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  1. 6 points
    The cost of the 2 day class is pretty close to the cost of new Ohlins for my RnineT. I actually had to make that choice, and since I come from the old school 'ya run what ya brung' way of thinking, I figured that knowledge beats out hardware most days. Boy was I right. What was really marginal, harsh, and unresponsive suspension is now completely smooth, responsive, and supple suspension. As it turns out, putting yourself in the right place AT ALL TIMES and having your awareness focused on what is happening in the relationship between your yourself, your motorcycle, and the road surface....well, that changes everything. Of course, a new set of Q3+ doesn't hurt either. I can't count the number of off-road events I participated in where the cool guys with the best gear got their asses handed to them by some fat kid on a clapped out 20 year old dirt bike. Riding skill is riding skill, and they don't sell it on Revzilla. They do actually sell it at CSS however, and besides being fun as hell, it is hands down the best suspension improvement I have ever made. This is not exactly news to anyone on this forum, but I just had to crow a little. Rob-
  2. 3 points
    In this article, Keith describes what HE needs to do, to make riding improvements, this article has been pivotal for me in my riding. I carry a copy of it with me to every track day or school. I went to the Articles section to look for the link to it and noted there are several other articles about Rider Improvement or Isolating Barriers, etc. a look through the Articles section may help you find some of the answers you seek.
  3. 3 points
    Like most any physically demanding sport, physical fitness (nutrition, hydration, strength, flexibility, etc.) is a factor in your ability to perform, and so are training, understanding, and practice. But, in my opinion, personalized coaching, and willingness to BE coached, are extremely important. I'll give you my perspective: I started riding quite late, in my mid thirties. I was very slow and very nervous and I don't think anyone expected me to have the potential to ride fast, let alone race (least of all me!), but I got really interested in the sport, got lots of coaching, and devoted a lot of time to really understanding the material, and my understanding of the material ABSOLUTELY changed and evolved as I rode faster. Going back and reading Twist II, I found lots of information struck me differently as my pace increased and I found techniques that were a bit vague to me at first became much more important, much more useful to me, because I NEEDED them more. For example, I could get away with slow body transitions at slower speeds but as my laptimes came down, speed of moving across the bike in a chicane became a limiting factor, I couldn't get through a particular section any quicker without moving over faster. Suddenly hip flick, which didn't seem very useful to me before, became a critical skill. That is just one example, but I have had, over the years, a BUNCH of breakthroughs like that, and have found that as I progress in my riding, becoming proficient in certain techniques and riding faster overall, new barriers crop up and as I address each one I get quicker again - and then encounter something else. How do I overcome the barriers? Through coming to school and getting coaching, mostly. Sometimes study of the material helps, sometimes analyzing data (laptimes, braking zones, lines, etc. from my lap timer or data logger) help, but coaching is what always makes the biggest difference - very often what I THOUGHT was my barrier turned out to be something different entirely, and it required the eye of a coach to discover that. Of course, my mindset while being coached is a huge factor in my ability to improve. If, for example, I came to school fiercely determined that I already knew "what my problem was", then I did not get nearly as much benefit from coaching because I was resistant to allowing the coach to help me. After I figured that out, I got even more improvements on my school days. I said physical fitness is important, but I am a lot older than many of the riders I race against, and not as fit as most of them, either, but my CSS training allows me to ride with fewer SR's and a lot less wasted effort so I can go faster and be calmer overall. I thought I had reached my riding peak years ago but I am actively racing this year and I am riding faster than ever before. I still get coaching as often as I can, generally I come to school as a student at least 4 days a year, if not more, and that makes a huge difference for me. It is not because I am in better shape, because I am not. It is because I understand and apply the riding tech better than I could before. I used to think, at the end of any school day as a student, that I was riding as fast as I ever would, because I figured I would just get older and slower.... but I'm not getting slower, I'm getting faster. Every time I come to school I get some new piece of information or tackle a new skill that adds something to my riding, and I get quicker. And what a thrill that is! And it is even better when some twenty year old comes over to your pit to ask you how you do it.
  4. 3 points
    I think visual skills are far more important than the others listed. I think your school thinks so too You teach that and throttle control first because it's the foundation of all the other skills in that those two things keep you mentally ahead of the action unfolding in front of you. The only other thing I would add as a skill is being smooth and steady on the controls. If your vision and throttle control are good, I think you'll find that those quick reflexes, bravery, and other skills will get tested less often!!
  5. 3 points
    MotoGP riders are typically trying to dial up as much engine braking as possible. They can also dial it in or out for specific turns by GPS. If you are riding a track that is very "stop and go" with a lot of braking zones, I would dial it up. If it is a flowing track with transitions, I would use less engine braking so the bike does not pitch forward if you feather out of the throttle in a transition.
