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Engine Braking - Corner Entry


jnbazw
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Hi Everyone

This is my first post so please be patient.

 

I ride a 2008 Cbr1000RR which I love. I have also been fortunate enough to attend CSS and have completed level 3. I ride in the middle of the A group at about 10secs per lap off our national riders. So not brilliant, but not bad either.

 

I have a question regarding corner entry. I like to get all my down shifting and braking done before I turn the bike into the corner. I do this so that I minimise the SRs caused by charging into the corner. Often when I approach a slow corner, I have to get into a low enough gear to allow me drive out on exit. This causes a lot of engine braking and I regularly exit the corner frustrated because I could have gone through the corner faster.

 

My options as I see them are:

1.) Find a way to adjust my slipper clutch to be more sensitive to reduce the engine braking.

2.) Use the hand clutch to allow less engine braking.

3.) Stop being a "chicken". Brake later. Learn to trail brake and just attack the corner.

 

Can you give me any advice on what drills or techniques to try or point our where I am going wrong?

 

Many Thanks

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As Eirik says, increasing the engine idle speed can help this. Have you tried downshifitng without the clutch? If you are already doing that, are you blipping the throttle to match engine rpm?

 

Also, you sound like a pretty advanced rider, do you have a laptimer that you can use to get some actual data on entry and exit speeds? If so, you can experiment with going in one gear higher and see if that allows you to carry a little more entry speed - you'' have less engine braking and the higher corner speed might get you into an rpm range where you can still drive out in the higher gear.

 

It can be very hard to judge whether you are faster overall through the corner in one gear versus another unless you have specific data to compare.

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Welcome to the forum Fatman.

Eirik and Hotfoot have given some good ideas.

Now I will break down your post as I see it.

I ride a 2008 Cbr1000RR which I love. Nice bike.

I have also been fortunate enough to attend CSS and have completed level 3. Excellent.

I ride in the middle of the A group at about 10secs per lap off our national riders. So not brilliant, but not bad either. What is your goal?

I have a question regarding corner entry. Back to that soon.

I like to get all my down shifting and braking done before I turn the bike into the corner. Good idea, but it also depends on how you are doing it. Do you feel the front end lift up before you turn?

I do this so that I minimise the SRs caused by charging into the corner. Good.

Often when I approach a slow corner, I have to get into a low enough gear to allow me drive out on exit. Is this a 6th gear to 1st gear turn, or is it a 6th gear to 3rd gear turn? Do you know which it is?

This causes a lot of engine braking and I regularly exit the corner frustrated because I could have gone through the corner faster. Is it engine braking, or is that your excuse?

 

My options as I see them are: Are these really your options or is this what you are telling yourself the options are? Again, What is your goal?

1.) Find a way to adjust my slipper clutch to be more sensitive to reduce the engine braking. A slipper clutch is an insurance policy for a bad downshift or improper timed downshift, nothing more, nothing less.

2.) Use the hand clutch to allow less engine braking. How much of your $10.00 are you willing to spend on something that is not necessary? See Hotfoots question.

3.) Stop being a "chicken". Brake later. Learn to trail brake and just attack the corner. So, back to charging are we? And again, What Is Your Goal?

Relax!!!

I have a question regarding corner entry. Back to that soon. We're back :D

How do you determine your entry speed?

Is it by what everybody else is doing, is it your SR's, or you don't have any idea?

Having gone through lvl's 1-3, what knowledge and skills do you possess to correct any of the directly above questions?

When you have a track day, how many corrections do you make to your track notes during the day?

What was the on track drill lvl 1 drill 1? Would this be helpful for your low speed entry turn problems?

 

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WOW! Firstly, thanks to everyone for their responses or advice.

 

Hotfoot and Eirik - Thanks for the advice. I don't use a lap timer but I will make this my next purchase.

 

ScrmDuc - Thanks again for your direct feedback. To answer your questions:

 

My Goal - I would love to be able to hold my own with anyone on a track. But to be realistic, I am 42 and 110kgs. So my real goal is to be the best track day rider I can be. The most fantastic part of riding bikes to me is that you are constantly testing your own limits.

 

Do I feel the front end lift? - No. This bike feels so planted. I have had some occasions on higher speed sweeps where I have felt the front under steer, but never to a point where I felt unsafe.

 

Mostly 5th or 4th to 2nd gear corners. I don't think I have ever used 1st on the track.

 

Engine braking or and excuse - Now that is the $64million question. I do have supreme confidence in the front end and always feel that I can go in a bit faster, but at the same time I am aware that we should open the throttle once we have turned the bike. I keep saying to myself "get on the gas! get on the gas!" and I am a whole lot better than before, but the truth is that there is a definite time between when I have got the bike turned where I keep waiting before I get on the gas.

 

How do I determine corner entry speed?

Its mostly based on my SRs, but I also look for someone who is just a little faster than I am and try and learn a bit from them there.

I have been extremely weak at using RPs. For the last 3 track Days I have been documenting my brake point, turn in, apex and exit. I dropped my lap times by 3 sec just by focusing in this aspect.

 

Track notes - These have been mostly focused on identifying and documenting the RPs for each corner. Should I be writing other items down?

 

Level 1 drill 1 ??? - don't have my notes at hand. Are you referring to the counter steering or throttle control or turn point drill?

 

Thanks again for the feedback.

