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Hi guys, I did my last track day a few months ago and managed my best lap time of 3:18 at BIC(buddh international circuit) in india. Can you please check out my lap video and see where I'm going wrong, I'm targeting sub 3:00 times. I ride a ninja 250r with a gsxr shock spring to my weight and Michelin street radials.

 

Best lap

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Great video. Love the overlay and the track looks like a LOT of fun.

 

I'm not an expert (and I'm also not familiar with the specific techniques to riding a 250) but I observed the following.

 

1. Lots of mid turn steering corrections.

2. Low corner entry speeds due to braking too hard before the corner.

 

I think the problems that you are having with the steering corrections and the low corner entry speeds are mostly visual related. Looking further into the corner helps with this. Having a defined turn point helps a lot too with making one steering input. Keep in mind that after the turn point the bike continues to decelerate until you get on the gas.

 

If I had to suggest drills to work on this is what I would suggest.

 

1. Reference Points

2. Two step

3. Three step

4. Quick Turn

 

It's not all bad news though. I did observe some pretty decent throttle roll on in a several of the turns. With a little work on some visuals you will be absolutely amazed at how much easier things become. In fact that's some of the same stuff I was working on in Level 4 with CSS at Barber Motorsports park.

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One other thing. How accurate is the braking indicator on the video? Take a look at 2:22 on the video when you were going wide in the corner? Was that an error with the braking indicator or were you really braking?

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It definitely looks like you can quickturn the bike, which is great and very important for carrying the high entry speeds required to get a quick laptime on a Ninja 250!

 

Some questions for you:

How would you rate your accuracy to the apex, are you able to consistently get the bike to the apex you want in every corner?

Do you ever have to lean the bike over more in the middle or the end of the corner, instead of getting to your desired lean angle right away and staying there?

About how far away from your turn point are you when you look in to the apex of the corner?

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I agree with the comments above. I think some of your turn-in points are off, and while I can't see your head in the video, it seems like you aren't looking through the corner. This is costing you cornering speed and you seem to be running wide of the apex in many corners.

 

So to echo some of the above, I'd work on reference points and 2/3-step. Looking towards your apex point before you arrive at your turn marker makes a huge difference. I know when I focus on that, my cornering speed goes way up.

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Hans, you know me as we have chatted about your riding over a year or so... get at me if you cannot take a CSS school anytime soon.

 

Flip this on it's head, instead of shooting for a lap time goal, shoot for a skill goal and the lap time will drop as it tags along for the skill improvement ride.

 

Main things;

Basics first, throttle control and visual skills (line selection)!!!!!!

then...

Work your way up slowly to knowing your limit to entry speed, slow or fast doesn't matter.

then...

Get real cozy with your brakes, they can do so much more only after... you're comfortable with their abilities.

 

The visual skills will help you "get"/understand how to take the corner before you even turn and your throttle control will validate that. How do you know you have a good line? I know a ninja 250 is not really a point and shoot bike, but I have found that some riders respond to a "connect the dots" learning method. The dots are your reference points, put your front wheel on a line that connects those dots with a good throttle roll and you got something to work with.

Next time, take a session or so to concentrate on little more than entry speed (no brakes if needed but not set in stone :)). Find where you're comfortable, then add other skills in but be sure to stop and adjust if you get that "rushed" feeling.

Being more confident in your brakes will shave off many seconds you add to your time in the brake zone but build the skill confidently. Pick a marker (earlier is better than later to start :)) and move it around in small distances, again... until you get that rushed feeling. You can move it again when the rushed feeling goes away. How do you pick a good brake marker?

 

Good luck and remember 75% of your ability is where you learn!

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Flip this on it's head, instead of shooting for a lap time goal, shoot for a skill goal and the lap time will drop as it tags along for the skill improvement ride.

 

Can't agree with you more on this. Get all the skills mastered and a faster lap "just happens". :)

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Hi guys, thanks for your replies. I'm attaching a map of the track for your reference. This is the F1 version of the track and there is a very slight variation for the motorbike version. Basically they skip the chicane, that is T6 and go straight to T7. The rest is the same.

14649_Buddh-International-Circuit_886x44

@Rchase - I definitely have issues regarding reference points, but I seem to make progress each time I go. I'm trying to set up reliable reference points and I think I've managed this pretty well for a few turns, but my biggest issues arise in T3, T4 T10 and T15. I used to have major issues with running wide at T16 because I used to turn in too early, but I managed to rectify that by setting up a reference point and turning in later.

 

At 2:22 I'm in, what they call, the "parabola". It's basically a deeply chambered double apex turn which tightens up at T11. I generally ease off the throttle about here, go a bit wide, stand the bike up a bit, counter steer and get back in on the throttle to tighten up the turn(no brakes). I used to be very nervous here regarding my speed, but I slowly learned how to get over that and I manage exit speeds in excess of 115kph.

 

@Hotfoot -

Q - How would you rate your accuracy to the apex, are you able to consistently get the bike to the apex you want in every corner?

A - Consistency is definitely an issue for me. As said before, I really have trouble with reference points on most turns, something I need to work on. My turn in points, throttle position, braking markers, all vary from lap to lap. This is more pronounced in some turns than others. I'll add another video from the same track day for you to compare.

 

Q - Do you ever have to lean the bike over more in the middle or the end of the corner, instead of getting to your desired lean angle right away and staying there?

