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About PittsDriver

  • Rank
    Cornering Artist
  • Birthday 09/02/1958

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Annapolis MD
  • Interests
    Aerobatic competition flying

Previous Fields

  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
    Not yet!
  1. Do you know how that pressure was determined? Was the goal best grip or was there a trade off for better tire life? No wrong answer here and I wouldn't at all fault for trying to get a bit more life out of them for the school. And, I know at that pressure my tires perform really well but just wondering what the method was of determining that pressure?
  2. Long, constant radius turns like turn 2 at Barber, 7 at Summit Point, and other carousel type long turns. I feel like I'm cruising through them or making multiple apexes out of them but never patiently holding good speed until time to roll back on for the exit. Esses, my temptation is to be rolling on throttle as I go knee-to-knee on the final turn of the esses. I can count on you guys to catch me adding throttle and lean as I tip back over in the opposite direction to exit.
  3. Very nicely written. I felt like I was there myself in the experience. Thank you for posting that up. Wes
  4. Just locked in today for the 8/17-18 camp at COTA. I had thought that this would be the year for me to make the trek to the left coast for Laguna Seca but when Misti posted up on the S1000RR forum that COTA was on the list I jumped in. Counting the days now...
  5. My $0.02 is that at some point, the thing that will hold anyone back from getting into the best BP will be core muscle strength and your overall flexibility. If you don't have the flexibility to get there and the core strength to keep your weight off your inside peg, that will make it tough no matter how much coaching you get. I'm speaking from experience because my pace has been steadily improving for the last couple of years thanks to the great coaches at Superbike School - but I'm at the lean limit on the bike, getting a knee down, but can't seem to consistently get the rest of my upper body down as far as would helpful. I'm committing to some pilates and yoga this winter to see if I can get my BP more comfortable in the corners but for a 57 year old desk jockey, it's going to be a challenge!
  6. I'll point out that the Superbike School as a piece of equipment that is designed to help with your manual blipping technique. It looks like one of those kneeling style desk chairs that's been modified with a set of handlebars and a pressure gauge that measures your force on the front brake lever. The idea is to press and hold the brake and then "blip" the throttle and watch to see if your braking pressure changes. I noticed that when I blipped the throttle that my brake pressure would drop slightly from letting my fingers slide on the lever. I worked on it for about 10 minutes between sessions to recalibrate myself to the amount of grip I had to use to hold it at a constant pressure. Of course, on the school's bike's with the auto-blipper it's a non-issue. Back on my '13 S1000RR it's still a work in progress but the CSS device was a help to get me much smoother on holding hard braking while clutchless downshifting.
  7. I'll be there tonight for a single day of Level 4 coaching tomorrow and we'll probably scoot at the end of the day to get back home. This will be my first single day school; my first level 4 repeat offender day; and my first time at NJMP. It's looking like hot but clear weather! Giddy up!
  8. I'll take a stab at this one but would welcome feedback (vision continues to be a work in progress for me on the track). My "3rd step" or next reference point might be: - my turn in point for the next turn, - if it's a long turn, segmented RPs for the next section - if it's a straight ahead, my RP for when I want the bike stood up and fully on the gas What else? Wes
  9. I think one of the hardest things for a lot of guys to do is to stow their ego and be open and humble to the full learning experience. I think that's why a lot of street riders don't do track days and why a lot of track day riders don't do professional schools like CSS - even if they can easily afford it. You can be Rossi in your own mind until you measure yourself against others or watch your riding coach pass you like you're standing still :-) I personally think that the one thing that was as important as anything that I was offered to learn at CSS, was committing to the mind set that I'm going to learn best if I'm not putting any pressure on myself to spend the whole $10 on going fast. I wanted to challenge myself so sure, so maybe $5.00 of my ability was spent on a quick pace while the rest was spent on the object lesson of the session. It takes a lot of pressure off and makes learning much easier. And trust me when I say that if you do the two day school, the 14 track sessions you'll get leave plenty of opportunity to consolidate what you learned going slower to go faster. That was certainly my experience.
  10. That's exactly how it worked for me. I did a 3/4 camp a year after I did the 1/2 camp. After spending the first day working on all the great things that Hotfoot described in Level 3, my Level 4 day was spent getting back to fundamentals of vision. I spent a few track sessions picking better exit RPs that really worked to give me the confidence advance the throttle sooner. We called it 2 step or 3 step or bracketing turn 3, etc. All vision related Level 1 or 2 skills and it completely transformed my laps and my pace picked up substantially. In the last couple of sessions of my Level 4 my rider coach asked me if I was open to working on something else. You bet! He had noticed that there were a couple of places on the track (specifically entering the museum down hill at Barber) where I was off the pace I was carrying elsewhere. He worked with me on 2 second brake release trailing more into the turn and carrying more pace into the turns. There were only 2 of us in Level 3 and everyone else in our run group was a repeat offender in level 4. I'll be honest with you, I got passed so much my first day in Level 3 that I felt like a traffic cone out there. But I didn't care - I was working on body positioning and how I was weighting the pegs and keeping my grip light while doing it. I felt like it was a "go slower today to go faster tomorrow" thing. During the Level 4 on track coaching and working with my Level 4 consultant, my lap times started plummeting and my day two times got consistently 10 seconds faster than my best day 1 times. It's not a race and I really only felt like I was competing only with myself but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy passing a lot of those guys that were passing me on day 1 I really think my success with this was the open approach to Level 4 where you work on whatever you need most regardless of in what level it was taught. My advice is go ahead and sign up for a 2 day level 3/4 school and let them do their magic on you when you get to level 4!
