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New Rider Problems And Questions

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I have been riding for about 6 months now with around 3000 Miles under my belt.I have read Both TOTW and TOTW 2 and watched the DVD.


Recently i started in pursuit of going faster and increasing my skill set and went to track. All i did was scared myself and went off track couple of times but also did reach some perosnal lean angle and speed limits.I was riding fast for my skill level and was getting passed like i am parked.Everybody seemed to be wayyyy faster than me.I got so discouraged that even thought about selling my sportbike and maybe its not for me.But i really love this sport and want to work on it


I hope to take level 1 ASAP hopefully this may in VIR.And learn the Basics right away.Problem is i know what i am supposed to do but freeze when i am going fast and unable to do these things At speed everything get thrown out of the window.


I know that i am supposed to countersteer hard but i am tipping the bike like a little girl.

I am making midcorner steering corrections as opposed to one steering input per corner as keith talks about.

I know i can lean the bike further but get scared of leaning it more.


And worst of all i am looking only 20 to 30 feet ahead of the bike and reacting to it as opposoed to 2 step or 3 step process i have read in the books.


What do i need to do to avoid these things ? Maybe Slow down. But i can do all these things at slower speed.


How did you guys got here where you are right now ? Would getting more seat time or more miles under the belt help ?.But i dont wanna keep on doing the wrong things

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I think I attended something like four superbike school sessions before attending my first race weekend with my own bike and found myself to be far faster than the other novices in my racing classes.


I think that riding the fully prepped school bikes made a big difference for me in learning how a bike is supposed to feel on track.


Bigggest changes I made for my track bikes was fork springs (and shock when I could afford it).

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It sounds like you are most concerned with "going fast" rather than concentrating on and improving your skills. Smoothness and technique come first; speed comes with lots of experience. You are only riding 6 months. For some people, it takes years and thousands of miles to acquire speed AND the smoothness and proper technique to go along with that speed. When I took Level 1 of CSS at Pocono, I know I was by far the slowest rider out there. Did it bother me? Not at all, because I knew by the end of the day that though my speed may not have improved much, my cornering lines, smoothness, and confidence DID improve. I worked on what I learned, and when I took Level 2, I was still by no means fast, but I did pass a couple people. Get comfortable with yourself and your bike first, and speed will happen in time.

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Purrs offers some excellent perspective for you Bobby and if I can offer an additonal thought, the May dates for CSS/VIR are not that far away so I would encourage you to sign up soon (I think VIR fills prettty quickly).


Purrs and Racer can probably attest to the statement that almost every single item you have listed in your post are covered in Levels I, II & III and then are refined in Level IV; and that not many of us are talented or smart enough to just read Keith's book and then go out and ride as he writes. Simply stated, you will be amazed at how much your cornering will improve if you decide to just take Level I. The training tools that are offered after Level I (Lean Bike/Slide Bike, no BS Bike, the Brake Bike, Video Bike) are simply incredible teaching instruments that have helped countless riders overcome the SR's that get in their way every time they try to ride beyond their current skill sets.


You also talk about the frustration of getting toasted out on the track and it made me chuckle because I can still remember how embarrassed I was to be on (at the time) a contemporary liter bike at Watkins Glen and getting my ass handed to me by riders on 250's - all day long! The simple truth is that it takes time, practice and excellent coaching to teach anyone how to ride a sportsbike at speed and do so proficiently but these guys and gals (yes, there are excellent women coaches) have trained thousands of riders and racers since the early 1980's and they just keep getting better at it every year.


Good luck with it!



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OK, for a bit of perspective, I spent three years reading "Twist of the Wrist" while riding on the street/highway and had over fifty thousand riding miles under my belt before attending my first superbike school session. And those four sessions were spread out over two more years after which i spent another couple of years just corner working before I entered a race or "turned a wheel in anger".

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  • 2 weeks later...

First of all; Get comfortable on the bike i.e. get your body position in order BEFORE you start braking en be loose in the turn.


Second; Develop your vision skills ! So try to look further ahead and into the turn, but make sure you have 'wide vision' turned on all the time.


If you try this WITHOUT TRYING TO BE FAST , but just trying to be smooth, you'll notice a considerable drop in lap-times and a drop in number of riders that are overtaking you as if you were taking a walk in the park.


Good luck!

Be smooth, be fast.

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  • 1 month later...

It is fun to go fast, but you learn how to go fast through training and practice, not by riding "hard" or riding over your head. You have to calm down. Ride at a pace where you are 100% comfortable and focus on your skills. Do this and the speed will come OVER TIME almost like some unexpected side effect. Many people have noticed that when they try to ride "harder" they end up going slower.


Take the school. It doesn't do any good to focus if you don't know what to focus on. Take level 1 and then get a lot of practice and focus on the things they teach you there. That will dramatically improve your learning curve. I know it may be hard to imagine what it is they are going to teach you, but there really are some very specific things they'll teach you that really do make a huge difference, and you might never come up with them on your own, even though afterwards you'll be thinking "geeze that makes so much sense." I was really surprised at what they were able to teach me. They changed my way of riding so much that in the following couple months after the school I felt weird on the bike because I was riding in such a different kind of way. I could have been lazy and gone back to my old ways but I knew if I stuck with it, it would start to feel second nature again.


The guys out there riding circles around you have a lot more experience than you. You have to be patient. There are just too many things to think about while riding a motorcycle on a track - judging your speed and lean angle, when to shift gears, how to shift gears, where to turn in, how much to turn in, how to turn in, where to brake, how much to brake, where to throttle on, how much to throttle on, body positioning, visual skills, bla bla bla. And then on the street you have oil, gravel, and stupid drivers to attend to. You can't concentrate on all these things at the same time. More experienced riders can do a lot of those things without much thinking, because they've already done them enough that they are second nature or ingrained in their muscle memory, thus they are much more comfortable on the bike, with less to think about. When you take the school they will do some things that will make it easier for you to focus on fewer things.


You have to accept too that there will always be people out there who are faster than you, unless you become some top notch MOTO GP racer. There will always be riders with WAY more practice than you will ever have so they damn well ought to be a lot faster. I mean if you played a few rounds of golf you wouldn't expect to beat Tiger Woods. You wouldn't even expect to beat guys who have played a few hundred rounds of golf.


Stick with it though man, because the more you ride, the better you get, and the better you get, the more fun it becomes! It just keeps getting better. Forget about who's faster than you and ride your own ride. Take superbike school because it will make you a better rider and that will make riding more fun.

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