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Keith Code

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Everything posted by Keith Code

  1. What is a quick unflick? Why would a rider's ability to turn the bike quick enough limit or improve their feel for how much speed they could carry into a corner? What are the factors that determine how quickly you get the bike turned? There are several of them, let's see what kind of list we can make: 1. I'll start off...The limit of lean angle for the bike you are riding. That means where you will hit hard parts. Your turns Keith
  2. Rolling on at turn-in is not the same as Maintenance Throttle. I will check my reference material. http://forums.superbikeschool.com/index.php?showtopic=540 12. Coordinating the exact roll on to stabilize the bike at the brake off/quick flick point. When you drop a bike into a turn quickly there is an optimum opening of the throttle, which maintains good stability through that transition. The focus on this is to see if you can grab the right amount of throttle right away to get that instant stability. -Keith Code Comments? That quote is a sequence, "brake off/quick flick point", that means that both actions are completed Which means the bike is at the lean angle the rider feels will get it through the corner, steering is completed at that point. The words are in relation to the moment the rider gets back to the gas after the flick in. Does he crack it open 2mm, 3mm, 4mm or 10mm, etc. That all has to do with how fast he is going and how much the suspension compressed as he flicked it into the turn. A really quick flick may require that initial throttle opening to be a bit larger than if he had only moderately flicked it into the turn. Done perfectly, you get a seamless entry and transition from the flick to the gas. Keith
  3. Did you mean 'marital' arts or 'martial' arts ? (I assume you meant 'martial'). Uh, ya, MARTIAL but I suppose you'd have to say that Marital activity is an ART as well. Keith
  4. samuidave, It is a common misperception and misunderstanding, most riders will tell you that the bike comes up (more towards vertical) as throttle is applied but, NO, they don't, with some exceptions. The V MAX, which has a shaft and strange handling has a tendency to rise on throttle, there may be other bikes but I've never been on a sport bike that actually came up on throttle. Similarly, the pressure on the bars to hold a line is another false perception and contributes to poor handling. There are many reasons why riders have this perception but all of them are other errors that they are making while riding and the pressure on the bar through the turn is a "solution" to them. This is stuff we go over in Level 1 and is all over the A Twist of the Wrist, Vol II book. What's up, did you guys forget??? Keith
  5. The most telling aspect of the rear steering or maintaining the bikes attitude to the road surface is during a leaned-over tank slapper. The bike continues on its merry way with no lean angle changes that are perceptible. It is easy to notice that the bike maintains its line over bumpy pavement despite the fact the front end is rotating side to side. Then we have the turn exit wheelie, where the bike, without any changes in throttle, will maintain its lean angle. In the end, the only practical reason for looking at this aspect of riding is to discover how the rider can assist or spoil the bike's inherent stability and how too much misplaced rider input affects its line. Keith Also, the lean angle vs speed issue is pretty obvious when you see 45 degrees of lean in a 50 mph corner or the same lean in a 125mph corner where the riding radius of the turn is far greater. That is the empirical observation. The Physics behind it I'll leave up to you gents. KC
  6. All Riders Have ADDD Attention Disorientation and Distribution Disorder Yes, I just made that up but, really, there has been a lot of buzz for years about so-called ADD and ADHD. You’ll hear, “At school, my son or daughter can’t focus and has a hard time learning lessons. Their attention wanders. They become nervous and impulsive.” Well, I have a school and my students (usually the parents) have the same problems with something they really are interested in, improving their cornering skills. Both have run into a learning barrier. Watching a student hack through a corner with speed, lean angle, steering and throttle errors could easily be described as un-focused hyperactivity”. They don’t want it to be like that or feel like that. As a coach, I have to look for the reason or both I, and my students, fail to improve the riding. What you experience or what I see in these situations is poor communication. The rider knows what he wants to say to his bike but doesn’t have a clear communication to it. This looks like bad cell reception; riders appear to be shouting commands at the bike that it can’t understand. The control inputs, our communications with the bike, step on one another. WHA (turn) AAAT-T- (look up road) T-T-T (back on the gas) D-D-D-DID (going wide) YOU S-S-S- (ah oh, too late) SAY?