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  1. 4 points
    Riding on the road is all about recognising and anticipating hazards, and managing those hazards. You can measure improvement by your ability to navigate those hazards faster, with less panic, or a combination of both. The vast majority of riding skills are applicable to both road and track. On the road you are just using them for hazard management. On the track primarily you measure improvement by your lap times. Not just fastest lap, but consistency in your lap times. Also good lap times while getting through traffic - being able to get past slower riders without being held up is not just an improvement in your riding, it allows you more track time to focus on improving more since your aren’t stuck at someone else’s pace for an extended period of time.
  2. 3 points
    Most discussions of steering and "weight shift", "loading" and "helps it to steer" are riddled with illogic, and the people discussing will not reach a conclusion predicated on so many errors in thought. Rather, going to the basics of logic is the best way forward lest they get entangled permanently in confusions. Forums have become a popular platform to air ones flawed thought process, while other visitors try in vain to overhaul their whole logical approach to problem solving. Not saying I've got logic down myself, but some statements and articles have so many flaws, it's like: "where do we start?..." and just skip it. Remember when you have contrary facts, one or both are false. Some things to consider: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consistency https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Validity
  3. 3 points
    So I went and paid for a one month subscription to see all of the MotoVudu videos available on the website. There's a lot, over 100 videos. Some are quite short, only a minute or two, others are longer. It's basically a bunch of videos of Simon giving tips about riding (and other things related to riding). I'd love to read his book but it's not available electronically and I'd prefer to download it and read it on my iPad while on a plane. So my feedback is based purely on the videos and the public stuff on his website. A lot of it is good information and will definitely help riders improve. One of things that jumps out at me about the quoted article above by Simon: "In all my years instructing on circuit I am yet to come across a very fast rider using strictly what CSS teaches". My first response to this is that very fast riders don't need Simon's coaching so that's probably why he's never come across one (it's not hard to find a list of very fast riders trained by CSS) The very first comment at the bottom of that article is by someone who had been "using CSS technique of getting balancing throttle applied straight after turn in" - that's not what I remember CSS teaching - we all know the throttle control rule, and it's not about "balancing" throttle. So as Dylan pointed out, the former students that Simon has been coaching aren't even practicing what they've been taught at CSS. He teaches pushing yourself up against the tank so that the tank can hold you under braking forces, BUT he also says to lock your arms on the bars under braking. Once the braking is done you're supposed to relax the arms and lean your upper body forward and on the inside of the bike. Then in another video he talks about how to many people have too much input on the bars. Well guess why that is? It's because riders at the level he seems to be coaching, can't go from fully locked arms to leaning forward with relaxed arms quick enough so the arms still locked or partially locked while they are trying to steer the bike. He also talks about letting the rear move around under braking, which IMO is a result of what he's teaching, not a something you should be aiming to do. It's not my intention to ridicule Simon's coaching, because as I said at the start there's a lot of good stuff there. There's a really good, balanced, review of the MotoVudu DVD (the content of which is available with the one month subscription on the website) here: https://lifeatlean.com/motovudu-dark-art-of-performance-dvd-review/ and I agree with everything in that review. The only negative comments I've seen of CSS are from people who clearly haven't understood the drills they were supposed to be practicing. One guy complained that a CSS coach told him he would go faster without getting his knee down. The drill he was practicing before being told this was Rider Input - he was trying so much to get the knee down that he was white knuckling the bars. Knee down doesn't make you fast (though fast riders can get the knee down whenever required/desired). I have video of me getting the knee down in a carpark doing figure 8's in 1st gear at not much more than walking pace. As for which methods are the best/fastest, it takes a lot more than learning riding techniques at a few riding schools to be very fast. A lot of riders suffer way too much from paralysis by analysis, when what they need to do is get more track time and practice!
