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Newbie's Guide To Surviving The Cornering Forum

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Hi,

 

My name in Nick Patavalis. I'm from Athens, Greece. I'm 35, and I ride for quite some time now. I've never been on a race track (we have two in Greece), but I've racked-up a couple of hundred-thousand kilometers on the road. Apart from commuting and using the bike for everyday chores (I rarely, if ever, use a car), I also enjoy frequent "pleasure rides" on the many twisty, beautifully scenic, yet sometimes quite slippery, roads of my country. I ride all year long (that's easy to do in Greece, the weather helps) and I have developed the strange perversion to consider it "normal" to ride, on a whim, to the far end of the country---maybe 400 or 500 kilometers away, mostly on back roads---just to have a cup of coffee with a friend, and then back. But I guess all bikers are crazy in this way...

 

I recently discovered the "twist of the wrist" books and enjoyed reading them, immensely. There's a wealth of information in both of them, but I especially enjoyed volume II, which seemed to me much more practical and developed than volume I (I think volume I was kind of "setting the stage" by providing a solid methodology for approaching the art of riding, while volume II applied this methodology to reach to actual conclusions---I may, of course, be wrong).

 

Anyway. I hope I'll learn more from the discussions in this forum, and I also hope that I will soon have the chance to attend some CSS classes.

 

(Also, sorry if my English is not perfect)

 

Cheers!

Nick;

Welcome to the Forum. There is a great deal of information here assembled by riders from all over the world. I also share your opinnion of the Twist books; T2 is a book I read sections from all of the time.

 

BTW, your english is very good.

 

Kevin

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Hello all,just joined and thought I'd better do a quick intro. Originally from Scotland but have lived and worked here in Japan for 18 years. Been riding constantly for 22 years with the last 6 being mostly track based thrills. Have the good fortune to be within 2 hours drive of Suzuka circuit and about 3 hours drive from TI Aida (now known as Okayama international) circuit. Last three years has seen me concentrating on Suzuka. Most of my Road-race track time has been done using a 2000 model Aprilia RSV Mille with a few sessions this year on a newly acquired '04 R1. Probably somewhere around fast intermediate to slow expert in the race series I participate in and this summer managed to get a ride in and complete the Suzuka 4 hours endurance. Was 8 laps down on the winners but that didn't detract any from the fun and experience. Hoping to expand my knowledge, understanding and practical application on various aspects of riding, over and above what I have read and re-read in TOTW. Oh, and hopefully manage to overcome a few survival instincts that have me entering a couple of corners thinking "Damn, I could have gone in a bit hotter there". Cheers, Dom.

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Hello all,just joined and thought I'd better do a quick intro. Originally from Scotland but have lived and worked here in Japan for 18 years. Been riding constantly for 22 years with the last 6 being mostly track based thrills. Have the good fortune to be within 2 hours drive of Suzuka circuit and about 3 hours drive from TI Aida (now known as Okayama international) circuit. Last three years has seen me concentrating on Suzuka. Most of my Road-race track time has been done using a 2000 model Aprilia RSV Mille with a few sessions this year on a newly acquired '04 R1. Probably somewhere around fast intermediate to slow expert in the race series I participate in and this summer managed to get a ride in and complete the Suzuka 4 hours endurance. Was 8 laps down on the winners but that didn't detract any from the fun and experience. Hoping to expand my knowledge, understanding and practical application on various aspects of riding, over and above what I have read and re-read in TOTW. Oh, and hopefully manage to overcome a few survival instincts that have me entering a couple of corners thinking "Damn, I could have gone in a bit hotter there". Cheers, Dom.

 

HI Dom

I'm from Scotland too, welcome to the forum!

