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Knowing Traction Limits


spthomas
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- knowing what speed you should be going and at what point,

 

One skill I have no handle on is knowing where my traction limits are. Am I at the edge of having the tires slip out from underneath me?

 

Steve,

 

Interesting points. Your the second person to say "knowing what speed I should going at what point" and i'm trying to discover how people set this? Claude also noted this earlier, and am trying to gauge what defines this for you?

 

With respect you to your question on traction limits, we can assist you with understanding that, but how about you start another seperate thread and we can try and help you with that a little. Could also let us know which levels you've done too?

 

Bullet

OK! Here's a new thread, although I'm sure there have been many in the past.

 

First, I've done the level 1 school in August 2007. I want to get to level 2 this year because I know that would help a lot but I'm not sure if will work out with my schedule. I did 3 track days last year and two so far this year.

 

As for a speed at some point, I can't say for sure how consistent I am each lap around the track, but I feel like I'm doing the exact same lines at the same speeds lap after lap. For reference points I pick imaginary spots on the track- there isn't necessarily some mark, but I just sort of triangulate my position in space based on the shape of the curve and all the things around, using my peripheral vision as a whole. It would be interesting to have a GPS system on my bike and then look at the data later to see how well my perceptions and reality match.

 

As for traction limits, I've not really had any bad moments with slipping or wiggling which makes me think that I'm not so close to the edge (CBR6000F4i w/Dunlop Qualifiers), but I have scraped footrest feeler pegs a few times so I know the bike is leaned over as far as it should go before bad things happen. The 3 times that has happened my knee didn't touch, so that makes me think my body position isn't quite right. But I hear racers on TV talking about working on their setup, "pushing the front end", etc. and I have no idea what that really means from any of my own experience; I can't relate. I realize they're a whole lot more experienced of course and I'm not trying to be them, but I want to learn to "listen" to the bike and I'm not hearing much.

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- knowing what speed you should be going and at what point,

 

One skill I have no handle on is knowing where my traction limits are. Am I at the edge of having the tires slip out from underneath me?

 

Steve,

 

Interesting points. Your the second person to say "knowing what speed I should going at what point" and i'm trying to discover how people set this? Claude also noted this earlier, and am trying to gauge what defines this for you?

 

With respect you to your question on traction limits, we can assist you with understanding that, but how about you start another seperate thread and we can try and help you with that a little. Could also let us know which levels you've done too?

 

Bullet

OK! Here's a new thread, although I'm sure there have been many in the past.

 

First, I've done the level 1 school in August 2007. I want to get to level 2 this year because I know that would help a lot but I'm not sure if will work out with my schedule. I did 3 track days last year and two so far this year.

 

As for a speed at some point, I can't say for sure how consistent I am each lap around the track, but I feel like I'm doing the exact same lines at the same speeds lap after lap. For reference points I pick imaginary spots on the track- there isn't necessarily some mark, but I just sort of triangulate my position in space based on the shape of the curve and all the things around, using my peripheral vision as a whole. It would be interesting to have a GPS system on my bike and then look at the data later to see how well my perceptions and reality match.

 

As for traction limits, I've not really had any bad moments with slipping or wiggling which makes me think that I'm not so close to the edge (CBR6000F4i w/Dunlop Qualifiers), but I have scraped footrest feeler pegs a few times so I know the bike is leaned over as far as it should go before bad things happen. The 3 times that has happened my knee didn't touch, so that makes me think my body position isn't quite right. But I hear racers on TV talking about working on their setup, "pushing the front end", etc. and I have no idea what that really means from any of my own experience; I can't relate. I realize they're a whole lot more experienced of course and I'm not trying to be them, but I want to learn to "listen" to the bike and I'm not hearing much.

 

 

 

Hi Steve,

 

Thanks for starting another thread, it just makes it easier for people to find at a later date through the search functions.

 

Level 1, great start, gives you the fundamental aspects that you need to get started. The 2 Step Turn drill you've learned is a really important drill and one that we build on a great deal on level 2 that will help you more with your perception of speed. Much about going quick becomes about feel (more of which in a moment), and your ability to give yourself enough space and time and be able to give your brain enough free attention. Some of the things you're talking about are covered in more depth in level 2, and so you'll understand the theory in more depth and the correct timing and application of the drills, as its essentially a combination of both.

 

Having personally had your bike, (it's a very friendly, fun bike that fab for learning on, almost cossets you), the hero blobs on the standard pegs are there to protect the (reasonably large) end can, so you'll always get them to touch down before anything primary touches down. If youv'e changed the standard can for an aftermarket, you'll find you can easily remove them and get plenty more lean angle with no fears whatsoever. Knee down is all about body positon and again is something you can have worked on the lean bike on level 2.

 

Now on to traction. Normally traction is of concern on the rear wheel, and people usually refer concern about traction when exiting turns, when applying throttle. The same does apply in much the same respect on thr front on the way into the turn. I have a couple of questions for you, see if we can get some more clarity about your thoughts and fears?

 

OK traction! What are your primary concerns of traction? Are you concerned about it into a turn? Middle of a turn? Exiting a turn? What signs do you think you'll get from the bike first before traction and potentially the thing you fear the most (i.e. a crash), happens?

 

If you could provide me your thoughts on these points, we'll see what we can help with.

 

Bullet

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Hi Steve,

 

Thanks for starting another thread, it just makes it easier for people to find at a later date through the search functions.

