M109 Knee dragging
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Thread: M109 Knee dragging

  1. #1

    Default M109 Knee dragging

    I'm sure I'll get some heat here but oh well. I'm not some maverick trying to get myself killed. I bought my dream bike (obviously, you know which one) in December and I've been taking professional courses (Total Control by Lee Parks, IRC, ARC- Level 1 & 2) and Supermoto. I've also been practicing practically every night after work and four hours Fridays and Saturday. Starting with the basic parking lot maneuvers. At first, I couldn't even do a thirty foot U-Turn but now, I can do a 16 1/5 foot U-turn (from one parking spot to another). Subsequently graduated to higher speed and eventually even knee dragging. Although I would never ever do it on the public streets, there is an advantage to leaning that far. You'll notice in the video that I'm not scraping my pegs. At the advance levels they teach high speed cornering techniques and the emphasis is how NOT to scrape the pegs. Although, in parking lots, it's still fun to do:)

    Obviously, the M109 is not built for this and if I wanted to knee drag, I would get a sport bike. Problem is I LOVE the M109 and I can't even fit on a crotch rocket, unless it's a busa and I don't think anyone should ride liter bikes; certainly not me. I think the M109R the most beautiful machine ever built.

    So, I spoke to Lee Parks himself and he showed me that everything you can do on one bike, you can pretty much do on another. I didn't believe it until, he knee dragged the M109 after about five minutes of feeling it out. Now, I can do at will as well.

    I'm not into upgrading anything on my bike, I think it's perfect as it is so this is a complete OEM bike. Stock everything. Hopefully, I won't get creamed on here and hopefully, somebody will take a course of two as if it's one thing I've learned is that the more you can handle the bike, the more relaxed you'll be and you know the rest...

    Here's the video of knee dragging. I can post the 16 foot U-turn too if there's any interest.


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  3. #2
    Very Active Member NoSetFine's Avatar
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    I personally don't see any reason to fret?! You are taking a prudent and responsible approach to improving both specific and universally applicable riding techniques on a bike you love riding. I don't see the problem - I congratulate you on your success and passion - I think your commitment is fantastic and only wish I had access to those kinds of advanced courses in Ontario. I hope you have the time and funding to continue to safely pursue and improve on your interests.

    Have you ever looked up Moto Gymkhana? Might be an inspiration. I find it fascinating.
    Last edited by NoSetFine; 05-28-2019 at 08:34 AM.


  4. #3
    Very Active Member blacklightning's Avatar
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    Good job! I just wish I had the courage and skills to do that when I had my M109. I have now moved on to something a little different, but as you said, the skills are transferable. I will be putting some of them to the test in 3 weeks at the MAM.

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  6. #4
    Very Active Member Sasnuke's Avatar
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    I also echo the same sentiment as NSF...wish we had those types of courses available here.
    Maybe we do, and I just haven't found them.
    Sounds like you have a real gem there.

    Post the 16 foot turn video.
    2008 M109R2 Black - Flat black rims, Smoked turn signals, K&N Replacement filters, 2006 Exhaust Debaffled, & HealTech GiPro A-TRE G2.

  7. #5
    Very Active Member cbxer55's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone should ride liter bikes


    Really? Don't you know the M109R is almost two liters? That's a pretty dumb statement. I also ride a B-King. Which is 1340 cc's of totally awesome power when you whip that throttle wide open. I love it. Been riding "liter bikes' since the late 70's, early 80's. From my name you can imply what type I have always loved. The Honda CBX. Six cylinders, 1047 cc, DOHC four valve per cylinder. It was an amazing machine. Wish I hadn't sold my last one to buy the M109R.

    You don't want to mod, no one is going to force you to. But I've never had a bike that I didn't change practically everything that's changeable at some point. Stock exhaust is ugly and heavy. Stock intake is very restrictive. Stock tires are kind of slippery. That ugly thing that hangs off the back with the signals and license plate has to go. I did that in the first week I owned my M109R, way back in 06.