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Hello all,just joined and thought I'd better do a quick intro. Originally from Scotland but have lived and worked here in Japan for 18 years. Been riding constantly for 22 years with the last 6 being mostly track based thrills. Have the good fortune to be within 2 hours drive of Suzuka circuit and about 3 hours drive from TI Aida (now known as Okayama international) circuit. Last three years has seen me concentrating on Suzuka. Most of my Road-race track time has been done using a 2000 model Aprilia RSV Mille with a few sessions this year on a newly acquired '04 R1. Probably somewhere around fast intermediate to slow expert in the race series I participate in and this summer managed to get a ride in and complete the Suzuka 4 hours endurance. Was 8 laps down on the winners but that didn't detract any from the fun and experience. Hoping to expand my knowledge, understanding and practical application on various aspects of riding, over and above what I have read and re-read in TOTW. Oh, and hopefully manage to overcome a few survival instincts that have me entering a couple of corners thinking "Damn, I could have gone in a bit hotter there". Cheers, Dom.

 

Hi Dom, and Welcome!

 

Certainly had heard about Suzuka, but not about the other circuit. So, what are track days like in Japan? Are they track days, do they try and also give instruction, what do they cost, how much track time do you get, etc.. Never been to Japan, so just curious about how they run them.

 

Best,

Cobie

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Hey guys, thanks for the welcome.Whereabouts in Scotland are you AB?? Spent most of my time in Edinburgh.Cobie,Only did a few "track days" as such. Most trackdays here are organised by a bike shop or a group of bikeshops and usually cost about 18,000 for 3 X 20 minute sessions. Also, Dunlop/Bridgestone occasionally offer track days whereby if you are using their tyres you'd get a 5,000 yen discount, sometimes a bit more, from the usual price. After the first year of doing a few trackdays like above I decided to get my track licence for TI Aida ( was the venue for the Formula 1, Pacific grand prix in '95 or '96). You check the circuit schedule and there are various different sessions listed on the schedule which you then have to book the sessions you intend to practice. 4 wheels, 2 wheels big (4 stroke 600cc upwards, 2 stroke 250GP up), 2 wheels small etc (4 strokes up to 600cc and 2 strokes up to250). Usually 40 minute practice sessions costing 4,000 yen per session. Usually I'll do two or three sessions on any day I practice. Basically this system means that anyone that has the circuit licence( licences are track specific so you need one for each circuit you intend to pracxtice at) can be out there practicing. Not sure about instruction/education though. Never seemed to be much emphasis on instruction with the trackdays I experienced. More just the group you're allotted to must all stay behind the instructor.

Hi Dom, and Welcome!

 

Certainly had heard about Suzuka, but not about the other circuit. So, what are track days like in Japan? Are they track days, do they try and also give instruction, what do they cost, how much track time do you get, etc.. Never been to Japan, so just curious about how they run them.

 

Best,

Cobie

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OK, so that's about $45 USD per session. Interesting that there isn't much instruction.

 

CF

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Not sure if Iam in the right place or what, but just wanted to say hi to all this is my first post. A little backround on myself. Started riding in 1986 VFR700, stared racing at the club level in 1989. Worked in the Motorcycle industry since 1992 as a technician, and then moved into sales 4yrs ago. Have been hooked since my very first corner. Hope to one day take the school, also been thinking about a supercamp visit soon.

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Not sure if Iam in the right place or what, but just wanted to say hi to all this is my first post. A little backround on myself. Started riding in 1986 VFR700, stared racing at the club level in 1989. Worked in the Motorcycle industry since 1992 as a technician, and then moved into sales 4yrs ago. Have been hooked since my very first corner. Hope to one day take the school, also been thinking about a supercamp visit soon.

 

Moke,

 

Welcome and glad to have you aboard! Where do you live? If you are in sales, what's the store and what bikes do you sell?

 

Best,

Cobie

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Not sure if Iam in the right place or what, but just wanted to say hi to all this is my first post. A little backround on myself. Started riding in 1986 VFR700, stared racing at the club level in 1989. Worked in the Motorcycle industry since 1992 as a technician, and then moved into sales 4yrs ago. Have been hooked since my very first corner. Hope to one day take the school, also been thinking about a supercamp visit soon.

 

Moke,

 

Welcome and glad to have you aboard! Where do you live? If you are in sales, what's the store and what bikes do you sell?

