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About kwh

  • Rank
    Cornering Apprentice
  • Birthday 03/13/1966

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Profile Information

  • Location
    Carmarthen, Wales
  • Interests
    Sex, drugs, Rock & Roll, Fast Motorcycles & Sheep (see also first interest)

Previous Fields

  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
    Yes - Levels 1 + 2, and then level 3 - all at Pembrey
  1. Great article! I followed a link to this from another forum where the newly revised UK motorcycle licence test is being discussed, so it is incredibly topical in the UK context - there are many discussions on many UK motorcycle forae and in the press about the new two-part test format, and specifically the high-speed swerve exercise, and rather than reprise them here I'll just link to the one that led me here... RevCounter thread discussing the new UK test since it contains all the key facts. The new test has been in operation for a couple of days now, but instructors have had no experience of teaching for it, and since neither conscious countersteering nor the importance of throttle control feature in any DSA publication, nor in any DSA (Driving Standards Agency) training syllabus (it is, incredibly, considered to be 'an advanced technique that has no place in basic motorcycle instruction'), accredited instructors have no experience or guidance on how to teach the skills that are being tested here. The result has already been broken bones and broken bikes (the first day of the new testing regime was marked by typical british weather). Obviously any number of individual instructors who don't share the DSA's view and who have enough experience and knowledge to know better have been teaching these key skills to their students for years, and feeding back their point of view to the DSA, but the DSA don't listen to the little people, they have their own in house self-appointed experts. The new test (mandated by the EU rather than developed in house) has brought this problem to a head. For my part, when I learnt to ride and took my test well over a decade ago, I was taught none of this stuff, and was able to pass the practical on-road test on a Yamaha RSX100 without learning them. It was only later after a couple of nasty moments and an incompetence-revealing track crash, that I bought TOTW2 on recommendation and suddenly understood what was what, knowledge and insight that literally and undoubtedly saved my life about 6 weeks later when I stupidly got myself into a situation that only counter-intuitive countersteering and throttle control got me out of in one piece. Now people are being put in a position to demonstrate that they don't have those key skills at the licence testing stage, and the outcome at present hasn't been pretty. I think there's an opportunity here for somebody with credibility to say something to the DSA as a matter of urgency about the deficiencies in their training syllabus. Whether that is Keith, or somebody like Andy Ibbott, or both together, I wouldn't claim to know. Finally, just a word of caution to juggler about standing water - I've had the experience of hitting standing water in a straight line at motorway speeds (80mph+) and losing front-end traction in a straight line due to aquaplaning. Fortunately it was a puddle not a lake and the front gripped again before it had drifted more than a smidgin out of line and I was on my head, but I'm glad I wasn't changing lanes at the time as that could have been very bad, and mid corner I am pretty sure I would have been straight off. If your tyre tread can clear the water you are riding through at the speed you are travelling then I suspect it is no more drama that any other wet surface, but I think that the moment there is enough water that a layer of it gets between your contact patch and the surface underneath, your front tyre might as well be on sheet ice...
  2. Sorry :-(. Mind you, it's best to be realistic about these kind of things, and make a few discrete contingency plans before you head off to the Green Hell, I think. Denial means leaving a hideous mess of loose ends for the people left behind to try to sort out, just at a time when they are least able to cope. The late, great David Jeffries apparently used to make every booking in his diary before the next Isle of Man TT as a firm commitment, and every booking (for e.g. personal appearances or to compete in one-off events) after the next TT as 'provisional', with a comment that he would firm the arrangement up after the TT. He was very matter-of-fact about why he was doing this, and no doubt he made other arrangements as well before setting off for the island every year that eased his family's burden when the inevitable tragedy not of his making struck him. The weekends on the Nordschleife are indeed a terrifying zoo, as I have had the misfortune to experience first hand. But even on a quiet weekday evening, if the vehicle ahead of you is e.g. a Porsche GT3 that happens to be overheating and spitting out coolant from its header tank all over the track then I fear that no amount of 'sensible' or 'skilled' will keep you upright if you find a patch of it with the front wheel in one of the 140mph corners. And the Nurburgring is just not a place you'd ever want want to fall off a motorbike, given the choice. If you do, it would seem from what I've seen and read that life changing injuries are very common, and that fatalities aren't a rarity.
