once you've put the bike on line, make sure there is no tension on the handlebars. Photo: @etechphoto
373734
373735


When you ride do you think you're as relaxed as the coach pictured or do you still carry tension in the handlebars?

What is the benefit of having little to no pressure on the handlebars?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,817 Posts
For quicker reaction, (in the event of an unexpected problem,) people may cover their brake and/or clutch.

Personally and off the track, the act of relaxing my arms, grip, is kind of Jedi mind trick - allows me to place more trust in sticking a corner. The also benefit of loose arms seems to be, in the event of a break in cornering traction, the bike is allowed to move, more independent of the rider (me). The perceived (by me) benefit of a looser grip, is the ability for quicker brake/clutch grab... less likely to upset the accelerator.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
For quicker reaction, (in the event of an unexpected problem,) people may cover their brake and/or clutch.

Personally and off the track, the act of relaxing my arms, grip, is kind of Jedi mind trick - allows me to place more trust in sticking a corner. The also benefit of loose arms seems to be, in the event of a break in cornering traction, the bike is allowed to move, more independent of the rider (me). The perceived (by me) benefit of a looser grip, is the ability for quicker brake/clutch grab... less likely to upset the accelerator.
Really good points about how keeping your arms relaxed helps you have more trust in the corner and in the event of breaking traction, the bike is allowed to move. When the rider tries to force the bike to do what he wants (with tense arms) then a speed wobble or tank slapper could occur. You say it is a Jedi mind trick for you to maintain relaxed arms, do you just tell yourself to relax or is there a technique or process you use to ensure that you CAN maintain a relaxed grip?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,817 Posts
Relaxing the grip/arms helps create a belief that I can be more aggressive on the lean; regardless of the fact that other circumstances are the same/similar. It's really all in my head. That's what I mean by "mind trick". I noticed that when my grip/arms are tighter, I lean less, and on the same corners, under similar circumstances. So all conditions being the same/similar, the only change is how tense my hands/arms are. I'm finding that I get a more confident and enjoyable ride by doing nothing more than relaxing arms/grip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Relaxing the grip/arms helps create a belief that I can be more aggressive on the lean; regardless of the fact that other circumstances are the same/similar. It's really all in my head. That's what I mean by "mind trick". I noticed that when my grip/arms are tighter, I lean less, and on the same corners, under similar circumstances. So all conditions being the same/similar, the only change is how tense my hands/arms are. I'm finding that I get a more confident and enjoyable ride by doing nothing more than relaxing arms/grip.
It's not just the BELIEF that you can be more aggressive with your lean and that you are more confident when your arms are relaxed, it's the truth. When you have tension in the bars and in your arms, you end up preventing the bike from going where it wants to go. For example, in a left handed corner, if you press on the left bar to initiate steering into the corner and then tense your arms, the bike will stop heading left and begin to try and go straight, or even more to the right, the outside of the corner. In essence you are are STEERING the bike to the outside of the corner instead of allowing it to track to the left. That means that it won't lean as much, it won't feel as comfortable, and you will have to make some steering corrections in order to get the bike to go where you want it to go.

That is the reason why you get a more confident an enjoyable ride when you relax your grip, because you are no longer fighting the bike and preventing it from tracking a nice predictable line through the corner. It's not just a mind trick or a belief, it's how it works and why we put so much attention and focus on maintaining a relaxed grip while riding.

That being said, it sounds to me like you are simple able to remind yourself to relax while riding and when you do that you notice a big difference. Some riders tell themselves to relax and TRY and relax while riding but can't seem to do it. What do you think prevents riders who WANT to relax from actually making it happen?
 

·
YZFR6... ooodles of HP
Joined
·
136 Posts
I have been trying the chicken wing test. Sometimes I get steering inputs when flapping the elbows indicating the evil death grip with rigid arms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,817 Posts
I have been trying the chicken wing test. Sometimes I get steering inputs when flapping the elbows indicating the evil death grip with rigid arms.
Relax your wrists... good point.

