Jump to content

andy cunningham

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About andy cunningham

  • Birthday 03/23/1982

Previous Fields

  • Have you attended a California Superbike School school?
    I hope to soon, but it will mean a trans-atlantic flight!

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • ICQ

Profile Information

  • Location
    Nottinghamshire, UK
  • Interests
    Racing, Racing, Racing, Winning (one day) and some water sports. Did I mention racing?

andy cunningham's Achievements


Newbie (1/14)



  1. FAST AS HELL!!!!! I'd personally treat it as any other corner out there, slightly roll onto the gas before you get to the apex and maybe drive out slightly slower (possible negative camber, depending on the bends you have). Also, you wouldn't need to place so much weight over the front, so you could comfortably afford a higher riding position and better visibility. You could also try a different line to the corner to give you something different to compare with your previous attempts. Try going in wide and cutting across the corner, as if you were going for max drive out of the bend. See how it compares, whether it's better or not than your previos line, you'll know which way to go towards improvement. PS: I can't say I've really ridden many downhill corners, but the above is what I remember doing on the few I have ridden. Hope it helps.
  2. For camera shots looking back at the rider from the cockpit, try purchasing the 2005 Isle of Man TT video from Duke Video. However, this is bolted to the bike, so leans with it. Watch some MotoGP footage, (Try www.MotoGP.com) there are numerous camera angles on there, off the back, offf the front, near the wheel, the rider's face, following bike, etc, but again, all lean with the bikes. As for following, non-leaning cameras like they were bolted to a car; apart from inventing some new fangled technology to make the camera stay upright or being trailed by a formula one car, nothing doing I'm afriad, not that I know of anyway!
  3. Hmmm, I use tyre warmers and get 3 days out of Slicks. If I used super sticky road tyres, like the new Dunlop Qualifiers, I'd probably still get 3 days out of them, but might then be able to use them for a short while on the road bike. The difference in price is not that much, so I might as well go for the Slicks and have the best grip I can get. Just as a quick additional thought: Slicks can also perform better in the damp and cold than any super sticky road tyre. My Bridgestone guy recommends Slicks over Intermediates in the damp! Cut Slicks if conditions get worse, standing water = time to go to Full Wets. Last Sunday (26th March) was the first round of the British Superbike Championship. In the second race it was persisting it down with rain. The guy who won the race was the only one to be using full wets. (it was raning, but it wasn't absolutly soaking wet and there was no standing water), everyone else had gambled on intermediates, just in case it got slightly dryer. Gregorio Lavilla went out on Slicks! He came fourth I believe! Held his position through the whole race! It goes to show, super sticky tyres that run hot are better than not so sticky tyres that run cooler when on a cold track. Due to the water on the track being only a surface coating, the tyre profile will push any water aside, you don't really need any tread. So go for the stickyest tyre you have!
  4. Holy Hell! I'd have thought they'd have run out of tread before thatmany days of use, let alone the whole heat cycle concept! Maybe it was your warmer climate, they never cooled down!
  5. I like the comment about using your knees and teighs to lock into the tank when moving the body around. It made me realise that I was doing this just the other day. I tried using my knees to lock on when changing from one side to the next and it worked. It kept my hands loose on the bars (much the same as braking) and it also felt like it was ever-so-slightly helping to pull the bike over to the other side as well. Basically, it felt good and gave me more confidence. As itwas also a road bike standard seat I was on, it was quite slippery once unloaded, so I onlyhad to apply minimal pressure to the balls of my feet and then simply slide over to the side. On my race bike, I tend to go up and over letting my teigh grip the tank. One other thing I noticed was tht I have started keeping my outside knee locked into the tank until I'm at 40 degrees of lean, then letting it hang out. This really helps with keeping steady on the bike whilst braking and tipping in. your lower back does take a pounding, but it's well worth it. More time in the gym for me! For all of you practicing on paddock stands, beware, they can still topple over! lol
  6. Good point. If you come from the brakes sraight to a fair bit of power on a very tight line and alot of lean angle it could lead to pushing the front. What I meant by once on the gas the front can't wash, is where you have started getting the bike more upright, even if only slightly and then give it the gas, as the front wheel is often only taking say 20% of the bike load. When you are turning tight, you need both tyres on the floor, push one sideways and the rear will follow. Same as a front wheel drive car when the wheels slip, the rear follows.
