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Chad Wille

Traction Control

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I've read all the magazine reporters stories about traction control in the last few years, and while everybody is hinting that it is a "safety net" that has advantages I notice that I've never read a bold statement such as; "Traction control will prevent high sides," or "Traction control will allow you to learn the limits of traction on the track with far less risk of injury." Are magazine testers just shoveling hyperbole about the industry's latest new thing? Or is TC a real blessing? Should a low/intermediate level track rider buy a TC bike in order to prevent smearing himself along the pavement? Is it a viable method to learn how to ride better and to higher limits without the danger of getting hurt by the problems which TC can prevent? (I realize there are things it doesn't prevent) Or do you need to learn every type of slide and push, up to and maybe including lowsides and highsides to become a proficient rider? Is TC good for race level riders but largely unnecessary for the average track day rider? I'd like to hear from both inexperienced and experienced riders who've ridden TC on the track and what their impressions are. Thanks!

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Never ridden TC, but I do know that Lorenzo lives and dies by it. When you watch some of the races from last year, you can see that a lot of riders still monitor the throttle, and Lorenzo just wrings it. I'm guessing that it CAN make highsides near negligible risks when adjusted properly. Most lowsides I've seen outside of TV racing aren't from too much throttle, but too much brake. I'd think it wouldn't do much for a trackriders odds of lowsiding.

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This is a great question I've been wondering about too; I'm interested in what people think. I would initially say it would only matter for racers really wringing the most out of the bike, but I think Cobie said the crash rate at the schools were down 60%(?) with the BMW bike, so I'm curious as to just what aspect is the reason behind the decreased crashing. Q2? ABS? Traction control? People petrified by the power of the bike so they're just more careful!? Part of me thinks it's cheating a bit to rely on it and not learn good throttle control, but I haven't highsided either.

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I have traction control for racing but traction control needs to be set up for the track you are riding to be effective. Each turn will be different on rpms and gearing at exit so the set up for the range needs to be configured. If this is done the traction control is worth a couple of seconds. I use it to help me get the most out of my throttle control. I think it is much better to have the insurance than not and trying to twist a little more horse power out of the corner can be risky. You can be flung off before you know what happens. There is a warning right on the box and in the service manuals that traction control does not gaurantee you won't high side. There are only so many mechanical and electrical means to make things safer. It ultimately comes down at the moment of truth to the decision making and skill of the rider. I am recovering from a pretty bad collarbone break and four broken ribs because of an error in judgment. Unfortuantely, I can't get that in a box marked traction control.

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Traction control can help a rider be more proficient. It gives you a good gauge as to what your doing with the throttle in the corner. If you engage the TC, then you were asking for more power than what the tire could handle at the lean angle, etc. So now you have some measure of "where the tire is at". I also think that it allows riders to explore getting on the gas harder than there comfort zone - which they may find was too comfortable. I've see students hit a wall until we told them to "pin it" (half jokingly of course).

 

And it really does save a percentage of low-sides and high-sides. I've seen a student adding lean and throttle to the point the TC kicks in, and make it through the corner. Same scenario different bike (like the Kawi), he would have been on the ground.

 

Best.

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Traction control can help a rider be more proficient. It gives you a good gauge as to what your doing with the throttle in the corner. If you engage the TC, then you were asking for more power than what the tire could handle at the lean angle, etc. So now you have some measure of "where the tire is at". I also think that it allows riders to explore getting on the gas harder than there comfort zone - which they may find was too comfortable. I've see students hit a wall until we told them to "pin it" (half jokingly of course).

 

And it really does save a percentage of low-sides and high-sides. I've seen a student adding lean and throttle to the point the TC kicks in, and make it through the corner. Same scenario different bike (like the Kawi), he would have been on the ground.

 

Best.

 

Pete,

Excellent information, thank you. I've been track riding for two years but my efforts to increase pace at some points is stifled by my lack of knowledge - and fear - of how far I can go with the tires. To have electronics tell me where I am with the limits is exactly what I hoped TC could do. If it also helps prevent "grounding", all the better for me and the bike. If CSS has seen it work with students in action on the track, that's a pretty high recommendation. Thanks.