  6. 3 points
    Hi JP, Your questions are good. There are a number of factors that come into play, and one answer won't work for all turns/situation. The one that will give the most problems is increasing throttle and lean angle together, that's usually a big no-no. Have you read any of Twist of the Wrist 2, or seen the video? That will give you some great guidelines. Best, Cobie
  7. 2 points
    Depending on your tires and tire pressure, leaning over more does not necessarily decrease the size of the contact patch. However, as you lean over more the suspension is less efficient at keeping the tire in contact with the pavement. Decreased suspension efficiency combined with the acceleration forces when you roll on the gas hard can exceed the limits of traction at the rear wheel.
  8. 2 points
    Fresh out of CSS it is only reasonable that I was working on riding skills while commuting to work on my bike. Visual skills in particular, with emphasis in picking turn in points, pre-apex, end points. Thinking 'big picture' and then picking points on the road surface. Great idea, but this was not a track, it was a road. When I was a kid we were taught defensive driving. My instructor would do stuff like slap the rear view mirror out of alignment and then ask you how many cars were behind you, what color? Gaining or falling back? The same questions about who was ahead. Watching for brake lights five cars up. Is the road wet or dry? Are there leaves down? What was last night's weather like? My favorite was being asked to imagine you are a bird 200' above the car. Can you hold a mental image of where you are and what is around you, and who is on the road with you? In the military they train Situational Awareness, or SA. It's similar, but basically requires you to learn to assess and consider what and who is around you at all times. It's not easy to do, but it's surprisingly informative if you work at it. So, there I was on my commute, carving corners and focused on the road surface, and I passed a deer on the shoulder doing around 70. Me, not the deer. And I had to shock myself back to reality. Yes, big picture on turns and lines is important, but out on a domestic roadway, the even bigger picture focus on your local environment is much more likely to keep you upright and healthy. This was, I think, an untended consequence of the CSS experience, and I only post it here for your consideration as a reminder to stay in the 'here and now' of your daily riding. Rob-
  9. 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.
  10. 2 points
    I notice that it is very hard to get the actual character of the track from seeing it on TV. Hard to perceive the elevation changes, hard to see the changes in camber and surface, and the abrupt changes in camera perspective can make it hard to grasp the flow of the track. I also notice that I am amazed by how much the bikes slide around, and wiggle under hard braking, and how rough some riders can be on the controls while others are silky smooth. When I watch videos (especially on-board videos) of amateur racers I am amazed by how many errors some riders make in races. Riders that are fast, judging by their laptimes, but make a lot of mistakes; it would seem surprising that they don't fall down more often - but then sometimes I find out they DO fall often. It certainly seems possible to pick up some incorrect ideas or not-useful information, for example I sometimes hear announcers throw out some thoughtless comment or platitude that is really not applicable and could be confusing if you tried to really take it seriously. On the other hand, seems like you could learn a lot about preparation and race strategy, tire wear management, and race rules by watching races, by seeing what happens to riders that are late to the grid, or overwork their tires in the first part or a race, or choose the right or wrong tire compound, I find that stuff quite interesting.
  11. 2 points
    If you Google "front tire chicken strips Dave Moss" he has a short and rather entertaining video that relates to this topic. (Dave Moss is a very respected suspension guy and knows a LOT LOT LOT about tires and tire wear.)
  12. 2 points
    This is difficult as to a point these skills will play off each other. So, my opinion (based on street riding, not track though they are likely the same): #1 - Visual skill, lack of target fixation. You have to see the situation or threat before anything else can happen. #2 - Quick reflexes. Once you see the threat/issue you need to make the right reaction. #3 - Ability to steer quickly. If you need to change direction, this is important. #4 - Physical Condition. Its important so you can enjoy your ride and not be fatigued (and sloppy) #5 - A lowly last is Brave. Just being brave will likely get you in real trouble. One skill not mentioned is ability to brake safely and quickly in all riding attitudes (straight up, turning, poor traction etc).
  13. 2 points
    Another skill for street riders would be developing your spidey-sense for danger from other vehicles on the road. Unlike the track where you can put almost all your attention into looking where you want to go and how you get there, if you do that on the street that's when someone is going to pull out in front of you because you didn't notice that they hadn't made eye contact with you and were looking the other way. I guess in CSS terms, that would maybe be the wide view? Maybe that's still vision but with a different emphasis on detecting potential dangers.
  14. 2 points
    In my opinion, for street riding, if you have the greatest ability to steer quickly but, don’t have visual skills you wouldn’t steer away from the problem. I think the highest priority is visual skills. I think the second highest is quick steer. In my opinion, if you can quick steer to full lean (excessive for street riding but, if a deer or car are coming into your lane maybe it’s not excessive) and have great visual skill, then I don’t know how you could be bad at riding. I would imagine if you had both of those skills, rolling on the throttle would be easy because you wouldn't run out of track/road.
