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Posts posted by 53Driver

  1. 6 hours ago, El Colibri said:

    53driver, it was great to meet you. I’m so glad to hear you had a great time and were able to enjoy being a student again.

    4 days in a row - wow, way to go! I was beat after just 3.

    Thanks so much for helping make our “camp” a great place. I hope to see you at another school again soon. 

    Great meeting you too! 

    And again, thanks for making me feel welcome.

    I'll probably head out west next season - just to get something different, but Barbers is just too local to ignore.  Maybe both?  Lol

    • Like 1

  2. 17 hours ago, yakaru said:

    If you're heading out west here's my track comments:

    The Ridge: one of my favorites -- both fast and technical, which is a fascinating mix of skill needs. Big straights and semi straights along with a variety of corner types and elevation changes (including the turn 13-16 "Ridge Complex" super corkscrew)

    Streets @ Willow: suuuuuuuuuuuuper technical and short. You'll get lots of laps in and learn skills, but it is in rough shape pavement wise and you won't really get to 'wring out' a superbike much. CSS's "home" track.

    Laguna: Fun and historic, the corkscrew is neat but I'll admit as someone who has done the Ridge complex for years before going to Laguna got used to it pretty fast

    Thunderhill: Really interesting track -- one of the most challenging tracks to pass on, which made it an area I was able to work on my passing a lot.

    Vegas: flat as a pancake but 'in town' so you don't have far to go like you usually do for a track. Very frequently offered on weekends making it a great 'get away' school.

    If you want to try somewhere else out east VIR is the one I'd pick.

    THANK YOU so much for that info!
    I know that will shape my plans - but which direction, I just don't know yet.  My initial thought is that I'm not going for a racing career, so perhaps S@W would be the best place to work on cornering skills.   


  3. 15 minutes ago, yakaru said:

    Trevor really is the best of the best. I've actually said MANY times CSS should offer a "track control" school for orgs to learn from them how to manage a closed course. Glad you had a great time,  @53Driver hope you'll be out again next year? :)

    I just watched all the train tracks he was juggling at any given time.  Hell of a logistician's mind in him.

    I'm planning a budget to come out west next year.  2 Day Camp.  In the mean time, I'll work on what I learned and then be ready for more Level IV training.
    Hopefully get to meet you then.



  4. I'm with Red_Baron on this one...I haven't been able to peel the smile off my face long enough to give any sort of accurate debrief. 

    I parked my RV in the Paddock area on Saturday afternoon and was immediately invited to relocate it in a tighter spot, but among veterans of CSS.  Thanks to Rhino & Elizabeth, Sam, and Merlin (El Colibri) for making me feel welcome.  We had a really cool little community thing going on there.  

    I awoke Sunday early, poured some coffee, and began to watch the CSS operations.  I had never been to a track before, never seen CSS work before.  I wanted to get an idea for what I would be doing come Monday morning.  I saw "Registration", "Leather issue", "The Morning Introductions" and what amused me most was Keith Code walking around & talking to people.  As a retired Marine pilot, and a LEAN 6 Sigma Black Belt, watching how units deploy and operate always has its comedic moments.  Not CSS.  Their work employment model of who does what role, when and why, immediately surfaced as professional & efficient.  When units take their show on the road, efficiency of manpower is key: people are expensive, good people even more so.  CSS proved they got this.

    After watching the riders zorch around the track for awhile (lots of Level 4s!) I admit I got a little apprehensive.  This is the major league.  
    Back at the paddock that night, I listened to the guys talk about how great the track is, with its fresh pavement and just a few races to get a nice surface.  They told me that since this is my first experience, I was about to be spoiled rotten!  I went to bed a little nervous.  Four consecutive days of this? (a "One day", a "Half-Camp", then a "Two Day Camp")
    I'm 57 years young! What the hell was I thinking?  Lol....