  4. 2 points
  5. 2 points
    Good morning. A few co-workers and I are signed up for the May 26th CSS at Barber and this will be our first time going to this school. We will be using school gear and bikes as well. My question is to all of the veterans of the school out there. Is there anything that you wish you knew or knew to bring before you got there? If we have go pro's will there be mounts on the school bikes or helmets or are we allowed to even mount them? Coolers with drinks or will there be stuff there? How much spendy cash to bring (will there be shirts, ect. for sale)? You get the idea, anything useful that you can give to guys who will be attending for the first time. Thanks for your time. Jeff
  6. 2 points
    It's a little hard to tell just seeing it from the back side so take this with a grain of salt, but it looks to me like you are hanging your butt/hips off just a little bit too far on the right versus the left. On the left side you look comfortable and secure, and you are rotating your hips a bit to the left (into the turn) which sets you up nicely to get your upper body and head low and off to the left. Comparatively, on the right side, it looks to me like you scoot your butt over farther, and can't rotate your hips as much into the corner, which seems to compromise the lock in of your outside knee and make it more awkward to get your upper body down and to the right. Some things to check: 1) Are you too close to the tank to be able to rotate your hips towards the inside of the corner? Try scooting back just a little and see if it makes it easier. 2) Can you lock in your outside (left) knee as solidly on right turns as you can your outside (right) knee of left hand turns? If not, try not moving your hips quite so far to the rights on your right turns, rotate your hips a little more to the inside (right hip more toward the rear of the bike), and see if that pushes your left knee more solidly into a lock position on the tank. 3) Have you attended a school and done the "hip flick" exercise from Level 3? Making a smooth, consistent movement of the hips without bouncing on the pegs or adding any bar input is a benefit of that drill. I know you said you are not holding onto the bars... but that would be one of the most common reasons for the bike feeling like it "wants to abruptly tip over", either during the transition or once hanging off - a really small amount of input can make a really big difference. One obvious thing that is different on rights versus lefts is that you have the throttle control in your right hand. Any chance that when you roll on the throttle you are putting some forward (steering) pressure on that right bar, causing the bike to lean over more (or faster) than you expect?
  7. 2 points
    Last year for my birthday, I redid L1 and the following day L2. I then turned around 2 weeks later and did L3, followed by L4. This year, again for my birthday on the same track I did L4 again. I rode the BMW S1000RR and had a blast! I didn't take lap times, but I could easily perceive my pace was quicker, smoother and safer since the last time I was at the circuit. I took a couple wins with me in that I realized at the consulting table with my peers that I went through the day and not once had a pucker moment. I had control over myself and the bike, even during the time when I blew my TP for T7. My other win was that I completed the day without the nagging of back pain that has come up over the years. I was able to use many of the L3 skills that I picked up and I also realized some areas where I can expand my new capabilities into and remove some old limitations. I can also say that I've had the pleasure of winding the S1000RR to WOT on the front and back straights. Maybe in the soon future, I'll be able to hold it there!
  8. 2 points
    The school will have pretty much everything you need available - sunscreen, earplugs, water, snacks, etc. However, at Barber some things you could end up wanting to have: a folding chair, for break times - there is seating in the classroom, but you might want to have a chair you can put somewhere in the shade for times between class and riding. A comfortable, cool layer to wear under your leathers, either an undersuit made for the purpose or something like UnderArmour pants and shirt. An underlayer makes it a LOT easier to get in and out of leathers, plus being cooler and more comfortable underneath. A regular cotton tshirt can get bunched up or wet under leathers and won't keep you as cool as UnderArmour or an undersuit. The school does have undersuits for sale, in limited size/quantity, you may want to call ahead to see if they can reserve one for you in your size and find out the price. Drinks of your own if you have a preference - keeping hydrated is important, it can get hot at Barber. The school will have water and Skratch (an electrolyte drink) available. If you want to run a Go Pro, mention it as you register in the morning to find out if it will be allowed and to leave time to arrange for mounting the camera. As far as money goes - there are plenty of things to buy, T shirts, caps, track decals, not to mention bike parts and Stomp grip, so how much to bring is up to you. Credit card is fine for purchases and you will need a credit card for your equipment deposit anyway, so you may just want to bring that instead of a bunch of cash. Also Barber museum is nearby, and a giant Bass Pro shop, so there are lots of places you can spend money if you're so inclined. Consider making time the day before or after your school to visit the Barber Museum, it is AMAZING.
  9. 2 points
    Nice post, Lnewqban. Jaybird, what is it that you are trying to fix or figure out? We know from riding our no BS bike at the school that you can get a bike to drift to one side by hanging weight off to one side - as Lnewqban addresses quite well above. But we also know that it is slow and imprecise, and anyone who has ridden the no BS bike recognizes immediately that they are not in control of the motorcycle when their hands are on the fixed bars. Given a slow enough speed and enough time and space to accomplish it, you can get the bike to turn, but it is hardly effective enough to get one around a racetrack or avoid an obstacle. You can see a clear demonstration of this in the Twist II DVD, you can see the effects of weight shift, how the the bike reacts and how the bars react. I'm not quite clear whether you are trying to address hanging weight off to the inside, or talking about weighting one peg without moving the Center of Mass, the effects are different. More importantly, what challenge are you facing in your riding that has you asking about this? (Or is it all just an academic dicussion ? )
  10. 2 points
    Higher RPM in a corner does make a difference in motorcycle handling. Take a look at this article: https://www.msgroup.org/forums/mtt/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2182 There is also the effect of greater engine braking approaching the turn, which may have allowed you to shorten your braking distance, or use less brake and get a more accurate entry speed.
