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  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
    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 in it may, as you mentioned, lighten the bike as you go over it and may require a pause on the throttle to maintain traction. My recommendation would be get ahold of a copy of "The Soft Science of Road Racing Motorcycles" and have a look at Chapter 2, which includes info about how to sense traction for yourself, and Chapter 3, which talks about making a plan for how to ride a turn and how to adjust the plan to fine-tune it, and Chapters 9-10 that get into how to increase your speed through corners, and specific riding styles and how to make the best use of the strengths of your specific motorcycle and your own riding skills. There is a lot of information about how to handle certain types of turns, adjustments that can made to line or throttle and the effects those adjustments will have, and a ton of other information I am sure you will find very helpful.
  4. 4 points
    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 wheel into the turn which makes the bike stand up. This is the same phenomena that occurs when you pull the front brake in the middle of a corner, that makes the bike stand up and run wide. THEN, once the bike recovers from the initial weight shift and begins to slow down, the arc will tighten due to the bike slowing down. There is a GREAT CG animation of this in A Twist of the Wrist II DVD. 2) Rolling on the gas does not, BY ITSELF, cause the bike change lean angle. You must countersteer to stand the bike up. However, as the bike speeds up, the radius of the arc changes (widens), which can give people the impression the bike is standing up - especially if they unconsciously STEER it up! It's a rare rider that knows and understands that it is ONLY the handlebars that steer the bike up (not the throttle), most riders have been doing unconsciously since the first day they rode. I hope this helps clarify these points.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!!
  9. 4 points
    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 not just an improvement in your riding, it allows you more track time to focus on improving more since your aren’t stuck at someone else’s pace for an extended period of time.
  10. 3 points
    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 learn. This category of rider often says that seat time will handle it. They'll change the subject or politely dismiss what you have to say about training. 3. Those that actively speak against training. ‘Hey, you just get on the bike and do it. I don't crash, what is there to learn...don't waste your money on a school buy a nice pipe instead. Schools suck.’ These guys are foolishly antagonistic. 4. Those that have a vague desire to improve but lack information about how to. They have a want but it goes unfulfilled. For one reason or another, this rider just doesn't take the next step. They HOPE it will get better. 5. Those that become interested in learning more. They will talk about improvement. They will listen to advice but still remain passive. This might be the most dangerous of all the categories because this rider will listen to just about anything. They might hear, ‘you don't know how fast you can go until you crash’, and actually try it! 6. Riders who do something to improve. Here you find the rider who reads articles, goes to track days in search of answers or comes to a school. They make a commitment to improve and take definite steps to do it. Most riders are in one of the above categories on the subject of rider improvement. What There is to Learn It's no secret that I am in the business of training riders. I do it because I know it works and over the past 39 years of doing it I've noticed a few things about riders who take the plunge to improve. The following is what we have observed in our students. Once a rider is trained, they begin to handle cornering problems and situations on their own. They understand and make sensible corrections that actually correct. Riders who are trained can read the feedback the bike is giving them easier than those who are not trained. They can identify and communicate to someone what the bike is doing. Trained riders can spot what is wrong in their riding and tend to not make the same mistakes over and over. Also, training brings about control over the "knee jerk" reactions that cause riders to make dangerous errors. Riders who are trained have a solid foundation of skills and the knowledge and certainty that their riding won't get worse. They can still make mistakes but it doesn't defeat them. Additionally, trained riders can actually offer constructive help to others who want to improve. If a rider is turning in too early or too late, has poor throttle control or is rushing the corners and making it worse, the trained rider can spot it. Riders who look uncomfortable are uncomfortable. Trained riders look as though they are more a part of the bike. And as a bonus, racing fans gain an appreciation and an even greater respect for what professional riders can do because they can see what the pro is doing and why. My riding instructors are trained to observe these points and the really amazing thing is we see changes like these in every student. What we Know Confidence comes from knowing that the bike will do what you want it to do when you want it to do it. Once a rider improves, and knows why and what they have improved, it opens the door to virtually unlimited improvement. Knee-jerk reactions only happen to riders when they don't have the right skill or technique for the situation at hand. Training strips away confusions and complexities. When riding feels simple, control is simple. When control is simple any rider has confidence. Effort or Training Truly enthusiastic riders do have the urge to improve. Unfortunately, a great many of them waste their riding time and their money hoping that seat time will handle it. That doesn't mean they aren't going to improve, it means that it will take longer, cost more and the results will be sketchy. Most likely there will be a lot of misguided effort involved. Which is likely to be most effective, rider training or simply trying harder? Will experience alone sweep away those uncertainties? Will more emotional effort get you the level of control you want? Training and expert coaching are what we offer and it works. Keith Code PS: Our 2019 schedule is at <www.superbikeschool.com>, log on, sign up and I'll see you at the track. © CSS, Inc., 2018, all rights reserved
  11. 3 points
    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.
