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Everything posted by Hotfoot

  1. This seems to change often, for me, as I learn more or making changes in my bike or my riding. Lately I have started scraping a peg now and again, which makes me think I am at my lean angle and/or speed limit for that turn - so I try to hang off more, but hit a different limit on being able to lock on properly, without putting pressure on the bars. Or I adjust my suspension to be stiffer - then hit the limit of what I can manage on a different part of the track with the suspension set that way. I think, now, that one thing that limits me is figuring out how to measure the respective gain or loss as I make changes in the bike or my riding - ie, if I slow down the entry to this corner, do I get a better drive, and does that REALLY produce a better result? I look foward to CodeRACE to break this down and measure specific results with specific changes, but I also would love to hear suggestions in this area. Perhaps (if you don't already own one) you're at the level where you may consider getting a laptimer. Some of the fancy GPS units allow you to break down the track into sections. This way you have solid numbers as to gains vs losses. Actually, I did that recently, haven't used it too much yet but I think it will help a lot, I got the Starlane GPS.
  2. Hey Fiji, Welcome to the forum. Just to make sure, out here on the West Coast, do you know what Squid means? Likely you do, but just in case: "Squid" was a term, no idea who first used it, that was a label for punks on RD-350's, riding with a tank top or no shirt, no helmet, shorts, flip flops, and wheelieing from stop light to stop light (or riding nuts in the turns). So someone being a "squid" or doing something "squidly" is doing something and using questionable judgement, shall we say. Not saying that we have never done anything squidly, but we try and keep it in check, and at the track for the most part Glad you are here, keep on posting Best, Cobie This is a bit dark, but since you brought it up, I have been told that the word "squid" came from an emergency room term for the riders you mention above, when they end up in the hospital - short for "squished kid". So, wear your expensive protective gear, and keep it on the track when you can.
  3. I'm definitely nervous on this point; my mid corner traction usually feels great, but at turn-in, it always seems to me like the front tire is either OK, or suddenly gone, with nothing in between. I have had a few front tire slips (but no crashes) on cold tires or over rough pavement and they feel abrupt and sudden with no warning. Is that normal? Someone mentioned sliding the front, and to me this seems nearly impossible, does that indicate a problem with my technique or bike setup? For the rear tire when I drive hard out of a turn, still leaned over some, I sometimes feel the tire squirm around. Is that the step before a smooth controlled slide (have never done one of those on fresh tires) or a warning that I am flirting with a high side? Currently I take it as a warning and don't try to push beyond. I have only felt a smooth, controlled spin of the rear tire on really worn out tires, that was fun and pretty easy to control, but it progressed very smoothly and did not go through that squirm stage.
  4. This seems to change often, for me, as I learn more or making changes in my bike or my riding. Lately I have started scraping a peg now and again, which makes me think I am at my lean angle and/or speed limit for that turn - so I try to hang off more, but hit a different limit on being able to lock on properly, without putting pressure on the bars. Or I adjust my suspension to be stiffer - then hit the limit of what I can manage on a different part of the track with the suspension set that way. I think, now, that one thing that limits me is figuring out how to measure the respective gain or loss as I make changes in the bike or my riding - ie, if I slow down the entry to this corner, do I get a better drive, and does that REALLY produce a better result? I look foward to CodeRACE to break this down and measure specific results with specific changes, but I also would love to hear suggestions in this area.
  5. Great shots! I am looking at the one of Steve - it doesn't even look like his back tire is touching the ground...? Is that an illusion? Or is it hydroplaning?
  6. Wow, thanks for posting those, clearly a picture is worth a thousand words. You sure have made me appreciate living in California!!!!
  7. Nice...and better priced too. Too bad it isn't universal, then I could take it bike-bike as I figured I've got about 1-2 years left on this one before I get the itch for something newer. Hey Hotfoot, want to be the guinea pig? I'm willing to try it, but not for a few months, I don't want to make another change like that until I am sure I have my engine issues sorted out, AND get to RIDE the darn thing a few times. If my wrist starts getting sore again, that will move it up on my priority list. I AM really pleased to see the link, though, it really does look like a nice product. Thanks for the post, sleepr!
