Ever since Valentino Rossi let his leg fly free in the wind, people have been trying to explain the advantages of the “leg dangle” in motorcycle racing.
While many reasons have been offered (some more accurate than others), and while some pundits have certainly painted a good portion of the picture behind this growing technique on the race track, we have never seen someone explain the subject quite as well as Sylvain Guintoli.
The Frenchman posted his explanation in a video to YouTube, and he is not only clear in his explanation, but also exhaustively comprehensive in his analysis on the subject.
What adds weight to Guintoli’s analysis is the fact that he is a World Superbike champion, grand prix racer, and a current MotoGP test rider for the factory Suzuki outfit.
To break it down for those who don’t have time for the video, Guintoli talks about how the leg dangle does the following:
- Lowers the center of gravity while braking
- Moves more weight to the rear of the bike
- Improves the body position of the rider and make the rider more planted
- Increases aerodynamic drag and acts like an airbrake
Of course, the effects of the leg dangle are measured in tenths of seconds, and only see their best results from top-level riders, which Guintoli admits in his explanation.
Still, it is a great breakdown on this often discussed topic. Watch it, share it with your friends, and give Sylvain a follow on YouTube. He is putting out some great content.
Source: Sylvain Guintoli; Photos: Suzuki Racing