    I ride my M109R on some pretty curvy roads here and throw it around like a "liter bike". Never been to a class, never will. Been riding 45 years, that's my class. YMMV
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    Last edited by cbxer55; 05-28-2019 at 02:41 PM.
    SILVER 2006 M109R.
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  8. #6

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    Congratulations on taking the time to learn to get the most out of your motorcycle. I too would like to see the parking space video.

    I have had 30 some odd bikes, and with the exception of the first 2 or 3, all have been 1 liter or larger. But then I'm 6' 3" and 200+ lbs, so anything less feels insufficient. I've enjoyed every bike I've owned, both riding them and working on/upgrading them. Most have been sport bikes and knee dragging is a skill that every biker should have in their arsenal. Crvy backroads are full of decreasing radius turns and most accidents come from rider failure, not bike failure. I learned years ago that any motorcycle is usually capable of cornering beyond the average riders' comfort level. Good for you that you are stretching your abilities. I wish more riders would make the effort. Spend some money on classes instead of bling. It could save your life.

  9. #7

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    Well, that went a lot better than I expected. Apart from my dumb liter bike comment. Obviously, I know that our bikes are bigger and even though I meant the sport behemoths it's not my place to judge or cast aspersions. I'm 6'5, 230 lbs so for me, I just can't fit on one, unless it's a bigger Sport-bike and I'm just not skilled enough to handle that much power to weight ratio. A lot of people are so, I'm genuinely sorry if I offended you CBXer 55 or anyone else with that comment. It really was a "dumb comment" and I take it back.

    Same thing applies for the mods. I have nothing against that, the bikes I see here are absolutely gorgeous! I personally don't see anything that I don't like, that's all:)

    The rest of you, I really appreciate the words of encouragement. I really enjoy learning, practicing and I do it with professional instruction. It wasn't until I started taking courses and have professionals give me feedback that I realize how much I was actually missing, or plain out doing wrong.

    Here is the U-turn video. If you count the white lines, I guess it's a little more than 16 feet but nonetheless, it took me a while to achieve this; for some of you, this may be a complete cake walk, I don't really know. I just know that even the pro's had a hard time on this bike (if they even succeeded) so I know it can't be that easy. A lot of people think they can do this drill but they don't take into account that they are drifting out of the lines after the turn is completed (I did that until my teacher pointed out that I wasn't completing the turn to the full 16 feet). You have to stay within the lines the entire way. That is why we put cones or half of tennis balls outside the lines. Most of the times, you will think you made it but once you look back, you will see one of two tennis balls moved.

    Sorry it's in the dark but I work 60 hours a week which leaves me time to practice at nights and off course, on the weekends.



    Hopefully, I didn't say anything else dumb of offensive this time around:)
    Last edited by M109 2019; 05-30-2019 at 12:33 AM.

  10. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathwish View Post
    Congratulations on taking the time to learn to get the most out of your motorcycle. I too would like to see the parking space video.

    I have had 30 some odd bikes, and with the exception of the first 2 or 3, all have been 1 liter or larger. But then I'm 6' 3" and 200+ lbs, so anything less feels insufficient. I've enjoyed every bike I've owned, both riding them and working on/upgrading them. Most have been sport bikes and knee dragging is a skill that every biker should have in their arsenal. Crvy backroads are full of decreasing radius turns and most accidents come from rider failure, not bike failure. I learned years ago that any motorcycle is usually capable of cornering beyond the average riders' comfort level. Good for you that you are stretching your abilities. I wish more riders would make the effort. Spend some money on classes instead of bling. It could save your life.

    Thank you for your insight, you're spot on about rider failure, and I'm elated that evidently a lot of people feel the same way about taking classes and pushing your abilities in a safe environment. The twisties are a breeze these days and I always ride within 60% of my abilities.

  11. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by blacklightning View Post
    Good job! I just wish I had the courage and skills to do that when I had my M109. I have now moved on to something a little different, but as you said, the skills are transferable. I will be putting some of them to the test in 3 weeks at the MAM.

    Good man! Please post back with your progress!

  12. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasnuke View Post
    I also echo the same sentiment as NSF...wish we had those types of courses available here.
    Maybe we do, and I just haven't found them.
    Sounds like you have a real gem there.

