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Cobie Fair

Whose Riding Do You Like--No Tv Heroes Though.

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OK, here is a more personal question anyone can answer:

 

Whose riding that you have ridden with or personally seen ride (no TV heroes!), and what about their riding did you like/admire?

 

Try and be specific please.

 

Best,

Cobie

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Hey Cobie,

 

I have a story relevant to this.

 

It was approx 12 months ago, I had just started riding track days and had completed 2 levels at the school. Anyway, I was starting to think about racing so I took a journey down to Winton (in the middle of nowhere in Victoria Australia) to watch some club racing.

 

While there I took particular interest in the 600 races as this was the class I would be racing in when I got up the courage. Well let me tell you it was pouring rain and watching these guys go round did not help my confidence level to go racing!!

 

Anyway, number 76, just kept flying around running rings around everyone, applying the hook turns and pick up drill, consistent throttle control (not visibly sliding, just awesome drive out of the turns). I had no idea who it was or who he worked for but I was thinking this guy has been to school :lol: .

 

It wasn't until the first race that I noticed something written on the back of his leathers, "California Superbike School", obviously intrigued I went for a walk at lunch to find Mr Adam Raffe (you might know him) kicking around in the pits, talking technique with other riders.

 

Needless to say, my answer is the Aussie CRC for his ability to apply the techniques that you can see and hear, namely BP and TC. Far and away the best exponent I have seen in the flesh of the techniques, not the quickest rider I have seen but he is definitely quick enough to be giving the guys and girls a run for their money in the Aussie Superstock Champs this year.

 

Other notables I have seen racing this year (same principles), Kris Parnell (another Aussie Coach), Chas Hern, Christian Casella and Corey Snowsill (16 year old racing a CBR1000 :o )

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Kevin Magee.

A few years ago I met him on track, and got talking to him between sessions, and he was gracious enough to give me some tips and show me some lines. He was riding an older Speed Triple, with squared-off touring tyres and he still flew past me ...

Specifically, what really impressed me was the planning that he puts into a race, he explained the way he breaks the circuit down into sections and tackles each one at a time. He also introduced me to the idea of how to eat during a race (or track day), limiting high-carb foods and nibbling away all day rather than relying on a big lunch. That works really well for me, it improves my concentration and reduces fatigue. A very nice bloke.

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I am a big fan of Tommy Hayden. I watched an AMA Superbike race last year with Tommy Hayden dueling Josh Hayes. While I think it would be fun to slide around like Hayes, I just can't see myself doing it, especially when I see Hayden running right behind him--or right in front of him--and turning the exact same lap times. Hayden has a smooth, elegant, effortless quality to his riding that I just enjoy watching. It doesn't look like he's working very hard. He just glides around and then--zoom--he's gone! I like to imagine that in my own perfect litle world, that's how I would ride.

 

My feeling is that this level of precision means a good bit of preparation before the race: a solid bike setup, a real understanding of racing lines appropriate for that track, that day, those conditions. My feeling is that he knows himself well and has a good deal of patience. Not everyone has the discipline to wait for another's tires to fade before making a move. I like that effortless sense of self control.

 

Here's a look from 2010.

 

http://youtu.be/47s-LVZu-aM

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Last weekend I was at Barber for the AMA races, and all the pros were very impressive, as they should be I suppose. However, I was most impressed by Josh Hayes. To me he rides with a strange combination of recklessness and precision that defies my imagination. It certainly seems he is able to take his bike to the very edge of disaster, and do it all without electronic aids common to most of the others, but still find nearly the exact same line every time. And, just when it seems he could go no faster, he seems to turn up the intensity another notch and then go even faster. I think you can see how much pressure this puts on the other riders.

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All good answers! I guess I was really thinking of riders that you had actually ridden with, either on the street or on the track.

 

Nice to hear the note about Adam, he's riding very well these days (we are going to have him up here for a good part of the summer too).

 

Here's one that I like to watch ride: Will, our Chief Mechanic. In particular, I like how he turns the bike both how quickly and in one action, from upright to his knee, impressive.

 

Anyone else?

 

CF

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Hey Cobie,

 

Cool topic.

 

Firstly Red, what can I say mate. Thank you so much for your comments. It's always nice to get an acknowledgment for something you work hard on, but particularly so in this case as there's an obserevd application of Keith's tech. That means a lot to me. It (the tech) is, after all, the ONLY reason I'm able to ride the way I do :)

 

I could list tonnes of guys I like to watch ride on track, but my favourite is probably a guy named Mike Jones. He's a student of ours, has been for a number of years now. I've ridden with him on track a lot over the years, whether it be at schools or race meetings. It's his use of the throttle that I like most, specifically the initial crack and early part of the roll-on when he's on the edge of the tyre. It starts very early and very gently and it's so seamless you'd almost miss it if it weren't for the 2 bike lengths he pulls on you in that part of a turn!

 

I once asked Will (Cobie's favourite to watch) what made him so successful in his racing years. i was kind of expecting him to tell me something about how he was just naturally awesome - if you know Will you'll understand why. His response was "I just did it by the book". I liked that.

