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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
    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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!!
  8. 3 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 3 points
    Practice till you can't get it wrong, I'd just heard this in another arena (pistol shooting), but like the idea!
  14. 3 points
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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-
  20. 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.
  21. 2 points
    I'm pretty happy. Got to grow my trophy case a bit.
  22. 2 points
    Being a mediocre rider with a history of more brawn than brains, I have had to stand the bike up to slow down before continuing at a reduced pace countless times. Sometimes from running out of cornering clearance, sometimes just running out of courage. I have never planned for it or practiced it, it's just a result of my SR.
  23. 2 points
    Personally, I prefer a softer carcass and a more rounded profile for the tire. That's partly because I am a smaller rider and most bike's suspensions are too stiff for me anyway so the softer tire helps absorb some of that, but it is also because I like to feel the tire react - I like to feel the tire "set" in the corner, and feel it compress under acceleration. I do not like to feel rigidity or vibrations, or feel like the tire isn't reacting or won't compress, that sort of feedback tends to make me feel like the tire is cold or has too much air pressure and won't have adequate grip, so I am more tentative and don't load it enough for it to really work well. If I am SURE it is OK - like on warmed up Dunlop GPA tires, which have amazing grip, then I can push through that mental barrier and can appreciate the stability of the stiffer carcass under very hard braking and acceleration. But I prefer to ride with a smoother style so I don't miss it if the stiffness/stability is not there, I rarely brake/accelerate with that extreme force unless I am following someone who DOES ride with that sort of style and get (sort of) forced into it. What is it that makes you say "how soft MotoGP tires are"? Are you saying that because Michelins have a reputation for being softer than some others, or is that something that was said or written or published somewhere, that current MotoGP tire carcasses are softer right now than in the past?
  24. 2 points
    We are shooting for Barber, which is May 23-29. It's mostly booked up but there are about 10% seats available.
  25. 2 points
    It definitely can be done (sliding an S1000rr in a controlled fashion) and you can watch high level racing and see it happen. The school also has an off-track tool called the Slide Bike that can be used by more advanced riders to find our what it feels like to slide the rear tire. (And, for that matter, there is the Brake Bike that can be used to find out how it feels to slide and recover the front, in a straight line on the brakes.) One thing to consider is that the tires are ALWAYS sliding, to some degree, it is a built in part of how they work. In any corner the tires are always scrubbing off some rubber. Yes Q3s will slide and it can be controlled, but technique must be good. What is tough to recover is a very sudden, abrupt slide, where the tires move sideways fast and then when they regain grip the slide is halted abruptly - such as a situation where there is a patch of oil on the road (in a corner) and the tires slide fast and then catch abruptly on good pavement on the other side. Another example would be a rider that leans the bike way over into a corner, then whacks the throttle on abruptly, delivering way too much power to the rear tire and initiating a slide at a steep lean angle, THEN gets scared and shuts the throttle off abruptly. The rear tire suddenly regains traction which stops the slide and the sideways momentum can make the bike rotate over into a highside. (Traction control on newer bikes helps prevent some of those too-much-throttle situations, delivering less power to the rear wheel at steep lean angles.) Those types of highsides are probably what the "slip, grip, and flip" comments are referring to, but those can be prevented with good throttle control and knowledge of how to manage rear tire grip, and we have a variety of classroom sessions and drills at the school that cover those topics.
