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Hotfoot

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Everything posted by Hotfoot

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. "Loving every 0.001s of it", that is great. Nice collection of bikes to have ridden, lots of horsepower in that list.
  9. To answer your question above, yes I do sometimes still catch myself getting target fixed when I enter an unfamiliar corner and think I've come in too fast. My personal solution is that I've trained myself that, whenever I feel compelled to pull the brake (as opposed to doing it in a controlled and conscious way), I look in to the apex. I've associated that feeling of "needing" to brake with being target fixed so now as soon as I feel that desire to pull the brake, I look to the inside to get my eyes moving the right direction.
  10. You are correct that everyone is on the road right now, myself included. Short answer for now but I will say that visual skills are the tools to combat target fixation, so a review of the sections on visual skills in Twist II would probably be helpful in answering your questions. For the experience YOU have had that you are describing, at what point in the corner do you realize that you are in too hot? Is it before you turn the bike or after? Do you end up off-line mid-corner, or do you get the entry and apex you want but end up wide at the exit?
  11. Laguna Seca has two uphill straights that are great opportunities to get the throttle wide open. You wouldn't get as high a top speed as you could at VIR, for example, but the uphill acceleration is REALLY fun and personally I have more fun laying on the power at Laguna than I do anywhere else, I love those straights there. However, having said that, it is common for it to be a bit cool at Laguna so it can be hard to keep enough heat in the tires to get maximum traction for cornering, compared to somewhere like VIR or Barber where the temps are usually high when we are there.
  12. Welcome! What years are your S1000rrs?
  13. It is usually close to prior year, yes. It should come out in November.
  14. Yes, the helmet is included. The school has Schuberth helmets, very good protection, excellent visibility, quiet; they are very high end helmets. Or you may wear your own helmet (assuming it is in good condition) if you prefer. Gear rental includes leathers, helmet, gloves, boots and back protector. It is a good idea to bring an undersuit (Moto-D makes a good one) or other underlayer like UnderArmour shirt and pants, or the school usually has underlayers for sale. An underlayer makes it easier to get leathers on and off, and keeps you cooler and a lot more comfortable under the leathers, considerably better than just trying to wear a regular T shirt/shorts underneath.
  15. Great! Welcome to the forum, glad to hear you are signed up for a course. Post up any questions you have, people on this board are very friendly and happy to help.
  16. A heart attack while riding!! That sounds like quite a story, care to tell it...? We would love to see you back for more Level 4! Tons of new Level 4 material and drills since 2017.
  17. I agree with this 100%. While it is sort of an interesting theoretical discussion, it would seem exceedingly difficult to apply in practice.
  18. I was wondering the same thing when I read Jaybird's post. I don't know the models of street tires very well, but isn't that a very sport oriented tire? Jaybird, are you able to get those tires warmed up adequately on a cold day for good grip? Have you tried measuring the tire temp (even just with your hand) after riding for a while to see if they are warming up all the way?
  19. Anybody wearing the Alpinestars Missile suit and airbag have any feedback on that system? I see they FINALLY announced a woman's version of the Tech-Air compatible suit. I'm giving that a serious look, seems like broken collarbones are a pretty common racing injury and I would prefer to keep mine intact. I had been looking at the Hit Air vests but didn't want to have to mess around with putting it over the leathers right before a race, or with the tether - seems like it would be too easy to forget to unclip yourself! BTW, does anyone know if Alpinestars has a showroom in SO CA that might have the women's suits in stock to try on? I'm not really sure of my size as I have been wearing custom suits, plus I wonder if the vest and back protector affect the size and fit of the suit.
  20. A note on this - I received a question on whether this process was allowed and whether this was a legitimate post. I verified with the office that this is a legitimate credit and can be transferred. Kimberly is correct that the school is aware of the situation and willing to allow her to sell/transfer her credit.
  21. Oh yes, if you were riding the Ninja 300 you will definitely feel a lot of difference; I rode a Ninja 400 recently and I was amazed by how much it wanted to decelerate when I let off the gas - and I discovered that my roll-offs were NOT as smooth as I though they were (see Throttle Control rule #2)! On the S1000s you can adjust the engine braking amount; after switching from another bike to my S1000rr where it is set very low it takes some getting used to, since I feel like I am free-wheeling into the corners, but it is a good learning experience as it makes me pay a lot of attention to my entry speeds. Personally, less engine braking helped me bring up my entry speeds (not always entirely on purpose!), and since I like the suspension set very soft in the front it minimizes (as Dylan said) the bike pitching forward when I roll off on flowing corners. I had trouble with the Ninja on that point, it would decelerate so rapidly on engine braking that it would compress the front. If nothing else the change to less engine braking may break some habits on entry speed and roll off points and force you to take a new look at judging the approach to higher speed corners.
  22. How did you watch racing in the stone age?
  23. Good point. We used to have a News/Announcements section and that is where those would have gone in the past, but that topic didn't get a lot of traffic so we removed it in an effort to streamline the layout. Per your comment I will look through current posts in the section and see how they would be classified, that is a good way to determine needed categories.
  24. Thank you all for all of this GREAT input. I have had multiple requests now to separate School Questions and General Discussion, because it is a little confusing to have them together, and multiple requests for Tire and Gear areas. Here is my question - and I really need some input on this, please - post your preference even if you don't feel really strongly about it, I'd like to get a good sample of opinions to work from: If we have (for example): New Members Area Articles by Keith School Questions Cornering and Techniques Tires, Tuning, Suspension Riding Gear and Equipment Racing as categories, do we still need a "General Discussion" area? Or do those categories pretty well cover it?
  25. Since that was a front tire crash, you might want to ask a few questions - did she have the wheel turned and touch the front brake right before it slid out? Were her arms stiff, adding more load on the front and/or restricted the movement of the bars? Certainly makes sense that cold tires contributed to the crash, but even with that info I imagine it is very mysterious to her why the bike would go down at such a slow speed, probably a good idea to explore other contributing factors.
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