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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/16/2018 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Let's touch on one thing: bike doesn't turn as well when the throttle is on, even just maintenance throttle. When off throttle, bike weight is forward, more on the front, steering angle is steeper, wheelbase is shorter--the bike turns better. Does anyone know a single turn where braking is done, then gas on, then bike turned,? As mentioned earlier by trueblue550 (Streets of Willow Springs) there are series of turns where the throttle is stopped for a moment to complete the steering (T 4-5), or where rolling it on puts the rider too wide for the next turn in point (T5-T6). These are situations where there is a series of turns, the following one dictating the exit of the previous turn.
  2. 2 points
    It would be a rare 180 degree turn where you could roll on the gas as soon as you have your lean angle set (at the beginning of the turn) and be able to roll on continuously for the whole rest of the turn. If the turn was large, and U shaped (as an example) you would most often have to roll off (or at least go flat) on the gas in the middle of the turn, more or less treating it as TWO turns, the first part with one turn point and apex and the second part with its own turn point and apex. Depending on the shape of the turn, you may or may not need to make another steering input to change your lean angle at the second turn point (ie if the turn tightens up in the second part, you will likely have to make a steering input to change the lean angle for the second part of the turn). Alternatively, you could consider that your "real" turn point is somewhere in the middle of the 180 degree turn, a turn point that will line you up for the apex and exit you want. Everything before that would really just be pre-positioning to get to that turn point and you might very well be slowing down (off the gas and trail braking) ALL the way to the turn point which could be located near the middle of the 180 degree turn, or even later if it tightens up a lot at the end. You could try working backwards from the exit (if exit speed is the priority) to find the exit line you want, then find the apex and turn point (in the second half of the turn) that will line you up for that without any additional change in lean angle . That will be your "second turn point" (or real turn point if you are thinking of it as one turn) then work backwards from THERE to find an entry line from the first part of the turn that will get you top that second turn point. Does that make sense? If the turn is at the end of a fast straight and whatever comes after the 180 degree turn is slower, you may want to prioritize carrying the straightaway speed as long as possible and in that case you might choose a line that allows maximum trail braking as long and late as possible before you reach the second turn point, potentially sacrificing some speed in the latter part of the turn with a less optimum exit but a wide fast entry.
  3. 2 points
    Braking, with the front brake, while leaned over in a turn, can definitely cause the bike to stand up noticeably - assuming the braking is hard enough to shift significant weight to the front and NOT so hard that the wheel actually slides, the braking forces cause a friction drag of the contact patch against the pavement that makes the front wheel want to turn to the inside, which creates a countersteering effect and stands the bike up. So when braking while leaned over, the rider has to resist that turn of the front wheel by pushing on the opposite bar to counteract it, to keep the bike on line (i.e., if in a left hand corner the rider would have to push on the left bar to offset the countersteering effect of the braking). This can get tricky to manage, as the rider is restricting movement of the bars, and placing additional load on the front end, so braking TOO hard while leaned over can exceed the limits of traction of the front tire. If braking verrrrry gently the counter steering effect is so slight that the rider may not feel any tendency of the bike to stand up, and the fact that the bike is slowing down will eventually decrease the radius of the turn, so a rider who only brakes very gently while leaned over (or uses just rear brake - which can also be tricky) may not ever notice any tendency of the bike to stand up. But braking harder or more abruptly makes it much more noticeable. Or, a rider who has a lot of experience with using the front brake while leaned over may be so accustomed to automatically pressing on the opposite bar to counteract the countersteering effect may not be aware of the bike's tendency to stand up, and a rider like that would have to go out and consciously try to relax the arms and observe what happens if he or she ADDS front brake in a corner while leaned over.
  4. 2 points
    There is good info on this in TOTWII, Chapter 25, Traction, there is a section about "traction riders" and if you read that whole chapter it gives a nice description of how different riders use and perceive traction, and the pros and cons of these different approaches, I think both you and Faffi will find it very interesting.
  5. 2 points
    Another factor I haven't seen mentioned is that as you lean over, the final drive ratio changes. the difference between upright and fully leaned is the equivalent of half a downshift. This puts the engine in a different part of the powerband and can alter the effect a given amount of roll-on has, seeming to amplify the torque as the lean angle increases.
