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PoppaNoDoz

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Everything posted by PoppaNoDoz

  1. So, this is a pretty quiet forum and I feel like sharing pretty much every single thing I learned at school with you guys. Maybe it'll help you go "aha" too if you are somewhere near my location on the pathway of learning. I have covered my front brake with my first two fingers ever since MSF school. I STILL do it in traffic because people are idiots. Most people can't see you and the ones that can want to hurt you or write you a ticket, so a fast hand on the front brake is always a good thing. Fast, but not hard. I think I can count on less than 2 fingers the times I've had an emergency stop result in the back tire lifting and I have ZERO desire to be a "stuntah." Wheelies, Burnouts and Stoppies are for people who don't mind destroying their bikes to impress chicks - I have to get girls the old fashioned way, by showing them my bank account and resume, if that doesn't work, I take off my pants. Laugh, it's called "a joke." Regardless. As I've been practicing what I learned at school (safely, I might add, and well within the confines of 'acceptable' street speed) I have forced myself take my two fingers off the brake and grasp just the throttle. Again, I know my turn in speed, my roll on rate and my exit speed on MANY of these roads (as this is Florida and there are 10 roads south of Ocala that are worth riding at all - so you get to know them well). By taking my hand OFF the brake I have AGAIN found that I am smoother with my roll on. I don't know if having two fingers on the brake makes roll on harder or not - I leave that to the experts (and ranting lunatics that seem to spend every moment of their lives on the internet waiting to get into an argument - c'mon, I know you nutjobs are out there, stop surfing for porn, adjust your tinfoil hat and give me an opinion). I have found that having all four fingers on the throttle forces me to concentrate, takes away a false security blanket of "I can slow down if I have to," forces me to focus on the turn not the speed, and surprisingly go through faster. Is there a "keep your hands OFF the brake" drill somewhere I need to look up in the book or one of the classes?
  2. There are some roads that I have ridden over the last ten years as a way of guaging various changes to suspension, tires, brakes. Big, sweeping turns and switchbacks that are very nice, very clean with no crossroads and no traffic. About the worst that can happen if you lose control is that you'll end up in a cow pasture or an orange grove. These are roads where I know exactly what my "going in" speed has been and what my "going out" speed was and whether I felt comfortable, was fighting the bike nearly went wide, etc. As I have mentioned before my cornering discipline prior to actually taking Level I and II was wrong. I would come in for a very late turn in point, flick in in hard and fast and roll on at the same time I put pressure on the bars. Yes, if you are reading this, I know that was wrong that is why I am writiing this - your help isn't needed there. Thanks, I got it. Yesterday I went out on that road with an old riding buddy. Someone that 5+ years ago was another dumb guy determined to die on a motorcycle doing something stupid before he was 40. We've grown up a bit, or at least we like to think so. I have been applying what I learned in school and furthermore been going without brakes as a way of FORCING myself to set and know my corner entry speed and to use the throttle at the appropriate time. Here's what I learned: without any REAL effort, I now go into the same turns 10mph faster and come out 10-12 (not quite 15mph) faster than I had been doing before on MY BEST DAYS. Yesterday (and then again today as I went out to see if it was an anomaly) I was able to come to the turns, taper off, quick steer, briefly coast and then roll on for exit and my going IN speed was faster than my best GOING OUT speed was. Furthermore, it DID feel slower - pretty much straight by the book. It felt slow, it felt smooth, to be honest at first it felt boring. It wasn't nearly as scary as what I'd been used to and there wasn't any sliding at all. What I had taken as my "at the limit" pace has now been pretty much shattered. Last but not least, my riding buddy was FLOORED. He briefly toyed with keeping up and then just let me go. At the gas station I RAVED about Superbike School and I would NOT be surprised if he was seeing you guys in 2012. I can't WAIT to do this with a laptimer. I know my laptimes are going to be off from my all time best because I went from 4-6 track weekends a year to 1 for the last 2 or 3 years. Still, based on what I'm learing I am sure that my 2012 times will be much better than my best 2007 or 2008 laptimes. Thank you Mr. Code - this has become fun again. I don't feel like I'm stuck in a rut any more.
  3. The Ducati would go on to crash out trying to keep up . . . sometimes it ain't about the checkbook
  4. Rereading TOTW II he explains exactly why I have been sliding (and even gotten comfortable with it) in Chapter 14. I even had noticed to myself that recently it seemed like I was taking every turn twice, a dip, a raise up and a second dip and that OFTEN on the second dip the back end would spin up. Honestly I have had so many distractions in my life that I was just glad to get OUT on my bike, so I wasn't doing much self critiquing. It wasn't until Level I / II class that I realized that I've fallen into old and bad habits in the last couple years of streetriding.
  5. Ego Management - ego and ego defense get in the way of SO much learning Admitting that you have something to learn and possessing "child's mind" Approaching your learning with the idea that you MAY have an idea how to do something, but you'd like to see if there are other ways out there and if they are an improvement Convincing yourself that you don't know it all already Enjoying the experience AS the experience - when you are focused on competing you forget to actually enjoy what you're doing. If you are eating ice cream for the joy of eating it then it tastes much better than if you are doing it to see who can eat the most ice cream in 5 minutes. Focus on the joy and the speed will follow - focus on the speed and both will elude you
  6. I briefly rode an 1125r. CRAZY powerful bike, just crazy fast. Got a weird headshake over 160mph that was a tad scary. I am really hoping EBR rises from the ashes stronger than ever.