  7. Just a quick one with reagrd to the perception of steering a bike. There are three things here refered to in thi thread as steering: 1) Steering with the rear 2) Counter Steering 3) Sliding/Spinning Up Spinning the rear wheel or sliding the front can be used as steering if your good enough. No denial! Counter steering is the only other way of doing it without sliding a tyre! Steering with the rear seems to me a bit more of a vauge description of something else. Once the bike is leant over I feel there is no longer any steering involved until you need to make correction or exit the corner. The bike is leant over and on a set radius. The wheels are pointing where the bike is going and nothing has to be done. The bike would go round in circles until it ran out of fuel. No steering. It's riding a straight line but with a side-swipe of gravity thrown in for good measure. Once you are on the gas (straight after initial turning in) the rear of the tyre should have somewhere around 60% of the tyre grip. After all, that's why it's a larger tyre! More weight is on the back wheel. If you open the throttle and get the front off the floor, then 98% of the weight is on the rear wheel with 2% being supported by win blast, maybe. The rear isn't steering, it is simply following it's pre-selected path. It is on the side wall and is affectively going in a straight line. The curvature of the tyre and gravity keeps the bike going round in circles! No steering here. Once your on the gas, you can slide or countersteer out of the corner. Therefore, with regard to front wash-out, I can only for see it happening when you are decelerating at any point of the track, or when you are cornering with the 60/40% weight bias to the rear wheel and you hit a reduced traction surface, say oil. (or rain if your pushing hard) If it is mid corner, it can be 50/50 as to whether the front or rear lets go, depending on what you are doing with the controls. I don't think you can really have a front wash-out once on the gas or when settled into the corner without the aid of oil, but the rear would let go as well! (Having more weight on it!) Just my two cents worth!
  8. Just a quick addition for you guys, which proves that you really do not have to clamp onto the bars even the slightest bit to ride a bike on track at speed. Not sure if many of you have seen this pictures before, but basically, due to a nasty accident, this chap lost the use of his left arm completely. Therfore it is tucked inside his leathers. As you can see, he's clamping on and doing quite well:
  9. I have noticed there are alot of different thought pattern going on in this thread and many different area's of riding style and C of G being investigated. There are amny arguments about high and low body positions giving more or less lean angle, but try hanging off one side of the bike in all the varying positions when it's upright and going straight, you'll soon notice the bike is leaning the other way. Proof enough for me! the more you get off the side, the less lean angle you eat into. As for sitting high or low when hanging off, I believe it only affects vision and helps control your fear of being too close to the ground, hence pushing your SR's back yet further. Some folks say sitting higher when hanging off and therefore raising the CofG helps turn the bike quicker and gives you less lean andgle, but if this is true, it has to be such a small amount of change it would hardly be worth investigating or practicing! The picture above are interesting too. Again, hard to see motion in a picture, or whether the rider is racing, practicing or just having a laugh, but there are some key points to note: The guys riding crossed up have the butt checks so far off the seat, if they had their body parallel to the bike, they'd slip off. As mentioned by Cobie above, they'd end up clamping onto the bars, not good. There is only so far you can get off the side of a bike before you have to compromise your position. Each rider has their own style. There is a link to a picture of Rossi further up the thread. His body position is what I believe to be spot on. He isn't crossed up at all. He's hanging off just the right amount, not too little, not too much, he has a good lock on the bike. His upper body is parallel to the bike, not twisted at all, but he is sitting tall, possibly making his position appear crossed up. Rossi's position would be the most favourable for several reasons. Better visibility over a larger area. More confidence due to his head being further away from the ground. greater wind loading on his chest, possibly holding him up alittle, as if he were clamping onto the wind for stability. This is a shot of me racing a honda CB500. As can be seen here, I am hanging roughly parallel to the bike, but with my upper body high. this is partly because the track temperature was 1 degree C and I was nervous about binning it (wasn't my bike) and also because I was still getting used to the bike. but visibility was never a problem, neither was ground clearance, as can be seen by the rear brake lever, in stock position. Another quicky: As can be seen here, I'm riding a Suzuki TL1000R on a track day and scrubbing the tyres in. The body is parallel with the bike and ever-so-slightly lowered. If I were racing, I would no doubt lower the upper body a slight amount and get lower as I got on the gas. but fundamentally it's all there! Something to note with Rossi's position, is when he gets on the gas hard and leaves a corner, his upper body gets very low. He stays parallel with the bike but gets down, therefore pushing the bike slightly more upright and obtaining more tyre grip. he then starts to bring his head in, behind the screen as the bike is nearly vertical again but leaves his butt