The Perfect Body Positioning Hype

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It actually amuses me to see the huge amount of attention other schools, books, forums, and videos spending on the subject called ‘the perfect body positioning’ for street riders. Glancing over to what MotoGP riders like Marc Marquez performs on TV- must be good for the Redwood Rd in the SF East Bay. If it doesn’t look like Marquez… It’ll be damned as ‘crossed-up’ and some rookie rider who was proud showing his first hanging off pic’s will be scoffed by.some forum jerks who know it all better. But are they really qualified to tell somebody what to do and what not?- especially when they actually don’t know the skill set of that particular rider?! Good question huh?!

Don’t get me wrong, because yes- there is a perfect body positioning, but this one has a other purpose… to find another tenth of a second on a prototype race bike in MotoGP. The rookie street rider has a different purposes of course, and one of them is to stay alive- and secondarily to be in harmony with himself and the bike, as long as he/she is dealing with essential things of riding a motorcycle- like even to shift.

Let’s have a quick overview what advices like “you gotta smile in the mirror” and “touch the gas tank with your elbow” actually means for a newbie:

  • A total different weight distribution
  • An extreme hanging off demands higher corner speeds because centrifugal energy helps carrying body weights
  • Professional racers are extremely fit to perform this exercise
  • Lever, brake, shift, and throttle control are way harder to do
  • 90% of body weight have to be lifted over to the other side in chicanes
  • Center gravity while braking is totally different
  • Connection to the bike is off / feedback response time delayed

All of this will slow down the learning process of the one who’s hoping to find an “easy” answer to all of his/her riding problems by ignoring what really the issues are. So there are going hundreds of dollars into books, videos and riding schools which seems to have no clue what they actually take away from the riders by a ‘overdose of body positioning’. Instead- they are just confusing riders, and the result is even worse as before the new ‘wisdom’.

So yeah, let’s look at the pictures here and see those gentleman above who made millions of dollars by being “crossed-up” :-)

Headcoach Can Akkaya

8 replies
  1. Dr. Eric
    Dr. Eric says:

    Nice one Coach!

    And this is why we come back time and time again. As a proper coach you work with people and and what worked for you – not theory. Then you work with us and how to make it work for so many of us… and fix bad habits that lead to better control of fear, safe practice, and cornering.

    Write some more so we can read some more!
    Looking forward to December 14!

  2. Aleks
    Aleks says:

    Nice post! — Every body is different. As such, the perfect positioning is different for every body. As you get into top tier racing, with perfectly fit athletes, that zeroes in quite a bit according to the laws of physics. For regular riding? even “regular” track riding? As you said to me, “What works for you is what works.”

    • Coach
      Coach says:

      Exactly. There is a ‘perfect’ for athletes who are looking for those missing 3/10th of a second, which is about one starting grid row in top level racing. The regular hobby track rider is easily overloaded by doing it. It might feels ok for him/her, but the amount of attention spend to it, and the probably tensed holding position just takes too much away so that even essentials like shifting getting in the way again. Good point Aleks!

  3. Derrick Washington
    Derrick Washington says:

    I honestly believe being “OVER” concerned about speed is the real problem. Tooooooooooo many riders and teachers alike are over concerned with this lust for speed. Trying to be too fast too quickly leads to practicing bad habits, and they become permanent.
    Learning the proper physics of a bike and the fundamentals of riding 1st should be the goal, not BLAZING SPEED at any cost, including the sacrifice of good fundamentals!
    “No one with even a fundamental understanding of physics doubts the advantages of keeping the rider’s weight as low and to the inside as possible” the “modern riding style is the correct one physics dictates that not rider’s style. It’s as simple as that.
    And there is nothing comfortable about riding a bike, until you adapt and train yourself to be comfortable, twisted up BPs and unbalancing a bike while in a corner is simply not smart or logical, like it or not it’s just the simple truth. The Modern BP is the correct one, accepting that and adapting is the only way forward.

    • PageAdmin
      PageAdmin says:

      We welcome and appreciate different ‘opinions’, but since you obviously didn’t read or understand the article completely- allow me to use your words… like it or not, but you are wrong- that’s just the simple truth

  4. Jeffrey Scharf
    Jeffrey Scharf says:

    As usual you hit the nail on the head. My body position is what works for me and my physical limitations. Yet, I’m still able to hustle my little 95 around the track for a big boy my size. Of course on the street, I ride differently as control and and safety are my primary focus there. You never know when a Prius is going to try and take you out!

    • PageAdmin
      PageAdmin says:

      That’s darn right Jeff. But this also goes to the track day riders, who are getting all messed up and slowed down in their development. Until a rider hits a certain pace (pretty high corner speeds), it is senseless and in the way.


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