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Spooked By Slides


richinio
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I have an ongoing issue which I wonder if other people experience or have advice for....

 

Whenever I experience a slide in a corner, no matter how small, it knocks my confidence for long time. Whenever it happens, I get totally spooked and back right off and it takes me ages to build back up again.

 

For example, I was doing a track day last month (in the intermediate group) and it had rained overnight. So the day started on a damp track that was gradually drying. Half way through the first session I had a mid corner slide on a damp corner, it was only a little one just as I was getting on the throttle, but I was not really pushing and it really surprised me. From that moment on I backed way off and was still suspicious of the grip levels when the track had dried out. By the end of the day I had still not got back to my normal cornering speed, probably about 10% down. I then felt frustrated that I had not made progress on my track day as the one thing I wanted to do was push my boundaries a little and improve my cornering speed!

 

Thoughts?

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The more you slide, the more you'll accept sliding as part of your riding, spooks everyone to begin with, except for the very odd few, you think everyone backing it in and powersliding out of the corner thought "that was feckin awesome!" the first time they did it? Im sure it scares most people the first million times it happens!

 

 

Dont panic and chop the throttle, very good chance of high siding it, at low lean angle slides i find it you dont keep rolling on and stop your roll on(dont shut the throttle, just keep it at a constant) when the tyre re grips it tends to cause a headshake, the only way to smoothly end the slide is to just keep rolling on. However im not comfortable doing that at steep lean angles yet and im not sure if the same rule still holds, i'd be worried it would be easy to let the bike run away from you and low side!

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If I slide on the first lap it scares me a bit too - even so rolling on is always the best. Still, I'm a mere mortal so yeah, first lap if it slides I'm thinking "cold tires" and it makes me wonder what other surprises I have in store for myself. One of the drills that I really like is where you go lap after lap and slowly increase your corner entry speed at a given turn by only a few hundred RPM. Start at a place where you are overly confident and then gradually add speed at the corner entry until you've reached a point where you're entering the turn faster than you had been before - repeat until you find your max or the bike's max, or both.

 

I find my REALLY bad habit is coming in to a turn slower than I should and then trying to compensate for it with a greedy throttle hand on the way out. That is almost ALWAYS when I slide the worst. Coming in to a turn at the proper turn entry speed (for me) means that I've got enough speed to gently apply throttle to exit out of it, and thus reduce the chances of a slide.

 

 

What I HATE is first lap when I put pressure on the bars and the bike goes "what?" and the front end slips, even just a little. That rattles the ever living hell outta me.

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I hate sliding tyres, even though I've experienced it many times over the years. As long as I stay relaxed, nothing bad really happens, but I still hate it. As such, I much prefer locking up the front undeer straight line braking than sliding either wheel during cornering.

 

As was mentioned, if you work on it, you'll get better at it. I think the School has a sort of rig where you can practice it without falling off. Another way is to ride circles on gravel. There must be a reason why Roberts have his ranch where they ride around in circles for hours on end on Honda XR100s.

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Thanks for the responses so far.

 

Just to clarify one thing. When I have experienced slides I have been happy with the way I have handled them, pretty much done nothing and let the bike sort itself out. What annoys me is the psychological effect it has on me afterwards ie. I ride like a granny for ages afterwards!

 

Would love to have a crack at the slide bike at CSS but it was not available on the days I did my levels 1,2 and 3 at Silverstone :-(

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I've got a question. Is it the front or rear you're sliding so much? If it's the rear, the first question I need to ask is "what kind of tires are you riding?" I progressed to track tires and went back to street tires (by accident). I've never come as close to high-siding as I did at Auto Club Speedway. There was no warning. I thought my track tires were too soft, but am finding that a little sliding here and there is MUCH better than having your ass end kick around and be side by side with your front tire. No warning.

 

If you're running street tires, I'd say "get better tires." It took me 3 years before I went to track tires. I think it was about the right time for me, but going back to street tires sucks.