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Traction control can help a rider be more proficient. It gives you a good gauge as to what your doing with the throttle in the corner. If you engage the TC, then you were asking for more power than what the tire could handle at the lean angle, etc. So now you have some measure of "where the tire is at". I also think that it allows riders to explore getting on the gas harder than there comfort zone - which they may find was too comfortable. I've see students hit a wall until we told them to "pin it" (half jokingly of course).

 

And it really does save a percentage of low-sides and high-sides. I've seen a student adding lean and throttle to the point the TC kicks in, and make it through the corner. Same scenario different bike (like the Kawi), he would have been on the ground.

 

Best.

 

Well said Pete!

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Never ridden TC, but I do know that Lorenzo lives and dies by it. When you watch some of the races from last year, you can see that a lot of riders still monitor the throttle, and Lorenzo just wrings it. I'm guessing that it CAN make highsides near negligible risks when adjusted properly. Most lowsides I've seen outside of TV racing aren't from too much throttle, but too much brake. I'd think it wouldn't do much for a trackriders odds of lowsiding.

 

Funny thing to say Jason but in actual fact Lorenzo, Stoner and De Puniet are the 3 riders in moto gp that use the least traction control, the bare minimum that the bike requires to keep it semi controllable, Lorenzo is trains with King Kenny Roberts at his ranch every off season in the dirt to perfect his feeling for traction simply because he knows he has to be one step ahead! It is common knowledge that rossi couldn't ride Lorenzo's bike due to the lack of TC and now he couldn't even complete a lap on Stoner's GP10 for the same reason!

The one thing Lorenzo's mechanics do say is that he's not great at setting a bike up but he is absolutely amazing at adapting to and getting the best out of what he has!

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Never ridden TC, but I do know that Lorenzo lives and dies by it. When you watch some of the races from last year, you can see that a lot of riders still monitor the throttle, and Lorenzo just wrings it. I'm guessing that it CAN make highsides near negligible risks when adjusted properly. Most lowsides I've seen outside of TV racing aren't from too much throttle, but too much brake. I'd think it wouldn't do much for a trackriders odds of lowsiding.

 

Funny thing to say Jason but in actual fact Lorenzo, Stoner and De Puniet are the 3 riders in moto gp that use the least traction control, the bare minimum that the bike requires to keep it semi controllable, Lorenzo is trains with King Kenny Roberts at his ranch every off season in the dirt to perfect his feeling for traction simply because he knows he has to be one step ahead! It is common knowledge that rossi couldn't ride Lorenzo's bike due to the lack of TC and now he couldn't even complete a lap on Stoner's GP10 for the same reason!

The one thing Lorenzo's mechanics do say is that he's not great at setting a bike up but he is absolutely amazing at adapting to and getting the best out of what he has!

 

It's the opposite. You can watch these guys taking off out of a corner and Rossi monitors his throttle increase while Lorenzo's pops it straight to max coming out of every corner. Last season they mentioned it quite often on the sites MotoGP.com and another one I don't read anymore, so I don't remember the name.

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Never ridden TC, but I do know that Lorenzo lives and dies by it. When you watch some of the races from last year, you can see that a lot of riders still monitor the throttle, and Lorenzo just wrings it. I'm guessing that it CAN make highsides near negligible risks when adjusted properly. Most lowsides I've seen outside of TV racing aren't from too much throttle, but too much brake. I'd think it wouldn't do much for a trackriders odds of lowsiding.

 

Funny thing to say Jason but in actual fact Lorenzo, Stoner and De Puniet are the 3 riders in moto gp that use the least traction control, the bare minimum that the bike requires to keep it semi controllable, Lorenzo is trains with King Kenny Roberts at his ranch every off season in the dirt to perfect his feeling for traction simply because he knows he has to be one step ahead! It is common knowledge that rossi couldn't ride Lorenzo's bike due to the lack of TC and now he couldn't even complete a lap on Stoner's GP10 for the same reason!

