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To Tcs Or Not Tcs

To TCS or not TCS  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you use TCS on track?

    • Yes, but only for track days
    • Yes, but only for racing
    • Never on track


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I heard discording opinions about TCS for track-days and racing. One of the CSS coaches once told me that since the school introduced BMW1000RR and electronics incidents went down 20%. Another racer explained me most regional racers dislike TCS and ABS and never bother to consider paying for them. He was claiming electronics reduce bike performance and you're better off learning to master the bike without extra aids. I can see beginners developing bad habits while traction control fixes handling mistakes.

 

So as a track-days guy and novice racer, which way should I go? TCS and ABS or not?

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this is one of those old school debates that people want to latch onto. . its a technological improvement, no doubt. . Not sure why people are against it. if we don't want technological improvements to be brought in, lets go back to the old days, with old helmets, single compound tires without all the advances that have been made there, pre suspension tech (no ohlins type of suspensions), no fuel injection, etc, etc. ..

 

personally, anything that enhances rider safety is a good thing

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I recently changed my opinion on this. My bikes in the past have always been "all manual". Previously I had felt that reliance on TC and ABS would have interfered with my ability to learn. It really comes down to the actual system and how it notifies the rider of it's interference. The BMW system is good about letting you know "hey I just saved your backside" and is very configurable with many different settings to suit riders needs. Some of the other TC and ABS systems just work and don't notify the rider when they intervene those systems are not the good ones.

 

You can still crash a bike with TC and ABS but a little extra help and an orange light is nice when the system can help you out. What's MOST important is fully understanding how the system works and choosing a mode that suits your needs the best. Sticking it in the "fastest" configuration without knowing how that affects the bikes dynamics is a recipe for disaster. Race mode on the BMW allows the bike to drift and perform wheelies as well as changes the throttle profile from what I have read so far. It's also critical to understand some of the systems shortcomings. I saw a Youtube video where a rider crashed an S1000RR because he was fully committed to a turn and started bouncing off the rev limiter and crashed because he failed to upshift to maintain the weight transfer to the rear wheel. There was nothing that the TC system could do at that point. The orange light did not even come on.

 

My goal is an additional layer of safety on track days in case I get tired and do something stupid. If I ever got interested in racing there's some software and electronics add on's that allow you to tweak the ABS and TC. I would certainly explore those and see if there were benefits that could be obtained by leaving the systems on if possible. Even professional racers in perfect fitness occasionally make mistakes. Having an inhuman machine to take up the slack when your humanity starts to show can make a big difference to anyone in my opinion.

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I have mixed emotions about this as well.

 

I recall going to the WSBK race at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. I was observing both races from the last turn before the front straight. When the pack came through on the first couple laps, I noticed the front-runners(Checa, Biaggi, and Camier) were using little to no traction control as they exited the corner. However, when the last few guys in the pack came around you could noticeably hear the "bup-bup-bup" of their traction control, and it was A LOT. Toward the final laps I could hear more traction control from the front-runners, but it was still not nearly as much as the guys in the back of the field.

 

Traction control can be very useful in helping the rider, but in order to do this effectively it must be taught exactly what to do in every situation. This is the tough part for all the guys with the laptops that you see at the MotoGP and WSBK races. That being said, I think there are definite advantages to traction control. For riders that are not very familiar with where the limit of traction is, it provides a softer gradient for discovering the limit.

 

In the end, I think it depends on what the goal is when using the traction control. Is the goal to aid the rider when he makes small miscalculations with his throttle control, or is it to replace his bad throttle control with electronics?

 

Just my two cents....

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Is the goal to aid the rider when he makes small miscalculations with his throttle control, or is it to replace his bad throttle control with electronics?

 

THAT is the essence of it!! Well said.

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I have mixed emotions about this as well.

 

I recall going to the WSBK race at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. I was observing both races from the last turn before the front straight. When the pack came through on the first couple laps, I noticed the front-runners(Checa, Biaggi, and Camier) were using little to no traction control as they exited the corner. However, when the last few guys in the pack came around you could noticeably hear the "bup-bup-bup" of their traction control, and it was A LOT. Toward the final laps I could hear more traction control from the front-runners, but it was still not nearly as much as the guys in the back of the field.

