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  1. 4 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. 3 points
    MotoGP riders are typically trying to dial up as much engine braking as possible. They can also dial it in or out for specific turns by GPS. If you are riding a track that is very "stop and go" with a lot of braking zones, I would dial it up. If it is a flowing track with transitions, I would use less engine braking so the bike does not pitch forward if you feather out of the throttle in a transition.
  3. 3 points
    Here is some info from Dylan that you might find interesting: Dunlop just released a new sportbike tire, the Q4. This tire is different from what many think it is. It is NOT an improved Q3+ but rather a whole new category of tire. Its purpose is to provide a street legal tire with excellent grip, no need for warmers, that is at home on the track or on your favorite twisty road. Essentially it fills the gap between the Q3+ and the street legal race tire, the GPA Pro. So the progression looks like this: Q3+. Best all purpose tire. Harder center band for commuting, with sides well suited for cornering. Q4. Best for trackdays and canyons/twisty roads. Warms fast, less sensitive to pressure settings. Single compound across entire tread. Any loss in overall mileage is gained in grip compared to Q3+. GPA Pro. Essentially a race slick with grooves. Warmers strongly recommended particularly when cool and pressures checked and set before riding. Street legal. Poor choice for commuting but good for twisty roads and very much at home on the track. Slicks. Pure track only tire. Warmers strongly recommended with pressures checked and set before riding.
  4. 3 points
    Hi JP, Your questions are good. There are a number of factors that come into play, and one answer won't work for all turns/situation. The one that will give the most problems is increasing throttle and lean angle together, that's usually a big no-no. Have you read any of Twist of the Wrist 2, or seen the video? That will give you some great guidelines. Best, Cobie
  5. 3 points
    Some riders, when learning about quick turn, think a rapid steering change is accomplished with a quick jab at the bars. Sometimes that quick jab does not have enough force to turn the bike quickly at speed, sometimes it is too roughly applied and upsets the bike, sometimes the rider does not (when trying to "punch" the bar") hold the pressure long enough to achieve the desired lean angle. Bear with me, I am just asking some questions to explore your understanding of various techniques, to see if anything comes to light that will solve your challenges through the turns you describe. You mentioned a "fear or inability to lean the bike far enough when going fast(er)". I'm going to fire some questions at you and let's see what comes up: Do you have a concern about traction? Are you concerned about ground clearance? Are you comfortable that you know how much you want/need to lean the bike to get to the apex in T1, for example? Do you know how to stop the bike from leaning over any farther once you get the desired lean angle? How much visual information do you have before you turn the bike? Do you have an apex chosen, and do you look at it early enough before you steer the bike to have certainty in your steering input? If you roll off the gas or go flat on it, are you finished steering the bike before you roll back on? I am not discounting the idea that there could be things that could be done, mechanically, to the bike to make steering it through those turns easier, however you asked about techniques that could improve things so that is why I am exploring to figure out what you are doing now, and if there are things that could be changed to help you get to the apex on these turns... without having to slow down too much.
  6. 3 points
    I have almost no experience with V twins, but there are some things that can help with that problem in general, that might apply to your bike. Have you tried turning up the idle? This is a common thing to do on a track/race bike so the rpms don't fall as much when off the gas and it can really help make the roll on smoother. It does have the effect of taking you into the corner a little quicker so be cautious when you first start riding it that way. On an inline 4 I believe typical advice is to turn it up 500 - 1,000 RPM, but you should Google recommendations for your bike. What gear are you using entering the turns, are you a gear lower than you need to be? Sometimes just entering a corner in a higher gear makes enough difference in smoothness to be worth it, especially on a bike with a lot of torque that can handle coming out at a lower RPM. I assume you have checked for play in the throttle and cable, to eliminate any jerk or effort from just taking out the slack. An aftermarket tune is, in my opinion, a great idea. The other suggestions above don't cost anything, and this does, but you can get a really nice improvement in throttle response from working with a tuner and a dyno. Tunes that I have done on my bikes have yielded performance in power but MUCH more benefit in the area of getting better throttle response. (Better meaning, working how I wanted it to work!)
  7. 3 points
    Yes, it could be that you are at your desired lean angle (steering action complete) but not yet pointed in the direction you want the bike to go. Sometimes there is a pause as you wait for the bike to come around onto the desired line. Turn 2 at Laguna is a GREAT example of a turn where it is VERY easy to get on the gas a little too early in the second part of the turn and miss the apex - which is punished immediately upon the exit because it is tight and forces the rider to make a correction to avoid going off track. It is also really easy to come on the throttle a little bit too early when chasing a faster rider, trying to catch up, or keep up.
