“Pivot Steering” and two new books…

Just got two new motorcycle books during the Hari Raya holiday. “A Twist of The Wrist II” by Keith Code and “Sportbike Suspension Tuning” by Andrew Trevitt. I almost completed the TOTW II and let me say it was another eye opening just like the TOTW I. In TOTW II Keith Code shares the technique of “Pivot Steering”, I will share this more in this post, which by the way was totally the opposite of what I usually applied when I ride my bike.

“Sportbike Suspension Tuning” will definitely need another post, as I’m eager to learn anything about suspension and its tuning, so stay tune..

Check out the above pic. Shows yours truly mid corner exiting S Kecil Sentul Circuit. I highlighted the foot step, or pegs, or rear sets. They are where you put your feet when riding a motorcylcle. TOTW II shows that there are several “Pivot Points” (13 to be exact) that you can use to hold onto the bike. One of those pivot point is the peg.

Now, as long as I can remember, I think I use inside peg as pivot point during cornering. I remember a friend of mine told me that to corner you also can push down the inside peg with your foot to help leaning the bike which make the inside peg as your pivot point. Seems logical and it work.

Yet, in Pivot Steering that is not the case. To help with the steering, to make it more efficient and help with cornering stability, the correct pivot point shall be the outside peg! I was bit surprise at first and reread the chapter several times to make sure that I got it right. But yes, the pivot point is the outside pegs. This is called the Pivot Steering.

Now, my routine preparing to a corner are the following:

1. Brake and down shift while blipping and rising my body/torso.

2. Move my body (my but as well) to the inside using my inside leg with the inside peg as a pivot point.

3. Once I reach the flipping point, I start to counter steer while lowering my torso and my body to the inside, still using my inside leg and inside peg as pivot point. The bike will lean and I’m cornering.

Now, with pivot steering the main different is that you “push” with your outside leg with the outside peg as pivot point. Your inside leg shall be free as it not being used as pivot point nor to push the inside peg.

If you watch MotoGP in TV you see that many rider have the inside leg free and sometimes they “kick” their inside foot prior to a corner. Pedrosa very often does that. That shows that their insied peg does not act as pivot point. Their inside leg is free, and when just about to corner they rest their inside leg at the inside peg. No preasure to the inside peg.

This “technique” was as strange to me as the concept of “counter steering” before. But I bet, if I can apply it correctly I shall be more efficient rider.

Hmmm let see when can I apply this, can not wait for the next track day!

10 thoughts on ““Pivot Steering” and two new books…

  1. Hi Bro,
    enjoyed so much your blog, lots of practical info.
    I used to race in sentul as well, back in 1999-2002 with kawasaki ninja, 150cc.I have lots of interest in bikes as much as you do,If u dont mind, I’ve got questions for u, how much does it cost to have a competitive bike for supersport class? where can I get it from in indonesia?
    is there any short course for it?



  2. Bro Roy..

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and glad that you like it.

    As for the cost, it depends on many factors. New bike or second hand bike will differ quite a lot. What kind of upgrade, also, do you crash a lot.. hehehe

    Second hand R6, for track use only, say 04 or 05, can cost you around 60 mill more or less…

  3. Hey I know that Trevitt guy! 🙂

    I haven’t read Code’s book, but Trevitt’s is very informative. He explains suspension dynamics in simple English and it’s geared towards those with no previous knowledge of motorcycle suspension.

    And about pivot steering. You may not realize it, but you’ve probably been pivot steering all along. How else would you stand the bike up? You use your outside foot to help shift your weight to the inside peg, lean the bike over, and when you’re ready to exit the turn you get on the gas, and weight your outside foot again. This, along with pulling the inside bar toward you (and getting on the gas) helps get the bike back to vertical and onto the fat part of the tire so you can apply the throttle. While you’re actually in the turn your weighting the inside peg…there’s no way around that.

    When you watch the MotoGP guys kick their foot out before a turn you’ll notice that it’s only in left-hand turns. This has nothing to do with steering (ok, well maybe a little), but more because of the reverse shift pattern they use. They’re downshifting aggressively and flicking the shifter the opposite of your normal streetbike; meaning they’re kicking the lever upwards (upshifting on a streetbike). To get their foot on the inside of the peg it’s easier to just get the foot off the peg completely and reposition for the turn. I’ve done this myself when I’ve ridden racebikes with a reverse shift pattern. For right turns I just downshift and leave my foot where it is. No need to reposition since I’m putting my weight on the opposite foot/peg.

    There’s a little lesson for you. Free of charge. 😀

  4. Hi Troy,

    Yes, Andrew Trevitt is one of the editor at Sport Rider magz right? Not to mention that he also a racer! I look forward to gain more suspension knowledge for sure from his book.. 🙂

    Hey, I saw in your facebook that you went to Germany, did some bike test at the famous ring? Ah… I envy you!!

    As to pivot steering, if I’m not mistaken, the book says that using the outside peg as your pivot point – while pressure is being applied to the bars (or counter steer I suppose for corner entry) – reduces your weight on the seat and put the majority of the weight on the outside peg not on the inside peg.

    The book also says, that putting the weight on the outside peg does not make the bike to stands up due to gyro effects of the wheels.

    So the outside peg in pivot steering is not to standing up the bike to exit the turn, but to make the bike more stable mid corner since your weight is closer to the center mass of the machine.

    Now, I fairly new in this, and I also not too sure which is correct. But that is my understanding after reading Code’s book.

    Anyhow, thanks to share your experience, I don’t mind you charging as long as bellow one thousand in Indonesian Rupiahs… hehehehe

  5. Yes, Andrew is the Senior Editor at the magazine.

    You saw my facebook, huh? Yes I went to Germany and rode the ‘Ring…but not the Nurburgring. This time it was the Spreewaldring. Different track, but still lots of fun…even if I did crash. 😦

    Although I have ridden the Nurburgring before. It was an amazing experience that I’ll hopefully get to do again someday soon.

    As for pivot steering: it’s hard to deny physics. Assuming your body position is anywhere near being correct (and yours looks pretty good), then it’s only natural that your weight will be on the inside peg. For example, take Colin Edwards at Jerez. When he lost the front entering the first turn, his outside foot came off the peg right away. Now, according to your definition of pivot steering this shouldn’t have happened. The only way I can see weighting the outside peg to be of any benefit is to quickly transition yourself to the correct position on the bike before a turn and then to initiate turn-in. I was mistaken earlier, weighting the outside peg won’t do much for corner exit. Getting on the gas and pulling the inside bar towards you will help stand the bike up faster; Pedrosa does it all the time.

    Anyway, I’m not trying to start an argument. That’s just how I see it. If Code’s methods work for you, then by all means use them.

    And hell, I might prefer to get paid in Rupiahs seeing as how the US dollar is worth less and less everyday.

  6. Yes, buying from Amazon.com is easy. Just follow their instruction and you should be ok 🙂

    I usually buy 2 or 3 books at one time to safe shipping cost. But buying too much books will give you problem at custom and take much longer time to be released from custom.

    What you need is your credit card and an internet connection.. happy shopping!

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