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El Colibri

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Everything posted by El Colibri

  1. Years ago I definitely felt better/had a preference for lefts. When I first came to CSS I had a coach ask me if I prefer lefts, as he observed my body position look at home on the left but I was tight and twisted up going right. My left was the first knee I got down. Today, after multiple level 4 days and working on it, I can’t say I have a preference. Currently, my right knee puck is probably twice as worn as my left (more the result of riding COTA 5-6 times a year - long sweeping rights, tight short lefts; and MSR Houston - clockwise track). Proper body position, both left and right, was the first piece of the puzzle. Vision is the toughest but most rewarding piece for me currently. On public roads, I’ve got a few favorite turns and they’re all blind rights. So, for me, it’s not actually being able to *see* through the turn, but where my head and eyes are pointed that affects good body position and confidence in the turn. Granted, I know those turns (and typically scout them first), so perhaps I don’t *need* to be able to see through them. Regardless, I notice that when I’m practicing good body position and vision fundamentals I feel confident to charge those blind rights pretty hard.
  2. Hope you had a great time. Did you get your daughter out there too? We had a beautiful day today and decided to ride for a few hours... Yes, it felt really really good. My wife decided to take her bike out as well. So nice to be in the moment on two wheels.
  3. I trust my own ability to moderate my hooliganism, it’s the other people out there on public roads that I’m more fearful of. I might not be able account for their actions. That said, you’ve got me thinking about risk/reward - my mind, body and soul could really use some happy moto freedom.
  4. Watching some old races (MotoGP just put up the top 10 underdog races for free). Installing a few new parts/trying to support local parts retailers that offer online purchases. Pulled the rear wheel and gave that entire area a thorough cleaning. Gotta spread these things out so I’ll probably pull the front next week, then I’m due for an oil change. Studying video of Barber in anticipation of May. I just ran across all my class/level notes from past schools yesterday and will spend some time looking over those. Super tempted to go for a spirited ride as we’ve had beautiful weather, but erring on the side of caution for the sake of unnecessary load on healthcare just in case/accidents happen. And staying in shape riding my road bicycle trainer and we have a Pilates reformer too.
  5. @Red_Baron I do love birds, I used to be a paraglider pilot and spent a sunset outside Sun Valley Idaho soaring wingtip to wingtip with a bald eagle (years ago), soaring on the foothills looking West over the high desert. Since then, I've lost count of the times Ive been inspected by hummingbirds, as in circling and chirping within 1-2 feet of me for more than a minute or two on some occasions. El Colibri was the name I gave to the KTM 990 I rode to South America and back (2010-2011). I miss that bike and fondly remember the journey so I adopted that name for myself here. Stay safe and healthy all, Merlin Since we digress... Cuba didn't want to let me leave with that sticker on my bike, but we gave up trying to peel it off before we sailed back to Cartagena (I also had a Cuban Driver's License and plate for two weeks, they made me surrender those).
  6. Hey 53 and Red, as of now I've still got the trip on the books but I'll need to reevaluate the Virus situation in about a month and perhaps again 10-14 days out (I assume CSS will be doing the same as per local ordinances/public health concerns). I've been planning to arrive a day early and spend Friday at the Museum, might do a combo of hotel and trailer camping but haven't booked accommodations yet. I have room in my enclosed trailer for an extra bike (coming from Austin area), but my trailer only has a queen bed. Been looking forward to these dates and I'm hopeful we will all be able to safely attend.
  7. Comotocon, the company many of us haven’t heard of is growing. Comotocon Holdings, which already owns Revzilla and Cycle Gear, has acquired J&P Cycles in order to increase its presence in the American V-twin market. Article here: https://www.asphaltandrubber.com/news/comoto-revzilla-j-and-p-cycles-acquisition/
  8. Yes, I’ve looked into cutting the cord and streaming options. It does appear getting BeIN through Sling is the most economical option ($60+/yr), if the goal is solely being able to watch MotoGP. Unfortunately, for our house, cutting the cord isn’t an option (many out of market programs only available through our current provider). Also, there’s a big difference between race coverage on BeIN and MotoGP/Videopass, which offers access to free practice, press conferences, races going back to 1992, etc. I was simply wanting to inform the people on the forum that there’s a discount for Videopass currently available.
  9. Wanted to share: @motogp on Twitter is offering 10% off for this season’s subscription - via the link found there. That plus the current $:€ exchange rate makes this season $136.27 vs the standard price of $159.99 (when you see it offered in $’s).
  10. Welcome to the forum and great choice to sign up for the 2 day camp for your first experience with CSS. Im also from TX and will be at Barber for a few days before the 2 day camp (signed up for the single days to continue with level 4 on my bike). You will have a great time and possibly become a CSS addict (like myself). They run an excellent program.
