– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Aerodynamics and Reality – MD Readers Respond, Part 1

We got quite a response to our article about street riding and upright riding positions. Here is just a small sampling of what our readers had to say.

  • You nailed it. On anything but a 3/4 mile long straight, the supermotards and other upright riding bikes will prevail over a pure sportbike. The commanding, upright riding position, coupled with higher bars and wider grips allows a supermoto bike to trump a supersport in the twisties every time, riders being equal.

    The wider bars allow you to flick the bike faster and easier and the upright position give you a better feel for the tire grip and suspension loading.

    Ever since I got my KTM Superduke, I’ve been convinced of this fact – upright riding gives more control than low clipons. I’m convinced that the low clipons only provide aerodynamic benefits at high speeds – in the twisties a flat bar is the best.

  • We Olde Fartes have long known that at ordinary speeds, you don’t need to be lying on the tank. On the other hand, look at dirttrackers: everybody has got about the same horsepower and same gearing, and they aren’t running much faster than extralegal freeway speeds. They lack fairings and obviously get a slight advantage in top speed by laying down on the tank. So, if you actually have a bike with no fairing at all speeds of 80 or so and up might warrant reducing the frontal area by lying down. On the other hand, on a bike like say a ZRX or Bandit, with a decent little fairing and the correct windscreen,, one is out of the heavy wind all the way up to 120 or so. Thus it doesn’t take much smoothing of the air to eliminate the need to lie down on the tank at least until double the double nickel. Of course, if you are sitting upright, it might be hard to pretend that you’re Hayden or DuHamel or Mladin or…

  • My last 2 bikes were naked bikes, a BMW Rockster and K1200R, both w/ little wind protection. They were both okay til around 60+ mph. Then the beating multipled the faster you go. I rode the K12R from PHX to Vegas, and laid on the tank for most the trip. I ended up hitting them both w/ ugly sticks and installing larger windscreens. I now have see the light and ride a R1200RT. It’s great to sit up and not get beaten from the wind. I love the look of naked sport bikes, but longer faster trips on them were murder for me. Maybe slimmer people can go faster w/o wind protection, I am a sorta wide guy.

  • Upright is fine – but naked is not. I recently rode my brothers old CBR900 on a long day trip. At anything over 60mph it becomes tiring to just hold on against the air stream. I have an ’87 GSXR750 with slightly raised bars and it’s just fine up to about 120. The fairing takes most of the force off my chest so I’m just slightly leaning on the bars at 90mph – which is the sweet spot for that bike. Above 120 you really need to crouch down some to get out of the air stream. But that’s not a speed you going to hold for more that a few seconds on the street.

    Some fairing wind protection is also important just for control. At Willow where I race an RS250, I crouch down tight around turn 8 just to keep the wind gusts (usually from the right) from jerking my body around and upsetting my control of the bike. The same thing can happen on the highway when an 18-wheeler goes by.

  • A a sport bike junkie from the time I was in high school I have come to the same conclusion. It really hit me after riding 10 hours a day as a motor cop for several years, that the upright riding position contributes to your situational awareness by giving you a greater view of whats around you. This in turn can aid in your survival while riding on the street. I also find riding a sport bike in traffic tiring with the mirrors usually just showing elbows. Sitting upright allows you to move through traffic much more safely.I found myself riding my GSXR 1000 less and My BMW RT more. I am now on a Buell Ulysses and a Husky SM510R.

    I can ride both quicker than a repli-racer on most of the canyon roads I frequent and I feel safer because I can see more of whats going on around me, The racer crouch is good for the track but I don’t think it helps on the street. When asked my opinion I steer people towards the more upright bike like the FZ1 and the like. There are quite a few good choices out there now in the upright range but I would like to see more.

  • I agree that wide bars give better control, but nothing beats the feeling of tucking in and accelerating, even if it is only for short bursts. However I would like to more sports bike with clip-ons that are less radical, perhaps the RC8 may do the trick.

  • Bring back the UJM standard! These “Transformer” looking bikes like the Z1000 and Suzuki’s newest have the tech and performance, but for most over 30 years old, they look goofy..
    I’m keeping my 8 yr. old ZRX..

  • Bingo!

