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killadude
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Sensitive issue so i've decided to remove my post and PM keith instead...moderators pls delete. Thanks!

 

Killadue,

 

I think you have a valid point, and no reason not to have it up on the forum. You for sure aren't the only one that has had questions like this. Especially if Keith responds, it will be both interesting and educational.

 

Best,

Cobie

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Sensitive issue so i've decided to remove my post and PM keith instead...moderators pls delete. Thanks!

 

Killadue,

 

I think you have a valid point, and no reason not to have it up on the forum. You for sure aren't the only one that has had questions like this. Especially if Keith responds, it will be both interesting and educational.

 

Best,

Cobie

 

Hey Cobie, thanks for the candid reponse..Keith did respond and he doesnt have a problem discussing this here either. Here is my original question and Keiths reponse

 

Thanks

Sameer

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I was just going through this write up someone posted after attending 'a different' school.

 

http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=26542

 

 

I dont want to start up any wars or anything but being a firm believer in basics like countersteering, i find it so hard to believe that there are there are other schools of thought that seem to refute those basics and teach things i have grown to learn to avoid doing. As you guys probably already know from previous posts of mine, we dont have riding schools here in India and what i have learnt i have amassed from Keiths books and this forum. So you can imagine reading this article has been quite disconcerting, I would really love if you could explain and clear my confusion (of course without stepping on any toes). Maybe theres nothing to it and these are just the perceptions of a miguided rider, but can there really be 2 totally opposite schools of thought when it comes to the basics?

 

 

 

Killadude,

 

Countersteering is how the motorcycle turns. Even top professional racers have made the error of thiking or feeling that per weighting is "turning the bike", it doesn't.

 

Every school wants to have something special and Freddie focuses on trailbraking as his main thing.

 

If you ressearch other fourms you will see that there are lots of opinions and many riders will go along with what a professional racer says just because they are famous or whatever.

 

If ask other world champions like Wayne Rainey and Eddie Lawson you will get a different answer, they will tell you that the bike will not turn unless you countersteer so it is best to look at the science of the matter to make a decision.

 

When you push on the footpeg it pushes back with the same amoutn of pressure as you apply to it. This is one of Newton's laws of physics. That means that to have any real input into the bike at the footpeg the rider would have to suddenly jump on it which is impractical and no one would ride like that.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Keith

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KIlladude,

 

I had 2 coaches ride our NO B/S bike in a large parking lot at Laguna. Here is what happened.

 

1. First coach, 230 lbs. He rode it at about 20, and was able to complete a circle in the large parking arear 200 or more feet across. He was standing on one peg, holding onto the upper bar (rigid mounted with working throttle) and he just made it turn in the circle..

 

2. Another and my biggest coach, 6 feet 7 inches tall, 330 pounds, came back and his eyes were like saucers. At 25 mph he rode the NO B/S bike and he said, "Dude, I thought if anyone could steer it, I could!"

 

If you aren't familiar with the NO B/S bike, here is a link with some data: http://www.superbikeschool.com/machinery/no-bs-machine.php

 

Try it yourself (countersteering vs body steering) and let us know what you come up with!

 

Best,

CF

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Cobie,

 

I have no doubts that countersteering is the way to steer and i dont steer any other way myself, i believe its the most critical skill you pickup when you learn to ride a bicycle, most people just dont know it. I was more worried with the idea of teaching trail braking to track newbies even though i realize the value of its use in racing. Though it may take longer to grasp i believe developing a correct sense of speed for corner entry is vital and will help with consistency in the long term. Maybe riders see improvement in their laptimes when applying trail braking and hence assume it is the right way to go (using it as a crutch as Keith says), its all perception really. Anyways i sure as hell cant argue with a champion and have lots to learn myself but i prefer to look at riding as a science as Keith does and let facts speak for themselves.

 

Sameer

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We agree on counter steering for sure! Many don't know it even applies to bicycling (still working on my dad on that one).

 

Let's take a look at trail braking: first off, how would you define it? Isn't it simply the action of gradiently letting go of the brakes, and basically where? Are there turns where you want to do it, turns you don't and why?

 

CF

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hmm aside from the benefit of blocking an opponent and keeping your place in a race, i would think you would possibly want to use trail braking into corners where carrying speed IN is of greater importance (off a straight into a series of corners) as opposed to corners where getting drive out and thereby getting on the gas early is a priority (out of a corner onto a straight) ?