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There is a section in Twist II called "Discharging" that specifically addresses how to increase corner entry speed without firing off SRs. If you get the eBook you can just search the word Discharging and it will take you right to it.

 

Regarding laptimes, there are great GPS timers now that allow you to view your whole lap on your pc, and even compare two laps simultaneously so it looks like you are racing yourself. It can be enlightening! The one I have is a Starlane.

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Track notes: Perhaps start recording what gear you're in where. Also maybe where you're doing things like the "pick up". I had a battle with downshifting at my last track day and I found you can downshift as you brake if you practice it. Combine that with learning to blip the throttle like Hotfoot says so your engine is matching your wheel spin and not the other way around and I think you'll find your problems are over. I'm no racer, but I enjoy to "hold my own" at trackdays too. My typical downshift is a 4th to 2nd (on a 954rr, so it's basically a liter-bike with comparable compression) and after learning to blip better and brake and shift at the same time all was well and I was happy.

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Thanks Hotfoot. I had a copy of Twist 2 but it got destroyed in the rain. I just downloaded the e-book and this make a lot more sense now than when I originally read the book.

Thanks again.

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Fatman, thanks for the honest reply.

 

My Goal - I would love to be able to hold my own with anyone on a track. But to be realistic, I am 42 and 110kgs. So my real goal is to be the best track day rider I can be. The most fantastic part of riding bikes to me is that you are constantly testing your own limits. I think your goal is the same as most of us here. 42 your still young :). When you attend a track day do you have a goal for the day or are you just out riding having fun. If your just out having fun, there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever. Fun is Fun!!! Or do you go to the track with a goal for the day. I don't mean a faster lap time. Would your goal be going faster through those pesky slow speed turns that you have talked about? If so, then what is your plan for them?

 

Do I feel the front end lift? - No. This bike feels so planted. I have had some occasions on higher speed sweeps where I have felt the front under steer, but never to a point where I felt unsafe I was vague with my question. Let me rephrase it. When you release the front brakes before your turn in do you feel the front suspension unload prior to your turn in? Or, is the front suspension unloading and you haven't noticed. I'm guilty of that one <_< Or you have it nailed!!! Do you know why the front end understeers on the high speed sweepers?

 

Mostly 5th or 4th to 2nd gear corners. I don't think I have ever used 1st on the track. Have you tried 3rd gear?

 

Engine braking or and excuse - Now that is the $64million question. I do have supreme confidence in the front end and always feel that I can go in a bit faster, but at the same time I am aware that we should open the throttle once we have turned the bike. I keep saying to myself "get on the gas! get on the gas!" and I am a whole lot better than before, but the truth is that there is a definite time between when I have got the bike turned where I keep waiting before I get on the gas.

How do I determine corner entry speed?

Its mostly based on my SRs, but I also look for someone who is just a little faster than I am and try and learn a bit from them there.

 

I have been extremely weak at using RPs. For the last 3 track Days I have been documenting my brake point, turn in, apex and exit. I dropped my lap times by 3 sec just by focusing in this aspect.

Which SR's?

Track notes - These have been mostly focused on identifying and documenting the RPs for each corner. Should I be writing other items down? So you have been drawing these out on paper or just noting where what is? If you are drawing them what other information could be useful 6 months from now. Do you add in the off camber turns, the patch repair that is right where you think your turn point should be, the crest or dip, etc... Do you draw in your line for the turn, or draw in a line that you think will work for a turn? What cost more, pen and paper or tires and gasoline? Which one of Keith's books did I just roughly quote?

When your lap times drop 2 seconds from what they are now, will your RP's be the same?

Level 1 drill 1 ??? - don't have my notes at hand. Are you referring to the counter steering or throttle control or turn point drill? Throttle control. On track 4th gear no brakes. There is a lot here on the forum about no brakes. If you are messing up your entry speed what could be a drill to use to improve the entry speed? If you try this drill at a track day go out last on track and let as many people as you can know what you are doing. Be very careful of riders that may catch you!!!! Be prepared to ride using brakes at any moment. Use your brain!!

 

 

 

After reading Twist 2 again. I think I need to forget about the bike and focus on my RPs. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for the advice.

If you haven't done this drill yet give it a go, it is really a cheap drill that can be done a lot. All you need is some type of stop watch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run the track in your mind. Compare the mental lap vs the real lap. If the laps are very close then in your mind your RP's are good. If your mental lap is a lot faster than the real lap you are missing a lot of RP's. If your mental lap is slower than the real lap you have too many RP's etc....

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Lots of great advice above, but when I read the original post my reaction was immediately: try a gear higher for that corner. It can't hurt to try, and you might find that with the reduced engine braking you comfortably carry much more corner speed, plus you eliminate two shifts (one during braking and one during acceleration on the next straight). All of this may easily make up for the slight loss of acceleration at the exit. For Heaven's sake it is a litre-bike - make use of the advantage of not needing to row the gearbox.

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Oh, and I am going to (very) respectfully disagree with ScrmnDuc that a slipper clutch is nothing more than an insurance policy against a botched downshift. That may well be true at a very high skill level where the rider can comfortably brake hard, while simultaneously blipping the throttle, working the clutch (or not!) and downshifting at the correct bike speeds. For mere mortals, a properly functioning slipper (i.e., not including most OEM slippers) gives one the option of completing downshifts in rapid succession at pretty much any point in the braking zone. In my experience this frees up much brain power for handling other tasks such as sighting RPs and setting the entry speed.

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