  11. 2 points
    This particular item, in my opinion, is a great example of something that is not a matter of who is right and wrong as much as what works for one rider versus another, depending on that riders bike and their physical build and flexibility. Different bikes have different rider handlebar heights and distance from the seat, different shaped tanks, different rearset heights and configurations, etc. and that all impacts how the rider can hang on, and hang off. Even if you just narrow it down to sportbikes, you can look at a Ducati gas tank versus a Yamaha gas tank and see that rider lock on will not be the same from one to the other. And of course, a 6'3" 180 lb rider would fit on a bike differently than a 5'1" 180 lb rider. You can go to any track day and see LOTS of riders hanging their butt WAYY off the seat, even riders who are riding at a slow pace in the beginner group. Very often you will ALSO see those riders propping themselves up with their inside arm, and/or crossing their head and upper body BACK over the tank to the other side, so they really aren't shifting any weight to the inside after all. (OK, gallery, what is wrong with propping yourself up with the inside arm?). Some riders are strong enough and flexible enough (and tall enough!) to find a position where they hang off more than half their butt, without causing any unwanted bar input, unstable lower body lock, or excess fatigue - but for MOST riders, half a butt cheek is a much better starting point to create a stable, functional and effective body position. At the school we have a great off track exercise where we put a rider on a bike and work with them one-on-one to find a body position that works for them, along with educating them along the way about what is important about body position - what is the point of hanging off, how to do it (if desired), and how to get a good, comfortable, solid position that works, and then practice it. Just like you say above - knowing not only what to do, but also understanding why.
  12. 2 points
    The bowl is FUUUUNNNN, seems like the best place to get more speed, at least compared to the others you mentioned. It is scary as hell trying to go faster where you crest that hill, where it is blind and off- camber! Which direction were you riding the track, CCW?
  13. 2 points
    The data loggers are absolutely incredible in what they do, and small and easy to mount. If you really are interested in one, contact the school office at 800-530-3350. Slicks are really expensive and tires are one of the biggest expenses involved in track riding. If the data logger helps you find the problem with your tire wear (or gives you the info you need to take to your suspension guy or tire guy), it will pay for itself very quickly. The additional riding info that you get that will improve your laptimes will just be a bonus! Edit - BTW if you have a friend that has one, too, you can download your data and compare, creating a "virtual race" type thing where you can overlay your laps and see the differences - where you or your friend is getting on the gas earlier, carrying more speed, braking later, etc., and you can use your combined positive points to improve each other's laptimes. Or just bench race. Anyway it is really great and I highly recommend it!
  14. 2 points
    That’s ironic you link the wiki article. I have read it. they describe countersteering by weight shifting and being able to initiate turns by making the bike lean right or left through peg weighting. You may not change the center of mass very much, but the fact that bike is now leaned, it induces the front wheel to swivel and create the countersteering input. ‘They point out that the movement is minor the heavier the vehicle is, but might this be what is best in the middle of a turn to hold a line if needed? its not that I don’t believe in countersteering, it obviously is the most effective way of getting to your lean angle quickly. I just wanted input on how much weight I should have on the seat vs crouching on the pegs. Now that you’ve made it somewhat clear, I can make my adjustments. i went out for a ride and found a nice feeling of stability cornering when firmly seated on the bike. And I was surprised at how much I was actually squatting on the pegs before and how hard it was to break the habit the faster I entered. I still felt like I wanted to be up on the pegs as it felt I was in better control of the bike, but I know this is not my goal. Maybe it’s a survival reaction, like I’m ready to jump off if I slide. Lol. my goal is to be in position before the corner. Enter the corner firmly seated in good position to apply the initial countersteering input. Get to my lean angle without moving my body position around to upset the bike. Then, pick up the apex and apply gradual throttle to settle the suspension, then the exit point, maybe at this point move the upper body or weight the outer peg or counter steer to get the bike up and out of the lean.
  15. 2 points
    Hi All Thanks for letting me join in. Had a look at some of the chats and lots of quality info in here. Made the trip over to California a couple of years ago to do levels 1 & 2 at Willow Springs - and it was epic! Excited about coming back over this October for some more of your amazing weather and to find out how truly awful I've become at turning left and right on a bike ;-) (just kidding coaches!) Looking forward to picking up good tips here and hopefully I can contribute along the way too...
  16. 2 points
    For me, the fundamentals of CSS are simple and straightforward. There is nothing complex about "do most of your braking while upright", or "complete your steering before getting back on the gas"... What I like most about these CSS fundamentals is that they are "safe". At any point in any corner, the chances of losing the front mid-corner while on maintenance throttle and no unintended steering input is so much less than if you were on the brakes and steering into the corner at that exact point (see pic below). There is this confidence that comes from knowing the bike is stable as you go through a corner. That being said, I get why others schools may be upset with CSS students! I can't trail brake to the apex to save my life. So if another school was trying to coach me to ride in that manner (to carry the brakes farther into the corner), it would be frustrating for both of us. People spend so much time arguing about trail braking (to the apex) vs point and shoot (quick turn, then back on throttle). There are many fast riders with different styles. The major difference I notice between these 2 styles is in the lines. CSS teaches wide entry (or late turn in points) and people who trail brake like to begin turn in sooner, brake longer, and trail to the apex.
