Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


rchase last won the day on July 19 2018

rchase had the most liked content!

Previous Fields

  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
    Yes. 1-4 BMP

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Atlanta GA
  • Interests
    Motorcycles, Trackdays, Classic Cars.

Recent Profile Visitors

7,434 profile views

rchase's Achievements

Cornering Master

Cornering Master (5/5)

  • First Post
  • Collaborator
  • Posting Machine Rare
  • Week One Done
  • One Month Later

Recent Badges



  1. Been away for a looooong time but this thread caught my attention. I have done 2up rides and if you get the right rider who's mission is to teach rather than to scare it's an amazing experience. I found myself at the side of Roebling Road Raceway with such a rider and hopped on. After the ride and the scare (it's unavoidable) it had massive affects on my confidence on the bike. After the experience I wrote an article that appeared in BMW OTL Magazine about it. It's somewhere on the forum here but buried under years of other posts. The most important aspects of riding 2up is not only hold on tight but to retain a mental space where you can actually absorb the experience while not getting in the way of the rider. It's well worth the scare IMHO.
  2. So. Had a chance to see one of these in person. It's impossibly light and well balanced.
  3. Fun video. Had you waited a fraction of a second to get the bike completely upright that video would have been less interesting. The "yaw" that you got from the rear of the bike was likely because you were still leaned over a wee bit. When I'm intentionally "provoking" the rear tire to see where it breaks I usually wait until I'm fully upright. It gets me the info I want with less thrills involved.
  4. I'll be honest. I'm no expert. I'm just sharing my personal experience. Trust the experts rather than a random person like myself on the internet. Personally i use a longer line in the rain. It allows me to be more smooth and less abrupt with my control inputs. All of the lines and riding tricks like the hook turn and quick steer still work in a lower traction situation you just have to "dial it back" a bit and not be aggressive with them. Ultimately you need to ride both lines and see which one is faster for you and which one gives you the most confidence. The key to riding in the rain is trust and confidence. I still remember the apprehension and amazement that I had when I eventually developed the courage to start pitching my ancient little Yamaha into wet corners at speeds beyond my comfort threshold. I fully expected the possibility of crashing. I personally have a lot of confidence about traction in the rain because you easily get to that limit at lower speeds and know exactly where you stand. Intentionally spinning up the rear when it's safe (straight up and down) is a great way to sample the grip you have. In the dry on super sticky race slicks you have to get to really high speeds before you can sample traction and it's much more critical then. I ultimately prefer it that way (more grip is more resources to work with) but it's a lot more of a challenge to find the limit. I have been tempted many times to put low grade street tires on my bike at the track to be able to feel traction but have never been able to bring myself to giving up the amazing feel I get from the Pirelli Slicks that I love so much. Traction ultimately is the main tool that we use in all conditions. Understanding what you have to work with and how your actions affect it help greatly with accomplishing your goals. On the writing thing. I have written a few articles, manuals and other documents about riding (ironically including a race manual even though I have never stepped foot on an active grid other than to check tire pressures as pit crew). Most of the stuff I write is to support a local track day org that I'm involved with. Very few things have been published other than an article for a magazine. While I would write more there's lots of people out there who know more and have way more experience than I do.
  5. A couple of other things to be cautious about. 1. Puddles. Not only because of the hydroplaning potential. Hit one at speed and all the water in the puddle nearly instantaneously will soak you and add lots of weight to you. 2. Tar snakes and patches. Not all traction is created equal. Tar snakes will cause a lot more traction issues when they are wet. Some patched areas have more or less traction than the main part of the track. 3. Visibility. Visor fogging (easily fixed), Mist from other bikes, fog and rain on your visor can reduce visibility. Use a clear shield at all times to avoid this and preferably a clear windshield on your bike to maximize visibility. The straights are a gigantic wind powered windshield wiper for your helmet if you stick your head up in the air stream and move it from side to side. 4. Slippery when wet. Controls, pegs, tanks and other parts of the bike are not as easy to hold onto when your bike is wet. Be aware.
