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Cornering Question


KawaKlaus
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Have a few questions for all you fellow riders:

 

I have a 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 650r with Sportbars, Power Commander V, Arrow Exhaust.

 

This past weekend I went on a great 230 mile roundtrip ride with three guys (Yamaha R1, Suzuki GSX 1000 and a Yamaha R6). Was a great ride.

They were telling me that I need to get a true sportbike because mine (the 650r) is not perfect for learning better cornering due to the 650's suspension, tires, etc.

Note: Right now I have about 1 inch of "chicken strips" on the edge of my tires.

 

Is my Ninja 650 good enough for Level I and Level II for the CSS or should I use the BMW bike?

The OEM tires are Bridgestone 021's and I want to replace them with either Bridgestone 016's or 003's.

Which tire model would provide me with more cornering grip on the Ninja 650 ?

 

Appreciate any input and feedback.

 

Cheers,

Klaus

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Your friends don't really know what they're talking about. Your bike is a very fun ride. I don't ride track with it, but sometimes when I'm out riding to practice some things I'll take my EX out. It's an amazingly fun bike that always surprises me. I have it completely stock except that I've changed the bars and got some that are almost straight so I'm forward more. Until we get on the straights, I'll guarantee I can get through a tight section almost as fast as I can on my ZX6R. The pop the twin has out of the corner is great.

 

One problem is suspension. Without being able to adjust the front at all and the back only 3 notches, you will have to adjust to the bike instead of letting the bike adjust to you. Or you can go out and buy a suspension. Either way you'll be fine learning to corner on the EX. What you don't know you won't miss, and when you get a track bike or upgrade you'll just appreciate it all the more.

 

Any sport tire is going to get you the grip you need. I would recommend Michelin, but since attending CSS I'm a Dunlop guy. Just need to wear the Michelins out first.

 

I'm always tempted to take it out to the track to really get on it, and eventually will. Enjoy the 650 and get another one when you want to. You've got a really good bike.

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Jason is corretomudo

 

My 2 cents: Tell these foolios your bike is perfect. Get your suspension hooked up, hit L1 and L2, and run circles around your boys B)

 

Tires -- I love the bt016's. I've used the bt021's on the track without any issues. As Keith said, if your not on a race pace, save your money - the "super sticky" race tires are not needed. I've had no problems with the bt016's; mind you, I'm a slow [recently bumped-up] intermediate track day back marker. Run 'em at 30/30 (front/rear) and you'll be fine. I don't remember specifically, but someone told the the edge compounds of the 16's and 003's are pretty much the same. Nevertheless, I think the 16's are awesome.

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I've got an ER6N (the naked version of the 650R) and have a Bridgestone BT023 front and BT021 rear. No problems with grip. The 023 is an improvement. Run the book pressures 32 front, 36 rear. I also tour a bit and the mileage is good. Suspension could be improved but if you adjust it to your weight its OK (and not as soft as some bikes I've ridden).

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The fundamentals of Level 1 and 2 can be learned on any machine. Throttle control principles are the same on any bike...that can't change. Different bikes offer more suspension adjustment and slightly better equipment but your bike is not a problem. I've seen people on all kinds of bikes go thru the school. That being said you should keep this in mind. On two days of riding on the track you will have to do the following:

 

Maintain your machine

Transport it to the track

Keep it safe over night

Have good tires.

 

You pay 475 I think if you BYOB and 650 if you rent theirs. A set of tires alone are over 225 bux...so renting makes alot of sense. It eliminates all of the tasks above :). Just something to think about. Plus the BMW is a kick ass machine. I have one ;). I used theirs for the first 3 levels and mine for level 4.

 

Good luck and have fun on track.

 

Brett

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I'm solidly in the "Bring Your Own Bike" camp.

 

Reasons include:

  • You don't need to 'adapt' to a bike you've never ridden before (or, have an entirely different suspension setup, even if the rental bike is the same bike as your own)
  • You don't have to share it with another student
  • You know how it works and rides in the corners - you can focus on the drills
  • Your coach will experience you riding on the 'correct' bike, and as such the coach can better attack all those little bad habits you've picked up over the years
  • You don't need to transplant the learning/body position/whatever from the rental bike to your own bike
  • And finally: ...... you won't be tempted to buy that ultra-slick and expensive rental bike, just because you've found that your own bike suddenly feels like a bunch of junk ;)

Of course, there are opposite arguments like transporting the bike there and keeping it safe, but personally I'd bring my own bike if I could at all.

