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Braking


Subisti
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Hi, I've been track riding for 2 years now, I'm at the faster end of intermediate. My question is for braking or more, hard braking. I ride mostly at mid ohio and can get 5-6 good laps in before my hands start falling asleep. I've noticed the problem I have among others is during braking no matter how hard I squeeze on my stomp grips I have to hold myself up with my arms during braking. Than to corner I have to kinda lift and push off the bars to slide back enough to hang off the bike. Everything I've read makes it sound like I should be able to lay on the brakes and hold myself in place with my legs. I just don't see that happening.

 

When watching motogp I've noticed a lot of guys are kinda hanging off during the braking so the the inside of your thigh is taking the brunt of the pressure. I've tried this a few times and it's pretty scary because I'm assuming because the bike is unbalanced with my weight off it kinda wants to wonder all over the place.

 

Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated!

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Being stiff on the bars causes a number of handling problems and can really cause you issues on wheelie landings or when the bike is putting a lot of power on the ground with the front wheel skimming the ground. It's important to understand that the bars are there for steering inputs alone and not to hold our weight at all.

 

The School has a drill where you focus on relaxing your arms. While you are riding you move your arms up and down to remind yourself not to keep tension in the arms. It works wonders.

 

An experiment. SItting in your chair. Make a fist and clench it. Clench it a little harder. And then Harder still.

 

Are you breathing? Probably not. Tension does that. Not breathing on the bike can cause problems on it's own. Relax and breathe! :)

 

You would be amazed what a trip down hot pit where you just stop the bike for a second and take a big breath and relax your arms will do for you when you start to get too tense. :)

 

I have a few other things that I do to remind myself that a death grip on the bars is unnecessary and harmful. These aren't things you should probably do but it helps me. During turns once the steering is complete I remove a hand from the bar. The non throttle one and only during the warm up laps. I also regularly remove both of my hands from the bars while coasting down hot pit. It sounds simple but these simple reminders that the bike does not need your hands on the bars in order to hold a lean angle and to stay upright is helpful for me.

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When you say move your arms up and down, you mean like flapping your arms like a chicken? That makes sense a friend told me he wiggles his fingers. I've tried it it seems to help. I have noticed that I hold my breath when I'm pushing hard, I've really tried to almost force my self to deep breath when I'm riding now.

 

I still not sure how to hold myself up with only leg squeeze and also how to stay back far enough from the tank to hang off correctly.

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Yes. Just moving your arms ensures you don't have them too tense. I find as well repeating the phrase "Relax" a few times works well too. Since you are talking you sorta have to be breathing to accomplish that.

 

What kind of bike do you have? Is it a Supersport? Many of the more street oriented bikes are more difficult to get a "lock on" due to the shape of their tanks and arrangement of the bars.

 

When it comes to body position I like to start at the bottom. How is your foot position? Are you on the pegs on your toes? Are you pivoting your foot into the swingarm during hang off? Are you braking while hanging off or while still upright on the bike? If you are hanging off are you bracing your upper body on the tank with your outside arm?

 

I'm not the most flexible person in the world and to get further off the bike I use a technique called pivot steering that helps me get a bit more locked onto the bike and helps me get more of my weight to the inside. You push with the outside peg to force your body further to the inside. It also helps give you a bit of extra leverage with the inside bar for your turn.

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Come find me Subisti! I am almost always at Mid-O when they are running PTRs. In fact, I will be there this Sun. Mon. & Tues., I will also be there the 2 dates in Oct. There isn't much better than doing a CSS school and I highly recommend it (yes, I have done it myself), but I will do my best to help you out until then. Ask for "coach Chris", I am normally in garage 12/12a or 14, riding a black and yellow r6.

 

As far as your question goes; Let's cover some basics...

 

When do you get your bumm off the seat?

If you bumm is off the seat, do you have to have your knee out or can it still be griping the tank?

What do you do with your leg(s) when you're off the seat?