........................ ...... ........... What do you think prevents riders who WANT to relax from actually making it happen?
Self preservation. :D ;)
 

·
YZFR6... ooodles of HP
Joined
·
136 Posts
Also no weight on wrists reduces the sucky angle pain on 65 mile commutes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Relax your wrists... good point.


Self preservation. :D ;)
Ha! Self preservation! Well, you're actually right in that riders THINK they are reacting with self-preservation in mind. They see something scary or think they are going to fast or whatever and they automatically react. Keith Code calls those automatic reactions, survival reactions and they cause all sorts of riding errors like, target fixation and getting tense on the bars. The body thinks that survival reactions are the RIGHT way to respond when in actual fact they are usually the opposite. So when you get tense or you realize you are always tense when riding, it's usually a kind of survival reaction to something. Maybe you felt like you were going to fast, or running a bit wide and so your body automatically reacts to try and prevent the bad thing from happening but when you tense up, it makes the situation worse!

Hence the comment I made about sort of digging deeper to find out what is causing you to be tense in the first place. You can tell your body to relax and not tense up on the bars a million times but if you are target fixating on things or running wide in corners or making all sorts of riding errors then it becomes almost impossible to relax unless you solve the riding mistakes.

Can you train your body to react in more positive ways, instead of letting survival reactions take control?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,817 Posts
............... Can you train your body to react in more positive ways, instead of letting survival reactions take control?
Innate behaviors are some of the hardest to overcome. Often one doesn't even realize it when their gripping much tighter than they need to be. (at least, not for another 90 minutes when you almost need someone with a spatula to separate your fingers from the handlebars - then you realize you've been hanging on too tight) Long endurance rides are good for retraining the brain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,817 Posts
@misti - I've been curious about the phrase, "push on the handlebars". I've heard many other people use the phrase in reference to turning. I've never felt like I had to do that and let my lean do the turning. Is that "proper" technique?
 

·
YZFR6... ooodles of HP
Joined
·
136 Posts
The msf course was push left go left. I find to turn right I steer to the inside as in left and it dumps to the right. Or other way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,817 Posts
For me, pushing on the handlebars doesn't really create a lean, it's the shifting of the body weight that does it. Like when I'm really aiming for a speedy tight corner, my rear is offset to the inside of that corner, my upper body and head are lower and closer to that inside-corner handlebar. It would seem kind of ackward to be pushing on that handlebar? The only time I'm conciously turning the steering head to steer is when moving at a walking pace... and even then I'd be hard pressed to describe turning the head as, "pushing" on the handlebar?
 

·
YZFR6... ooodles of HP
Joined
·
136 Posts
It is a rotation of the triple trees but strange to apply at speed. It is definitely not pushing down towards the ground.. the only way that works for me is commanding an inside line to outside and she will drop. I'm talking over 40mph. Above 60 I must not always be in command to get that flick right over stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
@misti - I've been curious about the phrase, "push on the handlebars". I've heard many other people use the phrase in reference to turning. I've never felt like I had to do that and let my lean do the turning. Is that "proper" technique?
When you LEAN your bike into a corner, say a left hand turn, you are actually putting pressure on the left handlebar (Consciously or unconsciously) and that is what is turning the bike. So unknowingly you are counter-steering. Everyone does it. It's fine for now, but when you have to make a quick decision or quick turn to avoid something sudden, you may find that you don't turn quick enough or you don't actually fully understand HOW the bike steers.

Think about it like this, if you knew exactly how much pressure on the bar it would take to get the bike turned quickly and precisely to the exactly where you want the bike to end up, would that make you a more confident rider? What if you knew that you could quickly and instantly get the bike to steer faster and more precisely with less effort would that make you a better rider?

