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  1. 3 points
    Riding on the road is all about recognising and anticipating hazards, and managing those hazards. You can measure improvement by your ability to navigate those hazards faster, with less panic, or a combination of both. The vast majority of riding skills are applicable to both road and track. On the road you are just using them for hazard management. On the track primarily you measure improvement by your lap times. Not just fastest lap, but consistency in your lap times. Also good lap times while getting through traffic - being able to get past slower riders without being held up is not just an improvement in your riding, it allows you more track time to focus on improving more since your aren’t stuck at someone else’s pace for an extended period of time.
  2. 2 points
    So I went and paid for a one month subscription to see all of the MotoVudu videos available on the website. There's a lot, over 100 videos. Some are quite short, only a minute or two, others are longer. It's basically a bunch of videos of Simon giving tips about riding (and other things related to riding). I'd love to read his book but it's not available electronically and I'd prefer to download it and read it on my iPad while on a plane. So my feedback is based purely on the videos and the public stuff on his website. A lot of it is good information and will definitely help riders improve. One of things that jumps out at me about the quoted article above by Simon: "In all my years instructing on circuit I am yet to come across a very fast rider using strictly what CSS teaches". My first response to this is that very fast riders don't need Simon's coaching so that's probably why he's never come across one (it's not hard to find a list of very fast riders trained by CSS) The very first comment at the bottom of that article is by someone who had been "using CSS technique of getting balancing throttle applied straight after turn in" - that's not what I remember CSS teaching - we all know the throttle control rule, and it's not about "balancing" throttle. So as Dylan pointed out, the former students that Simon has been coaching aren't even practicing what they've been taught at CSS. He teaches pushing yourself up against the tank so that the tank can hold you under braking forces, BUT he also says to lock your arms on the bars under braking. Once the braking is done you're supposed to relax the arms and lean your upper body forward and on the inside of the bike. Then in another video he talks about how to many people have too much input on the bars. Well guess why that is? It's because riders at the level he seems to be coaching, can't go from fully locked arms to leaning forward with relaxed arms quick enough so the arms still locked or partially locked while they are trying to steer the bike. He also talks about letting the rear move around under braking, which IMO is a result of what he's teaching, not a something you should be aiming to do. It's not my intention to ridicule Simon's coaching, because as I said at the start there's a lot of good stuff there. There's a really good, balanced, review of the MotoVudu DVD (the content of which is available with the one month subscription on the website) here: https://lifeatlean.com/motovudu-dark-art-of-performance-dvd-review/ and I agree with everything in that review. The only negative comments I've seen of CSS are from people who clearly haven't understood the drills they were supposed to be practicing. One guy complained that a CSS coach told him he would go faster without getting his knee down. The drill he was practicing before being told this was Rider Input - he was trying so much to get the knee down that he was white knuckling the bars. Knee down doesn't make you fast (though fast riders can get the knee down whenever required/desired). I have video of me getting the knee down in a carpark doing figure 8's in 1st gear at not much more than walking pace. As for which methods are the best/fastest, it takes a lot more than learning riding techniques at a few riding schools to be very fast. A lot of riders suffer way too much from paralysis by analysis, when what they need to do is get more track time and practice!
  3. 1 point
    I had been sick for almost two weeks and then signed up for a track day at Arizona Motorsports park. The circuit was being run CCW that day and I had not ridden in that way. With getting over an illness and essentially relearning the track, I was less than 1-second off my personal best!!! I went to Chuckwalla the next weekend feeling healthier and ready. The trackday was running Chuck CW. Thankfully it was the Superbowl weekend, so there was probably 40 riders at the track that day. Open session format so you just go and go and go. What I thought was interesting was that I filmed two sessions and even though it was untimed, I rode for 20 minutes and then stopped. I just think that is crazy that my body just knew, "okay 20-minutes is up, raise that hand and leave the track!" Anyway, I started racing in the chuckwalla series back in September. Crashed out of my first race. I competed the next month, dead last place and lapped. I was contacted by someone from the CVMA organization who said, "practice getting your lap times down....your pace is kind of a big risk." He suggested I aim for 2:15 being that my lap time was an incredibly slowwwwww 2:30. I agreed. I purchased a lap timer. I met with a therapist about relaxing techniques. I started to get more comfortable on my bike. So....Superbowl weekend...I did not feel like I was trying as hard and got my laps down to 2:17 consistently. I KNOW. I KNOW. That is still very slow especially for a liter bike (2013 CBR 1000RR) And Benny Solis is at like a 1:30 lap time on a 600..... But man what an improvement. I know I should be riding the track to beat the track, not the riders around me....But passing people that are riding on my dream bike (s1000RR) FELT SO GOOD. I told myself I would not race again until I get my laps to at least 2-minutes. So I can stay with the pack. It has been helping to review my studies, and simply THINK about the track and how to take a turn before heading out there like I know what I am doing. Thinking man! It helps. After reviewing my footage there are a bunchhh of things I can improve on, but there were so many things I did differently to improve as well. Strengths: throttle input EARLIER and rolled on for greater speeds through the turn. Telling myself that I can enter at higher speeds (slow in fast out, but my entry speed can definitely go up). Knowing where to go slow and having patience in the turn dubbed "Patience." Areas of Improvement: use of the quick turn, later turn entry and attempting different attack lines, being comfortable with using only the parts of the track I need upon exiting a corner, squeeze the bike with my legs when braking earlier. I noticed that when I take my legs off to prepare for the turn, after a straight away, I am not squeezing with my legs and thus applying the brakes sends all that weight and my own forward and maxes out the load on the front tire. I start to actually lift up the rear! So to settle this I have a few options: when applying the brakes, I should grip with legs, and then as I am slowing down adjust BP for the upcoming turn...use the rear brake to settle the rear a bit (but I do not think I am at that pace yet)....or learn the max speed I can enter the turn using the 3+4 drill no brakes. I am very excited to continue to learn.
