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Everything posted by bradvanhorn

  1. The article is fairly non-descript really. Other than saying not to compare ourselves to MotoGP stars he really didn't say exactly what or why we should do differently. Or at least that's how I read the article. I have been to Jason Pridmores Star School and so I've heard him speak, albeit briefly, regarding body position. To summarize, he recommends and his staff teach what I would call a crossed-up position. Look at pics of Jason cornering and that's what you get - more hip off and less overall body hanging off - lots of pivoting around the tank is my feeling. As it is described in the class, this less "extreme" hang off position allows for less overall movement by the rider and requires less energy to achieve and maintain thereby being less fatiguing (they reference endurance racing in the class, so that might be influential in that rationale). Myself and other students who had CSS training and were (more or less) already comfortable with our body position but they made a bit of spectacle (in my opinion) trying to change us to their body position. I didn't like the body position or the manner in which they instructed on this point (perhaps my biases came out). Anyway, sometimes different is just different. I'll stick with what I learn at CSS however (Edited to add my disclaimer: I don't want to misrepresent Star School in anything I said, and it was a few years ago, so not all details may be perfectly related in my post(s).)
  2. Buy Dunlop Q3's for the street and GPA's for the track. Problems solved (kidding of course, although I've had enough good experience with those particular tires that I'll stick with them as long as I can) I think you already guessed correctly, as I suspect if/when/how a tire slides will vary depending on the rider, and so trial and error is likely the only reliable way to know the answer for certain.
  3. For me it's maybe 50% of the time I'll get drawn to looking at the road near in front of the bike when I see: manhole covers, larger potholes, sand or gravel across my line. When I'm keeping my mind relaxed on such matters then I can stay in my wide view and barely notice those things. The inopportune time I'll look down at the bike is if/when I miss a shift, which thankfully doesn't happen but rarely. It's a curious reaction; it's not as though looking at the bike will be any help in that situation.
  4. The three top things that came to my mind as important factors for [my] decision making (others may view this much differently of course): 1) Are you interested in trying racing (now, or later, or whatever)? 2) Are you confident enough to ride within feet (maybe inches) of other riders, and quite possibly several (or a dozen even) of them at any one time? 3) Are you confident enough with people passing you closely and possibly in circumstances which might make you adjust your line (as they go up the inside, or whatever), and can you do the same to them given the opportunity? Just ideas to think about...
  5. I heard one guy say he crashed because his bike - a Suzuki TL1000R - was too heavy and he couldn't steer it fast enough.
  6. For the aliens... what's that rear brake going to do again? (Just provided this for fun )
  7. http://continentaltire.custhelp.com/euf/assets/continental_tire_recall/index.htm Fort Mill, SC August 11, 2014. Continental today announced a safety recall covering approximately 9,000 Continental 120/70 ZR 17 and 120/70 R 17 motorcycle tires sold in the US and Canada. Market feedback indicates that some of these tires have exhibited a condition in the tread and/or belt which may lead to separation and possible air loss. Continental has not received any reports of accidents or injuries in connection with this condition. The safety recall is being initiated to avoid any potential risk to road-users. The affected tires were sold to original equipment and replacement customers worldwide between 2007 and 2014. This safety recall is part of a worldwide program affecting 170,000 tires. Included below is a complete list of Product Lines and DOT Serial Numbers: 120/70ZR17 M/C (58W) TL ContiSportAttack – CP8B B5MV; 1008 to 2614 120/70ZR17 M/C (58W) TL ContiSportAttack 2 – CP8B B5M4; 4811 to 2614 120/70R17 M/C 58H TL ContiAttack SM – CP8B BXM9; 1011 to 2614 120/70ZR17 M/C 58W TL ContiRaceAttack Comp. Soft – CP8B B5M1; 1907 to 2614 120/70ZR17 M/C 58W TL ContiRaceAttack Comp. Medium – CP8B B5M1; 2307 to 2614 120/70ZR17 M/C (58W) TL ContiRaceAttack Comp. Endurance – CP8B 918B; 3011 to 2614 120/70ZR17 M/C (58W) TL ContiRoadAttack 2 GTW – CP8B 91E9; 2513 to 2614 The final four digits indicate the week/year production period; 1907 being produced in the 19th week of 2007 for example. According to Continental there are no other sizes, production periods or product lines affected in this recall.
  8. While I do generally agree with the above, the potential downside to waiting to replace the tires is the bike's handling is very likely to change and that might throw you off balance also. If you could find a good deal beforehand then I suggest getting the tires replaced sooner so you can adjust to the new feeling. The Q3's are awesome but they feel quicker to turn-in than Q2's or GPA's; I suspect the same would be true for the Roadmaster's, especially at 4-yrs old.
  9. Yes, same situation for me. Sounds like you're doing just fine without it so I'd let it leave your mind. Just think of all the money we're saving not having to replace knee pucks
  10. Great story. Thank you. I've been hoping to try some WERA racing. I say hoping because I bought a "race bike" (used in CCS and a couple AMA rounds in 2012) last year and thought that'd have me setup. After reading the WERA manual and then looking the bike over, I discovered I'm missing about 90% of their safety wiring requirements. So far I've been too lazy to work on drilling holes everywhere, so obviously my racing attempts will have to wait until I get motivated enough to complete that task.
