What is a Motorcycle Lean Angle?

What is a Motorcycle Lean Angle?

“You must know the maximum lean angle before doing knee down”. I recently interviewed various professional riders, and this is what they say about the lean motorcycle angle. 

Motorcycle lean angle is the maximum angle in which you can lean your motorcycle during knee down. There’s no specific lean angle for motorbikes, as lean angle depends upon your tire and track conditions. But experts believe that 55-60 degree is the maximum lean angle you can take while doing the knee down. 

Let’s look at what it means for you and what you can do about it. While writing this post, I leave no stone unturned so you can get essential knowledge about lean angles. 

What is a Motorcycle Lean Angle? 

If you’re a professional racer, you must know about lean motorcycle angle for knee down. Because a lean motorcycle angle helps to keep you safe while doing knee down. 

Motorcycle lean angle is the maximum angle at which you can lean your bike safely. 

According to some experts and professional riders, the maximum lean angle is highly dependent on the motorbike you’re riding, the track on which you’re riding, and tire pressure. 

For example, if you’re riding a street motorbike, the lean angle can be 50 degrees. On the other hand, if you’re riding supersport, the maximum lean angle will be around 55 degrees. 

Not to mention, the above example excludes tire and road track conditions. Your lean angle will decrease aggressively if your tire pressure is low. 

And that’s why experts always recommend checking tire and track conditions. 

How to Identify a Motorcycle Lean Angle? 

Knowing the accurate motorcycle angle is crucial for any professional rider, but have you wondered how to identify a perfect lean angle for your motorbike? 

To identify the perfect lean angle, you just need to do a knee down and notice the angle at which your motorbike peg is starting to touch the track. Don’t forget to check the tire and track condition before identifying the perfect lean angle, as it impacts highly on lean angle. 

Believe me, identifying your lean motorbike angle isn’t rocket science, and you just need to do a simple knee down. 

Disclaimer: Beginners, please don’t even try to do the knee down without proper guidance. 

Also, read my previous post where I’ve discussed what is motorcycle knee down. Click here to read.

How to do a Motorcycle Knee Down? 

For identifying the lean angle, you need to do motorcycle knee down. And here are some steps through which you can do motorcycle knee down easily. 

Disclaimer: Motorcycle knee down can be extremely dangerous for anyone, and that’s why I highly recommend wearing all motorbike gear. And stay away from the motorcycle knees down if you’re a beginner.

Here are the steps below: do this in the professional racer guidance only. 

How to do motorcycle knee downDetails
Grab the correct position. Before doing knee down, your knee should point outwards while your thigh should grip your motorbike tank, and your one bum should be one motorbike seat. 
Stay hanging off. Don’t acquire a normal position unless you see the straight way ahead. 
Focus on the throttle. Open throttle when taking a sharp turn can unbalance your motorbike and may cause severe accidents. 
Focus on gears. You should have close throttle when taking a sharp turn, and it also means you should select the higher gear. 

Grab the Correct Position:

Before you knee down, you should learn the correct position. 

Before doing knee down, your knee should point outwards while your thigh should grip your motorbike tank, and your one bum should be one motorbike seat. 

Your upper body should lean towards the motorbike tank, and your inner arm should be bent, and your outer arm should be straight. 

Your leg position is a crucial part that you wouldn’t want to ignore. Your inner leg should be on its toes, while your outer leg should be on the peg. 

Stay hanging Off:

It’s most common for riders to catch a seat at a normal position as knee down may cause muscle tension.

It’s useless to acquire a normal seat position just for the sake of relaxing your hamstrings and thighs. Don’t acquire a normal position unless you see straight ahead. 

Even professional racers hardly acquire a normal position unless they reach the finish line. 

Keep the temptation of hanging, and you may also do this with a lot of practice. 

Focus on Throttle:

Usually, city riders enter the curve with the open throttle, but in track, you shouldn’t use the open throttle when taking a sharp turn. 

Instead, you should always enter the curve by the close throttle and later open the throttle when you see a straight path ahead. 

