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About Apollo

  • Rank
    Cornering Artist
  • Birthday 07/25/1987

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  • Location
    Southern California

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  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
  1. The biggest thing with collarbones isn't necessarily hitting some random object. Breaks can happen because of landing helmet first because the helmet then cants to the side and jams into your collarbone. The airbag kits mitigate this risk by providing extra cushioning between the helmet and the collarbone. Although the airbag kits were originally one-piece suit only, both Alpinestars and Dainese now have them available in jacket/two-piece suits for more convenient street riding gear. I am personally a fan of buying the gear that makes you feel safest and comfortable. I don't think the higher end gear necessarily crashes better, but the higher priced kit does tend to have more supple or luxurious feeling leather. You might feel some extra mobility due to the supple leather, but a well fitted, cheaper suit may do the same job. Personally, all of the high end brands anecdotally have sufficient protection and quality. If you stay with the major brands like Rev'it, Held, Spidi, RS Taichi, Dainese, Alpinestars, etc, you'll be in the ballpark. If you want a sensor deployed airbag kit though, Alpinestars and Dainese are really the only players. Mithos and RS Taichi have licensed the Alpinestars airbag, but they only offer it in their one-piece suits. Rev'it has the Dainese airbag, but again it isn't available unless you're a world level professional.
  2. I haven't tried the Missile suit, but the TechAir airbag vest has more coverage than any of the Dainese Misano (mostly collarbone), Misano 2D (extends over upper chest), and Mugello (includes side airbag). Supposedly, the same size works, but I think you'll probably want to go up one size in the suit as the vest is fairly bulky. All of the electronics are packaged in a hard shell back protector for the vest that is maybe almost double the thickness of my regular L2 back protector. The biggest issue with the TechAir is that it's a bit cumbersome if you like to walk around off-track with the top half of your leathers hanging loose because the rigid back protector keeps the shape of the upper half. In SoCal, Beach Moto is a TechAir distributor and might be your best bet of having the woman's version in stock. Alternatively, you can always order from Cycle Gear and just return in store for free. I also have the Hit-Air and it is a good option. I still think either of the TechAir or D-Air is a better option though since they are independent of the bike. The Hit-Air takes about 60 pounds of force to set off, so you just get tugged backwards if you get off the bike without unclipping. It is an extra hassle though to have to put it on, clip, and unclip each time. If you're hopping between bikes, setting up the tether each time is also an additional step.
  3. Rev'it is quality gear on the higher end of the spectrum. However, as far as I know, they do not offer an airbag option. For professional racers, they have been using the Dainese D-Air system but it is not available commercially for every day riders. What do you mean by "best gear one can afford?" It seems like you have some aversion to Dainese or think that they're on the cheap end of things. If anything, they tend to be a bit expensive and overpriced due to their marketing and brand identity in my opinion. If you are looking for the best gear you can afford, I think you should definitely look at an airbag suit or jacket/pants combo. The increased protection against a collarbone break is worth the savings in medical bills.
  4. Thanks, Hotfoot. Definitely thoughts to think about. My 300 suspension was also really soft just due to it being entirely stock. I just couldn't justify dumping money into it versus saving for another bike (R6). It's actually pretty funny to see photos from my last race, where my bike is noticeably a bit lower with a nose up attitude compared to others with worked over suspensions. In normal riding conditions, I doubt there will really be major issues since brakes are for braking. I am mostly intrigued to see how I fair on this thing in the morning 3/4, no brakes drills this weekend while cornerworking for CSS. Mainly, my concern (as also discussed with Spaghetti below) was wanting to know how much of this engine braking issue is a mental barrier/technique issue I need to adjust to. There are some moments where I feel like the engine braking is useful. Like I've had it happen where I'm in a corner, closing up fairly quickly but safely on another rider, and transitioning from trail braking to throttle application for the drive out. I've had the rider in front get spooked by something and roll out of the gas post-apex, sometimes being a bit unclear on their intentions. With stock engine braking on my other bikes, I can just easily roll off a touch to keep the gap without worrying about having to get on the brakes again or making a pass while guessing if they're going to take some weird line on the drive out. But maybe this is really also an issue of Wide View and passing drills to go for a safe pass instead of checking up behind another rider. I guess it just made me a bit nervous to give up the engine braking, so I wanted some confirmation from you all here. It's not an issue of relying on the engine braking. I'm definitely not coasting into corners. It is just there are some moments where I feel like the engine braking is useful. Like I've had it happen where I'm in a corner, closing up fairly quickly but safely on another rider, and transitioning from trail braking to throttle application. I've had the rider in front get spooked by something and roll out of the gas post-apex, sometimes being a bit unclear on their intentions. With stock engine braking, I can just easily roll off a touch to keep the gap without worrying about having to get on the brakes again or making a pass while guessing if they're going to take some weird line on the drive out.
