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Everything posted by Hotfoot

  1. Probably, yes. Most trackday organizations require first time track riders to go through some sort of school or orientation to cover track etiquette - how to enter and exit the track, what the flags mean, etc. If they do not have a new rider school of some sort, then yes getting some instruction is probably a good idea, to help you find your way around the track, get a sense of the lines and appropriate entry speeds for corners.
  2. Keith asked me to add a little more info about grip: The point on max grip is another many faceted process. Due to the slip angle tires never do have 100% mechanical grip, they actually are sliding. That is a prophylactic process as it cleans the spent rubber off the tire's surface but is ALWAYS happening, in every corner. It's sometimes overlooked in the traction arguments. In the end it's more to less, less to more SLIDE rather than more to less, less to more traction. Maybe that's just another way of looking at the same issue.
  3. I should also add that no amount of suspension adjustment will overcome bad technique. However, good technical knowledge will help a rider make the most of any bike. For example, we have had lots of riders (Joe Roberts included) come out to CodeRACE and run incredibly fast laptimes on the standard settings on the school bikes. And, when Keith Code decides to ride, he just jumps on whatever school bike happens to be available and shows us ALL how it's done.
  4. The BMW S1000rr has electronic suspension and performs extremely well under a variety of conditions with many different sizes of riders, adapting constantly to the surface and various forces or acceleration, braking and cornering. It is not practical to set sag on every school day for every rider, and a school bike is shared by two or three riders in a day (depending on whether it is a camp or a single day school) so changing sag not only between schools but between riders would not be possible. We can, and do, change ride modes based on the rider and their pace and preference, as this can be done at the grid, there are softer or stiffer settings (which also change the damping response) available electronically through that method, if desired. If you bring your own bike to school and schedule with the mechanic, setting is sag is something that could be done at the school, however it is usually more practical to do it beforehand at a shop or with a suspension person (or with a buddy at home, actually - it is not hard to do) because school days are busy, and setting sag does require the rider to be there to sit on the bike while adjustments are made.
  5. The school would not have any problem with you walking the track, and at VIR, this would be easier if you were actually staying at the track hotel so you were already on site. With some tracks you could potentially have difficulty getting in past the security or guard shack the day before your school; I'm not sure if this would be a problem at VIR but staying on site would probably handle that as you would already be signed in and on the property. You could take a look at the track but it is difficult to try to judge traction of an asphalt surface by looking at it. Sometimes the grittiest is not the best traction and sometimes what looks smooth is; the only true test is riding on it.
  6. At a school at Streets of Willow many years ago I was a student on my 250 (the Honda MD250H) and later in the day I had a mechanical issue and ended up renting a school bike. At the end of the day my best lap time was only 1/10th second difference between the two bikes. Over the years I have ridden that track on a 250, a 450, a 600 and a 1000 and my times on all of them were very close. Since that track is so tight and doesn't have long high speed sections, it is definitely possible to runs laps as fast or quicker than the bigger bikes, and we have had kids at CodeRace on 125's 2 stroke bikes run rings around the bigger bikes and set lap records. Having said all that, in a race environment I'm not the biggest fan of running a lightweight bike in a class of mostly heavyweight bikes, because the big bikes pass you on the straights then you have to pass them back in the corners. So at Streets, you'd probably get left behind at the start (uphill, HP disadvantage) then have to pass bikes through turns 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, then probably get passed back at the exit of 8 and then have to try to pass back either at 9-10 or through the last turn... it could be really fun passing the big bikes in the corners, but it also might be a lot of back and forth, where the big bikes can take their passes on the exits but you will have to take yours on entries or mid-corner, and those passes can be tougher to plan and execute. So if it was a regular school I'd say bring the 250/300 and have fun with the higher corner speeds and nimble handling, but at CodeRACE you may or may not want to set yourself up for that much back and forth passing; a 1000cc bike can gain a lot of ground on a lightweight bike on the main straight, especially if they are willing to carry good speed though turn 1, so you'd have to work pretty hard to get far enough ahead to not have to deal with that.
