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Friday, April 16, 2010

The act of Hanging Off

Well in real road ride scenarios, counter-steering is what is required to get a perfectly balanced turn. But what happens when you a going much higher speeds and you encounter a turn and you want to avoid a certain gravelly patch!! Getting to a Hanging position can come really handy specially when you want to do things real tight!!

The Technique
To begin with, I would like to press on the fact that, Hanging off the bike while making tight turns is not a road ride technique for two reasons. Firstly, in the most happening riding conditions, you don't need to Hang off, you just need to Counter-Steer. Secondly, in most general case, in India, I've found turns to be the place with the most amount of gravel, sand and parked vehicles and all of them are equally lethal for a fast moving two-wheeler.

So, what if you really want to do things for the heck of it!! Hanging off, is essentially a technique of cornering wherein you use your body to get the required lean angle, while keeping of bike upright as much as possible, to allow you go round the turn much faster and with much more grip from the tarmac.

The idea is, when the requirement comes, we slide our body to the inside of the turn, trying to move our torso towards the inner of the turn, as if we are trying to "kiss" the rear view mirror. Here we would be sitting on our one butt cheek.

In all the process throughout, we try to keep the lean angle of the bike to a minimum. Notice where the weight is being applied on the front tire in figure A and figure B.

In the image above, look how the rider's head and the entire torso region of his body is positioned where the rear view mirror should have been. So, here the lean of the bike is comparatively minimalistic but the effect of the process is same. You go tight and you go faster round the turn. This a perfect copy book example of Hanging Off the bike. On the other hand take the example below of Rossi making his turn.

Observe the exaggerated lean angle implemented by him in his turn. He's hardly hanging off the bike but still managing to Counter Steer the bike at incredible speeds. Well needless to say, you have to be something like Rossi to master this :) !!

Thing that we should not do
Mostly what I've seen people doing while playing Rossi-Rossi is, they take their butt of the seat and hang the butt off the inside of the turn, while leaving the entire torso and head pretty much in line with the bike. That's a big no no as this seating posture puts you in a more crossed up type position and which is a compromise with the over all balance of the high speed machine you are riding.

Found this video from MCN to be very helpful in understanding the technique.

I've understood one thing very aptly about this technique is that it requires a lot of practice to perfect and surely it's fun and can be a saver at high speeds.

Hope this helps.
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  1. rossi toh bhai let jata hai..ek neend le leta hai phir uthta hai!! :)

  2. Yep, its quite fun and addictive. But then one needs a closed track to practice them with peace of mind

  3. Gagan Dude!!
    Yeah really :) !! Bend it like Beckham is out!! It should have been Bend it Like Rossi :D

    Payeng Dude!!
    Absolutely Man!! A closed track is the only place where it should be practiced. Also, a couple of times I've tried this during early mornings, I found that your tire grip also plays a very crucial part in the whole process. My front tire is like saying bye bye, and every time I try to hang off the bike, the front tire starts swaying away from it's line a bit. Not sure if it happens like that only, or it's the wearing off tire grip!!


Item Reviewed: The act of Hanging Off Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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