Jump to content


Popular Content

Showing most liked content since 02/23/2017 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    The short answer: you have to work up to it and feel it out. The longer answer: Testing the grippiness of your tire must be done gradually, the idea is to increase lean angle gradually so that if the tire begins to slide there is some warning and opportunity to save it. The most pro coaches I have talked to on this advise gradually adding a little more lean at a time (corner after corner, or possibly even in the same corner if it is a long one) to feel out the traction, as opposed to just whacking it over to maximum lean and hoping for the best - because if you go too far too fast you will not have enough time to "sample" the traction and see how it feels, and know when you are approaching the limit. Some tires will have a specific feel to them when they are cold: the Dunlop slicks, for example, have a tendency to make the bike want to stand up in the corner and that is a good indicator that they are very cold. The carcass is stiff and reluctant to flex so when you lean into the corner it resists and sort of pushes the bike back up. Some other tires just feel a bit "wandery" in the corner, like they are sort of weaving around slightly, instead of feeling planted. If you have ridden in rain or ridden dirt bikes in the mud, you can recognize the feel of little slides, and little slides like that are your warning that you are at about the limit of traction for the conditions and the tire needs to warm up more before you can lean over any farther. It is a great exercise, when opportunity presents (winter is coming!) to pay VERY close attention to how your tires feel when stone cold, to develop a sense for it with your own bike and your own tire brand/model. It is difficult to quantify how long tires will take to warm up because it depends on tire type, air temp, track temp, wind conditions, how hard you ride, etc., so the best solution I know of is to feel it out carefully.
  2. 3 points
    I have translated it - let me know if it is OK to read, or I can share a link to my document for those interested. Who leans that far? Where are the limits? And what are the differences between street bikes? We compare bikes around a skid pad: Supermoto, Naked Bike, Cruiser und Superbike. We have also discused with experts and tried qualifying tyres from WSBK to see how they differ from street legal sport tyres. Why do we lean? Without lean to counter the centrifugal forces, the bikes would simply fall over. Leaning against the forces the correct amount keeps the machine and rider in balance. For a given radius, the faster one rides, the more one must lean. Or for a given speed, the smaller the radius, the more one must lean. How far can we lean? Sport bikes are generally limited by grip, or friction. With good tyres on a good road we typically have a friction quotient of one µ. This means we can theoretically lean 45 degrees. If you lean further, or you try to slow down or accelerate, you will slide. However, we know it is possible to achieve greater angles of lean. How? Because very grippy tyres and a grainy road surface can interact like gears. That’s why in MotoP and WSBK we can now see bike lean angles as high as 62 degrees. With the rider hanging off we can even see combined lean angles beyond that. What is that- different lean values? Corner master Jorge Lorenzo show us the difference between bike lean and the third lean. Lean angle isn’t always lean angle Basically, we talk about three lean angles. The first one is the effective lean angle. This is a theoretical value and is calculated from the speed and the radius of the corner. This counts for every bike and every rider. But this theoretical value for effective lean angle is based upon infinitely narrow tyres. Now to reality. Imagine watching a vertical bike from behind. Pull a vertical line through the bike’s centre line, the tyre and to the ground. This is where the contact point is as well as the CoG. Now place the bike on its kickstand. Now we see that the contact point between tyre and road has moved to the side somewhat because the tyres are not infinitely narrow. The more we lean the bike, the further away we move the contact point away from the bike’s centre line. If we draw a line through the CoG and both the centre line as well as down to the contact patch, we create a triangle. The angle between them is the second lean. This is the added lean required to corner at the same speed as you would have been with infinitely narrow tyres. This also show that wider tyres require more lean narrower tyres. Lorenzo shows us the difference between the bike’s lean and the third lean. With his extreme hanging off the rider is leaned over far more than the bike. The combination of the two - bike and rider - gives the third angle of lean, the combined lean. Bei 62 degree bike lean we can get to an extreme combined value of 66 degrees. What can production bikes muster? We take 4 different bikes and try them on the skid pad sitting in line with the bike, pushing the bike down and hanging off. We then measure bike lean, calculate combined lean and measure cornering speed. What gives the greatest speed? Lean angle with the Husqvarna 701 The skid pad has a diameter of 55 metres. Upright lean is 47 degrees, speed 57 kph. In typical sumo-style, pushing the bike down while leaning out, we managed 57 degrees bike lean and a speed of 62 kph. The combined lean is 51 degrees. This is the biggest difference in the test (6 degrees), a result of a light bike, high CoG, high and wide bars, narrow seat, low set pegs. Final attempt is hanging off, and we get the exact same values of 62 kph and 51 degrees combined lean. The bike is only leaning 46 degrees. So the speed is the same, but pushing the bike down sumo-style bring some advantages; more bike control and easier to catch slides being the predominant. Ducati Diavel, Cruiser & Co. Unlike for sport bikes, cruisers are limited by dragging parts when it comes to possible lean angles. With 41 degrees, the pegs are in contact with the asphalt. This will be the same regardless of what style is used. This gives us a fantastic opportunity to compare cornering speeds between the various riding styles. Sitting up gives 50 kph, pushing down 47 kph and hanging off 53 kph. MotoGP bikes can actually accelerate harder when leaned over than in a straight line. While maximum acceleration on level ground is limited to about 1g, a MotoGP bike can accelerate at 1.2g when leaned over 45 degrees! For street bikes on public roads, 45 degrees means zeron grip left for acceleration. A modern street legal sport bike outfitted with racing tyre and circulating on a grippy race track can give up to 1g of acceleration when leaned over at 40 degrees. Cornering with the Honda Fireblade First we ride on the stock Bridgestone S20 “G” tyres. Hanging off gives 61 kph and 48 degrees of lean for the bike, combined 51 degrees. What difference does qualifying tyres make? WSBK Q-tyre, straight from the heaters, has tremendous grip and feedback. We do not give up until the Fireblade gets “floaty”, a sign we are nearing the limit. With the bike leaned over 53 degrees we reached 65 kph. Combined lean is 55 degrees with the rider hanging off. Why not faster? The asphalt was cold (less than 10C / 50F) and the asphalt not overly grippy. Add a slight negative camber and the limits were like that. But this was the same for all tyres. The problem for the Q-rubber was that they lost their heat rapidly, losing grip in the process. A Pirelli-technician explained that the racers don’t lean further on Qs, but they have more grip available for braking and acceleration. Enough to give about a second lower lap times. Two laps, though, and they are mostly gone. Cornering with the BMW S 1000 R Standard Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa allowed 59 km/h when hanging off, with 47 degree bike lean and 50 Grad combined lean was good, but better results were limited by grinding foot peg feelers and gear shift lever. Foto: www.factstudio.de Husqvarna Supermoto 701 Sitting straight made the rider feel uneasy, which limited lean and cornering speed. Foto: www.factstudio.de The Sumo-Stil made the rider feel at most comfortable. Sliding tyres and grinding parts set the limit. Foto: www.factstudio.de If the rider had been able to hang as well off as he was at pushing the bike down, he could have cornered faster. Foto: Archiv Tyre width and CoG Wider tyres demand more lean for any given corner speed. The same goes for lower CoG. The difference between the tall Husky 701 with relatively narrow tyres and the low Diavel with its ultra-wide tyres was 3 degrees when doing 50 kph around the skid pad; 38 for the 701 and 41 for the Diavel. Foto: 2snap Lateral acceleration and lean While 45 degrees of lean gives 1g, 60 degrees give 1.7g, which isn’t the same as going 1.7 times faster by any means. Foto: www.factstudio.de Ducati Diavel A good way to see what the different riding styles can bring. Foto: www.factstudio.de Looks weird, feels weird. Foto: www.factstudio.de Feels much better than pushing the bike down!Foto: Archiv Der Kammsche Kreis This shows how much grip is left to brake or accelerate or steer at various lean angles. If you are leaned over to use half the lateral acceleration, you have 85% grip left to other forces (green arrow). The red arrow indicate that you have only 10% grip left to do anything else than circulate. Grip through the gear effect. Mikrorauigkeit (red) [micro coarseness], with spikes between 0,001 and 0,1 Millimeter is especially useful in the wet, while Makrorauigkeit (green) [macro coarseness] between 0,1 und 10 Millimeter make the difference on dry roads. Foto: Archiv Contact patch with a 180/55 sport tyre with a racing profile at 48 degrees of lean. 38 square centimetres contact area. Typical contact patch is that of a credit card. Public roads are more slippery than tracks, particularly in the wet because the surface lack Microraugkeit. Cold rubber, especially with sport tyres, can cause the tyre to slide on top of the asphalt instead of forming around it. Hence sport rubber is worse than touring rubber below a certain tyre temperature. Karussell around Nürburgring is bumpy and can be taken with 58 degrees of lean. However, thanks to the sloping surface, the angle between the road and machine is just 33 degrees. Lean and speed The Fireblade on WSBK Q-tyres managed 55 degrees of lean and 65 kph. If we theoretically put Marquez on the same skidpad with a combined lean of 66 degrees, he would have circulated at 78 kph.