  3. Actually the car was on the racing line and the biker thought that the car had moved over for him and went to dive past on the inside, the car merely took the correct apex for the corner, unfortunately the biker was already committed... Edit: It is actually technically a public road during open sessions, all be it a one way toll road with no speed limit. Therefore if you crash, the police will investigate and apportion blame.
  4. The trouble with the Nordschliefe is that while it's an amazing challenge, on a bike the price of either making a mistake or being caught out by somebody elses mistake is very high indeed. The combination of no run-off, almost no marshalling and a mixture of traffic (not just bikes, but everything from GT2 Porsches lapping in under 8 minutes to tourist coaches lumbering around in twenty and the full spectrum in between) makes riding the Nurburgring fast a slightly less safe activity than juggling chainsaws. I've been to the place twice, ten years apart, for a total of about ten hours combined, and both my two visits were marred by fatalities closing the circuit while I happened to be there, and also punctuated by a procession of ADAC wagons dragging smashed up cars and bikes away from the ring. My god it's fun, but it's the kind of fun that you really do want to put all your affairs in order before you participate in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_k6PafKKAiQ http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=L3UhlX33KuI
  5. Actually, it did happen - right in front of the BBC camera in piarc ferme and in front of the BBC guy who was waiting to interview the three podium finishers. Sadly, although the coverage is available online via BBC i-player, that won't work for you if you are outside the UK...
  6. One more quick video - this is somebody filming all the action at the Karrussel from the outside of the corner at the exit during a 'Touristfahren' (i.e. public lapping) session last summer. http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=...8371061960&
  7. I draw the assembled company's attention once again to the on-bike video I posted a link to with the photos. It depicts a sub-8-minute bridge-to-gantry lap of the Nurburgring. On a stock 600cc sports bike. During a public session featuring mixed traffic. The Karrussel appears from 5:30 on the tape... The absolute outright motorcycle lap record of the Nurburgring Nordschliefe is held by one Helmut Dahne, set in 1993 on an RC30 while qualifying for an endurance race, when bikes still raced at the ring. It is slightly sub 8 minutes for a full lap, meaning that the rider in the video (a local ring-meister) is only about 20 seconds behind Helmutt over a lap!
  8. A bit of Google-Fu and then... Karrussel pictures... From http://www.pbase.com/cmanaginged/image/65570669/original From http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2007/07/19/10-b...hleife-corners/ And then if you go to 5:30 in this video and let it run you can see what the approach to and through this corner looks like from a Suzuki GSXR600 on a (very) fast lap. You can also listen to the engine note to work out what is being done with the throttle... http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=idIgZq3hELk
  9. That was epic, wasn't it. Vale was able to think himself half a second faster per lap in order to match Stoner, and to out-muscle him as well, and to run at lap record pace for 30 odd laps around Laguna, faster than he had managed even once in Qualifying and in Warm-up... absolutely unbelievable. Obviously we all want to be the best that we can be, and we all weant to learn from watching the best, but sometimes you just have to take your hat off and bow befoer sheer undeniable genius in action...
  10. It was suggested in commentary by Julian Ryder after watching the slow-mo of the highside that it probably wasn't a bad input by Lorenzo so much as a technology glitch with his super-duper MotoGP traction control system, which should have limited the power at the back wheel to prevent it losing traction. It looked to Julian like he gave it a big fistful and the electronics popped out for lunch at just the wrong moment and delivered all the power to the back tyre. With the unfortunate results under discussion...