    Monday morning arrived and I was awake several minutes before my alarm was to sound off.  Had a cup of coffee and some oatmeal.  I was ready...lol
    Registered, met Trevor (I don't know his salary, but I believe is underpaid for all the logistical train tracks he manages in his wheelhouse), and then spoke to Coach Johnny, and then Coach Laura, and then Coach Keith.  All made me feel welcome. (Never got the Hotfoot story...hmmm) Got into the Green Group and was sent to the Classroom are where Dylan Code was setup.  Got the track brief from Trevor then Dylan told us all about how the day would go. 5 Classroom Sessions, 5 riding sessions where we would attempt the instructed technique, while not forgetting previous lessons.

    After the first Lesson with Dylan, I got suited up and went out an introduced myself to my 'dance partner' for the day, #24.  She looked nice enough, but I knew she could be hell on wheels if mistreated.  As I mounted her, I was praying the astronaut Alan Shepard prayer "Dear God, please don't let me f**k this up."

    As it turns out, I was able to hold my own fairly well at 65-75% effort while navigating the course in 3d & 4th with No Brakes - as per the Lesson Plan.  The bike was in Rain Mode - which kept us both calmer - and I progressed through all five of the lessons uneventfully.  Coaches Rick & Johnny were very insightful and I got a lot of great tips.  After leather turn-in, I made my way back to the paddock area and the grin on my face could be seen a mile away.

    Tuesday's "Half camp" brought rain all day, but #19s electronics were nothing short of witchcraft.  Same battle concept, same execution, same ontrack coaches, but at a slightly more cautious pace.  The "Half-Camp" has 5 lessons, but seven riding sessions.   The last two plans are what you and your ontrack coach decide upon.  

    Wednesday the skies cleared and the "2 Day Camp" began.  (OBTW: the morning breakfasts are better at the "camps...")  I got a new ontrack coach, Mark, and I told him that I wanted hear it all and he readily obliged.  I got another 'dance partner', #22.  5 more lessons, 7 more rides.  I was getting more & more comfortable at faster speeds, although I didn't know what those speeds were as the "mph's" were taped over on the dash board...Dylan continued to provide more insight into the mechanics & theory of riding while Coach Mark made sure I was 'getting it' while ontrack.

    Day 4, Level 4.  Different format.  Keith Code briefed all the new Level 4 riders on what this personalized training would entail.  He has 199 different exercises for Level 4 riders, all custom tailored to fit/unscrew whatever the rider, the ontrack coach, and the Level 4 advisor think needs polish.  After riding the wet track, Coach Mark and I chatted about 'headwork & judgement' and I went to see my Level 4 Advisor - Keith Code.  This was amazing.  Keith Code himself was going to be advising me on my riding for the entire day!  As I progressed through the day, we found a few things that needed some tidying up and there's a lot more out there that I know I haven't uncovered - yet.  I was especially happy when Coach Rick saw one of my later runs that day, and came up to tell me how much I had improved in Turn 5 from Mon/Tues.

    I finished Level 4 completely fatigued and very happy with the progress I had made.  It was really enjoyable to be a student again.  
    I took the RV to Cheaha State Park - about 90 minutes from the track - and just chilled for couple days, built a fire and reflected on my notes and what I had learned.

    I learned two main things:
    1.  I am not interested in actual racing or 'reducing my lap times' although it IS REALLY FUN to go fast.  I went to CSS to become a better cornering rider.  Hence, I don't think I'll ever qualify to be a CSS Coach. They are literally the best of the best and I'll never have the racing experience required to do that job well.
    2.  I really enjoyed learning again.  Too often, as an MSF Rider Coach, I am in a coaching role, regardless of where & whom I ride with.  It was SO GREAT to put that hat away and just be out there learning.       

    Thanks to the CSS staff, Student Control - Laura & Cammie, Race Control - Trevor, the coaches - Rick, Johnny, Mark, Laura, Dylan & Keith, and the Code Family for making this experience possible.  I think an annual pilgrimage to a "Two Day Camp" will be in the budget forecasting for the next several years....