  3. 3 points
    The logic in getting more weight on the front, as I understand it, is that more pressure/weight on the front tire will increase friction (friction increases with weight) and also flatten the tire out more, making the contact patch larger, which doesn't increase friction directly (friction is not dependent on area, just weight) but CAN help the tire because too much pressure in too small an area can (I think) overheat the rubber and reduce the coefficient of friction, which WOULD reduce the overall grip. (Note - this is me giving you my own understanding, this is not superbike-school endorsed info.) Getting more weight on the front also can tighten up your steering by compressing the forks - but you can also get a similar effect with hook steering or changing your geometry or suspension settings. So that all works well for turn ENTRY, however once have turned the bike and have reached your desired lean angle and are pointed in the direction you want to go, if you don't get on the gas you will just keep slowing down. The best scenario for traction once you DO roll on the gas is: 40/60 weight distribution. Thus, the throttle control rule, "Once the throttle is cracked on..." So, the way I look at it, is while you are still slowing down and getting the bike turned, the weight on the front is a good thing (to a point - obviously using too much trail braking while turning can exceed your front tire traction), and once you are back on the gas, 40/60 is the way to go for best stability (we are no longer making lean angle changes at that point) and traction. Does that make sense? Do you remember from level 1 exactly WHEN you are supposed to START rolling on the gas?
  4. 3 points
    This is the way I understand throttle control rule number two in Chapter 6: Fine modulation of the throttle helps you read the forces that you feel more accurately. The advantage of that is that your entry speed will be more consistent and appropriate than if you grossly decelerate in a hurry (charging the curve), just to find out that your entry speed (at the end of that precipitate deceleration) is lower than it should be (because your senses were overwhelmed, you are erring on the safe side of entry speed). The error about the entry speed is more significant for any fast-entry turn, especially due to the aerodynamic drag explained by Hotfoot above.
  5. 2 points
    I think I read that in TotW and/or from Level 1 training. Aim for a weight distribution of 60/40 Rear/Front bc our rear tire has more rubber on the road. Something got me thinking about that today and I'm now having trouble making sense of it. I think I've heard about people using setup to get *more* not less weight on the front to improve turning. I thought the logic there was that more weight on the front tire generates more heat and also gets a bigger contact patch. Why would we use throttle to reduce both of those things on the smaller front tire? It seems to me like doing so would simultaneously increase the risk of a high side as well as a low side. There's probably a lot of nuance and subtlety there but I'd rather ask for clarification than assume I figured it out on my own and then risk doing something inadvisable on an indirect route to the hospital.
  6. 2 points
    The slip % should be between 5% and 15%, which it is, and the traction control will keep it in that range. It looks like you are getting a lot of slip % at steep lean, which would suggest that your entry speeds are a little low for your liking and are being compensated for with somewhat aggressive throttle while leaned over far mid turn. I have no clue about Michelins, but would follow the suggestions of the local distributor for that tire.
  7. 2 points
    Drag racers rebuild their engines after each run. You really think cost is preventing them from running a skinny tire if they could gain a tenth? No. I have corresponded with the author of the article you link and while he might understand physics, I'm not convinced he understands motorcycle dynamics in a practical sense. The truth lies somewhere between the two. I have yet to find the answer. But the closest reasoning I've read that the coefficient of friction rather than being a constant can vary with temperature. Large contact patch might resist temperature change hence resist changes in coefficient of friction. Additionally, coefficient of friction does not accurately describe a rolling and cornering tire that operate with some slip angle. The tire is not stationary but not sliding either. No, it is too simplistic to say contact patch doesn't matter. From a practical motorcycling sense, much of Code's teaching talks about contact patch and friction. Based on all that practical experience of thousands of riders, there is some truth to the statement. Just my opinion.
  8. 2 points
    At Buttonwillow RT in CA, turn 1, clockwise, April, I attempted a quick flick at 25 mph. It was session 2, first lap, and i went down. The front tire lost traction. After that crash i recalled the T2 video where the question is posed to the class, "Do you quick flick the bike when you're tires are cold?". The resounding answer: NO! The morning temperature was about 50F. Street tires. No tire warmers. I cancelled my late November track say in Chuckwalla without regret. Some like it hot.