    Post the 16 foot turn video.
    Please check out this website. This is what got me started on this whole journey...https://www.motojitsu.com/

    He's got a page with a lot of courses that take place all over the country.

  13. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSetFine View Post
    I personally don't see any reason to fret?! You are taking a prudent and responsible approach to improving both specific and universally applicable riding techniques on a bike you love riding. I don't see the problem - I congratulate you on your success and passion - I think your commitment is fantastic and only wish I had access to those kinds of advanced courses in Ontario. I hope you have the time and funding to continue to safely pursue and improve on your interests.

    Have you ever looked up Moto Gymkhana? Might be an inspiration. I find it fascinating.

    I really hope you can find something in Ontario. Even if there's an intermediate/advance course farther away, it's worth making the drive. Just as long as it's a reputable school with legitimate and proven teachers. There are teachers out there that should not teach.

    Yes, I know about moto Gymkhana!! And I am completely fascinated with the concept. I know someone from my group that's very skilled in it and I actually do apply some of the techniques in the skill tests that we do on a weekly basis. It's just harder on our bikes as we scrape almost immediately. Eventually, I will get an adventure tourer and will immerse myself in those concepts. Clearly, it works!

  14. #12
    Very Active Member BIG MIKE 109R's Avatar
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    Great job on learning the new skills and techniques of bike riding. When I bought my 9 in 2012, I watched "Ride like a Pro" videos by Jerry Motorman faithfully. Also here in North Carolina we have BikeSafe (free of charge) where you take a day long motorcycle safety class with the motorcycle patrol. The class consists of a 45 and 90 minute ride to evaluate your riding skills and the rest was class time. Keep the shiny side up!

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    Very Active Member Sledge's Avatar
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    It's never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. Even pro athletes practice throughout their careers, learning and enhancing their abilities throughout their career. You don't just become an expert one day, to be done with learning anything new. I've been told be motorcycle instructors that even the most seasoned riders can always take something new away from a good motorcycle course.

    You've piqued my interest in this technique. The local race track, that I run my 1/4 mile on, they have track days on a closed course. I didn't think the 109 would do so well. Now I'm not so sure...

    I applaud you in striving to become a safer and better rider.

  16. #14
    Very Active Member cbxer55's Avatar
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    No offense taken man. Don't sweat it. I just had to point out that many of us grew up on liter bikes. Of course, the liter bikes of the late 70's/early 80's were a far cry from what we have now. For instance, my B-King has two modes, A and B. B is full power, 185 hp at the rear wheel. B is about what a liter bike back then made, around 110 hp at the rear wheel. So yeah, liter bike capability has come a long way, and you definitely have to keep your wits about you when riding my King in A mode. No doubt about it, not for a new comer.

    I applaud your learning how to handle your M109R as you're doing. Just happens that having ridden for so many years, it just happens for me. I've had it 13 years and 35,000 miles, and it hasn't been on the ground (cept for the wheels of course) in all that time. Last time a bike of mine was on the ground, it fell off the kick stand due to negligence on my own part. Parked facing downhill, forgot to snick it into first gear and roll out the driveline slack. OOPS.
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  17. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sledge View Post
    It's never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. Even pro athletes practice throughout their careers, learning and enhancing their abilities throughout their career. You don't just become an expert one day, to be done with learning anything new. I've been told be motorcycle instructors that even the most seasoned riders can always take something new away from a good motorcycle course.

    You've piqued my interest in this technique. The local race track, that I run my 1/4 mile on, they have track days on a closed course. I didn't think the 109 would do so well. Now I'm not so sure...

    I applaud you in striving to become a safer and better rider.

    Thank you so much my friend and you're so spot on!!

    I love that I piqued your interest with this technique! I couldn't believe this could be done on this bike until Lee Park at https://www.totalcontroltraining.net/ sat on my bike, felt it around and starting knee dragging in a 30 foot circle as if it was as easy as walking. The only thing he said, the bike doesn't matter, only the rider:) He was incredibly fast too!!

    Once I learned and mastered the proper upper body positioning (which took months and months of practicing), it only took me 25 minutes to drag my knee...on both sides. You will do the same but I do urge to be careful; I've seen several guy wipe out trying this without mastering the upper body first.

