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  1. 3 points
    The short answer: you have to work up to it and feel it out. The longer answer: Testing the grippiness of your tire must be done gradually, the idea is to increase lean angle gradually so that if the tire begins to slide there is some warning and opportunity to save it. The most pro coaches I have talked to on this advise gradually adding a little more lean at a time (corner after corner, or possibly even in the same corner if it is a long one) to feel out the traction, as opposed to just whacking it over to maximum lean and hoping for the best - because if you go too far too fast you will not have enough time to "sample" the traction and see how it feels, and know when you are approaching the limit. Some tires will have a specific feel to them when they are cold: the Dunlop slicks, for example, have a tendency to make the bike want to stand up in the corner and that is a good indicator that they are very cold. The carcass is stiff and reluctant to flex so when you lean into the corner it resists and sort of pushes the bike back up. Some other tires just feel a bit "wandery" in the corner, like they are sort of weaving around slightly, instead of feeling planted. If you have ridden in rain or ridden dirt bikes in the mud, you can recognize the feel of little slides, and little slides like that are your warning that you are at about the limit of traction for the conditions and the tire needs to warm up more before you can lean over any farther. It is a great exercise, when opportunity presents (winter is coming!) to pay VERY close attention to how your tires feel when stone cold, to develop a sense for it with your own bike and your own tire brand/model. It is difficult to quantify how long tires will take to warm up because it depends on tire type, air temp, track temp, wind conditions, how hard you ride, etc., so the best solution I know of is to feel it out carefully.
  2. 3 points
    I have translated it - let me know if it is OK to read, or I can share a link to my document for those interested. Who leans that far? Where are the limits? And what are the differences between street bikes? We compare bikes around a skid pad: Supermoto, Naked Bike, Cruiser und Superbike. We have also discused with experts and tried qualifying tyres from WSBK to see how they differ from street legal sport tyres. Why do we lean? Without lean to counter the centrifugal forces, the bikes would simply fall over. Leaning against the forces the correct amount keeps the machine and rider in balance. For a given radius, the faster one rides, the more one must lean. Or for a given speed, the smaller the radius, the more one must lean. How far can we lean? Sport bikes are generally limited by grip, or friction. With good tyres on a good road we typically have a friction quotient of one µ. This means we can theoretically lean 45 degrees. If you lean further, or you try to slow down or accelerate, you will slide. However, we know it is possible to achieve greater angles of lean. How? Because very grippy tyres and a grainy road surface can interact like gears. That’s why in MotoP and WSBK we can now see bike lean angles as high as 62 degrees. With the rider hanging off we can even see combined lean angles beyond that. What is that- different lean values? Corner master Jorge Lorenzo show us the difference between bike lean and the third lean. Lean angle isn’t always lean angle Basically, we talk about three lean angles. The first one is the effective lean angle. This is a theoretical value and is calculated from the speed and the radius of the corner. This counts for every bike and every rider. But this theoretical value for effective lean angle is based upon infinitely narrow tyres. Now to reality. Imagine watching a vertical bike from behind. Pull a vertical line through the bike’s centre line, the tyre and to the ground. This is where the contact point is as well as the CoG. Now place the bike on its kickstand. Now we see that the contact point between tyre and road has moved to the side somewhat because the tyres are not infinitely narrow. The more we lean the bike, the further away we move the contact point away from the bike’s centre line. If we draw a line through the CoG and both the centre line as well as down to the contact patch, we create a triangle. The angle between them is the second lean. This is the added lean required to corner at the same speed as you would have been with infinitely narrow tyres. This also show that wider tyres require more lean narrower tyres. Lorenzo shows us the difference between the bike’s lean and the third lean. With his extreme hanging off the rider is leaned over far more than the bike. The combination of the two - bike and rider - gives the third angle of lean, the combined lean. Bei 62 degree bike lean we can get to an extreme combined value of 66 degrees. What can production bikes muster? We take 4 different bikes and try them on the skid pad sitting in line with the bike, pushing the bike down and hanging off. We then measure bike lean, calculate combined lean and measure cornering speed. What gives the greatest speed? Lean angle with the Husqvarna 701 The skid pad has a diameter of 55 metres. Upright lean is 47 degrees, speed 57 kph. In typical sumo-style, pushing the bike down while leaning out, we managed 57 degrees bike lean and a speed of 62 kph. The combined lean is 51 degrees. This is the biggest difference in the test (6 degrees), a result of a light bike, high CoG, high and wide bars, narrow seat, low set pegs. Final attempt is hanging off, and we get the exact same values of 62 kph and 51 degrees combined lean. The bike is only leaning 46 degrees. So the speed is the same, but pushing the bike down sumo-style bring some advantages; more bike control and easier to catch slides being the predominant. Ducati Diavel, Cruiser & Co. Unlike for sport bikes, cruisers are limited by dragging parts when it comes to possible lean angles. With 41 degrees, the pegs are in contact with the asphalt. This will be the same regardless of what style is used. This gives us a fantastic opportunity to compare cornering speeds between the various riding styles. Sitting up gives 50 kph, pushing down 47 kph and hanging off 53 kph. MotoGP bikes can actually accelerate harder when leaned over than in a straight line. While maximum acceleration on level ground is limited to about 1g, a MotoGP bike can accelerate at 1.2g when leaned over 45 degrees! For street bikes on public roads, 45 degrees means zeron grip left for acceleration. A modern street legal sport bike outfitted with racing tyre and circulating on a grippy race track can give up to 1g of acceleration when leaned over at 40 degrees. Cornering with the Honda Fireblade First we ride on the stock Bridgestone S20 “G” tyres. Hanging off gives 61 kph and 48 degrees of lean for the bike, combined 51 degrees. What difference does qualifying tyres make? WSBK Q-tyre, straight from the heaters, has tremendous grip and feedback. We do not give up until the Fireblade gets “floaty”, a sign we are nearing the limit. With the bike leaned over 53 degrees we reached 65 kph. Combined lean is 55 degrees with the rider hanging off. Why not faster? The asphalt was cold (less than 10C / 50F) and the asphalt not overly grippy. Add a slight negative camber and the limits were like that. But this was the same for all tyres. The problem for the Q-rubber was that they lost their heat rapidly, losing grip in the process. A Pirelli-technician explained that the racers don’t lean further on Qs, but they have more grip available for braking and acceleration. Enough to give about a second lower lap times. Two laps, though, and they are mostly gone. Cornering with the BMW S 1000 R Standard Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa allowed 59 km/h when hanging off, with 47 degree bike lean and 50 Grad combined lean was good, but better results were limited by grinding foot peg feelers and gear shift lever. Foto: www.factstudio.de Husqvarna Supermoto 701 Sitting straight made the rider feel uneasy, which limited lean and cornering speed. Foto: www.factstudio.de The Sumo-Stil made the rider feel at most comfortable. Sliding tyres and grinding parts set the limit. Foto: www.factstudio.de If the rider had been able to hang as well off as he was at pushing the bike down, he could have cornered faster. Foto: Archiv Tyre width and CoG Wider tyres demand more lean for any given corner speed. The same goes for lower CoG. The difference between the tall Husky 701 with relatively narrow tyres and the low Diavel with its ultra-wide tyres was 3 degrees when doing 50 kph around the skid pad; 38 for the 701 and 41 for the Diavel. Foto: 2snap Lateral acceleration and lean While 45 degrees of lean gives 1g, 60 degrees give 1.7g, which isn’t the same as going 1.7 times faster by any means. Foto: www.factstudio.de Ducati Diavel A good way to see what the different riding styles can bring. Foto: www.factstudio.de Looks weird, feels weird. Foto: www.factstudio.de Feels much better than pushing the bike down!Foto: Archiv Der Kammsche Kreis This shows how much grip is left to brake or accelerate or steer at various lean angles. If you are leaned over to use half the lateral acceleration, you have 85% grip left to other forces (green arrow). The red arrow indicate that you have only 10% grip left to do anything else than circulate. Grip through the gear effect. Mikrorauigkeit (red) [micro coarseness], with spikes between 0,001 and 0,1 Millimeter is especially useful in the wet, while Makrorauigkeit (green) [macro coarseness] between 0,1 und 10 Millimeter make the difference on dry roads. Foto: Archiv Contact patch with a 180/55 sport tyre with a racing profile at 48 degrees of lean. 38 square centimetres contact area. Typical contact patch is that of a credit card. Public roads are more slippery than tracks, particularly in the wet because the surface lack Microraugkeit. Cold rubber, especially with sport tyres, can cause the tyre to slide on top of the asphalt instead of forming around it. Hence sport rubber is worse than touring rubber below a certain tyre temperature. Karussell around Nürburgring is bumpy and can be taken with 58 degrees of lean. However, thanks to the sloping surface, the angle between the road and machine is just 33 degrees. Lean and speed The Fireblade on WSBK Q-tyres managed 55 degrees of lean and 65 kph. If we theoretically put Marquez on the same skidpad with a combined lean of 66 degrees, he would have circulated at 78 kph.
