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Fun Stuff - Hotfoot On Fire


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Hey Boys et Girls (a little Latin lingo for our world community)

Our own Hotfoot has been invited to a select motorcycling race series in SoCal and she needs your help. Yes Laura, aka "Hotfoot" has been invited to race in a limited local competition for the next three months - 16 riders, and the winner gets a KTM 390 motorcycle. It's track competition and its based on speed, consistency, improvement, and social media voting, and they are getting coaching from top pros. Laura's coach is Jeremy Toye!

 

With The Prairie Dogs Racing series winding down [ Go Dogs!] and Yellow Duck now a regional champion, we need to get behind another Forum regular to root for as our own riding seasons get buried under multiple feets of snow. How cool is this!. We will have our own Moderator/Administrator Laura "Hotfoot" posting up stories of how she kicks some serious butt on her way to winning that KTM! Here's the deal; you need to vote early and vote often for Laura at this web site.

https://fastrackriders.info/academy-voting/

You can only vote once a week from the same IP address but if you have multiple devices with different IP address - who's to know? OK maybe we will but who cares - its Laura and she racing!

So come on Forum regulars, lets show Hotfoot the same kind of Love we gave Yellow Duck [OK ,maybe it can be a little more enthusiastic that that] as she gears up for this exciting challenge. To vote you have to scroll past the photos to see the list of names, then click on Laura's name. There are 4 teams, 4 riders each, and at some point they advance one rider per team to a final round. We totally expect Laura to get to the final round. So let's click on that link and VOTE!

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Go Laura!

 

I have already voted but I'll probably vote again soon. I have to say though. Nobody deserves a cool little KTM more than she does. It would look awesome parked next to her other super cool lightweight bikes. :)

 

Laura is an amazing rider and a great coach. She's helped me in person and on the forums to do things I never thought were possible.

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OK, here is some more info about this competition:

First of all, my husband Mario is in it too, as Tyler alludes to above. Mario is on an S1000rr, also - his is a 2010 and in full race trim, and mine is a 2014 and still in Superbike School trim, just like a standard student bike - all I did was take off the number sticker. :)

 

From what I have seen so far, ALL the riders are on 1000cc bikes - there are a lot of BMW S1000rrs, plus Ducati 1199s, RSV4s, R1s, etc. The pace and skillset of the riders is quiet a bit higher than I expected, I definitely have my work cut out for me in this competition!

 

There are 16 riders competing, we are grouped into 4 teams of 4. One rider from each team will be chosen to advance to a final round.

 

You guys are doing GREAT on the voting, I really appreciate the support, and it is working! You can vote once per week, once per device.

 

Those of you that know me and Mario know we have a lot of fun competing with each other, but rarely get the chance to go head to head on similar bikes. He's been racing his S1000rr for a couple of years now, and I've been racing a lightweight GP bike. (As you can imagine, the timing points are a lot different now that I am on the S1000rr, I am having to move my turn points, brake markers, etc.) I worked hard at making changes in the first round, ultimately taking 3 seconds off my average time and two seconds off my best time. My best laptime was 1 second slower than Mario's - but I think I can easily get another second, probably two, in the next round. My goal is to drop my starting best laptime by a total of 5 seconds by the third round. I think I can do it. Coach Jon Groom worked with me recently on getting harder and harder drives, and Auto Club Speedway is a great track for getting results from good drives. Having the chance to follow and ride with Academy coach Jeremy Toye is a huge motivator to get on the throttle hard, his drives are unreal.

 

It's really terrific that the forum is interested in following this competition, I love that and it makes the whole thing way more fun for me. :)

 

If you want to vote, here is the link:

https://fastrackriders.info/academy-voting/

 

Voting for Mario is OK too. :D

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Laura, are there going to anything else than the voting link up on that website? - or do I need to go somewhere else to get the lowdown on what's happening?

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Laura, are there going to anything else than the voting link up on that website? - or do I need to go somewhere else to get the lowdown on what's happening?

 

I was under the impression they were going to do more on the website, including updates and interviews, but I haven't seen that yet. This is the first time ever for this competition, so the first day (Round 1) was a bit hectic. I think they decided to wait until next round for interviews with the riders and pro coaches. They did put a cool GPS recording device on the tail of my bike in one session - this is a brand new product that is still in testing phase, but it has potential to do some neat things.

 

Here is a link to the data from that - I had some challenges getting it to show properly on my phone and it took a long time to load on the PC, but if you're interested you can give it a try. Go to Drone View to see a lap at AutoClub Speedway. I was a little hesitant to post this because the data is from early in the day and we were doing a group lead-follow lap, so the data is not really indicative of a genuine hot lap, but it is still interesting to watch, so here you go. Hopefully in the next round I can get it put on during a regular practice session.

 

http://bit.ly/1gYe2hI

 

The next riding day is on Oct 24th.

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That's actually a quite neat way of displaying the data. Thanks for sharing that.

 

I have seen GPS data on static google maps but never a nice moving one like that.

