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Is it us, or the nannies?


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My fast bike is the SR/F.  140ft pounds of torque, 110hp.  With those specs. you would expect it to be a wheelie machine, but in point of fact it is not.  The traction and stability software suite keeps the nose down under full jam.  Likewise, depending on mode selected, it monitors and limits power delivery to control wheel spin, and lean awareness limits power when dogged over.  The overall feeling is very confidence inspiring, but there is this nagging question:  Am I actually good, or is this all the power control algorithms?

The same question came to me at CSS.  I felt very connected and in control on the S1000RR, but should I have?  Why was this machine not scaring me a little bit?  I had never had a leg over an S1000RR before, but it felt easy and natural.

Do the techs at CSS have the nannies on full for school?  If so, does this give me a false idea of what I can do out there?  If I bought my own S1000RR and brought it to the track, would I find myself eating gravel and wondering what just happened?

Today's machines are amazing feats of engineering, and I love them all, no doubt, but it still makes me wonder....is it us, or is it the nannies?

 

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Another solution would be to get on a small HP bike and ride that for a while, or on a dirt bike in mud, to develop your own sense of traction limits, and that is loads of fun. :)

The school bikes are set to normal ride modes for the S1000rr, not turned up artificially for school. Students start out in Road mode and have an option to move up to Dynamic after riding a few sessions. If it is raining or traction is unusually low (like first ride on a cold windy morning on cold tires) we put the bikes in Rain mode. We do leave ABS turned on. With the S1000rrs, the ABS and traction control are not intrusive, so you might not be triggering them at all, however if you are wondering if you are triggering them, there is some feedback from the bike - you can feel ABS kick in (mostly the feeling of it letting off a bit) and if you are triggering traction control there is a yellow indicator that flashes on the dash screen. I think ABS flashes a light when it triggers, also, but you have to snatch the brake pretty roughly to get into that so I haven't personally seen it come on during my own riding (although I do have it turned off completely when racing). In regards to getting and riding your own bike, you have enormous flexibility on these bikes to adjust settings, plus you can consider buying the data kit and then you can see every detail of when/if traction control or ABS intervenes, including the exact amount of slip rate of your rear tire everywhere on the track, lap by lap, it is amazing.

If you are riding well and with good technique, it's very possible that you are not relying on the traction control and the bike is not really helping you much - except maybe for wheelie control. It is pretty easy to wheelie a 1000cc bike if you are sitting upright and roll on the gas hard in a low gear. As you go 'up' the ride modes the bike allows larger wheelies.

BTW the traction control on the S1000rr just keeps getting better and better, they keep fine tuning it and it works really well without feeling like it is interfering with your riding in any perceivable way, and of course you have many options on how to set it.

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Nice response Hotfoot.  The ABS has also improved, I don't even turn it off any more.  The electronic aids on these things are pretty impressive.

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