The one thing Lorenzo's mechanics do say is that he's not great at setting a bike up but he is absolutely amazing at adapting to and getting the best out of what he has!

 

It's the opposite. You can watch these guys taking off out of a corner and Rossi monitors his throttle increase while Lorenzo's pops it straight to max coming out of every corner. Last season they mentioned it quite often on the sites MotoGP.com and another one I don't read anymore, so I don't remember the name.

 

If only it really was that easy to become a world champion!

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I've see students hit a wall until we told them to "pin it" (half jokingly of course).

Gotta try it on one of these marvellous bikes one day.

 

What did say the parts deposit was on the bike was? B)

 

 

Kai

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I've see students hit a wall until we told them to "pin it" (half jokingly of course).

Gotta try it on one of these marvellous bikes one day.

 

What did say the parts deposit was on the bike was? B)

 

 

Kai

 

Max of $1,250 USD. No money is even taken, just a card number. Parts are a little over dealer cost, and only charged for what is damaged.

 

Crash numbers have been nice and low on this bike, we are very happy with that.

 

CF

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Traction control can help a rider be more proficient. It gives you a good gauge as to what your doing with the throttle in the corner. If you engage the TC, then you were asking for more power than what the tire could handle at the lean angle, etc. So now you have some measure of "where the tire is at". I also think that it allows riders to explore getting on the gas harder than there comfort zone - which they may find was too comfortable. I've see students hit a wall until we told them to "pin it" (half jokingly of course).

 

And it really does save a percentage of low-sides and high-sides. I've seen a student adding lean and throttle to the point the TC kicks in, and make it through the corner. Same scenario different bike (like the Kawi), he would have been on the ground.

 

Best.

 

Pete,

Excellent information, thank you. I've been track riding for two years but my efforts to increase pace at some points is stifled by my lack of knowledge - and fear - of how far I can go with the tires. To have electronics tell me where I am with the limits is exactly what I hoped TC could do. If it also helps prevent "grounding", all the better for me and the bike. If CSS has seen it work with students in action on the track, that's a pretty high recommendation. Thanks.

 

Your welcome!

 

Also take a look at the threads regarding tires and warming the tires. Great data in there too, that applies to traction.

 

Cheers,

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I've read all the magazine reporters stories about traction control in the last few years, and while everybody is hinting that it is a "safety net" that has advantages I notice that I've never read a bold statement such as; "Traction control will prevent high sides," or "Traction control will allow you to learn the limits of traction on the track with far less risk of injury." Are magazine testers just shoveling hyperbole about the industry's latest new thing? Or is TC a real blessing? Should a low/intermediate level track rider buy a TC bike in order to prevent smearing himself along the pavement? Is it a viable method to learn how to ride better and to higher limits without the danger of getting hurt by the problems which TC can prevent? (I realize there are things it doesn't prevent) Or do you need to learn every type of slide and push, up to and maybe including lowsides and highsides to become a proficient rider? Is TC good for race level riders but largely unnecessary for the average track day rider? I'd like to hear from both inexperienced and experienced riders who've ridden TC on the track and what their impressions are. Thanks!

 

I think traction control can be helpful to a low/intermediate level rider, because it would make sense to me that a more inexperienced rider is more likely to make the sort of error (and have less experience with how to handle it) that traction control can help with. For example, intermediate rider trying to "go fast" through a quick, bumpy chicane - comes in a little too fast, gets nervous, then accidentally "gooses" the throttle due to nerves or stiff body position. My Kawi 636 would jolt and possibly slide in that scenario, but the TC on the BMW seems to prevent you the bike from reacting dramatically. Or, another example, how about the new 1000cc bike owner that tries to take off in a right hand turn from a stop sign, gets on the gas a little too hard, spins the back wheel and crashes?

 

I had a Kawi 636 then a 2008 ZX6R, and have ridden the BMW on multiple track days, and honestly I find the BMW in Sport mode to be MUCH nicer to ride than the Kawi's were - more forgiving and less intimidating, despite the amazing horsepower. Rain mode feels very tame and in that mode I DO notice a slow-feeling throttle response when leaned over - but I would REALLY WANT THAT in the rain!!

