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What Is 70%


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Everybody says it in one way or another, "Never ride at 100% on the street. Ride at 70% (or 80%) and save the rest for an unexpected contingency."

 

Well, if hanging off the bike in corners and exiting with smoking power slides is 100% on the track, what then is 100% on the street? Andy by extension, what is 70% or 80%? Also, is it 70% of my bike's ability, mine, or whichever comes first?

 

I took the first day's lesson and it has improved my riding a lot. :ph34r: I'm trying to practice my lessons, and I'm much more at ease and relaxed and I'm riding faster with less effort. :lol: On some technical, windy roads, today I felt the tires squirm a bit in a couple of corners, hmm. <_< But the ContiSport Attacks are very predictable and I didn't feel threatened and stayed on the throttle. Getting off my bike at the end of the ride, I noticed that my chicken strips are largely gone, plus the outer edges of the tires have started to rub off or "shred." :unsure:

 

On the ride, it seemed as though I would be able to stop within sight distance, and I had the time to look to the turn-in point and the apex and still scan for road debris, etc. So it doesn't seem to me that I was riding too hard, but the shredded tire says otherwise. Where was I on the continuum of 0-100%? Where should the safety margin be located? :( Turning as hard as I was, do you think I would have been able to bring the bike to a progressive stop within my 4 second sight distance?

 

Thanks for your help.

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How many G's of traction do Dunlop Qualifiers and comparable SuperSport Street tires have? 1.0 g's, 1.2 g's, or 1.4 g's?

 

If my tires have 1.2 g's of available traction on the street, and I'm turning with 1.0 g of force, how fast will .2 g's of remaining traction slow me down? Of course, as I'm slowing, the turning force is reduced, allowing more traction to be used for braking, and so on.

 

Thanks.

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Everybody says it in one way or another, "Never ride at 100% on the street. Ride at 70% (or 80%) and save the rest for an unexpected contingency."

 

Well, if hanging off the bike in corners and exiting with smoking power slides is 100% on the track, what then is 100% on the street? Andy by extension, what is 70% or 80%? Also, is it 70% of my bike's ability, mine, or whichever comes first?

 

.

 

I guess my question to you would be are you able to ride with power slides coming out of the corner, rear wheel steering? I'm thinking not, so essentially whilst thats maybe a motorbikes 100% potential, I'd say thats not yours. When considering this, you should be thinking whats my 100%, not the bike, and what's safe for the conditions. I'd suggest in most cases, your ability comes to an end before the bike, and you'll meet one of the survival reaction barriers such as too much throttle, or target fixation before you reach tyre and bike limitation on the roads.

I'd suggest that you don't worry about cornering G's of tyres, because I doubt anyone could really tell you a real figure, and even if they could, i doubt it would do you much good anyway as you'd have no reference for it anyway to tell when you were approaching it.

 

On the road, you need to have enough attention for road hazards, to be able to realistically stop in the distance you can see into, and be aware of your speed, road position and so on. Anymore than this, and you're probably getting into above your 70% I'd suggest.

 

I hope this provides with an answer that makes some sense for you?

 

Bullet

(UK Riding coach)

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On the road, you need to have enough attention for road hazards, to be able to realistically stop in the distance you can see into, and be aware of your speed, road position and so on. Anymore than this, and you're probably getting into above your 70% I'd suggest.

 

I hope this provides with an answer that makes some sense for you?

 

Bullet

(UK Riding coach)

 

Thanks, Bullet.

Standard Motorcycle Safety Foundation training suggests that 2 seconds interval is needed for stopping and reaction distance between moving vehicles, 4 seconds for road hazards. It occurred to me that this would be for a vehicle traveling in a straight line with 100% of tire traction available for braking. On my motorcycle while leaned over 40 degrees, for instance, there must be less traction for braking. Can someone please describe how best to determine braking limits?

 

Regarding cornering, Keith wrote about "bands of traction", implying that different signals sent from the tires indicate different limits of traction have been reached. It also implies different dynamics come into play. There must be similar bands of traction in braking, each with its own telltale signals. Without prying any secrets from future lessons, to which I am looking forward, my question is, "If I ride with my tires just on the verge of squirming, with me sitting bolt upright without hanging off, what percentage of traction do I have available for braking?" How do I know when I've reached the limit for the traction available?

 

Thanks.

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Andy,

 

Your posts are well written and exciting and I'm going to sit back and watch and learn as this thread evolves. However I would like to offer a little story and perhaps add another consideration to your 70% question.

 

About 2 years ago, I went out for a ride. Typical day, nice weather, unlimited visibility, everything was perfect. I was well rested....nothing was amiss.