  5. Thanks for the info on the GP riders, Dylan. I appreciate the knowledge drop, and it will definitely be something to consider in terms of adjustments based on track layouts. Since I will mostly be riding at Thunderhill East, Sonoma, Buttonwillow, and Vegas this year, I guess I am leaning towards less engine braking to a degree, as they all have flowing sections. I will definitely have to spend a trackday just fiddling with the engine braking settings over back to back sessions to gauge the differences. This is a lot more complicated than my stock, non-adjustable suspension, single fuel map power commander Ninja 300. Haha. See you at Vegas this weekend.
  6. This is more of a tech question, but it segues into technique. So I upgraded this year to a 2011 R6 with a YEC kit ECU. The bike was previously run by a current AMA rider and set at least one lap record, so the bike is not an issue. Also, for background, I've been almost exclusively riding mostly stock twin-cylinder bikes for the past four years. The R6 ECU is set to a heavily reduced engine braking setting. Compared to my twins, roll-off engine braking feels pretty near minimal and gives almost a freewheeling sensation. In searching around, there seems to be a school of thought among a lot of fast riders that minimal engine braking in the ECU is preferable for smoother roll-offs and less speed loss on the way to the apex. The underlying question for me is, should I just keep the setting as used by known fast guys, and learn to ride it "the way it should be?" Or is it something that should be adjusted to by resetting and incrementally reducing the engine braking setting? Or is it really just a feel issue dependent on the rider rather than an "all fast guys at the front do this?"
  7. I have only done single days, so I can't speak to the comparison. However, I think the single days are great for refreshers. If anything, you could always do a single day of any level to gauge your progress and then follow up with a 2-day camp once you have an idea of where you want to focus on.
  8. Since this got bumped, I'll add in some new thoughts for anyone looking into it. The biggest issue, as with all moto gear, is always fit. Personally, Alpinestars just doesn't fit me. It's either too tight in the legs or too loose in the shoulders. Dainese's cuts just fit me perfectly. I have had a Dainese Laguna Seca suit for 10 years. It has been in two lowsides in the rain and a solid tumble with multiple revolutions. It was only after the third crash that I finally needed to have repairs done because the leather on the shoulder wore through (the stitching in the surrounding area was still fine). Probably the biggest reason to go either Alpinestars or Dainese over other fantastic brands (RS-Taichi, Held, customs) are the Tech-Air and D-Air. Tech-Air You can get a lot more coverage with the Alpinestars TechAir setup than the entry level D-Air suit at around $2000. Even the Dainese Mugello at $4000 doesn't have the same airbag coverage. Also, Alpinestars TechAir can be used twice before a repack, whereas the Dainese can only have one deployment. The separation of the vest and suit also means that you can just send in the vest for repacking and still use the suit with conventional armor. However, you have to buy the Tech-Air vest for $1150 and then buy a suit to fit it in. Also, the Tech-Air has a solid, non-flexible back piece doubling as a back protector and electronics housing that makes it feel bulky and pretty awkward if you're used to having the top half of your leathers hanging when you're in the pits. D-Air D-Air is a different beast as it is fully integrated with the individual suit, and comes in a variety of configurations with different levels of protection. The first generation Misano has the least coverage and is primarily focused on protecting the collarbone. The second gen. Misano 2D will have more coverage around the collarbone area. The Mugello has even more coverage extending over the upper chest, but still does not provide the same level of coverage as the Tech-Air. However, the D-Air does include a GPS sensor in aiding determining when deployment occurs. Whether or not Alpinestars doesn't have one due to patent reasons or if they just don't think it is important is only known to them. The upside of D-Air is the suit definitely feels more natural than an Alpinestars suit with the Tech-Air vest. The downside is you can only deploy it once and then the entire suit has to go back to Dainese.