 

You ask a good question about whether riders need to learn to slide, etc., but it seems a lot cheaper and easier to experiment with that on a dirt bike instead!

 

Overall, I think TC is GREAT for the average track day rider, if he/she willing to spend the money for it. The tough part would be if you rode with it all the time, but then had to go back and ride without it! It seems like it would be easy to get sloppy with the throttle if you got dependent on the throttle control.

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I think traction control can be helpful to a low/intermediate level rider, because it would make sense to me that a more inexperienced rider is more likely to make the sort of error (and have less experience with how to handle it) that traction control can help with.

 

Apparently, guys like Matt Mladin and Niel Hodgson don't think that TC has made racing easier for them - but then again, they're getting paid to find those tenths and hundreds that we loose every other second ;-)

 

Andy Ibbott told about him almost binning the S1000RR first time he was on track with it, because the ABS system wouldn't let him brake anywhere near the limits of traction on dry pavement, but in rain mode, coming up to a corner.

 

 

 

 

 

Kai

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I think traction control can be helpful to a low/intermediate level rider, because it would make sense to me that a more inexperienced rider is more likely to make the sort of error (and have less experience with how to handle it) that traction control can help with.

 

Apparently, guys like Matt Mladin and Niel Hodgson don't think that TC has made racing easier for them - but then again, they're getting paid to find those tenths and hundreds that we loose every other second ;-)

 

Andy Ibbott told about him almost binning the S1000RR first time he was on track with it, because the ABS system wouldn't let him brake anywhere near the limits of traction on dry pavement, but in rain mode, coming up to a corner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kai

 

 

I also read the bit by Andy Ibbott and the brakes on the s1000rr. Though it confused me because I'm wondering why, and where, a skilled rider would ever get on the brakes that hard. I've been using less brake and not charging the corners to keep my entry speeds up as discussed in "Twist II." Of course, I'm a low time track day rider so don't know if the top guys use a huge amount of brake or not. People at my track talk about how great their brakes are but if you increase your corner entry speeds do you need monster brakes? In other words, as the speed differential from straightaway to corner entry speed lessens, what's the point of excessive braking? So that you can brake later? If that's important why does every source say that you make virtually no gains charging the corner and huge gains through and exiting the corner properly? Confusing.......

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I think traction control can be helpful to a low/intermediate level rider, because it would make sense to me that a more inexperienced rider is more likely to make the sort of error (and have less experience with how to handle it) that traction control can help with.

 

Apparently, guys like Matt Mladin and Niel Hodgson don't think that TC has made racing easier for them - but then again, they're getting paid to find those tenths and hundreds that we loose every other second ;-)

 

Andy Ibbott told about him almost binning the S1000RR first time he was on track with it, because the ABS system wouldn't let him brake anywhere near the limits of traction on dry pavement, but in rain mode, coming up to a corner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kai

 

 

I also read the bit by Andy Ibbott and the brakes on the s1000rr. Though it confused me because I'm wondering why, and where, a skilled rider would ever get on the brakes that hard. I've been using less brake and not charging the corners to keep my entry speeds up as discussed in "Twist II." Of course, I'm a low time track day rider so don't know if the top guys use a huge amount of brake or not. People at my track talk about how great their brakes are but if you increase your corner entry speeds do you need monster brakes? In other words, as the speed differential from straightaway to corner entry speed lessens, what's the point of excessive braking? So that you can brake later? If that's important why does every source say that you make virtually no gains charging the corner and huge gains through and exiting the corner properly? Confusing.......

 

Imagine you're on the longest straight on the track, you're going to be hitting some serious speed, then you've got a hairpin turn coming up at the end. In order to stay as fast as possible around the lap you're going to want to leave braking until late and then scrub off the speed as quickly as possible before making the turn, this doesn't mean charging the turn in any way, but braking as hard as the brakes will let you, as late as you can without ruining your corner entry.

 

If your brakes aren't all that good, then you will have to brake earlier in order to scrub off all that speed, thus losing you time.

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