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Cornering Enthusiast

Cornering Enthusiast (3/5)

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  1. Update #2. I went back to Talladega this past weekend on my new track bike (07 ZX6R). I was about 2 seconds faster per lap on the ZX6R, even though it has about a 50HP deficit to my R1. It isn't a total weight issue because my R1 has a 100% carbon fiber gas tank and Forged Magnesium wheels. I firmly believe the difference was due to the full Ohlins suspension i had installed and the professional setup. My front forks were built by Mark Fitzgerald (aka Thermosman). I am also running a 190/55 rear tire and the bike was setup around it. On the ZX6R, i can simply carry more cornerspeed which is where the difference is made because everybody is fast down the straights. I am sure i wasnt outriding the stock suspension...but confidence plays a big role in everything. I am more confident with the current setup. My BP also improved (i think). Not only did it improve, but it because much more consistent. Please take a look at the pics and feel free to critique as needed. I know some of those pics look pretty much the same (the first 3 in the chicane), but they were taken over the course of the entire weekend. My g/f just so happened to be standing in the same spot. So whatever i am doing wrong, at least i am doing it wrong consistently.
  2. Thank Cobie, I am really looking forward to Level III. I am sure these and other issues will be addressed...if not fixed. Yes - I will definitely keep in touch and let you know how it goes. You are right and i try to focus on things that are going well/right...but as i say at work, "it only takes 1 oh ###### to eliminate alot of atta-boys". Thanks again, Chris
  3. Thanks for the comments Cobie. All in all, i really can't complain about my first TD's (track days ) of the year/since my wreck. I felt comfortable and i actually went faster than i felt i did...that probably doesnt make sense. During the day i had several people comment on how smooth i was and that i was "tearing it up". But to me, it didnt feel like it. I never took one breath out of my mouth. I was relaxed, breathing easy etc. In other words, it came easy to me. As far as the school, i attended levels I and II last August at VIR and am signed up for level III this August at Barber. I am a perfectionist, if i do something...i must be good at it. I rarely ever "joy ride". Even when i am on the street, i am thinking about my body positioning, working on being smooth with the brakes/throttle, looking for good lines through curves (not necessarily taking those lines because im on the street, but i will think "if i was on the track, what would be the best way through this curve"). That has its downfalls because i cannot totally enjoy track days. Every time i come back to the pits, my girlfriend (who has been riding 4x as long as i have) will be like "you did great...your BP was good and you lapped half the other riders"...then i will be like "yeah but on laps 2+3 i missed my braking point in turn 2" etc. Ok, to answer your question regarding specific issues... 1. I am still alot better/more comfortable on left hand turns that right hand turns. I have read Keith's thoughs/approach to this, but i cant seem to get past it. Not just mentally, i mean my foot positioning/BP is much better on left hand turns. I can look further through left hand turns and i have a much better turn-in on left handers. 2. Sometimes i get uncomfortable in the transition between hard breaking and turn in at the end of fast straightaways that come into sharp turns. To accommodate this, i try to get my braking done early/first so that i am off the brakes and "stable" prior to my initial turn in. I do not have this problem on slower turns (and i usually trail brake some). But when i am coming from a 130-140mph straightaway into a sharp, 60mph turn, i feel unsettled as im coming off the brakes into the curve. The thing that helps me is that i have a pretty quick turn-in. My instructor complimented me on it because he said that even on that 1k it seems as if i can go from straight up and down to dragging knee almost instantaneously. I think that is really what keeps me from being too slow in the aforementioned situations because i can delay my braking at the end of a fast straightaway, nail the brakes hard, stay upright a little longer while i let off the brakes and get "settled" and then immediately throw the bike over and be on a knee. But i would like to somehow be more comfortable and smooth out that transition at the end of long/fast straightaways. I apologize for the long winded post. I am at work and can't ride so i think/talk about it too much. Thanks, Chris
  4. Update: I went back to Talladega last month...for the first time since a bad wreck in September which resulted in an aftermarket collarbone etc. (I can't remember if i have mentioned that wreck or not). Anyway, it was my first track day since the wreck...and it was back at Tally so you can imagine how my nerves were. It was also my first track day on my R1. I am having a 750 track bike being built, but it wasnt ready yet so i had to track prep my R1 at the last minute. Here is a pic from the day. I am sure yall will be able to see plenty of things wrong with my form so feel free to critique. All in all, i can't complain. I had a good time and my lap times were ok. I ran 1:09's which is fairly respectable... considering the above factors and the fact that i was on a stock suspension that was maxed out but still 13mm off because of my 220lbs and on street tires that had 4,500 miles on them when the day began. To be honest, i wasn't really concerned with times. I only looked at my times a few times over the weekend. I never "pushed" myself or the bike. I basically just wanted to get my first TD's out of the way and get back in the groove. I never once even got any chatter out of the rear wheel while braking because i never broke hard enough. It sounds funny, but i was pretty quick in the curves and slow on the straights . The only people that passed me, did so in the straights...then i re-passed them on the outside of the next curve. When that happened, i would speed up a little on the straights out of courtesy and i wouldnt see them again the rest of the session. But i did get comments from several instructors on how "smooth" i was so that made me happy.
