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Hotfoot

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Everything posted by Hotfoot

  1. Most likely the coach at the track day was trying to help riders avoid the common error of braking (which compresses the forks) then releasing the brakes (which allows them to extend again) then turning the bike (which compresses them again). This bouncing up and down is, as you can imagine, counterproductive to accurate and predictable steering. In a simple corner the ideal scene is to be coming off the brakes as you are turning the bike, so the forces transfer from the deceleration forces to the cornering forces and keep the forks compressed instead of popping up and back down again. As far as telling you how exactly how much effect that is going to have, it is not realistic to think anyone can do that for you, there are far too many variables (suspension setup, rider and bike weight, braking style, steering input rate, surface traction, shape of turn, and so forth). You will have to experiment with it yourself, on your own bike and observe it. Almost certainly YES you can improve it with riding technique (have you been to school and had the Hook Turn material yet? Or the slow brake release classroom session?), unless your front suspension is extremely stiff in compression or has rebound damping set excessively low. Definitely you can sharpen up the steering on a bike by lowering the front a bit, but if taken too far this can compromise stability and you can get headshake, or twitchiness in the steering. Not sure the GSXR750 would need much changing on geometry, though, my impression of those were that they had nice handling. In the specific turns you describe (T1 and T3), are you trying to turn the bike while still on the gas? For sure that will make it harder to steer. Are you ABLE to steer it now and just noticing the amount of effort required, or are you running wider than you want in those turns?
  2. Ha, I think most of the local organizations would kick you out if you tried some of the passes I have seen on TV.
  3. That is my exact list of top three favorite tracks to ride.
  4. Great to hear that you had an amazing experience and thanks for the great feedback about the school. Josh is awesome, an excellent coach and truly a pleasure to be around. Very nice photo (isn't VIR a fantastic track and facility?), and we look forward to seeing you in Level 3 and 4! (Tip - Level 3 is even MORE of a workout - get your legs in shape before the school, especially if you do a 2 day camp!) What is your dream track for your next school?
  5. I have almost no experience with V twins, but there are some things that can help with that problem in general, that might apply to your bike. Have you tried turning up the idle? This is a common thing to do on a track/race bike so the rpms don't fall as much when off the gas and it can really help make the roll on smoother. It does have the effect of taking you into the corner a little quicker so be cautious when you first start riding it that way. On an inline 4 I believe typical advice is to turn it up 500 - 1,000 RPM, but you should Google recommendations for your bike. What gear are you using entering the turns, are you a gear lower than you need to be? Sometimes just entering a corner in a higher gear makes enough difference in smoothness to be worth it, especially on a bike with a lot of torque that can handle coming out at a lower RPM. I assume you have checked for play in the throttle and cable, to eliminate any jerk or effort from just taking out the slack. An aftermarket tune is, in my opinion, a great idea. The other suggestions above don't cost anything, and this does, but you can get a really nice improvement in throttle response from working with a tuner and a dyno. Tunes that I have done on my bikes have yielded performance in power but MUCH more benefit in the area of getting better throttle response. (Better meaning, working how I wanted it to work!)
  6. Yes, it could be that you are at your desired lean angle (steering action complete) but not yet pointed in the direction you want the bike to go. Sometimes there is a pause as you wait for the bike to come around onto the desired line. Turn 2 at Laguna is a GREAT example of a turn where it is VERY easy to get on the gas a little too early in the second part of the turn and miss the apex - which is punished immediately upon the exit because it is tight and forces the rider to make a correction to avoid going off track. It is also really easy to come on the throttle a little bit too early when chasing a faster rider, trying to catch up, or keep up.
  7. What do you mean, when you say you leave some turning margin?
  8. Speaking of timing... something else to take a look at is exactly WHEN you crack the throttle on. If a rider is running a little bit wide a little before the apex (not able to make it to the desired apex) what could that tell you about the rider's throttle timing? Next time you ride pay attention to when the throttle comes on - is the bike on its line (fully leaned and pointed in the direction you want it to go) before you start to roll on the gas?
  9. Not only is this very entertaining, it gave me some good ideas to share with my son for next year's science project!
  10. Here is some info from Dylan that you might find interesting: Dunlop just released a new sportbike tire, the Q4. This tire is different from what many think it is. It is NOT an improved Q3+ but rather a whole new category of tire. Its purpose is to provide a street legal tire with excellent grip, no need for warmers, that is at home on the track or on your favorite twisty road. Essentially it fills the gap between the Q3+ and the street legal race tire, the GPA Pro. So the progression looks like this: Q3+. Best all purpose tire. Harder center band for commuting, with sides well suited for cornering. Q4. Best for trackdays and canyons/twisty roads. Warms fast, less sensitive to pressure settings. Single compound across entire tread. Any loss in overall mileage is gained in grip compared to Q3+. GPA Pro. Essentially a race slick with grooves. Warmers strongly recommended particularly when cool and pressures checked and set before riding. Street legal. Poor choice for commuting but good for twisty roads and very much at home on the track. Slicks. Pure track only tire. Warmers strongly recommended with pressures checked and set before riding.