 

As far as your hands going numb, let check to ensure your gloves fit properly and your bar ergos are ok. Then we can address being tight on the bars and relaxing while riding.

 

Isn't braking for turn 7 super fun?!?!?!?!? :)

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Rchase, I have a 675r. I think my feet are in a good place. I've officially worn a hole on the ball of my boot. I've tried braking leaning off and it seems very sketchy. I normally do my braking while upright. I try to support my self with my outside arm and leg. But it seems most of my weight is on my inside foot. I've tried to force myself to stop it but it is what seems most natural. However I've noticed during left handlers it's near impossible to up shift because all my weight is on my inside foot.

 

 

Csmith, I will be there at mid ohio those same days and will come find you. I definitely want to do the css school but money is an issue. It's on my bucket list just not sure when I would be able to do it. My butt is normally off the seat when shifting back right before a corner, as well as during fast transitions. I had a pair of dainese Druid gloves and I noticed it would ball up under my hand making throttle control difficult, I recently purchased astars gppro gloves from tj at riders discount. Had the numbing issue with both pairs. I guess my legs can be either out or against the tank during the lift.

 

I've been having confidence issues with my brakes, they don't seem to brake as well as they should. I just put a new pair of vesrah rjl on hoping this would help. But I still seem to late brake people into turn 7. It's funny no matter how late I start braking there seems to always be some coasting time... Lol

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Aint that the truth! $$$ is always a factor. Honestly though, a CSS school on "your" bike is about the same as 2 mid-o days. Travel is another thing altogether though, I went for VIR when I did the school. So you got some new vesrah pads!! Awesome, did you clean and prep the rotors? Maybe you have some glazing. I will have my tools and such with me, we can check out your brakes.

 

Your homework before Mid-O, watch the twist2 movie if you can or read chap. 24 and "Steering, the key to speed" if you only have the book. I will show you how to connect those two dots, so they work to your advantage. The rest... you will have to learn from CSS. lol

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It's always a challenge to assist without "seeing it". Do you have photos mid corner? They don't tell the whole story but they can sometimes be enlightening.

 

The foot thing is interesting. Worn boots. Inability to shift because of weight on the pegs.

 

When I hang off the bike (and I'm far from the poster child of perfect body position) my weight is distributed between the seat, side of the tank with my leg, top of the tank with my arm and my foot. It sounds like a lock in problem with your body position which is something that Level 3 at the school spends time on. I understand the money problem though. Some things are well worth the expense.

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I guess from what I have read in other forums the 1 days aren't worth it. I thought you basically had to do the 2 day or it was like any other track day. If the one days are worth it that definitely makes them a possibility.

 

here are a couple pics from one of my track days.

IMG_0317_zpsoivcxrwj.jpg

 

IMG_0318_zpslymu1jjx.jpg

 

as for the homework you said its in the second book?

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Great looking bike! Unfortunately I don't see anything horrible with the photos. You could move your butt back a bit in the seat as it appears your outside leg is a bit cramped on the side of the tank. You look ever so slightly crossed up but it could just be the photo.

 

As for the one day schools. My first experience with the school was doing two consecutive 1 day event's with the school on their BMW. I got a LOT out of the first day but I do have to admit that the 2nd day built onto that experience. I would not say that the individual 1 day classes "are not worth it". Every level has valuable learning for any rider. I did Level 3 and 4 as the two day camp. I came back and did Level 4 for two individual days in 2014 and I did the same thing in 2015. In my experience the coaching is exactly the same between camp days and individual days.

 

There's a lot of information out there about the school. Some of it is not 100% accurate based on skewed perception. The coaches at the Superbike School are the best of the best but they aren't going to get you up to winning races with one day of riding. Riding is much more complicated than that. :)

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I guess from what I have read in other forums the 1 days aren't worth it.

as for the homework you said its in the second book?

