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Discussion Starter #1
Recently, I've been really conscious of the fact that I occasionally take-up a death grip on the bars. Although it doesn't always happen, the two scenarios when I've noticed it are:

  • When I've taken off quick from a set of lights, running hard up through the gears.
  • When I've been pushing hard through some twisties.
Like I said, it doesn't always happen. Sometimes I keep my composure and maintain a relaxed grip, whereas other times it's like I'm trying to choke the bike.

How can I get myself to relax my grip all of the time???
 

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Only time that happens to me is when I know I am about to prang the darn bike & so my last, few seconds, attempt to possibly save the bike & myself--------only it is to late for it does not work.

You sort of know it when you have to miss a cage that was all the way across the road, just ad you came around a tight bend, not able to see beyond that point, so you have gone into the ditch or possibly a farm or orchard to possibly avoid that terrible prang only something is in your way being a power pole & possibly you are on wrong terrain for a street bike like the farmer might have just moved the sprinklers an hours ago. Little things like that & others.
 

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Well just being conscious that you are doing it at times is a nice first step. When you notice it happening wiggle your fingers or flap your elbows a bit.
 

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When under hard acceleration looking further up the road will help. The sense of speed isn't as intense.

Works for me...but we're all different.
 

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Are you saying that you do the death grip in turns also..?

Here's an age old trick to see that you stay relaxed, and have a soft grip on the barz...do the chicken...:p Seriously, flap your arms all the way through a med speed turn, you don't have to be pushin it either, just Keep doin it..until it's normal, the soft grip that is...:D

The LESS input from you, the better your bike will work..:thumb:

Also, work on BREATHING...alot..it helps..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What makes it difficult to diagnose is that it's not a constant problem. Sometimes I'm cool, calm and collected, whereas other times I'll notice that I've tensed.

I've done the chicken before. Looked more like a goose, but it certainl highlighted how relaxed I should be. :p
 

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cookeetree said:
What makes it difficult to diagnose is that it's not a constant problem. Sometimes I'm cool, calm and collected, whereas other times I'll notice that I've tensed.

I've done the chicken before. Looked more like a goose, but it certainl highlighted how relaxed I should be. :p
LOL...another thing I found was really helpful, is when your in a turn..i.e. just after you tip in, take one of your hands just slightly off the bars, or if your not comfy doing that, wiggle your fingers, as it's Im possible to have a tight grip and wriggle them suckers..:D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hammer 4 said:
LOL...another thing I found was really helpful, is when your in a turn..i.e. just after you tip in, take one of your hands just slightly off the bars, or if your not comfy doing that, wiggle your fingers, as it's Im possible to have a tight grip and wriggle them suckers..:D
Cool. I'll try that one also.

Between the flapping and the wiggling, I'm going to look like I'm having a siezure! :laughing:
 

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cookeetree said:
Cool. I'll try that one also.

Between the flapping and the wiggling, I'm going to look like I'm having a siezure! :laughing:
Make sure you do the "Duck Clap Point wave" to all passing motorists to complete the insane effect.
 

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Unas you forgot the spin!!! actually i just realized i've done the noob wave advanced once... but it was in a parking lot and my left hand was on the clutch :p

good tips by everyone though, i still have issues w/ that dreaded death grip so they're definitely worth a try.
 

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During leans, lay your arm on the tank. Make sure it stays on the tank the whole time.
I sometimes "Coach" myself when riding.. Just repeat things outloud in my helmet
 

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Well the reason for the "death grip" is your (and my) reaction for self preservation under what the "eye" sees as a bad situation(except that it is the wrong reaction!!).

See if you can get the book, "Twist of The Wrist II" it will explain all and help you improve with logic.

Regards,
 

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All of the above are true. Just being aware is a big step.

For the bends, you might work on body position along with this. It's part of what allows the lighter grip in corners, not requiring much of an input to maintain the lean/line. It's also an indicator of getting too excited/scared. When you notice it happening, slow down and work the techniques described. Happy Motoring!:)
 

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Vash said:
During leans, lay your arm on the tank. Make sure it stays on the tank the whole time.
I sometimes "Coach" myself when riding.. Just repeat things outloud in my helmet
For the first time in years, I noticed myself doing the same thing lately. Moreso on the YZF than the FZR, but I have noticed it. When I was at Deal's Gap this year, I thought it was from fatique, but it fealt really comfortable and stable. Is this common?
 

