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Old March 7th, 2022, 11:49 AM   #41
Bob KellyIII
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for me Remaining relaxed is only for when bike and you seperate ( because you have no control at that point) relax and try to not get yourself killed at that point.
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Old November 24th, 2022, 05:09 PM   #42
Misti
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I would add too that squeezing the tank with your knees and remaining relaxed even under hard braking will help keep you and your bike under control. Using your legs to grip the tank helps keep you more relaxed because you stay connected and stable with your lower body. How might remaining relaxed help in an emergency braking situation?
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for me Remaining relaxed is only for when bike and you seperate ( because you have no control at that point) relax and try to not get yourself killed at that point.
....
Bob.
So you don't think it's important to be relaxed WHILE riding the bike and under emergency braking, only if you and the bike get separated?

But what happens if you are holding on to the handlebars tightly while riding or emergency braking? Does that have any negative effect, or do you think it is necessary for maintaining control of the motorcycle?
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Old November 24th, 2022, 06:47 PM   #43
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Well there are 2 sides to this argument being relaxed while in an emergency situation means you will have a slower response time than if your all keyed up and tense like getting your hands up intime to protect your face when slamming to the ground. it's all relative really.... and in the land of IF if this were to happen I would do this.... but that is not how life plays out 90% of the time.... you don't think about it till after the fact and it's too late...
when your operating a machine and pushing it hard you are not relaxed like sitting in the chair watching TV that is silly you cannot be ! but staying loose
and not tensing up IS extremally important so maybe My idea of being relaxed is different than every one else's... but I never totally relax on a motorcycle or when I drive a car.... you can't RELAX and still be aware ....
the many techniques of riding come into play that have nothing to do with being relaxed or not "you need to be relaxed when crashing" like Yah ! there is no way in hell you can be ! but you can loosen up and not stiffen up.... we all have a tendency to stiffen up like a board and this is what get's bones broken
... being looser is better but you will never totally relax ! it's a crash for gods sake you are not going to relax through hitting the ground at 60 mph and heading into a bank and trees any one of which can easily kill you
.....
to that I say Truly relaxing on a motorcycle just ain't happening folks !
yah it is alot better if you crash the bike and stay as relaxed or Loose as possible as you are more than likely just able to get up dust your self off and go pick up the bike....
Holding on to the bike with your legs really helps.....some times.... not always ! on a dirt bike tearing up a rough rocky dirt road you better not hug the bike as it will deflect from a rock and throw off your balance, if you let the bike float below you you can take that hill with ease hug the bike with your legs and you probably won't make it and be fighting it the whole way....
the same is true for street riding but there is very seldom anything to deflect your balance so hugging the bike with your legs is an acceptable practice
....
I use both styles of riding, keeping the bike solidly under me and trying to become part of the bike...managing the entire package in balance
and I also use the "let the bike do it's thing beneath me" idea keeping my balance in check and just hanging on to the bike....
this latter technique is what the CHP of California motorcycle cops use
and it works .... I swap on the fly at will, sometimes I will corner as a entire package locked to the seat and other times I will let the bike lean underneath me..... both work ...
the latter technique is the one also used by Racers except they move their mass into the inside of the corner keeping the bike a bit more vertical
for tractions sake. it can be argued that it's all the same but it does not feel like it on the bike ! on a cruiser most just lock in to the bikes mass and become part of it.... hence the low Harleys scraping and throwing sparks
and going wide in corners... that is the time to change styles and still make that corner.... it's not the bike it's the rider !
....
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Old November 24th, 2022, 07:29 PM   #44
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In addition to my previous post here .... you NEED to keep your arms fairly loose or relaxed but totally in control if you hit a patch of sand in a corner and the wheel suddenly turns to the left you need to keep it from turning or it will continue to slide when you come out of the sand... so in reality your arms are not relaxed but keyed and ready to respond
that is not relaxed but poised for action... the mussels are however not tight. they can be in a split second...but the mussels are not real tight just moderately.
you definately do not want a DEATH grip on the handlebars but a firm grip nonetheless
....I have been known to have a relaxed grip when crusing down the freeway and have my hands so relaxed that I hit a bump and lost my grip on the handle bars.... that is too extream ! you don't want that kind of relaxed ! that is too much !
.....
You can force the motorcycle to do your bidding and dirt bike riding is all about this
because the things done on a dirt bike are never done on the street so if you loose traction in both wheels on the dirt try to stay with it and force it to your will it can be done ! and the same can be said for the street as well I personally have saved it from crashing into a car that pulled out in front of me on several occasions ...I didn't abandon my bike I rode it out ... the question is was that wise ? .....Probably but we'll never know the repercussions of what would have happened if I had just bailed.
.... I was riding my W1 Kawasaki 650 on big bend road flying low going about 50mph on a road that cars went 25~30mph on I came around a sharp bend and saw a big 4x4 truck on the right shoulder I didn't think much of it and just swerved onto the left lane to pass when I saw his turn signal flash I thought OH SH#T and as if in slow motion I saw his left front tire turn real sharp and he romped on it.... needless to say the bike and I separated. I flew over his hood and slid off the bank and was stunned for a few seconds... now in front of the truck I struggled to raise myself up on my left hand and looked back to see if that idiot was going to still run over me... but he stopped.
and I then knew what a fly feels like when you swat them with a fly swatter. nothing worked... vision was blurred I couldn't breathe or move... the guy came running over and said man are you alright and I couldn't answer..... it took a few seconds and he could hear me gasping for air.... I finally got out I think I am ok.... about 2 minutes passed while I gathered myself together and could move again but I was definately wobbly on my legs... I walked over to see my bike with the front forks bent back flat against the engine.... and he said sorry man I didn't see you.... we put my bike in the back of his truck and he took me home.... we unloaded the bike and he split real fast so fast I didn't get the 1947 motors manual that I had unstrapped off the back of the bike !
that was a very rare book and I had taken it down to a friend so he could use it on his old equipment with the job done I was retrieving it... never saw that book again.