 

Level 1, great start, gives you the fundamental aspects that you need to get started. The 2 Step Turn drill you've learned is a really important drill and one that we build on a great deal on level 2 that will help you more with your perception of speed. Much about going quick becomes about feel (more of which in a moment), and your ability to give yourself enough space and time and be able to give your brain enough free attention. Some of the things you're talking about are covered in more depth in level 2, and so you'll understand the theory in more depth and the correct timing and application of the drills, as its essentially a combination of both.

 

Having personally had your bike, (it's a very friendly, fun bike that fab for learning on, almost cossets you), the hero blobs on the standard pegs are there to protect the (reasonably large) end can, so you'll always get them to touch down before anything primary touches down. If youv'e changed the standard can for an aftermarket, you'll find you can easily remove them and get plenty more lean angle with no fears whatsoever. Knee down is all about body positon and again is something you can have worked on the lean bike on level 2.

 

Now on to traction. Normally traction is of concern on the rear wheel, and people usually refer concern about traction when exiting turns, when applying throttle. The same does apply in much the same respect on thr front on the way into the turn. I have a couple of questions for you, see if we can get some more clarity about your thoughts and fears?

 

OK traction! What are your primary concerns of traction? Are you concerned about it into a turn? Middle of a turn? Exiting a turn? What signs do you think you'll get from the bike first before traction and potentially the thing you fear the most (i.e. a crash), happens?

 

If you could provide me your thoughts on these points, we'll see what we can help with.

 

Bullet

Bullet-

 

My bike is completely stock and has the factory exhaust can. The only thing I've spent money on is the tires, and I added frame sliders. I don't want to put any more funds into it just for the hell of it- I'd rather spend it on track days and school- I'm basically selfish and want to make me a better rider, not the bike a better bike! That said, if there something I need to do to the bike to make me ride better, then I would do it.

 

For traction, I think my fears are in the middle and end of the turn. In the middle, will it just go out from underneath me and how far can I lean over? I do remember though in school Keith asked how many times people had actually seen that of had that happen- the answer was essentially never. Also, at the exit, I'm careful about getting on the gas- I do it fairly gradually. I had the back end break loose once on the street going around a corner when the concrete was damp. My reaction was to not grab the steering tightly but just let it sort of self-correct, which it did.

 

Because I haven't had much problems with traction, my basic fear is that something sudden and unexpected would happen, that I don't sense or see it coming.

 

Steve

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For traction, I think my fears are in the middle and end of the turn. In the middle, will it just go out from underneath me and how far can I lean over? I do remember though in school Keith asked how many times people had actually seen that of had that happen- the answer was essentially never. Also, at the exit, I'm careful about getting on the gas- I do it fairly gradually. I had the back end break loose once on the street going around a corner when the concrete was damp. My reaction was to not grab the steering tightly but just let it sort of self-correct, which it did.

 

Because I haven't had much problems with traction, my basic fear is that something sudden and unexpected would happen, that I don't sense or see it coming.

 

Steve

 

Ok, great, we're starting to get closer to some definition of your issue.

 

Ok, the one thing that students (and i'll be honest, I never thought about this way either until about a year back, when I started to push traction issues further), don't realise is that a very large part of the bikes stability comes from the rotational forces of the wheels. The higher the speed, the more stability the bike has (which is also one of the reasons its harder to turn a bike the faster you go), as the gyroscopic forces of the bike get ever hgiher.

 

As you've now started to think about this, you'll know that your going to in most situations starting to stand the bike up on the way out of a turn when you start to accelerate. At this point, what will happen with the bike if you start to reach traction limits is that it will start to slide or usually wobble a little. At this point, all that will happen to the bike is that the revs may rise a little, and the wheel will re-gain traction. As the rotational force of the wheel is still accelerating, it provides massive stability, so essentially the bike will want to stay upright and not just fall over mid turn.

 

There is an important part here Steve if you feel this phenomen, and to be honest, you really have to be trying on a 600 (in the dry) to get to this as long as your accelerating at the right part of the turn when your starting to stand the bike up and your following proper throttle control, is that you mustn't chop the throttle (or you can get highsided). you must keep the throttle at least where it is, (we call this checked throttle), or just keep rolling on.

 

Traction issues from the rear are very, very much controllable, (hence why you can see motogp riders spinning the bikes up out of turns), front end slides are much more difficult to handle and deal with. As long as you don't have huge lean angle coming out of a turn, your applying good throttle control, you'll always be able to deal with any rear end slide comfortably I assure you.

 

Now, clearly, I don't expct you to just take my word for it, when you get to level 4 of the school, you'll be able to ride the slide bike, and you'll see how high traction limits are on modern tyres, and how managable these things are with correct throttle control. :lol:

 

Hope this covers it of for you, and with some luck, we'll have some other students chime in at some point and share their experiences of rear traction issues and how they've managed them.

 

Bullet

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Ok, great, we're starting to get closer to some definition of your issue.

 

Ok, the one thing that students (and i'll be honest, I never thought about this way either until about a year back, when I started to push traction issues further), don't realise is that a very large part of the bikes stability comes from the rotational forces of the wheels. The higher the speed, the more stability the bike has (which is also one of the reasons its harder to turn a bike the faster you go), as the gyroscopic forces of the bike get ever hgiher.

 

As you've now started to think about this, you'll know that your going to in most situations starting to stand the bike up on the way out of a turn when you start to accelerate. At this point, what will happen with the bike if you start to reach traction limits is that it will start to slide or usually wobble a little. At this point, all that will happen to the bike is that the revs may rise a little, and the wheel will re-gain traction. As the rotational force of the wheel is still accelerating, it provides massive stability, so essentially the bike will want to stay upright and not just fall over mid turn.