  3. 3 points
    The logic in getting more weight on the front, as I understand it, is that more pressure/weight on the front tire will increase friction (friction increases with weight) and also flatten the tire out more, making the contact patch larger, which doesn't increase friction directly (friction is not dependent on area, just weight) but CAN help the tire because too much pressure in too small an area can (I think) overheat the rubber and reduce the coefficient of friction, which WOULD reduce the overall grip. (Note - this is me giving you my own understanding, this is not superbike-school endorsed info.) Getting more weight on the front also can tighten up your steering by compressing the forks - but you can also get a similar effect with hook steering or changing your geometry or suspension settings. So that all works well for turn ENTRY, however once have turned the bike and have reached your desired lean angle and are pointed in the direction you want to go, if you don't get on the gas you will just keep slowing down. The best scenario for traction once you DO roll on the gas is: 40/60 weight distribution. Thus, the throttle control rule, "Once the throttle is cracked on..." So, the way I look at it, is while you are still slowing down and getting the bike turned, the weight on the front is a good thing (to a point - obviously using too much trail braking while turning can exceed your front tire traction), and once you are back on the gas, 40/60 is the way to go for best stability (we are no longer making lean angle changes at that point) and traction. Does that make sense? Do you remember from level 1 exactly WHEN you are supposed to START rolling on the gas?
  4. 3 points
    This is the way I understand throttle control rule number two in Chapter 6: Fine modulation of the throttle helps you read the forces that you feel more accurately. The advantage of that is that your entry speed will be more consistent and appropriate than if you grossly decelerate in a hurry (charging the curve), just to find out that your entry speed (at the end of that precipitate deceleration) is lower than it should be (because your senses were overwhelmed, you are erring on the safe side of entry speed). The error about the entry speed is more significant for any fast-entry turn, especially due to the aerodynamic drag explained by Hotfoot above.
  5. 2 points
    I think I read that in TotW and/or from Level 1 training. Aim for a weight distribution of 60/40 Rear/Front bc our rear tire has more rubber on the road. Something got me thinking about that today and I'm now having trouble making sense of it. I think I've heard about people using setup to get *more* not less weight on the front to improve turning. I thought the logic there was that more weight on the front tire generates more heat and also gets a bigger contact patch. Why would we use throttle to reduce both of those things on the smaller front tire? It seems to me like doing so would simultaneously increase the risk of a high side as well as a low side. There's probably a lot of nuance and subtlety there but I'd rather ask for clarification than assume I figured it out on my own and then risk doing something inadvisable on an indirect route to the hospital.
  6. 2 points
    The slip % should be between 5% and 15%, which it is, and the traction control will keep it in that range. It looks like you are getting a lot of slip % at steep lean, which would suggest that your entry speeds are a little low for your liking and are being compensated for with somewhat aggressive throttle while leaned over far mid turn. I have no clue about Michelins, but would follow the suggestions of the local distributor for that tire.
  7. 2 points
    Drag racers rebuild their engines after each run. You really think cost is preventing them from running a skinny tire if they could gain a tenth? No. I have corresponded with the author of the article you link and while he might understand physics, I'm not convinced he understands motorcycle dynamics in a practical sense. The truth lies somewhere between the two. I have yet to find the answer. But the closest reasoning I've read that the coefficient of friction rather than being a constant can vary with temperature. Large contact patch might resist temperature change hence resist changes in coefficient of friction. Additionally, coefficient of friction does not accurately describe a rolling and cornering tire that operate with some slip angle. The tire is not stationary but not sliding either. No, it is too simplistic to say contact patch doesn't matter. From a practical motorcycling sense, much of Code's teaching talks about contact patch and friction. Based on all that practical experience of thousands of riders, there is some truth to the statement. Just my opinion.
  8. 2 points
    At Buttonwillow RT in CA, turn 1, clockwise, April, I attempted a quick flick at 25 mph. It was session 2, first lap, and i went down. The front tire lost traction. After that crash i recalled the T2 video where the question is posed to the class, "Do you quick flick the bike when you're tires are cold?". The resounding answer: NO! The morning temperature was about 50F. Street tires. No tire warmers. I cancelled my late November track say in Chuckwalla without regret. Some like it hot.
  9. 2 points
    It's clear to me that a big piece of the puzzle is the bike set up. Some street bikes need almost effort to steer other require a firm hand, and others yet need assertive gymnastics to make them go where you want. After a decade of pushing a small 400cc fourstroke, Suzuki Impulse around corners at stupid speeds, back in them1990s I had a chance to consider more pricey alternatives. So out for a test ride. Fist a BMW boxer 800cc. Well that was interesting, It really didn't like corners at all. Sure it could change direction, but once turned in it was stuck on line unless brutally steered. Then a Suzuki RF900F. This bike didn't so much love going around corners as ignore the fact that corners might be challenging. Having eliminated the boxer, the two very different Suzukis are worthy of discussion. The Impulse turned as smoothly as the rider permits. Full extreme hang off, body vértices bike turning with the front wheel towing the bike into corners after initial countersteer, or suberbike style half cheek locked in sharp countersteer. Or even wild, suspension hammering turf the bike into the corner and hang on style the Impulse with its marginal 1980s cheap street bike suspension would take it all in stride. And cornered fast just like a lightweight ought to. but then by comparison the RF900f a prices, younger well developed sports tourer made the impulse look like a wanton child. Cornering was smooth, effortless, and stupidly fast. Counter steering -why bother. Hang off - if you really really want to. Lean the bike - nah it's doing that all by itself. How the hell is thing turning - well the obvious answer is it's going where you are turning your head towards. That's it just turning ones head. The once 80kph corner requiring a bit of rider concentration and effort, was just glided through at 80mph with little more than a glance in the right direction. The seated balance was perfect - zero bar weight required loose hands was well effortless. The suspension was unnoticeable. Stitching sweepers, chicanes and multiapex corners simply required the infinitesimal weight transfer that occured when turning the head. Seating remained inline with the bike. And ok, habit had me point a knee out but experimentation showed me that that was more for comfort than necessity. But why the 80kph, and the 80mph comparison. I knew the gorge road very well, a cornering speed 80 kph was what I thought I read on the speedo out of the corner of my eye, and was only a little faster than my norm on the impulse. I was being cautious as the bike was on loan from the store! On the flat and straight I'd time to take a closer look, and spdiscovered the imported bike speedo was miles per hour. So in fact I'd just been smoothly trundling along at 1.5 times the speed I'd thought I was doing on one of the most challenging roads in the city. Technology is a wonderful thing and perhaps explains much of that, but an improvement in corner speed of 35% with zero effort, or practice simply by changing bikes is I think extraordinary. More extraordinary is the minor detail that it's clear that it's not how the rider rides, but how s/he rides a particular bike. Perhaps the impulse could have been riden that extra 35% faster, but I can say for certain not by me! I say that with confidence as I've clocked up about half a million miles on impulses, and riden them to the limit, even occasionally well beyond into stupidly terrifying, brake, suspension and tyre failure territory, for much of that. The RF900F was just a better balanced, way more refined package that enabled the rider. The rf900 was effortless compared to the beasts of the early 1980s like the gsx750, more refined and sharp than the BMW k750, and preposterously more nimble than the Kawasaki gt750. The impulse at very low speeds ran circles around the RF900F for nimbleness but the smooth sharp turns at open road speeds made the fr900 very attractive. What were the true limits of the RF900F I do not know, wisdom got the better of me. I was riding for the street, and I could quite easily imagine being caught out on a day with the flu coming on and loosing my licence because I cruised past a cop at 210 on my way to work. Or potentially crashing at stupid speeds because I was exploring the 900's limits. It also cost twice my annual income at that time. As I've gotten older and heavier, I find myself riding ( the Impulse - still) more upright, with less hang, but slightly more drama ( dancing front end) at times. And slower… . We are now both classics. In the rain less hang, more upright, bike leaned more than rider, means better visibility, and more time to react to road surface issues. It's not pretty and can feel wrong, but it's saved my bacon. But when the air is clear, and the surface is wet, hanging off the inside bike more upright gives one just a tiny edge if traction goes bye bye due to slick surface conditions. Old bold riders have learnt to ride through the problems ahead, by adjusting their style to the bike, the road, and the weather, in addition to their rapidly degrading mental and physical agility.
