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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #16  
Old 5 Aug 2012
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Originally Posted by tractor4play View Post
over the last few years i keep coming accross bikers on adventure bikes standing on there pegs.
as soon as they leave the tarmac they seem to be brain washed into thinking they will have more control standing.i have seen some serious states,wobbly and very uncomfortable looking shapes totally out of control.
i would love to know how this myth all started as its dangerous for novice riders nevermind the huge costs when they drop there pride and joy.
hopefully some readers will question the next time they decide to stand up and save themselves from injury and a skinny wallet.
I think it probably started because it's, erm, not actually a myth.

Worth noting that someone stood up can look completely out of shape (body not in line with bike) but it's that ability to move which is giving them the control. Someone sat down will look perfectly natural, right up to the point they are lying on the floor.

Equally, riding all day down a well-graded gravel road, I'd not stand up all the time (for a start, it gets a bit windy at 60+ mph). I'd do whatever felt comfortable.

If you want to change people's minds and lead a new revolution of sitting-down riding regardless of terrain/circumstances you might want to provide a bit more justification.
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  #17  
Old 5 Aug 2012
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I would like to add here one other point.
When temperatures get over 30C, it is good way to cool down a bit.

-Hemuli
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  #18  
Old 5 Aug 2012
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I am not a very experienced "off-roader" but ocasionaly I ride some dirtroads on my bikes. I am lazy so I try to sit as much as possible but I have two reasons for standing, one is to improve my view on the road ahead and the other is to let my knees absorb the bumps instead of my back.

The bike has to be set up right for it. On my F650GS, I had the bars five centimer raised (Touratech risers worked fine for me) so I could stand right but I guess that is different for longer or shorter riders.
On my R1100GS I am still experimenting with the sitting/standing position.
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  #19  
Old 6 Aug 2012
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Interesting. I stand up in technical stuff but sit down when its fairly straightforward. This is not based on training or motorcycle specific knowledge, but simply because that's what I'd always done on a mountain bike.

It just somehow feels more natural to stand up when on technical trails, for three reasons - 1) because I feel more in control and balanced; 2) because it allows the bike to bounce around without taking me with it and 3) it makes it easier to jump off if it all goes pear shaped!

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #20  
Old 6 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tractor4play View Post
over the last few years i keep coming accross bikers on adventure bikes standing on there pegs.
as soon as they leave the tarmac they seem to be brain washed into thinking they will have more control standing.i have seen some serious states,wobbly and very uncomfortable looking shapes totally out of control.
i would love to know how this myth all started as its dangerous for novice riders nevermind the huge costs when they drop there pride and joy.
hopefully some readers will question the next time they decide to stand up and save themselves from injury and a skinny wallet.
By "Out of control", can I assume either you feel out of control standing on the pegs of your bike or you think others look it?

What's the difference between in and out of control? If it's in=not falling off and out=fell off, then I have to say that this isn't the case. Several times, I've felt perfectly in control the nanosecond before I was sliding down the (paved or unpaved) road. In these situations, it had nothing to do with standing or sitting, but more to do with not taking the correct line, not concentrating or hitting some diesel.

FWIW, I subscribe to the mantra "sit when you can, stand when you have to". I laugh when I see (usually riding a certain brand and wearing expensive riding suits of another certain brand) standing with legs and arms straight on a bike. I suppose they think they look the part, so that's fine too though.

As far as standing on pegs technique goes, below is a pic I took of Marc Coma on his way to winning the 2006 Dakar race. I think it can be assumed that his technique is text-book stuff.


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  #21  
Old 6 Aug 2012
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It is not just bikes, I stand up when driving my tractor over rough ground and getting bounced around.
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  #22  
Old 7 Aug 2012
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Mountain biking, too. A lot of what's involved is the opportunity to rapidly shift weight forward and back, side to side as needed. Hard to do when you're comfortably seated.
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  #23  
Old 8 Aug 2012
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I went on a rideout with the XT500/Thumper Club boys earlier this year at the annual international meet. One guy had a 660 Tenere with all the Touratech kit (3 box luggage system, tank panniers, proper overland spec) although from talking to him all he ever did was go campsite-style camping in the UK.

