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MCN  says:

You ask/You answer: Does getting your knee down improve your riding?

I passed my bike test a couple of years ago and ride a GSX-R750, which I love to bits. I've recently done a few track days and I'm amazed by how many people get their knees down. Does sliding your knee really make you a better rider, or is it just showing off? Hailwood never did it… Your advice could help. Leave...

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  • Posted 3 years ago (24 July 2012 18:04)

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Mar 10

Posts: 1040

bmwgs says:


getting your knee down is the same a wheels its just for showing off

if you get your knee down on a road then you be going to fast. 

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Jun 12

Posts: 18

ghostmikey says:

No, it does not improve your riding, not on the road. The idea is to get round a corner quicker, if you can do it properly of course, as getting your knee down is more an effect of hanging off, rather than a deliberate act in the professional world. Not like the riders you see trying to get their knee down. On the road its completely unnecessary, lap times mean f*ck all in the road world.

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Jan 11

Posts: 8428

snev says:

Hailwood was a Genius without doubt...

To be able to walk in to your local Pub with freshly scratched sliders.... still smoking, is "Simply Epic". Different times, Different styles.

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Feb 09

Posts: 4771

philehidiot says:


you're on a track then yes. If you're on a road then no. It makes you an idiot who is pushing the available grip in an unpredictable situation (i.e. not smooth road, crap all over it and other vehicles which may or may not be piloted by tossers).

It only takes a tyre slipping by an inch - you're too far over to correct it and off you go. Only on the road there isn't the run off area and you don't laugh about it saying how your leathers got hot as you slid along the tarmac and gravel. No, you hit a lamp post, a curb, a car or any of the other paralysing, killing, bone smashing bits of road furniture they leave lying about on the public road.

It makes you a potential danger to yourself and others rather than a better rider.

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Jun 12

Posts: 89

micepunk says:


your not going too fast if your getting your knee down

your going too fast if the rest of you goes down

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Apr 08

Posts: 3042

AdieR says:

If you're

on a track with nice grippy tar, loads of space and no oncoming traffic, it might. That said, some skilled riders can get knee-down on fairly hefty machines that aren't renowned for their agility.

Trying to do it on the road however, is a bad idea; plenty riders are involved in single-vehicle accidents due to misjudged cornering. Mr Plod also takes a dim view of it (if such a case were to go to court, you'd need a good solicitor and expert information to get away with it). Many riders talk about getting their knee down on roundabouts; and what are roundabouts? Roundabouts are favourite places to find sloshed diesel.

Keep it to the track.

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Mar 09

Posts: 5404

Nostrodamus says:

Hailwood loved a good knees up by all accounts

Knee on the deck, why do riders do it and does it serve a purpose?

As stated earlier in this thread the knee out style - which then became knee down with 'Mooneyes' Cooper the acknowledged instigator - is a by product of hanging off. Hanging off serves to lower a riders COG and keep the motorcycle itself more upright (some road riders manage to get their knees down with minimal lean. Racers often keep their knee up off the kerbs at 50+ degrees of lean). The knee also becomes a pivot point of sorts and assists in keeping tighter lines. The knee can also become a handy prop when the front tries to fold underneath you. A forceful thrust when the bike falls onto your knee can see front traction regathered.

For myself I know hanging off feels so much safer and more natural than sitting squarely on the seat. For the same corner speed you feel as though you are carrying less lean angle - probably because you actually are!

But don't force it to happen on a track day. Just build your speed in a gradual manner and keep relaxed (tension is the enemy in all sports) and stay smooth. With one arse cheek on the saddle and the other off on the inside your knee will naturally touch the deck if you're carrying reasonable corner speed. Forcing things will just see you pogo'ing around lunging up and down and being a menace to yourself and others.

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Aug 02

Posts: 3285

eatcs01 says:

knee down

It helps a lot on the track.


It's no real use on the road, but hanging off a little will help in the corners.


But, knee down IS a lot of fun. Especially if done on an "innapropriate" bike. I've had my knee down on all of my bikes, including a BMW1200GS and even a Yamaha XT350 on KNOBBLY tyres.


It's pointless but fun. Scuffed sliders look so much better than those covered in dust and cobwebs :-)

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Aug 09

Posts: 12

opos79 says:

only on track if u try it on the road you will end up coming off trying or getting nicked trying as it takes a lot of work on the road BUT NEVER SAY NEVER good luck trying

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Jun 07

Posts: 89

Harry44 says:

Hailwood didn't get his knee down because the tyres in his day didn't provide enough grip.

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