  • The old marketing adage what wins on Sunday sells on Monday is what drives the whole sportbike culture. It works well for a racer who is constantly moving all over the bike while on the track but is much less successful when applied to a normal riding/commuting duties. In these situations the disadvantages of the design far outweigh the advantages provided by the racing pedigree.

    I personally would love to ride a lightweight V-twin standard that has traditional styling. Something along the lines of the new retro-styled V7 Classic that you profiled on November 1. Put a small fairing on the front and you have the perfect commuter bike. Not to big or to small but as Goldilocks said “Just Right”.

    You would think the marketting gurus would recognize that a large part of the motorcycling community is/are reaching their peak spending years and have disposable income for rides like this. Unfortunately they continue to target either sportbikes (to extreme) and cruisers ( to sedate) for many of us middle of the road guys. I like riding upright, comfortable and in control. In my mind a traditional standard fits fine. Ride safe.

  • I’ve often thought about how various rider communities allow themselves to be persuaded that one machine is superior to another based solely on how it looks. There are those that are convinced that the cruiser is the epitome of riding style even though it may not be suitable for riding on dirt or gravel roads. Others are convinced that the sport bike is the best even though riders often complain of aches and pains after riding crouched over the fuel tank. Still others are focused on “foot forward” designs that allow the rider to lean back.

    It’s clear to me that each form of riding may require a different configuration.

  • I agree! Now if the manufactures would only build a supermoto style chassis with a wider seat for comfort, and an R1 or GSXR1000 type motor we would really have something. Or maybe a 1000cc parallel twin. My point being that the current crop of naked bikes have the HP fun factor but are still a little porky. On the other hand, supermoto bikes have the Handling fun factor but could use a lot more power for street riding in my opinion.

  • You have to be hunkered over and scrunched up when riding the twisties. How else are you going to “look” like Valentino Rossi? I mean c’mon ……………

  • I love sportbikes and still occasionally miss my VFR and Superhawk. A few years ago I began to see decreasing returns on my investment in top end speed. My low tech urban mutt, a KLR 650 makes me smile every time I ride it, and my other upright bike, the R1200GS takes me all over the country. Both zip through twisty canyon roads as fast as most sport bikes. (And take me up lovely dirt roads in the mountains.)

    It’s probably my age, but a cutting edge sportbike going fast on the street looks like someone shooting flies with a shotgun in a china shop.

  • I would guess this is fundamentally an ergonomic question. All else being equal, from fairings to fitness, what body-bike interface works best for manoeuvrability and control on the road. We know from off-road being balanced on the pegs using your arms and handle bars just to “trim” your balance is important. Its a complicated question. There will be many subjective opinions. You’d have to wonder if some of the big manufacturers haven’t reserached this already.

  • I grew up riding dirt bikes…. My 1st bike was a 1974 Kawasaki 250 F-11 Enduro (street/dirt)… the riding position was typical dirt…elbows out, wide bars… I love the new, smaller cc offerings like the 690 KTMs, 800 BMW, etc…. I have NO INTEREST in sport bikes other than to watch the Hayden boys rip it up on the track. Granted, I’m 51 & ride an FLHT, but there is a 2nd bike in my future somewhere & it will most likely be something along the lines of the 690 KTM or a Ducati Monster…. You can’t beat these type bikes for rippin around or even using them to tour especially when you stay off the interstates….

  • Thank you for asking for input.

    You are entirely correct, fairing protection is very nice from ‘a comfort perspective and [definitely] not inconsistent with an upright riding position.’ The fact you phrased it that way illustrates just how far astray motorcycle manufacturers have gone trying to cater to sportbike riders, convincing the rest of us we need to at least seriously consider sportbikes if not own a full stable of them.

    Besides being more comfortable for longer periods, sitting up is much safer. Riders need to see and be seen. They can exercise more options when sitting up, even in the worst scenarios (which they would be that much less likely to encounter as well, if sitting straight), and have more fun off the track doing it.

    Which brings me to your comments, too rarely read in the motorcycle press.

    The perceived popularity of so-called “nakeds” (or the word itself, perhaps), as well as the “supermotos” you mentioned, seems to somehow prevent manufacturers from offering effective fairings to go with them, although for no good reason other than to replicate something called “streetfighters,” which doesn’t exist outside a person’s imagination or ego.

