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Hotfoot

What's Your Goal?

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I'm not sure if this is the right section for this, but here's a general dicussion question... what's your goal for your riding in the next 12 months or so? Is it to get to a school, get a new bike, or try out a trackday? Find a better place to ride, prep your bike for racing, get better safety gear, manage your cycle budget better?

 

What about your skillset, do you want to corner faster, lean it over farther, improve your sense of speed, lean how to choose better lines? Do you want to steer more effectively, be more confident in traffic, get faster than your buddy?

 

I'm curious to hear what you guys are thinking about, what sort of goals you are setting for yourself.

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It's kinda early for New Years Resolutions isn't it biggrin.gif

 

I have a few goals for my motorcycling addiction for the coming year,

 

Number one is to make it out to the track one weekend or 2 days a month every month next year.

 

Number two is to attend a level 4 school and get some more coaching on my riding, I can't make up my mind where to do it tho, torn between riding somewhere new which would be nice and somewhere familiar which might offer better training.

 

Number Three is to be fully prepared to give club racing a shot by the 2014 season

 

And for the skillset I'd most like to improve I would have to say getting better on the brakes, I feel like I'm losing a fair amount of time going slow in sections that I know I can go faster in because I'm unsure if I can scrub enough speed for something a few corners down the line

 

 

Tyler

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1. Continue to ride sensibly and not endanger me or others

 

2. Continue to practice my totally new way of riding; setting cornering speed early and power through - until it become second nature

 

3. Convert my VT500FT Ascot into a Scrambler over winter

 

4. Replace the fork stanchions on my 1977 Z650 with new OEM I've gotten hold of and get the bike lifted from 98 to 100% correct

 

5. Have my spare Z650 tank/tail/sidecovers painted to mimic the 1974 KZ400

 

6. Spend some time next season practicing low speed control; figure8s, slalom, tight circles in order to improve skill and reduce fear

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Great question Hotfoot!

 

My personal goals around my riding are to first get more on-track saddle time (not sure I can swing the T-Mc plan of two days a month though!). Over the last few years I have attended more school days than track days so I need to spend more time just working on what I've learned from my CSS coaches. I plan to have specific drills for each track day (my last two track days were working on hitting consistent entry and apex points). Fortunately I have been riding with several other CSS students so we are attempting to keep each other honest on our plans and provide each other some CSS type feedback. The feedback I got from the control riders was "Keep it up!" "You're doing great". These are nice to hear but not exactly constructively critical.

 

And like Tyler I also want to work on braking and setting corner entry speed. Often I am being passed on the brakes as I set up for corner entry only to have the passer carry significantly less corner speed than me. I was then setting them up, passing them on an exit a few turns later only to go through the whole thing again at the end of the next straight.

 

Finally I would like to develop my sense of traction. A wet day back in May at VIR and a slick morning at Summit Point's Jefferson Circuit (sliding at not much over street pace!) gave me a taste of working in limited traction but I want to learn to have a better feeling for what my tires are telling me on a dry track.

 

I can safely say there is no shortage of things I need to work on. But it's like eating the elephant right? One bite at the time...

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Gonna finish L3 and 4 this month. Then as far as school goes Id like to do another L4 in June and again in october 2013. Maybe someplace new as I will have done all 4 at SOW. I think I will be ready for some track days too. Id really like to do some of those. Maybe add another bike to the stable. Hopefully I will become a more competent rider on the street and track. Still got a lot to learn but Im very pleased with my progress as a rider thanks to CSS. Id like to get to MotoGP or WSBK next year. Overall just continue to enjoy the sport and make new friends. Being 52 its great motivation to stay in shape and keep working out to stay bike fit for a sport that Ive always loved but started late in life.

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what's your goal for your riding in the next 12 months or so?

Good question! This year had a lot of things going on so I made it to the track only once this year, and only 2 1/2 sessions at that. Terrible. But those things are behind me now and I'll be able to do more next year.

 

What I'm wanting most is better lap times. I would like to get under 1:18 at my local track, Putnam. That's my measurable goal. To get there, I need to do a number of things, working on all the skills together. I don't think I have a glaringly weak or strong area.

 

Bike mechanical goal: I want to put a lap timer on my bike, get some Dunlop slicks, and replace my heavy, dented (from crashing) large stock exhaust on my CBR600F4i.

 

Training goal: get to at least level 3, ideally 3 and 4 together. I'm still going too slow in corners and I'm not sure why, so I need to sort that out.

 

Track goal: Participate in something like an MCRA race clinic and do a race.

