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BikeSpeedman

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Everything posted by BikeSpeedman

  1. Steering Video No Bs Bike

    I know sometimes it feels like you're pushing down on the bars to turn but you're not. You're pushing forward which makes that side of the bike lean down which makes your hand feel the downward motion. I know some people claim they're able to turn with foot pressure and/or body english to cause the bike to lean but both methods are simply riding no hands. A) it's way way less effective than with hands. You claim 60% as effective but this is easily disproved on a skid pad or an obstacle course. Estimating based on how you feel is not useful and of course, it varies on speed. Try changing lanes no-handed at 60 then repeat the process using push-pull. B ) riding no hands still requires counter steering. It just happens with less force and happens in reverse. Instead of turning the bars left to lean right, you lean right to turn the bars left. To the foot-peg steering method, the only thing outer peg pressure achieves is enabling you to put more inner bar pressure. Just like you jump from your left foot to make a right handed layup, when you push on the left peg, you effectively harness your body's ability to push on the right bar with your right hand. If you ever doubt it, take your hands off the bars, push with your left foot and stick your head out over the right. You will probably list lazily to the right but it's a quite a bit less effective than what you're actually doing (even if you don't realize it). These facts are true on a sportbike, a Harley, and my 15 lb road bike.
  2. I heart level 4

    Thanks, everyone. Of course, when you're slow the improvements come in big steps. I'm not really fast yet but by the end of the day, the way I was going through the esses was probably the best I've ever felt on a bike.
  3. I heart level 4

    I thought I knew how beneficial it would be and I thought I knew what I wanted to get out of it. I was kinda wrong on both counts. The personal consultant approach makes the leap between L3 and L4 huge. Take what we all know about CSS coaches. They're well versed in the hangups regular humans have in riding motorcycles fast and they're incredibly skilled at breaking down those barriers and knowing what the riders need to become better. Now, take those skills and remove the confines of teaching 5 new skills in a day and just let them have the time to fix whatever needs fixing and that's the difference between L3 and L4. I was at SoW. I was struggling at the kink and it turned out the problem was actually starting at the turn-in for 8. This was nice but the next revelation was that I was turning too slowly. It never felt like it to me because I was able to hit my marks at the speed I was riding. But much like the previous issue, the solution was not what I expected. I thought once I had more pace, I'd turn more quickly. But once they got me to really turn more quickly, I found that I had to up my pace. Again, the solution to a known problem was far from intuitive. After circling SoW who knows how many times at basically the same pace (better form each time but never more pace), being forced to do quick-turn correctly (in my case, push-pull) forced me to approach the corners with more pace because if had turned more quickly at the same entrance speed, of course, I would have early apexed. This one change got me 9 seconds. Next year I'm going to find a stretch of 3 or 4 days at SoW and book multiple days at once. Primary focus (I think) will be T1. Can't wait.
  4. I think I read that in TotW and/or from Level 1 training. Aim for a weight distribution of 60/40 Rear/Front bc our rear tire has more rubber on the road. Something got me thinking about that today and I'm now having trouble making sense of it. I think I've heard about people using setup to get *more* not less weight on the front to improve turning. I thought the logic there was that more weight on the front tire generates more heat and also gets a bigger contact patch. Why would we use throttle to reduce both of those things on the smaller front tire? It seems to me like doing so would simultaneously increase the risk of a high side as well as a low side. There's probably a lot of nuance and subtlety there but I'd rather ask for clarification than assume I figured it out on my own and then risk doing something inadvisable on an indirect route to the hospital.
  5. Lowering the body

    RE Car tire widths... The movement of a car tire when turning is split between the wheel and the tire. The steps involved are: Turn steering wheel the wheels turn while the tires remain in original position the tires then let go of the road surface and twist to get back in line with the position of the wheel This repeats in little steps over and over throughout the turn. It happens for rear tires too but it's the attitude of the car which turns the rear wheels. In both cases, the tires lag behind the wheel, let go of the road, and catch up with the wheel as long as the direction is being changed. The way a tire performs this sideways deflection (twist) is a product of sidewall height and tire width. This is one of the main reasons race cars have low profiles and more width. It should be noted that there's a practical limit for how low you can go with profile before losing too much suspension effect from the tire. It's far more desirable to add width as much as possible without hitting suspension components or fenders. Also, you want to increase the wheels along with increases in tire because even though you can often add +5 or +10 mm for a given wheel size, it will allow the tire to twist more than if this relationship is controlled. If the article says that more width does not give more grip (in cars), then it is wrong. I spent a lot of time a while back autocrossing and time trialing. I've been to racing schools and read dozens of books about car setup and performance. Classes are tightly controlled about all aspects of the tire including width. Getting a tire that is too wide for your current class bumps you into a different class and your lap times drop. It's easily verified. Anyone involved in racing (bikes or cars) will tell you being able to consistently run laps with little variation is important both for safety and to reliably improve the car's setup. It's not "in your head". It's a real effect. I can't speak to bike tire widths.
  6. New Schuberth lid

