Your body position on a motorcycle
When it was 2009 I bought a so-called “Babyblade”. It was a Honda CBR400RR and also my first supersport (if you can call it like that). One of the first things I did was going on the racetrack with it. Looking back to that period, I can say that my body position in the bike was based on what I copied from other riders and what I thought on what it should be a good position and just putting that into practise.
First, it worked fine for me and I found out what upper body position worked for me. But later I noticed that I was just screwing around and needed some tips and tricks to improve my body position. Definitely when you don’t feel comfortable enough!
That’s why I booked a trackday under the supervision of trainers. The instructions of the trainer helped me a lot to improve my technique to go around the circuit fast. Not only the way you sit on the bike before the corner, in it and when you go out, but also when to brake and in which gear you need to be in to boss those corners. Through these lessons I developed a good base to build on and found out what helps me to go around the corners with speed and comfort. In addition to that learning from friends and forums is pretty helpful as well to discover your best position on the bike. Youtube is also a great way to learn! A lot of professional (ex) motorbike racers post good videos on how to go around the circuit fast!
It’s good to know there isn’t really an overall best body position on the bike. But there are bad ones! It’s important to know not to find bad body positions and still be comfortable with it. In the end is it just a matter of practising, practising, practising and riding a lot!
A few tips to start practising with:
- Put your butt next to the bike when cornering. It feels weird and like you’re hanging a fair distance off the bike, but in reality it probably won’t!
- Bring your head more forward and a little bit downwards.
- Bring your arm closest to the corner more outwards in a slide bend. The outer arm is straightened and lean-to the tank.
The circuit is the best place to bring this in practise of course, because it’s safer and easier. But on public roads I have been doing kneedowns as well. Doing a kneedown is awesome and looks great on pictures, but more important is it to be comfortable with what you’re doing. Only if you sit on your bike with confidence, the rest will come on its own! And then is going around the track much more fun and you’ll be quick also! Win/win!
- Dennis Batterink