 

That is; if I ever take a CSS course overseas (Laguna Seca comes to mind...), it'll be on a rental bike 'cause the cost of transporting the bike across the pond and return will simply be too high.

 

Kai

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I'm solidly in the "Bring Your Own Bike" camp.

 

Reasons include:

  • You don't need to 'adapt' to a bike you've never ridden before (or, have an entirely different suspension setup, even if the rental bike is the same bike as your own)
  • You don't have to share it with another student
  • You know how it works and rides in the corners - you can focus on the drills
  • Your coach will experience you riding on the 'correct' bike, and as such the coach can better attack all those little bad habits you've picked up over the years
  • You don't need to transplant the learning/body position/whatever from the rental bike to your own bike
  • And finally: ...... you won't be tempted to buy that ultra-slick and expensive rental bike, just because you've found that your own bike suddenly feels like a bunch of junk wink.gif

Of course, there are opposite arguments like transporting the bike there and keeping it safe, but personally I'd bring my own bike if I could at all.

 

That is; if I ever take a CSS course overseas (Laguna Seca comes to mind...), it'll be on a rental bike 'cause the cost of transporting the bike across the pond and return will simply be too high.

 

Kai

 

Kai;

Having done both at a number of Schools there are pros and cons no matter what choice you make. I have had my track bike break down at three different Schools and only one of the three times I was able to fix in time to finish the day. The first time was simply running out of gas; I never had to think about bring extra fuel because I had never ridden anything but a School bike at the track so that was easy to fix. The other two times the issues were beyond my ability to fix (unexplained oil pressure drop and then a cam timing sensor failure) so I sat out the rest of both days.

 

Now I know a bit more and can actually fix a bit more but I am also more comfortable with the training that I can adapt to ride whatever bike I am on. If I am on the east coast of the US (where I corner work for the School) I ride my own bike and when I am on the west coast for business and can squeeze in a School day I am perfectly comfortable on the School's BMW's and their ZX-6R's before then.

 

I guess my position is that I thnk it makes sense to do both with the emphasis to start at Level's I and II (and maybe III) on a School bike and then start to integrate your own bike into the equation once you have internalized the training more thoroughly.

 

...anyway some (many) will disagree with me here but that's my 2 cents worth. ; )

 

Rain

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I guess my position is that I thnk it makes sense to do both with the emphasis to start at Level's I and II (and maybe III) on a School bike and then start to integrate your own bike into the equation once you have internalized the training more thoroughly.

 

...anyway some (many) will disagree with me here but that's my 2 cents worth. ; )

Hi Kevin,

 

Indeed - it was only meant as my $0.02 worth as well :)

I'm sorry if I've come across anyway other than that; I see it as a "pick 'yer poison" situation, and you need to decide for yourself on an enlightened basis.

 

 

Kai

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Indeed - it was only meant as my $0.02 worth as well smile.gif

I'm sorry if I've come across anyway other than that; I see it as a "pick 'yer poison" situation, and you need to decide for yourself on an enlightened basis.

 

 

Kai

Whoa!...Kai...nothing of the sort Mate. No apologies necessary and no you haven't come across in any way that needs an explaination. Your posts have been spot on and all I wanted was to counter balance your experience with mine. What makes this Forum work is that we all bring our different perspectives and experiences and toss them out there for new members to consider when they ask us for our input. It's all good isn't it?

 

Rain

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Your friends don't really know what they're talking about. Your bike is a very fun ride. I don't ride track with it, but sometimes when I'm out riding to practice some things I'll take my EX out. It's an amazingly fun bike that always surprises me. I have it completely stock except that I've changed the bars and got some that are almost straight so I'm forward more. Until we get on the straights, I'll guarantee I can get through a tight section almost as fast as I can on my ZX6R. The pop the twin has out of the corner is great.

 

One problem is suspension. Without being able to adjust the front at all and the back only 3 notches, you will have to adjust to the bike instead of letting the bike adjust to you. Or you can go out and buy a suspension. Either way you'll be fine learning to corner on the EX. What you don't know you won't miss, and when you get a track bike or upgrade you'll just appreciate it all the more.

 

Any sport tire is going to get you the grip you need. I would recommend Michelin, but since attending CSS I'm a Dunlop guy. Just need to wear the Michelins out first.

 

I'm always tempted to take it out to the track to really get on it, and eventually will. Enjoy the 650 and get another one when you want to. You've got a really good bike.

