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      08-27-2012, 03:43 PM   #1
3002 tii
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What is Proper Seat Angle / Position for Performance Driving?

My seat position... close enough to the wheels/pedals where if clutch in, knee still had a bend. Butt as far back as possible, and sit upright. But then I come across this "RECARO seat training eight steps to the correct sitting position" and it looks as if the base of the seat is on a slight incline. Because these are fixed back seats, this causes the back of the seat to be slightly angled back as opposed to being fully upright. Thoughts?
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      08-28-2012, 09:54 AM   #2
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Yup, that is very similar to what they teach at the BMW Performance Center down in SC when you do a factory delivery. You want the seat holding you from both the bottom(angled back) and the sides. Then you want to be close enough that when your shoulders are against the backrest, your wrist breaks along the top of the wheel. It's staggering how few people have a proper driving position for car control, but then again, it certainly isn't touched on in the slightest in drivers ed and the like.

Side mirrors aimed into blindspots is another good move as well. No reason to have 3 aiming straight back, especially on something like a Z4MC that already has compromised visibility.
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      08-28-2012, 11:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSt|G View Post
Yup, that is very similar to what they teach at the BMW Performance Center down in SC when you do a factory delivery. You want the seat holding you from both the bottom(angled back) and the sides. Then you want to be close enough that when your shoulders are against the backrest, your wrist breaks along the top of the wheel. It's staggering how few people have a proper driving position for car control, but then again, it certainly isn't touched on in the slightest in drivers ed and the like.

Side mirrors aimed into blindspots is another good move as well. No reason to have 3 aiming straight back, especially on something like a Z4MC that already has compromised visibility.
Interesting, I noticed setting the seat height all the way up makes a big difference both in comfort while driving but also when getting in and out of the car. No more back pain when driving for a while

Having the seat down makes it a pain as you feel like you are sitting on the pavement.
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      08-28-2012, 12:34 PM   #4
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Z4 not have adjustable lumbar?
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      08-28-2012, 01:10 PM   #5
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Z4 not have adjustable lumbar?
My old VW did, that was great... just turn a knob and the lumbar would bulge up, but not the M seats in my Z4. But that's sorta moot, I switched over to a Recaro PP. Past 3 track days leading up to this weekend was fine. But first time I did 3 days straight and have to say, my lower back was a little sore. But I didn't realize you can add padding underneath the Recaro inserts so will give that a try. Hopefully that'll help fix the issue.
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      08-28-2012, 02:07 PM   #6
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That's rather interesting they would leave those out. Looks like a lumber pillow will be on order for the longer road trips!
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      08-28-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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Easy for you short people to say!!!

When you're dealing with a 2 seater with no backseat to have the seat go fully back, us tall people have to drive the only way we can and have to settle.

When I used to drive my e36 2-door, it used to look like I was sitting in the back seat and my head was mostly visible in the rear/side window more than the door window!
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      08-28-2012, 05:04 PM   #8
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Easy for you short people to say!!!

When you're dealing with a 2 seater with no backseat to have the seat go fully back, us tall people have to drive the only way we can and have to settle.

When I used to drive my e36 2-door, it used to look like I was sitting in the back seat and my head was mostly visible in the rear/side window more than the door window!
Not true at all.

I'm 6'1" and you'd be amazed at where my driving position is.

Normal driving is far back and down, performance is a different thing.

I'm very far up to where my knees has a serious bend. I have the seat up to where my helmet is almost touching the roof of the car. I put the back of the seat as straight as possible and the base of the seat at an incline so my thighs rest on the seat.

This puts my hands resting on the steering wheel. If I put my hands straight out it rests on top of the steering wheel at about my forearm. This creates a nice bend in my arms for easy steering.
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      08-28-2012, 05:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kgolf31 View Post
Not true at all.

I'm 6'1" and you'd be amazed at where my driving position is.

Normal driving is far back and down, performance is a different thing.

I'm very far up to where my knees has a serious bend. I have the seat up to where my helmet is almost touching the roof of the car. I put the back of the seat as straight as possible and the base of the seat at an incline so my thighs rest on the seat.

This puts my hands resting on the steering wheel. If I put my hands straight out it rests on top of the steering wheel at about my forearm. This creates a nice bend in my arms for easy steering.
Someone like me, who is 6'4", and has a longer torso and shorter legs (I wear about a 32 inseam) finding the right driving position can be very difficult.

If only we were all built the same.
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      08-28-2012, 06:36 PM   #10
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Someone like me, who is 6'4", and has a longer torso and shorter legs (I wear about a 32 inseam) finding the right driving position can be very difficult.

If only we were all built the same.
I still think you're defaulting to what you have and living with it.

It's uncomfortable at first...sure, it's not what you're use to. It takes time to get use to the pedals and everything.
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      08-29-2012, 01:13 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by GammaZeta View Post
Easy for you short people to say!!!

When you're dealing with a 2 seater with no backseat to have the seat go fully back, us tall people have to drive the only way we can and have to settle.

When I used to drive my e36 2-door, it used to look like I was sitting in the back seat and my head was mostly visible in the rear/side window more than the door window!
I'm 6'5"....
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      08-29-2012, 09:21 AM   #12
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The only thing I disagree with in that recommendation is the seat height, especially in a Z4. Moving the seat up high made for my legs brush the bottom of the steering wheel, and hard to see all the instruments. Sitting low allowed me to rotate the wheel and not hit my knees, and see the instruments through the wheel as well. Also, +1 for proper adjustment of the side mirrors to the blind spots and tilting the rear mirror up so half of it is blocked by the roof, so you can see a fair distance behind the car (coupe issue not sure about the roadster guys). Also this is my standard position for street driving. When doing DE or autocross, I seat a little closer so there is even more bend in my elbows and more control over the wheel.
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      08-29-2012, 09:30 AM   #13
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I'm 6'5"....
It's not always about strict height though. I have really thick thighs, so that means for me to get my legs in the proper spot, I have to add a few more inches. I also have a longer torso, but shorter arms, so that means I have to lean back more, but not too much so I can still grab the wheel.

It's almost like buying a suit. There is only so much a tailor can do for a certain size and body type before you have to go up or down to another size. Unfortunately, our cars only come in one size.
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      08-29-2012, 09:36 AM   #14
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The only thing I disagree with in that recommendation is the seat height, especially in a Z4. Moving the seat up high made for my legs brush the bottom of the steering wheel, and hard to see all the instruments. Sitting low allowed me to rotate the wheel and not hit my knees, and see the instruments through the wheel as well. Also, +1 for proper adjustment of the side mirrors to the blind spots and tilting the rear mirror up so half of it is blocked by the roof, so you can see a fair distance behind the car (coupe issue not sure about the roadster guys). Also this is my standard position for street driving. When doing DE or autocross, I seat a little closer so there is even more bend in my elbows and more control over the wheel.
You don't need to see the gauges. Shift points should all be known by the sound of the engine.
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      08-29-2012, 12:01 PM   #15
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During normal driving, I want to be able to see speed, PRM and the stock exhaust was way to quiet to be able to shift by sound with a helmet and the windows down. Aftermarket exhaust was needed to do that well.
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      08-29-2012, 12:13 PM   #16
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During normal driving, I want to be able to see speed, PRM and the stock exhaust was way to quiet to be able to shift by sound with a helmet and the windows down. Aftermarket exhaust was needed to do that well.
Normal driving I get it, but during track or autocross you don't need to see anything.

My car has normal intake and exhaust and it's fine to hear the engine.
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