  9. 2 points
    It's clear to me that a big piece of the puzzle is the bike set up. Some street bikes need almost effort to steer other require a firm hand, and others yet need assertive gymnastics to make them go where you want. After a decade of pushing a small 400cc fourstroke, Suzuki Impulse around corners at stupid speeds, back in them1990s I had a chance to consider more pricey alternatives. So out for a test ride. Fist a BMW boxer 800cc. Well that was interesting, It really didn't like corners at all. Sure it could change direction, but once turned in it was stuck on line unless brutally steered. Then a Suzuki RF900F. This bike didn't so much love going around corners as ignore the fact that corners might be challenging. Having eliminated the boxer, the two very different Suzukis are worthy of discussion. The Impulse turned as smoothly as the rider permits. Full extreme hang off, body vértices bike turning with the front wheel towing the bike into corners after initial countersteer, or suberbike style half cheek locked in sharp countersteer. Or even wild, suspension hammering turf the bike into the corner and hang on style the Impulse with its marginal 1980s cheap street bike suspension would take it all in stride. And cornered fast just like a lightweight ought to. but then by comparison the RF900f a prices, younger well developed sports tourer made the impulse look like a wanton child. Cornering was smooth, effortless, and stupidly fast. Counter steering -why bother. Hang off - if you really really want to. Lean the bike - nah it's doing that all by itself. How the hell is thing turning - well the obvious answer is it's going where you are turning your head towards. That's it just turning ones head. The once 80kph corner requiring a bit of rider concentration and effort, was just glided through at 80mph with little more than a glance in the right direction. The seated balance was perfect - zero bar weight required loose hands was well effortless. The suspension was unnoticeable. Stitching sweepers, chicanes and multiapex corners simply required the infinitesimal weight transfer that occured when turning the head. Seating remained inline with the bike. And ok, habit had me point a knee out but experimentation showed me that that was more for comfort than necessity. But why the 80kph, and the 80mph comparison. I knew the gorge road very well, a cornering speed 80 kph was what I thought I read on the speedo out of the corner of my eye, and was only a little faster than my norm on the impulse. I was being cautious as the bike was on loan from the store! On the flat and straight I'd time to take a closer look, and spdiscovered the imported bike speedo was miles per hour. So in fact I'd just been smoothly trundling along at 1.5 times the speed I'd thought I was doing on one of the most challenging roads in the city. Technology is a wonderful thing and perhaps explains much of that, but an improvement in corner speed of 35% with zero effort, or practice simply by changing bikes is I think extraordinary. More extraordinary is the minor detail that it's clear that it's not how the rider rides, but how s/he rides a particular bike. Perhaps the impulse could have been riden that extra 35% faster, but I can say for certain not by me! I say that with confidence as I've clocked up about half a million miles on impulses, and riden them to the limit, even occasionally well beyond into stupidly terrifying, brake, suspension and tyre failure territory, for much of that. The RF900F was just a better balanced, way more refined package that enabled the rider. The rf900 was effortless compared to the beasts of the early 1980s like the gsx750, more refined and sharp than the BMW k750, and preposterously more nimble than the Kawasaki gt750. The impulse at very low speeds ran circles around the RF900F for nimbleness but the smooth sharp turns at open road speeds made the fr900 very attractive. What were the true limits of the RF900F I do not know, wisdom got the better of me. I was riding for the street, and I could quite easily imagine being caught out on a day with the flu coming on and loosing my licence because I cruised past a cop at 210 on my way to work. Or potentially crashing at stupid speeds because I was exploring the 900's limits. It also cost twice my annual income at that time. As I've gotten older and heavier, I find myself riding ( the Impulse - still) more upright, with less hang, but slightly more drama ( dancing front end) at times. And slower… . We are now both classics. In the rain less hang, more upright, bike leaned more than rider, means better visibility, and more time to react to road surface issues. It's not pretty and can feel wrong, but it's saved my bacon. But when the air is clear, and the surface is wet, hanging off the inside bike more upright gives one just a tiny edge if traction goes bye bye due to slick surface conditions. Old bold riders have learnt to ride through the problems ahead, by adjusting their style to the bike, the road, and the weather, in addition to their rapidly degrading mental and physical agility.
  10. 2 points
    That is a pretty bold statement. I disagree. There still needs to be a willingness to go fast, a level of tolerance for speed and G forces, and the visual and processing skills required to be located on the track and in control of the machine, not to mention knowing where to point it. IMO making the bike easier to ride helps free up attention and reduce crashes but won't make an average rider a superstar. Just look at today's bikes, you can buy a crazy high horsepower bike right off a showroom floor that has clutchless shifting and traction control and even electronic suspension, but move an average rider from an aged 600cc bike to one of those and see how much faster the rider really goes. Or just watch a superstar kid on a 1990 RS125 making mincemeat of a bunch of adults on 200hp liter bikes with all the electronic assists, you can see that often enough at a typical track day or race practice. I do agree that riders who learn on bikes that do all those cool things would struggle on an older bike without the electronic assists - just like many teenagers today wouldn't know how to operate a manual transmission car - but that could be overcome with some training and practice, I think the best riders would still rise to the top in either situation, I don't think the bike makes the rider.
  11. 2 points
    I get the sensation of "pushing" the bike up as a countersteering input coming out of the corner. If you remain in your "hang off" position or even exaggerate it on corner exit with your upper body, you really have no recourse but to countersteer the bike back upright out of the lean. For me that movement of putting bar pressure on the outside hand ( and pulling with the inside hand) could be interpreted as "pushing" a bike up. It's not a subtle sensation. Sometimes you'll have to really "push/pull" to straighten the bike up to get ready for the next corner. Maybe you are essentially saying this...
  12. 2 points
    Here is a snippet from Keith in Twist of the Wrist II that I think applies, this happens to be about choosing a line through a corner: "The "everyman's ideal line" does not exist, and it never will. Different lines are the rider's own personal way of seeing and doing his job: A concatenation of his strong and weak points, dos and can't dos and machine limitations, and, of course, his SR threshold." I think this is why we call it the "art" of cornering, and to me, the differences in riders' style and application of techniques is what makes racing so interesting to watch - and the sport itself so fascinating.
  13. 2 points
    There is an absolutely perfect description on Twist II that discusses quite specifically both side of this issue, see Chapter 5 Throttle Control, the first section "Street Lazy" followed by Off-Gas Results, it talks about why riders coast, where and for how long, and the exact effects.
  14. 2 points
    When tire is very worn and the rubber is thin it is much harder to heat up the tire and keep it warm, that is the biggest thing I notice on a very worn race tire, or in some cases the tire profile is changed through wear which can change handling.
  15. 2 points
    Riding a curved on-ramp at the speed limit with a cop behind you.
  16. 2 points
    it's all relative. Maintenance throttle in turn 8 at willow Springs on a SV650 is 100%
  17. 2 points
    OK I read back through this whole thread, and yes, bringing in Throttle Control Rule #2 seems to have added some confusion, as I personally got stuck on trying to discuss the throttle control rule. After reading back over it all, it seems that the OP's real questions was, does it really cause any problem to let off the gas fast or pull in the brake abruptly, it seems like people do it all the time.... I think the answer to that is situational, depending on how much traction you have and how much you are willing to upset the chassis. And also, of course, how fast you need to slow down, and how accurate you need/want to be when setting your entry speed. Example, if you are riding your S1000rr in first gear, wide open throttle, 12,000 rpm and you instantly chop the throttle you will feel a very abrupt change in the bike, potentially enough to affect your accuracy in an upcoming turn. However, if you are in sixth gear at 4000rpm, wide open throttle, and let off abruptly, that's not going to be such a violent change, it may not bother you to rock the chassis that amount. The weight shift is even more pronounced with braking, of course; but it is a matter of priorities. Upsetting the chassis with abrupt brake application may very well be worth it, especially if you need to get it slowed down in a hurry. For sure I can think of corners where I am coming down from high speed to low speed, traction is good, I am straight up and down, where I let off the throttle and bring in the brake as fast as I can - upsetting the chassis is OK with me, I know the front will dive down hard, but my priority is braking in the shortest possible distance and the majority of braking is done at the beginning and I need time for gradual release as I enter the corner. But I can also think of places where I am entering a corner leaned over, or the surface is bumpy, and I apply the brake more gradually to maintain the best suspension/traction scenario, to avoid bottoming the forks or overloading the front tire. One thing we have been taught is that if you slam the front brake on so fast that there is no time for the weight shift to the front tire to increase your traction, you can slide the front tire. Is that a problem? Maybe not, if you are going in a straight line and don't scare easily. Lord knows we see pros doing some really scary things on the brakes, things most of us don't really want to have happen on a Sunday ride (like stoppies, rear wheel hop, back end wagging around, back end stepping out, etc.) I'm going to run this question by Dylan and/or Keith and see what exactly Dylan was trying to communicate and get more details on different scenarios - braking while leaned over, wet conditions, etc.
  18. 2 points
    Think of the muscles in your back and your abs, as ratchet straps that support your torso. If you don't tighten them evenly, one will be overtightened. In most cases the lower back contracts to far leading to pain and loss of strenght.
  19. 2 points
    Surely the law in your country allows you to practise your religion! ?