 

Traction control can be very useful in helping the rider, but in order to do this effectively it must be taught exactly what to do in every situation. This is the tough part for all the guys with the laptops that you see at the MotoGP and WSBK races. That being said, I think there are definite advantages to traction control. For riders that are not very familiar with where the limit of traction is, it provides a softer gradient for discovering the limit.

 

In the end, I think it depends on what the goal is when using the traction control. Is the goal to aid the rider when he makes small miscalculations with his throttle control, or is it to replace his bad throttle control with electronics?

 

Just my two cents....

 

Quite interesting actually. The TC engagement thing actually stuck with me and perplexed me. I suddenly realized that the guys in the front had such good throttle control that they did not need the TC until they started really pushing and even then it was not needed as much as the guys in the back.

 

TC is a sword that cuts both ways. Used correctly it's a great safety net. Used incorrectly it can rob you of your abilities and make you dependent on it.

 

I'm taking the gamble and hope that it allows me to stretch some limits and see an orange light when I reach the limit of traction rather than a face full of asphalt.

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A few quick bits of data:

 

Incidents at the school went down initially over 33%.

 

Also whether it would teach a newer rider bad habits, how about it teaching what he SHOULD be doing with the throttle? It one used it that way, paid attention to what it allowed him do, then could get an idea of what he should be doing.

 

I have had some of the coaches that brake very hard turn the ABS off, and some turn the TC off too, but most still use it.

 

CF

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I have had some of the coaches that brake very hard turn the ABS off, and some turn the TC off too, but most still use it.

 

CF

 

 

Some of that is really dependent on the quality of the ABS or TC, the #1 complaint I have about my newest bike is the ABS and Linked Braking system being a always on kinda thing, its not a Race ABS system or anything and it cuts in to easy for my liking, I'd much prefer normal traditional beefy calipers to the ABS and linked system, although I've not yet had to use it in the wet, where it might be a very useful thing

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I have had some of the coaches that brake very hard turn the ABS off, and some turn the TC off too, but most still use it.

 

CF

 

 

Some of that is really dependent on the quality of the ABS or TC, the #1 complaint I have about my newest bike is the ABS and Linked Braking system being a always on kinda thing, its not a Race ABS system or anything and it cuts in to easy for my liking, I'd much prefer normal traditional beefy calipers to the ABS and linked system, although I've not yet had to use it in the wet, where it might be a very useful thing

 

 

What kind of bike is your new one?

 

The interesting thing about the S1000RR is that with the addition of some HP parts and their race calibration kit you can adjust pretty much anything you want in the TC and ABS systems down to a downright anal level of granularity. Want TC to leave you alone in 3rd gear at 5000 rpm at X degrees of lean angle? Your wish is the software's command.

 

Even though the stock bike has the street in mind it's very easy to adapt it to almost any environment. Pretty amazing really. Off hand I can't think of any other manufacturer that offers that without having to resort to the aftermarket.

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Oh that's right. The one with the exciting tire wear. :)

 

That is kind of annoying that it's turned on all the time. If you were more adventurous you could probably disable the system by wiring a switch into the fuse box at the main ABS fuse. Breaking the circuit would turn off the electronics although there could be other complications involved by doing that. You could try pulling the fuse and see what happens. Test it first thoroughly as some ABS systems assist the braking system by providing additional pressure with a pump. You may potentially reduce the amount of braking you have available if your bike has an ABS pump.

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2013 FJR1300A

 

TCs are not build the same ...

 

Yamaha...

Khreist, they are the 2nd Japanese big4 to venture into the TC realm in production bikes.(and that was late last year , slow as heck)

(Kawasaki being the 1st(ZX10R) and Honda being the 3rd on their VFR's)

 

Its gonna be very "prototype-y" aka unrefined until they wanna sort it out or some other manufacturer comes and bite their ass... HARD.

like the KTM 1290 superduke ( which has pretty unrefined ABS too for the 2013 production version...)

 

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I have a BMW S1000RR with ABS/DTC system and also had a GSΧR600 K6 with a Bazzaz traction contril system. I can tell you that traction control if you know what you are doing is great. It allows you to go further and further in learning how to open the throttle. I admit that S1000RR's DTC can be less intusive but that can be corrected with the Calibration Kit. The Bazzaz system does not have any sensors for the rear wheel but you can adjust many parameters.

