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Steve M

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About Steve M

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    Cornering Artist

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  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
  1. Good write-up Will. Congratulations on your finishes. Makes for a good Father?s day! Steve
  2. Balistic is the only person I personally know who purposely slides his bike and some times (last CODE RACE school at Streets) the bike comes around a bit too much - like to the locks. I do not intentionally slide - ever. When I do slide, it is a mistake and it usually happens so fast that by the time I know what is going on, the bike has already straightened it self and I am on my way. Steve
  3. While I do agree that training is top priority, I think bike set up, (suspension, tire pressures, tire types, brakes etc.) also need a fair amount of attention. Many students who come to the school begin to outride their set-up within one day, simply because they are cornering faster than they ever have before. While set-up makes little difference at slow speeds, things like tire pressure, preload, compression and rebound dampening become a pretty big deal at more amusing speeds. This comes from personal experience. I rode my first sport bike like a demon, and it handled very well. Or so I thought. After taking level one at CSS, I suddenly developed a huge "Chatter" in my front end. I immediately began outriding the factory fork springs and what I was feeling was the forks bottoming-out. Yikes! It turned out that I was soooooooo slow before taking level one, that I had no idea my suspension was improperly set up. Still, you are right. Training is huge, and along with good saftey gear is the most important investment one can make for riding a motorcycle.
  4. Great job Will! By the way, did you see that Nick Moore is headed to British Supersport for a couple races? http://venus.13x.com/roadracingworld/scrip...asp?insert=8974
  5. Good advice. Another thing you can do is raise the idle a bit. I keep mine around 3k. This also helps take out drive train slap, which is not only annoying but at full lean can be dangerous.. Steve
  6. Looks like we don't have many people out that way. Is this your first race? Either way, let us know how it goes for you. Good luck! Steve
  7. BWEZX6 - Glad to hear of your success at BlackHawk. To me that particular track really lends itself to CSS drills. If you have trouble getting your bike turned quickly, stall the gas or have any other manner of difficulty, that track will point it immediately. I am very excited to get back there in June. Maybe we can convince Keith and Cobie to let us race some of the school bikes Sanfret - If you have the means to race there, do. The track is insanely fun. CCS runs at BHF. In fact, they have the track the weekend before we arrive on June 1 (same as last year). See the link below http://www.blackhawkfarms.com/
  8. My primary street bike is a BMW 1150RT. It has what BMW calls EVO brakes (basically the front and rear brakes communicate with each other and BMW says they are anti lock). I assure you that you can lock these brakes if only for a nanosecond - I do it on occasion in gravel, rain and even once in some snow. Will is on the money. If you are leaned over to the head cases and you grab a hand full of brake, you are going down. And as mentioned above, I can go super deep into turns on the brakes but I think largely due to the geomotry of the bike (the telelever/paralever suspension removes a lot of nose dive so the bike does appear to be more stable under heavy braking). I also feel pretty comfortable trailing the brakes. But then, as mentioned above this is my main ride so I am pretty careful with it - unlike a certain GSXR...
  9. I definitely go slower on the street since I started riding at the track. In fact, most guys I ride with leave me in the mountains. I just do not feel comfortable going fast (recall this is all relative) in the mountains. I always feel like I am on cold tires and I do not like the feeling of not knowing the surface of the road. Even if you know a certain stretch like the back of your hand, there are so many hazards. I found some radiator fluid two years ago. Cost me a gixxer. And, I was only going forty mph or so. Now, out in the desert is another story. I have a touring bike that I like to do long rides on and I have no problem cruising at triple digits in the desert (though I got a big fat ticket at the California/Arizona border a few years ago?..
  10. I vote for number 2. Some time after I started the first thread regarding trail braking I tried coming off the brakes at different points in the turn. What I found was I really, really like the feeling of coming off the brakes just as I was flicking the bike. I think this was the feeling of the suspension remaining relatively settled (instead of bouncing up from release of brake and down again from compression due to cornering forces). When you time it just right, it is an amazing feeling. I intend to continue experimenting but for now I think the key is to time coming off the brakes with flicking the bike so that there is very little movement in the suspension. I have used my rear brake to settle the bike but it is a pretty delicate operation.
  11. If you use one of Will's bikes (yes, they ARE Will's bikes), and you ask him nicely, he may switch the shift pattern for you. Personally, all my bikes are reverse pattern shift - except my BMW 1150RT - and I am working on a way to switch that one as well. Although I do not often get confused while riding (going back and forth between school bikes, personal track bikes and my RT), I can't count the times I have been in a parking lot thinking I was in first gear when in fact I was in sixth gear. Under these circumstances, finding neutral between fifth and sixth can be challenging and embarrasing...
  12. Well, I hate to say it but AMP is not alone. Some locals in the area of Laguna Seca and Sears Point have been complaining for years. One of the bigger complaints is noise, so we have to run with stock cans to avoid being flagged. No big deal for me, but I will be willing to bet that some of the locals will eventually find something else to complain about. It's like we are all pariah. The last place we can go to practice our sport is the middle of the freaken desert (Button Willow, Thunder Hill etc.) And, one would think the locals would support track operations in hopes of getting guys to take their racing off the street and to the track.
  13. Wow - Slow Dragon has done this before. I don't think I could add to that except to totally emphasize locating yourself on the track before you start adding much speed. Resist the temptation to chase guys going around you and stick to your plan. Locate good reference points for EVERY turn. Be honest with yourself ? if there is a turn where you do not have good reference points, go out the next session and find them. Once you have good reference points for every turn, you can locate yourself pretty easily and then you can start railing. I typically take my time in the first couple of sessions. I warm myself up by taking it easy, and I try hard to remain disciplined and do my drills (no brakes, reference points etc.). Many people go around me in the first session or two, but by mid day, I am up to speed and by then I am easily going around guys who were running faster in the first couple of sessions. Every time you visit the track, plan your ride and ride your plan (an old adage from scuba diving ? plan your dive and dive your plan).
  14. Luke, What you describe is very common at T-Hill. For whatever reason, T-Hill is really, really hard on tires. It is probably a combination of asphalt construction and the fact that you spend so much time going so fast on the same side of the tire. I decided to try different tires last summer - I normally ride 208's as well and have the suspension set up fairly well for those tires. I did not make any adjustments to my suspension after I mounted the new tires. I put on RS1/RS2 and did two practice sessions on a race day before the rear tire was destroyed. (this is like 15 laps or so) Like you say, it looked like someone took a very hot knife and gouged a line out of the tire. The gouged part was actually convex! Until that day, I normally chewed up the 208's pretty good too, but nothing like the Metzler. At first, I started to believe that I was all that, spinning up the tire, blah, blah, blah. Turns out, I had way too much compression and rebound in my shock. I visited Phil Douglas' pit and he got me squared away big time. So, over to the Dunlop trailer I go (I had a race that afternoon). I put on new 208's, did one warmup lap and raced an 8 lap sprint. Guess what? The tire looked great, even after racing on it. Sure, it showed normal signs of wear, but none of the crazy tearing. So, the moral of my story is this - take a very hard look at your suspension set up and if possible consult with someone like Phil next time you are at T-Hill. Steve
  15. OK people, check it out. See the full article on the MotoGP web site - good stuff. Also note that Yamaha is playing around with electronic traction control. Very interesting stuff... http://motogp.tiscali.com/en/motogp/index.htm
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