  10. 2 points
    That is a pretty bold statement. I disagree. There still needs to be a willingness to go fast, a level of tolerance for speed and G forces, and the visual and processing skills required to be located on the track and in control of the machine, not to mention knowing where to point it. IMO making the bike easier to ride helps free up attention and reduce crashes but won't make an average rider a superstar. Just look at today's bikes, you can buy a crazy high horsepower bike right off a showroom floor that has clutchless shifting and traction control and even electronic suspension, but move an average rider from an aged 600cc bike to one of those and see how much faster the rider really goes. Or just watch a superstar kid on a 1990 RS125 making mincemeat of a bunch of adults on 200hp liter bikes with all the electronic assists, you can see that often enough at a typical track day or race practice. I do agree that riders who learn on bikes that do all those cool things would struggle on an older bike without the electronic assists - just like many teenagers today wouldn't know how to operate a manual transmission car - but that could be overcome with some training and practice, I think the best riders would still rise to the top in either situation, I don't think the bike makes the rider.
  11. 2 points
    I get the sensation of "pushing" the bike up as a countersteering input coming out of the corner. If you remain in your "hang off" position or even exaggerate it on corner exit with your upper body, you really have no recourse but to countersteer the bike back upright out of the lean. For me that movement of putting bar pressure on the outside hand ( and pulling with the inside hand) could be interpreted as "pushing" a bike up. It's not a subtle sensation. Sometimes you'll have to really "push/pull" to straighten the bike up to get ready for the next corner. Maybe you are essentially saying this...
  12. 2 points
    Here is a snippet from Keith in Twist of the Wrist II that I think applies, this happens to be about choosing a line through a corner: "The "everyman's ideal line" does not exist, and it never will. Different lines are the rider's own personal way of seeing and doing his job: A concatenation of his strong and weak points, dos and can't dos and machine limitations, and, of course, his SR threshold." I think this is why we call it the "art" of cornering, and to me, the differences in riders' style and application of techniques is what makes racing so interesting to watch - and the sport itself so fascinating.
  13. 2 points
    There is an absolutely perfect description on Twist II that discusses quite specifically both side of this issue, see Chapter 5 Throttle Control, the first section "Street Lazy" followed by Off-Gas Results, it talks about why riders coast, where and for how long, and the exact effects.
  14. 2 points
    When tire is very worn and the rubber is thin it is much harder to heat up the tire and keep it warm, that is the biggest thing I notice on a very worn race tire, or in some cases the tire profile is changed through wear which can change handling.
  15. 2 points
    Riding a curved on-ramp at the speed limit with a cop behind you.
  16. 2 points
    it's all relative. Maintenance throttle in turn 8 at willow Springs on a SV650 is 100%
  17. 2 points
    OK I read back through this whole thread, and yes, bringing in Throttle Control Rule #2 seems to have added some confusion, as I personally got stuck on trying to discuss the throttle control rule. After reading back over it all, it seems that the OP's real questions was, does it really cause any problem to let off the gas fast or pull in the brake abruptly, it seems like people do it all the time.... I think the answer to that is situational, depending on how much traction you have and how much you are willing to upset the chassis. And also, of course, how fast you need to slow down, and how accurate you need/want to be when setting your entry speed. Example, if you are riding your S1000rr in first gear, wide open throttle, 12,000 rpm and you instantly chop the throttle you will feel a very abrupt change in the bike, potentially enough to affect your accuracy in an upcoming turn. However, if you are in sixth gear at 4000rpm, wide open throttle, and let off abruptly, that's not going to be such a violent change, it may not bother you to rock the chassis that amount. The weight shift is even more pronounced with braking, of course; but it is a matter of priorities. Upsetting the chassis with abrupt brake application may very well be worth it, especially if you need to get it slowed down in a hurry. For sure I can think of corners where I am coming down from high speed to low speed, traction is good, I am straight up and down, where I let off the throttle and bring in the brake as fast as I can - upsetting the chassis is OK with me, I know the front will dive down hard, but my priority is braking in the shortest possible distance and the majority of braking is done at the beginning and I need time for gradual release as I enter the corner. But I can also think of places where I am entering a corner leaned over, or the surface is bumpy, and I apply the brake more gradually to maintain the best suspension/traction scenario, to avoid bottoming the forks or overloading the front tire. One thing we have been taught is that if you slam the front brake on so fast that there is no time for the weight shift to the front tire to increase your traction, you can slide the front tire. Is that a problem? Maybe not, if you are going in a straight line and don't scare easily. Lord knows we see pros doing some really scary things on the brakes, things most of us don't really want to have happen on a Sunday ride (like stoppies, rear wheel hop, back end wagging around, back end stepping out, etc.) I'm going to run this question by Dylan and/or Keith and see what exactly Dylan was trying to communicate and get more details on different scenarios - braking while leaned over, wet conditions, etc.
  18. 2 points
    Think of the muscles in your back and your abs, as ratchet straps that support your torso. If you don't tighten them evenly, one will be overtightened. In most cases the lower back contracts to far leading to pain and loss of strenght.
  19. 2 points
    Surely the law in your country allows you to practise your religion! ?
  20. 2 points
    I found 2 exercises made a huge difference in my ability to ride without fatigue. They're both hitting the same area so you can do either one. Romanian deadlift and back hyper-extension. You can buy a kettle bell or some dumbbells for the deadlift and do them at home. If you belong to a gym, the hyper-extension allows for greater isolation but they both work great. Start light and do 20 reps a day for a couple of weeks. I found it not only made riding easier but also improved my posture. I'm never tired, my wrists never hurt, my back is strong enough stay low and move side to side without issues. Interestingly, I my fitbit records my rides as cardio.
  21. 2 points
    Unit came in last Saturday. Was a good weather day so went riding of course. That evening I reviewed the instructions and on-line videos Heal Tech has. Then I began stripping of side panels, seats, fuel tank, and airbus (these steps by far are the most complicated and time consuming of the install, so if you can handle that you can install one of these). Next morning (Sunday) I spent some time deciding how to route cables and locate things. Basically you have the coil harness and module, shift rod sensor, and actual QS Easy module. The coil harness connects between spark plug ignition coils and the bikes coil harness and then to a negative ground. This then has a lead that routes back to tail section where main QS module lies. Sensor is installed on the shift rod and connected back to unit in tail section. That's it except for putting everything back on bike. Setting up and monitoring it is done through your smart phone!!! Other than the initial setup process and some playing with bike on stand, haven't gotten to ride on street as its been raining. Once I get out on road will give a report back. https://www.healtech-electronics.com/products/qse/
  22. 2 points
    I do this myself. The most useful thing that I get is the "picture in my mind" of what the track is like. One of the things I have noticed however is once you actually get there reality tends to be a little different than what you were expecting. As Hotfoot mentioned there's lots of things that don't come across in video such as elevation changes and also logistics of moving around on the bike. A really good example of this is the elevation change on the long straight at COTA. I was really looking forward to blasting down that straight at 180+mph with a gigantic smile on my face but the elevation change caused a complete lack of visibility and that does not come across very well in video. Needless to say the first few sessions I was not doing 180 due to the visibility. I actually ended up enjoying the shorter straight near start finish a lot more. Although the speed was slower having a massive up hill elevation change made it so you barely had to touch the brakes to be at the perfect speed to enter the corner at the end. It was like having your cake and being able to eat it too. All the front wheel lifting acceleration you wanted without the chore of having to get on the brakes hard. One other thing which is amusing that I have had a fun experience with. Video games. I have a video game with Road Atlanta as one of the tracks. I was able to put in blistering lap times on the video game and could not wait to ride the track. When I rode the track the reality was quite different from the simulation. I won't bore you with details but I have yet to ride Road Atlanta again despite it being so close to my house because of how horrible of an experience I had. I actually think that my game play slightly hurt my ability to learn the track with an open mind. Certainly watch the videos and study the track maps but be ready to actually learn the track by riding it yourself. Most importantly be ready to adapt when the reality becomes different than what you were expecting.