  11. Totally agree with previous points on getting a proper fit - have it fitted professionally if possible. I used The Service Pavillion (Arai dealer often found traveling around the AMA circuit) to select/fit the correct helmet and I was very pleased. Also, my take on helmets generally is: you get what you pay for. Less expensive helmets might protect just as well as more expensive helmets; however, overall quality, fit, comfort, etc., are almost always better the more you spend. Having crashed landed on my head and having had to live with a year of post-concussion syndrome, I'll offer a final thought: do you want to trust your one and only brain to a cheap helmet? (yes, yes, cheap is relative; just something to think about though)
  12. After riding them at the school, if cost were no object then I'd be hard pressed not to take a S1000RR.
  13. I bought my 7x16 trailer from a retiring racer. He had installed a 15k btu Coleman roof top A/C unit and I belatedly discovered that it's almost useless without 30 AMP power. In my limited experience, most of the accessible paddock power has been lower AMP, presumably 20 (or maybe 15), unless you pay extra for an RV spot with 30-50 AMP outlets. So, I can't consistently run the A/C on paddock power without frequently blowing fuses. I can run the A/C with my (very noisy) 5kw generator but actually not much else. So, while the A/C is theoretically nice to have, I can't really use it as much as I'd like, and honestly 15k btu is massive overkill for a 7x16. With the A/C on low setting I had to sleep in a heavy sleeping bag even in the middle of the summer heat. If I ever get the motivation then I'll probably replace the larger A/C with a smaller unit. Depending on brand, actual ratings, etc., it generally appears 13.5k units hover around 15 AMP and 9k-12k units are around 10 AMP. Since something like a quiet Honda 2k generator is supposed to run at ~13 AMP (~16 AMP max), the smaller 9k-12k btu A/C is probably the more prudent option. I've heard of people using the external A/C unit you're talking about but never actually witnessed it. I've used them in offices when we've had HVAC failures and needed A/C for computers/servers. I suspect it'd work fine for the cooling aspect. Haven't looked at how much power they require and no idea how they work when the elements become hostile and whether you've have to shelter it from rain, etc. Regarding fuel economy and towing, most any vehicle will get crushed when pulling an enclosed trailer. The wind resistance from an enclosed trailer, even with a v-nose, is a killer. My Tundra gets ~20mpg highway without the trailer; with the 7x16 in tow (and almost regardless the weight) I get 9-10mpg. From what I've heard, only a few vehicles (more notably some early to mid 2000's diesels) can defy this loss in fuel economy. Just my amateur opinions...
  14. I realize pro racers are not always the best examples to emulate but I quickly scanned some World Superbike videos and saw nothing resembling a dropping of the chin on corner exits, so... I'd be very interested to see your friend give a demonstration and hear the full explanation because I can't visualize a benefit to the action tucking the chin by itself. If tucking the chin helped guide you into a tucked position behind the windscreen for a high-speed straight or something, then I might see that as possibly useful.
  15. Wow. I had completely missed this news. I'll be watching the continuation of this story with great interest since I am anticipating a return to the east coast in the next year or so and had been thinking I'd be doing more track days with NESBA. Apparently it won't be NESBA... I do know there is/was a fairly strong sentiment among track day junkies when it came to NESBA - a lot of riders loved them and a lot of riders hated them. I started my track day journey with NESBA and had no issue with their system. I did hear one or two stories from riders describing what I agreed seemed a valid complaint but those stories were the exception and not the rule. I do have to wonder if negative feelings among some riders was a contributing factor to the split/downfall. This news is perhaps even more disconcerting to me when I think about last year and Track Tactics (formerly the main track day group for NOLA) going out of business. Is the motorcycle track day world dying out? Or perhaps is this just a cyclical changing of the guard so to speak? I surely hope it's not the former.
  16. I suggest you just call the office and ask them. I'm sure they'll be happy to sell you stuff
  17. My synopsis... Vanson will be made more or less specifically to your order and they do have a great reputation. Fit and finish should be excellent overall; also the suit probably will fit you much better (but might not). A better fit also means better comfort and possibly better protection since the suit won't bunch up or be loose in odd places. The AGV will work just fine; you should have no fear of owning one. But it's likely to be more the character opposite of the Vanson. It'll be a generic, made for the masses leather suit. If you can try on the AGV and you believe it fits well and will be comfortable to spend your day wearing, then going that route likely makes for money well saved. If it doesn't "fit like a glove" then I'd suggest talking to Vanson. I suggest you might also consider looking at Pilot leathers. I have the older Alpha suit (now discontinued I believe) and my next suit (if/when I get one) will be a Pilot EVO. I'm sure experiences do vary, but I've yet to meet anyone in person who had nothing but good things to say about their Pilot leathers. I crashed in mine the very first day I had them on the track - I don't recommend this - and they protected me perfectly and sustained only some minor scuffs (I was in the grass however). The EVO suit is only $1300 and they will do most graphics, names, numbers, sponsors, etc. (or nothing at all if that's your preference), on your suit at no cost and also can make minor tailoring adjustments at little or no extra cost if the off-the-rack size doesn't fit you just right.
