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  1. BIR 2-day 7/21-22 Short 2 lap vid- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQX4jqj_vUg BIR on 8/31- Headed down to Barber for NEBSA's trackday season finale weekend in a couple of weeks, but bringing the new-to-me CRA-prepped CBR600RR instead of the 848 to get a feel for it, as I'm looking to start club racing next season. Would much rather bring a bike I'm familar with to a track I've never been to, but figured it best to see what this the CBR is like before being committed to it next year. Signed up for 'B' group due to the reputation of NESBA's upper B riders being on par with upper I group riders in most other organizations. Moreso, I NEED to develop passing skills....as it is a huge hole in my riding...and I think starting in B with a new-to-me bike will force me to develop smart passing skills once I get comfortable with the bike. Thanks to everyone at CSS that has given me a good base to start my track riding with before I really even had the chance to develop bad habits. Gerry (Sigs) is a huge asset to your coaching staff, as I had him for both days. Vision skills learned at the school are invaluable!! Hoping to make it back for Lvls 3&4 early next season. -Christian
  2. Few shots showing my progress this season: Back in April: CSS Levels 1&2 @ Infineon- First trackday of 2012 & first on my 848: Road America May 28- BIR on 6/9-
  3. Just wanted to hear people's thoughts on the different types of ways to get through a corner, and if you think it is bike dependent, corner dependent, skill dependent, or a mix of all three. I've always heard that for bikes in the smaller engine classes (up to ones in the SS class), you want to carry as much speed into the turn as you can and maintain/ build on that momentum thru and on out of the turn. For bikes in the SBK class, as well as bikes of the twin cylinder flavor, that it is more 'point & shoot'. Braking at the latest point possible and sacrifice a bit of entry speed, quick turn the bike, and get the bike stood up as soon as possible to utilize the available power for the drive out. I'm looking forward towards my first trackday on this bike (middleweight twin) May 11 at BIR, and can't help but think that I could use BOTH of these styles depending on the turn. Main reason I say that is there are some turns that have a small straight afterwards, so having a higher entry speed into and thru would be beneficial to having a higher exit speed. Then there are a couple where I think that sacrificing entry speed into one corner by squaring it off would set up very well for the following corner (thinking T4->5, 12->13). I'm just thinking out loud here. I already know it is going to be a trial & error sort of thing (this way felt great for T__, that way felt slow/horrible,_____). Feel free to share your thoughts. OH, and IB4justgetoutandridethething. -Christian
  4. I want to express my sincerest thanks to the entire CSS team for quite the learning experience. Finished up Levels 1 & 2 yesterday at Infineon, after not being on a track in almost a full year. Thanks to Dylan and Pete for the very insightful cornering theory seminars that seamlessly flowed from the previous session into what the focus was for the following ones. My off-track coaches, Brian (Steering Bike) and Joe (Lean Bike), as I saw first hand they continue to work with students until they "get it" and are confident enough to give the techniques a try on the track. My on-track coach, Gerry, whom I was fortunate to have work with me both days. Hell of a rider, and an even better coach that somehow had 4 positives for everything I thought I did wrong/needed improvement on (any chance at coming up to BIR or RA? Lol). And the "track mom", Crystal. Kept us straight, and in the know on where to go and keeping food & liquids available for us. Absolutely no clue how her voice wasn't gone halfway thru each day, lol. So many AH HA!s that I thought I already knew from books & watching dvds..but can only be truly be absorbed by putting it to practice. Vision drills were HUGE for me. Couple of tweaks in bp have me lower and further inside. And that bike!!! So smooth. :-) Anxious to get to work on the skills covered at school and HOPEFULLY transfer from the school fleet S1000RR to my own 848. First TD is with the local Ducati dealer @ Brainerd on 5/11. Then off to Road America with my normal trackday organization on 5/28, followed by BIR dates on 6/9, 7/22-23, and 9/3. Hope to either wrap the season up with Level 3, or start next season with a 2-day camp for 3 & 4. Again, thanks to the team and I look forward to seeing you all in the near future for more riding enlightenment. -Christian