 

Some days I notice that for some reason, my bike feels more an extension of me than others. She turns, steers, brakes and just feels...silky smooth. This was such a day.

 

This particular day I had nowhere to be and decided to take it easy and just let things flow. I took a course that I don't normally take into the city (which I usually avoid anyhow), but somehow it just felt right, and I went in that direction.

 

I made a right turn onto the on-ramp for US-50W and it was just perfect. It's a downhill long sweeping turn with all the visibility you could ever want. I rolled on the throttle ever so gently and felt stability like I'd never felt before.

 

I got straightened up on 50 and was well inside my comfort zone and personal performance limits. I was in the Gardens of Bliss.

 

About 2 minutes later my rear-view mirror picks up the distinct red/blue flashes of the man of law, Maryland State Police. I knew that there was nothing amiss so I continued on my course as he closed distance. When it became clear that he was interested in me, I signaled with my hand and pulled to the side of the highway.

 

Standard conversation ensues, 'do you know why I pulled you over...'. I answered "no", having not a clue. His response:

 

'I got you on radar doing 100MPH entering the on-ramp!'

(That section of road is 50MPH speed limit)

 

I was speechless. I had no idea. I wasn't being aggressive or even trying to go fast, but I can usually tell when I've hit the ton! On top of that 100MPH on the on-ramp!!! I couldn't believe it.

 

He didn't give me a ticket (thankfully), but it could have went another way. He also told me that he was hoping that I'd attempt escape. He was looking for a chase.

 

I rode away, happy I didn't get a ticket, puzzled that I was doing 100 without knowing, and yet proud that my cornerspeed was so high and yet never sent an SR alarm.

 

I hope that you get my point...

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Hi Andy,

 

Your questions on tires and G forces could be addressed, but mabye another thread for that.

 

Regarding 70%: for sure this is subjective, the way one person vs another looks at what 100% would be a factor. Defining 70, 80, 90 and 100% would be one way to do this, and maybe separate them for street and track. 70% on the street is not 70% on the track.

 

Want to define them a little more precsely?

 

Best,

CF

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On the road, you need to have enough attention for road hazards, to be able to realistically stop in the distance you can see into, and be aware of your speed, road position and so on. Anymore than this, and you're probably getting into above your 70% I'd suggest.

 

I hope this provides with an answer that makes some sense for you?

 

Bullet

(UK Riding coach)

 

Thanks, Bullet.

Standard Motorcycle Safety Foundation training suggests that 2 seconds interval is needed for stopping and reaction distance between moving vehicles, 4 seconds for road hazards. It occurred to me that this would be for a vehicle traveling in a straight line with 100% of tire traction available for braking. On my motorcycle while leaned over 40 degrees, for instance, there must be less traction for braking. Can someone please describe how best to determine braking limits?

 

Regarding cornering, Keith wrote about "bands of traction", implying that different signals sent from the tires indicate different limits of traction have been reached. It also implies different dynamics come into play. There must be similar bands of traction in braking, each with its own telltale signals. Without prying any secrets from future lessons, to which I am looking forward, my question is, "If I ride with my tires just on the verge of squirming, with me sitting bolt upright without hanging off, what percentage of traction do I have available for braking?" How do I know when I've reached the limit for the traction available?

 

Thanks.

 

A bike does indeed have less available grip when leaned over, and in most situations on most bikes they have a tendency to stand up and want to run in a straight line when you brake in the turns, so it's to be avoided wherever possible, though clearly those kind of emergency moments you have to do what you have to do, though attempting to brake with the bike on a fatter part of the tyre will most definitely assist with traction.

 

As for your question, how do you know when you've reached the limit of braking power, well, we do have a drill and a bike rig for riders to be able to feel those sensations. Funnily enough it's called the brake rig and you get to ride it on level 3. It takes quite some effort to loose brake traction when on the brakes in all honesty, though poor application can cause it, i.e. too much too quickly, whereas smoother application and transition of the weight from both wheels onto the front is a much better application.

 

I'll leave it open for you to experience the sensation when you go on the brake rigbike, but essentially it's all about feeling and the sensations between brake lever, tyre, suspension and road surface and it's excpetionally variable dependant on these factors.

 

Make sense?

 

Bullet

(UK Riding Coach)

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A bike does indeed have less available grip when leaned over, and in most situations on most bikes they have a tendency to stand up and want to run in a straight line when you brake in the turns, so it's to be avoided wherever possible, though clearly those kind of emergency moments you have to do what you have to do, though attempting to brake with the bike on a fatter part of the tyre will most definitely assist with traction.

