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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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Jan 04

Posts: 287

R6nutter6 says:


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Dec 09

Posts: 2492

supermario says:

Cause and Effect

If you're riding a bike round a track fast enough and leaning it over far enough, your knee will touch the ground no matter what you do. So the answer must be no. Its a side effect of fast riding, not a cause of fast riding.

As for getting your knee down on the road, I think its more about show than go. You know the types, hanging off the side of the bike for all they're worth while its 10 degrees from upright. Funny, but pointless.

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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Aug 02

Posts: 69

slparry says:


I've ridden almost daily for 38 years, am considered a very fast and competent rider by peers and have never gotten my knee down on the road, despite being behind some doing so and having to feather the brake while banked over as I was catching them up .... showboating, just as wheelies and stoppies are.

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Mar 11

Posts: 66

Vortex1952 says:

Knee Down

In my humble opinion but my 30 years experience on road riding motorcycles, I must say that, a better rider is not always the fastest but the most sensible and prone to avoid unecessary acidents.

Road surface is completely diferent to track surface and the first has always some nasty surprises like sund, diesel etc,  but going down on your knee doesn't make any big diference, counter steering can be more help than knee down as a matther of fact.

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May 10

Posts: 26

d0nkeychop says:

learning process

Depends how you go about learning to do it I guess. Smart way: Go to a track and gradually build speed and confidence through corners to the extent that you begin to start grinding other bits of your bike and then need to start hanging off in order to go faster then I reckon my answer is yes as you have gone through a learning process developing your riding skill which will undoubtedly benefit your road riding.

Sunny afternoon with no track day booked: I spent yesterday afternoon going around roundabouts and a Morrisons car park trying to grind my pegs to build my cornering confidence. I did and yes it worked and I now feel ready to take my knee sliders out having not felt worthy of them in my first two years of riding


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Jul 10

Posts: 272

piroflip says:

Depends on Track or Road.

On the track depending on riding style it may or may not help. Some top MOTOGP riders do it so who are we to argue. On the road only the Rossi wannabes will do it to show off. They also wear those silly hump backed leathers for the same reason. I ride an 08 R1 but still can't help laughing at the antics of some sport bike riders.

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Jul 05

Posts: 157

yamtcat says:

my thoughts...

Well having wrote off a new R6 in my quest to scape my knees off tarmac and consequently putting up with 4 years of public transport until I could afford a bike again...I wont be trying to do it again!

I'm v jealous of those who can and always will be, but I love riding a bike too much I dont want to go through that again and will keep within my matter how novice they may be...all about enjoying the riding experience at the end of the day I suppose?



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Jun 10

Posts: 1

I couldn't say whether it improves your riding as such but then i suppose it does, i spent a long long time trying to get my knee down and it was always that thing i could never do and was always jelous of anybody who could, which all led to me constantly trying to and became a bit dangerous at times, then one day a friend took me and another friend out to teach us how to get our knees down second attempt and that was it i was away. Ever since i've never gone into a corner wondering how close i am to getting my knee down or thinking about trying to get my knee down which in turn means i'm concentrating more on what i should be, i think once you've learnt how to get your knee down it takes away that constant question of how :) hope that helps.

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Jul 12

Posts: 2

tobiasday says:

Knee down ?

surely the skill comes in when deciding if a corner and your speed through said corner requires the lean angle. if you need to get your knee down then it will come naturally.

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Aug 02

Posts: 2320

Hedgehog5 says:

The only people I have ever seen knee-down on the road were some nobs at the A38 roundabout at Bassets... my main concern as I rode round the outside of them was that they'd wash out & take me with them or panic & sit up but it was worth the risk to shake my head & see those looking on laughing at them. I was 2-up with luggage on my way home from a trip round Europe on an 1150GS that looked like it had been to hell & back.

My point is it may well be the fastest way to get round a corner but if you're going to do it at least go fast... & if you're going fast enough to actually require your knee down then, on the road, you're probably going too fast to stop in the distance you can see. Otherwise, on the racetrack, yes, it's probably a natural progression as you get faster... as said earlier, symptom of becoming a faster rider.

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