  12. 3 points
    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 The bike itself can force poor riding posture. A shift lever positioned a ¼ inch too high or too low manipulates the rider into awkward and uncomfortable poses, limiting his control over it. Even with perfect control positioning, good form on the bike has its difficulties. Achieving it may look and even feel like it’s reserved for the young and flexible. This may be true to a degree but many of its problems are actually brought on by our own Survival Reactions, our SRs. For example, a rider who instinctively levels the horizon by tilting his head in corners, creates unnecessary tension in his body. Basics Apply Good form is difficult for riders who struggle with basics: uncertainty with basics has a physical manifestation. Just as joy or anger are obvious in someone, these uncertainties manifest themselves in awkward and unsuitable body positions. For example: poor throttle control prompts riders to rely on slash and burn hard drives out of the turns. Their 'ready-for-action', rigid body language telegraphs their intention. That tense anticipation of the drive off the turns loses them the handling benefits of being relaxed mid-corner. The Stages of Body Positioning There are three stages to body positioning: Poor form + poor riding = ripple-effect, snowballing errors. Good riding + poor form = good but limited range of control. Good form + good technical riding skills = riding that is both fluid and efficient. Number 3 is the goal of any rider training. The Ingredients Body Positioning has five distinct ingredients. The bike and how it is configured——its controls, seat, pegs and bar positioning. The rider's understanding of body positioning——how to properly position himself on the bike and why. Our Survival Reactions——how they create unwanted and often unconscious tension and positioning problems. Lack of riding basics——has or hasn't mastered the core technical skills needed to ride well. The rider's own physical limitations——height, weight, flexibility, conditioning. With those five points under control, specific techniques can be employed to achieve positive benefits in bike control. Form, Function and Technique GP body position does not address or improve 90% of the most basic and vital components of riding: Our sense of traction, speed, lean angle, braking, and line, to name a few, are not directly dependent upon or necessarily improved by stylish form. Clearly, body positioning isn't the universal panacea some think it is, but it has its place. For example, holding the body upright, counter to the bike’s lean while cornering has several negative effects. Among these, is the fact that it positions the rider so he can’t fully relax. This can be quickly corrected and solves the functional problem of tension from cramped and restrictive joint alignment: a key element in allowing any rider to relax. A bike related example would be too high or too low brake or clutch lever. It puts the rider's wrist into misalignment and restricts fluid movement. The Rules of Technique Here are my guidelines for technique. Any riding technique is only as good as: The validity of the principles it rests on. Example: The benefits of hanging off follow physics and engineering principles. The access it provides to the technology with which the bike is designed and constructed. Are the potentials of chassis, suspension and power able to be utilized as intended? Does the technique embrace them? The consistency with which it can be applied. Does it work in all similar situations? The degree of control it provides for the rider. Can the rider either solve problems or make improvements, or both, by using it? The ease with which it can be understood and coached. Does it take extraordinary experience or skill to apply it, or, can it be broken down into bite sized pieces for any rider to master? Which brings us to my first law of body positioning. Stability Comes in Pairs. Bike and rider stability are always paired―rider instability transfers directly to the bike. Body Positioning has but one overriding guideline: Rider stability. How a rider connects to the bike can bring about harmony and control and fluid movement or turn into an uncoordinated wrestling match. Ideal Stability Having stability AND fluidity of movement sounds conflicting; when something is stable it’s expected to stay put, unmoving, like the foundation of your house or the roots of a tree. But the opposite is true for riding. Comfort And Stability What works well on a paddock-stand doesn't always transfer to real riding. Aftermarket rearsets, which can be adjusted (or which are manufactured) too far up, back, forward or down is an example. In the paddock they feel racy; on the road or track they can fatigue the rider. The fatigue comes from the rider's core not being correctly supported. This causes him to be off balance. Off-balance generates extra effort from muscle tension and poor joint alignment which in turn hampers accurate control manipulations. Awkward looking body position is what you see. Riders often accept or try and work around this, without realizing its negative impact on their riding. Simply Complicated Through research and coaching of tens of thousands of riders of all skill levels, 58 separate elements which influence our body positioning have surfaced. Seemingly simple things such as too tight a pair of gloves or leathers can affect all the other elements. Once the 58 are corrected and integrated, the rider has many more options; opening doors to a wide range of fun, efficient and, you might say, elegant techniques. All of our coaches have been thoroughly drilled on what each of the 58 are and how to correct them. © 2014 Keith Code, all rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced in any form without the author's consent.
