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Confidence - Or Lack Of


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I really only do trackdays - apart from the occasional mooch about on a supermoto round the lanes. I do between 12 & 17 per season - work permitting.

Track bikes are an NC30 vfr400 & ZX6R. The NC is sooooo easy to ride.

I'm not & never have been the fastest on track - about half way up the intermediates is where I am at - or was until a few offs in quick succession have really dented my confidence & ability. Now I find I am seemingly going backward - have gone back to the novices - so no pressure - but still finding it v difficult to get back to where I was. It used to be knee-sliders ground to dust everywhere & now I am lucky if I can get my knee down at all; not only that - but it is as if I am waiting to fall of ( again !! ). I know that this is all in my head & I am additionally now tending to be all "stop & go". The stuff not directly related to cornering ie outbraking others & just nailing it on the straights - I am still Sh*t-hot (ha ha). Seriously - the cornering thing has gone from being my very best assest/attribute to a chore. I've gone back to basics, had tuition & can follow the instructor round, but when I am back on my own - it's a different story. :(:(

So....... any ideas ? anybody else had this ?

many thanks in hope. Ian.

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I really only do trackdays - apart from the occasional mooch about on a supermoto round the lanes. I do between 12 & 17 per season - work permitting.

Track bikes are an NC30 vfr400 & ZX6R. The NC is sooooo easy to ride.

I'm not & never have been the fastest on track - about half way up the intermediates is where I am at - or was until a few offs in quick succession have really dented my confidence & ability. Now I find I am seemingly going backward - have gone back to the novices - so no pressure - but still finding it v difficult to get back to where I was. It used to be knee-sliders ground to dust everywhere & now I am lucky if I can get my knee down at all; not only that - but it is as if I am waiting to fall of ( again !! ). I know that this is all in my head & I am additionally now tending to be all "stop & go". The stuff not directly related to cornering ie outbraking others & just nailing it on the straights - I am still Sh*t-hot (ha ha). Seriously - the cornering thing has gone from being my very best assest/attribute to a chore. I've gone back to basics, had tuition & can follow the instructor round, but when I am back on my own - it's a different story. :(:(

So....... any ideas ? anybody else had this ?

many thanks in hope. Ian.

 

Hey Doc..

I can empathize...and I am not at ur lvl ..so take this as you may...just giving you my experience..some of which is outside of the MC riding thing..but still applicable i think..

My question would be..how much "formal" riding training have you had..either school or "real individual coaching"..Sometimes I think, when things are going bad, you need a basic skill and drill set to be able to fall back on to get back to where you need to be. And even if you have that skill set, it may take an outside force to' see what needs to be done and to find the path to work it out. I think just following someone around..although ok...may not be what you really need.. My experience with track day coaching has been marginal at best (well intentioned but always seems to fall short)...maybe some really good back to basic formal coaching (like a reputable school) to get you back on track (no pun intended...lol) and get you some of your confidence back is what you may need. That kind of stuff has helped me progress when I thought I couldn't (and not just with MC riding)

anyway...just my thoughts...hope you work it out!!!!

 

Steve d

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We had a discussion about this not too long ago on this forum. I can't say I've had problems getting back up to speed after a wreck when I've had a wreck, because it's usually late in the day, or I've done something stupid, and know what I did.

The important thing is to understand what caused the accident, and adjust. A friend of mine, who races in Arroyo Seca, NM, had a problem with highsiding in a particular corner. I just ended up slowing down. But one day, when he checked the track, he noticed an elevation change that he never knew existed. He adjusted his throttle control and line, and hasn't wrecked there in months to my knowledge. I know for sure that he hasn't highsided there again.

If it's in random places, it's your riding. If it's one turn, go back and check the track out. It may be different than what you think it is. I wrecked once in a turn, and when I actually paid attention to the track, noticed it is an increasing radius turn, and have actually improved my time around that track since paying attention to the track and adjusting accordingly.

But slowing down and not trying to correct the problem works just as well (that's sarcasm).

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Thanks guys - jailbird has it in one....... ie I know what to do but have trouble applying it (where I didn't used to). It seems there are way too many things to do at once, which at one time were ingrained & "automatic". It does not "flow" any longer. The worst is that I'm not looking thru the corner early enough, but by the time this glorious revelation has dawned on me the day is over.