  20. 2 points
    I found 2 exercises made a huge difference in my ability to ride without fatigue. They're both hitting the same area so you can do either one. Romanian deadlift and back hyper-extension. You can buy a kettle bell or some dumbbells for the deadlift and do them at home. If you belong to a gym, the hyper-extension allows for greater isolation but they both work great. Start light and do 20 reps a day for a couple of weeks. I found it not only made riding easier but also improved my posture. I'm never tired, my wrists never hurt, my back is strong enough stay low and move side to side without issues. Interestingly, I my fitbit records my rides as cardio.
  21. 2 points
    Unit came in last Saturday. Was a good weather day so went riding of course. That evening I reviewed the instructions and on-line videos Heal Tech has. Then I began stripping of side panels, seats, fuel tank, and airbus (these steps by far are the most complicated and time consuming of the install, so if you can handle that you can install one of these). Next morning (Sunday) I spent some time deciding how to route cables and locate things. Basically you have the coil harness and module, shift rod sensor, and actual QS Easy module. The coil harness connects between spark plug ignition coils and the bikes coil harness and then to a negative ground. This then has a lead that routes back to tail section where main QS module lies. Sensor is installed on the shift rod and connected back to unit in tail section. That's it except for putting everything back on bike. Setting up and monitoring it is done through your smart phone!!! Other than the initial setup process and some playing with bike on stand, haven't gotten to ride on street as its been raining. Once I get out on road will give a report back. https://www.healtech-electronics.com/products/qse/
  22. 2 points
    I do this myself. The most useful thing that I get is the "picture in my mind" of what the track is like. One of the things I have noticed however is once you actually get there reality tends to be a little different than what you were expecting. As Hotfoot mentioned there's lots of things that don't come across in video such as elevation changes and also logistics of moving around on the bike. A really good example of this is the elevation change on the long straight at COTA. I was really looking forward to blasting down that straight at 180+mph with a gigantic smile on my face but the elevation change caused a complete lack of visibility and that does not come across very well in video. Needless to say the first few sessions I was not doing 180 due to the visibility. I actually ended up enjoying the shorter straight near start finish a lot more. Although the speed was slower having a massive up hill elevation change made it so you barely had to touch the brakes to be at the perfect speed to enter the corner at the end. It was like having your cake and being able to eat it too. All the front wheel lifting acceleration you wanted without the chore of having to get on the brakes hard. One other thing which is amusing that I have had a fun experience with. Video games. I have a video game with Road Atlanta as one of the tracks. I was able to put in blistering lap times on the video game and could not wait to ride the track. When I rode the track the reality was quite different from the simulation. I won't bore you with details but I have yet to ride Road Atlanta again despite it being so close to my house because of how horrible of an experience I had. I actually think that my game play slightly hurt my ability to learn the track with an open mind. Certainly watch the videos and study the track maps but be ready to actually learn the track by riding it yourself. Most importantly be ready to adapt when the reality becomes different than what you were expecting.
  23. 2 points
    One thing I will mention - there is limited info available in the video above. You can hear the engine, see the rider's line and observe lean angle, but one thing you CAN'T tell is the relationship between the rider's throttle-hand INPUT and the engine response. So in the video above when you hear the engine rev up, it sounds odd in some places, like it revs up very quickly then flattens out a bit. That could be caused by traction control intervening (if it is present on this bike), by the tire spinning, maybe even by the clutch slipping - clutches wear out quickly on high horsepower race bikes, race starts are very hard on clutches - it is hard to tell without seeing data that shows throttle input. On the Superbike School student videos the camera is positioned so that the rider's hand is visible on screen, so it would become immediately obvious whether the rider's throttle input was smooth and consistent or not, plus the BMWs can tell you the actual difference between throttle INPUT (from the rider) and OUTPUT (after any traction control intervention) and the data logger can show tire slip rate, too, all of which would make it easier to analyze the video.
  24. 2 points
    Oh I like it! The "riders prayer". We should write a cool one a post it up.
  25. 2 points
    Cool story. Read this: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-bicycle-problem-that-nearly-broke-mathematics/#
  26. 2 points
    This interview with me appeared in the April issue of Roadracing World magazine. I thought you might like to see it. John Ulrich was kind enough to give me a PDF version of the interview for you to read. http://superbikeschool.com/files/code-rw-interview.pdf The file is 600K and requires Acrobat Reader 5 or newer to view it.
  27. 2 points
    bingo - that's it in a nutshell. I think it's the quintessential dilemma for most aspiring riders: how much faster can I go before it results in disaster? If it truly ISN'T a knife-edge limit, then I guess it comes down to the combination of a machine that's set up in a way that lessens the abruptness of the loss of traction (when that slip vs feel non-linearity becomes uncomfortably exponential), and a rider's willingness and ability to ride through it. the last part is why is finally decided to cough up the big bucks for two days at CSS at Laguna. I guess I was just interested in first hand testimonial from guys/gals that do ride deep in that slip zone. I think at your school in Laguna you will be pleasantly surprised to find out a variety of ways you CAN go significantly faster WITHOUT having to slide more. Your personal style and setup may end up including a greater or lesser degree of sliding, depending on your preference, but for sure CSS will give you tools to predict, and manage and/or avoid sliding. As far as personal experience goes - I am obviously not riding at MotoGP level, but I am racing competitively and I don't slide much at all. I pass a lot of people who are sliding a LOT, and often I can see errors in their technique that are causing the slides. Here are some things I see a lot in races: - trail braking and too much tension on the bars causing front end slides - over-braking, getting the corner entry speed too low, then whacking the throttle on too hard mid-turn and sliding the rear - braking hard with tension on the bars causing the back end to wag around or step out - crossed up body position resulting in excessive lean angle, combined with imperfect throttle control, causing front or back end slides These are the ones I see the most and are the most obvious but there are other reasons having to do with line selection, etc. For me, the more schools I attended, the more confidence I had in what the bike was going to do - so the limit seemed less and less like an unknown sudden-disaster possibility. Getting educated and getting the survival instincts under control does WONDERS for confidence and control.
  28. 2 points
    Traction Science Traction limits are hard to reckon for most riders but there are some things to know about it. Traction results from a brew of chemicals the rubber is compounded with, how cleverly the carcass is constructed and shaped, proper inflation, enough tread depth, and maintaining the tire within its optimum temperature range, which varies with different rubber compounds. Heat up a mounted tire to its operating temperature, tilt it over to 45 degrees and apply ever increasing pressure on it. At some point the tire will slip; that amount of load is 101% of the tire's static grip limit. In motion, achieving maximum traction is quite different. As the tire grips it wears. What 'wears out' are the various chemicals, oils, waxes and pigments which bind together the rubber. Abrasion and heat 'cook' them off. You've noticed the bluish-purplish color of a tire from hard cornering, it's called 'blooming'. That is the residue from the chemicals which have been leached out of the tire from heat. It takes very little abrasion to wear it off, maybe a lap. The oily parts—in sufficient quantity to maintain the rubber's flexible and compliant character—support its ability to mate with the road's surface. When they 'cook off', the tire becomes dry and slippery, like dead skin peeling off a sunburn. That sun-cooked layer must be cleaned off to expose fresh skin, or, in this case, fresh rubber. Cleaning it off requires abrasion. The amount of abrasion needed is provided by tire slippage. Tire engineers agree that roughly 15% longitudinal slippage maintains friction value peaks which includes maintaining peak operating temperature. You'd be mistaken to think this 'slippage' is a 'slide': in a corner, the bike is holding its line. It is what is needed to achieve peak traction; considerably less slippage is needed for cleaning it. Depleted rubber must be scrubbed from both tires. There being no power to the front it relies on three forces: 1) slip angle, 2) side grip friction, and 3) abrasion from braking, to uncover fresh rubber. In the steady state part of a corner (after braking and before acceleration) both tires clean up from slip angle and side grip abrasion. Slip angle is interesting. If you were able to freeze the lean and the turned-in front wheel angle you have while going through a corner, then got off and pushed it, the line would be much tighter than when you were riding. The bike's tendency is to always go straight—until some outside force influences it to turn. The turned-in front wheel is that influence—it creates abrasion resistance which forces the bike to go into and hold its arc through the corner. The tires are actually slipping sideways toward the outside, hence, slip angle. The side-slip in skiing is similar. But that's not the whole picture. Camber Force is another factor. Although it has substantially less effect on tire wear, it plays a part in traction. It works like this: On both tires, the outside of the patch (the chicken stripe side) is on a tighter radius than the side that's closest to the tire's center line. Think of a playground merry-go-round. The outside is traveling further in the same amount of time as the inside and therefore going faster than the inside. Conversely, the side of the contact-patch closest to the middle of the corner, is turning slower and is dragging. This creates rubber-cleansing abrasion and also helps the bike stay on its line. (To find more data look up the technical definition of camber thrust or camber force.) In any corner and at any speed sufficient to keep the bike moving and balanced, the tires are always slipping, at least slightly. You wouldn't get through corners or have to replace tires if they didn't. © 2014, Keith Code, all rights...
