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Q & A: motorcycle physics

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Most recent answer: 04/01/2013
Q:
It is commonly accepted in the motorcycle riding community that if you are seated on a motorcycle and you transfer your weight to the outside footpeg (while cornering) it lowers your center of gravity. Does applying pressure to the footpegs change your CG in any way? It seems that when you apply pressure to the pegs you begin to elevate your CG all the way up to a standing position.
- David Beals (age 54)
United States
A:
Transferring your weight that way must mean leaning further in the direction you're already tilting, so it would lower your center of gravity, as people say, without having to further tilt the whole motorcycle. If you press harder on that footpeg, then it will exert a matching upward force on your foot, accelerating you upward a little. Then your butt will not contact the seat as much, reducing the upward force from the seat, and you should become steady at a slightly raised height. If you really stomp on that footpeg, you'll keep going up even after there's no force from the seat. That sounds like a dangerous way to ride a cycle.

Mike W.

(published on 04/01/2013)

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