Jump to content

Foot Position


Recommended Posts


I've been concentrating on improving my foot position. I used to be a bit lazy about it - letting the heel of my boot catch against the peg and hold things up. Especially on the right side, though, I had to angle my foot off to the right to avoid riding the brake pedal. This usually caused my boot to become the first drag point on a hard turn.


Now I'm concentrating on keeping my feet further back - putting the area just behind the balls of my feet on the pegs and keeping them tight up against the bike. But the brake pedal is still an issue. I feel like I have to keep my right ankle in an unnatural bend to make sure I don't ride the pedal.


Am I doing something wrong? Is it possible/advisable to adjust the brake pedal downward ('04 GT)? Should I have to move my foot forward in order to activate the rear brake, or just push down? Should I have to move my left foot to shift?


TIA for any input!

Link to comment

Well like most things, you'll get differences of opinions, but RidingSmart and a lot of the Pro's books and classes teach to put the balls of your feet themselves on the pegs. And to downwardly load some pressure on them. This means each braking and shifting action is a distinct foot movement forward to do so as you anticipate your next action, but I don't think that's a bad thing.

Link to comment

Don't have a GT, but reckon there's not that much difference. I keep the balls of my feet on the pegs, not the middle of my feet.

It DOES mean shifting slightly in order to activate the gear/brake levers. It also provides a more 'active' position in the saddle and prevents your feet from 'sticking out' in tight turns.

Link to comment

I had to angle my foot off to the right to avoid riding the brake pedal

Balls of the feet on the peg, though after awhile if you’re tall it tends to cramp up your legs/knees. I guess that depends on the bike you’re riding also.

I wait for the aggressive riding to do this. When cruising it is what ever is comfortable for me.

But I hardly ever use the rear brake so that’s not an issue for me.

Link to comment

I teach riders to hook the peg in front of the heel, point the foot straight forward, raised above the control below it.


I suggest this largely as prepared position. One is immediately able to operate the controls beneath the feet. This is a manifest need during cornering, and a highly likely need around traffic.


Racing often calls for maximum ground clearance and rapid shift of weight and body position. I consider that when street riding, one has far surpassed Prudence if they find the outside edge of their boot scraping when it's atop a foot control. That magnitude of lean angle, just as needing to have the body hanging off the bike to sustain a speed and consequent lean angle are far too Committed to a corner than is wise in light of the frequency of need arising to avoid obstacles, impediments, and roadway changes. That doesn't meet any sense of Smart Riding to me. We need to be able to make changes in direction and speed those other foot and body positions can delay us from making.


That's not to decry changing body positions during cornering. Indeed, it can be at least comforting and rewarding if not helpful. But, lots of testing has shown full lateral transitions can be made just as quickly from the heels as from the balls of the feet, even to racing magnitudes. It ever remains less tiring to do it from the heels - for reasons given subsequently.


I teach foot alignment, straight ahead, fully in concert with femur and spine, including neck, likely aligned. That provides the maximum physical sense of direction of travel, and any yaw and slipping present. These serve either street or track rider.


While some would suggest that this foot position could be set aside in other circumstances, suggesting need for control operation being low, I suggest it be maintained anyway. Might as well train oneself to a point of ease with the position - then changes and choices don't get in the way of rapid action. But to me the real benefit comes because MYRP is based in using the largest muscles, those that tire the least, and the least quickly, to support the body position(s). Pressing down at the heels invokes larger muscles in the thigh at the sides and toward the back. They actually develop faster (in case you're not in great riding shape when you start MYRP), and train up sooner than the quadriceps, the muscles invoked when pushing at the balls of the feet.


I certainly do recommend changing foot position as a comfort aid on long rides at times when control operation is less likely. You'll even find highway pegs on one or more of my bikes. None the less, I train to be comfortable in the most poised and prepared position possible - the one that provides the maximum degree of control, feel, and even comfort in the long run.



Best wishes.

Link to comment

To me, a lot about foot position depends on my riding environment. In the city or about town, I place my feet so that I can most easily pivot my foot onto the rear brake and don't require much movement to shift. That mostly means just forward of the heel (my boots don't have heels) call it the fore part of the arch. I do this cause I am most likely to need swift access and maximum effort from those controls. My bike, in particular has linked brakes that require the use of the rear brake to get maximum effort out of the front. Don't ask, I like it.


When on the freeway, feet go where they are most comfortable, which, since my bike is equipped with adjustable rearsets and easily modified lever positions, is pretty much the same. I tend to move them around a lot from just dangling my legs to the tips of my toes on the pegs. We are talking long distance comfort here and any one position is bound to tire you after 8 or 10 hours in the saddle.


