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Hotfoot

What Do You Wish You Had Known Sooner?

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I was thinking the other day about some neat tips I have gotten from experienced riders or coaches in the last few years, some of them things I wish I had learned MUCH SOONER.

 

Aside from the awesome riding technology we get from Keith's books and the school (because we ALL wish we could have learned all THAT sooner!), what are some cool little tips that you wish you had known sooner?

 

Here's a few that I can think of:

For races, write your grid position on a piece of duct tape and stick it on the tank of your bike, to help you remember where to go at the grid.

 

If your bike ever has a violent headshake, remember to check your front brakes - you may have to pump the lever a few times to get them to work again.

 

Put StompGrip on your bike's gas tank to help you hold on with your legs.

 

If your helmet sits so low on your head that you can't see well when you get low on the bike, you can add some foam in the top to raise it up.

 

If your gloves have a big wrinkle in the palm, it can make it hard to fully release the throttle when you are braking hard.

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You can get set up early for the corner and still brake hard (like, 150mph down to 50mph) by leveraging your foot against the outside peg, your knee against the tank (standard locked-on body position so far) and the middle of your adductor/quad leveraged into the corner of the tank on that side. By flexing your foot/leg into those three contact points during braking, most of the braking forces are transmitted through your lower body and into the bike, as opposed to your arms.

 

You only need 2 fingers to pull in the clutch lever enough to unload the transmission enough to drop gears while braking for a corner. This leaves your two outboard fingers on the bar for more control. (It even works if your two outboard fingers get pinched, which they probably will.)

 

You can steer with the throttle (instead of adding a 2nd steering input) to widen up your line after the apex.

 

MotoGP riders aren't human and they don't ride bikes made for humans. Don't worry about what they do, just enjoy the show.

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Fun question Hotfoot!

 

Going back to the basics - I wish I had learned about rider inputs earlier. When I took Level 1, my coach pointed out that I was pushing with my outside arm in the corners, countering my counter-steering (thanks Kristi). In all the years I had been riding I never realized I did that. Correcting that was like adding power steering to the bike and it transformed my riding. And I could add to that learning how to lock on to the bike and free up the handlebars for actually steering the bike.

 

It goes to show that just because you have been doing something for years doesn't mean you have been doing it right.

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1) Riding relaxed. Definitely what I have found to give me the biggest gains. Pity it took more than 30 years to start learning.

 

2) Controlling the bike primarily with the throttle and not the brakes.

 

3) The importance of being smooth.

 

4) The significance of keeping SRs at bay.

 

5) Patience.

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If you can't get a regular off-the-rack set of leathers to fit, you can have custom-fit/made leathers at quite reasonable cost and with good quality. (Once you do this, you will never want to go back...)

 

I know it's in Keith's books, but it was such a revelation to me that I want to mention it here: being in control of the bike by using counter-steering and throttle roll-on in the corners.

 

Getting your reference points to be precise (and have enough of them) pays huge dividends.

 

Lower body lock-on. My driving instructor never explained why it was so important to lock your legs/knees onto the bike.

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Everything...I wish I had learnt to ride at waaaaay earlier age.

 

Way I see it, if my parents has bought me a little trail bike around age 4, you lot would be watching me in Superbikes! Haha. Ok, maybe not.

 

Seriously, though, I feel there is a certain feeling of invincibility that you lose the older you get,

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What do I wish I had known sooner? Well, I don't recall any small tips or advice but I am sure of a few things I wish I'd known.

* How much fun it is to ride on the racetrack. I seem to recall every few years someone would tell me I should go to the track but I just never did. When I finally did get on the track I then realized why people had been telling me to try it and how much fun I had been missing.

* Even a basic suspension baseline setup can make a tremendous difference. Until I started riding the track no one really ever emphasized the benefits of a good suspension setup. Even after I got on the track I still undervalued the idea. Once I rode my own bike on the track a few times, then took time to adjust the suspension, then went to the track again, at that time I really understood why I should've made suspension changes one of my first priorities.