  13. 3 points
    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 last two dynamic properties in my opinion. I'm still learning on all this stuff and when talking to the tire engineers, they don't have all the answers either. Heck, aviation engineers still can't all agree on exactly how a plane flies through the air!
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 3 points
    Practice till you can't get it wrong, I'd just heard this in another arena (pistol shooting), but like the idea!
  18. 3 points
  19. 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.
  20. 3 points
    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, with sides well suited for cornering. Q4. Best for trackdays and canyons/twisty roads. Warms fast, less sensitive to pressure settings. Single compound across entire tread. Any loss in overall mileage is gained in grip compared to Q3+. GPA Pro. Essentially a race slick with grooves. Warmers strongly recommended particularly when cool and pressures checked and set before riding. Street legal. Poor choice for commuting but good for twisty roads and very much at home on the track. Slicks. Pure track only tire. Warmers strongly recommended with pressures checked and set before riding.
  21. 3 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 3 points
    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. Watching for brake lights five cars up. Is the road wet or dry? Are there leaves down? What was last night's weather like? My favorite was being asked to imagine you are a bird 200' above the car. Can you hold a mental image of where you are and what is around you, and who is on the road with you? In the military they train Situational Awareness, or SA. It's similar, but basically requires you to learn to assess and consider what and who is around you at all times. It's not easy to do, but it's surprisingly informative if you work at it. So, there I was on my commute, carving corners and focused on the road surface, and I passed a deer on the shoulder doing around 70. Me, not the deer. And I had to shock myself back to reality. Yes, big picture on turns and lines is important, but out on a domestic roadway, the even bigger picture focus on your local environment is much more likely to keep you upright and healthy. This was, I think, an untended consequence of the CSS experience, and I only post it here for your consideration as a reminder to stay in the 'here and now' of your daily riding. Rob-
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 3 points
    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
  28. 3 points
    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. You mentioned a "fear or inability to lean the bike far enough when going fast(er)". I'm going to fire some questions at you and let's see what comes up: Do you have a concern about traction? Are you concerned about ground clearance? Are you comfortable that you know how much you want/need to lean the bike to get to the apex in T1, for example? Do you know how to stop the bike from leaning over any farther once you get the desired lean angle? How much visual information do you have before you turn the bike? Do you have an apex chosen, and do you look at it early enough before you steer the bike to have certainty in your steering input? If you roll off the gas or go flat on it, are you finished steering the bike before you roll back on? I am not discounting the idea that there could be things that could be done, mechanically, to the bike to make steering it through those turns easier, however you asked about techniques that could improve things so that is why I am exploring to figure out what you are doing now, and if there are things that could be changed to help you get to the apex on these turns... without having to slow down too much.
  29. 3 points
    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 gear are you using entering the turns, are you a gear lower than you need to be? Sometimes just entering a corner in a higher gear makes enough difference in smoothness to be worth it, especially on a bike with a lot of torque that can handle coming out at a lower RPM. I assume you have checked for play in the throttle and cable, to eliminate any jerk or effort from just taking out the slack. An aftermarket tune is, in my opinion, a great idea. The other suggestions above don't cost anything, and this does, but you can get a really nice improvement in throttle response from working with a tuner and a dyno. Tunes that I have done on my bikes have yielded performance in power but MUCH more benefit in the area of getting better throttle response. (Better meaning, working how I wanted it to work!)
  30. 3 points
    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 when chasing a faster rider, trying to catch up, or keep up.
  31. 3 points
    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 gradually, 1 mph at a time even. Gerry was my coach for Sunday. We found that my vision was hindering me. By adding that much speed, I had to PLAN for my turn point earlier. I just kept focusing on the turn point itself and by the time I hit it, I was already beyond it and therefore turning in late with a new sense of speed....I would panic and become stiff on the bars. Gerry coached me to look WAYYY ahead. Go at my normal pace, and look wayyyyy ahead at Turn 1. I did and suddenly the track felt slower. I felt like I was scooting along on a pedal bicycle down the straight and going into Turn 1. I got my lap times recorded for Sunday. My fastest lap time of a 1:40 was during my second session, when I was still affected by my vision. Surrounding that time was a bunch of 1:50's or even 2:00 +. Crazy variance..... After listening to Gerry and using my vision to slow things down for the last session, my lap times were consistently 1:43 1:44 and staying in that range. I know it is slower, but the consistency is important. This shows me that if I can stay consistent, I can begin to work on my speed. I was doing the same thing every single lap and talking to myself in my helmet, "2 step, no greys." This meant use the two step and look way ahead. No greys meant to not hit the gray curbing at all and to look 4-inches to the side of the curbing so I could place my front wheel there. I wanted to thank Gerry and Big Andy for their coaching on both days as well as Johnny for his consulting between sessions both days. We came up with a plan every time and after execution, the results were showing in timed laps as well as overall confidence on the track. Gerry also taught me how to use my peripheral vision to sense movement. This would help with passing others and my goodness it made such a difference to my whole experience!!! I was passing other riders safely and with enough space and speed. It really changed things. I cannot wait to implement this at my next track day/ race. I will take time today to write down my plan for my home tracks and how to approach different corners. I really like that once you leave a track with CSS and go to your home track, you can apply what you learned to your home track. You did not have to sit there and say, "okay I learned the track with them...why don't them come here so I can learn my track with them?" It is more like, "OH! This turn is JUST LIKE turn 2 at Thunderhill! I know how to do this!" Thank you all for the great weekend and learning. We will be back and my dad wants to do Level II! The photo below is of my dad and I. I caught up with him for the photo op to look like a doofus (I am on 21 and he's on 22).