 

 

I converted my CBR to a track bike this spring, so I picked up a 2009 Triumph Speed Triple last weekend for street riding. I have a riding goal there of going on some road trips with my street riding buddies next year, I've missed that. It's different than track riding, but enjoyable in a different way.

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Good question. Like to bring my entry speed up a little bit, and keep the other stuff from going in the trash.

 

I'd also like to get a little more easily anchored on the bike and to that end I tested a new/old product at CODERACE. The Stomp Grip they used to make, had substantially better traction, fantastic! More on that soon as I'm going to see how many might be interested in it.

 

Back to goals: when I'm more completely anchored, easier to ride and be loose on the bars. Corner entry speed needs work as I don't often have enough time to warm the tires, and then never trust them fully. Gonna have to conciously do a good lap now and again, get the heat in the tires and bring the speed up. I often default to just riding as fast as I need to ride with my students, which doesn't always push me closer to my limits.

 

So, there's a little goal for a coach this year. A bigger goal is improving my craft as a coach, and will continue with our internal training/study for that.

 

CF

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My goal is to complete at least L1 and L2 before next race season, from there continue doing trackdays in between race weekends.

 

As far as what I want to work on specifically is braking, braking, braking and more braking! This is my weakest point right now, I always feel like I got on the brakes too early and have this dead space of time where I could have been on the gas longer and end up in neutral throttle (not rolling on or off) before the turn entry point making me realize I could have been on the gas that much longer.

 

I have been working on just carrying out my throttle without using brakes and that's good but going from drive out to braking to turn entry is where I am lacking, a small portion of it is I am on a different bike now with a much more aggressive braking setup so I need to realize I can comfortably brake later! I went from stock lines, tokico brakes, OEM pads to steel braided lines, better master cylinder, nisin brakes with EBC race pads so quite the drastic change in braking performance!

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With any bike made since 1980, the limiting factor is the tyre and not the brakes. Better brakes only mean they're easier to modulate, because you cannot alter the laws of physics. Also, the better modulation makes it easier to utilize the first part of the braking zone, so in reality people will stop a bit sooner with better brakes.

 

If I were you, I'd find a safe place to practice braking. Mark a spot where you want to come to a stop. Approach with 30 mph / 50 kph and try to stop exactly where you planned using maximum braking effort. Once you can hit it at that speed, add 50% and practice some more. Increase speed until you can perfectly judge where you will stop from 120 mph / 200 kph. Now you have firm knowledge of what you're doing once you get on track, something you can relate to and that is familiar. No, you do not have to come to a complete stop on a track, but you will quickly be able to determine your braking marker for every corner simply because you will be good at judging the distance needed to get down to your preferred turn-in speed.

 

Then it's time to work on upping the entrance speed :lol:

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Hmmm, "everything" probably isn't a good answer is it? :)

 

First, get on track more. Several events a year is good fun but not enough to truly practice (and nowdays I really dislike street riding). It will be much easier to get track time now that I live 7 1/2 miles from NOLA Motorsports Park :D

 

Second, develop my sense of lean angle. I'm probably the stereotypical new guy: I feel like I'm using lots and lots of lean angle but then see pics or video and realize I'm very, very far from my max. At our last AMOS, James Toohey gave me some ideas how to work on this goal without doing something dumb.

 

Third, work on braking harder. I tend to brake too early and too gently. I know from AMOS training I can really get on the brakes much, much harder and without jeopardizing myself but now I have to incorporate that into my track riding.

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With any bike made since 1980, the limiting factor is the tyre and not the brakes. Better brakes only mean they're easier to modulate, because you cannot alter the laws of physics. Also, the better modulation makes it easier to utilize the first part of the braking zone, so in reality people will stop a bit sooner with better brakes.

 

If I were you, I'd find a safe place to practice braking. Mark a spot where you want to come to a stop. Approach with 30 mph / 50 kph and try to stop exactly where you planned using maximum braking effort. Once you can hit it at that speed, add 50% and practice some more. Increase speed until you can perfectly judge where you will stop from 120 mph / 200 kph. Now you have firm knowledge of what you're doing once you get on track, something you can relate to and that is familiar. No, you do not have to come to a complete stop on a track, but you will quickly be able to determine your braking marker for every corner simply because you will be good at judging the distance needed to get down to your preferred turn-in speed.

 

Then it's time to work on upping the entrance speed :lol:

 

 

 

Unfortunately riding season is over here so I will have to practice at a CSS class or wait until winter is done. I will keep this drill in mind though!

 

I think that is what's messing me up is I am setting my braking points as if I am coming to a stop when I only need to set my entry speed.