    A couple of decades ago, it was rare to see a standard without some form of fairing. Sure, to our eyes today many of these were not exactly attractive, and the bikes themselves were not fantastic. But after a few years of people tearing the fiberglass fairings up and not replacing them, the mythical “streetfighter” was born and standards lost one of their greatest attributes; being free from windblast while sitting up.

    The lack of fairings, even half-fairings, on most anything other than sportbikes or tourers is the single greatest shortcoming of motorcycles today, in my view. It’s as if you must choose between a sportbike’s painful and risky ergos, or suffer constant and powerful windblast. It doesn’t make a lick of sense.

    Only a small handful of “standards” have decent wind/weather protection today. Yet many more have stellar performance, plus good ergonomics, two ingredients seemingly demanding protection from wind and rain (Suzuki’s B-King and Triumph’s Speed/Street Triples come to mind, just to name a very few).

    Throw in aerodynamics – and reality, as you say – and you’ve got more reason to expect decent protection from wind and water.

    It would be great if we could all get over this non-existent ‘streetfighter’ mentality and get manufacturers to again offer decent fairings or half-fairings on most anything approaching a hundred horsepower. And without calling the bike a “sport or adventure tourer” allegedly justifying a $2k+ increase in price.

    Thanks for listening. More importantly, thanks for stating some genuine “reality.” Bravo, to you.

  • To be honest, I have never ridden anything but a cruiser, although my current V-Max comes close to crossing the line, or blurring it. I think, from my experience, that rider height from the ground is one of the fundamental things that gives the feeling of control. Said V-Max a case in point. I felt like I was on a step ladder when I first rode the thing, until I bought a new aftermarket saddle that lowered me a good 2 1/2 to 3 inches. The difference that made was astounding, and well worth the 175.00 I paid, and the more acute angle at the old knee joints. Additionally, the seat back is higher on my butt now–keeps me from sliding off.

    This is the major reason sport bikes never attracted me–the rider looks (anyway) like he sits higher from the ground than I like. A ride on one might change my mind, but this is my current perspective.

    Love your magazine–it’s one of the first sites I hit each day.

  • For a rider of my abilities (average street rider) I’m quicker on my Monster through the twisties than I was on my friend’s 999.

  • Having recently made the switch from a CBR1000RR to a KTM 950 adventure, I can relate with what you are saying! I had forgot how much fun (read fast) a bike can be while sitting up……

  • “I can’t help but think that most riders feel a greater sense of control sitting upright on a motorcycle”

    Not really, I feel much more in control leaning forward with my upper body closer to the bike. I have owned dirt bikes, standard street bikes and now an F4i. I love how easy the F4i is to control.

    And yes the racer image does have a cool factor that I like, I am 61 in a few days and need all the young I can get!! hahaha

  • Great Topic!

    At 46yrs old and having been a motorcycle saftey inspector in texas, I’ve ridden a lot of different bikes. I would have to agree with you about supermoto being a case in point. If you are not traveling at more than 70mph you can ride in almost any position. Above that wind plays a huge role in your comfort and stability.

    I race offroad and have owned a supermoto, cruiser, sportbike, and sport touring all nearly at the same time. The supermoto demonstrated great agility on the narrow asphalt back roads of texas. Short bursts above 70 were no problem. Long rides in the uprite position were hard on the tail bone. And speeds above 70 would literally blow you off the bike when sitting upright. The cruiser and the sport touring were great on the higher speed back roads but again the uprite position was hard on my sitting area. Not as bad as the SM but 2hrs was the max without a break. My TL1000 was by far the most comfortable at 80mph. While the riding position was very aggressive the handlebar sweep was one of the best i’ve ever ridden. The fact that your weight was off your tail bone and more on your thighs and shoulders made a hugh difference in how long I could ride. Basically I could go 3+ hours on the TL1000 before stopping for fuel. Obviously personal conditioning has a large impact on how long you can ride. But I was basically in the same shape during the ownership of the bikes i’m referring to.

    Style of the MC has such an affect on seating and bar position, you can’t just say one category is better than another. I now have a C14 and must stop more often than with the TL because it has such an upright riding position.

    Again great topic. You guys in the industry have often helped me with my decisions. It is very difficult to experiment with riding positions on a budget.

