How to get your knee down

Published: 07 July 2017

Getting your knee down is often seen as the holy grail for many motorcyclists, and you'll never forget the first time your knee slider scrapes against the tarmac. That said it's not something every rider achieves, so here we'll try to put you on the path to knee down glory.

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MCN Chief Road Tester Michael Neeves takes us through the steps to ruining your knee sliders.

  • In a nutshell you want to get over the front of the bike to maximise front tyre grip, while hanging off to the side to keep the bike more upright and away from the edge of the tyre. As your speed and lean increases, you’ll feel the scratch of knee slider against tarmac.
  • Always get into your ‘hang off’ position way before you brake into the corner. At most tracks you’re either hanging off left or right and don’t ever need to sit in the middle of the bike, unless there’s an exceptionally long straight to tuck in for. Your mid-corner body position should be:
  • You want your toe of your inside foot on the peg,  and you need to be flat-footed on the outside.
  • Move the inside bum cheek off the seat.
  • Keep the inside arm ‘soft’ and loose and point the elbow towards the floor.
  • Outside arm straight, pushing the bike away from you.
  • Lean forward and move your head towards your inside hand, to the outside of the screen. It'll feel ridiculous but you won't be hanging off as much as you feel you are. Practice this with the bike on the stand and take photos so you can see how much/little you're hanging off.
  • The more you move your head and shoulders in towards the corner, the easier it is to get your knee down.
  • If you’re reaching for the corner with your knee and riding ‘twisted’ it will never happen.
  • If toe sliders or hero blobs are touching down but your knee slider remains untouched then you're not hanging off enough or your inside foot isn't in the right position.
  • As with anything take it steady. Don't jump straight in at the deep end. It's good advice to first get used to hanging off as it feels very alien if you've never done it before.

But getting your knee down doesn't necessarily make you fast and you'll often find you sacrifice corner speed if you're trying too hard to get your knee down. 

For a more visual guide to getting your knee down, watch the video below.

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