  29. 2 points
    Body Position The most obvious thing about any rider is their form on the bike. How do they sit and move on it? What’s their posture? Do they look comfortable or awkward, stiff or loose, Moto GP, or nervous-novice? Good body positioning isn’t just about being stylish——you can play dress-up in your older brother's or sister's cool boots but walking will be clumsy——it has a desirable result and we can define 'good body positioning'. Harmony with the bike, freedom of movement on it, precision control over it―with the minimum necessary effort. Survival Reactions Play a Role The bike itself can force poor riding posture. A shift lever positioned a ¼ inch too high or too low manipulates the rider into awkward and uncomfortable poses, limiting his control over it. Even with perfect control positioning, good form on the bike has its difficulties. Achieving it may look and even feel like it’s reserved for the young and flexible. This may be true to a degree but many of its problems are actually brought on by our own Survival Reactions, our SRs. For example, a rider who instinctively levels the horizon by tilting his head in corners, creates unnecessary tension in his body. Basics Apply Good form is difficult for riders who struggle with basics: uncertainty with basics has a physical manifestation. Just as joy or anger are obvious in someone, these uncertainties manifest themselves in awkward and unsuitable body positions. For example: poor throttle control prompts riders to rely on slash and burn hard drives out of the turns. Their 'ready-for-action', rigid body language telegraphs their intention. That tense anticipation of the drive off the turns loses them the handling benefits of being relaxed mid-corner. The Stages of Body Positioning There are three stages to body positioning: Poor form + poor riding = ripple-effect, snowballing errors. Good riding + poor form = good but limited range of control. Good form + good technical riding skills = riding that is both fluid and efficient. Number 3 is the goal of any rider training. The Ingredients Body Positioning has five distinct ingredients. The bike and how it is configured——its controls, seat, pegs and bar positioning. The rider's understanding of body positioning——how to properly position himself on the bike and why. Our Survival Reactions——how they create unwanted and often unconscious tension and positioning problems. Lack of riding basics——has or hasn't mastered the core technical skills needed to ride well. The rider's own physical limitations——height, weight, flexibility, conditioning. With those five points under control, specific techniques can be employed to achieve positive benefits in bike control. Form, Function and Technique GP body position does not address or improve 90% of the most basic and vital components of riding: Our sense of traction, speed, lean angle, braking, and line, to name a few, are not directly dependent upon or necessarily improved by stylish form. Clearly, body positioning isn't the universal panacea some think it is, but it has its place. For example, holding the body upright, counter to the bike’s lean while cornering has several negative effects. Among these, is the fact that it positions the rider so he can’t fully relax. This can be quickly corrected and solves the functional problem of tension from cramped and restrictive joint alignment: a key element in allowing any rider to relax. A bike related example would be too high or too low brake or clutch lever. It puts the rider's wrist into misalignment and restricts fluid movement. The Rules of Technique Here are my guidelines for technique. Any riding technique is only as good as: The validity of the principles it rests on. Example: The benefits of hanging off follow physics and engineering principles. The access it provides to the technology with which the bike is designed and constructed. Are the potentials of chassis, suspension and power able to be utilized as intended? Does the technique embrace them? The consistency with which it can be applied. Does it work in all similar situations? The degree of control it provides for the rider. Can the rider either solve problems or make improvements, or both, by using it? The ease with which it can be understood and coached. Does it take extraordinary experience or skill to apply it, or, can it be broken down into bite sized pieces for any rider to master? Which brings us to my first law of body positioning. Stability Comes in Pairs. Bike and rider stability are always paired―rider instability transfers directly to the bike. Body Positioning has but one overriding guideline: Rider stability. How a rider connects to the bike can bring about harmony and control and fluid movement or turn into an uncoordinated wrestling match. Ideal Stability Having stability AND fluidity of movement sounds conflicting; when something is stable it’s expected to stay put, unmoving, like the foundation of your house or the roots of a tree. But the opposite is true for riding. Comfort And Stability What works well on a paddock-stand doesn't always transfer to real riding. Aftermarket rearsets, which can be adjusted (or which are manufactured) too far up, back, forward or down is an example. In the paddock they feel racy; on the road or track they can fatigue the rider. The fatigue comes from the rider's core not being correctly supported. This causes him to be off balance. Off-balance generates extra effort from muscle tension and poor joint alignment which in turn hampers accurate control manipulations. Awkward looking body position is what you see. Riders often accept or try and work around this, without realizing its negative impact on their riding. Simply Complicated Through research and coaching of tens of thousands of riders of all skill levels, 58 separate elements which influence our body positioning have surfaced. Seemingly simple things such as too tight a pair of gloves or leathers can affect all the other elements. Once the 58 are corrected and integrated, the rider has many more options; opening doors to a wide range of fun, efficient and, you might say, elegant techniques. All of our coaches have been thoroughly drilled on what each of the 58 are and how to correct them. © 2014 Keith Code, all rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced in any form without the author's consent.
  30. 1 point
    Ok first of all this is TOTALLY awesome that you have this data to post! The datalogger is fantastic, and I'm glad to see you using it, what a great application. That second chart is terrific, lots of information there. At first glance at the second chart things look pretty even from one side to the other, your lean angle is not drastically different on rights versus lefts, but on closer examination the throttle position versus lean angle does look somewhat different - that top red line showing around 75% throttle at 40+% lean angle and some of the yellow and orange at 45-50% are more apparent on rights than lefts, and the slip rate seems, in general, a little higher on the rights but not much (looks like more data points in the >10% range?)... and maybe the characteristics of the corners on that track are what is causing those differences. I think I see the problem - the Michelins are not "adapting" sufficiently to your situation. Do you know if the tire damage is more within the first few laps or sessions or at the beginning of the day versus later? That might help determine if it is cold or hot tear, it sort of looks like hot tear to me (the tears look wider and shallower than I'd expect to see for cold tear) but for sure I am not an expert. But the fact that a 2 psi pressure increase seemed to improve the situation would support that as well - if you have a chance next time to check tire temperature and pressure before and after riding (straight off warmers versus coming off the track) that should help tell you whether it is hot or cold tear, that article above has some specifics of what temp/pressure rise to look for, and/or the tire rep should be able to tell you what is optimum operating temperature/pressure for that tire, to compare to what you are actually getting. If it were me I'd check the alignment on that rear wheel - not sure whether that would or could have anything to do with this type of uneven tire wear but it's a really easy thing to check, and a good idea to do anyway. Then, if the tire pressure and compound seem correct for the track (per the tire rep), I'd next try softening the rear suspension and see if that helps, since that could contribute to hot tearing by making the tire work too hard because the suspension is not compliant enough. Also check the spring rate recommended for your weight and see if you are within range, if the rear spring is way too stiff for your weight that could be contributing to the problem. Since you have good photos AND access to the wealth of information from your datalogger, you could try reaching out to Dave Moss to see what he thinks on the suspension side, I think he does analysis like that and it would probably be refreshing to him to have all that data available to work with. Dataloggers are such an amazing tool!!
