Jump to content

Leaderboard


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/19/2017 in all areas

  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. 3 points
    Here's a short TV spot about CSS. Courtesy of Superbike Planet
  5. 3 points
    A couple of other things to be cautious about. 1. Puddles. Not only because of the hydroplaning potential. Hit one at speed and all the water in the puddle nearly instantaneously will soak you and add lots of weight to you. 2. Tar snakes and patches. Not all traction is created equal. Tar snakes will cause a lot more traction issues when they are wet. Some patched areas have more or less traction than the main part of the track. 3. Visibility. Visor fogging (easily fixed), Mist from other bikes, fog and rain on your visor can reduce visibility. Use a clear shield at all times to avoid this and preferably a clear windshield on your bike to maximize visibility. The straights are a gigantic wind powered windshield wiper for your helmet if you stick your head up in the air stream and move it from side to side. 4. Slippery when wet. Controls, pegs, tanks and other parts of the bike are not as easy to hold onto when your bike is wet. Be aware.
  6. 3 points
    Personally I love riding in the rain. Less traffic and at the end of the day it's like having your own private track when everyone packs up and leaves early. When other riders are angry and horrified about the R word I'm thinking "heck yea"! Some of the things that change in my riding in the rain. 1. Braking. Earlier, lighter, longer. Stretch out the braking zone and leave yourself a buffer just in case. 2. Lean angle. Less is more. You stay on the fatter part of the tire and maintain more traction. Hang WAY off the bike to reduce lean angle. The more you hang off even at slower speeds keeps you on the more stable part of the tire. 3. Line. It's critical to use ALL of the track available to flatten out the corners as much as possible. 4. Less aggressive quick steer. I have found that you absolutely still can quick steer in the rain if you stay reasonable with it. I worried the heck out of a CSS coach when he assigned me the quick steer drill in the rain. I performed the drill too. I even got a hug when I came back in one piece. 5. Throttle. You have to be a lot easier on the throttle especially when the bike is leaned over. On "analog" bikes once the bike is straight up and down you can use the throttle to "sample" traction. Give it gas and you can feel where the tire wants to spin just a bit. That is the fine line of where the traction ends. Don't cross the line especially when leaned over. (I would approach this with caution!). On bikes like the S1000RR in the right mode the bike will protect you for the most part on the gas. I find that I prefer sport mode or higher in the rain but rain mode is more protective and best to start out with. 6. Smooth counts. Abrupt and sloppy inputs that are ignored because of mega grippy tires are not tolerated at all by the bike in the wet. Stuff to watch out for! 1. Curbing. It's fine to run over curbing in the dry but in the wet that stuff becomes really slick. You have WAY less traction than you do in the dry on painted parts. 2. Panic. If you end up overdoing it don't panic!!!! With less traction the bike is much less willing to be forgiving for sloppy and abrupt inputs. If you enter a corner too fast just extend your braking past the optimal turn point and use the track you have available. Bring the bike down to a manageable speed and turn where you can. Yes you essentially "blow" the corner but by using the track you have you keep it on the pavement. 3. Tires. It's COMPLETELY true what was said about tire temps earlier. Your tires won't maintain temp. Not only are you dealing with the slick surface created by a wet track you are doing it essentially on cold tires. I set a cold pressure and leave it there. You can even experiment a bit with dropping the pressure but I'm not really sure it helps much and can potentially make the bike feel a bit mushy and imprecise if you overdo it. You still won't get a lot of heat in the tires. 4. Your physical condition. Riding in the rain seems easier but you do still get tired. Since you aren't sweating like crazy the fatigue sneaks up on you. I rode every single session of a wet track day only to figure out during the last session that I was a lot more fatigued than I realized. This fatigue can be both mental and physical. Stay sharp!
  7. 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?
  8. 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!
  9. 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...
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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!
