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Just a quick thank you to the folks at CSS that got me off to a great start:

 

4726543750_4993bd7670.jpg

 

Over that past 6 months I've been doing a lot of track days and I'm finally to a point where I'm comfortable with the bike and carry a decent pace. Right now is probably the most fun I've ever had, I know what the bike is doing and have a good feel for what it wants. The big problem is that now that I can easily get my knee down through any corner on the track, I do. Not only do I put my knee down I end up holding tighter lines to keep my knee down. Even worse, I'll use more lean angle that turns really call for. But hay - it looks cool!

 

One of my friends videod me for a lap or so. I went ahead and marked it up showing all the mess ups I make:

 

 

One thing that has been commented on is that I get too enthusiastic throwing myself across the seat and end up hanging off too much and being twisted up. So I'm working on that and pushing my lines out more.

 

Anyway - thought I'd show off my progress. Rossi better watch out.

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Just a quick thank you to the folks at CSS that got me off to a great start:

Tweek;

I see that there hasn't been any commentary on your post so far so I thought I would kick it off with an unqualified perspective; mainly with questions.

 

You mentioned that the folks at CSS got you off to your start so question no. 1 is: Have you attended a CSS event and if so, how many levels did you complete?

The reason for the question is that based upon your own self commentary (by way of the text in your video), you are clearly aware of your missing the apex multiple times, running wide, low lining a corner or two but you never suggest why you do so leading to question no. 2: Do you think you know why?

Observing your corner entry and exits, question no. 3 would be do you think that you consistently apply throttle control rule No. 1?

No. 4 would be regarding steering inputs? Would you say that you follow the CSS training about steering inputs in a corner?

You do get your knee down in many corners but question no. 5 would be did you notice what you do to precipitate the majority of these occurances?

Questions no. 6 and 7 would come from your offering an observation your buddies shared about your hanging off style; can you tell us how you attach yourself to the bike when your hanging off and can you describe how you transition back and forth across the bike?

 

Tweek I think its great that you took the time to edit and post this video and I hope we can facilitate some additional dialogue about its contents because as I opened with this post - I am NOT qualified to offer an opinion on what I saw but maybe we can get some folks who are qualified to chime in. After all, that's what this Forum is all about isn't it?

 

Rainman

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Just a quick thank you to the folks at CSS that got me off to a great start:

Tweek;

I see that there hasn't been any commentary on your post so far so I thought I would kick it off with an unqualified perspective; mainly with questions.

 

---snipped: you can read it above----

 

Tweek I think its great that you took the time to edit and post this video and I hope we can facilitate some additional dialogue about its contents because as I opened with this post - I am NOT qualified to offer an opinion on what I saw but maybe we can get some folks who are qualified to chime in. After all, that's what this Forum is all about isn't it?

 

Rainman

 

Always with the socrates stuff. ;)

 

You can see the layout of ECR here: http://www.eaglescanyon.com/2008/facilities.php

 

1. Have you attended a CSS event

Yes. I have attended 4 days of CSS (1-4). First time ever on a race track was at Mid-Ohio. Great track. Level 3 & 4 were at Barber where I'll be doing 2 track days in August.

 

One thing to keep in mind going forward from here: I've been getting private instruction from Ty Howard whose philosphy is a touch different than CSS's. I'm not going to debate the merits of either. I think both are right. We just don't have a grand unified theory of riding yet to explain it.

 

2. Do you know why your lines are messed up?

Partial reason: I'm holding tighter lines than I should to keep my knee down.

The rest is that riding in 100+F heat wears your butt out. I usually do my best time during the 3rd session around 10am. I know where I'm supposed to be. But most of the time I'm just enjoying the fact that I ride at a respectable intermediate pace without worrying about anything. Just having fun. I'll break the 2:00 ECR barrier this year. I've been stedily dropping 1 second off my average and narrowing the variance with each member day I attend. 2:15s right now are just plain fun. The scary part is that doing a 2:12 doesnt really seem that fast. The more relaxed I get the faster I go with less effort. 2:20s were freaking scary.

 

3. Do you think that you consistently apply throttle control rule No. 1?

consistently is vegue. But for our purposes here: no. First, ECRs layout is mostly double apex turn, many with elevation changes, trail braking through the first apex cone has been working really well. The problem is transitioning over to the throttle. The pause between the last of the brake and the first crack of the throttle is too long. My plan on Friday is to actually change the line in to three. Basically, I start turning too late and too sharply to get close to the first apex which doesnt leave me any room so I end up just staying down on my arc all the way to the 2nd apex where I can start my drive out. I think turning in sooner and slower, getting to the back of the turn sooner will allow more speed in, allow me to run along the outside of the turn, arcing past the 2nd apex with a good driver out. More along the lines of the drive plan described in soft science. We'll see if the hurricane doesnt spoil it.

 

4. Would you say that you follow the CSS training about steering inputs in a corner?

Fairly well actually. I usually don't have to make corrections to my line once I've turned in.

