Re: Tips for a virgin knee dragger.
I'm a noob here, but maybe I can help a little.
Years ago I tried (meaning I was too fat and too slow) to race AMA superbikes. Just club level stuff in Pueblo/Denver CO.
I attended a racing school sponsored by Jason Pridmore, a factory endurance racer for Suzuki.
We talked about getting knees on the ground, this helped me tremendously with corner speeds, so here goes:
Essentially what your trying to do is remove some weight loading to the tires. In essence, create a "tripod". The knee should load into the pavement.
On a big bike, the other leg should be tucked in tight. Your actually using it to "pull" the bike over as you enter the corner and maintain the lean angle.
On a pocket bike this part really isn't applicable unless your six years old. Adults are just too big. The point is the knee isn't supposed to just skim the asphalt. It should be working as a 3rd wheel.
That's what I learned for big stuff and it helped me a great deal.
If you've not stuck a knee before it'll likely scare you a bit the first time. It did with me anyway. Just trust it. A crack or bump in the road WILL NOT tear your leg out of your hip. It'll just float right over the top of it.
My advise is get some leathers with knee pucks. You can buy knee pucks from superbike race sites that are made from Delrin plastic. It'll look like you have two plastic bricks stuck to the side of your calves. They are thicker/heavier to last longer. This is why racers buy them because they are working that knee pretty hard (as mentioned earlier)
Don't look 5 feet in front of you. This is pure poison to smooth cornering. If there's dirt/gravel/sand on the surface you are already phooked. It's too late. This is where riding in a prepared surface beats the street by a factor of 10. Streets are dangerous because conditions are constantly changing. A track shouldn't have a line of "marbles" the way a shoulder on a public road does. Look as far ahead as you can in your corners. You'll track smoother and this will build the confidence to increase lean angle and add more corner speed. You'll also find that you won't serpentine nearly as much. It'll seem like the whole world slowed down because the pavement isn't rushing by you so fast when you look way ahead. It also helps with avoiding riders ahead of you who may have gotten into trouble.
Last and then I'll shut up:
Your throttle management is what turns the bike once committed. If you need to stand it up a bit, add power. The bike will try to pull to vertical. If you need more lean angle, you can back off the power slightly. I learned on my Gixxer 1000 that it had a subtle flat spot in the power curve. I got a Yoshimira EMS and learned to tune the flat spot out. Nothing sucks more than a sputtery throttle response where there's nothing, then suddenly more power than you wanted. With these little bikes I suspect they don't have sophisticated fuel injection (yet). A carb can be tuned just as well to give smooth power delivery.
Hope this helps and good luck.
Last edited by nesikachad; 07-17-2012 at 08:31 AM.