Relax, light touch, braking markers, turn-points, countersteer hard, etc etc. = so much stuff: so little time ! I have no problem asking for help & going back to novice but actually applying it all where needed is the crux I think. Maybe a sports psychologist would be more appropriate !! durr.

 

Hubbard - I've had no probs in the past jumping back on when I knew what the problem was (cold tyres + muppett = slow lowside & no pain). My other recent ones were - the rh peg swung round while I was at full lean and it hurt = broken collarbone/busted knee (could've sworn it was tight - obviously not) and #2 =got some boots re-soled @ the high street = NOT a good idea; resoled with teflon I reckon = foot off the OTHER peg & grasstracking @ full lean = painful again, but nothing broken. Hasn't happened since I binned them & got some nice new boots with rubber on the soles !

 

Steve - I get instruction whenever I can & when I feel I need it - skiing, biking. Some instructors I agree are a waste of time, but the last guy was really great - Jonny B @ N/L - patient - & he correctly identified my errors: the problem is that I know what I'm doing wrong & I can tackle one thing at a time, but relearning so many things within the space of a trackday's riding seems impossible - as soon as I get one thing sorted, the others go out the window. It may just be that @ 54 I'm too old & befuddled now :blink:

Anymore input very much appreciated guys. Thanks. ian

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Thanks guys - jailbird has it in one....... ie I know what to do but have trouble applying it (where I didn't used to). It seems there are way too many things to do at once, which at one time were ingrained & "automatic". It does not "flow" any longer. The worst is that I'm not looking thru the corner early enough, but by the time this glorious revelation has dawned on me the day is over.

Relax, light touch, braking markers, turn-points, countersteer hard, etc etc. = so much stuff: so little time ! I have no problem asking for help & going back to novice but actually applying it all where needed is the crux I think. Maybe a sports psychologist would be more appropriate !! durr.

 

Hubbard - I've had no probs in the past jumping back on when I knew what the problem was (cold tyres + muppett = slow lowside & no pain). My other recent ones were - the rh peg swung round while I was at full lean and it hurt = broken collarbone/busted knee (could've sworn it was tight - obviously not) and #2 =got some boots re-soled @ the high street = NOT a good idea; resoled with teflon I reckon = foot off the OTHER peg & grasstracking @ full lean = painful again, but nothing broken. Hasn't happened since I binned them & got some nice new boots with rubber on the soles !

 

Steve - I get instruction whenever I can & when I feel I need it - skiing, biking. Some instructors I agree are a waste of time, but the last guy was really great - Jonny B @ N/L - patient - & he correctly identified my errors: the problem is that I know what I'm doing wrong & I can tackle one thing at a time, but relearning so many things within the space of a trackday's riding seems impossible - as soon as I get one thing sorted, the others go out the window. It may just be that @ 54 I'm too old & befuddled now :blink:

Anymore input very much appreciated guys. Thanks. ian

 

This is as much an observation as well as a suggested solution: You're not having fun anymore. :rolleyes:

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I had a big fall in 06 and had big problems getting back anbd fully enjoying racing. For me the big problem I think came from not knowing what caused me to crash (I was KO and had no memory). I tried forcing making myself fast but no joy.

 

I went back to the school (uk) and level 4 really helped me understand what I was doing wrong after the crash. 2 years later I made a big leep thanks to the UK guys, a very simple thing like I was getting on the throttle way to early in some corners trying to make up for low corner entry speed.

 

That was enough to build my convidence and start to get back to where I was, I now find for the first session on a track I do the very simple basics. Throttte control, finding RP's then add the speed for the second session :lol:

 

Now when I dont feel confitent or have problems on track as soon as I come back in I sit and think about what I was doing wrong, its always the basics stuff from level 1 and 2.

 

Back for level 4 again this weekend, cant wait :P

 

doog

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Hey Documented,

I since a degree of frustration in your post. And it sounds as though you were enjoying riding or you wouldn't have been grinding the knee sliders down. But from what I read, two of the incidents that occured were not due to riding error but equipment problems? Regardless of what happened, at our age it hurts like hell when we fall down and takes forever to heal. I'm with you brother. You need a plan to get your confidence back but right now you don't have one. Don't get me wrong I'm not trying to be critical just giving my two cents worth. I have a plan everytime I get on the track. I have mentioned this before but believe me the older we get the harder it is to be on our game 100% of the time especially the faster we go. There is nothing better for me than riding as fast as I can but.....UNDER CONTROL.