 

As for your question, how do you know when you've reached the limit of braking power, well, we do have a drill and a bike rig for riders to be able to feel those sensations. Funnily enough it's called the brake rig and you get to ride it on level 3. It takes quite some effort to loose brake traction when on the brakes in all honesty, though poor application can cause it, i.e. too much too quickly, whereas smoother application and transition of the weight from both wheels onto the front is a much better application.

 

I'll leave it open for you to experience the sensation when you go on the brake rigbike, but essentially it's all about feeling and the sensations between brake lever, tyre, suspension and road surface and it's excpetionally variable dependant on these factors.

 

Make sense?

 

Bullet

(UK Riding Coach)

 

Hi Bullet,

 

Yes, what you say makes sense. But what I see doesn't...With the pointy profile of Continental Sport Attack tires, the contact patch seems larger when leaned far over than when standing up. But the traction is stressed to the limit already with cornering loads. Also the compound is softer on the sides, which explains the sides being shredded. Upon closer examination, the rear tire's tread seems worn on the trailing side, as if it was shredded from trail braking rather than from driving out or power sliding. Makes sense, since I ride a Ninja 650R with 68 horsepower--not enough power to inadvertently shred tires--and I have on occasion been forced to brake while leaned over.

 

To find what it feels like to brake at the limit, I practiced in dirt, at first, and then in a paved parking lot. My front chatters in the dirt, but doesn't seem to do that on asphalt. With the old tires, which were more slippery, the front used to chatter on asphalt too--almost as though I had ABS. Is this consistent with what I would find in level 3?

 

Thanks.

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Andy,

 

Your posts are well written and exciting and I'm going to sit back and watch and learn as this thread evolves. However I would like to offer a little story and perhaps add another consideration to your 70% question.

 

About 2 years ago, I went out for a ride. Typical day, nice weather, unlimited visibility, everything was perfect. I was well rested....nothing was amiss.

 

Some days I notice that for some reason, my bike feels more an extension of me than others. She turns, steers, brakes and just feels...silky smooth. This was such a day.

 

This particular day I had nowhere to be and decided to take it easy and just let things flow. I took a course that I don't normally take into the city (which I usually avoid anyhow), but somehow it just felt right, and I went in that direction.

 

I made a right turn onto the on-ramp for US-50W and it was just perfect. It's a downhill long sweeping turn with all the visibility you could ever want. I rolled on the throttle ever so gently and felt stability like I'd never felt before.

 

I got straightened up on 50 and was well inside my comfort zone and personal performance limits. I was in the Gardens of Bliss.

 

About 2 minutes later my rear-view mirror picks up the distinct red/blue flashes of the man of law, Maryland State Police. I knew that there was nothing amiss so I continued on my course as he closed distance. When it became clear that he was interested in me, I signaled with my hand and pulled to the side of the highway.

 

Standard conversation ensues, 'do you know why I pulled you over...'. I answered "no", having not a clue. His response:

 

'I got you on radar doing 100MPH entering the on-ramp!'

(That section of road is 50MPH speed limit)

 

I was speechless. I had no idea. I wasn't being aggressive or even trying to go fast, but I can usually tell when I've hit the ton! On top of that 100MPH on the on-ramp!!! I couldn't believe it.

 

He didn't give me a ticket (thankfully), but it could have went another way. He also told me that he was hoping that I'd attempt escape. He was looking for a chase.

 

I rode away, happy I didn't get a ticket, puzzled that I was doing 100 without knowing, and yet proud that my cornerspeed was so high and yet never sent an SR alarm.

 

I hope that you get my point...

 

Yes, thank you. It is wonderful when everything falls together so well. Still, without looking a gift horse in the mouth, I'd like to understand the "why" and the "how"--just for curiosity's sake. Also, just in case I make a boo-boo, I'd like to know what to do to recover. ;)

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Hi Andy,

 

Your questions on tires and G forces could be addressed, but mabye another thread for that.

 

Regarding 70%: for sure this is subjective, the way one person vs another looks at what 100% would be a factor. Defining 70, 80, 90 and 100% would be one way to do this, and maybe separate them for street and track. 70% on the street is not 70% on the track.

 

Want to define them a little more precsely?

 

Best,

CF

 

Hi Cobie,

 

Yes, I realize everyone perceives risk differently, but what does Keith mean when he says "70%"? I mean, when I say it hurts, it's not the same as when my girlfriend says something hurts. At hospitals, they have a scale indicating from 1 to 10 how much pain one is feeling. Does somebody have the equivalent for traction thresholds, a topic which is critical to a motorcyclist's health and happiness? If not, shouldn't we clarify this a little more precisely?

