Recently, many of the Moto-Tubers are making their own videos in response to the FortNine body position video. MotoJitzu posted a lengthy recap of well established body position principals and MCRider used the video as an opportunity to wag a finger at those who ride irresponsibility and hang off racer style on the street.
I like that Ryan’s video triggered a discussion about a motorcycle skill, even though his decision to focus on the extreme end of the spectrum unecessarily lit the fuse.
Here is my opinion: I see this as a lot of to-do about a relatively minor riding skill.
Body position is one of the last things I focus on when coaching on the street or track…unless the rider’s bp is significantly hindering their control, which isn’t very often.
Almost all street riders and most riders who are new to the track, pretty much lean in line with the bike (not counterleaning, nor leaning inside) as they have done for years as street riders, which is appropriate 99% of the time. This is fine becasue it usually is not something that causes safety concerns.
I will however focus more on body position when we are working on slow speed maneuvers, becasue this contributes significantly to balance and control.
Instead of spending all this energy on body position, let’s look at more critical issues, like vision, situational awareness, reading the road, precise speed control, cornering accuracy and traction management…skills that can kill us if neglected or misunderstood.
Notice that I don’t mention rider attitude or judgment… becasue I have come to believe that I cannot “teach” this. Preaching doesn’t work, it just alienates the people we most would like to reach. I do what I can to influence someone to ride smarter, but the people that need to hear the message aren’t going to listen. Fatalistic maybe, but also realistic. I’ll focus on what I can change.
Keep in mind that Much of my perspective these days is working with very experienced riders who are pretty set in their ways and attitudes. Newer riders are much more likely to respond to influential voices.
The fact is that there is no single right body position. A good rider is proficient at all body positioning and knows when to implement the bp that makes the most sense at the time. The above photo is of me rounding a tight blind curve with a more upright body position to help see around the corner.