  15. 2 points
    #3 as I find the need to scan the road surface for hazards through corners has the potential to cause target fixation issues (for me) that you're more freed from on the track where you can practice better visual skills without worrying so much about the pavement surface itself.
  16. 2 points
    The book that you have mentioned has the answer to your original question: "What makes the bike turn the same as it was leaned more without hanging off? It is explained in Chapter 3: Less lean angle requires more effective steering angle in order to keep the same radius of turn (please, see figure 3.18 of page 3-13): "Increasing lean angle tends to increase the effective steering angle." It is a simple geometrical problem, there is no need to complicate it with camber thrust, slip angles, etc., because the magnitudes of the forces of cornering and the dynamic lean angle remain the same, either or not you hang-off. The chassis reduces its lean angle when the rider hangs-off while cornering, which changes the relative geometry among the three planes: the ones containing the rear tire, the steered front tire and the curve (track surface).  You may want to do the following experiment: Fill up a wide recipient with water (the surface of the water will work like the plane of the curve). Make a central 10-degree bend in a small rectangular piece of cardboard (one side will work like the plane containing the rear tire and the other side like the plane of the front tire). Keeping the bent edge and both sides vertical, deep the piece of cardboard into the water. Looking from above, turn the cardboard just like a bike would lean over to turn and note how the angle formed between both lines that intersect the surface of the water and each side of the cardboard gets bigger as the lean angle increases. That angle is the effective (or kinetic) steering angle, which would force the bike to turn tighter (reduced radius of turn) if the rider would not compensate for this phenomena by steering a little less. If that experiment still does not convince you, we could use the following well stablished formula: Radius of turn = [Wheelbase x Cosine of chassis lean angle] / [Steer angle x Cosine of caster angle] As wheelbase gets a little bit smaller and caster angle remains constant, when the rider hangs off while cornering, the cosine of the chassis lean angle increases (example: cos 45=0.707 and cos 40=0.766). That change would increase the radius of turn some, making the bike run wide respect to the desired trajectory. In order to avoid that from happening, the rider must compensate by increasing the steer angle a little. Another geometrical way to analize that: Imagine a perfectly vertical line running underground by the center of the circular trajectory of the motorcycle. Disregarding slip and camber thrust, the extended axis of both wheels must intersect with that vertical line. As those wheels are leaned more, the point of intersection moves deeper into the ground, which reduces the angle formed between the extended axis of both wheels. Hence, the steering angle must be reduced some in order for the bike to keep tracing the same circular trajectory.  A leaned motorcycle will always have an effective steering angle that is smaller than the one for a 4-wheel vehicle describing the same curve.  The exercise of Motorcycle Gymkhana is a different solution to a problem that is different: make the tightest quick turn around a cone. The maximum speed at maximum lean angle will make you slower in this particular case, try that experiment as well. Since speed must be much smaller than during normal Superbike track cornering, the smallest radius of turn of the rear tire is the key to turn the bike 180 degrees as quickly as possible. For the same reason explained above, the Gymkhana rider wants the chassis to be as leaned as possible during the slowest section of the tight turn. At full stop lock of the steering, the radius of turn (and the circular trajectory of both tires) will be smaller as the chassis lean angle increases: there is a greater effective steering angle. Lock the steering of a bicycle at a pronounced angle and push it while at different sustained lean angles for each completed circle and you will see that the smallest circle corresponds with the biggest lean angle. For the above formula and description of angles, please see "Steering angle" here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_and_motorcycle_dynamics
  17. 2 points
    Good observation on your part on the no-brakes format. Riders mostly over-brake when they start to add more/harder braking, and loose entry speed. Your overall goal if good, nothing wrong there; the other steps that go in that direction are smaller bites one would take to achieving that. As for braking and then realizing you could have gone faster...that's a not uncommon situation that occurs. Front brakes are the most powerful thing on the motorcycle, consider that a much smaller single rear brake can stop the engine. How about approaching the braking with the idea its a fine adjuster, capable of great force, but in the end, getting the entry speed correct for you (no too slow or too fast) is the key. There are a few pieces to this, we can work on them for sure. Best, Cobie
  18. 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
  19. 2 points
    Speed and Direction When riders say they would like to increase their confidence and control, what do they mean? Aside from pleasing the eye and entertaining discussions about them, all motorcycles have the same six controls–throttle, front brake, rear brake, clutch, gear lever and handle bars. Those six controls are how we change or maintain the speed and the direction of the bike. And, that is all they do and it is all you do while riding. Good control amounts to correctly choosing where and how much you change the speed and direction of the bike. Likewise, any and all decisions you make are based on changing or maintaining speed and direction. The bike is more than likely capable of performing well but in those moments of confidence shattering doubt, the rider isn’t. All dramatic situations on any motorcycle have been and always will be based on the rider's inability to correctly change or maintain its speed or direction. Aside from