  5. Totally agree with you on having different feelings on different bikes. When I did my one and only trackday @ BIR on the GSX-R600, I REALLY felt...ehh, "in tune" with the bike. Totally felt at ends at an ARC @ DCTC (small road course: 1 mi long w/ 17 turns) on the 848 when it was near-stock had me wondering if I'd made a wrong choice for selling the Suzuki for the Duc (I'd felt MUCH more confident on the GSX-R on the same DCTC road course). Never got the chance to put those fears to rest with a proper trackday on it last season (due to leaking radiator the day before the last trackday of the year). I AM comfident I will come away from CSS (registered for Lv1 & 2 @ Infineon in a couple of weeks) with a higher knowledge and better skillset, but my fear is that I will still have trouble carrying it over from a type of bike with engine & throttle characteristics I'm more comfortable with (Inline 4) ....even though its a literbike more capable than any other bike I've ever ridden...over to my bike that has totally different engine braking/ throttle characteristics. Guess I get to find out soon, as my first date @ BIR on my 848 is on May 11, then Road America on 5/28. -Christian
  6. I'm using the Dainese Wave w/ shoulder blade protectors, due to it being one of a very few back protectors that covers the blades. -Christian
  7. I'm looking into the GP-X Pro. http://www.xtracing.com/en/gpxpro/. Tons of features plus an optional suspension potentiometer. Here's a vid from a track guy at my home track (Brainerd, MN) using the GP-X along with TrackVision software to overlap the data from the GP-X onto the on-board video. Full GPS positioning, throttle and brake application, gear selections, speed & rpms, G-force, and current lap timer & best lap time. Looks to be a very good tool as far as seeing what one is doing lap-to-lap and specifically how/where time is being gained/ lost. -Christian
  8. Well done video. I linked it to my FB to show my friends and familly what the school is about. To say I'm overly excited to finally be doing this (signed up for Levels 1 & 2 @ Sears Point for 4/2-3) is understatement of the millennium. :-) -Christian
  9. I appreciate the personal experience and discovery, man! Yeah, I was only mentally thinking of the braking and torque difference when I decided to move from the GSX-R600 to the 848....found out there were many more characteristic differences between the two after doing an ARC on a tight & technical road course with the Duc, lol. The only thing that would make the upcoming CSS experience better for me would be if I could transport my bike out there for the 2 levels I'm doing. -Christian
  10. Repeatly hearing that skills learned on one bike transfer over to other bikes is refreshing.....and is what I'm counting on. Because coming to a twin after starting to really gain confidence in myself on an I4 is messing with my head. If the skills learned and practiced during CSS on an S1000RR help gain on-track confidence in my 848, that alone will be worth the price! -Christian
  11. Question: how does one know WHERE they are getting faster? Most people tape the speedo so it isn't a distraction, so you can't mentally think "ok, last lap at this corner I was doing __ mph going in and __ coming out"... Lap times only give an overall view. How does one know which areas/ sections/ corners time is made up, if they don't have the ability to record detailed split times for each section lap after lap? Is it by mentally using your RPs to gauge/ remember where you were the previous lap regarding braking, throttle crack, roll-on start, and how soon until hard on the gas out of the corner? -Christian
  12. Yep, after debating between schools, 2-day camp vs back-2-back, which track, etc...I was originally only going to do Level 1. But then realized I would have severely regretted not doing back-to-back levels since the opportunity was there. I didn't want to feel like I was rushing or "cramming" to digest all of the information, so I figured 2 days would be the ticket. Thanks! I am suprised the accident didn't scare me away, but motorcycling is honestly the most rewarding thing I've ever done. And it seems to be one of the few things that no matter how good you get, it never is completely "mastered". A true skill to endlessly improve at. :-) I'm currently on an '08 848. It has been an adjustment compared to how confident I was getting on themselves GSX-R. Hoping CSS (and putting that knowledge to use) and the first couple of trackdays of the season will get rid of the unsuredness (if that even is a word...). Here are a couple of pics. The on-track shot is at DCTC (a short technical road course- 17 turns within the length of a mile...so you are ALWAYS working as it has a very brief straight to kind of relax) about a week or so after I first got the bike. Wasn't feeling confident AT ALL. Probably was a complete mix of: being brand new to the bike & not being really familiar with the differences between a twin and I4, OEM suspension not setup, Techspec tankpads that were peeling off, etc. -Christian