  7. Here are some places to look in Twist II for info on downhill turns: Chapter Two, Throttle Control, the section called Survival Training. Chapter Four, the section called "Other Exceptions" near the end of the chapter. Twist I also has some info: Chapter 1, The Road You Ride, the section Uphill, Downhill, and Crested Turns
  8. It sounds to me as though you might not be taking into account how suspension affects tire grip. Are you, for example, assuming a completely rigid connection between the wheel and motorcycle, with no suspension action and a non-deformable tire? Are you assuming that the grip of tire to pavement is constant, and is at the theoretical maximum friction of rubber to asphalt? There is more grip available when the bike is upright because the suspension is more effective at keeping the tire consistently in contact with the pavement. There is a theoretical maximum friction that you can calculate but in real-world riding, the pavement is not perfectly flat or perfectly consistent so the theoretical grip (calculated from formulas, with assumptions and simplifications made - usually a LOT of them) is NOT the same as actual real-life grip. Does it make sense to you, in your actual riding experience, that you have more grip when the bike is more upright than when you are at maximum lean angle? If so, does it follow that as you stand the bike up, you HAVE more grip available, so that even though you were at the max (for that lean angle) a millisecond before, you now have MORE grip available because the bike is coming up, and any tiny slide that would have begun from the countersteering effort would be halted by that additional grip? One must be very careful when attempted to use physics formulas to calculate grip. There are MANY factors that are ignored, assumed constant, or simplified in order to make formulas or concepts easier to understand, but trying to apply theories that don't take into accounts the LARGE number of variables present in real-world riding can lead to some confusions. You can find numerous examples on this board.
  9. I do not understand this statement, can you restate it or explain it more? If I understand your question about how to exit a corner, you are talking about coming out of the corner onto a straight(er) part of track, and you are asking how to change the arc to put the bike in a straighter line, is that right? If so, then the answer is yes, you would counter steer to bring up the bike. The momentary instability caused by the countersteering effort is overcome right away by the increased grip afforded by getting the bike more upright (primarily due to your suspension being able to work more effectively). In other words even if the front tire DID slide a little, it would recover, and in fact that is often how riders recover when a tire starts to slide - by standing the bike up. (Sometimes they recover by just staying loose on the bars and the tires regain grip either because they reach better pavement - like a slide on a greasy spot in the road - or because the bike has slowed some.) Keep in mind, though, that the rider must make a reasonably controlled steering input - a death grip on the bars that restricts bar movement, or a rider pushing on BOTH bars, or an extremely rough bar input could indeed cause a fall.
  10. This is a common enough question that lately Keith has put a new focus on the no-brakes drill with Level 4 students, having them re-do the drill to help increase their awareness of how much speed gets "scrubbed off" in a turn, and to make sure that concept is understood. There are, in fact, multiple Level 4 drills designed to increase the rider's awareness of this, and help the rider determine where, EXACTLY, one should have their entry speed set for a given corner. Dylan actually does cover this topic pretty thoroughly in the very first lecture in Level 1, Throttle Control, pointing out that the bike continues to slow down after the turn point, so trying to set your target corner speed AT the turn point can result in ending up too slow at the slowest part of the corner. However, I think for many riders who are new to track riding this speed-scrub aspect of throttle control may get lost; there is a lot to take in on that first day. And, of course, judging entry speed and speed scrub are the sort of thing that even the most advanced riders continue to work on, it does require focused observation and experimentation, and every turn is different so there is no "pat" answer that will work for every bike and every corner. Learning to observe the speed scrubbed after the turn point, and bringing up the entry speed gradually, is a good way to approach the problem - or make it a focus of your next Level 4 school day.
  11. Hey Rocco -is there a particular corner (preferably one at a track CSS rides!) that you get through noticeably faster than other riders, and what do you perceive you do differently in that corner that works so well?