  5. Ok, so we have established that it is better to have your body to the inside to reduce lean angle on the bike. So from reading the last few posts (sorry, i made my post without seeing page 3) i have gathered that it is better to be back in the seat which will allow one to be more parallel with the bike. So in summation: Butt back in the seat a little bit....... Upper body off the bike, low and to the inside. What else did i miss? (i want to take something from this thread and i dont want the good points and suggestions to get lost in everything else....)
  6. Personally, i think you could have gotten your point across without showing 1/2 of a guy's naked ass. lol I agree that the most mass is in the upper body and the upper body should be off the bike. Leaving your head over the tank or even almost to the point of "kissing" the outside mirror doesn't do much (if anything) for lowering the CoG. But, the question about being more upright or laying flat/low is a good one. One of the guys i showed on the first page (the guy who has sparks flying behind him) is a co-member of a different forum and a school that he attended actually taught them to stay more upright instead of being low and against the tank. They taught him that while being low may "look" faster, you are better off being a little more upright. He said it works. Obviously "works" is a relative term and what he probably meant was that it works for him. But this guy is no squid or noob, he is a WERA "Expert" racer and has been for years. Note that he also agrees the upper body should be off the bike and to the inside to reduce lean angle of the bike, but he feels that being off the bike but being more upright is better. So what is yall's take on it? Low with upper body against/beside the tank or upright.
  7. Kevin mentioned the same thing about Level III. I would LOVE to catch Level III first, but it just isn't possible. I work a rotating 28-28 schedule (I am home for a month then down here in Brazil for a month). There is only 1 day between now and August when a Level III class fits in my schedule, but even it is the day after i get home...and it is on the other side of the U.S. I compared my work schedule to the school schedule about 7 different times trying to figure something out and i simply cannot make any other school. Grrrrr......................
  8. harnois, thanks for the response and that makes perfect sense. I made some notes on a piece of paper while reading your post and i will definitely practice those things. I will be taking my R1 to my next track day because my 750 track bike hasnt arrived yet. It will be my first time running a 1k on the track so i will take it slow and gradually work my way up to speed. Thanks again...
  9. Y'all are killing me with all these "teasers" about Level III. I wish i could take it NOW.
  10. Cobie, By "next March" I meant 2009. I have a ton of track days scheduled this year, along with Level III. Then I will try to catch 1-2 track days in Feb of '09 and do the R.A.C.E. school in March. Thanks, Chris
  11. Thanks Cobie. I will plan on doing the R.A.C.E. School next March. I am scheduled for 10 track days so far this year (including Level III at Barber) and will add at least 2 more so maybe I will be able to keep up with yall by the time next March rolls around. If nothing else, I will get some good coaching and experience at the school. The school will give me a good idea where I stand and then I will either proceed with getting my license or take what I learned in the school and apply it to several more track days and go from there. Thanks for the input.
  12. I have both. I have the Tech-specs on my R1 street bike and Stompgrips on my Track bikes. Yes - the Tech-specs look better. Personally, i feel more "planted" with the Stompgrips. I put TS on my R1 because when i am running errands etc. i wear riding jeans from ICON, Cortech etc. IMO Stomp grips are a little too aggressive for anything other than leathers. But for balls out grip on the track, i like Stompgrips.
  13. Thanks again Kevin. What i meant by "fail" is that it states on the website that CCS/WERA etc recognize the R.A.C.E. school as an approved program. Obviously i will have to buy the license from them and attend theif flag briefing class...but they recognize the school as a race school. Since you don't actually provide the license, maybe "pass or fail" wasn't a good term. I guess what i should have asked is "is completion of the school without crashing sufficient or have their been cases where somebody completed the school but were advised not to get their license because they weren't fast enough". I am looking forward to Level III. By the time i do level III in August, I will have another 8-9 track days under my belt. Then upon the completion of Level III, i can simply ask the instructors where i stand and if they think i am ready or should take the R.A.C.E school.
  14. You are correct, offshore rigs are manned my "local" talent for the most part. I used to live in Mississippi and working in the GoM. I worked my way up through the "Drilling" aspect of operations and i was selected for a trainee position on the Technical/Engineering side of it. After 2 years of training and multiple schools, i was assigned to a rig in the GoM as a Subsea Engineering Specialist. Then i was put in charge of an Ultradeepwater upgrade project in Singapore. Singapore has a huge shipyard with excellent facilities (and cheap labor). We completed the upgrade and the rig went to work in Malaysia, i went with it. Then i was transferred to a rig in Indonesia as the Senior S.E.S. That rig left Indonesia and went back to the GoM. When i started working in Singapore, i moved to TN. Obviously it is a long haul from TN to the GoM so i transferred to this rig in Brazil. But back the original point. My company's main office is in Houston...but we have offices on every continent and rigs world wide. In order for us to drill in other countries, we have to employ so many people from that country. All of the "general laborers", lower level mechanics, catering crew etc are all Brazilian (or from the respective country each rig is working in). But the "key" Supervisory personnel are from the USA, the UK or Australia (we have huge offices in Aberdeen and Perth).
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