    Planning on L3 and L4 in 2012 - would be cool to meet some people from the forum out there.

  7. I briefly rode an 1125r. CRAZY powerful bike, just crazy fast. Got a weird headshake over 160mph that was a tad scary. I am really hoping EBR rises from the ashes stronger than ever.

    Planning on L3 and L4 in 2012 - would be cool to meet some people from the forum out there.

  8. If you can find a map of the track online and print it out I think it will help. Being able to see where you're going ahead of time - it's like having a drawn map to someone's house. Have fun and write us back on how it goes!!
  9. What kind of Buell is that and do you like it? They had the EBR 1190rs @ VIR the weekend I was up there to watch the (cancelled) AMA races. AMAZING bike.

  10. Thought about it some more - other ideas include: Having track maps printed out and available at the refreshment spot where everyone meets between sessions and Having students take the map and walk through it with an instructor by their side ("Ok, this corner feels REALLY good, but this one I can't seem to exit properly to get set for the next one, this one ALWAYS feels like I'm too fast, no matter HOW fast I'm going")
  11. Yeah, my actual "drawing" skills are pathetic - still, the ACT of drawing forces me to walk through the track in my mind. I don't know that I'd consider drawing like public speaking, but I can see how for some they'd be similar.
  12. First off I am not telling anyone their business - so if you're a coach and you read this it isn't intended to make you mad. I've taught classes and I've been a student and I have a genuine interest in learning more as well as improving the art of education. That disclaimer aside, here's an idea: Having a student draw for you the track. Go out, have a session with a student, see where they are making mistakes, then have them come in and draw you a map of the track and have THEM tell YOU where they feel strong and weak. After they draw the track, based on their input and what you've just seen you can give some very pointed correction. You could apply it the way you apply the steering drill - maybe 3/4 the way through day one of Level I or ANY day where you have a particular student who is a good student but is frustrated by his or her progress. Here's where I am coming from - for many riders they are new to the track they are riding, maybe they've never ridden on a track or never at THIS track. They are severely distracted or at the very least over stimulated. They may finish the 2 sighting laps and come back and genuinely NOT have a clear picture of how the track is actually laid out. It may take them literally half the day to even get a mental picture of what corner follows what and where. Having them draw you the track may help them to remember the layout and that in turn will help them become relaxed faster and subsequently more focused. It might even be something you tell students early on - that after a session you are going to want them to draw a picture of the track they just rode. Drawing the track also will show a coach, very visually, where the student has a mental block. Did they draw a straight line through an area that is actually esses? Did they draw the front straight disproportionately long or short? Are there turns that, as you observe them drawing the turn, it becomes obvious that they have mental or emotional sticking points on? As a self teaching tool I've drawn tracks and realized I missed entire sets of turns. My brain was just so overstimulated that I was in pure "react" mode the whole time and not actually processing data. All of this is in our heads, all of it. It isn't physical strength that makes the rider, it's acuity and discipline - drawing the track from memory and then using the student's drawing as a coaching tool might significantly help some students. Like I said, it's just an idea. Not trying to annoy anyone.
  13. If I slide on the first lap it scares me a bit too - even so rolling on is always the best. Still, I'm a mere mortal so yeah, first lap if it slides I'm thinking "cold tires" and it makes me wonder what other surprises I have in store for myself. One of the drills that I really like is where you go lap after lap and slowly increase your corner entry speed at a given turn by only a few hundred RPM. Start at a place where you are overly confident and then gradually add speed at the corner entry until you've reached a point where you're entering the turn faster than you had been before - repeat until you find your max or the bike's max, or both. I find my REALLY bad habit is coming in to a turn slower than I should and then trying to compensate for it with a greedy throttle hand on the way out. That is almost ALWAYS when I slide the worst. Coming in to a turn at the proper turn entry speed (for me) means that I've got enough speed to gently apply throttle to exit out of it, and thus reduce the chances of a slide. What I HATE is first lap when I put pressure on the bars and the bike goes "what?" and the front end slips, even just a little. That rattles the ever living hell outta me.
  14. I'll never forget one of the first times I rode Deal's Gap (around 2004 or so) I was WORKIN' the bike HARD. HARD on the gas, HARD on the brakes, HARD on the bars. I was convinced I was king of the freaking hill until this old BMW that sounded like an air cooled sewing machine went by me like I was sitting still. Ka-ting, ting, ting, ting and away he went by me. I don't think I saw brake lights from him at all as he glided past me like he was on air and I was the one riding a bike that was 30 years old . . Actually, I learned a long time ago not to fuss with old codgers on BMW's. 1) they tend to be skilled and 2) they LOVE watching kids on gixxers go flying off mountains trying to keep up. I think it's a form of entertainment and somewhere they all sit drinking cheap coffee out of styrofoam cups talking about their grandkids, the weather, their hip surgery and that kid who locked up the front and went off a cliff trying to keep up with them on Cherohala Skyway.
  15. Going to work on throttle control and proper roll on timing (TOTW II, Chapter 6) tomorrow. Really looking forward to getting out of the office and on my bike.