  • Even though age has as much to do with it as anything, I have always been a proponent of the sit-up and beg riding position. My previous bikes in order to present, Suzuki DR650, HD Sportster, Yamaha FZ6, and current Triumph speed triple. I think the return of the “new standard” bikes are in the form of the V-strom, Versys, Ulysses, etc. I think these bikes will continue to surge in popularity as the cruiser guys change over and the young guns get wiser! I personally can’t wait for the rumored 1000cc Kawasaki Versys in black of course.

  • As a rider on an SV650, I’ve seen no aero disadvantage over my buddies and their fully covered sportbikes! I feel there is something inherently honest about a naked bike, showing off all its bits and parts.

  • If you ever “road raced” or lived in Europe some where?(Germany is good or was)I can assure you that at elevated speeds “ape hangers” or high handlebars are normally a great burden even to be a cause to lose concentration.The “racebike” becomes more comfy the faster you go.I don’t think “Supermotos” are going 100 too often?Try a sustained 80-140 mph for a lap of the Isle of Mann.Then you will “get it”!The late great Joey Dunlop and the likes were not stupid.If “ape hangers” would have helped?They would have run them.

    I’ll agree that most do not need to be quite so extreme.And I too wonder why they are?
    Ironically one of the first things that even club level racers change are the bars,and then the “rearsets”!So to “lighten up” on the “ergonomics” might actually help sales of say a GSXR 1000?
    I personally like the power, handling,brakes,and LIGHTWEIGHT in a “Supersports” bike.I am too old and worn out to wrestle a 600 pound plus “motorcycle” out of the basement!

  • Most riders that drive the streets today would agree that an upright position is the most comfortable and practical position for tooling around town or commuting. This really is not an age issue it is really physics as relates to the body and its pressure points. Pretty much the upright position has the proper balance on the neck wrists arms and lower back etc. If you take your bike to a track I imagine the pure sport bike could be better equipped, however I own a 2003 ZRX 1200R and it can handle any type of assignment well including a track day and you are not sacrificing your body but, really you are enjoying the ride without fatigue.

  • I think you make a good point. Think back (everyone) to the first time you sat on and then rode a bike with low-down clip-ons or more recently modern sportbikes. I remember the intitial feeling of holding onto stubs for handlebars and the lack of leverage. It’s the look that took us to where we are today.

    But with that and fully enclosed fairings I soon came to miss the engine, the focal point of motorcycles as far as I’m concerned.

    Most recently I find myself attracted to a bike that does have real handlebars.

  • I couldn’t agree with you more. I have three motorcycles in my current stable. An 02 Aprilia Mille, a CBR600rr track bike and a 99 GSXR 600 Streetfighter. The Gixxer is a fully converted hard-core streetfighter with very minimal parts, no fairings and fat dirtbike bars. I find myself taking the Gixxer as the ride of choice for the street and it carves in comfort just as quickly as my race bikes. If anything, the lack of fairing actually keep my speeds down a notch when just cruising the highway. Fairings have there purpose and they do help when it gets cold out up here in New England but when it comes to riding fast, the naked bike will hit it just as hard as the faired bikes.

  • I agree, the upright riding position is more confidence inspiring than being layed over the tank all the time. The upright riding position also allows for easier visual checks and such. I’ve got a standard SV650 with a good windscreen on it and I don’t feel a bit handicapped that I’m not riding a GSXR in the twisties. The extra hp of a sportbike is of no use on the road, especially in the tight stuff.

  • That’s why I love sportriding my 919 Honda ! Very easy to ride on Mountain roads with more then enough power too.

  • Sort of like spoilers on Nissan Altimas and pickup truck bed covers?
    Vehicles that rarely, if ever, go over 80/85 mph.

  • I’ve been reading your web site for about a year now – great information! Curious, what are your thoughts about the 2008 KTM 990 Supermoto bike? I am looking at picking one up (fyi – I raced motocross in the 90’s – 125, 250 and 500’s). Is KTM as reliable as Honda?

  • I would have thought that self preservation alone precluded doing any distance tucked behind the vestigal screen of a race replica. Forward vision and the consequent ability to anticipate,react etc. is severely curtailed. Besides racers are always coming up from behind their screens to set their machines up for corners and I bet the speeds they are doing far exceed most peoples road speeds. Given that the co-efficient of drag of even the best race replicas isn’t much better than a brick ( a smooth brick probably has less parasitic drag) the whole issue boils down to the riders ability to withstand the wind.Canyon carvers etc. don’t seem to go that fast.