  32. 3 points
  33. 3 points
    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 start?..." and just skip it. Remember when you have contrary facts, one or both are false. Some things to consider: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consistency https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Validity
  34. 3 points
    Here's a short TV spot about CSS. Courtesy of Superbike Planet
  35. 3 points
    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 all times to avoid this and preferably a clear windshield on your bike to maximize visibility. The straights are a gigantic wind powered windshield wiper for your helmet if you stick your head up in the air stream and move it from side to side. 4. Slippery when wet. Controls, pegs, tanks and other parts of the bike are not as easy to hold onto when your bike is wet. Be aware.
  36. 3 points
    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 even at slower speeds keeps you on the more stable part of the tire. 3. Line. It's critical to use ALL of the track available to flatten out the corners as much as possible. 4. Less aggressive quick steer. I have found that you absolutely still can quick steer in the rain if you stay reasonable with it. I worried the heck out of a CSS coach when he assigned me the quick steer drill in the rain. I performed the drill too. I even got a hug when I came back in one piece. 5. Throttle. You have to be a lot easier on the throttle especially when the bike is leaned over. On "analog" bikes once the bike is straight up and down you can use the throttle to "sample" traction. Give it gas and you can feel where the tire wants to spin just a bit. That is the fine line of where the traction ends. Don't cross the line especially when leaned over. (I would approach this with caution!). On bikes like the S1000RR in the right mode the bike will protect you for the most part on the gas. I find that I prefer sport mode or higher in the rain but rain mode is more protective and best to start out with. 6. Smooth counts. Abrupt and sloppy inputs that are ignored because of mega grippy tires are not tolerated at all by the bike in the wet. Stuff to watch out for! 1. Curbing. It's fine to run over curbing in the dry but in the wet that stuff becomes really slick. You have WAY less traction than you do in the dry on painted parts. 2. Panic. If you end up overdoing it don't panic!!!! With less traction the bike is much less willing to be forgiving for sloppy and abrupt inputs. If you enter a corner too fast just extend your braking past the optimal turn point and use the track you have available. Bring the bike down to a manageable speed and turn where you can. Yes you essentially "blow" the corner but by using the track you have you keep it on the pavement. 3. Tires. It's COMPLETELY true what was said about tire temps earlier. Your tires won't maintain temp. Not only are you dealing with the slick surface created by a wet track you are doing it essentially on cold tires. I set a cold pressure and leave it there. You can even experiment a bit with dropping the pressure but I'm not really sure it helps much and can potentially make the bike feel a bit mushy and imprecise if you overdo it. You still won't get a lot of heat in the tires. 4. Your physical condition. Riding in the rain seems easier but you do still get tired. Since you aren't sweating like crazy the fatigue sneaks up on you. I rode every single session of a wet track day only to figure out during the last session that I was a lot more fatigued than I realized. This fatigue can be both mental and physical. Stay sharp!
  37. 3 points
    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 you will not have enough time to "sample" the traction and see how it feels, and know when you are approaching the limit. Some tires will have a specific feel to them when they are cold: the Dunlop slicks, for example, have a tendency to make the bike want to stand up in the corner and that is a good indicator that they are very cold. The carcass is stiff and reluctant to flex so when you lean into the corner it resists and sort of pushes the bike back up. Some other tires just feel a bit "wandery" in the corner, like they are sort of weaving around slightly, instead of feeling planted. If you have ridden in rain or ridden dirt bikes in the mud, you can recognize the feel of little slides, and little slides like that are your warning that you are at about the limit of traction for the conditions and the tire needs to warm up more before you can lean over any farther. It is a great exercise, when opportunity presents (winter is coming!) to pay VERY close attention to how your tires feel when stone cold, to develop a sense for it with your own bike and your own tire brand/model. It is difficult to quantify how long tires will take to warm up because it depends on tire type, air temp, track temp, wind conditions, how hard you ride, etc., so the best solution I know of is to feel it out carefully.
