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Keith Code

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Everything posted by Keith Code

  1. It isn't about the weight you put on the peg it is about the what part of the bike you are using to pivot from--to get your footing to push the bars. Using the inside peg throws you out of balance, using the outside peg and the tank to lock yourself onto the bike is the most stable, most balanced and most powerfull way to get the bars pushed. Keith
  2. You are all going in the right direction with the idea of rider stability. The stuff we have been piloting for the past ten years has been working great because it puts the rider in control of the bike without becoming the loose cannon on deck. There are many reasons that rider stability is important. My first clue to it was Pivot Steering which I wrote about in TWIST II. TWIST III will have a good deal more on the subject. Even in the past month of schools I see more about the subject of rider stability and why what we are doing at the schools works. There are actually four drills we do at the school which approach this in our usual step-by-step format. The whole process starts at Level I where we do the Steering Drill with each of the students. There are 5 other points we look at, one we work on in Level II with the Lean Bike and the rest on Level III--there are actually more when you include some things that aren't yet formal drills. The one thing you can count on is this: riders who don't understand something about their own stibility on the bike are the ones that are most likely to crash once they begin to go fast--either that or they will forever have handling problems that won't "adjust" out of the bike, no matter how much money they throw at it. keith
  3. In considering it, while I don't know the exact answer and I'm not a physicist (nor did I stay at a holiday inn express last night), I think they are pretty much a wash. Under neutral load (balance front/rear, no braking or accelleration) the bike will be less apt to turn because the geometry of it should be very stable and promoting stability in a straight line. Under heavy braking, the geometry gets altered signficantly, removing that straight line stability and making the bike WANT to turn. However, the counter force of the braking on the front tire may very well affect the traction and feel of the bike while initiating a turn. Put it this way. If you could alter geometry WITHOUT BRAKING, going into a corner whereas the front end dropped down (wheel came up, suspension compressed) and rear end rose (wheel went down, suspension extended), the bike would be VERY twitchy and prone to changing direction (aka - turning). The variable here that plays into the problem is the braking. What impact is that force on the front end? I don't know... One thing you have to take into account is that the trail increases by up to 25mm under heavy braking. Trail is measured at the CENTER of the contact patch which becomes way different under hard braking, it moves rearward. 25mm of trail is enormous and is no doubt what contributes to the heavy feel you get at the handlebars under braking. So while the rake and wheelbase go towards a quicker turning machine the shape of the contact and its new location are huge offsetting factors. Keith
  4. Commitment The actions of riding one lap of a complex circuit, like our favorite training track, the Streets of Willow Springs, breaks down something like this: Throttle position changes (including throttle blips) 50 Steering inputs 22 Gear changes 20 Clutch actions (downshifts only) 10 Front brake pulls and releases 14 --- Total 116 The 116 actions don't include any error or terror corrections you might make with the throttle, steering or brakes so the number could be well in excess of 116. Note: A lap at Laguna Seca is only about 10% fewer actions. Note: Count them up for your own favorite track. More Laps More Actions How much physical conditioning does it require to roll the throttle on and off 50 times every minute and a half to two minutes; shift the gear lever 20 times; push on the bars 22 times? Not a lot for one lap but over the course of 25 laps it adds up. At 25 laps there are approximately 3,000 actions that you would have to perform to complete a national or world level event or mini-endurance race or, perhaps in your case, a track day. Hmmmmmm. Even on a club-race 8 lap event or track day session you begin pushing 900 actions performed for the 12 to 20 minutes of riding. What creates a great ride? It's the precision, the exact degree you roll on the throttle or pull the brakes and the WHERE and WHEN of each of the 900 to 3,000 actions that add up to a good event or a good day at the track. Novice Lag I would like to cite an interesting and revealing point here. Despite the fact that a rider may be going twenty seconds a lap slower than a pro, the number of actions performed doesn't decrease, most likely it increases. Due to errors and corrections a less skilled rider creates for himself, that number may be significantly higher. This has a direct impact on the amount of time the novice rider has to identify and initiate correct and accurate control responses: he's often still busy fixing the last one. For any riding situation, the important inputs into the bike often take a back seat to the ones generated by the rider's own errors and error corrections. Chopped up braking and downshifting is a classic example. The important part of the whole series of actions, getting the turn entry speed exactly right, becomes lost in all of the background noise created by sloppy braking/downshifting. That leads to inaccurate braking. As a result, the rider feels frenzied and misses the feedback he needs to get the corner entry speed just right. Comparing Skills If you compare the pro rider's lap times to an average street rider's times you will see that, for the less skilled rider, there is an enormous amount of time being spent "looking things over". The pro has already begun the next action while the novice is "thinking" about it. It's not really thought out like when you are figuring out your tax bill, it is a lag between the idea of doing something and transforming that into an action. What is happening? There are three frames of reference available to look at it: what happened in the past could still be holding the rider's attention; what is happening in the present may be overwhelming his senses; he could have his attention on what will happen in the future. Ignoring the past is not good. Being careless about the present is likewise an error. Being able to predict the future is where every rider would like to be. Mick Doohan's comments on this are interesting, "I already knew what was going to happen in the corner, so when the front end started to push, I was ready for it". The worst of the three is having your attention stuck on the last corner or the last action performed. If the rider is pondering that last action, you can be assured he isn't starting the next one on time. That is the source of his lag. Living With The Lag A novice track rider lives with his lag, he is spending something like 30 seconds, or more, each lap, looking things over where the pro is responding and committing it to action, without the lag time. In short, the pro is using 30% less time to observe, commit and respond. From this perspective, a rider who has shortened his lag between identifying the situation, committing to a solution and responding with the correct control in the correct amount is, more skillful, more confident, can and will go faster and is in better control. This could be called a rider's Recognition/Response Factor. Sometimes it becomes confused with reaction time. No Time If you put telemetry on the bike and counted the number of throttle and steering corrections the novice was making that the pro wasn't, you'd see that the novice rider's time is chock full of things to do; too full to be accurate; too full to have the time to observe; too full to make good decisions; too full to make a solid commitment. He's still stuck on that last action. This comparison brings up a bunch of questions about what causes the differences in the pro's time and the novice rider's time and what they are doing with it. 1. Is it physical response time? 2. Familiarity with the road or track? 