 

There is an important part here Steve if you feel this phenomen, and to be honest, you really have to be trying on a 600 (in the dry) to get to this as long as your accelerating at the right part of the turn when your starting to stand the bike up and your following proper throttle control, is that you mustn't chop the throttle (or you can get highsided). you must keep the throttle at least where it is, (we call this checked throttle), or just keep rolling on.

 

Traction issues from the rear are very, very much controllable, (hence why you can see motogp riders spinning the bikes up out of turns), front end slides are much more difficult to handle and deal with. As long as you don't have huge lean angle coming out of a turn, your applying good throttle control, you'll always be able to deal with any rear end slide comfortably I assure you.

 

Now, clearly, I don't expct you to just take my word for it, when you get to level 4 of the school, you'll be able to ride the slide bike, and you'll see how high traction limits are on modern tyres, and how managable these things are with correct throttle control. :lol:

 

Hope this covers it of for you, and with some luck, we'll have some other students chime in at some point and share their experiences of rear traction issues and how they've managed them.

 

Bullet

Yeah, I don't think about the stability provided by wheels themselves but that is a big factor. And yes, I'm anxious to get back to school to try out those special bikes!

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Hi Bullet

That is an excellent description of what we are looking for regarding using traction, thanks for that! Reading Stevo's posts I would say that I am at a similar level to him, I have also experienced a few little rear wheel slips and slides on the street but that is down to conditions rather than anything I have done, But whenever Its happened I have never really felt any warning signals from the bike, just got traction then not got traction, everything then feels like its in slow motion, I continue to obey throttle control rule #1 and it sorts itself out, thats a good feeling!

I also ride a 600 and from reading some other posts it seems that if my technique is good and its dry out there traction isn't going to be an issue on the exit of a turn anyway, knowing this lets me know that I could be going alot faster than I am currently whenever on track!

I will be at Rockingham next week for both days L2 and 3 and am looking forward to learning as much as I can from you guys over the course of the 2 days!

 

Cheers

 

Bobby

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I will be at Rockingham next week for both days L2 and 3 and am looking forward to learning as much as I can from you guys over the course of the 2 days!

 

Cheers

 

Bobby

 

See you there Acebobby. Here is hoping its a little cooler than it has been the last couple of days at Silverstone.

 

Bullet

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I will be at Rockingham next week for both days L2 and 3 and am looking forward to learning as much as I can from you guys over the course of the 2 days!

 

Cheers

 

Bobby

 

See you there Acebobby. Here is hoping its a little cooler than it has been the last couple of days at Silverstone.

 

Bullet

 

Its a funny old thing the weather, we moan when its cold and wet (which is most of the time) then we get a heatwave hitting the UK and we want it a bit cooler lol, I will be happy if its dry, but then again if its wet I'l still have a blast!

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I will be at Rockingham next week for both days L2 and 3 and am looking forward to learning as much as I can from you guys over the course of the 2 days!

 

Cheers

 

Bobby

 

See you there Acebobby. Here is hoping its a little cooler than it has been the last couple of days at Silverstone.

 

Bullet

 

Its a funny old thing the weather, we moan when its cold and wet (which is most of the time) then we get a heatwave hitting the UK and we want it a bit cooler lol, I will be happy if its dry, but then again if its wet I'l still have a blast!

 

Well we did indeed have a bit of everything eh Bobby? Rain, thunder, lightining, torrential downpours..... Rivers of water across the track.. Even has some sunshine too! Definitely helped experiment with feel for traction, learned a few new things along the way too!

 

Hope you got back safe and sound mate, and we'll see you soon no doubt!

 

Bullet

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For traction, I think my fears are in the middle and end of the turn. In the middle, will it just go out from underneath me and how far can I lean over? I do remember though in school Keith asked how many times people had actually seen that of had that happen- the answer was essentially never. Also, at the exit, I'm careful about getting on the gas- I do it fairly gradually. I had the back end break loose once on the street going around a corner when the concrete was damp. My reaction was to not grab the steering tightly but just let it sort of self-correct, which it did.

 

Because I haven't had much problems with traction, my basic fear is that something sudden and unexpected would happen, that I don't sense or see it coming.

 

Steve

 

Ok, great, we're starting to get closer to some definition of your issue.

 

Ok, the one thing that students (and i'll be honest, I never thought about this way either until about a year back, when I started to push traction issues further), don't realise is that a very large part of the bikes stability comes from the rotational forces of the wheels. The higher the speed, the more stability the bike has (which is also one of the reasons its harder to turn a bike the faster you go), as the gyroscopic forces of the bike get ever hgiher.

 

As you've now started to think about this, you'll know that your going to in most situations starting to stand the bike up on the way out of a turn when you start to accelerate. At this point, what will happen with the bike if you start to reach traction limits is that it will start to slide or usually wobble a little. At this point, all that will happen to the bike is that the revs may rise a little, and the wheel will re-gain traction. As the rotational force of the wheel is still accelerating, it provides massive stability, so essentially the bike will want to stay upright and not just fall over mid turn.

 

There is an important part here Steve if you feel this phenomen, and to be honest, you really have to be trying on a 600 (in the dry) to get to this as long as your accelerating at the right part of the turn when your starting to stand the bike up and your following proper throttle control, is that you mustn't chop the throttle (or you can get highsided). you must keep the throttle at least where it is, (we call this checked throttle), or just keep rolling on.

 

Traction issues from the rear are very, very much controllable, (hence why you can see motogp riders spinning the bikes up out of turns), front end slides are much more difficult to handle and deal with. As long as you don't have huge lean angle coming out of a turn, your applying good throttle control, you'll always be able to deal with any rear end slide comfortably I assure you.