…If you can hear me, I’ll call you later! If you think of a barrier as something that stops communication it will take you back to a very, very basic point on riding. You only have so much attention to spend on anything at any given moment in time. AD, Attention Disorientation is a far better definition for the kid or the rider. Once we start to multi-task by adding different forces like braking, accelerating and steering and approaching their limits, or what we perceive to be their limits, we start bumping into confidence problems, we become distracted, we see a little hysteria building and it snowballs. When that happens to me, and it can, do I have an ADHD attack? Riders run out of attention to spend on receiving data from the riding environment, something sucks it up. They lose touch and can’t process the information and accurately direct the bike. This is the barrier: being able to maintain communication, which is an exchange of information, which should then result in clear, distinct and well timed control inputs. It isn’t an attention deficit in general it is a very specific attention disorientation. The rider doesn’t understand what the game is—what to focus on. The kid got lost in school and the teacher wasn’t bright enough to catch it and fix him or her. They are sent to the school Psych for drugs. I don’t have stock in the drug companies so I have to fix the rider’s problem. In motorcycling, take hard braking as an example. Worrying about the front contact patch and when it will begin to fail takes an enormous amount of attention and swings it away from your goal: getting the turn entry speed right. That isn’t an overall attention deficit, just misplaced attention and riders tend to generalize that but in the end it results in a lack of confidence while braking. Without the important data like how fast you are decelerating and calculating an accurate solution that respond to it and then coordinating that with the appropriate control inputs, along with good timing and at the correct intensity; it all becomes guess work which leads straight to uncertainty, the opposite of confidence. The result is that we blow our turn entry speed; usually slower in than we should have gone or wish we could go. The action of braking can become a bit dim and vague and riders fear it and want control over it at the same time. Similarly, when kids can’t control the words on the page of their schoolbooks they fear them and reject them and become distracted just like the rest of us. Just as drugs which tranquilize children will never be the correct solution to study problems, this braking scenario won’t resolve until we discover what technical step or piece of experience was missed in his or hers understanding of the braking sequence. Something was missed or misunderstood. This can often be simple. The rider thinks they should downshift before using the brake. Silly idea. Get rid of what you want the least at the entry to a turn (excess speed) with the control that is very craftily designed for that purpose, the brakes, and downshift a little later. OK, it may go another step. The rider doesn’t know how to smoothly change their gears. Fine. We fix that. AD, Attention Disorientation, affects riders at all levels including professionals. We’ve handled more pro riders than anyone else in the world, trust me on this one, they have the same problems. Once I realized we’re peeling an onion in layers and that everyone isn’t suffering from some generalized disability I developed four different approaches, four coaching styles, to help the rider through their precise deficiency. No drugs. Understanding the words that are spoken in a conversation or in a book is vital to interest. Understanding the desired result from your control inputs is vital. This is how you know if the bike is or is not cooperating with you. Both points are communication with something, a book, a bike, cooking, golf; it makes no difference what it is. Good coaching, not drugs, is the answer. I hope we get a chance to get your riding attention oriented and focused this season. Take a look at our schedule and sign up now, I’d love to see your big grin at the end of the day! http://www.superbikeschool.com/schedule/ Keith Code PS: On the ADD and ADHD thing, take a look at this: http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/Drugfree.htm © Keith Code, 2008, all rights reserved,
  7. For me, personally, I'll have my hands full just with the basics for the next season. So, yes, I'll be working on using the front brake alone. To be fair, I've found the R1 to be very stable even at 150 MPH indicated. What surprised me is how ragged the lead guys in the Superstock 1000 Cup racers were. Further, it seemed like it was mostly the R1 guys. Has anybody on the forum watched any of last year's races? Did you see what I'm talking about or am I delusional? I for one didn't see the Superstock but if you watch the World Superbike guys you'll see less and less wagging around these days going into corners...with the exception of Biaggi at Phillip Island this weekend but he lofted the rear wheel and set it down crooked at 160 mph. wow. Brakes and tires and chassis being better these days for cornering doesn't mean the engineers