mechanical failures there are no other "situations". Someone could argue that point: “What about hitting an on or off ramp diesel spill; that doesn’t fit the maxim above?” I’d have to agree. However, the majority of motorcycle accidents these days are single vehicle, loss of control in a corner, crashes–not ones which no one can control. Speed and direction changes can be limited by the individual machine's controllability factors. Its handling of the road's surface and potential for stability are based on its suspension and frame configuration; its throttle response; gearing and braking characteristics and the tires' compatibility with all of the above plus electronic intervention that can alter your direct control over them such as ABS and traction control. Problems in controllability aren't bad. They are the road signs which have lead designers and engineers towards machine improvement from the beginning. For example, it hardly matters whether suspension was first conceived to achieve better traction on bumpy roads or to provide a smoother ride to eliminate the need for kidney belts. Both were situations that caused problems. Suspension did result in a whole new range of potentials for controlling speed and direction and a significantly more hospitable machine for rider comfort. Any rider's true skill level can only be measured by his ability to determine exactly WHERE to change or maintain speed and direction and execute the right AMOUNT of each. There are no other components to skill. While riding, the combinations of speed and direction inputs result in arriving somewhere: for example staying in your lane or using a late apex to handle a decreasing radius corner. Confidence is achieved when the rider is certain that the machine is going in the right direction and will arrive at a predictable location, at the right speed. You might need to be stopped or to swerve before hitting a car which pulled out, or it could be exiting the banking at Daytona wide open at the top of 6th gear doing 175 mph pointed down the straight––not at the wall. It makes no difference, both are determined by where and how much the rider changed or maintained their speed and direction. The ability of a rider to determine speed and direction changes relies solely on the amount of space they have to work with. This is the determining factor for where to change and how much to change them. Judgment could be defined as: fitting the right degree of speed and/or direction change into the amount of available space in order to arrive or not arrive (like missing a pot hole) somewhere. This leads us into the area of the rider’s visual aptitude. On a practical level, always having a destination plotted out in front is wise. The five faults that stand in your way are target fixating on something, compulsive over-scanning, tunneled vision, looking too close or too far ahead. Your visual skill is based on how many of those five are absent– anytime and anywhere you ride. Becoming aware of the five and gaining control over them WILL lead to improvement.
  20. 2 points
    Rider Improvement What There Is to Learn I’d like to point out some things about riders and rider training. Below is a list of six categories of riders and how they regard the idea of training and rider improvement. The next section covers the results; the kinds of things we look for and you should expect from rider training. The Six Categories of Riders 1. Ones that have tried to improve, failed at it and lost interest. They're basically locked-up on the whole subject of rider improvement–they don't want to know about it. 2. Riders that say there is nothing to learn. This category of rider often says that seat time will handle it. They'll change the subject or politely dismiss what you have to say about training. 3. Those that actively speak against training. ‘Hey, you just get on the bike and do it. I don't crash, what is there to learn...don't waste your money on a school buy a nice pipe instead. Schools suck.’ These guys are foolishly antagonistic. 4. Those that have a vague desire to improve but lack information about how to. They have a want but it goes unfulfilled. For one reason or another, this rider just doesn't take the next step. They HOPE it will get better. 5. Those that become interested in learning more. They will talk about improvement. They will listen to advice but still remain passive. This might be the most dangerous of all the categories because this rider will listen to just about anything. They might hear, ‘you don't know how fast you can go until you crash’, and actually try it! 6. Riders who do something to improve. Here you find the rider who reads articles, goes to track days in search of answers or comes to a school. They make a commitment to improve and take definite steps to do it. Most riders are in one of the above categories on the subject of rider improvement. What There is to Learn It's no secret that I am in the business of training riders. I do it because I know it works and over the past 39 years of doing it I've noticed a few things about riders who take the plunge to improve. The following is what we have observed in our students. Once a rider is trained, they begin to handle cornering problems and situations on their own. They understand and make sensible corrections that actually correct. Riders who are trained can read the feedback the bike is giving them easier than those who are not trained. They can identify and communicate to someone what the bike is doing. Trained riders can spot what is wrong in their riding and tend to not make the same mistakes over and over. Also, training brings about control over the "knee jerk" reactions that cause riders to make dangerous errors. Riders who are trained have a solid foundation of skills and the knowledge and certainty that their riding won't get worse. They can still make mistakes but it doesn't defeat them. Additionally, trained riders can actually offer constructive help to others who want to improve. If a rider is turning in too early or too late, has poor throttle control or is rushing the corners and making it worse, the trained rider can spot it. Riders who look uncomfortable are uncomfortable. Trained riders look as though they are more a part of the bike. And as a bonus, racing fans gain an appreciation