 

Now, clearly, I don't expct you to just take my word for it, when you get to level 4 of the school, you'll be able to ride the slide bike, and you'll see how high traction limits are on modern tyres, and how managable these things are with correct throttle control. :lol:

 

Hope this covers it of for you, and with some luck, we'll have some other students chime in at some point and share their experiences of rear traction issues and how they've managed them.

 

Bullet

So, you are saying that it is more difficult to turn a bike at speed due to gyroscopic forces. You should bear in mind that many, many people have proven that what you say is simply false. Measured, scientific, and with practical applications.

 

That does not mean you are wrong in what you are feeling, but do you think you could come up with another explanation that would concur with the scientific data (get your google on)?

 

I think there is, but I also don't believe that the science that gyroscopic force in negligable, at best, is necessarily applicable to the real world, i.e. teachable.

 

I believe that you are denying a myriad of motorcycle components, including the rider, that have a significantly large effect and influence on a phenomenon you are blaming on "gyroscopic force."

 

I feel that you have fallen into the trap of voodoo magic, like telling riders to, "put your head over the mirror" to corrrect body position.

 

It may work as a quick fix tool, but in the long run, false science is a tool to correct the truly talented and handicap the rest of us humbled mortals.

 

Rossi can have a chat with his bike before his race and do well. Myself, and most people, get an invitation by men in white coats for a cocktail party in a padded room when we do the same.

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For traction, I think my fears are in the middle and end of the turn. In the middle, will it just go out from underneath me and how far can I lean over? I do remember though in school Keith asked how many times people had actually seen that of had that happen- the answer was essentially never. Also, at the exit, I'm careful about getting on the gas- I do it fairly gradually. I had the back end break loose once on the street going around a corner when the concrete was damp. My reaction was to not grab the steering tightly but just let it sort of self-correct, which it did.

 

Because I haven't had much problems with traction, my basic fear is that something sudden and unexpected would happen, that I don't sense or see it coming.

 

Steve

 

Ok, great, we're starting to get closer to some definition of your issue.

 

Ok, the one thing that students (and i'll be honest, I never thought about this way either until about a year back, when I started to push traction issues further), don't realise is that a very large part of the bikes stability comes from the rotational forces of the wheels. The higher the speed, the more stability the bike has (which is also one of the reasons its harder to turn a bike the faster you go), as the gyroscopic forces of the bike get ever hgiher.

 

As you've now started to think about this, you'll know that your going to in most situations starting to stand the bike up on the way out of a turn when you start to accelerate. At this point, what will happen with the bike if you start to reach traction limits is that it will start to slide or usually wobble a little. At this point, all that will happen to the bike is that the revs may rise a little, and the wheel will re-gain traction. As the rotational force of the wheel is still accelerating, it provides massive stability, so essentially the bike will want to stay upright and not just fall over mid turn.

 

There is an important part here Steve if you feel this phenomen, and to be honest, you really have to be trying on a 600 (in the dry) to get to this as long as your accelerating at the right part of the turn when your starting to stand the bike up and your following proper throttle control, is that you mustn't chop the throttle (or you can get highsided). you must keep the throttle at least where it is, (we call this checked throttle), or just keep rolling on.

 

Traction issues from the rear are very, very much controllable, (hence why you can see motogp riders spinning the bikes up out of turns), front end slides are much more difficult to handle and deal with. As long as you don't have huge lean angle coming out of a turn, your applying good throttle control, you'll always be able to deal with any rear end slide comfortably I assure you.

 

Now, clearly, I don't expct you to just take my word for it, when you get to level 4 of the school, you'll be able to ride the slide bike, and you'll see how high traction limits are on modern tyres, and how managable these things are with correct throttle control. :lol:

 

Hope this covers it of for you, and with some luck, we'll have some other students chime in at some point and share their experiences of rear traction issues and how they've managed them.

 

Bullet

So, you are saying that it is more difficult to turn a bike at speed due to gyroscopic forces. You should bear in mind that many, many people have proven that what you say is simply false. Measured, scientific, and with practical applications.

 

That does not mean you are wrong in what you are feeling, but do you think you could come up with another explanation that would concur with the scientific data (get your google on)?

 

I think there is, but I also don't believe that the science that gyroscopic force in negligable, at best, is necessarily applicable to the real world, i.e. teachable.

 

I believe that you are denying a myriad of motorcycle components, including the rider, that have a significantly large effect and influence on a phenomenon you are blaming on "gyroscopic force."

 

I feel that you have fallen into the trap of voodoo magic, like telling riders to, "put your head over the mirror" to corrrect body position.

 

It may work as a quick fix tool, but in the long run, false science is a tool to correct the truly talented and handicap the rest of us humbled mortals.

 

Rossi can have a chat with his bike before his race and do well. Myself, and most people, get an invitation by men in white coats for a cocktail party in a padded room when we do the same.

 

Hi Thor,

 

Thanks for your post, we like a good bit of informed, lively debate, helps spread the learning and knowledge for all. It's one of the primary aspects required of a coach when they join up that you have to aspire to have continued learning throughout your time, and as we're all pretty aware, there is a lot to riding a motorbike and always things to learn.

 

Whilst this post was about traction, you're right that I breifly noted on difficulty in turning a motorbike, and yes, its based on experience and learning from keith and the school. If you have a copy of TW2, Keith talks in much depth about this in section 3, pages 54 onwards, so you're more than happy to read and question and offer up debate on this matter, certainly if there is information which furthers adds to everyone's learning. perhaps it might be helpful for all if you provide links to your points of contention so that there is no ambiguity in the topic matter?