 

also corners leading into corners that dont allow you to get the bike upright for braking (double apex) maybe candidates for trail braking? i would think camber /elevation at the corner would be an important aspect to consider too.

 

if i'm wrong please correct, this is interesting...

 

Sameer

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if i'm wrong please correct, this is interesting...

 

Sameer

 

Trail braking for sure has it's uses (you mentioned one in blocking), but what if it causes you to delay in rolling on the throttle? Does it overload, or potentially overload the front end?

 

What do you think?

 

Cobie

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Why would trail braking cause you to delay rolling on throttle? If I am trail braking and I fell like I want to roll on throttle i just roll on at the same time I am letting of the brake.... There is no additional time penalty for having two fingers on the brake lever and easing the pressure on those while at the same time rolling on throttle. Am I crazy or do I just have large hands?

Brain sends signal to hand to roll on throttle, hand rolls on

at the same time brain sends message to fingers to ease pressure to zero on brake lever. My brain sends multiple messages to its appendages, am I special :) btw not being a smartass just trying to understand.

There may be some overlap to the two actions, but any effect of this would be negligible. By that I mean that the throttle could be cracked at the same time a tad bit of braking is still being applied (before fingers release completely), it would be so little braking at this point it wouldn’t detract but maybe a few HP.

 

The above statement also makes one important assumption. That you are toward the end of trailing the brake, in other words close to APEX and not on the brakes hard. I cant think of a time (barring severe emergency) you would really be trailing braking with a large amount of force and then realize you needed to roll on throttle. THis applies to the race track only and as said baring a crash or other emergency avoidance.

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OK, are there times you would want to be done with the breaking and have the throttle coming on well before the apex?

 

CF

absolutley there are turns such as this, but since you are on a racetrack the turns are predicatble and as such one would not be hard on the brakes and then realize.. Oh no i forgot this turn was the one where i need to complete braking first and get on throttle. Agian this is barring an emegency situation or aviodance needed for some reason. Sine the track is predicatible I dont see why trailbraking would cause any delay of getting back on the throttle, unless your in an unprecitable situation, which is more the eception when on a track.

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OK, so you are coming around a mountain road you have never been on. Just after you turn in (and for the trail brakers) still trailing the brake. A 2 foot strip of water is across the road, and a bus in the opposite lane. What's going to get the best possible traction for any bike, in this situation?

 

CF

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  • 1 month later...

Hey Cobie,

 

I don't mean to pick nits, but...

 

Is this a right turn or a left turn?

 

Are we in the US or the UK? (Left or right side of road standard?)

 

Is the bus in the opposite lane from me... or from where it is supposed to be?

 

 

Thanks,

Racer

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OK, so you are coming around a mountain road you have never been on. Just after you turn in (and for the trail brakers) still trailing the brake. A 2 foot strip of water is across the road, and a bus in the opposite lane. What's going to get the best possible traction for any bike, in this situation?

 

CF

Well, why not just jump straight into the deep end with the first post :)

 

Assuming riding on the RHS and since I missed both the water and the bus when I looked through the corner, I'm assuming it's a blind right hander.

 

Best possible traction would be off the brakes, gradually roll on the throttle, hook turn and/or lean off the bike pushing it away from you to put the bike up right as possible. Don't look at the bus or the water!!

 

 

According to one of the posters in the thread Killerdude linked to, the poster would apply a heavy dose of rear brake to help tip it in further. ?! ... I gotta say, my eyes bugged open when I read that...! I think that guy is lucky to be posting the story he did!

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OK,

 

If the idea is that the rider is forced to traverse the water at lean (can't stand it up, can't steer around it) then "off the brake" will allow the most traction IMO.

 

Also, IMO, this concept fits any standard corner (wet or dry) as the water simply represents decreased traction ...as does leaning over to corner or leaning further in a corner. More lean, less traction, less brake.

 

That said, I think that braking or trailing the brake (front or rear) until one reaches the water (or sand, or whatever sudden impediment or limit to traction) will help scrub speed and increase traction at the point of encounter with the sudden impediment. This assumes one is not already at MAX lean and speed...the absolute limit of traction... to begin with. Which is a pretty bad idea on a road you've never seen. (Or any public road IMHO.)

 

I think this model can also be well applied to a gradually changing condition of traction due to decreasing camber or radius or whatever in that trailing the brake and gradually releasing the brake proportionally to the decreasing traction (due to increasing lean) will also afford the most traction/speed at any given point on the timeline...if you know what I mean...lol.