 

I also did a one day, the perception is wrong. They tell you to ride at 75% and CSS MEANS IT! Level 1 doesn't mean go novice speeds. I ran A pace at VIR for my level 1 but played nice with traffic. Work with your CSS coach for any issues and don't hold back without good reason, it's the #1 mistake imho.... The drills and coaching are best based off your 75% skill. Unless the coaches know where you're at, your experience is less than what it could be. This goes for CSS as well as any other school.

 

But yes, Twist of the wrist 2 movie or book.

 

See you on Sunday for some fun! :)

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Personally, I prefer the single days over a 2-day camp because the single days are less rushed. Yes, you have less on-track sessions, but that's exactly why I feel less rushed.

 

As always, YMMV.

 

Kai

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I'm assuming you're having this problem on hard braking on the straight at high speed. I have a similar problem, shifting too much forward, and still working on it. Other than locking the tank with your thighs, rise your upper body full up when you start braking and let the wind push you back. Also use your right foot against the foot peg for some extra back-force.

 

post-24108-0-79885000-1442664686_thumb.jpgpost-24108-0-27025800-1442664784_thumb.jpg

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Subisti, the back straight at Mid-O is pretty long. To think your not going to have "ANY" weight on your arms when still pinned at a 150+ at a 375ft braking marker for turn 7 is just plain silly. You will need olympic leg strength to keep "ALL" the weight off your arms. Let's face it, that level of fitness is rare. So you going to have to mitigate it in some way by adjusting something. Entry speed maybe? Turn in point change? I will throw you a hint before we meet up.

 

It's near impossible to build a 100% confident, hard, deep braking marker until your turn in point, line and entry speed is worked out and solid. If you're coasting at any time, then you still need to work on that part. So, my question to you is; what does your turn in point have to do with your braking marker?

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............ I've been having confidence issues with my brakes, they don't seem to brake as well as they should. I just put a new pair of vesrah rjl on hoping this would help. But I still seem to late brake people into turn 7. It's funny no matter how late I start braking there seems to always be some coasting time... Lol

 

Have you purged air out of the lines and calipers?

 

Have you cleaned the pistons and pad's pins?

 

.......... I've tried this a few times and it's pretty scary because I'm assuming because the bike is unbalanced with my weight off it kinda wants to wonder all over the place.

 

Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated!

 

You move the weight of the bike away (off-center) as you shift your weight over: the bike is slightly leaned towards the outside of the upcoming corner and the balance remains.

 

In order to reduce the force pushing your body forward, you can also use more distance to brake.

The bonus of doing so is that you can better adjust or fine tune the correct entry speed before reaching the turning point.

Your time may suffer a bit, but you will feel more comfortable and will corner better and safer.

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Csmith, I suppose if I don't have a definitive turn in point, than there is nothing to base my braking maker on. As for my braking confidence I've bleed the brakes basically after every track day hopeing to find my problem. It seems with brembo monoblocs I should have more problem keeping the back down than worrying about stopping in time. So far even grabbing as hard as I can I can barely get the back end light. I've installed my factory lever for this weekend to see if that helps at all. I'm hoping between the new pads, scuffing of the rotors and the original long lever my problem will be solved. I guess only time will tell.

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Csmith, I suppose if I don't have a definitive turn in point, than there is nothing to base my braking maker on. As for my braking confidence I've bleed the brakes basically after every track day hopeing to find my problem. It seems with brembo monoblocs I should have more problem keeping the back down than worrying about stopping in time. So far even grabbing as hard as I can I can barely get the back end light. I've installed my factory lever for this weekend to see if that helps at all. I'm hoping between the new pads, scuffing of the rotors and the original long lever my problem will be solved. I guess only time will tell.

 

Bingo!

 

Let's also make sure there is nothing mechanically wrong with your machine, so there is nothing there holding you back.

