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Riding On The Track?


stuman
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Does riding on the track make you a better rider on the street? Or is the stuff you learn on the track only good in a closed course environment?

 

What I mean is, riders that do track days or schools certainly end up going a lot faster after a day or two on the track. Are they just learning the track?

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Does riding on the track make you a better rider on the street? Or is the stuff you learn on the track only good in a closed course environment?

 

What I mean is, riders that do track days or schools certainly end up going a lot faster after a day or two on the track. Are they just learning the track?

Stu;

Certainly some of it is getting to know the track but a larger part (IMHO) is the expansion of newly taught or newly refined riding skills that is responsible for the up tempo pace of an afternoon with the Superbike School.

 

Another aspect of it is the "safe" environment tracks provide where we can ride up to (and for some over) the limits of our ability with no concern about cars, cops, critters or cracks; oh yeah and at least two ambulances a bevy of corner workers and on track coaches keeping it all under control.

 

As for the Street, the track makes me a more confident street rider but I am more careful on the street now because of my time on the track. I have crashed on the track with really insignificant injuries but I am very frightened of the consequences of doing so on the street (guard rails, trees, cars, trucks, clifts, walls, deer, dogs...

...at least that's how I see it.

 

Kevin

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Does riding on the track make you a better rider on the street? Or is the stuff you learn on the track only good in a closed course environment?

 

What I mean is, riders that do track days or schools certainly end up going a lot faster after a day or two on the track. Are they just learning the track?

 

A school like CSS definitely makes you better on the street, the techniques to a certain degree are very usable in a street riding situation! Here in the UK the most common cause of crash involving another vehicle is cars pulling out of a junction, bike crashing into the side of them and if your lucky enough to survive you will hear the words, sorry mate I didn't see you! If you had the benifit of riding the braking rig you could avoid or lessen the impact in this situation!

The most common crashes not involving another vehicle is due to riders running wide at the exit of a turn and going off the road, now without going into detail we all know that CSS level 1 should pretty much cure that!

I also think that trackdays can improve your street riding from the point of repetition, doing the same set of corners over and over give you an idea of things like how far you can lean your bike, how hard you really can brake if you have to, and gaining trust in your tyres. things that are useful on the road but you may not practice them on the road!

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Stuman,

 

To answer your first question, yes riding on the track makes you a better rider on the street. There are numerous reasons, mainly that any amount of saddle time, track or street, adds to one's experiences for reference, anywhere. That's not to say we'd ride both track and street in the same style, just that saddle time, time with yourself and your bike, a bike, matters. You know what they say..."repetition is the mother of skill". For every mile I've rode in my lifetime, it has served as a reference of experience, good or bad, for what lay ahead. To me, this lifetime of cycling is an ongoing, endless journey of learning and striving for constant improvement. The improvements don't always come fast, or easy.

 

 

Secondly,IMHO, ofcourse the more laps I take on the same track, the more familiar, the more confident, the faster I'll become. Repetition. Repitition. Repitition.

 

my opinion,

john

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Stuman,

I think this is a good question, however the current discussion group (myself included) may be predisposed to biasing our answers toward the street.

 

I think the skills are complementary but there are many who choose one or the other for various reasons. Personally, I'd give up street riding if it weren't for the camaraderie aspects for I feel safer on the track, but I also feel safer on my streetbike than my super-safety optioned car.

 

I recall reading an interview of Jason DiSalvo who said that he'd never gotten an M endorsement on his driver's license. Someone gave him a bike to ride on the street and he said he promptly returned it, terrified.

 

The other issue is the way in which skill is measured. On the track, its measured by the stopwatch. On the street it measured by TSLI, Time Since Last Incident.

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I think it undoubtedly makes people better riders whether on the street, or on the track, to learn the limits of the bike, and improved handling. It doesn't make them any wiser though. Riding track doesn't teach distance one is riding from cars or where to position the bike in a lane under certain circumstances, death zones, and things of that nature. Braking is a wonderful knowledge people can learn on the track that helps.

I ride like a retard on the street more now than when I wasn't riding track. People I work with say I'm riding crazy, but I couldn't guess what I'm doing that scares them. I'm just riding as far as I know. And cars whipping by me, horns blaring, people skidding to avoid another car, or me, when they aren't paying attention doesn't even phase me anymore. I turn my head, make sure I'm not involved, and go on with my day.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Does riding on the track make you a better rider on the street? Or is the stuff you learn on the track only good in a closed course environment?

 

What I mean is, riders that do track days or schools certainly end up going a lot faster after a day or two on the track. Are they just learning the track?

 

Well just finished another track day...and did some more street riding and it seems no doubt that the track experience makes EVERYTHING better on the street...just fells so much more comfortable on the bike...body position...vision...braking..what inputs do to the bike..confidence...my limits...all of it....

And I am not just talking about CSS either...I think practicing on the track.."gently" pushing the limits in a controlled enviorment and continually refines the skills...just makes for a better rider...It is really hard to refine and extend what you learned at CSS on the street..it needs the tack to do that..

Does it mean I will be less likely to have an accident on the street...hummm...not sure...since so much goes into that...but I have to belive that the skill will help in pretty much any situation..hey pretty much everytime i have done CSS i have run the bike off the track..lol...but with the training..didn't panic and keep the bike up..

There is also a very big added benefit i think of riding the track...I have really no desire to go fast when street riding any more...

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Time on a track with no instruction would be better than none for sure.

 

Now Steve, it's OK to keep both tires on the track at all times :) We won't be upset with you if you do.

 

CF

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