  8. 3 points
    I went to Thunderhill West this past weekend with my dad. I was doing level 4 for Saturday and Sunday. Saturday felt great, I learned the track, I felt fast, and left feeling like I could get through the track comfortably. Sunday came and for some reason it was a different story. I went off track three times and would let my SR's take over in Turn 1. I could not figure it out. I felt like I was only adding 10-15 mph down the straight just to up my pace. Why was this such a big deal?! First of all, after consulting with Johnny, adding that much speed is too much. I needed to add it gradually, 1 mph at a time even. Gerry was my coach for Sunday. We found that my vision was hindering me. By adding that much speed, I had to PLAN for my turn point earlier. I just kept focusing on the turn point itself and by the time I hit it, I was already beyond it and therefore turning in late with a new sense of speed....I would panic and become stiff on the bars. Gerry coached me to look WAYYY ahead. Go at my normal pace, and look wayyyyy ahead at Turn 1. I did and suddenly the track felt slower. I felt like I was scooting along on a pedal bicycle down the straight and going into Turn 1. I got my lap times recorded for Sunday. My fastest lap time of a 1:40 was during my second session, when I was still affected by my vision. Surrounding that time was a bunch of 1:50's or even 2:00 +. Crazy variance..... After listening to Gerry and using my vision to slow things down for the last session, my lap times were consistently 1:43 1:44 and staying in that range. I know it is slower, but the consistency is important. This shows me that if I can stay consistent, I can begin to work on my speed. I was doing the same thing every single lap and talking to myself in my helmet, "2 step, no greys." This meant use the two step and look way ahead. No greys meant to not hit the gray curbing at all and to look 4-inches to the side of the curbing so I could place my front wheel there. I wanted to thank Gerry and Big Andy for their coaching on both days as well as Johnny for his consulting between sessions both days. We came up with a plan every time and after execution, the results were showing in timed laps as well as overall confidence on the track. Gerry also taught me how to use my peripheral vision to sense movement. This would help with passing others and my goodness it made such a difference to my whole experience!!! I was passing other riders safely and with enough space and speed. It really changed things. I cannot wait to implement this at my next track day/ race. I will take time today to write down my plan for my home tracks and how to approach different corners. I really like that once you leave a track with CSS and go to your home track, you can apply what you learned to your home track. You did not have to sit there and say, "okay I learned the track with them...why don't them come here so I can learn my track with them?" It is more like, "OH! This turn is JUST LIKE turn 2 at Thunderhill! I know how to do this!" Thank you all for the great weekend and learning. We will be back and my dad wants to do Level II! The photo below is of my dad and I. I caught up with him for the photo op to look like a doofus (I am on 21 and he's on 22).
  9. 3 points
  10. 3 points
    Most discussions of steering and "weight shift", "loading" and "helps it to steer" are riddled with illogic, and the people discussing will not reach a conclusion predicated on so many errors in thought. Rather, going to the basics of logic is the best way forward lest they get entangled permanently in confusions. Forums have become a popular platform to air ones flawed thought process, while other visitors try in vain to overhaul their whole logical approach to problem solving. Not saying I've got logic down myself, but some statements and articles have so many flaws, it's like: "where do we start?..." and just skip it. Remember when you have contrary facts, one or both are false. Some things to consider: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consistency https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Validity
  11. 3 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!
  12. 3 points
    Here's a short TV spot about CSS. Courtesy of Superbike Planet
  13. 3 points
    A couple of other things to be cautious about. 1. Puddles. Not only because of the hydroplaning potential. Hit one at speed and all the water in the puddle nearly instantaneously will soak you and add lots of weight to you. 2. Tar snakes and patches. Not all traction is created equal. Tar snakes will cause a lot more traction issues when they are wet. Some patched areas have more or less traction than the main part of the track. 3. Visibility. Visor fogging (easily fixed), Mist from other bikes, fog and rain on your visor can reduce visibility. Use a clear shield at all times to avoid this and preferably a clear windshield on your bike to maximize visibility. The straights are a gigantic wind powered windshield wiper for your helmet if you stick your head up in the air stream and move it from side to side. 4. Slippery when wet. Controls, pegs, tanks and other parts of the bike are not as easy to hold onto when your bike is wet. Be aware.