  12. Here is a good summary of the difference between MotoGP and WSBK: https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/superbike-vs-motogp-differences One major difference is WSBK machines are based on production motorcycles and MotoGP bikes are purpose built race machines or prototypes. MotoAmerica is the organization that promotes the premier North American racing series, and part of its purpose is to develop riders from North America to compete on the world level in WSBK and AMA, and uses production motorcycles. MotoAmerica is sanctioned by AMA and FIM. What we used to call "AMA racing" is now MotoAmerica. CCS (Championship Cup Series) and WERA (Western Eastern Racing Association) are two separate nationwide racing series sanctioning bodies. They would both be considered feeder series for MotoAmerica, offering a wider array of race classes than MotoAmerica and offering Novice classes and race schools to help attract and develop racers. Their events are more affordable and easier to qualify for than MotoAmerica events, and they run a lot of local and regional events, and regional championships so that racers do not have to travel all the way across the country to compete in a series. There are quite a few racers that race MotoAmerica and CCS or WERA. There is also AHRMA, American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association, which runs events around the country for vintage motorcycles, and is reputed to be a very friendly and very competitive race organization. A new racer riding progression might start with mini-moto racing and minimoto clubs (especially for kids who are too young to race larger bikes) then progress to a local race club at a local track (which would typically begin with a new racer school), then progress to a regional competition with an organization like WERA or CCS. The national organizations generally have Novice and Expert levels, with requirements to advance to Expert (based on points or race wins) and do have minimum qualifying laptimes. Racers doing well in these national clubs might - if they have the resources - move up to MotoAmerica, and MotoAmerica stars might move on to the world stage. Does that help?
  13. This is what we generally recommend at the school, as well, although of course on the S1000rrs it does the rev-matching for you so you don't have to mess with blipping the throttle. It does "mean downshifts" with just a click of the shift lever.
  14. I don't know if anything like that is available but I agree with Yakaru that the best approach would be to call the office.
  15. Good job working through the errors and reasons leading up to them.
  16. I see a second steering input also. Could be that the roll on was already starting as you leaned it that extra bit, or maybe you were already near the limit (for those tires) and the extra bit of lean was enough to break it loose. I can't hear it well enough on the video to tell for sure but that extra lean combined with some throttle application could definitely have caused the rear to slide without warning.
  17. I asked about the mileage on the tire because it looks like it has a lot of road miles, the center looks flattened. That can affect handling, and overall age can affect grip, the rubber can get dried out and less pliable. I do think, especially after seeing your pace and leam angle on the video, that age of the tire contributed, and possibly the tire type as well- I don't know much about those tires but looks to me like you need to be on track day tires, something more like Q3s or Q4s. When you watch the video, do you see one precise and definite steering input, or do you see more than one change in lean angle?
  18. Welcome! Glad to have you here. Where did you do your school days?
  19. How many miles or track days do you have on that tire?
  20. Some of the questions I'd ask are what is the comparative overall weight of the bikes he is comparing against, where is the COG located on each of the bikes (higher? lower?) and how much can the rider hang off on each of them?
  21. Great find, that is a REALLY good perspective on a very late apex turn. It really illustrates how long you have to wait to get on the gas, and how too low and entry speed would BEG you to roll on too early. It's also VERRRY interesting to observe the differences in the accuracy of the throttle timing (and consequently accuracy of the line) of the front runners versus some of the later riders.
  22. If you really are pushing on only the external handlebar, the bike will countersteer up out of the corner. If it does NOT do that, it means you must be pushing ALSO on the inside bar. You said in an earlier post that if you relax and stop pushing on the outside bar, the bike leans in more. That means that EITHER: 1) you are also pushing the inside bar, and having to use your outside arm to balance out the effect, so you need to relax BOTH arms, or 2) your bike has a significant handling problem that is causing to pull to the inside, maybe a badly profiled tire Does this only happen on lefts or rights, or in both directions? I'd definitely recommend riding something else to see if the problem continues - if you have the same issue training on a small pit bike, try gradually working up to steeper lean angles while maintaining relaxed arms. If it doesn't happen on other bikes, have someone take a look at your track bike and see if it has a bad tire, an alignment problem of some sort, twisted or bound forks, etc.
