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Hotfoot

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Everything posted by Hotfoot

  1. I know the video you are referring to. I advise that you search for other racer forums discussing this idea. There is a LENGTHY debate on another forum on what he possibly could have meant when he explained it that way. It's obviously confusing even to the top tier of current and capable racers, the discussions make that apparent, I really didn't see anything from anyone that made it make sense. It's SO confusing that I respectfully request you change the title of your post to something more like "throttle and brake timing question" so that we don't have students reading that title and getting confused about what the normal sequence should be.
  2. Yes you can use your own helmet as long as it is in good condition (not damaged) and is DOT or Snell approved, and is a full-face helmet. (If it is more than 5 years old, a school helmet would be a better idea from a safety standpoint.) As far as I know helmet cams are not allowed. The school helmets are Schuberth helmets and are very nice, BTW. You don't need to bring much - a purpose-made underlayer like a riding undersuit, or UnderAmour, makes wearing leathers more comfortable, cooler, and easier to get on and off. The school has underlayer full suits and separate shirt/leggings for sale, or you can pick up UnderArmour at any sporting goods store. Based on the date you mentioned, you must be coming to Streets of Willow. It will be hot during the day but can be surprisingly cool in the mornings (it can be 60 in the morning and 95 later in the day), you might want to bring a light jacket for the morning.
  3. How did you measure or perceive an improvement in your riding? What told you it had taken a step up?
  4. It sure is hard for me to keep quiet on this one....
  5. Trying to "crouch with your weight on the pegs at all times" would be very physically demanding. There are times when getting some weight off the seat is beneficial, like when riding over bumps, or to facilitate shifting across the seat (hip flick, from Level 3) but generally it is too exhausting to try never to put weight in the seat. You can find a lot of prior discussion on this topic if you do a search of the forum. Here is one thread to have a look at:
  6. We do occasionally have riders post pictures or videos here and ask for feedback, which we do provide. We also have students who have been to school contact their coaches afterwards for some additional help via email or here on the forum. It is something we would do, on a limited basis, at no charge, for former students... but it is very difficult to do with people who HAVEN'T been to a CSS school because you end up spending loads of time trying to explain WHY something should be changed... info they would already have if they had been to a school. For a student who has already had the training, it can be just a reminder or a clarification, but for someone who hasn't had any of it, it can be a very lengthy process, not to mention potentially out of order - for example, trying to fix someone's suspension settings when they have poor throttle control is a waste of time. Or trying to fix body position for someone with no concept of lines, or who does not know how to steer the bike. It can be difficult sometimes to diagnose things from video alone - having some discussion with the student is more effective, because we can figure out what the student did just BEFORE the visible error on the video, or what (potentially flawed) logic led them to do a certain thing so we can work through it and figure out a better solution. As you say above, just posting a video and asking for feedback can lead to a lot of bad advice, so while we are happy to help on here, I don't know that offering video review as an independent service would ultimately reflect well on the school since the results probably would not be comparable to what students would get from attending a school and getting in-person coaching. But that is just my opinion, maybe Cobie or Dylan will chime in with another viewpoint.
  7. I think so, too - if you go WAY past your limits and feel out of control I think the SRs are going to kick in hard. Keep in mind also that mental and physical state contribute to this, too - if a person is tired, dehydrated, lacking in sleep, hasn't eaten enough, etc. it affects mental focus and can definitely cause SRs to kick in earlier/harder and give the person less ability to combat them. Definitely something to keep in mind while riding, especially on very hot days or long rides.
  8. A few thoughts come to mind: 1) check your RIGHT hand - do you inadvertently push on the right side bar when rolling on the gas, and therefore have to push ALSO with the left to prevent the bars from turning? 2) Check the fit of your gloves, are they tight or restrictive? 3) Check your left-side body position (lower body particularly) to see if you are somehow forced into some tension in your left hand (feeling like you are slipping off, or having to hold yourself on), and check to see if you are twisting your body to one side - have someone look at you from behind to look for twisting or tension. 4) Per your other thread, are you tense in general on left hand turns, mentally worried about something? 5) Is there a lot of vibration in the bars? That can cause some mild numbing which can cause you to grip tighter which can lead to the sort of fatigue you mention. Some smaller bikes can transmit a LOT of buzzing in the bars, especially if the bars are lightweight and the grips are thin. The effect could be more prominent on the left hand because you are not moving it or repositioning it as often as the throttle hand.
  9. Alpinestars boots and gloves are readily available, I'm not sure why you were having trouble - are you shopping in person at retail stores or online? Revzilla.com has a large selection of Alpinestars boots and gloves, as an example, and they provide a lot of info on sizing and reviews and a good return policy, you might try there. It is getting harder to find good gear at retail stores because I think the online competition is causing them to stock less and less product.