A - I'm not entirely sure about lean angle, but I definitely have to make steering corrections in a lot of turns. Tho I probably do make lean angle corrections in at least a few turns like T10-11

 

Q - About how far away from your turn point are you when you look in to the apex of the corner?

A - I guess this depends on which turn I am in. Varies a lot. I do look in early at T1, T2, T3 is a blind turn and one I always mess up, T4 is a sharp hairpin after a long straight, so I'm generally so busy with my braking and reference markets I forget to look too far out into the turn, T5-7 I take as one straight turn, T8-T9 I'm just about looking for the T9 apex when I'm already taking T8... if that makes any sense. T10 I try looking as far out as possible, but my turn entry definitely suffers here as I'm not sure where my turn in point should be. T11 also I look far enough out (I think), T13-14 is also not really a problem, as long as I get my turn entry correct at T13. T15 is an issue because it's also a blind turn. T16 used to be an issue for me too, but I think I manage pretty alright now.

 

@Stroker - Yeah, they hold both private and public track days. I know a person who organizes private days and it generally runs up to 300$ for 4 sessions of 45mins each. Open sessions are about 67$ a session or 200$ for 3.

 

@FieryRobot - Very true, something I can only fix with the correct reference points...

 

@Csmith12 - Hi Chris, Glad to see you're on this forum as well. It's my dream to do CSS, but unfortunately It's totally eluding me. My next track sessions are going to be in October, so I'm planning for that from now. I definitely have very little confidence in my brakes. They always seem very spongy and I don't know how to get them to be just right. Gonna upgrade my caliper and master cylinder soon. I'm sincerely sure that if I get that initial bite I'm looking for I could shave a few seconds off this time without much effort.

 

Comparison videos.

 

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There is a technique taught in Level 1 at the school called the 2-Step, which helps a great deal with consistency to the apex and getting the timing right for looking into the turn. The best thing would be to get to a school but if that is not feasible, you can find info on the 2-Step technique in A Twist of the Wrist II in Chapter 23, or see it explained and demonstrated on the Twist II DVD. There is also a lot of info about reference points in the preceding chapters (21, 22); that might also be helpful to review since you mentioned needing more or better reference points in certain turns.

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Hans. Wish you luck on the track day in October. Before I went to the school I found Keith's books and DVD's very helpful. Every time I read them or watch them I pick up something I did not notice the last time. Nothing however can compare to the the school's coaching. Quite amazing really the massive improvement I experience every single time I go.

 

Brakes can make a pretty decent improvement in a bike. I had "prehistoric" brakes on my 1989 Yamaha FZR400. Some EBC rotors and pads fixed that problem pretty quickly and gave me great stopping power and confidence to trust my brakes.

 

Something I'll share that's worked well for me. I have a notebook that I write stuff down in. It's really helpful for me to write down my weak points and take notes on a track map. It's an idea I stole from Keith's book from the section of having "a riding plan". :)

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@stroker - Yeah, BIC is way more expensive that the Madras circuit, but it is also a much better track and much better managed. The whole crew including Bharat Reddy actually cart all their bikes to BIC to ride. They were there for the track weekend when I last rode... I promise, there were at least $300-500k worth of bike on that truck. Including a brilliant rider on a multistrada.

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They did, yes... I live in Bombay, so I flew to delhi as well. My only advantage is, I have a factory about 6hrs driving distance from the track, so I keep my bike and gear there and just cart it down whenever I need to. India desperately needs more tracks.

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  • 2 months later...

'Like others before me ..'

 

I see problems with your corner entry speeds. For me, those problems are arising because a) you're not confident about your brakes; B) (possibly/largely?) as a result, you're not paying enuf attention to both fixing your turn points and seeing your apexes. Put it another way, you're spending too much of Keith's, '$10 worth of attention' on something which shouldn't be costing much at all, leaving you insufficient funds to spend on more important stuff.

 

You've got to get to love your brakes. Because if they don't inspire full confidence, you will always start slowing too soon. Knowing you can slow your bike down, as you want and every time is critical. Reading what you write about your current set-up, I suspect you may now need to make some equipment changes, if only to give you a renewed sense of confidence in them.

 

Then, once you're confident in their ability to stop you, go back to basics and do some No Braking laps, concentrating on turn points and apexes. And you'll realise that this 'Slowing down for corners' business isn't actually THAT important anyway!

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Apextc,

 

Those are drills that the school does that help students like myself improve specific areas of our riding. Sometimes it's easy to forget that others might not be aware of the drill names. All of them are referenced in Keith Codes books in some way or another if not directly by their drill name.

 

The Two step and Three step are visual riding drills. As you enter the corner you observe the turn point and apex (two step). The three step adds in the exit to the two step. Using these techniques you can increase corner speed and improve your line. The drill depends on reference points which is #1 on the list.

 

Quick turn is a technique used to increase the steering rate of the bike. More pressure is used on the motorcycle's handle bars and the bike steers faster. This does two things. It increases ground clearance and reduces lean angle in the corner.

 

I'll add a bonus drill of wide view. Wide view is a way of looking at the track surface so that you see everything and focus your attention rather than your eyes. It helps reduce the sensation of speed and also assists in being more visually aware of your surroundings. I found it absolutely amazing for making passing a lot less stressful. Using wide view I realized I had TONS of room to get past safely.

 

The drills are broken down into small components but when you do something like combine techniques like the three step and the quick turn you will be amazed at how quickly you can make it through even the most technical corner.

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