Drills – Stage 2: Large Figure 8s
Figure 8 drills have many variations and are one of the best and hardest drills to do in my opinion.
Once you have done the 4m radius circles in the stage 1:circles post you are ready for figure 8s. This set up basically makes 2 corners with a transition area in between, so the drill is all about transitioning and setting up the corner.
What do you need?
Bike, bike gear, paved / tarmac area around 10m x 20m or larger.
Other useful things?
Phone & tripod, chalk, tape measure, camping chair, water, snack, lots of patience.
What do you do?
Draw 2 connecting circles of 4m radius with a slightly larger circle each circle. Try to ride within the lines. The main difference in this drill to the circle drill is that you are transitioning from one side to the other, applying throttle at the “apex” of the circle until past the transition area.
Throttle should then be off (or maintenance throttle) until the next “apex”, for half of the circle, at which point you again accelerate, transition to the other circle and the other side, and repeat.
Common errors are:
not carrying enough speed into the turn.
not leading the bike with your body during transitions
not getting your body into maximum lean quick enough.
Fast transitions are important so that you are in control of the bike, pulling it down to maximum lean angle. Your head (and body following) should be ahead of the bike in the transition zone allowing the body position and bike to be set for half of the circle.
Warning! This drill takes time to get right – weeks and weeks, if not months of repetition - so try not to get frustrated if you cannot do it right away.
It is really important to video, review and repeat and try to work on one thing at a time. The more you practice the more your body knows what to do.
What should you look for?
You should be able to hear the clean acceleration through the transition, and then no throttle blips until you are starting the exit of the corner and transitioning again.
You should be able to see your head moving from one side of the bike to the other during the transition stage
You should be able to see that you and your bike are set at max lean angle for the time in the corner.
Also, the same pointers as per Stage 1: Circles apply for all the drills
Keep at least one bum cheek on the seat,
keep hands relaxed (you should be able to take the outside hand off the bar)
Light grip – imagine holding your Grandmas budgie – just enough pressure so the bird doesn’t escape but not enough to squash it.
Head forward and towards the direction of the turn
Elbow out and ahead of the knee
Knee out but not too far so it is passed 90 degrees from bike
Have fun! If you can do this well it will make small figure 8s a lot easier to do.