There is no greater joy in life than the Butt Cam used in motorcycle racing. MotoGP sticks a camera on the back of the bike, pointed right at a rider’s derriere. This isn’t just my Tina Belcher-esque fascination with butts, though. It’s the one up-close view of how riders move to achieve truly ridiculous speeds on track.
It’s an angle truly unique to motorcycle racing, too, as car drivers are mostly stationary. You can point a camera at a steering wheel or the pedal box, but most of the driver is strapped in to one place for safety’s sake. Kart racers sometimes come close, but their butts still remain in the seats.
Really fast pro motorcycle racers chuck their butts from side to side multiple times during a lap of a road course. Paying attention to their movements can be rather accurate guide for the angle, speed and difficulty of an upcoming corner.
Those are all items that can be hard to judge on wide-angle action cameras, but they’re things you can figure out based on how far a rider leans over on the bike. These full-body movements can also give other things away. Does the rider hesitate to toss his bottom over all the way, signifying that he might be confused or timid?
If you’re not paying more attention to the Butt Cam beyond “huh huh, I can read Aleix Espargaró’s name on his butt,” it’s time to start. The Butt Cam isn’t just a funny view. It’s a fascinating view of how riders hustle a bike around and make these insane speeds happen.