  38. 3 points
    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 machine and rider in balance. For a given radius, the faster one rides, the more one must lean. Or for a given speed, the smaller the radius, the more one must lean. How far can we lean? Sport bikes are generally limited by grip, or friction. With good tyres on a good road we typically have a friction quotient of one µ. This means we can theoretically lean 45 degrees. If you lean further, or you try to slow down or accelerate, you will slide. However, we know it is possible to achieve greater angles of lean. How? Because very grippy tyres and a grainy road surface can interact like gears. That’s why in MotoP and WSBK we can now see bike lean angles as high as 62 degrees. With the rider hanging off we can even see combined lean angles beyond that. What is that- different lean values? Corner master Jorge Lorenzo show us the difference between bike lean and the third lean. Lean angle isn’t always lean angle Basically, we talk about three lean angles. The first one is the effective lean angle. This is a theoretical value and is calculated from the speed and the radius of the corner. This counts for every bike and every rider. But this theoretical value for effective lean angle is based upon infinitely narrow tyres. Now to reality. Imagine watching a vertical bike from behind. Pull a vertical line through the bike’s centre line, the tyre and to the ground. This is where the contact point is as well as the CoG. Now place the bike on its kickstand. Now we see that the contact point between tyre and road has moved to the side somewhat because the tyres are not infinitely narrow. The more we lean the bike, the further away we move the contact point away from the bike’s centre line. If we draw a line through the CoG and both the centre line as well as down to the contact patch, we create a triangle. The angle between them is the second lean. This is the added lean required to corner at the same speed as you would have been with infinitely narrow tyres. This also show that wider tyres require more lean narrower tyres. Lorenzo shows us the difference between the bike’s lean and the third lean. With his extreme hanging off the rider is leaned over far more than the bike. The combination of the two - bike and rider - gives the third angle of lean, the combined lean. Bei 62 degree bike lean we can get to an extreme combined value of 66 degrees. What can production bikes muster? We take 4 different bikes and try them on the skid pad sitting in line with the bike, pushing the bike down and hanging off. We then measure bike lean, calculate combined lean and measure cornering speed. What gives the greatest speed? Lean angle with the Husqvarna 701 The skid pad has a diameter of 55 metres. Upright lean is 47 degrees, speed 57 kph. In typical sumo-style, pushing the bike down while leaning out, we managed 57 degrees bike lean and a speed of 62 kph. The combined lean is 51 degrees. This is the biggest difference in the test (6 degrees), a result of a light bike, high CoG, high and wide bars, narrow seat, low set pegs. Final attempt is hanging off, and we get the exact same values of 62 kph and 51 degrees combined lean. The bike is only leaning 46 degrees. So the speed is the same, but pushing the bike down sumo-style bring some advantages; more bike control and easier to catch slides being the predominant. Ducati Diavel, Cruiser & Co. Unlike for sport bikes, cruisers are limited by dragging parts when it comes to possible lean angles. With 41 degrees, the pegs are in contact with the asphalt. This will be the same regardless of what style is used. This gives us a fantastic opportunity to compare cornering speeds between the various riding styles. Sitting up gives 50 kph, pushing down 47 kph and hanging off 53 kph. MotoGP bikes can actually accelerate harder when leaned over than in a straight line. While maximum acceleration on level ground is limited to about 1g, a MotoGP bike can accelerate at 1.2g when leaned over 45 degrees! For street bikes on public roads, 45 degrees means zeron grip left for acceleration. A modern street legal sport bike outfitted with racing tyre and circulating on a grippy race track can give up to 1g of acceleration when leaned over at 40 degrees. Cornering with the Honda Fireblade First we ride on the stock Bridgestone S20 “G” tyres. Hanging off gives 61 kph and 48 degrees of lean for the bike, combined 51 degrees. What difference does qualifying tyres make? WSBK Q-tyre, straight from the heaters, has tremendous grip and feedback. We do not give up until the Fireblade gets “floaty”, a sign we are nearing the limit. With the bike leaned over 53 degrees we reached 65 kph. Combined lean is 55 degrees with the rider hanging off. Why not faster? The asphalt was cold (less than 10C / 50F) and the asphalt not overly grippy. Add a slight negative camber and the limits were like that. But this was the same for all tyres. The problem for the Q-rubber was that they lost their heat rapidly, losing grip in the process. A Pirelli-technician explained that the racers don’t lean further on Qs, but they have more grip available