  14. 3 points
    Personally I love riding in the rain. Less traffic and at the end of the day it's like having your own private track when everyone packs up and leaves early. When other riders are angry and horrified about the R word I'm thinking "heck yea"! Some of the things that change in my riding in the rain. 1. Braking. Earlier, lighter, longer. Stretch out the braking zone and leave yourself a buffer just in case. 2. Lean angle. Less is more. You stay on the fatter part of the tire and maintain more traction. Hang WAY off the bike to reduce lean angle. The more you hang off even at slower speeds keeps you on the more stable part of the tire. 3. Line. It's critical to use ALL of the track available to flatten out the corners as much as possible. 4. Less aggressive quick steer. I have found that you absolutely still can quick steer in the rain if you stay reasonable with it. I worried the heck out of a CSS coach when he assigned me the quick steer drill in the rain. I performed the drill too. I even got a hug when I came back in one piece. 5. Throttle. You have to be a lot easier on the throttle especially when the bike is leaned over. On "analog" bikes once the bike is straight up and down you can use the throttle to "sample" traction. Give it gas and you can feel where the tire wants to spin just a bit. That is the fine line of where the traction ends. Don't cross the line especially when leaned over. (I would approach this with caution!). On bikes like the S1000RR in the right mode the bike will protect you for the most part on the gas. I find that I prefer sport mode or higher in the rain but rain mode is more protective and best to start out with. 6. Smooth counts. Abrupt and sloppy inputs that are ignored because of mega grippy tires are not tolerated at all by the bike in the wet. Stuff to watch out for! 1. Curbing. It's fine to run over curbing in the dry but in the wet that stuff becomes really slick. You have WAY less traction than you do in the dry on painted parts. 2. Panic. If you end up overdoing it don't panic!!!! With less traction the bike is much less willing to be forgiving for sloppy and abrupt inputs. If you enter a corner too fast just extend your braking past the optimal turn point and use the track you have available. Bring the bike down to a manageable speed and turn where you can. Yes you essentially "blow" the corner but by using the track you have you keep it on the pavement. 3. Tires. It's COMPLETELY true what was said about tire temps earlier. Your tires won't maintain temp. Not only are you dealing with the slick surface created by a wet track you are doing it essentially on cold tires. I set a cold pressure and leave it there. You can even experiment a bit with dropping the pressure but I'm not really sure it helps much and can potentially make the bike feel a bit mushy and imprecise if you overdo it. You still won't get a lot of heat in the tires. 4. Your physical condition. Riding in the rain seems easier but you do still get tired. Since you aren't sweating like crazy the fatigue sneaks up on you. I rode every single session of a wet track day only to figure out during the last session that I was a lot more fatigued than I realized. This fatigue can be both mental and physical. Stay sharp!
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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?
  18. 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.
  19. 3 points
    Cool story. Read this: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-bicycle-problem-that-nearly-broke-mathematics/#
  20. 3 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.
  21. 2 points
    The book that you have mentioned has the answer to your original question: "What makes the bike turn the same as it was leaned more without hanging off? It is explained in Chapter 3: Less lean angle requires more effective steering angle in order to keep the same radius of turn (please, see figure 3.18 of page 3-13): "Increasing lean angle tends to increase the effective steering angle." It is a simple geometrical problem, there is no need to complicate it with camber thrust, slip angles, etc., because the magnitudes of the forces of cornering and the dynamic lean angle remain the same, either or not you hang-off. The chassis reduces its lean angle when the rider hangs-off while cornering, which changes the relative geometry among the three planes: the ones containing the rear tire, the steered front tire and the curve (track surface).  You may want to do the following experiment: Fill up a wide recipient with water (the surface of the water will work like the plane of the curve). Make a central 10-degree bend in a small rectangular piece of cardboard (one side will work like the plane containing the rear tire and the other side like the plane of the front tire). Keeping the bent edge and both sides vertical, deep the piece of cardboard into the water. Looking from above, turn the cardboard just like a bike would lean over to turn and note how the angle formed between both lines that intersect the surface of the water and each side of the cardboard gets bigger as the lean angle increases. That angle is the effective (or kinetic) steering angle, which would force the bike to turn tighter (reduced radius of turn) if the rider would not compensate for this phenomena by steering a little less. If that experiment still does not convince you, we could use the following well stablished formula: Radius of turn = [Wheelbase x Cosine of chassis lean angle] / [Steer angle x Cosine of caster angle] As wheelbase gets a little bit smaller and caster angle remains constant, when the rider hangs off while cornering, the cosine of the chassis lean angle increases (example: cos 45=0.707 and cos 40=0.766). That change would increase the radius of turn some, making the bike run wide respect to the desired trajectory. In order to avoid that from happening, the rider must compensate by increasing the steer angle a little. Another geometrical way to analize that: Imagine a perfectly vertical line running underground by the center of the circular trajectory of the motorcycle. Disregarding slip and camber thrust, the extended axis of both wheels must intersect with that vertical line. As those wheels are leaned more, the point of intersection moves deeper into the ground, which reduces the angle formed between the extended axis of both wheels. Hence, the steering angle must be reduced some in order for the bike to keep tracing the same circular trajectory.  A leaned motorcycle will always have an effective steering angle that is smaller than the one for a 4-wheel vehicle describing the same curve.  The exercise of Motorcycle Gymkhana is a different solution to a problem that is different: make the tightest quick turn around a cone. The maximum speed at maximum lean angle will make you slower in this particular case, try that experiment as well. Since speed must be much smaller than during normal Superbike track cornering, the smallest radius of turn of the rear tire is the key to turn the bike 180 degrees as quickly as possible. For the same reason explained above, the Gymkhana rider wants the chassis to be as leaned as possible during the slowest section of the tight turn. At full stop lock of the steering, the radius of turn (and the circular trajectory of both tires) will be smaller as the chassis lean angle increases: there is a greater effective steering angle. Lock the steering of a bicycle at a pronounced angle and push it while at different sustained lean angles for each completed circle and you will see that the smallest circle corresponds with the biggest lean angle. For the above formula and description of angles, please see "Steering angle" here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_and_motorcycle_dynamics