didn't have compromises to make. The short wheelbases and steep steering head angles are two things that contribute to the under-braking stability. Couple that with better tires that will take more trailbraking loads and a little bit of rider input into the bars and you can have a very wild looking ride coming into the corners. Very little rear brake is being used in most racing so that isn't the reason and in many cases you can clearly see that no rear brake is being used. Rossi says he'll use it if he gets in too hot but not otherwise is what I have heard. Now, with that all buttoned up let's look at what the rear would do for a more positive feel once into a turn. Using the back brake tends to bring the back of the bike down a bit so we'd see in increase in fork angle at the very least which would tell the rider the bike was more stable in the turn. The tradeoff is that the bike won't turn quite as tight a radius. There is always a compromise in most extraordinary riding techniques and it boils down to how the rider feels the bike. Keith
  8. super60, Since you have Stomp on the bike use it like you mean it. The inside of your leg by the knees will rub down to raw leather from using them. Keith
  9. Drew, Stuman is of course right, tire warmers are the bomb these days but they are also a chore and quite often you need to also buy a generator to run them in far off paddock situations. I'm old school (before tire warmers) so I'm willing to get the tires up to temp, even on colder days. One thing you must realize is this: the tires heat based on the demand you put on them. If you toddle around slowly and then decide to go for it, they won't be up to that temp. The warming process is a ramp, start slow and then work into higher corner speeds and more aggressive drives. After a lap or so on a cold day pay attention to pouring on the gas as you get get the bike up about half way, hard acceleration heats them up fast and it is safer when you are leaned over a bit less. You can start doing this almost immediately unless the tires are really cold or they are new. You play the lean against the gas in an intelligent fashion and it works out. Another thing to look for is how many rights and how many lefts there are. Warming the tire real well on the right does not put heat into the left side of the tire. Give both sides some time and attention, don't forget this. Keith
  10. michaelt54, I'm going to be perfectly honest with you. It's none of the drills, skills and techniques we teach at the school--it's desire that fuels what you are looking for. There is no school better for that than going racing. I'd love to be able to tell you that it is something that I could provide for you but I can't do that, no one can. When I decided to write Twist II I knew that the only way for me to get the data I was interested in was to go back out and race for a couple of seasons in competition that was tough. My idea was to put myself into a challenging environment that would make me reach down and find that desire so I could do the research I needed. It worked. I was being my own student, which is a challenge on its own because it is so difficult to be objective about your own riding. If I had a coach through that time it would have shortcut my improvement tremendously but I had the research in mind and that meant I had to do it on my own. Track days are only 1/3 of the way to racing. Racing provides a very set format with a defined number of laps for you to do your thing. It has a way of installing the desire as a freebie, a by-product. I might be talking myself out of a student but I think once you find that nitch of desire within yourself the training will make even more sense. Keith
  11. Hey Mike, Everyone learns at their own rate. Each of us has his own personal barriers to break through to get to the point where they really feel like they are riding the bike and using its potential. The only thing I can say about our program is that it works for all skill levels of riders. We take the time to go through each of the foundation skills that are needed for improvement to happen. When we brag about the champions we have trained it isn't about the fact they are racers its just to show that even when someone is already fast or smooth or can control a motorcycle, the foundation skills still apply. Pro racers do our school Levels in the same order you will do them. Keith