  11. Couple of questions: 1) To clarify, when you say you had "zero feedback" do you mean there was no warning, nothing felt different about that corner in that lap versus the others? Or do you mean the front end felt vague or disconnected right from the beginning during that corner on that lap? 2) You mentioned high temperatures and a fast pace, did you look at the tire after the crash, or have a tire guy look at it? I'm wondering if there is any chance it had gotten really hot, melted on the edge and you leaned it over farther and got onto some melted rubber? 3) You mentioned dehydration and HOT temperatures, any chance there was some tension on the bar due to fatigue? 4) It sounds like you went faster and felt better on the softer tire, which would support using that compound again.... but will you have attention on the tire, worrying about grip or feedback? Would you feel more confident on the previous compound?
  12. Wow, Adam, this is a REALLY good post, I was focused on the "things" to bring and didn't even think to address the mental aspect of preparing for the school, but what you wrote here is terrific, on point and I imagine it will be really helpful to new students.
  13. Hey, this picture looks much better, hear head, neck and shoulders look more turned into the (imaginary) corner and more relaxed, your knee is more open to the right so your elbow looks less crowded, and the angle of your wrist looks more comfortable as well. Does it feel better? "Rotating around the tank" (not a desirable situation) is when you are sitting TOO close to the gas tank, so that when you try to shift your hips to the side to hang off, your upper thigh bumps into the tank and tends to force your hips to turn the WRONG way, so that instead of opening your hips into the corner, you end up twisting them away from the direction of the turn, which tends to pull your outside knee away from tank and mess up your lock-on. When you see riders with their butt hanging WAY off but their upper body crossed back over the tank and their head ending up in the middle or even the wrong side (and/or holding themselves up with a stiff inside arm) that is often the cause. The easiest way to understand it is to try it - scoot ALL the way forward so you are up against the tank. Then try scooting your hips to the side and see how the tank restricts your movement or forces you to twist the wrong way. Then try moving back a bit in the seat (typically about a fist size space between tank and crotch is a good starting point, might need to go back more if your legs are long) and try it again and see how much easier it is to move your hips over, and to rotate your hips the INTO the turn instead of the opposite. Let me know if that makes sense.
  14. The additional photos do help. To me, your right shoulder looks like it is pushed farther forward on the rights than your left shoulder on the left turns, which goes back to possibly having your butt over too far on the rights, and not being able to rotate your body (shoulders and hips) towards the turn. The hips want to counter rotate, loosens the grip of the outside knee, creates a feeling like you are falling off to the inside, pushes the right shoulder forward and creates tension and an awkward position on the right side. Are you clear about what I mean when I say "rotate your hips/shoulders into the turn"? If not, let me know and I have some better ways to explain that. Another thing I see is that your wrist looks a little awkward on your throttle hand. For some, changing hand position on the throttle to more of a "screwdriver" grip can make it easier to turn the throttle in right hand turns. Instead of having your wrist straight and having to make a motion where you move your hand up and down at the wrist, you can hold the throttle more like you'd hold a screwdriver, allowing you to rotate at the wrist instead of flexing it, does that make sense? It changes the angle of your forearm and can give you more freedom of movement and allow you to drop your elbow more easily. Something worth trying, to see if it helps.
  15. It's a little hard to tell just seeing it from the back side so take this with a grain of salt, but it looks to me like you are hanging your butt/hips off just a little bit too far on the right versus the left. On the left side you look comfortable and secure, and you are rotating your hips a bit to the left (into the turn) which sets you up nicely to get your upper body and head low and off to the left. Comparatively, on the right side, it looks to me like you scoot your butt over farther, and can't rotate your hips as much into the corner, which seems to compromise the lock in of your outside knee and make it more awkward to get your upper body down and to the right. Some things to check: 1) Are you too close to the tank to be able to rotate your hips towards the inside of the corner? Try scooting back just a little and see if it makes it easier. 2) Can you lock in your outside (left) knee as solidly on right turns as you can your outside (right) knee of left hand turns? If not, try not moving your hips quite so far to the rights on your right turns, rotate your hips a little more to the inside (right hip more toward the rear of the bike), and see if that pushes your left knee more solidly into a lock position on the tank. 3) Have you attended a school and done the "hip flick" exercise from Level 3? Making a smooth, consistent movement of the hips without bouncing on the pegs or adding any bar input is a benefit of that drill. I know you said you are not holding onto the bars... but that would be one of the most common reasons for the bike feeling like it "wants to abruptly tip over", either during the transition or once hanging off - a really small amount of input can make a really big difference. One obvious thing that is different on rights versus lefts is that you have the throttle control in your right hand. Any chance that when you roll on the throttle you are putting some forward (steering) pressure on that right bar, causing the bike to lean over more (or faster) than you expect?