 

Best,

Cobie

 

 

 

Currently living in Tampa Fl, about three hours away from Jennings. The dealer I'am at now is a Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Can-am dealer.

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Opps,? Currently living in Tampa Fl, about three hours away from Jennings. The dealer I'am at now is a Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Can-am dealer.

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Opps,? Currently living in Tampa Fl, about three hours away from Jennings. The dealer I'am at now is a Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Can-am dealer.

 

Got it. Jennings, like that place (though it was hot when we were there). Do you get to the track with any frequency?

 

C

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Hi guys. I'm Fred from Malaysia. Sadly there's no CSS here for me to attend. I ride a '97 GSX-R750 and a scooter which I use to thrash around the track with. I look forward to CSS coming to Malaysia.

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Hi guys. I'm Fred from Malaysia. Sadly there's no CSS here for me to attend. I ride a '97 GSX-R750 and a scooter which I use to thrash around the track with. I look forward to CSS coming to Malaysia.

 

Hi Fred,

 

Welcome, and glad you are here. I was pretty sure that the Oz branch of the school did some schools in Malaysia (Phillipines too), but maybe I've got my facts wrong. Also, I don't think they are there any more :(

 

So, you ride the scooter on the track? Did I get that right? (sounds like a lot of fun actually).

 

How come not the GSX-R?

 

C

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Hi guys. I'm Fred from Malaysia. Sadly there's no CSS here for me to attend. I ride a '97 GSX-R750 and a scooter which I use to thrash around the track with. I look forward to CSS coming to Malaysia.

 

Hi Fred,

 

Welcome, and glad you are here. I was pretty sure that the Oz branch of the school did some schools in Malaysia (Phillipines too), but maybe I've got my facts wrong. Also, I don't think they are there any more :(

 

So, you ride the scooter on the track? Did I get that right? (sounds like a lot of fun actually).

 

How come not the GSX-R?

 

C

 

 

 

Nope. No CSS here. We do occasionally have riding courses conducted by various local racers, organized by the racers themselves or just a group of enthusiasts. I myself have attended one, organized by a group of friends. Loads of fun. Yes I ride the scooter on the track cos I'm not afraid to crash it. Track fee is a lot cheaper too. RM70 (US$21) for the whole day as opposed to the same amount but only for 2 hours at Sepang. The GSX-R is my weekend hillside twisties ride. Can't afford to crash the GSX-R..yet. Once I have the 'crash budget' sorted I'll definitely do Sepang. But to be frank with you, I'm just scared :P Bikes in Malaysia are expensive. I got mine for RM32,000 (US$9902.00). Can you imagine how much would an '07 cost?

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Nope. No CSS here. We do occasionally have riding courses conducted by various local racers, organized by the racers themselves or just a group of enthusiasts. I myself have attended one, organized by a group of friends. Loads of fun. Yes I ride the scooter on the track cos I'm not afraid to crash it. Track fee is a lot cheaper too. RM70 (US$21) for the whole day as opposed to the same amount but only for 2 hours at Sepang. The GSX-R is my weekend hillside twisties ride. Can't afford to crash the GSX-R..yet. Once I have the 'crash budget' sorted I'll definitely do Sepang. But to be frank with you, I'm just scared :P Bikes in Malaysia are expensive. I got mine for RM32,000 (US$9902.00). Can you imagine how much would an '07 cost?

 

Wish we had track time that was that cheap!

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Hi guys. I'm Fred from Malaysia. Sadly there's no CSS here for me to attend. I ride a '97 GSX-R750 and a scooter which I use to thrash around the track with. I look forward to CSS coming to Malaysia.

 

Hi Fred,

 

I run the Aussie branch of CSS and was sent a link to this thread by Cobie. We did do some schools in Malaysia in the late '90's and early '00's (8 days at Sepang & 2 days at Pasir Gudang), at also 4 schools in the Philippines, but we haven't been back since 2003 as our promotor there, Mr Willam Chen, was no longer able to commit to bringing us out. We are currently looking at options to run more events either in Malaysia or Singapore, but in reality it will be 2010 or 2011 before this will be possible due largely to our schedule in Australia & New Zealand.