  10. Are you pushing the bike down underneath you instead of hanging your body off to reduce the lean angle?
  11. Depending on your tires and tire pressure, leaning over more does not necessarily decrease the size of the contact patch. However, as you lean over more the suspension is less efficient at keeping the tire in contact with the pavement. Decreased suspension efficiency combined with the acceleration forces when you roll on the gas hard can exceed the limits of traction at the rear wheel.
  12. What a GREAT post, I loved reading this and laughed out loud about the "cool guys" getting their asses handed to them, that is totally true. Really pleased to hear you had such excellent results and that you had fun, too.
  13. Accelerating creates a load on the rear tire, as you know. Cornering creates a lateral load on the rear tire, and as the bike is leaned over farther the suspension is much less efficient at keeping the tire in contact with the pavement. That is the primary thing that changes when you lean it over more, your suspension is not able to handle pavement inconsistencies as well and that reduces available traction. If a rider increases acceleration, or increases lean angle, one a time (and not TOO abruptly), assuming tires are warmed up and tractions conditions are generally good, there is some warning when the rider begins the reach the limits of traction. The rear tire begins to slide or squirm, letting the rider know that he/she is nearing the limit. However, when BOTH loads are increased at the same time, it is very easy to blow right past those warnings (AND overwhelm the electronic traction controls on the bike, if you a riding a bike with that technology) and generate a rear tire slide, which can lead to highside which is a nasty way to crash. As you go increasingly faster around corners, the lateral forces are greater and the lean angle is steeper, so there is less available traction for acceleration - thus throttle control must be more precise, and increasing the lean angle even MORE while also applying addition throttle can more easily exceed the traction limit - which could be why you got a sterner talking to on the second day. It is a very common way to crash, especially on higher horsepower bikes that can deliver loads of power to the rear tire. Riders get away with it all the time, sure. Just go to an open track day and watch, lots of riders that are trying to go fast do things like turn in a bit early, end up a bit wide on the exit, and solve that by leaning the bike over more while still rolling on the gas. Modern tires are great and they can take a lot - until they don't, and the rider suddenly has a gnarly crash and can't understand what happened. Does that help clarify?
  14. When you push on the outside bar, do you feel like you are trying to push the bike up out of its lean, or push your body down lower, or are you offsetting pressure on the inside bar (possibly caused by holding yourself up)? IS there something you are trying to PREVENT from happening, by pushing on that outside handlebar?
  15. Gianco, Do you feel the same tension when leaning over very far on a smaller bike (like a 50cc dirtbike) or on a bicycle?
  16. I notice that it is very hard to get the actual character of the track from seeing it on TV. Hard to perceive the elevation changes, hard to see the changes in camber and surface, and the abrupt changes in camera perspective can make it hard to grasp the flow of the track. I also notice that I am amazed by how much the bikes slide around, and wiggle under hard braking, and how rough some riders can be on the controls while others are silky smooth. When I watch videos (especially on-board videos) of amateur racers I am amazed by how many errors some riders make in races. Riders that are fast, judging by their laptimes, but make a lot of mistakes; it would seem surprising that they don't fall down more often - but then sometimes I find out they DO fall often. It certainly seems possible to pick up some incorrect ideas or not-useful information, for example I sometimes hear announcers throw out some thoughtless comment or platitude that is really not applicable and could be confusing if you tried to really take it seriously. On the other hand, seems like you could learn a lot about preparation and race strategy, tire wear management, and race rules by watching races, by seeing what happens to riders that are late to the grid, or overwork their tires in the first part or a race, or choose the right or wrong tire compound, I find that stuff quite interesting.
  17. If you Google "front tire chicken strips Dave Moss" he has a short and rather entertaining video that relates to this topic. (Dave Moss is a very respected suspension guy and knows a LOT LOT LOT about tires and tire wear.)
  18. This may be an oversimplification but I thought it was because the rear tire is wider than the front on the higher horsepower bikes. The effect is a lot less noticeable on smaller, lower HP bikes where the tire sizes are not as different front to back.
  19. In this article, Keith describes what HE needs to do, to make riding improvements, this article has been pivotal for me in my riding. I carry a copy of it with me to every track day or school. I went to the Articles section to look for the link to it and noted there are several other articles about Rider Improvement or Isolating Barriers, etc. a look through the Articles section may help you find some of the answers you seek.