  11. Ah! Sorry, I never saw your reply back when you wrote this! Yes it would be great to carry more speed, but what does that mean? OK, so you are a MotoGP riding god with more talent in your little finger than the rest of us mere mortals have in our entire bodies put together. And your chief telemetry technician comes and tells you that you aren't using anything like all the grip your MotoGP front slick offers you in the corners. What to do? You you can try to turn ever faster, but there comes a point when your arms are moving as fast as humanly possible, and the bike is going from vertical to full lean as fast as a human can make it. Being a MotoGP riding god, you probably already reached this point. So what then if you still have lots of front grip in reserve? So then you can try and carry more corner speed. But at a certain point, you will be so far over on your ear that you will be about to ride off the edge of your MotoGP spec slick tyres and/or deck the footpegs etc, however much you shift your weight to try and reduce the lean angle. Again, you are probably already there. So what if even then you still have lots of front grip in reserve with your MotoGP front slick? Presumably some cheeky competitor will use that extra grip to ride under you before you turn and then use that spare grip to brake all the way to the apex while holding a similarly tight line, right in your way? So, is the answer (for our imaginary MotoGP riding god, not for us) to turn in at a higher speed than we otherwise would while quite hard on the brakes to make full use of all that spare grip? I only ask the question. But it would explain the observed effect...
  12. Precise, concise, hit the nail on the head ... in a word: utterly sublime. Well ... that's two words, but ... I couldn't have said it better. In fact, I had the chance to say it better and didn't. Actually, I'm kind of bummed I didn't say it ... Seriously, it seems so obvious and straightforward, but, I don't think I ever put it together like that. Thanks, Stu. racer One other thing to consider is the width of the tracks. On the really wide GP spec tracks like China and Sepang for example, you will see a lot more trailbraking than you do on narrower tracks. One other thing to consider is how much actual braking pressure is being applied. When you look at the braking graphs in GP it looks to me like the very end of it is very light on the lever, its not an on and off thing. One other point that was brought up is how much of an "advanced" technique it is. Well, watch the GP guys and see what you see on the turn entires. My observation is that quite a few of them are bringing the front wheel to lock-up as they tilt the bikes in and then releasing from there. This usually happens at conservative lean angles. When it happens at steeper lean, they lose the front end and crash which, these days, is the most common top level rider error that results in a crash. Keith Keith, do you mind if I think aloud? Sometimes in MotoGP coverage they have some cool on-screen displays showing what appears to telemetry, including braking effort, overlaid on the broadcast. The amount of mid corner braking astounds me, and it was very hard for me to rationalise what I was seeing with the whole quick-turn approach, even on corners where it would appear that in theory, based on my imperfect understanding of your of your oft explained and taught approach, you would want to turn late and square the corner off with a classic Twist of the Wrist style 'quickturn'. The only thing I could think was that the latest generation of MotoGP front slicks have so much grip that even when the rider is at full lean and maximum rate of turn, there is still grip to spare for braking. If that were true, then the rider who utilised that extra grip wold be faster than the rider who didn't, at least on corner entry. And even if the rider who didn't use the extra grip was going to be quicker on corner exit, they would find the trail-braking rider sitting right in their way on corner exit and holding them up... I've had the experience of riding a stock Triumph TT600 (not exactly a guided missile, and lots heavier than a MotoGP bike) on over-the-counter production road-legal Pirelli SuperCorsa race tyres, on hot dry grippy tarmac at Pembrey. I wasn't doing any trail-braking, but nevertheless I was simply stunned by the amount of grip available. I really felt like as long as I didn't make any ham-fisted inputs, run off the track or lever the tyres off the ground, it would really be completely impossible to crash on them. (welll, I did until they 'went off' due to too many heat cycles when.. err.. I did crash... :-o ). I cannot imagine how much grip the very best hand-made optimised-for-the-specific-track front slicks in the world would generate on the front of a lightweight MotoGP bike, running on the best suspension in the world... Am I on the right track with that thought process, or am I looking the wrong way? Cheers...
  13. Actually, a quick look at the schedule suggests that they were probably all busy on track at Willow Springs earlier this week, and are currently driving halfway across the country to Las Vegas where they will be busy for another couple of days. I'd say they probably haven't been in front of a computer for a few days and may not even be in a position to see your questions until after the weekend...
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