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Revisiting Cornering Technique – Weighting the Outside Peg on the Tarmac

It has been roughly five years since we wrote about this topic – a topic that seems to interest MD readers. Why is it sometimes faster to shift the weight to the outside of your bike while cornering on tarmac, as opposed to hanging off the inside of your bike (like Marc Marquez)?

We now have a video (below) with an interesting mix of motorcycles on a paved oval. Two riders are on superbikes (hanging off the inside), two are on supermotos (weighting the outside of the bike), and a fifth rider is on a strange contraption with very skinny tires (also weighting the outside of his bike).

Have a look at the video and try not to be surprised by the winner of the race:

29 Comments

  1. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    Way double ought naught triple balls cool. In 67 on R&R in Japan, I tried to get a taxi to take me to a motorcycle paved flat track I had heard about. After a 45 minute drive thru hill and dale ended up at a dog racing track with the same name. Thanks for this video. Really ! The guy in the yellow looks like Herman Munster.

  2. SeTh says:

    The superbike riders are letting up on the power.

  3. SharkGuitar says:

    This is the same technique that police use.

  4. Bubba W says:

    Pee Wee for the win! Awesome race.

  5. kjazz says:

    Add a couple of right handers and a half mile straight and the order is very different. But I agree with above, center of gravity for all that I can see is to the inside. Odd bike is not being “dirtbiked” by its rider the way we tend to “push-over” a moto-x-er on a flat turn.

    The really big question or interesting point(s) for me is the power comparisons, torque curves and the lateral G’s each of the bikes can generate (contact patch size). I noticed the upright rider lost traction more than once but was able to recover. The other riders would have a lot more “surprise” if that happened to them and a likely fall.

  6. mickey says:

    There are many ways to get through a corner

  7. joe b says:

    they are all hanging off the inside.

  8. Curtis says:

    Very strange race aside…

    Counterweighting clearly has its purposes. And hanging off clearly has its purposes as well. One is not superior to the other, and one does not replace the other. The trick is to know when each one is most appropriate.

  9. Tommy D says:

    This video is a pro “Auto Race”. It’s done for gambling…. Get it!!! Gambling!!! Place you bets…. Oh what a surprise! the last guy won.

  10. Steve M says:

    Physics? bullshinto….. If I were anyone but Marquez in MotoGP I would be ordering a Herman Munster left boot and and a set of shoulder pads from the 60’s and give it a go….and run a front tire on the rear. What do you have to lose?

  11. Marcus says:

    This is a comparison of apples to oranges. The winning rider starts in the last position and he’s riding a purpose built race bike. It is designed to race around that track in that direction.
    The other riders don’t stand a chance.

  12. Marty says:

    Japanese flat tracker. Saw a few when I was living in Okinawa in the early ‘70s. Haven’t changed much, has the twisted bars and all.

  13. bmbktmracer says:

    It’s a bit sad that motorcycling has become so boring that we have to watch ancient videos and rehash riding techniques.

  14. miffie says:

    The first place #5 is a multiple 125 GP champion.
    The second place #2 is a 500 GP rider.
    The 2 are Aoki brothers, like as Marquez brothers.

  15. Randy B. Singer says:

    Not only has this video been around for years, but I can’t help but feel that it has a lot in common with professional wrestling. It’s very entertaining, but that may be because it was set up to be.

    So I’m not sure that anyone can use this video to come to any reliable conclusions about racing styles.

  16. dt-175 says:

    the gixxer boys shoulda been up on the cushion instead of pole puttin’…

  17. Provologna says:

    Same as Duc, I watched this video a year or more ago, and it’s just as much fun to watch again.

    Looks like the winning bike weighs about half the Supersports, and even less than the Super Motards. His exhaust is on the R/outside, for maximum L side clearance, and it also appears to have virtually unlimited cornering clearance. It appears he just slings it down, and corner with as much pressure as his inside leg can stand to keep it from low-siding, assisted with some pressure on the outside peg to compensate.

    The bike looks so weird, and goes so fast.

    Reminds me of when Craig McClean did the Marin Sunday Ride on a scooter from his dad Alex’s shop (Motorcycles Unltd., RIP). Craig creamed all except for a couple guys to the “cigarette break” overlooking Stinson. For years Craig and his Ducati Supermono owned the singles record @ Sears Point.

    I wish Dirck would do a feature on a special Ducati custom and it’s owner/designer, who converted his V-twin Superbike (700 or 800cc) into a Supermono; whacked the rear cylinder right off! IIRC there’s track video too; the bike is stellar.

  18. Slob says:

    It’s called “Auto Racing” in Japan. It’s mainly a betting sport. Here’s a vid with Guy Martin giving it a go: https://youtu.be/7WuymmgrZI4

    • Provologna says:

      IMO the winner was faking it all the way to the very end when he passed Guy Martin. If the winner wanted to I suspect he could and would have won by the proverbial country mile, which would have been absolutely no fun for anyone, especially Guy.

      I suggest, for kicks, readers dig up Wade Boyd’s YT videos at the Sacramento mile dirt oval, on his converted early vintage Yamaha R1 setup for dirt as best a 150hp 400+# bike can be. First few laps he’s a back marker till the tires and suspension warm up; by the last couple laps Wade’s front wheel is in the air through the straights, and the 2nd place guy is not in Wade’s non-existent rear view mirror.

      The also-rans moan to Wade’s crew that Wade’s bike is unfair and ruined the fun. Wade’s crew tells them to swap bikes and see what happens. Few to no riders accustomed to 200# singles are gonna ride Wade’s R1 to victory. Wade competed multiple times at the Isle of Man TT, and also successfully raced side cars. Wade is another good subject for readers here IMO. Stories of his late father Bill Boyd (RIP) on the Marin Sunday Ride are legion; he lost part of a leg and still kicked arse with his specially modded RD350.

  19. Edward Smith says:

    Physics don’t particularly care where your body is or where the bike is. What matters is the tire’s presentation to the road (camber angle & slip angle) and the combined rider + bike center of gravity. Somehow or another, you need to figure out a way to get the tires near the edge of the friction circle and keep them there.

    This video is incredible – and counterintuitive – but what it shows is that your technique has to be altered depending on the type of bike (more specifically, the type of tires) you’re riding.

    • SausageCreature says:

      “Physics don’t particularly care where your body is or where the bike is.”

      Oh, so body and bike positions don’t matter. Got it.

      “What matters is…and the combined rider + bike center of gravity.”

      Oh, so body and bike positions do matter. Got it.

  20. DucDynasty says:

    I saw this video years ago. It was entertaining then and it’s fun to watch it again. Looks like a wide receiver on a Whizzer! LOL

  21. Nick says:

    Looks like the bike designed for the circuit won, not to mention the rider who knew how to use it!

    Nick

  22. Paul Gerle says:

    A strange contraption? Are you not aware of speedway bikes? It’s not surprising it was faster than the other bikes under those conditions, as that is a paved speedway track, and that bike design has been optimized for that format. Those skinny tires are terrifying, though! 🙂 That video has been around for several years.