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Funkytime

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  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
    Yep - September 13th @ Silverstone

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    Hertfordshire UK
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    Bikes, shooting, healing, NLP, Reiki, travel, expanding my mind...

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  1. What role does suspension have? It's more of a tyre / suspension relationship. If the suspension is too hard then the tyre will start to flex and do the suspensions job - which is too much. The opposite is also true. The job of suspension is, well, suspension. The job of the tyre is to do the sticky bit. Suspension should be balanced so that you get the grip you need when you need it. Suspension absorbs all of the bumps - the ups and the downs etc. so that the tyre doesn't deform whilst it's supposed to be doing the sticky thing. Hope that clears it up. Ft
  2. Dear all This one is odd. Let me start by saying that I've been riding for donkeys and have done level 1. I've also done a number of other courses (non so good as our Keith's) so I'm no stranger to bikes and how they handle. Tyres are about 500 - 600 miles old with loads of grip. The suspension I set up for me and it handles great. So, last friday I rode into London - about 40 miles - with the wife on the back. She is tiny and has been riding longer than I have. These BT014's take a mile or so to warm up and then they are on rails. Oh, the bike is a YZF1000R Thunderace. So it's just over a mile to the first roundabout and I normally cruise around it and then off down the main road. This time it slid around the island like it was on bars of soap. But we're in a hurry so it's an easy ride down to the Motorway and then it's 90mph into London. High speeds were fine. There was no noticable difference in the handling. As I got into London I had front wheel lockups when cars pulled out, slippy corners - a real nightmare. I had forgotton how much of a delight it was to ride around the big city! On the way back, same issues so before I got onto the motorway I pulled into a service station and checked the tyre pressures - which looked OK. I usually run at 35/37 so I put a squirt of air into each one because it was cold, dark the temperature was dropping and I was getting cold and tired. It hailed on the way home - it got cold. Got back on the road. And it was great. Sailed past Officer Dibble at 80mph and got home. So, question is, can anyone understand what was going on and shed some light on this? Big changes in bike behaviour (I know I had a pillion on) and all sort of sorted with a squirt of air. I wonder if my shock is on the way out? Thanks all FT
  3. Hi thor Could be suspension. Too much preload on the front could make this happen. Have you tried another brand of tyre? How much air do you have in there? You don't want the tyre to do the suspensions job - the tyres job is to give you grip (which is what's failing) and the suspension is to keep the tyre and the tarmac touching. Most people get the two mixed up with often hilarious results! Oh, how we laughed... Ft
  4. Hello mate Tyres - it's all down to feel and condition. Give them a visual check. If they look good then chances are that they are good. They do go off over time but a visual check is your first place to look. Feel them as well. Press your thumb nail into the tyre. Do this on a new tyre and then the one on your bike. If it has got considerably harder then the rubber is on the way out. Check for tears, marbles, deformaties, tread wearing out - that kind of thing. If you've got the money you could have new tyres every day! Next - how do they feel. If they feel all slippy then they are on the way out. Remembering how they felt when you rode the bike when you got them is always a good thing to know. Do you feel confident? If yes - great, carry on riding. If the answer is no then ask yourself 'why'? If it's the tyres then change them. Suspension. Either pay someone to help you set it up - any good suspension shop will help or learn how to do it yourself. There are plenty of articles on the internet about this and believe me, it's not a dark art. Keep well Ft
  5. You know some times I hate that 'Keith' bloke and sometimes I love him. The bloke makes me think. First off, it would be nice to hear from Sean - the bloke who started the post - to see how he has progressed. I gained confidence from setting up the suspension and tyres on my bike. That helped a lot. I had to learn how to do it but now I know how and why, easy - great confidence booster for me. Why? Because then the only thing left to adjust was me. The points that Keith raise are the physics - the dynamics and behaviour - of the bike and throttle contol. I have a good understanding of the behaviour of the bike so it must be the throttle. Since level 1, I have actually made some changes and perhaps more importantly, thought about what's going on. I have moved my weight further back when cornering (intelligently - dont' start!) and got lighter and more progressive on the throttle. What can I say? Stability has increased. In answer to Keith's question, I would say the bike would be happier with more gas. It keeps the back end from loading up which means that it doesn't have to decompress. Correct? However, I would also say that if you are going too fast when you should be adding gas then you went in too quick in the first place. You are already out of your comfort zone so it's going to be r e a l l y difficult to make a good decision when you brain is verging on panic - you are now in survival mode and that usually results in 'throttle off' when it should be 'throttle on'! Point to note is that you won't learn cornering techniques at the fast speeds. Fast speeds come from good cornering techinques. 'Horses in front of carts' spring to mind. As I say though, it would be nice to know how all of this has effected Sean... Thanks all Ft PS - nice to know that the powers that be are actually involved in our development. Makes me feel all warm and gooey.