  22. 2 points
    Rider Improvement What There Is to Learn I’d like to point out some things about riders and rider training. Below is a list of six categories of riders and how they regard the idea of training and rider improvement. The next section covers the results; the kinds of things we look for and you should expect from rider training. The Six Categories of Riders 1. Ones that have tried to improve, failed at it and lost interest. They're basically locked-up on the whole subject of rider improvement–they don't want to know about it. 2. Riders that say there is nothing to learn. This category of rider often says that seat time will handle it. They'll change the subject or politely dismiss what you have to say about training. 3. Those that actively speak against training. ‘Hey, you just get on the bike and do it. I don't crash, what is there to learn...don't waste your money on a school buy a nice pipe instead. Schools suck.’ These guys are foolishly antagonistic. 4. Those that have a vague desire to improve but lack information about how to. They have a want but it goes unfulfilled. For one reason or another, this rider just doesn't take the next step. They HOPE it will get better. 5. Those that become interested in learning more. They will talk about improvement. They will listen to advice but still remain passive. This might be the most dangerous of all the categories because this rider will listen to just about anything. They might hear, ‘you don't know how fast you can go until you crash’, and actually try it! 6. Riders who do something to improve. Here you find the rider who reads articles, goes to track days in search of answers or comes to a school. They make a commitment to improve and take definite steps to do it. Most riders are in one of the above categories on the subject of rider improvement. What There is to Learn It's no secret that I am in the business of training riders. I do it because I know it works and over the past 39 years of doing it I've noticed a few things about riders who take the plunge to improve. The following is what we have observed in our students. Once a rider is trained, they begin to handle cornering problems and situations on their own. They understand and make sensible corrections that actually correct. Riders who are trained can read the feedback the bike is giving them easier than those who are not trained. They can identify and communicate to someone what the bike is doing. Trained riders can spot what is wrong in their riding and tend to not make the same mistakes over and over. Also, training brings about control over the "knee jerk" reactions that cause riders to make dangerous errors. Riders who are trained have a solid foundation of skills and the knowledge and certainty that their riding won't get worse. They can still make mistakes but it doesn't defeat them. Additionally, trained riders can actually offer constructive help to others who want to improve. If a rider is turning in too early or too late, has poor throttle control or is rushing the corners and making it worse, the trained rider can spot it. Riders who look uncomfortable are uncomfortable. Trained riders look as though they are more a part of the bike. And as a bonus, racing fans gain an appreciation and an even greater respect for what professional riders can do because they can see what the pro is doing and why. My riding instructors are trained to observe these points and the really amazing thing is we see changes like these in every student. What we Know Confidence comes from knowing that the bike will do what you want it to do when you want it to do it. Once a rider improves, and knows why and what they have improved, it opens the door to virtually unlimited improvement. Knee-jerk reactions only happen to riders when they don't have the right skill or technique for the situation at hand. Training strips away confusions and complexities. When riding feels simple, control is simple. When control is simple any rider has confidence. Effort or Training Truly enthusiastic riders do have the urge to improve. Unfortunately, a great many of them waste their riding time and their money hoping that seat time will handle it. That doesn't mean they aren't going to improve, it means that it will take longer, cost more and the results will be sketchy. Most likely there will be a lot of misguided effort involved. Which is likely to be most effective, rider training or simply trying harder? Will experience alone sweep away those uncertainties? Will more emotional effort get you the level of control you want? Training and expert coaching are what we offer and it works. Keith Code PS: Our 2019 schedule is at <www.superbikeschool.com>, log on, sign up and I'll see you at the track. © CSS, Inc., 2018, all rights reserved
  23. 2 points
  24. 2 points
    I did a 2 up ride with a pro racer when I was still a brand-new track rider. It scared the hell out of me! I got on, he told me to put one hand on his chest and the other on the tank (no handholds on the tank back then) and took off. He was moving all over the place, hanging off for the corners, and accelerating and braking hard - I was sure I would fall off. After about 3/4 of a lap I started to think I'd be OK - then as we started the 2nd lap he yelled over his shoulder, "Ok, I'm going to go faster this lap!" and I yelled "No!" but he obviously didn't hear me because he DID go faster. What did I learn from it? Well, I got a new perspective on how fast one COULD (potentially) enter a corner, and how close a pro rider really does get to the inside edge of the track, and how HARD you can brake. I was, at the time, such a new rider that it all seemed somewhat unreal; I probably would have gotten more out of it if I had done it later when I had more experience. But, I'll be honest, I have no desire to do it again. I haven't done much riding (or fast paced driving in a car) as a passenger - I would much rather be driving! Going at race pace with someone else in control is definitely a scary experience, I am always amazed and impressed by those people that ride in rally cars as the navigator.
