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Hello From Taiwan!


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Hey Everyone!

 

My name is Andy Kang. I attended CSS Levels 1 and 2 on Dec. 4~5th here in Taiwan. I just discovered this forum and thought I'd introduce myself considering I might be the first and only Taiwanese CSS student to post here. I'm having trouble editing my profile information due to website having error issues so I guess I'll tell a tiny bit of myself here.

 

I'm a Taiwanese/Canadian who now lives in Taiwan for about 10 years now. I've started riding as a regular hobby about a couple years ago. First on a BMW R1200GS last year, then switched to a Ducati 1198 just this February.

 

After the 2 days of CSS I've had, I feel so fired up about riding and wanting to know more and more skills and techniques. And what better place to learn from than here right?!

 

 

Andy Kang

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Welcome to the site Andy. I just read Cobie's write up on the two days in Taiwan and it sounds like you guys had a great time!

 

In your experience, what was the most impactful thing you learned or obsearved while doing the school? What did you take away that you want to work on the most?

 

Best,

Carey

 

PS Nice bikes by the way. I had a K1200R when I first took the school and I was torn between a 1098 and an S1000RR for a track machine. The BMW won out but I still lust after those Italian beauties...

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Thank you guys for the warm welcome!

 

ktk_ace: Did you attend the 2 day CSS as well? I usually just ride on the Taipei~Yi-Lan route(Bei-Yi) and normally during day-time.

 

Carey: If I were to point one thing out on how it made the biggest impact on me, I'd have to say it's the 2/3 step drill. Basically just knowing where to look for reference made a lot of difference for me. I've never been on a track before or have had any similar training. During the first day, I'd have to say I was running all over the place. I thought to myself, "As long as I'm making the corners safely, it must've been a good run". When I thought about the reference points and finally was getting the hang of it, it made every corner looks like it had a fixed route. With the reminder or knowledge of 2/3 step, I was more able to connect the dots to keep the line.

 

The thing I want to work on the most is the smoothness of connecting all the skills together. Basically that means EVERYTHING. hahaha! From body positioning, counter-steering, visual skills, etc. Just everything that speaks good cornering, I gotta work it!

 

Thank you for the complement. I love both Ducati and BMW, but what truly won over my heart about the 1198 was knowing all the essence of Ducati were on it. The dry clutch, the frame, and the exhaust position. That made me felt like I wasn't only riding a fast bike, but a part of history also. Never ridden a S1000RR before, so I can't really compare these two. All I know is I plan to ride my Ducati as long as I can.

 

Cheers,,

Andy

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I'd have to agree with you on the vision drills Andy. I had 3 months between my Level 1 and 2 and the biggest reason I wished I'd taken them back to back (aside from the fact I just had a blast) was improvement the vision drills made in my riding.

 

And I understand the attraction of all of that Ducati heritage. I have a friend who is a BMW man through and through but a few years ago he bought a 1098 and just hated it. He had mechanical issues, it was expensive to work on, it was uncomfortable...then he took it to the track. All he could say afterwards was "I get it now". He still loves his Beemers but he has respect for the Duc.

 

I actually sat on a Panagale and fired her up a few feeks ago. She had the upgraded factory exhaust and that is one impressive sounding machine (I thought about you Rainman!). If I only had a spare $30K laying around....

 

Best,

Carey

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  • 3 weeks later...

Carey: Yes, I have to say I've had some mechanical issues as well with my 1198. And I've only bought the bike for less than a year and only put 3000+ kms on it.

In fact, a major one happened during the first day of CSS! I'll just skip the details on what and how it happened. In the end the whole rear brake system needed to be replaced!

I was so bummed that I wasn't able to use my bike during Level 2, but understood it's for everyone's safety.

 

haha don't we all wish we had a lot of extra cash laying around! But yeah, when I thought about purchasing this 1198 was that I wanted a bike that could not only be ridden on road/track and very importantly be a collection in the long run.

 

Cheers,

Andy from Taiwan

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Hey Andy,

 

Was it a mechanical or mechanic failure on the bike...I'm not asking you to bash anyone, just curious what the cause was.

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Hey Coach Cobie,

 

It's no problem at all, ill try to explain as much as possible. A few days before my bike was sent down to PenBay, I went to Nic Lam's (the Bitubo suspension seller you've most likely have met as well) shop aka Race Tech, to get my stock suspensions adjusted. He had found out that my rear brake lever, when pressed on, was oddly loose. I haven't ridden the bike for a couple of weeks since it was raining non-stop. Since my bike was still under warranty, I told him I'll get it bak to Ducati Taipei for a check up. Ok, this next part I'm not quite sure how to explain because I don't know the specific name for parts. So basically the mechanic adjusted the lever by making the lever more sensitive or maybe sticking out more? (He only took a couple minutes with it, very fast adjusting). So the rear brake was feeling tighter like it should and my foot could feel the pressure when pressing down after I left. So i was all set to ride at PenBay.