  4. 1 point
    Just for a laugh, here’s how the amateurs (like me) do it. Five days later on New Year’s Day I over jumped a table top (on the same track), bottomed the rear suspension (I think the frame may have even hit the ground) and fractured my ankle, so am in a moon boot for another week or so. I did ride it out though, so it doesn’t count as a crash
  5. 1 point
    MX tracks have much tighter turns than a racetrack, at much lower speeds. Due to the lack of traction, you often steer by sliding the rear. It is easiest to control those slides with all your weight over the front - if your weight is over the rear, that’s a lot of extra momentum being thrown sideways. With your weight over the front the rear can slide around all it like without you worrying about a high side. So the standard riding position is: if standing, chest is literally directly over the handlebars (there are some exceptions, like soft sand, where your weight is as far back as possible); if sitting (usually only while cornering), sitting as far forward as possible, even on the tank, again with the chest over or nearly over the bars. How do you propose to hang off the inside of the bike for corners like this photo with deep ruts? Watch this and see if you can find any point where hanging off the inside of the bike would be beneficial:
  6. 1 point
    For me, the fundamentals of CSS are simple and straightforward. There is nothing complex about "do most of your braking while upright", or "complete your steering before getting back on the gas"... What I like most about these CSS fundamentals is that they are "safe". At any point in any corner, the chances of losing the front mid-corner while on maintenance throttle and no unintended steering input is so much less than if you were on the brakes and steering into the corner at that exact point (see pic below). There is this confidence that comes from knowing the bike is stable as you go through a corner. That being said, I get why others schools may be upset with CSS students! I can't trail brake to the apex to save my life. So if another school was trying to coach me to ride in that manner (to carry the brakes farther into the corner), it would be frustrating for both of us. People spend so much time arguing about trail braking (to the apex) vs point and shoot (quick turn, then back on throttle). There are many fast riders with different styles. The major difference I notice between these 2 styles is in the lines. CSS teaches wide entry (or late turn in points) and people who trail brake like to begin turn in sooner, brake longer, and trail to the apex.
  7. 1 point
    Learning to see point after point after point throughout a turn. Following the turn and reference points with my eyes instead of darting them back and forth, actually looking through the turn and connecting the imaginary dots I have laid out. I use this a lot for driving on highways, the white lines can assist with the imagery here. Before I used to begin to turn, and then have no idea where to go next. This would then allow for more steering inputs. As I have learned and repeated to myself several times: one steering input and ONLY one steering input! As soon as I began having reference points and connecting the dots with my drive through the turn, I stopped feeling lost. I started to see my trajectory. It was like THERES MY WAY OUT, GO GO GO! I love this feeling. Whenever I am riding on a new road, I keep following my trajectory and leave other distractions behind. It shows when I ride as well because people think I actually know where I am going! As of late, I have also been practicing standing on my toes more and keeping my butt off the seat. Not like jockey style, but just hovering above the seat. It sounds silly, but when I coached tennis for high school and privately for wealthier people, I encourage my students to stand on their toes. Stay alert. Hop around. While on the bike, a similar level of alertness and quick response is felt if I hover above the seat while standing more on my toes. I do NOT hop around on my foot pegs! I try to keep all that steady as necessary. Standing on the balls of my feet though has really allowed me to respond quicker, feel more alert, pivot steer, and be ready to fall into the turn WITH the machine rather than place it under me.