* California Superbike School will completely change your riding for the better, forever. I think this speaks for itself :)

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Good question...still working on the answer.

 

The thing I wish I had earlier was the Stomp Grip we just tested...I want that stuff all over the side of my bike. It might look a little weird next year :).

 

CF

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Here's another little tip I wish someone had given me sooner:

 

If you get a new chain, MAKE SURE you clean that nasty white packing grease off it before you ride the bike, so it doesn't get flung all over everything. Shops don't always bother to do this. :angry:

 

If you DO forget... WD40 does a GREAT job cleaning off the accumulated grease and dirt that ends up all over your bike. ;)

 

Hey, I noticed that Plexus (a great bike cleaner) has skyrocketed in price to something like $21 per can. Anybody know of a more reasonable alternative that works just as well, on paint, windshields and helmet shields?

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Hey, I noticed that Plexus (a great bike cleaner) has skyrocketed in price to something like $21 per can. Anybody know of a more reasonable alternative that works just as well, on paint, windshields and helmet shields?

I've switched to just water to clean my helmet shield and helmet. Water and a clean microfiber cloth or sunglasses/goggle bag. You just need to keep the microfiber moving once you're done, in order to keep spots from forming.

 

 

 

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Hey, I noticed that Plexus (a great bike cleaner) has skyrocketed in price to something like $21 per can. Anybody know of a more reasonable alternative that works just as well, on paint, windshields and helmet shields?

I like Windex and a microfiber towel (or old fashioned, clean cotton diapers).

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Hey, I noticed that Plexus (a great bike cleaner) has skyrocketed in price to something like $21 per can. Anybody know of a more reasonable alternative that works just as well, on paint, windshields and helmet shields?

I like Windex and a microfiber towel (or old fashioned, clean cotton diapers).

 

Never use Windex on helmet shields, ever. It makes the material brittle and hence, more likely to shatter. Helmet manufacturers will back this up, it's not just some urban myth.

 

(I used to do the same thing.)

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I usually use window cleaner on my face shield; place a bit of toilet paper over shield, spray window cleaner on, let soak for 5 minutes, use wet and soft paper to wash off insects etc, on shield and then lid, and rinse under running body temp water.

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Here's another little tip I wish someone had given me sooner:

 

If you get a new chain, MAKE SURE you clean that nasty white packing grease off it before you ride the bike, so it doesn't get flung all over everything. Shops don't always bother to do this. :angry:

 

If you DO forget... WD40 does a GREAT job cleaning off the accumulated grease and dirt that ends up all over your bike. ;)

 

Hey, I noticed that Plexus (a great bike cleaner) has skyrocketed in price to something like $21 per can. Anybody know of a more reasonable alternative that works just as well, on paint, windshields and helmet shields?

 

You can try 303 Aerospace Protectant for the outside of your visor, it adds a certain amount of SPF protection too~

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Hey, I noticed that Plexus (a great bike cleaner) has skyrocketed in price to something like $21 per can. Anybody know of a more reasonable alternative that works just as well, on paint, windshields and helmet shields?

I like Windex and a microfiber towel (or old fashioned, clean cotton diapers).

 

Never use Windex on helmet shields, ever. It makes the material brittle and hence, more likely to shatter. Helmet manufacturers will back this up, it's not just some urban myth.

 

(I used to do the same thing.)

We can politely disagree on this point. There is no published data to credibly confirm or deny this issue; merely lots of anecdotes from people who do or don't use this product. The general focus of the debate is whether the trace amounts of ammonia in Windex will cause damage to the Lexan of the face shield when used to clean the surface. There are many people like me who've used Windex for decades and never had any issue. I will continue to use it without concern; everyone else is free research, read, and make their own decision.

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If your gloves have a big wrinkle in the palm, it can make it hard to fully release the throttle when you are braking hard.

 

Well there's one that I just learnt! Cheers!

Not that I've ever had the problem, but good to keep in mind...