  16. Going to work on throttle control and proper roll on timing (TOTW II, Chapter 6) tomorrow. Really looking forward to getting out of the office and on my bike.

  17. Going to work on throttle control and proper roll on timing (TOTW II, Chapter 6) tomorrow. Really looking forward to getting out of the office and on my bike.

  18. I think it's beautiful. I would rather be perfect at a slower pace than wild and out of control at a faster pace. With perfection the pace increases. When they say "Discover the Art" - that's exactly what it is to me, it's an art. It's like surfing on the road. Surfers aren't trying to get to the beach the fastest. I'm at a point in my life where being the fastest doesn't mean nearly as much as continuing to make progress, being faster at lap 4 than I was at lap 2. That being said, if I can SEE you then you had better believe I'm trying to close the gap and pass you. Doesn't mean I WILL, but darned if I'm not trying. I even gave chase to some of the faster guys when I was at Level I and II - it was very humbling being LEFT by someone's grandfather on a sport tourer as well as watching some kid who hasn't started puberty yet blow by me like I was on a tricycle.
  19. 9-7-11 The light went on! Really looking forward to my track days in October to try out what I'm learning.

  20. Chapter 6 of TOTW II. Not Chapter 1, Not Chapter 4, Chapter 6 is EXACTLY what I needed. Up to and including a really nifty picture showing EXACTLY what I needed to know. It's my fault, I've read and re-read the book so many times that I thought I knew it all when in fact it's been YEARS since I've sat down and actually READ the book cover to cover. Sometimes familiarity breeds neglect . . . it really is an amazing book. I've probably given 10 different motorcyclists a copy of it over the last 5 years.
  21. I make it a habit to watch video of a track that is new to me. It doesn't always help - for example I was busy watching VIR's SOUTH course before my class came up On the other hand, watching video of homestead with the map printed out next to me made a huge difference. I'm not going to say it directly made me faster, what it did though was make me comfortable with the visual cues to show me what was coming next. Really, more than anything, it made me comfortable. Trying to go fast on a track where you feel lost is a god awful feeling, especialy if you're one of us mere mortals who saves for months for a track weekend. The weekend before CSS @ VIR my GF and I went and watched the trackday at the north course and went to as many vantage points as we could find to see what we could expect. Walking a track is fantastic, there really is no beating it. One thing that I think is REALLY helpful, is making your own hand drawn picture of a track from memory, and then comparing it to the actual track map. It's probably THE easiest way to see what corners you're having problems with. A careful study of the picture you draw will tell you a LOT about where you're most comfortable and most uncomfortable. You can't HELP but draw the ones that scare you as HUGE or with radical turn angles or monstrous elevation changes because you're drawing from your memory which is impacted by your imagination.
  22. In 1 & 2 the speed drops but I am also pretty sure that RPM also drops due to the net-effect changed gear ratios. Even having the throttle a little cracked will cause the bike to slow down.
  23. That helps a LOT! Thank you. Your quote that I am "no longer pushing on the handlebar to change the bike's direction" is exactly the clarity that I needed. I completely agree that each corner will be different, but the basic formula to approach the corner should be fairly consistent. My big question was around the words "when your line is set" - that was driving me nuts. I have been given TONS of advice over the years, it was usually contradictory. I totally misread TOTW II as well, I mastered SRs, I understand what rolling on does, I even understood that I should be doing it consistently. What I didn't get was WHEN to do it.
  24. Chapter 4 helps and watching onboard video of racers helps. It really isn't "coasting" into the corner, the throttle isn't completely and totally closed and they aren't in neutral or with the clutch pulled in. What you'll see, time and time again, is that they come in to a corner at a specific rev range and speed, as they approach the apex that speed decreases and the revs drop, but they don't go to 1,000rpm, they may drop down to 7 or 8,000 RPM. Once they hit the apex (or near it, no one is perfect every lap, every time) they roll on from the 7k or so that they were at coming and be as much as 2,000 RPM higher by the time the bike is upright again.
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