 

I have a feeling there's some GPS error though. I saw the bike go through a couple of walls and the grass. :)

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That's actually a quite neat way of displaying the data. Thanks for sharing that.

 

I have seen GPS data on static google maps but never a nice moving one like that.

 

I have a feeling there's some GPS error though. I saw the bike go through a couple of walls and the grass. :)

 

My apexes are VERY TIGHT! :)

 

Actually I noticed that too and I figured out why - the GPS device is mounted on the top of the tail of the bike. So, when the bike is leaned over, in many cases the device itself really is over the grass or curb; it is showing where the top of the tail is, not the tires. The things that look like walls are probably the plastic curbing that is used to mark the track at Auto Club Speedway, they are wide flat plastic curbs that lay down on the pavement. They look like walls from above but are really only about 2" tall, it is possible to ride over them - but not advisable, since they are slippery. They use them to create the artificial chicane at the end of the long straightaway, and to separate the track entrance and exits from the path onto and off the main straight. There are no actual walls close to the track (happily), although there are some tire barriers.

 

It IS a neat little device, huh? I think it is capable of a lot more than they are showing right now, and it is a cool looking little thing about the size of a hockey puck. I want it to show G-forces, I hope they build that in!

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Ah Ha!

 

That explains the trip through the grass and the ride through the wall. Some mega tight apexes with the tail literally right over those parts.

 

It would be neat if they measured the length of the average superbike top to bottom and gave the pointer some wings to estimate where the wheels might be.

 

Really super cool data overlay though. Gforces would be awesome too. I have been tempted try that myself with a smartphone app just to see what the range is.

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In my case the difference was: they stuck it on my bike, I rode, then they instantly sent me a link of my lap with a cool overlay of the track as it actually looks from the air. That was a much simpler process than setting up the Starlane and installing software and extracting a lap and posting it to the web. I do think the Starlane can do all this device can, maybe more, but I suspect the Push group will have a better internet interface for sharing. And I think it will be a lot easier to do a virtual comparison of two riders - we can do that with the Starlane now but it requires direct access to the other person's files. If my husband and I (for example) each ran with the Push device, then could just log on and click on a rider (or maybe even an "ideal lap" from a pro) to compare with on their website, that would be faster and easier.

 

I'm sure I will learn more about it as we go, and that the Push group will be testing and refining the product then promoting it. My impression was that they were using us as a testing ground.

 

I love my Starlane but the setup process is a bit clumsy (getting the initial coordinates stored for start/finish and segments) and the software is not as intuitive and glossy as it could be.

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I love my Starlane but the setup process is a bit clumsy (getting the initial coordinates stored for start/finish and segments) and the software is not as intuitive and glossy as it could be.

 

I totally agree on the software UX being, uhm, unintuitive. But I don't quite understand why setting the initial coordinates is 'clumsy'. Are you putting in the coordinates again every time you go to a specific track? I haven't filled out the 10 slots in the GPS logger, so maybe that's why I dont have a problem.

 

I'm toying with the idea to create my on laptimer/logger with accelerometer, gyro (for rotation) and external inputs so I can tap into the YEC wire harness for RPM, Throttle and speed, but a lot of that is software (especially PC software), and I'm a hardware guy :mellow:

 

I gotta take a look at the Push smartGauge - might save me some work :)

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I love my Starlane but the setup process is a bit clumsy (getting the initial coordinates stored for start/finish and segments) and the software is not as intuitive and glossy as it could be.

 

I totally agree on the software UX being, uhm, unintuitive. But I don't quite understand why setting the initial coordinates is 'clumsy'. Are you putting in the coordinates again every time you go to a specific track? I haven't filled out the 10 slots in the GPS logger, so maybe that's why I dont have a problem.

 

 

Once a track is set up once, it is GREAT - super easy to just choose the track you are riding. But whenever I go to a new track (especially if it is for racing) it is a pain to set up the start/finish and segment markers, because I am trying to push those flush-mount membrane buttons with race gloves on while riding at speed on the track. I have two Starlanes and the newer one has an auto-detect for the Start/Finish; a great idea but I have had it work on some tracks and not on others, I'm not sure why - maybe the track is too wide?

 

So for the initial setup I have tried a few different techniques:

1) Setting the points during a slow sighting lap - this works at a trackday but not at a race practice, they don't do slow sighting laps. The pace in practice is too high and it is too crowded/dangerous to just go slow, plus I can't afford to lose the practice time because we only get 1-2 ten minute practice sessions. I've done it a couple of times but I feel like I'm taking my life in my hands every time, and usually don't get the markers exactly where I want.

2) Asking permission to ride the track alone, early in the morning or during lunch break - again, usually won't happen on a race weekend, too much going on, and/or rules prevent it

3) Going out with no glove on my left hand to make pushing the flat buttons easier - not very safe and could get me in trouble, but I did do it once and it worked.

4) If I am there the night before, unmounting the timer form the bike, hooking it to a battery, and carrying it out on the track on foot or a bicycle to mark the segment points.