  12. jrock7896 said: So why did Keith see that in turn one @ willow that the faster rider was on the gas and not the brakes.... Im not exactly sure, but perhaps it has to due wit the turn having a nice bank to it. This would turn some of the centripetal force into down force due to the banking and perhaps this has something to do with it since we know that additional down force would cause friction and friction allows for more centripetal force. Obviously the formula for downforce vs. losing traction vs. braking force, vs. centripetal force would not be proportional, but I think it is a formula that each rider is working out at the very top level of moto gp and AMA each time they enter a turn. Damn their good!!!!! ------------------------------ jrock, just for your information and calculations, banking doesn't create "down-force". A car's wings are a totally different force. In Banking, gravity is simply pulling you down the "hill" created by the banking offsetting a proportional amount of cetripetal force and allowing for more speed as a result. The forces all balance. It feels like you hit a wall when you run into banking but what you are really experiencing is the gravity pulling on you and the bike at a different angle than it does on a flat corner. Conversely, on an off camber corner, gravity is pulling you down the "hill" but to the outside of the turn. The calculation of gas versus brakes is simple, all things being equal, the guy who gets back into the gas the earliest has more turn exit speed and covers the distance to the next turn in less time than the other guy who waited longer. In corners where you have a choice, like turn #1 at Willow, different riders have different tolerances for how quick they can flick their bike based on how much they trust the front tire. Some riders are more adapted to feeling out the front with the brake than on getting a huge sudden load on the front from flicking the bike into the turn. They like to ease into it. Both can get max grip from the tire, just a different approach for different sensitivities to front traction. Something that has to be kept in mind when you add up the plus and minus columns of trailbraking is this: Unless it is from too much lean angle, riders don't lose the front on the gas, only on the brakes. Another thing that must be kept in proportion on this discussion is: Pointing to trailbraking as THE reason why fast guys can go fast is like saying that if you know how to use a saw really well, you can build a house. Can you build the house without the saw? No. Does the ability to expertly use a saw guarantee the house is well planned and well built? No. There are many other tools and skills that must be known to build it. Same with riding. Keith
  13. Great discussion. I think the most remarkable trailbraking is done by the 125 GP guys. The bikes can carry so much entry and corner speed you often see the riders wide open going in the turns and they have no choice but to do all of their braking leaned over. The balance on trailbraking is now and forever will be when the rider can get back to the gas. As some have already pointed out, the technique can be overused and in some cases keep the rider from getting back on the gas. Overuse of trailbraking will bring the bike to ever steeper lean angles which can reduce the drive out on bikes with no traction control. On the 800 Moto GP bikes they appear to be running on ever increasing lean angles down to the apex in some turns and bringing the bike back up quite a bit quicker than the 125 and 250 guys. Basically it looks like the whole first half of the turn is getting the bike pointed down track and then working the lean against the traction control for the drive out. It isn't only the tires that have made trailbraking more and more effective as a technique it is the traction control in combination with rear tire grip. The rubber on Moto Gp bikes is not even close to what we race on over here. Moto GP rear tires run 10 to 12 pounds of air in them. This is a whole other universe of tire technology that we don't yet have. I am training an AMA rider right now who has been on the podium two out of the last three races. At Laguna this past AMA race we worked out less trailbraking for turn 6 to get back on the gas earlier to go up the hill to the corkscrew. He had to "get brave" and talk himself into less trailbraking in that turn but the result was several hundred RPM more going up the hill. That is a substantial change in speed. So back to the real subject, where, when and how much trailbraking pays off and when not? I have another interesting example you might like. When Will Eickenberry was racing his 636 ZX6 at Willow I was doing section times on him and Jeremy Toye through turn 1. Will is one of the few riders who did not trailbrake in turn 1. His split just for turn 1 was consistantly 2 tenths quicker than Toye, Toye was on his 1000. Toye was doing 21's and Will was doing 23's. Turn 1 is a pretty classic trailbraking type of turn because it has so much banking it is easy to feel confident trailing in there. This isn't an argument for or against trailbraking its two examples. One where less gave more speed and acceleration and the other where none at all was quicker. Keith