  16. What's the best modification or accessory you have done or added to your bike to make it more comfortable for you to ride, or put you in better control? For me, adding Stompgrip on the tank made a huge difference (on every bike I've had) on being stable on the bike, and adjusting the clutch and brake lever and the shift lever have made me more accurate with the controls. What have you done to your bike that has made it more comfortable, easier to ride, or put you more in control?
  17. Congrats on your great wins and results, sounds like a lot of fun. Were you at VIR this week?
  18. The school will have pretty much everything you need available - sunscreen, earplugs, water, snacks, etc. However, at Barber some things you could end up wanting to have: a folding chair, for break times - there is seating in the classroom, but you might want to have a chair you can put somewhere in the shade for times between class and riding. A comfortable, cool layer to wear under your leathers, either an undersuit made for the purpose or something like UnderArmour pants and shirt. An underlayer makes it a LOT easier to get in and out of leathers, plus being cooler and more comfortable underneath. A regular cotton tshirt can get bunched up or wet under leathers and won't keep you as cool as UnderArmour or an undersuit. The school does have undersuits for sale, in limited size/quantity, you may want to call ahead to see if they can reserve one for you in your size and find out the price. Drinks of your own if you have a preference - keeping hydrated is important, it can get hot at Barber. The school will have water and Skratch (an electrolyte drink) available. If you want to run a Go Pro, mention it as you register in the morning to find out if it will be allowed and to leave time to arrange for mounting the camera. As far as money goes - there are plenty of things to buy, T shirts, caps, track decals, not to mention bike parts and Stomp grip, so how much to bring is up to you. Credit card is fine for purchases and you will need a credit card for your equipment deposit anyway, so you may just want to bring that instead of a bunch of cash. Also Barber museum is nearby, and a giant Bass Pro shop, so there are lots of places you can spend money if you're so inclined. Consider making time the day before or after your school to visit the Barber Museum, it is AMAZING.
  19. I've only seen the Woodcraft ones in use, they seemed to work well for the purpose, and they were fairly thick. I haven't tried them myself but the person that was using them got them because he didn't like the sound or sensation of scraping standard pucks. I presume they wouldn't last as long as standard pucks if you dragged them a lot, but his were holding up fine. I have seen a few creative ideas - one person took a couple of stiff plastic zip ties and fed them through the Velcro under the knee puck so they stuck out like curb feelers, to try to touch those down. Not sure if he actually took that out on track or whether it worked, but I did think it was creative. :)
  20. Nice post, Lnewqban. Jaybird, what is it that you are trying to fix or figure out? We know from riding our no BS bike at the school that you can get a bike to drift to one side by hanging weight off to one side - as Lnewqban addresses quite well above. But we also know that it is slow and imprecise, and anyone who has ridden the no BS bike recognizes immediately that they are not in control of the motorcycle when their hands are on the fixed bars. Given a slow enough speed and enough time and space to accomplish it, you can get the bike to turn, but it is hardly effective enough to get one around a racetrack or avoid an obstacle. You can see a clear demonstration of this in the Twist II DVD, you can see the effects of weight shift, how the the bike reacts and how the bars react. I'm not quite clear whether you are trying to address hanging weight off to the inside, or talking about weighting one peg without moving the Center of Mass, the effects are different. More importantly, what challenge are you facing in your riding that has you asking about this? (Or is it all just an academic dicussion ? )
  21. Some other tricks... rain sliders are thicker and touch down sooner, and there are also leather sliders that make a less startling noise when they scrape.
  22. Huh? Did I say something about a communication lag...?
  23. Just so we are clear, I'm talking about higher rpm while already leaned over, which is not the same thing as having some throttle on while steering the bike. The bike feels more stable in the turn at higher rpm because the lean angle is set and it doesn't want to change because of the increased gyroscopic effect. For me on the S1000rr it can feel more stable at a higher rpm (lower gear) in a slow tight turn like the last few turns at Streets of Willow or Turn 9 at ACS, less reactive to rider movement or rough throttle inputs because the lean angle doesn't change as easily, and the more immediate throttle response when picking up the gas helps me to get better throttle control. Feeling a desire or need to have some throttle on when ENTERING a turn tells you something about your entry speed, do you remember what?
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