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Author Topic: Why do MotoGP riders dangle their leg(s) when they take off?  (Read 8774 times)
raymoon
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« on: February 19, 2011, 05:45:12 PM »

As the title states... why do MotoGP riders dangle their leg or legs off the side of their bikes after taking off? I sometimes see them do this for 1-3 full seconds. Any actual purpose for this? Anyone do this on the road?

And just to clearify, I'm not talking about the rossi leg dangle that everyone does no when braking before a corner. I mean at the start of the races or even leaving the pits.

Here's just a youtube vid of someone dangling their leg when leaving the pits: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/bjou0zRJZBE&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/bjou0zRJZBE&rel=1</a>
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 06:06:31 PM by raymoon » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2011, 06:18:04 PM »

It's a lot easier to wait until the bikes aren't accelerating any more to lift their legs.
Those bikes are very powerful, it's gonna take undue energy to put their feet up while accelerating so hard.
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2011, 06:25:22 PM »

that and it's a signal to riders behind you that you are off pace. sometimes you just can't hold up your hand. it's busy... SO you dangle a leg.
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raymoon
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2011, 06:37:51 PM »

Tulok, I can see why they'd do that during race starts, but even in the video of the ZX-RR Screamer he wasn't accelerating hard out of the pits. Could it just be habit?

Knightslugger, you mean that the rider isn't accelerating up to pace as he thinks he should be with other riders?

Do you guys dangle?
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stormcat
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2011, 06:44:34 PM »

I've never noticed this before. I am used to riders in front of me signaling that they're changing position within the lane with their leg, and also using their foot to point out road debris, so I guess it makes sense as KS says, that they use it to signal to others.
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raymoon
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2011, 07:03:59 PM »

I've kind of gotten into the habit of dangling it on take-off just because I've been watching MotoGP for a while now. My friend who's been riding for like 2-3 years now saw me do it and made fun of me for it because apparently no one on the road does it?

Another thing is which leg do you guys push off of? You learn in the motorcycle safety class that it should be your left foot because when you're stopped, you should have your right hand on the front brake and your right foot on the rear brake. So if you were to even dangle a foot, it should be your left. I've been in the habit of pushing off my right because it's my dominant foot and I also think there's a motoGP influence there as well (even though different riders push off different legs)

Example: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/hX5pYHS55xI&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/hX5pYHS55xI&rel=1</a>

The video doesn't really show a prolonged dangle like I've been asking about it's just an example of different foot choice.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 07:06:39 PM by raymoon » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2011, 07:05:51 PM »

Knightslugger, you mean that the rider isn't accelerating up to pace as he thinks he should be with other riders?


no, that the rider may not be traveling as fast as traffic behind him, and by dangling his leg he is signaling that fact to everyone around him. or he's just being lazy. usually on the race circuits, it's an act of communication of other riders.

Quote
Do you guys dangle?

uuuuuh.... uuhhhuuuhuhuhhuhhh uuuuh, yeah. every day, 4 times a day... uuhuhhuuuhuhuhhuhhuh

(yes. i dangle)
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 07:55:23 PM by Knightslugger » Logged

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stormcat
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2011, 07:24:55 PM »

^LOL!
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dad
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2011, 08:23:59 PM »

In the pits, from a stop, especially including a start anything other than perfectly straight, the bike isn't totally stable yet. Any motion, including that of putting the feet up, can be upsetting to the bike, so they don't. Don't look for too much there because there isn't much. It's just easy and no advantage to do differently. Smiley

On a race start, that's different. And get the idea that they push off from one side or the other out of your head because that's not at all what's going on. Standing still, the bike is balanced with both feet doing nothing more than holding the bike from falling. The weight on each foot just before launch is likely measured in ounces, not more than a pound per foot, and near to perfectly equal weight on each foot, holding the bike straight up, balanced, so when it's time to go the bike launches straight. And there is no pushing off involved, just using the bike's power. For those first few yards you can't afford any upset, there is no reason to put the feet up and plenty of reason not to, not wanting to upset anything. Also, the legs down has the center of weight lowered which further helps keep the front down, a freebie. The total focus is on the clutch and throttle keeping accelleration maxed out, the bike straight, and the front wheel reasonably close to the ground, ideally no more than an inch or two up. The higher you allow the front wheel to come up the higher the center of weight is, and the less accelleration it will stand without flipping. All of the focus is there, none left as well as none needed or wanted to move limbs, so they don't. As the speed picks up and the bike stabilizes, is less prone to wheelie and will be getting ready for the first shift, and the feet start to smoothly move up to the pegs, all ready and just in time.