 

You're very correct about your statement about many factors involved in steering a motorbike, the design of motrocycle, the speed, the geometry of the bike, steering angles, trail, rake, tyre profile, leverage available via the bars, tyre and wheel weight all massvely affect how easy or difficult a bike is to turn, and I'm not in anyway trying to dismiss these factors at all, nor would I suggest that a riders ability to effectively steer should be underestimated also, however I do believe the principles and phsyics involved are well understand and have been demonstrated over many, many years.

 

We don't believe in voodoo magic at CSS, if there were such a thing as Pixie dust, I think we'd have marketed that a long time back, and keith would be a very, very rich man! :lol:

 

Bullet

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Hi Bullet

That is an excellent description of what we are looking for regarding using traction, thanks for that! Reading Stevo's posts I would say that I am at a similar level to him, I have also experienced a few little rear wheel slips and slides on the street but that is down to conditions rather than anything I have done, But whenever Its happened I have never really felt any warning signals from the bike, just got traction then not got traction, everything then feels like its in slow motion, I continue to obey throttle control rule #1 and it sorts itself out, thats a good feeling!

I also ride a 600 and from reading some other posts it seems that if my technique is good and its dry out there traction isn't going to be an issue on the exit of a turn anyway, knowing this lets me know that I could be going alot faster than I am currently whenever on track!

I will be at Rockingham next week for both days L2 and 3 and am looking forward to learning as much as I can from you guys over the course of the 2 days!

 

Cheers

 

Bobby

Now that you've been to the class, was there anything in particular you learned that addressed the original question about how to find or sense the traction limits?

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With regard to thor's statement that gyroscopic effects are negligible, and that it is all scientifically proven, has anyone got a decent site that expounds this version of events? I did a quick google and not much came up debunking gyroscopic forces or angular momentum as being a significant factor in rotating wheels.....but I'm interested to read about it if a site can be provided.

There are countless examples of rotating wheels providing stability through real life examples eg those Segway thingies use gyroscopes to automatically balance those hated devices, and anyone who has held a rotating bicycle wheel by the axle and moved the axle can attest to the fact that there is a significant force involved - so in Motorcycle wheels which are far more substantial AND with a tyre attached and travelling at much higher speeds, the force would have to be significant, indeed in my opinion a major factor in the handling properties of a motorcycle!

But like I said if Thor can provide a link I'm willing to have a read of it in the pursuit of debunking myths wherever they may lie, especially if related to bikes!

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Hi Bullet

That is an excellent description of what we are looking for regarding using traction, thanks for that! Reading Stevo's posts I would say that I am at a similar level to him, I have also experienced a few little rear wheel slips and slides on the street but that is down to conditions rather than anything I have done, But whenever Its happened I have never really felt any warning signals from the bike, just got traction then not got traction, everything then feels like its in slow motion, I continue to obey throttle control rule #1 and it sorts itself out, thats a good feeling!

I also ride a 600 and from reading some other posts it seems that if my technique is good and its dry out there traction isn't going to be an issue on the exit of a turn anyway, knowing this lets me know that I could be going alot faster than I am currently whenever on track!

I will be at Rockingham next week for both days L2 and 3 and am looking forward to learning as much as I can from you guys over the course of the 2 days!

 

Cheers

 

Bobby

Now that you've been to the class, was there anything in particular you learned that addressed the original question about how to find or sense the traction limits?

 

 

Steve,

 

Bobby has been with us this week, undertaking levels 2 and 3 and the weather conditions were most questionable at times and the track we used (rockingham), is slippery as ice in certain turns so no doubt he'll have comments to make on sliding a little after that. :rolleyes:

 

Bobby?

 

Bullet

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For traction, I think my fears are in the middle and end of the turn. In the middle, will it just go out from underneath me and how far can I lean over? I do remember though in school Keith asked how many times people had actually seen that of had that happen- the answer was essentially never. Also, at the exit, I'm careful about getting on the gas- I do it fairly gradually. I had the back end break loose once on the street going around a corner when the concrete was damp. My reaction was to not grab the steering tightly but just let it sort of self-correct, which it did.

 

Because I haven't had much problems with traction, my basic fear is that something sudden and unexpected would happen, that I don't sense or see it coming.

 

Steve

 

Ok, great, we're starting to get closer to some definition of your issue.

 

Ok, the one thing that students (and i'll be honest, I never thought about this way either until about a year back, when I started to push traction issues further), don't realise is that a very large part of the bikes stability comes from the rotational forces of the wheels. The higher the speed, the more stability the bike has (which is also one of the reasons its harder to turn a bike the faster you go), as the gyroscopic forces of the bike get ever hgiher.

 

As you've now started to think about this, you'll know that your going to in most situations starting to stand the bike up on the way out of a turn when you start to accelerate. At this point, what will happen with the bike if you start to reach traction limits is that it will start to slide or usually wobble a little. At this point, all that will happen to the bike is that the revs may rise a little, and the wheel will re-gain traction. As the rotational force of the wheel is still accelerating, it provides massive stability, so essentially the bike will want to stay upright and not just fall over mid turn.

 

There is an important part here Steve if you feel this phenomen, and to be honest, you really have to be trying on a 600 (in the dry) to get to this as long as your accelerating at the right part of the turn when your starting to stand the bike up and your following proper throttle control, is that you mustn't chop the throttle (or you can get highsided). you must keep the throttle at least where it is, (we call this checked throttle), or just keep rolling on.

 

Traction issues from the rear are very, very much controllable, (hence why you can see motogp riders spinning the bikes up out of turns), front end slides are much more difficult to handle and deal with. As long as you don't have huge lean angle coming out of a turn, your applying good throttle control, you'll always be able to deal with any rear end slide comfortably I assure you.