for braking and acceleration. Enough to give about a second lower lap times. Two laps, though, and they are mostly gone. Cornering with the BMW S 1000 R Standard Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa allowed 59 km/h when hanging off, with 47 degree bike lean and 50 Grad combined lean was good, but better results were limited by grinding foot peg feelers and gear shift lever. Foto: www.factstudio.de Husqvarna Supermoto 701 Sitting straight made the rider feel uneasy, which limited lean and cornering speed. Foto: www.factstudio.de The Sumo-Stil made the rider feel at most comfortable. Sliding tyres and grinding parts set the limit. Foto: www.factstudio.de If the rider had been able to hang as well off as he was at pushing the bike down, he could have cornered faster. Foto: Archiv Tyre width and CoG Wider tyres demand more lean for any given corner speed. The same goes for lower CoG. The difference between the tall Husky 701 with relatively narrow tyres and the low Diavel with its ultra-wide tyres was 3 degrees when doing 50 kph around the skid pad; 38 for the 701 and 41 for the Diavel. Foto: 2snap Lateral acceleration and lean While 45 degrees of lean gives 1g, 60 degrees give 1.7g, which isn’t the same as going 1.7 times faster by any means. Foto: www.factstudio.de Ducati Diavel A good way to see what the different riding styles can bring. Foto: www.factstudio.de Looks weird, feels weird. Foto: www.factstudio.de Feels much better than pushing the bike down!Foto: Archiv Der Kammsche Kreis This shows how much grip is left to brake or accelerate or steer at various lean angles. If you are leaned over to use half the lateral acceleration, you have 85% grip left to other forces (green arrow). The red arrow indicate that you have only 10% grip left to do anything else than circulate. Grip through the gear effect. Mikrorauigkeit (red) [micro coarseness], with spikes between 0,001 and 0,1 Millimeter is especially useful in the wet, while Makrorauigkeit (green) [macro coarseness] between 0,1 und 10 Millimeter make the difference on dry roads. Foto: Archiv Contact patch with a 180/55 sport tyre with a racing profile at 48 degrees of lean. 38 square centimetres contact area. Typical contact patch is that of a credit card. Public roads are more slippery than tracks, particularly in the wet because the surface lack Microraugkeit. Cold rubber, especially with sport tyres, can cause the tyre to slide on top of the asphalt instead of forming around it. Hence sport rubber is worse than touring rubber below a certain tyre temperature. Karussell around Nürburgring is bumpy and can be taken with 58 degrees of lean. However, thanks to the sloping surface, the angle between the road and machine is just 33 degrees. Lean and speed The Fireblade on WSBK Q-tyres managed 55 degrees of lean and 65 kph. If we theoretically put Marquez on the same skidpad with a combined lean of 66 degrees, he would have circulated at 78 kph.
  39. 3 points
    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 info.) Getting more weight on the front also can tighten up your steering by compressing the forks - but you can also get a similar effect with hook steering or changing your geometry or suspension settings. So that all works well for turn ENTRY, however once have turned the bike and have reached your desired lean angle and are pointed in the direction you want to go, if you don't get on the gas you will just keep slowing down. The best scenario for traction once you DO roll on the gas is: 40/60 weight distribution. Thus, the throttle control rule, "Once the throttle is cracked on..." So, the way I look at it, is while you are still slowing down and getting the bike turned, the weight on the front is a good thing (to a point - obviously using too much trail braking while turning can exceed your front tire traction), and once you are back on the gas, 40/60 is the way to go for best stability (we are no longer making lean angle changes at that point) and traction. Does that make sense? Do you remember from level 1 exactly WHEN you are supposed to START rolling on the gas?
  40. 3 points
    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-entry turn, especially due to the aerodynamic drag explained by Hotfoot above.
  41. 3 points
    Cool story. Read this: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-bicycle-problem-that-nearly-broke-mathematics/#
  42. 2 points
    That movie changed my life. I had been riding (commuting) about 5 or 6 months when I figured I was ready to ride some twisty roads. So I went out and scared myself pretty bad. The bike wouldn't turn, I was crossing the yellow repeatedly, my wrists hurt from my death grip on the bars, etc. Every corner was terrifying; a "mild panic" as they say in the movie. It was a bad day. Then I found TOTW2 and I felt like Keith had just watched me ride and was going over my mistakes, one by one. The entire movie was a series of "ah-ha!" moments. Everything was explained so well. Now I've done a bunch of schools and I mostly ride track days. It's a slippery slope. My favorite parts of the movie are the cheesiest parts. That's what makes it fun!