that is how accidents happen.... you cannot prevent them or plan for them they just happen.... there was no time to think I rounded the corner and bamm I'm in the air.
if you are lucky enough to see it coming yah relax as much as you can but you are not going to be able to relax because **** is upon you ! when I hit the ground I hit flat on my back I think I did a full summer-salt in the air my hands leaving the handle bars at the very last... then I slid about 20' off the dirt turnaround and off the side and came to rest with my hands at my side.
..... Sh#t happens and it's not nice when it does, you just go through it the best you can!!
....
Bob......
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Old December 12th, 2022, 08:36 AM   #45
Misti
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Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
Well there are 2 sides to this argument being relaxed while in an emergency situation means you will have a slower response time than if your all keyed up and tense...

but staying loose and not tensing up IS extremally important so maybe My idea of being relaxed is different than every one else's... but I never totally relax on a motorcycle or when I drive a car.... you can't RELAX and still be aware ....

Holding on to the bike with your legs really helps.....some times.... not always ! on a dirt bike tearing up a rough rocky dirt road you better not hug the bike as it will deflect from a rock and throw off your balance, if you let the bike float below you you can take that hill with ease hug the bike with your legs and you probably won't make it and be fighting it the whole way....
the same is true for street riding but there is very seldom anything to deflect your balance so hugging the bike with your legs is an acceptable practice
....

Bob......
Hmmmmm. I'll have to disagree with you here on many things. First of all the definition of being relaxed is this - to make or become less tense or anxious.

So, being relaxed while riding is an ideal situation because it means you are less tense and anxious. When you tense up your vision narrows, you tend to focus on the wrong things, you can develop tunnel vision and your body and arms tighten up, all of which make you LESS aware of what is going on around you and LESS likely to react properly, and within control.

Being relaxed while riding does not mean that you are unaware of what is going on around you, or less aware than if you are "keyed up and tense" as you said.