  6. 2 points
    Pitts- I thought about your willingness to identify and resolve a training gap and I’m reminded of an online conversation about stress reactions that I think you were a participant of in our POA days. My recollection is that the forum was lopsided in the notion that one could train responses to any emergency situation, after all that’s what the FAA teaches us. Henning was dead set on the notion that SRs were hardwired into a person and that each person may only modify their personal SRs to some degree with training but in the end, there they were - a pessimistic approach, I agree but experience tells us that a morsel of truth is present. Even in my days as a student pilot with Jon, my instructor yelling at me and trying to intentionally induce stress, nothing happens in the cockpit very fast, perceptually; motorcycle - different ballgame. I don’t know why that is but I think what Keith Code describes as Sense of Space may apply. I am of the belief that stress cannot be induced in a laboratory, sans chemicals, and even that is different. In the times before me, the FAA emphasized stall recovery training, then they went to a model of stall awareness and avoidance in effort to curb low altitude Loss Of Control In Flight incidents. I haven’t done a statistical review to say if it is working or not, but I have had the experience of putting my training into real life practice, and I and my passengers are still here and they are none-the-wiser as to how close we came to LOCI on takeoff one hot summer day years ago. Perhaps it may be a worthwhile venture to revamp the HURT report to include a review of the efficacy of training methodologies on single- vehicle accidents. While it may or may not solve your particular malady, I perceive that you are motivated to discover something overlooked to benefit the community at large. Lastly, I also took note of your mention of “The Pace”. I do believe that is a definite gap in training and you may be in a good position to advance this ideology earlier in the training cycle and to also benefit by a review and dissection of it.
  7. 2 points
    In October of 2017, the year I posted this, I had a race ending accident at The Barber Vintage Festival. Race practice might have been an ominous sign for things to come when I nearly crashed on a team Triumph Thruxton going about 100 mph. I had been putting in some good lap times and needed about a 1/2 a second more to put in the top three. I was approaching turn 9 and 10 knowing I would need to get the bike turned quickly to carry the speed and to keep the bike off the rumble strips on the outside. I was finishing my steering input when the outside clip on snapped against the gas tank. I had no way to control the bike as I headed for the gravel on the outside of the track. I didn't have much time to think about it but the option of bailing didn't seem like a wise move at the time. I went through grass, pavement, gravel and then grass again. I had slowed to about 60 when I noticed the reflection of blue sky in the grass ahead. Any of you that have ridden or raced at Barber know how George likes to keep his landscaping nice and green. There was reflection of the sky in the grass ahead about three inches of water. I hit it and it was like an explosion. People who saw my antics wished the ride had been recorded. I survived it keeping the bike upright and getting it back to the pits. Lesson: when you are riding on someone else's machine double and triple check the levers, clip on's, rear sets etc etc etc. The next day was my Sounds Of Thunder 2 race with 70 riders lined up on the grid. I was racing on my modified SV650. I was on the 9th row. My strategy for the race was to get a good start and try to hang on the leading pack. I wanted to get into the 1:37's which for me on a SV650 was a respectable lap. My previous fastest was a 1:39 in practice. I got a great jump and was headed down into turn one when I saw a blur coming in from my left side taking me out. I remember being launched over the left clip on then nothing but the most extreme pain I have ever felt in my life lasting for no more than a millisecond. I remember holding someone's hand and hearing sirens but not able to make out any faces. I remember telling them not to cut my leathers. I have two close racing buddies, one an orthopedic surgeon and the other a neonatal surgeon. They were both on the track when this happened. One of them, the neonatal surgeon, knew that he would have to keep me close to try and better my lap times so he saw it all. He thought I was dead. He went against race protocol resting his bike against the Armco barrier and ran to me. He said he pulled up my visor to see if I was breathing.The rider who caused the initial accident lost his front coming into turn one ejecting me. The rider who did the damage had no place to go. He basically did a stoppie on my chest then releasing the brake lever rolling off me to have the rear wheel land on my chest. I had what they call a flailed chest with 10 broken ribs, a broken sternum and a punctured lung. I had to wait three days for surgery to install titanium plating to hold my ribs together. I had some issues with pneumonia after the surgery spending 12 days in intensive care. My biggest fear going through this was that I would be an invalid and before the advent of the titanium plating, I would have been. I would have much rather died doing something I love than be a burden. The good news is a never gave up. I am almost good about 85% lung capacity and missing a muscle or two. I'm working out at a local gym and riding a Peloton at home. I also have a mountain bike that I take for long rides communing with nature. I have ended my racing career or should I say my wife has ended it :) I loved racing but not enough to destroy a marriage. For me there were two choices, life or death no in between. I am physically fit enough to ride competitively and if I could talk my wife into it, my goal would be the same, to better my craft every lap, to be the best that I could be. There's nothing like the feeling of beating your previous best lap time and there's nothing like being told "man, you can ride." I am one of those guys now, relegated to telling stories and helping with bike stands and tire warmers as others ride out to the track. Thank you, Cobie and all the rest of those at CSS that coached me a long the way. Great memories.