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DanQ said:
For the first time in years, I noticed myself doing the same thing lately. Moreso on the YZF than the FZR, but I have noticed it. When I was at Deal's Gap this year, I thought it was from fatique, but it fealt really comfortable and stable. Is this common?
I've seen people discuss these things at length and a similar subject, peg loading. Examples of good riders who do and don't use the same subtle techniques abound. Anchoring with an arm is totally good as are legs against side panels, tanks, etc. The discussions of those things are all good but in my way of thinking, it's easy to get too wrapped up in a lot of details that may tend to confuse a person still working on their basic skills, still trying to get comfortable with the whole deal.

I don't focus so much on the details as I do on ONE fundamantal... DON'T carry your weight on the bars. The rest is supporting details.;) Other than initiating a rapid change in direction, light touch on the bars ALWAYS. Use some body position to move the C/L of weight in bends so that the bars don't have to be pushed on with a heavy hand to maintain a line. (Staying light on the bars in a bend.)

To me, by focusing on the bar feel it requires the rider to find alternate ways of anchoring, ANY of which will be better than hanging on the bars. Many good techniques will happen by default. Once the light on the bar objective is made a part of you, the comfort it affords and relaxed feeling of control, you will be able to try other things and focus on their effects. The gains will be small compared to the fundamental technique of light bar feel.

For those still fighting this, I suggest just a few things to get headed in the right direction. Feet back on the pegs to the ball of the foot, slightly loaded to carry the weight of your upper body through your legs instead of leaning on the bars, elbows bent and forearms level with the horizon. (Example of a default gain, helps the suspension, too. You're no longer a dead lump on the seat. Your knees become a part of and help the suspension.)

Then learn how to maintain the light bar feel in a corner. At a comfortable speed, lean just the upper body to the inside of the corner, dipping your shoulder towards the inside and looking deep through the bend, so that after the countersteering bar input that initiates the corner/lean, the rider can notice that he no longer has to push on the inside bar to maintain the corner line, therefore light on the bars. Don't rotate your body around the tank, just lean it in. Feel for that bar effort and how it diminishes and increases as you move your body in and out.

Once you feel the comfort that light bar feel affords, you'll be able to add moving your butt over on the seat as the new found speed that the comfort affords will eventually require to accomplish the same light bar feel. As that becomes necessary, don't pivot around the tank, but slide the whole body inside, keeping the crack of your ass in line with the bike, shifting your weight before the bend, and with your knees to the tank, not pulling on your arms, therefore the bars, which upsets the bike. (Another default here. Without specifying knee out to the inside, you'll likely find that in order to maintain your body alignment with the bike, the knee will be stuck out to the inside, just like the racer guys.;) It's hard to stay aligned without that.)

And finally, as soon as possible in the bend, start a smooooth apply of the throttle. No jerky on/off actions or constant throttle adjustments in the bend, just a smooooth apply, all of the way to the exit. Even on steep downhills, at least get the throttle off the closed stop if not actually accellerating.

To me, those are the basics. When you get them working you'll appreciate the feeling of control and be relaxed enough to concentrate on specific subtleties that may help. By default, you'll find you're doing some peg loading, arm to tank, and knee loading that's probably all good. If not, you'll be comfortable enough to work on the details safely.

BTW, that's what makes Hammer's picture from above doable. You're not hanging on the bars once set in the corner. http://sbw.sportbikes.com/attachment.php?postid=537069
 

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Great info, as always Dad. I pretty much incorporate what you discuss in my cornering, but have never noted the comfort of having my forearm resting against the tank. I keep my outside leg against the tank, and weight the ball of that foot as much as possible, and the rest kinda falls into place. Never put any thought to the forearm until Vash mentioned it.

Oh... and Hammer can keep the elbow on the ground while one hand on bar to himself :D I have NO desire to do that right now:)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Above all else, what I love about this forum is endless stream of information.

Dad, your post is gold. I've been riding on the balls of my feet (instead of letting them hang) since I dragged a toe through a corner one day. It felt wierd at first, but now it's just normal.

On my way to work, this morning, I was conscious of keeping my weight off my arms and maintaining a relaxed grip (yes, I even flapped a couple of times and wiggled my fingers! :p ). Aside from my initial input, to create the countersteer, I was light as a feather on the bars. I also used the "kiss the mirror" method to shift my weight.

It's amazing just how smoothly one can corner when employing correct techniques! :D

I have one more question, with respect to countersteering. When feeding pressure to the bars, to create the countersteer, is it best to use:

  • The hand on the inside of the corner, pushing the bar.
  • The hand on the outside of the corner, pulling the bar.
  • Both hands, with equal pressure.
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    Logic, to me, dictates that the use of both hands would be best, but hey, I've been wrong before. :D

    Once again, thanks everyone! :thumbs2:


    Oh, Hammer, that's a f*cking awesome pic!!
 
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