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Hey everybody got a question about 'how to feel the traction in the tires'?

 

I remember Ricky Carmichael saying once that near the end of his long career he could just look at the dirt in front him and know the amount of traction he was going to have.

 

Coming from the car world and tracking/autcrossing I learned how to feel the amount of traction my car had front or rear through the sounds the tires made and steering input/butt-o-meter. :D

 

Now in the bike world I feel like I have to relearn everything(which is not a problem)

Background: Did a bit of racing with minibikes YSR 80. Now I ride a supermoto DRZ400 with Michelin Power Pures and in the summer season get to practice supermoto track pretty much every week. B)

 

Areas I would like to have a better feel for how much traction I have in either front or rear tire(how close am I to the limit):

Corner Entry on the brakes (Front tire)

Mid corner( front tire)

Mid corner initial throttle applied (rear tire)

Corner exit rolling on more throttle( rear tire)

 

Currently I'm too 'scared' to run deep into corners with the front brake because I can't feel when the front is going to let go. :(

 

I have had two crashes on the track which were carbon copies of each other just turning different directions. Both were sharp >90 degree corners in 1st gear. Corners I was feeling very comfortable with. I may have been leaning the bike too far over because the first time I crashed the preceding few laps I was scrapping my footpeg. The second time I was chasing somebody on a faster bike. What happened was that I would get to the apex or just before and crack the throttle open as smoothly as I could and then or just after the rear tire would break loose with no warning and step out, and come around. I lowsided both times I think because I made no effort to recover the slide which might turn in to a highside.

 

I spoke with some of the faster riders at the track and they suggested I may have just run out of tire grip. This is entirely possible since the tires I was running were 4 months old. I am concerned about the way the rear let go, there was no warning like there is when I step the back out on corner exit.

 

I can upload the clips of the crashes if that would help but they are not that exciting.

 

Cheers

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So cool seeing a post of someone in a similar situation.

I'm from the car racing world, and a novice rider.

 

Your question regarding finding the limits of your tires is one I have questioned myself many many times.

In a car, we can hear the tires, and we can feel the grip through the steering wheel and our ass.

 

I think driving a car on the track is like walking on level ground. Where riding fast is like walking on a tight roap.

 

I bet after some time we would get a sense of when the tires are about to slip. Unfortunately on a bike, once the slide starts, there is alot of risk. If you don't manage the slide perfect - you wreck and can hurt yourself.

 

I'd be scared riding a car that if every time a tire started sliding, there is a chance, even a small chance that the car will roll over.

 

I totally get what you are saying regarding corner entry phase. In a car, I throw the car in very hot under trail braking. The first 25% of the corner, i'm actually just trying to "save" the car from loosing control.

 

I think in a bike you can do the same but pretty high level stuff. Go in very fast with trail braking, and use your knee to hold the bike from falling over during the first portion of the corner.

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I think the best way to learn how to read motorcycle tyre grip is to start with a low-grip situation, like riding on gravel. That means you must learn to cope with the tyres sliding. They will also slide with a lot less lean, meaning you're more likely to save yourself from crashing. Once you've learned to stop with skidding tyres, accelerate with a spinning tyre and turn with sliding tyres with mediocre grip, you can take it to another level with a bit more grip, but not a lot. Like a dusty parking lot or using hard touring type tyres on low-grip asphalt. The more you practice, the better you'll become.

 

Still, you must also cope with the fact that some bikes and some tyres give less warning than others. Softer suspension settings tend to numb the messages you receive from the tyres. Grip, if the suspension is properly sorted, will usually be better with softer settings (to a point), but as mentioned it's harder to tell when grip will be lost. Also, steering will be more muted and direction changes will take more time than with a stiffer setup. It's all about compromise and personal preference.

 

In my experience, Bridgestones gives little warning between grip and no grip, offering a narrow band between control and disaster. They also tend to feel numb for me. That's with sport-touring rubber; race tyres will likely be different. But even in MotoGP, the riders complain that it's difficult to feel where the edge is on this brand, so perhaps it's a design philosophy? Other tyres will have a wider range from where they start to feel a bit "soft" or "floating" to when they actually let go. These are often referred to as "friendly" because you have a wider window for making errors. Also, as a general rule, the more grip you have the narrower this "window" between grip and slide tend to become, but that's not a gospel as you will quickly learn from some touring tyres that are lethal at the limit or sticky tyres that are user friendly.

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One thing to add: correct technique will make a huge difference on the potential traction. In other words, one rider can go through a turn and get the bike sliding around, another can go through the same turn and have a margin, not yet at the limits.

 

Also, how to successfully explore the limits, with some consistency and not ending up on your head regularly.

 

CF

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Areas I would like to have a better feel for how much traction I have in either front or rear tire(how close am I to the limit):

Corner Entry on the brakes (Front tire)

Mid corner( front tire)

Mid corner initial throttle applied (rear tire)

Corner exit rolling on more throttle( rear tire)

 

Currently I'm too 'scared' to run deep into corners with the front brake because I can't feel when the front is going to let go. :(

 

I have had two crashes on the track which were carbon copies of each other just turning different directions. Both were sharp >90 degree corners in 1st gear........