The more you know and practice the better you will be be. We say at the California Superbike School to press left to go left and press right to go right....after that there are several things you can do as the rider to get that steering action done more quickly and effectively with as little effort as possible! Hope that answers your question!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
For me, pushing on the handlebars doesn't really create a lean, it's the shifting of the body weight that does it. Like when I'm really aiming for a speedy tight corner, my rear is offset to the inside of that corner, my upper body and head are lower and closer to that inside-corner handlebar. It would seem kind of ackward to be pushing on that handlebar? The only time I'm conciously turning the steering head to steer is when moving at a walking pace... and even then I'd be hard pressed to describe turning the head as, "pushing" on the handlebar?
Like I said above, if you are moving your body and shifting your weight you are unknowingly putting pressure on that bar....now, if you consciously did it do you think the bike would turn quicker and more precisely? You can give it a try in a parking lot....go straight and then just push on the left handlebar and let your body follow....

When I set up for a corner, my body shifts to the side of the bike I want to turn but then to initiate the turn I push on the handlebar and then LET My body fall into the turn, or follow the bike...it's not awkward to steer like that at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
It is a rotation of the triple trees but strange to apply at speed. It is definitely not pushing down towards the ground.. the only way that works for me is commanding an inside line to outside and she will drop. I'm talking over 40mph. Above 60 I must not always be in command to get that flick right over stuff.
Good points. we aren't asking our students to push DOWN on the bar but forward on the bar. So arms bent and almost palming the bar, push forward...bike turns quickly with little effort!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,817 Posts
I'm actually bending my elbow more and moving my chin towards that handlebar when I want a quicker lean-in... which results with more turn. I'm not bending my elbow to put more downforce on the handlebar, I'm doing so to shift my bodyweight. As mentioned, I have literally pushed down on the handlebar and it doesn't really do anything because my body/weight remains center. Coming to a slow stop with the cars, I'll often counterbalance to remain upright longer, just by sticking my left leg out. I also found benefits, knee-gripping the tank, benefiting stability and control, reducing stresses on back, wrists, hands and arms.

Bottom line, I still don't get the idea of "pushing on the handlebars". It's the shifting of the bodyweight and its resulting lean that does the bulk of my turning. At walking speed I do tight U-turn primarily with pulling a handlebar; and a tid-bit of lean as needed. But at-speed it never even occurs to me to even try that; I innately avoid it... and thinking about now, assume that doing that will only result with a high-side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I'm actually bending my elbow more and moving my chin towards that handlebar when I want a quicker lean-in... which results with more turn. I'm not bending my elbow to put more downforce on the handlebar, I'm doing so to shift my bodyweight. As mentioned, I have literally pushed down on the handlebar and it doesn't really do anything because my body/weight remains center. Coming to a slow stop with the cars, I'll often counterbalance to remain upright longer, just by sticking my left leg out. I also found benefits, knee-gripping the tank, benefiting stability and control, reducing stresses on back, wrists, hands and arms.

Bottom line, I still don't get the idea of "pushing on the handlebars". It's the shifting of the bodyweight and its resulting lean that does the bulk of my turning. At walking speed I do tight U-turn primarily with pulling a handlebar; and a tid-bit of lean as needed. But at-speed it never even occurs to me to even try that; I innately avoid it... and thinking about now, assume that doing that will only result with a high-side.
By bending your elbow and moving your chin towards the handlebar you are, as mentioned above, countersteering the bike because you have some pressure on the handlebar. Moving your body weight to the side and having your upper body down and to the side all helps to ALLOW the bike to turn better but without the push on the handlebar you would notice that the bike doesn't actually react much.

And counter-steering isn't the act of pushing DOWN on the handlebar, that doesn't do much, but pushing FORWARD on the handlebar....so by having your elbows down you get a better angle to push on the bars which will result in a faster and quicker steer, without much effort.

Pulling the opposite handlebar also works and you needn't be concerned that pulling the handlebar at speed will result in a high side, it won't. It will help you steer the bike even quicker. When I'm at pace and trying to get the bike turned for a high speed series of corners I have to both push on the handlebar AND pull on the other one in order to get the bike to turn. What makes you think that pulling the handlebar at speed would create a high-side?

Here is a video that may help explain what I mean:
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top