 

Now, clearly, I don't expct you to just take my word for it, when you get to level 4 of the school, you'll be able to ride the slide bike, and you'll see how high traction limits are on modern tyres, and how managable these things are with correct throttle control. :lol:

 

Hope this covers it of for you, and with some luck, we'll have some other students chime in at some point and share their experiences of rear traction issues and how they've managed them.

 

Bullet

So, you are saying that it is more difficult to turn a bike at speed due to gyroscopic forces. You should bear in mind that many, many people have proven that what you say is simply false. Measured, scientific, and with practical applications.

 

That does not mean you are wrong in what you are feeling, but do you think you could come up with another explanation that would concur with the scientific data (get your google on)?

 

I think there is, but I also don't believe that the science that gyroscopic force in negligable, at best, is necessarily applicable to the real world, i.e. teachable.

 

I believe that you are denying a myriad of motorcycle components, including the rider, that have a significantly large effect and influence on a phenomenon you are blaming on "gyroscopic force."

 

I feel that you have fallen into the trap of voodoo magic, like telling riders to, "put your head over the mirror" to corrrect body position.

 

It may work as a quick fix tool, but in the long run, false science is a tool to correct the truly talented and handicap the rest of us humbled mortals.

 

Rossi can have a chat with his bike before his race and do well. Myself, and most people, get an invitation by men in white coats for a cocktail party in a padded room when we do the same.

 

Hi Thor,

 

Thanks for your post, we like a good bit of informed, lively debate, helps spread the learning and knowledge for all. It's one of the primary aspects required of a coach when they join up that you have to aspire to have continued learning throughout your time, and as we're all pretty aware, there is a lot to riding a motorbike and always things to learn.

 

Whilst this post was about traction, you're right that I breifly noted on difficulty in turning a motorbike, and yes, its based on experience and learning from keith and the school. If you have a copy of TW2, Keith talks in much depth about this in section 3, pages 54 onwards, so you're more than happy to read and question and offer up debate on this matter, certainly if there is information which furthers adds to everyone's learning. perhaps it might be helpful for all if you provide links to your points of contention so that there is no ambiguity in the topic matter?

 

You're very correct about your statement about many factors involved in steering a motorbike, the design of motrocycle, the speed, the geometry of the bike, steering angles, trail, rake, tyre profile, leverage available via the bars, tyre and wheel weight all massvely affect how easy or difficult a bike is to turn, and I'm not in anyway trying to dismiss these factors at all, nor would I suggest that a riders ability to effectively steer should be underestimated also, however I do believe the principles and phsyics involved are well understand and have been demonstrated over many, many years.

 

We don't believe in voodoo magic at CSS, if there were such a thing as Pixie dust, I think we'd have marketed that a long time back, and keith would be a very, very rich man! :lol:

 

Bullet

Yes, I was trying to frame the discussion in a way that would not devolve into a physics debate - Tony Foales can take us down that path and prove that we do not have the physics and math backgrounds to follow no matter how generous he is in taking that into consideration. That was a big mistake on my part.

 

And I made a big mistake in using the terminology "voodoo magic". I don't use that term as a pejorative term. It is the shortcuts that I use to help me and my students move towards a way to effect the actions they want to happen.

 

But the students have to develop their own "voodoo magic". What false idols and twisted logic I use to get myself to affect a proper action is not a reasonable way to explain it to students. It may not, most likely, make any sense to them. I felt that you were being lazy in communicating your point and wanted you to think about it from a teachable perspective.

 

How can we transfer the most knowledge and understanding with the least amount of stress and confusion?

 

I can turn on a dime when I am wrong, but I'll never stop throwing handfuls of quarters when I believe I am on the right path.

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For traction, I think my fears are in the middle and end of the turn. In the middle, will it just go out from underneath me and how far can I lean over? I do remember though in school Keith asked how many times people had actually seen that of had that happen- the answer was essentially never. Also, at the exit, I'm careful about getting on the gas- I do it fairly gradually. I had the back end break loose once on the street going around a corner when the concrete was damp. My reaction was to not grab the steering tightly but just let it sort of self-correct, which it did.

 

Because I haven't had much problems with traction, my basic fear is that something sudden and unexpected would happen, that I don't sense or see it coming.

 

Steve

 

Ok, great, we're starting to get closer to some definition of your issue.

 

Ok, the one thing that students (and i'll be honest, I never thought about this way either until about a year back, when I started to push traction issues further), don't realise is that a very large part of the bikes stability comes from the rotational forces of the wheels. The higher the speed, the more stability the bike has (which is also one of the reasons its harder to turn a bike the faster you go), as the gyroscopic forces of the bike get ever hgiher.

 

As you've now started to think about this, you'll know that your going to in most situations starting to stand the bike up on the way out of a turn when you start to accelerate. At this point, what will happen with the bike if you start to reach traction limits is that it will start to slide or usually wobble a little. At this point, all that will happen to the bike is that the revs may rise a little, and the wheel will re-gain traction. As the rotational force of the wheel is still accelerating, it provides massive stability, so essentially the bike will want to stay upright and not just fall over mid turn.

 

There is an important part here Steve if you feel this phenomen, and to be honest, you really have to be trying on a 600 (in the dry) to get to this as long as your accelerating at the right part of the turn when your starting to stand the bike up and your following proper throttle control, is that you mustn't chop the throttle (or you can get highsided). you must keep the throttle at least where it is, (we call this checked throttle), or just keep rolling on.