 

Andy

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A bike does indeed have less available grip when leaned over, and in most situations on most bikes they have a tendency to stand up and want to run in a straight line when you brake in the turns, so it's to be avoided wherever possible, though clearly those kind of emergency moments you have to do what you have to do, though attempting to brake with the bike on a fatter part of the tyre will most definitely assist with traction.

 

As for your question, how do you know when you've reached the limit of braking power, well, we do have a drill and a bike rig for riders to be able to feel those sensations. Funnily enough it's called the brake rig and you get to ride it on level 3. It takes quite some effort to loose brake traction when on the brakes in all honesty, though poor application can cause it, i.e. too much too quickly, whereas smoother application and transition of the weight from both wheels onto the front is a much better application.

 

I'll leave it open for you to experience the sensation when you go on the brake rigbike, but essentially it's all about feeling and the sensations between brake lever, tyre, suspension and road surface and it's excpetionally variable dependant on these factors.

 

Make sense?

 

Bullet

(UK Riding Coach)

 

Hi Bullet,

 

Yes, what you say makes sense. But what I see doesn't...With the pointy profile of Continental Sport Attack tires, the contact patch seems larger when leaned far over than when standing up. But the traction is stressed to the limit already with cornering loads. Also the compound is softer on the sides, which explains the sides being shredded. Upon closer examination, the rear tire's tread seems worn on the trailing side, as if it was shredded from trail braking rather than from driving out or power sliding. Makes sense, since I ride a Ninja 650R with 68 horsepower--not enough power to inadvertently shred tires--and I have on occasion been forced to brake while leaned over.

 

To find what it feels like to brake at the limit, I practiced in dirt, at first, and then in a paved parking lot. My front chatters in the dirt, but doesn't seem to do that on asphalt. With the old tires, which were more slippery, the front used to chatter on asphalt too--almost as though I had ABS. Is this consistent with what I would find in level 3?

 

Thanks.

 

Ok, lets start at the beginging. Firstly, the contact path is at it's biggest when the bike is sat upright and being worked, (though, without confusing this, some tyres do have large sides too, though race tyres with very sharp profiles are more likely to be this rather than road tyres). You must remember that when you're sat on the bike, and when you're loading the bike with actions such as braking, turning(which has the forces of the bike being forced into the tyre), driving the bike, there is an amount of deflection in the tyre and that contact patch becomes larger. This is one of the reasons its so important to set your tyre pressures correctly to allow for the tyre deflection as the tyre temperature changes.

 

The observation that you've noted on your tyres isn't likely to be at the limits of the bike or the tyre, its a consequence of the tyre being worked hard and the softer compound sides moving around and seperating from the carcass of the tyre. If you looked at any road tyre when it's been leaned on entusiastically should we say, you'd note this observation and its a sign of workloads put into the tyre and into the surafce. Its nothing to be worried about. I doubt unless you were on very, very loose or very wet surfaces , that you would be power sliding a 68 horspower bike, and indeed from my own experience its actually quite difficult to do on even a litre bike on modern tyres in the dry, and they have upwards of 150bhp.

 

You're observations of braking limits are very consistent with what you would see and feel on the brake rig. You should also be aware that its very easy to lock the front up attempting this and have a low side doing practising this, so please be extra cautious trying this on a bike without our lean bike outriggers which stops the bike from fallng over entirely.

 

Coming together for you?

 

Bullet

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A bike does indeed have less available grip when leaned over, and in most situations on most bikes they have a tendency to stand up and want to run in a straight line when you brake in the turns, so it's to be avoided wherever possible, though clearly those kind of emergency moments you have to do what you have to do, though attempting to brake with the bike on a fatter part of the tyre will most definitely assist with traction.

 

As for your question, how do you know when you've reached the limit of braking power, well, we do have a drill and a bike rig for riders to be able to feel those sensations. Funnily enough it's called the brake rig and you get to ride it on level 3. It takes quite some effort to loose brake traction when on the brakes in all honesty, though poor application can cause it, i.e. too much too quickly, whereas smoother application and transition of the weight from both wheels onto the front is a much better application.

 

I'll leave it open for you to experience the sensation when you go on the brake rigbike, but essentially it's all about feeling and the sensations between brake lever, tyre, suspension and road surface and it's excpetionally variable dependant on these factors.

 

Make sense?

 

Bullet

(UK Riding Coach)

 

Hi Bullet,

 

Yes, what you say makes sense. But what I see doesn't...With the pointy profile of Continental Sport Attack tires, the contact patch seems larger when leaned far over than when standing up. But the traction is stressed to the limit already with cornering loads. Also the compound is softer on the sides, which explains the sides being shredded. Upon closer examination, the rear tire's tread seems worn on the trailing side, as if it was shredded from trail braking rather than from driving out or power sliding. Makes sense, since I ride a Ninja 650R with 68 horsepower--not enough power to inadvertently shred tires--and I have on occasion been forced to brake while leaned over.