  14. The Bands of Traction If you saw the last GP in Portugal this past weekend you couldn’t help but be impressed with the traction capabilities of the tires. The corner speeds, lean angles and how quickly the riders could flick the bikes is astounding. Clearly, that level of riding can only be achieved by those who are able to trust the tires. How do you arrive at the point of being able to use current tire technology? The Edge Anyone would like to be able to read and sense traction at a pro level. That would mean something like: to always know when you were at the edge of traction and feel comfortable enough to bring it there when and if you wished to. For a professional rider that “edge” has to be pretty wide. Think of it this way: you must be able to ride in that band of traction or you don’t get paid. That is a different perspective than most sportbike enthusiasts have on the subject of traction. Bands of Traction Feeling in control of tire grip would mean reading the signs of losing grip and knowing what those signs meant. If there was a nice long, tapering curve to losing traction, where the signs of it ramped up very gradually from a squirm to a little slip and then to a slip & grip and then on to a nice, clean, power-on slide we’d all be traction masters. The fact is, tires do have signs and signals just like that but talking about it doesn’t make it any more real or comfortable without some personal experience to back it up. Reading the Signs By questioning a track day or club race rider you could pretty well figure out what lap times they’d be able to turn by what traction signals they had experienced and were comfortable with. You would find most riders stuck right at the “squirm” band of traction. Not too bad really, providing that the rider’s basic riding techniques were firm, he could go quite quick at the squirm band of riding. This would typically give lap times that were within 8 to 12 seconds of AMA Pro 600 Supersport times. The squirm band starts right when the rider has enough pressure on the tires to get a decent sized footprint on the pavement, which is the technological magic of radial tire design. Many riders think there is less rubber on the ground when the bike is leaned over but it is the opposite, there is more. They think that because they can’t add gobs of throttle when it is leaned over. In actual fact, as we bring the bike up we can add more throttle because the tires do not have to deal with the leaned over side-loading from the cornering. When the bike is straight up it has the least rubber on the ground but no side loading to take away from the available traction. Technical Skills Having good technical skills is the only sane route to mastering the bands of traction and reading their signs. In other words, without a firm grounding in basics, it’s easy for riders to misidentify what they think is a loss of traction when it isn’t or because of poor technique they may skip a band or two and get themselves into trouble. Sloppy throttle control gives a false sense of tire grip. Using lean angle in the wrong part of the turn for the wrong reasons gives a distorted feel for it. How the rider sits on the bike can have a huge effect on it. Confusing inputs into the handlebars is another classic way of misreading the signs your tires can give you. All of them will set you up to miss the signals completely. These, and others, are all technical aspects of riding that can be adjusted by the rider without having to touch the bike’s suspension. Being coached through these points is the way to go and leads to control of the mysterious traction questions riders have. Tire Technology Riders know that 21st century motorcycles and tires are better than they are. Fine. What security does anyone have that this is true beside the thin hope that if they do get into trouble the bike and tires will save their bacon? One aspect is tire warmers and the security they seem to give riders. Tire warmers are a fact of life these days even at track day events. What many riders fail to realize is that by the time they get around a lap or two the tires can actually cool down. Tire temperature is based on tire usage. The higher loads the hotter they get. If you aren’t in the band of traction that will take you over the tire warmer temp you really are looking at a security blanket that isn’t totally real. For sure it can save a rider from the embarrassment of a first lap, cold tire crash and that is the good news. New Skins Aside from crashing, tires are the single most expensive, consumable cost riders have for track days and racing. Tires do wear out and that wear is part of the key to their ability to grip. Take the tire’s viewpoint for a moment. They are willing to stick provided there is rubber covering the cords; the temperature is up to the loads being demanded by the rider’s speed; lean angle; braking and drive off the corners. Tires wear out just like skin. As the outer layer becomes dry it is swept away by friction. On your clothes when it comes to skin. On the pavement when it comes to tires. Tires, like skin, dry out from age or from heat. Exposing the next layer of fresh, pliable rubber underneath to the road is critical to performance. If the dry rubber remains on top, traction isn’t as good. To expose the new, fresh rubber, enough load must be put on the tires to “clean” them. It has been theorized that 10% tire slippage is the ideal situation for tires because it keeps the temperature up and at the same time “cleans” them. Heat Cycles How many heat cycles a tire has gone through, theoretically, has a huge effect on how well they work. The heating and cooling is supposed to reduce their grip by changing the chemistry that holds the rubber together and riders sometimes worry about it. The Dunlops on our school coach’s bikes are usually take-offs; they’ve