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New Kid On The Block


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Good day All!!!

 

I have been lurking on these forums as a guest for over a year now... I have bought and read (many times), Twist 1 & 2, Soft Science, even Total control by LeeParks, and Proficient Motorcycling by ???... Alot of reading, I know, but I like to get all the info I can before delving into something...

 

I really respect Mr Code and his instructors, and I cannot wait to do Level 1. No idea when and where, but I will get to Level 4 over the next few years...

 

I am 32 and have been riding a grand total of 10 months, only when I moved to England... I could not get the guts to ride in Trinidad where I am from, as the roads are quite dangerous there (potholes, crazy drivers, and not very much law enforcement on the roads RE: speed limits, etc...)

 

I am a safe rider on the streets, and track experience is limited... Rode to Germany to ride the infamous Nurburgring (first ever track I rode on), have since done a track day at Rockingham Raceway, and a Safer riding day at Cadwell Park with Hopp Rider Training... All on my 2003 CBR 600F.

 

After each of those days, my riding and confidence has improved drastically. I try to ride by feel, but with the knowledge I gained from the books. I try to two-step my vision, wide view, improve throttle control using rule #1, etc etc etc... I even had the privelege to talk to people who HAVE attended your school (Phil Hacker the Doc who races in an FJR series in UK) and he guided me with shoulder charging and pivot steering to help with my rights... My riding is still very upright body position wise, as my corner speeds are rather slow still, but I am working up slowly, as if I take a spill, I know that it will knock my confidence really badly. I prefer lefts, as my countersteering input is separate from my throttle hand. Rights are a bit "wobbly" at times, if you know what I mean... When they are, I quickly recall what went wrong and I already know the main causes = not looking far enough ahead and therefore not being smooth, my left arm is always rather stiff so I fight with the steering a bit, and the timing of my throttle application could use some work as well...

I am sure that my tyres getting a bit squared off also makes me fight the lean, as all of a sudden the bike feels like it "drops" into the corners nowadays...

 

 

Through all of this, I KNOW what I am supposed to do... I am working on keeping that information at the back of my mind, and trying to FEEL the bike more, as I already have the info in my head, but I believe that I need to not THINK as much and just DO.

 

However, there is one thing that I would like clarification on, though I know that every rider is a lil different...

That is, on approaching a corner, I usually, brake and downshift, til my speed is comfortable for me (read SLOW), make my steering input and then try to SLOWLY crack the throttle and get a good drive out of the corner. However at the Cadwell Park day, an instructor told us that we should crack the throttle BEFORE making the steering input. I am really trying to do so, but I guess that the old adage of Look, Lean, Roll is still in my head and therefore I steer (lean) before getting on the throttle (roll). I see that this is ok for on the streets, but I wonder if this may result in losing the front end when my speeds gradually rise... I find that getting on the throttle before the steering input makes me want to go wide, and I KNOW that that is because I need to lift my eyes more and look further ahead, and that it won't feel as though I am into the corner without having turned yet...

 

I really need to get to Level 2 (I think) and try the slide bike so that I can give it some stick leaned over and get a sense of how much throttle could really be applied before sliding or losing the rear... Without crashing my beautiful bike.

 

So, I ask... In general, is it advisable to crack the throttle BEFORE making a steering input??? Read this as 2 questions... one for street, one for track, that is if the answers to both are different...

 

Thanks for your time and input in advance...

 

Can't wait to use the bike to more of it's capabilities, and I know that the school is the real answer so I can practice practice practice!!!

 

Thank You.

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I am pretty sure you don't want to add throttle while adding lean angle. Obviously this really depends on the amount off lean angle and speed you are carrying. At slower speeds you can break all of the rules. But in general you want to make your steering input and get to the lean angle needed for the turn and speed and then get back on the throttle. Adding lean angle and throttle at the same time will put you on your head eventually and I am not sure why anyone would tell you to do that.

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I am pretty sure you don't want to add throttle while adding lean angle. Obviously this really depends on the amount off lean angle and speed you are carrying. At slower speeds you can break all of the rules. But in general you want to make your steering input and get to the lean angle needed for the turn and speed and then get back on the throttle. Adding lean angle and throttle at the same time will put you on your head eventually and I am not sure why anyone would tell you to do that.

 

 

Thanks, that's what I was thinking... I asked the guy like 5 times to clarify, as I was baffled by the timing he was suggesting.... I can see that at slow speeds it would be like just riding along, constant throttle and lean into a bend in the road, but for a real corner, the thought of being on the throttle BEFORE actually adding lean was going against my feelings as well as everything I have studied / read... I guess he was saying to crack the throttle, not really ADD a bunch of it, but it still feels uncertain to me, AND my bike!! I have tried it and even at slow speeds, the tendency is to go a bit wide and not hold a predictable tight line through OR I had to turn almost all of my attention to throttle control in order to steer with the throttle a lil more......

 

Gonna keep at it, and keep trying to get my rights as tight as my lefts!!! Damned stiff left arm I tell you!!!! Has a mind of its own!!! In Keith Code's article on lefts vs rights, he says to try to mirror the position from good side to bad side, and after reading that AGAIN yesterday, I realise that that left arm is bent but rigid, and I am not getting my head / shoulder / body over to the right enough to "go with the flow..." When I consciously apply that recommendation, the rights are even better than the lefts, but inconsistently... MUST. KEEP. PRACTISING!!!

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I think you got the whole throttle thing under control and know what to do now. I am still baffled, I am trying to figure out what the trackday instructor actually meant. Maybe he was trying to convey that you needed to be at neutral throttle and not completely off of the throttle. But I think being off throttle during the turn in and getting back on the throttle as soon as possible is the right procedure and that is what I remember from the school.

 

Luckily I don't have a left versus right issue. But I think you are on the right track with your resolution. At the last school I was having problems with 3 turns, and during the relaxation drill I realized I just couldn't relax in those turns. So I turned the problem around and determined what I was doing differently in the other turns that allowed me to relax. I found I tensed up so much in the 3 turns that I was having issues with that my body position was completely different when making the turn in versus the other turns. It really helped me out a great deal when I finally figured this out.

 

Good luck,

 

Shane

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