  8. Hey Hotfoot, Where do you think the "equipment" area should be? And where did you get the Shogun stuff before? C I ordered the Shogun stuff online, I think kneedraggers.com, but none of those retailers appear to sell replacement pucks, they have to come from Shogun; I guess I'll have to try emailing some retailers to get Shogun contact info. Acutally it might be simplest to just add 'equipment' as part of set-up and handling. I looked at the list of topics and about half of them seem to be about equipment anyway. Or, maybe you want to split it up into multiple topics, like Tires, Suspension, Exhaust, Bodywork, Fuel, etc. in which case you may want a whole new section called Equipment and Setup with sub topics. I think the former idea would make it easier for regular users to spot new posts and answer them, but the second way might make it easier for new members to find older posts when they are looking for specific info, without having to look through pages of info about a wide array of topics. Since we're discussing this, I think you could combine Racing and Racing Circuits, and maybe even combine School Questions with Successes/Photos, those areas seem to get a lot fewer new topics than the others.
  9. I've seen some forum posts with instructions to make one from PVC. It doesn't look that difficult to do, but I don't quite have the nerve to try it; my hope was that I could buy a kit, have a mechanic install it correctly, and not have to worry about the reliability.
  10. A bigger paycheck! So I could do endless track time and make dozens of cool modifications to my bike! OK, you probably want a better answer than that... how about absolute certainty that my entry speed was right for each turn, and knowing exactly where to brake / roll off point to accomplish that. Better yet to be able to do it without specific reference points so I could do it on a new track or new road.
  11. Thanks for the info, bet Hotfoot would have liked to know that sooner, had nothing but problems with the one purchased, finally took it off. C Thanks for posting this, I appreciate the recommendation, however unfortunately the Yoyodyne IS the one I had, and I had trouble with it. One problem was that the set screws fell out so the throttle body was slipping, and the set screws were VERY tiny and a weird size. Will actually MADE a tool to put them back in for me. Then it was still not operating smoothly and we found a place where it was rubbing and hanging up, and then ultimately took it off, and at that point found that one of the pieces of hardware in the cable had snapped in half. So, I'm not saying they don't work - they seem very popular, so they probably do, but it didn't go well for me. FYI, the reason I wanted a 1/4 turn throttle was to reduce the amount I have to turn to full open, my wrist was getting sore.
  12. I have a 2008 ZX6R with Shogun no-cut frame sliders. I need a replacement puck for one side (didn't crash... it fell off) and I can't find one, any idea where to get one? Or know of another brand that would be compatible? Or does anyone have contact info for Shogun? I did a web search but couldn't find the correct manufacturer site. I don't really want to buy a whole new kit, if I can avoid it. (Hey Cobie, if we had an "equipment" area, I would have posted this question there. )
  13. I agree that a separate equipment section would be nice, and a pinned topic that lists what the school uses for equipment (bike stuff and riding gear), and info on bike mods, bike setup, tires and tire pressures, for the school bikes and the coach bikes. And some notes about what works well for you and why. That stuff is interesting because you guys put on so many miles in so many different types of conditions, with so many different people, that you get a terrific perspective on what works or doesn't. Just one request, I'd prefer NOT to have a section where everyone gets to list or show off all the mods on their bikes, there is too much of that on other forums already - I think folks on this forum are here to ride their bikes, not decorate them.
  14. I love this article, it completely captures the difference between a wonderful ride and a tedious, frightening, or disappointing ride. For me, the best ride, the perfect ride, is when I can find that joyous excitement, the special thrill of feeling the bike skimming over the pavement, and seeing the track flowing swiftly by. There is a disassociation from concerns about "how I'm riding" or who is behind me or what I should change, it's all sensation and it seems like the controlling of the bike becomes nearly effortless. For me, a really terrific fast turn feels like sledding down a steep snowbank, or swinging too high on the swingset; I've committed to the turn and now I'm just enjoying the ride, and seeing how fast I can go! There's a certain death-defying feeling to it, which makes it thrilling; and a certain perfection, when it all comes together exactly right. When I can capture that feeling, I stop being a bundle of worries, and thoughts, and wasted motions, and start really having a ride.
  15. Fantastic idea!!! I don't particularly want to to have to organize it, but you can definitely count me in to participate, and my husband would for sure do it, too. Think you could handle getting your ass kicked on the racetrack by a girl? To do it on the Ninja's with WSMC you'd need a race license (which has a min lap time requirement, it's possible to show up then not be able to race if you can't get there), plus Rich only has about 8 Ninjas, we'd have to reserve WAY in advance. But, I LOVE the idea of a forum race day (friendly, relatively low key, and safe), so I have a couple of other ideas - there's also a group out here that rents NSR50's (50cc race-prepped 5 speed mini sportbikes), to ride on a go-kart track. It's a different experience, since they are LITTLE bikes and don't go very fast, but it would probably be a lot easier to organize a private event with no race licenses required. It's still pretty darn competitive and fun, but not nearly the adrenaline of the big track, big bikes. Or, here's another option - how about CodeRACE in October? Let CSS do the organizing, all we have to do is show up and chase each other around! Little more expensive, but TONS of track time, two real races, and we'd all learn something too.