 

Anyone else?

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Giovanni, or Gio for short. I've always said, and still do, that outside of the GP riders he's the smoothest rider I've ever seen. He had the closest thing to perfect riding form. I say this because whether he was control riding in the beginners group, or trying to match Chris Peris' time on Inde he looked exactly the same, only going faster (and leaned over farther). He never showed the stress of increased speed. Everything was the same regardless. Rossi especially talks about the rhythm of the track. Gio exemplified having that rhythm once he found it. He was a student of riding motorcycles. He always watched riders on the track and had advice for them that I've never gotten negative feedback from. He was, quite literally, a rocket scientist. His name is in the black boxes (flight recorders) on airplanes for something he designed. A code he wrote is the auto pilot on 787's. He wanted to make electronics on bikes accessible to everyone and was working diligently on some things to make them affordable for everyone.

 

 

When I was out with my camera, I had to consciously not take picture after picture of him when he came around, because I could have spent most of the day getting shots of Gio. I've recently saved everything to disc and have just moved. If I can find the discs, I'll post pics.

 

Everyone who rode with Gio on the streets or track still talk about him almost every time we're discussing how something should be done. He never wanted to race because he just loved to ride. Gio pops into my head every time I'm setting up for turn 6 on Inde and I try to get through it as well as he did. If I did it once over the hundreds of times I've gone through it, I'd be happy.

 

 

 

 

Gio1.jpg

 

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Never having been to a track, but refusing to be excluded :P , I will say Colin Edwards. He is sooo smooth and elegant to watch. Stoner is more spectacular, but Edwards makes it look like ballet.

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It's definitely nice to watch riders who make it look easy. Efficient. Nothing more than what's needed.

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<p> 

The owner of the sphagetti store i used to frequent.

 

 

 

 

qualities i admire :

 

Super aggressive use of no clutch upshifts (extremely smooth )

 

maximum braking power from all 3 possible brakes (front back engine)

 

use of DT techniques on the roads in a defensive then if necessary, aggressive way

 

Drift parks his ride with pintpoint accuracy.

 

 

 

 

If Mr Code's teaching on riding style is like a katana (smooth quick fast precise)

 

his will be like a chainsaw... (total overkill in many situations)</p><p>his durability suffers alot thou... </p>

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OK, since I have seen him ride, I'm going to include Kenny Roberts (senior).

 

Watching him wheelie past the then current US Forumula 1 Champion out of Laguna Seca's turn 8 at the time (while that champion WAS ON THE BRAKES), then wheelie out of that turn...wow.

 

Then, how about a year or 2 ago what he did on that flat tracker at Indy? Didbn't see that but read about it. Didn't Rossi even say he'd considered riding that bike, saw Kenny ride it and said, "no thanks." How old was Kenny at the time, 60?

 

There's one for the "older guys" out there!

 

CF

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Cobie,

 

There's a video of Kenny riding that flat tracker. If you haven't seen it here it is. It's borderline ridiculous. Rossi's reaction says it all I think.....

 

 

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Pretty much anyone that is a lot faster than I am, because I understand the ability level and commitment that it took to get there. Oh and anyone that can wheelie with ease :D .

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Cobie,

 

There's a video of Kenny riding that flat tracker. If you haven't seen it here it is. It's borderline ridiculous. Rossi's reaction says it all I think.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

im speechless.... that is some serious skill and speed...

 

 

 

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its gotta be guy martin for me.

 

you can see the true grit and passion that guy has for bikes in the way he rides on the edge and on the limit and above all there aint no bull s**t with guy he wears his heart on his sleave, just a very humble bloke doing what he loves most

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And Kenny is what, 60 or over? No practice?

 

Amazing he can get his pants off with those big _____ clanking around down there.

 

CF

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Jamie Whitam has the ultimate hang off style, I think Steve Hislop was one of the best, very fast, very smooth. For excitement though it would be hard to beat Chris the Stalker Walker or Nori Haga. Hagas rides on the old Yamaha were amazing, in the same year I think he got on the Yamaha 500 and grabbed a podium. In his early years on the world stage it was like nobody told him he couldn't win on those bikes, so he went out and rode the wheels off of them.

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In terms of sheer raw talent seen close up i.e. I've been on track with it has to be Gino Rea.

I first met him in his first year of the European 600 superstock championship at practice day at a very wet Donington Park. When everyone else was crashing Gino went faster and faster totally relaxed and in control with the bike completely out of shape but going faster and faster.

Last winter Gino was at Almeria getting his elbow down and sliding any bike he could borrow - front and rear. Truly amazing control and adaptability.

A fantastic talent that is a privilege to share a track with.

 

I have had the opportunity to be on track at the same time as (and even get some coaching from) some great British riders such as John Renolds, Neil Hodgson, Chis Walker, Niall Mac and James Witham as well as Simon Crafar (NZ). I admire them all and love their unbelievably blinding speed when they turn it on but Neil Hodgson and Simon Crafar get a special mention for not just riding style but their ability to help others improve.

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