already been raced on and often raced on by pro riders who can get them up to full temperature. We then use them for days of track riding and all the coaches can go quick enough to run club race lap times and most of them could qualify for an AMA Supersport race. While our coaches don’t ride hot laps every moment of every day the tires do get a minimum of 30 heat cycles a day. Here’s the point: The record for a front tire is 38 school days. The record for a rear is 18 days. The average laps per day would be around 90. I think Dunlop knows something about tires and taking up the devils advocate, these are the stickiest, most expensive ones so perhaps, at least for the quicker riders, there is economy in buying the good stuff after all. NOTE: We change the Dunlops on our ’07 ZX6 student bikes every three or four days. The Sticky Stuff Everyone wants to have the stickiest rubber they can afford but it isn’t sticky until they can put the big load on the tires. Most riders would do better and learn heaps more about traction with something lesser than full race, factory rider developed tires. Why? They don’t have to put the big loads on the tires to start to experience the bands of traction as listed above. Look at it this way. If you are using the tire at the bottom end of where it was developed by pro riders would it actually save you if you got brave for a moment? The answer is no. Pushing the loads on the tires up for a moment when the rest of the lap was at your normal pace will not give the tire enough time to warm up to the level you momentarily demand from it to handle the situation. In other words, your potential and that of the tires have to come up together for you to take advantage of what the tire has to offer. To a large degree, the security of the stickiest rubber is false. Until you arrive at some consistency in your levels of speed and lean angle and throttle control and the other technical parts of riding it is no more then blind faith. Trusting the Tires In the end it isn’t about the tires it is about the rider. It’s about using good technique and having good technical skills. It’s about gaining some consistency with them and knowing you can do it. After that, it’s not so difficult to trust your tires because you trust yourself. Keith Code ⓒ 2007, all rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced by any means without express written permission of the author.
  15. One other thing you can do to keep them in your view longer is change your focal plane. Try looking through the screen as though you were looking past it out into space and for me I was able to maintain the yellow dots much longer. Also, you would never be staring at any one thing for as long as it usually takes for the yellow dots to disappear and your eyes, under most cornering situations, would have moved many times. A simple medium speed 90 degree turn can have an elapsed time of under 4 seconds from start to finish. Turn #11 at Laguna is an example. Keith
  16. Once you change the bike and rider combined center of mass the bike is necessarily out of balance and will tend to go in the direction of the imbalance which does require a very slight pressure to correct for when going straight and hanging off. It's barley noticeable but you do have to do it. Once you transition to braking there is still some pressure needed to maintain a straight line trajectory as you enter the corner. The bike should turn easier as you apply pressure to the bar to counter steer it. It's a small percentage but you could say it does help and it does. Is it body steering, well, we don't have to beat a dead horse on that subject, we all know we would never get through the esses or miss a car with only so called body steering so leave it at that. The main point is that it is a very fine point and not critical to good control of the bike, it is just something that happens. Subtle imputs happen all the time on the bars. The great thing about the No BS bike is that you become aware of them immediately once you to the top bars. Keith
  17. Precise, concise, hit the nail on the head ... in a word: utterly sublime. Well ... that's two words, but ... I couldn't have said it better. In fact, I had the chance to say it better and didn't. Actually, I'm kind of bummed I didn't say it ... Seriously, it seems so obvious and straightforward, but, I don't think I ever put it together like that. Thanks, Stu. racer One other thing to consider is the width of the tracks. On the really wide GP spec tracks like China and Sepang for example, you will see a lot more trailbraking than you do on narrower tracks. One other thing to consider is how much actual braking pressure is being applied. When you look at the braking graphs in GP it looks to me like the very end of it is very light on the lever, its not an on and off thing. One other point that was brought up is how much of an "advanced" technique it is. Well, watch the GP guys and see what you see on the turn entires. My observation is that quite a few of them are bringing the front wheel to lock-up as they tilt the bikes in and then releasing from there. This usually happens at conservative lean angles. When it happens at steeper lean, they lose the front end and crash which, these days, is the most common top level rider error that results in a crash. Keith