  8. 2 points
    One question I've gotten on this subject--why do we keep needing more coaches? The biggest reason is we have continued to expand our coach requirements. We started with just a few on-track coaches. they weren't assigned, but got as many as they could. That has expanded to assigned coaches, as many as 8 on track (with 2 students to each coach at a 2-day Camp). The following is an approximate progression of coach requirements: We added an Off-Track Coach for: Steering Drill, Lean Bike, Slide Bike, Brake Bike, etc. Then we added Video Review Coach (at 2-day camps). At Single Day schools, we added another Off-Track coach. Then we added another Briefing Specialist. Then we added a Level 4 Consultant. Then with so many making it to L4, we had to add another L-4 Consultant. The coach requirement has gone from 2 -3 on track coaches (and one Briefing Specialist) to 12 trained coaches needed at most schools, plus 2 Briefing Specialists. Some coaches are very highly trained (takes years of hard work). We are proud of the boys and girls, they work hard to become coaches and enjoy working with students! Best, Cobie
  9. 1 point
    Great find, that is a REALLY good perspective on a very late apex turn. It really illustrates how long you have to wait to get on the gas, and how too low and entry speed would BEG you to roll on too early. It's also VERRRY interesting to observe the differences in the accuracy of the throttle timing (and consequently accuracy of the line) of the front runners versus some of the later riders.
  10. 1 point
    1) Braking, while leaned over, can cause the bike to stand up, see my more detailed answer above. On a properly set up sport bike, accelerating does NOT cause the bike to stand up. Accelerating WILL increase the radius of a circle but WITHOUT changing lean angle. A rider who thinks the bike stands up because of the throttle is unconsciously steering it up with the bars. Note - a bike with a more extreme, non-neutral setup - like a chopper with a stretched out front end, or a bike with a serious suspension problem - may act differently. 2) No. You are adding load to the rear tire in two different ways at once and that can easily overload it and lead to a rear tire slide, without a lot of warning to the rider or time to correct it. Doing one at a time is a much safer approach. 3) Yes, the front forks are more extended which makes it more difficult to steer the bike and there is less weight on the front tire which affects traction - the most extreme example would be accelerating so hard that the front tire is off the ground, obviously at that point there is no traction at all on the front tire. 4) Coming off the throttle makes it easier to lean the bike. It compresses the front end which steepens the steering angle and makes the bike easier to steer. Braking lightly can do the same, however on many bikes braking REALLY HARD can make the bike harder to steer; I'm not sure all of the reasons for that but I think it has to do with overloading the front tire (deforming it) and suspension, not to mention the difficulty for the rider of keeping enough pressure off the bars to steer effectively under hard braking.
  11. 1 point
    Yesterday I was riding a loop of country roads around my home. I know the area well enough to know where I am, but not well enough that I remember every curve and corner yet. I was exulting a little too much in the glory of a sunny day and dry roads, and i ended a straight section with too much speed to make the corner without drastic and dramatic actions. This could have been very bad. Fortunately, I didn't react...I acted. Kept balance, didn't hit the binders, kept my head and body into the necessary line, and rode the tightest corner at speed I have every made in my adult life, without a slip, slap, or shimmy. Came out the other side centered up and in control, and promising myself I would never ever ever do that again (a favorite lie I tell myself). I count this as the first notch for CSS. Specific training at CSS made this possible, whereas prior to taking the course I would at least have been doing some weeding, and at worst been having a yard sale out there in East Snohomish County. Considering taking the 2 day class? Consider what may happen if you choose not to.
  12. 1 point
    Two simple questions came up in class at CSS, and as you might suspect, the answers are not so simple. First: What did the engineers build your motorcycle to do? Second: What are you doing with your motorcycle? (or, What did that poor bike ever do to deserve that treatment?) These two questions have stayed with me every day since class. Here is a good example of why that is: Riding a long twisting downhill country road, but with traffic. Usually this is a favorite section, but at 45mph it's very boring. There is no place to pass, so you just have to ride it out. The easiest thing to do for me is to leave the bike in a mid-gear, 3rd or 4th, and let the massive engine braking of the boxer twin maintain the slow speed down the hill. Is this what the bike is designed to do? Absolutely not. Everything is wrong with this. All the drive gear is now loaded on the wrong side of the gear teeth, the rear tire is braking, but the suspension is loaded wrong because the braking force is not loading the brake calipers and effecting the swing arm member correctly. Add the fact that you are strangling the motor to produce drag. Then, you get to the bottom of the hill, and roll it on, shifting all the weight back to the rear wheel, unloading and the loading all the running gear on the opposite gear faces, and of course causing your engine to hiccup while fuel and air mix are adjusted to 'drive normal'. This transition is both sloppy and very uncomfortable. CSS informs me that the right move is to either ride the brakes down the hill consistent with design intent, or at a minimum clutch it before you hit the bottom of the hill to let the suspension heal, and then roll it on smooth to property load the bike. Long explanation, but you get the idea. Consciously trying to ride the bike the way it was designed to operate is actually much harder on the street than it is on the track, but there some rewards to be had in terms of machine wear and tear, and rider comfort. Plus, little things like suspension actually work if you consider what you are doing and why.