  23. 2 points
    One thing I will mention - there is limited info available in the video above. You can hear the engine, see the rider's line and observe lean angle, but one thing you CAN'T tell is the relationship between the rider's throttle-hand INPUT and the engine response. So in the video above when you hear the engine rev up, it sounds odd in some places, like it revs up very quickly then flattens out a bit. That could be caused by traction control intervening (if it is present on this bike), by the tire spinning, maybe even by the clutch slipping - clutches wear out quickly on high horsepower race bikes, race starts are very hard on clutches - it is hard to tell without seeing data that shows throttle input. On the Superbike School student videos the camera is positioned so that the rider's hand is visible on screen, so it would become immediately obvious whether the rider's throttle input was smooth and consistent or not, plus the BMWs can tell you the actual difference between throttle INPUT (from the rider) and OUTPUT (after any traction control intervention) and the data logger can show tire slip rate, too, all of which would make it easier to analyze the video.
  24. 2 points
    Oh I like it! The "riders prayer". We should write a cool one a post it up.
  25. 2 points
    Cool story. Read this: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-bicycle-problem-that-nearly-broke-mathematics/#
  26. 2 points
    This interview with me appeared in the April issue of Roadracing World magazine. I thought you might like to see it. John Ulrich was kind enough to give me a PDF version of the interview for you to read. http://superbikeschool.com/files/code-rw-interview.pdf The file is 600K and requires Acrobat Reader 5 or newer to view it.
  27. 2 points
    Traction Science Traction limits are hard to reckon for most riders but there are some things to know about it. Traction results from a brew of chemicals the rubber is compounded with, how cleverly the carcass is constructed and shaped, proper inflation, enough tread depth, and maintaining the tire within its optimum temperature range, which varies with different rubber compounds. Heat up a mounted tire to its operating temperature, tilt it over to 45 degrees and apply ever increasing pressure on it. At some point the tire will slip; that amount of load is 101% of the tire's static grip limit. In motion, achieving maximum traction is quite different. As the tire grips it wears. What 'wears out' are the various chemicals, oils, waxes and pigments which bind together the rubber. Abrasion and heat 'cook' them off. You've noticed the bluish-purplish color of a tire from hard cornering, it's called 'blooming'. That is the residue from the chemicals which have been leached out of the tire from heat. It takes very little abrasion to wear it off, maybe a lap. The oily parts—in sufficient quantity to maintain the rubber's flexible and compliant character—support its ability to mate with the road's surface. When they 'cook off', the tire becomes dry and slippery, like dead skin peeling off a sunburn. That sun-cooked layer must be cleaned off to expose fresh skin, or, in this case, fresh rubber. Cleaning it off requires abrasion. The amount of abrasion needed is provided by tire slippage. Tire engineers agree that roughly 15% longitudinal slippage maintains friction value peaks which includes maintaining peak operating temperature. You'd be mistaken to think this 'slippage' is a 'slide': in a corner, the bike is holding its line. It is what is needed to achieve peak traction; considerably less slippage is needed for cleaning it. Depleted rubber must be scrubbed from both tires. There being no power to the front it relies on three forces: 1) slip angle, 2) side grip friction, and 3) abrasion from braking, to uncover fresh rubber. In the steady state part of a corner (after braking and before acceleration) both tires clean up from slip angle and side grip abrasion. Slip angle is interesting. If you were able to freeze the lean and the turned-in front wheel angle you have while going through a corner, then got off and pushed it, the line would be much tighter than when you were riding. The bike's tendency is to always go straight—until some outside force influences it to turn. The turned-in front wheel is that influence—it creates abrasion resistance which forces the bike to go into and hold its arc through the corner. The tires are actually slipping sideways toward the outside, hence, slip angle. The side-slip in skiing is similar. But that's not the whole picture. Camber Force is another factor. Although it has substantially less effect on tire wear, it plays a part in traction. It works like this: On both tires, the outside of the patch (the chicken stripe side) is on a tighter radius than the side that's closest to the tire's center line. Think of a playground merry-go-round. The outside is traveling further in the same amount of time as the inside and therefore going faster than the inside. Conversely, the side of the contact-patch closest to the middle of the corner, is turning slower and is dragging. This creates rubber-cleansing abrasion and also helps the bike stay on its line. (To find more data look up the technical definition of camber thrust or camber force.) In any corner and at any speed sufficient to keep the bike moving and balanced, the tires are always slipping, at least slightly. You wouldn't get through corners or have to replace tires if they didn't. © 2014, Keith Code, all rights...
  28. 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.
  29. 2 points
    Body Position The most obvious thing about any rider is their form on the bike. How do they sit and move on it? What’s their posture? Do they look comfortable or awkward, stiff or loose, Moto GP, or nervous-novice? Good body positioning isn’t just about being stylish——you can play dress-up in your older brother's or sister's cool boots but walking will be clumsy——it has a desirable result and we can define 'good body positioning'. Harmony with the bike, freedom of movement on it, precision control over it―with the minimum necessary effort. Survival Reactions Play a Role The bike itself can force poor riding posture. A shift lever positioned a ¼ inch too high or too low manipulates the rider into awkward and uncomfortable poses, limiting his control over it. Even with perfect control positioning, good form on the bike has its difficulties. Achieving it may look and even feel like it’s reserved for the young and flexible. This may be true to a degree but many of its problems are actually brought on by our own Survival Reactions, our SRs. For example, a rider who instinctively levels the horizon by tilting his head in corners, creates unnecessary tension in his body. Basics Apply Good form is difficult for riders who struggle with basics: uncertainty with basics has a physical manifestation. Just as joy or anger are obvious in someone, these uncertainties manifest themselves in awkward and unsuitable body positions. For example: poor throttle control prompts riders to rely on slash and burn hard drives out of the turns. Their 'ready-for-action', rigid body language telegraphs their intention. That tense anticipation of the drive off the turns loses them the handling benefits of being relaxed mid-corner. The Stages of Body Positioning There are three stages to body positioning: Poor form + poor riding = ripple-effect, snowballing errors. Good riding + poor form = good but limited range of control. Good form + good technical riding skills = riding that is both fluid and efficient. Number 3 is the goal of any rider training. The Ingredients Body Positioning has five distinct ingredients. The bike and how it is configured——its controls, seat, pegs and bar positioning. The rider's understanding of body positioning——how to properly position himself on the bike and why. Our Survival Reactions——how they create unwanted and often unconscious tension and positioning problems. Lack of riding basics——has or hasn't mastered the core technical skills needed to ride well. The rider's own physical limitations——height, weight, flexibility, conditioning. With those five points under control, specific techniques can be employed to achieve positive benefits in bike control. Form, Function and Technique GP body position does not address or improve 90% of the most basic and vital components of riding: Our sense of traction, speed, lean angle, braking, and line, to name a few, are not directly dependent upon or necessarily improved by stylish form. Clearly, body positioning isn't the universal panacea some think it is, but it has its place. For example, holding the body upright, counter to the bike’s lean while cornering has several negative effects. Among these, is the fact that it positions the rider so he can’t fully relax. This can be quickly corrected and solves the functional problem of tension from cramped and restrictive joint alignment: a key element in allowing any rider to relax. A bike related example would be too high or too low brake or clutch lever. It puts the rider's wrist into misalignment and restricts fluid movement. The Rules of Technique Here are my guidelines for technique. Any riding technique is only as good as: The validity of the principles it rests on. Example: The benefits of hanging off follow physics and engineering principles. The access it provides to the technology with which the bike is designed and constructed. Are the potentials of chassis, suspension and power able to be utilized as intended? Does the technique embrace them? The consistency with which it can be applied. Does it work in all similar situations? The degree of control it provides for the rider. Can the rider either solve problems or make improvements, or both, by using it? The ease with which it can be understood and coached. Does it take extraordinary experience or skill to apply it, or, can it be broken down into bite sized pieces for any rider to master? Which brings us to my first law of body positioning. Stability Comes in Pairs. Bike and rider stability are always paired―rider instability transfers directly to the bike. Body Positioning has but one overriding guideline: Rider stability. How a rider connects to the bike can bring about harmony and control and fluid movement or turn into an uncoordinated wrestling match. Ideal Stability Having stability AND fluidity of movement sounds conflicting; when something is stable it’s expected to stay put, unmoving, like the foundation of your house or the roots of a tree. But the opposite is true for riding. Comfort And Stability What works well on a paddock-stand doesn't always transfer to real riding. Aftermarket rearsets, which can be adjusted (or which are manufactured) too far up, back, forward or down is an example. In the paddock they feel racy; on the road or track they can fatigue the rider. The fatigue comes from the rider's core not being correctly supported. This causes him to be off balance. Off-balance generates extra effort from muscle tension and poor joint alignment which in turn hampers accurate control manipulations. Awkward looking body position is what you see. Riders often accept or try and work around this, without realizing its negative impact on their riding. Simply Complicated Through research and coaching of tens of thousands of riders of all skill levels, 58 separate elements which influence our body positioning have surfaced. Seemingly simple things such as too tight a pair of gloves or leathers can affect all the other elements. Once the 58 are corrected and integrated, the rider has many more options; opening doors to a wide range of fun, efficient and, you might say, elegant techniques. All of our coaches have been thoroughly drilled on what each of the 58 are and how to correct them. © 2014 Keith Code, all rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced in any form without the author's consent.