    • Like 1

  5. On 5/12/2020 at 7:07 AM, yakaru said:

    Ugh, I'm so sad I'm missing this but budget is taken up among other things this year :(

    Yakaru - I'm sorry as well.  I was looking forward to meeting you, but yes, budgets do dictate operations.

    Maybe I'll get the budget next year to head out to Cali.   Cheers!

  6. Red Baron - this is my first time with CSS, as well on a "super" bike, as well as on a track. 

    Been watching the forecast too.  The little pop-ups that Hotfoot describes are so anti-climactic to what I remember from Texas.  With these Southeastern storms, you literally wait 10 minutes and the sky is clear again.   I think actually having the the partial cloud cover is going to keep us from 'cooking' on the asphalt.   

    When I coach the MSF curricula, I often find myself saying "If it ain't raining, we ain't training."

    That being said, you will NOT see me challenging the conditions.  I made it to 57, and I am going to behave - at least well enough - to make it 75.  Let's enjoy this together!



  7. 17 hours ago, Hotfoot said:

    If the speed was high and the line was bad, and you had pavement left to use, could you stand the bike up, brake hard, then steer the bike again? Could you, at that new, significantly reduced speed (because you had applied brakes hard) now turn the bike in a sharper arc than you could have achieved at the higher speed, where you might have run out of traction or ground clearance?

    Clearly I am talking about a relatively extreme example, but could you, if needed, handle the problem that way?

    As far as "maintenance throttle" as a term, I just wanted to clarify your interpretation. It is not a term we use at the school; that phrase can generate confusion because some people use it to mean "enough throttle to maintain speed (through the corner)" and others use it to mean "hold the throttle where it is" i.e. not rolling on and also not decreasing it, and those are two different things. (There may be more definitions than just those two, but I hear those two fairly often.) 

    Oh wow.  Yes, that could work in theory, but being that efficient on the controls to get the bike stood up enough, enough braking accomplished in that short a period of time, and then get the bike leaned back to make the turn would be all dependent - for me - on how well I could sample my speed, execute the braking, get another speed sample and then decide what to do...because what if I didn't get enough slowing in?  And, I would personally, at this point, need a 'bunch' of spare pavement because my muscle memory for that kind of control operating efficiency isn't there.
    I'm sure there are riders who can and do handle the problem that way.  I've been blessed enough that I've never HAD to perform that.   In aviation we talk about using superior judgement to avoid using superior skills, but I like having superior skills as an option for when my brain goes 'pffft.'
    Also, ALL my data points are street riding.  Having the luxury of the same turn over and over again usually isn't there and so I haven't thought along those lines.  (no pun intended)

    "Maintenance throttle" - yes, I can see how those two definitions cloud each other.  I'll refrain from using it in the future. 

    Great stuff!  Thanks for making me think!


  8. Other nomenclature questions that I believe apply to the topic (from Ienatsch's SRT)
    "Throttle steering" - as described above, using the throttle to load the rear tire, increase the tire patch, and increase the radius of turn without changing lean angle
    "Maintenance Throttle" - not on nor off, however, the bike's speed may increase or decrease based on other factors

  9. 3 minutes ago, Hotfoot said:

    Good answer. What if just "maintaining throttle" (by which I assume you mean you stop rolling on, but don't roll off) wouldn't be enough to handle it? If your line was REALLY a disaster and your speed was too high to make just a small steering correction (i.e., at the given speed you might not have enough traction or ground clearance to lean it over far enough to make the corner), how else could you handle it, if you still had some room before the edge of the pavement?

    Okay, first nomenclature: "maintaining throttle" (by which I assume you mean you stop rolling on, but don't roll off)"  I did mean exactly that, is there another term? 

    Second: if there was still room on the pavement to use, it's gonna need to get used.  If my turn is that bad, I'm hoping my peripheral vision would have already cued me to that available pavement in conjunction with whatever lean angle I thought I could muster - and perhaps it is 0 degrees more - and my radius of turn would increase ever so slightly with very, very minimal throttle added to make that happen.  The weight would still be proportionally shifting to the rear with additional throttle - so I reckon the key there is adding ever so smoothly, maintain the lean angle and keep looking through the exit.  