    I got a Pista GP when they first came out (~2 years ago) and love it. It's crazy expensive but Revzilla has a few colors listed for about $1k now.
  7. Joe Roberts to ride in Moto2 - SPOILERS

    He did quite well in the wet FP1 as well. Briefly as high as 4th and ultimately finishing in 14. At first it seems odd for a SoCal boy to be so much better in the wet than the dry but he moved to England when he was 13 or 14 as a home base for his European racing career so it kinda makes sense. Hopefully he gets a bit better in the dry.
  8. I recently did the level 3 class and we discussed locking on by putting the ball of your foot on the peg and driving the knee into the tank. This works and it feels pretty good. However, I've been noticing that the pros tend to have their toes pointed away from the bike, heel on the peg, and their outside knee isn't touching the tank at all. It appears they're holding on with their calf more than anything. The outside thigh is only touching center of the tank (where we normally use a tank protector, not a side of the tank). Does anyone here know the mechanics of doing the knee-out, thigh on back of tank method? I'm including include some pix to illustrate what I'm talking about.
  9. Q3s starting to feel weird.

    Apologies in advance for not keeping this brief. Switched from Supercorsas to Q3s a couple of months ago. They felt awful at first. I've ridden brand new Supercorsas 3 times and never felt this but I recalled feeling good on Q3s at CSS so I kept the faith and scrubbed them in. 30 miles on the road and then 3 sessions on the track and they started to feel great. An AFM racer looked at them at the end of the day and commented that my suspension was setup well bc they looked great. Went back a few weeks later and they still felt good. Went back Tuesday and set a PB in my first session. 3 laps into my 2nd session, leaned over and on maintenance throttle before the apex of turn 8 (Thunderhill), the rear started to walk around on me. It felt like the tire was low so I backed off the pace and came in to look. It was 30 psi. That was fresh off the track where it would normally be higher than that. I went looking for the Dunlop trailer (which wasn't there) and talked to a tuning guy. He said the tire was covered with craters and my pressure was fine so it must be the shock was too stiff. He backed it off 2 clicks and went back out. I was nervous and slower this time but I felt it again in turn 6. He backed it off another 1 or 2 clicks. I found a guy who was there in place of the normal Dunlop guys and asked him about it. He said I should drop it down to 23 psi. That's the recommendation for the D211s, not Q3s. Having gotten Q3 recommendations from Cobie and "the real Dunlop" guy before, I knew he was wrong and ignored him. After lunch, I borrowed an air tank and got them up to 30r/32f. Went back out and felt good again. Went back to the tuning guy and he said they looked good too. I think I went wrong earlier in the day because I started at 29/31 and then immediately after my session, I bled them down to 30/32. That was my process on the 2 previous track days but today was kinda cool outside and I think they ended up too low. Then I suffered by talking to too many people who know a lot about Dunlop race tires but not so much about Q3s. I almost didn't bother posting about this because I sorta felt like it was all worked out. But then this morning on the way to work, the rear felt really squishy and unstable. I checked and reset my pressures when I got home. I've been riding at 30/32 on the street too bc my commute is pretty severe canyon carving. Today was the first day they felt squishy and unstable at that pressure. I'll try adding a bit of air tonight but I thought I'd throw this out there and see if anyone else feels this way about Q3s and if it's something I should worry about or just ignore.
  10. Q3s starting to feel weird.

    Oh no. I just saw this. It's a 675R. 1st: full track day (4 or 5 sessions) 2nd: I was sick so I did 2 half-sessions and 1 full session and went home. 3rd: It was the 2nd session of the day when I started having the problems. Commuting distance covered about 500 miles. I thought the "street" tires like the Q3s would endure more heat cycles than that. Are you guys swapping out tires every other day at the schools? Yikes.
  11. Limitations of CSS techniques?

