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Could Style Have Saved Them?

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If you look at old videos from the 500cc GP era when high-sides were common, this was mostly described as a problem due to tyres having too much grip for the chassis above them and also because they had a very narrow window between grip and no grip. Add the violent way the power kicks in on a 500 two-stroke, especially during the '80s and early '90s, and one can understand they were riding on a knife's edge.

 

My question is; would highsides have been fewer and perhaps less violent if Code's principles had been used by all riders and why! - or would it have little influence upon this issue?

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I was just watching "Faster" and wondered much the same thing. I saw so many high sides that I wondered what was causing them all. Do you think it was the sudden throttle changes, "bad" tires, tire/engine mismatch, SRs, pushing the limits or what? We see fewer high sides now with the four strokes, but plenty of tucking the front end. I look forward to reading your responses to Eirik's great question.

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The bikes change by the lap. Tire wear, weight, it's just what happens. If these guys applied the principles more effectively and mindfully, I don't think they'd have made it to that level.

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So you are saying that if they followed the principles teached by the CSS today, these riders would not have been so fast?

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Well,

 

@ crash106 apples and bananas..., 20 years old two-stroke without TC, ride by wire and with narrow temprange tires compared to modern day four-stroke with every electronic aid in the world plus multicompound widetemp range tires.... that's why, simple as..

 

On the subject of a toplevel rider would have/will gone/go slower if they followed Keiths teachings, well the top ten guys would, because they follow no rules, if they want the bike to turn on a plate, they chop the throttle completely (mamola) and don't crash like the rest of us. If they had to adhere to the fairly rigid rules that is CSS, then they would hit a upper limit that you and I don't know exist. But for 99,9% of riders, CSS teachings make them faster, safer and give a better understanding of the bikes reactions.

 

Ronni

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I think Ronni makes some good points, however, I submit there's suttin else to the equation. I think they still use the same principles - physics is physics. That said, top racers have extra thing, they're nut jobs ;)

 

 

When they 'chop' the throttle and turning on a plate, I believe they're still following good throttle control ---only at blazing speeds, which (to us mere mortals) appear to be chopping. Racing comes down to hundredths, and even thousandths, of seconds, something which physical manipulation of the controls must -try- to match. Watch some of the camera shots of their hands.... seems to follow the smooth theory, control etc.

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Well,

 

@ crash106 apples and bananas..., 20 years old two-stroke without TC, ride by wire and with narrow temprange tires compared to modern day four-stroke with every electronic aid in the world plus multicompound widetemp range tires.... that's why, simple as..

 

On the subject of a toplevel rider would have/will gone/go slower if they followed Keiths teachings, well the top ten guys would, because they follow no rules, if they want the bike to turn on a plate, they chop the throttle completely (mamola) and don't crash like the rest of us. If they had to adhere to the fairly rigid rules that is CSS, then they would hit a upper limit that you and I don't know exist. But for 99,9% of riders, CSS teachings make them faster, safer and give a better understanding of the bikes reactions.

 

Ronni

 

Quite a few world champs listed as students in Keith's bio, and of course I can't wait to see how far Leon Camier, Austin DeHaven, and other current students go, I don't buy that the top guys would be slowed down by following Keith's teachings. Also I think its worth noting that Keith's coaching does continue to evolve, and changes as bikes change. For example, the change to the BMWs has resulted in some new teaching techniques that the coaches can use, making use of the BMWs electronics.

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When Freddie Spencer arrived on the GP scene, he went quicker than the others by sliding the front really hard going into corners, and just before it tucked, he would open the throttle to unload the front just enough that it would grip. This was made doubly difficult by the Honda 500 triple that had an extremely narrow and violent powerband.

 

Other riders would follow the same practice, because they saw it made them faster around a circuit, although few understood why.

 

My question then is; would this kind of riding be within what Code teaches when working with world class riders, or have riding style progressed beyond this? Watching MotoGP this season, you could see the riders sliding both wheels, but it seemed to me to be more of a drifting thing, both wheels sliding at the same time as they powered through the turns?

