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I Don't Have A Clue About Fast Riding


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I consider myself a decently fast street rider, inside the top 10%. However, I know that the difference between the top 10% and top 1% is massive. Also, street and track riding are quite different. Point is, being fast compared to the massis means little because the step up to the very fast is gigantic. And reading this made me understand that gigantic. Reading this today really put thing into perspective, showing the sort of aggression and skill few of us will ever come close to experience.

 

Excerpts from a 1980 Cycle magazine article written by Kevin Cameron after that year’s Daytona 200.

 

 

Giant advantages are gained by the select few through the quick left-right-left chicane on the back straight – and huge losses are suffered by the majority.

 

 

The 3 turns of the chicane leave no room for changing direction. If the two flip-overs are executed quickly, they waste minimum track distance and leave room to straighten out the corners. If the manoeuvres are executed in waltz time, with balletic grace, a lot of track is wasted in the flip-overs, making the turns tighter and slower.

 

 

Roberts was wonderful. He entered gradually through the left, then crashed the machine violently over to the right, snapping it down to a lean angle that had both tyres chattering for grip: he accelerated hard while flipping over to the left again, instantly setting up for maximum traction again to the point of chatter, and gassed it up onto the steep pavement of the east banking and away. A speed gun at the exit caught him at 85 mph, easily 15-20 mph up on the majority.

 

 

While Roberts’ moves were so hard and sudden they seemed hardly intentional, I saw that his control was much more than marginal when a blocker darted into his line just at his right-left flip-over. His machine seemed almost to stub its “toes” with the extra wrench he gave on the controls, and to leap off its tyres in the new direction, leaving the blocker in wobbling shock.

 

 

Kenny doesn’t really sit up. His elbows are not locked. He is keeping his weight low to prevent the rear wheel from lifting under braking. KR wastes no time setting the bike into the cornering attitude. It has been in one stable mode (straight line braking) and now must get into another (steady-state cornering). This requires getting the bike quickly leaned to the desired angle. Kenny never moves his chest off the tank during this and he is always low enough to look through the screen. He keeps his head low and centred because 1) this guarantees that his perceptions of what machine is doing from the same place and 2) the low position makes it easier to flip the machine from side to side and 3) being hard on the tank locks machine and rider together and 4) keeping his weight forward keeps that front wheel steering, not pawing the air.

 

 

First, KR turns in, then he finely adjusts the machine’s speed via tyre drag to a speed that can safely be maintained trough the corner. At this stage, he opens the throttle to stop tyre drag from slowing the bike further. He then oozes back up from his low cornering position into the saddle, careful not to disturb what he’s trying – get the absolute maximum grip from that ratty pavement. There is considerable daylight between him and the seatback. KR is low on the bike and well forward to keep weight on the front wheel. There is no wheelstand and any time.

 

 

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Street riding ain't like track riding, but my limits would be the same on a track - at least for a very, very long time. Hence I'd be very slow on a track compared to the majority.

 

BTW: Watching SBK from Donington today, it doesn't seem all that violent or even quick-steering - they all seem to turn in very gradually, almost leisurely. Only around the chicane do we see them yank their bikes. Does this indicate that quick steering is only beneficial when they must make rapid change of direction, or am I deceived with my observations.

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Street riding ain't like track riding, but my limits would be the same on a track - at least for a very, very long time. Hence I'd be very slow on a track compared to the majority.

 

BTW: Watching SBK from Donington today, it doesn't seem all that violent or even quick-steering - they all seem to turn in very gradually, almost leisurely. Only around the chicane do we see them yank their bikes. Does this indicate that quick steering is only beneficial when they must make rapid change of direction, or am I deceived with my observations.

 

They were talking about it on the Eurosport commentary, it looks slower in the faster turns, but it requires so much more physical force to overcome the gyroscopic forces at the wheel that they simply can't flick the bikes over any quicker in the fast corners.

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Street riding ain't like track riding, but my limits would be the same on a track - at least for a very, very long time. Hence I'd be very slow on a track compared to the majority.

 

BTW: Watching SBK from Donington today, it doesn't seem all that violent or even quick-steering - they all seem to turn in very gradually, almost leisurely. Only around the chicane do we see them yank their bikes. Does this indicate that quick steering is only beneficial when they must make rapid change of direction, or am I deceived with my observations.

 

They were talking about it on the Eurosport commentary, it looks slower in the faster turns, but it requires so much more physical force to overcome the gyroscopic forces at the wheel that they simply can't flick the bikes over any quicker in the fast corners.

 

 

 

 

Its interesting and relevant to me because I experienced the same thing doing hi speed turns (my scooter is geared for 0-75) , anything above 80 and I feel like having a steering damper attached to my bars... :o ,

 

quite a bit of understeer in my case... :unsure:

 

 

 

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