  25. 2 points
    Spaghetti has given good info above, and I will add that a good way to get experience with using more lean is to get a small bike (50cc, or 150cc, for example) that you can take to a go-kart track. Easier to get your knee down, safer environment, and you can lean way over at much lower speeds to get "used to what it feels like" and develop a sense of traction and feeling the feedback from the tires.
  26. 2 points
    Introducing more trail braking will absolutely increase your front tire wear, and on a lightweight, relatively low horsepower bike like yours it is certainly possible to have the front tire wear out first (compared to the rear) just from this change in riding style/habits. It makes sense, of course; by trail braking you are considerably increasing the load on the front tire in the corners, and instead of the braking forces being applied primarily with the bike upright, you are now putting braking forces on the tire while leaned over. So now the front tire has to handle steering/cornering load AND braking load on the sides of the tires, and that is where the wear is showing in your photo above. Additionally, that change in style could affect when and how hard you are applying the throttle in the corner, and how much you are, or are not, leaned over when driving out of the corners, which would change the wear on the rear tire - potentially decreasing it if the trail braking is causing you to delay your roll-on. There is not a lot of wear on the sides of the rear tire in your photo which would imply that the gas is not being rolled on very much while leaned over. I have a 250cc bike and at one point I tried doing a lot of trail braking on the track; I was racing other riders that were doing it a lot (in nearly every corner), so I decided to try that and see how it worked for me. I was very surprised at the change in my tire wear; as you just experienced, my front tire wore out first, and much more quickly than expected, where in the past the rear would wear out first. After that little experiment I changed back to using trail braking in the corners where it was appropriate but NOT in the ones where it wasn't needed, and I went faster and was a lot less worried about crashing. Most of the other riders I was seeing on track were WAY overusing trail braking, braking too long and too much for most corners.
  27. 2 points
    MaxMcAllister in his suspension clinic (can be found on YouTube) provides the info that all geometry changes have a side effect for every intended effect. He said it’s about 3:1 ratio of effect to side effect and many people chase setup issues because of missing information of knowing which end of the motorcycle to change. The cliff notes: he provides that front end changes effect corner entry to mid turn and rear end height changes effect mid turn to corner exit; being mindful of the side effect issue. My concern with prescribing a geometry change at this point is introducing another variable into the equation when rider input, vision, timing and throttle control haven’t been sorted, nor do we know if static sag and chassis balance have been baselined. My $.03 is aligned with the OP and Hotfoot’s process to establish what the rider is doing and how the bike is responding.
  28. 2 points
    Most likely the coach at the track day was trying to help riders avoid the common error of braking (which compresses the forks) then releasing the brakes (which allows them to extend again) then turning the bike (which compresses them again). This bouncing up and down is, as you can imagine, counterproductive to accurate and predictable steering. In a simple corner the ideal scene is to be coming off the brakes as you are turning the bike, so the forces transfer from the deceleration forces to the cornering forces and keep the forks compressed instead of popping up and back down again. As far as telling you how exactly how much effect that is going to have, it is not realistic to think anyone can do that for you, there are far too many variables (suspension setup, rider and bike weight, braking style, steering input rate, surface traction, shape of turn, and so forth). You will have to experiment with it yourself, on your own bike and observe it. Almost certainly YES you can improve it with riding technique (have you been to school and had the Hook Turn material yet? Or the slow brake release classroom session?), unless your front suspension is extremely stiff in compression or has rebound damping set excessively low. Definitely you can sharpen up the steering on a bike by lowering the front a bit, but if taken too far this can compromise stability and you can get headshake, or twitchiness in the steering. Not sure the GSXR750 would need much changing on geometry, though, my impression of those were that they had nice handling. In the specific turns you describe (T1 and T3), are you trying to turn the bike while still on the gas? For sure that will make it harder to steer. Are you ABLE to steer it now and just noticing the amount of effort required, or are you running wider than you want in those turns?
  29. 2 points
    Ha, I think most of the local organizations would kick you out if you tried some of the passes I have seen on TV.