Hope that adds some understanding. Smiley
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 01:37:06 AM by dad » Logged
kevinm1975
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2011, 11:14:59 PM »

They are about to be cramped up for quite a while, so I can't really blame them for taking a few extra seconds of circulation.
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2011, 02:53:11 AM »

Haha, KS I forgot about that one. Having any limb off the bike pointing so other riders can see it generally means that you're not going fast. Like if your bike died on the track, you lift up your arm high so nobody hits you as you slow down!
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2011, 12:19:37 PM »

DAD has provided a lot of insight here.  On the starts of the races you dangle for stability.....and the fact that your using your core to support yourself so its difficult to pull your leg up while giving hard throttle.  I dangle until 2nd gear and sometimes 3rd.  Whenever the bike settles into a straight line on the start is when I pull my leg up.
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2011, 01:17:51 PM »

Well, one thing that can be added, sometimes a rider will get the right foot up pretty quick to use the rear brake if necessary to hold the front down. That's done with gas still on hard and the brake applied as necessary to force the front down. If you think about it, where the force of an applied brake is reacted through the brake anchor to the frame, you'll see how that pushes down on the bike. This can also be used over a rise under hard accelleration where the front may try to go for the sky. A little rear brake with the throttle still pinned can keep the front from going skyward. Cool

And for that matter, some riders will even do that in a mid corner to adjust speed and tighten up their line. Keep the throttle on and adjust by adding brake. That's pretty advanced stuff and not so common even among racers. If you see a race bike with a blue rear rotor, that's why. Smiley
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bitzz
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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2011, 05:24:32 PM »

I started doing that when I was racing dirt bikes... and just didn't stop.
On launch you want as much weight aft as you can get for traction.

GP riders do it cuz they're COOL.
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raymoon
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2011, 05:46:42 PM »

Lots of good insight, thanks guys.

The thing my friend was giving me shit for was more along the lines of... Yes maybe GP racers do it, but all you're doing is riding on the street, so its stupid.
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stormcat
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« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2011, 08:12:30 PM »

Pick feet up. Place them on the pegs. You're less balanced on the bike dragging your heels, b'y.
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Forbin
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« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2011, 08:33:33 PM »

IIRC, TotW Vol.II recommends getting your feet on the pegs as soon as possible, even under racing conditions. The theory was that getting your weight on the pegs effectively shortens the torque arm of your body's CoG around the bike's CoG. If all your weight is on the seat and pulling back on the bars, that torque arm is a bit longer.

I think I generally start races with my right foot on the peg and my left on the ground. That way, when I launch, I'm holding myself up with my right foot and I'm free to move my left foot into shifting position.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 08:36:14 PM by Forbin » Logged
Tulok
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« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2011, 12:51:49 AM »

IIRC, TotW Vol.II recommends getting your feet on the pegs as soon as possible, even under racing conditions. The theory was that getting your weight on the pegs effectively shortens the torque arm of your body's CoG around the bike's CoG. If all your weight is on the seat and pulling back on the bars, that torque arm is a bit longer.

I think I generally start races with my right foot on the peg and my left on the ground. That way, when I launch, I'm holding myself up with my right foot and I'm free to move my left foot into shifting position.

He does say that for weight to transfer, you must actually move your body and connect it with the bike. ie. lay your chest on the tank instead of simply leaning forward more. You'll see that most MotoGP riders DO lay their chest on the tank during race starts. but, I haven't found anything about putting your feet up as soon as possible from him, though I have read it from other sources.
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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2011, 01:26:44 AM »

Why they do it:

Communication
Style
Showboating
habit

what it does for them could be beaten into the ground.
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« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2011, 10:56:15 AM »



conspiracy because they all knew you would eventually create this post.
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« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2011, 10:52:13 AM »

Could it have anything to do with the heat in the tires? At the beginning of a race the tires will be either stickers or nearly so, and probably well below operating temperature even if using tire warmers on the grid.  Leaving the legs down adds to that rear traction and some stability during those first squirlly moments as you get moving and start building operating temperature.  For cars/karts we don't have to worry about it.  Just light up the tires as you leave the pits to build some outer skin warmth and try to keep it straight until you get some core warmth after a couple corners.  On a bike, you don't have the extra two wheels of stability in those few seconds, but a well placed foot at low speed may keep the bike up if it decides to step out.  Just a theory and uninformed observations as a corner marshall at several types of racing events.
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« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2011, 10:55:46 AM »

it's a motocross/dirt tracker skill that caries over.
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« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2011, 02:39:31 PM »

Could it have anything to do with the heat in the tires? At the beginning of a race the tires will be either stickers or nearly so, and probably well below operating temperature even if using tire warmers on the grid.  Leaving the legs down adds to that rear traction and some stability during those first squirlly moments as you get moving and start building operating temperature.  For cars/karts we don't have to worry about it.  Just light up the tires as you leave the pits to build some outer skin warmth and try to keep it straight until you get some core warmth after a couple corners.  On a bike, you don't have the extra two wheels of stability in those few seconds, but a well placed foot at low speed may keep the bike up if it decides to step out.  Just a theory and uninformed observations as a corner marshall at several types of racing events.

We use tire warmers.  My tires are pretty toasty when I grid up.  Also, anyone lining up on the grid would have at least taken a lap to scuff their tires in before actually lining up.  I think all sanctioning bodies allow a lap in between sessions for riders to scuff new tires before their race.
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