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About utahphunk

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    Cornering Apprentice

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  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
  1. I like Windex and a microfiber towel (or old fashioned, clean cotton diapers). Never use Windex on helmet shields, ever. It makes the material brittle and hence, more likely to shatter. Helmet manufacturers will back this up, it's not just some urban myth. (I used to do the same thing.)
  2. I've switched to just water to clean my helmet shield and helmet. Water and a clean microfiber cloth or sunglasses/goggle bag. You just need to keep the microfiber moving once you're done, in order to keep spots from forming.
  3. I find the majority of this post completely counter-intuitive. What feedback are you getting from the front tire while trail-braking, specifically? Say you need your speed at the apex to be 40mph (just to pick a number.) If you're trail-braking, you tip into the corner at 60mph, and trail-brake down to 40mph. Your average pre-apex speed for that corner is higher than 40mph. If you aren't trail-braking, you brake from 60mph down to 40mph before the corner, tip into the corner at 40mph, then set maintenance throttle to keep you right at 40mph (and to stabilize the suspension, etc, etc.) until you hit the apex. Your average pre-apex speed for that corner is 40mph. So, slow-in fast-out (aka, no trail-braking) gives you a slower average corner speed than trail-braking, not faster. It sounds like you're not comparing apples to apples, i.e. hitting the apex at 40mph in both situations. By definition, trail-braking leaves less margin for error, not more. Where do you get this extra margin if you've put yourself in a situation where you need to balance the front tires turning and braking demands at the same time? How so? The brakes can regressively slow the bike (trail-braking) and tighten the turn radius. Conversely, the throttle can speed/stand the bike up and widen the radius. In terms of margin for error - if you go in too fast, you're going to have an SR-ful mess on your hands. If you go in too slow, you can roll the throttle on sooner or more aggressively with zero drama.
  4. I'm going to address a bunch of things one by one, not to be combative, just because I'm procrastinating with my work. That last sentence is what I disagree with unless you mean "spend your 'braking' attention on the front tire traction instead of brake lever pressure and fork travel." If you actually mean that a rider should have a large percentage of their total attention on their front tire traction, then I completely disagree. Two of your paragraphs begin in a way that makes it seem like you think a rider should be using a lot of their total attention on front tire traction while braking: Those also make it sound like you think there's a high probability of sliding the front tire while braking. That's why I said heavy braking will stoppie a bike, not lock up the front tire. In summary, if correctly executed heavy braking won't cause the front tire to lose traction, then I see no reason for all the "turning all our focus" and "tuning into it" and "listening to it." I don't know if the higher CSS levels or CODErace courses teach trail-braking, but I would be shocked if CODErace doesn't. I wasn't talking about any school in particular, but tons of high-performance riding schools teach trail-braking. I don't understand why you think trail-braking "can't be taught." It's a well understood technique that's well suited to all sportbikes. If trail-braking is "just techniques and a method to follow" then isn't that exactly what riding schools teach us? What do you think is special about trail-braking that makes it unteachable? OK, back to work for me!
  5. You can get set up early for the corner and still brake hard (like, 150mph down to 50mph) by leveraging your foot against the outside peg, your knee against the tank (standard locked-on body position so far) and the middle of your adductor/quad leveraged into the corner of the tank on that side. By flexing your foot/leg into those three contact points during braking, most of the braking forces are transmitted through your lower body and into the bike, as opposed to your arms. You only need 2 fingers to pull in the clutch lever enough to unload the transmission enough to drop gears while braking for a corner. This leaves your two outboard fingers on the bar for more control. (It even works if your two outboard fingers get pinched, which they probably will.) You can steer with the throttle (instead of adding a 2nd steering input) to widen up your line after the apex. MotoGP riders aren't human and they don't ride bikes made for humans. Don't worry about what they do, just enjoy the show.
  6. Because they're the best in the world at riding motorcycles as fast as possible.
  7. Respectfully, I think it's simpler than mugget describes and I think his suggestions spend attention (can we call these Code bucks?) where it's not warranted. To brake hard with the bike upright, apply progressive pressure to the front brakes in order to progressively load the front tire. This makes the part of the tire touching the ground squish under the weight and spread out. This increases the size of its contact patch. The bigger the contact patch, the more friction/traction it can provide. This means it can be used to brake harder, but only after it's loaded. "Grabbing" the brakes too quickly applies is simply asking too much of the tire for the small contact patch it has before it's loaded, so it slides. Here's the main reason I disagree with mugget's suggestions: While the bike is upright, a proper progressive application of front brake (squeezing it rather than grabbing it) will stoppie the bike before it would lock up the front tire. (You can see this in action by watching high end racers braking hard - their rear tires are barely skipping across the surface of the track.) Note that poor suspension setup can cause problems even when braking appropriately. The forks could bottom out, which eliminates your suspension's ability to keep your tire on the pavement, which could cause it to lock up even if you've followed the progressive pressure rule. Forks in poor condition could also cause the front end to dive under braking, which would certainly be a spooky feeling even if it did not cause a crash. How's your fork setup? Fork oil age? Fork sag? If we're talking about braking into a corner while turning, aka "trail braking," then you really need to get yourself to a school to learn that effectively. BASE jumping and trail-braking are the two things that I always suggest people learn in person from a professional, rather than on an internet forum.