You need goals, a plan, and a good approach to attack your problem. Success may take more than one or two track days. Once you sit back and do some serious evaluation you will find the answers. I'm with you man.

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Ian,

 

I know this can get complicated, really. 1st thing, lets see if we can sort out the details of what happened. Which crash has your attention the most, and being confused about what happened. Give us a short description, then we'll see if we can sort out what happened. We have been able to clear this up in the past, so start with a short description. Also, have you done one of our schools yet, and if so, up to what level? Only asking to know what you would have been exposed to.

 

Best,

Cobie

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Well, I can understand your feeling completely. I had a big crash a few years ago and I was never sure exactly what happened. As it happens, Cobie spend about two laps riding behind me, then procedded to tell me my biggest bad habit and what it could cause (and went on to describe exactly how I crashed; mystery explained!). Turns out I've been adding lean angle and throttle at the same time, and none of the other schools I've been to had happened to point that out to me.

 

Personally, (and this may sound cliche, but it really works for me) the one thing I've learned about getting quicker is... Stop trying to get quicker. I know when I go out and I feel off the pace, the worst thing I can do is TRY and go faster. If I focus on just being smooth and maybe pick one thing per session to work on, I find myself coming back up to pace.

 

And the amount you drag knee isn't a great indicator of your speed; I used to drag more when I rode crossed up than I do now.

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Turns out I've been adding lean angle and throttle at the same time, and none of the other schools I've been to had happened to point that out to me.

 

Exactly the same as my problem lol

 

This has been something that we really watch these days, lots of guys that are trying to pick up the pace can head in that direction.

 

CF

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Hi Guys - I'm really impressed with the quality of the replies here & the thought that you've all been putting in to help me with this - it's very much appreciated.

So to answer some of these recent questions -

Fossilfuel - right, right & right again - I need a plan - the fundamental problem though was that I didn't know where the basic errors lay in order to formulate a plan.

Jailbait - hmmm - yes, well observed = not much fun <_<

Cobie - no, I have never done any of the CSS - only read the books & got the vids. I would not be averse to doing them at all, but first I think I need to get right some of my more basic errors. BTW - I have since worked out where I have been going wrong, but more of that in a sec.

Dissident - I think I need your motto tattooed in reverse on my forehead so when I look in the mirror it will all make sense - ie, as soon as you stop Trying to go faster & ride better then, from past experience, the speed just naturally follows......... I know this, I just somehow need to remember to actually DO IT !

agreed - knee-draggin never made anyone faster - I just luurve the sound !

 

So...... Quiet house - no-one around - & re-played the "video" in my head of a couple of laps round cadwell....... jeez - I'm even making a hash of it in my head !

Revelations ! - my problems had very little to do with actually falling off - I just had nothing else to "pin it on".

the crux is that on corner entry I was concentrating on - (looking at :rolleyes: ) - the turn-in point to the exclusion of all else & not looking thru the corner early enough or far enough ahead - leading to a sort-of domino effect then of not countersteering hard enough/fast enough & "Too late on the gas" .

It's amazing how one simple error multiplies all the rest. Looking back on how I used to ride the same track until very recently, I can see straight away where I am now going wrong....... and sure enough, trying to ride faster isn't helping at all.

The mystery for me is that it was all-so-obvious (in hindsight) - - - great thing, 20:20 hindsight.

 

Thanks again guys & if you have any further comments on my analysis of things, I'd be glad to hear them.

Ian.

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Thanks again guys & if you have any further comments on my analysis of things, I'd be glad to hear them.

Ian.

 

Comments: yes- How about the fact that I'm a Male over 21 and keep it moral, ethical and Legal ;) (LOL) Glad you figured out your issues.

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Hi Guys - I'm really impressed with the quality of the replies here & the thought that you've all been putting in to help me with this - it's very much appreciated.

So to answer some of these recent questions -

Fossilfuel - right, right & right again - I need a plan - the fundamental problem though was that I didn't know where the basic errors lay in order to formulate a plan.

Jailbait - hmmm - yes, well observed = not much fun <_<

Cobie - no, I have never done any of the CSS - only read the books & got the vids. I would not be averse to doing them at all, but first I think I need to get right some of my more basic errors. BTW - I have since worked out where I have been going wrong, but more of that in a sec.

