Thread: Gymkhana
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:33 PM   #420
Vulfy OP
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Joined: Feb 2012
Location: NYC
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Ahh, I understand now.
Haha, for the body position its been an endless search for proper positioning for me. I've tried hanging off the bike moving chest all the way out, to be almost over the cone. I also tried the complete opposite, and counterbalance the bike's lean by moving my body away from the turn.

I'll try putting my chest outside of the bike more, in the turn. I do that in a faster bends, but in slower, tighter turns, I tend to overdo it, and it does more harm than good. I will have to play with it more, to see what works for me. I do see some gymkhana riders hanging off, some keeping straight with the bike, and some actually counter-leaning. Unfortunately its all happening in all sorts of different videos, as well as different turns and courses. Its pretty hard to see what actually produces best results, based on faster time, as all of it is all over the place.

I personally do like to hang off (not knee dragging, but just moving my chest to the inside mirror) the bike in a faster bends, and it improved my riding tremendously on the street. I'll just have to play more with it here.

With this session, it wasn't just about running faster with greater speed. There was a bit of new technique involved which I didn't go into in my previous posts. Its might not sound big, and I'm sure a lot of Gymkhana riders would say "Duh, of course you suppose to do that", but it makes a big deal in a turn for me personally, and it was a bit of a discovery.

Before on my Triumph, I would lean into the turn, and twist the bars as much as I could and sort of keep them at that one constant angle. With Triumph it was the only way to go, as the locks were pretty close and there wasn't as much movement as I get in DRZ. So even though that the turn was still a bit of a spiral, decreasing as it went around the cone, it was doing that based on the speed of the bike, and not as much because of the steering.

So today, what I was doing, was constantly decreasing turn radius as I was going around the cone, by actively steering the bike tighter and tighter. The bike rolls into the turn at a certain lean and certain angle on the bars, and then gradually decreases its speed as it goes around the cone. While its doing that, I'm constantly twisting handlebars more and more, making the front wheel turn tighter and tighter. I was playing a game today, where I would try and aim the end of my inside handle bar into the cone, as I went around it. It made me realize that I constantly needed to twist the bars tighter, in the turn to keep aiming at the cone.

Of course, I'm talking about centimeters of movement here, and It might be hard to catch on the video, not to mention that it was a big "AHA" moment for me, and I was still just playing with it. But I could definitely feel the difference in a turn, as well as my times showed that it was making a BIG difference in performance.

As far as the tight turn exercises, yup, that is exactly what I'm doing in a warmup. Just riding pretty slowly without much lean, but trying to keep the bars at full lock. Again, need a lot more practice on DRZ, as it has some really long turn in the bars.

Thanks for all the pointers.
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