and an even greater respect for what professional riders can do because they can see what the pro is doing and why. My riding instructors are trained to observe these points and the really amazing thing is we see changes like these in every student. What we Know Confidence comes from knowing that the bike will do what you want it to do when you want it to do it. Once a rider improves, and knows why and what they have improved, it opens the door to virtually unlimited improvement. Knee-jerk reactions only happen to riders when they don't have the right skill or technique for the situation at hand. Training strips away confusions and complexities. When riding feels simple, control is simple. When control is simple any rider has confidence. Effort or Training Truly enthusiastic riders do have the urge to improve. Unfortunately, a great many of them waste their riding time and their money hoping that seat time will handle it. That doesn't mean they aren't going to improve, it means that it will take longer, cost more and the results will be sketchy. Most likely there will be a lot of misguided effort involved. Which is likely to be most effective, rider training or simply trying harder? Will experience alone sweep away those uncertainties? Will more emotional effort get you the level of control you want? Training and expert coaching are what we offer and it works. Keith Code PS: Our 2019 schedule is at <www.superbikeschool.com>, log on, sign up and I'll see you at the track. © CSS, Inc., 2018, all rights reserved
  21. 2 points
    I did a 2 up ride with a pro racer when I was still a brand-new track rider. It scared the hell out of me! I got on, he told me to put one hand on his chest and the other on the tank (no handholds on the tank back then) and took off. He was moving all over the place, hanging off for the corners, and accelerating and braking hard - I was sure I would fall off. After about 3/4 of a lap I started to think I'd be OK - then as we started the 2nd lap he yelled over his shoulder, "Ok, I'm going to go faster this lap!" and I yelled "No!" but he obviously didn't hear me because he DID go faster. What did I learn from it? Well, I got a new perspective on how fast one COULD (potentially) enter a corner, and how close a pro rider really does get to the inside edge of the track, and how HARD you can brake. I was, at the time, such a new rider that it all seemed somewhat unreal; I probably would have gotten more out of it if I had done it later when I had more experience. But, I'll be honest, I have no desire to do it again. I haven't done much riding (or fast paced driving in a car) as a passenger - I would much rather be driving! Going at race pace with someone else in control is definitely a scary experience, I am always amazed and impressed by those people that ride in rally cars as the navigator.
  22. 2 points
    While riding on the mountains you should not be pushing your tires to the limit; that just means excess of danger with little reward or improvement of skills. Please, note that I mention the limit of physical pavement-rubber traction and not lean angle of the chassis. Lean angle is a natural consequence of the centripetal forces of turning and it mainly depends on the square of the speed of the bike and on the inverse of the radius of the turn: meaning in simpler terms that double the entry speed (but same radius) puts four times more lateral stress on the contact patches of the tires and that half the radius of turn (but same speed) puts double stress on those patches. The manufacturer of your sport bike tries to provide a lean clearance that matches the maximum traction capability of your tires in good pavement conditions. The resulting angle of lean must be there to compensate for those cornering lateral forces in such a way that the bike keeps its lateral balance (not crashing over towards the outside of the turn). What is happening at the same time? Both tires "feel" an increased weight of your body and the bike, as much as double (2g) around 60-degree lean; hence their sections become less pliable and have to work harder to keep grip. The suspension is now compressed by the added weight and its work to follow the surface and keep the rubber in contact with it is more difficult because the direction of the strokes is inclined while the irregularities of the track keep pushing it vertically. All the above works as described if, and only if, you have the luxury of clean dry pavement. Otherwise, your tires will have less capacity to resist the action of those lateral forces (assuming good conditions of tires, inflation and suspension, as well as good riding techniques and per-tire-weight distribution). How much less traction will you have? That is something impossible to predict on public roads, where you could suddenly find spills of oil, Diesel, anti-freezing coolant, or sand or street markings or steel manholes or animal carcasses. If you ride on the edge of available traction, you will not have available traction to use in the event of an emergency or evasive maneuver, like braking or swerving. You always choose entry speed to negotiate certain radius of a fixed corner, lean angle follows that decision adjusting itself to keep balance, and both tires and suspensions are loaded with extra forces, which should never grow beyond the limits of traction for the specific conditions of the road. Please, read some more about this: https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/riding-tips-traction-science-tires-keith-code-break https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/blogs/tread-envy-code-break https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/blogs/dragging-your-knees-code-break https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/leaning-bike-code-break http://forums.superbikeschool.com/topic/3331-have-you-ever-slid-the-front-without/
  23. 2 points
    Spaghetti has given good info above, and I will add that a good way to get experience with using more lean is to get a small bike (50cc, or 150cc, for example) that you can take to a go-kart track. Easier to get your knee down, safer environment, and you can lean way over at much lower speeds to get "used to what it feels like" and develop a sense of traction and feeling the feedback from the tires.