Now the S1000RR ABS is very good on the road, very good. On the track the only problem is the rear wheel on the brakes. When on heavy braking the rear wheel lifts and it engages the ABS and by doing that it unstables the bike. I think that the ABS and traction control is the way to go, especially on the public roads.

 

 

There is always the button for someone to deactivate them...

post-3845-0-60499900-1406722706_thumb.jpeg

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TCs are not build the same ...

 

Yamaha...

Khreist, they are the 2nd Japanese big4 to venture into the TC realm in production bikes.(and that was late last year , slow as heck)

(Kawasaki being the 1st(ZX10R) and Honda being the 3rd on their VFR's)

 

Its gonna be very "prototype-y" aka unrefined until they wanna sort it out or some other manufacturer comes and bite their ass... HARD.

like the KTM 1290 superduke ( which has pretty unrefined ABS too for the 2013 production version...)

 

 

ABS and "TC" are 2 very different things, although technically ABS is a form of TC, when referring to "TC" your talking about a system that prevents wheel spin by retarding the engine in some manner and limits power delivery based on lean angle etc.

 

Yamaha has sold the FJR1300 with ABS since 2004 ( option ) , and 2006 ( Standard ). however they only added TC to the 2013 model, ABS on street bikes has been around a while, BMW was the first back in 1988, followed by Honda in 1992. I think the S1000RR was the first production bike to come with modern "TC" in 2009

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It's interesting. The TC system that MV Agusta uses is also a sensor less system that depends on fast increases in engine RPM to determine TC intervention. I think the wheel sensors are a much better solution myself as it provides more realistic data to the computers deciding to retard the spark. It's not going to be fooled by someone playing with the clutch. I have to say if I owned a bike with one of those sensor less systems I would almost have to make it angry a few times with the clutch just to see it in action. :)

 

An interesting side effect of the wheel sensors is the data they collect. An S1000RR equipped with the datalogger is able to provide the rider a value called slip rate. It's essentially the difference in speed between the two wheels indicating some minor wheel spin. You can actually "see" the gradual loss of grip before the TC system engages. I plan on using the data from the datalogger to further explore the limits of traction in a controlled and sane manner. You could also use the data to dial in that perfect tire pressure on a track day. The TC system on the S1000RR is beyond amazing.

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It's interesting. The TC system that MV Agusta uses is also a sensor less system that depends on fast increases in engine RPM to determine TC intervention. I think the wheel sensors are a much better solution myself as it provides more realistic data to the computers deciding to retard the spark. It's not going to be fooled by someone playing with the clutch. I have to say if I owned a bike with one of those sensor less systems I would almost have to make it angry a few times with the clutch just to see it in action. :)

 

 

If only there were some rudimentary system that would allow the ECU to tell when the clutch was engaged ...... :D

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If only there were some rudimentary system that would allow the ECU to tell when the clutch was engaged ...... :D

 

 

Fair enough. I neglected to mention the tie wrap I would have to install around the micro switch in the clutch lever. When there's a will there's a way. :)

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It's interesting. The TC system that MV Agusta uses is also a sensor less system that depends on fast increases in engine RPM to determine TC intervention. I think the wheel sensors are a much better solution myself as it provides more realistic data to the computers deciding to retard the spark. It's not going to be fooled by someone playing with the clutch. I have to say if I owned a bike with one of those sensor less systems I would almost have to make it angry a few times with the clutch just to see it in action. :)

 

An interesting side effect of the wheel sensors is the data they collect. An S1000RR equipped with the datalogger is able to provide the rider a value called slip rate. It's essentially the difference in speed between the two wheels indicating some minor wheel spin. You can actually "see" the gradual loss of grip before the TC system engages. I plan on using the data from the datalogger to further explore the limits of traction in a controlled and sane manner. You could also use the data to dial in that perfect tire pressure on a track day. The TC system on the S1000RR is beyond amazing.

Ah slip ratio...

 

Have a look at this article:

 

http://www.sportrider.com/sportbikes/advanced-traction-control/

 

PS. goodies are in the pictures, press next to cycle thru the goodies.

 

 

also this article shows how different manufactureres use different stances to modulate torque in the TC systems:

 

http://www.motorcycle.com/how-to/traction-control-explained-91272.html

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