  16. I can see your point, as my bringing up Capirossi does seem off topic. Perhaps I could have said it this way: 1- Observation <> (does not equal) conclusive 2- There's a problem with the logic stated above and that problem comes in when we use words that hint at "always". Mathematically speaking, it's been stated that: Rider at x lean angle, y speed = z turn radius Rider at x lean angle, y+q speed = z+ [q (factor)] turn radius Although this may be correct in some circumstances, it is not consistent across the board. In other words, there are times: Rider at x lean angle at y+q speed <> z+ [q (factor)] turn radius And poor technique is not the ONLY reason to account for this. Here's a personal experience example (we're waaaaaay off topic here, but whattheheck, right?) A couple of years ago at ViR Patriot during my 5th session of the day, I'd gotten happy with my consistency. I could hit the TP, apex, exit nearly blind in a particular section; I was on it! (or so I thought) I was already at max lean for my given BP as I had consistent knee pressure on the tarmac. I changed NOTHING else during that session, except going in faster and faster and getting on the gas harder and harder, yet my turn radius didn't yet change until I was ready for it to. Why not? I was too slow and nowhere near the edge of performance. I was in the top of my riding group, but there were groups that were much faster. Once I loosened up with the new speed and allowed the bike to get closer to the rumble strip on exit did my turn radius change. Then, I could go even faster. Nevertheless, I had accepted the answer as posted by HOTFOOT from Will (which coincidentally was hinted at earlier: Couple of points here. First of all, the quote above is not the one I posted from Will. It is a bit similar, but it ain't de same, it was posted by, and written by, someone else. I thought Will's answer was easier to understand. Second - what Will DID say was that trail will cause the front wheel to turn to a stabilizing point. That was making the LARGE assumption that the rider allows it to do so. I couldn't quite tell from your post if you were loose enough on the bars to allow that to happen. Also at risk of complicating the discussion, I think the fact that you were dragging a knee changes things like the effective lean angle (if you taking a little downforce on your knee) and creates a little drag on that side. Once you introduce the concept of a highly mobile rider the math gets so much more complicated that my brain freezes.
  17. Question - when you are riding a new track, how do you choose your turn points, on your first few laps around? Do you have a specific technique, or do you just wing it and see how it turns out? Do you try to spot the apex first, and if you can't see the whole turn, how do you choose it? Do you always go out wide, so you can see farther into the turn? My question applies to unfamiliar roads, too, but for the sake of discussion let's assume that the goal is speed and traction is good, and not consider other factors that would come up in street riding. Do you have a specific set of ideas about how to approach certain types of turns on your FIRST time through?
  18. So, for those who have raced, how did it begin for you? Well, I just started with it, so I'll give you my thoughts. Here is the obvious answer - go to CodeRACE. That requires less bike prep, or you can even use a school bike. It's also safer and a lot less intimidating, less people on the track and a well controlled environment. For me, I was ready for CodeRACE when I was brave enough to go, and willing to test myself against others. I was riding Level 2 (an intermediate level) at track days, about in the middle of the pack. CodeRACE made me a lot faster. The next step was to get my novice race license, that requires attendance to a Novice Racer School, but at my local organization CodeRACE is accepted for that, so I didn't have to do the Novice school. Here's a cool option, if you are out on the west coast: www.racebikerental.com, this guy rents Ninja 250s, already race prepped, so you can try a race without having to do all the safety prep on your own bike.
  19. Hotfoot- Do you think that what's now posted would have helped you during your race weekend? Why or why not? Yes. I had gotten the answer about trail from Will last week, and it DID help me this weekend, at the track, to recognize that the lean angle only changes if you make it change. I thought the bike would stand up on its own when you roll on, but it doesn’t, and that info helped me to hold the arc a little tighter in some turns, where previously I had been picking the bike up a little early with a steering input. It also helped me stand it up sooner (and more deliberately) in others, so I could get on the gas harder earlier. So yes, any bit of data helps, and anytime my understanding improves, it helps. The part that Keith posted was new to me today, but the point he makes that some riders are afraid of the fact that the arc widens when you roll on would probably have helped me too, as I am a bit afraid of that – if it is a high speed turn and the best line runs out to the edge of the track, I am overly careful to leave a wide margin for error. Next time I will pay more attention to predicting EXACTLY where the bike will want to go, which should give me more room to roll on harder, and therefore have better exit speed. When Keith talks, I listen. Every single time. It's a strategy that is working well for me so far.