  18. Apollo, You really have the answer to this. While you are pushing the bar to turn the bike right you do want to be as "elbows down" as possible for the direct push to the bars. As you finish your steering input or braking you do want to reposition your hand/wrist so you can roll on the throttle. Starting from too low will make that difficult. starting from too high is uncomfortable for most riders but it really is personal preference. The other solution is to get a 1/4 turn throttle and all your problems are solved because you can turn it to wide open from almost any positioning of your hand and wrist. Another thing to think about is being in a comfortable position so you can get the initial throttle on to be as in control and smooth as possible. You want that initial moment when you transition from off the gas to on to be a clean transition. Pick the wrist position that allows you to do that the best and you will probably have the answer. Best, Keith
  19. Soji, That was a powerful story. You are right, nothing but what you did would have made it go the way it did. There is no other solution and that is why I built the No BS bike to show how little effect anything but counter-steering helps in virtually any riding situation. Very well done, Keith
  20. What to Expect From Coaching One of the primary purposes of coaching and rider training is: To elevate the rider’s acceptance of previously unknown sensations and gain control over them. That’s a big statement but it pencils out. Take this idea: once a rider is willing to exceed himself he is reaching for a whole new plateau of riding. Getting to the point where he is willing to makes some commitment is often problematic. Improvement actually begins once the rider can pass those limits. Those limits have, or seem to have, barriers or else we would all be as good as we’d like to be. Barriers Each barrier a rider encounters is based on the unknown. What will it or should it feel like to go into that corner 2 mph faster than ever before and still maintain some reliable feeling of being in control? It is easy to go into agreement with barriers. Most of them are the result of a rider’s survival instincts, his responses to the unknown or to danger. What riders tend to fall into is a habit of accepting the barriers. They have happened often enough that they become “the way it is”. These tend to stack-up on a person when they continue to happen. Flinching When you break it down you see that it is more the anticipation of some imagined bad result that keeps us away from moving forward into that uncharted territory of new sensations. When we flinch (withdraw from any undertaking, from fear of pain or danger) we waver from our purpose. I can’t go that fast, I don’t trust the tires, I’m afraid of the lean angle, acceleration, braking forces, quick flicking the bike, etc., etc. Each of them has its own kind of stress and we feel the pressure from them. We even sometimes unknowingly assume they are real and agree with these barriers even when we see someone else go faster, cleaner, quicker, smoother, on better lines, passing where we can’t and so on. This puts us in a weird situation. It can be done by someone but the personal barriers prevent us from rolling the throttle on a few tenths of a second earlier, braking later, entering the corner faster and all the rest. If Only I Could… While any person can visualize what he might do, should do or could do in a situation, the process of visualization itself is quirky and unreliable--it doesn’t work for everyone and it doesn’t work all the time. Aside from the many factors involved we still must deal with the Survival Responses that slam our good intentions into the dust. Look at it like this, things really would work out if your ability to orchestrate all the elements was up to the task, so there is hope. You may be able to visualize yourself going over turn #1 at Laguna Seca at 150+mph but if your speed at present is 90mph it would be too big a gap to bridge. Your ability to organize and orchestrate it must be flawless or the right wrist will take command and go the wrong way, back to 90 mph. Not everyone is cut out to ride fast. Not everyone can. Certainly one of the parts would be the ability to let go of certain sensations in favor of others that may be more important. Worrying about or resisting extreme lean angle alone can take all of your attention, so can traction, so can speed, so can your line, so can that strange weightless sensation you get in turn #1 at Laguna as you hit the crest or the rises and dips at Virginia International Raceway (VIR). Are they distracting? They certainly can be. New Tricks Someone might seek the benefits of visualization to handle the reasons why they are having problems reconfiguring actions on the bike that they already know how to do. You already know how to roll on the throttle, pull on the brake, change gears. Piecing together those known movements into a new configuration is the goal. Bringing the bike up and rolling