  43. 2 points
    That's awesome, the pat on the back was great lol
  44. 2 points
    Good summary Hotfoot. I'd always thought of WSB like NASCAR, and MotoGP like F-1
  45. 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?
  46. 2 points
    Bottom line up front: the bike is extraordinary, awesome, phenomenal. Why: It is build bottom up as a track-specific bike. Different from a World Superbike that started out as a street bike, this was built as a track bike from the bottom up. Somehow it was incredibly user-friendly. Any intermediate level and up rider will love it. Handling: Zero changes on the suspension, the bike would not only hold a line, it went anywhere you wanted it to go. Very easy to set it on a line. Rough pavement (at Willow Springs) was no problem. At our race school I was able to make passes over a bumpy outside section where other riders would avoid. Power: Super linear. Never really hit hard suddenly. The mapping it came with is very manageable and a perfect balance of outright power and user-friendly delivery. 3rd and 4th gear power wheelies are easy and very progressive--not sudden. It definitely is far more powerful than a stock S1000RR. Gearbox: This was something that surprised me. Super-smooth and positive shifts. The stock gearbox is just fine but this one was even better with a very positive feel and great travel. Electronics: The traction control is audible; you can hear it coming in with a fluttering sound which is very helpful to get the immediate feedback on what the bike is doing on that. The dash is a race dash with a very simple interface and easy to control and change settings. Launch control: just like the GP bikes! So cool. Used it today at our Race School. Took off like a scalded cat. Finish: Every thing is so tidy under the seat where the battery and datalogger are. Nothing missing, nothing extra. Most bolts are drilled titanium. Wiring harness is custom with nothing xtra, but there are jacks for additional sensors like brake pressure and suspension travel. Brakes: Zero fade. Excellent feel. Some travel but not too much, very linear. Weight: Holy sheet. It's 6lbs lighter than a 300 Ninja when it's fully wet. Wow so easy to transition. I have video of two women lifting the bike completely off the ground. HP4R Price: $78,000. Engine replacement at 3,100 miles. Yoshimura superbike: $300,000. Engine rebuild at 700 miles. Graves Superbike: +/- $150,000 estimated. Engine rebuild at 1,200 +/-. BMW World Superbike: $120,000. Engine rebuild/replacement at 1,000 +/- Privateer MotoAmerica Yamaha Superbike: $60,000. Engine rebuild/replacement at 1,000 +/- and lots of bugs to fix and iron out, lower spec brakes and components. Any true superbike price is very hard to nail down because the development is the real cost. The parts are reflected above, but double, triple, quadruple is spent in development and testing at the track. Just one weekend testing is serious dollars. What you get with the HP4R is significantly more that you could ever get if you started with a stock S1000RR and tried to build a superbike from there. It's really a totally dialed in and balanced package. I had the owner of a local performance shop ride the bike from Motorsports Exotica, who said after getting off the bike: "I've ridden bikes with twice the money into them that don't even come close to this bike."
  47. 2 points
    The data loggers are absolutely incredible in what they do, and small and easy to mount. If you really are interested in one, contact the school office at 800-530-3350. Slicks are really expensive and tires are one of the biggest expenses involved in track riding. If the data logger helps you find the problem with your tire wear (or gives you the info you need to take to your suspension guy or tire guy), it will pay for itself very quickly. The additional riding info that you get that will improve your laptimes will just be a bonus! Edit - BTW if you have a friend that has one, too, you can download your data and compare, creating a "virtual race" type thing where you can overlay your laps and see the differences - where you or your friend is getting on the gas earlier, carrying more speed, braking later, etc., and you can use your combined positive points to improve each other's laptimes. Or just bench race. Anyway it is really great and I highly recommend it!
  48. 2 points
    I thought I knew how beneficial it would be and I thought I knew what I wanted to get out of it. I was kinda wrong on both counts. The personal consultant approach makes the leap between L3 and L4 huge. Take what we all know about CSS coaches. They're well versed in the hangups regular humans have in riding motorcycles fast and they're incredibly skilled at breaking down those barriers and knowing what the riders need to become better. Now, take those skills and remove the confines of teaching 5 new skills in a day and just let them have the time to fix whatever needs fixing and that's the difference between L3 and L4. I was at SoW. I was struggling at the kink and it turned out the problem was actually starting at the turn-in for 8. This was nice but the next revelation was that I was turning too slowly. It never felt like it to me because I was able to hit my marks at the speed I was riding. But much like the previous issue, the solution was not what I expected. I thought once I had more pace, I'd turn more quickly. But once they got me to really turn more quickly, I found that I had to up my pace. Again, the solution to a known problem was far from intuitive. After circling SoW who knows how many times at basically the same pace (better form each time but never more pace), being forced to do quick-turn correctly (in my case, push-pull) forced me to approach the corners with more pace because if had turned more quickly at the same entrance speed, of course, I would have early apexed. This one change got me 9 seconds. Next year I'm going to find a stretch of 3 or 4 days at SoW and book multiple days at once. Primary focus (I think) will be T1. Can't wait.