 

I can't think of anything especially... well actually there are lots and lots of small things, but they're all covered in the Twist books and at CSS. So basically I just wish that I had gone to CSS within a couple of months of starting riding. Although back then it would have meant a big interstate trip, that is actually the reason I put it off for so long. But knowing what I know now about CSS, if I could send a message to my younger self I would tell myself to get my butt interstate and get to CSS!

 

 

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About palm wrinkle; that's usually not an issue for me, but I have a pair of quite costly Halvarsson racing cloves plus my son has a pair of Rossi genuine replica gloves that cost twice of my pair - and there are the only ones that wrinkle uncomfortably inside the hand. Enough to cause discomfort on longer rides, and I'm sure blisters if one were to do a race in them. I have a pair of cheap Aikito racing cloves that are super-comfy despite being even thinner than the two pair mentioned above, and many thicker gloves that don't have any wrinkling issues.

 

So, what cause this? Obviously, too much leather in the wrong place and probably not pre-curved enough. But I do find it strange the only the really costly racing gloves in our posession have this problem.Is there anything one can do to reduce or remove the problem other than replacing the gloves?

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About palm wrinkle; that's usually not an issue for me, but I have a pair of quite costly Halvarsson racing cloves plus my son has a pair of Rossi genuine replica gloves that cost twice of my pair - and there are the only ones that wrinkle uncomfortably inside the hand. Enough to cause discomfort on longer rides, and I'm sure blisters if one were to do a race in them. I have a pair of cheap Aikito racing cloves that are super-comfy despite being even thinner than the two pair mentioned above, and many thicker gloves that don't have any wrinkling issues.

 

So, what cause this? Obviously, too much leather in the wrong place and probably not pre-curved enough. But I do find it strange the only the really costly racing gloves in our posession have this problem.

 

 

I get small blisters by the 3rd and 4th finger from the Alpinestars race gloves (both my own and the ones I borrowed at the school), but I never got it from my older Held Galaxy gloves.

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About palm wrinkle; that's usually not an issue for me, but I have a pair of quite costly Halvarsson racing cloves plus my son has a pair of Rossi genuine replica gloves that cost twice of my pair - and there are the only ones that wrinkle uncomfortably inside the hand. Enough to cause discomfort on longer rides, and I'm sure blisters if one were to do a race in them. I have a pair of cheap Aikito racing cloves that are super-comfy despite being even thinner than the two pair mentioned above, and many thicker gloves that don't have any wrinkling issues.

 

So, what cause this? Obviously, too much leather in the wrong place and probably not pre-curved enough. But I do find it strange the only the really costly racing gloves in our posession have this problem.Is there anything one can do to reduce or remove the problem other than replacing the gloves?

 

I swear by progrip superbike 699 grips :D

 

 

the waffle pattern is a very good cushion/ vibration supression for the palm contacts and the indents makes hooking on with the pinky and ring finger absolutely wonderful for micro / macro throttle application

 

 

 

Mine is going strong after 3.5 years (17000KM's) with some wear , im thinking of changing them at the 20K KM mark :P

 

 

 

 

oh and get clarino gloves if possible, the most comfy pair of goves i have worn are made of clarino for the side facing down.

 

 

 

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I have never made my grips wear. Perhaps it pays off to grip hard :D Or not keep my bikes for ages... Still, the grips on my old Kawasaki 650s both look like new. One of the pair can be as much as 35 years and 22k miles old. Very easy to keep a loose grip on as grabbing them hard is rather uncomfortable.

 

 

2313072_290.jpg

 

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I have never made my grips wear. Perhaps it pays off to grip hard biggrin.gif Or not keep my bikes for ages... Still, the grips on my old Kawasaki 650s both look like new. One of the pair can be as much as 35 years and 22k miles old. Very easy to keep a loose grip on as grabbing them hard is rather uncomfortable.

 

 

2313072_290.jpg

 

wow, that seriously looks like some kind of torture device... = =

 

im a creature of comfort so grips were actually one of the first things i changed.

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Does anyone know of custom gloves...do any of the manufacturers offer this service, or just the top end of racing community?

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