Get Yer Knee Down!
It’s the kind of thing you contemplate when you can let your imagination run away with you. You’re watching Moto GP, or cruising through your favourite route you’ve travelled a hundred times and that corner starts to approach…you start getting that rush of confidence that tells you, screw this, I could be the next Rossi. It’s the knee slide.
It is one tough nut to crack and takes riders with enough confidence and experience under their belt to even contemplate pulling off. It is the combination of speed, a lean angle and correct positioning that allows for a successful knee slide, and kneecaps that survive the trip.
Want to know how to give your knee sliders those oh-so desirable scuffs that signal your skill? Check out KBB’s tips to help pull you through the process as safely as possible.
- Choose your location wisely; often riders will choose a race track that they know well and provides controlled conditions to test their ability. Others will push boundaries and plump for a roundabout in a quieter traffic period. Wherever you choose, take the time to study your surroundings to prevent an accident.
- Make sure the engine has been running for a little while and the bike and tyres are sufficiently warm.
- Adopt a body position where your torso is bent over the tank, the balls of your feet on the pegs, your head is tucked down and your hands are holding a fairly relaxed grip.
- It is best to practice your lean through a few turns to gain confidence in your speed, the process of counter-steering, and to get a feel for your position. Developing a consistent lean angle will allow you to judge when you can safely touch your knee to the ground.
- With further practice and experience you can begin adjusting your body and shifting your weight into the lean, without hanging off the bike entirely!
- Watch and learn; observe how fellow bikers hold their position and shift their weight to facilitate the slide.
Have any of you perfected your slide? Or have you been daring yourself to take the (not too literal) plunge? Let us know your top tips!