Stop telling people to turn with the foot pegs

Forums ChampU ChampU Feedback Stop telling people to turn with the foot pegs

  • This topic has 11 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 6 months ago by Dale_I.
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    Michael Nanni

    Leaning the bike by weighting the inside foot peg is very inefficient and slow. It’s bad advice for sport bike riders on the track. I’ve tried this technique on the road on a 200 Duke, R3, Ducati 848, Panigale 1199, and Panigale 1299. I’ve also done this on track on a Yamaha R3, Panigale, and multiple BMW S1000 RR models. The results are the same at multiple racetracks around Canada and the US. I end up turning the bike slower, and putting a lot of pain in my knees by the end of the day.

    I’ll admit this technique is okay for the street because it helps riders learn what a smooth turn in feels like. It can help increase confidence when you are too abrupt on the bars.

    However, sport bike riders that go to the track need to learn to turn faster and more efficiently than that. Their bikes are setup to turn in fast when using the bars. Their foot pegs are too high to comfortably throw body weight into for every turn. This can potentially be a dangerous habit that leads to slow steering and fatigue resulting in a crash.

    No other reputable racing or riding school in North America or Europe recommends that technique. Giving out that bad advice in your online course hurts what is otherwise an excellent program. Please fix it to prevent riders from crashing at the track, and to prevent experienced riders from dismissing an otherwise excellent program you have here.

    Nick Ienatsch

    Michael… Not sure where we are recommending only inside-footpeg weighting for steering? In the Pointy End drills we discuss bar pressure/countersteering. We talk endlessly about reducing speed to steer and especially tightening steering geometry with the brakes to help steering. We discuss outside leg against the tank to help steering. We discuss the pace at which we move our heads to the inside to weight the “inside axis of the gyro”, or footpeg.

    Something interesting: Your note is the first we’ve had about this! Nobody else has accused us of this “bad advice” that is causing riders to “crash at the track” and hurt the experience of other riders!! I’m hoping you can review the course and see the directions we approach steering. Have you watched the entire curriculum?

    One thought: You might believe in steering your bike as late and as quickly as possible? That would move you away from our ideas and have you believing only in bar pressure/countersteering. If that’s the case, study your favorite winning racer and watch not just their turn-in point, but their turn-in rate! Nobody at the top is flicking the bike around with bar pressure only, especially with the front-tire loads they carry into corners.

    Last thing: You listed your bikes and street/track experience, but you didn’t list the level at which your ride or race? That’s an important aspect. Racers at the back of the pack are not doing things as well as those at the front, all things being equal, like spec tires and cc limits. We launched Champ U because of the bad advice so prevalent in riding; everybody has a computer and an opinion, but what is it based on?

    Speaking of the front of the pack: Of the five instructors you watched on Champ U (Me, Kyle Wyman, Chris Peris, Elena Meyers, Mark Schellinger), four of us have won at least one AMA/MotoAmerica national. This team of coaches has won on TZ250s, CBR900RRs, S1000RRs, CBR600s, GSX-R600s and 750s, XR1200s, RoadGlides, OWO1s, FZR1000s, RS125s, SRX600s, KZ550s and Z1s, FZR400s and 600s, NSR250s, TZ750s, R1s…not just ridden, won races and championships on. In other words, our opinions are based on winning motorcycle races, and studying motorcycle racing champions. None of us would put our name on “bad advice” and I urge you to attend a two-day ChampSchool so the lessons of Champ U can be truly ingrained. There’s a whole world of bike control, speed, and safety waiting for you Michael!
    -Nick I.

    Scott King

    FWIW I didn’t take anything in the ChampU program to be saying “turn using the foot pegs.” I took all the discussion of “weighting the inside axis of the gyro” to be guidance regarding shifting rider weight around to aid in cornering.

    Michael Nanni

    Please review the body position section of your online course. Videos there mention using body weight on the inside footpeg to affect the gyro. Students will fail the quizzes unless they include weighting the inside footpeg in their answers. Quiz 1 is a perfect example.