  13. 1 point
    Hi everyone, I m very interested in doing a 2 day camp, but I m not sure where. I've never ridden on a track. My first pick is Laguna Seca but I wonder how it compares to other tracks available for the 2 day camps. Chris
  14. 1 point
  15. 1 point
    It was good to meet you too! This year has turned out to be a pretty good one, and now with the new bikes (I think there are multiple points that are improved on this compared to previous models, but they aren't bad by any means!). If you think of it, shoot me an e-mail when you register, and come say hello in the morning. Best, Cobie
  16. 1 point
    Trying to "crouch with your weight on the pegs at all times" would be very physically demanding. There are times when getting some weight off the seat is beneficial, like when riding over bumps, or to facilitate shifting across the seat (hip flick, from Level 3) but generally it is too exhausting to try never to put weight in the seat. You can find a lot of prior discussion on this topic if you do a search of the forum. Here is one thread to have a look at:
  17. 1 point
    Wes- I hope you got what you needed from this thread and that it would be okay for me to leverage it to ask for help for my personal SR - at least the one I want to work on 1st (smile)...er this time around. I have a tendency to grip the left bar too tight. No idea why, nor can I see an apparent pattern of when I do it most often. When I notice I’m gripping hard it is when I tell myself to relax because my hand is already tired.
  18. 1 point
    I would be ecstatic for solid top 5 and an occasional few podiums in my local minimoto race club.
  19. 1 point
    Gianco, why do you think that pushing on external handlebar while cornering is wrong? Some bikes are naturally under-steering, yours may have that tendency for the tires that it is wearing. That means that the front tire will try to under-steer by itself when leaned. By keeping pressure on the external handle, you are compensating for that tendency and keeping everything in balance. You know exactly how much pressure to keep by feeling the bike balanced while cornering (not falling into the turn or out of it). Whenever you are "too slow for that moment" or at the ideal cornering speed, the bike is leaning exactly what it needs to lean to keep lateral balance of forces for that particular speed/radius-of-turn combination. As soon as you released the external pressure that was necessary to compensate for the under-steering tendency of the bike, a small counter-steering happened by itself (the internal handle-grip moved forward some), which leaned the bike excessively for that speed and you immediately felt the bike was falling into the turn (the lateral balance of forces had been ruined). Remember, we never directly select the lean angle, we only choose speed and radius of turn; then, the bike leans as far as it needs in order to find the lean angle that balances all lateral forces. By hanging-off we reduce the lean angle of the chassis, but the dynamic lean angle of balance (of the combined center of mass) remains the same for same speed and trajectory of the curve/radius of line.
  20. 1 point
    Finally was able to get the video to play through. Thanks for posting it.
  21. 1 point
    Hi Apollo, We have some good threads on tires, but I'll take a quick swing at this: The goal is to discover traction, not assume it--I'm not of the opinion that one should just "trust" the tires--find out how good they are working! This is harder to do on the front, easier to do on the rear. If the morning is cool/cold, (and let's assume no tire warmers) then you have to put heat in the tires, which builds from flexing the carcass, so heat comes from the inside out. So start easy, gradually increase the pace. Straight line accel and braking help a little to flex the carcass, but still needs both sides warmed, which is achieved by cornering and putting them on a load, gradually increasing that load. On a modern Dunlop slick, this can take 3 laps on even just a cool day, maybe more on a cold day, or very first ride. On some very cold days, they won't ever get to temp. If you have a good lock on the bike with the lower body (arms are not being used to support the body), the front will feel like it's a bowling ball, stiff and slippery, not "hooked up" at all. As it warms, you will feel more resistance, it's "biting" more and will track a tighter line once turned in. This is a super short comment, we have a lot of good data up here on tires, and cold tires too. Let me know if this helps, or you need any assistance finding more info. Best, Cobie
  22. 1 point
    Hi gang! I'm Roberts, a 27 year old enthusiast trapped in a 60 year old body. It's not my fault. I blame it on time. with 40+ years of street and off-road riding, I was not surprised to find out I have a lot of flaws. What does surprise is how hard it is to overcome dangerous habits. It's my hope that work with CSS and crew, and inputs from all of you, will help me to fix my problems before they 'fix' me.
