YellowDuck

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About YellowDuck

  • Rank
    Cornering Master
  • Birthday 07/20/1968

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  • Interests
    Motorcycle track riding (duh), wrenching, dinghy sailing, skiing

Previous Fields

  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
    No
  1. Great topic. I understand exactly where you are coming from. In a race situation when I try to outbrake someone, I will sometimes lose confidence in my ability to get the down shifting done while braking hard and then beginning to trail brake into a corner. The end result might be that I enter the corner a gear high (or, in an extreme example, two gears high), so the person I just passed ends up motoring past me again exiting the corner. Sometimes it all just seems like too much to do in a short time. I hope I am not contravening school teaching in saying this, but in most cases I would think we *should* be able to get the downshifting done before we actually need to slide over in the seat to set up for the turn. Especially with a good slipper clutch this should always be possible I think. I think the block can be a mental one - braking really hard it is natural to not want to do anything else at the same time, for fear of upsetting the bike that we feel is already at the traction limit. But in theory the time needed to slide over in the seat and stick your knee out is pretty short - it could happen right before turn in. Sorry, not much help I know - just empathizing!
  2. OMG...CSS + COTA = YEEESSSS!!!! I so need to do this in 2017.
  3. Honestly I service the bike pretty thoroughly during the off-season (valve adjustment, timing belt replacement or adjust, go through the suspension (complete service every two years; the shock I have to send out), change the brake fluid and brake pads if warranted and of course change the motor oil. And properly fix any little thing that just got a farm fix during the season (you'd be surprised how much of a motorcycle you can hold together with zip ties). Then during the season it is pretty much "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Sometimes I pay for that - there is LOTS of trackside wrenching in my pits. But honestly most of that is related to the fact that Ducatis are fundamentally neurotic and break randomly to create humor in the universe, not because my neglect caused me to miss something that I might otherwise have caught. How about a stuck fuel injector on the first corner of the first practice lap of the first round, filling an entire cylinder and the whole exhaust system with raw fuel? Ha ha, so funny..really, I just laughed and laughed. Oh, and of course the mad dashes to try to get the bike track-ready again after a crash, before the next qualifying race or whatever. I'm fortunate that my brother, an engineer, is always there, and has a creative solution to pretty much every problem, usually implemented without my knowledge while I am still storming around the pits angry with either myself or some other rider who assisted with my trip onto the grass. But yeah, race bikes (at least in club acing) always seem to be in a state of being sort of half broken and poorly repaired. You catch up when you can but the problems sure accumulate fast. Especially if they were designed and assembled in Borgo Panigale.
  4. The thing that increases the radius of your arc (assuming no steering input, no change in lean angle) is an increase in SPEED. Same lean angle at a higher speed = larger diameter circle. One discussion we have had on the forum, and possibly the one you are thinking of, is that rolling on the gas does not change lean angle. There is a common misconception that rolling on the gas stands the bike up, but on a properly set up sport bike that is not true. If you enter a high speed corner off-throttle, then gently crack open the gas, are you, at that point, speeding up, or could you still be slowing down? Ooh ooh! Ask me! Ask me! I think the answer is that you could still be slowing down. Just turning the bike slows it, so you would need more throttle in a turn to maintain the same speed as you had before the turn. Also, when you roll the bike over onto the side of the tire the engine rpms rise because the rolling diameter of the tire in contact with the ground decreases. I *think* it might take more throttle just to maintain that higher rpm that represents the same bike speed.
  5. Nice demonstration of a misunderstood topic!
  6. There is another way to widen your arc without adding a steering input (and without changing body position), who knows what that is? Turn the loud handle.
  7. Again, I don't think there is a single correct way to do this - it varies by rider and by what is going on in that particular corner. The first part of the 3-phase CSS braking method you describe is common to all hard braking - you have to initially brake a bit gently to get the weight transfer onto the front tire, so it has the traction to then permit the much harder braking that follows. What is not universal is the idea of getting your speed set early so that you are braking much more softly at the end of the braking zone, maybe even being fully off the brakes before you initiate the turn. That allows for true quick turn - seriously, at that point you can turn the bike as hard as possible with all your strength and you will never break front tire traction. It's very confidence-inspiring and is a really good method for upper intermediate track riding and for feeling out what the limits are for corner speeds on an unfamiliar track, but it's not ideal for racing, for the reason I mentioned. In most racing situations for corners that follow heavy braking you turn more slowly because you are still on the brakes and there is only so much traction available from the front tire. As for everything else you wrote re: the sequence and timing of braking, bum positioning, upper body positioning etc., yes that is exactly what I was trying to communicate. And yes it is perfectly okay (I would say, normal) that you are "hanging off" to maximum extent before reaching the apex. For me the steering and upper body positioning pretty much all happen in one movement with only minor adjustments after that.
