17 October 2019 / Riding Tips

Riding Tip- Forward Thinking

There are times on a dirtbike when you can sit back and power hard- but they are very rare. Even then you are probably doing more damage than good- aside from the momentary fuzzy feeling it might give you. Our time at Dargaville was as classic lesson.

Over two days we coached riders from all walks of life yet many of them shared the same desire to sit their bum back on the seat and keep their head as far from being past the handlebars as possible when standing. You could call it the cruiser mentality, except that this is no joy ride.

With this style it is very hard to steer a motorcycle of any type. Plus, when the bike does fight back, as it surely will, you are pretty much guaranteed to go wherever it sends you.

Path Finder

By sitting forward on the seat for the tight part of a turn you are now leading the bike rather than fighting it. Be warned that your head should be behind the handlebars at this point, at least enough to find the balance point where your wheels are both finding grip. Leaning forward too much while turning hard might cause your front wheel to push, so it pays to engage your rear wheel as well.

Then, by standing with your head past the handlebars you are doing the same thing. Is it natural? No! That is why I still have a job after all these years. Is it better? I think the proof is in the pics. These guys are looking good with their head past the ‘bars- don’t you think?

Maximum Fun

Of course there are times when you need to get your weight back, which is when your chin might end up over the handlebars if standing up, but hopefully your arms are still bent. Conversely, if you are sitting while powering hard then you will want to let your bum go back, and ideally get your head past the handlebars to conserve your arms.

But if you want to sit back and boost like a Ronnie Mac then go for it. There is a lot to be said for enjoying your ride, even if you probably won’t last long.

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