  24. 2 points
    I think this topic is simple enough to where someone can just go out and try it. In my experience I have seen every combination of rider with regard to preference on bar pressure but it does make sense that using both a push and a pull will give the most control.
  25. 2 points
    Hello, I read positive content about California Bike School. Definitely a must do. I have been riding on and off since college when motorcycle endorsement never existed. I started very young with the Big-Wheel (my 3 wheeler as a toddler). Upgraded to the 2014 Triumph 675 Daytona. Of course I now have an endorsement. My most challenging and fun ride has been in Thailand on the Honda 600 CBR, a whopping 762 turns from Chiang Mai to Pai. Like anyone who seeks safety and proficiency as I practice in the cockpit for my airline, it begins and ends with training. The training does not stop. And that being said, I am certain I am carrying some good habits or techniques, but likely I have more bad ones than good ones. It’s my intention to be better through training and hope to get the support and advice through California Superbike School and the forum group who appears to have this common goal. I hope to also make friends along the way who may consider joining my group on adventurous motorbike tours, and I participate with other groups as well.
  26. 2 points
    Introducing more trail braking will absolutely increase your front tire wear, and on a lightweight, relatively low horsepower bike like yours it is certainly possible to have the front tire wear out first (compared to the rear) just from this change in riding style/habits. It makes sense, of course; by trail braking you are considerably increasing the load on the front tire in the corners, and instead of the braking forces being applied primarily with the bike upright, you are now putting braking forces on the tire while leaned over. So now the front tire has to handle steering/cornering load AND braking load on the sides of the tires, and that is where the wear is showing in your photo above. Additionally, that change in style could affect when and how hard you are applying the throttle in the corner, and how much you are, or are not, leaned over when driving out of the corners, which would change the wear on the rear tire - potentially decreasing it if the trail braking is causing you to delay your roll-on. There is not a lot of wear on the sides of the rear tire in your photo which would imply that the gas is not being rolled on very much while leaned over. I have a 250cc bike and at one point I tried doing a lot of trail braking on the track; I was racing other riders that were doing it a lot (in nearly every corner), so I decided to try that and see how it worked for me. I was very surprised at the change in my tire wear; as you just experienced, my front tire wore out first, and much more quickly than expected, where in the past the rear would wear out first. After that little experiment I changed back to using trail braking in the corners where it was appropriate but NOT in the ones where it wasn't needed, and I went faster and was a lot less worried about crashing. Most of the other riders I was seeing on track were WAY overusing trail braking, braking too long and too much for most corners.
  27. 2 points
    Here is some info from Dylan that you might find interesting: Dunlop just released a new sportbike tire, the Q4. This tire is different from what many think it is. It is NOT an improved Q3+ but rather a whole new category of tire. Its purpose is to provide a street legal tire with excellent grip, no need for warmers, that is at home on the track or on your favorite twisty road. Essentially it fills the gap between the Q3+ and the street legal race tire, the GPA Pro. So the progression looks like this: Q3+. Best all purpose tire. Harder center band for commuting, with sides well suited for cornering. Q4. Best for trackdays and canyons/twisty roads. Warms fast, less sensitive to pressure settings. Single compound across entire tread. Any loss in overall mileage is gained in grip compared to Q3+. GPA Pro. Essentially a race slick with grooves. Warmers strongly recommended particularly when cool and pressures checked and set before riding. Street legal. Poor choice for commuting but good for twisty roads and very much at home on the track. Slicks. Pure track only tire. Warmers strongly recommended with pressures checked and set before riding.
  28. 2 points
    I can see why that would be confusing, especially if there was not a exact explanation of specifically WHEN to roll on the throttle and WHY. What, exactly, was the stated purpose of that before turn roll-on you describe in that mantra you mentioned? "Maintenance throttle" is s term that is thrown around a lot but different people seem to have different ideas of what it is supposed to mean. I personally have heard at least three different definitions. Twist of the Wrist II gives a detailed and straightforward explanation of good throttle control, might want to have another look at that if you haven't in a while.
  29. 2 points
    MaxMcAllister in his suspension clinic (can be found on YouTube) provides the info that all geometry changes have a side effect for every intended effect. He said it’s about 3:1 ratio of effect to side effect and many people chase setup issues because of missing information of knowing which end of the motorcycle to change. The cliff notes: he provides that front end changes effect corner entry to mid turn and rear end height changes effect mid turn to corner exit; being mindful of the side effect issue. My concern with prescribing a geometry change at this point is introducing another variable into the equation when rider input, vision, timing and throttle control haven’t been sorted, nor do we know if static sag and chassis balance have been baselined. My $.03 is aligned with the OP and Hotfoot’s process to establish what the rider is doing and how the bike is responding.