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I think it's just as much down to the actual tyre as whether it's track or street based. The Bridgestones in MotoGP are infamous for not giving enough warning and they only work when smoking hot, while Pirelli SBK rubber is easy to slide. Street Bridgerocks like the BT020 also gives absolutely no warning, while the Pirelli Strada gives plenty.

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Just practice untill they stop spooking you.

 

Tyres wise i think junk tyres are better for getting used to sliding on as theyre much easier to break traction on, as mentioned i find pirelli makes very progressive tyres and bridgestones tend to be grip, grip, gone, the pirellis ive used seemed to go very smoothly and gave lots of warning of what was happening, bridgestones sport touring tyres for me have always just skipped out any form of warning and gone to slide grip slide grip.

 

Obviously you want to be on the rubber that lets you get away with it the most and with the most confidence! Very progressive slides are quite easy to deal with because they give you time to think "oo! Im sliding! Oh ok, its not really coming round, ok we can do this" and carry on. When a bike slides suddenly (which usually isnt because your going fast and more to do with bad throttle control and/or braking) you tend to panic, stiffen up and the cycle of destruction begins.

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The basics of tires working: they have been warmed up, surface is not slippery, no trying to turn with too much brake on. If these are in effect, then the slides that go fast, no hope of recovery, no warning--wonder how many also have some lean angle and throttle being added?

 

Last night got to see a Moto 2 race. In the race, Marquez was in the middle of the turn, being follow by another and all of a sudden black marks start coming from his tires. I went back and replayed it 3 times, finally noticed he was adding lean angle, that is when the tire started to leave a dark line.

 

We see this often at the school: all of a sudden, dark line and it's well before the exit of the turn, and very dark. Rider is adding lean angle, and some throttle.

 

CF

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I have an ongoing issue which I wonder if other people experience or have advice for....

 

Whenever I experience a slide in a corner, no matter how small, it knocks my confidence for long time. Whenever it happens, I get totally spooked and back right off and it takes me ages to build back up again.

 

For example, I was doing a track day last month (in the intermediate group) and it had rained overnight. So the day started on a damp track that was gradually drying. Half way through the first session I had a mid corner slide on a damp corner, it was only a little one just as I was getting on the throttle, but I was not really pushing and it really surprised me. From that moment on I backed way off and was still suspicious of the grip levels when the track had dried out. By the end of the day I had still not got back to my normal cornering speed, probably about 10% down. I then felt frustrated that I had not made progress on my track day as the one thing I wanted to do was push my boundaries a little and improve my cornering speed!

 

Thoughts?

 

In your example above, did you slide the front tire or the back?

 

One thing that could help your confidence is to review causes of slides, and remedies. What FLAWS in technique can cause slides, and what GOOD technique can prevent them, or make them less dramatic, or help you recover from them?

 

So, let's go through your example above... which tire slid? I gather that the track was damp, but what could you, as the rider, have done to increase the chances of sliding the tire? What DID you do (or NOT do!) that kept it from getting worse and allowed you to stay upright and recover?

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Hi Richinio,

 

Sorry, catching up on this, but what school(s) if any have you done? Just want to know what you might have been exposed to so far regarding training.

 

Next question (after Hotfoot's) is have you ever tried to make the bike slide, and do you know what causes the slide, and how to correct if it does?

 

Best,

CF

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I also have a bit of a trouser-filling moment when the bike slides, I'm just not used to it even having done a bit of MX. The Level 1 throttle control class helped me get some confidence. The advice I give to try to relax a bit over it is (as Cobie is suggesting) try to provoke controlled slides (at least you're controlling when they happen anyway). The safer way to do this is with less lean angle and more throttle rather than the other way around. Easy to say, I'm still working on it! Crank the rear rebound damping up a few clicks if you really want it to spin up...

