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Everything posted by Hotfoot

  1. If you look at the rider's body movement, you can see that it's not a smooth ride. I'm thinking a combination of bumpy road, wind buffeting (the riders are pretty close together and the speeds are high, getting up into the 150mph range), and a much stiffer suspension and tire carcass than you'd see oh a street bike, plus a bike setup that is much twitchier than a cruising bike so it reacts more. Also the hard acceleration and braking may cause the rider to add some unwanted bar input, you can see from the rear view how much the riders are moving around. On my racebike at one particular track there is a high speed section (150-170mph range) close to a wall and the wind buffeting from the wall or any nearby rider is very noticeable, it wobbles your head around and makes the bike move around, you can feel the bars move, even though you are going straight. Have you felt your handlebars move in wind or when passing a large vehicle?
  2. YES!! The SR2 is MUCH better in that regard, for certain head shapes. Mine, for example. I have a small head and had the same issue with the SR1 sitting too low on my head but I rode 2 days last week in the new SR2 model and I could see out of it just fine. Really well, actually, because the field of view is very wide. The ventilation was good, too. The Schuberth folks told me a while ago that they thought the SR2 would fit me better and it definitely does, it's definitely worth a try. You probably know from your SR1 that these helmets break in as you wear them, so it is best to get one that feels a bit tight when brand new.
  3. The short answer: you have to work up to it and feel it out. The longer answer: Testing the grippiness of your tire must be done gradually, the idea is to increase lean angle gradually so that if the tire begins to slide there is some warning and opportunity to save it. The most pro coaches I have talked to on this advise gradually adding a little more lean at a time (corner after corner, or possibly even in the same corner if it is a long one) to feel out the traction, as opposed to just whacking it over to maximum lean and hoping for the best - because if you go too far too fast you will not have enough time to "sample" the traction and see how it feels, and know when you are approaching the limit. Some tires will have a specific feel to them when they are cold: the Dunlop slicks, for example, have a tendency to make the bike want to stand up in the corner and that is a good indicator that they are very cold. The carcass is stiff and reluctant to flex so when you lean into the corner it resists and sort of pushes the bike back up. Some other tires just feel a bit "wandery" in the corner, like they are sort of weaving around slightly, instead of feeling planted. If you have ridden in rain or ridden dirt bikes in the mud, you can recognize the feel of little slides, and little slides like that are your warning that you are at about the limit of traction for the conditions and the tire needs to warm up more before you can lean over any farther. It is a great exercise, when opportunity presents (winter is coming!) to pay VERY close attention to how your tires feel when stone cold, to develop a sense for it with your own bike and your own tire brand/model. It is difficult to quantify how long tires will take to warm up because it depends on tire type, air temp, track temp, wind conditions, how hard you ride, etc., so the best solution I know of is to feel it out carefully.
  4. Welcome! Glad to have you on the forum, lots of great info here. There is an article in the articles section on crashing that you might find helpful. For your question about diagnosing your track day crashes, the Track Days and Schools section might be a good place to put it, or the Cornering section, and we will see if we can help on figuring out what happened. Describing the one you recall the best would likely be the most productive since figuring it out will require us asking some questions about what occurred. You are also more than welcome to send me a private message and we can try to figure out the cause of the crashes, if you prefer that over posting it up on the general forum. Welcome aboard and we look forward to your participation in the forum!
  5. That is a pretty bold statement. I disagree. There still needs to be a willingness to go fast, a level of tolerance for speed and G forces, and the visual and processing skills required to be located on the track and in control of the machine, not to mention knowing where to point it. IMO making the bike easier to ride helps free up attention and reduce crashes but won't make an average rider a superstar. Just look at today's bikes, you can buy a crazy high horsepower bike right off a showroom floor that has clutchless shifting and traction control and even electronic suspension, but move an average rider from an aged 600cc bike to one of those and see how much faster the rider really goes. Or just watch a superstar kid on a 1990 RS125 making mincemeat of a bunch of adults on 200hp liter bikes with all the electronic assists, you can see that often enough at a typical track day or race practice. I do agree that riders who learn on bikes that do all those cool things would struggle on an older bike without the electronic assists - just like many teenagers today wouldn't know how to operate a manual transmission car - but that could be overcome with some training and practice, I think the best riders would still rise to the top in either situation, I don't think the bike makes the rider.
  6. Well, I'm not sure yet if I'll be there on Sept 10 but my husband will be, doing Level 4. He races, could probably tell you about local racing, WERA, etc. He is a regular Level 4 student and has done CodeRACE, and races with WERA (as do I), they are great to race with and come to Auto Club Speedway at least a few times a year, another good racing option for you. I hope you can get to CodeRACE, that will be fun and help you a lot with your racing.
  7. Maybe this is only a half serious question, but I'm going to assume no, since it won't handle like a two wheel motorcycle. The visual skills would apply, of course, but no doubt lines, handling, lock on and body position would be different.