Dissident - I think I need your motto tattooed in reverse on my forehead so when I look in the mirror it will all make sense - ie, as soon as you stop Trying to go faster & ride better then, from past experience, the speed just naturally follows......... I know this, I just somehow need to remember to actually DO IT !

agreed - knee-draggin never made anyone faster - I just luurve the sound !

 

So...... Quiet house - no-one around - & re-played the "video" in my head of a couple of laps round cadwell....... jeez - I'm even making a hash of it in my head !

Revelations ! - my problems had very little to do with actually falling off - I just had nothing else to "pin it on".

the crux is that on corner entry I was concentrating on - (looking at :rolleyes: ) - the turn-in point to the exclusion of all else & not looking thru the corner early enough or far enough ahead - leading to a sort-of domino effect then of not countersteering hard enough/fast enough & "Too late on the gas" .

It's amazing how one simple error multiplies all the rest. Looking back on how I used to ride the same track until very recently, I can see straight away where I am now going wrong....... and sure enough, trying to ride faster isn't helping at all.

The mystery for me is that it was all-so-obvious (in hindsight) - - - great thing, 20:20 hindsight.

 

Thanks again guys & if you have any further comments on my analysis of things, I'd be glad to hear them.

Ian.

 

Pretty good summary; it really is a domino effect. You find one simple thing you are doing wrong, and you start backing into how to change, and realize you end up changing almost everything! Like, Ok, this session, I'm going to work on turning quicker.

 

Done. Ooops, looks like I know have to change my entry point. That changes your speed, and your braking, and calls for further adjustment, and so on. And in the process of all that, you're likely to find something to change.

 

I usually try and pick one thing at a time to work on during a session, but I always take at least one session mid or late day to just go out there and focus on.. Just riding. Let what I've worked on sink in a little and just be smooth and ENJOY it! Sometimes I do this earlier if I feel like I'm having an "off day" and not being consistent and feeling like I'm getting everything wrong (which usually puts me at the point where my survival reactions kick in; it can really snowball from there)

 

I'll be honest; I had a bit of the "go slow to go fast" revelation while I was go-karting one time. There was one corner I JUST couldn't seem to figure out, then under a full course yellow, I was just going slow through the course, and instead of coming out of the the turn before at 100%, I cam in at maybe 70%, and suddenly figured out the corner before (and my exit from it) were what was keeping me from seeing the right line into that (much more important) corner before the straight (but that's another topic altogether; putting all the corners together at a track instead of treating each one individually...)

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Dissident - I think I need your motto tattooed in reverse on my forehead so when I look in the mirror it will all make sense - ie, as soon as you stop Trying to go faster & ride better then, from past experience, the speed just naturally follows......... I know this, I just somehow need to remember to actually DO IT !

 

One of my friends had one thing written on his bar pad on his supermoto during races (not sure why he was lookin down at it anyway, but..), and all it said was "RELAX!!"

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Just one question from my side.

 

DO you still enjoy/love riding the same way before you fell off?

 

I really only do trackdays - apart from the occasional mooch about on a supermoto round the lanes. I do between 12 & 17 per season - work permitting.

Track bikes are an NC30 vfr400 & ZX6R. The NC is sooooo easy to ride.

I'm not & never have been the fastest on track - about half way up the intermediates is where I am at - or was until a few offs in quick succession have really dented my confidence & ability. Now I find I am seemingly going backward - have gone back to the novices - so no pressure - but still finding it v difficult to get back to where I was. It used to be knee-sliders ground to dust everywhere & now I am lucky if I can get my knee down at all; not only that - but it is as if I am waiting to fall of ( again !! ). I know that this is all in my head & I am additionally now tending to be all "stop & go". The stuff not directly related to cornering ie outbraking others & just nailing it on the straights - I am still Sh*t-hot (ha ha). Seriously - the cornering thing has gone from being my very best assest/attribute to a chore. I've gone back to basics, had tuition & can follow the instructor round, but when I am back on my own - it's a different story. :(:(

So....... any ideas ? anybody else had this ?

many thanks in hope. Ian.

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Firebeast - well, lets put it this way - it had become a chore because I was doing it wrong - I just could not contemplate my life without biking....... after the missus, job, house, it's the biggest thing in my life.

BTW - just been out - like 20 mins ago - on the supermoto & on the road (so only giving it maybe 80%) & concentrating on looking thru the corners & Woah ! - what a difference !!

Gone from being a chore to, well, - you all know this - one of the best things EVER.