 

Cryo,

 

Have you studied Keith Code books and DVD?

 

Your questions suggest that you have not.

 

It is natural that you are concerned about the interface rubber-pavement; however, there is much more about properly riding a motorcycle, either street or track, which requires careful study and abundant practice.

 

Read this article:

 

http://forums.superbikeschool.com/index.php?showtopic=877

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Areas I would like to have a better feel for how much traction I have in either front or rear tire(how close am I to the limit):

Corner Entry on the brakes (Front tire)

Mid corner( front tire)

Mid corner initial throttle applied (rear tire)

Corner exit rolling on more throttle( rear tire)

 

Currently I'm too 'scared' to run deep into corners with the front brake because I can't feel when the front is going to let go. :(

 

I have had two crashes on the track which were carbon copies of each other just turning different directions. Both were sharp >90 degree corners in 1st gear........

 

Cryo,

 

Have you studied Keith Code books and DVD?

 

Your questions suggest that you have not.

 

It is natural that you are concerned about the interface rubber-pavement; however, there is much more about properly riding a motorcycle, either street or track, which requires careful study and abundant practice.

 

Read this article:

 

http://forums.superb...p?showtopic=877

 

Im under the impression that he did not study the books/dvd at all too.

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I think driving a car on the track is like walking on level ground. Where riding fast is like walking on a tight roap.

 

 

That's a great way of putting it into words. :)

 

 

I think the best way to learn how to read motorcycle tyre grip is to start with a low-grip situation, like riding on gravel. That means you must learn to cope with the tyres sliding. They will also slide with a lot less lean, meaning you're more likely to save yourself from crashing. Once you've learned to stop with skidding tyres, accelerate with a spinning tyre and turn with sliding tyres with mediocre grip, you can take it to another level with a bit more grip, but not a lot. Like a dusty parking lot or using hard touring type tyres on low-grip asphalt. The more you practice, the better you'll become.

 

 

I have done a bit of riding in the dirt/gravel and I agree 100% that is probably the best place to start to learn control. Just need to get out there more. One thing I did learn was street tires on a logging road with snow does not equal control :wacko:

 

I'll take my bike out to some gravel roads again over the break and try some things. I rode a friends trail bike that had suspension that was stiffer than can be and it rattled my bones loose but it did give me more feedback.

 

I wish we had dirt track racing around here, that would be a great place to learn.

 

One thing to add: correct technique will make a huge difference on the potential traction. In other words, one rider can go through a turn and get the bike sliding around, another can go through the same turn and have a margin, not yet at the limits.

 

Also, how to successfully explore the limits, with some consistency and not ending up on your head regularly.

 

CF

 

True true, I am definitely of the former, not going to fast but already at the limit.

 

Cryo,

 

Have you studied Keith Code books and DVD?

 

Your questions suggest that you have not.

 

It is natural that you are concerned about the interface rubber-pavement; however, there is much more about properly riding a motorcycle, either street or track, which requires careful study and abundant practice.

 

Read this article:

 

http://forums.superb...p?showtopic=877

 

I have read both books, watched both DVD's and I have read that article.

 

Just trying to learn new good habits.

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I have read both books, watched both DVD's and I have read that article.

 

Just trying to learn new good habits.

 

All i gotta say is everything you need is in the books and DVD's.

 

I read/ viewed my DVD/books 20+ times.

 

Without deving too much into copyrighted material, my point is:

 

Its not like you can digest everything with a single view and the way you replied strongly suggests that you are extremely unfamiliar with the contents .

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Had a chat with a very experienced enduro rider yesterday who has a KTM 250 and a KTM990 SuperEnduro. He said that for him, D-P style tyres were good on the 990 up to a point, but that their transition from grip to loss of grip was extremely narrow, especially on asphalt. So he now use only knobbies because they give lots of warnings and he can slide them predictably on all sorts of surfaces. Sure, racing fire roads isn't the same thing as track riding, but the point about how tyres goes about at the limit is valid. The easier a tyre is to read and the wider the area between where the tyre starts to slide and where you lose control, the safer you will be IMO. However, even at the peak level riders do not agree. Cadalora, for instance, wanted soft suspension for maximum grip and wasn't comfortable with stiffer settings were the tyres could be felt sliding. Others, like Rainey, have required very stiff settings. Interestingly, when the settings are off for their preference, they tend to describe the situation in a similar way.

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Dual Purpose, or dirt/street. Often called enduro tyres in Europe. Metzeler Enduro, Avon Distanza, Pirelli Scorpion, Conti TwinDuro, Dunlop Trailmax. He didn't specify models, but said he'd used many top brand tyres and all felt to him like they had a very narrow line between grip and disaster. I had a Pirelli Scorpion front and Dunlop Trailmax rear on mine and have a crash on video to confirm that for me, there was no warning at all that time :( Generally, they were both unpredictable, sticking one time at deep lean and sliding the next at shallow leans. I saved it those time because I weren't leaned over far, but it was always sudden and unexpected. Whether that came from me, the bike or the tyres - or a combination - I really cannot say for sure.

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