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Everything posted by Hotfoot

  1. If you look at the rider's body movement, you can see that it's not a smooth ride. I'm thinking a combination of bumpy road, wind buffeting (the riders are pretty close together and the speeds are high, getting up into the 150mph range), and a much stiffer suspension and tire carcass than you'd see oh a street bike, plus a bike setup that is much twitchier than a cruising bike so it reacts more. Also the hard acceleration and braking may cause the rider to add some unwanted bar input, you can see from the rear view how much the riders are moving around. On my racebike at one particular track there is a high speed section (150-170mph range) close to a wall and the wind buffeting from the wall or any nearby rider is very noticeable, it wobbles your head around and makes the bike move around, you can feel the bars move, even though you are going straight. Have you felt your handlebars move in wind or when passing a large vehicle?
  2. YES!! The SR2 is MUCH better in that regard, for certain head shapes. Mine, for example. I have a small head and had the same issue with the SR1 sitting too low on my head but I rode 2 days last week in the new SR2 model and I could see out of it just fine. Really well, actually, because the field of view is very wide. The ventilation was good, too. The Schuberth folks told me a while ago that they thought the SR2 would fit me better and it definitely does, it's definitely worth a try. You probably know from your SR1 that these helmets break in as you wear them, so it is best to get one that feels a bit tight when brand new.
  3. 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.
  4. Welcome! Glad to have you on the forum, lots of great info here. There is an article in the articles section on crashing that you might find helpful. For your question about diagnosing your track day crashes, the Track Days and Schools section might be a good place to put it, or the Cornering section, and we will see if we can help on figuring out what happened. Describing the one you recall the best would likely be the most productive since figuring it out will require us asking some questions about what occurred. You are also more than welcome to send me a private message and we can try to figure out the cause of the crashes, if you prefer that over posting it up on the general forum. Welcome aboard and we look forward to your participation in the forum!
  5. 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.
  6. Well, I'm not sure yet if I'll be there on Sept 10 but my husband will be, doing Level 4. He races, could probably tell you about local racing, WERA, etc. He is a regular Level 4 student and has done CodeRACE, and races with WERA (as do I), they are great to race with and come to Auto Club Speedway at least a few times a year, another good racing option for you. I hope you can get to CodeRACE, that will be fun and help you a lot with your racing.
  7. Never say never!
  8. Maybe this is only a half serious question, but I'm going to assume no, since it won't handle like a two wheel motorcycle. The visual skills would apply, of course, but no doubt lines, handling, lock on and body position would be different.
  9. From what you describe that does sound a bit too early for the tire to be having issues just from usage. Had you put in three full track days, especially if it was very hot or a very abrasive or one-sided track, I'd wonder if the tires were getting worn or profiled. At the school, yes, depending on the conditions - some tracks are hard on tires and keep in mind we have three groups of riders in a day so the tires get a lot of use in a day! The tires are checked continuously and changed often. 1000cc bikes are hard on tires, especially rear tires! The mechanic did say the Q3s last longer than the Q2s, and I don't personally have a ton of experience on the Q3s on my own bike. I used to use the Q2s a lot but mostly have been riding on slicks since the Q3s came out. I have ridden on them at the school, though, and I love how they feel, great grip and excellent, predictable handling. Maybe our tire expert can chime in on how many track days are typical for Q3s for a bike like yours, and/or how much heat cycling they can take before starting to feel different.
  10. Sounds like you've got lots of plans, that's exciting! Chuckwalla is a fun track and I hear the racing group out there is friendly and fun, you should have a blast. Hope to meet you at Streets, are you doing CodeRACE or the regular school?
  11. I agree that (a) choice of lines and good control of the bike are more important than body position and (b) riders can crash due to poor body position because of improper/uncontrolled bike inputs, like unwanted bar pressure. But here is a question for you - if you are going as fast as you can go, and trying to catch a faster rider, and you run out of ground clearance (dragging a peg, or your exhaust, for example) what you would change to try to go faster to catch that other rider?
  12. This is what the school recommends as well, and it works. Yep, traction control cannot necessarily save you from adding throttle and lean angle at the same time - it's too much changing too quickly, there is not enough time for the traction control to react AND there is no time for tire feedback to warn the rider, which is why we always warn riders not to add throttle AND lean simultaneously. Just as an interesting note, I suspect the BMW S1000rr's rain mode could have prevented the crash, as it limits how much throttle the rider can apply based on lean angle, and I think it would not have allowed to rider to apply as much throttle as he did at the lean angle he was using.
  13. This is my understanding as well. The trouble is that it is not so easy to get fine control on the rear brake, since you are using your foot (which is encased in a racing boot!) and it is difficult to get the kind of fine control you can get with a hand lever. As mentioned earlier some riders that make use of the rear brake get a hand control for the rear brake, and that seems to make a lot of sense. Of course the best way to evaluate whether at technique works for you, is to try it for yourself and see what results you get. It is important to measure the result somehow, though, as whether it "feels" faster is not always a reliable indicator of whether it is ACTUALLY faster, so a GPS timer that shows acceleration/deceleration and shows speed at whatever points you want to see on the track would be very helpful. Or the BMW datalogger if you have an S1000rr. The CodeRACE program has a great exercise where the rider can ride through a corner multiple ways, and there is a visible speed radar that allows the rider to immediately see which technique resulted in the fastest exit speed of a given corner. It is incredibly enlightening. So - why is the rear brake so much more commonly used on dirt bikes compared to roadracing bikes?
