Jump to content

Leaderboard


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/20/2019 in Posts

  1. 6 points
    The cost of the 2 day class is pretty close to the cost of new Ohlins for my RnineT. I actually had to make that choice, and since I come from the old school 'ya run what ya brung' way of thinking, I figured that knowledge beats out hardware most days. Boy was I right. What was really marginal, harsh, and unresponsive suspension is now completely smooth, responsive, and supple suspension. As it turns out, putting yourself in the right place AT ALL TIMES and having your awareness focused on what is happening in the relationship between your yourself, your motorcycle, and the road surface....well, that changes everything. Of course, a new set of Q3+ doesn't hurt either. I can't count the number of off-road events I participated in where the cool guys with the best gear got their asses handed to them by some fat kid on a clapped out 20 year old dirt bike. Riding skill is riding skill, and they don't sell it on Revzilla. They do actually sell it at CSS however, and besides being fun as hell, it is hands down the best suspension improvement I have ever made. This is not exactly news to anyone on this forum, but I just had to crow a little. Rob-
  2. 5 points
    Like most any physically demanding sport, physical fitness (nutrition, hydration, strength, flexibility, etc.) is a factor in your ability to perform, and so are training, understanding, and practice. But, in my opinion, personalized coaching, and willingness to BE coached, are extremely important. I'll give you my perspective: I started riding quite late, in my mid thirties. I was very slow and very nervous and I don't think anyone expected me to have the potential to ride fast, let alone race (least of all me!), but I got really interested in the sport, got lots of coaching, and devoted a lot of time to really understanding the material, and my understanding of the material ABSOLUTELY changed and evolved as I rode faster. Going back and reading Twist II, I found lots of information struck me differently as my pace increased and I found techniques that were a bit vague to me at first became much more important, much more useful to me, because I NEEDED them more. For example, I could get away with slow body transitions at slower speeds but as my laptimes came down, speed of moving across the bike in a chicane became a limiting factor, I couldn't get through a particular section any quicker without moving over faster. Suddenly hip flick, which didn't seem very useful to me before, became a critical skill. That is just one example, but I have had, over the years, a BUNCH of breakthroughs like that, and have found that as I progress in my riding, becoming proficient in certain techniques and riding faster overall, new barriers crop up and as I address each one I get quicker again - and then encounter something else. How do I overcome the barriers? Through coming to school and getting coaching, mostly. Sometimes study of the material helps, sometimes analyzing data (laptimes, braking zones, lines, etc. from my lap timer or data logger) help, but coaching is what always makes the biggest difference - very often what I THOUGHT was my barrier turned out to be something different entirely, and it required the eye of a coach to discover that. Of course, my mindset while being coached is a huge factor in my ability to improve. If, for example, I came to school fiercely determined that I already knew "what my problem was", then I did not get nearly as much benefit from coaching because I was resistant to allowing the coach to help me. After I figured that out, I got even more improvements on my school days. I said physical fitness is important, but I am a lot older than many of the riders I race against, and not as fit as most of them, either, but my CSS training allows me to ride with fewer SR's and a lot less wasted effort so I can go faster and be calmer overall. I thought I had reached my riding peak years ago but I am actively racing this year and I am riding faster than ever before. I still get coaching as often as I can, generally I come to school as a student at least 4 days a year, if not more, and that makes a huge difference for me. It is not because I am in better shape, because I am not. It is because I understand and apply the riding tech better than I could before. I used to think, at the end of any school day as a student, that I was riding as fast as I ever would, because I figured I would just get older and slower.... but I'm not getting slower, I'm getting faster. Every time I come to school I get some new piece of information or tackle a new skill that adds something to my riding, and I get quicker. And what a thrill that is! And it is even better when some twenty year old comes over to your pit to ask you how you do it.
  3. 4 points
    Keith asked me to add a little more info about grip: The point on max grip is another many faceted process. Due to the slip angle tires never do have 100% mechanical grip, they actually are sliding. That is a prophylactic process as it cleans the spent rubber off the tire's surface but is ALWAYS happening, in every corner. It's sometimes overlooked in the traction arguments. In the end it's more to less, less to more SLIDE rather than more to less, less to more traction. Maybe that's just another way of looking at the same issue.
  4. 4 points
    This is a common enough question that lately Keith has put a new focus on the no-brakes drill with Level 4 students, having them re-do the drill to help increase their awareness of how much speed gets "scrubbed off" in a turn, and to make sure that concept is understood. There are, in fact, multiple Level 4 drills designed to increase the rider's awareness of this, and help the rider determine where, EXACTLY, one should have their entry speed set for a given corner. Dylan actually does cover this topic pretty thoroughly in the very first lecture in Level 1, Throttle Control, pointing out that the bike continues to slow down after the turn point, so trying to set your target corner speed AT the turn point can result in ending up too slow at the slowest part of the corner. However, I think for many riders who are new to track riding this speed-scrub aspect of throttle control may get lost; there is a lot to take in on that first day. And, of course, judging entry speed and speed scrub are the sort of thing that even the most advanced riders continue to work on, it does require focused observation and experimentation, and every turn is different so there is no "pat" answer that will work for every bike and every corner. Learning to observe the speed scrubbed after the turn point, and bringing up the entry speed gradually, is a good way to approach the problem - or make it a focus of your next Level 4 school day.