  6. Personally I love riding in the rain. Less traffic and at the end of the day it's like having your own private track when everyone packs up and leaves early. When other riders are angry and horrified about the R word I'm thinking "heck yea"! Some of the things that change in my riding in the rain. 1. Braking. Earlier, lighter, longer. Stretch out the braking zone and leave yourself a buffer just in case. 2. Lean angle. Less is more. You stay on the fatter part of the tire and maintain more traction. Hang WAY off the bike to reduce lean angle. The more you hang off even at slower speeds keeps you on the more stable part of the tire. 3. Line. It's critical to use ALL of the track available to flatten out the corners as much as possible. 4. Less aggressive quick steer. I have found that you absolutely still can quick steer in the rain if you stay reasonable with it. I worried the heck out of a CSS coach when he assigned me the quick steer drill in the rain. I performed the drill too. I even got a hug when I came back in one piece. 5. Throttle. You have to be a lot easier on the throttle especially when the bike is leaned over. On "analog" bikes once the bike is straight up and down you can use the throttle to "sample" traction. Give it gas and you can feel where the tire wants to spin just a bit. That is the fine line of where the traction ends. Don't cross the line especially when leaned over. (I would approach this with caution!). On bikes like the S1000RR in the right mode the bike will protect you for the most part on the gas. I find that I prefer sport mode or higher in the rain but rain mode is more protective and best to start out with. 6. Smooth counts. Abrupt and sloppy inputs that are ignored because of mega grippy tires are not tolerated at all by the bike in the wet. Stuff to watch out for! 1. Curbing. It's fine to run over curbing in the dry but in the wet that stuff becomes really slick. You have WAY less traction than you do in the dry on painted parts. 2. Panic. If you end up overdoing it don't panic!!!! With less traction the bike is much less willing to be forgiving for sloppy and abrupt inputs. If you enter a corner too fast just extend your braking past the optimal turn point and use the track you have available. Bring the bike down to a manageable speed and turn where you can. Yes you essentially "blow" the corner but by using the track you have you keep it on the pavement. 3. Tires. It's COMPLETELY true what was said about tire temps earlier. Your tires won't maintain temp. Not only are you dealing with the slick surface created by a wet track you are doing it essentially on cold tires. I set a cold pressure and leave it there. You can even experiment a bit with dropping the pressure but I'm not really sure it helps much and can potentially make the bike feel a bit mushy and imprecise if you overdo it. You still won't get a lot of heat in the tires. 4. Your physical condition. Riding in the rain seems easier but you do still get tired. Since you aren't sweating like crazy the fatigue sneaks up on you. I rode every single session of a wet track day only to figure out during the last session that I was a lot more fatigued than I realized. This fatigue can be both mental and physical. Stay sharp!
  7. As in the videos. Setting sag allows the bike to stay within the "sweet spot" of the springs motion. This prevents the shock from bottoming out or topping out during the regular conditions of riding. Many riders will adjust the sag to be more in the front and less in the back to help the bike "turn in" better in high speed cornering situations. Preload only sets the amount that the spring is loaded and is not really intended to affect stiffness. Even though it "kinda" does when you compress the spring enough but you risk bottoming out the suspension (and crashing) if you run out of spring travel. If you want to affect the suspensions stiffness you probably should look at replacement springs. A different spring rate might give you the feel that you are looking for. There are a number of companies out there that can help you do a basic setup on the bike to get you close to where you want to be for around $50. (replacement springs are extra if you have to adjust the spring rate). I would find a local track day with suspension service and have them give you a basic setup. Often times many of the technicians are quite willing to chat with you about suspension so they can give you great advice on your specific model bike. They likely have lots of experience working with your specific year and model and know what riders typically run into on those setups. I personally don't tinker with my own suspension very often. I have done it once on an older bike but I have found that the professionals can always give me a workable setup that requires very little adjustment and performs way better than I could do on my own. Something to keep in mind as well. Most suspension professionals will tell you that you need a suspension refresh every year or so of track riding. You may get a considerable performance increase just by getting the suspension on your bike rebuilt if it's not been done before. I recently had the Ohlins suspension on my 2013 RR serviced for it's yearly service and was rather amazed at how much improvement I got after the rebuild. Shocks and forks have rubber parts inside that wear and deteriorate over time. Especially if the suspension is moving a lot and getting hot.
  8. Even some 2 wheeled motorcycles are not always suited for track use. I'm involved with facilitating some track days at a local track that's very tight and technical. For safety reasons we often won't allow certain large and unsuitable bikes. I have had to deliver some bad news to people riding Hayabusa's with extended swingarms and lots of other bikes that would be too much of a safety issue for the rider themselves and others on the track. Many of these would be fine on a less technical track. The school rents some really nice bikes. Reserve one of those instead. Another problem with the Spyder. There's very few (if any) people using these on the track. Some questions you might want answers to. What pressure do you use? Are there different tire options? How does it react to a loss of grip? Do you use a motorcycle line or a car line? Without answers to these you have the potential for lots of unpleasant surprises.
  9. Very good question Hotfoot. Well my "educated guess" would be for a wider surface area on the contact patch. Big powerful bikes put out lots of torque in order to propel them forward at speeds that make us grin so wide in our helmets while we are on the gas. Without a larger contact patch the torque would quickly overwhelm the contact patch of the rear tire and the torque would not be able to be transmitted to the ground to propel the bike forwards.