  30. 1 point
    Hi there life long learners! If you happen to be in the NY area, OTRA Motorcycle School, an MSF certified and NYSMSP licensed motorcycle training school is hosting Corner College, an advanced cornering clinic, in Selden, NY at the Suffolk Community College campus. The date is Saturday September 9th (next Saturday!). This is not a track day, we will be in a wide open parking lot to focus on specific cornering techniques in a structured format with off-cycle coaches providing real-time and constant feedback to a small group of riders (maximum of 8 riders for the day.) This is a unique format developed by myself with OTRA to address specific skills that sportbike riders tend to misunderstand, to reduce the interaction of factors to occur that lead to crashes, on the track or the street. This is an excllent compliment to track days and track oriented schools, like CSS. Since the format is very different from the track we tend to break people out of ruts and plateaus in their learning paths that they have been struggling with. Past students have commented about how much fun it was to take a different approach and how much more they learned than they expected. That always warms my heart as someone who is also always willing to learn and grow. If you are interested or curious please call Vanessa our office manager (she’s also a certified MSF coach!) at 631-862-RIDE (7433). You are also welcome to come down and watch if you want to see if this is for you, perhaps for a future class! We welcome All to the celebration of motorcycle knowledge. “Learning is a journey, not a destination” Warmest Regards, Tom https://www.facebook.com/intuiTom https://www.facebook.com/On-The-Road-Again-118099454912957
  31. 1 point
    You may wish to do some searching in the bike specific forums (600rr.net and or cbrforums.com) to find out if the 2012 was one of the years that Honda cheaped out on the suspension and it's one of the models where the rebound doesn't work. But if you're at max on Preload then a new spring is first order of business. I found after CSS my riding position went rearward and if that also was your case then you may find the spring is indeed all sprung out. I did a full suspension on my 06 CBR1000RR and also my 2002 CBR600F4i and it needn't cost an arm and leg. Be careful with accepting advice from people not paying the bill though. The shocks used on the Unit Pro Link do not offer any ride height adjustments but some models can be shimmed if you need to steepen the static geometry. I've got build threads on cbrforum for my F4i if you'd like to see what I did and on 1000rr.net; same username and avatar.
  32. 1 point
    I agree that managing the contact patch, for all practical purposes, is the way to improve cornering performance. It may or may not be the size of the contact patch vs the forces you apply on the patch, but the logic to balance the chassis and the weight on each tire gives the same result. I don't see this is contradicting anything of the Code principals.
  33. 1 point
    Nice discussion about the need to hang off or not. If you can achieve equal laptimes with both techniques, what does it matter which one you use. It will become your personal choice of what you like or not, not a SUM of calculations on angles and forces that should lead to the optimum style for the fastest lap time. For me I really like to wrestle my GSXR1000 around with some decent physical input from my 6f4 body. Why, because it is fun. The same why my track mate on his Ducati 1098 is acting like a Hailwood replica, and having the same amount of fun. Unless you're doing competition, laptimes become more of a priority. For trackdays riders like me fun comes first, and with it a riding style you feel happy with.
  34. 1 point
    I don't know how much hanging off helps, my quick estimation from my Physics training says it does; I'm inclined to go with @faffi in that there's a bit of placebo effect happening. I wished that I could read the MOTORRAD in full. The rider is the most important element of the whole thing and his psychological and mental state is affected by many things. My experience is that it helps me with vision skills. I am not sure why, I have just observed that it does. That alone (IMO) is a major building block and obstacle to quick, safe riding. In the KC article linked above, he polled riders with 2 questions: what result do you want and what do you want to feel; questions that very well could yield different answers- genius. I don't know if we could empirically answer the question as to how much of an effect hanging off has- someone would have to write simulation software to run comparative analysis, a monumental feat considering that all the mathematics on single track vehicles has yet to have been worked out. I think however it could be very worthwhile to propose a robotics experiment to a university; there's an annual competition, the name of which escapes me at the moment. Honda also does motorcycle-robotics experimentation; I know we can resolve a lot of things with either approach because the man-in-the-middle will taint the search for understanding the pure science of it.
  35. 1 point
    Sorry to hear that... maybe next time. I'm booked for those dates and booked a room nearby so I can be well rested. Hope to run into some people I ride with in DMV.
  36. 1 point
    Art, Yes, tire warmers put heat into the tire, so you don't have to on the first couple of laps. Other than that there is nothing magical about them. They don't change the rubber compound from bad to good. Now lets tackle the issue of HEAT CYCLES. Heat cycling of the tire is a very confusing and misunderstood area. I will say that I have heard that other brands are well known for "going off" or "heat cycling" and I will leave that conversation to another thread another day. For now I'm going to stick with Dunlop's, as that is what I know. Do tires heat cycle? Yes Is this the most important factor in tires? NO! in fact it is not very significant, and very over emphasized. Certainly making a tire go from 250 deg to negative 10 deg over and over is not the best thing you can do to a tire, but consider that placing it on a warmer, at 190 deg, for 8 hours is not any better. Both extremes are not the best for the tire. We all hear about "Heat Cycle", but almost never do we hear talk about the thickness of the tire, or tread depth/wear. Fact: The thicker the tread rubber, the more grip. The thinner the tread rubber, the less grip. So as you ride on the tire, session after session, the rubber is getting thinner and there is less and less grip. Often this is mistaken for "heat cycle", and the rider now places his attention on his warmers and not on the real important factor of how much tread rubber is left on his tire. Odd rituals start to crop up regarding tire warmers: Riders come back to the pits and RUSH to put their warmers on and crank them up to full, all in an attempt to "stop the heat cycle!". When buying used tires, riders rate the tire by how many heat cycles it has, not the tread depth. It is a mistake to emphasize heat cycling over tread depth, with Dunlops. So lets get real, which tire would you want to buy: 1) A tire with 10 laps and never had warmers? 2) A tire with 8 sessions and was on the warmers all day (8 hours) and never cooled down? 3) A new tire that was on a warmer for 8 hours only and never used? I personally would pick #3 because it has the thickest tread, and #1 would be my second pick because it has less laps and probably more tread than #2. Notice how the heat cycles does not play into my personal choice in this matter, but the tread thickness does. You can use a D211GPA or any other Dunlop tire without warmers and have no problems. ( Make sure you do heat the tire up for the first couple laps before you get with it.) You might have a very small decrease in grip or life, but that would be very small and most likely not noticeable over the 1-5 track days you will get out of the tires. You would be spliting hairs on the performance level and tire life with/without warmers. Even if you were to do back to back tests, you would find that if in just 1 session in the life of the tire, you went 5 seconds faster, that would make more of a difference than heat cycling because you used more tread rubber in that session. Heat cycles are not a total myth, but they do not make as big a difference as the internet would lead you to believe. Tire warmers are good thing to have if you want to get going right out of the pits. They are not a requirement. Note that our recommendation for track day warmers has you putting the warmers on after a session and not plugging them in right away. This is so you don't needlessly force heat into the tire continuously for no reason. http://www.dunloprac...com/Warmers.pdf Ever notice that the chatter about heat cycles started about the time tire warmers became cheaper and more readily available? Do you think there could be an urban legend that started because of this increased supply?