  26. 2 points
  27. 2 points
    I love it when topics get resurrected, and especially when I have just discovered the technique, literally yesterday...it forces me to relate my newfound exuberance not only to the "what" but also the "why." I am not a proud author and I am seriously interested in all responders. Why? Because if what I know to be true as outlined below proves false - I need to know ASAP. First, kudos to the CSS Coaches who asked the poignant question and provided the illustrative example: i.e. Cobie's 'stirring the pot' getting the topic back on track, "Does it matter which peg is weighted?" and then HotFoot's barbell example. Nice tag team. The OP's question was "Why weight the outside peg vice the inside?" and then we got into locking the body, Newton's Laws and "vector mathematics." We do "things" on the bike - perform techniques - to aid our riding. So I reckon the better question might be what are the advantages to weighting the outside peg over the inside peg? 1. Many of you have written it helps you 'lock-on' to the bike with less fatigue than other techniques. 2. Others have written that it helps focus major muscle groups in the steering process - as per TOTW2, Keith mentions it is like 'power steering' yielding less fatigue. Also Keith tells us in TOTW2 that "pushing under the bike" is not a good technique for asphalt based motorcycles. 3. Others have advocated that it only serves to 'pickup the bike' upon the exit. 4. My experience from a one-day experimentation over 5 hours and 300 miles is that in the great "ballroom dance" that is elegance & finesse motorcycle riding, I am in a much better position to lead the bike around the dance floor when my "touch points" on my girl are correct AND effective. Those are 3 GREAT reasons (4 if you count mine) to weight the outside peg! Are there ANY disadvantages? I haven't read about one or personally found one yet. The comment about riders who are "inseam challenged" and lift their foot off the outside peg yet still win races doesn't mean this is a bad or overrated technique at all - just that it doesn't have to be used to win races. Of course, being the dedicated riders we are, always wanting to learn more about riding, the why is always what matters - because that is how we remember to do things. It's great to discuss the Center of Mass (CM) and Center of Gravity (CG), but what seems to be missing from most of the posters' train of thought is the "moment of torque" surrounding the application point relative to the CM on the bike - hence HotFoot's outstandingly simple barbell example. What is at play here is the delta between gravity operating on the Center of Mass, and the torque - or 'moment arm' - acting on the bike around the bike's CM due to pressure applied anywhere other than the CM. To calculate this moment arm, or torque, I present the formula t=rFsin(α) where r is the radius distance from the CM, F is the actual Force and α is the angle of r. So, if Keith weighs 180 pounds (full gear & the math is easier), and he is applying only 2/3 of his weight - I think I'm being conservative here - to the outside peg in a 45 degree angle turn, and the peg is 10" from bike centerline, that gives us t=10*120*.707 = 848.5 in-lbs (70 ft-lbs) of torque on that motorcycle frame. With 250cc bikes going around 350-400lbs wet, that torque is almost 20% of the weight (remember most of the rider doesn't count because he's causing the moment.) That is not insignificant. There's definitely SOMETHING happening there. When a rider is "hanging off" - are they actually hanging their weight? If so, on what part of the bike? One poster wrote that the pros shift their weight 20 times in a turn - while 'hanging off.' That's a lot of shifting. In TOTW2, Keith was using the outside peg as his "pivot point" - where his weight was focused. I'll bet money he was 'hanging off' as well, but keeping his weight pushed to his outside foot - no small physical task. And that he was on a 250cc bike tells me there wasn't a lot of relative bike mass for him to overcome - yes there were centripetal and centrifugal forces from the wheels, but when he applied his weight to the outside peg, it definitely mattered to the bike. The other significant point made in TOTW2 is that when pressing on that outside (or inside peg) the bike "feels" your body mass MUCH nearer its own CM and that makes the bike happy and stable, regardless of the angle. Adventure guys and Trials guys stand on their pegs - why? It lowers the perceived CM for the bike and is more stable. When we 'flick' our bikes over, we WANT instant instability, followed by complete stability while in the turn...make one good steering input, hold it there with your "criss-cross-torso-pressure-system," and you get to enjoy the turn. So, in summary... Yes the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, and it actually makes mathematical sense, so yes, Coach Cobie, it DOES matter. Thanks for reading. I'm looking forward to May at Baker Motorsports. Cheers, Steve
  28. 2 points
    Thinking takes a bit of time. While riding (or other high speed potentially lethal activities), that's too slow. A few different pieces of this, but the first one is I actually applaud the guys that take the time to come to this forum, and work through some of the pieces of riding. There is a technology to riding. But for one to be able to look at the technology of riding, has to be willing to think it over, work through the pieces, do some study. That is for sure the first step. I'd have to say that this is more a thinking man's forum than some others. Like I said, got a few parts that I want to cover on this, but are you all with me so far?