    Most people will pick a side when they hear two sets of facts. I’m trying to consolidate what I’ve learned from many reputable sources. That’s probably why I’m the first to point this out. I’m letting you know where this technique has worked for me, and where it hasn’t. Turns 8 and 8a at Sonoma are a good example of where you need to turn in quicker to go faster through those esses. Body position and steering all come together through those corners.

    Im not a racer. I’m a student of racers. That’s why I paid for this course and I would be happy to take an in person course with you the next time spots are available in my area. I’m not trying to impress anyone with my opinion or racing pedigree.

    I’m sure you have heard of Keith Code and Lee Parks? Neither of them recommend weighting the inside footpeg to make a bike turn in their books. Lee has documented a verbose 10 steps to turning a bike and none of them include weighting the inside footpeg. Keith has made his “No BS” bike famous. I had a detailed discussion with Keith in person about this topic and I agree with him and his (very fast) coaches that the inside leg should be relaxed on the peg while hanging off. It sounds like you agree too but your course material does not.

    Winning races doesn’t make you a good teacher. Being aware of your course material and how it affects your students riding does. I hope this feedback helps improve your online course.

    Nick Ienatsch

    Thanks for filling in some detail Michael. And you’re referencing Keith and Lee SO NOW YOU’VE GOTTA COME TO YCRS!! 🙂

    Your first post was like walking into a restaurant and telling the chef, “Your food is poisoning people.” Now you’re admitting to being one of us, a student of the sport…and that indicates you’re willing to taste the food before the condemnation begins! I’m encouraging you to put the lessons of Champ U into play…note that we’re mentioning countersteering everywhere, like in body and Pointy End, but nobody good steers the bike in one way, so please study all that we’re putting forth.

    Now that you’re coming to the school 🙂 we can do my favorite thing: Discuss motorcycle riding with an actual motorcycle on/in a road/track/parking lot!

    When I tell you there’s a whole new world waiting for you, I want to be specific. Our school will teach you to run the exact lap times you’re running with a significantly larger margin for error, and that means more comfort at the speed you choose. Second, we will teach you to be faster when you push to your 100%. Right now you might want to “be three seconds a lap faster”…and YCRS will show you where the tenths of seconds that make up three seconds lie. As you step along in your learning curve, you will find that these seemingly-small Champ U subjects…weight on the inside footpeg, for instance…loom large. -Nick I.

    PS: I’ve enjoyed this conversation…it was especially fun to think of all the bikes this crew has won races on, and that was off the top of my head and just these five coaches!! Prolly more. Racing is important in that it measures “fast”…it’s not everything, but it helps categorize a sport that can be done in a lot of ways until it can’t.

    Shane Trapp

    I just re-watched that section and yeah… you crazy bro! What I got out of the section about weight on the foot peg was not turn your bike with the foot pegs. I think you might have hyper focused on what you thought was incorrect info and missed the point of what they were saying. No hate just my 2 cents.

    Michael Nanni

    Yeah that’s fair. After reading this thread it cleared up the confusion for me. Maybe others who have gone to Keith’s school or read Total Control will be confused too? Not sure, but I’m hoping this feedback will help the creators of this course.

    Nick Ienatsch

    Yes, Michael, it does help us, thanks. You will see us stress countersteering/bar pressure in our upcoming New Rider Champ U!

    Andrew McDonald

    The 7th post in the top topic in this forum (“Welcome!! Gotta Question??”), by Staff member Keith Culver states:

    Weighting your pegs on corner entry is to initiate a lean. The turning comes from the leaning. Counter steering is also a way to initiate a lean, thus helping turn the bike.
    On the street, especially on a bike like yours, you may find yourself using the bar pressure (counter steering) to initiate that lean and to begin the turn more commonly. While weighting the pegs is a higher priority on a sportibke because the speeds are typically (designed to be) higher and peg weighting is usually less abrupt (if done correctly), it’s still all about initiating a lean. If given the choice, we prefer to weight the pegs because its typically less abrupt.