  37. 1 point
    I respectfully disagree. Josh Herrin was clearly at fault. It appeared that Josh was going to beat Tony into the corner but he was out braked by Elias. Look at the replay again. A rule I try to live by in racing is to show the other rider a front wheel. If you can show a wheel, then you have the position. Josh Herrin's front wheel never got in front of Tony's right foot peg. In fact it was Herrin's front wheel hitting Elias's right peg that caused Herrin to crash. Another indication was Herrin getting up and immediately going over to Elias apologizing. If I am racing into a corner and I can't see you, or any part of you bike, I have the position.
  38. 1 point
    There is no more weight transfer once the bike does a wheelie or a stoppie: it is 100% of the total weight on the tire in contact with the surface; no more, no less. The wheelie and the stoppie are beyond the transient state of initiating braking that we are discussing. That is the state during which the bike pivots around its center of mass or axis of pitch (just like a seesaw or teeter-totter), progressively pressing more on the front suspension and front tire (which is the reason for which the nose dives and the tail rises up simultaneously). This link explains it better than I could: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_and_motorcycle_dynamics#Braking_according_to_ground_conditions Again, with good rubber and on dry track, you can get away with suddenly stabbing the brake lever: the weight transfer will happen during the time dictated by the rotational inertia, but it will not make a difference, the contact patch will fiercely grip. Doing the same on public dirty greasy roads, right after start raining, will lock the tire and you will go down very quickly, unless you are quicker releasing that pressure on the lever: that is the whole point behind bikes equipped with ABS brakes. With no ABS brakes, you may be surprised of how hard you can brake in those conditions if you apply increasing pressure on the front brake lever in proportion to the rate of weight transfer.
  39. 1 point
    True, might make you faster so you can hurry up and get them off!!!
  40. 1 point
    I want to be you when I grow up! (minus the required sex change -LoL)
  41. 1 point
    I have a few: First time turning a wheel on a race track with WMRRA "taste of racing". I just KNEW I had to race after that. First time coaching with CSS, I thought "I can't believe I got my dream job!" First AMA race sitting on the grid after making qualifying- the most exhilarating feeling ever. Recently riding through the Alps and seeing some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. The first few corners at Sachsenring circuit in Germany. Riding with a group of CSS coaches and students at a dirt bike school in the mud and bashing bars and laughing out loud with mud in my eye. AND, the first time I was able to ride with my 6 year old son on track and give him a few pointers and lead him around. So proud
  42. 1 point
    I do it on occasion when I street ride. It mainly is just to make me feel good inside (small dose of vanity)...chasing the mental image of a guy I saw years ago get stupid low around a 90 degree corner. I don't see any downside from doing it EXCEPT the perception that you're hotdogging....and hanging-off for some reason causes the right wrist to roll on that thingy on the handlebar. You are committed to making the turn- there's no last instant change because a bozo is coming at you, must have that worked out beforehand. When I have a junior rider following me, I move over into position to signal to them that a turn is coming and I'm going that way and this much.
  43. 1 point
    Ha ok. Well the socks I'm currently wearing are samples from a manufacturer that were sent to me for testing. I have been a huge fan of bamboo and my favorite socks are no longer available. So out of sheer "being totally desparate" I'm testing out as many yarns as I can as I'd like to make my own socks specifically for riding. So far I'm on day 3 of wearing them and they still smell like roses. They are unbelievably soft as well, pretty much like walking on clouds. I'm going to wash them a number of times to see how they wear, but I've been told they stay soft just like my bamboo socks did. Another bonus, they are supposed to be extremely durable. I can show you the fabric end of this month when I'm at CSS but they will be well worn by then so beware hahah. I looked up "tencel socks" and there are a few companies that use the yarns so I think in the mean time I'll find a good company and buy my daily wearers from them. I truly don't think I can go back to pure cotton, poly, or nylon. Especially cotton.
  44. 1 point
    What Cobie said is even more prevalent in WSBK and MotoGP where the electronics and programming control of the bike are a world above what even a well funded Club Racer has, It's really comparing Apple's and Oranges with regards to the hardware your average rider has Also its important to remember that some times a point and shoot riding style is faster than a flowing maximum corner speed style, and often times a Racers top priority isn't taking the best line through a corner but making sure they don't get passed.
  45. 1 point
    My whole mission is to well, of course race. But I'm building a support team for up and coming riders/racer (female). Unless, of course if you want, anyone male can help support with any advice, gear, hotel and paddock sharing etc. My RV is open on track and race days. Website almost running. Trying to focus on finishing my racebike. AFM is right around the corner.
  46. 1 point
    There's an aviation version for Student Pilots: "...and if I have an equipment failure, Dear Lord, please let it be the Hobbs meter" :-) Hobbs Meter- A device that counts the amount of time the aircraft is in operation; billing is proportional to the Hobbs meter.
  47. 1 point
    Like anyone who spends his time and money on CSS, I was enthusiastically gathering as much knowledge and practical application of that knowledge as I could. I scoured youtube, books, articles, etc. So by the time I went to the class, I had some pieces of the puzzle already. I'd have good days and bad days. I'd arrive at work and talk to my fellow biker buddy about how well or how poorly I rode on the way in. Some days I'd do okay on certain types of corners and make a mess of other corners. Or I'd do okay at speed but feel less confident when stuck behind slower traffic. I went to the class with some assumptions and even more questions. The coaches helped me separate the wheat from the chaff, answered all of my questions, used videos, photos, and data to help show me what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. I left the class way better than I arrived to be sure. While I returned home to twisty mountain commute far better than I had been, one thing that means even more is the bar set by the relentless critical eye of top notch coaches. I came home knowing that even after 2 very long days in the saddle, I still made a ton of mistakes. I still wasn't getting my weight off the bars properly. I was only light on the bars mid corner at a decent pace. But I knew it must be possible to be light on the bars in braking, at tip in, high speed or low, all the time. I would take a decent line around most corners but still made a hash of sharp corners and often let my eyes drift to the apex way after I should be looking at the exit. As primarily a road rider, it's often not necessary to roll off the throttle to turn. Most of the time, I'm riding a good pace but a steady pace. So in the class, I had a habit carrying some throttle past turn-in. So when I got home I made it a priority to continue riding as if my coaches were right behind me. I spent nearly 2 months riding much slower than before I went to the class. The first thing I focused on was getting my weight off the bars. Not just mid corner but always. I found a way to get my leg locked on that helped. It's about 80% side of the tank and 20% back of the tank. Before I knew it, I could ride super slow with the same light hands that I had at higher speed. Then I started focusing on the 3 step drills. Even on a new road where you don't have specific reference points, just ball parking the 3 steps makes a huge difference in line consistency. Now the bike is going where I expect it to go without exception and without mid corner corrections. Next I focused on fixing the bad position you see in my avatar. I don't know how many times James told me to keep my elbow bent but on the bike, I'd immediately stiff arm the inside bar when it was time to turn in. One day it just clicked that I should see if I could get the same force on the bar with a bent elbow. Yes! This is what they wanted me to do the whole time. And guess what, now the rest of my body is where it's supposed to be. Finally, I started working on rolling the throttle off and on through the turns. Obviously I'm not full throttle to a braking point on the road but instead I just worked on getting enough speed before the corner so that I can roll off the completely without running off the road on the inside. There's no lap time to worry about but it allows me to practice timing the roll off, the lean in, and the roll on. This is something that can even be fun at very slow speeds. A way to give yourself a challenge when circumstances simply don't permit speed or a decent amount of lean. Before I knew it, I found that I was getting it right, every corner, every time. Don't get me wrong. I know I'm still ~20 seconds a lap slower than ideal on a timed track lap. I still have a ton to learn and a then to put all that new knowledge to practice. But though my speed is lower than the experts, I've come away from the class (and subsequent homework) with the confidence and skill set to significantly, if not completely, eliminate close calls. I like to think every close call is a sign that I got lucky. The longer you go between close calls (especially the ones that were in your control) the safer you'll be. The more you'll enjoy riding. The more the entire process feels like fun and less like a mixture of fun and anxiety or frustration. So anyway, thanks to you guys (and gals) at CSS. You've made a huge impact on my life.
