Words: Eric Wood
Jarno Saarinen, a Finnish Grand Prix motorcycle racer who won the world 250 GP Title in 1972, is the rider on the world stage credited first using the “knee out” riding style. “King” Kenny Roberts Sr.’s famous tuner Kel Carruthers brought this technique to the attention of his rider, which Kenny developed and soon popularized in the United States. The art of dragging a knee has evolved, and as tire and motorcycle technology has progressed over the past 40 years, riders like Marc Marquez have brought the concept to an entirely new level.
While many riders will never be able to drag their elbow like Marquez, dragging a knee (or the “knee out style”) is a technique that virtually every experienced track rider can utilize. Getting a knee down is not only a popular goal for track riders but also an important one for achieving proper riding technique. In this article, we will touch on some of the reasons why riders want to hang off of the motorcycle, and then explore in further detail the importance of the proper use of the knee in this process…