 

 

Hi Jasonzilla,

 

Thank you for the feedback and great input.

Yeah, I might have to reconsider whom I go riding with ;)

So, good to know that I have a bike that has great torque in the low and midrange (well, not compared to a literbike) but can handle well and kepp up with them in the corners, never mind the top speed.

After installing the Power Commander V I have better driveability and better throttle response. And the Arrow muffler made the bike also 10 pounds lighter (my curbweight is 468 lbs wet).

What Dunlop tires are you using? Q2's ?

Thank you for your comments.

I do enjoy my bike (650) and plan on using it for both Level I and II. In a year from now, I will upgrade to a literbike (4 cylinder) and work on improving my skills for Level III.

How do you improve your cornering/lean angle? I still have one inch of chickenstrips.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Cheers,

Klaus

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Jason is corretomudo

 

My 2 cents: Tell these foolios your bike is perfect. Get your suspension hooked up, hit L1 and L2, and run circles around your boys cool.gif

 

Tires -- I love the bt016's. I've used the bt021's on the track without any issues. As Keith said, if your not on a race pace, save your money - the "super sticky" race tires are not needed. I've had no problems with the bt016's; mind you, I'm a slow [recently bumped-up] intermediate track day back marker. Run 'em at 30/30 (front/rear) and you'll be fine. I don't remember specifically, but someone told the the edge compounds of the 16's and 003's are pretty much the same. Nevertheless, I think the 16's are awesome.

 

Hey dmj120,

 

Thank you for your feedback.

 

Both the 003s and 016's are about the same (+/- $10/tire). How many miles do you get out of a set?

 

Good tip on the tire pressure, we'll verify that they are at 30/30.

 

I have not gone to a track day. Want to start with Level I and II and get lots of pratice (no throttle roll off in corners, etc. ;)

 

Maybe I'll have to come to Willow Springs for a weekend of learning and cornering. ph34r.gif

 

Cheers,

Klaus

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I've got an ER6N (the naked version of the 650R) and have a Bridgestone BT023 front and BT021 rear. No problems with grip. The 023 is an improvement. Run the book pressures 32 front, 36 rear. I also tour a bit and the mileage is good. Suspension could be improved but if you adjust it to your weight its OK (and not as soft as some bikes I've ridden).

 

 

Good Day Mate, smile.gif

 

Thank you for the feedback.

I currently have Bridgestone BT023's on the front and back, just want to get more sticky tires (can get a set of 003's or 016's for about $260 before installation).

Sure, mileage would be less than on the 023s but more grip is ok with me.

 

Cheers,

Klaus

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The fundamentals of Level 1 and 2 can be learned on any machine. Throttle control principles are the same on any bike...that can't change. Different bikes offer more suspension adjustment and slightly better equipment but your bike is not a problem. I've seen people on all kinds of bikes go thru the school. That being said you should keep this in mind. On two days of riding on the track you will have to do the following:

 

Maintain your machine

Transport it to the track

Keep it safe over night

Have good tires.

 

You pay 475 I think if you BYOB and 650 if you rent theirs. A set of tires alone are over 225 bux...so renting makes alot of sense. It eliminates all of the tasks above smile.gif. Just something to think about. Plus the BMW is a kick ass machine. I have one wink.gif. I used theirs for the first 3 levels and mine for level 4.

 

Good luck and have fun on track.

 

Brett

 

Hi Brett,

 

Great feedback.

So, how long does it take someone to get comfortable with the BMW bike? I don't want to go and burn through one or two days and not feel at home on the bike compared to the one I've been riding.

 

Thank you for the wishes. I am sooo looking forward to Level I and II, we'll see how much improvement I can make thanks to my riding coaches.

 

Cheers,

Klaus

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The Ninja will be fine and chances are you'll be faster and learn more in it than on a larger, more powerful machine, which can be scary and overwhelming.

 

 

Hi Eirik,

 

Thank you for your input.

 

I like the sound of that.

Sounds like what I really need is a great riding coach to get me to the next level properly.

 

Good point, get the basics on my bike, then move up to a literbike.

 

Cheers to Norway,

 

Klaussmile.gif

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Hey dmj120,

 

Thank you for your feedback.

 

Both the 003s and 016's are about the same (+/- $10/tire). How many miles do you get out of a set?

 

Good tip on the tire pressure, we'll verify that they are at 30/30.

