Stand Up Or Sit Down | FEATURED LETTER

How putting your weight on the pegs or seat can make a difference

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I have been involved in an internet forum discussion about standing versus sitting on a motorcycle while riding adventure bikes off road. Some people contend that standing weights the pegs (?) and as a result, lowers the center of gravity and makes turning easier. I believe that standing raises the center of gravity and as a result, makes turning more difficult, especially on loose surfaces

My argument was that turning while sitting affords me much more control. I have never seen any racers standing on their bikes while turning. The majority of standing that I see is done by motocross racers while going over whoops and big bumps.

However, Motorcyclist often shows riders standing on adventure bikes, even sliding the rear wheel for the camera while standing. So can you shed some light on this subject of standing versus sitting?

Mark Richards via email 

I can confirm that "posting" does lower the total center of gravity (CG) of the bike-and-rider combo. You are imparting your weight lower on the bike than when you're sitting.  For what it's worth, this technique is taught aggressively at the RawHyde school and it's an important part of keeping a 500-plus-pound "dirt bike" out of the weeds. It's a very effective tactic. -Marc Cook, Editor In Chief

In addition to transferring the bulk of your body weight from the saddle to the foot pegs, effectively lowering your combined CG, standing on the pegs lets you shift your weight around more easily to better respond to changing surface conditions, and it can give you a better view of where you’re going on a cluttered trail. A few quick adjustments—rotating the bars upward and repositioning the levers downward, maybe using bar quick releases—can make this position more comfortable. -Aaron Frank, Editor At Large

[From what I understand, standing on the pegs effectively lowers the CG. More importantly, it lets your legs supplement the suspension and gives you the ability to move around and balance the bike. -Ari Henning, Road Test Editor

____As my venerable coworkers have said, having your bodyweight on the pegs instead of the seat essentially moves the weight you're placing on the bike lower down. Even though it can feel odd at first, maneuverability is much improved if you practice, which is why you will often see professional riders in Dakar and other long-distance off-road races posting on the pegs. Lastly, one of the main reasons I stand up (especially on full-size ADV bikes) is to avoid the reaction of sticking a leg out, where it could catch between the bike/saddlebag and an immovable object. -Zack Courts, Associate Editor__