  23. 1 point
    For riding at the track, the skill (or lack of) that's holding me back from advancing is feeling front end grip and riding near the limit. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's fear of a low side that's keeping me from riding near the limit? The one and only time I've ever put a bike on the ground was a low side in an off-camber decreasing radius where I felt like I had everything working just right until I was sliding on my back. I blame that incident on my stupidity of pushing cold tires but it's put a road block in my advancement and I wish there was a way to get past that to develop finer feel for the limit. I'm a dirt bike guy as well and I'm comfortable with that bike moving around under me at and beyond the limit of traction but for some reason I just can't trust myself to push the bike into any kind of slide at the track knowing that I can control it. Also, I never throw my leg over a motorcycle without hearing protection. I'm a poster case for being stupid about that earlier in my life and I'm just trying to save the hearing I have left.
  24. 1 point
    Ranked. I think visual skills and quick reflexes are the most important for street riding. Riders need to be able to absorb and react to information from the road in order to avoid hazards. Quick reflexes are important, especially with regards to braking and steering inputs. I don't cover the brakes on track, but I definitely do on the street. 1. Visual skill, lack of target fixation 2. Quick reflexes 3. Ability to steer quickly 4. Physical condition, strength 5. Brave
  25. 1 point
    Hi Pitts, I follow you on all the points above...it's a big subject (the visual skills, and what cause problems with being able to continually keep them working well for you). I"m just going to touch on this with a few comments. I'd say one element in keeping one from target fixing, is familiarity with the environment. Is one less likely to have target fixation on a road/track that is known well? Another will be controlling that environment, at a suitable speed for each person. Some can handle a quicker rate of this than others. Then gradually increasing that speed. Some just go too fast on the street for what I consider a speed that allows for enough margin for error. I just don't go fast on the street any more (had a few close calls, don't care for that). Lastly, what condition is the person in physically at that time? Well fed, well rested, not dehydrated, etc., can have a huge effect on a person's mental state. And the mind is a whole other subject! This are all pretty big stabs at this, so I might just be opening can here :). Best, Cobie
  26. 1 point
    I was told 33 front, 34 rear on Q3+ for "spirited" riding. Have been happy with that, will likely start with same on my Q4's (which should be to me Wednesday).
  27. 1 point
    To answer your question above, yes I do sometimes still catch myself getting target fixed when I enter an unfamiliar corner and think I've come in too fast. My personal solution is that I've trained myself that, whenever I feel compelled to pull the brake (as opposed to doing it in a controlled and conscious way), I look in to the apex. I've associated that feeling of "needing" to brake with being target fixed so now as soon as I feel that desire to pull the brake, I look to the inside to get my eyes moving the right direction.
  28. 1 point
    Hey John, Not sure I responded to your report, but thanks for doing that...the moderator got it down pretty quickly. Best, Cobie
  29. 1 point
    You are correct that everyone is on the road right now, myself included. Short answer for now but I will say that visual skills are the tools to combat target fixation, so a review of the sections on visual skills in Twist II would probably be helpful in answering your questions. For the experience YOU have had that you are describing, at what point in the corner do you realize that you are in too hot? Is it before you turn the bike or after? Do you end up off-line mid-corner, or do you get the entry and apex you want but end up wide at the exit?
  30. 1 point
    You really can't go wrong with any of the tracks that CSS goes to. However, I would give the slight edge to Barber, VIR, and Laguna if you're making a big trip out of it. If you're open to the entire country, I would probably vote for Barber. It would be a heck of a long trip, and I would definitely recommend using the school's BMWs. Barber has a fantastic track and the museum is incredible. The museum is definitely a must-see. VIR flows incredibly well and has fun elevation changes. You would be running the North course. Beyond the track, VIR has great amenities. You can rent a room overlooking the front straight or stay at the inn, and it has a restaurant on site. Laguna is a legendary track, but the amenities definitely are lacking compared to Barber and VIR. However, Monterey as a whole does make up for the extra frills that the track lacks. Also, do not worry about the straight. It is plenty long enough to scare yourself, especially if it your first time on track. On that note, even though VIR may seem like it has a long front straight, it definitely has a strong kink at speed. Although I would vote for Barber first, I will also say that Laguna days are harder and harder to come by. To that extent, you might want to do Laguna Seca sooner than later before the ridiculous neighbors finally make the track costs astronomical. (I fear that day will happen in the not too distant future). You really can't go wrong with any of them. But really consider renting their bikes. *knock on wood* The biggest issue I have with riding to the track is what happens if you crash. Odds are, the motorcycle will sustain damage and require repairs. Additionally, there is always the risk of bodily injury preventing riding home even if the bike is fine. If you have contingency plans ready, then that's one thing. I always prefer to drive or fly-in.