 

I have not gone to a track day. Want to start with Level I and II and get lots of pratice (no throttle roll off in corners, etc. ;)

 

Maybe I'll have to come to Willow Springs for a weekend of learning and cornering. ph34r.gif

 

Cheers,

Klaus

 

First, Klaus, I should mention that my bike is a commuter, weekender, track-dayer, etc.

 

003s ~ 3500 miles

016s ~ upwards of 5500 miles

021s ~ almost 6500 miles

 

... which is why I've stuck with the 16s for a while. I get as much use as possible, and then a few extra miles ;)

 

 

I've tried to convince my work that I need a company car. I even researched a better overall deal; taking mileage, price etc into account, the 2011 Goldwing is perfect - good amenities, trunk space... and it's still a bike :D. My idea seemed to fall on deaf ears :huh:

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I've got an ER6N (the naked version of the 650R) and have a Bridgestone BT023 front and BT021 rear. No problems with grip. The 023 is an improvement. Run the book pressures 32 front, 36 rear. I also tour a bit and the mileage is good. Suspension could be improved but if you adjust it to your weight its OK (and not as soft as some bikes I've ridden).

 

 

Good Day Mate, smile.gif

 

Thank you for the feedback.

I currently have Bridgestone BT023's on the front and back, just want to get more sticky tires (can get a set of 003's or 016's for about $260 before installation).

Sure, mileage would be less than on the 023s but more grip is ok with me.

 

Cheers,

Klaus

 

If your not using the full potential of your current tires and still have 1" chicken strips than tires with more grip wont benefit you at all. Sticky tires are only useful when your current ones no longer offer enough grip for your pace. This would be an excellent article for you to read. http://forums.superbikeschool.com/index.php?showtopic=877

 

Don't worry about the chicken strips. When your knowledge and skill level gets better they will disappear on their own. Also there are a lot of slow riders out their with no chicken strips. Lower lean angles doesn't always mean higher corner speeds.

 

The Twist of the Wrist II DVD has loads of great information in it. For $30 theres no reason not to buy it if your trying to improve.

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I've got an ER6N (the naked version of the 650R) and have a Bridgestone BT023 front and BT021 rear. No problems with grip. The 023 is an improvement. Run the book pressures 32 front, 36 rear. I also tour a bit and the mileage is good. Suspension could be improved but if you adjust it to your weight its OK (and not as soft as some bikes I've ridden).

 

 

Good Day Mate, smile.gif

 

Thank you for the feedback.

I currently have Bridgestone BT023's on the front and back, just want to get more sticky tires (can get a set of 003's or 016's for about $260 before installation).

Sure, mileage would be less than on the 023s but more grip is ok with me.

 

Cheers,

Klaus

 

If your not using the full potential of your current tires and still have 1" chicken strips than tires with more grip wont benefit you at all. Sticky tires are only useful when your current ones no longer offer enough grip for your pace. This would be an excellent article for you to read. http://forums.superb...p?showtopic=877

 

Don't worry about the chicken strips. When your knowledge and skill level gets better they will disappear on their own. Also there are a lot of slow riders out their with no chicken strips. Lower lean angles doesn't always mean higher corner speeds.

 

The Twist of the Wrist II DVD has loads of great information in it. For $30 theres no reason not to buy it if your trying to improve.

 

 

Hi Fajita Dave,

 

Thank you for your comments and the link to the article from Keith Code.

I did print out the article and will read over the long Thanksgiving weekend.

About a month ago I ordered the Twist of the Wrist II book and DVD, which is excellent. Also got the audio cds so I can listen to the Twist of the Wrist II book, while I'm communting to work Mo-Fr (got an hour commute).

 

So, will attending CSS' Level I and II make my chicken strips disappear?

 

Cheers,

Klausph34r.gif

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Hi Fajita Dave,

 

Thank you for your comments and the link to the article from Keith Code.

I did print out the article and will read over the long Thanksgiving weekend.

About a month ago I ordered the Twist of the Wrist II book and DVD, which is excellent. Also got the audio cds so I can listen to the Twist of the Wrist II book, while I'm communting to work Mo-Fr (got an hour commute).

 

So, will attending CSS' Level I and II make my chicken strips disappear?

 

Cheers,

Klausph34r.gif

 

I think you're a bit too hung up on getting rid of those strips. Someone else has mentioned that they're not necessarily an indication of how fast you are, someone could have a bad posture on the bike and have zero chicken strips, whilst someone else with a much better posture could be faster through a turn, yet still have a cm or so of strip remaining.

 

I'd say forget about them entirely and once you gain confidence and experience they'll disappear without you even realising.

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