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Improving Lap Times (continued . . . . . )


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If I could be so bold as to continue a subject started by Keith Code . . . . ?

 

Discipline

The hardest thing to perform on a ride day session on a racetrack, with a motorcycle at full noise between your legs? Self descipline. You know; when the red mist decends in front of the visor? And all your plans fly out of the visor. One of the many advantages of doing a CSS school (not that I've done any other school). You have corner workers watching you to ensure that your performing the drill at all times, and, you have an highly trained instructor assigned to ensure that you're applying it correctly and you're improving. An enforced discipline.

 

If you're at the ride day to ride and/or race with your buddies, then do that. If your there to work on your skills and improve your lap times, drop the ego. Have a plan on what you want to achieve and how you plan to achieve it, for each session *before* you go out. Personally, I usually put a piece of white tape on the tacho with what it is I'm working on. And yes, it is so easy to get distracted when your having so much fun.

 

Segment Timing

I've got a 100 Lap Stop Watch timer attached to the head stem of my race bike. There is a motorcross style press kill switch on the left handlebar, which is wired in parallel to the stop watch Split Lap button. Not only can I record my own lap times, but I can also split the track into multiple segments. This allows me to record my segment times for a series of corners. At the end of the session, I write down the times.

Note: The wire from the switch to the stop watch has a connector to allow easy removal and maintenance (changing the battery).

 

Enjoy!

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A conventional lap timer can be expensive ($250 Australian), and it only does full laps (tracks in Australia don't have segment loops like you find at GoKart tracks here). The modified and fitted stop watch cost about $50 all up, and I can break the lap into as many segments as I like. Or I can just time a full lap.

 

A whole lap time can change due to a mistake on a corner your not working on, and in most cases, is affected by other riders (slower or faster). A segment time can give you a real verification of the effect of a change you've made to a corner (or series of corners).

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  • 2 weeks later...

That is a very insightful post Bones. I have considered using my built in lap timer on my Aprilia so that I could tell in which parts of the track I was doing well on and which parts I could use additional help on compared to the faster riders in both my race classes and the over all top guys at the track. When racing, you sometimes lose track of the faster riders, but knowing where this is happening would be very valuable.

 

The best thing that you mentioned is having mistakes in other parts of the track where you are not working influence your decisions to change the areas that you are. That is the most insightful thing I learned today.

 

Jaime

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Just be sure to take the manually operated times as an estimate.

 

Infrared timers can easily be set to do splits. You just need a few beacons and a little knowledge of the buttons.

 

Or, if you have any crew, they can manually time splits for you. They can get other riders splits for comparison as well.

 

Just a cuation about working on section times. If you ease up too much on the other parts of the track, you can have a different level of traction the next time through. I've crashed this way. <_<

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