  9. Glad to hear you're alright, Jaybird! That's the most important thing. And props to you for getting back on the bike the same day. One thing though, and maybe someone else will disagree with better info, but those pressures 34/36 seem very high to me. A high pressure like 36 would result in a stiffer tire, which might have contributed to lower traction by reducing the contact patch. Dunlops in general feel like they have a stiffer carcass to me, and I was running substantially lower pressures for grip. Race Tire Services, which is the US Dunlop race tires distributor, suggests 28 cold or 32 hot on the Q3+ rear. I was running Q3+ on my trackbike at 30 hot on the rear. I even ran the older Alpha13 rear at 26-28 hot because it was sliding at 30 hot on a barely moderate pace so I can't even imagine how that would have felt at 36 cold. To get heat in the tire on a cold day, you can either go up or down in pressure from your norm. At least that is what suspension gurus say. I always go down, and just pay for the accelerated wear. I used to ride in DC when it was 30-40 degrees on Pirelli Diablo Rosso IIs set at about 26psi cold. Again, most important thing is that you are safe and sound.
  10. In terms of traffic, maybe it would help simplify things by combining school questions and cornering/techniques, since the school is focused on technique and discussion of technique would probably relate back to school drills anyways. It might be useful to separate out club racing (by students) versus discussion of professional racing. In that regard, a General or Miscellaneous category may include the professional racing threads. Discussion in the pro racing threads would keep the general category active. Students who are racing might find a student racing category to be useful to isolate racing specific threads. Or maybe just all racing, student and professional, should be in the general category. Gear related questions seem fairly few and far between, so maybe it could also fit into the General/Misc category instead of having its own category So maybe: New Members Area Articles by Keith School Questions / Cornering and Techniques Tires, Tuning, Suspension Student Racing General/Kitchen Sink/Everything Else
  11. I think the bein deal is till 2021 and exclusive. I have the MotoGP subscription from MotoGP/Dorna and watch it on my TV through my laptop and an HDMI cable. The upside of the subscription is you get to watch it whenever you want and it includes some cool things, like Honda's documentary From Cervera to Tokyo and random interviews. Chromecast is another option instead of an HDMI cable.
  12. I'd say TTR125 or CRF150. You'll have a lot of parts availability, they have aftermarket supermoto setups available, and they're plentiful. Also, they can be raced in a lot of mini bike organizations.
  13. I think it will likely be Marquez. According to some of the journalists, the Honda is even faster this year while being less taxing on the front tire. I'd really like Dovi to win one though. He has got the commitment and hardwork angle of it down. If he can bring it home in the points every race, maybe he can mount a real challenge this year. Plus, unless it's mindgames, I like that he is taking Petrux under his wing and helping him out, especially as Ducati has seemingly broadcasted that Petrux is on a one year contract and likely to lose his factory ride to one of the Pramac guys. My three predictions though: Marquez wins the most races of anyone. Vinales wins before Rossi does. Francesco Bagnaia wins a race and rookie of the year.
  14. Anyone else here signed up for Streets on March 18? It'll be my first time at Streets since 2010. I'm currently signed up for March 18th and waitlisted for March 17th. I was originally hoping to ride my own bike (Ninja 300) on the 17th and then do the school BMW on the 18th, but we'll see if/what opens up for the 17th. If I am only there for Sunday, I might just car camp at the track on Saturday night. FYI for anyone else, I learned that WSIR does not have shower facilities.
  15. I don't know if anyone takes trades, but I've seen young guns in custom Heroic and Hazardous leathers. The pricing seems pretty reasonable, certainly less than an off-the-rack Dainese suit. If you're still riding trackdays with EvolveGT this year, there might be some kind of membership discount for Hazardous leathers.
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