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Rereading TOTW II he explains exactly why I have been sliding (and even gotten comfortable with it) in Chapter 14. I even had noticed to myself that recently it seemed like I was taking every turn twice, a dip, a raise up and a second dip and that OFTEN on the second dip the back end would spin up. Honestly I have had so many distractions in my life that I was just glad to get OUT on my bike, so I wasn't doing much self critiquing. It wasn't until Level I / II class that I realized that I've fallen into old and bad habits in the last couple years of streetriding.

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Dirt biking is the time proven way to practice this, and pretty much all the top riders train on dirt bikes in the off season.

 

In level 2, there is a nice technique used in sliding, makes it pretty safe really (it's what my coaches do big time on wet days to test traction).

 

Who knows it?

 

CF

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Hi Richinio,

 

Sorry, catching up on this, but what school(s) if any have you done? Just want to know what you might have been exposed to so far regarding training.

 

Next question (after Hotfoot's) is have you ever tried to make the bike slide, and do you know what causes the slide, and how to correct if it does?

 

Best,

CF

 

In my example it was a rear wheel slide. It really wasnt a bad one, I dont believe I did anything 'wrong' to cause it or recover from it. I would guess that someone more experienced than me would have been completey unbothered by it.

 

As for schools, I've done css 1, 2 and 3. Shame the slide bike was unavailable during them.

 

The only deliberate slides I've practiced is locking the front or rear wheel on the brakes. It would be good to do a similar type of thing with cornering but I just cant bring myself to risk trashing my beautiful bike by sliding round a corner on purpose!

 

Is there a low risk way of practicing sliding on a corner?

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Dirt biking is the time proven way to practice this, and pretty much all the top riders train on dirt bikes in the off season.

 

In level 2, there is a nice technique used in sliding, makes it pretty safe really (it's what my coaches do big time on wet days to test traction).

 

Who knows it?

 

CF

 

Would be interested to know what this is. Does sound like anything I did in level 2....

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Dirt biking is the time proven way to practice this, and pretty much all the top riders train on dirt bikes in the off season.

 

In level 2, there is a nice technique used in sliding, makes it pretty safe really (it's what my coaches do big time on wet days to test traction).

 

Who knows it?

 

CF

 

Would be interested to know what this is. Does sound like anything I did in level 2....

 

Remember the last exercise in Level 2, in a way a bridge to what we do in Level 3?

 

CF

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Dirt biking is the time proven way to practice this, and pretty much all the top riders train on dirt bikes in the off season.

 

In level 2, there is a nice technique used in sliding, makes it pretty safe really (it's what my coaches do big time on wet days to test traction).

 

Who knows it?

 

CF

 

Would be interested to know what this is. Does sound like anything I did in level 2....

 

Remember the last exercise in Level 2, in a way a bridge to what we do in Level 3?

 

CF

Somebody on this Forum has to pick this one up don't you think?

 

Mika

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Dirt biking is the time proven way to practice this, and pretty much all the top riders train on dirt bikes in the off season.

 

In level 2, there is a nice technique used in sliding, makes it pretty safe really (it's what my coaches do big time on wet days to test traction).

 

Who knows it?

 

CF

 

Would be interested to know what this is. Does sound like anything I did in level 2....

 

Remember the last exercise in Level 2, in a way a bridge to what we do in Level 3?

 

CF

 

I think you are referring to the pick up drill. I cant see how this is relevant to the discussion though???

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Dirt biking is the time proven way to practice this, and pretty much all the top riders train on dirt bikes in the off season.

 

In level 2, there is a nice technique used in sliding, makes it pretty safe really (it's what my coaches do big time on wet days to test traction).

Would be interested to know what this is. Does sound like anything I did in level 2....

Remember the last exercise in Level 2, in a way a bridge to what we do in Level 3?

I think you are referring to the pick up drill. I cant see how this is relevant to the discussion though???

What happens if you stand up the bike when the rear is spinning?

 

Kai

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What happens if you stand up the bike when the rear is spinning?

 

Kai

 

Is this a question for all, or just getting us to think about it?

 

CF

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