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Everything posted by Hotfoot

  1. I'll second that. Persistence triumphs when talent gets lazy. Oh, these are both excellent answers!! I guess natural talent has its limits. OK, I am re-inspired to keep working on my riding, thank you both.
  2. Let's see, I know I'd rather be skilled than brave... so I guess I'd rather be smooth than fast. Plus "smooth" has applications in other areas of life. Question back at ya - which would you rather have, persistence or natural talent?
  3. Is it possible that the front suspension is packing, driving the nose down and giving you the effect of a hook turn? Maybe you could try stiffening the front compression and/or setting a quicker rebound in front to see it that helps.
  4. I have some near closed, relatively safe corners by my house that I was just playing around with, and have to say that not being on some kind of throttle (not under acceleration) is pretty unsettling. That's when I was running wide, and was scared to get on the throttle in the corner. I'm going to try it while I'm warming up my tires (slow couple of first laps) in a couple of weeks after working on it on these corners. They're nowhere near as fast as on the track, but freaky none-the-less. Another point to consider here is bike setup, especially at a more intermediate pace. If the bike is set up to turn in really quickly (a little low in front, for example) it can feel unstable to turn in while totally off the gas. I like a quick steering bike, but I find myself keeping a maintenance throttle through slow or sharp turns (prior to, and through, the turn-in) when riding at a slower pace in sighting laps or on the street, because it makes the bike feel a lot less twitchy. My point is that if you are not used to going all the way off throttle for turns, or if you are at a relatively low entry speed, it probably WILL feel really weird at first . It could even cause you to run wide - consider this scenario, you try an off throttle turn-in at your accustomed (maintenance-throttle) turn point. Only this time, your bike turns in SUPER quick so you hit an earlier apex... now you are wider on exit than before. Yuck, your turn in felt scary, maybe you leaned farther than you expected, maybe you had to stand it up a little to miss the inside curb. Yup, that felt lousy. But, with a higher entry speed it might have worked beautifully, becuase it is harder to turn the bike at a higher speed, so you get that same maintenance throttle arc but with a faster entry, therefore ultilmately a faster exit, does that make sense? For me, being completely off throttle didn't totally makes sense until I reached a pace where the bike was stable for a quick turn AND I was going fast enough that it was difficult to turn the bike, so I really needed to be off throttle to get it turned to make my apex. Racer's point helps clarify it for me, too - (hope I am paraphrasing you properly, dude) he mentioned that at race pace, for a sharp turn, you would normally be on the BRAKES prior to the turn, so you would definitely be off throttle (and possibly trailing brakes) right up until your turn point. Certainly a series of turns that are progressively faster would be a different situation, you might be on throttle a little or a lot through the whole thing - if you have an 'easy' turn in, so you don't NEED to get off the gas for a quick turn, you wouldn't, right?
  5. I agree that hydration is key - I think it is a much bigger factor than fitness. I have been to schools & track days when I was very fit, and others where I was very out of shape, after recovering from injury. When out of shape I didn't really get tired, but I did notice my lack of quad strength (I got really sore from moving side to side on the bike) and that my neck got sore from looking up and forward when low on the bike. So my opinion on this is that fitness ALWAYS helps you to feel better and have more stamina, but being rested, hydrated and relaxed on the bike makes more of a difference than overall muscle strength; even at my very best fitness level dehydration will wipe me out (and ruin my concentration) in three sessions. And I've seen plenty of guys that were in great shape shaking like a leaf at the end of a session, tension can exhaust anyone. I can't resist jumping in on the discussion about female riders. Personally, I don't think body strength is as much of an issue as the social factors and the boldness (read: testosterone) factor. I'm a girl, Level 4 rider, relatively small. So here's my perspective - the sportbikes and most dirt bikes are tall and heavy for a girl, this made getting into the sport intitially a little tougher. Full leathers for ladies are hard to find, especially if knee sliders are required, this makes open track days tougher to get into initially. Social pressure is significant - I am a mom with a young child and most non-riders think it is crazy and/or irresponsible for me to own a bike and especially to ride on a racetrack. My family HATES it. Other social factors to consider? There's not as much incentive for a girl to start riding - a guy on a bike looks cool, maybe can pick up chicks, that's probably a good incentive to get a street bike at a young age (or maybe middle age, too!). It isn't quite the same for girls - generally, a girl would have to hop on the back or else look for the rare dude that would ride behind her! All of these things are improving all the time, of course... except for my family. Another big factor is boldness. I am willing to ride fast, but I am almost never willing to fight another rider for my corner. I don't know if this is a social behavior (women are taught to be cooperative more than competitive) or a boldness/fear factor but it's a FACTOR, for sure - it's the primary reason I don't race. When I watch male riders I suspect that sometimes they "see red" and the desire to win overpowers almost all else; guys, is this what happens? In any case I see that my husband is willing to ride a lot closer to his limits than I am to mine, for sure in a head-to-head challenge he lays it all out. I am very competitive but I rarely throw caution to the wind. As far as strength goes - well, I've never had any trouble steering my bike. Loading the sucker in the back of a pickup is a challenge, though. Just my perspective, I'd love to hear what others have to say.