  10. Someone gets it. Form follows function. Ride a heavier sportbike "dirt bike" style and you probably have a good chance of getting hurt when the physics don't work quite the way you want them to.
  11. There were two types of bikes in that video. Standard Supersports (GSXR 600's) and some super light weight bikes. It's fun to compare bikes like these but people tend to forget one simple thing. Balance. You can have simply awesome corner speed if you stick some super sticky tires on a bicycle (or a motorcycle that resembles one) but you give up one thing for that corner speed. Power. If you want a powerful engine it's going to weigh a good bit and you sacrifice your corner speed as a result. You can have all the power in the world by putting a 500hp engine on a bike but the heavier the engine the more difficult it is to convince it to change directions. Hence the design of the modern Superbike. A balance between handling and power. Certain tracks of course are going to favor one strength over another. Super twisty technical tracks are going to favor light weight bikes. Tracks with wide open areas are going to favor bikes that can get up to 180mph in the blink of an eye and then slow down quickly for the tight bits. My "home track" these days is Atlanta Motorsports park which is a track that favors light weight bikes. I actually still have a LOT of fun there with my 200+ hp S1000RR even though I can't really put down the power and usually stay well under 130mph.
  12. At the end of the day it's about results. Did the bike turn at the speed you wanted without going wide? Did you reduce the amount of bike lean angle? If you can say yes to questions like those all other concerns are secondary. Form follows function.
  13. Great photos. What can hanging off do? It can reduce the amount of lean angle. Look at the bike's angle. Back in 2015 one of my photos from the photographers drove that point home to me. I'm hanging off and obviously not really hauling butt through the corner but the bike is turning at track speeds with very little lean angle. All I have to say is track side photographers are some brave folks. If I had this in my viewfinder with the knowledge that the rider was still learning I might be tempted to RUN!
  14. Body position is form vs function and accomplishes one thing really. It reduces lean angle which in turn puts you on the best part of the contact patch to maximize traction. Even on the street a reduction of lean angle can be helpful in certain situations. It can put you on the best part of the contact patch on tires that may be questionably warm especially around the edges. While a lot of street riders "hang off" just to be cool others use it to maximize traction and to give themselves an extra margin of safety. There's lots of opinions about perfect body position. The harsh reality is we are all shaped differently and have different physical issues involved that makes it difficult for some of us to get into certain positions. Ultimately you have to try a lot of different techniques and see which one works the best for you. I have to admit it makes me cringe a bit when I see a rider who knows better not hanging off in aggressive cornering situation. It might save a bit of energy not to have to move their body but, it does use a lot more lean angle and reduces overall traction. Get it wrong and the physics will punish you with a not so friendly crash. Is it really worth the risk? That's of course up to you decide. Funny story actually. As riders we look at our tires a lot. I went through a time period where I had been improving my body position and speed out on track but my tires started developing gigantic chicken strips on them. Needless to say I was confused until I realized that I was going faster using less of my available lean angle because of my body position. When I got my speed up even more they went away. It's fun to see though because it's a visual representation of what body position can really do to reduce lean angle.
  15. Quick turn throttles have an advantage if they fit your use case. They reduce the amount of rotation the throttle requires to get to wide open. They of course have their place depending on what you want to do and the stock throttle your bike has. If you are racing not having to re-position your hand while opening the throttle is an advantage and saves you some effort. Would I want this on my 200+hp S1000RR track bike? Heck No! I'm more than happy to re-position my hand if I have to just to have some extra travel to manage the power. My bike has the BMW HP ECU as well and I swear there's a micro switch in the throttle that launches the front tire off the ground when you get to 60% throttle. If I rode a 600 or a 250 I might find this to be an advantage since I tend to be more gentle than I need to on the gas. Possibly one of the most annoying throttles in the known universe can be found on many early MV Agusta F4's. it's silky smooth and makes rev matched downshifting absolutely effortless. It has a super nice ratio to it that allows you to manage the power easily yet turn it quickly. The problem comes in the lower end of when the throttle cracks open. The springs they used on the throttle bodies are way too stiff so you go from about 0% power to about 5-10% power causing the bike to lurch when you don't want it to. Removing a throttle body spring helps (there are two) but the "jerk" remains if you aren't absolutely perfect with your input. I think they even realized it sucked because they put a little control that allows you to raise the idle off the stop on the handle bar. It's a fuel injected bike so there's no real need for the control other than to get you out of the "twitchy" range of the throttle. Ah those crazy Italians. Gotta love em!
  • Create New...