  13. Good evening, all. I originally joined the forum (almost exact same name...had to alter it as I couldn't remember my orig password) a couple of years ago when I was first getting into this hobby/ sport...before I even had my first bike. I always knew I'd eventually enroll in a superbike school (be it CSS, YCRS, etc) with a set curriculum, I just wasn't sure when. Fast forwarding to now I have put in a couple of seasons (though in MN it equates to only 1 full year of riding experience) spread over a few different bikes with a little bit of closed course/ track instruction. I only covered about 1,100 miles & 2 ARCs on an '09 Ninja 250R before a tractor vs motorcycle street accident almost erased me....from both motorcycling and life...in August of '10. Took the rest of my first riding season off, re-read all of the books I had purchased prior to first learning how to ride, and came back last year on an '08 GSX-R600. Put in about 3,100 miles, an ARC, and TrackSchool1 (thru our trackday organization) at BIR before trading up to my current bike. Now am on an '08 848 with only one ARC on it when it was near-stock (as a radiator leak kept me from doing my first true trackday on it). Anywho, I am registered for Levels 1 & 2 @ Infineon Raceway on 4/2-4/3! Consent & Release forms are on the way back to you, and flight/hotel/rental car were all booked yesterday. VERY anxious to continue building a strong base skillset, because as a (what I still consider myself) newer rider, I feel the sooner I get proper education as to what I'm supposed to be doing on a bike....the quicker and more skilled I'll become in a shorter amount of time. I should be able to put what is learned at CSS to good practice, as our track season kicks off at Road America on May 28th, then BIR on June 9, July 21-22, and Labor Day in Sept (which is the one I was forced to sit out last season). I just hope that riding the gifted S1000RR at school doesn't cause distain for the Ducati...."Oh yeah, you don't have any of those nice things like a slipper clutch, traction control, or mode select....*sigh*", lol. Figure I'll include a shot of me at my one & only true trackday on the former bike. 6/26/11 @ BIR on my GSX-R: coming out of T13 on the Competition Course. See you all in April! -Christian
  14. Lol @ bike choices. A freind gave me first dibs on his stock 848 when he bought another one that was already modded almost exactly how he eventually wanted to build his up. Offered his old one to me for the same price I paid for the GSX-R, so the Suzuki was sold the next day and picked up the Duc in an apparent "no brainer". Man, you nailed it on struggles adjusting to the new bike. It probably was a bit quick to hit a closed course after only having ridden it a week...maybe 4 or 500 street miles total beforehand. I figured I could become comfortable rather quickly considering I had done the same thing on my previous bikes (~500 miles after first learning to ride in 2010 on an '09 Ninja 250R before doing a DCTC ARC, then another one 100 miles later. Then about 300 miles on the GSX-R600 at the beginning before doing a DCTC ARC to start last season off, and was at Brainerd for my first taste of a real track @ ~1000 miles of seat tine on it). I had put about 3,100 total in on the G6 before the move to the 848...but I was feeling so in tune and getting so comfortable on the GSX-R that I was regretting the decision to sell it for the Ducati. Characteristics of a twin vs I4 had me at almost tip-toe speed thru the corners of DCTCs road course (18 turns in less than a mile length-where the on track pic of me on the Ducati was taken). Steering differences had me exhausted in 5 min (the effort needed to turn AND HOLD the 848 from running wide on exit compared to the "set it and forget it" nature I was usedbon the G6) and regretting the move to the new bike. Trying to clamp on/ keep from sliding forward into the tank (TechSpecs got a failing grade from me as they neither had as much grip as I was used to nor stayed on...and the OEM seat seems very downward angled--on the GSX-R I had StompGrips which are phenomenal and the seating was definitely more "sitting in" than it was "perched on top" like the 848) which also contributed to me fighting and expending extra energy just to keep myself in proper position on the thing. All better now, because along with a host of bike improvements for this upcoming season, I am confirmed for spots in Levels 1 & 2 on 4/2-3 @ Sears Point!!! Will be using the schools S1000RR, and although I am nervous about the whole "new bike that is more capable than anything I've ever ridden" thing, I trust that the skills learned on the BMW will transfer over to the 848 once our season starts. :-) Here is a quick shot of how my bike sits now....waiting for the '12 trackday season to begin: -Christian
  15. Hi all. I have not yet taken CSS, but plan on attending Level 1 (& possibly Lv2) @ Infineon this coming April. Here are a few pics of my first and only trackday (due to the new bike springing a radiator leak the day before the final trackday of the season, forcing me town miss it) on my former bike ('08 GSX-R600) at BIR's Competition Course. Hoping CSS will help with confidence issues that I have on the new bike ('08 848) going into next season. I did an ARC at a local short road course after I had the bike for a week and didn't feel comfortable at all....despite the instructors telling me I was doing well fundamentally. Added a bunch of upgrades and was excited to see how the bike would feel on a real track with new tires/grippier seat/adjusted suspension/Stompgrips...but alas, the radiator spoiled that plan. See ya in April! -Christian
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