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So instead of coming to a dead stop, perhaps practicing hitting your marker doing 20, 50, 70 mph would be a better drill?

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I think that is what's messing me up is I am setting my braking points as if I am coming to a stop when I only need to set my entry speed.

I don't want to lead you astray but I think you should practice the "no brakes" drill. Set your entry speed using only the throttle (obviously use the brakes if you must to avoid blowing the corner). This drill helps you develop your sense of speed. As you better understand what speed you want to enter a given corner it then should help you better understand where/when/how much braking must take place.

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Great question, and it forces one to think about it and focus on it if they haven't.

 

Like Brad, my first instinct is to write everything, but I'll try and be a little more precise.

 

My goal last week at Sears Point (nee Infineon, nee Sonoma Raceway) was to acquire and use Reference Points quickly. I made pretty good progress, but there is still much to improve.

 

I'll be at the 2-day camp at Laguna next week and I'm hoping to focus on:

 

1. Braking, braking, braking!

2. Staying stable on the bike, I tend to get a little loose, I'm not sure practicing through the Corkscrew is the best strategy but I guess I'll have to get it down.

3. Being more comfortable riding in close proximity to others. For some reason this is really uncomfortable for me and is the reason I tend to go to schools and avoid track days. I don't want to have to deal with the squids on the track.

 

At Sears point, Cobie had suggested I do the passing drill with my coach this week as a means toward working on #3 so I'm hoping to do that.

 

 

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So instead of coming to a dead stop, perhaps practicing hitting your marker doing 20, 50, 70 mph would be a better drill?

 

 

 

Yea I believe that would be a better drill as well.

 

 

I think that is what's messing me up is I am setting my braking points as if I am coming to a stop when I only need to set my entry speed.

I don't want to lead you astray but I think you should practice the "no brakes" drill. Set your entry speed using only the throttle (obviously use the brakes if you must to avoid blowing the corner). This drill helps you develop your sense of speed. As you better understand what speed you want to enter a given corner it then should help you better understand where/when/how much braking must take place.

 

 

 

Yup already been doing this, just need to understand braking points and procedures better.

 

 

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...just need to understand braking points and procedures better.

If you haven't already read the orgininal Twist of the Wrist, there is some very interesting material on braking. It up-ends the whole idea of having a specific starting point for your braking.

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Wow, some great stuff in here! I'll offer up my own goals - After my next race I have a little time off so I want to get new fairings and paint on my race bike. (NO, I didn't crash it - the fairings that came with it are a bit ragged.)

 

My riding goal is to improve my mid-corner speed, particularly at one track that has a long left-hand corner leading to a long straight; in my last race I learned that I could be getting through there quicker (either by carrying more speed in, or by getting on the gas harder mid-corner) which would get me to WFO sooner on the long straight. As I tried to go into this corner faster (which involved coming OUT of the prior corner faster) I started using the brakes lightly to set my entry speed, but I finally realized that I really don't need to brake there at all; just calculating my roll-off properly will allow me to set my speed more accurately. Using the brakes there is really just an SR and it is making me slow down too much. So, I'll be doing a lot of no-brakes practice, in my next few track days!

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Great question, and it forces one to think about it and focus on it if they haven't.

 

Like Brad, my first instinct is to write everything, but I'll try and be a little more precise.

 

 

At Sears point, Cobie had suggested I do the passing drill with my coach this week as a means toward working on #3 so I'm hoping to do that.

 

Maybe we can the coaches take turns coming up and giving you a squeeze on your thigh or calf every now and again, what do you think?

 

:rolleyes:

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...just need to understand braking points and procedures better.

If you haven't already read the orgininal Twist of the Wrist, there is some very interesting material on braking. It up-ends the whole idea of having a specific starting point for your braking.

 

I haven't read the original just the twist 2 book, I will have to take a look at the original and check it out!

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Wow, some great stuff in here! I'll offer up my own goals - After my next race I have a little time off so I want to get new fairings and paint on my race bike. (NO, I didn't crash it - the fairings that came with it are a bit ragged.)

 

My riding goal is to improve my mid-corner speed, particularly at one track that has a long left-hand corner leading to a long straight; in my last race I learned that I could be getting through there quicker (either by carrying more speed in, or by getting on the gas harder mid-corner) which would get me to WFO sooner on the long straight. As I tried to go into this corner faster (which involved coming OUT of the prior corner faster) I started using the brakes lightly to set my entry speed, but I finally realized that I really don't need to brake there at all; just calculating my roll-off properly will allow me to set my speed more accurately. Using the brakes there is really just an SR and it is making me slow down too much. So, I'll be doing a lot of no-brakes practice, in my next few track days!