  10. 8 minutes ago, Hotfoot said:

    If a rider ends up running wide at the end of a corner and has to steer the bike again to stay on the track, what SHOULD the rider do with the throttle during that steering correction? 

    I would answer "maintain throttle" during the steering correction and add throttle as soon as possible afterwards when the bike is re-pointed.

  11. My K1200 has 160+ hp - more than enough to satiate my need for speed and tempt me. 

    The school's S1000RRs have all those amazing electronic aids that I'm sure I'll be inadvertently using during CSS. 

    I'll probably never race and probably never do a track day, but I've learned to "never say never."

  12. 32 minutes ago, Hotfoot said:

    Whew, this thread has gone all over creation and back since the original posted question, and the OP seems to have checked out. So, I'm going to jump in here. I am a CSS coach.

    First let me note that Yakaru is a very competent rider, fast, has come to many schools, and is very knowledgeable on the material.

    Now, on to some of the info that is in question.

    1) When a rider is in a corner, if the throttle is APRUPTLY shut off, the bike will INITIALLY stand up a bit and run wide. Sudden loading of the front tire creates drag on the inside of the contact patch which tries to turn the wheel into the turn which makes the bike stand up. This is the same phenomena that occurs when you pull the front brake in the middle of a corner, that makes the bike stand up and run wide. THEN, once the bike recovers from the initial weight shift and begins to slow down, the arc will tighten due to the bike slowing down. There is a GREAT CG animation of this in A Twist of the Wrist II DVD.

    2) Rolling on the gas does not, BY ITSELF, cause the bike change lean angle. You must countersteer to stand the bike up. However, as the bike speeds up, the radius of the arc changes (widens), which can give people the impression the bike is standing up - especially if they unconsciously STEER it up! It's a rare rider that knows and understands that it is ONLY the handlebars that steer the bike up (not the throttle), most riders have been doing unconsciously since the first day they rode.

    I hope this helps clarify these points.

    If I may, Yakaru is also well versed and I've found her postings I've read in other threads to be spot on.

    1.  I remember reading about how a "high-side" begins...with the aft end of the bike suddenly pushing on the steering stem while the front tire isn't in line.  The bike stands up.  This can be caused by releasing the rear brake with tires not in line.  Or with a sudden acceleration with tires not in line.  But pushing on that steering  stem is bad when tires are out of line.
    In a turn, when the throttle is chopped, (or rear brake briefly applied), the front tire is loaded, the front tire has that sudden extra drag, the back of the bike is still moving faster, it briefly pushes on the steering stem, and the bike wants to stand up.  Got it.  I hope.

    2.  Rolling on throttle will not cause a lean angle change - got it.  But given the same lean angle, with an increase in throttle, the radius of the turn will run wider, correct?  And to keep the same radius of turn the lean angle must be increased?

    Again, I think we're all in the same hymnal, driving toward the same page.   

    Thanks for the guidance, Coach!


  13. 1 hour ago, yakaru said:

    I'll expand on this some -- weighting the pegs by moving the body is vaguely effective. You see this in Dylan's video on youtube about the No BS bike. You're moving the bike's center of gravity very slightly and so it'll 'self counter steer' just slightly to compensate. Weighting the pegs without doing this is basically pointless. Think about using your calf to go 'tippy toe' while standing on the ground -- you're not pushing on the earth any more than before (equal and opposite reaction). In a similar way, look at astronauts in zero G if you can, it's an amazing example of these physics properties -- they can move their arms and legs internally, but they can't turn around without something to put the counter force on or a form of propulsion. 

    When we "weight the pegs," it's not just 'moving the body', is it? 