    I can't wait to see your knee dragging footage some day soon!

  18. #16
    Very Active Member FlyingCircus's Avatar
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    Looks like a blast. I'd love to learn that as long as I'm not dragging any painted or chromed pieces that is. Great riding. I'm jealous

  19. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbxer55 View Post
    No offense taken man. Don't sweat it. I just had to point out that many of us grew up on liter bikes. Of course, the liter bikes of the late 70's/early 80's were a far cry from what we have now. For instance, my B-King has two modes, A and B. B is full power, 185 hp at the rear wheel. B is about what a liter bike back then made, around 110 hp at the rear wheel. So yeah, liter bike capability has come a long way, and you definitely have to keep your wits about you when riding my King in A mode. No doubt about it, not for a new comer.

    I applaud your learning how to handle your M109R as you're doing. Just happens that having ridden for so many years, it just happens for me. I've had it 13 years and 35,000 miles, and it hasn't been on the ground (cept for the wheels of course) in all that time. Last time a bike of mine was on the ground, it fell off the kick stand due to negligence on my own part. Parked facing downhill, forgot to snick it into first gear and roll out the driveline slack. OOPS.
    Thank you for accepting my apology brother. It's funny you mentioned you've only dropped your bike once, as during my intensive training, I've dropped it at least 8-10 times:) So have my training group friends (we are always with a teacher, google, Fast Eddie). I can't tell you how much it sucked the first like five times but then I got used to it. I was warned; if you want to get better, you will most definitely drop it as you will have to push yourself beyond your own limitations.

    From each of those drops, I've learned something and I haven't dropped it in a while now. There are still a lot of drills that I haven't mastered so I know I'm going to drop it again. I've accepted it. Now I should mention that all of these drops have been at parking lot speeds and I'm ATGATT so not a scratch on me. One obviously doesn't want to drop the bike at high speeds; hence the vigorous focus on slow speed maneuvers first and then slooowly and gradually increase the speeds until well, you can speed through a corner dragging your knee at will in a figure 8.

    As far as the bike, well the crash bars have taken 99% of the damage; I added highway pegs on the crash bars and turn them around when I practice low speed turns (if that makes sense), that adds additional protection. The heat shield on the exhaust (the bottom) is scraped but that is it!! Not as much as a scrape on the bike itself!!

    Eventually when I master all the drills laid out before me, I'll fix the exhaust and it will look as good as new.

    If anyone is interest as to what drills to practice on your own in a parking lot, I bought this book www.motojitsu.com. You can do it at your own pace and your progress will depend on how often you practice. It may seem easy on paper but once you get on the pavement, put those cones and go through even white/blue belt level stuff...it's a different story.

  20. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingCircus View Post
    Looks like a blast. I'd love to learn that as long as I'm not dragging any painted or chromed pieces that is. Great riding. I'm jealous
    Thank you my friend! Proper knee drag will not touch your bike at all, I guarantee it. Getting to that level, well that's a different story. Get some crash bars and they will get damaged when you drop it, albeit at slow speed. As I mentioned, I've dropped my bike nearly 10 times practicing slow speed maneuvers to get up to that level and the only damage is to the crash bars and the bottom of the exhaust. There is ALWAYS the risk that you may tumble during a high speed turn so it's a question of are you willing to risk it to do it:) For me, it was. So far, I've never tumbled during high speeds but I attribute that completely to the courses and the training on my own; and especially the low speed drills. If you can master our bikes at 5-10 Mph, it provides a solid foundation for the high speed maneuvers and are relatively risk-free!

    I can't describe how it feels to drag your knee through a circle and having the control of lifting your knee up and down (touching the ground at will) throughout. It's pure euphoria, for me. Full control, and complete relaxation throughout.

    One thing is for certain; if I can do this, so can ANYONE. I'm 43 years old and started practicing seriously five months ago. Full disclosure, I did ride a Shadow Sabre 1100 for five years in my 20's and thought I was a great rider. Little did I know that I really knew nothing at all...in fact the more I read and take courses, the more I realize how little I know.

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