 

 

 

It's nice to see what the coaches want to work on as well. I really like that no brakes practice! Good luck!

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I don't want to lead you astray but I think you should practice the "no brakes" drill. Set your entry speed using only the throttle (obviously use the brakes if you must to avoid blowing the corner). This drill helps you develop your sense of speed. As you better understand what speed you want to enter a given corner it then should help you better understand where/when/how much braking must take place.

 

Call me crazy but I'm not sure how the "No Brakes" drill is going to make you better on the brakes, I don't think the issue (at least not for me) has anything to do with setting entry speed or your overall sense of speed, but instead your sense of deceleration. I think the drills Elrick posted would be most helpful, I'm just not sure where I can find a parking lot I can practice braking from 120 mph in.

 

 

 

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I don't want to lead you astray but I think you should practice the "no brakes" drill. Set your entry speed using only the throttle (obviously use the brakes if you must to avoid blowing the corner). This drill helps you develop your sense of speed. As you better understand what speed you want to enter a given corner it then should help you better understand where/when/how much braking must take place.

 

Call me crazy but I'm not sure how the "No Brakes" drill is going to make you better on the brakes, I don't think the issue (at least not for me) has anything to do with setting entry speed or your overall sense of speed, but instead your sense of deceleration. I think the drills Elrick posted would be most helpful, I'm just not sure where I can find a parking lot I can practice braking from 120 mph in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lol yea that is what I was thinking too about the speed.....Elrick must have a drag track in his back yard lol....granted there are some open roads here however it's not the police that scare me it's the chance of a whitetail deer popping out of the woods and paying me a visit.

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First, getting to ride a bit (both road and track), which means "outside of China" should anyone be in doubt :)

Secondly, keeping the rubber side down ALL YEAR! (grumble).

 

Thirdly, get better at explicitly identifying RPs instead of relying on my intuition.

Fourth, be more greedy on the throttle roll-on (now that I got an idea of what it takes to get the rear to slide, thanks to Jon and Johnny).

 

Fixing my racebike would be nice too, but won't happen the next twelve months since it's in storage.

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I'm curious to hear what you guys are thinking about, what sort of goals you are setting for yourself.

 

I have the same goal most years, and that is "To become a better, safer, more knowledgeable rider". Every year I have an adaptive management plan in place to help me reach that goal.

 

For example this year:

 

Safer goal #1: Maintain wide view at all times while riding.

 

· Practice attention movement with 2 to 4 reference points

 

· Be open to new lines as they appear, find the open line

 

· Do the two step

 

· Keep attention here and now

 

Safer goal #2: Use less lean angle.

 

· Stabilize body with good footwork, pivot steering off outside foot, solid legs, relaxed upper body, light hands.

 

· One bun off is enough

 

· Chin toward mirror

 

· One single quick steering action per turn

 

Better goal #1: Know my line(s), entry, mid, exit, and straight.

· Ride that intentional line.

 

· Always know Where, How Quickly, How Much for every turn

 

· Set corner entry speed early

 

· Every corner apply throttle rule 1 & 2

 

· One braking motion per turn, if needed to set entry speed

 

Better goal #2: Be smoother on brake / gas transitions.

 

· Practice blipping up and down shift

 

· Try this finger position, use pointer and/or index for brake, ring, pinky and thumb for gas

 

Could use suggestions on this one.

Knowledge goal #1: Attend professional training.

 

· Going to CSS L-1 at Streets later this month, first time on a track.

 

Knowledge goal #2: Learn new stuff and keep old stuff current.

 

· Reading the Soft Science of Road Riding Motorcycles for the first time

 

· Re-reading ToTW II like the workbook it is

 

· Re-watching ToTW I & II videos

 

· Re-reading other excellent books on riding

 

· Participating in online motorcycle training and safety forums

 

Ride every day, work on one of the above exercises each ride.

 

One cool thing I was able to add this year was a helmet camera, very helpful to see what I'm really doing vs what I think I'm doing. It's funny that it always comes back to good basics and balance.

 

Thank you for asking!

 

Ty

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Great question, and it forces one to think about it and focus on it if they haven't.

 

Like Brad, my first instinct is to write everything, but I'll try and be a little more precise.

 

 

At Sears point, Cobie had suggested I do the passing drill with my coach this week as a means toward working on #3 so I'm hoping to do that.

 

Maybe we can the coaches take turns coming up and giving you a squeeze on your thigh or calf every now and again, what do you think?

 

:rolleyes:

 

Hah....if you want to see a guy jump off a bike in motion then absolutely!

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