  8. From what you describe that does sound a bit too early for the tire to be having issues just from usage. Had you put in three full track days, especially if it was very hot or a very abrasive or one-sided track, I'd wonder if the tires were getting worn or profiled. At the school, yes, depending on the conditions - some tracks are hard on tires and keep in mind we have three groups of riders in a day so the tires get a lot of use in a day! The tires are checked continuously and changed often. 1000cc bikes are hard on tires, especially rear tires! The mechanic did say the Q3s last longer than the Q2s, and I don't personally have a ton of experience on the Q3s on my own bike. I used to use the Q2s a lot but mostly have been riding on slicks since the Q3s came out. I have ridden on them at the school, though, and I love how they feel, great grip and excellent, predictable handling. Maybe our tire expert can chime in on how many track days are typical for Q3s for a bike like yours, and/or how much heat cycling they can take before starting to feel different.
  9. Sounds like you've got lots of plans, that's exciting! Chuckwalla is a fun track and I hear the racing group out there is friendly and fun, you should have a blast. Hope to meet you at Streets, are you doing CodeRACE or the regular school?
  10. I agree that (a) choice of lines and good control of the bike are more important than body position and (b) riders can crash due to poor body position because of improper/uncontrolled bike inputs, like unwanted bar pressure. But here is a question for you - if you are going as fast as you can go, and trying to catch a faster rider, and you run out of ground clearance (dragging a peg, or your exhaust, for example) what you would change to try to go faster to catch that other rider?
  11. This is what the school recommends as well, and it works. Yep, traction control cannot necessarily save you from adding throttle and lean angle at the same time - it's too much changing too quickly, there is not enough time for the traction control to react AND there is no time for tire feedback to warn the rider, which is why we always warn riders not to add throttle AND lean simultaneously. Just as an interesting note, I suspect the BMW S1000rr's rain mode could have prevented the crash, as it limits how much throttle the rider can apply based on lean angle, and I think it would not have allowed to rider to apply as much throttle as he did at the lean angle he was using.
  12. Wow, John, look at that thread from way back in 2004, how did you find that? :) But yes it is very good info. And yes, I was asking about why the rider was weaving back and forth. You do see this pretty often at track days, riders weaving back and forth in an attempt to warm their tires - but it doesn't work. It can be dangerous, too - not just because a rider could crash doing it (that would be embarrassing!) but also because if you are unaware of another rider about to pass you and make a sudden swerve like the you could run into them. Good answer, faffi, on question 2. There are some training tools at CSS to help learn to control the Survival Reaction of wanting to chop the throttle when the rear tire starts to spin. The S1000rr bikes we use also have traction control. So here's another question for the group - do you think traction control would have prevented the crash on the video?
  13. Would "adding throttle and lean angle on cold tires" be too simple an answer? You can hear him rolling the throttle on as he is swerving back and forth and the at the point where he is leaned over the most you can hear the tire spin up. Maybe he hit a slick spot but most likely the combination of lean and increasing throttle just exceeded the available traction for the tire - which was most likely cold, since he was just starting his session. The rear tire then slides out sideways, the rider lets off the throttle (you can hear it), the rear tire regains traction and whips back the other way, and then you can see the rider start getting pitched forward, and my suspicion is that he ends up putting pressure on the bars so that they can't move freely thereby eliminating any chance of the bike straightening back out. You can see the front end trying to correct at first but by the time he actually falls it seems like he is leaning heavily onto that right-hand bar. So, couple of questions back at the group: 1) What is a rider typically trying to do when they are swerving the bike back and forth like that, and does it work? 2) What should a rider do (or better yet NOT do) with the throttle when the rear tire starts to slide, and why?
  14. Wow, cool pic! I bet that tire would feel pretty scary tipping it into a corner the first few times...
  15. So let's explore this skinny tire versus wide tire question. WHY do high horsepower 1000cc bikes use a wider rear tire than low horsepower bikes? We know friction is NOT dependent on surface area, so who can offer up some reasons the tire needs to be wider on an S1000rr, for example, compared to, say, an SV650? Or a roadracing bicycle?
  16. How many total trackdays and commuting miles do you have on the tires now? And what type of bike are you riding? Riding aggressively on the track on a 1000cc bike, if you have done three track days your rear tire may be done. That could be why it is feeling squirmy. It's pretty common to change the rear tire (on a 1000cc bike) after two track days, and the front after about 3 days. The high horsepower bikes eat rear tires.
  17. How far back from the tank are you? It's very hard to tell from the photo, but I am wondering if you have enough distance from the tank to allow you to rotate your hips into the turn, so you can get your chest down without having to twist your lower back to do it. Sometimes scooting back in the seat a little can make it a lot easier to rotate your pelvis into the turn so your back is more in alignment, plus is helps push your outside knee more into the tank.