3. Understanding of the riding procedures like throttle control, corner entry speeds, etc.? 4. Feel for the bike and tires and what they are doing? 5. The rider's sense of time and timing? 6. Good visual skills? 7. The rider's ability to perceive speed and speed changes from lap to lap? 8. Some unique combination of the above that defines the "fast" or "in-control" rider? While these may all qualify as reasons, each one of them is practically an entire technical subject in itself. To understand and be able to teach riders, I began to break down the actions of riding into individual skills and drills back in 1976. The goal I set was to create a system for improvement. What a trip that has been for 30 years? The Next Now If you were trying to dissect and remedy your own recognition/response "lag time" it would be easy to generalize that lag as uncertainty, lack of confidence or unfamiliarity. Does labeling it like this solve it? Like most labeling it is too general and it solves nothing. The lag-time differential from the pro to the novice is based on where each have their attention focused. The novice's attention is focused on handling the right now moment or, quite often, the even worse scenario of lingering on the action just performed. As an example, barely cracking the throttle open and freezing, as opposed to committing to rolling on the gas, are quite a bit different aren't they? When you get just past mid corner and you've lagged on your roll-on and you realize you could have just kept going instead of sitting there like a mushroom with a twistgrip in your hand: that is your recognition/response lag time working. This should send a message to you. Seek out and identify what caused the lag. Was it your bike telling you something, like a twitch over bumps on the corner's entry; or your survival instincts telling your right hand not to roll on: what caused the hesitation? Was it a real or imagined reason not to roll on? It could be real, like getting in too fast on too wide a line. In either case, you need to know so you can master it. Riding in the Past Lingering on these past actions definitely creates hesitation and adds that 3/10ths second, on average, to each of your actions compared to a pro's. Would you call this lack of commitment? It's easy to throw a label on something but does that handle the situation? No. One sure fire way of getting unstuck is gaining more knowledge about something. It also helps to defeat the survival instincts associated with riding and as a side benefit reduces a person's Recognition/Response time. Sometimes we experience this as improved reflexes, even for us older guys. Look at it this way: if you always understood what was expected from the bike, and from yourself in working the controls and all of the options and results of operating them, would your riding be better? Is it better to linger on the past control action or be anticipating and executing your next action? Quick Flick Time Riders learning how to quick-flick the bike have one variety of this problem. They are wary of the follow up corrections they might have to make to their entry line. The idea of committing to the turn quickly gives them a queasy feeling. They aren't confident they'll have the time to observe and correct their line so they wind up lazily extending the steering. This is wrong thinking, they're actually burning up their observation time with hesitation. In the quick flick example, we see this fact--- turning the bike quickly, where it is appropriate, gives the rider more time to observe results than the lazy, non-flick steering method. The time he spends lazily bringing it over never does have a definite end result, not until it is completed. The bike isn't pointed until it is pointed. Do you see this as lack of commitment? Quick flicking with confidence is a barrier riders have to push through. Training, and a little precision nagging from your coach, helps get you through it. You can do this. Throttle Lag Throttle control is much the same. A short lag of only 3/10ths of a second to get back on the throttle goes by rapidly. It's not much time. Just get yourself a stopwatch and click it twice to see how long 3/10ths is--but at 60 MPH it is 4 bike lengths! Can you imagine yourself lagging that long getting the gas back on? Probably longer, right? This is real to anyone who is even half aware of their riding. Rules of Commitment -Completing actions is what buys you the time to observe and predict the results and commitment begins that process. -Being half hearted and non-committal on control actions only holds you back. -You can't easily predict the outcome of any control action on the bike until it is at least begun. -When you are hesitant, you are giving yourself less time to respond. It seems (on the Survival Response (SR) level) you are making more time but that isn't true. -Being decisive with control inputs, with the smallest possible lag time, is safer in the end. Smooth Is Quick. Quick Is Smooth. When you think of smooth do you normally consider how quickly you do things with the bike? If you are thinking that slowing down your actions is going to make it smoother, think again. The fact of the matter is that the pro is getting the same number of actions started and completed as other riders but using roughly 1/3 less time to do them...and looking smooth. Take the simultaneous braking and downshifting example. The quicker you can make your throttle blip and get the clutch in and out the smoother it becomes. Gear-changes up are the same way, the quicker the smoother. Quick shift mechanisms are a great example of quicker is smoother. Getting back to the throttle a little sooner (quicker), brings about a more stable machine (smoother) through more of the corner. Thinking Compared to Doing Thinking about riding does not always bring us into a state of grace with the bike and road. Riders say, "I want to have higher corner speed", "I want quicker lap times", "I want to brake harder, deeper, slicker, quicker". They want to go fast and find it isn't easy. Things start happening too fast. Their ability to observe and respond isn't there yet. It's a rare and special ability to "think yourself faster" and failing at this riders ask for the tricks to achieving it. But there aren't any "advanced" techniques for someone who is still fumbling with their basics: still lagging in their commitment to respond. Well crafted, step by step lessons and good observant one-on-one coaching will prepare you to get what you want. I can guarantee you that. Your contribution is the commitment to push through these barriers and sometimes it doesn't feel fast or smooth or confident when you are thinking it through and grinding on yourself to perfect a technique. Well, that's the way it is. Anyone who has improved at anything in life has experienced this. The good news is that all the cornering demons there are have one thing in common, they can't stand the heat of commitment. Understand and learn the skills; this shortens your lag time and paves the way to improvement. Commitment has its own rewards. Keith ⓒ Keith Code, 2006, all rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced in any way without express written permission from the author.
