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Two Barriers To Leaning?


Jasonzilla
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After my first trackday, I thought I was so close to dragging my knee, and was worried my handlebar was about to drag on the ground. When I saw the pictures, I learned this wasn't the case. It was proposed, in The Upper Half Of The Motorcycle, that humans have a limit of lean of about 20 degrees. This is when our brain is telling us that our ability to maintain traction and balance is at risk. "We're going to fall over," is what our body is telling us. When my wife was still riding, I took some pictures of her. When she looked at them, she said she thought she was all the way over. That was the natural limit she was hitting. What do you guys think? About 20 degrees?

 

 

Amber3.jpg

 

I also came across this post by Crash. He hit the angle on the head. Kai was close, but we didn't know exactly how to explain this.

 

http://forums.superb...?showtopic=2304

 

There is another barrier to leaning, a 45 degree limit, where our feeling of gravity changes. Gravity is rated at 1g. It's a downward force for us our whole lives, and once we get past the 45 degree point, with the amount of speed we need to maintain that lean, there is a lateral force of 1g we start to feel. That's when we start "fighting" the lean. It's a completely new sensation to our bodies, which has had us in the habit of feeling this downward only force (which, in my case, was 36 years). It's another obstacle to get by. Here's what I looked like at this point.

 

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Here's the article on it.

 

http://www.motorcycl...bike/index.html

 

It also brings to mind children who start riding at an early age. Can you think of how comfortable you'd be doing this right now, if you'd started at the young age of 5 to 7 or so? Well before this stuff is embedded in your brain? Joe Roberts (taken 2 years ago) looks unbelievably comfortable at this exaggerated lean angle during a warm-up session.

 

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The first would mean we have an aversion to challenging our natural limits of traction and balance, probably given during our "crash course" in balance when we start walking. The second would be our internal limits based on gravity itself. Our darned equilibrium is the culprit, either way.

 

Anyone else think this is about right? It's a good point to understand when training other riders, I think.

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Never mind training others - I just want to understand so I can lean my own bike over more! tongue.gif

 

I really liked The Upper Half, instantly made a big change to my riding and confidence. Another book that does have some good points regarding the mental side of things is Total Control by Lee Parks. There's also some good quotes/ideas in there. I really like this one:

Hit the target without thinking about the target, because all desire limits the spirit.

 

It seems a bit wacky to mention that without explaining it, but I'll just recommend looking at the book if you find that quote intriguing.

 

Now back to the subject of beating that 'natural' lean limit... I can't remember if it was in Upper Half or Total Control, but I posted a bit about that here: http://forums.superbikeschool.com/index.php?showtopic=3139&view=findpost&p=24961 The part of interest is this:

One thing I found helpful was to make sure that my subjective observations were as close as possible to the objective reality. That is - making sure that what I thought was happening was actually close to what was really happening. How many times have you been riding on the track thinking that you're really leaning it over? Then you see some photos the photographer has taken and the lean angle you imagined was nothing like what it actually was? That's a great example of where a subjective observation is very different to the objective reality. This can actually be quite dangerous because if a rider imagines that he is at the maximum lean, it will be a mental block and he will not lean past that point even though it may mean running off a road or track. How many times have we seen riders on the road or track who are clearly nowhere near full lean, yet they run off even though it could be prevented by simply leaning more? That's the first point - evaluate your subjective judgements against the objective facts, the closer they are, the better for you.

 

Does that help?

 

Another thing that I've found helpful is to stop focusing on lean angle and instead focus on the feeling of traction.

 

As far as the 1g cornering club, it's my goal to get there as well. tongue.gif

I experienced something like that once at my 2nd last track day. I'd put it in the same basket as 'knee down'. If you ride with that as your goal, you got it all backwards. Knee down and 1g cornering is not a goal, it's a result. I could go on and on... but if you just keep riding with good technique and building speed and confidence it will 'just happen' as the result.

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I also came across this post by Crash. He hit the angle on the head. Kai was close, but we didn't know exactly how to explain this.

 

http://forums.superb...?showtopic=2304

 

[snippage]

 

Anyone else think this is about right? It's a good point to understand when training other riders, I think.

Jason,

 

Actually, I wasn't talking about the 20-25 and 45 degree angles/barriers, so you're giving credit where no credit is due.

 

I was thinking (and writing?) in more general terms as in physical vs mental limits. These limits can be speed (in a corner), braking power (applied), lean angle, throttle application, quick turn action, etc.

 

/Kai

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I agree the way you feel and the way you look can be quite different, and it would be good to close the gap.