 

Ok, so on the first session in the morning (after the sighting lap), being on track for the first time and all, I panicked before going into the first corner so i used my brakes. Brakes were feeling awesome and I survived. During the the second corner, the same. During the third corner I couldn't feel any rear brake at all. It was completely gone! But, I managed to make it through the rest of the session unharmed.

 

After I came into the pit zone, I thought to myself I'd just use my front brakes if needed and not worry so much about the bike as I couldn't get it fixed right away anyways. As the morning lessons carried on, I learned that I didn't need any brakes at all and was doing the no-brake drills just fine.

 

What do you think happened Coach? And btw, I don't blame Coach Adam Raffe in any way for finding out but thankful that he was looking out for my safety and all others as well. It was very professional of him to do so.

 

BR,

Andy Kang from Taiwan

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HI Andy,

 

Not enough information to really know what happened, so I'll ask a few questions and make some guesses.

 

Was the rear brake hot, very hot when you came in? Could it have been adjusted so that you were using it with out knowing? Or was it bound up, and on the whole time?

 

It's good you figured out that the front brakes do the work, and even in the wet they will do almost all the work on any sport bike. We have tested our brake bike in the rain, and had the rear wheel in the air! That won't happen on every surface, but it is possible.

 

I only use the front, but it is nice to have the rear there in case you ever needed it (or to keep from rolling backwards at a stop sign).

 

Best,

Cobie
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Hi Coach,

 

I didn't touch to see if the brake was hot or not, but noticed the disc was kinda rusted and had yellowish stains. Could that be the signs of the disc or calipers being overheated?

 

I'm very sure that my foot wasn't on the lever unless I needed to use the brake. As to the question, "was it on the whole time?". My feelings were I didn't feel like the brake was on, but I wasn't riding at a higher speed yet to feel a significant drag.

 

Thinking back just now, one thing I forgot to mention was after I came in the guy riding behind me (when all this was happening) said he smelled something burning. That would be the result of accelerating while the calipers were working too?

 

Best,

Andy Kang

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Sounds like the brakes were on, either from foot pressure, or some mechanical mis-adjustment. For it to be smelled by the rider behind, it must have really been cooking. I've done a lot of miles on tracks, pretty much never smell the brakes unless something is wrong.

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I see now. Well, despite this mishap with my bike, I'm still happy I got to experience CSS even if it's on another bike for Level 2. And after the brake was out, it really got me thinking it's actually the throttle and vision techniques that I need to work on. I didn't need to rely on the brakes like I first got on the track. Maybe this was meant to happen? haha just joking. and thanks for the help Coach!

 

By the way, I was wondering if there would be a chance of CSS going to Canada in the future? Though I'm not familiar with the number or quality of tracks back in Canada. But I'm planning to move back to Canada once my kids reaches elementary school.

I'm just hoping to get better and maybe one day reach the skill level as you and the other coaches that I've seen. After attending CSS, it really allowed me to think I could have a chance to be good at riding.

 

Best,

Andy Kang

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Andy,

 

For sure that skill level is attainable for most. Can take a bit of work, and time at the track. Most of my coaches have quite a bit of time riding on the track and a also raced--in some cases that has been a needed part to get them to the skill level we require.

 

Totally agree with you, the visual skills are key, braking is not the first priority.

 

As for doing schools in Canada, I'm not sure if we will be able to get them up there. The problem last time we looked was the requirements crossing the border. The documentationi for bringing our fleet across the border was going to be prohibitive. Maybe they think we would go and sell our bikes over there?

 

We'd also need someone in the country to really organize it and tha'tsquite a task. Seems that the easier solution has been for the Canadians to come down to us...and we are getting a bunch! Particularly in the months they can't ride, coming to Las Vegas.

 

In the meantime, I guess you'll be riding at the track when you can in Taiwan?

 

Best,

Cobie

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Coach,

 

I see, I didn't realize crossing the border would be that big a task! And you're probably right, having a truck load of motorcycles can cause a stir with the customs. I will definitely consider taking a vacation to California or Las Vegas and fit in a schedule for CSS in the future. Sounds like an exciting trip just thinking about it!

 

Now that I've known Victor and the rest of the people at HDMoto a bit more. I'm sure I'm practicing with the right people. I have plans to fit in as many track times as possible from now on. Totally loving riding even more with the right fundamentals. BTW, I didn't know the track was gonna be so much fun and addictive. hahaha..

 

BR,

Andy Kang

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