The Japan method

Dailies -



Been wondering how you can scrape fairing at low speeds in a wet parking lot like a Japanese gymkhana rider? Well, that mostly involves bike setup and tires, but this video might be a good place to start. First, find a willing partner and have them kneel down.

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Actually, aside from the bizarre focus on low-speed lean angles, this appears to be a general sport riding instruction video largely focusing on body position. We don’t speak japanese, but you can see the method they’re instructing is essentially current riding practice the world over: one cheek off, knee out at 90 degrees, outside arm stretched over tank, torso parallel to the ground.

Wondering how to go from proper body position to knee down at 10mph? Well the bike they’re using are indicative of what that takes. Rather than a GSX-R or R6, it’s a Honda CB1300, which is designed to turn more predictably at low speeds and delivers smooth, effortless, tractable drive even at 5-10mph. They’re likely holding it at a steady throttle opening and controlling speed with the back brake. Tires need to be warm before trying any of this too.

Using that back brake instead of varying the throttle removes the possibility for fueling hiccups and snappy inputs to the rear tire as chain tension alters; using the brake keeps it taught.

Thank for the tip, KR Tong.

  • Yaw

    the smooth jazz really makes this video pop.

  • Ted


    Sorry, had to. My mother was an English teacher, I honestly can’t help myself.

  • jason

    Guys, the top picture is kinda WTF? Makes you kind of wonder what kind of ‘Japan Method’ they are talking about.

  • Artful

    Is it just me or are they extremely crossed up? I assume that’s a function of it being low speed?

    • Wes Siler

      Yeah, they’re pretty crossed up in action, but I think that’s what they’re trying to correct in the office segment.

      • Artful

        Gotcha. Because of a running joke with tentacle porn in my office I closed the screen when the two Japanese men were becoming intimate.

  • carter

    Interestingly, the cop in the other video was sitting bolt-upright the whole time. He seemed to do OK with his MegaGlide, although with a lot of scraping.

  • michael uhlarik

    The music really makes it.


  • jason McCrash

    I have a 94 CB1000 “Big 1″. That was the bike replaced by the CB1300 and they look almost the same other than 18in wheels on the 1000. Once I swapped the 18in wheels for 17′s the bike was perfect. The epitome of a UJM. The 1300 is just another bike Americans didn’t get because we have shitty taste. Well, that and the fact that all of the bikes I own now (CB, ZR1100 Zephyr, HawkGT) were way too expensive to have a shot here at the time.

  • John

    I like how they have both have slippers on in the office. After visiting Japan I am amazed that the concept of taking your shoes off at the door is completely lost on the west.

    • MotoRandom

      Ha! I laugh at these girlie men with their slippers and carpeting! A real man goes barefoot and walks on tatami. When he goes outside he puts on his straw waraji and if it’s cold, maybe leather tabi socks and walks with his chest thrust boldly in the air. These office mewlings would cower in his presence. Ha!

  • skadamo

    Anyone about to take the DMV mc test, listen to Wes about the back brake.

  • Tony

    Using back brake slow speeds also does not create fork dive and thus does not alter steering geometry.

  • matt

    I will listen to smooth jazz every time I ride my motorcycle. I will listen to smooth jazz every time I ride my motorcycle. I will listen to smooth jazz every time I ride my motorcycle. I will listen to smooth jazz every time I ride my motorcycle. I will listen to smooth jazz every time I ride my motorcycle.

    • ErikT


  • always_go_big

    Unless my Japanese is way off, it’s simply about enjoying getting your knee down for the sake of it, no greater racing/riding good mentioned. I’m guessing with the popularity of ghymkanas and mini bike racing over here, knee down has become de rigueur on every outing regardless of the speeds involved.

    Better get some fresh knee sliders before I duck out for milk and bread on saturday morning !

    • Archer

      There IS an element of that. Anywhere in greater Tokyo, you’ll see 2″ chicken strips on any given sport bike. The reason is a lack of readily available tight curves, heavy enforcement, and expensive tolls (which keep people closer to home instead of where the good roads are)