  49. 2 points
    It's clear to me that a big piece of the puzzle is the bike set up. Some street bikes need almost effort to steer other require a firm hand, and others yet need assertive gymnastics to make them go where you want. After a decade of pushing a small 400cc fourstroke, Suzuki Impulse around corners at stupid speeds, back in them1990s I had a chance to consider more pricey alternatives. So out for a test ride. Fist a BMW boxer 800cc. Well that was interesting, It really didn't like corners at all. Sure it could change direction, but once turned in it was stuck on line unless brutally steered. Then a Suzuki RF900F. This bike didn't so much love going around corners as ignore the fact that corners might be challenging. Having eliminated the boxer, the two very different Suzukis are worthy of discussion. The Impulse turned as smoothly as the rider permits. Full extreme hang off, body vértices bike turning with the front wheel towing the bike into corners after initial countersteer, or suberbike style half cheek locked in sharp countersteer. Or even wild, suspension hammering turf the bike into the corner and hang on style the Impulse with its marginal 1980s cheap street bike suspension would take it all in stride. And cornered fast just like a lightweight ought to. but then by comparison the RF900f a prices, younger well developed sports tourer made the impulse look like a wanton child. Cornering was smooth, effortless, and stupidly fast. Counter steering -why bother. Hang off - if you really really want to. Lean the bike - nah it's doing that all by itself. How the hell is thing turning - well the obvious answer is it's going where you are turning your head towards. That's it just turning ones head. The once 80kph corner requiring a bit of rider concentration and effort, was just glided through at 80mph with little more than a glance in the right direction. The seated balance was perfect - zero bar weight required loose hands was well effortless. The suspension was unnoticeable. Stitching sweepers, chicanes and multiapex corners simply required the infinitesimal weight transfer that occured when turning the head. Seating remained inline with the bike. And ok, habit had me point a knee out but experimentation showed me that that was more for comfort than necessity. But why the 80kph, and the 80mph comparison. I knew the gorge road very well, a cornering speed 80 kph was what I thought I read on the speedo out of the corner of my eye, and was only a little faster than my norm on the impulse. I was being cautious as the bike was on loan from the store! On the flat and straight I'd time to take a closer look, and spdiscovered the imported bike speedo was miles per hour. So in fact I'd just been smoothly trundling along at 1.5 times the speed I'd thought I was doing on one of the most challenging roads in the city. Technology is a wonderful thing and perhaps explains much of that, but an improvement in corner speed of 35% with zero effort, or practice simply by changing bikes is I think extraordinary. More extraordinary is the minor detail that it's clear that it's not how the rider rides, but how s/he rides a particular bike. Perhaps the impulse could have been riden that extra 35% faster, but I can say for certain not by me! I say that with confidence as I've clocked up about half a million miles on impulses, and riden them to the limit, even occasionally well beyond into stupidly terrifying, brake, suspension and tyre failure territory, for much of that. The RF900F was just a better balanced, way more refined package that enabled the rider. The rf900 was effortless compared to the beasts of the early 1980s like the gsx750, more refined and sharp than the BMW k750, and preposterously more nimble than the Kawasaki gt750. The impulse at very low speeds ran circles around the RF900F for nimbleness but the smooth sharp turns at open road speeds made the fr900 very attractive. What were the true limits of the RF900F I do not know, wisdom got the better of me. I was riding for the street, and I could quite easily imagine being caught out on a day with the flu coming on and loosing my licence because I cruised past a cop at 210 on my way to work. Or potentially crashing at stupid speeds because I was exploring the 900's limits. It also cost twice my annual income at that time. As I've gotten older and heavier, I find myself riding ( the Impulse - still) more upright, with less hang, but slightly more drama ( dancing front end) at times. And slower… . We are now both classics. In the rain less hang, more upright, bike leaned more than rider, means better visibility, and more time to react to road surface issues. It's not pretty and can feel wrong, but it's saved my bacon. But when the air is clear, and the surface is wet, hanging off the inside bike more upright gives one just a tiny edge if traction goes bye bye due to slick surface conditions. Old bold riders have learnt to ride through the problems ahead, by adjusting their style to the bike, the road, and the weather, in addition to their rapidly degrading mental and physical agility.
  50. 2 points
    Riding a curved on-ramp at the speed limit with a cop behind you.
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