hanging in the wind until the cornering is over and he's on the straight, where any sudden moves would not compromise on grip. Last point from me today: The shots of riders above with their chest accross the bike. I believe there is actually a gap between their chest and the bike and that if anything, they are holding onto the outside of the tank with the inside of their elbow. Having my chest on the bike during cornering makes me feel that I have no room for adjustment. An elbow can really assist with clamping on. however, this does not nesesarily mean you putting lots of weight on the front wheel. With your chest, you would be. An elbow become preferential again, due to lack of weight implications. If anything, you are helping to pull the bike over and hold it down! I wonder what questions this reply will through up? lol
  10. My first observation here: Different bikes require different riding styles and my second: Different riders prefer ever varying riding styles. Superdave88: Superbikes have more or less regular seat and bar heights, as they have to be homologations of the road bikes they are based on. that said, GP bikes are very much the same heights, therefore proving the manufacturers have it right for supersports bikes. Footpegs are raised from standard road position for track racing on all but the strictest one make racing series. This is to increase available ground clearance when leaning the bike over on the track. Regular supersports road machines are built slightly lower for comfort on long runs and for Joe Public. If you have ever sat on a real race bike or a road bike modified as such, you'll get leg ache after an hour. Footpegs do assist in using the whole body as a steering lever, but I think that's too technical for this question and a bit off subject. The idea of a lower centre of gravity providing quicker turning is true, you can't beat it. It is a basic lever effect. (Lesson in physics there!) If you are really on the pace on a track day and the bike is being riding to within a millimeter of loosing traction completely, then you need as low a centre of gravity in corners as possible, to reduce stresses on your tyres. Hanging from the inside of the bike helps to get you body weight lower and (more importantly) closer to the centre of radius of the turn. This really does help, trust me! For example, go to an Ice Rink somewhere and watch some pro Speed Skaters. Watch their body stance in the corners. They lean so far over that they drag their inside hand on the ice. (to gauge their lean angle, much the same as sticking your kneeout on the track) In comparrison to bikes, they could try leaning the blades but no leaning with their bodies. I can assure you they would have to go alot slower to stay upright. They lean their bodies right over to get a lower centre of gravity and to get the majority of their weight closer to the inside of the turn, to allow gravity to slightly assist in getting them round the corner quicker. The same rules apply for bikes. Why do you think a MotoGP star has never tried sitting up more or using upright bars during a race in modern history? Having higher bars and staying more upright (keeping a higher centre of gravity) in the corners will give you much more confidence in the twisties, I won't deny that. I used to ride a Honda Hornet CB600 and it was very reasuring. I found it to be the same on a Yamaha FZ600 Fazer. This is because you have a wider bar to lever the front wheel with, giving you easier control over steering. The high position keeps you further from the floor, assisting with nerves and the natural desire to stay alive. Waynedunham: I believe, from what you have said below, that you were slightly un-nerving your instructor with your hanging off style, possibly not something you do naturally on the street? Basically, by telling you to stay more upright and focus on the corners and set up (in slow out fast), you lost several seconds per lap. You learnt something very important there - Keep it simple! By cutting out all the effort and work of hanging off and trying to sort everything else out as you approach a corner, you were able to focus all your thoughts and feelings on the deceleration, down shifting and cornering itself, therefore becoming much more relaxed on the bike. This helped you get round quicker. Now, enter Mr Valentino Rossi on your bike at the CSS. He hangs off on every corner. Assuming he has set a few control laps at speed, you tell him to stop hanging off and keep himself mostly centred around the seat and try to keep his lap times the same. Imagine what would happen. He would probably be seen braking very harsh into corners, back wheel sliding and bobbing off the floor every where. He would be seen carrying huge amounts of lean angle into and through corners and getting so hard on the gas that the bike would be spinning up everywhere. His lap times would also be slower, "for sure"! Racing has proven that lower, shorter bars provide better front end loading, better aerodynamics and better riding position. (for racing at least). The relatively high seats (in comparrision to the bars) assist in getting weight over the front and allow the rider better feel for what the rear tyre is doing. The high footpegs are for ground clearance more than anything. Racers hang off for a lower centre of gravity. Proven fact I'm afriad! Just as a quick sum up: Everyone rides differently. High bars and higher centre of gravity makes cornering better and quicker for some (less to think about) but not for others. I