I followed him on the rideout and he stood most of the way. This was on decent tarmac roads. It was very funny to watch. I think a lot of it is just the Dakar image - Stephane Peterhansel does it, so it shows you are 'in the know'.
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  #24  
Old 9 Aug 2012
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A Physicist Weighs In

O.K. I've consulted my esteemed brother in law who has a Ph.D in theoretical physics and here's the word.

Standing up on a motorcycle absolutely raises the centre of gravity (which for the purposes of this discussion is the same as the centre of mass). This is a good thing with respect to control on unstable surfaces.

To get an intuitive understanding of this get yourself a hammer and a broom which have roughly the same weights. Try balancing the hammer by the end of the handle on your fingertip. Now try balancing the broom the same way. The broom is easier to balance. Because the broom is longer, when balanced, it is more resistant to displacement. Or, put another way, if its base is displaced it tends to fall over more slowly than the hammer.

When standing up on a motorcycle the rider becomes "longer". Displacement lower down (caused by bumps and other imperfections in the road surface) causes the bike to fall over more slowly than if the rider were "shorter" and sitting down. Slower falling over means that the effect of the displacement is easier to correct, i.e. there is more control.

There it is...I think.

Norm
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  #25  
Old 9 Aug 2012
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Makes sense to me.

Another thing would be that standing up creates a flexible joint between the two masses of rider and bike. The mass of the rider can stay relatively still, while the mass of the bike can follow the contours of the ground more easily. Same principle as sprung and unsprung weight, I suppose, but including sideways movement as well as vertical.
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  #26  
Old 10 Aug 2012
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Wasn't it "sit when you can, stand when you must" and not the other way around? (unless when it's for a plastic purpose )

Esteban
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  #27  
Old 10 Aug 2012
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This is starting to sound like my philosophy of life:

If you can walk, don't run
If you can stand still, don't walk
If you can sit down, don't stand
If you can lie down, don't sit
And
If you can have a nap while you are down there, so much the better.
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  #28  
Old 10 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normw View Post
Standing up on a motorcycle absolutely raises the centre of gravity (which for the purposes of this discussion is the same as the centre of mass). This is a good thing with respect to control on unstable surfaces.
The key word here, in my opinion, is 'unstable'.

You don't need to stand up on gravel roads unless you are racing where the surface should be considered unstable for the speed at which you are riding.
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  #29  
Old 10 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estebangc View Post
Wasn't it "sit when you can, stand when you must" and not the other way around? (unless when it's for a plastic purpose )

Esteban
Why not "sit when you feel like it, stand when you feel like it"?
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  #30  
Old 10 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnon View Post
The key word here, in my opinion, is 'unstable'.

You don't need to stand up on gravel roads unless you are racing where the surface should be considered unstable for the speed at which you are riding.
Maybe not just racing? My back wheel spun up on the Leeds ring road just now. Probably a combination of a low quality repair to the fully sealed road surface and oil or diesel leaked from a poorly maintained vehicle. Was I going to fast? Certainly or it wouldn't have spun up. Could I do slower? Not unless I want to replace the three pointed star on the front of some 40 tonner.

There are I think times when you can trade the energy of getting on the pegs and making some progress against advantages such as not having logging trucks passing you. There are other times when 8 hours at 25 mph sitting down is going to work out better than 4 riding like a nutter followed by a long rest to get over it.

I think the trick is knowing when to stand and for somewhere like Australia it could be critical to save the time on the pegs for sand and not waste it on gravel. Personally I probably do stand when I don't need to, but for the short (relative) distances (2 hours tops) it probably only makes a slightly positive contribution.

Andy
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