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Hotfoot last won the day on March 7

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About Hotfoot

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    Superbike School Coach

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  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
    Yes! Lots of them. :)

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  1. Yes, that got fixed! I liked your post.
  2. Since you are looking into traction at varying lean angles, you may want to read about the current race tires, there is so much interesting information out there about the shape of the contact patch when leaned over, and the amount of grip available at various lean angles (given good track conditions and correct tire temperature), it is astonishing to look at what a full race tire can do, and to learn about the differences in profiles and compounds of street versus race tires, and compare longevity versus grip versus price and versatility... there's a lot to know, and the type of tire makes an appreciable difference in the amount one can drive when leaned over. So does good suspension, so if you get bored reading about tires you can always start investigating the intricacies of suspension tuning. In that arena I always feel like the more I learn the more I realize how MUCH MORE there is to learn!
  3. Was it only your availability that was a problem, or was it sold-out school dates? If the latter is an issue, get on the waiting list for some dates, sometimes spots open up. Otherwise... can you consider different tracks to get more options?
  4. No, not really. I have found my own solutions, and I don't need another bike. I have a Moriwaki MD250H race bike (around 190 lbs, seat under under 29") and I also have a SuperSingle race bike (a converted YZ450F) that is around 240 lbs- it's tall, but very light and an excellent race bike and track day weapon. Neither are remotely close to street legal, but I do I have a street legal YSR50 which is the absolutely most awesome bike ever for someone my size. Yeah, it's a little slow but you sure FEEL like you are going fast.... If I was really in the market I would probably give the Grom a serious look. WERA racers have a created a race class for those, sounds like a hoot. The other bike I keep looking at is the Zero electric dual sport. I want one, but it is expensive (and tall and heavy too, unfortunately), but I like the idea of an all-electric, very quiet trail bike. No more old-fuel issues, clogged jets, etc., no oil changes, almost no maintenance at all, and tons of torque.
  5. I had high hopes when the KTM 390 was announced, but the seat height is 830 mm, that is over 32", even taller than a typical 1000cc bike! What were they thinking? Even the Ninja 300 has a seat height of nearly 31", and it weighs 362 lbs dry, not far off from the weight of an S1000rr (about 10% difference), and the R3 is similar in weight and seat height. The manufacturers seem to be competing to make an inexpensive and slightly more powerful bike (compared to the venerable Ninja 250) but they are not making it friendly for small riders - they aren't reducing weight much and seat height is going UP not down, nor are they putting in suspension and brake components comparable to what is going on the 600s, and upgrading those smaller bikes is difficult - and pointless, since you are still stuck with a relatively tall, heavy, underpowered bike - so you are basically forced into a 600 if you want a decent ride. Lowering bikes always SOUNDS easy - especially when a sales person says it - but in my experience it is actually a real hassle, you are monkeying with the geometry and/or cutting down the seat and most dealerships don't know how to do it, they tell you to take it to an auto upholstery shop, or if you are lucky they offer to put in a lowering linkage - but they can't tell you how that will affect the handling, and if you are short and FEMALE, they might even tell you the handling "won't matter" and that "you'll never know the difference". It seems to me that the manufacturers need to take a look at their 450cc class dual-sport bikes and use one of those as a basis for a 450cc road bike that is in the 320lb range. The frames are lightweight and the engines are powerful, if they would just drop the ride height/ground clearance and put on a fairing and a low seat (29.5"), they'd probably have something I'd want to buy.
  6. What bike do you wish was made and available where you live? Or which old model that used to exist do you wish was available again now? Mine is a lightweight sport bike (300 lbs or less) with a LOW seat height (like 29"), with a 400-600cc engine, with middle to high-end adjustable suspension components, good brakes, and good handling. Something like the older Ninja 250s seat height but more power and better components. Also a really good lightweight dual-sport bike with a 350-450cc engine and a short seat height and adjustable suspension. All the current 450s are too tall and heavy, and the 200-250s are totally entry level with non-adjustable suspension and very limited upgrade capability.
  7. Alpinestars, Spidi, and Dainese make them, maybe other manufacturers as well. Revzill is a good site for stuff like that and they often have helpful reviews too.
  8. You'd have to add the caveat "...but only if you think your throttle control is smarter than you." Personally I still like to have the control to choose my own acceleration (riding at the limit of traction is not always the ideal scene) and besides, you still need to know how to ride if your electronics fail, right? Or if your buddy offers you a chance to ride on a cool vintage bike, or a kick-ass 2 stroke GP bike. Here's a question: what sort of conditions could a novice rider CREATE that would prevent a traction-control enabled bike from performing well?
  9. I have found it useful to watch on-board video and study a track map before going to a new track. Elevation changes and camber changes are very hard to see on video, but just getting some familiarity with which way the track goes and finding some landmarks (buildings, etc.) has really helped me learn a track faster once I get there. I felt it helped me the most with quickly learning the turn numbers (very helpful in communicating with a coach) and with being more prepared for any "gotcha" corners that tighten up a lot, or blind hills, so I had an idea what to expect and would avoid either charging in too fast or being super-tentative because I wasn't sure what was coming.
  10. Got it.
  11. So... what was it that changed for you? Just curious.
  12. 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.
  13. The list of survival reactions!
  14. Since this racer is identified by name and we have some mutual friends, I'm going to sit on the sidelines for this discussion. But I will be interested to hear what others observe.
  15. I think this is where you see a big difference between the big bikes and small bikes - on the smaller displacement machines it is all about carrying corner speed, you see a much higher entry speed and the rider carrying a lot more speed in the corner - that smoother, flowing style. I also think club racers on 600/1000cc bikes are inundated with advice to "brake until the apex", so they end up trying to apply that in practically every corner and end up giving up way too much corner speed as a result. Then they feel like they have to get on the gas really hard to try to make it up, or to stay ahead of the guy they see coming up behind or around them. You don't hear a lot of "brake until the apex" advice if you are on a 250. I am saying "they" because I have seen plenty of others do it, but I certainly have done the same thing myself! It "feels" faster on the 1000cc bike to brake really hard, and gas it really hard, and even with all the training I have I tend to fall into that trap if I am "trying" to go as fast as I can. I got towed around recently by a top pro rider and guess what? Higher entry speeds, higher corner speed, and he was gentler on both the brakes and throttle than I was. Sigh, it was a reminder that just getting on the gas harder is not the solution.