  20. Like most any physically demanding sport, physical fitness (nutrition, hydration, strength, flexibility, etc.) is a factor in your ability to perform, and so are training, understanding, and practice. But, in my opinion, personalized coaching, and willingness to BE coached, are extremely important. I'll give you my perspective: I started riding quite late, in my mid thirties. I was very slow and very nervous and I don't think anyone expected me to have the potential to ride fast, let alone race (least of all me!), but I got really interested in the sport, got lots of coaching, and devoted a lot of time to really understanding the material, and my understanding of the material ABSOLUTELY changed and evolved as I rode faster. Going back and reading Twist II, I found lots of information struck me differently as my pace increased and I found techniques that were a bit vague to me at first became much more important, much more useful to me, because I NEEDED them more. For example, I could get away with slow body transitions at slower speeds but as my laptimes came down, speed of moving across the bike in a chicane became a limiting factor, I couldn't get through a particular section any quicker without moving over faster. Suddenly hip flick, which didn't seem very useful to me before, became a critical skill. That is just one example, but I have had, over the years, a BUNCH of breakthroughs like that, and have found that as I progress in my riding, becoming proficient in certain techniques and riding faster overall, new barriers crop up and as I address each one I get quicker again - and then encounter something else. How do I overcome the barriers? Through coming to school and getting coaching, mostly. Sometimes study of the material helps, sometimes analyzing data (laptimes, braking zones, lines, etc. from my lap timer or data logger) help, but coaching is what always makes the biggest difference - very often what I THOUGHT was my barrier turned out to be something different entirely, and it required the eye of a coach to discover that. Of course, my mindset while being coached is a huge factor in my ability to improve. If, for example, I came to school fiercely determined that I already knew "what my problem was", then I did not get nearly as much benefit from coaching because I was resistant to allowing the coach to help me. After I figured that out, I got even more improvements on my school days. I said physical fitness is important, but I am a lot older than many of the riders I race against, and not as fit as most of them, either, but my CSS training allows me to ride with fewer SR's and a lot less wasted effort so I can go faster and be calmer overall. I thought I had reached my riding peak years ago but I am actively racing this year and I am riding faster than ever before. I still get coaching as often as I can, generally I come to school as a student at least 4 days a year, if not more, and that makes a huge difference for me. It is not because I am in better shape, because I am not. It is because I understand and apply the riding tech better than I could before. I used to think, at the end of any school day as a student, that I was riding as fast as I ever would, because I figured I would just get older and slower.... but I'm not getting slower, I'm getting faster. Every time I come to school I get some new piece of information or tackle a new skill that adds something to my riding, and I get quicker. And what a thrill that is! And it is even better when some twenty year old comes over to your pit to ask you how you do it.
  21. While using both arms certainly could be a workable solution, it does seem excessive to have to use that much force to steer the bike. Have you looked at the suspension and geometry of the bike? It sounds like the front end might either be too high, or too stiff. Here are some thoughts in that area: 1) If the bike is properly set up for you but the suspension could be due for service, consider getting that done, maybe the forks are not traveling freely; check fork travel, fork alignment (are they twisted?), and make sure the steering head moves freely and is in good condition. 2) If you have never had the suspension set up properly for your weight (correct spring rates, setting the sag properly), that would be a great thing to do that may drastically improve the bike's handling 3) If the above are all done, check the compression settings and see if the front end is too stiff - you can put a zip tie on the fork to see how much the fork travels, if the zip tie is never pushed down more than halfway it probably indicates there is too much compression damping, the front is too stiff and doesn't compress enough during cornering to allow easy mid-corner steering adjustments 4) You could try to take out some preload in the front to soften the front and lower it. Take a look at your tires as well - actually this should probably be done before all of the above: check tire geometry - are your tires profiled, causing them to handle differently than when they were new? Are the tires you use designed to be extremely stable in a straight line and possibly therefore not so easy to turn mid-corner? Is the front tire you are using taller than the one the bike was originally set up for? Is your tire pressure within suggested range for that tire and bike? A 600 supersport would be a terrific track weapon, but before spending a few thousand (or more) on that, I would get your current bike to a suspension expert and see if a few hundred dollars spent in that area would get your current bike working better for you, since it sounds like you like that bike pretty well.
  22. Glad you found that info helpful, but I do want to clarify a bit - it is not the fact that I have to brake hard that tells me I'm target-fixed - it is the feeling of being COMPELLED to brake, instead of consciously deciding where, when and how much to brake. Have you ever had that feeling that you know you should let off the brake but you are afraid to? Or the 'Oh crap' feeling that makes you want to grab at the brake? Compare that to a familiar corner on a track where you know exactly where and how much you want to brake, and how THAT feels. It is the feeling of compulsion that tells me I have encountered an SR, and I use that sensation as an instant reminder to look in to the apex (or expand my vision with wideview). It has become an nearly immediate reaction now, due to practice. I know you specifically were looking for solutions to surprises on unfamiliar corners, but I have to echo Cobie's sentiments above, on controlling the environment. I totally agree about not riding fast on the street, and I don't do canyon rides anymore. Group rides, especially, were always nerve-wracking for me, once I started riding on the track I stopped riding on the street, it is just so much nicer not having cars on one side and cliffs on the other.
  23. "Loving every 0.001s of it", that is great. Nice collection of bikes to have ridden, lots of horsepower in that list.
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