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. 2 points
    That would look like me getting out of the driveway - LoL
  17. 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
  18. 2 points
    Simon possibly thinks he knows what CSS teaches but only has former students' information about CSS to try and glean what is taught. That's the dictionary definition of the word hearsay. He never did any of our schools. Often these students who hop around to different trainers misunderstand pretty much anything they are told and then give each subsequent trainer a foul impression of other trainers who came before them. The biggest problem/confusion is that there is not one. Simon says to turn with the throttle off, Keith says to get the throttle on when the steering is completed. Those two are the same thing. Now to take up your points on anti-squat and "better" steering geometry. It appears that your surface understanding of a truly complex subject of motorcycle geometry will only get you tangled up in a ball of yarn unless you seek to further educate yourself--outside motorcycle forums. Your biggest clue would be to seek out what "trail" is and what "normal trail" is and what happens to it when the front brake is applied, and seek to differentiate between "turning", "leaning" and "carving an arc". Also what an increase in trail mid turn would do for a motorcycle.
  19. 2 points
    In 1976 I figured I had the world by the tail once I discovered how to use Reference Points while riding and racing. That realization set me on the twisty road of rider-improvement discovery and began my maiden voyage of exploration into rider training. I began coaching students one-on-one, developing a curriculum that relied heavily on Reference Points and how to use them at tracks. I applied the data from that coaching and the Superbike School which was born in 1980 just after retiring from racing. Prior to those coaching experiences, Reference Points (RPs) usually only meant having braking markers. Lines were a topic of discussion but no procedure existed on how to figure out a line, how to dissect one or how to stitch a track together with RPs. From experience gained at the schools and later, coaching several factory riders, I wrote more on how to find and use RPs. That info came out in the first A Twist of the Wrist book in 1984. Today we know much more about RPs and what kind of visual skills a rider needs to develop. RPs assist us in defining the Space we’re in and the Speed we’re traveling through it. Accuracy with those elements relies heavily on having a minimum of three Reference Points (RPs). An accurate orientation in space begins with two external Reference Points. We find two points or objects or areas first and this then gives us a reckoning of our own location where we become the third point of orientation. Together, that creates an accurate tracking of the direction of our progress in relation to the other two. With those three, our eyes begin to create 3D space, which in turn improves our perception of relative speed and direction of travel. Also, and importantly, our sense of time and timing switches on quite automatically. In short, RPs help us create perspective. Finding and using Reference Points is quite natural and native to our survival: rarely do we walk into a closed door or bump against the furniture nor do we count how many steps it will take to walk across a room. RPs are automatically taken into account and coordinated. Some riders have a hard time finding and using RPs. While their very survival has relied on that ability they still insist that it’s difficult. This peeked my interest to find out why they struggle with something they already do. In riding there are many barriers but only two freedoms: The freedom to change the speed and to change the direction of the bike. Without RPs it’s impossible to do them well. Having the bike pointed where you want it to go is another ingrained-use we make of RPs. Whether conscious of it or not, we always have an intended destination, a location we are seeking to reach. Arriving at a location simply refers to staying in your lane, missing a pothole, not running wide, picking your turn entry, finding a line, recognizing you are on a line at all or simply avoiding hitting a car. Accurately gauging when and how much to gas, brake and turn so we can arrive somewhere depends on having three RPs. So why the difficulty? Accuracy and purpose both have something to do with it. Starting off with the idea to keep the bike on the road is a good goal; when it comes to cornering motorcycles it isn’t enough. Lining up for a corner right on the edge, in order to open the turn’s radius as wide as possible is correct thinking for most turns. Starting that turn 3 feet inside the edge defeats that purpose; especially on the road where 3 feet is 25% of the whole lane. Not accustomed to being that accurate, riders default to “safe in the middle of the road”. There are other visual and control weaknesses that can contribute to this common error. Not