  6. Hi, I'm not brand new to the forum but I am a little confused about navigating on the board and this seems like the place to post the question. I just noticed in the last few days that when I view a topic, I see the original post at the top, then below I see an outline of various responses. What I USED to see was a long sequential list of posts, with no outline. Did I change something in my preferences to cause that to happen, or was there a change in how the board is presented? I have tried clicking the "Options" button at the upper right but I can't tell what that does - it just seems to jump to the bottom of the page. I actually prefer seeing the long lists of posts so I can scroll straight down instead of having to jump back and forth with the outline. If someone can clue me in about how to change that back, I'd be grateful! Thanks! Hotfoot
  7. Gee, I hate to throw fuel on THIS fire, but I have to agree with avih here. Racer, I do think you have been a little hard on Meat (based on this thread only - you reference others that I have not read), and I don't think you can in good conscience really claim that you haven't attacked him at all - for example, I might take being called "nasty" as a compliment, but not everyone would. Regardless of who started it, you are certainly capable of being diplomatic enough to calm it down, if you want to. Otherwise, he'll just go away - and is that really the goal? My concern here is that this is a great discussion board and the Superbike School staff are great people, I wouldn't want posters to stop posting or spend hours trying to create a post that is impossible to refute, in order to avoid feeling attacked in the responses. I notice that the posts by CSS staff are always polite, friendly, and encouraging, and I think this is the standard by which we should all judge our responses to those that are brave enough or curious enough to post their questions here. On another note, I think it's pretty damn funny that we have a bunch of engineers here arguing such a complex set of physics problems. My college memories of Dynamics are fading, but didn't we use to always assume a spherical rider and a frictionless track?
  8. Meat, First of all, please don't go away, it's great to see activity and alternate viewpoints on the forum; I totally understand your reaction and sometimes the discussions do go a bit awry, but this is a competitive crowd, it's bound to happen occasionally. I was lurking and not posting, too, for exactly the same reason (I'm an engineer, too, incidentally), but I recently decided to give it another try, and I hope you'll stick around too. Second, you had a question about weighting the outside peg - you made a comment that 'putting your knee into the tank will only lessen the force on the outside peg' - and I see your point, but I also see how it could sound contrary to someone's riding experience - it did to me, at first. Something to keep in mind, is that if you use the calf raise it is possible to lock your knee into the tank and then actually PUSH down on the outside peg with your foot, using your calf strength to do so (and I have to do that, to really lock my knee in tight, plus the higher pressure on the peg helps keep my foot from sliding off the peg). I am not making any statement about how that affects the bike (presumably not at all), just adding the consideration that you can push harder on the outside peg without shifting your weight, which may FEEL like adding weight to the peg. In reading this thread I started thinking about BP and at first I thought I put a lot of weight on that outside peg but then realized I am PUSHING on it, not standing on it. So I am increasing the pressure on the peg (but not the weight) whenever I push my knee into the tank. Does that make sense?
  9. Well, thanks, racer, I appreciate that. Comments like that might get me lurking less and posting more! It's cool for me to remember the AHA! moment I had at the school (as I tried to describe above). I've had a lot of those moments at CSS, the terrific coaching makes all the difference in the world.