 

We will be sure to put out expressions of interest if we are able to progress our plans further, so I'm sure you'll be informed. We really enjoyed our experiences coaching in Asia and would love to do more should the right situation present itself.

 

Very best,

Steve

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Hi Steve, 2010 or 2011 sounds good to me. It means I have 2-3 years to gather; money, experience and a whole lot of questions before I sign up. Really looking forward to meet you Steve and also the rest of your crew. In the meantime I shall just hang around here more. Thanks to you too Cobie for taking this seriously. Really appreciate it.

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Another intro from a newbie.

I am definitely going to enroll in a 2 day class this year. Unfortunately my wife and I got ripped off during a kitchen remodel that put us $16K behind, so it is going to take some convincing that this is money well spent at the appropriate time. I am from So Cal and my last track day was at Pahrump NV. My first session out after lunch break I went down. I was really going to blame it on riding a track day on street tires. Fortunately one of the guys from Sport Rider Magazine (doing bike evaluations) was following me and asked me if I knew what I did wrong. Instead of replying with my thoughts, I just asked what his observations were. The bulb came on when he told me I chopped the throttle on a decreasing radius left. I am glad that he was there to make the observation and point it out to me, otherwise, I still would have blamed it on the tires and learned nothing. Anyone who reads this, I hope that if you see someone go down and are experienced enough to share an objective observation... share it. It may just help open someone's eyes. After this revelation I looked into this school and actually picked up both Twist books. It was very eye opening at how much I did not know. Can't wait to fix up the ol' Duck and practice the material. I have a long way to go. Can't wait to get to school!

 

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Another intro from a newbie.

I am definitely going to enroll in a 2 day class this year. Unfortunately my wife and I got ripped off during a kitchen remodel that put us $16K behind, so it is going to take some convincing that this is money well spent at the appropriate time. I am from So Cal and my last track day was at Pahrump NV. My first session out after lunch break I went down. I was really going to blame it on riding a track day on street tires. Fortunately one of the guys from Sport Rider Magazine (doing bike evaluations) was following me and asked me if I knew what I did wrong. Instead of replying with my thoughts, I just asked what his observations were. The bulb came on when he told me I chopped the throttle on a decreasing radius left. I am glad that he was there to make the observation and point it out to me, otherwise, I still would have blamed it on the tires and learned nothing. Anyone who reads this, I hope that if you see someone go down and are experienced enough to share an objective observation... share it. It may just help open someone's eyes. After this revelation I looked into this school and actually picked up both Twist books. It was very eye opening at how much I did not know. Can't wait to fix up the ol' Duck and practice the material. I have a long way to go. Can't wait to get to school!

 

 

Hi welcome to the forum, blaming road tyres is easy to do but I think we know when it happens it was something we did ourselfs, I came off on a wet track a couple of years ago and blamed my road tyres, everyone else had wets on I said to myself so it must have been my road tyres, since then I found this forum got the books and it has been a non stop learning experience, and I know the tyres weren't to blame for my crash now!

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Hello from Alaska.......

I'm new to the forum and wanted to introduce myself. I'm not sure if I'm even in the right forum, but here it goes..... I'm John, from the Anchorage area. Considering the short summers here (and the questionable road surfaces) in Alaska, I don't street ride here anymore. I recently purchased an 04 gsxr 600 track bike in Central Cal. and look forward to riding it on Laguna Seca, Thunderhills, and other raceways.

 

I've read both TOTW books, and learned SO MUCH about how little I really knew. Twist 2 really got me thinking about my riding habits, and if my expectations for riding on the street were realistic. There are limitations on the public roads that can't be overlooked if you value your life. I'm an old flattracker from the 70's, and now I spend more time watching racing than actually racing. I'll be down to Calif. soon, and hope to take my first CSS class this year. I'm both anxious and excited to take the CSS courses.