  8. 2-finger clutching on downshifts was explained to me at a local instructional riding course like this: You only need 2 fingers to get the clutch lever in just enough to unload the transmission enough to safely and smoothly downshift. That leaves more fingers for holding on to the bars and less total movement from your hand to get down to the correct gear while you're approaching a corner. (This came up at the end of the day, so I haven't practiced it yet.) I suspect that by the time your lever is in close enough to pinch your other fingers, your transmission is unloaded enough to downshift so the pinching is not really a problem. That's just speculation, though. Note that 2-finger clutching would probably not work for holding in the clutch at a red light and easing it out in 1st gear when that light turns green, but that's OK - that's not what it's for. Overall, I fail to see how clutchless downshifting is really going to be worth it for most riders, especially those without a slipper clutch. If you get it wrong, it's hard on the transmission and upsets the bike as you're setting up for the corner. If you get it right, you've saved yourself the very minimal time and attention it takes to pull a lever in and let it out quickly. No real bang for the buck there, unless your bike's slipper and transmission really don't care either way. *shrug* Plus, using a clutch to downshift gives you a little emergency buffer if you screw up the throttle blip. (And no, I'm not talking about intentionally and regularly hiding a lazy blip by letting the throttle back out slowly - that's just a crutch.)
  9. You're using the phrase "top out" which means "using zero percent of its travel" such as when the bike is not braking at all, or even just sitting there with no rider on it. I'm guessing you really mean "their front fork is fully compressed" which means it's using almost all of its travel. That is what happens when a motorcycle is braking hard. What is spooking you about the front end dipping so much under hard braking? If it's dipping violently, then it sounds like you are apply the front brake too quickly ("grabbing" the front brake instead of progressively squeeeezing it.) What are you afraid of during hard braking like this?
  10. That's great that you've seen some improvement. Congrats. I'd also recommend a GoPro focused on your controls in the lower half of the frame and the road in the upper half of the frame. That would give you better data than "here is what I think I'm doing." It would let you compare what something feels like to what it looks like, as well as producing something you could post here for video feedback.
  11. Thanks to everyone for the discussion in this thread. After thinking about everything more, I decided to focus on setting my corner speed a little earlier to avoid charging corners and putting myself into this position. I also did more research and determined that my brake chatter problem was bad enough to address. So, I wet sanded the rotors and replaced the (very likely contaminated) brake pads and the chatter was gone. So, less rushing while setting up for the corners and less wasted attention on brake chatter, and I rode much safer, looser and faster.
  12. On the track? Every corner that requires heavy braking (once my tires are up to temp.) In the canyons, pretty much only when I decide I've left braking too late and I need a little more time to set the corner speed I want. Or I'll do it intentionally just to practice the easing off. You don't want to release the front brakes abruptly and upset the suspension when you're fully leaned over, right? Using the rear brake to "back it in" is what you're describing. It's a pretty advanced technique and it's tough on the rear tire. I also think it's starting to fall out of favor, but I could be wrong on that.
  13. Assuming you're correct in that you don't have any serious body positioning problems, then it sounds like the answer is, "Go faster." For any given body position (be it good or bad), more speed = more lean angle.
  14. Yeah, they should at least call the track version of it the Power Purer or something to make things less confusing.
  15. If it was a hot ride (Utah rider here), then I try to get fluids and electrolytes (Gatorade or a Nuun tablet) in me ASAP. Failing to be diligent about that leaves me feeling pretty wiped out for a while. Priority #2 is some stretching. If I rode so much that my legs/hips feel wobbly or shot, I'll make sure to get some good quality carbs (a nice beer counts as part of this, of course) and protein. I usually end up eating that way soon after any duration motorcycle ride anyways - I only carve canyons and I never stop for lunch, etc. while I'm out riding. I'm in my mid-30s, so I need to stretch after a few hours of serious riding, otherwise I'll tighten up and have stiff muscles the next day.
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