 

To find what it feels like to brake at the limit, I practiced in dirt, at first, and then in a paved parking lot. My front chatters in the dirt, but doesn't seem to do that on asphalt. With the old tires, which were more slippery, the front used to chatter on asphalt too--almost as though I had ABS. Is this consistent with what I would find in level 3?

 

Thanks.

 

Ok, lets start at the beginging. Firstly, the contact path is at it's biggest when the bike is sat upright, (though, without confusing this, some tyres do have large sides too, though race tyres with very sharp profiles are more likely to be this rather than road tyres). You must remember that when you're sat on the bike, and when you're loading the bike with actions such as braking, turning, driving the bike, there is an amount of deflection in the tyre and that contact patch becomes larger. This is pne of the reasons its so important to set your tyre pressures correctly.

 

The observation that you've noted on your tyres isn't likely to be at the limits of the bike or the tyre, its a consequence of the tyre being worked hard and the softer compound sides moving around and seperating from the carcass of the tyre. If you looked at any road tyre when it's been leaned on entusiastically should we say, you'd note this observation and its a sign of workloads put into the tyre and into the floor. Its nothing to be worried about. I doubt unless you were on very, very loose or very wet surfaces , that you would be power sliding a 68 horspower bike, and indeed from my own experience its actually quite difficult to do on even a litre bike on modern tyres in the dry, and they have upwards of 150bhp.

 

You're observations of braking limits are very consistent with what you would see and feel on the brake rig. You should also be aware that its very easy to lock the front up attempting this and have a low side doing practising this, so please be extra cautious trying this on a bike without our lean bike outriggers which stops the bike from fallng over entirely.

 

Coming together for you?

 

Bullet

 

Yes, thanks!

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A bike does indeed have less available grip when leaned over, and in most situations on most bikes they have a tendency to stand up and want to run in a straight line when you brake in the turns, so it's to be avoided wherever possible, though clearly those kind of emergency moments you have to do what you have to do, though attempting to brake with the bike on a fatter part of the tyre will most definitely assist with traction.

 

As for your question, how do you know when you've reached the limit of braking power, well, we do have a drill and a bike rig for riders to be able to feel those sensations. Funnily enough it's called the brake rig and you get to ride it on level 3. It takes quite some effort to loose brake traction when on the brakes in all honesty, though poor application can cause it, i.e. too much too quickly, whereas smoother application and transition of the weight from both wheels onto the front is a much better application.

 

I'll leave it open for you to experience the sensation when you go on the brake rigbike, but essentially it's all about feeling and the sensations between brake lever, tyre, suspension and road surface and it's excpetionally variable dependant on these factors.

 

Make sense?

 

Bullet

(UK Riding Coach)

 

Hi Bullet,

 

Yes, what you say makes sense. But what I see doesn't...With the pointy profile of Continental Sport Attack tires, the contact patch seems larger when leaned far over than when standing up. But the traction is stressed to the limit already with cornering loads. Also the compound is softer on the sides, which explains the sides being shredded. Upon closer examination, the rear tire's tread seems worn on the trailing side, as if it was shredded from trail braking rather than from driving out or power sliding. Makes sense, since I ride a Ninja 650R with 68 horsepower--not enough power to inadvertently shred tires--and I have on occasion been forced to brake while leaned over.

 

To find what it feels like to brake at the limit, I practiced in dirt, at first, and then in a paved parking lot. My front chatters in the dirt, but doesn't seem to do that on asphalt. With the old tires, which were more slippery, the front used to chatter on asphalt too--almost as though I had ABS. Is this consistent with what I would find in level 3?

 

Thanks.

 

Ok, lets start at the beginging. Firstly, the contact path is at it's biggest when the bike is sat upright, (though, without confusing this, some tyres do have large sides too, though race tyres with very sharp profiles are more likely to be this rather than road tyres). You must remember that when you're sat on the bike, and when you're loading the bike with actions such as braking, turning, driving the bike, there is an amount of deflection in the tyre and that contact patch becomes larger. This is pne of the reasons its so important to set your tyre pressures correctly.

