We remember the basic rule that the motorcycle should not be held with your hands, but with your feet. Much to the surprise of some beginners, it turns out that you can control a motorcycle in a turn or maintain balance in the same way – with your feet.
They usually explain to beginners, they say, do not remove your feet from the steps, but things rarely go beyond such prompts. The point is not so much about transferring weight from the footboard to the footboard, but about the girth of the gas tank with your knees and the transfer of weight with the help of your hip. Not to be confused with hanging, just please.
Driving the motorcycle with our feet, we relieve our hands and stop clinging to the steering wheel like crazy. Yes, the main steering maneuvers are still in the hands. If you’re not afraid, you can try turning with your legs, but all you will achieve is tilt. It is expected, because without locking the body to the handlebars, with our feet, we will not be able to force the motorcycle to turn seriously, but it is easy to bend over. Immediately we put a tick that tilting the motorcycle and turning the steering wheel are not at all equivalent manipulations, albeit interdependent. When leaning, we change the position of the contact patch, because of which the motorcycle begins to change its trajectory, this is closer to the concept of counter-steering.
By the way, when driving a motorcycle with his feet, the pilot uses the principle of counter-steering. When you are riding, letting go of your arms to rest your back and straightening, holding the motorcycle only with your feet, you monitor balance with the help of your pelvis and legs, inevitably using counter-steering. Shift the center of gravity with your pelvis, hold the motorcycle with your feet, the contact patch follows the shift of the center of gravity, and now the motorcycle obeys the laws of physics.
Steering the motorcycle with your feet makes maneuvering more relaxed and smoother. The key is muscle isolation. At first, beginners strain almost their entire body, as they worry and are afraid not to cope. Or, on the contrary, they isolate the legs, naively assuming that they will not help them in any way. Then attempts to maneuver or maintain balance begin with the help of the shoulder girdle. With time and experience, it becomes clear that not all muscles should be in good shape, which of them can and should be relaxed, which help to maintain balance. By transferring responsibility for balance to work with the pelvis and legs, we save ourselves from unnecessary stress, and most importantly from unnecessary body movements.
For rally racers, there is a simple exercise to show how the human body maintains balance on the motorcycle through footwork. It is necessary to realize that the pilot does not have to strain the whole body and that when working with the legs, the arms can be relaxed.
If you are not yet accustomed to using your feet, then be sure to try this non-tricky example.
We take any chair, it will replace a motorcycle for us. We sit on a chair and raise one leg at the knee, trying to bring it higher above the other. Do not get attached to the idea that “oh, there should be a tank right there, I don’t lift my legs like that on a motorcycle!”. The essence of the exercise is to show that your abdominal muscles will tighten, and the oblique muscles will try to compensate for your tilt in order to maintain balance. Note that the shoulder girdle and arms are calm (unless you wave them in an attempt to fly out of the chair). This is how your body works on a motorcycle, especially when it gets hot.
When you are not sure that you can keep your balance and the motorcycle with your feet, practice this exercise on a chair, so at least you will not remember the plastic if you suddenly fall. When the body realizes that it does not need absolutely all muscles for balance, move on to practice on a motorcycle.
Maintaining balance with the pelvis and legs is the basis for good balance while riding. Yes, the pros do it automatically, without emphasizing it, but newcomers really need such discoveries, because they don’t talk about many of the subtleties, as they consider them obvious. In fact, they are mostly obvious only to already experienced people who have developed a basic base in management and work with balance.