  30. 1 point
    We do occasionally have riders post pictures or videos here and ask for feedback, which we do provide. We also have students who have been to school contact their coaches afterwards for some additional help via email or here on the forum. It is something we would do, on a limited basis, at no charge, for former students... but it is very difficult to do with people who HAVEN'T been to a CSS school because you end up spending loads of time trying to explain WHY something should be changed... info they would already have if they had been to a school. For a student who has already had the training, it can be just a reminder or a clarification, but for someone who hasn't had any of it, it can be a very lengthy process, not to mention potentially out of order - for example, trying to fix someone's suspension settings when they have poor throttle control is a waste of time. Or trying to fix body position for someone with no concept of lines, or who does not know how to steer the bike. It can be difficult sometimes to diagnose things from video alone - having some discussion with the student is more effective, because we can figure out what the student did just BEFORE the visible error on the video, or what (potentially flawed) logic led them to do a certain thing so we can work through it and figure out a better solution. As you say above, just posting a video and asking for feedback can lead to a lot of bad advice, so while we are happy to help on here, I don't know that offering video review as an independent service would ultimately reflect well on the school since the results probably would not be comparable to what students would get from attending a school and getting in-person coaching. But that is just my opinion, maybe Cobie or Dylan will chime in with another viewpoint.
  31. 1 point
    Jaybird, man, you stated something that I have been battling with internally for the last two seasons. Granted, I'm what I consider still fairly new to riding. I, like Hotfoot started riding in my opinion, late (early thirties to be exact), and I started doing track days just two seasons ago. I know I'm still relatively inexperienced when it comes to the track even though I've done levels 1 - 3 with CSS and about 3 other track days. I learned early on when I began riding that I LOVE riding, and I started following MotoGP and WSBK as well as MotoAmerica. I never thought I'd be as passionate about it as I am and like you, I have the desire to eventually race, and hopefully one day compete among some of the best. I've been asking myself the same questions. "Am I past that age?", "did I miss my opportunity?", "Whats my limit?", "Can I ever even reach that level?". I wonder if I'll ever have that "ah-ha" breakthrough moment that opens up as you stated "limitless improvement" or if I missed it because I started so late in life. Think about it, most of the "Pros" you see on TV have been on or around bikes probably since the age of 4 and here I am so late to the party. I can relate brother. Hotfoot, your words are a breath of fresh air on this topic to me. It tells me that the only real limit is myself. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suddenly filled with hope that I'll be side by side up against Marc Marquez in the near future, but that I can always improve. I remember three years ago, I was at the motorcycle show at the Javits Center talking to one of the coaches for TPM (Team Pro Motion) and he asked my why I wanted to ride the track. My answer back then was, and still today is to get better. Yes I want to go fast, to be faster, but to go faster you have to get better, you have master your craft. I know I still have a long way to go but reading Hotfoot's comment I realize that there is no definitive window of opportunity that can be missed when it comes to learning and improving, that as long as you're willing to learn and pursue improvement, you WILL improve. I'm no where near as good as I want to be, I'm still chasing that knee drag moment but I know in time it will come, and now I firmly believe that in time I WILL find myself competing on some level eventually. Jay, if its what you truly want to achieve, you can and you will.
  32. 1 point
    hi! i have a question, is my internal foot position right? i have a bmw s1000xr and touch knee down on track, but i feel aching knee , i rapidly feel fatigued. i see that people that ride supersport put internal foot near vertical , but i'm not able to do it... i put the foot more or less pointing in front,like the foto of naked bike, (also if it isn't myself) maybe that on a naked type bike the footrest are not toward rear , and force to that position?
  33. 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.
  34. 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
  35. 1 point
    Hotfoot, that's a great solution, or what I've been calling an antidote, for the SR. It's encouraging to know that it's something I can train myself to do if I've got it spring loaded in my mind to do that. A great aviation coach has famously said "Good judgement comes from experience; and, experience comes from bad judgement." Whenever I'm setting out on a fast paced ride with friends, I remind myself that there's always going to be riders willing to ride faster than me on the street - ride my ride. There's no checkered flags out on a twisty road.. The other reminder is to ride "the pace" has discussed in a couple of articles by Nick Ienatsch (i.e. no charging corners, light brakes all day, fast in the corners, slow in the straights, etc). Fortunately, in doing that I don't have many bad experiences so it really bothered me recently when out with some fast riders in the hillbilly twisties of West Virginia and I got target fixed on the edge of the road in a hot corner. I was kicking myself thinking I know better than that but did it anyway. I hope not to repeat that very often but I'll try a third reminder before I start those rides: Hard on the brakes triggers a focus on the apex.