    I watched the same video James is talking about and I remembered it differently. I thought he said the problem was that CSS teaches people not to trail brake. I wanted to comment that I took CSS 1-3 and it's not true. They do teach trail braking. But perhaps I got it backwards. I don't know. But I do know that CSS and YCRS both advocate for trail braking and most racers do it as well. I think some do it more than others but nearly all do it to some degree. I know Simon is an ex GP racer but as others have said, everything I've learned at CSS has been explained well enough that I have no doubt it's at least one of the correct ways to do it. While I've augmented some of my technique with outside sources, I'll be pretty surprised if I ever disregard my CSS lessons. Proud Knower and Practicer of CSS Techniques.
  12. I'm another 20 seconds off a good time which is fine. But I'd really like to perfect my form even if I never have the courage to flirt with great lap times. Currently, I cannot get my butt as far left as I can to the right. I mean I don't get as far over with my flick. With a more clumsy effort, I can force my way off and then I feel a lot of tightness in my hips and back getting into the correct form. For the life of me I cannot figure out where the tightness is coming from and what kind of stretches would fix this. When I'm in a corner, I am limited by how low I can get my head by visibility through the visor. Here's a pic which shows how limited I am - this is as low as I can go. Note the nerd-like refusal to quit covering the brake. In this pic I'm actually doing a decent job of hanging off but it required so much more effort than going to the right and I felt tightness in my back getting into that position which I never feel to the right. I think I'd have more good pix if Thunderhill had more rights.
  13. Took 5 seconds off my PB - still kinda flawed/slow

    I've been doing some introspection and I realize I actually do prefer right turns. There's some pre-turn stress probably linked to the fact my body doesn't bend that way as easily. So why am I faster in lefts? Possibly bc Thunderhill is almost entirely lefts and I get to practice them a lot more. There are 10 lefts and 5 rights by the official count. However, 2 of the rights are kinda straights so you don't lean much at all and another 2 are off camber so you're naturally going to lean less on those. There's only one level right turn where you're not straight-lining it and that one is a very late apex where you're trying to stand the bike up asap bc it essentially leads on to the front straight (you're pretty straight through the next corner). It'd be interesting to look at the data on a track with some fast right hand sweepers.
  14. Took 5 seconds off my PB - still kinda flawed/slow

    To be honest it varies. Sometimes I locked on to the back of the tank with my thigh and others I'm farther back with knee into the side of the tank. I can say that I can do either position in right turns without any trouble. I've been working on stretching off the bike and practicing on the road. One thing I've noticed is that I've had different mechanics with my inside foot R/L. I'm now trying to focus on replicating every detail of my right turns on my left turns. I hope it's sorted by the time I come back to CSS so I can spend my time working on fun stuff.
  15. Took 5 seconds off my PB - still kinda flawed/slow

    AIM data logger.
  16. Q3s starting to feel weird.

    I keep forgetting to check my notes. Yeah, he dialed one softer by 4 or 5 clicks and 1 stiffer by 1. I'm sure he did it the correct direction bc he seemed really knowledgeable. Since having the squirmy feeling on the way to work that one day, I decided to run 34/34 on the street. Some mornings are shockingly cold and might cause my pressure to be lower than expected. They feel better. I also put my shock back to my old settings bc I know I've had good results on the track with those settings. The only known variable between 11 good sessions (2 total track days plus 1st session of the 3rd - which included my PB) and the bad sessions was tire pressure. When I go back to the track, if I keep my pressures where I trust them and still feel squirmy (or see craters) then I'll go back to Dave Moss's settings.
  17. Took 5 seconds off my PB - still kinda flawed/slow

    Thanks. Yeah, ironically it's the opposite for me. Judging by Gs and lean angle, I'm way more confident in lefts. 1.14g left to .98g right (peak for each). And 43 degrees peak left to 38 peak to the right. This pattern plays out session after session, day after day. It's not a one-off. The reason I say it's opposite is that left is the side I have trouble hanging off correctly. I tend to get over way less to the side that I'm significantly faster on. When I work really hard at flicking over and actually do get over "enough", I feel tightness in my hips and back making me far less comfortable getting down and pointed in the right direction. I can still keep my elbows bent, inside elbow down, hands light on the bars, and not crossed up. But there's so much tension throughout my back and hips that I just notice that I have physical imbalances to work on.
  18. School Laptimes

    Hi Cobie, I was there for L2/3 last summer and left without getting my lap times. Any way I could still get them? I had paid for them. BTW, I'm glad I read this post as I'm coming back for L4 in Sep and didn't know we could ask to focus on lap tiimes but I definitely want to do that. On that note, I know you guys do not go to Thunderhill East but I really really want you to in the future so this is just me being a pest about it. Please start doing Thunderhill East. Would love to get some CSS help around this track.
  19. Best Superbike of 2017

