fossilfuel

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fossilfuel last won the day on June 2

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About fossilfuel

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  • Gender
    Male
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    Spanish Fort, Al
  • Interests
    Motorcycle racing....Living life to the fullest...exercise, exercise, exercise...Music, not all but most...passionate people...Good wine...Good food...Good beer.

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  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
    yes

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  1. I had until recently, a Go Pro camera with a mount that enabled me to turn the camera back toward me. i chose the brake and throttle side. You can see your throttle response, when you are on the brake while looking at the brake markers passing by, and your body position. You can also view track day photographs, comparing your riding style to others.
  2. I recently made a west coast swing through Willow Springs and Sonoma. The combination of sleeping in a sleeping bag and the travel across country cut down on the amount of sleep I was getting. This will be more relevant later in the story. Willow Springs is a very fast track and two of the longest corners on the track are also very demanding, turn 2 ( The Rabbit's Ear) and turn 8, the fastest turn west of the Mississippi. I was off the seat and leaned over for what seemed like forever in these turns. It may not be the case but a racing buddy told me He could not bring himself to go as fast as me through these turns, making reference to me having anatomical portions of my body bigger than his. In reality, the most important aspect of going fast through these corners was the ability to manage a comfortable stance and a solid foundation for throttle control, a light touch on the bars, and getting my head and shoulders turned to see the entry, apex and exit. Sonoma didn't seem to be as challenging in this regard but what made it difficult was the fatigue of being on the road for 10 days. On the last day of racing I was pretty much worn out. The lack of sleep and different eating habits compounded the situation. I could feel I was making a few errors. The next to the last race of the day was tough and it started with me forgetting to put on my glasses. I was half way though the warm up lap when I realized everything looked different or actually looked blurry but of course it was to late to do anything about it but ride. I ran off the track three times during the race and was really feeling worn out when I came in but I had another race to ride. The travel, lack of sleep, loading and unloading, changing tires etc etc had taken its toll. I was really tired, had just raced without my glasses and needed to concentrate on the last race of the day, the trip and maybe the last time I would race on this track. I thought back to my beginnings and reflected on how I would need to have a comfortable riding position. My way is this...hug the tank, my inside knee pointing outward toward the exit with the ball of my foot in a position to swivel on the peg. This positioning makes it easier for me to open my inside thigh get the torso turned and the shoulders and head turned to the exit. My outside foot is pointed outward with my heel in toward the bike. This position makes my outside leg feel like a gusset anchoring me to the bike. The combination of the outside leg position, my thigh against the tank and tank grip, and the pressure on the inside peg give me that relaxed stance with less fatigue. I went over this in my mind as I lined up for Formula Thunder. I would be racing my SV650 against Panigale 848's and other bigger displacement bikes. I can remember staying with the first and second place bikes with a desire that had me yelling at myself through "the bowl" in order to stay with them. I remember the battle with the duc behind me ignoring the fact that I, at one point, had lost the front at the final corner pressing to keep my position and battling it out with that rider for the last couple of laps back and forth, back and forth. How do I relate this story with my body position? I was dead tired but took time to review my body positioning and what I would need to do to ride confidently, comfortably, conserving energy. I had the best lap times of the trip in the last race of the trip as tired as I had been at anytime during the trip. People have different solutions for the same problem but for me a 6'2" 180 lbs rider....the foundation for my position is hugging the tank. Cheers.
  3. Look at the video closely. It appears to me that the winning bike was getting better lean angle even thought the rider's posture was more upright.
  4. And the answer is......CORNER SPEED!!
  5. A must see...best I can remember watching.
  6. I wanted to share with you this story about a close friend who races and is a big guy. He is 6'3" and weighs 250. He was always having a problem getting his upper body down in position. He races a triumph which doesn't have the superbike or modern day body work. We were talking one day about body position and he was complaining about his arms and shoulders getting in the way of getting his head and chest in position. The position of the bars and his size were stopping him from being able to get lower. He felt that if he could change the position of the bars, He could get lower and carry more corner speed. When I first saw the position of the bars, I thought he was nuts. The clip ons were over 5" below the upper triple clamp. Everyone told him he was crazy and they were making jokes about it but it worked. The new bar position allowed him to get his head and chest in better position with more comfort allowing him to go faster in the corners. He is the points leader in his class and has pretty much won the championship. He is pound for pound one of the best riders I have ever raced against.
