Your Body Mass and a Road Bike

Have you considered the effect your body can have on the motorcycle when you're riding? It's a subject that's full of myths and it comes right from the very top of riding and racing. You may have heard some of these things; “You need to press the outside peg to make the motorcycle grip,” or “you use your body weight to lean the motorcycle over,” or “steering a motorcycle is done through the foot pegs.”

But if we are to look at what your motorcycle needs it becomes easier to see that these statements lack an understanding of what a motorcycle needs to go round a turn.

How much do you weight? Even a light rider, say 50kg or less can have a massive effect on their motorcycle if they are imprudently or abruptly moving that weight around on the motorcycle – particularly in corners.

Motorcycles aren't designed to deal with your mass moving around when you want to carve an arc. Motorcycles are designed to deal with the surface in a bid to keep the tires on the surface and therefore give you traction so you can counter those cornering forces trying to push you to the outside of the turn via the tire's contact patch.
The better the suspension can work the more grip you will have in the corner, the more comfortable you will feel, the better the motorcycle will hold a line and the better the communication between you and the motorcycle.

However, if you start making your body lighter in the seat, for example, you become an unstable mass. You will, naturally, try to stabilize yourself and then put too much pressure into and through the handlebars. Imagine all your body weight swinging off the handlebars in a turn. Do you think it will help of hinder what the motorcycle and the suspension is trying to do?

A lot of these misconceptions come from riders mistaking what you can do on an off-road motorcycle on dirt and thinking that the same principles will work on a road motorcycle on Tarmac. These are two very different sets of circumstances. Getting racers to ride off-road all the time might be good for fitness but it does not give a transferable skill set. If also carries a high risk of injury.

The more static and stable you can make your body weight the better the motorcycle can deal with it and also the surface below.
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