  31. 1 point
    Finally was able to order a paperback
  32. 1 point
    Trying to find whether the smaller bikes corner faster - or not - I found this: https://www.cycleworld.com/sport-rider/motogp-extreme-lean and
  33. 1 point
    I hope the current D208 are something else than the Sportmax D208s I had on the CB400 back in 2013! Most slippery rubber I have ever ridden on, by a big margin. They were original equipment on the DRZ400 motard allso, and may have worked on 100F sunny days, be we do not get those here. Ever. Sport touring tires work quite well when cold, and also warm up much quicker in my experience, compared to sport rubber. Even touring type bias ply will out-perform sport rubber under some conditions. I'll bet that on a day with 20-30F, something like a set of Metzeler ME77s will offer a LOT more grip than any modern sport radial made. At least with street tire pressure. In short, there is nothing wrong with sport rubber, but they are made for a purpose. Riding on public roads at respectable (as in legal) speeds in chilly temps are not such a purpose IMHO. In fact, even on a hot day, at a sensible pace for public roads, I doubt any pure sport tire will offer the grip of a sport touring model.
  34. 1 point
    Hi there! You may have noticed some recent changes in the forum. We are experimenting with categories to see if we can find the optimum number of categories to keep the forum as easy as possible to use. We are definitely interested in your opinion about what topic sections you'd like to see. As you may have noticed we have re-introduced a New Members area (if you are a guest or lurker, join up so you can post and tell us what you think!) and a Racing section to talk about races and our racing heroes. Let us know if you are happy to see those categories back, or if you liked the simpler format, and if you think we need additional categories, post up and let us know! Thanks in advance!
  35. 1 point
    Hello all, I've been a fly on the wall for a while now - I appreciate all the knowledge and discussion here. Recently signed up so I could ask some questions and participate. Began riding on a 1983 Honda z50 when I was six and I've been through quite a few bikes since (all dirt until I was in my 20's, now I'm in my 40's and mostly ride street and track, still get on the dirt from time to time though). I've been to a two-day camp and a couple single days with CSS and can't say enough great things about what Keith started and the CSS team carries on. The closest thing to race experience I've had was working as a Corner Marshall at the 2018 MotoGP event at COTA - on Comms to race control at T14 for four days. It was great to see the action up close and participate in the safety of the races. I live outside Austin, TX and about 35 miles from COTA - that and Harris Hill are my local tracks, haven't made it to MSR Cresson or Houston yet. I've been on the fence about getting into CRMA - family and other passions make the financial side difficult to justify. Anyway, greetings, I appreciate the opportunity to become a part of this online community.
  36. 1 point
    Cobie, Here's a post that I was working on but decided not to publish it...that is until you asked (minor edits made). Hotfoot- Sorry for the short response above. I'd intended to PM you about it later and just forgot. I didn't want to go too much into an answer at the time because I still want to maintain a modicum of online privacy & anonymity and I was still raw about the embarrassment. Confession being "good for the soul" and all that jazz. I hope you understand the fountainhead of my tepidity. A lesson (story) and question on confidence This Friday morning I learned that 50F is still too cold to ride. I saw that we would have a break in the cold weather, I decided to commute to work. I had been watching the forecast a couple days and Thursday was warmer than forecast so I reasoned I could relax my 60F minimum. Data indicated that at 6a it was 50 at a local weather station and the forecast high for the day was 60F. Preparing for the day, I went online last week and renewed the registration sticker and verified my insurance policy’s coverage status: FULL COVERAGE. I’ve got a lot going on with 9 motorcycles and 4 riders in my household - it’s too much to keep it all in my head. Life and maintenance was simpler with one bike and one rider. Knowing that I purposely over-inflated the tires while garaged, I pressurized the pump and readjusted the tire pressures on the Q3+ to 34F/36R Thursday night. I hadn’t ridden my CBR1000RR in 2018 but about 100 miles or so, spending all year racing my stock XR100. And besides, just because I’d entered it into Bike of the Month doesn’t mean it’s a garage/trailer queen. It’s meant to be ridden, right? Right! Well, I didn’t make it off my street when the rear tire broke loose in the right turn about 15MPH. Too much lean angle and not enough Joules (heat) and I witnessed it sliding and rotating away from me in the intersection of my subdivision, coming to rest on the footpeg and frame slider. The distance of my trip was approximately 200 feet from my driveway. My post-accident review Sunday Morning revealed the effect of the rising slope of the adjoining street on the right side was adding lean angle. Plus, I also know that I began to crack the throttle a tad too early on the rev-happy I-4 engine. We have the kind of pavement that looks like pressed rocks with deeply visible gaps where water, sand, or what may have been present...salt granules like to hide. My heart sank. And I could feel my back already begin to tense up. I didn’t even feel like picking it up for fear that I would be in horrible back pain later and the horror of the damage to my baby. I mustered the courage to find that the crash protection on the bike did its job. <$50 and she’ll be good to go! However, I still needed to get to work. I went back home and changed my pants (LoL). I made the foolish decision to not wear my riding jeans and tore a hole in my corduroys and skinned my knee. So I bandaged my knee, changed into my riding jeans and back out I went. But it wasn’t the same. Something happened to my mojo... This isn’t my first experience putting a bike down. But it’s a different experience with this bike because it’s my favorite. I think it’s because I put a lot of time, energy and money into customizing it to make it uniquely mine. I have wanted this bike for years before I bought it- even denying that I wanted it, until when it was offered to me preowned at a price I couldn’t refuse. My commute to work was tentative. And I don’t like the way I felt about it. My ride home was at 10p was uneventful and it felt like I had good traction. I wanted to put the crash behind me more than I was able to at the moment. I'll address that later...