  • Each one have his own personality… starting from this point, a friend of mine races superbly when got some smoke in the brain as others gone to the bed early in the night before… in my case, I cant feel confortable to turn at 220Km in a up right position… But yes, upright it´s a great position in the traffic. So I got pleasure when hug the Ducati´s tank or at the city on the Xrl 650. For me, it´s more about find the limit of each bike (that´s the real pleasure), don’t care about speed. Big hug for all.

  • Maybe a couple of better questions would be to ask; What effect does a prone riding position, bad ergos, Poor mirror placement, and low handle bars have on rider fatigue and accident rates?

  • I agree with you, up to about 70 mph.

  • I wholeheartedly agree with the upright position. As a returning rider, I feel that I was faster back in the old days riding my Bultaco with knobbies. I think that upright positioning, lighter bike weight, and having greater vision due to position provides for more confident and safer riding.

  • Interesting, I always think about this when I ride, because I’m wondering if I should get rearsets to go along with the clip-ons. In the end, it always seems like too much work.

    I like to get a lot of weight on the front wheel. I sort of lead with my elbow when initiating a turn. I find this easier to do when I’m already leaning forward. Sitting upright means that, in order to get weight on the front wheel, I have to sit on the gas tank or fold my arms and bend forward in a way that, frankly, looks unbecoming. And it puts your body in exactly the same position you get with clip-ons. Except, with clip-ons, your arms aren’t all bent, which I believe leads to varicose veins and snickers from folk on the side of the road. Crouching to grip clip-ons is a drag in the city, but anywhere twisty it’s just fine.

    Also, I like to use the balls of my feet to put weight on the pegs rather than transferring it through my butt/seat interface. I find that, in the upright position, I’m more likely to just sit on the seat. And it seems like all my weight is on the pegs, whereas if I’m crouching with clip-ons some of my weight is transferred through the bars.

    And when braking, it’s way easier to deal with the weight shift crouching.

    All that said, I just got my first dirt bike. So, I’m doing things a bit backward. I’ve developed this dirt-riding style where I keep my feet on the pegs and hang off on the inside and stick out my knees. Maybe I’ll get clip-ons for that bike, too. Nah, too much work.

  • Last year I transitioned from my beloved Honda CB600F (Hornet) to a Triumph Daytona 675. While the Triumph is a blood marvelous and fast machine and killer for trackdays, I long for my upright seating and handlebar leverage of the Hornet once more. On the street, I actually enjoyed riding the hornet much more. Most likely, I will be converting my Daytona into a Street Triple to get back to my roots.

  • I have multiple sport and standards bikes and I agree to a point that a more upright position can be a great benefit in the twisties on the street. Mainly due to leverage on the bars and overall comfort endurance if you have to ride a ways before the fun begins. Though my suspension and frame on my SVs are not nearly as composed as my premium sportsbikes, I find some tight transitions can be performed much easier on the standard do to handlebar and body leverage which leaving people rapidly behind on their sportbikes in turn I the same things happens to me with friends on supermotards. While areo dynamics can be crucial on fast tracks like Dayton I also think a main reason for the couched seating positions is for bodyweight over the front tire, reduction of movement to hang off, and perhaps feel of being positioned over the front contact patch as it moves under loss of traction. I hope to see a continued trend of bringing premium technology to standards. Just think of what SVs, Zs, 919s, etc could have been…..

  • Glad you mentioned nakeds at the end of your write up. First thing I thought of was the Ducati Monster S4, S4R w/ 916cc and 996cc power plants respectively. I’ve personally left many many Sportbikes in my rear-view mirrors. Mainly is comes down to the size of the juevos & skill of the person in the saddle.

  • The prone position with the abbreviated fairing and narrow handlebars is to eek out a few tenths of a second on a high-speed straightaway on a race track and has nothing to do with going fast on the street.

    I am convinced that the fatigue to the arms, back, and neck from the uncomfortable riding position makes most people on race-replica sport bikes slower and less capable riders on the street after a relatively short time in the saddle. In such a riding posture, you are less visible to cars and you cannot see as far down the road, making you less safe and making it more likely that you will pick a bad line through traffic.