  18. I rode my Triumph Speed Triple at a NOLA track day yesterday. I had brand new Q3's on the bike. Start of the day was chilly (45 deg F) and damp from rain the night before so we all were very cautious the first two sessions. The sun came out just before lunch and with a slightly higher temp (50-55 deg F) and a dry track we all started to ride a bit more "normal". So, I started the day at 29 psi cold pressure both front and rear; I didn't bother with tire warmers. The Q3's were fabulous the whole day; never made any adjustments. I felt firmly connected to the track the whole time. Although I was cautious early in the day, even then I never had a tire squirm or give any vague or scary sensations. Always felt as though they were sticking like glue. Once the pace finally went back up to my near normal (a middle to upper intermediate pace) I felt nothing but confidence with what the tires were doing. Honestly, I don't have my thoughts and vocabulary well put together... in short, I loved the tires and my only question will be how well they wear.
  19. I wasn't intimidated by the S1000RR (maybe I should've been) when I did my first school but I did wonder to myself why put new students on a literbike? However, I pretty quickly came to essentially the same realization (some of it was quickly/easily explained to me) as in rchase comments. The S1000RR essentially can be programmed to be more tame than a modern 600, as potent as all but the purpose built race team literbikes, or somewhere in between. It's a pretty awesome bike to be sure. The only potential downside I can see is very small and/or very weak riders might struggle with the bikes size/weight, but even a modern 600 could just as well be too much for such a rider, so in the end I expect that really has been a non-issue.
  20. In my humble opinion, you absolutely should ensure your suspension is working with you and not against you. Having your suspension serviced - meaning properly adjusted to settings which fit you, if necessary ensuring you have adequate springs, fluid etc. - is perhaps the single most important thing you could do to your bike, especially as a beginner. Look up "Dave Moss" on youtube and watch some of his videos just to get some background on how important it is to have a well-functioning, setup suspension. (You do not need to buy full Ohlins components to have a well-serviced suspension). Just because you can manage a track day with a totally stock (i.e. "factory") suspension settings does not mean it is in your best interest. By way of example, I was riding track days with a stock suspension with factory settings (had never adjusted a thing) on my Triumph. I had the privilege to work with Dave at a track day and he immediately made a whole bunch of adjustments. I never knew I was having problems until I felt the difference based on his changes. Everything felt cleaner, sharper, more confidence inspiring, etc. Again, I thought the bike was great, but it then worked so much better after simple adjustments I could hardly believe it was the same bike. That was unequivocally the best $40 I've ever spent on a motorcycle.
  21. Were the opportunity offered to me, then yes I would be willing to put in the volume of work you describe, although for just how long I don't know. Heck, I bet even now we could find guys/gals who would do, or already do, almost that much work just to be better track day riders. If I ever win a big lottery jackpot (which is quite unlikely since I almost never play) then I'll start my own race team and give it a try Perhaps more important to me is, would all that effort translate to a championship? Realistically, for me, I think not. Good results, maybe. I honestly lack the "killer instinct" when it comes to competition. I watch guys like Marquez and see the willingness to do pretty much anything to complete a pass, even purposefully colliding with the opponent, and I know that just is not in my character. If I were granted the golden opportunity, I suspect I would lose not because I lacked the physical skills/attributes and equipment to win but because I'd lack that extra edge of doing whatever it takes to get in front of the next guy. I've seen similar comments such as this, either online or in print, but with additional comments suggesting you must have them all to achieve a true world championship. You might be able to win a lower level championship of some sort without all those characteristics, but missing even one would likely destroy any chance of being the champion at the highest level. I don't know that such assertions always are true but I think it's fair to suggest it probably is more often than not. Hotfoot makes a great point about how competitions have the potential to turn into not being fun anymore. For those of us who merely daydream of MotoGP rides and championships, it very well could be that the potential shift from recreation and fun to profession and work would in fact kill the dream. I don't know if it'll ever be known or accepted with certainty but I've often considered that this is what happened to some extent with Casey Stoner. Despite the potential incentives/rewards, the "job" aspect simply became unappealing...
  22. The timeline for the day runs pretty much the same for either format. The obvious difference is the timing of when groups go on track since 2-day is just two groups versus three in the 1-day.
  23. Military folks also have Edwards AFB as a nearby and excellent option for lodging. Their visitor quarters were very nice and very reasonably priced. Not sure how they manage retiree and other federal employees but I'd say it'd be worth calling them to ask, if applicable. Also, and long story short, I had some medical troubles the time I did CSS at SoW and I had to convalesce at Edwards for almost a week before returning home. My wife flew out to CA and they gave us a house for our stay!
  24. Good write up on your experience with the new Q3 - thanks. I don't ride my Speed Triple much these days but I'm going to try Q3's next time I need tires.
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