  30. 2 points
    A skill I learned as a young rider, is best explained by an anthropology text discussing the relationship between research and imagination. It spoke of “soft vision, hard focus”. Ones hard focus is on the road well ahead, this is maintained while also allowing oneself soft vision out in the periphery of ones vision. on your bike this means that one remains actively aware of what’s going on outside the focus of ones attention. Thus although my focus is often ( on rural roads) two corners ahead watching for oncoming vehicles, landslides and road debris. In my soft vision is placing me on the road, alert to surface and random animals walking out in my immediate viscinity. In terms of cornering it is my soft vision that marks my arrival at the turn in point already. I can tell by three or four inches whether I hit my mark. When navigating blind corners. The hard focus varies between 2000-300 metres ahead to the next corners, right down to 30 metres on those nasty closing radius blind corners. On those corners the eye follows the vanishing point alert to the need to radically change my chosen line. But.soft focus deals with all the little details of road placement. It is all very active and meditative, especially when I’m fully in the groove. Dodging unexpected sheep, and oncoming trucks that cut corners is handled almost entirely by the soft vision aspect. The hard focus in those instances looks to those avenues of escape that I spotted previously: hunting and tracking the gap. Hard focus turns my head. Soft vision looks everywhere else. another comparison is player of ping pong, or boxers neither focuses on the ball, or the fist, they look hard at the opposing player, and rely on soft vision to hit the ball or block the fist. hope this helps those who get lost vision wise.
  31. 2 points
    My coach at Laguna Seca noticed I was getting on the throttle too early in the second part of turn 2. I told him the same thing, I begin a smooth, even, continuous roll on after steering is complete. He advised me that because a throttle roll-on tends to make a bike hold its line, I should begin roll-on when steering is complete and the bike is pointed where I want it to go. The little bit of extra time off the throttle did help me get a better line and drive out of the corner.
  32. 2 points
    Bottom line up front: the bike is extraordinary, awesome, phenomenal. Why: It is build bottom up as a track-specific bike. Different from a World Superbike that started out as a street bike, this was built as a track bike from the bottom up. Somehow it was incredibly user-friendly. Any intermediate level and up rider will love it. Handling: Zero changes on the suspension, the bike would not only hold a line, it went anywhere you wanted it to go. Very easy to set it on a line. Rough pavement (at Willow Springs) was no problem. At our race school I was able to make passes over a bumpy outside section where other riders would avoid. Power: Super linear. Never really hit hard suddenly. The mapping it came with is very manageable and a perfect balance of outright power and user-friendly delivery. 3rd and 4th gear power wheelies are easy and very progressive--not sudden. It definitely is far more powerful than a stock S1000RR. Gearbox: This was something that surprised me. Super-smooth and positive shifts. The stock gearbox is just fine but this one was even better with a very positive feel and great travel. Electronics: The traction control is audible; you can hear it coming in with a fluttering sound which is very helpful to get the immediate feedback on what the bike is doing on that. The dash is a race dash with a very simple interface and easy to control and change settings. Launch control: just like the GP bikes! So cool. Used it today at our Race School. Took off like a scalded cat. Finish: Every thing is so tidy under the seat where the battery and datalogger are. Nothing missing, nothing extra. Most bolts are drilled titanium. Wiring harness is custom with nothing xtra, but there are jacks for additional sensors like brake pressure and suspension travel. Brakes: Zero fade. Excellent feel. Some travel but not too much, very linear. Weight: Holy sheet. It's 6lbs lighter than a 300 Ninja when it's fully wet. Wow so easy to transition. I have video of two women lifting the bike completely off the ground. HP4R Price: $78,000. Engine replacement at 3,100 miles. Yoshimura superbike: $300,000. Engine rebuild at 700 miles. Graves Superbike: +/- $150,000 estimated. Engine rebuild at 1,200 +/-. BMW World Superbike: $120,000. Engine rebuild/replacement at 1,000 +/- Privateer MotoAmerica Yamaha Superbike: $60,000. Engine rebuild/replacement at 1,000 +/- and lots of bugs to fix and iron out, lower spec brakes and components. Any true superbike price is very hard to nail down because the development is the real cost. The parts are reflected above, but double, triple, quadruple is spent in development and testing at the track. Just one weekend testing is serious dollars. What you get with the HP4R is significantly more that you could ever get if you started with a stock S1000RR and tried to build a superbike from there. It's really a totally dialed in and balanced package. I had the owner of a local performance shop ride the bike from Motorsports Exotica, who said after getting off the bike: "I've ridden bikes with twice the money into them that don't even come close to this bike."
