I was mucking about in the garage last year working on the feasibility of setting up a rig to help riders with their positioning on the bike. Many want to get their knee down and are leaning far enough to do it, but don’t seem to be able to get into the right position when they are on track, even after we go through it with them in the paddock.
I’ve just found the photo of a lash up I put together in the garage at home, which anybody could do. Please read carefully below before you try and do the same.:-
The idea was to bring the track up to the rider on both sides, so they could play around with their position on the bike, and practise moving from side to side getting used to where they should be. It is quite painful when you start as you’ll likely use muscles you haven’t used before.
The first problem is to secure the bike properly – which a normal rear paddock stand will not do – you’ll drop it in the garage which can be embarassing and painful. I used a stand with a rod though the rear axle, and then tie wrapped an aluminium tube across the back and wedged it. You might get away with tie wrapping normal padddock stand arms to your swing arm spools, but make sure it is stable before you do anything else and the stand is braced from left to right.
I used a sheet of 8′ x 4′ polystyrene I had lying around, cut in half to represent the track, but anything around 4 foot square and flat would do – chipboard etc.
I then wedged the sheets with a couple more paddock stands at 45 degrees to the bike, lining them up with the tyres at the bottom.
If you then sit on the bike (making sure its stable and won’t fall over when you hang off) you can fairly quickly work out where your body needs to be to get your knee down – and it’s far better than looking down when you are riding trying to see how far you are away – as some riders seem to try.
You will find you need to move your upper body across as well as your backside, and keep your pelvis at right angles to the bike, and put the ball of your inside foot on the peg.
You will hopefully find a position that feels comfortable and safe with you firmly wedged in place – usually with your outside arm against the petrol tank. You can then practise moving to and fro from your normal riding position and to the other side. If you practise this it should become second nature and will help you get those new muscles working. Next time on the track it should feel natural and comfortable.
I doubt whether this is a unique riding aid – just that they are usually hidden behind locked garage doors.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Mike Abbott ACU Coach #61220
British Superbike School.