  10. racer, One sensation that I have in slow corners is that I feel like I can not lean the bike as far as in a fast corner. For some reason the slower speed gives me the feeling that I don't have enough momentum to actually keep the bike up. This is just a sensation that I get when trying to turn in to slow corners, almost like a sensation that the bike will just fall over. Of course to be specific about turn 7 at Road Atlanta, I do tend to miss the apex and run wide out of the turn. And at times I do have to roll back on and then off of the throttle. I have two main RPs in the turn, just before the end of the outside curbing for the turn in and just passed the crest of the inside curbing for the apex. I don't really have any other RPs beyond that other than doing my best to stay focused at looking down the track instead of to the outside of the track. Thanks for your help. Also will you be at Barber on August 23 and 24? Shane Shane, You mention above that you don't feel like you have enough momentum to keep the bike up and it feels like it will fall over. I had the same experience, and at CSS when I mentioned this difficulty, the reponse was something like "Do you know what lean angle you are trying to achieve?" and "When you get there, how do you stop the bike from leaning over more?". So I realized there was a piece missing in my plan - I was not being precise about when to stop pushing on the bar- I was just trying to quick turn it over then hope for the best. So in the next session I rode with a specific, quick push on the bar, just enough to lean the bike the amount I wanted, then back on the throttle. Obviously it took a little experimentation to get right (and looking ahead is critical), but I was just not thinking about the fact that when you lean the bike, you can stop the lean or even stand it back up. Once I got more in control of this, I picked up my pace and that made it much easier, too, because the bike was harder to turn and felt more stable. Another, more minor point is to check out the profile of your tires - some tires seem to want to jump to a certain lean angle, which may feel too abrupt in a slower corner, and you may want to look at your suspension setup, if you have the front end a bit low or soft you may find that the bike steers very quickly, and if it's too touchy it can make you feel like a quick turn would dump you right over.
  11. I think it's helpful to know who is, or is not, a coach, since the school has such a specific, consistent and effective program. There are plenty of other sites where you can go to get advice from other riders and racers, but only this one where you can be sure you are getting the "real deal" - help directly from Keith Code or one of his highly trained coaches. I'd like for it to be easier to tell who is actually a coach.
  12. I'm no expert either but when shopping for a bike I rode the GSXR750 (2007) on the track and I had a similar feeling under braking to what you described earlier. That bike felt short from front to back, to me, and I am much shorter than you. I had a really hard time getting locked on during braking, and kept feeling like I was loading up the front too much. The reason I was test riding bikes is because I worked for about three years to get really locked on and comfortable on my previous bike, and never really could - it just didn't fit me right. No amount of StompGrip or rearset adjustment fixed it. My new bike, the new ZX6R, was a huge change and I was instantly more comfortable, more secure, and faster, plus I don't get as tired or muscle sore at track days. I don't know if trying different bikes is an option for you, and I know the GSXR750 is a kick-ass bike, but I can tell you I wasted a lot of time and money trying to fight the ergonomics of a bike, so you may want to see if a different bike would be more fun for you.
  13. This has been an interesting thread to read, but although there have been many replies, it seems like only a couple have really been relevant to the original question, which was about Pilot Powers on a regular track day. Racer has posted a lot of information about racing and made it clear he is talking about full race tires at race speeds. I'm guessing that most of the readers of this board are riding at more moderate speeds on a more moderate tire, and in my experience the Pilot Power is terrific for exactly that. I use them and love them, and I typically will change them after 3-4 track days, though I could probably get more. After that they are still good for many miles on the street - I donate them to a co-worker that commutes to work. I get the same orange peel wear pattern, and I take that as a good sign, as confirmed by the Michelin guy at the track. If I get a coarser wear pattern (tearing or rolling) it seems to be either due to pressure too low on really hot days (tire is getting hot and melting) or rear suspension set too harsh. I run them in a 29-32 psi range, on the lower end for cold days and the higher end for hot days. The Pilot Race is a more race-oriented tire, and I think that's the one that is recommended to be set around 22psi, or it could be the new dual-compound tire (CT2?) - anyway you have to ride those pretty hard to get them warmed up enough for maximum grip, and since I ride both street and track I am happier with the Pilot Powers, which warm up easier and seem to last longer. I have found, as Cobie said about the Dunlops, that the tires wear consistently and do not suddenly go to hell on you. I do notice, however, that these particular tires feel a little mushy on the first lap, then they warm up and feel great. Anyway, it sounds to me like if you are riding 2-3 days on them, running 29/30 psi, and getting a consistent orange peel pattern, you are right on target and ought to be able to have a great time at the track.
  14. Thanks to all for a fantastic couple of days in Vegas. The school was amazing, and the improvements in my riding were far beyond my very high expectations. After riding some local track days I certainly noticed the incredible difference in the safety of your school versus most track organizations. I rode all day and never saw one yellow flag, or one bad pass. Of course the program itself works wonders, and the coaching is incomparable - I can't believe how well your coaches can spot the root cause of a problem and get it corrected, with immediate and obvious results. Both James T and Cobie were able to identify things that were holding me back that I would probably never have realized without their help. Then I had my chance to see what it feels like when you get it right - and wow, nothing compares! It was GREAT and can't wait to come back.