  6. Eyes wide open, ears pinned back and learn. Just take it all as new information and corner with what and how they tell you. Good bunch. Ft
  7. I've had this twice before. First off was with too much body weight over the front which tore the trailing edge of the tread and the second was when I was using race compound tyres. I am mortal and they never warmed up enough. You get a thing called 'cold tear'. I am told that because the tyre doesn't warm up properly, the top layer gets loose and tears off. Maybe a drop to a tyre that is more in the direction of street and track would help. It's no reflection on your riding or speed, it's just that the tyres don't warm up enough. If it was a bridgestone, drop from a BT002 to a BT014. Or, as it's said in another post - change your tyres! Ft
  8. Are your springs standard? Could be too hard. Can't tell without getting them out. Maybe you go and get your forks serviced. That would be problem solved. Ft
  9. Try to search the internet and get a guide on setting the suspension on your bike. There are loads out there - written it up twice myself. There is probably even a thread on this site. There are only 3 things to adjust. Preload, rebound and damping. Preload on the forks goes to about 25 - 30mm with about the same on the back. If the track is bouncy, more to 30mm. If the track is as smooth as silk then go for 25mm. Rebound and compression adjust the rate of movement - up and down - and not the amount. That's preload. How you do it is all about getting some mates in, cable ties, sitting on the bike going 'brum brum', adjusting and testing. Ft
  10. Sean, I'm with you on this one. It is not a physical problem, nor is it a body positioning issue or a speed issue. If you are like me, it is a fear of low-siding. It's not knowing how far you can go without the bike falling in on you. When I got my bike, I got it on the strength of a test ride on the same make and model. The one I tested was brilliant. The one I got was a dog. I have struggled for years on the wrong handling charteristics, bad tyres, wrong pressures, incorrect suspension settings, wrong advice and it put me off. My conficence plumetted and I became a straight line rider. Corners scared the b'jeasus out of me. I went on an advanced riding course which taught me cornering differently to the CSS methods. This one was start to turn early, corner tightens and gets dangerous so turn (lean) a little more, corner tightens further, gets even more dangerous - lean a little more... So, as it gets dangerous and scary, lean the bike. Therefore, if you are leaning the bike it's going to be dangerous and scary - it's commutative. Does this sound familiar to you? I am reacting (negative response) to the situation where the bike needs to turn more because it is dangerous. Then I have to do it again - pretty much constantly throughout the corner. End result? Corners are dangerous and scary. It's a mental thing because if I walked around the corner, not scary. If I rode in on my bicycle - not scary. If I drove it in my car (and I drive like a stole it!) - not dangerous in the slightest. Put me on my 1000cc Yamaha and I need the big brown chalk for my undies. I've done level 1 and the whole idea of sitting more over the back wheel than the front (makes the bike feel light and twitchy) and going further than my comfort zone allows in scary. I understand and fully agree with what they are saying but i've had years of conditioning that says, in it's simplist form, "Leaning is the way to a scary and dangerous place". I need a lot of thinking time. For some people, the instructions go straight in and they progress really quickly. For me, things go in a little slower because I challenge them against what I know and believe to be true. What I need is more track time and better questions. Here's a question for you. What would it be like if you sat further back and went in a little slower? Remember that you sit further back so that you can get your arms in line with the pivot angle of the handlebars so that you can turn easier so what would it be like? Ft
  11. Hi J-mal Can't tell you about the body position as that is not my expertise - there are people here far better than I but I can offer some light on the tyres. What size wheel rim have you got? If you've got a 5.5 inch then you can't really go over a 180. You can squeeze a 190 section on but if anything, it has a negative effect. If you've got a 6 inch rim then you can go for 190 section tyres. 200 section? Why? Is this an asthetic selection? Does it make it look better? It won't go faster - my race can makes it go 'louder'... What is it that you want to achieve? What's your unit of measure? lap times? Straight line times? Looking mean? What success are you after? Why go no larger? Because by squeezing on a larger tyre, the tyre will deform to fit the rim. It will deform first in any weak spots and secondly, it will make the tyre profile peak and look pointy. And it gets too tense. As it was designed with a certain profile in mind and now you're changing it there is no real benefit 'cos the tyre wasn't designed to work that way. It can play a little mind trick on you thinking that if it's peakier then it must turn faster but it won't. Only you can turn the bike faster. Maybe relax your arms, slouch over the tank and turn the bars on their pivot point. That'll make it turn faster. Or maybe if it's a bigger tyre then I can go faster because I can get more power to the rear wheel because it's got a bigger contact patch but it isn't, it doesn't and you won't. If a tyre deforms on it's weak spots - and there is at least one somewhere, it's all a matter of degree - then you are not going to have a uniform tyre. It's going to bulge, it's going to have more flex in some places. Consistancy is