 

Traction issues from the rear are very, very much controllable, (hence why you can see motogp riders spinning the bikes up out of turns), front end slides are much more difficult to handle and deal with. As long as you don't have huge lean angle coming out of a turn, your applying good throttle control, you'll always be able to deal with any rear end slide comfortably I assure you.

 

Now, clearly, I don't expct you to just take my word for it, when you get to level 4 of the school, you'll be able to ride the slide bike, and you'll see how high traction limits are on modern tyres, and how managable these things are with correct throttle control. :lol:

 

Hope this covers it of for you, and with some luck, we'll have some other students chime in at some point and share their experiences of rear traction issues and how they've managed them.

 

Bullet

So, you are saying that it is more difficult to turn a bike at speed due to gyroscopic forces. You should bear in mind that many, many people have proven that what you say is simply false. Measured, scientific, and with practical applications.

 

That does not mean you are wrong in what you are feeling, but do you think you could come up with another explanation that would concur with the scientific data (get your google on)?

 

I think there is, but I also don't believe that the science that gyroscopic force in negligable, at best, is necessarily applicable to the real world, i.e. teachable.

 

I believe that you are denying a myriad of motorcycle components, including the rider, that have a significantly large effect and influence on a phenomenon you are blaming on "gyroscopic force."

 

I feel that you have fallen into the trap of voodoo magic, like telling riders to, "put your head over the mirror" to corrrect body position.

 

It may work as a quick fix tool, but in the long run, false science is a tool to correct the truly talented and handicap the rest of us humbled mortals.

 

Rossi can have a chat with his bike before his race and do well. Myself, and most people, get an invitation by men in white coats for a cocktail party in a padded room when we do the same.

 

Hi Thor,

 

Thanks for your post, we like a good bit of informed, lively debate, helps spread the learning and knowledge for all. It's one of the primary aspects required of a coach when they join up that you have to aspire to have continued learning throughout your time, and as we're all pretty aware, there is a lot to riding a motorbike and always things to learn.

 

Whilst this post was about traction, you're right that I breifly noted on difficulty in turning a motorbike, and yes, its based on experience and learning from keith and the school. If you have a copy of TW2, Keith talks in much depth about this in section 3, pages 54 onwards, so you're more than happy to read and question and offer up debate on this matter, certainly if there is information which furthers adds to everyone's learning. perhaps it might be helpful for all if you provide links to your points of contention so that there is no ambiguity in the topic matter?

 

You're very correct about your statement about many factors involved in steering a motorbike, the design of motrocycle, the speed, the geometry of the bike, steering angles, trail, rake, tyre profile, leverage available via the bars, tyre and wheel weight all massvely affect how easy or difficult a bike is to turn, and I'm not in anyway trying to dismiss these factors at all, nor would I suggest that a riders ability to effectively steer should be underestimated also, however I do believe the principles and phsyics involved are well understand and have been demonstrated over many, many years.

 

We don't believe in voodoo magic at CSS, if there were such a thing as Pixie dust, I think we'd have marketed that a long time back, and keith would be a very, very rich man! :lol:

 

Bullet

Yes, I was trying to frame the discussion in a way that would not devolve into a physics debate - Tony Foales can take us down that path and prove that we do not have the physics and math backgrounds to follow no matter how generous he is in taking that into consideration. That was a big mistake on my part.

 

And I made a big mistake in using the terminology "voodoo magic". I don't use that term as a pejorative term. It is the shortcuts that I use to help me and my students move towards a way to effect the actions they want to happen.

 

But the students have to develop their own "voodoo magic". What false idols and twisted logic I use to get myself to affect a proper action is not a reasonable way to explain it to students. It may not, most likely, make any sense to them. I felt that you were being lazy in communicating your point and wanted you to think about it from a teachable perspective.

 

How can we transfer the most knowledge and understanding with the least amount of stress and confusion?

 

I can turn on a dime when I am wrong, but I'll never stop throwing handfuls of quarters when I believe I am on the right path.

 

Hi Thor,

 

No apology neccesary, I totally understood where you're coming from.

 

I think its not neccesary to have maths/physics technical understanding of the what and the why here, just the the concept of what works and why. Additionally to complement that, we need to have the practical experience of how it works and when it works as this cements the learning and makes it complete for students.

 

I think you summarised it well even you perhaps didn't think so, many people don't properly understand why things happen, and what consequence they have, and many students do want "just fix me" approach to riding, which of course, they don't get as their application of what we provide in seminars with keith/Andy etc, and what we coach on track is only part of the equation, and there needs to be practical application on the students part to embrace the learning which can be a barrier that needs working at.

 

Students do need to develop their own persepective and understanding unquestionably. I'm unaware of where there is some misunderstanding, or false logic in this thread. The student was initally concerned about traction coming off turns, and so I asked to him think about how that actually occurs, and what really happens. Additionally to that, I also shared my own practical knowledge of having experience sliding a motorbike a considerable amount of times (it rains here a lot in England, what can i say. :rolleyes: ), but additionally to that, I also said to Steve that he can experience this sensation and feeling himself on the lean bike which is a controlled environment to experience rear traction issues and how to deal with them. (i.e. he can develop his own knowledge on the matter).

 

I'm not sure if we're at cross purposes in this thread now, this thread was initally about traction and feel for traction, and I fear we may have speared off into steering issues, and additionally now, coaching methods. If this is the case, I'd suggest that if this is the case, we open up individual threads for each of the topics so it's easier for people to find in the future.