  48. 1 point
    I love to survey riders. What do they want from riding; how would they like it to feel; how would they like it to look? Want is consistently answered with smoother, faster and increased confidence. Feel runs the gamut through smooth, solid, stable and predictable. Look also ranks smooth above all; followed by fast, which translates into hanging off, knee on the floor. That is the dream. Riders of all classes of bikes, once astride a sportcycle and at a racetrack, feel left out and are often crestfallen until that magic moment finally comes; the krchchshh of getting a knee down. If only the photographer had been in that corner…that lap. In the evolution of our species we’ve gone from knuckle dragging to knee dragging. An alluring picture of what they imagine or wish to look like can hamstring anyone. These are most often gleaned from dramatic magazine or TV shots stored in their library of mental images and riders envision themselves in these poses as an end unto itself in their quest to improve personal riding prowess. Going for the look without some understanding of its utilitarian underpinnings is, in a word, wrong. In the evolution of the art of cornering the look of it has had four complete phases--so far. The neat, tidy knees to tank, stretched out on the bike style of the 19-teens through the ‘60s was handed down, eye to muscle memory, as the path of least resistance; you could even say “the natural style” of riding. Phase two: Mike Hailwood let his inside knee come off the tank in the 1960’s and practically created a stock market panic in the riding style etiquette market, it was a huge departure from tradition. Paul Smart, Barry Sheene and others followed. Then, Jarno Saarinen actually moved his butt off the seat a bit which was emulated by many. The fourth phase is credited to and was pioneered by our own Kenny Roberts Sr’s knee down style hangoff in the 1970’s. Initially this earth-shattering look was quite personal to the rider, each having his own iteration of the new form. Cal Raybourn and Kel Carruthers were halfway guys, still clinging a bit to phase two. Some others had lots of bum off, some with lots of leg and knee off, some rotated around the tank a la Mick Doohan. A few went head and body way down and on the inside of the tank, Randy Mamola style, some hung-off but remained sitting more upright like Kevin Schwantz. The torso positions for our other 500cc world champs of the era; Eddie Lawson, Freddie Spencer and Wayne Rainey were half way between, on the tank but not inside it. Most of the originals also tended to ride forward on the tank and finally, everyone was stationary in their hung-off position once in the corner. The neat part of that era, with all these splinter groups, was that a fan could have instant recognition of the individual’s style and look. Not so today, phase five is upon us. Conceptually, hanging off couldn’t be simpler. Lower the combined Center of Gravity (CG) of the bike/rider combination and you go through the same corner at the same speed, on the same line with less lean angle: all in all, a brilliantly utilitarian racer’s tool with huge residual benefits; chief among them being an accurate, on-board gauge for lean angle and true to most evolutionary progressions, function now rules the new look and style of road racers. Take a look; riders are low and inside of their bikes. More and more we see them perfectly in line with the machine, not twisted or rotated in the saddle. The bum off/body twisted back across the top of the bike positioning, which many phase four riders had been doing, was and still is an interesting piece of self-deception. With their torso mass on the higher side of the bike, it not only neutralizes the mass of the hips being off the bike but actually is a negative, raising the combined bike and rider C G--defeating the technique’s main function and purpose. Other notable changes include not being so stretched out as before but not always with the family jewels on the tank either. The one new variable in phase five riders is coming further off the bike mid-corner to exit. You’ll see it on the bum-cam position next time you watch riders like Val Rossi in Moto GP. That and the fore/aft in the saddle differences appear to be the only options available to our phase five evolution racers. We have five choices now in how we can look and relate to our bikes. If you keep your eye on the style’s function and do some limbering exercises all the benefits of phase five will become apparent as you become comfortable with it. Is it easy? My experience says it is not a natural style at all and riders are hard pressed to assume the new form. If it is your desire to do it I suggest taking your time and step by step, experimenting with each of the stages through which it has evolved. Good luck. ˆ Keith Code, 2007.
  49. 1 point
    There are technical points concerning a rider's fear of making either right or left hand turns. Many riders have this fear and it's frustrating. Scores of riders have complained to me about this with a sheepish sort of approach and "admitted" they were perplexed by it. Rightfully so, roughly 50% of their turns were being hampered by an unknown, un-categorized, seemingly unapproachable fear having no apparent source and no apparent reasoning behind it. Out of desperation for an answer riders have blamed their inability on being right or left handed, mysterious brain malfunctions and a host of other equally dead end "nonsense solutions"; nonsense because none of them answered their questions or addressed the hesitance, uncertainty and fear. Having a fear of right turns would be the worst if you lived in Kansas or Nebraska where practically the only turns worth the title are freeway on and off ramps. If you went "ramping" with your friends, "doing the cloverleaf", round and round, you'd be at the back of the pack . Anxiety on lefts would exclude you from the dirt track racing business for sure but mainly we are talking about day to day riding and any such apprehension as this (and there are others) spoils a rider's confidence, making him somewhat gun shy. There are actually three reasons why you could have this unidirectional phobia (fear) and all three contain an inordinate amount of some emotional response that runs from suspicion and distrust to mild panic and a dose of plain old anxiety dropped into the middle for good measure. By the way, if you consider yourself in this category of rider, count your blessings, many riders have bidirectional phobia and it's only by their force of will and love of freedom that they persist in their riding at all! First Reason Reason number one for this fear is that you crashed on the right or left at sometime and the relatively indelible mental scar is still on the mend but remains a more or less hidden and nagging source of irritation. The part of the mind that is concerned with survival does not easily forget and the proof is that our species still exists. There have no doubt been other more pressing problems along the way that have tried and tested Man in his effort to put order into his environment. The fact that the incident of a crash drops down to an obscure sub-level of awareness is not a help in this, or perhaps any other case, as it can affect our riding from there and can add an unpredictable element to our riding. You may gain some control over this with practice but the oddest part of it is that if one hasn't ridden for a while this apprehension of turning right or left can return in force... provided it springs from this particular source. In the technology of the mind and according to the discipline of Dianetics, these incidents are stored in what is called the Reactive Mind, for the obvious reason that one finds himself reacting to, rather than being coactive with, some circumstance. In this case, right or left turns. Second Reason In the discipline of riding technology we have the act and activity of counter-steering to contend with. Here a rider may have become confused, in a panic of some sort, and gone back to another variety of "survival response" that pressed him into turning the bike's bars in the direction he wanted to go rather than doing the correct (and backwards from other vehicle's steering) action of counter-steering. That instant of confusion has stopped many riders cold in their tracks, never to twist their wrist again and pleasure themselves with motorcycle riding. Turn left to go right push the right bar to go right, its the thing that eludes us in that panic situation (statistically) more commonly than anything save only the overuse and locking of the rear brake. When you dissect this confusion regarding the counter-steering process you see that it is possibly more devastating than the rear end lock up, even though both have the same result, the bike goes straight, and often straight into that which we were trying to avoid. Basics prevail--You can only do two things on a motorcycle, change its speed and change its direction. Confusion on counter-steering locks up the individual's senses tighter than a transmission run without oil and reduces those two necessary control factors down to one...A bad deal in anyone's book. Third Reason The third possible reason for being irrational about rights and lefts is the one that has solved it more often than not--practice. Applying the drill sergeant's viewpoint of repeatedly training the rider to practice and eventually master the maneuver is a very practical solution. I suppose this one falls under the heading of the discipline of rider dynamics. And a casual inspection of riders will show you the following: Ninety-five percent of all riders push the bike down and away from their body to initiate a turn or steering action, especially when attempting to do it rapidly. Rapidly meaning something on the order of how fast you would have to turn your bike if someone stopped quickly in front of you and you wanted to simply ride