  11. Great realization and good questions: The only answer I (personally) can give is, absolutely my entry speed and turn point take into account the anticipated loss of speed from TP to max lean. Translating this fact into a percentage isn’t necessarily impossible, but would need to make numerous assumptions (i.e. sharp 90 deg on flat surface vs 90 deg turn with 100 ft radius going uphill). Compounding the difficulty in making a percentage translation are the engine braking characteristics of the bike or particular ECU map (e.g. Sport vs Race mode). Engine braking could very well be a greater factor in deceleration than the force generated by an aggressive turn by itself (assuming 0% throttle and 0 brake from TP to max lean). There’s a process of working a turn backwards that Keith addresses in Twist I (if I recall correctly).
  12. Rocco, Congratulations on your Junior Cup Championship and on winning your spot in Europe at the Rookies Cup next year!!! A few questions if I may: What is your primary motivation for racing - is just purely fun and exciting, is it to become an elite champion - ultimately, why do you race? Be it in practice or in a race, is there a challenge you consistently face on the track? If so, how do you overcome it? Finally, do you set goals for each season, if so, could you share those for 2020? PS Thanks for doing this Cobie.
  13. Yeah, forgot the windscreen for track/sport bike - prefer clear and typically need something a bit taller to get behind in full tuck (especially noticeable/appreciated on the long back straight here at COTA).
  14. 2015 Super Duke, rear brake cylinder wasn't touching, but was right next to (maybe 4-5mm from) the midpipe - pretty much made the rear brake useless 20-30 minutes into a ride. Motul RBF 660 solved the problem.
  15. For a street legal track/sport bike, the first two things I'll do are add Stomp Grip tank pads (for good knee lock on tank) and remove the giant license plate bracket at the rear, which typically involves going with an integrated aftermarket tail light + turn signals (mostly for aesthetics and typically a bit of weight savings). Next is a trip to a local suspension guru to make sure everything is set up properly for my weight and bias toward track riding. I'll also typically remove the factory mirrors and front turn signals (aesthetics, aerodynamics, weight savings and fewer bits to replace in the event of a crash). Speaking of a crash, crash protection - front fork sliders, frame sliders, and rear spool swingarm sliders (cheaper than a new fairing, etc.) - I try to minimize weight and maximize function when selecting these products. For example, rear spool swingarm sliders are one product that serve two purposes - crash protection and rear stand spools. I also try to find a good balance while maintaining good crash protection that won't add time in the paddock for a tire change and create more work for routine maintenance. Next, unfortunately, is addressing all the EPA/CARB compliant/Euro emissions stuff. I'll shave 10lbs + by deleting the catalytic converter, going with an aftermarket exhaust and removing the secondary air system (not only is there a significant weight loss here, but typically more power and lower engine temps as well). Removing the emissions stuff typically necessitates modifications to the ECU - in the case of my current 2018 RSV4, the factory Corse ECU was my preferred choice as it not only addresses the emissions delete, air:fuel, and aftermarket exhaust but also decreases engine braking compared to the stock ECU. Tires, good tires set at the right pressure that inspire confidence. Tires can be like beer, wine or cigars - people have their preferences, so I'll stay away from specifics, but I will say that I always upgrade when necessary to the ones that increase my confidence in the bike's ability. For a strictly street bike (typically touring in my case) I'd say my "intelligent upgrades" in the past have included: a better seat (for long distance comfort), rear shocks (the stock ones could bottom out and that hurts), upgraded fork springs (counteract the horrible fork dive on braking), and various other items that address use-ability for the bike's specific purpose (e.g. luggage rack/panniers, a powered gps mount) or ones that address known reliability issues (e.g. secondary oil cooler because the bike already runs hot and I'm touring the southwest US in August, upgraded high temp brake fluid and a relocation bracket because the rear brake cylinder is almost touching the exhaust).
  16. I’m in the same boat, BEIN got dumped by my provider. I had to pony up directly to MotoGP - I did get it for $40 cheaper (IIRC) than Motogp.com through the iPhone app (that was at the start of the season). Not sure why it’s cheaper through Apple, but been that way for a couple years now - fingers crossed it continues.
  17. Thanks Cobie, I’d say after practicing Wide Vision, the next key tool I’ve gained from CSS is overcoming and dealing with SR’s appropriately. Once Wide Vision has enabled me to identify a dangerous condition it’s easy to target fixate, get stiff and grab a handful of break - typically all of which are exactly the wrong thing to do. Instead of falling into these traps I do my best to go back to Wide Vision and stay loose - it’s taken a lot of practice. When the situation/circumstance warrants, I find myself practicing the hook turn and/or adding more lean angle through counter steering (both of which are nearly impossible if I stiffen up and grab a handful of break). At first I was kind of amazed, and now I completely trust, how easy it is to tighten my turn mid corner when necessary. In terms of limiting distractions and maximizing free attention, I do like wearing earplugs, but without them I haven’t found myself any more or any less distracted. For me, the biggest benefit of earplugs are reducing fatigue and increasing stamina. Thus, I’d say fatigue can be my biggest barrier to free attention and correct technique. This is where physical fitness, and especially staying hydrated, come into play. Unless I’m just going to the store, lunch/dinner, I’ve always got a bottle of Skratch with me on a spirited ride.
