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About peevSTer

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    Cornering Apprentice

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  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
  1. Hello. I had a chance to deal with "grip in the wet" question on day one at VIR with Jason P as my instructor. I had noticed a feeling of twitchiness going into the turn at the end of the straightaway. He led me a few laps and had me pick up the throttle around the turn. Blindly trusting in his judgement, I complied. The bike responded by hooking up perfectly and carving a good line-the twitchiness was gone. My tires? Qualifiers in new condition. Being tight on the bars and negotiating the curve with a closed throttle puts so much weight on the front that it can be pushed for traction. Relaxing on the bars and rolling on the throttle to establish more contact patch for the rear solved the problem and the bike tracked well. Grip problem solved. At that point, I think it's whatever tire you wish to run for your bike. Knowing how to get tires to work in the rain is the key to this. Thank you, Jason Padin! By the way, it was pouring rain. I would add with all that weight on the front, the rear is pushed for traction and probably is responsible for that twitchy feeling I had noticed. Rolling on the throttle balances weight distribution and allows both tires to grip.
  2. I've used a Canyon Dancer with no problems. Doing some internet research, I cut a length of PCV pipe in a size large enough to fit over the handlebar grips, then slide the dancer ends over that. That solves the binding of the strap on the rubber. I've seen a "Condor" chock in action. Very sweet. Run the bike up into it; it clicks in, and the bike is stable. Perhaps when I've excess money and am doing track days more often I'll own one.
  3. Hi, Cobie: I'm somewhat partial to Held gloves, and have followed the care regimen from their website. My old style "Steve" gloves purchased in September of 2007 are in good shape following their instructions. I've used that for some Cortech "Scarab" gloves and a summer Held glove with good results, also.
  4. Jason: Not to be a smart aleck, but have you thought to contact Will at the school? He would have extensive experience with just this same motorcycle I would think, based on CSS's history with Kawasaki.
  5. Rainman Kevin: Thanks for the comments. Counter steering is indeed counterintuitive. My friend at the bike shop talks about riding a bike being "just like bicycle riding, you just lean into it." (advice that can get one into trouble!)Remember the advice part of TWII? !!!!! When doing the low speed drills at the MSF, I found myself wrenching on the opposite handlebar to turn the thing(weaving part of the course), yet at speed I do more pushing in the direction I want to go. It changes...... No doubt CSS teaching is effective. I've had a couple of "ahah" moments that actually came from mild "o-sh..t" moments. I've been working on reducing input into the bike, getting into the throttle as soon as possible, and keeping it rolling through the turn once I wick it on. There's a cloverleaf type thing, (90 degree) essentially it's a banked on ramp to the Interstate, with a very wide entry. I put my body on the right side, turned it, and when tickling open the throttle just kept rolling it on, despite my normal inclination to stay out of it a bit longer. I thought: "let's just let it run its course." I left it at the lean angle chosen with the initial steering input, and kept my weight off of the bars. The bike did its thing just perfectly, going into a nice lean angle(with spare) at the top of the thing and tracking perfectly. I had road width left over. Being an on-ramp to the Interstate, I'm not going to test the limits, but that sure felt good! This was an area where JB helped considerably in Level 1. Another instance was going into a tight right hander a bit faster than normal. Danny Green's comments in TWII mentioned "where we turn" is more important than anything. We can get into a heavy technical discussion on quick turning, yet his comment shed light. If we know where to turn, and where we want to go (two-step) we then can apply steering to get there. Instead of tensing up, I let myself relax on the bike, chose a turn point, looked where I wanted to go, and turned it. The bike tracked perfectly, kissing the apex at more lean than I'm used to, and then out. It was in and out in the blink of an eye, yet everthing was managed. I'm just hoping I can do it again!