  37. 1 point
    Thanks Hotfoot - I prefer the route of seeking the observations of the CSS coaches for what I should be working on rather than arriving with a list of what I think I need. That statement makes me think of the article by Keith regarding types of students... I like to think of myself as the 6th type, open-minded and teachable. That’s why I keep coming back to CSS - I get to become a well trained student with a very well trained coach. Plus I always see a lot of improvement. I do have a couple goals in mind though - consistency and smooth braking.
  38. 1 point
    It has recently come to my attention that it was not possible to reply to or comment on Keith's articles in the "Articles from Keith" section. It was never intended to be that way and it is FIXED now, so if you have read the articles and found them interesting, post up your thoughts, I'm sure Keith will love to see what you have to say.
  39. 1 point
    I've made a lot of progress at different parts of Thunderhill East. I've gotten my corner speed up in 1, 2, 5b, 8, 14, 15. I am wanting to start getting my speed up in 3 but it's off camber and I am not sure I know how to attack it safely. I've heard approach off camber like a decreasing radius but I'm not sure what that means. I'd rather ask now than after a crash and then get those "Oh, you have to ______ in off camber corners." I realize the basic premise of having less grip but I also know I'm not on the limit. I'm looking for specific techniques that you have to use on this kind of corner. Thanks.
  40. 1 point
    Regarding ease of steering: you can push the inside bar (push right bar to go right...) but you can and should also pull the opposite bar. Some people have a hard time coordinating this if they have not done so before.
  41. 1 point
    Generally speaking you would want to apex it where it is the most off-camber.
  42. 1 point
    Can you be more specific in your question? The basic throttle rule (see Twist of the Wrist II) is the same. If your specific question is in regards to Spaghetti's comment above about adding lean angle while accelerating - that action is not recommended, as it is a classic way to overload the rear tire and lose traction, but generally speaking a smaller displacement bike (assuming good tires and suspension) would be easier to manage because it has less available power to feed to the rear tire. It is pretty easy, on a modern 600 or 1000cc sport bike, to break the rear tire loose by adding throttle and lean at the same time. It is tougher to do on something like a 250cc or 300cc bike, but certainly not impossible, if you lean it over far enough and especially if you are abrupt with the throttle application. The traction control available on the S1000rr helps a great deal in avoiding applying too much throttle while leaned over, as it manages the power based on measured lean angle, however if a rider aggressively ADDS lean angle and throttle together, it is still possible to overwhelm the rear tire. I must say, though, the S1000rr is amazingly easy to ride, even for a rider new to high HP machines, the electronics in it are amazing, it has been an incredible training tool for the school.
  43. 1 point
    I am dying to have some feedback on the behavior of the new s1000rr (announced tomorrow !!!) on the track...Entirely new bike, 207 hp... And I am even more curious about the behavior of the new Ducati V4R... with the Akra line, they announce 234 hp for only 165 kg, in a 998 cc (so OK for normal competition) ! If the frame and electronics (provided the suspensions should be top notch as they are full Akra and the brakes also high end) are good, that is it corners well, it could kill all competition...that also means that it should not be a special series as they must produce a minimum number of OEM bikes so that it's allowed in competitions. Price will also be way above average...but still should stay below 40000 euros (otherwise, again, the bike will not be allowed in most competitions), so still 1/2 the price of the HP4 Race...but anyway, all this is still just on paper...let see what test riders say when they take it out on track...big engine is one thing, but it is not sufficient to make it a killer bike on the track ! But it's all exciting ! But Kawa, Suz and Yam will need to bring their bikes to the next levels if the Ducati and BMW are not only big engines but also great cornering machines ! EXCITING !!!
  44. 1 point
    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?
  45. 1 point
    Hello from Seattle! A few weeks ago, I volunteered as a corner worker at The Ridge during a CSS class. I've heard nothing but great things about the class so I signed up for August 6 & 7th at VIR. I'm looking forward to the class, meeting fellow motorcycle fanatics, and trying out an S1000RR!