 

5. Do you know what you are doing to get your knee down

A couple of things: decent body position, tighened line and way too much lean angle for the speed I'm actually hodling. I could probably getbetter times than I am now without ever touching my knee. Just hold a truer line. But what fun would that be? I wouldnt have those awesome pictures to show off to the squids at Starbucks.

 

6. How do you attach yourself to the bike(riding position)

first: loose on the bars. I like my outside forearm touching the tank. My outside knee is dug in to the tank (techspec pads) pressing down with my outside foot on the peg to help wedge it in better. The inside toe is pointed in the direction of the turn. The peg degs in between my middle toe and foot (you can see the bottom of my boots). My feet are pretty big and dragging toes isnt as cool as you'd think. I try to stay only half off the seat but as mentioned I occasionally fail. Upper body is to the inside of the tank so that I can drop my shoulder to the tank when I start to roll on the throttle hard (its rolling on the whole time, but there is rolling on and then Rolling On).

Can't really think of anything else.

 

7. How are you transitioning across?

Depends upon how tired I am. When I'm fresh and warmed up I use my hips and knees to pull myself across. But once I'm worn out my legs get more involved and that is where I can end up going too far.

 

If you are watching the video you can watch my tail light to see how far I'm braking in to turns. The interesting piece to it is that just a fraction of brake has the same affect on the suspension as doing a hook turn (and we wonder why my lines end up too tight). I've learned to to brake really hard (back wheel should float and skip a bit) and then trail the brakes off, by the time I'm at the turn point I probably only have 10% brake pressure going, just enough to keep the front end from coming up. By the time I'm at max lean angle I'm off the brakes and starting on the throttle again, but all the stuff going on keeps the front compressed and keeps the bike from running wide. Then as I roll the throttle on hard I push myself forward to keep the front down and holding the line without having to lean in more. The bike will end up running wide a little, but it is the line you want anyway.

 

Which actually brings to mind another area I'd like to improve: returning to seat. I don't think anybody caught it on video but I gave myself a nice bit of headshake once by pulling on the bars to get back in the seat. Luckily I didnt do anything and the bike took care of it. Also: I don't run with a stearing damper. Except for one stupid mistake, that I won't repeat, I have never needed one.

 

Anyway: thanks for the questions. I look forward to the response.

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Wow, you guys covered a lot of ground!

 

How about we narrow this down some and tackle one thing at a time?

 

One comment I'll make Tweek: the one real minus of adding lean angle to "find your knee" is that it can happen while the rider is also bringing a little throttle on. That's the deadly combo, adding the 2 together (throttle and lean).

 

Make sense on that point?

 

Best,

CF

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Wow, you guys covered a lot of ground!

 

How about we narrow this down some and tackle one thing at a time?

 

One comment I'll make Tweek: the one real minus of adding lean angle to "find your knee" is that it can happen while the rider is also bringing a little throttle on. That's the deadly combo, adding the 2 together (throttle and lean).

 

Make sense on that point?

 

Best,

CF

 

Make sense on that point?

like this:

4747445452_c668667773_o.jpg

 

only without the million dollar contract, super doctors and the photographer to get the awesome picture.

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Yeah, that's what happened to Lorenzo on at least 2 of the high sides I watched, he was adding both!

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Yeah, that's what happened to Lorenzo on at least 2 of the high sides I watched, he was adding both!

 

 

Guess I need to keep that in mind going forward. As I said before: I'm having a great time right now. Everything is just working.

 

I'm planning on doing another weekend with you guys next summer. Think I'd like to visit a different track this time. Probably come out to Willow springs. Maybe I can make the coaches actually earn their money chasing me around the track by then.

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Yeah, that's what happened to Lorenzo on at least 2 of the high sides I watched, he was adding both!

 

 

Guess I need to keep that in mind going forward. As I said before: I'm having a great time right now. Everything is just working.

 

I'm planning on doing another weekend with you guys next summer. Think I'd like to visit a different track this time. Probably come out to Willow springs. Maybe I can make the coaches actually earn their money chasing me around the track by then.

 

Now we're talking, they love that :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Now we're talking, they love that :)

 

We'll see. Most of the CSS coaches could probably easily qualify midpack of an AMA superbike race. I'm sure I'll be real entertaining.

 

But....I just cut 2 seconds off my best time around ECR (2:10 now - lap record is 1:45 & front CMRA racers are in the high 1:50s). Building off of the 'Drive Plan' from soft science, I've changed the way I enter several of the turn by taking a wider entrance. I use less lean angle and carry more speed and the engine stays right in its sweet spot to blast back out. Not as much knee dragging, but easily several seconds faster without doing anything 'scary'.

 

The next 10 seconds will come from better transitioning from throttle to braking. Right now I spend a 'lot' of time coasting between full throttle and then brakes. I know that I have plenty of braking left becuase I'm rarely causing the back tire to skip around.

 

Anyway, pretty cool not being the slowest guy on track anymore. Especially when you're passing guys with number plates on their bikes. Novice plates, but still plates. And I still have head lights.

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