Page 69 - AZ Extreme - AEM Volume 7 Issue 4
P. 69

 Balance on a motorcycle is critical. When you have good balance on a motorcycle your muscles are less tense, and you can apply more throttle. With
balance generally you can go faster with less e ort, that’s the idea and it does really work when you learn to balance. When I talk about balance on a motorcycle, I demonstrate position on a jump, position on a straightaway, position in corners and position on starts.
If you have proper balance, for example on a long straightaway, you can apply the gas hard and go really fast in a fairly relaxed position. We are naturally going to have enough tension and forces going on in our body just being on the motorcycle. The key is not to add extra energy when it is not necessary and this can happen with proper balance on the bike. We can achieve this goal by working on technique and fundamentals to do this properly.
A good visual test is to stand on your bike when it is on a stand. Get in the position that you think is center and balanced. You will notice if you stand straight up your rear tire will probably touch the ground and your front tire will come up therefore indicating there is more weight on the rear. A good way to  nd balance when you are standing up is to not let your bike rock back and forth while keeping both wheels o  the ground. Generally, I like to stand with my legs fairly straight on the balls of my feet and my upper body bent forward at about a 45° angle with my elbows up and out a little bit. This should feel like a pretty natural position. You will know you are in a balanced position when your bike stays level on the stand and does not have a tendency to rock back and forth one way or the other. Remember and practice this position while riding.
When you apply forward thrust and momentum with the throttle, you might need to adjust the balance point a little more forward to counter the extra forward momentum you will have when applying a lot of gas. You do need adjust for sand, rocks and ruts. Always be looking up and forward so that you can see what is ahead to make any adjustments on the  y. In other words, if I see a big hole on a straightaway and I do not have time to switch lines, I will either apply a little more throttle to keep my front end light and wheelie over it a little bit or slightly move my weight back, or do both. With time and practice you can develop a good feel of balance, it is really not that hard. That is something I have found to be very natural for me, to  nd good feel and balance on a motorcycle and you can learn it also. v
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