  29. 2 points
    The answer to the question is: from turn-in, off throttle, not trailing the brakes, the bike will slow at the rate of between 3mph to 8mph/sec. Lots of variables of course but that's the quick answer.
  30. 2 points
    Here are some places to look in Twist II for info on downhill turns: Chapter Two, Throttle Control, the section called Survival Training. Chapter Four, the section called "Other Exceptions" near the end of the chapter. Twist I also has some info: Chapter 1, The Road You Ride, the section Uphill, Downhill, and Crested Turns
  31. 2 points
    I love this topic. I too am focusing on my turning ability, specifically Quick Turning. There’s an article where Keith says that learning to QT solves all of the SRs. I’m striving to become a disciple of that.
  32. 2 points
    That's awesome, the pat on the back was great lol
  33. 2 points
    What would you say is the skill/thought process/etc. you get the biggest benefit from focusing on -- either for training/practice or in/around a race?
  34. 2 points
    Good summary Hotfoot. I'd always thought of WSB like NASCAR, and MotoGP like F-1
  35. 2 points
  36. 2 points
    Figured I might as well introduce myself, even after doing over 60 schools if my count is right. I'm Yakaru, though lots of people at the track call me Violet since it's easier to remember and pronounce. I'm a video game developer currently based out of the Seattle area and motorcycle track addict. I have a bunch of bikes (highlights are my Ninja 300, S1000RR, and HP4Race) and I've been getting more serious about my riding this year and made some notable gains thanks to my coaches at California Superbike. I've got a few "regular" coaches, including Misti and Lyle as well as the Australians Chook and Stef.
  37. 2 points
    I've ridden many different tire sizes on different bikes and really can't tell much of a difference once I get a few laps on them. I've ridden a 1000 with a 180 rear and it was fine... if you A/B compared you'd feel the difference I'm sure. Slicks last longer than street tires, at least the Dunlops do. Heat cycles are what our coach tires experience all day long every day they are ridden. It may make a 3% difference but nothing anyone could feel easily. 1) Don't sweat the size issue. 200's are fine. The AMA 600 class used to run 200 rear slicks... 2) Get slicks if you want durability (and grip). 3) Use warmers with the slicks to ensure you don't get a cold tire crash. 4) Worry more about tread depth than heat cycles.
  38. 2 points
    For sure this is difficult to judge, for anyone. Laptimes are a measurement, and being able to achieve very CONSISTENT laptimes is a good indicator that a rider is well in control of their lines and speed and that the error rate is low, all of which indicates good riding skills. Seeing one's own laptimes come down on a given day at a given track is a good indicator that the rider is figuring out the track and making improvements. Being able to stay relaxed and ride without errors and without exhaustion is a great improvement, and something the rider can observe relatively easily for themselves. However - trying to compare laptimes to other riders may not be very meaningful unless you are racing . At track days and especially at schools, riders ARE, by definition, working on making changes and sorting things out so their laptimes can vary considerably from actual go-for-it race pace times. At CSS riders are asked to ride at around 75% pace so that they have enough free attention to make observations and changes in their riding, plus there are formats and drills and sometimes different track configurations (compared to how other organizations run their day) so a school day laptime may not mean much when compared to a race laptime, or even open track day times. So if you are looking at a CSS laptime and trying to decide if you could race at that track, it may not really translate. Going out and doing a new racer's school at that track (unless you already have a race license?) would allow you to get a sense of whether you can be competitive, and most of them do a mock race at the end of the day, which is fun and instructive, and most schools will be able to tell you if your laptime is acceptable for you to race there. Racing creates a whole new set of challenges - the track pace is fast and that will immediately push you to find places where you can go faster, and likely make you push yourself enough to reveal next areas of improvement in your riding. I think most of all you will need to decide your personal priorities for improvement, THEN figure out how to measure. What are your goals as a rider? Are you interested in being calmer on the track? Safer? More accurate? More consistent? More comfortable? Do you want to be able to learn new tracks faster? Do you want quicker laptimes? Do you want to ride in A group at your local track? Do you want to start club racing? Once you have your own goals set, finding ways to measure that should be easier. Interesting question about whether it changes based on the track... I guess my answer would be that there are certain skills that identify a skilled rider. Consistent entry speeds, good control of the bike (accurate, effective steering with steering rate appropriate to the turn), secure, locked-on body position, relaxed upper body, and good visual skills come to mind. One can watch a skilled rider on a new track, and they may be riding slow and figuring out lines but you can see the skills are there and know that once they get the lines figured out they will be able to ride consistently and quickly. You can also go to an open track day and see someone getting good laptimes (by pushing really hard) but leaning the bike over too far on the gas, exiting corners at the ragged edge of the track, making steering corrections, stabbing the brake, hanging off too far and steering ineffectively, making rough downshifts, etc. and see that they may be going pretty fast but they are lacking some really important basics and although they know the track well, they are hitting some big barriers that will hold them back and/or cause them to crash if they try to go any quicker.