 

Thanks Keith for sharing your insight. WOW. It's seemingly PRICELESS ! John

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Hello from Alaska.......

I'm new to the forum and wanted to introduce myself. I'm not sure if I'm even in the right forum, but here it goes..... I'm John, from the Anchorage area. Considering the short summers here (and the questionable road surfaces) in Alaska, I don't street ride here anymore. I recently purchased an 04 gsxr 600 track bike in Central Cal. and look forward to riding it on Laguna Seca, Thunderhills, and other raceways.

 

I've read both TOTW books, and learned SO MUCH about how little I really knew. Twist 2 really got me thinking about my riding habits, and if my expectations for riding on the street were realistic. There are limitations on the public roads that can't be overlooked if you value your life. I'm an old flattracker from the 70's, and now I spend more time watching racing than actually racing. I'll be down to Calif. soon, and hope to take my first CSS class this year. I'm both anxious and excited to take the CSS courses.

 

Thanks Keith for sharing your insight. WOW. It's seemingly PRICELESS ! John

 

Hi John, and welcome.

 

One of the guys that works for us us from Alaska, now I realize I'm not sure where. Keeping a bike down here, that sounds like a plan. I'd heard there were some track days up there, run on an old airport? Know anything about that?

 

Best,

Cobie

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Cobie,

I have heard of the Tanacross track in Alaska. I've never been, but I've seen some pictures from the web. As you said, I think the track is on an old runway and they set out a red-cone track to race on. The track is somewhere approx. 5 hour drive from Anchorage, so I never have made it there.

 

I have family in the Monterey Bay Area so my bike is stored there. I ride with my two brothers-in-law and we all hope to take the CSS together sometime. I'm on the waiting list for April's CSS at Laguna Seca, I didn't get my seat early enough, so I'll just have to wait and see if there are any cancellations. I just get down to the states a couple times a year, and I've already got my flight for July for the MotoGP, that's when I'll ride at Thunderhills for the first time. Last year's race was AWESOME! I wonder if Casey or Nicky will have anything new for Vale this year? Man, what a show.

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Hi Guys, Jacko from New Zealand here.

Don't have telly so am learning what not to touch when bike and tools in lounge together.

Otherwise enjoy reading Motorcycle Forums.

I hear CSS is setting up down here at Hampton Downs, due to be completed this year.

Can't Wait!

Cheers,

JACKO

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Hi Guys, new at posting, so please bear with me! I'm gradually getting my confidence back after having a spill on my 2008 CBR 1000RR, where I lost both front and rear ends at the 2nd turn, practising on smoothness with left-right transitions while being on the throttle smoothly, most importantly this was caused by not thinking about tyre and track temps(!!!!!! I know!!!). However the last few months it has felt as though I've had to learn riding the cbr(fast) all over again! Is this common at all? I also have a KTM 690 SM and a Honda ST 1300 which I tend to ride fairly quickly, and the fall doesn't seem to have affected riding those two- wierd, huh? I seem to be gradually overcoming my SRs, yet I'm not quite at the point where I'm wheelying out of every slow turn. I'm practising smoothness on throttle and body positioning, also experimenting with different lines for the same corners. So far so good. Just waiting for fine weather and the next warm track day, when I can get more track time. I ride in the 2nd group(of 4) on track days, and should soon be ready for the 1st group. CSS will be starting here when Hampton Downs Circuit opens. Just wondered if I need to start with level 1 or can I start at level 2? I've read all 3 of Keith's books, and found Soft Science to have helped me the most. What level do you reckon I should start? Cheersrolleyes.gif

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Just wondered if I need to start with level 1 or can I start at level 2? I've read all 3 of Keith's books, and found Soft Science to have helped me the most. What level do you reckon I should start? Cheersrolleyes.gif

Motokc;

We all start at Level I.

 

It isn't as it sounds, level I is the first piece of three equal Levels of training that are totally integrated into each other with Level IV used to fine tune the training provided in Levels I, II & III.

 

Kevin

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