 

The observation that you've noted on your tyres isn't likely to be at the limits of the bike or the tyre, its a consequence of the tyre being worked hard and the softer compound sides moving around and seperating from the carcass of the tyre. If you looked at any road tyre when it's been leaned on entusiastically should we say, you'd note this observation and its a sign of workloads put into the tyre and into the floor. Its nothing to be worried about. I doubt unless you were on very, very loose or very wet surfaces , that you would be power sliding a 68 horspower bike, and indeed from my own experience its actually quite difficult to do on even a litre bike on modern tyres in the dry, and they have upwards of 150bhp.

 

You're observations of braking limits are very consistent with what you would see and feel on the brake rig. You should also be aware that its very easy to lock the front up attempting this and have a low side doing practising this, so please be extra cautious trying this on a bike without our lean bike outriggers which stops the bike from fallng over entirely.

 

Coming together for you?

 

Bullet

 

Yes, thanks!

Bullet;

This is an excellent string and your responses have been extremely helpful to a lot of us reading it but not involved in this discussion directly.

 

Kevin

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Yes, thank you. It is wonderful when everything falls together so well. Still, without looking a gift horse in the mouth, I'd like to understand the "why" and the "how"--just for curiosity's sake. Also, just in case I make a boo-boo, I'd like to know what to do to recover. ;)

 

This wouldn't be as much fun without the "why".

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Hi Andy,

 

Your questions on tires and G forces could be addressed, but mabye another thread for that.

 

Regarding 70%: for sure this is subjective, the way one person vs another looks at what 100% would be a factor. Defining 70, 80, 90 and 100% would be one way to do this, and maybe separate them for street and track. 70% on the street is not 70% on the track.

 

Want to define them a little more precsely?

 

Best,

CF

 

Hi Cobie,

 

Yes, I realize everyone perceives risk differently, but what does Keith mean when he says "70%"? I mean, when I say it hurts, it's not the same as when my girlfriend says something hurts. At hospitals, they have a scale indicating from 1 to 10 how much pain one is feeling. Does somebody have the equivalent for traction thresholds, a topic which is critical to a motorcyclist's health and happiness? If not, shouldn't we clarify this a little more precisely?

 

Andy

 

70%--w/out reviewing the exact text, doesn't this refer to the rider? If 100% is everything you have, then roughly a third off of that. How many can actually ride a bike to it's complete limit (correct limit too). Even at the GP level, no everyone can ride the same bike to it's limit. Look at Nicky and just about everyone else than Casey on that Duc.

 

CF

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Hi Andy,

 

Your questions on tires and G forces could be addressed, but mabye another thread for that.

 

Regarding 70%: for sure this is subjective, the way one person vs another looks at what 100% would be a factor. Defining 70, 80, 90 and 100% would be one way to do this, and maybe separate them for street and track. 70% on the street is not 70% on the track.

 

Want to define them a little more precsely?

 

Best,

CF

 

Hi Cobie,

 

Yes, I realize everyone perceives risk differently, but what does Keith mean when he says "70%"? I mean, when I say it hurts, it's not the same as when my girlfriend says something hurts. At hospitals, they have a scale indicating from 1 to 10 how much pain one is feeling. Does somebody have the equivalent for traction thresholds, a topic which is critical to a motorcyclist's health and happiness? If not, shouldn't we clarify this a little more precisely?

 

Andy

 

70%--w/out reviewing the exact text, doesn't this refer to the rider? If 100% is everything you have, then roughly a third off of that. How many can actually ride a bike to it's complete limit (correct limit too). Even at the GP level, no everyone can ride the same bike to it's limit. Look at Nicky and just about everyone else than Casey on that Duc.

 

CF

 

It seems to me that 70% is a somewhat artificial number used to help someone understand that you need to have something in reserve for emergencies when riding on the street. If that "70%" number doesn't have meaning to you, maybe it would be clearer to just go back to the basic idea behind it - could you stop or make a BIG steering correction, calmly, in an emergency, at the pace you are riding? If I was riding hard enough to make my tires squirm in a blind turn, I can assure you that I would not be prepared to make a big steering correction to avoid a car that suddenly appears on the wrong side of the road. Nor would I be comfortable taking those squirming tires over a patch of sand or gravel that I didn't see in the road. Maybe you could try using that as your gauge - do you have enough skills/traction/attention/etc left over to deal with a surprise road hazard?

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It seems to me that 70% is a somewhat artificial number used to help someone understand that you need to have something in reserve for emergencies when riding on the street. If that "70%" number doesn't have meaning to you, maybe it would be clearer to just go back to the basic idea behind it - could you stop or make a BIG steering correction, calmly, in an emergency, at the pace you are riding? If I was riding hard enough to make my tires squirm in a blind turn, I can assure you that I would not be prepared to make a big steering correction to avoid a car that suddenly appears on the wrong side of the road. Nor would I be comfortable taking those squirming tires over a patch of sand or gravel that I didn't see in the road. Maybe you could try using that as your gauge - do you have enough skills/traction/attention/etc left over to deal with a surprise road hazard?