  15. What under armour do you recommend Cobie? I'm going to jump in here because I use the Under Armour and really like it. Under Armour is a brand name, and it's available in most sporting goods stores now. It comes in 'Hot Gear' for hot weather and 'Cold Gear' for cold weather. Both versions are a thin stretchy material that fits easily under leathers and keeps you cool or warm. The Cold Gear is surprisingly effective at blocking the cold wind under perforated leathers, and the Hot Gear really helps you cool down quickly on hot days. Cobie's right, the long sleeves make it easier to slide out of your leathers in the heat, plus they help protect your elbows from rubs. Oh, and you can't SEE through the Under Armour - the mesh inner suits are pretty revealing (and I use the work "pretty" very loosely here). I hope this is helpful.
  16. Thanks, harnois, your insights are appreciated, and you are certainly right about wide view. I got a chance to get back on the track and work on this stuff, and made really big improvements, so I'm pretty stoked about that. Wide view really helped, and I think that I had gotten so focused on working on the entry to a particular turn that I was doing exactly what you said - staring at my turn point and then staring at my apex. So I lost the flow, which makes it way harder to judge speed. I ran no-brakes all day, and that helped, of course. I did try taking two of the sharp, slow turns in a lower gear, and it did help, but not in the way I expected. I thought I would be able to hear and the feel the RPM difference better, but what actually happened was that I had a much better feel on the throttle - more response for both deceleration and acceleration - so I felt much more in control of the bike and therefore a lot more confident. Before, I was off the brakes early and then sort of coasting to the turn point in a higher gear (which felt like sliding on ice when I thought I was too fast!), so there was little engine braking, and the throttle response was a bit weak when I came back onto it. In the lower gear, the engine braking allowed me to modulate the throttle as I approached so I could more precisely control the speed without feeling inclined to reach for the brake, and then when I rolled back on the response was better so the whole turn flowed smoother. It felt great, and I'm excited about seeing real results. The ideas from all of you on the board helped me, and made me really think through the problem, so thanks to all! Update on the helmet - racer, you asked if I ended up with the angel design - no, I opted for the curlicues instead. You know, that airbrushed elaborate stone carving design Shoei favors this year? It does have some understated skulls worked into the design if you look close... And WOW is it loud, holy cow. I suspected my old helmet was rather quiet - this new one is well-ventilated and comfy but I definitely hear things I didn't before - lots of wind noise, and now I can clearly hear my own bike, and bikes behind me, and I can tell how close they are - it's a whole different experience. It was interesting because I could easily tell when bikes got closer to me and when they fell back, which was REALLY useful information in finding out where I could be going faster. Anyway, I have a much better understanding of why people wear earplugs - I'll almost certainly have to wear them from now on.
  17. Thanks for all the helmet info. I knew a newer helmet would have better technology, but I never realized that the material in the helmet could get brittle and less protective with age. So you gave me the extra motivation I needed to go get a new one, and I did. Just to add fuel to this fire, check out this really interesting article: http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/gearbox/...view/index.html If you weren't confused before, you will be after reading this - it's part of the reason I was stalled on getting a new helmet. But since you threatened me with death, I figure I better stop researching and start buying - so I went for best fit and got a nice high-end Shoei, which ought to do the job just fine. By the way, what's with all the CHERUBS? Most of the Shoei graphics this year have these little chubby angels on them somewhere. Or butterfly wings, or curlicues. Have skulls and snakes and barbed-wire gone out of style? I sure miss the Troy Lee designs! But I digress...
  18. Hotfoot---2 questions: 1. What is it about earplugs you don't like? Comfort? What kinds have you tried? Foam, custom molded? 2. You had also mentioned your old helmet, just curious if that was a figure of speech, or you really did have an old helmt? How old is it? cobie Cobie, 1. It isn't physical discomfort with the earplugs, it's mental. I feel disconnected and zoned out, like being on cold medicine. Honestly, the noise doesn't bother me, I like it, it's part of the fun of going fast. I know it would be better for my hearing to wear them, and I do wear them about 50% of the time, but I don't like them. 2. My helmet is about 6 years old. I've never had a crash with it, but if you're going to tell me I ought to get a newer one, I agree. I've been looking at new helmets on the web, I just need to make time to go to a big store to try some different models. Regarding your earlier post, I did go back to Soft Science and found some info in the chapter on braking - the discussion of "speed memory" is right on target for what I am struggling with. I'm still working it out, but thanks for the suggestion to look there, it is helping. I have some track time tomorrow, we'll see how it goes!