on the throttle more aggressively than usual is an example of this. As soon as a higher exit speed is demanded by you the senses can go into overload when you attempt to reach out for indications of how it is going. Essentially you are reaching out into unknown territory with your senses. Things seem to accelerate, it’s hard to tell what is important and what is not. A couple of mph and another 1/10 G acceleration makes a world of difference. There is no trick that will get you to do it. Having a solid grounding on what is supposed to happen and sneaking up on it without becoming hysterical about it is more likely to succeed. Using Visualization So called visualization is loosely describes as the person’s ability to form mental images of some action or actions that they did or intend to perform. Visualization can be a “solution” to different things: 1) An attempt to reduce or prevent something from happening. 2) The intent to add a flow between two or more known actions towards a positive (usually that means faster/smoother) result. 3) To achieve a breakthrough of a barrier you’ve observed in order to progress towards a known or an imagined goal, usually at higher speeds and most often with a better sense of confidence and control over it. Numbers 1 & 2 seem real to most riders; number 3 is quirky. The hope in number 3 is that you’ll overwhelm the negative aspects by the visualization and it will somehow magically work out, the same as saying that practice makes perfect but it doesn’t always. When the same barriers are hitting you time after time, practice is actually the wrong solution. Your Assets The athlete who does the best with what he has often wins on the consistency factor alone. In other words, visualizing what you already are doing is real information, you did it at 90 mph, you are dreaming the 150 mph pass through the corner. The limit of your current assets are 90 mph, fine, now you know. In other words, start off with a solid idea of what you are doing and some notion of what you may be able to do. Get real. As soon as you identify a proper step, that will solve a problem area, you have given yourself a real direction towards improvement. Coaching Out The Flinches More often than not the flinch can be overcome once it is identified correctly. No one likes to waver, to give up or feel confused about something they wanted to do but it’s easy to bite off more than you can chew. Having a pro coach look at what you are doing and lead you to success keeps down the indigestion. This is why spot-on coaching is so very valuable. You can elevate your acceptance of that next level of rider confidence, speed and skill; cut down on the stress and increase your ability to get what you want out of riding. You can exceed your current ideas of what you can do. Come out to the track and take a school and I’ll show you what I mean. Sign up now. http://www.superbikeschool.com Keith Code. ⓒ 2007, Keith Code, all rights reserved. Do not reproduce without express permission from the author.
  21. Welcome Brian, Very impressive butof course we expected nothing less...! Glad to hear you are coming to Mid Ohio again this summer, we'll be there same time same station as always, just after the August AMA races. Post any questions and we'll see if we can answer them. Best, Keith
  22. Kurt, WE did have a supermoto school at the UK CSS. YOu an contact those guys and see if they are still doing it. Keith http://www.superbikeschool.com/uk/
  23. Kedo, Good question: (1) half the answer is in how much time top riders spend working out. (2) Another part of the answer is how well the bikes are adjusted to the individual rider. (3) Another is in the parts that are used. (4) One more part is: There is more than one way to sit on a bike and still be able to be attached to it without stranging it and adding unwanted inputs into it. In #1, using the back and abs can keep you off the bars. In #2, getting just the right seat and seat height, peg position, bar position, in other words fitting the rider perfectly to the bike is a huge help. A small change in the bike's ergonomics gives big rewards. In #3, using good footpegs alone gives huge stability to the riders lower half, allowing the upper half to be more relaxed, so do non slippery seats help keep the rider fixed and off the bars. In #4, some riders use the tank to help and clamp onto it with their inner thighs and sometimes the arm, the seat can be used for this as well. Some use more inside leg, holding themselves up. Often it is a combination of all of them. When you look at the engineering of the bike and a rider's body you can come up with a theoretical "best" way of sitting on the bike for the purpose of being loose on the bars. Will eveyone like it? Probably not. Would it work for everyone? Functionally yes, but personal prefernce and feel can sometimes overshadow what works the best. The actual mechanics of how riders sit on bikes wasn't much of a subject before 1993. No one had looked at it from a technical viewpoint. Now we know more and can make the rider's job a lot easier based on solid principals. Keith
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