Elbow down old hat

Discussion in 'Riding Techniques' started by faffi, May 18, 2015.

  1. faffi

    faffi A.S.A.N.

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    Rossi 2000
    [​IMG]


    Ruggia 1991
    [​IMG]


    Ruggia 1989
    [​IMG]


    I find it interesting to see how similar Ruggi is to Marquez considering the 25 years between them.
     
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  3. kneedragon

    kneedragon Re-Member ... ?

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    Similar, but JF Ruggia didn't win everything. He had an eye-popping style, and he carried massive mid corner speed, but his results were nothing all that special. It was unusual, but not unheard of. I saw a shot about 2 ~ 3 weeks after the very first R1 showed up, a guy scraping his elbow. And that was on OEM factory tyres...
     
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  4. faffi

    faffi A.S.A.N.

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    Oh, I'm aware that he didn't win much and that there is far more to going fast than dragging elbows, but he seems to have pioneered the dramatic style we see most use today.
     
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  5. kneedragon

    kneedragon Re-Member ... ?

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    Yeah. I am more impressed by Timo Sarranin and King Kenny who copied him. I think that was a far more dramatic departure from the 'standard' technique of the day. Elbow down is just a logical extension of knee down, and major weight shift to the inside. Knee down and weight shift was a complete change from the sit still and ride school of the previous generation. It wasn't just Roberts, Barry Sheene and others were starting to move their body quite a bit and stick the knee out some, but they weren't deliberately dragging their knee. Roberts also wasn't the only one to start sliding the bike around. Graham Crozby did it a fair bit too, but Roberts had it under much better control. Croz could be a bit of a loose cannon... Speed he had, skills he had, but mostly he just had great big balls...

    Some of it also comes down to the machinery. Getting crossed up on a paved surface was a bit of a risk at first, because tyres held on until they let go - completely. Race tyres used to be like that, and early slicks even more so. Then Dunlop started to discover that you could make a tyre that had slightly less grip, but a more progressive break away, and really good riders could use that to their advantage. Now they're all like that, at least the ones that are any good. Today the difference is the way they talk back, the kind of feedback you get. The first sports tyre I rode that would drift and talk to you, was an old MT28 Phantom, but the next was a Michelin Pilot Sport. That was good, but I replaced them with Powers, and fell in love. What modern tyres did was take something that seemed impossible when I was a kid, a skill that was almost godlike, and make it possible (if a little difficult) for ordinary punters. That and improved high speed stability are the two single greatest improvements in motorbikes in the 40 + years I rode them.
     
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    #4 kneedragon, May 18, 2015
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
  6. kneedragon

    kneedragon Re-Member ... ?

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    Actually, elbow down on a race bike had to wait for the tyres and the bikes to get a bit less violent. Gardner and Doohan and the top riders of that era, Rainey & schwatz & Lawson and co, all used to get their leg out and shift their butt over, but tried to keep their head in line with the steering stem, because if anything went wrong, you needed some grip and strength and leverage, and if you were hung off the inside to the extent they do it today, a 500 would skin you alive. The modern bikes are far far more user friendly. They have to be. You couldn't ride them the way it's done now if they weren't.
     
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  7. faffi

    faffi A.S.A.N.

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    Still Ruggia did just that.
     
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  8. kneedragon

    kneedragon Re-Member ... ?

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    Yes, he did. On 250s, not 500s. And he didn't go very quick, so he probably wasn't the earliest or hardest on the throttle. He was a pioneer, yes. What M&M and the others do today, is a combination of techniques. Some are a lot like what Mike Hailwood did, some are like what King Kenny did, some are like Ruggia, ... most stick their leg out now as a counter-weight, and I think it was Rossi who started doing that. People try things. If they seem to work, others copy them. Doohan put a thumb brake on, because his right foot was no good. How many people have you seen try that out? Quite a few. If it seems to work, others will imitate.
     
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  9. faffi

    faffi A.S.A.N.

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    The pic with him on the #8 bike is a 500, mate ;)

    I agree that he didn't master enough to be a champion, but he was willing to venture where none had (regularly) gone before. Whether it was the nature of the bikes or lack of ability to learn/experiment that held him back I cannot say, but he clearly did something that was copied two decades later. A bit like Rudge and their 4-valve cylinder heads back in the 1920s. They couldn't fully exploit the benefits then, but now it's commonplace.
     
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  10. kneedragon

    kneedragon Re-Member ... ?

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    It is? I didn't know he'd ever got to 500s. I learn new stuff every day ...
     
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  11. faffi

    faffi A.S.A.N.

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    Me too. Thankfully!
     
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