Relaxed Riding


Most of the control comes from your legs and core, not from your hands.

I ride a completely different style bike but here goes. Its a supermoto by the way…

My elbows are always up and im up over the bars in an agressive position like how you see a motocross rider sit, yes i realise its a supermoto but most people can asociate when you mention motocross even though supermoto is the same thing just a different surface.

Im never tense on the bike until i need to be, i just relax and let the bike be lose under me, i find that this way if something happens that i dont want i can feel it and react better than i can if im gripping the tank like mad with my knees to keep the pressure off my arms.

I too also cover the front brake with 2 fingers and use it way more than i ever use the rear.

As people have already said the more you ride the more you’ll come acustomed to it and get the feel of things. And yes reduce your speed and relax. Over time you’ll be able to increase your speed yet still feel comfortable and relaxed… Oh and above all always stay alert, plenty of nob heads to take you off

Wowzers, thanks for all the replies and advice! All very interesting!

Kaos - yes, i understand muscle memory, it comes into play a lot in complex cueing sequences in shows at work. I’d never thought of applying it so consciously or indeed on the bike though. I’ll give it a go!

Yes, I do find I grip the bars very tightly - almost as far as squeezing them at times, so I guess that probably doesn’t help.

I do tend to cover the front brake (and indeed the clutch) which I think is a throwback from my cycling days. I try and stop myself doing it as when doing he cbt the instructor was dead against it, but reading some of the replies maybe it’s not such a bad idea…on the brake anyway! I do have a bad habit of using the front at low speeds, which does destabilise things I know. I just never have that much confidence in the rear - it’s a drum on my bike, I find I can’t really get the feel of it.

They say to keep it away from it racing MX too but that never stopped me. Cant see the harm to be honest. Its to do with if you hit a rut or sumat and the bars shake they say you wont have a good hold on them if you are covering the brake

This is the step after gettin comfortable ridin… if you’re feelin tense, you’re lookin to move from “riding” a bike, to RIDING A BIKE… am I a tw@t, yup but there is a big difference and B is spot on… NO pressure on the handle bars, hold yourself on the bike with legs and body… if you really want to progress, get VERY fit, and learn how to move on the bike. It should be steady, but that’s the next step and mostly unhelpful in London… christ when did a litre bike last get out of 2nd gear in this town… :slight_smile:

Agreed, I have been advised not to cover the f/brake, I think it much better to cover it when filtering generally. As for using the rear brake. I think thats generally a very bad idea in these circumstances. The rear for me is for steadying the bike or wet weather/gravelly roads braking. A four finger pull on the f/brake at filtering speeds may de-stable the bike, but you stop, the rear brake will just lock the rear wheel and you be stable when you hit whatever you were braking for!:smiley:

But back to relaxing, sex before your commute might help?:w00t:

That’s exactly why I think you shouldn’t cover the front brake. Try it, just relax your hands and leave them on the handlebars.
I know there’s different views, but how often have you seen a police rider through town covering his front brake? :w00t:

As for the rear. I use it only really when slowriding (i.e. gas steady, control speed with rear brake and clutch), so that’s pretty much all the time during slow filtering.


I had exactly the same problem as OP, so much so I’d get real sore neck and shoulders from tensing and my hands would seize up from gripping the bars like my life depended on it. Only after about 5k miles (mostly of London commuting) did I start relaxing properly. Now I’m all chilled in riding style and far more focused on the job of planning and hazard perception.

I also use back brake (actually a combo of both if needed) when doing slow filtering. helps keep things nice n smooth.

Not if you have ABS like me. :smiley: To be fair my VFR also has linked brakes so whichever I use both are in effect, albeit in different proportions…

Sneaky Finally we agree on something technica! Either my riding technique has progressed or yours has gone backwards.:wink:

Driesie I must try to see if I can tell whether police riders cover the front brakes- they have so much fairing around them on those things it is difficult to see what they’re doing with their hands. Come to think of it I did see one policeman the other day in Chelsea who was definitely covering his front brake but he was on a BMW F650 thing so don’t know if he counts as ‘proper’;). I’m not convinced about the rear brake for slow control but thinking about it this must be different for different bikes? My bikes got low first and second gears and lots of lovely engine braking so I rarely need to use the brakes for slow speed stuff anyway- also my bike has a light rear end and my weight is usually up front over the bars so I think the back brake is more likely to cause a lock up.

What we really need is for Jim Shoe to come on and sort this all out for us…:Whistling:

Thats not actualy why they say dont cover the front brake… They say it because you have less of a grip on the bars for if/when you hit a bump or sumat and the front end gets abit wobbly…

True, it usually works:P

it may work for a man, but for a lady it could get a bit unconfortable to sit on the saddle of a bike after that :smiley:

Or may be I’m catching you up!:stuck_out_tongue:

That could help!:cool:

So now we know how you be doing it!:blink:

The key thing here is that I said it “may” destabilise. Personally I cant see the issue, but I may just be used to it. With ABS surely the front must dip as mush if not more than than a conventional front brake? So would there be more destabilisation under heavy braking? The linked gig that Honda do is very, very stable

Thanks for all your replies everyone!

Had a good commute in on Friday - tried a few of the things you were saying, and it was certainly an improvement.

Was also riding with a rucksack on as well as there was too much stuff to go in the top box, and found that encouraged me to sit back a bit more as well.

Commute home didn’t go as well - nearly dropped the bike at walking pace on Sainsbury’s carpark then someone brake-tested me…had returned to the death grip on the bars by the time I got home!

But ho-hum - try again tomorrow!