  7. All of my experience over the last ten years has been on the track. I can tell you that braking smoothly whether forcefully or not is very important. Analyzing the physics of the action can be fun but the act of braking doesn't need to be over complicated. Coming in hot and abruptly releasing the throttle to stab the brakes can produce negative inputs. I have a perfect example: I was racing at Sonoma trying to get a podium position getting as much drive between turn 6 and the very beginning of the carousel. I came over the top to the entry on the brakes so hard that I had the rear wheel up off the ground a good foot. I made a mistake stabbing the brakes. This action totally screwed my entry and line. I have become quite good at braking late so this was a little embarrassing. The way I like to do it, which might be different for others, is to release the throttle from my grip allowing the throttle to spring back shut. I use a two finger touch on the brake lever so I relieve pressure on the throttle, pulling in on the brake lever as I reapply pressure on the bar. I had much rather have a smooth, concise, controlled rhythm to corner entry than chaos. We can achieve the white knuckle pressure to the front brakes but in a way that helps the rider and the mechanics of the suspension stay in control, apply the g force to the body smoothly, controllably so that my inputs do not negatively effect entry and corner speed. Once we get a little out of control on braking at corner entry we lose sight of what we need to do at mid corner and corner exit. The eyes should be up, the head turned and looking through the exit once we know we have successfully entered the corner. This is hard to do when we are not completely in control. A little less theoretical and little more pit talk. Sorry if I'm a little off intended topic but reading this thread brought this to mind. Cheers!
  8. Thanks brother..
  9. Hello my friend. It is good to hear from you. I don't know how active I will be but I thought I would see if I could share some thoughts and tall stories I'm not full bore anymore. I been building some SV650 engines and enjoying an abbreviated schedule. I try to do at least four race weekends and a couple of track weekends a year. I'm riding better now than I ever have and that keeps me going back. I spend most of my time riding my mountain bike to stay in shape for the events I attend. I hope to see you on the forum. Cheers mate!
  10. If that doesn't merit a penalty, what does? I say no penalty if: 1.) you lose your front brake and crash into me. 2.) You blow an engine and crash into me. 3.) A third rider hits you and you crash into me 4.) You are clearly ahead in the corner and I hit your bike 5.) another rider spills fluids on the track and you crash into me 6.) You have a seizure and crash into me. 7.) You have a flat and crash into me Otherwise if I am the points leader, I am in a position to continue leading the points and you crash into me by making a mental mistake or should I say a very bad decision, you should pay. Not to mention the rider could have been seriously hurt and the bike was trashed. Losing grid positions, or points in a race series is a good motivator for better decision making.
  11. I just found the post on vimeo with the video. It was 2008....time flies doesn't it.
  12. 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.
  13. I've missed you!! Best teaching story.....hmm. I don't have a particular "teaching" story because you guys are so professional but I do have a CCS event story at Laguna Seca in 2011. There were four of us bringing our wives and girlfriends. A house was rented with an ocean view. We arrived from the airport thinking that our google maps had sent us in the wrong area. We got out of the car and checked the address on the house. We were at the correct address but we were miles from the ocean. It turns out you had to go into the master bathroom, stand on a chair and look out the corner of the only window to see the ocean. The owner was a real estate agent, couples counselor and sexologist. The main living area had red crushed velvet furniture with hearts and cupid figurines throughout the house. For the entire time we were there, my wife and I slept on the floor on sheets we washed while there.. The only reason we stayed was that our deposit was non refundable.... And it was an experience riding Laguna Seca with the high temperature of 49 and 50 mph wind gusts...at the time the coldest April in 40 years....great memories.
  14. Just wanted to introduce myself to the forum. I am an old timer from back in the day....the ZX-6 days. I've been to 12-14 CSS schools not remembering the exact number. I thought I might chime in on some of the topics and be available if you have any questions about racing or the elderly . I don't want to get into anything too technical but try to convey what I know about riding in very simple terms and share some of my riding experiences. I chatted with Cobie and talked to him about what I have been doing. I have retired to an SV650 having ridden 600's and liter bikes, twins and in line fours. Its not about the size of the bike but the size of the heart of the rider. I joked to Cobie about continuing my experiential journey to the point that one day I just melt into the bike. As a proponent of meditation, I find the most important tenant is to free ones mind and practice. I think the same tenant can be related to enhancing ones riding skills. I look forward to seeing you on the forum.
  15. I respectfully disagree. Josh Herrin was clearly at fault. It appeared that Josh was going to beat Tony into the corner but he was out braked by Elias. Look at the replay again. A rule I try to live by in racing is to show the other rider a front wheel. If you can show a wheel, then you have the position. Josh Herrin's front wheel never got in front of Tony's right foot peg. In fact it was Herrin's front wheel hitting Elias's right peg that caused Herrin to crash. Another indication was Herrin getting up and immediately going over to Elias apologizing. If I am racing into a corner and I can't see you, or any part of you bike, I have the position.