being adept at steering the bike can make any rider edge-shy. If they subscribe to so called ‘Body Steering’ they’ve experienced the bike lazily changing directions often enough to avoid being too close to the edge of their lane. RPs themselves have a viable range of application. Too close or too far away on the road’s surface are their chief parameters. Too far to one side or the other of your intended line can also create problems. The how, when and where of using RPs is nicely wrapped up in the two dozen drills I’ve developed which can be coached by someone trained to recognize the rider errors resulting from not having sufficient RPs. That’s good news. The bad news is we now run smack into every rider’s mortal enemy, that of Target Fixation. Target fixated is bad; it signals the onset of varying degrees of panic. The kicker is that the main reason we panic is because we’ve lost our other RPs. When target fixed we only have that one RP and we need two. Drilling and coaching on correct visual techniques with simple and doable exercises heads off the classic visual faults humans seem stuck with. It seems impossible to eliminate target fixation, tunnel vision and over-active scanning. However, through understanding and drilling of what, where, how far ahead, how wide and even how long we should look at our RPs we can make deep inroads into the problems and find solutions to them. At the schools we haven’t sat still on these problems. At this point in time, we’ve developed 64 visual exercises our coaching staff use regularly to help their students understand and to improve what you could easily say is the most important part of any rider’s skill portfolio. © 2017 Keith Code. All rights reserved.
  20. 2 points
    Other than the slip between tyre and road, the engine is mechanically linked to the tarmac. By that it means that for any given speed, rpm is constant for a particular gear, regardless of throttle position. Let's say you need 5000 rpm to go 60 mph in 4th gear. Regardless of where the throttle is, be that full off or full on or anywhere in between, you will have exactly 5000 rpm at 60 mph in a straight line. Unless the tyre is spinning or the clutch is slipping. Now, if you lean over, the circumference of the tyre is reduced. This has a similar effect to lowering the gearing. But while lower gearing mean that the engine must turn more revolutions in order to get the wheel turned a certain amount of times, now the wheel must turn faster to maintain the speed, bringing the engine along with it. This could probably be explained much simpler, but as long as you remember that when the engine turns over X times it always makes the tyre turn Y times in gear Z. A smaller wheel must turn faster than a larger diameter wheel for any given speed, and so the engine must turn X+n to compensate.
  21. 2 points
    Inspired by the mystery of what to do and not do that is involved in wet riding, I thought I'd start a collaborative list of differences and limitations in riding in the two environments. To start what we know: You cannot Quick Turn the same You cannot brake as hard You cannot accelerate as hard mid-corner Anything else?
  22. 2 points
    I thought I knew how beneficial it would be and I thought I knew what I wanted to get out of it. I was kinda wrong on both counts. The personal consultant approach makes the leap between L3 and L4 huge. Take what we all know about CSS coaches. They're well versed in the hangups regular humans have in riding motorcycles fast and they're incredibly skilled at breaking down those barriers and knowing what the riders need to become better. Now, take those skills and remove the confines of teaching 5 new skills in a day and just let them have the time to fix whatever needs fixing and that's the difference between L3 and L4. I was at SoW. I was struggling at the kink and it turned out the problem was actually starting at the turn-in for 8. This was nice but the next revelation was that I was turning too slowly. It never felt like it to me because I was able to hit my marks at the speed I was riding. But much like the previous issue, the solution was not what I expected. I thought once I had more pace, I'd turn more quickly. But once they got me to really turn more quickly, I found that I had to up my pace. Again, the solution to a known problem was far from intuitive. After circling SoW who knows how many times at basically the same pace (better form each time but never more pace), being forced to do quick-turn correctly (in my case, push-pull) forced me to approach the corners with more pace because if had turned more quickly at the same entrance speed, of course, I would have early apexed. This one change got me 9 seconds. Next year I'm going to find a stretch of 3 or 4 days at SoW and book multiple days at once. Primary focus (I think) will be T1. Can't wait.
  23. 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.
  24. 2 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.
  25. 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
×