  11. The new R1 seems to be missing some of the reported ponies it was supposed to have. Interestingly, the BMW has almost exactly the HP bump they claimed for the '15 model. Some makes are a bit exuberant with their claims. https://youtu.be/pJAQIYzC45c
  12. I ended up not being able to get back until just this past week at Barber for the Level 3/4 camp. More on that later. Wes
  13. Coming Home It was beautiful weather Friday morning in central Virginia but I was going to have to ride through that mess of level 4 thunderstorms on the way home Friday. Instead I decided to take off for the mountains and rode Skyline Drive back north. I’d always avoided it on the bike due to the 35 mph posted limit but it felt oddly fine, after two days of track time, to roll along on it at a speed that didn’t attract too much attention. I picked up a riding buddy at the school who’d ridden his new R1200GSw to the camp and was also headed back toward Baltimore. We swapped bikes for the first 140 miles or so of the return trip so I got a chance to see what all the fuss was about on GSs. I’ll post up my impressions on that another time – all positive. This week was about me reengaging on something I’d been dreaming about for over 30 years. I’d frequently wonder why I gave up on it back in my 20’s but a start-up company focus and raising a family took over. Now at 55, the question was, can I still do this? Are my reactions shot? Will the young flat bellies run all over me? I’m going to be scheduling level 3 – 4 this fall if I can get a spot somewhere worthwhile and Cobie mentioned that I’d be a good candidate for CodeRace. I think maybe the fuse has been lit.
  14. We all got to ride a couple of laps each day on the camera bike which was followed by a coach critiquing mainly the visual skills we were supposed to be practicing. Target fixing is a bugger of mine and I worked on it continuously for the whole two days and I can clearly see in the video when I wasn’t looking off my turn in point in to the turn soon enough. I’m having a bit of trouble with their video file but maybe I’ll have that to post up later. Somewhere around 3 sessions into the second day they let us use all the gears and full braking. My lap times using rain mode, 3-4 gear, and some brakes started in the 2:teens and by the end of the camp using sport mode, all the gears, and full brakes I stayed pretty consistently at the 2:0x with my best lap times at 2:00 and a few hundredths – never broke under 2 minutes. Of course, now that I’m back home lapping in my mind, I know there’s all kinds of places I could have shaved seconds off. Oh jeez, I guess I’ll have to go back and see… I guess I was getting pretty frisky about half way through the second day and could frequently feel the traction control in sport mode muting the action. I guess I got on the throttle a little too hard on the drive out of turn 1 and at the same time added some lean while rolling it on and got a bit of wiggle. My coach was all over me and pulled me off in the middle of the lap and asked me what the rule was about lean and throttle. These guys never missed anything. I also got the idea that there was some kind of hive intelligence thing going on too because they would all (coach, course control, etc) know what kind of passing I’d been doing, where I’d tapped the brakes when I wasn’t supposed to be using them, etc. Here’s one of the ever vigilant corner workers: We also got to ride the lean/slide bike. As level 2 students, we didn’t get to slide it but rather it was a tool to work on body position and lean angle. We took it out on the skid pad and did big circles on it in 2nd gear: The bikes were all 2014 S1000RRs; the gear was AGVsport leathers, Schuberth SR1 helmets, Alpinestars boots – all in great condition if not practically new. Something else I found interesting was that all the school’s bikes had the speedo covered. It’s my theory that it was so that they didn’t have to clean the feces out of their loaner leathers when we saw how fast we were being led around by our coaches. I was hitting the limit in 5th gear by the kink at the start finish line and probably don’t want to know how fast I was going. It was fast enough to feel like it was an actual turn with a rise that got the bike a little light. We’d been watching the weather all day Thursday knowing that there was this massive frontal storm that was going to hit us. We managed 5 of our 7 track sessions and all the classroom instruction before it looked like this: That put the kibosh on any more track time with sheets of water flowing and the heavens pouring for the rest of the day. Something about lightning was mentioned too. But, I did get to go back and ride a bike they call the “panic braking” bike. It’s a bike with outriggers that won’t go down if the front tucks in braking. We took it out to the skid pad and would get it up to about 25 mph and lock up the front brake. That was a real eye-opener about what I had to do to get it to slide straight and not tuck when the front locked up. The secret is to squeeze the tank tightly with your knees and use light pressure on the bars – hard to do in a panic braking situation but when I did that I got good at sliding it and releasing it and sliding it again to a stop just at the threshold of locking it up. Fun stuff.
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