 

That's for the street, how about the track?

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I think that a percentage of ability is just a number specific to an individual, take a look at WSBK or Moto GP, when they do their warm up lap (except lorenzo) what percentage of their ability are they using to keep the tyres hot, going knee to knee, basically just taking it easy, waving to the crowd yet still lapping faster than the fast group at a trackday!

Or how does your bike feel on your first ride out after winter compared to near the end of the bike season, is 70% of your ability the same for both? no way!

When I did my level 1 last year Andy Ibbott told me to ride at a pace that I could comfortably practice my drills, I dont know if I was riding at 70-80 or 90% of my ability but what I do know is that by the end of the day I was faster at my comfortable pace than what I would have been in the first session at 100%! I realised a few weeks later that what I had actually learned was to manage my $10 of attention more efficiently,

I did a trackday at donington earlier this year on a hired R6, so I was on a bike I never knew, on a track I had never riden! The first 2 sessions I never passed anyone and this was bothering me so I tried to go faster (riding at 100%) but still wasn't catching the other riders! By session 3 I decided to forget it and work on my level 1 drills which was the reason for hiring the bike and track time anyway, In that session I began catching and passing the other riders, I couldn't believe this, I felt like I was riding slower, had more in reserve yet I was lapping much faster than before and felt more comfortable on the bike!

So I dont know what 70% is but I know that for me riding at a pace that I can plan things out is faster and safer than riding on the ragged edge!

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I think that a percentage of ability is just a number specific to an individual, take a look at WSBK or Moto GP, when they do their warm up lap (except lorenzo) what percentage of their ability are they using to keep the tyres hot, going knee to knee, basically just taking it easy, waving to the crowd yet still lapping faster than the fast group at a trackday!

Or how does your bike feel on your first ride out after winter compared to near the end of the bike season, is 70% of your ability the same for both? no way!

When I did my level 1 last year Andy Ibbott told me to ride at a pace that I could comfortably practice my drills, I dont know if I was riding at 70-80 or 90% of my ability but what I do know is that by the end of the day I was faster at my comfortable pace than what I would have been in the first session at 100%! I realised a few weeks later that what I had actually learned was to manage my $10 of attention more efficiently,

I did a trackday at donington earlier this year on a hired R6, so I was on a bike I never knew, on a track I had never riden! The first 2 sessions I never passed anyone and this was bothering me so I tried to go faster (riding at 100%) but still wasn't catching the other riders! By session 3 I decided to forget it and work on my level 1 drills which was the reason for hiring the bike and track time anyway, In that session I began catching and passing the other riders, I couldn't believe this, I felt like I was riding slower, had more in reserve yet I was lapping much faster than before and felt more comfortable on the bike!

So I dont know what 70% is but I know that for me riding at a pace that I can plan things out is faster and safer than riding on the ragged edge!

 

Thanks for that post AceBobby, I think it offers a really great perspective and a great example of it's application too.

 

I think we are getting some consensus that its a personal thing and sense of self, being aware of either road conditions or being able to practise the drills you've learned. There are some really great contributions in this thread about what it means to them which is useful to everyone.

 

Keep it coming guys, share your thoughts on what it means to you and why, there are lots of people reading this thread, and all of your experiences are really valid as there are bound to other people at your level who your thoughts will mean a lot to.

 

Bullet

(UK Riding Coach)

 

Bullet

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OK, I'll toss it something.

 

When I learn a new track/road, I ride the first time about 60-70%. To find my turn points, I'll turn the bike at a decent turning rate, then let it go and see where it goes. The road can do anything, and I've got enough margin to handle it.

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It seems to me that 70% is a somewhat artificial number used to help someone understand that you need to have something in reserve for emergencies when riding on the street. If that "70%" number doesn't have meaning to you, maybe it would be clearer to just go back to the basic idea behind it - could you stop or make a BIG steering correction, calmly, in an emergency, at the pace you are riding? If I was riding hard enough to make my tires squirm in a blind turn, I can assure you that I would not be prepared to make a big steering correction to avoid a car that suddenly appears on the wrong side of the road. Nor would I be comfortable taking those squirming tires over a patch of sand or gravel that I didn't see in the road. Maybe you could try using that as your gauge - do you have enough skills/traction/attention/etc left over to deal with a surprise road hazard?