  5. Eric You got it. The meaning of the article I mean. Thanks for the glowing successs story I appreciated that a lot and hope we get to continue wiht you in the fine points of the art. Just pay more attetnion to what you are doing if you intend to do the coast racing thing. I'm not recommending it solely on the basis of how many guys I've seen get hurt at it. In a lot of ways just leaving the bike in one gear and riding your favorite roads is just as good and also allows you to practice your throttle control. Keith
  6. From the riders perspective what happens is the suspension stiffens becauase of the torque force being applied that is, from the sideview perspective, twisting the back of the bike upwards. What we are looking for in the middle of the corner is just enough throttle to maintain good suspension compliance and traction. Once we start to bring the bike up then the stiffness of the rear end actually becomes a benefit in that it allows the bike to spin the wheel easier (because the suspension is stiffer and the tire can't follow the road surgface as well) this is a benefit becuase it cleans the tire and makes it ready for the next corner with clean rubber. If you start the drive too early or spike the gas the rear stiffens up and that is a primary reason for an in-turn rear end slide. Not just the amount of gas but the stiffenng rear suspension not allowing the tire to grip evenly is what creates it. All anyone has to do is look at race telemetry graphs and they will see what is happening at the front and rear end. On a fast lap with a good rider you see mid stroke suspension action in mid corner and you see a very definite rise in the rear and front at the point where the bike is being brought up and the hard acceleration begins. This is an intersting point because years ago there was a thing called the ATK system that was two rollers set near the swingarm pivot. The chain ran over the two rollers so the chain going back and comig foreward to the engine were parallel instead of angled down to the countershaft sprocket. It eliminated a huge portion of the torque reaction and stiffening of the rear suspension. I set up a test day for Eddie Lawson and Team Kawasaki to test the device. Eddie went 1/2 second faster with it but didn't like the feel, he missed that stiffening at the rear and took it off and never tried it again. Keith
  7. Throttle Control, Levels of Something as simple as rolling on the throttle has levels and shades of proficient, correct operation. Does understanding shortcut the process of mastering it or can we get by on practice alone? Starting The moment we take our maiden grab at the twistgrip with a live engine we hit the first wall; to get the bike moving, how much will be enough, how much is too much? Some of us get the truth of it right away--it doesn't make any difference--the clutch monitors how much or how little power gets to the ground for any start. Some never get it. With most of their attention on the throttle, rather than the clutch, it remains inconsistent. It's not that they can't ride, it's that certain limitations are imposed on their riding, like starting on uphill or with a passenger, not to mention bogged race starts for racers. Racers try, in vain, to put more and more attention on the throttle only to find themselves taking wild guesses at what will work. This only results in more inconsistent starts. Riders who rapidly blip the throttle for fast starts only have a 50% chance of getting it right. Those who pin the throttle and use the clutch for the power delivery are way ahead of that. Throttle Control Barriers Once we are in motion Throttle Control itself becomes a hot topic. Here again, riders can limit themselves by placing too much attention on the wrong thing at the wrong time and barriers result. In other words, riders tend to grind on some idea or technique that may be inappropriate for the circumstances. A common example is trying to get a good drive off a turn. Riders wait until the throttle can be opened aggressively to get the "hot drive" and to "feel" the acceleration; ignoring the roll-on they could have had in the corner. Confidence with the throttle or any control inputs comes from knowing we have choices. Being stuck with only one way to approach something isn't inspiring, especially when it doesn't get results. Just the words "throttle control" can become generalized as to what is needed and wanted both by the bike and the rider. Let's take it out of the general and break it down to specific ways to use it and situations to overcome with it. Here are fourteen points that will have to be mastered before you could call yourself a competent throttle jockey. 1. Overcoming the fear of opening the throttle the first tiny crack. The understanding on this point is that the bike doesn't actually accelerate with the first tiny opening of the throttle no matter what your Survival Response (SR) is telling you. 2. Trusting the bike to hold its trajectory. This is bound up with visual skills like what to do with your eyes in which part of the corner, but the feel part of it can only come from a clean rolling on of the twistgrip. 3. Sensing the chassis stability produced by good throttle control. This is the feeling you should be looking for in every turn. Repeating the throttle control rule to yourself and finding that it does produce a stable bike every time it is applied is the remedy here. See "A Twist of the Wrist, Volume II" for the rule. 4. Reducing the lag between off brakes and on gas. The moment you release the brake there will be a lag as you orient yourself to the speed you have. Focusing on that lag can shorten it. 5. Coordinating the roll on with picking the bike up. Knowing that the throttle is proportional to lean angle is simple knowledge. Sorting it out requires coordination of the two actions. Focusing on it improves it. 6. Overcoming the barrier of a consistent roll-on at steeper lean angles. As riders approach their own limits of lean the tendency to ignore the throttle is strong. The throttle is what makes the lean feel comfortable. Focus cures it. 7. Maintaining progress with the roll on despite distractions. This is a general point. Whatever unpredictable thing comes up like seeing a patch, seam or any rough pavement, you maintain your roll on because it is correct. 8. Being willing to experiment with roll-on rates. The right wrist often has its own idea of how quickly to roll-on. This is a bit scary to experiment with but worthwhile to conquer. 9. Overcoming the roll-off instinct. Checking your wrist's action when it wants to start to roll off the throttle would be the focus in this one. 10. Separating the eye's concerns from the wrist's action. Similar to #7 above but specifically overcoming what you see with how you control the roll on is a huge hurdle on your way to good control. 11. Separating the bike's "noise", its feel and any other signals it is sending to you, from tire squirm from your wrist's action. When you feel the squirm your task is to then maintain an adequate roll-on for the bike. You just have to ignore the squirm "noise" in the end. 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. 13. Maintaining a roll on when it gets loose. This is why I built the Slide Bike trainer. Once a rider has the presence of mind to not chop the throttle when the bike starts to get a bit out of track he has taken the first major step to controlling wheelspin. 14. Sensing the degree of acceleration that will maintain bike stability, hold a predictable line and, ultimately, traction. Once you have handled most of the above this is the point at which it all comes together. Having full control over this aspect of riding would indicate a very high level of skills. Accomplishing the Fourteen If you looked over that list and selected one at a time and really focused on that one point until you mastered it and then the next, etc., you would come to a pretty good understanding of throttle control. You would begin to move up through the levels, and there are levels, of good, proficient throttle control. Each of the 14 represents a barrier and, once overcome, a freedom in your quest for good throttle control. Reaching your own ultimate potential as a rider would heavily depend on the level of accomplishment you were able to achieve in each of point. Look at it this way, if you could get all of them right 51% of the time your riding horizons would broaden at a very rapid rate and continue to do so. This, in turn, and as a natural result, leads to proficiency in many other areas of riding. Coaching the Fourteen The whole reason that professional coaching is invaluable has to do with the error identification and correction factor. Leading the rider to fast progress in each of these areas of good throttle control is an art in itself. The proof of that lies in the fact that we have coached at least a score of riders who were faster than any of our own staff could ever hope to be. Our current score is 43 national and world championships won by riders we have coached. There you go, I am bragging. Does that make us heroes? Tiger Woods' coach, Hank Haney, can himself never hope to be anywhere near the golfer Tiger is and the same can be said for countless coaches in a dozen other sports. The point is: no matter what your current skill level of riding is, we know that once you are armed with the correct information and are able to apply it with a truly integrated, step by step procedure and are cared for by one of us you will make serious progress. It only takes the decision to improve. To put it simply, we'll be ready for you when you are ready for us. Best, Keith Code Director ⓒ Keith Code, 2006, all rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form, in any way without permission from the author.
  8. This article (attached here as a PDF) originally appeared in OZ based Rapid Bikes Magazine. http://www.rapidbikes.com.au Enjoy the read! RapidKeithCode.pdf
  9. The Superbike School is listed in the 2008 Roadracing World Track Day Directory. http://roadracingworld.com/magazine/track-day-directory/
  10. Holding Your Line Predicting a Line If you always knew precisely where the bike was going to be, as far up ahead as you could see in corners, what sort of impact would that have on your everyday riding, touring, track riding or racing? Think of how easy it would be to have good throttle control if you always knew where you were going to be! Isn?t throttle control easy when you know your line is ?good?? This could easily lead you to believe that having a good line was the key to good throttle control but it?s not. In fact, it is the opposite: Good throttle control is the answer and opens the door to ?good? lines. It is true, one of the great results of good, standard throttle control is the bike holding a predictable line in the corner; and all riders realize that having the ability to accurately predict the result of their line would result in a far more positive riding experience in any cornering situation. Would that be true for you? The Purpose I?d like you to take a look here at some data on this subject and at the end I?ve prepared an exercise you can do to gain better control of your line and more confidence in predicting it. Throttle Control Virtues At the Superbike School we spend a lot of time and put heavy emphasis on Throttle Control. From a technical perspective, all that goes right and most all of what can go wrong in a turn starts and ends with how well you conduct that precision control device on the right hand bar known as the throttle. A predictable line is one of the many positive results of controlling the throttle accurately. It?s easy to communicate how easily good Throttle Control solves common problems and puts the rider in ?full? (the best it can be) control of the bike. We sing its praises and tout its many virtues--when we get it right. Riders generally deplore their own shortcomings in being able to maintain it when fear and panic seize them. They understand its simplicity; they grasp its importance immediately and see areas where they could improve throttle control just from a classroom briefing on it. Running Wide Running wide is a major concern for all riders. Name a situation (other than in multiple radii turns) where running wide is a benefit. If you are at a loss to find one, I understand, no one ever has. How do you handle running wide? This is a huge concern and it brings up such questions as: Should I just trust the tires? Should I just lean it over more thinking ?the bike can do it?? Should I stand it up and go for the brakes? What do you do? Contrary Feelings Let?s start out with our Survival Instincts and see how they may cause problems. When the bike is running wide the last thing your instinct tells you is: ?You need more gas here?. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It tells you that rolling on the gas will make it worse and you will crash. This is a Survival Reaction, we call them SRs for short. This particular Survival Reaction (SR) may be based on the very first day you rode a bike at slow speed in a parking lot. Perhaps the bike felt like it was falling over and you gave it some gas and that stabilized it: that stopped the feeling that it was going to fall over. It may have even felt like it brought the bike up. This second one is a false perception. The bike did not ?come up? but it did stabilize. If stopping the bike from falling inwards mistakenly becomes confused with ?coming up? your right hand on the throttle would have a very strong opinion about this in the future, i.e., gas on = bike comes up; as opposed to the truth of the matter which is: gas on = bike stabilizes its lean angle. A related misconception that many riders have follows along this same line. Most riders say the bike comes up as they begin to roll the throttle on more aggressively towards the end of the turn. Contrary to that feeling, the bike does not ?come up? from throttle application when you are exiting a turn. You Choke, You Lose In running wide, even a momentary hesitation is enough to cause anxiety. Perhaps you find yourself in a turn running a bit wide (or at least you think you are) and that very brief hesitation, which is composed of you thinking it through and mind wrestling with the instinct to roll off, is enough to make it all go wrong?the throttle roll-on stops or even backslides towards OFF a bit and the bike does try to run wider. By the way, this is another area of false perception that many riders have. They say the bike goes into the turn on a tighter line when they roll off the gas but, guess what, they are actually steering it inwards. Left to its own, the bike comes up and runs wide. Back to the point. Even with terrific reflexes it takes time for you to subdue the Survival Reaction (SR) that created that hesitation and finally make the decision to roll it on. A half a second is short for this type of thing. In reality it takes more like a second or even two to regain your control. That is a lot of space, that is a lot of running wide, that is a lot of anxiety and that is most of any short turn. Precision Control Superlative Throttle Control is a precision activity. Easy for those who can do it and very confusing (probably based on the contrary evidence from false perception as above) for those who cannot. Finding the right amount of gas to stabilize the bike and hold its line isn?t even vaguely easy, it is hard. Initially, you have to break through some pretty tough barriers just to maintain good throttle control to get the bike to hold a predictable line, especially as the speed increases. Unfortunately, even after you have done it successfully in one corner there is no guarantee it will be solved in other turns! Throttle control must be looked at from the angle of a fluid and continuous maintenance of the bikes attitude in the turn, i.e., enough weight transferred off the front and onto the rear of the bike to maintain its best and most neutral handling attitude, not too much or too little. And more importantly, maintaining the suspension in its optimum stroke-range with the throttle. This requires a continuous roll-on. The point is this: your ability to maintain good throttle control is an absolutely necessary and integral part of conquering the SRs connected to running wide. Being able to judge your line has everything to do with your sense of confidence in any cornering situation. Note: Throttle control is well covered in ?A Twist of the Wrist?, Volume II, as those of you who have read the book already know. Any Solutions? Not yet. Without first hand knowledge of how it feels and looks my words are not likely to make running wide disappear as a problem for you. Another thing I should mention, there is no iron clad, fits all situations type answer to it. But there are answers. Here is a drill to improve your ability to predict your line. 1. Find yourself a curvy road. A familiar one is best. A calm track day would also be perfect. 2. Back off your speed enough so you are certain you won?t run wide. Set your speed that way for each turn you enter. 3. Get the bike fully turned into the corner so you are happy with where it is pointed. 4. Begin your roll-on as soon as possible after #3 is settled. 5. Estimate where exactly you think the bike is going to be at its widest point on the turn?s exit. Don?t choose blind turns to do it. You are trying to predict at what point ahead you will come the. closest to the center line (in right hand corners on the road) or the road?s edge (in left hand corners on the road). Your final and widest exit point. 6. Maintain a fluid, seamless and continuous roll-on throughout the corner. 7. Do not adjust the steering or lean angle of the bike (unless you really have to). 8. Evaluate your estimate from #5. How did you do? How close were you to the point you thought was going to be your exit? 9. Experiment with slower and/or more aggressive roll-ons until you get the feel for what it takes for that bike to hold a predictable line. Run Wide Adjustments Here are some classic errors and problems that counter your efforts to maintain a predictable line: Throttle errors: 1. You roll on the gas too soon. Before it is fully leaned into the turn. 2. You roll on the gas too aggressively. This over-extends the forks and increases speed too much, both make it run wide. 3. You roll on a little bit and stop. That alters your line. This counter-steers the bike up (wide again) when weight transfers forward. 4. You go on and off the gas in the turn. That makes the line unpredictable and it widens it. Line Errors 5. You start into the turn too early, forcing a wider line through it . 6. You start into the turn too far to the inside, again this forces a wider line through the middle and exit of the turn. 7. The turn is too much of a decreasing radius turn. Do it in constant or increasing radius turns until you get the hang of it. The Usual Bike Setup Errors 8. You have an overly stiff a spring in the front of the bike. That holds the front up too high and makes it want to run wide. 9. You have too much compression damping in the front end of the bike holding the front up too high. This makes the bike want to run wide. 10. The rear ride height of the bike is too low. This rakes the front out and tends to make it run wide. 11. The tires are worn and you have to fight the bike a bit to hold it in the turn. This also makes it run wide. 12. Too much rebound in the rear and too little in the front. This holds the back down and the front up. Wide again. As Good As It Gets How many turns it will take to build confidence in yourself and, eventually, the bike I can?t tell you. I do know that it will all come down to achieving a high degree of good, solid control of the throttle. It goes like this: you can?t trust the bike or the tires until you can trust yourself and your right hand to do the right thing. That?s as good as it gets. It is a tried and true route to confidence and accuracy in your lines. Very best, Keith ? Keith Code, 2006, all rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form, in any way without permission from the author.
  11. Hi Mike, Thanks I'm happy you got the idea and the purpose for the article, which you did--it provokes thought and taking alook at those areas so that riding doesn' turn into a big generality or frustration. Have a great time at school I know that Andy and the boys will take good care of you . Best, Keith
  12. This article (attached here as a PDF) originally appeared in Fast Bikes Magazine. http://www.fastbikesmag.com/ Enjoy the read! Fast_Bikes_CSS_2005.pdf
  13. Isolating Riding Barriers We know the bike has limits, we know that we have our own limits. Which of them is our real opponent in the battle for improvement and control? The Route to Control Cornering can be broken down into categories of activity such as braking, steering, finding a line, getting a good drive and so on. All enthusiasts are on a quest for being in better control or becoming quicker or smoother with them. Are there rules we must follow to achieve control over them? For yourself, if you could gain really good control over any one area of riding, which do you feel would be the one that would blow away the greatest number of barriers in your cornering? What comes to mind? The Discipline of Riding A. Riding is a discipline in most senses of the word. It certainly requires us to order things correctly. Right from day one we know the gas must come on before the clutch is released and it remains so forever: The same goes for not chopping the throttle in a slide, making gear changes, braking, steering and so on. Each control sequence has a technical basic and an exact order which governs your conduct towards achieving success. B. Riding inflicts harsh correction on riders who are not obedient to its rigorous demands. Excess lean angle combined with overly aggressive throttle is beyond the limit of a bike's range of operation and it will hurt you. Going fast on cold tires; losing the front on the brakes are two other classic examples. Limits must be well known to stay out of harm's way. C. Riding is truly a discipline because it is its own category; its own branch of knowledge. No other sport requires hand/eye/body/machine control to be so precise. The coordination of our sense of speed, timing, traction, lean angle and location guide us, truly or falsely, and each has a very specialized order-of-importance of its own. Because of its peculiar, multi-level demands, the knowledge/feel required to become successful is unique to itself. D. Riding demands that we order its actions and coordinate them towards an effective result. The marital arts are a great example of drilling individual actions towards a definite result: just like racing, they try to beat the opponent. In both cases though, the opponent is often our own sense of our limits. As we approach and master our limits they become assets we use to coordinate our efforts to ride better. E. Actions, once coordinated, become procedures. These procedures have strict guidelines, even laws perhaps, to make them effective towards a desired goal: make it through the corner; miss the car; set up and carve a clean, stable and smooth line through a set of ess curves. The more exactly we can define these procedures the easier it is to correct our faults. Guidelines or Laws? No one becomes an effective martial artist without strict adherence to basic tenets. Can we become an effective cornering artist without some understanding of the demands of our discipline? To operate effectively in either art requires dedication to their basic principals. We see Bruce Lee or Valentino Rossi make it look effortless and almost natural, almost stylized, and, at its very core, it is. Are there actual laws in these disciplines, as in the laws of thermodynamics or electricity that govern them or just sort of loose guidelines? Can we cheat them if they do exist? Are the top guys cheating these laws or are they good because they rigorously adhere to them? It often looks like cheating doesn't it? Beginner or Basic? Motorcycle riders often confuse basic technical riding points with beginner basics. There is a huge difference. Letting out the clutch without stalling the bike would be a beginner's barrier to overcome. Finding and being able to consistently execute a good line with flawless throttle control are both technical basics. Once the clutch is mastered it becomes a specialized tool for the rider. Slipping it at slow speed, launching a great start, quick seamless gear changes all have their place and cannot be replaced by some other actions to achieve the same results. When the master of the martial arts dojo observes a novice practice the same kata (exercise) his Black Belt is doing, he sees the differences. The overall description of the actions being performed are the same but the trained artist is able to produce the desired result from the form. It's not something that just looks cool. You may roll on the throttle, so does Nicky Hayden, but it is doubtful that the result is the same in anything but the form. Yes, there is a law covering rolling on the throttle. A sub-discipline to the art if you like. Limits, Commitment and Rewards On the bike, we don't argue with traction, we try to sense it: similarly, we don't question a bad line, we see it; we don't debate our speed, it's gut-level sensing of it; we don't quibble with lean angle limits, our own or the bike's, we become familiar or shy of them. When any one of these distracts us too much; our grasp of coordinated riding; our "technique", our form, falls apart. We lose, to some degree, our command over the bike and situation. Certainly, riders wish to feel in command of all of them but often quail and waver in their commitment once they push or approach their own limits regarding them. Bruce Lee had his "two inch punch". It was powerful enough to knock over a very large man. A novice martial artist might not develop that much power with a running head start. For sure it is focus but what do you focus on? When you see Val Rossi completely blow his line without losing a position, what do you say? He's lucky? He has a lot of experience? Brass balls? He's smooth? None of those things bring us to any understanding of how or why he could do it. We can think about the bike's limits: Brake later is easy to say: get on the gas earlier is easy to think: use more lean angle: flick it quicker: get more reference points; carry more speed: go in deeper: don't hesitate with the throttle and get the tire squirming on the drive out: mastering any of these points would make most riders happy but may not be the correct item to crack their own particular key barrier. Which one would yield the greatest possible rewards if you understood it, focused on it and you solved it? Are any of them what you thought of at the beginning? No-Reason Limits Personal limits are an interesting subject. When we ride within them too often the tendency is to accept them. When we try and ride through them it can be a daunting and often far too interesting experience-read that as distracting. Are your limits where your natural ability ends? Not likely. If that were the case, having a breakthrough in riding would require something like going back in time and rearranging your entire life or your DNA code: it's where our inability to maintain focus on technical basics kicks in that delineates our limits and denies us success. We try to run a set of esses faster but we wind up pressed for time and lose whatever smooth we had because our control timing gets blown out. You've done this. We all do well right up to the point of distraction. That is the real limit. Whichever area of riding that was the most distracting would probably yield the greatest benefits if it were debugged and mastered. By that I mean bringing the barrier into sharp enough focus to conquer it. Felt Limits The ever-present problem is our Survival Instincts and Reactions, SRs for short. SR's gratuitously (without reason or justification) kick in and take over the running of our body and in particular the right hand and our eyes. That is the moment we become spectators to our riding. We know this because the throttle went still or off in our right hand for no justifiable reason; we target fixed on another rider and they just smoked us through or out of that corner; we touched the brake when we didn't need to; made an unnecessary steering adjustment, etc., etc. A tight focus on our application of technical basics is required to beat these often destructive survival urges and they can be beat. You can learn to take a punch without flinching. Known vs Felt Limits In ours, as in other disciplines, we have both real and "felt" limits. A skilled rider is able to maintain clarity on which is which. When the real and felt limits intermingle that clarity is lost; the edges blur; riding becomes a sketchy activity and we make errors from the indecision that results from it. The speed may "feel" too high for a section of track. But it may only be too high for the line you took--that was the "real" limiting factor. Simple decisions like, "should I brake or gas it" can get fuzzy. "I could have been in the gas much earlier and much harder". You really know you could have but with the edges blurred we lose our clarity of actions and our ability to coordinate them, we lose our sense of control. The Five The known limits of riding are of great concern to us. Riders always attempt to focus on and carefully balance lean angle against acceleration against traction against line against speed. Each of us does this. It's an ongoing, moment-to-moment effort to monitor those 5 elements- just before; as we go into and through corners. No less than five factors are involved: each one critical to the turn's successful execution. Could your answer lie in your command over one of them? I'm sure you would be happy if just one of them were firmly under your control. Juggling the Five It's a real juggling act to get all five of them right when you're trying to go quick. The discipline of riding demands you maintain focus on their order; intensity and accuracy. You have a flow when you do; you choke when you don't. Which of these 5 points is the most senior? Which one brings all the others into alignment, into focus? Which one can blow the others out of order and out of focus? If you do a flow chart on them, which would come first in the whole process of coming up to and going through a corner? Speed of course. Speed tends to monitor the line you will run, the amount of lean you'll have to use; how quickly you flick the bike; the bike's potential for acceleration, as well as limiting or improving your available traction. While that is true, you could also say that your line monitors them. You could say that the available traction would monitor them all as well. The same goes for the amount of lean you could or should use and how quickly or slowly you get it over. Even the amount of acceleration you might want can limit or modify all the others. So, mechanically speaking, they are for the most part, equal. But the motorcycle doesn't ride itself. It can't juggle the five elements. You do. Limits vs Resources These five factors are both our limits and our most valued resources for executing a corner. They are limits when our feelings overwhelm us and it goes out of balance; resources when used precisely--according to the disciplines of riding and in balance with the real limits. Is the cup half empty or half full is the way we separate an optimist from a pessimist. Is the rider seeing them as limits or resources? That's one easy way to define a rider's ability. Each rider has his or her own subtle ways of telegraphing which mode they are operating in. A trained coach sees it immediately. Most riders operate in limits mode. The master knows at a glance the many differences between a novice and an accomplished Black Belt. A good riding coach may see 5 things wrong with your riding. Which one should he direct your attention to? Would it be more helpful if the coach was able to give you an exact standard by which you could measure improvement or would a general guideline serve just as well? It's a loaded question. Experience or Understanding My original question is unfair. If you knew what was wrong with your riding, you'd probably focus on it and fix it. Which of the five points do you feel limits your riding the most? That would be the way to try and view it objectively. But even that isn't easy. The good advice crowd will normally tell you that more saddle time is the key. Oddly enough, if you look at the schedules of many pro racers you can easily see how a club race/track-day guy on a moderate budget gets more track time. And there is nothing wrong with track time-as long as it is focused towards overcoming the right barrier. Riding Plateaus It's easy to practice yourself onto a riding plateau, you could say barrier if you like. I'll define plateau: When going back to work on an earlier skill doesn't look appealing and the next step up feels too steep, a bit dizzying, like thinking about going into a turn a lot faster than you ever have before-the thought and the action don't come together, you feel stopped-that is a plateau. Perhaps you want to get a better drive but the questions of traction, line and lean angle become overwhelming. It's easy to lose focus and wind up doing it the same as last lap. Clearly, the essential next step for success was missed, unknown or wrongly applied. Otherwise, you would have made some progress with it. Taking one of the five and sorting that out is your only hope. As in any discipline, expert coaching works miracles to help maintain that focus. The Pitch The Superbike School has lead the way for 25 years in isolating and defining the technical points for cornering motorcycles. In that process we invented step-by-step rider training. The first step was discovering that there were steps. We have and you will too. Our coaching staff is for real. They are carefully trained and highly qualified to identify and handle your weak areas. We can and will push you through the barriers: we know what they are; we know what problems you have encountered and have had to deal with and we know what to do about it. Keith Code ⓒ Keith Code, 2006, all rights reserved.
  14. Riders often look for a "technique", some trick, a panacea for their riding ailments that will pull it all together for them. At the same time they look at the bike and all of the technology in it as having vastly more potential than the skills they possess to use it. The evidence for this attitude is that other riders can go quicker, smoother or more precisely than them. What's going on here? The bike isn't engineered and constructed on tricks so it's highly unlikely that tricks will tame it. The robot which welded up your beautiful perimeter frame does not have its own technique, it does not possess skill: it is programmed with the technology of welding based on a blueprint. What is Skill? Skill is another of the great buzz words of riding. Let's define it so we have something to talk about. Riding Skill is: The harmonious interaction of riding technology with machine technology towards a known result. Our bikes are built on technology created by designers and engineers: frame design, radial brakes, responsive forks and shocks, ignition black boxes that meter the fuel more efficiently, etc. Doesn't it make sense that there would be correct "technology" for riding that allows us to access all that potential? How about techniques? Where do they fit into the picture. What is the difference between "technique", "technology" and "skill"? How can they work together? How do they often fight each other? Technology We all want the bike to cooperate with us and sometimes we hope the machine and the technology it is built on will correct our errors or bring confidence but that's not how it works. The word "technology" itself has gotten a little muddy over the past 50 years. We tend to think technology means all the newest gadgets and improvements that come with a computer or a motorcycle. That's a very new use of the word. Factually, it means something completely different. Technology is the practical application of the underlying order or theory of something. The result is a system which organizes, controls or provides access to it. There are technical points to riding; these would fall under the category of our own software. That, along with the different cool devices on your bike, like a Power Commander, both fall into the category of "technology". Cornering Technology Understanding something as simple as straightening out a corner is valuable riding technology. Having a "line" really means: How the rider is organizing and controlling space; the space is the corner in front of him. The straighten-out-the-corner technology organizes that space in its most efficient manner. For example, it allows for a better, more flowing control of the bike; more efficient use of its power delivery systems and gains access for the rider to the bike's best handling characteristics, which in turn improves traction. Using this technology to handle corners has proven itself reliable since the very first motorcycle. Regardless of machine upgrades, it works. Once any procedure is established which resolves problems and yields a consistent result, whether it is riding or machine bits, it can be correctly categorized as "technology". Both riding and machine technology should come together: the bike's technological advances, if they are truly advances, allow you to better control the machine and, in turn, make it easier to straighten out the corner. The bike's technology helps the rider achieve an improved result. If it is correct technology, one compliments the other. Technique "Technique" is different, it sits on top of the technology. It is more how it looks and feels than how it works. A 125cc GP rider straightens out the corners quite differently than the Moto GP rider. Different technique, same technology. The 125 GP bike rider has little acceleration and so must preserve all the momentum (corner speed) he can. The Moto Gp rider wants to get pointed quickly and get his 250 hp to the ground. The form (technique) is different but the function (the technology) is the same. As long as you realize that your technique or form must cooperate with and compliment the underlying technology or function (what result you want and how the bike works) you can make progress in any problem area of riding. Hanging Off. Form or Function? Technique or Technology? A good riding technique is harmonious with and compliments machine technology. We hang off the bike to lower the combined Center of Gravity of the bike and rider. A useful technique. When it is only done for the form or to look cool, the reason for doing it becomes lost and the form becomes counter-productive. Form and function are another way of saying technique and technology. Hanging off really is a perfect example. When we see a rider hanging their butt and leg off the inside of the bike we say they are hanging off; that is the form. But, when we see their head and torso crisscrossed back over the tank we have to take a look at the function, at the technology of it, to determine if it is good, bad or has no effect. In this case, the upper body mass across the tank counters the butt and leg so nothing is gained. Additionally, riders tend to be stiff on the bike in this position. Therefore it is not only counter-productive but actually has a negative effect. Aside from its one saving grace--it looks and feels good to the rider sometimes-it is creating additional problems. There is no machine technology that will maintain the lowered C of G if the rider's technique counters that basic purpose. Barriers Become Tools All of the classic rider barriers follow suit. Finding the limits of traction, lean angle, quick flicking, throttle control, line selection and so on all have very specific uses; very specific ways of executing them; very specific results that can be achieved. Once the rider understands and aligns his technique with the underlying technology these "barriers" become tools to handle exact situations. That rider has achieved a new and very solid level of control. Now we could say he had skill. He is able to align his technique with the technology involved. Riders who rely solely on what they feel from the bike are hard to train. Riders who can recognize, understand and shoot for specific results in each of these areas make rapid progress towards their riding goals. It isn't all technique, some understanding of the underlying technology is needed to bring Feeling, Technique and the Technology into harmony that result in Skillful application. Fashionable Riding Techniques can become "fashionable". Look at the drama and appeal of the "backing-it-in" technique. The underlying principal is sound: get the bike pointed more towards the exit, spend less time in the corner leaned over, put the power down earlier, beat the other guys. On the outside it appears to be a simple and effective idea because it is based on the solid technology of straightening out the turn. This technique feels great to do and looks awesome. Have you noticed it has mainly come and gone? Too much monkey business, too complicated, low results: the form overcame the function: the technique did not really compliment and fully align with the technology. Fashionable Slides Big time hanging the back end out, spinning the tire coming off the corners has gone the same way. The old adage, "You aren't going forward if you are going sideways" came back to haunt those riders once again. Yes, some tire spin is needed for a good drive off the turn and to keep the tire clean, exposing fresh, sticky rubber but too much just looks cool and brings in the spectators but it doesn't win races and could cost you your traction later in the race. Techniques, if they ignore the underlying technology, if they are not integrated and complimentary, are like painting over a dirty, unprepared surface. It looks great from a distance but loses its charm under close inspection. Technique vs Understanding Valentino and Matt Mladin use the same controls we do. When you see novice riding errors being made you see someone who appears to be struggling with the form, the techniques. There is lots of added stuff going on, mainly corrections, like extra steering inputs to adjust lean angle or a variety of braking and throttle inconsistencies. This rider isn't really struggling with the technique, it is the technology, the underlying function of the controls and what the bike needs, that they are at odds with. Making the rider's form better doesn't handle it. Saying you need to be smooth doesn't handle it. Another coat of paint doesn't handle it. The less we understand of the bike's needs and what function the controls actually serve (the underlying technology of it) the more we battle with the form. As stated earlier, most riders honestly believe that learning some cool technique will handle it. It won't. The worst part is that when "technique" without understanding fails to produce the desired effect riders go off on tangents and invent complicated little procedures trying to make things work out. Simple control inputs become involved, tooth and nail battles for this rider. This is true at all levels of riding. The Value of School This is the real reason why training works so effectively. Once you know what is needed and how to produce it your control over the machine is established and you'll move forward from there. When you add to that effective on-track observation and coaching, the corrections you are given make sense. Any technique that brings the rider more in control and more in alignment with how the bike and its technology actually work is a good technique. There is not now and never will be one single technique or one trick, that accomplishes that. We drill 15 different points in our first three school levels. The briefing before each on-track session reveals the key supporting evidence and facts to show how they work; why they work; what will go wrong if you misapply them and how they integrate with the bike's functions, its technology. You'll know what it is and how to gain access to it. Becoming enough of a technician to understand these points is not difficult. In the end the motorcycle has simple demands, simple functions. Even if we don't understand how a shock is designed and engineered we can easily understand what was intended by its creators and how to bring out the best possible results from it. You can understand this technology with little effort, no engineering background is needed. All that is needed is the desire to master the art of cornering a motorcycle. Learn the skills, discover the art. Keith Code ? Keith Code, 2005, all rights reserved.