  31. 1 point
    Thanks for the responses! I would say the majority of the hard acceleration corners at MO and Grattan (Clockwise) are right handers. I attached a data logger plot of MO - the highest spin at high throttle are the keyhole exit (turn 10 in the plot) and the thunder valley entrance (turn 4 in the plot). I was surprised to see that the logger shows spin through the back straight kink, and this is also on the right side of the tire. I haven't noticed a different body position from one side to the other, however, I do think I feel more confident with right turns - a lot more knee puck wear on that side! I am using the Michelin Power Slick Evo. The Michelin reps at the track have some buzzwords about it (Two Compound Technology (2CT) and Adaptive Technology (ACT)), the gist of which seems to be that there is only one compound and it's supposed to adapt to conditions. I did try a Pirelli Diablo SC2, which I think is their harder compound, and I had a similar wear problem - tearing on the right side. I do use warmers, and I set the tire pressure coming off the warmers; I haven't looked at what the pressure is coming off the track. The outside temp has varied from low 70's to mid 80's. At most, there is a 5 minute wait before coming off the warmers and heading out to the track, and I put the warmers back on within 5 minutes of getting off the track. The Michelin rep told me to run 24psi hot off the warmers, so that is what I've been running. When I asked a riding coach about the tearing at MO, he suggested I run 2 more psi, so I tried running 26psi - this seemed to help a bit. He also suggested I flip the tire when I saw signs of tearing, so I also did that. I did read the forum article here about tearing, but that was afterwards (:>).
  32. 1 point
    Wish I had a computer to look at the video frame by frame... but I don't think there's anything too mysterious happening here... For those who have ever done a quick change of direction through a slalom or short chicane you might have noticed that it takes very little throttle (or any at all, if the steering rate is so quick?) to lift the front wheel as the bike is coming upright on the change of direction. This is because the steering rate is so great, you have the inertia of the bike coming from lean to upright, the mass of the bike combined with that inertia means that it wants to keep going up - hence lifting the front wheel. If you're then trying to lean the bike over in the other direction while the front wheel is in the air... well you can guess what happens. I've also seen this with strange geometry/weighting. It was on a work delivery scooter, bit of weight in the top box, a quick-ish u-turn or even just straightening up quickly out of a regular corner would bring the front wheel off the ground and cause a decent tank slapper if not controlled properly. Given the extremes that MotoGP racers are dealing with it wouldn't surprise me if Vinales front wheel came off the ground and caused him to crash.
  33. 1 point
    Great. Practice is a good way to improve your BP. What I see from your photo, you might put some attention to your head position. In that photo a good head position will be if your head is near of your left hand, close to touch it. I know, it isn't easy but if you practice often you will get it. If you Focus in that your back also will form a V shape with the bike axis, and your right arm will be fully extended. thats was my 2 cents. keep riding!
  34. 1 point
    Like stated above, if you run out of lean angle and drag hard parts, hanging off obviously helps. Short of that, hanging off might give you a small margin or error to add lean/countersteer if you can't make the corner. Way short of that, you probably should just be in a position as comfortable as possible to make your throttle and steering inputs. For me thats the traditional inside of midline with your outside leg locked on tank.
  35. 1 point
    I recently made a west coast swing through Willow Springs and Sonoma. The combination of sleeping in a sleeping bag and the travel across country cut down on the amount of sleep I was getting. This will be more relevant later in the story. Willow Springs is a very fast track and two of the longest corners on the track are also very demanding, turn 2 ( The Rabbit's Ear) and turn 8, the fastest turn west of the Mississippi. I was off the seat and leaned over for what seemed like forever in these turns. It may not be the case but a racing buddy told me He could not bring himself to go as fast as me through these turns, making reference to me having anatomical portions of my body bigger than his. In reality, the most important aspect of going fast through these corners was the ability to manage a comfortable stance and a solid foundation for throttle control, a light touch on the bars, and getting my head and shoulders turned to see the entry, apex and exit. Sonoma didn't seem to be as challenging in this regard but what made it difficult was the fatigue of being on the road for 10 days. On the last day of racing I was pretty much worn out. The lack of sleep and different eating habits compounded the situation. I could feel I was making a few errors. The next to the last race of the day was tough and it started with me forgetting to put on my glasses. I was half way though the warm up lap when I realized everything looked different or actually looked blurry but of course it was to late to do anything about it but ride. I ran off the track three times during the race and was really feeling worn out when I came in but I had another race to ride. The travel, lack of sleep, loading and unloading, changing tires etc etc had taken its toll. I was really tired, had just raced without my glasses and needed to concentrate on the last race of the day, the trip and maybe the last time I would race on this track. I thought back to my beginnings and reflected on how I would need to have a comfortable riding position. My way is this...hug the tank, my inside knee pointing outward toward the exit with the ball of my foot in a position to swivel on the peg. This positioning makes it easier for me to open my inside thigh get the torso turned and the shoulders and head turned to the exit. My outside foot is pointed outward with my heel in toward the bike. This position makes my outside leg feel like a gusset anchoring me to the bike. The combination of the outside leg position, my thigh against the tank and tank grip, and the pressure on the inside peg give me that relaxed stance with less fatigue. I went over this in my mind as I lined up for Formula Thunder. I would be racing my SV650 against Panigale 848's and other bigger displacement bikes. I can remember staying with the first and second place bikes with a desire that had me yelling at myself through "the bowl" in order to stay with them. I remember the battle with the duc behind me ignoring the fact that I, at one point, had lost the front at the final corner pressing to keep my position and battling it out with that rider for the last couple of laps back and forth, back and forth. How do I relate this story with my body position? I was dead tired but took time to review my body positioning and what I would need to do to ride confidently, comfortably, conserving energy. I had the best lap times of the trip in the last race of the trip as tired as I had been at anytime during the trip. People have different solutions for the same problem but for me a 6'2" 180 lbs rider....the foundation for my position is hugging the tank. Cheers.
  36. 1 point
    Not actually having ridden in the dirt, I can only speculate. With low traction offered on gravel, less weight is moved up front during braking, so more braking can - and must be - handled by the rear brake/wheel. I reckon they also back the bike in severely quite often, with a locked wheel, to turn quicker and very low speed. Finally, they use the brake as well as engine/wheel acceleration to control the balance of the bike mid-flight.
  37. 1 point
    Certainly the race tire will have more grip and be better for the track. Using a 400 mile worn street tire is not a good option for the track. I would use the Race Tire on the track and then go back to your street Q3 for the street.
  38. 1 point
    After reading this I got out my big exercise ball (the one big enough to sit on) and started doing hyperextentions and planks. Both really help and I agree with BSM, it just makes you feel better.