Finally, there is the position for aggressive cornering. Here, I tend to move my feet just a touch further to the rear than would be the norm on the street. My bike will run out of tire long before the pegs or any portion of my boot is likely to touch, it is just that I tend to slide back in the seat a bit and that changes the angle of my knees and my training has made the front portion of my thighs and calves out of proportionally strong when compared to the rear. (Power lifting for many years). I therefore have no problems using these muscles to weight pegs and shift my lower torso around.

Link to comment

I'm a balls-of-foot on pegs rider, and will move my feet forward for gear changes and to use the rear brake when needed. I feel connected with bike and can move around at will when I need to make the rare full body movement to the inside of a turn. Usually an upper body movement is more than enough for street riding on the RT.


Many riders I talk to do not like moving their feet from balls-on-pegs forward to shift or brake and back to the pegs. They say it is disruptive and seek to avoid what they view as unnecessary movement to accomplish the task at hand. I’ve been doing it this way so long that I don’t even think about it.


Wrong or right, it is what is working well for me at this point in my learning curve

Link to comment

I recently pointed out to another member about a pic he showed of him riding and I saw a very lazy toes pointed out from the bike while he was in a fairly aggressive bank.


After my accident in April where I suffered a rotational butterfly fracture of the left tib/fib at the point where the bike started to low side, I actually felt the break before the bike hit the pavement, I thought back on the fact that I had just transitioned from about 30 miles of flat straight road to the curves and I HAD NOT adjusted my relaxed saddle position to the one I usually enter which is balls on pegs and knees tucked in.

Then when I talked to the ortho pods in Nevada and here at home they both said, Ah yes, rotational fracture on a bike drop! Toe caught the pavement and rotated the leg, very common.

Damn, if only I had transitioned properly,

1. Might not have dropped the bike though sand on road at 70 is a tough one.

2. Might have not suffered the fracture. The toes would have been in and I would have come off in a slide - maybe, at least the odds would have been better.

At any rate besides everything else mentioned here, good practiced posture when riding is more than just skin deep.

It might save a long rest in bed.

You think your butt gets sore on a bike?try sitting in bed for two months!


Link to comment

I prefaced my first reply with, "Well like most things, you'll get differences of opinions," knowing that Dick might weigh in on this, and foot position being one of the (few) areas were we disagree. But one point that he and I decidedly do agree on is that regardless of portion of the foot on the pegs, the foot must be straight forward. As Bruce mentions, the foot splayed out 'duck style' is a recipe for disaster and in no way promotes effective use of the foot controls.


When I see riders going through town with their heal hooked on the peg, toe of their boot out and down, down below plane of the shifter & brake sometimes even, I think how in the world would that rider ever react quickly and appropriately if something happened right now?

Link to comment
John in VA

I always have the pegs in front of my boot heels so I can just pivot my toe left or right for shifting or braking. I almost never ride on the balls of my feet... feels unsteady, like I'm ON the bike instead of IN the bike, especially on curves.

Link to comment
Well like most things, you'll get differences of opinions, but RidingSmart and a lot of the Pro's books and classes teach to put the balls of your feet themselves on the pegs. And to downwardly load some pressure on them. This means each braking and shifting action is a distinct foot movement forward to do so as you anticipate your next action, but I don't think that's a bad thing.


(emphasis mine)


Except that it takes time and attention to move your foot position so that you can actuate those controls.


There is definitely a valid argument to keep your feet on the pegs in such a way that you can actuate the controls without an extra movement. If you're going to do that, keep your toes tucked in so they don't drag. If your toes are tucked in and you're still dragging them, you probably are doing something else wrong like going too fast, taking a poor line, bad body position and/or poor suspension setup.


Both methods (balls of your feet on the pegs, or instep on the pegs with toes over the controls) have some very real advantages and disadvantages.


I vary my foot position a bit. On the Tuono I tend to get lazy and just ride with the balls of my feet on the pegs. The motor's got so much torque through the rev range that you rarely need to shift, and the rear brake is nearly useless (typical sportbike), so there isn't much benefit to covering those controls. On Lisa's RS, the rear brake actually contributes a fair amount to the bike's stopping potential and the boxer is much more sensitive to keeping it in the powerband (such that it is lmao.gif ) so I'm much more likely to cover the pedals on it.


Also, if I'm in traffic where I'm much more likely to need sudden access to those controls, I'm more likely to cover them.


Note: You should adjust your controls so that you can cover them comfortably without inadvertently actuating them. That goes the same for the pedals and your clutch and front brake lever, by the way. All of your controls should be adjusted to fix you and your riding style, position, and gear.

Link to comment

Thanks for all the replies. I've been doing some more experimenting. Even when keeping the balls of my feet on the pegs, my boot is long enough that I can ride the brake if I'm not careful.


I looked, but I can't see an obvious way to adjust the brake pedal lower on my 04 GT. Is it possible?

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...