 

As for the rear brake deal...

 

Although being on the rear brake might be preferrable to being on the front brake while crossing the water, ANY braking will increase the weight bias forward thereby decreasing traction at the front wheel when crossing the water IMO. That sounds like a bad deal to me.

 

TTFN,

R

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OK, we are pretty agreed that being in the brakes isn't going to help the traction picture, but how exactly can the rider get absolute best possible traction for this situation? There is keeping the suspension in the sweet spot, but how about also keeping the exact correct weight bias on each tire, how is that achieved?

 

CF

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OK, we are pretty agreed that being in the brakes isn't going to help the traction picture, but how exactly can the rider get absolute best possible traction for this situation? There is keeping the suspension in the sweet spot, but how about also keeping the exact correct weight bias on each tire, how is that achieved?

 

CF

 

As the rider goes through the wet patch, the rider needs to be on rolling on and have the bike standing up as much as possible for that corner/speed combination.

 

- so he/she needs to be locked on, back in the seat, cheek off, body :- down, forward and to the inside, eyes locked onto the exit target and rolling on. If possible, doing the level2 last session "pushing away" so the bike is even more stood up.

 

eusa_think.gif

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As the rider goes through the wet patch, the rider needs to be on rolling on and have the bike standing up as much as possible for that corner/speed combination.

 

- so he/she needs to be locked on, back in the seat, cheek off, body :- down, forward and to the inside, eyes locked onto the exit target and rolling on. If possible, doing the level2 last session "pushing away" so the bike is even more stood up.

 

eusa_think.gif

 

Pretty thorough answer! One point I was looking at is how to get that right weight bias on the tires? Most guys don't think that all the way through, and realize the adjusting the bias is done with the throttle.

 

Getting the suspension in the sweet spot is another key item.

 

CF

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  • 4 months later...

Cobie,

 

The concept of using the throttle to balance the traction between the front rear wheels is something I wish you guys would have emphasise more during level 1. I took the school in like 2001 or 2002 so maybe you already do emphasise it more.

 

It was obvious immediately during level 1 that the bike was more stable with the throttle on, but WHY? The question of why drove me nuts for a long time.

 

The most common answer I seemed to get was that the suspenstion is more settled, but that answer always seemed like not the whole story to me, because couldn't the suspension be designed or adjusted to work better in a different place?

 

Another answer I got was because the rear tire is bigger so you want to shift weight onto it. Again, seemed like not the whole story. If you were riding an old bike that had equally sized front and rear tires, would you not want to increase speed gradually through turns? Of course you still would.

 

Patches of gravel seem to be one of the most common hazards we have to deal with on public roads. When I first started riding motorcycles, before any formal training, my natural reaction to this type of hazard in the middle of a turn was to go off-throttle but not on the brakes. The front would step out big time and send me into panic mode. Conversely, if going through a turn with lots of throttle on the rear tire will step out big time when going over the same patch of gravel. Somewhere in the middle is a place where both tires share the load equally, and when the bike rolls over the patch of gravel, both tires slip equally, and both slip a lot less. Once this realization is made it doesn't take that much practice to get a feel for just how much throttle it takes to get the balance right.

 

With this understanding I have noticed that my natural reaction to seeing gravel is now different. Instead of getting nervous and going off throttle, I just go to slightly on throttle (enough to create slight acceleration or at least maintain speed) if I'm not already there. I have managed to change my natural reaction because I intuitively understand that I can use the throttle to balance the slide between the front and rear wheel. The amount of confidence that this has brought to my riding really makes riding more enjoyable. I feel that I'm doing what is intuitive rather than getting into a battle with my survival reactions.

 

No doubt level 1 was the beginning of my realization but I had to figure out that last part on my own from my own riding experience. And now it seems so obvious!

 

Most recently I even noticed a slight drifting feeling as both front and rear wheel drifted evenly over the rise at the exit of turn 7 on VIR North Course. Probably nothing anyone could see from the outside, because I'm not that much of a badass, but I could certainly feel it.

 

I think it is a great example of when you understand WHY a certain technique works, it becomes intuitive, and that can then change your reactions for the better. Another example of this would be countersteering. Most poeple would say it is counter-intuitive. But once you understand that you are moving the tires from side to side underneath you, it is actually quite intuitive and becomes easier to use it effectively in all kinds of situations.

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