 

Hi Hotfoot,

 

Wow! Your example of the blind curve and oncoming cage is the most extreme version of a biker's nightmare. Truth is, there could be zero reaction time in that case. :blink: That image sure caught my attention! While I was waiting for an objective definition of 70%, and apparently there isn't one, your description is clear and concise from two different viewpoints: 1) traction and 2) reaction time.

 

In order to continue to ride a motorcycle at all, I'll need to interpret your guidelines a little loosely:

"While in a curve, I should be able to make a big steering correction to the inside of the turn and/or come to a full stop within my sight/reaction distance for:

"a) a highly visible, stationary hazard, such as a stopped vehicle, or a fallen tree, -AND-

"B) a less visible road hazard such as a patch of dirt, sand, water, oil, or drywall screws."

 

The beauty of what you suggest is that it by implication takes into account myriad variables including my physical and mental condition, bike's condition, road surface, weather, tires, etc. In addition, at my current skill level, it can be distilled into one easy to recall mantra, "70%=tires solidly planted and no hanging off!"

 

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the illumination of this issue for me. Thanks, Hotfoot, for your elegant solution which especially resonates for me.

 

Sincerely,

 

Andy

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While I was waiting for an objective definition of 70%, and apparently there isn't one

Andy

 

Essentially Andy, the definition is what you define it to be, there is no X + Y + Z defintion thats universal for all riders in all situations I'm afraid. It is different between track and street we've established because if we step back, we all agree that there are real life hazards and physical dangers on the road which don't exist on track which therefore define we have lower threshold for our actions due to the potential consequences.

 

Bullet

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OK, I'll toss it something.

 

When I learn a new track/road, I ride the first time about 60-70%. To find my turn points, I'll turn the bike at a decent turning rate, then let it go and see where it goes. The road can do anything, and I've got enough margin to handle it.

 

OK, As the big cheese has had a stab, I'll share mine.

 

As I no longer (well, very rarely ride on road these days), I'll stick to track and how I define my starting position and work through getting to a good speed.

 

I try and ride my first lap or two at a new track without brakes or at worst very light brakes and with minimal gear changes (if I can get by with say 4th, I'll use that and just wind it on and off like a scooter). No leaning off typically, and nothing like knee down. I would say this would be about my 50% speed and I use this as my baseline. Over the next few laps I'll start to understand where the track goes, and over the period of the next session (if on a trackday), I'll build upto probably 90% speed in this session and thats essentially my baseline for refinement of things from there leveraging the drills.

 

If I have some drill aspect to work on, (and I normally do), I'll almost always try and work on no gears (staying high) and use as little brakes as I can get away with. Just helps me concentrate on it so much better.

 

Bullet

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I try and ride my first lap or two at a new track without brakes or at worst very light brakes and with minimal gear changes (if I can get by with say 4th, I'll use that and just wind it on and off like a scooter). No leaning off typically, and nothing like knee down. I would say this would be about my 50% speed and I use this as my baseline. Over the next few laps I'll start to understand where the track goes, and over the period of the next session (if on a trackday), I'll build upto probably 90% speed in this session and thats essentially my baseline for refinement of things from there leveraging the drills.

 

If I have some drill aspect to work on, (and I normally do), I'll almost always try and work on no gears (staying high) and use as little brakes as I can get away with. Just helps me concentrate on it so much better.

 

Bullet

 

It's nice to know that even a coach has such a conservative approach towards a new track. Do you do this the day before the students arrive?

 

Thanks,

 

Andy

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I try and ride my first lap or two at a new track without brakes or at worst very light brakes and with minimal gear changes (if I can get by with say 4th, I'll use that and just wind it on and off like a scooter). No leaning off typically, and nothing like knee down. I would say this would be about my 50% speed and I use this as my baseline. Over the next few laps I'll start to understand where the track goes, and over the period of the next session (if on a trackday), I'll build upto probably 90% speed in this session and thats essentially my baseline for refinement of things from there leveraging the drills.

 

If I have some drill aspect to work on, (and I normally do), I'll almost always try and work on no gears (staying high) and use as little brakes as I can get away with. Just helps me concentrate on it so much better.

 

Bullet

 

It's nice to know that even a coach has such a conservative approach towards a new track. Do you do this the day before the students arrive?

 

Thanks,

 

Andy

 

No, typically it's on a school day, I'll start to do this on the sighting laps whilst the students are doing there own. Once the introductions are done for my first round of students, I almost always have 2-3 laps of a track anyway (regardless of whether I've been before), to get myself re-acuqainted with the bike, the track, the surface, just to get myself warmed up anyway. As this session has the student practising with no brakes, I do the same, and it helps me get my eye in so to speak, as it could have been many weeks since I last rode a bike. Is all simple stuff eh? :lol:

 

Bullet

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