  5. 4 points
    It would be a rare 180 degree turn where you could roll on the gas as soon as you have your lean angle set (at the beginning of the turn) and be able to roll on continuously for the whole rest of the turn. If the turn was large, and U shaped (as an example) you would most often have to roll off (or at least go flat) on the gas in the middle of the turn, more or less treating it as TWO turns, the first part with one turn point and apex and the second part with its own turn point and apex. Depending on the shape of the turn, you may or may not need to make another steering input to change your lean angle at the second turn point (ie if the turn tightens up in the second part, you will likely have to make a steering input to change the lean angle for the second part of the turn). Alternatively, you could consider that your "real" turn point is somewhere in the middle of the 180 degree turn, a turn point that will line you up for the apex and exit you want. Everything before that would really just be pre-positioning to get to that turn point and you might very well be slowing down (off the gas and trail braking) ALL the way to the turn point which could be located near the middle of the 180 degree turn, or even later if it tightens up a lot at the end. You could try working backwards from the exit (if exit speed is the priority) to find the exit line you want, then find the apex and turn point (in the second half of the turn) that will line you up for that without any additional change in lean angle . That will be your "second turn point" (or real turn point if you are thinking of it as one turn) then work backwards from THERE to find an entry line from the first part of the turn that will get you top that second turn point. Does that make sense? If the turn is at the end of a fast straight and whatever comes after the 180 degree turn is slower, you may want to prioritize carrying the straightaway speed as long as possible and in that case you might choose a line that allows maximum trail braking as long and late as possible before you reach the second turn point, potentially sacrificing some speed in the latter part of the turn with a less optimum exit but a wide fast entry.
  6. 4 points
    I think visual skills are far more important than the others listed. I think your school thinks so too You teach that and throttle control first because it's the foundation of all the other skills in that those two things keep you mentally ahead of the action unfolding in front of you. The only other thing I would add as a skill is being smooth and steady on the controls. If your vision and throttle control are good, I think you'll find that those quick reflexes, bravery, and other skills will get tested less often!!
  7. 3 points
    It sounds to me as though you might not be taking into account how suspension affects tire grip. Are you, for example, assuming a completely rigid connection between the wheel and motorcycle, with no suspension action and a non-deformable tire? Are you assuming that the grip of tire to pavement is constant, and is at the theoretical maximum friction of rubber to asphalt? There is more grip available when the bike is upright because the suspension is more effective at keeping the tire consistently in contact with the pavement. There is a theoretical maximum friction that you can calculate but in real-world riding, the pavement is not perfectly flat or perfectly consistent so the theoretical grip (calculated from formulas, with assumptions and simplifications made - usually a LOT of them) is NOT the same as actual real-life grip. Does it make sense to you, in your actual riding experience, that you have more grip when the bike is more upright than when you are at maximum lean angle? If so, does it follow that as you stand the bike up, you HAVE more grip available, so that even though you were at the max (for that lean angle) a millisecond before, you now have MORE grip available because the bike is coming up, and any tiny slide that would have begun from the countersteering effort would be halted by that additional grip? One must be very careful when attempted to use physics formulas to calculate grip. There are MANY factors that are ignored, assumed constant, or simplified in order to make formulas or concepts easier to understand, but trying to apply theories that don't take into accounts the LARGE number of variables present in real-world riding can lead to some confusions. You can find numerous examples on this board.
  8. 3 points
    I do not understand this statement, can you restate it or explain it more? If I understand your question about how to exit a corner, you are talking about coming out of the corner onto a straight(er) part of track, and you are asking how to change the arc to put the bike in a straighter line, is that right? If so, then the answer is yes, you would counter steer to bring up the bike. The momentary instability caused by the countersteering effort is overcome right away by the increased grip afforded by getting the bike more upright (primarily due to your suspension being able to work more effectively). In other words even if the front tire DID slide a little, it would recover, and in fact that is often how riders recover when a tire starts to slide - by standing the bike up. (Sometimes they recover by just staying loose on the bars and the tires regain grip either because they reach better pavement - like a slide on a greasy spot in the road - or because the bike has slowed some.) Keep in mind, though, that the rider must make a reasonably controlled steering input - a death grip on the bars that restricts bar movement, or a rider pushing on BOTH bars, or an extremely rough bar input could indeed cause a fall.
  9. 3 points
    Interesting topic. Three things that came to mind while reading through the posts: 1. Many moons ago, Roberts sr had trouble going fast enough around Suzuka. Instead of continue circulating, he went back to the hotel and had a think. A few hours later he returned to the track and said he had found 2 seconds. Hei proved it by going 2 seconds faster. 2. Darren Binder, Moto3, says he has no braking points, he brakes when those around him does. He's fast, but cause a lot of havoc and crash frequently. 3. Rossi, and others, often try a fully new and untested setup before races when they haven't found a competitive setup during practice. At least in the case of Rossi, it seems to pay off more often than not.
  10. 3 points
    Practice till you can't get it wrong, I'd just heard this in another arena (pistol shooting), but like the idea!
  11. 3 points
  12. 3 points
    I see a second steering input also. Could be that the roll on was already starting as you leaned it that extra bit, or maybe you were already near the limit (for those tires) and the extra bit of lean was enough to break it loose. I can't hear it well enough on the video to tell for sure but that extra lean combined with some throttle application could definitely have caused the rear to slide without warning.
  13. 3 points
    Let's touch on one thing: bike doesn't turn as well when the throttle is on, even just maintenance throttle. When off throttle, bike weight is forward, more on the front, steering angle is steeper, wheelbase is shorter--the bike turns better. Does anyone know a single turn where braking is done, then gas on, then bike turned,? As mentioned earlier by trueblue550 (Streets of Willow Springs) there are series of turns where the throttle is stopped for a moment to complete the steering (T 4-5), or where rolling it on puts the rider too wide for the next turn in point (T5-T6). These are situations where there is a series of turns, the following one dictating the exit of the previous turn.
  14. 3 points
    I'll take a swing as well. I may be misreading the question but I don't believe it is an "either or". I believe the answer is "yes" to both sides of the question. First, I think the vast majority of today's motorcycles are designed for their intended use. In the broadest sense think dedicated dirt bikes, trials bikes, track bikes, touring bikes, etc. Their frame and steering geometry, suspension set-up, basic rider ergonomics, engine choices, etc., are all designed with a purpose or specific rider use in mind. However they are also designed within the limitations of today's technology and materials science knowledge, plus the economic realities and limits of what consumers will pay for a given motorcycle's capabilities. With regard to "do we need to do something to keep a motorcycle in its operating envelop", my initial reaction is to say we do it every single time we ride when managing things like throttle and acceleration levels, braking force, lean angles and traction limits for the specific riding situation we happen to be in. And we all know what can happen when we exceed an operating envelop. Just an add-on thought to this. What I love about many of today's motorcycles is how technology (e.g. ABS, traction control, engine braking, wheelie control, slide control, various riding modes, etc.) is being leveraged to help us safely stay within a motorcycle's operating envelop, AND that we can adjust the parameters of the envelop for our various skills and capabilities. I can't even imagine where motorcycle tech will be in another 20 years, but I know it will be fantastic! I've heard people say we're in the golden age of tire tech, but we might even be able to say that about the software / sensors / ECU technologies of today's motorcycles. Dave
  15. 3 points
    In this article, Keith describes what HE needs to do, to make riding improvements, this article has been pivotal for me in my riding. I carry a copy of it with me to every track day or school. I went to the Articles section to look for the link to it and noted there are several other articles about Rider Improvement or Isolating Barriers, etc. a look through the Articles section may help you find some of the answers you seek.
  16. 3 points
    MotoGP riders are typically trying to dial up as much engine braking as possible. They can also dial it in or out for specific turns by GPS. If you are riding a track that is very "stop and go" with a lot of braking zones, I would dial it up. If it is a flowing track with transitions, I would use less engine braking so the bike does not pitch forward if you feather out of the throttle in a transition.
  17. 2 points
    Thinking takes a bit of time. While riding (or other high speed potentially lethal activities), that's too slow. A few different pieces of this, but the first one is I actually applaud the guys that take the time to come to this forum, and work through some of the pieces of riding. There is a technology to riding. But for one to be able to look at the technology of riding, has to be willing to think it over, work through the pieces, do some study. That is for sure the first step. I'd have to say that this is more a thinking man's forum than some others. Like I said, got a few parts that I want to cover on this, but are you all with me so far?
  18. 2 points
    The answer to the question is: from turn-in, off throttle, not trailing the brakes, the bike will slow at the rate of between 3mph to 8mph/sec. Lots of variables of course but that's the quick answer.
  19. 2 points
    You are correct, but only if such motorcycle is neutral steering-wise. As you know, many bikes have a natural tendency to either understeer or oversteer (if the rider releases the handlebar while the bike is leaned on a curve). Those tendencies depend mainly on geometry and profile of tires. The front contact patch of an understeering bike will "feel" less lateral force when coming out of a lean/corner as it had been forced to over-steer during the curve. In the steady conditions that you have described (while keeping zero angular input on the steering), the sliding force on each contact patch remains constant and it depends on the square value of the forward velocity of the bike and the inverse of the radius of the trajectory. As you properly have explained, any counter-steering input will instantaneously increase the value of that lateral or sliding force (especially for the front contact patch). The lean angle (and linked lateral forces) can remain constant along a curve, but real conditions of the road make it maximum only intermittently. Maximum grip or friction depends on the force that is normal or perpendicular to the surfaces in contact. The undulations of the road and the instantaneous accelerations that add to and subtract from the natural acceleration of gravity, induce a fluctuating amount of that normal force or available maximum friction or grip. Each tire has more available traction each time it rolls over a crest: that instantaneously increased normal force deforms the tire and partially compresses the springs, which push and accelerate the rider and the rest of the mass of the bike and fluids upwards. Exactly the opposite happens when the tire "falls" into a valley of the track's surface: less available traction for a fraction of a second. In other words, assuming a perfectly horizontal traverse surface of the curve (no sectional slant, slope or crown), which makes the value of the normal force that induces grip equal to the value of the weight supported by one tire, the undulating nature of that surface will make that tire and its suspension alternatively support more and less weight than normal (for a perfectly ideal flat surface). Hence, more that having a sharp value, the available grip of each tire constantly rises and falls / pulses / swings / oscillates around an average value. Similar effect (although at much higher frequencies) is produced by the vibrations coming from the rubber compound of the tire when supporting strong lateral forces (getting deformed, twisted, overheated, sheared) and when crabbing or sliding off the trajectory (while keeping grip). At microscopic level, things are changing at a very rapid rate and the surfaces are gripping each other and letting go in a very rapid sequence. Consider also that all the disturbances described above induce minimal steering inputs. Because of the trail of the front tire, while it is leaned, any close to vertical force has a perturbing effect (torque that is equivalent to a sideways force times trail distance) when the bike is in vertical position. A torque is induced into the steering, which can be over or under-steering, which significantly modifies the radius of the trajectory, which momentarily changes the magnitude of the lateral forces. Hotfoot's excellent post has perfectly explained the Physics of real life.
  20. 2 points
    I love this topic. I too am focusing on my turning ability, specifically Quick Turning. There’s an article where Keith says that learning to QT solves all of the SRs. I’m striving to become a disciple of that.
  21. 2 points
    Great questions. I was working hard at being a good copycat. I didn't brake at all, and I stuck to his fender and turned where he did. He was super-smooth and got the work done with speed and grace. I assume I was not as graceful, and I was probably off the throttle too soon, and not on again fast enough, because I was having some emotions at the time. As stated, I thought this was a mistake..but it was brilliant. Hard turning. I ski. To go down a steep face, you turn hard and often to keep your speed in check. Miss a few turns, and you have to slalom, fail to dig in, and you become a passenger. When I refer to 'hard turning' I am talking specifically about turning with the intent of using the conservation of angular momentum to convert velocity into a change in direction and reduction in speed. I wish I had talked more with my coach about the decades I spent racing offroad. One of the most common turns in the woods is jamming your bike into a berm or a ditch or a rootball, to shed speed and redirect yourself at a sharp angle to your incoming direction. Like a jump-turn in skiing. On the pavement of a racetrack, the best equivalent is getting all the physics right to lean in hard enough and fast enough that your suspension loads evenly and firmly, and you can feel the tires bite and rail you around a corner. And *thats* where I see the transition from 'oh I am in too deep/too fast' to 'wow, that was freaking awesome'. I would like to learn to do that a hell of a lot more, with a hell of a lot more intent.
  22. 2 points
    That's awesome, the pat on the back was great lol
  23. 2 points
    What would you say is the skill/thought process/etc. you get the biggest benefit from focusing on -- either for training/practice or in/around a race?
  24. 2 points
    Here is a good summary of the difference between MotoGP and WSBK: https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/superbike-vs-motogp-differences One major difference is WSBK machines are based on production motorcycles and MotoGP bikes are purpose built race machines or prototypes. MotoAmerica is the organization that promotes the premier North American racing series, and part of its purpose is to develop riders from North America to compete on the world level in WSBK and AMA, and uses production motorcycles. MotoAmerica is sanctioned by AMA and FIM. What we used to call "AMA racing" is now MotoAmerica. CCS (Championship Cup Series) and WERA (Western Eastern Racing Association) are two separate nationwide racing series sanctioning bodies. They would both be considered feeder series for MotoAmerica, offering a wider array of race classes than MotoAmerica and offering Novice classes and race schools to help attract and develop racers. Their events are more affordable and easier to qualify for than MotoAmerica events, and they run a lot of local and regional events, and regional championships so that racers do not have to travel all the way across the country to compete in a series. There are quite a few racers that race MotoAmerica and CCS or WERA. There is also AHRMA, American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association, which runs events around the country for vintage motorcycles, and is reputed to be a very friendly and very competitive race organization. A new racer riding progression might start with mini-moto racing and minimoto clubs (especially for kids who are too young to race larger bikes) then progress to a local race club at a local track (which would typically begin with a new racer school), then progress to a regional competition with an organization like WERA or CCS. The national organizations generally have Novice and Expert levels, with requirements to advance to Expert (based on points or race wins) and do have minimum qualifying laptimes. Racers doing well in these national clubs might - if they have the resources - move up to MotoAmerica, and MotoAmerica stars might move on to the world stage. Does that help?
  25. 2 points
  26. 2 points
    If you turn off the "off-track aid in the options, you well definitely fall on the grass lol, trust me lol
  27. 2 points
    Figured I might as well introduce myself, even after doing over 60 schools if my count is right. I'm Yakaru, though lots of people at the track call me Violet since it's easier to remember and pronounce. I'm a video game developer currently based out of the Seattle area and motorcycle track addict. I have a bunch of bikes (highlights are my Ninja 300, S1000RR, and HP4Race) and I've been getting more serious about my riding this year and made some notable gains thanks to my coaches at California Superbike. I've got a few "regular" coaches, including Misti and Lyle as well as the Australians Chook and Stef.
  28. 2 points
    2013 willow 2014 ridge 2015 3 days ridge 2016 3 ridge 2 Vegas 2017 4 days ridge 3 days cota 2018 5 days ridge 2 laguna 4 jersey 4 vir 3 laguna 2019 2 willow 4 vir 2 corvette 5 barber 2 thunder hill 6 ridge 2 ridge 2 thunder hill 5 streets the included pic is maybe half?
  29. 2 points
    Being honest with oneself, a bit of a skill. Honest, yet not beat up on oneself, also a skill. Big part is just being able to observe. Keith is frickin' amazing at being able to observe.
  30. 2 points
    For sure this is difficult to judge, for anyone. Laptimes are a measurement, and being able to achieve very CONSISTENT laptimes is a good indicator that a rider is well in control of their lines and speed and that the error rate is low, all of which indicates good riding skills. Seeing one's own laptimes come down on a given day at a given track is a good indicator that the rider is figuring out the track and making improvements. Being able to stay relaxed and ride without errors and without exhaustion is a great improvement, and something the rider can observe relatively easily for themselves. However - trying to compare laptimes to other riders may not be very meaningful unless you are racing . At track days and especially at schools, riders ARE, by definition, working on making changes and sorting things out so their laptimes can vary considerably from actual go-for-it race pace times. At CSS riders are asked to ride at around 75% pace so that they have enough free attention to make observations and changes in their riding, plus there are formats and drills and sometimes different track configurations (compared to how other organizations run their day) so a school day laptime may not mean much when compared to a race laptime, or even open track day times. So if you are looking at a CSS laptime and trying to decide if you could race at that track, it may not really translate. Going out and doing a new racer's school at that track (unless you already have a race license?) would allow you to get a sense of whether you can be competitive, and most of them do a mock race at the end of the day, which is fun and instructive, and most schools will be able to tell you if your laptime is acceptable for you to race there. Racing creates a whole new set of challenges - the track pace is fast and that will immediately push you to find places where you can go faster, and likely make you push yourself enough to reveal next areas of improvement in your riding. I think most of all you will need to decide your personal priorities for improvement, THEN figure out how to measure. What are your goals as a rider? Are you interested in being calmer on the track? Safer? More accurate? More consistent? More comfortable? Do you want to be able to learn new tracks faster? Do you want quicker laptimes? Do you want to ride in A group at your local track? Do you want to start club racing? Once you have your own goals set, finding ways to measure that should be easier. Interesting question about whether it changes based on the track... I guess my answer would be that there are certain skills that identify a skilled rider. Consistent entry speeds, good control of the bike (accurate, effective steering with steering rate appropriate to the turn), secure, locked-on body position, relaxed upper body, and good visual skills come to mind. One can watch a skilled rider on a new track, and they may be riding slow and figuring out lines but you can see the skills are there and know that once they get the lines figured out they will be able to ride consistently and quickly. You can also go to an open track day and see someone getting good laptimes (by pushing really hard) but leaning the bike over too far on the gas, exiting corners at the ragged edge of the track, making steering corrections, stabbing the brake, hanging off too far and steering ineffectively, making rough downshifts, etc. and see that they may be going pretty fast but they are lacking some really important basics and although they know the track well, they are hitting some big barriers that will hold them back and/or cause them to crash if they try to go any quicker.
  31. 2 points
    1) Braking, while leaned over, can cause the bike to stand up, see my more detailed answer above. On a properly set up sport bike, accelerating does NOT cause the bike to stand up. Accelerating WILL increase the radius of a circle but WITHOUT changing lean angle. A rider who thinks the bike stands up because of the throttle is unconsciously steering it up with the bars. Note - a bike with a more extreme, non-neutral setup - like a chopper with a stretched out front end, or a bike with a serious suspension problem - may act differently. 2) No. You are adding load to the rear tire in two different ways at once and that can easily overload it and lead to a rear tire slide, without a lot of warning to the rider or time to correct it. Doing one at a time is a much safer approach. 3) Yes, the front forks are more extended which makes it more difficult to steer the bike and there is less weight on the front tire which affects traction - the most extreme example would be accelerating so hard that the front tire is off the ground, obviously at that point there is no traction at all on the front tire. 4) Coming off the throttle makes it easier to lean the bike. It compresses the front end which steepens the steering angle and makes the bike easier to steer. Braking lightly can do the same, however on many bikes braking REALLY HARD can make the bike harder to steer; I'm not sure all of the reasons for that but I think it has to do with overloading the front tire (deforming it) and suspension, not to mention the difficulty for the rider of keeping enough pressure off the bars to steer effectively under hard braking.
  32. 2 points
    Braking, with the front brake, while leaned over in a turn, can definitely cause the bike to stand up noticeably - assuming the braking is hard enough to shift significant weight to the front and NOT so hard that the wheel actually slides, the braking forces cause a friction drag of the contact patch against the pavement that makes the front wheel want to turn to the inside, which creates a countersteering effect and stands the bike up. So when braking while leaned over, the rider has to resist that turn of the front wheel by pushing on the opposite bar to counteract it, to keep the bike on line (i.e., if in a left hand corner the rider would have to push on the left bar to offset the countersteering effect of the braking). This can get tricky to manage, as the rider is restricting movement of the bars, and placing additional load on the front end, so braking TOO hard while leaned over can exceed the limits of traction of the front tire. If braking verrrrry gently the counter steering effect is so slight that the rider may not feel any tendency of the bike to stand up, and the fact that the bike is slowing down will eventually decrease the radius of the turn, so a rider who only brakes very gently while leaned over (or uses just rear brake - which can also be tricky) may not ever notice any tendency of the bike to stand up. But braking harder or more abruptly makes it much more noticeable. Or, a rider who has a lot of experience with using the front brake while leaned over may be so accustomed to automatically pressing on the opposite bar to counteract the countersteering effect may not be aware of the bike's tendency to stand up, and a rider like that would have to go out and consciously try to relax the arms and observe what happens if he or she ADDS front brake in a corner while leaned over.
  33. 2 points
    There is good info on this in TOTWII, Chapter 25, Traction, there is a section about "traction riders" and if you read that whole chapter it gives a nice description of how different riders use and perceive traction, and the pros and cons of these different approaches, I think both you and Faffi will find it very interesting.
  34. 2 points
    Good point, and I made great use of that while racing this weekend. My bike was geared a little too high for a particular corners so my drive out of the corner was suffering, so I tried changing my line to stay leaned over a bit longer - somewhat counter intuitive for getting a good drive, but it worked. Before, I was riding a more squared off line and standing the bike up but then my RPM was too low; leaving it leaned over a bit longer put me about 500 rpm higher and the bike did not lug on the exit. (To be clear, I wasn't ADDING lean angle - I was just maintaining my lean angle longer instead of doing an earlier pick-up.) On my low horsepower bike it made a difference, and I was very happy I knew how to apply that information!
  35. 2 points
    Another factor I haven't seen mentioned is that as you lean over, the final drive ratio changes. the difference between upright and fully leaned is the equivalent of half a downshift. This puts the engine in a different part of the powerband and can alter the effect a given amount of roll-on has, seeming to amplify the torque as the lean angle increases.
  36. 2 points
    The very first thing I learned from Keith was from that classroom scene in the TOTW II video: "Once the throttle is cracked open, it is rolled on evenly, smoothly and constantly throughout remainder of turn." In my opinion, when I feel I need maintenance throttle it is because my entry speed was too low. I can't imagine getting on the gas before turn in. In some sections like turns 4/5/6 at SOW, I may not ever close the throttle all the way but just stop rolling on while turning.
  37. 2 points
    Hi Cobie. So I've been lurking here for awhile. This is as good a topic as any to dive in with a first post. For street bikes there are several upgrades I usually make. First I make sure the bike has the right spring rate set-up front and rear for my weight with gear. I ride a few different BMWs and Ducs and have found front springs in particular tend to be either one or two spring rate levels too soft. If so, then I'll swap out the springs. Will usually jump on a call with a suspension OEM's in-house expert to make sure I also have the right valving and oil level equation. Sometimes I will upgrade the entire front fork set-up, usually to a set of Ohlins R&Ts. Next are brakes. If a particular lever / master cylinder combination on a new bike has too much play at the hand controls and it can't be eliminated by simply adjusting lever distance, bleeding lines and changing brake fluid, or the brakes just tend to fade a tad too much during spirited rides (even after upgrading pads) then I'll put a quality Brembo or Magura setup on the bike. I'm always amazed at how much improvement one can get on a street bike by just dialing in the suspension and brakes so they truly work for you and how you ride. So these two "intelligent" bike upgrades would be the ones that really top the list for me. If I move down to what I would call second tier intelligent changes, next are lights. For road bikes I tend to add a set of Skene P3 rear LED brake / turn signal lights to the sides of the rear license plate frame. When you hit the brakes they have a very fast but short lived pulsing action that catches the attention of drivers behind you. The lights are small so they blend into the bike well visually. Over the last few years I've also been adding a set of small Clearwater lights as bright day-time running lights to the front of bikes I ride in heavy traffic. Atlanta traffic can be nuts at times and I've had situations in intersections where the Clearwater lights have caused a few drivers to think twice (you see a driver lurch their vehicle forward then stop) before pulling out, so they have definitely saved my butt. I usually add some simple crash protection to both side of the engine casing from the usual suspects - GB Racing, R&G, Gilles Tooling, Sato, Woodcraft, etc. I also like to use as a tank bag on my street bikes so I add a SW-Motech quick release tank ring as my preferred interface for attaching and moving tank bags from bike to bike. Sometimes I will upgrade rear sets if I find over time my leg position with the stock set-up needs some help. Although I do have to confess I have added some beautiful BMW HP rear sets to a few S1RRs and an S1XR for no good reason at all other than they looked great. Most of my road bikes also get a set of Tech-Spec tank pads. They not only help with leg lock-on in the twisties but also help protect the gas tank from scratches. If the bike will see more long distance travel I'll get a larger windscreen and change it out when I do multi-day rides. It is nice to get some relief from all the buffeting you get while highway riding. Last but not least, it is tough to do any distance riding without adding some kind of luggage. The majority of the time I use OEM bike-specific bags but have had great success with soft Wunderlisch, TourTech and Mosko-Moto bags. I'll add some thoughts about track bikes in a follow-on post. Carpe diem. See you in Sonoma. Dave
  38. 2 points
    Just bump into a few of the kids, push them out in the weeds. OK...I am kidding!
  39. 2 points
    Good points Hotfoot. Video can show some excellent things, but can also miss some things. There are also many different angles/camera placements. Interestingly enough, the one used at the school (arm over the shoulder) can be very instructive. Another is a follow camera, but then it helps to have a qualified rider being the cameraman. It actually can be very helpful for coach riding from behind to take the line he would normally, and show the difference between that and the student's line. Video is an excellent aid, but not the whole picture, and as Hotfoot mentions, if the rider isn't well educated on the subject being critiqued, it's going to miss the mark. Best, Cobie
  40. 2 points
    Depending on your tires and tire pressure, leaning over more does not necessarily decrease the size of the contact patch. However, as you lean over more the suspension is less efficient at keeping the tire in contact with the pavement. Decreased suspension efficiency combined with the acceleration forces when you roll on the gas hard can exceed the limits of traction at the rear wheel.
  41. 2 points
    I notice that it is very hard to get the actual character of the track from seeing it on TV. Hard to perceive the elevation changes, hard to see the changes in camber and surface, and the abrupt changes in camera perspective can make it hard to grasp the flow of the track. I also notice that I am amazed by how much the bikes slide around, and wiggle under hard braking, and how rough some riders can be on the controls while others are silky smooth. When I watch videos (especially on-board videos) of amateur racers I am amazed by how many errors some riders make in races. Riders that are fast, judging by their laptimes, but make a lot of mistakes; it would seem surprising that they don't fall down more often - but then sometimes I find out they DO fall often. It certainly seems possible to pick up some incorrect ideas or not-useful information, for example I sometimes hear announcers throw out some thoughtless comment or platitude that is really not applicable and could be confusing if you tried to really take it seriously. On the other hand, seems like you could learn a lot about preparation and race strategy, tire wear management, and race rules by watching races, by seeing what happens to riders that are late to the grid, or overwork their tires in the first part or a race, or choose the right or wrong tire compound, I find that stuff quite interesting.
  42. 2 points
    If you Google "front tire chicken strips Dave Moss" he has a short and rather entertaining video that relates to this topic. (Dave Moss is a very respected suspension guy and knows a LOT LOT LOT about tires and tire wear.)
  43. 2 points
    Ha, 27 in a 60 year old body...I don't think I made it past about 18 in my emotional development...that or I've been in my mid-life crisis for about 30 years CF
  44. 2 points
    Hi gang! I'm Roberts, a 27 year old enthusiast trapped in a 60 year old body. It's not my fault. I blame it on time. with 40+ years of street and off-road riding, I was not surprised to find out I have a lot of flaws. What does surprise is how hard it is to overcome dangerous habits. It's my hope that work with CSS and crew, and inputs from all of you, will help me to fix my problems before they 'fix' me.
  45. 2 points
    This is difficult as to a point these skills will play off each other. So, my opinion (based on street riding, not track though they are likely the same): #1 - Visual skill, lack of target fixation. You have to see the situation or threat before anything else can happen. #2 - Quick reflexes. Once you see the threat/issue you need to make the right reaction. #3 - Ability to steer quickly. If you need to change direction, this is important. #4 - Physical Condition. Its important so you can enjoy your ride and not be fatigued (and sloppy) #5 - A lowly last is Brave. Just being brave will likely get you in real trouble. One skill not mentioned is ability to brake safely and quickly in all riding attitudes (straight up, turning, poor traction etc).
  46. 2 points
    Another skill for street riders would be developing your spidey-sense for danger from other vehicles on the road. Unlike the track where you can put almost all your attention into looking where you want to go and how you get there, if you do that on the street that's when someone is going to pull out in front of you because you didn't notice that they hadn't made eye contact with you and were looking the other way. I guess in CSS terms, that would maybe be the wide view? Maybe that's still vision but with a different emphasis on detecting potential dangers.
  47. 2 points
    In my opinion, for street riding, if you have the greatest ability to steer quickly but, don’t have visual skills you wouldn’t steer away from the problem. I think the highest priority is visual skills. I think the second highest is quick steer. In my opinion, if you can quick steer to full lean (excessive for street riding but, if a deer or car are coming into your lane maybe it’s not excessive) and have great visual skill, then I don’t know how you could be bad at riding. I would imagine if you had both of those skills, rolling on the throttle would be easy because you wouldn't run out of track/road.
  48. 2 points
    The book that you have mentioned has the answer to your original question: "What makes the bike turn the same as it was leaned more without hanging off? It is explained in Chapter 3: Less lean angle requires more effective steering angle in order to keep the same radius of turn (please, see figure 3.18 of page 3-13): "Increasing lean angle tends to increase the effective steering angle." It is a simple geometrical problem, there is no need to complicate it with camber thrust, slip angles, etc., because the magnitudes of the forces of cornering and the dynamic lean angle remain the same, either or not you hang-off. The chassis reduces its lean angle when the rider hangs-off while cornering, which changes the relative geometry among the three planes: the ones containing the rear tire, the steered front tire and the curve (track surface).  You may want to do the following experiment: Fill up a wide recipient with water (the surface of the water will work like the plane of the curve). Make a central 10-degree bend in a small rectangular piece of cardboard (one side will work like the plane containing the rear tire and the other side like the plane of the front tire). Keeping the bent edge and both sides vertical, deep the piece of cardboard into the water. Looking from above, turn the cardboard just like a bike would lean over to turn and note how the angle formed between both lines that intersect the surface of the water and each side of the cardboard gets bigger as the lean angle increases. That angle is the effective (or kinetic) steering angle, which would force the bike to turn tighter (reduced radius of turn) if the rider would not compensate for this phenomena by steering a little less. If that experiment still does not convince you, we could use the following well stablished formula: Radius of turn = [Wheelbase x Cosine of chassis lean angle] / [Steer angle x Cosine of caster angle] As wheelbase gets a little bit smaller and caster angle remains constant, when the rider hangs off while cornering, the cosine of the chassis lean angle increases (example: cos 45=0.707 and cos 40=0.766). That change would increase the radius of turn some, making the bike run wide respect to the desired trajectory. In order to avoid that from happening, the rider must compensate by increasing the steer angle a little. Another geometrical way to analize that: Imagine a perfectly vertical line running underground by the center of the circular trajectory of the motorcycle. Disregarding slip and camber thrust, the extended axis of both wheels must intersect with that vertical line. As those wheels are leaned more, the point of intersection moves deeper into the ground, which reduces the angle formed between the extended axis of both wheels. Hence, the steering angle must be reduced some in order for the bike to keep tracing the same circular trajectory.  