  36. 1 point
    We had an exercise we had run at our military schools: Rider approaches a set of lights, one set on each side. As he goes through a trip light (while looking ahead at a radar board indicating his speed), one light goes off on one side, and he learns to steer the OPPOSITE direction. This was quite an exercise and would be performed at higher and higher speeds. Riders would make up their minds before they got there and often turn in the wrong direction (towards the light). This would train them to hold a wide view visually, not pre-decide which way to go, react and also turn quickly. This was the culminating exercise in an intense 2 day program...often took a little while to gradually get riders to do this at higher and higher speeds. Valuable exercise! CF
  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
    I escalated this issue, we should have it taken care of very soon. Tagging articles with keywords is definitely possible, that's a good thought, that would make searches easier, I'll look into ways to group articles.
  39. 1 point
    Regarding the graphic of lean angle and G-force above: that would only hold true if the motorcycle had a theoretical "zero width tire". The apparent lean angle and the effective lean angle are different on a motorcycle due to the contact patch being off to the side versus straight down the center line of the motorcycle. For example a MotoGP bike at 62 degrees of lean is going to be more like 1.2G. That can also be skewed by the amount of banking. So the question would be how are we measuring the lean angle: against vertical or in relation to the road's camber? You can be perpendicular to the road in a steeply banked turn and register 20 degrees of lean from vertical...
  40. 1 point
    Hi folks, I hope everyone's looking forward to a great 2019! I'm here to learn as much as I can before I visit CSS this Spring and probably a lot afterward too. Thanks for having me and I'll see you in the pits real soon. -Scott
  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
    Ello people :) Im new to Sportsbike riding and watched Twist of the wrist a few times and browsing the forum loads I thought I’d register to ask a couple of questions that I’m struggling with ? cheers Dan
  44. 1 point
    As soon as I saw the photo, I was shouting (in my head), "GET IT GET IT!!!!" Glad you had a great time! It is definitely an amazing learning experience. Go forth and conquer!
  45. 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?
  46. 1 point
    Yes to the above. The turnpoints marked will give you a good line, but as I'm sure was mentioned in the classroom, there is no "ideal line" that is the absolute perfect line for every rider. Riders will tend to choose their preferred lines based on their particular skillset, bike characteristics and riding preferences. For example on my little Moriwaki, which weighs only 180 lbs, I can carry far more corner speed than a heavier bike, and with very low horsepower, maintaining momentum is critical. My lines on the that are not quite the same as the ones I'd take on the BMW; for example, I might use all the track on the exit on the BMW because I am driving hard and the rapidly increasing speed widens the arc and forces me outward. That doesn't happen on the Moriwaki, it can't accelerate that fast so if the next corner was turning the same direction I might not go out so far on the exit, why cover the extra distance if I don't have to? I also, personally, tend to choose relatively late turn points (on the BMW) because I LOVE to quickturn the bike, whereas another rider that likes to trailbrake heavily might choose an earlier or more inside line to better complement their strengths. The turn points at the school are there for learning purposes and students are encouraged to experiment with them, turning before and after, inside and outside, to see what happens. In fact, one of the targets for the TP drill is to go out and do that exact thing, turn before and after the mark, etc. Most novice riders are inclined to turn in early (due to SRs firing off) so those turnpoint marks help get the riders to actually GO to an area that might otherwise never even try. Another aspect is visibility - riding on the road, using a turn point that is later and more to the outside gives you better visibility through the corner. On a familiar track if you have good references (like the rider in the video), that might not be a consideration but for street riding it can be very useful. Do you remember how you determine, after you go through a corner, whether the line you chose was a good line?
  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
    YCRS does talk about trailing the brakes, and often we get compared that we don't. Not quite accurate, we actually have skills for this. Some turns one must trail the brakes way into the turn like a long, late apex decreasing radius turn. Other turns trailing the brakes late into the turn makes it not possible to turn the bike quickly, and delays throttle roll on unnecessarily. Look at where most of the crashes happen at MotoGP...at turn entry, carrying the braking too much, too far.
  49. 1 point
    One factor...not sure it was addressed above: when braking and turning, the bike actually tries to countersteer up, out of the turn, and that force does have to be resisted.
  50. 1 point
    Think of holding up a barbell with only one hand in the middle of the bar. If you put 10 lbs at either end, you get a total force of 20 lbs pushing down on your wrist. If you put 20 lbs on ONE end and none on the other end, you still have 20 lbs pushing down on your wrist, but now the bar will exert a twisting motion on your wrist because one side is weighted more than the other. That's why I think weighting the inside peg more could produce a "roll" torque - the twisting force you'd feel in your wrist.
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