the key. It will potentially slow down your turning speed as there is more rubber for the bike to get over. The more rubber there is then potentially, the more resistance to change and that means turning speed. There is a time when you want that resistance - it's called grip but we want to use it to our benefit, not put up with what we are given. Quick to turn and the right amount of grip when we get there. I want to say 'low resistance' and 'high resistance' but that is incorrect. It's about getting the 'right' amount of resistance. Too much and too little are both bad things. Go for the 'right' amount of grip. Thin tyres typically turn faster than fat ones. It's all about balance. Contact patch. If you want a bigger contact patch then lower your tyre pressures. it won't give you any more drive - your right hand does that bit so basically, the contact patch will pretty much remain the same. There isn't any real benefit to fitting a larger tyre than the one your bike was designed to go with. Finally, I fitted a 190 section onto my bike and i've got a 5.5 inch rim. It looks better. I took it to the track and got to about 2 mm from the edge of the tyre. Consistantly. I didn't go any lower, the bike didn't go any faster. The only thing preventing any changes - going lower, going faster, turning quicker etc was the size of my confidence. I don't think that the size of my tyre had much to do with it. And I'll be going back to a 180 section tyre when this one is done. Hope it helps! FT
  12. Or you could look at the thread before this one. I've written up how to set static sag with a rider - which I think is the best way because the bike has to deal with the bike and the rider in any event - the bike doesn't go 'round on it's own! Figures I use are 30mm, front and rear. If that figure goes down to say, 20mm, then the suspension will feel 'harder' because there is less distance for the suspension to travel. If the figure goes up to say 40mm, then the suspension will feel 'softer' because there is a greater distance to travel. Reading your post and maybe reading something into it, the damping and rebound settings come after the sag settings. And, they won't effect the sag settings - that is purely preload. Compression and rebound effect the rate of movement, not the amount. Wind them out one way and the bike will go boing, boing, boing! Set them too far the other way and it goes ooh, ooh, ooh! It's all about balance. Ft
  13. I reckon that you sag settings are too tight to start with. And they are not 'static' sag settings either... I've always set the static sag with me on board - you need 2-3 helpers here. Set the preload to about 30mm front and rear. Use a cable tie on the front forks to show the maximum compression - with you on the bike, in your leathers going 'brum brum'. Then get off the bike, get a couple of mates to lift the bike so that the front wheel comes off the ground. Measure the distance between the oil seal and the cable tie. Set to about 30mm by using the preload adjustment. Do the same procedure with the rear shock. Make a cross with insulation tape directly above the rear spindle. Do the brum brum thing and measure the distance between the top of the spindle and the cross. On and off the bike should be again, 30mm Why? Because if you have to set the sag with your weight included otherwise the suspension won't have the travel and the tyres will start to do the suspensions job. Not good. When they have run out of ability it will feel all bouncy. Which is why it all feels bumpy. Compression and rebound are for the rate of movement and this is all down to how you like it to feel. Try winding the settings all the way out and going for a ride. The wind them all the way in and do it again. One will feel like wading through custard and the other will feel like stiletto's on metal plate. Don't ask me how I know, I just do! Get at it Ft
  14. Hello folks I've just had a great day at Silverstone. Didn't get my knee down but did get right to the edge of the tyre and learnt loads. Most of which is contrary to all that I had been taught previously. The BMF's Blue Riband course teaches that you should spend your time looking into a corner where this school teaches that the focus should be on the way out of the corner. Let me explain. What I used to do was find my place on the road and start my turn early. Lean the bike over a little bit and then as the road changed, lean it in a little bit more, then a little bit more, then a little bit more... Consider that I was on a Yamaha Thunderace that had ###### tyres - Dunlop D207 Sportmax - wrong pressures, wrong suspension settings and wrong application - can you see why I developed a fear of low-siding? Correcting to go lower and lower is not a good thing. Shouldn't need to correct that way - because you started too early - anyway. So, I'm dead chuffed doing quick turns, late into the corner, power on, stable bike. I've always been confident on my bike - it's a great road bike - but this course was challenging my beliefs rather than giving me brand new ones. Most of the old beliefs have been thrown out and replaced with these brand new ones - which is cool - so all I have to do now is deal with the 6 years of conditioning. Top marks to Andy Ibbot who made the classroom a great place to be. I only realised later that he had two other courses on the go at the same time and he flipped between each lesson with great ease. Andy - you are such a good teacher. The lads on the track are good as well. I thought that I was shifting when i'd get zapped by a blue leather clad loony. Inspirational to watch. Scary, but inspirational, as you zoomed off into the distance... Now where can I get myself some cheap track time... Thanks all FT
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