  14. Wow, John, look at that thread from way back in 2004, how did you find that? :) But yes it is very good info. And yes, I was asking about why the rider was weaving back and forth. You do see this pretty often at track days, riders weaving back and forth in an attempt to warm their tires - but it doesn't work. It can be dangerous, too - not just because a rider could crash doing it (that would be embarrassing!) but also because if you are unaware of another rider about to pass you and make a sudden swerve like the you could run into them. Good answer, faffi, on question 2. There are some training tools at CSS to help learn to control the Survival Reaction of wanting to chop the throttle when the rear tire starts to spin. The S1000rr bikes we use also have traction control. So here's another question for the group - do you think traction control would have prevented the crash on the video?
  15. Would "adding throttle and lean angle on cold tires" be too simple an answer? You can hear him rolling the throttle on as he is swerving back and forth and the at the point where he is leaned over the most you can hear the tire spin up. Maybe he hit a slick spot but most likely the combination of lean and increasing throttle just exceeded the available traction for the tire - which was most likely cold, since he was just starting his session. The rear tire then slides out sideways, the rider lets off the throttle (you can hear it), the rear tire regains traction and whips back the other way, and then you can see the rider start getting pitched forward, and my suspicion is that he ends up putting pressure on the bars so that they can't move freely thereby eliminating any chance of the bike straightening back out. You can see the front end trying to correct at first but by the time he actually falls it seems like he is leaning heavily onto that right-hand bar. So, couple of questions back at the group: 1) What is a rider typically trying to do when they are swerving the bike back and forth like that, and does it work? 2) What should a rider do (or better yet NOT do) with the throttle when the rear tire starts to slide, and why?
  16. 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.
  17. Wow, cool pic! I bet that tire would feel pretty scary tipping it into a corner the first few times...
  18. I'm not quite clear on the technique you are describing. I agree with this: "My understanding is most top riders want to reduce their "dwell time" between brake and throttle, preferably to none." and this: "My understanding of this is that it maintains a steeper steering geometry which assist with cornering the bike." Are you saying that Simon advocates letting off the brake before turning, and using engine braking and/or rear brake to reduce the front end dive when entering the turn? If so, that sounds to me like a difference in style, that he is setting up his bikes differently on geometry and suspension, possibly to get the bike to "sit" down more overall (possibly feeling more stable on entry) instead of "diving" forward on the forks. My own personal preference is for the forks to compress, to tighten the steering, as I like a very quick steering response. However, a rider that takes a straighter entry line may feel more stable if the bike does NOT compress the forks so much, it would make the handling feel different and might reduce the feeling of the bike dipping in front under braking then raising back up under throttle, which COULD, if set up properly, provide a tighter line on the exits of the corner.
  19. This is my opinion on that: I think Robert's explanation above is well-stated, that CSS teaches a very large variety of riders on a very large variety of bikes, and the goals of those individual riders vary considerably. CSS provides an incredible foundation, provided in a very clear, organized and understandable way, and backed by loads of data and years of continuing research. From that basis of training, a rider may indeed develop their own style, based on their own strengths and possibly on the strengths and limitations of the bike(s) they ride. In my own experience I found that as I became a competent rider and successful multi-championship club racer, I returned to CSS as a Level 4 student (and still do) and I find that the coaches are ALWAYS able to help me make improvements. As I have reached beyond the basic core of training, Keith and his coaches have been able to provide drills and techniques that are not in the books, that I didn't know existed, that go well beyond what Level 1-3 students get to see. Keith has coached multiple World Champions and has a staggering array of techniques at hand, and a knowledge of motorcycle technology that is astounding. Level 4 coaching is an individual program, tailored to the rider and the rider's specific goals. To me the biggest distinction of CSS versus other schools (aside from the sheer organizational excellence) is that every riding or coaching technique can be backed up with solid data and understanding. I have attended other schools and been trained by other pro motorcycle trainers and there is a whole lot of "just trust me" involved in the coaching. While I can usually pick up some ideas, and often can get great specific tips on where to improve laptimes at specific individual track, it has been CSS that has really improved my riding in ways that apply to EVERY track, taught me how to truly control the motorcycle and know exactly what it is going to do, and ride with exceptional safety and consistency, even in the heat of a race.
  20. So let's explore this skinny tire versus wide tire question. WHY do high horsepower 1000cc bikes use a wider rear tire than low horsepower bikes? We know friction is NOT dependent on surface area, so who can offer up some reasons the tire needs to be wider on an S1000rr, for example, compared to, say, an SV650? Or a roadracing bicycle?
  21. How many total trackdays and commuting miles do you have on the tires now? And what type of bike are you riding? Riding aggressively on the track on a 1000cc bike, if you have done three track days your rear tire may be done. That could be why it is feeling squirmy. It's pretty common to change the rear tire (on a 1000cc bike) after two track days, and the front after about 3 days. The high horsepower bikes eat rear tires.
  22. How far back from the tank are you? It's very hard to tell from the photo, but I am wondering if you have enough distance from the tank to allow you to rotate your hips into the turn, so you can get your chest down without having to twist your lower back to do it. Sometimes scooting back in the seat a little can make it a lot easier to rotate your pelvis into the turn so your back is more in alignment, plus is helps push your outside knee more into the tank.
  23. 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.
  24. Hey BikeSpeedman, PM me with your name, school date (if you remember) and the track where you rode and I'll check to see if it is still possible to get the laptimes.
  25. Oh yes, hi! What a fun day, we were very fortunate to have such nice weather, it was originally looking like it would be very hot but ended up great, with a nice breeze. You did look good through 3-4-5, I followed you through there multiple times and really liked the line you were choosing. I had a lot of fun coaching you at Streets, it was great to watch you getting more and more comfortable on the track on that big bike, I really enjoyed watching you ride it. I thought you rode it REALLY well, especially since you were adjusting from riding a different bike the prior day.