    Do we not actively shift the application point of some our body weight to a lower point on the motorcycle's frame?  If your bum is lightly riding on the seat and your weight is on the peg wouldn't the resulting moment about the peg would be proportional to how much weight we actually applied?  Or are there so many other forces involved at track speeds that this is completely negligible?  

    I'm guessing for Trials and other slow speed activities, it's a lot more effective as those guys don't even rate a seat.


  14. On 4/28/2020 at 6:25 PM, Cobie Fair said:

    Hi Jeremy,

    So let's clarify, ,just to be 100% clear for eveyrone: what does a rider do in a turn to get the bike to tighten the line?



    As a preface, I read Coach's question as "the bike is already IN the turn and NOW the line needs to be tighter."    

    And since 'experience' seems to matter, I'm over 20 years and 100s of thousands of miles on two wheels.  NONE on track.  I got my first sportbike 4 months ago - pics of the pretty girl are elsewhere in these hallowed pages - but I have been studying Keith Code and Nick Ienatsch for over 6 years.  Why?  I teach the MSF Courses for a large manufacturer and for the Navy/Marine Corps.  I'm also a 24 year USMC helicopter test pilot with a heavy background in helicopter aerodynamics and systems engineering.   And, if we're throwing diplomas around, I can compete in that category as well.  But....I don't think any of that really matters because we're all on the forum to enhance our understanding and I think we are actually all singing from the same hymnal, and maybe even on the same song.

    So, my initial response is in bold with all y'all's comments under each point so we can compare apples & apples:

    To tighten up the line while in a turn, the rider needs to increase the rotational moment about the CG of the motorcycle in the direction intended.  

    No counter point to this that I saw.

    How that happens is by altering one (or more) of the variables which dynamically create that moment as quickly, efficiently, and as stable as possible since if you've misjudged the corner and need to tighten the line while in the turn, your "big" thought bubble will be indicating your religious preferences and/or defecation options...  

    Again, no one had issue with this statement either. 

    These are in no particular order as the rider will need to change what isn't already incorporated or possibly maxed out.

    Assuming the rider is ALREADY in the turn, he may have some of these parameters "maxed out" so other techniques need be employed quickly.

    1. Increase the lean angle through more aggressive counter-steering - if traction is available for that (as mentioned above by Spinto)

    Yakaru - "I have concerns about how you explained this -- once you're at lean you stop counter steering, the bike maintains the line. If you need to tighten it then you can counter steer more, though there's concerns here (e.g. rolling on and adding lean is a quick way to crash). The term "aggressive" is a flag for me -- while there are advantages to a decisive countersteer input you don't want to be 'stabby' about it and if you're already at lean I might back down my rate in order to 'listen' to the bike better."

    Me - You are 100% correct, I used the word 'aggressive' inappropriately.  Perhaps 'with purpose' would have been better.  If the bike is already in the turn, it's going to take quick, smooth inputs to correct whatever the rider missed on the approach. "Increasing lean angle smoothly and correctly" is better verbiage.  Thank you!  

    2. RPMs (maintain or increase because slowing makes the bike stand up)

    Spinto - "Just one point....Slowing the bike while in a corner will cause it to fall NOT stand up.....more throttle in a corner will cause the bike to want to stand up!...therefore more steering input required."

    Yakaru - "I'm really curious why you feel this is the case. While a sudden chop of the throttle will send you even wider, a slow roll off won't (see the double apex mention in the Twist film, if you have access). In fact, it is usually the opposite -- why do you slow way more for a hairpin? To quote another school "Speed equals radius" (at a given lean angle, bp, etc.)"

    also "speeding up won't make the bike want to stand up. It will widen the turn but go out in a parking lot and just spin circles and roll on, careful not to steer. Your circles will widen but the bike won't stand -- slow back down and your radius will reestablish itself."