  20. I asked Will this question: What MECHANICALLY makes the radius change when you increase the speed? It is not really a discussion of the CSS type roll-on for stabilizing the bike (although it may have started that way), it is the more theoretical discussion of what happens if you keep your lean angle, and increase your speed a lot, the radius of the circle will change, but what MAKES it do that, just the tire sliding more? And here is his response: It is too simple for most to realize it is the answer, Trail. What trail does is balance the bike against the pull of gravity. The rider sets the lean angle by displacing the bars against the force of trail and making the bike lean. Once released trail points the front wheel to balance the bike against gravity. Trail doesn't care about the speed of the bike, it just balances it at whatever angle it is at ( lean angle). If you increase speed without changing lean angle trail will simply "steer" the bike into a new bigger radius as the force to balance the bike is already there, or vise versa into a smaller one as speed drops while maintaining the lean angle as set by the rider.
  21. OK, here's the update on the custom earplugs - I used them this weekend on the track. They were great, the sound filtration was terrific. The guy we used (www.earplugs4u.com in CA) offers the earplugs with a filter, to allow some sounds to come through, or without, which gives a higher dB block but is too quiet for some people. I used the ones with the filter, and they were perfect - great wind and engine noise blocking, but I didn't feel totally disconnected, and could still hear someone talk to me in the pit area if they spoke loudly. I found them easier to put in correctly than the foam ones, and very comfortable, and they never shifted out of position like the foam ones sometimes do, especially when taking my helmet on and off. I highly recommend them. One small point, they are not really soft so you need to try on your helmet after getting them fitted to make sure they are slimmed down enough that there is no pressure on your ear between the helmet and earplug. I need to have one of mine trimmed down slightly - it became a little uncomfortable by the end of the second day. But, overall, they were great, I like them a lot better than the foam ones. After reading some of the other posts on this thread, I want to clarify something - we had earplugs made for blocking wind noise while riding on the track. None of us were trying to make something to use for listening to music or cellphone while riding, or for use while street riding. I DID have custom earpiece made for my cellphone headset, to make it fit better, but that was not for motorcycle use, it's just another service he offers and we decided to try it, and it does make the headset fit more comfortably and more securely.
  22. Could try http://www.earplugs4u.com/ . They're in Diamond Bar. I have no experience with them, but have heard good reviews. Personally, I tried the Jawbone 2, but could not get a comfortable fit. I replaced it with the Motorola H710 and couldn't be happier. The H710 over the ear is only $35 and conveniently turns on when you flip it open. Apollo, THANK YOU for this excellent recommendation, I checked out the link above, called the guy on Friday, got an appt for Saturday. Fitting was easy, pricing was reasonable, and Mark was a super nice guy and terrific to work with. The whole process only took about 30 minutes, I got earplugs and an earpiece for my phone. I'll try the earplugs out on the bike next weekend and let you know how they work. So thanks again, this was very helpful!! After this, Cobie, I'm all for adding that equipment section on the forum, I can sure see how it would be useful!
  23. I would recommend a marksmanship store or shooting range. Great idea, thank you! Do you think I could go to one without getting pulled into another expensive hobby??
  24. Hotfoot tried nudging a complete answer out of Keith, but he's being tight-lipped :-) Apparently Keith isn't so much "being tight-lipped" as he is "being out of town." Yes, I went racing, it was great, pretty happy with a fourth place finish, as there were some much faster bikes mixed in the class. And yes, Cobie, you can take the blame for getting me hooked on this expensive sport. CodeRACE was a great preparation, I am SO glad I did that first. And BTW, where is YOUR answer to this burning question about circles? I might have gotten a podium finish if I had known the answer BEFORE the race. I was paying attention to this when I was riding, I had a good long turn with a constant radius to try it, and it sure did FEEL to me like the front tire (maybe the back too, not sure) was losing ground and that was the thing that was making the radius bigger.
  25. I didn't want to use earplugs and fought it for a while - they made me feel claustrophobic and disconnected, like being on cold medicine. Then I bought a new helmet, same brand (Shoei) but better ventilated than my old one. I was astounded at the difference in wind noise, now I HAVE to wear earplugs or the wind noise above about 100mph is actually painful and a big distraction. So, the helmet itself makes a big difference. Recently someone told me that those headsock things you can wear under your helmet reduce wind noise, too, but I haven't tried it. It took me about three track days to get used to the feeling of wearing the earplugs. I wear them on all superbike trackdays and when driving go-karts (they are very high speed also) but not on my dirt bike or on the street. I wear cheap throwaways, would like something better - where do you get the custom/reuseable type? Or is there a type of disposables that you like?
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