    Closest I've come to riding any of them is the 2016 S1000RR from CSS. I thought it was great but IMO a superbike is an opportunity to go all out on a true dream machine and the Bimmer doesn't stir me at all. They're all really amazing machines and you could probably just buy whichever one set your heart a flutter the most and never regret it. The Panigale will roast your nuts. That's a deal breaker for me. The Kawi and Suzuki just look chincy IMO. The R1 is amazing to look at and has slide control and is the only machine to knock the RSV4 from the top spot of nearly all SBOTY tests but the brakes are weak and lack feel and the throttle is snatchy. I suspect that would bother me. The new Blade looks fantastic but it seems to be having teething problems with reliability to the point of making it dangerous. The new RSV4 finally got a TFT dash and auto blip downshifts. IMO it's the best looking by far (at least in the black RR model. Can't stand silver so the RF is out for me). Everyone says it's the best sounding but I like the old F1 V10esque scream of the Blade more. Still, despite a look that is great but mostly unchanged since 2009 and not being my absolute favorite sound, the RSV4 has it all and is the very top of my wishlist.
  20. I wasn't being a wiseguy btw. I thought Keith literally said "as soon as you can." I remember feeling like he could elaborate a little more but maybe I missed the detail. It was a busy day. If you roll on too soon, you run wide. So if I understand you correctly, by waiting until the right moment, the front tire isn't too busy to deal with the weight transfer.
  21. "As soon as you can." Thanks for your reply. Yes, it makes sense. My brain is sorted out again.
  22. Body to Bike Ergonomics

    Lack of lower back strength when riding is what inspired me to start working out. At first, I just wanted to correct that deficiency. It's amazing how fast you will feel the benefit from working your lower back. Within 2 weeks, I noticed an improvement in my posture (regular posture, not bike posture) and the ability to stand for longer periods of time without fatigue. If you belong to a gym, try the back hyperextension. If it's too easy, you can hold weight to make it harder. If you don't belong to a gym, just hold some dumbbells and do the Romanian Deadlift. There's tons of info on youtube showing the correct form which will help keep you from getting hurt. About the abs thing... Yeah, I remember being shown that at CSS and it was an aha moment. I'm like you in that I can't really explain why. But if you know how to activate your abs and do that as you lean forward, you'll feel it there - in your abs - and know they are right.
  23. Hand Position

    1. I pay attention to my hand position and set my levers up to allow a full range without re-gripping. I also set the distance to the levers to personal taste. 2. No issues. However, I do have a bad habit which the coaches pointed out and I don't feel comfortable working on it. I do 99% of my miles on the street so I cover the brake. Alllllll the time. It's partially about being ready to use the brake but it's become a crutch to help me modulate or maintain the throttle as needed. So I haven't been practicing moving my fingers onto and back off of the lever without accidentally affecting throttle input or developed the skills to roll on smoothly without using the lever as a crutch. I hesitate to start practicing on the street because there's a reason we cover on the road and I hesitate to practice on the track because I don't trust myself to do it well. Not sure what the consensus among coaches is but I think I still manage (now, but not originally) to get my elbow and wrist in the proper position even while covering so maybe I just have to look dumb.
  24. Fun Track Dayz (love this group of guys) May 29 (Memorial Day) Keigwin's June 18 (Father's Day) -- Bringing my son with me. Both events at Thunderhill East. Hoping to get in one or two days at Sears this year too.
  25. Here's what I do - it keeps me entertained. First, the boring stuff. On regular roads, just surviving in traffic, my target is mainly just to have zero scary moments. I ride in a way where if someone else doesn't see me and I have to take evasive action, I hold myself accountable. If I ever brake with locked bars where steering is affected, that's another ding. Can't remember the last time it happened tho. But basically, on boring rides where you can't play, my mental checklist of mistakes is all I think about it. My commute traverses a 5 mile mountain-peak road with beautiful curves, sheer drops, and smooth pavement... it's a track. On a road like this, my goals include all those others but I focus more on technique. There's a very steep downhill 90 degree turn into a driveway at the end. I practice braking without messing up the steering. There's a lot of slow traffic. I practice timing my passes. I don't really work up speed high enough to need the brakes, but at each corner, I practice rolling off the throttle. My goal is to get the timing perfect so that the engine braking doesn't slow me down too much and make the corner boring. I ride the "racing line" within my lane and practice the 3 step at every corner. I practice rolling on the gas coming out of every corner. If I'm stuck behind a slow car, I practice hanging off at speeds which don't allow much lean. I practice the hip flick and the light bar pressure, exercising my outer thigh and combine this will all the other things I'm working on. There are a couple of really tight corners (intersections) with changes in pavement which tempt my eyes to watch the apex way too long. I concentrate on wide vision to get me around those tight square corners smoothly, fast, and without drama. I don't know if I'm still improving but I know I'm not wasting my miles either. I'm blessed with a daily chance to reinforce what the good folks at CSS taught me. I have fun on the bike without giving up a safety margin and very few of of my rides have a close call (or any call where I depended on another driver to avoid me). So I get to my destination without feeling like luck bailed me out. If you want to know you're getting better, my advice is pick your favorite track and hook up a lap timer and start trying to "get better."
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