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Hotfoot

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Everything posted by Hotfoot

  1. I guess the first item would be to identify what is important to you in terms of "skill level". If your lines are more consistent, your apexes are tighter, you are using lines that allow for better throttle control, you are relaxed, you are in control of the bike (i.e. it is going where you want and expect it to go), etc., your skill level is improving, based on those indicators. However, if what you mean is: "can I get around the track FASTER than other riders?" you probably need to start racing!
  2. Well, it IS true that it is impossible to decrease a radius without changing the diameter of the circle. Above, you said that "when you are leaned over the front wheel does not steer the bike". So, when you ride through a left-right chicane, you lean the bike left, and then when you need to turn the bike back to the right, how do you accomplish that? Are you saying you use the throttle ALONE to change the bike's direction of travel?
  3. 1) Braking, while leaned over, can cause the bike to stand up, see my more detailed answer above. On a properly set up sport bike, accelerating does NOT cause the bike to stand up. Accelerating WILL increase the radius of a circle but WITHOUT changing lean angle. A rider who thinks the bike stands up because of the throttle is unconsciously steering it up with the bars. Note - a bike with a more extreme, non-neutral setup - like a chopper with a stretched out front end, or a bike with a serious suspension problem - may act differently. 2) No. You are adding load to the rear tire in two different ways at once and that can easily overload it and lead to a rear tire slide, without a lot of warning to the rider or time to correct it. Doing one at a time is a much safer approach. 3) Yes, the front forks are more extended which makes it more difficult to steer the bike and there is less weight on the front tire which affects traction - the most extreme example would be accelerating so hard that the front tire is off the ground, obviously at that point there is no traction at all on the front tire. 4) Coming off the throttle makes it easier to lean the bike. It compresses the front end which steepens the steering angle and makes the bike easier to steer. Braking lightly can do the same, however on many bikes braking REALLY HARD can make the bike harder to steer; I'm not sure all of the reasons for that but I think it has to do with overloading the front tire (deforming it) and suspension, not to mention the difficulty for the rider of keeping enough pressure off the bars to steer effectively under hard braking.
  4. Braking, with the front brake, while leaned over in a turn, can definitely cause the bike to stand up noticeably - assuming the braking is hard enough to shift significant weight to the front and NOT so hard that the wheel actually slides, the braking forces cause a friction drag of the contact patch against the pavement that makes the front wheel want to turn to the inside, which creates a countersteering effect and stands the bike up. So when braking while leaned over, the rider has to resist that turn of the front wheel by pushing on the opposite bar to counteract it, to keep the bike on line (i.e., if in a left hand corner the rider would have to push on the left bar to offset the countersteering effect of the braking). This can get tricky to manage, as the rider is restricting movement of the bars, and placing additional load on the front end, so braking TOO hard while leaned over can exceed the limits of traction of the front tire. If braking verrrrry gently the counter steering effect is so slight that the rider may not feel any tendency of the bike to stand up, and the fact that the bike is slowing down will eventually decrease the radius of the turn, so a rider who only brakes very gently while leaned over (or uses just rear brake - which can also be tricky) may not ever notice any tendency of the bike to stand up. But braking harder or more abruptly makes it much more noticeable. Or, a rider who has a lot of experience with using the front brake while leaned over may be so accustomed to automatically pressing on the opposite bar to counteract the countersteering effect may not be aware of the bike's tendency to stand up, and a rider like that would have to go out and consciously try to relax the arms and observe what happens if he or she ADDS front brake in a corner while leaned over.
  5. Hello, I'm glad you found our forum and came here to look for some additional understanding, and you bring up some VERY interesting topics, about which there can be a lot of confusion - as you have seen. I'm happy to help out, as are many other very friendly and very knowledgeable riders here on the forum, but first I respectfully ask that we calm down a little on the caps and exclamation points, this is a friendly and informative forum and discussions can and should be calm and productive. As I'm sure you know, typing in all caps and using a lot of !!!! is the internet version of "shouting" and we can have a very lively and interesting discussion without that.
  6. If you do a forum search you can find other threads asking this same question and can see a variety of answers. Are you looking for a 2-day camp or two single day schools? Laguna is a great track but not always the easiest, logistically, for travel and lodging, and it can be cool and damp there. Vegas is one that is easy for travel, lots of flight options, and Streets of Willow is a technical track and its a great one for coaches to maximize their time with you, and it rarely rains there. Barber and VIR are both really beautiful but can be hot and humid. Best to look at the schedule to determine what options would work during your preferred time period, then narrow it down a bit from there. All the tracks are great and there are a lot of choices, if you narrow it down to a few it will be easier for forum members to give you some feedback on the tracks.
  7. There is good info on this in TOTWII, Chapter 25, Traction, there is a section about "traction riders" and if you read that whole chapter it gives a nice description of how different riders use and perceive traction, and the pros and cons of these different approaches, I think both you and Faffi will find it very interesting.
  8. Pretty funny and I saw a LOT of familiar faces in it!!
  9. That is awesome, great application of what you learned and I'm glad you were able to keep calm and do all the right things.
  10. Good point, and I made great use of that while racing this weekend. My bike was geared a little too high for a particular corners so my drive out of the corner was suffering, so I tried changing my line to stay leaned over a bit longer - somewhat counter intuitive for getting a good drive, but it worked. Before, I was riding a more squared off line and standing the bike up but then my RPM was too low; leaving it leaned over a bit longer put me about 500 rpm higher and the bike did not lug on the exit. (To be clear, I wasn't ADDING lean angle - I was just maintaining my lean angle longer instead of doing an earlier pick-up.) On my low horsepower bike it made a difference, and I was very happy I knew how to apply that information!
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. How did you measure or perceive an improvement in your riding? What told you it had taken a step up?
  14. It sure is hard for me to keep quiet on this one....
  15. 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:
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Are you pushing the bike down underneath you instead of hanging your body off to reduce the lean angle?
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
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