    Me - In the Advanced Rider Course, we do a drill where the students ride an 80' circle at theoretically constant speed and constant lean (they, like all of us, do the best they can do).  At one point in the circle, we have them roll off the throttle a bit and/or 'scrub a little speed' with the brakes.  The bike wants to stand up, requiring more pressure on the inside handgrip to maintain the same radius of turn. This is in complete concurrence with Yakaru's second point.  I do slow more for a hairpin, but again, my premise was that we are already in the turn making corrections.  And as Spinto points out, yes, if I do have more lean angle available, I'm going to have to add a wee bit of throttle to keep from falling over.  Those two techniques need to work in combination.    

    As far as the double apex throttle control - I'm on personally unfamiliar, but not shaky ground.  As I understand it, at the exit of the first turn, any throttle application that was applied 'evenly, smoothly & constantly' through that first turn - and then after the bike is as straight up as it's going to get, turn permitting - is then maintained or retarded as required for the next turn.  

    3. More lateral weight shift (into the direction of the turn)  - no objection here

    4. More forward weight shift (to load up the front wheel) - no objection here

    5. Peg pressure (in conjunction with weight shift to amplify/stabilize a pivot steering point)

    Yakaru - "your mention of pivot here is throwing me, as usually I think of pivot steering as having my weight 'cross body' (balance my left hand to my right peg) for "strength with stability" in fast steering situations (especially to overcome momentum effects at higher bike speeds) whereas most people who talk about peg weighting discuss it in regards to weighting the inside peg. The fact of the matter is that "weighting" the inside peg really doesn't do anything. The majority of what you notice if you've ever tried it is usually more the shift of body weight which is far more effectively done by moving the upper body to the inside of the bike. Since you're on the bike you're fighting physics -- for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. The forces you're putting into the peg just act back upon you and you're effectively in a closed system due to the tires not really taking the load (since overall it's the same) and inputting them into the road (since Earth IS a separate system)."

    Me - in another thread that you & I both responded to, pivot steering was discussed.  Your paragraph is spot on - I agree 110%.  I actually referenced the NO BS bike in that thread.  If the rider, in mid turn extremis however, is pre-positioned for an outside pivot steering point, making the necessary, timely corrections by weight 'cross body' to the handgrips will be easier during that time of 'uncertainty.'

    And as a side note, I try very hard to never 'fight' the physics my bike, we (as well as I can) try to elegantly glide across the dance floor.  For every action I make, 'her' reaction should be in harmony.  But again, I've never raced or even done a track day. 

    6.Shifting to "proper" vision through the turn - no objection here

    Changing the plan mid-turn does one other thing to the rider's CPU - the brain will be rapidly (to the point of overload) sampling all the new data parameters introduced to assess their likelihood of success.  - no objection here

    Thanks Yakaru - I really liked that video on centripetal & centrifugal forces.

    Spinto - "i'll leave it them to teach you in their words and style that knowingly works."

    Yakura - "for not following the 'helping think through it' instruction style of the school"

    Coach C - "Back to the point of the bike running wide when it slows:  if the rider is rolling on the throttle, then rolls off, it will run wide initially. Good discussion here."

    We're all thinking it through, Coach is letting us run with it for awhile.  And Spinto, yes, my mind is VERY open and a ginormous blank canvas upon which the CSS staff shall paint.  In 15 years of coaching Basic Riders, my favorite students are the ones who have no experience - as in they have no habits to break.  I'm hoping that this will apply to my sportbike career.  I've had no formal instruction in riding on track and I'm going to get arguably the best training there is.   

    My purpose in engaging the forums is to clarify concepts I've been reading about in KC's TWOTW 1 & 2, "The Soft Science of Road Racing Motorcyles", and Nick Ienatsch's "Sport Riding Techniques."  The more I can get clarified BEFORE class, the more attention I can devote to new things.  Don't want to use my entire $10 in the classroom on nomenclature & concepts with which I could have already been somewhat familiar.

    Spinto - "...I wasn't wrong.  Terminology is different...how others describe it will be different....not here to argue semantics. "

    We're all on the same page!

    Cheers, Steve


    PS - I did my best to cut 'n paste your writings in full context.  My apologies if I missed anything sentient.

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