  46. 1 point
    At least two are steering, and the third could be also, since being able to carry more entry speed has a lot to do with being able to steer the bike quickly! You mentioned earlier that you had the idea that you needed to be on the brakes to compress the forks to steer the bike - did (or does) that misconception create the entry speed problem and the mid-corner adjustment problem you are trying to fix? Can you (personally) steer the bike more quickly (and carry more entry speed) if you are not also trying to brake hard enough to compress the forks? It is certainly less to worry about, easier to gauge entry speed, and easier to control the steering action, if you are not trying to brake hard at the same time. To be clear, compressing the forks CAN tighten up the steering by compressing the forks (this steepening the steering angle) but it can also make the bike harder to steer (more effort) and I have been in at least one back-and-forth debate with Cobie about which is the greater effect. Personally I almost never use the front brake for the sole purpose of compressing the front end - if I don't need the brakes to slow down, I don't use them. One exception that I can think of is a VERY fast chicane where I have difficulty getting the bike steered fast enough (only at my max pace), and I am driving going into the chicane. In that one case I do SOMETIMES us the front brake a little to help me get the quick direction change, because otherwise the forks are extended coming into it, because I am accelerating coming into it, and the combination of speed, momentum, and fork extension makes the direction change difficult in that tight chicane. A touch on the brakes helps to get it flicked over from one side to the other, but it is a bit tricky to do and I need a lot of free attention to get it right.
  47. 1 point
    What Bike or class? The SV650 is the most fun I have ever had. The most fun class was riding an SV650 in the AHRMA Barber Vintage Festival Sounds Of Thunder 1 race last year. We had 48 on the grid. I was on the 6th row on my SV650 in an unlimited class. two wave start with over 65 bikes racing on the track at the same time. I stayed awake most of the night wondering what I would do. Should I wait for the 3 minute board and start from pit lane, line up in the back at the end of the warm up lap? I decided to take everything I had learned and trust those that had taught me. I lined up on the grid and raced with the big boys. It was an unbelievable feeling. I finished 16th, not bad for 82 hp. I have to race with bigger displacement bikes since my SV is not stock. I think it makes you a better rider.
  48. 1 point
    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.
  49. 1 point
    Great article. I find the following the most interesting. 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. I fell into #2 for quite some time. Improving my form on the bike has given me new found confidence. I am finding that I am having to "re-learn" steering in some cases because of how well the bike turns now. I have found that physical fitness plays a huge role in good form for me. Being physically stronger in my lower body gives me a more stable base and less fatigue when repositioning on the bike frequently. I learned this the hard way this past Level 4 when I had a great on track session where I made some major breakthroughs. When I got back to the pits and got off the bike I found it difficult to walk because my lower body was angry with me for demanding so much out of it.
  50. 1 point
    Trail braking is a highly useful skill to have for the corners and riding situations where it applies. Decreasing radius entry corners are a perfect example of a kind of corner where anyone might want to trail the brake in. I was told by some car guys that Schumaker's team mate a year ago (don't know his name) who was driving pretty well didn't trail brake at all while Schumaker did all the time so apparently even in cars it is an option based on the pilot. It is also easy to see that MotoGP riders often don't get back to the gas until around the apex of the corner. When you consider that it takes time to finish the release of the brake and move your hand into roll on position you see that the is only very, very slight actual braking going on through the first third of the turn. You can also easily see that even the fastest guys make terminal errors with trail braking so from that perspective it is indeed an "advanced technique" I don't have a quarrel with trail braking except that it can become a crutch for riders who don't have a clue on their turn entry speeds and trailing the brake in becomes a crutch to a rider who doesn't have a good sense of speed. The fact is that trailing the brake is something that should be done on every track braking situation, whether the rider is leaned over or not and this is a huge point for riders when they are trying to "go fast". It's huge because they tend to "charge the turns". THat means they wind up with a lot of brake at their turn in point and that just makes it more difficult to judge the entry speed accurately. Up to the point any riders is still having entry speed problems trail braking won't solve their entry speed judgement errors. In many corenring situations in racing you will get passed if you aren't trailing the brake in. In others, if you can run late turn entries and you have good confidence to get the bike turned quickly you can let someone pass you going in and repass them on the exit because your line will let you drive off the corner harder. On the road, trailbraking is a valuable skill for avoiding obstacles like pot holes or rocks or whatever. As pointed out earlier in this thread, lean angle and braking are porportional. The more lean you have the less brake you can use. If you are overconfident with it you will do a Danny Pedrosa and take out your team mate who is tyring to win a world championship...as an example...or crash on the road. The question then is does trailbraking solve the other basics of corenring like choosing a line, good throttle control, visual skills, rider input errors and so on. I say it doesn't. On the the road to improving speed I believe there are points that build a stronger foundation for the rider than learning to trail leaned over. Keith
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