  19. Actually, all that sounds pretty complex, distracting and confusing... and leaves a BIG chance of leaving yourself out if you end up in the wrong gear by accident. What do you do then? In fact, most racers find the engine noise to be a major distraction and the noise level itself physically/mentally fatiguing and wear ear plugs so they can't hear the engine (as much). The RPM idea comes from one of Keith's books where he discusses approaching a turn a few RPM's higher - the specific example talked about notching up 100 RPMs, if I remember correctly. For me, the engine noise is not a distraction, but my helmet seems to block a lot more noise than others. Excellent point about ending up in the wrong gear, although that issue is always present - I have to pay attention to the number of downshifts anyway, so it shouldn't add much distraction to go down one more. You talked about reference points for braking, which makes sense - I do have braking on and off points, but I am modulating the brakes (trying to brake less aggressively to carry more speed) rather than moving the on/off points, which makes it very hard to measure the amount of change from one lap to the next. I guess I need to work on braking with same intensity every time but move the point where I start or stop braking. This does give me a way to measure it in a much more concrete way, assuming I can achieve consistent braking intensity. I think the main reason I want a better way to measure this very specifically is to give myself the confidence that I am making a change, but not such a big one that I end up in the dirt wondering what happened. Becuase these specific turns are low speed, a realtively small change can make a really big difference.
  20. Riders are running up on me before the turn point. I can usually exit equal or faster. Actually, the idea of adding trailbraking might be helpful to me, I haven't been doing that - it may not be the fastest way but it may help me in judging the speed or making smaller adjustments. Regarding the idea of increasing speed until it feels a little bit too fast - that is what I am trying to do, but having a little trouble judging it, so I make too big a change and blow my line, then on the next lap I am back to my original speed again. In re-reading my OWN post, something jumped out at me - I said I could judge RPM differences better in the higher speed turns, so it occurs to me, maybe I am taking these turns in too high a gear, so the RPM is low. I only have trouble with tight turns that come after a high speed stretch, so I am dropping multiple gears. I haven't had the nifty slipper clutch so I've been a bit careful with downshifts, but I am approaching my first track day on my NEW bike, which does have one. Maybe if I can make the turn at a higher RPM I'll be more able to hear or feel a small difference in RPM, and since my next upshift point will come a lot earlier, I might be able to also use THAT to judge whether I made it through faster - I can find a reference point for when I have to upshift and if I have to keep moving it closer to the turn I'll know I am carrying more speed through. Does that makes sense?
  21. I am looking for some ideas on making small adjustments to entry speeds on sharp corners. I'm a Level 4 student, and I do a good job (I think) of practicing no-brakes drills and doing everything early to avoid being rushed when approaching a turn. Now I'm trying to start creeping up my entry speed but I find that on tight corners, mainly sharp corners after a fast straight, I have trouble judging small differences in entry speed so somewhere in the middle of the turn I realize I just rode it at EXACTLY the same speed as before. On high speed turns I find it much easier because I can hear or feel the difference in engine RPM, plus I can make a larger incremental change withour triggering SRs. Any specific tips on ways to get comfortable with sensing small changes? Obviously looking at the speedo (or even the tach) is not my preferred approach. I do recognize that very little gains in lap times are acheived by working on tight-corner entry speeds, however the reason I am concerned is because it is limiting my speed on the fast straight PRIOR to the turn, which definitely affects my laptimes, and also because in turns of this type I am getting riders running up on me at the end of a fast stretch, which I don't enjoy. Those riders are not riding faster then me elsewhere, ergo SOMETHING is keeping me from riding through these corners up to my own ability. How do YOU do it? What concrete, measurable data helps you tell if you did make a real change in your entry speed? What senses are you using? I am considering adding some pricey electronics to my bike so I can measure this, but I would much rather use my own built-in sensors.
  22. Great feedback, thanks. Being able to reposition the Tech-Specs more easily is a big plus. I guess I'll put them on my Christmas list!
  23. Any input from CSS staff comparing the Stomp versus the Tech-Spec or why they changed from one to the other? I had Stomps on my previous bike but I'm wondering whether to switch to Tech-Spec for the new one.
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