  8. Wow, no replies to this great question. I can't give you the quality of advice a CSS instructor would, but as an (amateur) racer, I can see some things in your description that are different from what I would do. Specifically, I generally want both knees on the tank and my bum still centered in the seat at least during the hardest part of the braking. I also like to get my down shifting done as early as possible, certainly before getting my body set up for the corner. While still braking I get my bum in position for the corner, but the upper body doesn't really move over much until I initiate the turn - my body is moving into position with my outside arm becoming straight and resting on the tank as the bike is leaning over, during which time I am still trail braking - gradually releasing the brakes as the cornering forces build. This is a racing style of cornering with significant trail braking and not really a true "quick turn" approach. I love the quick turn but it requires that you set your entry speed really early which isn't so advisable in a racing situation because you will get passed and lose the line, so in the end you will not be able to attain your normal cornering speed. Even with a true "totally off the brakes" quick turn though, I think only my bum would be positioned for the corner before starting the turn - everything else happens as the turn is initiated. I think with a decent lock on the bike this needn't introduce unwanted steering input... Exception to all this would be two corners in the same direction (e.g., two right-handers), separated by only a short straight. In that case I would leave my bum in position for the corner during the straight, rather than bringing it back to center between the two corners.
  9. meh, zero comments. You guys disappoint me. Anyway, Round 3 is this weekend!
  10. Round 2 Blog Post http://prairiedogracing282.blogspot.ca/2016/07/round-2-2016-descent-into-mediocrity.html
  11. Ha ha...recovering Ducatista. Anch'io. I am truly a Suzuki man at heart...this Ducati thing is just a phase I am going through. Since. like, 2001...
  12. Watched the Assen Moto 3 race last night. Wow. It's getting to be pretty common actually that the Moto 3 class is the most exciting of the three. Five riders within 1/10 s at the line.... Lots of crashing too which sucks. One rider nearly had his head removed by a flying bike. There's something about Assen. I remember a world super sport race (I think) where someone oiled the track and about six riders flew off the end of the straight at nearly full speed before they could get a flag out. It was brutal.
  13. I detest those super wet races. It's bad enough in F1 but in motorcycle racing it's total BS. Ends up having nothing to do with the bikes or the normal rider skill set - it just becomes a game of chicken and gambling with traction. Blech. To have the championship decided or even strongly influenced by such an event just plain sucks.
  14. Oddly enough the crash didn't really set me back at all. Despite having a throttle tube cut down to 2/3 length, a replacement brake lever set in not quite the perfect position, and a slippery-as-snot OEM foot peg on the right hand side, my two qualifying runs that same morning weren't bad (qualified fourth and third). A couple of the SOAR officials told me at the end of the day that I was riding better than ever, carrying big speed through a few of the trickier corners. I guess since I knew for sure that it was nothing I did that caused the crash, it didn't really affect my confidence. The next day in one of the races I put in a lap time equal to my best ever on that layout. And besides, I am pretty used to crashing by this point
  15. I still can't figure out exactly what kind of contact was made, and the video doesn't help with that. I refused to speak to the guy for the rest of the weekend so we didn't discuss it. I am 99.9% sure that I didn't cause it myself by pulling the brake or anything because I was on my way to the ground before I even saw him. If you watch the slow motion part of the video you can see his head jerk quickly from one side to the other which I think was a result of the contact. Pretty sure I was just finishing releasing the brake from trail braking into the corner when he hit me. I wouldn't have been so angry about it if I hadn't specifically warned the guy that it was likely to happen with the way he was riding. He's on a tiny little 2-stroke and carries piles of corner speed, but is not willing to give up any momentum in the corners no matter what kind of danger it creates. I think it is an ego thing for him, proving that even though someone passed him on the straight he can take them back in the next corner. Fair enough in a race but in practice with all different classes of bikes out there, once you are passed you need to back off a tiny bit and let the faster bike make some distance on you. If they were in a position to pass you in the first place it means, by definition, over the course of a whole lap they are faster and will not be holding you up for long. This kind of is totally unnecessary, expensive, and potentially dangerous. I was on a nice steady line, leaving lots of room for him on the outside in case he insisted on doing his regular Moto3 thing. There are multiple workable lines through that long corner. No idea why he ended up right on top of me.