  18. There is an absolutely perfect description on Twist II that discusses quite specifically both side of this issue, see Chapter 5 Throttle Control, the first section "Street Lazy" followed by Off-Gas Results, it talks about why riders coast, where and for how long, and the exact effects.
  19. Hey BikeSpeedman, PM me with your name, school date (if you remember) and the track where you rode and I'll check to see if it is still possible to get the laptimes.
  20. Oh yes, hi! What a fun day, we were very fortunate to have such nice weather, it was originally looking like it would be very hot but ended up great, with a nice breeze. You did look good through 3-4-5, I followed you through there multiple times and really liked the line you were choosing. I had a lot of fun coaching you at Streets, it was great to watch you getting more and more comfortable on the track on that big bike, I really enjoyed watching you ride it. I thought you rode it REALLY well, especially since you were adjusting from riding a different bike the prior day.
  21. Yes to the above. The turnpoints marked will give you a good line, but as I'm sure was mentioned in the classroom, there is no "ideal line" that is the absolute perfect line for every rider. Riders will tend to choose their preferred lines based on their particular skillset, bike characteristics and riding preferences. For example on my little Moriwaki, which weighs only 180 lbs, I can carry far more corner speed than a heavier bike, and with very low horsepower, maintaining momentum is critical. My lines on the that are not quite the same as the ones I'd take on the BMW; for example, I might use all the track on the exit on the BMW because I am driving hard and the rapidly increasing speed widens the arc and forces me outward. That doesn't happen on the Moriwaki, it can't accelerate that fast so if the next corner was turning the same direction I might not go out so far on the exit, why cover the extra distance if I don't have to? I also, personally, tend to choose relatively late turn points (on the BMW) because I LOVE to quickturn the bike, whereas another rider that likes to trailbrake heavily might choose an earlier or more inside line to better complement their strengths. The turn points at the school are there for learning purposes and students are encouraged to experiment with them, turning before and after, inside and outside, to see what happens. In fact, one of the targets for the TP drill is to go out and do that exact thing, turn before and after the mark, etc. Most novice riders are inclined to turn in early (due to SRs firing off) so those turnpoint marks help get the riders to actually GO to an area that might otherwise never even try. Another aspect is visibility - riding on the road, using a turn point that is later and more to the outside gives you better visibility through the corner. On a familiar track if you have good references (like the rider in the video), that might not be a consideration but for street riding it can be very useful. Do you remember how you determine, after you go through a corner, whether the line you chose was a good line?
  22. Reading Twist II and/or watching the DVD can help keep skills fresh in your mind, and often after attending a school you can re-read the book and find stuff that you missed before or things that mean more to you now than they did before. Every time I re-read it, I am at a different place in my personal riding and some info is more useful to me or comes across in a different way, due to my new skillset, pace or perspective. Doing some trackdays can be enlightening, as you can use your new skills and see if you find that your pace has changed, and I think it is also useful to observe errors OTHER riders make and see what effects those errors have. Turning in early, turning slowly, and poor body position resulting in excess lean angle are some of the more obvious ones you can see - what other errors do you think you could readily observe in other riders?
  23. I second that, I was there, too and I really enjoyed the track, I liked the chicanes and that long right hand fast sweeper! I also got a lot of practice figuring out how to find a line on an unfamiliar, blind turn where you can't see the exit. Glad to hear you liked the facility. Did you bring your own bike or ride a school bike?
  24. At least two are steering, and the third could be also, since being able to carry more entry speed has a lot to do with being able to steer the bike quickly! You mentioned earlier that you had the idea that you needed to be on the brakes to compress the forks to steer the bike - did (or does) that misconception create the entry speed problem and the mid-corner adjustment problem you are trying to fix? Can you (personally) steer the bike more quickly (and carry more entry speed) if you are not also trying to brake hard enough to compress the forks? It is certainly less to worry about, easier to gauge entry speed, and easier to control the steering action, if you are not trying to brake hard at the same time. To be clear, compressing the forks CAN tighten up the steering by compressing the forks (this steepening the steering angle) but it can also make the bike harder to steer (more effort) and I have been in at least one back-and-forth debate with Cobie about which is the greater effect. Personally I almost never use the front brake for the sole purpose of compressing the front end - if I don't need the brakes to slow down, I don't use them. One exception that I can think of is a VERY fast chicane where I have difficulty getting the bike steered fast enough (only at my max pace), and I am driving going into the chicane. In that one case I do SOMETIMES us the front brake a little to help me get the quick direction change, because otherwise the forks are extended coming into it, because I am accelerating coming into it, and the combination of speed, momentum, and fork extension makes the direction change difficult in that tight chicane. A touch on the brakes helps to get it flicked over from one side to the other, but it is a bit tricky to do and I need a lot of free attention to get it right.
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