A relaxed rider is one that is taking in all the visual information required in a smooth manner, and therefore their control actions are smooth as well. Smooth does not mean slow- at all. You can be smooth and relaxed and fast- just look at moto gp racers, they are not riding tense and anxiously.

Being relaxed while riding also doesn't mean that you aren't using muscle groups like your legs to grip the tank so your upper body can remain loose. You can still squeeze the tank with your legs and be relaxed.

I think some of the disagreement here is based on semantics and the thought that being "relaxed" somehow means less aware or less prepared to react- that's not what it means at all, it means that you are able to see and react to situations in a less tense and anxious way- all which are beneficial while riding any type of motorcycle, dirt or street.

I ride motocross and the goal is to squeeze the tank with my knees to keep my arms relaxed and loose which helps with rider fatigue but also with allowing the motorcycle and suspension to do what they were designed to do and hit the bumps and jumps in a flowing manner.

I ride enduro and single track and the same concept is true.

I also coach riders on track for 8 hours/day with the California Superbike School and constantly teach and demonstrate riding with as smooth and relaxed pace as possible.

When I was racing as a Pro AMA 600 supersport racer, again, the goal was always to ride as calmly, smoothly and relaxed as possible. My fastest times were always on laps that felt like they were happening in slow motion.

Here is a photo of me coaching at Virginia International Raceway- the reason I can take my hand off the handlebar at pace (and we were NOT going slow) is that I'm gripping the tank with my knees and am anchored and secure on the bike, I'm in control, prepared and ready.
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Old December 12th, 2022, 08:43 AM   #46
Triple Jim
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I don't get a lot of track or tight turn practice. The only way I can get through a turn with a knee down is to consciously remember to relax before the turn starts. The difference is like night and day. If I start to get tense in the turn, nothing goes right.
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Old December 12th, 2022, 12:47 PM   #47
Bob KellyIII
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OK You've all agreed that you are relaxed as you call it.... but that is NOT Relaxed
that is some middle ground between really tensed up and asleep ! fully aware and able to respond at a moments notice..... that is not Relaxed to me that is just not tensed up.
I don't think I've ever had a problem of being too tense on a bike.... a bike is an old friend to me it's my preferred method of transportation... how ever I did experience a TOO Tense situation when trying to learn to fly my Gyrocopter (autogiro) and yes it did screw me up, when your trying to think of everything at once and your brain cannot process it all fast enough.... that kind of tension has no place on a motorcycle ! it will flat get you killed ! even if your so nervise that your on the outskirts of that...it's time to get off and take a break ! and I am sure some of the aspiring Track riders will agree
with that....
But as far as falling and stiffining up that is a big no no.... that is how bones get broken. Now my last dump on the street I did stiffen up I did NOT relax like I usually do.... to a certain extent but that was out of necessity , as My hands were being pounded into the pavement as I spun and I started tumbling at 50mph.... by stiffing up I stopped the pounding of my extremities and became just one projectile.
when I finally slid to a stop in the ditch I stayed there a second doing a self evaluation check... My hands hurt like hell but I was fairly sure they were fine yes I had bruses all over me and they all hurt but my main concern was my bike at the time so I got up and found it at the base of a huge pine tree.... still idling.... So I did Not relax on that one
but in all the previous ones I most certainly have... but I walked away from it regardless
I do not think I would have faired better if I had relaxed simply because as I was sliding I began to roll as I rolled my hands were smacking the pavement very hard and it really hurt... so I pulled in my arms to my chest and stiffened my legs together as my knees were also being pounded... with that action I spun 3 times as fast and started tumbling
end over end like a stick.... I think I tumbled only 2 times but that was enough !
then I slid into the ditch and came to a rest....
in my case self preservation kept me from relaxing and also the pain.... my leathers were destroyed helmet was broken ( a modular one) and my gloves were also toast, but I was OK.... sore as all get out but I was fine ...the bike wasn't so lucky, but I did ride it the rest of the way home
and by the end of the week it was good as new.
....
so saying without a doubt that you should RELAX in a motorcycle crash I have issues with..... it depends on the situation
if your pinned under the bike and sliding down the road you better not relax and take what's coming to ya,... you better get that bike off you immediately or you will be ground to the bone in several places ! and I have seen that graphic sight a few times in my life.... that is far worse than a broken bone believe me !
(that is also why I ware boots ALL the time when I ride ) your ankle bone is the first to go ! even at 35~40 mph ! My dear Mother was crippled doing 35~40mph on a Honda 50cc Dad was driving Mom was the passenger behind him. when they went down
she stiffened up gritted her teeth and was hurt in the process the cartilage in her left knee was shattered and her silly slip on tennis shoe was turned inside out and her ancle on the left side was ground down into the bone (she lost about 1/4" of bone)
but Dad bounced and rolled and had just a few scratches Mom spent weeks in the hospital....
so my mother was a great example of what NOT to do ! stiffen up and your going to get hurt ! I got really lucky but that almost never happens in a motorcycle crash, if it can go wrong it will go wrong !
.....
Bob.......