  39. 1 point
    If your abdominal muscles are weak and you leave them slack and loose when trying to support your upper body, the looseness of the ab muscles will cause your back to hollow (swayback), which forces your lower back to take all the load of holding you up, and the looseness of the ab muscles combined with the tightness of the back muscles will tend to tilt the pelvis (either the cause or the effect of the swayback). Tightening the abs creates a column of support (your entire core, front, sides and back) that allows you to use a broader range of muscles to do the job of supporting your upper body, prevents the pelvis from tilting backwards (hollowing the back) and preventing your lower back from having to do all the work. Does that makes sense?
  40. 1 point
    Muscles can contract and generate movement or they can contract without generating movement. Ever do isometrics? The abdominal or core contraction you guys allude to would be an isometric. The muscles strengthen, and there is no movement.
  41. 1 point
    Lack of lower back strength when riding is what inspired me to start working out. At first, I just wanted to correct that deficiency. It's amazing how fast you will feel the benefit from working your lower back. Within 2 weeks, I noticed an improvement in my posture (regular posture, not bike posture) and the ability to stand for longer periods of time without fatigue. If you belong to a gym, try the back hyperextension. If it's too easy, you can hold weight to make it harder. If you don't belong to a gym, just hold some dumbbells and do the Romanian Deadlift. There's tons of info on youtube showing the correct form which will help keep you from getting hurt. About the abs thing... Yeah, I remember being shown that at CSS and it was an aha moment. I'm like you in that I can't really explain why. But if you know how to activate your abs and do that as you lean forward, you'll feel it there - in your abs - and know they are right.
  42. 1 point
    It's "bad" weather when MotoGP doesn't run- Ha!
  43. 1 point
    Ha ok. Well the socks I'm currently wearing are samples from a manufacturer that were sent to me for testing. I have been a huge fan of bamboo and my favorite socks are no longer available. So out of sheer "being totally desparate" I'm testing out as many yarns as I can as I'd like to make my own socks specifically for riding. So far I'm on day 3 of wearing them and they still smell like roses. They are unbelievably soft as well, pretty much like walking on clouds. I'm going to wash them a number of times to see how they wear, but I've been told they stay soft just like my bamboo socks did. Another bonus, they are supposed to be extremely durable. I can show you the fabric end of this month when I'm at CSS but they will be well worn by then so beware hahah. I looked up "tencel socks" and there are a few companies that use the yarns so I think in the mean time I'll find a good company and buy my daily wearers from them. I truly don't think I can go back to pure cotton, poly, or nylon. Especially cotton.
  44. 1 point
    There's a nice "unread content" button. I like that!
  45. 1 point
    Rchase, there might be other factors at play...personalities and coaching is a whole subject in itself, and also a technology or system might not be perfect. For the sake of this thread, just looking at workability of a technology. For example on most any modern street bike, built for many years (that is a standard or sport bike) the front brake will lift the rear wheel off the ground. This is a fact, easily provable. So being able to use the front effectively is key. A good point you make, sometimes looking at something and simply saying, "that doesn't make sense, or work." If backed up with solid observation, and honest trial, that's a good thing. (As a side comment, it's a bit of a skill to really observe and honestly try something--not everyone can put aside all bias or preconceived ideas). Now, the next part to look at is a hierarchy of information: what are the MOST important pieces, what does one really want to understand well, and know like the back of one's hand? Like Keith's observations on Throttle Control: understanding that bit of motorcycle riding technology has saved my ass so many times (and explained the problems I've had when I've had them). There are of course exceptions (very long turns, that tighten at the end for example). But the key fundamentals of good Throttle Control apply to any bike. Still making sense? I see a number of views to this thread, but not too many commenting, want to know if this is clear, feel free to chime in. CF
  46. 1 point
    Like anyone who spends his time and money on CSS, I was enthusiastically gathering as much knowledge and practical application of that knowledge as I could. I scoured youtube, books, articles, etc. So by the time I went to the class, I had some pieces of the puzzle already. I'd have good days and bad days. I'd arrive at work and talk to my fellow biker buddy about how well or how poorly I rode on the way in. Some days I'd do okay on certain types of corners and make a mess of other corners. Or I'd do okay at speed but feel less confident when stuck behind slower traffic. I went to the class with some assumptions and even more questions. The coaches helped me separate the wheat from the chaff, answered all of my questions, used videos, photos, and data to help show me what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. I left the class way better than I arrived to be sure. While I returned home to twisty mountain commute far better than I had been, one thing that means even more is the bar set by the relentless critical eye of top notch coaches. I came home knowing that even after 2 very long days in the saddle, I still made a ton of mistakes. I still wasn't getting my weight off the bars properly. I was only light on the bars mid corner at a decent pace. But I knew it must be possible to be light on the bars in braking, at tip in, high speed or low, all the time. I would take a decent line around most corners but still made a hash of sharp corners and often let my eyes drift to the apex way after I should be looking at the exit. As primarily a road rider, it's often not necessary to roll off the throttle to turn. Most of the time, I'm riding a good pace but a steady pace. So in the class, I had a habit carrying some throttle past turn-in. So when I got home I made it a priority to continue riding as if my coaches were right behind me. I spent nearly 2 months riding much slower than before I went to the class. The first thing I focused on was getting my weight off the bars. Not just mid corner but always. I found a way to get my leg locked on that helped. It's about 80% side of the tank and 20% back of the tank. Before I knew it, I could ride super slow with the same light hands that I had at higher speed. Then I started focusing on the 3 step drills. Even on a new road where you don't have specific reference points, just ball parking the 3 steps makes a huge difference in line consistency. Now the bike is going where I expect it to go without exception and without mid corner corrections. Next I focused on fixing the bad position you see in my avatar. I don't know how many times James told me to keep my elbow bent but on the bike, I'd immediately stiff arm the inside bar when it was time to turn in. One day it just clicked that I should see if I could get the same force on the bar with a bent elbow. Yes! This is what they wanted me to do the whole time. And guess what, now the rest of my body is where it's supposed to be. Finally, I started working on rolling the throttle off and on through the turns. Obviously I'm not full throttle to a braking point on the road but instead I just worked on getting enough speed before the corner so that I can roll off the completely without running off the road on the inside. There's no lap time to worry about but it allows me to practice timing the roll off, the lean in, and the roll on. This is something that can even be fun at very slow speeds. A way to give yourself a challenge when circumstances simply don't permit speed or a decent amount of lean. Before I knew it, I found that I was getting it right, every corner, every time. Don't get me wrong. I know I'm still ~20 seconds a lap slower than ideal on a timed track lap. I still have a ton to learn and a then to put all that new knowledge to practice. But though my speed is lower than the experts, I've come away from the class (and subsequent homework) with the confidence and skill set to significantly, if not completely, eliminate close calls. I like to think every close call is a sign that I got lucky. The longer you go between close calls (especially the ones that were in your control) the safer you'll be. The more you'll enjoy riding. The more the entire process feels like fun and less like a mixture of fun and anxiety or frustration. So anyway, thanks to you guys (and gals) at CSS. You've made a huge impact on my life.
  47. 1 point
    OK. So... if you don't have a point picked out for an apex AND haven't looked in toward the apex, you don't really have any info about where you want the bike to go - so how confident will your quickturn be? This is a good review exercise for forum members, what is the timing on 2-step? When should you spot your turn point and when should you look in to the apex? Spot your turn point as soon as possible because it controls many decisions (where to brake, when to downshift, etc.). Without reference points, there is no turn point. No bueno. The time to look at your apex is just before you reach the turn point. A rider requires a turn point to have the attention left to spend on his next reference point, the apex. If a rider is confident on his/her location (turn point/reference point), the rider is "free" to look at the apex just before flicking the machine into the turn. Like in real estate, location, location, location is of primary importance. You must have RPs to get your through the turns; you can relax on the straights.