    The race-bike-with-lights trend is what has made the so-called naked bikes and the super motard style of bikes so popular in recent years. The big error the manufacturers are making is assuming that the buying public wants bikes with no wind protection. I bought a Buell Lighting Long rather than a Buell Firebolt because I did not want the discomfort from the racer’s crouch position — not because I was opposed to wind protection and preferred buffeting and wind noise.

    Eventually, some manufacturer will get it. They will realize that street riders want bikes that with the power and handling of top-line sport bikes but with riding positions and wind protection optimized for the street — not compromised by a need to get another 2.5mph of top speed on a race course. Until then, the customers will continue to buy sport bikes and put bar risers and lower pegs on them or buy naked bikes and put windscreens and fairings on them.

  • For many riders it is true, fairings and forward hunched over riding positions are unnecessary. However, for those of us who live in western Canada and parts of western U.S.A. it makes more sense. Many of the roads in these regions are isolated, infrequently patroled, and blessed with endless high speed sweepers. Almost every ride sees sustained speeds well in excess of 200 kmh or even 250 kmh. It would be extremely difficult to endure these kind of velocities for even short periods on an unfaired bike. Let’s keep the fairings!

  • I ride a naked Bandit 1200 and like the more up-right ridding position. I’ve had up to 140mph and all I needed to do was lay down on the tank and tuck in my elbows. It was a straight run without any knee dragging situations.

  • I agree. It just seems logical that aerodynamics are not slowing you down unless you are already wide open on the throttle: if you are going 100MPH in the wind or tucked behind a fairing, you’re still going 100MPH. It’s just like the old joke/riddle “What weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of lead.” Granted, the added resistance of being in the wind has an affect, but as long as the bike has more power in reserve, then there is no consequence except maybe (marginally) higher RPM and lower MPG needed to keep you at your target speed.

  • Yes! I am with you on this. The practicality of a road bike is tossed right in the toilet with the riding position of a sportbike. The marketing of image over function has given sore necks, and wrists to street riders. Not to mention the tail mounted mufflers with very little engineering foundation. The amount of plastic in fairings is large. The plastic has become more a facade over a warren of hoses and wires. The simple structure of a motard reintroduces the idea of a road bike that can handle.

  • I love your format ! It’s Great!

    OK, some quick relationships, Drag goes up by the square of the speed and Power goes up by the cube of the speed.

    So, if we were to go back a few days and relate this to moto mpg discussions, you are going to want to have good aero behaviour for your motorcycle in order to get good gas economy.
    Vetter’s economy ” race” was won by fully faired bikes made to have low drag. At the end they were getting like over 300 mpg out of a ~150cc.

    But otherwise, bikes have terrible aerodynamics, but they really don’t need to clean up a lot because they have such great motors!

    And a lot of what is on the fairings designwise anyway is for the showroom shootouts., not for the sake of vehicle areo drag reduction. IE, who has the biggest BNG. (Bold New Graphics, for those of you who haven’t seen this acronym.) or Baddest looks. or “Coolest Airvents” (pun intended.)
    In other words, those fairings aren’t really as slippery as you think. They also need to shed a lot of heat- and hopefully not on the rider..

    To return to your question though, riding position has everything to do with control whether going up in the triple digits or not. And so in my mind I cannot see why there is so much following about Sport bikes in the first place, because they don’t have the best riding positions for rider control.
    What ever happened to the old UJM’s? (Universal Japanese Motorcycles – again sorry)

    The new Hornet 1000 (or whatever it is called) is at least going in the right direction. And so is the Shiver, the Monsters, Speed 3 , R12R and more. Get your feet directly under you so you can stand up over potholes, keep your Elbows Up! and throw the bike around under you as you keep your body mass on the vertical roll axis. It’s so much better that way.

    One last thing, I do want a small, effective windshield on that style of bike too so that I don’t have to do pull ups all day riding. Just to reduce wind pressure on my chest.

  • I rode a naked bike for quite some time, a 1999 Suzuki SV650 and loved it. At least until I began touring on it and riding in cooler weather.
    Then, some additional wind protection became desirable. The same bike now wears a full fairing and heated grips.

    Apart from that, I agree with the essence of your argument. Fairings in an urban riding environment are simply there to be scratched or broken when someone knocks your bike over, and a more upright riding position is more suitable for the average day trip.