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As Hotfood said, the list of champions that have been (and are being) trained pretty much answers the question on whether it works or not at the top level, then and now. But don't take my word, look at the forwards, notes, comments by the champions in Keith's books. Look at the list of Champions trained on the website, and still going strong. From Eddie Lawson to Austin DeHaven. Little Joe Roberts was at a recent school and if didn't take the lap record on his 125 was within a 10th of a second. Or the fact he is the only American in the Red Bull cup this next year in Europe. Or Leon Camier (British Supersport and Superbike Champion) who just finished days of traing with Keith and crew.

 

I've personally had the pleasure of "being that fly on the wall" when he has talked and worked with a number of these guys. 2 world champions come to mind that he was working with on Level 1 skills, and one became a world champ after that, another got his 2nd title after working with Keith.

 

Technique errors are technique errors, some bikes are more forgiving than others. Lorenzo stopped highsiding himself to the moon, like he had done a bit in the previous years. Rossi was on the same bike, and wasn't doing it, so there is a difference. Lorenzo had a hole in his riding technique (that he cleaned up this year, obviously).

 

Make sense to you guys?

 

CF

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Wayne Rainey was also a student, wasn't he?

 

I wasn't trying to say that Code and his principles doesn't work, I was specifically pinpointing high-sides from the most violent era of motorcycling. Doohan, for instance, to me seemed like he used a style very different from what Code teaches, and he didn't fare too badly. But perhaps he could have done even better with guiding - I couldn't tell since I do not understand enough of all the issues a rider has to deal with constantly at world class level.

 

It is also strange - and fascinating - to follow riders who have been dominant or at least reached the highest level, like Luthi (another Code student) and Poggialy to name but two, only to drop their performance considerably. Is it because they lose drive and desire? Confidence? Fall back to old sins?

 

Regardless, it is pretty obvious that no matter what the theory tells us, riders have greatly different personal styles that make one bike suit some riders and not others, whereas for another bike it may be the other way around. Like DePuniet going faster on the Duc after just a few hours of practice than he did on the Honda he'd ridden all year, whereas Rossi couldn't come to grips with the Ducati at all. Just as an example.

 

I'm rambling again, aren't I sad.gif

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Yep. Rainey was student.

 

Doohan's name gets brought up pretty often in this type of discussion, and for good reason. At first glance you say "His style was way different to what Code teaches", and if you were looking only at the way he used his body, you'd be totally justified in saying so. In fact, with regards to body positioning, there are tonnes of examples of champions who looked quite different on the bike, although there a less and less these days. Elias is perhaps one of the only current world level riders who looks REALLY different.

 

The riders body position is the most easily observable element of a riders ideas on riding (their style).

 

Ever seen "perfect" body positioning going slow? I have. There's a guy who looks like Lorenzo in the slow group at every ride day I go to. And one that looks like Rossi too.

 

What was Doohan's throttle control like?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are quite a few pieces that go into a multiple world champion. One of them is simply who do you have behind the scenes supporting you?

 

Another is his command of the riding technology, whether he knows it verbally or not, is saying it or not, but what is his REAL knowledge of the key fundamentals of riding. While Doohand (and Bayliss) had a riding postion that put a lot of lean angle in the (one skill) how were all their other skills? (including setting up the bike to suit them). Pretty darn awesome when Bayliss finished WSB then won the GP, wasn't it?

 

Another would be a rider's mental "conditioning". There have been some fantastically talented riders that did not make it as world champs (Gobert?). I'm sure you guys can think of other examples.

 

And to answer a question, yes, Wayne was a student, and so is Karel Abraham (just won the moto2 race).

 

CF

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I still believe there are many ways to riding fast, even if the basic principles stand firm. You can probably set similar lap times by going fast in/slow out as slow in/fast out, or squaring off the tyre as keeping a high average cornering speed. Preferences, style and particular talent will probably dictate some of the way each rider go, even if the top racers as a group will be much closer to each other that the general riding public, no doubt.

 

Did I understand it correctly that Camier is also a student? If so, it would be very interesting to know why he needs a completely different set-up to Biaggi - it was something about heavy rear brake use, was it?

 

It's also going to be interesting to follow Karel in MotoGP. Not only if he can be reasonably competitive, but also if he can manage to stay on the bike. He was almost as quick as Rossi during the Valencia test. How long has he been a CSS student?

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