Visordown’s tame riding guru Andy Morrison starts with the very fundamentals of brilliant riding: the need to be relaxed
Watch any really good rider, whether they’re riding trials, speedway, motocross, road racing or on the road, and they all share a common attribute; they look relaxed on the bike. There is, needless to say, a very good reason for this – motorbikes work more efficiently with a relaxed rider onboard. This is particularly so when cornering. Ask any rider what they most enjoy about motorcycling and they’ll probably tell you it’s taking the bike through a succession of sweeping corners. For this reason any technique aimed at trying to improve cornering will naturally enhance the enjoyment factor.
A tense rider will not allow the steering and suspension to operate efficiently, and will consequently take a wider arc through any given corner at a given speed and lean angle than the relaxed rider. Particularly when the road surface is less than billiard-table smooth. Staying loose and relaxed will allow the bars to oscillate a little, something they need to do as the bike passes over surface imperfections bumps and cambers if it is to remain on the chosen line. If you need proof of this look no further than onboard camera footage from the Isle of Man TT. If the rider tried to physically control these oscillations his bike would become uncontrollable.
Achieving a relaxed state while riding can be more difficult than you imagine. There are myriad factors conspiring to add tension; extremes of weather, other road users and poor road surfaces to name but three. We can’t control these but we do have the ability to control some personal factor and stresses such as clothing fit and suitability, realistic travel distances and timing, regular breaks and remaining calm in the face of others’ stupidity. One of the main areas we can focus on is adjusting our riding style to factor in a relaxed, loose style.
From an instructor’s point of view the tense rider is easy to spot; little movement in the upper body, shocks from the front forks transmitting through the arms to the body, a machine that doesn’t appear to be handling that well. Ask these riders if they feel any aches and pains after a ride and invariably they’ll tell you their shoulders ache and that they sometimes suffer pins and needle in the hands. Learning to relax will improve your machine control and ultimately make you a become smoother, faster rider as a result. It’s absolutely key to everything that follows.
Become a fan of Visordown
Follow us on twitter
Other Immediate Media Sites
Our eCommerce Platform
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk