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About dhtmbowen@gmail.com

  • Rank
    Cornering Artist

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Birmingham, England
  • Interests
    Bikes! Modern, Classic, Classic Racing, Watching Motorcycle Racing, MC Touring, Travel, Cooking for Friends, Tae Kwon Do, Field Archery, Shooting.

Previous Fields

  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
    Yes 1-3
  1. That's not true is it? Imagine going round a roundabout. you start going round, gently accelerate, your knee touches down, you continue to increase speed and your lean angle increases, boot touches down, peg etc. Basically the faster you go the more lean angle you need to hold a constant radius turn. In long, constant radius turns to follow the throttle rule you will end up with more lean angle than when you started the corner.
  2. I think I'm missing part of the point here: is more throttle and more lean angle always bad? There are three long corners I come across on a regular basis: 1. double apex RH. Entry is over a crest, first apex is early, run out wide accelerating all the while, 2nd apex whilst still accelerating, picking the bike up and driving 2. very long (210degree) very fast RH. narrow entry, treated as double apex. entry fast, closed throttle slowing to mid corner 2/3 of the way out then accelerating towards 2nd apex, pick up and drive. 3.long LH (170deg). carry lots of speed in using engine braking to tighten line. hug curb. accelerate. pick up bike on exit pick up and lay onto rhs for rh bend sequence All of these corners (for me) are characterised by the same thing - at some point well before the 'apex' I am accelerating and this generates more lean angle. Is this bad?
  3. I'll call once the date are up, thanks. He will be 18 this Christmas.
  4. My eldest son has been doing Enduro for about a year now and wants to ride on track. He has no intention of getting his bike license but wants/needs instruction and guidance preferably before he does his first track day. He has an ACU race license 2 questions: How does he stand with regards to going to a Superbike school event in the UK or the USA? Is a supermoto a reasonable first track bike to learn the ropes on? (I have a Husqvarna 449 he can use) Thanks
  5. I'm going to be in the 'States in order to see the MotoGp at Laguna Seca and then a couple of weeks off road riding Mohave - Death Valley - Grand Canyon - Bryce etc PLEASE tell me there is going to be a Superbike school at Laguna Seca around that time. Its on my bucket list.
  6. Only use the back brake when negotiating heavy traffic, filtering etc then I have a hand on the throttle, hand on the clutch, foot on brake and foot on gear shift - no one gets left out! My track bike still has the original pads in after 4 years of track days and my main roadbike has the same rear pads it came with 50,000 miles ago.
  7. If I can add my 2penny worth here (2 cents for our American cousins!) It seems that we have 2 separate activities: Locking the outside leg into the tank and Weighting the outside peg. If I could deal with the latter first: Weighting the outside peg aids traction when accelerating out of a corner. It does it through 2 things: weighting the outside peg transfers weight and enables the bike to sit on a fatter part of the tyre for a given corner speed. 2ndly and more importantly when the rear breaks traction pre-weighting the outside peg helps enable the bike to stand up more quickly as the tyre starts to spin which rolls it onto a lager radius and a fatter contact patch helping the tyre regain traction. Still skeptical? Try it on a dirt bike - weight the inside peg as you go round a tight bend and apply the power. Pick the bike up off the deck and try the same maneuver whilst weighting the outside peg. Locking your outside leg into the tank enables you to secure you to the bike to perform a number of operations without unsettling the bike : power steering, hip flick, etc.
  8. I think what I would like to be taught is overtaking techniques. I often get stuck behind riders who are lapping slower than me and unless I arrive and overtake immediately I can really struggle to get by them. This problem is magnified for me because I carry a lot of mid corner speed and generate a good corner exit but my bike isn't very quick so if you are balked by, say an S1000RR mid corner and unable to use your drive he just pulls the trigger and disappears down the straight until you catch him at the next bend sequence.
  9. Re: "Backing it in" I agree and would add this: 'Backing it in' Is for low grip riding. I get the back stepping out on the way into hairpin turns on my dirtbike because it is definitely quicker and the corner is very slow. This technique is taken to extremes in Enduro on tight turns to get the bike swung around on slow corners - arriving at the corner hard on the front brake weight high up, forwards and a little to the inside and leg out ready - apply back brake as you turn in then pull in the clutch and lock the rear up as you commit to the turn - as the bike swings in let the clutch out and continue the slide around on the power. I'm sure this is a familiar technique to lots of us but it doesn't translate to the tarmac race circuit (unless you are Gary McCoy) as the speed is much higher and the turns less tight when measured against bike length. You can see that many riders who have spent a lot of time off road like or at the very least don't mind 'backing it in' but there is no advantage to be had as it does very little to get the bike turned AND you can't be as hard on the front brake which costs you time against any potential saving.
  10. I thought I knew the answers to these questions but I have recently come across people who are equally convinced that I am right and some that are convinced I am completely wrong. Everyone seems to have an opinion but what are the FACTS? What is actually effected by dropping the yokes down or raising them up the forks? Rake? Trail? And how do they affect turn in, grip, stability and feel Is changing the rear ride height the same? What effect does raising and lowering the rear ride height do? What is the effect of raising or lowering both by equal amounts? (answer to include, please, not just the effect of CoG on cornering speed v angle but what the effect is on braking and accelerating / pitching)
  11. I'm not sure what is meant by a lack of ground clearance and 1970s bikes. I have a 1974 Z1000 (modified admittedly) and I get my knee down regularly on it on the track. As for cruisers - the only ones I've ridden are Harleys and they have no ground clearance at all so slow or fast that's not going to happen and the Ducati Diavel which has more ground clearance than most 'normal' bikes. Incidentally the Diavel is truly a phenomenal bike. James Hayden (ex gp racer) was using one to instruct of track days. Having said all of that surely one of the fun aspects of bikes with limited ground clearance is the fact that you can wizz round corners, roundabouts etc leaving a huge trail of sparks. Isn't that what they're for? My vote: long sweeping turns to maximize the scraping!
  12. I was at Almeria a little time ago and got some tuition from Simon Crafar which, in conjunction with what I've learnt from the CSS enabled me to find a significant amount of additional time which has worked on other tracks. I've always tried to follow the advice given me by another famous racer: the key to a fast lap is to hold the throttle fully open for longer than the other guy. In other words plan your lap to spend as much time as possible with the throttle wide open. As Simon Crafar says: its not who opens the throttle first its who opens the throttle fully first that counts. I know that this sounds obvious but its important to understand what this does to your plan of attack and how you position yourself on your bike especially if we are talking about modern 1000cc machinery. What this means for me is there are key places on the track where you don't leave a space between you and the tank as taught in level 3 - you need to be cramming yourself as far fwds as possible because lifting the front wheel limits drive. Every .1s you spend without the throttle against the stop is yards at the end of a big straight There are places where the throttle rule does not count - smoothly and progressively throughout the rest of the turn - or not as we (or I ) understood it - turn in, complete braking, feather throttle to stop the bike slowing down any further, wait, pick it up and slam the throttle wide open - this technique where the throttle was against the stops before the apex onto a 900m straight gained over .5 a second or 40m at the end of the straight against a more progressive approach (on a bike making 220bhp) So what I'm saying is this: you are going to have a plan of attack. Anyone looking for a 10th or so a lap has a pretty good idea of where they are and what they are doing at all times. Its worth reappraising that plan of attack with reference to keeping the throttle absolutely pinned for longer and it doesn't matter very much how you achieve it. Hope this helps - or was it too obvious?
  13. If its any help a friend of mine is a committed body builder having won a number of amateur competitions and he is a quick rider. Whilst it is true that the heavier you are the more weight you and the bike have and therefore all other things being equal the bike won't accelerate or stop as well as with a lighter rider on board this shouldn't get in the way of enjoying track days. If you are getting tired on the bike then it will be down to 'race fitness' i.e. using your muscles in a different or more prolonged way and being too tense or a lack of technique or, of course, a combination of them all. For what its worth I potter around in the top half of the fast group and my bike only makes 115bhp and I weigh in at a juvenile killer whale like 280lbs. ( 127kg) Although I do get out of breath the limiting factor for me is the amount of track time I am allowed rather than anything else.
  14. Keith Code once said that it was impossible to quick turn a bike too quickly in the dry. i.e. you cannot break traction in the act of getting the bike from upright to the desired lean angle. The point about quick turning is the longer you take to get the bike from upright to leant over the more lean angle you will need to execute the corner at the same speed as someone who turned their bike more quickly. Stated another way : the more quickly you get the bike leant over the less lean angle you will need. Quick turning is about reaching your desired rate of turn as quickly as possible rather than wasting time gently heeling the bike into the turn. I think its explained very well in Twist II. What isn't covered is some of the techniques used to make quick turning less stressful and keep the bike as stable as possible. I think its level 3 that you are taught about stressing the outside leg and pushing from the outside footpeg through the bar: very useful in controlling those corner entry wobbles!
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