  39. 2 points
    Good point, and I made great use of that while racing this weekend. My bike was geared a little too high for a particular corners so my drive out of the corner was suffering, so I tried changing my line to stay leaned over a bit longer - somewhat counter intuitive for getting a good drive, but it worked. Before, I was riding a more squared off line and standing the bike up but then my RPM was too low; leaving it leaned over a bit longer put me about 500 rpm higher and the bike did not lug on the exit. (To be clear, I wasn't ADDING lean angle - I was just maintaining my lean angle longer instead of doing an earlier pick-up.) On my low horsepower bike it made a difference, and I was very happy I knew how to apply that information!
  40. 2 points
    Another factor I haven't seen mentioned is that as you lean over, the final drive ratio changes. the difference between upright and fully leaned is the equivalent of half a downshift. This puts the engine in a different part of the powerband and can alter the effect a given amount of roll-on has, seeming to amplify the torque as the lean angle increases.
  41. 2 points
    It's a big subject at the schools these days, we see it a lot. One point that comes up as the cause is....too low turn entry speed. But...that has to be brought up gradually, or one gets into the minus is too much entry speed, a challenge to juggle. If it were easy, likely wouldn't be so much fun when you get it right :).
  42. 2 points
    The very first thing I learned from Keith was from that classroom scene in the TOTW II video: "Once the throttle is cracked open, it is rolled on evenly, smoothly and constantly throughout remainder of turn." In my opinion, when I feel I need maintenance throttle it is because my entry speed was too low. I can't imagine getting on the gas before turn in. In some sections like turns 4/5/6 at SOW, I may not ever close the throttle all the way but just stop rolling on while turning.
  43. 2 points
    On the street my absolute number one priority is safety. On the street I’m constantly trying to remain conscious of the variables outside of my control: most notably these include road conditions (loose gravel or a boulder in the middle of a blind turn), wildlife, oncoming traffic crossing over the double yellow, and the unimaginable/unexpected (like a Porsche making a 3-point U-turn in the middle of a blind corner on Mulholland, yes it happens). The most valuable tool I’ve learned from CSS for increased safety on the street is Wide Vision - without practicing wide vision it’s impossible to look through a corner and reserve attention/awareness for the unexpected. Wide vision and riding at 70-80% of my ability on the street has served me well. That way, hopefully, I become aware of the unexpected ASAP and I’ve got an extra $2-3 in savings to spend on it.
  44. 2 points
    Just bump into a few of the kids, push them out in the weeds. OK...I am kidding!