 

Bullet

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Hi Bullet

That is an excellent description of what we are looking for regarding using traction, thanks for that! Reading Stevo's posts I would say that I am at a similar level to him, I have also experienced a few little rear wheel slips and slides on the street but that is down to conditions rather than anything I have done, But whenever Its happened I have never really felt any warning signals from the bike, just got traction then not got traction, everything then feels like its in slow motion, I continue to obey throttle control rule #1 and it sorts itself out, thats a good feeling!

I also ride a 600 and from reading some other posts it seems that if my technique is good and its dry out there traction isn't going to be an issue on the exit of a turn anyway, knowing this lets me know that I could be going alot faster than I am currently whenever on track!

I will be at Rockingham next week for both days L2 and 3 and am looking forward to learning as much as I can from you guys over the course of the 2 days!

 

Cheers

 

Bobby

Now that you've been to the class, was there anything in particular you learned that addressed the original question about how to find or sense the traction limits?

 

 

Steve,

 

Bobby has been with us this week, undertaking levels 2 and 3 and the weather conditions were most questionable at times and the track we used (rockingham), is slippery as ice in certain turns so no doubt he'll have comments to make on sliding a little after that. :rolleyes:

 

Bobby?

 

Bullet

 

Got home safely late last night, we decided to go long way home and do a track evening at cadwell to practice what we had learned!

 

As Bullet said the weather was indeed questionable, if it was not the school but a normal track day I think I would have sat some of the sessions out but it was school and my instructor Chris (Butch) had every intention that I was going to go home a much better rider than I was when I arrived! On the first day that was when my sessions got the worst of the weather and that kind of made me a bit tense on the bike, a bit slow with my steering, and a bit hesitant with my throttle control! Butch immediately noticed this and we were in the pits and back to level 1 basics, the weather was causing the SR's that dont normally occur too much in the dry! Then on my second session in heavy rain on the second lap a guy high sided on the notoriously slippery turn 6 right in front of me, (we had been warned about this turn only 5 minutes earlier)! Seeing that messed with my head a bit and again made it hard to relax! My next session I decided to just forget about speed and work on the drills that Andy Ibbott had been teaching us in class and also focus on being relaxed, at this point things started to feel alot better, I was finding reference points in places I never even thought of looking, I was scanning the track looking for skid marks and whatever I could find and Butch kept signalling to me to lift my head, when I did lift my head thats when I found big RP's, I wont go too much into this but an example of something I found was a massive all seated grandstand which its edge conveniently made a good direction to look when exiting turn 6! I found it a bit funny that I'm riding around and dont even notice a huge grandstand, but now my eyes are open I find loads of things to look at and my vision is flowing, I always have somewhere to look and each RP is a signal that its time to look for the next one!

Every session I am feeling a bit better and am finding more things out there, but one of the most effective drills I found was riding the track on 3 different lines, the space this created for me was amazing, just realising how much unused area of track I had if I needed was amazing, then finally I got to work on the pick up drill which is the key to recovering slides!

 

The next day I did level 3 and got Butch as my instructor again which I was happy with but he was still not happy with my steering and throttle control, and he decided to put me on the off track steering drill which was cool because I missed it last year due to the weather! Today our group got lucky with the weather and the sun came out and dried everything out about 10 minutes before each session so the last session of the day was our only wet session! While working on all the body position drills that day Butch was very strictly pushing for improvement in my steering and throttle control, and throughout the day I could feel masive improvements, I felt so much more comfortable on my bike! It wasn't until that last session everything fell together, it was wet, I was relaxed, I had all the RP's I needed, I was comfortably locked into my bike then when Butch came past and told me to follow him thats exactly what I did, It didn't seem too fast for me and in the pits he told me he was surprised when he looked over his shoulder and I was right there! When I went back out for the last 10 minutes of my session I just kept doing everything like I had been and tried to go a little faster, was full of confidence and I was riding round watching the instructors sliding their R1's everywhere! I never got my bike sliding but I did learn that when all the techniques are practised correctly you can go fast in terrible conditions without upsetting the bike!

When I got my final chat with Butch he told me that he thought I didn't really realise just how much I had improved! I think that he has transformed my riding by focusing on all the areas that needed sorting out and by eventually getting me to relax going faster doesn't seem so hard now!

 

I apologise for going a bit off topic here but I kind of think that if you practice all the techniques properly getting near the limits of traction wont really be that big a deal!

 

Thanks Bullet for being able to find time throughout your busy day for a chat a few times and thanks to Andy Ibbott and Butch and the whole CSS UK team for 2 great days and making me better on my bike!

 

Cheers

Bobby

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Thanks Bullet for being able to find time throughout your busy day for a chat a few times and thanks to Andy Ibbott and Butch and the whole CSS UK team for 2 great days and making me better on my bike!

 

Cheers

Bobby

 

Hi Bobby,

 

Sorry, I'd missed your response to this thread, very sorry. As Cobie said, that really was a very good post, shared your experience very nicely. It was some pretty tricky conditions and you rode well for sure, and you could definitely see the improvement from day 1 to day 2. So congrats on that, and keep working at it good friend.

 

As for spending time to say hi, hey, no problem at all, is always great to see friends of the school, and we're all really glad to have you as a student thats well considered and able to contiunally keep working at improvement and apply the drills. We love students like this, it just makes our job a fantastic experience and everyone walks away happy at the end of a school. Keep at it my friend, it's a long, and fulfilling journey, and whilst we might not quite get you to Rossi status, riding like the coaches for example is definitely attainable in time with lots of understanding of the why and practical application. I've no doubt you'll keep working diligently with both.

 

Keep smiling and posting my friend, as you get understanding and breakthroughs, and share with your friend on here!

 

Bullet

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