  48. 1 point
    Brake/Down Changing Gears Like a Pro Barriers Open Doors To make real improvement there must first exist a real barrier to overcome or a real result to achieve. These are always based on the rider's own desires: to go faster; be more in control; have fewer panic situations; put it all together into a smooth flow or simply remove doubts and questions they have relating to those goals: when do the tires slide, how hard can I brake, how far can I lean the bike and so on. When you look at it you'll see that there is very little difference, if any, between a riding barrier and a riding goal; they both have the same stumbling blocks. They both have an end result to achieve. They both have some fear or uncertainty or distraction attached to them. There is always a barrier. The Braking & Downshifting Barrier An example of a common barrier would be the complications that arise from the hurried and slightly frantic control operations that stem from not learning to smoothly and simultaneously brake and downshift for traffic lights, obstructions and, of course, corners. Doesn't sound like a life or death threatening situation but when inspected closely you see what impact it really has on a rider's attention and how they are spending it. Check it out, if the rider can't do braking and downshifting, simultaneously and smoothly, they are forced into one or more of the following attention draining scenarios: 1. Slowly letting out the clutch to make the downshift smoothly. This requires attention to be spent and is the most common way uneducated riders handle it. 2. Having to change gears once the bike is stopped. When the bike is stopped even the best transmissions can be sticky. Gears change more easily and more positively when the bike is moving. It causes less wear on the gearbox to change the gears while you are moving. 3. Having to change the gears after the braking is completed for a turn. That means doing it in the curve. This is distracting and can upset the bike, to say nothing of the rider. 4. Alternately going from the brake to the gas to match revs for the downshifts. This has the bike pogoing at the front. It does not get the bike slowed down quickly in an efficient manner. This is very busy riding. 5. Downshift before braking. This is fine for very relaxed riding situations at slow speeds but is hazardous to the engine if the rider is in "spirited cornering" mode as it provides the opportunity to over-rev the motor and bypass the rev limiter that protects it. Could be very expensive. In an emergency situation you don't have time to do this because you should be on the brakes right away. Not only that but some emergencies require you to brake and then get on the gas right away for accelerating hard to avoid things like cars running a light on you. In this case the rider would not have the time to get it done. 6. Forget it entirely and just go through the corner. This forces downshift(s) to be done at the corner's exit thus losing the drive out and complicating the whole thing by having to make a gear change when they should be rolling on the throttle. This is distracting and not smooth at all. Coordination And Concentration It is true that if a rider was uncoordinated and attempts simultaneous braking and downshifting it could be dangerous. For example having the front brake on along with the power can make your front wheel lock up. On our panic-stop training bike I have seen it many times: the rider aggressively squeezes the brake and unconsciously rolls the throttle on at the same time. It's spooky to watch. So yes, practice and coordination are necessary, you will have to practice. More importantly, you have to make a decision. Are the 6 potential distractions above likely to get you into trouble? They do break the rider's concentration even if only slightly. In other words: if you aren't a super hero at multitasking each of the 6 is a negative in comparison with braking and downshifting simultaneously. In Control = In Communication Continuous perception of your speed is how you control it. Accurate turn entry speed is critical to good, confident cornering. If you are worried about your speed, you are distracted by it. Finding the right turn entry speed (for you) is far easier when the braking and downshifting are happening in one continuous flow of change. When compared to one that is chopped up, incomplete or creates anxiety like having to shift in the turn, it's obvious which scenario is better. Your Sense of Speed is a precious resource and is far more accurate when monitored as a steady stream with your awareness. Maintaining a continuous state of awareness of what the bike itself is doing is another of the true benefits of this technique. You always know where the engine speed is in relation to the road speed and that improves your feel for the bike. Your communication with the machine improves; no false signals or guess work; no waiting to know how the bike will respond in any of the above scenarios. You ability to maintain communication with the bike is important input. Naming It Simultaneous braking and downshifting. I'd like to shorten it to something like brake-down. Car guys call it heel and toe, which is a nice, short and simple way of saying they are simultaneously using the brake pedal with their toe and revving the motor with their heel. In some cars you just put the ball of your foot between the brake and gas pedals and rock your foot side to side to do it, it depends on the pedal arrangement. On a bike, provided the brake lever is comfortably adjusted to fit your hand, they are always in the same position for our maneuver. Alright, for now it is brake-down. It would be interesting to have a non rider hear about you executing a "breakdown" coming into a curve; sounds pretty dangerous. How about fist and fingers or palm and fingers or B&Ding? Whatever we call it, it works to simplify corner entries and puts the rider in command of and in communication with his machine to the highest possible degree. The Sequence 1. Gas goes off. 2. Brake goes on. 3. Bike slows some. 4. Clutch comes in. Maintain brake lever pressure. 5. Blip the gas rapidly on and off. (Usually no more than a quarter turn). Maintain brake lever pressure. 6. During the blip make the gear change positively and quickly. Maintain brake lever pressure. 7. Clutch comes out. Maintain brake lever pressure until desired turn entry speed is achieved. 8. Release brake smoothly. Bear this in mind: the quicker you do steps #1 through #7 the better. Brake Lever Control Expert use of the brake during this entire cycle means that you can maintain, increase or decrease the pressure as desired, without abruptly stabbing or releasing the brake lever. Number of Fingers Some riders let their finger(s) slide over the brake lever as they blip the gas. Others grab the brake lever with the tips of their finger(s) and still get a continuous lever pressure without the bike pogoing up and down. Whichever way you do it is fine. How many fingers you use for the brake is up to you: one, two, three or four, this is your choice although I recommend you try just two fingers, your index and middle ones. What's Important? Braking is important, it is life and death on the street and vital on the track. Changing gears is not. You can still make it through the corner or get the bike stopped without ever touching the gears. But, riders do have the six above scenarios to contend with if they can't do the fist/finger, down-brake, palm/finger, B&Ding technique. Learning How The fact that riders have a problem doing this technique led me to a solution. I've built a bike that trains it. We call it the Control Trainer. It takes you through the technique, step by step. The trainer's computer program talks you through the whole sequence and it points out your problems and how to correct them. The computer is hooked up on a static ZX9, you can't ride it but you do get the coordination/muscle memory necessary to do it for real. Each of the controls is monitored for: correct sequence; correct timing of the clutch and gear changes; correctly sized throttle blips and consistent brake pressure, throughout the whole process. With or without my Control Trainer, anyone can learn to do it. Start now. - Keith Code Upcoming articles: clutch-less up shifting and clutch-less downshifting. ⓒ2004, Keith Code, all rights reserved.
  49. 1 point
    It is good you enjoy pinning the throttle and enjoying some speed rush. I think if you change your reference points and begin to roll out of the throttle and start braking a little bit sooner, then you should have your speed better set in time to hit your turn-in point. Properly applied, this should get you turned and back on the gas sooner, give you a better drive out of the corner, and allow you pin it even sooner. As Jason mentioned, the two-step can help with this.
  50. 1 point
    I'm not new, either, but just want to give a brief intro. I'm Lisa, a middle-aged old woman who rides an '02 Ninja ZX6R and '02 Kawasaki ZR7S. I've been riding nearly 8 years and have done Levels I & II of CSS at Pocono. I am always learning, and riding is one of my greatest joys in life.