  45. 2 points
    Good points Hotfoot. Video can show some excellent things, but can also miss some things. There are also many different angles/camera placements. Interestingly enough, the one used at the school (arm over the shoulder) can be very instructive. Another is a follow camera, but then it helps to have a qualified rider being the cameraman. It actually can be very helpful for coach riding from behind to take the line he would normally, and show the difference between that and the student's line. Video is an excellent aid, but not the whole picture, and as Hotfoot mentions, if the rider isn't well educated on the subject being critiqued, it's going to miss the mark. Best, Cobie
  46. 2 points
    Pitts- I thought about your willingness to identify and resolve a training gap and I’m reminded of an online conversation about stress reactions that I think you were a participant of in our POA days. My recollection is that the forum was lopsided in the notion that one could train responses to any emergency situation, after all that’s what the FAA teaches us. Henning was dead set on the notion that SRs were hardwired into a person and that each person may only modify their personal SRs to some degree with training but in the end, there they were - a pessimistic approach, I agree but experience tells us that a morsel of truth is present. Even in my days as a student pilot with Jon, my instructor yelling at me and trying to intentionally induce stress, nothing happens in the cockpit very fast, perceptually; motorcycle - different ballgame. I don’t know why that is but I think what Keith Code describes as Sense of Space may apply. I am of the belief that stress cannot be induced in a laboratory, sans chemicals, and even that is different. In the times before me, the FAA emphasized stall recovery training, then they went to a model of stall awareness and avoidance in effort to curb low altitude Loss Of Control In Flight incidents. I haven’t done a statistical review to say if it is working or not, but I have had the experience of putting my training into real life practice, and I and my passengers are still here and they are none-the-wiser as to how close we came to LOCI on takeoff one hot summer day years ago. Perhaps it may be a worthwhile venture to revamp the HURT report to include a review of the efficacy of training methodologies on single- vehicle accidents. While it may or may not solve your particular malady, I perceive that you are motivated to discover something overlooked to benefit the community at large. Lastly, I also took note of your mention of “The Pace”. I do believe that is a definite gap in training and you may be in a good position to advance this ideology earlier in the training cycle and to also benefit by a review and dissection of it.
  47. 2 points
    I notice that it is very hard to get the actual character of the track from seeing it on TV. Hard to perceive the elevation changes, hard to see the changes in camber and surface, and the abrupt changes in camera perspective can make it hard to grasp the flow of the track. I also notice that I am amazed by how much the bikes slide around, and wiggle under hard braking, and how rough some riders can be on the controls while others are silky smooth. When I watch videos (especially on-board videos) of amateur racers I am amazed by how many errors some riders make in races. Riders that are fast, judging by their laptimes, but make a lot of mistakes; it would seem surprising that they don't fall down more often - but then sometimes I find out they DO fall often. It certainly seems possible to pick up some incorrect ideas or not-useful information, for example I sometimes hear announcers throw out some thoughtless comment or platitude that is really not applicable and could be confusing if you tried to really take it seriously. On the other hand, seems like you could learn a lot about preparation and race strategy, tire wear management, and race rules by watching races, by seeing what happens to riders that are late to the grid, or overwork their tires in the first part or a race, or choose the right or wrong tire compound, I find that stuff quite interesting.
  48. 2 points
    This is difficult as to a point these skills will play off each other. So, my opinion (based on street riding, not track though they are likely the same): #1 - Visual skill, lack of target fixation. You have to see the situation or threat before anything else can happen. #2 - Quick reflexes. Once you see the threat/issue you need to make the right reaction. #3 - Ability to steer quickly. If you need to change direction, this is important. #4 - Physical Condition. Its important so you can enjoy your ride and not be fatigued (and sloppy) #5 - A lowly last is Brave. Just being brave will likely get you in real trouble. One skill not mentioned is ability to brake safely and quickly in all riding attitudes (straight up, turning, poor traction etc).
  49. 2 points
    To answer your question above, yes I do sometimes still catch myself getting target fixed when I enter an unfamiliar corner and think I've come in too fast. My personal solution is that I've trained myself that, whenever I feel compelled to pull the brake (as opposed to doing it in a controlled and conscious way), I look in to the apex. I've associated that feeling of "needing" to brake with being target fixed so now as soon as I feel that desire to pull the brake, I look to the inside to get my eyes moving the right direction.
  50. 2 points
    The only reason there are no female racers in the MotoGP class is that too few enter at the bottom as youth racers. It probably takes between 3,000 and 5,000 youth racers to eventually end up with one who is capable of racing at the highest level. This includes having the family with the means and support and Olympic-level dedication to the child to make it past all the barriers to succeed.
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