  8. 1 point
    Hitting the Apex is the 4th movie by Mark Neale around the MotoGP scene - the first three being "Faster", "The Doctor, the Tornado and the Kentucky Kid" and "Fastest". All four are really well done and great speaks by Ewan McGregor (the first 3) and Brad Pitt (HtA).
  9. 1 point
    How did MY weekend go? I bought a track bike in January, did CSS Lvl 3 on it in May. I could have done Lvl4 in May or Aug without having to travel but I had decided to spend more time at the track to work on getting faster. You posted this on Oct 6th, which would have been the 7th where I am and that day I went to the track again. 5th time at this track, a ~3km circuit called Morgan Park Raceway in Queensland, Australia. I ride in the fast group at the local track days. Previous outing I had taken 3 seconds off my PB on a rear tyre that was well past it's useful life and sliding around a lot. It had been 2 months since then on the 7th and I went out first session with a fresh rear tyre and set a PB on the 3rd lap. By the 3rd session I had taken over a second off my PB from the previous outing and was looking like I would get to my target lap time in the 4th session. Bike had other ideas though, the fuel pump died and I didn't get another session in that day. While that was disappointing, it was a very successful outing and I left pretty happy. My target was 1:23 and I had done a 1:24.3. The fastest guys at track days and local club racing are doing 1:20 and sometimes 1:18/1:19. A few people were asking me which class I race in. I don't. Australian Superbike record there is 1:13. I'm now aiming for 1:20 but I need some suspension work as the springs are too soft for my weight and a fork seal was leaking. Pro photographer was there and got some great photos. Here's one at one my favorite corners, an uphill blind left hander under a bridge with a cement wall on the inside. I have video too, I always run a front and rear camera - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFI0X_M5Zh4&list=PL2qr50jc8pAUK5w0NZafcl5tFNOXGZC3e
  10. 1 point
    I thought I understood women , Turns out I didn't
  11. 1 point
    Quit waiting and do it ! I've just completed the Level 1 & 2 (2-Day camp) at NJMP on Aug 3 & 4 and can't say enough about the incredible learning/practicing experience during the entire 2-Day CSS course! Don't delay any longer and sign up ! I'm super duper impressed with the curriculum to the lesson drills, class room instruction, coaches, and the Beemer machines used to hone in your skills on the track. I signed up with the goal to learn and build my skill level but more importantly to improve having a nice smooth line and better body positioning The CSS training 100% did that for me. The first few sessions on the track I knew I wasn't doing well but with the class room instruction, working on my skills and the one-to-one coaching after each track run, I became a much more fluid and smoother with my lines. It was incredible how I noticed the progress throughout each practice run. I really enjoyed the fact that for each lesson plan, you get plenty of track time to work on perfecting your skills. Besides the bike drills, the cycle for the 2-Day camp was classroom instruction then getting on the bike to practice the lesson plan then heading over to meet with your assigned coach to review your progress; believe me you'll have plenty time of practice on the track. I would like to say thanks to Keith Code, Dylan, Cobie, all the professional coaching staff. Moreover, I would also like to send off a special thanks to my two track coaches 'Ash and Johnny UK' for their effortless one-one coaching which helped put me on that path of meeting my initial goal. By the middle to end of day two, I became more smoother and fluid on my line hitting those turning points and apexes and having an improved body position. The icing on the cake was that we were lucky enough to have two absolutely gorgeous sunny days with low humidity. Will
  12. 1 point
    I suppose that's one unique incentive to get on the gas early.
  13. 1 point
    Wow, this is an interesting question. Personally, for me, I most enjoy knowing that that I was part of something that really made a difference for a student. When a student says (and this happens more often than you think) "This was the best day of my life!", I am thrilled to have been a part of that. I have gotten some notes from students saying "you saved my life" because they used something they learned at the school to avoid a nasty accident; what could be more incredible than hearing THAT from someone? Some students are very memorable because they made amazing progress, some because they had SUCH a great time, and some because the school made a difference in their lives - in a way that goes beyond just their riding. Some of the best days I've ever had coaching were when a student started out very slow and maybe nervous or afraid, but listened carefully in class and applied the material, and made HUGE progress and ended up going faster and having more fun than they ever imagined was possible. Sometimes at the end of the day they try to tell me how they feel and their eyes well up with emotion (yes, even grown men) because what they have accomplished that day is so meaningful to them, and THAT is one of the biggest rewards I could ever get. Making a fast racer into the very FASTEST racer would be cool, but the thing that really lights me up is seeing students overcome barriers, and the leaping, joyous sense of accomplishment that brings, to them and to me.