THE RIDER’S LEG WILL TRAIL
BACK BY THE REAR WHEEL, AND
ALL FORWARD DRIVE WILL BE
TURNED INTO INSTABILITY.
SO, WHEN CAN YOU TOUCH
As with all things, even though we admonished you from
a physics standpoint to avoid touching the ground, there
are times when it makes sense.
Precision powerslide: When a motocrosser touches
the ground near the front tire, it causes a pronounced
forward weight shift. This changes the weight bias of
the machine (and less weight on the rear tire means less
traction). If you are dragging the brakes or accelerating at
the same moment that your foot touches the ground, the
rear end will slide. Knowing this simple fact means that
any time you need to square off a corner or slide the rear
wheel, all you need to do is plant your inside foot and,
bingo, the rear end will swing wide. The best practitioners
of this technique simply choose where they want the rear
tire to break loose and press their foot to the ground at
the correct moment. To stop the slide, they reverse the
process by picking their foot up and moving it rearward
onto the footpeg.
Because the rear end pivots around the fork axis when
a bike is sliding, it is critical that you dab your foot near
the front wheel. Then, as the rear of the motorcycle arcs
around, your foot will remain alongside your body where
it can support your weight if the bike starts to low-side.
If you keep your leg too far forward during the slide, you
won’t be able to catch your fall; too far back and it will be
dragging uselessly behind you (if you don’t run over it with
your rear wheel).
KEEP YOUR FEET ON THE PEGS
As we said at the very beginning, putting one foot out
signals that a rider is slightly out of control, but both feet
means that he is absolutely out of control. The best way
to ride any two-wheeled machine is with your feet up. But,
the skill, balance and bravery required to ride feet up are
far beyond mortal man. Why is it best to keep your feet on
the pegs? The answer can be found by balancing a broom.