  33. 2 points
    Good morning. A few co-workers and I are signed up for the May 26th CSS at Barber and this will be our first time going to this school. We will be using school gear and bikes as well. My question is to all of the veterans of the school out there. Is there anything that you wish you knew or knew to bring before you got there? If we have go pro's will there be mounts on the school bikes or helmets or are we allowed to even mount them? Coolers with drinks or will there be stuff there? How much spendy cash to bring (will there be shirts, ect. for sale)? You get the idea, anything useful that you can give to guys who will be attending for the first time. Thanks for your time. Jeff
  34. 2 points
    Realize that it is a SCHOOL, not a sales-pitch! The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable and when they are discussing technique, form, or common mistakes, it is not to sell you on their ideas or ways of riding. They are teaching you a new technique. You try it out, and if you do not like it, let the instructors know when you have your post ride meeting with them. Let them know what was uncomfortable. Chances are, they will spot it before you do and tell you exactly what to change or address. For me personally, my first school I went to, I loved it. I was so excited and ready and scared. I went in with an open mind and took it all in. There may be some people in your class that "argue" with the ideas or challenge the instructors based on their personal experiences. It can be frustrating because the instructors are there to teach, not to sell. They are offering a new perspective, new techniques, they are not trying to change you. They are not telling you this is the ONLY way to ride a bike. However, they have done their research, they show you the research, and they have proven techniques. It is up to you whether you leave the school and take the lessons with you! Go in with an absolutely open mind. If you go in with this approach, I guarantee you will enjoy it so much more and your riding will drastically improve!!!! Also, if and when a coach pulls you over on the track, do not take it personally. They are not mad at you, they are there to keep you and other riders safe. If they notice something dangerous, they will bring it up. Lastly, do not worry if you are slower than others in your class. You learn best when you ride at 75% of your ability. And sometimes with even less speed you can focus on your riding and the technique at hand. In summation... 1) Go in with an open mind. 2) Don't take it personally if you are "having a talkin' to" by one of the coaches. 3) Ride at a pace you are comfortable with, do not worry about the ability of others. Focus on you!
  35. 2 points
    Last year for my birthday, I redid L1 and the following day L2. I then turned around 2 weeks later and did L3, followed by L4. This year, again for my birthday on the same track I did L4 again. I rode the BMW S1000RR and had a blast! I didn't take lap times, but I could easily perceive my pace was quicker, smoother and safer since the last time I was at the circuit. I took a couple wins with me in that I realized at the consulting table with my peers that I went through the day and not once had a pucker moment. I had control over myself and the bike, even during the time when I blew my TP for T7. My other win was that I completed the day without the nagging of back pain that has come up over the years. I was able to use many of the L3 skills that I picked up and I also realized some areas where I can expand my new capabilities into and remove some old limitations. I can also say that I've had the pleasure of winding the S1000RR to WOT on the front and back straights. Maybe in the soon future, I'll be able to hold it there!
  36. 2 points
    Nice post, Lnewqban. Jaybird, what is it that you are trying to fix or figure out? We know from riding our no BS bike at the school that you can get a bike to drift to one side by hanging weight off to one side - as Lnewqban addresses quite well above. But we also know that it is slow and imprecise, and anyone who has ridden the no BS bike recognizes immediately that they are not in control of the motorcycle when their hands are on the fixed bars. Given a slow enough speed and enough time and space to accomplish it, you can get the bike to turn, but it is hardly effective enough to get one around a racetrack or avoid an obstacle. You can see a clear demonstration of this in the Twist II DVD, you can see the effects of weight shift, how the the bike reacts and how the bars react. I'm not quite clear whether you are trying to address hanging weight off to the inside, or talking about weighting one peg without moving the Center of Mass, the effects are different. More importantly, what challenge are you facing in your riding that has you asking about this? (Or is it all just an academic dicussion ? )
  37. 2 points
    The bowl is FUUUUNNNN, seems like the best place to get more speed, at least compared to the others you mentioned. It is scary as hell trying to go faster where you crest that hill, where it is blind and off- camber! Which direction were you riding the track, CCW?
  38. 2 points
    Hi All Thanks for letting me join in. Had a look at some of the chats and lots of quality info in here. Made the trip over to California a couple of years ago to do levels 1 & 2 at Willow Springs - and it was epic! Excited about coming back over this October for some more of your amazing weather and to find out how truly awful I've become at turning left and right on a bike ;-) (just kidding coaches!) Looking forward to picking up good tips here and hopefully I can contribute along the way too...
  39. 2 points
    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.