 

Dont know if its better than sex or drugs (cos I haven't tried ALL the drugs :lol: ..... only kidding) - but it really is up there with "the best things in life".

 

Looking thru the corner also requires correct road/track placement, which then seems to lead to consciously countersteering & correct turn-in point, on-the-gas etc etc....... so for me at least, one basic error & the whole lot came tumbling down.

Correcting the first error & the others seemed to almost take care of themselves.

Much happier now (about a billion percent !! ) & looking forward to my next track day next week.

Thanks to all for their advice. Ian

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Ian;

Looking back over your posts it seems that you made made a pretty big commitment to this sport by riding well over a dozen track events a year...maybe you need some real coaching to get your confidence back and your knee on the deck once again.

 

What many will attest to is that cornering a motorcycle at speed is not an intuitative experience. The two Twist of the Wrist books are all about utilizing specific techniques to counteract your intuition so that you can corner a motorcycle at speed - so my recommendation is to sign up for one of the UK's Schools (or the US if you're on this side of the pond). My insurance agent suggested that I do it years ago and I have returned numerous times for "continuing education". I know without any doubt that I could never have been able to learn how on my own and am willing to bet I am not alone in that regard.

 

Kevin

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I have to agree with Kevin on that!

2 years ago I had a midcorner lowside that completely destroyed my confidence, I then found this forum, bought the books, did my L1 last year and have never looked back! I am completely hooked on learning the techniques taught at the CSS and am booked in for my L2 and 3 for July, It not only helped me get my confidence back but I am now faster, smoother and safer than I was before my crash!

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Hi Kevin & Acebobby - CSS schooling would be my preferred option as well & I'm really not too proud to ask for help and I know that you sometimes come to cadwell, which is my favourite track.

I didn't think that I would bore everyone else on the forum with my own "issues" - but I have M.E. - otherwise known as CFS or yuppie flu.

I've had it since I was 32 & I'm 54 now. It most definitely is not a psychological ailment - it produces real physical problems.The big problem that this creates for me - as regards schooling -is that I dont know how I'm going to feel even in a few hours, so making appointments weeks in advance is a non-starter.

I do book most of my trackdays in advance - got another 9 booked already at cadwell - but if, on the day, I am just "not upto it" then it's no great loss - I've been on my way back home at 10.00am before now cos I felt I was just a liability (on that particular day, I would stress).

On a good day/average day, I'm just like everyone else.

I've met one guy at oulton park who still does trackdays who has no left arm & no left leg (night-time collision with an unlit skip), but he's still really good - so no point feeling sorry for myself - but, as far as I can see, organised schooling of any sort is a non-starter, unless you can tell me otherwise? I do often get instruction "on the day" - but by that time, I know how I'm feeling - ie Great/Middling/Crappy

 

all the best. ian

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Thats unfortunate documented!

I believe that the school is only running at 3 UK tracks this year Rockingham, Silverstone, and Brands! I do Rockingham due to distance but it maybe worth emailing the school to see if its possible to just turn up on the day!

 

If you dont have the twist books, get them, once you have read twist 1 and understand the basics, twist 2 is almost like a drill manual. Use it for your track days, pick something from the book to work on for each session instead of going out and trying to go fast, go at your own pace and work on your selected drills, its not as good as having the guidance of a qualified CSS instructor, but it may help a bit!

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Hi - yes, i have 2 books + 1 video, all of which are massively useful - full of stuff that you'd never learn in a million yrs otherwise; I still find that I have to read + re-read & watch the vid otherwise I miss little gems that are in there. cadwell - yeah - I just got a reply from andy ibbott & he said that they're not doing cadwell - pity, but I'll see what else I can organise on the CSS front - I love brands as well - but only been there half a dozen times as it's so far away - but that is a definite possible for this season as my brother lives close-ish.

thanks. ian

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Hi - yes, i have 2 books + 1 video, all of which are massively useful - full of stuff that you'd never learn in a million yrs otherwise; I still find that I have to read + re-read & watch the vid otherwise I miss little gems that are in there. cadwell - yeah - I just got a reply from andy ibbott & he said that they're not doing cadwell - pity, but I'll see what else I can organise on the CSS front - I love brands as well - but only been there half a dozen times as it's so far away - but that is a definite possible for this season as my brother lives close-ish.

thanks. ian

 

Ian,

 

Too bad on Cadwell, enjoyed that track. Brands is fun, would have loved to do the full track :)

 

CF

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