around them; or avoid a pothole or a rock or any obstacle. For example, a muffler falls off the car in front on the freeway at 60 m.p.h., that's eighty-eight feet per second of headway you are making down the road. Despite the fact you've left a generous forty feet between you and the car, that translates into one half second to get the bike's direction diverted, including your reaction time to begin the steering process. We're talking about a couple of tenths of a second here--right now. This procedure riders have of pushing the bike down and away from themselves to steer it seems like an automatic response and is most probably an attempt to keep oneself in the normally correct relationship to the planet and its gravity, namely, vertically oriented or perpendicular to the ground. This is a good idea for walking, sitting and standing--but not for riding. When you stay "on top" of the bike, pushing it under and away, you actually commit a number of riding dynamics sins. The first of which is the bad passenger syndrome." Bad Passenger Bad passengers lean the wrong way on the bike. They position themselves in perfect discord--counter to your intended lean, steering and cornering sensibilities. So do you when you push the bike away from yourself, or hold your body rigidly upright on the bike--very stately looking, very cool but ultimately it's an inefficient rider position. The most usual solution to a bad passenger's efforts to go against the bike's cornering lean angle is brow beating them and threaten "no more rides." But how do you fix this tendency in yourself? A bad passenger makes you correct your steering and eventually become wary of their actions and the bike's response to them. This ultimately leads to becoming tense on the bike while in turns. Pushing the bike away from yourself or sitting rigidly upright while riding solo has the same effect. Hung Off Upright Hang off style riders don't think this applies to them but it does. Many riders are still pushing the bike under themselves while hung off. Look through some race photos especially on the club and national level and you will easily see that some are still trying to be bad passengers on their own bike and countering the benefits of the hung position by trying to remain upright through the corners. A rider's hung-off style may have more to do with his ability to be comfortable with the lean of the bike, and go with it, than anything else. This is not to say there is only one way to sit on a bike, in any style of riding. But it does mean that each rider must find his own way of agreeing with his bike's dynamics and remain in good perspective to the road. And this doesn't mean that you always have to have your head and eyes parallel with the horizon as some riders claim. But it does mean that you may have to push yourself to get out of the "man is an upright beast" mode of thinking and ride with the bike, not against it. It may feel awkward at first but it's the only way to be "in-unit" with the bike. On a professional level most riders do this. John Kocinski is an example of someone in perfect harmony with his machine and Mick Doohan has modified his sit-up push-it-under style of riding over the past couple of years to one that is more in line with the bike. Show and Tell If you have a rider (or yourself) do a quick flick, side to side, steering maneuver in a parking lot you'll clearly observe them jerking and stuffing the bike underneath themselves in an effort to overwhelm it with good intentions and brute force rather than using correct, effective and efficient steering technique. There are other steering quirks you may observe while having someone do this simple show-and-tell parking lot drills. For example, some riders have a sudden hitch that comes at the end of the steering when they have leaned it over as far as they dare. It's a kind of jerking motion initiated from their rigid upper body. You may see an exaggerated movement at the hips; that's another variation of their attempt to keep the back erect. Also, look for no movement of the head or extreme movement of it to keep the head erect. A general tenseness of the whole body is common as is lots of side to side motion of the bike. So what's the right thing to do here? Good Passenger What does a good passenger do? NOTHING. They just sit there and enjoy the ride, practically limp on the saddle. The bike leans over and so does the passenger. Which scenario agrees with motorcycle design: weight on top that is moving or weight that is stable and tracking with it? Motorcycles respond best to a positive and sure hand that does the least amount of changing. You, as a rider, need to do the same thing, basically, NOTHING. Holding your body upright is not doing nothing it is doing something. It is an action you initiate, a tenseness you provide and it is in opposition to the bike's intended design--what it likes. More Lean There is another technical point here. The more you stay erect and try to push the bike down and away (motocross style riding) the more leaned over you must be to get through the turn. That's a fact. Crotch rocket jockeys hang off their bikes for show but the pros do it to lean their bikes over less. You can counter this adverse affect of having to lean more by simply going with the bike while you turn it, in concert with and congruous to its motion, not against it. There is even an outside chance you may find it feels better and improves your control over the bike and reduces the number of mini-actions needed to corner. There is also a good possibility that this will open the door to conquering your directional fear, whichever form it may take. Diagnosis Look for one or more of these indications on your "bad" side: 1. The body is stiff or tense while making turns on the side you don't like, at least more so than on the side you do like. 2. You don't allow your body to go with the bike's lean on side: You are fighting it and it is fighting you. 3. The effort to remain perfectly vertical is greater on your bad side. 4. You will find yourself being less aggressive with the turning process on your bad side. 5. You will find yourself being shortsighted, looking too close to the bike on that shy side. 6. You will find yourself making more steering corrections by trying to "dip" the bike into turns or pressing and releasing the bars several times in each turn. 7. You will notice a tendency to stiff arm the steering. 8. You will notice you are trying to steer the bike with your shoulders rather than you arms. You might find more symptoms but one or more of the above will be present on your bad side. Coaching The very best and simplest way I've found to cure this tendency to push the bike under is to have someone watch you while you do a quick flick, back and forth, steering drill in a parking lot. You have your friend stand at one point and you ride directly away from him or her as though you were weaving cones and then turn around and ride directly back at them weaving as quickly as you feel comfortable and at a speed you like, usually second gear. In that way your coach is able to see you either going with the bike at each steering change or they will see you and the bike crisscrossing back and forth from each other. As the coach, that's what you are looking for, the bike and the rider doing the same action, the rider's body is leaned over the same as the bike at each and every point from beginning of the steering action to the end. There is no trick to seeing this...it is obvious. For example, when they ride away from you, if you see the mirrors moving closer and further away from the rider's body, they are obviously not moving together. That's pushing the bike under rather than good steering. This is also the time to notice which side is the rider's bad side. The back and forth flicks will be hesitant on one side or the other. Remedies The entire purpose of this exercise is to have the rider get in better communication with his machine--going with it not against it--and not treating it as though it were a foreign object that he is wrestling to stay on top of or muscle it down like a rodeo rider. Often, it simply takes a reminder to loosen-up the upper body. Sometimes the rider needs to lean forward and imagine the tank and he are one and the same. On sportbikes, a full crouch over the tank can sometimes be the answer to link the rider with his bike, giving him a ready reference to it's physical attitude in relation to the road. Making sure the rider has some bend in his elbows while leaning forward slightly seems to help. Having them use palm pressure to steer the bike seems to resolve the tendency to muscle the bike over from side to side. Dropping the elbows so the forearm is more level with the tank makes the steering easier and promotes their going with the bike and takes them away from the stiff armed approach to steering. Reminders to relax the shoulders and let the arms do the work of steering also helps. End Result You stop doing the drill when the rider has the feeling he is in better control of the bike, when he has the idea of how easy and how much less effort it takes to steer; or when he feels comfortable with both rights and lefts. There could be other contributing factors like overly worn tires or a bent frame that would bring a genuine and justified anxiety to a right or left turn but I believe the above three reasons cover everything else and if you are anything like the hundreds of riders I've had do the above drill, you could use a little work on this area even if you don't have a bad side. I hope it helps. ? Keith Code 1996-1997
  50. 1 point
    Alan, OK, take the competition out for a moment, and you are just going for a fast qualifying lap. What will get you the best time? Ultimately, if guys charge you see a lot of mistakes: most of them have the result of late on the throttle, and what is the result of that? Cobie
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