  40. 2 points
    We got some winter here and I took my Virago-come-scrambler out for a spin. Hard work! I have been riding a lot on winter roads on bicycles when growing up, as well as 3 winters on motorcycles before, but this - at about 530 lb - is by far the heaviest two-wheeled vehicle I have taken onto snow and ice. The tyres didn't impress, either, and combined with my limited skills when it comes to playing made things less than elegant. But at least I got to spin up some figure eights for the first time in my life, although they also proved the expected lack of talent. Still, I had fun, but during my commutes I stay away from playing since the front tucks every time the rear starts to spin up - I'd rather stay upright than topple over trying to look cool
  41. 2 points
    In 1976 I figured I had the world by the tail once I discovered how to use Reference Points while riding and racing. That realization set me on the twisty road of rider-improvement discovery and began my maiden voyage of exploration into rider training. I began coaching students one-on-one, developing a curriculum that relied heavily on Reference Points and how to use them at tracks. I applied the data from that coaching and the Superbike School which was born in 1980 just after retiring from racing. Prior to those coaching experiences, Reference Points (RPs) usually only meant having braking markers. Lines were a topic of discussion but no procedure existed on how to figure out a line, how to dissect one or how to stitch a track together with RPs. From experience gained at the schools and later, coaching several factory riders, I wrote more on how to find and use RPs. That info came out in the first A Twist of the Wrist book in 1984. Today we know much more about RPs and what kind of visual skills a rider needs to develop. RPs assist us in defining the Space we’re in and the Speed we’re traveling through it. Accuracy with those elements relies heavily on having a minimum of three Reference Points (RPs). An accurate orientation in space begins with two external Reference Points. We find two points or objects or areas first and this then gives us a reckoning of our own location where we become the third point of orientation. Together, that creates an accurate tracking of the direction of our progress in relation to the other two. With those three, our eyes begin to create 3D space, which in turn improves our perception of relative speed and direction of travel. Also, and importantly, our sense of time and timing switches on quite automatically. In short, RPs help us create perspective. Finding and using Reference Points is quite natural and native to our survival: rarely do we walk into a closed door or bump against the furniture nor do we count how many steps it will take to walk across a room. RPs are automatically taken into account and coordinated. Some riders have a hard time finding and using RPs. While their very survival has relied on that ability they still insist that it’s difficult. This peeked my interest to find out why they struggle with something they already do. In riding there are many barriers but only two freedoms: The freedom to change the speed and to change the direction of the bike. Without RPs it’s impossible to do them well. Having the bike pointed where you want it to go is another ingrained-use we make of RPs. Whether conscious of it or not, we always have an intended destination, a location we are seeking to reach. Arriving at a location simply refers to staying in your lane, missing a pothole, not running wide, picking your turn entry, finding a line, recognizing you are on a line at all or simply avoiding hitting a car. Accurately gauging when and how much to gas, brake and turn so we can arrive somewhere depends on having three RPs. So why the difficulty? Accuracy and purpose both have something to do with it. Starting off with the idea to keep the bike on the road is a good goal; when it comes to cornering motorcycles it isn’t enough. Lining up for a corner right on the edge, in order to open the turn’s radius as wide as possible is correct thinking for most turns. Starting that turn 3 feet inside the edge defeats that purpose; especially on the road where 3 feet is 25% of the whole lane. Not accustomed to being that accurate, riders default to “safe in the middle of the road”. There are other visual and control weaknesses that can contribute to this common error. Not being adept at steering the bike can make any rider edge-shy. If they subscribe to so called ‘Body Steering’ they’ve experienced the bike lazily changing directions often enough to avoid being too close to the edge of their lane. RPs themselves have a viable range of application. Too close or too far away on the road’s surface are their chief parameters. Too far to one side or the other of your intended line can also create problems. The how, when and where of using RPs is nicely wrapped up in the two dozen drills I’ve developed which can be coached by someone trained to recognize the rider errors resulting from not having sufficient RPs. That’s good news. The bad news is we now run smack into every rider’s mortal enemy, that of Target Fixation. Target fixated is bad; it signals the onset of varying degrees of panic. The kicker is that the main reason we panic is because we’ve lost our other RPs. When target fixed we only have that one RP and we need two. Drilling and coaching on correct visual techniques with simple and doable exercises heads off the classic visual faults humans seem stuck with. It seems impossible to eliminate target fixation, tunnel vision and over-active scanning. However, through understanding and drilling of what, where, how far ahead, how wide and even how long we should look at our RPs we can make deep inroads into the problems and find solutions to them. At the schools we haven’t sat still on these problems. At this point in time, we’ve developed 64 visual exercises our coaching staff use regularly to help their students understand and to improve what you could easily say is the most important part of any rider’s skill portfolio. © 2017 Keith Code. All rights reserved.
  42. 2 points
    Inspired by the mystery of what to do and not do that is involved in wet riding, I thought I'd start a collaborative list of differences and limitations in riding in the two environments. To start what we know: You cannot Quick Turn the same You cannot brake as hard You cannot accelerate as hard mid-corner Anything else?
  43. 2 points
    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
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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/
  49. 2 points
    Do you have a copy of Twist of the Wrist II? Chapter 19, Pivot Steering, goes into specific detail about weight distribution on the seat and pegs, explains what to do, how to do it, and why, with specific explanations and examples of the effects on the bike. It's far more complete and informative than what could be typed here. Take a look at that if you can and let us know what you think, or if you have any additional questions! BTW, if you are like me and want answers as fast as possible, Twist of the Wrist II is available as an e-book now, here is a link to it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Twist-Wrist-II-High-Performance-Motorcycle-ebook/dp/B00F8IN5K6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461194283&sr=8-1&keywords=twist+of+the+wrist+II+kindle
  50. 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.
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