  18. It’s not necessarily an either/or, it’s both seat and pegs and depends on what stage of the corner I’d say. Weighting the outside peg to setup body position early for the turn (pushing off the outside peg to move my butt and create a good lock on the bike between ball of foot/toe to knee locked into tank) allows me to absorb braking forces with the lower body. Mid corner there is some weight on the seat from the thigh and one buttock (I’m not lifting my midsection off the bike with the pegs), but majority of weight and force is being supported by the outside peg to knee locked on tank connection. Once the corner ends (i.e. I can go WOT), I’ll support the majority of my weight and acceleration forces with my butt on the seat and back of seat, but I still have my legs/feet supported by the pegs (I’m never 100% weight on the seat either). I’ll stay on the right of the bike if I’ve got another right hander quickly ahead. If at corner exit, I’ve got a long straight ahead, I’ll go to “home position” as you call it, (most aerodynamic). If I’ve got a quick series of alternating turns, there’s no time to stay in home position, it’s knee to knee and side to side time.
  19. On the street my absolute number one priority is safety. On the street I’m constantly trying to remain conscious of the variables outside of my control: most notably these include road conditions (loose gravel or a boulder in the middle of a blind turn), wildlife, oncoming traffic crossing over the double yellow, and the unimaginable/unexpected (like a Porsche making a 3-point U-turn in the middle of a blind corner on Mulholland, yes it happens). The most valuable tool I’ve learned from CSS for increased safety on the street is Wide Vision - without practicing wide vision it’s impossible to look through a corner and reserve attention/awareness for the unexpected. Wide vision and riding at 70-80% of my ability on the street has served me well. That way, hopefully, I become aware of the unexpected ASAP and I’ve got an extra $2-3 in savings to spend on it.
  20. Laguna is a great choice, especially if you’ve never been to the area - a lot to offer in the way of off track activities/scenery (Monterey, Santa Cruz, extend your stay and rent a bike to ride PCH). Barber would be high on my list - great track plus the museum. VIR another obvious choice for track. And never been, but I hear good things about the track at the Corvette Museum. Honestly, I don’t think there are any bad or wrong choices. No matter where you go, the two day camp will be a top notch experience - in my mind it would depend on my schedule and what else I’d like to tie into the trip... Visit friends, ride PCH, try to break even on the trip at the tables in Vegas???
  21. Thanks Cobie, those words plus I went back to Twist I & II, let it all sink in for a couple days and it has been helpful. I now realize my ideal braking scenario was drawn from the graph I have in my head that was shown to us during Level II (I think) - the graph of braking force vs time for a pro level racer. I now see how I had created my ideal based solely off that graph and the desire to maintain stability - get to maximum braking ASAP without unnecessarily/dangerously upsetting the bike's stability and then slowly decrease the pressure as I approach the TP. Now thinking of it as a "fine adjuster" and as Keith wrote, "as a reverse throttle" - don't know why those two weren't obvious to me before... I can now see a bit more clearly how I might tweak my ideal braking scenario and still fit that graph - get to the necessary maximum braking first then appropriately decrease the pressure to approach my desired corner entry speed. As Keith wrote in Twist I, "You must treat yourself more kindly and make that one mph easier to find." I realize mere words are no substitute for the actual practice of the art of cornering, yet this discussion has been helpful - looking forward to Level 4.
  22. I’ve done both formats and personally prefer the two day camp format if it’s not feasible to bring my own bike - just seemed to flow more smoothly, and most importantly you get a bit more time with your coach. Those factors plus the use of the school’s bike/camera bike/fuel/tires makes it worth the price of admission in my mind. That said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the single days and since it’s a refresher for you, I’d probably save some $ too. If you have a bike you plan to be on the track with and can get it to the school, then I’d definitely get some coaching while on that bike and the single day is your only option. Either way, I’m sure you’ll make a lot of improvements and have a great time, again.
  23. Hotfoot, I'll try to make my opinion a data driven one... Looking over the first three (most recent) pages of School Questions/General Discussion, it appears that roughly 1/4 topics would not fall under one of the new categories. Thus, seems reasonable to still include a General section. For example, where would a future, "Forum Changes - Opinions Wanted," and/or a hypothetical future "Fleet Break-In" fall under? My $0.02 anyway
  24. Thanks Hotfoot, good points. I too suspect that she had some front brakes while turning the wheel. I’m constantly reminding her to relax her arms and shoulders. Come to think of it, that’s the second time I’ve witnessed her drop it on a low speed right (the first was on a deep sandy right off road and I know she was squeezing the brake while turning there). She’s only been riding a couple of years because I love it so much, she scares the heck out of me sometimes. Thanks!
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