  23. For sure this is difficult to judge, for anyone. Laptimes are a measurement, and being able to achieve very CONSISTENT laptimes is a good indicator that a rider is well in control of their lines and speed and that the error rate is low, all of which indicates good riding skills. Seeing one's own laptimes come down on a given day at a given track is a good indicator that the rider is figuring out the track and making improvements. Being able to stay relaxed and ride without errors and without exhaustion is a great improvement, and something the rider can observe relatively easily for themselves. However - trying to compare laptimes to other riders may not be very meaningful unless you are racing . At track days and especially at schools, riders ARE, by definition, working on making changes and sorting things out so their laptimes can vary considerably from actual go-for-it race pace times. At CSS riders are asked to ride at around 75% pace so that they have enough free attention to make observations and changes in their riding, plus there are formats and drills and sometimes different track configurations (compared to how other organizations run their day) so a school day laptime may not mean much when compared to a race laptime, or even open track day times. So if you are looking at a CSS laptime and trying to decide if you could race at that track, it may not really translate. Going out and doing a new racer's school at that track (unless you already have a race license?) would allow you to get a sense of whether you can be competitive, and most of them do a mock race at the end of the day, which is fun and instructive, and most schools will be able to tell you if your laptime is acceptable for you to race there. Racing creates a whole new set of challenges - the track pace is fast and that will immediately push you to find places where you can go faster, and likely make you push yourself enough to reveal next areas of improvement in your riding. I think most of all you will need to decide your personal priorities for improvement, THEN figure out how to measure. What are your goals as a rider? Are you interested in being calmer on the track? Safer? More accurate? More consistent? More comfortable? Do you want to be able to learn new tracks faster? Do you want quicker laptimes? Do you want to ride in A group at your local track? Do you want to start club racing? Once you have your own goals set, finding ways to measure that should be easier. Interesting question about whether it changes based on the track... I guess my answer would be that there are certain skills that identify a skilled rider. Consistent entry speeds, good control of the bike (accurate, effective steering with steering rate appropriate to the turn), secure, locked-on body position, relaxed upper body, and good visual skills come to mind. One can watch a skilled rider on a new track, and they may be riding slow and figuring out lines but you can see the skills are there and know that once they get the lines figured out they will be able to ride consistently and quickly. You can also go to an open track day and see someone getting good laptimes (by pushing really hard) but leaning the bike over too far on the gas, exiting corners at the ragged edge of the track, making steering corrections, stabbing the brake, hanging off too far and steering ineffectively, making rough downshifts, etc. and see that they may be going pretty fast but they are lacking some really important basics and although they know the track well, they are hitting some big barriers that will hold them back and/or cause them to crash if they try to go any quicker.
  24. It would be a rare 180 degree turn where you could roll on the gas as soon as you have your lean angle set (at the beginning of the turn) and be able to roll on continuously for the whole rest of the turn. If the turn was large, and U shaped (as an example) you would most often have to roll off (or at least go flat) on the gas in the middle of the turn, more or less treating it as TWO turns, the first part with one turn point and apex and the second part with its own turn point and apex. Depending on the shape of the turn, you may or may not need to make another steering input to change your lean angle at the second turn point (ie if the turn tightens up in the second part, you will likely have to make a steering input to change the lean angle for the second part of the turn). Alternatively, you could consider that your "real" turn point is somewhere in the middle of the 180 degree turn, a turn point that will line you up for the apex and exit you want. Everything before that would really just be pre-positioning to get to that turn point and you might very well be slowing down (off the gas and trail braking) ALL the way to the turn point which could be located near the middle of the 180 degree turn, or even later if it tightens up a lot at the end. You could try working backwards from the exit (if exit speed is the priority) to find the exit line you want, then find the apex and turn point (in the second half of the turn) that will line you up for that without any additional change in lean angle . That will be your "second turn point" (or real turn point if you are thinking of it as one turn) then work backwards from THERE to find an entry line from the first part of the turn that will get you top that second turn point. Does that make sense? If the turn is at the end of a fast straight and whatever comes after the 180 degree turn is slower, you may want to prioritize carrying the straightaway speed as long as possible and in that case you might choose a line that allows maximum trail braking as long and late as possible before you reach the second turn point, potentially sacrificing some speed in the latter part of the turn with a less optimum exit but a wide fast entry.
  25. How are you choosing when to BEGIN your throttle roll-on?
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