  • Comfort and control is a Pandora’s Box at best. Not everyone senses something the same way, and not everyone reacts the same way under extreme conditions. Yes, we are generally all told to do the same thing when your eyes get big, your tires are on there edge and then someone drifts across the yellow line… Would it be better suited to be crouched forward, back or upright? It all boils down to what you know and what you don’t know. This is why it doesn’t matter what you ride and how you ride it, only that you know how to evade what could be a very bad situation with what you’re riding. And if you always leave a little bit in your pocket then a car drifting across the yellow will never be a problem.

    Aero is another can of worms, in a very significant different way. Motorcycles do not use or benefit in any way from ground effects or spoilers, so fairings can only protect the rider and make the bike more or less aerodynamic. Because a forward facing A-Symmetric teardrop is the most aerodynamic shape in subsonic speeds the target is easy. Having the rider seated forward does a good job of making the rider/bike mimic that shape. And because this also puts more weight onto the front tire it also serves in making more grip for the front tire.

    So really, with current technology the best ultimate performing bike will have a “Crotch Rocket” look. But as far as just playing around, for many riders the best handling bike will have a Supermoto stance, as Motocross riders have proven that for the ultimate in agility there is nothing better.

  • I can’t think of a better riding position than one of a UJM. This positioning gives the rider the most comfort and control for street riding. I grew up with standards and I can control my bike with confidence on the street. On the track I’ll ride a Ninja but the street I’ll ride a ZRX. The Japanize “get it” why don’t we? When did we stop being piratical about motorcycles? (Rhetorical question).

  • Unlike most riders I started out road racing, and turning to dirt later in life… I am 49 years old. I feel that the sportbike riding postion lends itself to the person becoming an actual part of the motorcycle. Where as the dirtbike or supermoto you are more on top and you can seprate yourself from the bike?? In any case the weather here is finally warming up and I am ready to ride my St1300, CRF450 and my SV1000! I love them all!!!

  • Well thank heavens somebody in the media are finally saying it. The closest I’ve seen up till now are a couple of project bikes that have been “hooliganized” with the busted up bodywork stripped off and a set of handlebars grafted on in place of the clip ons. The problem being the whole project was presented under the “Hooligan” label with all the negative connotations that word implies to the majority of law abiding riders.

    Why can’t Kawasaki give me a 450 pound ZX10 based sport tourer with ergonomics my 50 year old body can tolerate? As most of us age, we lose strength, not gain it. I don’t want or need a ZX14 based Concours weighing in at 700-800 pounds. Don’t even get me started on all the useless electronic crap like KiPass unnecessarily weighing that beast down and jacking the price up.

  • I ride a ’99 Kawasaki ZRX, which is a “standard.” I had a ’98 Ninja ZX6 before, so I’ve experienced the “crotch rocket” lay down riding position. I prefer to ride two lane country and canyon roads. On those rides, I much prefer the ergonomics of the ZRX to the “sport bike” riding position due to my ability to see the road ahead, less pressure on the wrists and upper back (from holding my head up). Far less fatiguing.

  • “Appreciate your article, at DIS in March there were fellows circulating aboard Super Moto ware (KTM) within a combined classes event on Monday.”
    During ‘demo’ rides at DIS tested the 2008 SUZUKI SV650S (non-faired, upright riding position, high handlebars) and 2008 KAWASAKI NINJA 250R and 500R (faired, prone riding position, low handlebars) motorcycles.
    FACT: Upright riding at road speeds (50+ MPH) DOES cause heightened ‘aerodynamic drag’ that attempts to ‘rid you of that ride’!
    Another rider said the SUZUKI SV650SF (faired, prone riding position, low handlebars) indeed afforded reduced ‘aerodynamic’ drag’, beware ‘cross or quartering winds’, while presenting sore wrists and aching back.
    Appears there is work required by ALL manufacturers regarding poor aerodynamic qualities effecting PRODUCTION motorcycles,

  • Short and to the point, sport bikes look very cool, but are pure torture to ride for more than 10 minutes. However, as your article stated, all the top of the line components end up on the sport bikes and not the standards. Also, the standards end up weighing 60lbs more. When will the top manufacturers build a standard that is light and has top shelf components? PLEASE, MR MANUFACTURE, BUILD IT AND WE WILL BUY IT. Give us something like the Yamaha FZ1 or FZ6, but much lighter.
wordscape cheatgun mayhem 2 unblocked games