It’s because open throttle when taking a sharp turn can unbalance your motorbike and may cause severe accidents. 

Focus on Gears:

You should have close throttle when taking a sharp turn, and it also means you should select the higher gear. 

If you master all the above techniques, then knee down won’t be rocket science for you. 

Remember that a knee-down motorbike won’t make your speed high; otherwise, you would use poor technique. 

You should see these YouTube videos below for a better understanding of knee down. 

Can Beginners Do Motorcycle Knee Down? 

Motorbike knee down looks so impressive, and thus beginners love the knee down. But have you ever wondered can beginners do a motorbike knee down? 

Experts usually don’t recommend doing such things for beginners. It’s because doing a motorbike knee down takes a lot of practice, and any mistake could rupture knee ligaments or break knee joints. Also, experts always recommend wearing riding pants and knee sliders while practicing knee down. 

Motorbike knee down isn’t suitable for beginners, and that’s why instructors in MSF(Motorcycle Safety Foundation Course) don’t teach knee down to beginners. 

So if you’re a beginner, then it’s better to avoid knee down. 

Why You Shouldn’t Depend on Lean Angles? 

So far, you understand what should be the perfect lean angle and how you can identify one. But have you wondered why experts do not recommend depending on a lean angle? 

Experts don’t recommend depending on the motorbike’s lean angle completely when doing knee down. It’s because a motorcycle’s lean angle is highly influenced by the tire pressure, track condition, and motorbike model you’re riding. Even one factor can affect your motorbike angle highly.

For example, if you’re riding a sportbike in good tire and track condition, the lean angle will be approximately 55 degrees. 

On the other hand, if you’re riding the same model with the same track condition but with low tire pressure, your lean angle will be much lesser than the previous one. 

And that’s why experts always recommend not to depend on a motorcycle’s lean angle. 

How Lean Angle Depends on a Motorbike Model? 

So far, you understand what a lean motorbike angle is, and you might think that the lean angle is highly influenced by the motorbike model. 

Motorbike lean angle is highly influenced by motorbike models because every motorbike has a different peg and leg position. It means no two motorbike models can lean at the same lean angle because of the peg position. For example, the peg position of a stock road motorbike is much lower than a sportbike. 

And that’s why experts always recommend not to believe the crap advice saying all motorbike models have the same lean angle. 

Also, low-pressure tires can’t distribute the motorbike weight properly; thus, you’ve to be careful when selecting the motorbike tires. 

Just like tire pressure, track position and corner also impact the motorbike’s lean angle highly. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

On which factors motorbike lean angle depends?

According to some experts and professional riders, the maximum lean angle is highly dependent on the motorbike you’re riding, the track on which you’re riding, and tire pressure. 

How can you identify a motorbike lean angle?

To identify the perfect lean angle, you just need to do a knee down and notice the angle at which your motorbike peg is starting to touch the track. 

How to grab the perfect position for a motorbike lean angle?

Before doing knee down, your knee should point outwards while your thigh should grip your motorbike tank, and your one bum should be one motorbike seat. 

Why shouldn’t beginners do motorbike lean angle?

Experts usually don’t recommend doing such things for beginners. It’s because doing a motorbike knee down takes a lot of practice, and any mistake could rupture knee ligaments or break knee joints. 

Why it’s better to not depend on a motorbike lean angle?

It’s because a motorcycle’s lean angle is highly influenced by the tire pressure, track condition, and motorbike model you’re riding. Even one factor can affect your motorbike angle highly.

Final Verdict: 

What is a motorcycle lean angle? Motorcycle lean angle is the maximum angle in which you can lean your motorcycle during knee down. 

There’s no specific lean angle for motorbikes, as lean angle depends upon your tire and track conditions. But experts believe that 55-60 is the maximum motorbike lean angle you can take while doing the knee down. 

Your motorbike model highly influenced your motorbike’s lean angle because of the peg position. Two motorbike models can’t have the exact peg location; thus, their lean angle differs significantly. 

Also, don’t forget to check tire pressure as low tire pressure can’t distribute the weight, reducing the lean angle.