  15. I wasn't logged in properly, here goes again. Speaking of thinking it through--did any of you read Rossi's autobiography? He goes over just how much he is thinking about his riding during a race weekend. Very interesting stuff. I haven't finished the book yet but that part is in the first or second chapter. Best, Keith
  16. Hey guys, Let me steer you just a bit on this if you don't mind. When you go out with a purpose in mind it is far better than just going out hoping that it will all come together for you. It is lovely to get into the zone on riding. Brilliant experience and makes it all worthwhile. But pulling yourself along with a purpose for the ride, the race, the parctice session, for those of us who don't have MotoGP quality of riding yet, is the way to go. Listen. I've been doing some research. I've come up with 40 different purposes a rider can have for how they set up and execut a line through a corner, they all have some sort of result that riders try for when they ride. Sometimes it is just an intention. Some of them are vague and some are specific. 'To make it through the turn', that would be vague. 'To have higher mid corner speed' would lead a rider towards something they could actually accomplish. 'To go faster', pretty vague. 'To get into the zone', pretty vague. 'To get back on the gas earlier', you could work with that one. You see what I mean? Good advice is just that, good advice. Nothing wrong with it but all too often it just sounds good but doesn't give the rider a real plan to execute to improve. Best, Keith
  17. Like most things, the brake release and the throttle application take co-ordination and drilling to get them in perfect harmony. Just keep it simple, it isn't necessary to invent new procedures and add extra actions at a time when your attention is stretched out as thin as it is at the entry to turns. It will only create more busy work. Whether braking straight up or leaned over, the release of the lever will determine if the transition is clean and smooth or not. An abrupt release will get the suspension moving around more than it should be, that is distracting. If the brake is release clean there should not be any upsetting movement from the chassis--done poorly, there will be and that can be distracting. Getting your right wrist to co-operate and get the throttle on AFTER your lean angle is set is the only way to guarantee a stable motorcycle. That lag is what you need to handle. Half a second isn't long on a stop watch but it is 44 feet at 60 mph. That is 6 bike lengths! Getting the bike full on quick flicked, really snapped into the turn, can be done with no chassis upsets of any kind. You do not have to invent new stuff or be world champion to do this. You do have to pay attention to your brake release and throttle application and once they are in harmony it will work for you. There are some other factors to this but, on a bike that is basically set up OK, these are the two that make the big difference. Keith
  18. Hi Jen, We can't run it in the rain. The problem is that riders trust the outriggers too much and just lean it over too far. It is still a motorcycle and will lose backend traction just like a real one. THat is far less likely to happen in the dry. Riding it in the wet was one of the very first experiments we did with it on the skid pad at Willow Springs back in 1998. We had the water truck come out and put one of us on it. Probably not a fiar comparison to real conditions since it hadn't rained for a while and the asphalt was slimey but we found later that with cold tires and a wet surface it acts a lot like a normal bike. Keith PS: OVer the past few years the weather has been good for us at Sears, we only rained out part of one day and still got all the track time in.
  19. Drop Will, our mechanic, a line mechanic@superbikeschool.com and ask him what he has, I think you are in luck, that we do have some fo the parts you are looking for. Keith
  20. Alex, We stay pretty much with stock settings on the suspension, just a twist here or there but that is Will's job so email him and he'll let you know what the setup is. Tire pressure varies with tires and usage so be specific when you ask him. mechanic@superbikeschool.com is his address. Best, Keith
  21. Here is my nickle's worth. Maximum lean is a tool that you only use when it is necessary. Granted, having it is good and feeling confident with it is good as well but it is not how you want to ride all the time in fact you want to avoid it as much as possible. One thing is for sure, you will never trust the bike until you totally trust yourself. 90% of that trust has to do with how much control you have over your right wrist and maintaining good throttle control at the steep lean angles. Look at your own riding and tell me if you are absolutely postitive your throttle controls is perfect as you approach YOUR maximum comfort zone in lean angle. Here is a point to consider: At 45 degrees lean the load on the suspension is 41% greater than vertical. As you lean it further over the load becomes even higher. The suspension is still lower in its travel from the cornering forces that are created. Your throttle control has to bring the suspension back into its most compliant range. What is the problem? Your instinct is telling you more gas is bad and the bike is saying it needs more gas. Who wins? Keith
  22. Great questions, Riders get used to riding a certain way for lots of reasons, some of which have been sited here on this thread, vision is a good point and it is one of the major reasons riders try and stay high on the bike, it is easier to see. In the end you have to weigh one position against the other and put that up against what is trying to be accomplished with the hanging off riding position. If lowering the combined C of G is the purpose then the upper body across the top of the tank, twisted on the bike, is counter-productive and neutralizes the butt cheek out in the wind, the rider might as well just sit on the bike like a touring rider does. Another reasons riders adopt the twisted position is that they feel compeled to hang onto the bars as it gives them the impression they are in better control. Its just their feeling about it and that is hard to argue with. I worked hard with Roger Lee Hayden on this point. His mechanic was worried about him using too much lean. But to give you an idea of how hard it id to break the habit, it took Roger Lee at least 8 races to begin to get down into the bike and he is a talented rider for sure. What I'm saying is: It is not so easy to change it once it becomes a "habit". It is very easy to see that almost every rider on the planet starts out twisted on the bike (it is one of the easiest ways to spot the novices) so there is obviously some survival instinct that has to be overcome in order to get into the bike in what we see as "good" body position. Best, Keith
  23. When you get into the corner, immediately after you have initiated the turn, get ON the gas. If you're not on the gas, you will continue to transfer weight to the front and tighten up the turning of the bike. JeF4Y's quote. Not so Jeff, at least not unless you have some pressure on the bars and that is quite unconscious for most riders. When you are off the gas in a corner the contact patch is to the inside of the tire's center and is countersteering the bike upwards and wide in the turn. Going off the gas and transfering weight to the front end with the tiniest bar pressure has a pretty big effect and, again, is quite unconscious for most riders. The one thing that does modify this is the rider's body position. The forward and down position seems to bring in more pro-steer (the front end turning in towards the corner and tightening up the turn) in that position but we have yet to discover if there is bar pressure being applied at the same time. Experiments are on the way and in progress to determine this. I am working with Paul Thede at Race Tech and he is building a really great data acquisition system that includes bar pressure and steering head rotation sensors. We will use the data for the Twist II DVD which we are shooting in October. Keith
  24. Agocat, Your spring sag sounds way out of whack but before changing it you need to measure it correctly. You take the measurement with you on the bike in normal riding position. First you take the meausrement of the front and the rear at full extension, then sit on it and see how much sag its got. There are articles out there on setting spring sag. Here is the address from Race Tech with the directions on how to do it. http://www.triumphnet.com/st/acc/racetech/setup.htm Keith
  25. I have never ridden a bike that doesn't countersteer and definitely never ridden one that steers the way Supernought says-- turns in like a car. The idea that little corrections are made like car steering and larger ones are from countersteering is a new one on me. I have heard that over 225mph bikes do steer like cars and then return to countersteering past 275 (I think that was the number). I'd like to know where this data came from Supernought. Where? Keith
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