    This strikes me as patently incorrect.

    The first video of the Body Positioning sequence, at about 4:20, talks about “loading that peg like Chris and Nick are talking about, I get to send it that signal that tells it which direction I’m asking it to go…”. This does seem to suggest that weighting the inside footpeg is assisting (necessary) in initiating a turn. However, as noted above, other riding material suggests it is best to weight the outside footpeg for a myriad of reasons (e.g., pivot steering, bike stability, and if spring-loaded pegs, their ability to fold).

    The first quiz does also require that you select “All of the above”, which includes “To put weight onto the inside footpeg”, as an answer to “Why do riders hang off the bike?”. But, again, this contradicts what I suspect one really wants to do, which is to weight the outside footpeg — at least, from everything I’ve seen elsewhere (Keith Code’s material, Total Control, etc.).

    All-in-all, I think the way this is presented is incomplete at best, but really fairly misleading.

    Andrew McDonald

    Further, the answer to the 3rd question of the first Body Positioning segment is:

    When we move our head to the inside of the bike’s centerline, our center of mass changes. When that weight arrives on the inside footpeg, the weight helps knock all the motorcycle’s gyros off their axes and helps the bike to lean and turn!

    This 7 minute YouTube video gives a decent and quick overview of counter steering physics by a physicist. The later part of the video shows that you can indeed alter the front wheel’s steering of a bike by tilting the bike itself. However, (I believe) due to the mass of the wheels, and how low the footpegs are (minimizing the torque on the body of the bike), the weight that is placed on the inside peg has nowhere near the same effect on a motorcycle that it has on the physicist’s bicycle when he torques the frame. Keithe Code’s No BS Bike shows pretty definitively that this is the case.

    So, in reality, it’s the change in angular momentum from counter steering that causes the turn. Because of this, I think this answer is a bit misleading. Particularly for a performance riding school.

    It would really be nice to see a more complete discussion of how the physics of the motorcycle interact with the riders and the road. That would give a more complete picture of what is going on, and how you can control it. Perhaps getting a physicist to discuss these things on some of the videos, along with discussing how braking and accelerating through turns changes the geometry of the bike would help explain R = MPH and other concepts.

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by Andrew McDonald.

    So I have a couple of thoughts on this one, having done the other mentioned programs, and having invested a great number of years trying to implement the other programs methods.

    First, I am a towering sequoia of man, coming in at a nose-bleed worthy, 5’7″ (when I stand up straight and wear my thick soled sneakers). The whole weighting the outside peg thing… I simply cannot do it and have good posture. Even on little bikes, my outside foot often is not even touching the outside peg. I simply must put almost all my weight on that inside footpeg. I remember struggling immensely, compromising my upper body posture, holding on to the handlebars too tightly, getting twisted in my back and over the bike, all while trying to push down on that outside footpeg.

    When I was finally given the freedom to put weight on my inside footpeg (by Jason Pridmore who is very tall and Jason Disalvo who is a normal sized human like myself) Pridmore, actually said he wished he could put more weight on his inside footpeg. Jason Disalvo has the same experience I do, where his outside foot is often not even touching the pegs. In short (<– see what I did there); it was amazing how much more stable I was on the bike. So, this is all to say, weighting the outside footpeg is not a requirement for rear tire grip, nor for corning stability.

    Second, and this is really the key point I want to make. If you don’t think weighted footpegs make a difference, I have an exercise for you. Put someone on the back of your bike and then tell them to randomly push down on one or the other footpeg, without telling you when or which foot they are pushing down on. You may be floored by how abruptly and quickly the bike leans and turns. In fact, weighting footpegs does indeed affect the bike exactly the way YCRS says it does.


    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by dp.

    So… physics… cool. If you take a gyroscope and get it spinning at a decent pace, then orientate the wheel in the same orientation that a tire on a motorcycle would be (vertical). Grab it carefully by the frame on the axle ends. If you want it to lean to the left… you can’t make it happen by weighting the right side.

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by Dale_I.
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