  6. Hello! Leave it in "rain mode." It's still got tons of power, particularly coming from your older 750's. The brakes are tremendous; take your sweet time getting used to them. Remember to relax; that's one issue I have to work on everytime I ride. The relaxation is about having dropped elbows, though I do apply pressure to the tank with my knees quite a bit. I have a Triumph Sprint ST, with updated suspension. It's a fine bike, and is more capable than I am at this time. The BMW is superb; a whole different level of performance. I opened one up on the straight at VIR and it just hurled me down the track-this was in "rain mode." You would have done fine going to a modern 600, and gained power and capability, but the BMW gives you some nice flexibility that they don't have.
  7. ..just my two cents here. I've done trackdays with two providers, and there was a huge difference in them. One had classroom instruction and was quite structured. For the most part, it was pretty civilized, except for a jerk on a H'busa that made some comment on "riding with the novices to scare the heck out of 'em." He probably needed to be somewhere else. The control rider was somewhat weird; working on his chew and his personal riding skills. Our "sighting lap" was done more along his pace, certainly not the pace most of us were comfortable with. We were shown the "racing line." Hmmmm. However, it was relatively well run and safe. I wouldn't have any issues taking in more trackdays with this provider. The second trackday provider was a zoo. A number of racerwantabees, along with usually a crash or two per lap. The "control riders" seemed to be racing the wantabees, and I saw some tense riding and weird lines as they struggled to keep up with the wantabees. One 954 rider blamed his crash on his Michelen tires; however, he was pushing hard. When the rear slid he chopped the throttle with predictable result, and a broken wrist. Did I mention it was a zoo?
  8. bgirl: I'm reading some interesting statements. It appears that I am the only one that has taken the MSF course. Hmmmm....everyone else here appears to be from a foreign country, including New York (sorry, couldn't resist that one!). It's $75, and takes a Friday evening plus a weekend. It would get you in the door as far as understanding turns/swerving/braking on a two-wheeler. They set up drills in a parking lot and have you accomplish them. You would be out there with others of lesser skill, as well as some accomplished riders that are doing it for an insurance break, etc. It can be a great confidence booster for people. I had a Honda CB450 in high school and a Z1R Kawasaki 1000(flexy flier) a few years later. The MSF course starts you off on a better foundation than trying to hack it out on your own. Some benefits would be that your insurance company might offer you a discount for you to have taken the course-that would be worth finding out. I consider myself to be a "novice." I've taken three levels with CSS, as well as a weekend with STAR and CLASS. For all that, I'm just now getting to allowing my bike to do its thing(reduce unwanted rider input), choosing a turn point, picking up the throttle in turns with smooth roll on, and quick turning. Those who have done the school will know what I'm talking about here. Were I in your position, I would take the MSF course, get a copy of "Twist of the Wrist II," then consider doing levels one and two through CSS. If you just do "trackdays," you could easily find yourself doing the same wrong thing over and over again, all day long, on some track and wondering why things aren't really clicking. The MSF course lays the bare minimum, in my opinion, and then the rest is up to you.
  9. bgirl: I would recommend the MSF course. Take it as soon as you can. Also, the advice to ride on an empty parking lot and practice applying pressure left and right to the handlebars is a good idea to get a feel for how the bike works. There's a lot of good material in "Twist of the wrist II," and the DVD by the same name. Also, you might check out the MSF web site to see some of the information there, as well as get in touch with the local instructor to get into a class. I would not be surprised if you can hook up easily with some local people to help you get started. Going out on a limb, I think trying to do a trackday while not understanding operation of the basic motorcycle would be problematic. I don't mean that you don't understand the controls; rather, how the thing works as a two-wheeler. A large empty parking lot may be a great opportunity. Put on the gloves, jacket, and helmet and go play. Please wear the gear; I've come across two accidents where riders were not wearing a jacket and gloves and their skin was just gone off of their arms, shoulders, and hands. It's not pretty. If you've heavy jeans and boots that allow you to feel the controls, those too.....even though I wear padded "overpants."
  10. Hi, Andrew: I ran into a problem specifically in turn 4 at Barber Park, which is a "hairpin" type according to Keith. Kristi caught me on this, thank goodness! I was turning the bike again after initial turn in, applying pressure to the bars as I was in the turn, and of course rolling on the throttle. When she pointed this out, and reminded me of "one steering input per turn," it allowed me to figure out where I was going wrong. My riding error was using up 98% of tire grip, which made for concern from my sharp eyed rider coach. (the 98% was Kristi's estimate, and due to her experience am going to use that figure!) JP actually pointed out to me the necessity of relaxing on the bars while at VIR, so it was a habit. What I had to do to eliminate the error was be stabilized on the bike so that I could reduce pressure on the bars and just allow the bike to ride out the chosen amount of steering input once done with rolling on of the throttle. While in the turn, when I became aware of my tendency to add pressure, I concentrated on the outside leg dug into the tank for stability in order to avoid turning the bike in more. I found that my initial steering input was adequate and that I needed to allow the bike to ride the line out, with normal throttle roll on, and avoid additional input to the bars while in the turn.
  11. No offense taken; I've enough time on blogs to understand that people will make different choices. On a logical note, you've reinforced my perspective that you're limited by your thinking you have to have a specific oil due to the wet clutch. This would feed nicely into the narrative put forth by those that market oil for motorcycles would have you believe. For me, that would be a problem. Would it not make sense to perhaps market an inferior oil as "motorcycle specific" in order to have the consumer pay a premium for oil that doesn't cost as much to manufacture? Typically, that is the way the world works. It would produce a nice profit in a niche market. Engineers in a perfect world would produce objective information. In the business world, they are paid by the profits from the marketing of the product. When the good professor starting asking questions, no one could really give him a straight answer. I would assume that the Honda had a dry clutch, then? Oh, well. Motorcycles certainly have evolved, thank goodness.
  12. I so love in one of Keith books where he mentions beating the guys with all the "trick" stuff...... due to knowing how to make his bike work.
  13. "The document is based on a 16 year old right up and I would have to say really isn't on par to all the things involved in todays machines." You've actually added to my normal reluctance to put forth information that requires people to think. I used to have a landlord with a nice Nissan truck. He insisted on using Castrol 20W50; "it's good for my truck." My response, of course, was to ask him what his owner's manual called for. Nowadays it's usually 5W30 or even 5W20. He's wasting his money, when Wal Mart brand API certified 5W-30 of SM rating would suffice quite well. This stuff actually used to be cheap, but due to speculators driving up oil prices when supply is up and demand actually down, is no longer. The proper viscocity oil may well allow him to get better mileage and have more power than the heavier, not recommended oil, which he is paying a premium for. It is interesting to note that a 16 year old write up may provide knowledge, for those willing to see it. If you're not, so be it. You've bought into the premise that you have to run specific oil due to the wet clutch, therefore you're somewhat stuck. If we assume that car oils have continued to improve and motorcycle oils improved at the same pace, which is preferred?
  14. This is an area of major dislike, as it gets into the area of what people "like," and what the dealers are selling. Automotive oils, which are up into the "SM" catagory now, are much better than they used to be. Dealers sell motorcycle oil at a premium, and they need to make a living, so...... could we regard that as "objective?" Wheras a little ol' PHD type, who happened to ride a V65 Honda motorcycle, became curious about the same questions. Here's his take on this: http://www.nightrider.com/biketech/oiltest1.htm People are funny; they claim that this or that is "da best," and don't really have a clue other than they're changing oil quite frequently in some cases, so it probably isn't even an issue. It's as though it's a contest to see what's in and popular, with scant real evidence to go by. Which is why the article is a good read.
  15. Have you contacted Juan Lindo at Zooni leathers? He has an excellent reputation, and has done women's leathers. The Z leathers read like they weren't made for your measurements. Zooni has an website where you can play around and "build your own" leathers. A decent taylor can supply the measurements, or of course, Zooni in San Jose. I took a couple of days with "Class" and Reg Pridmore and a number of the staff there, including Reg's wife, Gigi, were wearing them. They appear to be high quality. "BARF" has some good information on leathers...(Bay Area Rider's Forum) .....sidenote: didn't know California very well. Spent some time in Lompoc with the Air Force, and a girlfriend up in Concord at one time. Juan tells me he's up in the San Franscisco area, not Southern California, so this might not meet your desire for someone local.
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