Gary Bailey Trackside: Corner Leg Position
by The "Professor" Gary Bailey
For sure everyone needs to corner better. There are all kinds of corners and a lot of things to know to execute each turn faster. I am not going to talk about each and every corner and all the details needed to execute each perfectly. The point of this article will be to focus on the position of your inside leg in a turn.
I have talked about the position of the inside leg in a turn before as to where it should be and why. I believe this is a point worth going over once again for a few reasons. The first and most important reason is it quite possibly may save you from sustaining a knee injury. The second reason is because as a coach, I believe it is a good idea and it just plain works. After thinking about a topic for this week's column and shooting photos and video at San Diego, I knew it was a good idea. Then, after being at a local track the other day and watching the Dallas supercross on TV, I knew it would be important for sure to help all riders with their cornering.
When I first talked about this topic of inside leg position, there were not a lot of riders cornering with the inside leg bent, knee high and tucked in close to the bike. This is not a new way of cornering it is just something we stopped doing because everyone started saying "Get that leg up" when coaching a rider. Everywhere you went someone at the track or at a school would tell you that the answer to cornering better was you have to have to hold the inside leg high. Every time someone’s foot would touch the ground all you would hear is, "Get that leg up!"
In my opinion as a coach, there is one big problem with the inside leg held high and forward. If the front end washes-out in a turn and your leg is in this position, I feel you are increasing the risk of a knee injury. The more the knee is locked, the more things can go wrong. I am not going to get into the knee brace thing because I don’t need to go there. What I am going to say is, a knee brace will not stop you from injuring your knee if you catch your foot wrong. This is not about knee braces this is about how and why this way of keeping you leg in a corner is a good way when possible. With the knee high and leg bent, should you touch the ground it will be a dab and the knee will bend and not jam or twist. Another advantage to this inside leg position is when coming out of a turn the rider can get his foot back to the peg quicker, to the shifter quicker, or to the rear brake if needed.
So, let’s take a look at a few photos and then some video.
|This is the look that will not only keep you and your knee happier should the front end wash out but will also allow you to put more weight on the front end.|
|Ever wonder why the best guys have the best look? The more tricks you have in the bag the better the show.|
|Ok, here are two different looks so you decide which one you like best.|
|This is the look I like; leg in tight, body forward, on the gas and hooked up.|
|This could go bad real quick. It has happened so many times so why risk it when you don’t need too.
|In my opinion this is what you should look like if you have the number 1 plate. Head down and charging hard.|
|Here you are looking at another good execution of how a turn like this should be executed. Leg a little bent, in close to the bike, head down, out side arm out, forward on the seat and on the gas.|
|Not much I am going to say about these two photos. I will let you make the call on this one.|
|Again, you be the judge as to which is best.
Ok let’s get to the video.
Well I hope you have the Dallas race recorded so you can go back and have a look. The track was one of those that didn’t have many ruts and the riders weren’t doing much bar dragging so this "leg bent thing" was happening a lot.
A small change like the position of your inside leg can help your cornering but you will need to spend some time working on it. Change is not easy, and if you don’t make a change, you will never improve as a rider. Until next time, ride safe.
That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness.