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  1. 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 s
    6 points
  2. 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
    5 points
  3. Lots of good data from some of you and especially Hotfoot’s info. Here’s just a bit more on the subject of Pivot Steering. May be repetitive of some data already written but look it over an do the experiment at the end for fun. My statement in Twist II about getting your weight closer to the center of mass or center of gravity by weighting the pegs rather than the seat and any implication that it alters the center of mass (COM) or center of gravity (COG) was, or helps in any way is, for lack of a better words, junk, incorrect, wrong. Weight in the seat or on the pegs does not change
    4 points
  4. This is a very broad question. The answer will depend on a variety of factors about the corner: radius (and whether it is increasing, decreasing, or staying the same), camber, surface (grip, bumps, etc.) so I am not sure what sort of answer you are hoping we can provide. If the radius of the corner is increasing, and the camber is either unchanging or getting more favorable, you should be able to accelerate through the corner, however if the radius is decreasing and/or the surface is going off-camber, you may have to be slower later in the corner instead of faster. A corner with a crest i
    4 points
  5. Whew, this thread has gone all over creation and back since the original posted question, and the OP seems to have checked out. So, I'm going to jump in here. I am a CSS coach. First let me note that Yakaru is a very competent rider, fast, has come to many schools, and is very knowledgeable on the material. Now, on to some of the info that is in question. 1) When a rider is in a corner, if the throttle is APRUPTLY shut off, the bike will INITIALLY stand up a bit and run wide. Sudden loading of the front tire creates drag on the inside of the contact patch which tries to turn the
    4 points
  6. 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 points
  7. 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
    4 points
  8. 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 l
    4 points
  9. 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!!
    4 points
  10. Riding on the road is all about recognising and anticipating hazards, and managing those hazards. You can measure improvement by your ability to navigate those hazards faster, with less panic, or a combination of both. The vast majority of riding skills are applicable to both road and track. On the road you are just using them for hazard management. On the track primarily you measure improvement by your lap times. Not just fastest lap, but consistency in your lap times. Also good lap times while getting through traffic - being able to get past slower riders without being held up is
    4 points
  11. Great to see the responses on this. Some years ago a coach missed T-boning a car at an intersection. This boulevard had a median, and tall curbing on the street-side edges. The car pulled across the median and then stopped in his lane. He steered quickly right, but had to also steer it back left (or hit that tall curbing). Both the visual skill (of not target fixing) and able to turn it quickly, are practiced skills, saved his bacon that day. It's a recommendation for simply getting onto a track now and again. Practicing riding technique in a controlled environment is ben
    3 points
  12. Rider Improvement What There Is to Learn I’d like to point out some things about riders and rider training. Below is a list of six categories of riders and how they regard the idea of training and rider improvement. The next section covers the results; the kinds of things we look for and you should expect from rider training. The Six Categories of Riders 1. Ones that have tried to improve, failed at it and lost interest. They're basically locked-up on the whole subject of rider improvement–they don't want to know about it. 2. Riders that say there is nothing to lea
    3 points
  13. Hanging off moves the combined center of gravity of bike and rider more to the inside which allows the bike itself to be leaned over less. With the bike more upright, the suspension works much more efficiently which improves traction by keeping more of the tire in contact with the road.
    3 points
  14. Body Position The most obvious thing about any rider is their form on the bike. How do they sit and move on it? What’s their posture? Do they look comfortable or awkward, stiff or loose, Moto GP, or nervous-novice? Good body positioning isn’t just about being stylish——you can play dress-up in your older brother's or sister's cool boots but walking will be clumsy——it has a desirable result and we can define 'good body positioning'. Harmony with the bike, freedom of movement on it, precision control over it―with the minimum necessary effort. Survival Reactions Play a Role Th
    3 points
  15. Your collection of data and research shows you are barking up the right trees. Here's some more data regarding tires: Per the Dunlop engineers tires grip in 4 ways: 1) Adhesion--the temporary chemical bond between the tire and surface. 2) Keying--the tire deforming and filling in all the nooks and crannies of the asphalt or squishing into the depressions. 3) Abrasion--the tire tearing from itself or wearing away. 4) Hysteresis--the energy storage and return by the rubber and partial conversion to heat. The first two can be looked at as static properties and the la
    3 points
  16. 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 i
    3 points
  17. 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
    3 points
  18. 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
    3 points
  19. Practice till you can't get it wrong, I'd just heard this in another arena (pistol shooting), but like the idea!
    3 points
  20. 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.
    3 points
  21. Here is some info from Dylan that you might find interesting: Dunlop just released a new sportbike tire, the Q4. This tire is different from what many think it is. It is NOT an improved Q3+ but rather a whole new category of tire. Its purpose is to provide a street legal tire with excellent grip, no need for warmers, that is at home on the track or on your favorite twisty road. Essentially it fills the gap between the Q3+ and the street legal race tire, the GPA Pro. So the progression looks like this: Q3+. Best all purpose tire. Harder center band for commuting, wi
    3 points
  22. 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 li
    3 points
  23. 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
    3 points
  24. 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 ma
    3 points
  25. Fresh out of CSS it is only reasonable that I was working on riding skills while commuting to work on my bike. Visual skills in particular, with emphasis in picking turn in points, pre-apex, end points. Thinking 'big picture' and then picking points on the road surface. Great idea, but this was not a track, it was a road. When I was a kid we were taught defensive driving. My instructor would do stuff like slap the rear view mirror out of alignment and then ask you how many cars were behind you, what color? Gaining or falling back? The same questions about who was ahead. Watchin
    3 points
  26. 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.
    3 points
  27. 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.
    3 points
  28. I did a 2 up ride with a pro racer when I was still a brand-new track rider. It scared the hell out of me! I got on, he told me to put one hand on his chest and the other on the tank (no handholds on the tank back then) and took off. He was moving all over the place, hanging off for the corners, and accelerating and braking hard - I was sure I would fall off. After about 3/4 of a lap I started to think I'd be OK - then as we started the 2nd lap he yelled over his shoulder, "Ok, I'm going to go faster this lap!" and I yelled "No!" but he obviously didn't hear me because he DID go faster. W
    3 points
  29. Hi JP, Your questions are good. There are a number of factors that come into play, and one answer won't work for all turns/situation. The one that will give the most problems is increasing throttle and lean angle together, that's usually a big no-no. Have you read any of Twist of the Wrist 2, or seen the video? That will give you some great guidelines. Best, Cobie
    3 points
  30. Some riders, when learning about quick turn, think a rapid steering change is accomplished with a quick jab at the bars. Sometimes that quick jab does not have enough force to turn the bike quickly at speed, sometimes it is too roughly applied and upsets the bike, sometimes the rider does not (when trying to "punch" the bar") hold the pressure long enough to achieve the desired lean angle. Bear with me, I am just asking some questions to explore your understanding of various techniques, to see if anything comes to light that will solve your challenges through the turns you describe.
    3 points
  31. I have almost no experience with V twins, but there are some things that can help with that problem in general, that might apply to your bike. Have you tried turning up the idle? This is a common thing to do on a track/race bike so the rpms don't fall as much when off the gas and it can really help make the roll on smoother. It does have the effect of taking you into the corner a little quicker so be cautious when you first start riding it that way. On an inline 4 I believe typical advice is to turn it up 500 - 1,000 RPM, but you should Google recommendations for your bike. What gea
    3 points
  32. Yes, it could be that you are at your desired lean angle (steering action complete) but not yet pointed in the direction you want the bike to go. Sometimes there is a pause as you wait for the bike to come around onto the desired line. Turn 2 at Laguna is a GREAT example of a turn where it is VERY easy to get on the gas a little too early in the second part of the turn and miss the apex - which is punished immediately upon the exit because it is tight and forces the rider to make a correction to avoid going off track. It is also really easy to come on the throttle a little bit too early w
    3 points
  33. I went to Thunderhill West this past weekend with my dad. I was doing level 4 for Saturday and Sunday. Saturday felt great, I learned the track, I felt fast, and left feeling like I could get through the track comfortably. Sunday came and for some reason it was a different story. I went off track three times and would let my SR's take over in Turn 1. I could not figure it out. I felt like I was only adding 10-15 mph down the straight just to up my pace. Why was this such a big deal?! First of all, after consulting with Johnny, adding that much speed is too much. I needed to add it
    3 points
  34. 3 points
  35. Most discussions of steering and "weight shift", "loading" and "helps it to steer" are riddled with illogic, and the people discussing will not reach a conclusion predicated on so many errors in thought. Rather, going to the basics of logic is the best way forward lest they get entangled permanently in confusions. Forums have become a popular platform to air ones flawed thought process, while other visitors try in vain to overhaul their whole logical approach to problem solving. Not saying I've got logic down myself, but some statements and articles have so many flaws, it's like: "where do we
    3 points
  36. Here's a short TV spot about CSS. Courtesy of Superbike Planet
    3 points
  37. A couple of other things to be cautious about. 1. Puddles. Not only because of the hydroplaning potential. Hit one at speed and all the water in the puddle nearly instantaneously will soak you and add lots of weight to you. 2. Tar snakes and patches. Not all traction is created equal. Tar snakes will cause a lot more traction issues when they are wet. Some patched areas have more or less traction than the main part of the track. 3. Visibility. Visor fogging (easily fixed), Mist from other bikes, fog and rain on your visor can reduce visibility. Use a clear shield at
    3 points
  38. Personally I love riding in the rain. Less traffic and at the end of the day it's like having your own private track when everyone packs up and leaves early. When other riders are angry and horrified about the R word I'm thinking "heck yea"! Some of the things that change in my riding in the rain. 1. Braking. Earlier, lighter, longer. Stretch out the braking zone and leave yourself a buffer just in case. 2. Lean angle. Less is more. You stay on the fatter part of the tire and maintain more traction. Hang WAY off the bike to reduce lean angle. The more you hang off ev
    3 points
  39. The short answer: you have to work up to it and feel it out. The longer answer: Testing the grippiness of your tire must be done gradually, the idea is to increase lean angle gradually so that if the tire begins to slide there is some warning and opportunity to save it. The most pro coaches I have talked to on this advise gradually adding a little more lean at a time (corner after corner, or possibly even in the same corner if it is a long one) to feel out the traction, as opposed to just whacking it over to maximum lean and hoping for the best - because if you go too far too fast yo
    3 points
  40. I have translated it - let me know if it is OK to read, or I can share a link to my document for those interested. Who leans that far? Where are the limits? And what are the differences between street bikes? We compare bikes around a skid pad: Supermoto, Naked Bike, Cruiser und Superbike. We have also discused with experts and tried qualifying tyres from WSBK to see how they differ from street legal sport tyres. Why do we lean? Without lean to counter the centrifugal forces, the bikes would simply fall over. Leaning against the forces the correct amount keeps the mach
    3 points
  41. The logic in getting more weight on the front, as I understand it, is that more pressure/weight on the front tire will increase friction (friction increases with weight) and also flatten the tire out more, making the contact patch larger, which doesn't increase friction directly (friction is not dependent on area, just weight) but CAN help the tire because too much pressure in too small an area can (I think) overheat the rubber and reduce the coefficient of friction, which WOULD reduce the overall grip. (Note - this is me giving you my own understanding, this is not superbike-school endorsed i
    3 points
  42. This is the way I understand throttle control rule number two in Chapter 6: Fine modulation of the throttle helps you read the forces that you feel more accurately. The advantage of that is that your entry speed will be more consistent and appropriate than if you grossly decelerate in a hurry (charging the curve), just to find out that your entry speed (at the end of that precipitate deceleration) is lower than it should be (because your senses were overwhelmed, you are erring on the safe side of entry speed). The error about the entry speed is more significant for any fast-entr
    3 points
  43. Cool story. Read this: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-bicycle-problem-that-nearly-broke-mathematics/#
    3 points
  44. 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
    2 points
  45. 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 adj
    2 points
  46. Hello, I read positive content about California Bike School. Definitely a must do. I have been riding on and off since college when motorcycle endorsement never existed. I started very young with the Big-Wheel (my 3 wheeler as a toddler). Upgraded to the 2014 Triumph 675 Daytona. Of course I now have an endorsement. My most challenging and fun ride has been in Thailand on the Honda 600 CBR, a whopping 762 turns from Chiang Mai to Pai. Like anyone who seeks safety and proficiency as I practice in the cockpit for my airline, it begins and ends with training. The training does not stop.
    2 points
  47. I can see why that would be confusing, especially if there was not a exact explanation of specifically WHEN to roll on the throttle and WHY. What, exactly, was the stated purpose of that before turn roll-on you describe in that mantra you mentioned? "Maintenance throttle" is s term that is thrown around a lot but different people seem to have different ideas of what it is supposed to mean. I personally have heard at least three different definitions. Twist of the Wrist II gives a detailed and straightforward explanation of good throttle control, might want to have another look at th
    2 points
  48. That’s ironic you link the wiki article. I have read it. they describe countersteering by weight shifting and being able to initiate turns by making the bike lean right or left through peg weighting. You may not change the center of mass very much, but the fact that bike is now leaned, it induces the front wheel to swivel and create the countersteering input. ‘They point out that the movement is minor the heavier the vehicle is, but might this be what is best in the middle of a turn to hold a line if needed? its not that I don’t believe in countersteering, it obviously is the m
    2 points
  49. I get the sensation of "pushing" the bike up as a countersteering input coming out of the corner. If you remain in your "hang off" position or even exaggerate it on corner exit with your upper body, you really have no recourse but to countersteer the bike back upright out of the lean. For me that movement of putting bar pressure on the outside hand ( and pulling with the inside hand) could be interpreted as "pushing" a bike up. It's not a subtle sensation. Sometimes you'll have to really "push/pull" to straighten the bike up to get ready for the next corner. Maybe you are essentially sayi
    2 points
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