How To Get Your Knee Down, The Series.

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Knee down. It's the number one goal for a lot of riders - I know it was for me for ages. I read countless articles, watched hours of YouTube videos, asked strangers for advice and attended a decent number of track days/schools. Eventually I got it down, so it must have worked, right?

Well, kinda.

The problem is if you ask a 10 people how to get your knee down and it's likely you'll get 10 different answers:

"Find a quiet roundabout"

Sure, you can get it down on a quiet roundabout or car park.

Forget how dumb it is to do this on public roads1 for a second, it's a different story getting it down when you hit the track anyway.

On a roundabout or in a car park, you'll be riding around an infinitely long, constant radius corner - you can get your knee down by slowly increasing your speed until something scrapes.2

On the track corners fixed in length and radius so you don't have much say in your line through it - so we have to use speed.

"Hang off more"

Unless you're scraping boots/pegs or using all of your rear tyre - right to the edge, no you don't.

Hanging off too far can be detrimental, causing you to: pivot around the tank, sticking your knee out less; lose contact with the bike, forcing you to hold on to the bars; tire you out, unnecessarily.

Start with a good, solid body position and go from there - more on this later.

"It's a consequence, not a goal."

Correct - the act of scraping your knee on the ground does nothing.

That being said, it is a useful tool: as a gauge, it's an incredibly way to measure lean angle; as a safety net, it can save you up when you lose the front (providing you're an alien, of course).

"You'll get it down when you go faster."

Correct - but not helpful.

How To Get Your Knee Down, The Series.

Every article or video I've found on getting your knee down focuses almost entirely on body position. If they mention speed at all, its as a very brief comment at the end - "now, simply build up your speed!".

I've decided to write the "How to get your knee down" guide that I wish I could've found when I couldn't do it - a comprehensive start to finish guide on how to get your knee down by riding faster, smoother and safer.

Instead of writing one ridiculously massive article though, I've decided to turn it into a series. Each article focusing on one aspect of riding.

They'll all appear on the the new "How To Get Your Knee Down" page (the "Knee Down" link in the site navigation links to that page).

Why trust me?

I'm not an expert, an instructor or a racer - yet.

However, I'm pretty good at identifying problems and explaining solutions. I've helped 5 people in person and 20+ others via the power of the internet (each of different skill levels) improve their riding and get their knee down by going faster.

You absolutely, categorically, 100% do not have to heed any advice that myself or anyone gives you.

Try it for yourself see if it works.

What next?

The series is still being written, but you can start by reading the articles on body position and movement now - lines, markers, vision and much much more with follow.

If you're intrigued, don't forget to subscribe to email notifications, give the Facebook page a like, follow the Twitter page and all that good stuff to stay up to date.

Footnotes
  1. Yes I've been roundabout surfing. I still think it's a stupid idea.

  2. As hypocritical as it may sound, I still highly recommend the i2i course. Beyond body position, I learned machine control techniques that are much better learned first hand in a controlled environment.