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Braking is one of those funny things. Sometimes it certainly feels like you are doing all you can but you could easily be miles away from the outer limits of performance on the brakes. This past school I did the brake bike and realized that I had so much more braking power than I could have ever imagined. Being able to go to the point of lockup was an amazing experience. I had been through all the "brake upgrades" on a previous track bike seeking additional braking. What I really needed to do was shift my comprehension of braking capabilities.

 

I got that point reinforced a month or so later when I went for a ride with Nate Kern on the back of his S1000RR at Double R fest. What Nate can do with the brakes is nothing short of amazing all with a completely stock bike down to the pads and everything.

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Going two-up with someone who can show you how hard you can brake can really be an eye-opener, as rchase says. I used to be an instructor at a basic motorcycle safety course (similar to the MSF, I presume), where I would sometimes take the students for a ride on their own bike, to show them just how hard they could brake.

 

Sometimes, just telling them that "you can brake harder, you need to brake harder" didn't work and they had to get the physical sensation of the braking forces - then it clicked for them.

 

Get the rotors etc sorted out, then maybe ask someone who also has the same or a very similar bike to take it for a braking test (you can often do this in a desserted area of the paddock), to see if they find anything unusual with it.

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Well, long story long. I started last spring with my 2014 675r track riding, and I remember being blown away at how well and hard it stopped. 8-9 track days later they seemed like they weren't stopping as well and I contacted tj from riders discount. He said that I probably should move to a higher performance pad and recommended the vesrah rjl. I installed them bedded the, in and was amazed like they stopped even better than when new. I think I did 4-5 days after. Over the winter I installed jpr levers. And when I did my first track day this spring they just didn't seem to stop well. They stop but not well. I contacted tj he said something like I may have heat cycled them or something to the effect that they worn and need to be replaced. So i replaced them and bedded in never seemed like they were any better. Did a few more track days still same. He recommended bead blasting them. So I had my rotors bead blasted I scuffed the pads and tried again. They seem a little better but nothing like they should. So I just replaced the pads again and used emery cloth and denatured alcohol on them. Will try this weekend with new pads, original lever.

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Another thing to look at on your brakes is the brake fluid and brake lines; I'm far from expert on this but I know braided steel lines and race grade brake fluid can make the brake system a lot more responsive by taking the spongieness out. Certain brake fluids can absorb water and affect brake response.

 

As far as one-day schools go, it is totally worth it and it is not like a regular track day. You have an assigned coach who will work with you every session, plus classroom training, and a specific drill to work on for each ride session.

 

I noticed you mention above that you don't have a chosen turn point; how accurate can you be in judging your braking if you don't have a specific turn point? How consistent can you be if you are just winging it each time? And, how smooth is your visual info if your eyes are searching around as you approach the turn? If you choose a specific time to work on, picked a repeatable turn point, and THEN experimented with your brake markers, do you think you could measure your progress more accurately?

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Hotfoot, thanks for the tips. The bike comes factory with braided lines, and I've bleed the brakes with dot 4 multiple times last time about a week ago. The problem is the fix some blacktop at turn 7 so now my reference point is gone and I'm trying to find a new one, seems I can't find a good one ,I always apex early.

 

Chris, many thanks for the chats we had and the tips you gave. Last two sessions yesterday Mike M bumped me to advanced to give it a try. I wasn't the slowest out there so I was happy about that, but there are a lot of very fast guys out there. I finished the season taking 2 seconds off my fastest time so all in all a great weekend!

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@Hotfoot, I followed Subisti for a few laps. He was doing great! You know... sometimes riders are their own worst critics. Sure, he needs to have faith in his equipment, bike bits and himself, but riders can do amazing things. I personally felt the lever action and it wasn't to my liking but wasn't super terrible either.

 

@Subisti - I am glad you found me or Mike to get you into A for a session or two. You are ready from the riding point of view, but rider makes their own choice unless there is a safety concern. It was my pleasure to help you in any way I could and hope to ride with you again. :)

 

And fyi... we all were trying to figure out a new apex point for turn 7 after the tarmac changes. It made for an interesting couple of days.

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