personally get a feeling of running wide and imminent death if I don't hang off my bikes. Racing has proved that when really pushing a bike and tyres to the limits, hanging off and lowering the centre of gravity, as well as low bars and high footpegs is definitely the way to go for faster lap times. One last fly to throw into the ointment - Supermoto bikes! I recently watched them compete on the track against Aprilia RSV1000's, CBR600RR's and a ZX10R Kawasaki. The Supermoto's were right at the front and came first and third. The riders of the supermotos stayed upright in the seat and leant off the wrong way whilst the supersports riders hung off. Does this mean they have it right or does it mean they have different machines which require different riding styles? You see, this is an endless debate if you are not considering different styles of bikes. Not neccessarily saying anyone in here was, I just decided to go for it on this one and write down all my feelings, with some of the more complex Physics left out. lol Hope I didn't bore any of you too much?!
  11. I see where you are going, but your not quite there. Basically, holding the throttle constant during a turn will leave the contact patch at around 40/60%. If you were coasting through the turn, you would have closer to 50/50%, as the deceleration without brakes would be compensated by the suspension. When accelerating, the more you open the throttle the more the bias of weight to the rear tyre and opposite way around on the brakes, but holding constant throttle should not be seen as the mid-way point of the equation. The very middle point (50/50%) would be where the throttle is at zero but engine braking isn't involved (as this could be seen as negative throttle). Basically, somewhere between throttle off and coasting. Image coasting without friction of wind slowing you down! that's 50/50%! With the throttle holding constant speed, I believe you are at no less than 45/55%, as the motor is always pushing you forward, hence the motive power is always at the rear wheel. Again, suspension comes into play, but I wouldn't worry about being at 50/50% on constant throttle positioning. Hope that helped?
  12. Cheers! Yeah, the fast guys at the front all run on super sticky slicks of varying compounds. Dunlops seem to be the favourite, but I prefer the Bridgestones with a higher profile, to help the bike flick a lot quicker. Most of them get through a set or two per day and at two day rounds that gets expensive! I'll be sticking to two heat cycles and then one practice session on them, possibly with some cuts in to generate extra heat, but that's it, no more fun on those. Basically, my bike really takes it out on tyres, eats them for breakfast before I even wake up! I would love to run super-sticky race compound treaded tyres that last longer, but I simply can't afford the loss of traction that would occur, especially when braking hard up the inside of a ducati on a mission! Iam lucky in that I managed to haggle with the main tyre dealer in the paddock who deals with Bridgestone direct and I got an absolut cracker of a deal. As long as I put Bridgestone stickeres around the bike in prominant places and wear my Bridgestone baseball cap for any photos or at podium time, then they'll provide me with any compound slick tyres, fitted to the bike and hand cut for the track/conditions, all for 2/3rds of the price! Bonus! and that it still ?210GBP. ($375USD) This includes full wets as well, but they'll only really last two races, irrelevant of heat cycles or wear, they just seem to stop working?! No intermediates for me, just hand cut slicks for damp or cold conditions! Still, I have plenty of spare wheels for last minute change of mind!
  13. I found this quite funny with regard to this article. I appreciate motion doesn't get captured by cameras and also under stand that some riders grip with their thighs rather than the knee, but I also wondered how they grip like this and still stay on the bike! Then I noticed this picture of me at Snetterton in the UK on my Suzuki TL1000R Race Bike: It appears that sometimes I hang off, gripping with my Thigh and not my knee. Maybe I was moving still, but who knows. Ok, so I've not got alot of lean on the go in this shot, I think it was taken whilst I was scrubbing in some new slicks, but it made me laugh!
  14. When you say 'Full Race' Compund, I take it you mean still road legal, with tread? With my Slick tyres, I've been told by Bridgestone that I can get away with three, possibly four heat cycles, but then I should throw them away. They turn very hard and offer not alot of grip after three cycles.
  15. Bloody Hell! Major Head Job! Do I now have to take a scientific calculator out with me on the track, bolted to the handle bars and work out all of the above? You guys have been thinking about this just a little too much. There is theory and there is explaination, then there is the N'th degree, a Masters Degree no less! I'm not really sure why the maths of it all has ended up in here? I know it doesn't assist my riding in any way knowing that m*g*x=Big Balls of Steel! I'll just get out there using the techniques Keith has provided in his books and figure out my style of racing. (Plus get on some of the courses! ) I wonder if you lot are spending too much time on line and not enough time in the garage maintaining and looking after your bikes? 'm not having a dig at anyone, I just thought this was massively over the top for riding advice. Too heavy for me, that's for sure!
  • Create New...