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Old December 16th, 2022, 11:42 AM   #48
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The version of "relaxed" I aim for is sort of a "parade rest" state. Not tensed. On the bike, I frequently find my muscles are tensed for no good reason. That will be exhausting, so I make the effort to release the muscle tension.
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Old December 16th, 2022, 05:02 PM   #49
Bob KellyIII
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Exactly ! tense muscles will tire you out quickly but you NEED to be very observant .... if you relax in a car you'll fall asleep ! like my wife did.
or like me on the bike be pulling in the driveway and wonder how you got there.... I drove all the way home asleep on the bike ! that scared the heck out of me when I realised what had happened !
you can Zone out in any siduation and I think that is actually what happened to me... but it was a thurow zoneing out ! asleep at the switch so to speek
why I didn't drive off the road at 65mph I had no idea but I didn't some how I nagoisatied all the curves and hills and still made it home.... that followed a pictularly exhausting day at work and when I got off in the early A.M. I was totally tired and was not looking forward to the long drive home (over an hour)
I was on my DT1 250cc yamaha and I did 65mph with it all the time on the main road.... but at the time it was like all my life had been on bikes thousands of hours ... I was bundled up and warm even in the cool morning air
so when I headed home I remember getting on the main road/freeway and getting in top gear and seeing no traffic at all and just cruised home but I do not remember anything from the time I got on the freeway to the time I turned into the drive way..... that my friend is Deadly ! call it too relaxed
or what ever but that kind of Spaced out can get you killed , it only takes one deer to hop out Infront of you to end it all, and you need to be alot more aware than that !
.... a kind of tunnel vision occurs on me when that MODE approaches I've noticed through my life as I have done this on long trips in the car as well.
but now when I see that I stop get out and stretch and wake up ! then continue..... and it usually only occurs when I am extremally tired.
My wife just falls asleep behind the wheel, never sees it coming. I so far USUALLY do see it coming... but not everyone is that lucky...
the old saying if your tired get some rest BEFORE driving or riding a long way
holds true .....
... I remember driving back from Florida one time , the wife was driving and I was in the passenger seat.... i noticed the cars posission in the lane was off a bit and I looked over at the wife and her head was nodding and I said Tresa wake up ! and she snapped awake ... I said my turn ! .... munchies are the best anti-sleep thing you can buy ! but their hard to eat on a motorcycle !
HAHAHAH slim-jims work pirty good though !
....
Bob.......
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Old December 19th, 2022, 01:30 PM   #50
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I've been that level of tired. Realizing I don't remember the last however many miles I drove is scary.
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Old December 19th, 2022, 03:44 PM   #51
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I've been that level of tired. Realizing I don't remember the last however many miles I drove is scary.
I do that on my daily bicycle rides all the time. I'll find that I rode for 10 or 15 minutes and don't remember anything about it. I've actually come out of one of those sort of daydreams and had to look around a minute to figure out what road I was on. Getting wrapped up in thought makes a routine ride much less boring.

I stay much more in the moment on a motorcycle, or on a bicycle if there is any traffic around.
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