 

One idea I had, which I'm not sure exactly how to do, would be to have a small monitor on my bike with a wireless video from a camera on a bike following behind me. That way you could see what you look like vs what you are feeling in real time. I've looked a videos of myself taken by a buddy following me and I can see the difference, but by then it's too late- we're back in the paddock looking at them on the laptop (which is better than nothing, or looking at them that night). If someone could rig up a system to do that, maybe for the school, that might be really useful.

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I agree the way you feel and the way you look can be quite different, and it would be good to close the gap.

 

One idea I had, which I'm not sure exactly how to do, would be to have a small monitor on my bike with a wireless video from a camera on a bike following behind me. That way you could see what you look like vs what you are feeling in real time. I've looked a videos of myself taken by a buddy following me and I can see the difference, but by then it's too late- we're back in the paddock looking at them on the laptop (which is better than nothing, or looking at them that night). If someone could rig up a system to do that, maybe for the school, that might be really useful.

 

Wow, that would be a LOT of information to process, trying to watch yourself on a video and ride effectively at the same time! I think if you had to divide your attention that much you'd likely have to slow down and NOT be able to lean it as much as would be normal for you. Plus, ideally, your max lean would occur right at turn in and it would seem terribly difficult to look at a monitor at that moment.

 

But, I can certainly identify with the desire to see it in real time so you can address it immediately!

 

Just a reminder, the school has a lean bike, which is a great tool for being able to set a lean angle and STAY there for a while, going around in a circle, which can help some riders get more comfortable with the feeeling of being leaned over more, plus you can get immediate feedback from the coach that is right there working with you.

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Wow, that would be a LOT of information to process, trying to watch yourself on a video and ride effectively at the same time! I think if you had to divide your attention that much you'd likely have to slow down and NOT be able to lean it as much as would be normal for you. Plus, ideally, your max lean would occur right at turn in and it would seem terribly difficult to look at a monitor at that moment.

 

But, I can certainly identify with the desire to see it in real time so you can address it immediately!

 

Just a reminder, the school has a lean bike, which is a great tool for being able to set a lean angle and STAY there for a while, going around in a circle, which can help some riders get more comfortable with the feeeling of being leaned over more, plus you can get immediate feedback from the coach that is right there working with you.

I know it's not practical, but it's just a concept idea. In the gym you can watch your form in a mirror, so I want to do that on the track. I was showing a video from my go-pro to some friends and they ask "how fast are you going in that corner?". They look at me funny when I say I have no idea- you're so focused on the track and not the speedometer when riding intensely. (A later video answer the question because I got the instruments in the picture.) So watching a monitor would never work.

 

I didn't get to do the lean bike because it was raining pretty hard the day I was supposed to do it, maybe next time.

 

One next-best-thing to do is get a ride-behind video and review it after 5 laps or so rather than the whole (typically) 20 minute session. That way you can go right back out and work on weak spots, rather than waiting 40 minutes for the next session. That takes some commitment from someone to follow you, but I have good buddies that would help for a session or two.

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Stevo,

 

For sure some benefit from a video from behind. Another one is the one where the camera is on an arm looking over your shoulder. There are some real pluses to riding this bike, then stepping off it and getting it reviewed immediately by a pro coach. This is an element of the 2-day camp (call that a shameless plug).

 

I've been reviewing these videos since '89, and one of the interesting pieces is watching the horizon. Sometimes you have to look at the top corner, and you can tell when it starts to change. That is when the rider is turning the bike. Common to have a rider believe they are not turning the bike (hit replay, and look at it again), and see the horizon shifting. There is no arguing what is happening, as the rider is on the bike, not another one following.

 

With the arm correctly positioned the upper body is in view, head, arm (right arm clearly) throttle hand, and the track in front. Been a great training aid.

 

CF

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For sure some benefit from a video from behind. Another one is the one where the camera is on an arm looking over your shoulder. There are some real pluses to riding this bike, then stepping off it and getting it reviewed immediately by a pro coach.

 

No doubt. Especially the instant feedback. If you do another session, unless you're one of the more advanced riders on here, you'll forget a lot of what happened the session before.

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Stevo,

 

Regular schools are excellent, but you will get spoiled at the 2-day camps. Heck, we get spoiled at them! Enough time to really spend with the students, all the training aids and more time if needed can be spent on them.

 

Single day schools if that's what's realistic budget-wise, if the 2-day camp can be swung, go for it!

 

Best,

Cobie

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Stevo,

 

Regular schools are excellent, but you will get spoiled at the 2-day camps. Heck, we get spoiled at them! Enough time to really spend with the students, all the training aids and more time if needed can be spent on them.

 

Single day schools if that's what's realistic budget-wise, if the 2-day camp can be swung, go for it!

 

Best,

Cobie

 

If I have to, I'll do the 2 single days, but no doubt the 2 days spoiled the heck out of me.

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