A leaned motorcycle will always have an effective steering angle that is smaller than the one for a 4-wheel vehicle describing the same curve.  The exercise of Motorcycle Gymkhana is a different solution to a problem that is different: make the tightest quick turn around a cone. The maximum speed at maximum lean angle will make you slower in this particular case, try that experiment as well. Since speed must be much smaller than during normal Superbike track cornering, the smallest radius of turn of the rear tire is the key to turn the bike 180 degrees as quickly as possible. For the same reason explained above, the Gymkhana rider wants the chassis to be as leaned as possible during the slowest section of the tight turn. At full stop lock of the steering, the radius of turn (and the circular trajectory of both tires) will be smaller as the chassis lean angle increases: there is a greater effective steering angle. Lock the steering of a bicycle at a pronounced angle and push it while at different sustained lean angles for each completed circle and you will see that the smallest circle corresponds with the biggest lean angle. For the above formula and description of angles, please see "Steering angle" here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_and_motorcycle_dynamics
  49. 2 points
    In October of 2017, the year I posted this, I had a race ending accident at The Barber Vintage Festival. Race practice might have been an ominous sign for things to come when I nearly crashed on a team Triumph Thruxton going about 100 mph. I had been putting in some good lap times and needed about a 1/2 a second more to put in the top three. I was approaching turn 9 and 10 knowing I would need to get the bike turned quickly to carry the speed and to keep the bike off the rumble strips on the outside. I was finishing my steering input when the outside clip on snapped against the gas tank. I had no way to control the bike as I headed for the gravel on the outside of the track. I didn't have much time to think about it but the option of bailing didn't seem like a wise move at the time. I went through grass, pavement, gravel and then grass again. I had slowed to about 60 when I noticed the reflection of blue sky in the grass ahead. Any of you that have ridden or raced at Barber know how George likes to keep his landscaping nice and green. There was reflection of the sky in the grass ahead about three inches of water. I hit it and it was like an explosion. People who saw my antics wished the ride had been recorded. I survived it keeping the bike upright and getting it back to the pits. Lesson: when you are riding on someone else's machine double and triple check the levers, clip on's, rear sets etc etc etc. The next day was my Sounds Of Thunder 2 race with 70 riders lined up on the grid. I was racing on my modified SV650. I was on the 9th row. My strategy for the race was to get a good start and try to hang on the leading pack. I wanted to get into the 1:37's which for me on a SV650 was a respectable lap. My previous fastest was a 1:39 in practice. I got a great jump and was headed down into turn one when I saw a blur coming in from my left side taking me out. I remember being launched over the left clip on then nothing but the most extreme pain I have ever felt in my life lasting for no more than a millisecond. I remember holding someone's hand and hearing sirens but not able to make out any faces. I remember telling them not to cut my leathers. I have two close racing buddies, one an orthopedic surgeon and the other a neonatal surgeon. They were both on the track when this happened. One of them, the neonatal surgeon, knew that he would have to keep me close to try and better my lap times so he saw it all. He thought I was dead. He went against race protocol resting his bike against the Armco barrier and ran to me. He said he pulled up my visor to see if I was breathing.The rider who caused the initial accident lost his front coming into turn one ejecting me. The rider who did the damage had no place to go. He basically did a stoppie on my chest then releasing the brake lever rolling off me to have the rear wheel land on my chest. I had what they call a flailed chest with 10 broken ribs, a broken sternum and a punctured lung. I had to wait three days for surgery to install titanium plating to hold my ribs together. I had some issues with pneumonia after the surgery spending 12 days in intensive care. My biggest fear going through this was that I would be an invalid and before the advent of the titanium plating, I would have been. I would have much rather died doing something I love than be a burden. The good news is a never gave up. I am almost good about 85% lung capacity and missing a muscle or two. I'm working out at a local gym and riding a Peloton at home. I also have a mountain bike that I take for long rides communing with nature. I have ended my racing career or should I say my wife has ended it :) I loved racing but not enough to destroy a marriage. For me there were two choices, life or death no in between. I am physically fit enough to ride competitively and if I could talk my wife into it, my goal would be the same, to better my craft every lap, to be the best that I could be. There's nothing like the feeling of beating your previous best lap time and there's nothing like being told "man, you can ride." I am one of those guys now, relegated to telling stories and helping with bike stands and tire warmers as others ride out to the track. Thank you, Cobie and all the rest of those at CSS that coached me a long the way. Great memories.
  50. 2 points
    Good observation on your part on the no-brakes format. Riders mostly over-brake when they start to add more/harder braking, and loose entry speed. Your overall goal if good, nothing wrong there; the other steps that go in that direction are smaller bites one would take to achieving that. As for braking and then realizing you could have gone faster...that's a not uncommon situation that occurs. Front brakes are the most powerful thing on the motorcycle, consider that a much smaller single rear brake can stop the engine. How about approaching the braking with the idea its a fine adjuster, capable of great force, but in the end, getting the entry speed correct for you (no too slow or too fast) is the key. There are a few pieces to this, we can work on them for sure. Best, Cobie
×
×
  • Create New...