5) Loading a "known" track - the newer timer was supposed to come with some tracks pre-loaded, so you could just tell it to search and find tracks near you and load them. So far I haven't found a track pre-loaded, but again - it's a GREAT idea, if I could get it to work.

 

What I should do is download coordinates from my old timer (which has at least 8 tracks loaded in it) to my new one; I think that is possible but I haven't researched how to do it or tried it yet.

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I totally agree on the software UX being, uhm, unintuitive. But I don't quite understand why setting the initial coordinates is 'clumsy'. Are you putting in the coordinates again every time you go to a specific track? I haven't filled out the 10 slots in the GPS logger, so maybe that's why I dont have a problem.

 

Once a track is set up once, it is GREAT - super easy to just choose the track you are riding. But whenever I go to a new track (especially if it is for racing) it is a pain to set up the start/finish and segment markers, because I am trying to push those flush-mount membrane buttons with race gloves on while riding at speed on the track. I have two Starlanes and the newer one has an auto-detect for the Start/Finish; a great idea but I have had it work on some tracks and not on others, I'm not sure why - maybe the track is too wide?

 

So for the initial setup I have tried a few different techniques:

(...)

5) Loading a "known" track - the newer timer was supposed to come with some tracks pre-loaded, so you could just tell it to search and find tracks near you and load them. So far I haven't found a track pre-loaded, but again - it's a GREAT idea, if I could get it to work.

 

What I should do is download coordinates from my old timer (which has at least 8 tracks loaded in it) to my new one; I think that is possible but I haven't researched how to do it or tried it yet.

 

OK, I see your point. Last time I point in points on a track was in .... 2012, on Big & Streets of Willows :)

 

I think you and your husband have the Stealth GPS-2/3's right? The newer GPS-3X and the just announced GPS-4 have some higher rubber buttons which could help on the feedback, but now that I'm thinking about it, I'm not sure it really helps, since you need to take your left hand off the handlebar to push the button.

I guess that the "best" on-bike solution would be if you had a dedicated switch on the left handlebar (like the pass switch on a road bike), that you could just tap at-speed.

The best-best would be plotting in things ahead of time from Google maps or getting FS/intermediate points from a database of some sort so the laptimer pulls data automatically.

 

As to the "pre-loaded" tracks, I read Starlane's material the following way: it can choose between the tracks that you have loaded, but it still doesn't come preloaded with a gazillion tracks. Sorry.

 

What I have done is to use the PC-software's built-in track management SW to choose the S/F + Intermediates. Unfortunately, I haven't been 100% successful in getting it to work well.

 

As for the auto-detect, I think it's trying to hit a circle about 10m (~30') in diameter, so if the track is very wide and you take very different lines the first couple of laps, it could lead to "misses".

 

I have downloaded the tracks from the laptimer to the PC-software. You should be able to upload them as well, but given the Italian software.... well, it's not so easy.

 

Hope this helps

 

Kai

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This forum is AWESOME! I just want to say thanks for the voting support on the Academy competition. In the past few weeks I have been gaining steadily on the competition in the voting portion and I am currently in THIRD PLACE and closing fast on the leaders. Our next day of riding is Oct 24th and my goal is to drop my laptime by two seconds. I'll keep you posted on how that goes. The bike is currently in the shop getting suspension service, oil change, new tires and a general safety check. In the meantime, I continue working on strength training to improve the speed of my hip flick for the quick transitions at Auto Club Speedway. There are SEVEN chicanes at that track (including one that is high speed and downhill), so getting across the bike fast, without losing the lock-on, to get it turned on time becomes really important. I am doing lots of lunges, side leg lifts, sit-ups, leg lifts for lower abs, stair climbing and hill hikes, generally trying to improve/maximize my core strength and leg strength.

 

Remember you can vote once a week, once per device - thanks again for the support and keep voting, your participation is motivating me even more to ride faster and more aggressively and go for the WIN on this thing!!

https://fastrackriders.info/academy-voting/

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, we had our second round today. Suspension changes felt GREAT!! Nice to have it set up properly for my weight. My goal was to drop my lap time two seconds, mission accomplished! Dropped my fastest time 2.5 seconds and my average time 3 seconds, I'm really happy with that.

 

Guess what? Eric Bostrom rode with us today. He gave me a big thumbs up on the track, which was very cool, then later complimented me on my riding and gave me a couple of tips, how great is THAT? He was super nice and it was great to meet him.

 

Plus of course I rode with Jeremy Toye again, he is coaching me and it is incredible to watch him ride. I am following him and I think I am driving really hard, but he is running away from me and there is SMOKE coming off his tire. He is, literally, smoking me on two particular turns. But I am pushing harder and harder in my drives and trusting the bike more and making good improvements.

 

It is so much fun to ride with these top pros. Jeremy Toye, Chris Ulrich, Eric Bostrom, Chris Fillmore, Steve Rapp - all amazing riders, I'm having a blast.

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  • 1 month later...

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