  17. 2 points
    Learning to see point after point after point throughout a turn. Following the turn and reference points with my eyes instead of darting them back and forth, actually looking through the turn and connecting the imaginary dots I have laid out. I use this a lot for driving on highways, the white lines can assist with the imagery here. Before I used to begin to turn, and then have no idea where to go next. This would then allow for more steering inputs. As I have learned and repeated to myself several times: one steering input and ONLY one steering input! As soon as I began having reference points and connecting the dots with my drive through the turn, I stopped feeling lost. I started to see my trajectory. It was like THERES MY WAY OUT, GO GO GO! I love this feeling. Whenever I am riding on a new road, I keep following my trajectory and leave other distractions behind. It shows when I ride as well because people think I actually know where I am going! As of late, I have also been practicing standing on my toes more and keeping my butt off the seat. Not like jockey style, but just hovering above the seat. It sounds silly, but when I coached tennis for high school and privately for wealthier people, I encourage my students to stand on their toes. Stay alert. Hop around. While on the bike, a similar level of alertness and quick response is felt if I hover above the seat while standing more on my toes. I do NOT hop around on my foot pegs! I try to keep all that steady as necessary. Standing on the balls of my feet though has really allowed me to respond quicker, feel more alert, pivot steer, and be ready to fall into the turn WITH the machine rather than place it under me.
  18. 2 points
    Here's some hints on these rear tires slides: LISTEN to the engine, how smooth is the throttle application when leaned over? Watch the rider on the R1s throttle hand - what does he do when the rear tire starts to slide? What control could a rider be using that could cause the rear tire to slide on the entry? What could a rider do on the corner exit that would cause the rear tire to be under much greater load than the front? I'd also ask - especially in the case of the black guy on the black bike near the beginning of the video - what is the condition of the tires, and are they adequately warmed up?
  19. 2 points
    Those are massive changes in lap times, and sounds like you are doing it with a plan, making changes gradually so as not to fire off the SRs, and really using the drills and techniques from the school, great job! Glad to hear you are getting such excellent results, well done!
  20. 2 points
    The rider's position on a unicycle means that the rider must exert more force on the single tire whereas on a bicycle the outstretched rider can use both tires. Yes because the motorcycle is turning about the rear wheel's circumference Centripetal force. In the rain we cannot get the same level of friction from the road surface and therefore cannot generate the same load safely. I'll give this some thought and come back to this one if you don't mind as I believe that bicycles don't quite behave the same as motorcycles due to the bicycle having similar tires on front and rear....Okay I've thought about it- It's centripetal force Lean ange is cause. See #2 Excessive acceleration. Controllable by modulating the acceleration until Balance Point (BP) is reached, afterwards it's subject to the laws of gravity if BP is exceeded Gravity and Engine power is forcing the rear wheel into the ground, until a certain angle as determined by swingarm angle and wheelie angle, which might constitute the Balance Point
  21. 2 points
    There’s an article with an objective performance data comparison of vintage vs modern sportbikes. Maybe later today I’ll see if I can find it again.
  22. 2 points
    That would look like me getting out of the driveway - LoL
  23. 2 points
    We got some winter here and I took my Virago-come-scrambler out for a spin. Hard work! I have been riding a lot on winter roads on bicycles when growing up, as well as 3 winters on motorcycles before, but this - at about 530 lb - is by far the heaviest two-wheeled vehicle I have taken onto snow and ice. The tyres didn't impress, either, and combined with my limited skills when it comes to playing made things less than elegant. But at least I got to spin up some figure eights for the first time in my life, although they also proved the expected lack of talent. Still, I had fun, but during my commutes I stay away from playing since the front tucks every time the rear starts to spin up - I'd rather stay upright than topple over trying to look cool
  24. 2 points
    Do you have a copy of Twist of the Wrist II? Chapter 19, Pivot Steering, goes into specific detail about weight distribution on the seat and pegs, explains what to do, how to do it, and why, with specific explanations and examples of the effects on the bike. It's far more complete and informative than what could be typed here. Take a look at that if you can and let us know what you think, or if you have any additional questions! BTW, if you are like me and want answers as fast as possible, Twist of the Wrist II is available as an e-book now, here is a link to it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Twist-Wrist-II-High-Performance-Motorcycle-ebook/dp/B00F8IN5K6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461194283&sr=8-1&keywords=twist+of+the+wrist+II+kindle
  25. 1 point
    Pickup is a conscious decided effort. The rider intends to lift the bike to vertical at a much earlier point in the turn than allowing a lazy vertical movement later when the bike is decidedly passed the exit.
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