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Old 09-15-2012, 06:08 PM   #406
Harvey Krumpet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulfy View Post
Heh. Yes, brake fading is one of the biggest problems I'm experiencing while practicing for Gymkhana.

As far as riding buddies go, it is all solo for me this season. I'm not an organizer, so no events to draw in people from outside. And none of my friends ride, apart from one. Hopefully he'll be joining me in Gymkhana by the end of this season, once he is sorted with his own bikes.


Its a sad, lonely world out there


Did have a nice chat with a bicyclist the other day, while actually waiting for my brakes to cool off, LOL

It does seem to be a solitary pastime. I always have a chuckle at our vids, from the outside it must look strange to see a lonely rider in an empty car park at the edge of town riding round & round & round....
I take comfort knowing that somewhere in the world as we speak, somebody is sweating & cursing & attracting strange looks from passers by.
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:28 PM   #407
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Gymkhana is a weird beast.

Its not flashy enough, like stunting, to attract crowds. And for people to be interested in watching it from outside, riders have to be at the top level, otherwise, with all honesty, its pretty boring to watch regular riders going round the cones at what looks to be a pretty relaxed pace. Its a THRILL while you are IN it, but to the outside its sort of .... "meh".

And then there is the fear of dropping the bike.

I've had a couple of guys on sports bikes come to me one time. Nothing flashy, one had a ninja and I don't remember what was the other machine. I told them all about the sport. Shows my own "best" riding I could managed, and asked them if they were interested. They weren't super enthusiastic. To them it looked like safety exercises from MSF with additional possibility of dropping and scratching their shiny bikes.

I had a guy on a Harley ask me questions. Seemed interested, but then he said that he wouldn't want to drop his new machine, while practicing. I said that he didn't have to push it to the point of actually crashing, that its quite possible to have tons of fun at any level. But I could see in his yes, once the though of scratching his chrome has entered his brain, he was taken aback.

I had another, very enthusiastic guy join me on a ride, a few months back. A potential riding buddy and another Gymkhana enthusiast. Everything seemed fine, and we actually started planning next session, then communication stopped. I hope he is ok and just busy with work.

So yeah, its been a bit of a lonely journey so far. I keep meeting people along the way, but nobody was interested enough, or stayed long enough to grow into this sport.

I'm optimistic and enthusiastic though. I feel that the interest is there, just needs maybe a bit more time, or a better source of attraction. I'm not a good salesperson, nor a good showman. My skills in Gymkhana are on the basic level, so I can't really dazzle anybody with sticky lean angles, and dime turns. Not yet at least.
The sport has proven itself in Japan, for 30 years, and even there its a pretty niche sport.

I do need to get a couple of more friends with "correct" priorities though.
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:46 PM   #408
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It's under the radar but the vids of the top riders are popping up on forums all over the place & riders watching realise it is something they can actually try. I mean, look at the success of this thread, there must be at least 10 contributors & growing.

Getting over the fear of dropping the bike is a weird one. Most folk I know will quite happily cane their bike on a Sunday afternoon, looking for that bit of road where they can really let rip & be an "alien" for a moment unleashing all those glorious horse powers with no thought of the consequences.
When it comes to doing a u-turn in a car park at walking pace they shit themselves.
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:53 PM   #409
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulfy View Post
My skills in Gymkhana are on the basic level,
do not kid yourself my friend. I have seen your videos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulfy View Post
I'm not a good salesperson, nor a good showman.
What you need to do is become a carnival barker.......... stay with me...........

-get about 30 tennis balls cut in half - mainly because they are cheap and VERY non-threating to the novice (which is everyone)
-lay them out in a 24-foot circle - with a keyhole entry (about 3 feet wide)
-tell moto-passerbys it is the 1st step to gymkhana, and relatively easy
-reassure them how "easy" it is
-if they say there is no way they can turn around inside the circle, coax them into, tell them it is no big deal if they run over a ball
-if they say, "Sure I can do that BUT I have to ____________" (fill in the blank with 100 excuses I have heard) then tell them I BET YOU $20 you can't make that turn the first time, then collect the $20 that goes to buying more cones and a better timer.

If you have enough moto-folk stopping, you should have all your gear in no time

Keep in mind, MOST PEOPLE will not find any appeal to this activity, only because their PEERS are not doing it - so why should they risk embarrassing themselves for something that has no intrinsic reward (prolly NOT gonna get you laid)

Most people that stop, while curious, will not cross the barrier - perceived risk/reward ratio is too great

I have learned a great deal in the last year at our events, mainly about human nature, ego, and more importantly mow many EXTREMELY POOR RIDERS there are out there riding around on 800lb bikes, sometimes with a passenger.

Do what I tell you, do it in a high-traffic area, and take a big sack for your money to collect it all in. I want my cut too
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:00 PM   #410
Harvey Krumpet
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Genius!

Until the off duty Police motorcycling club ride up.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:20 PM   #411
dredman
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Genius!

Until the off duty Police motorcycling club ride up.
damned 1%'ers

those are the guys to watch out for - but I bet they don't take your money, maybe you can get them to help with recruiting
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:49 PM   #412
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damned 1%'ers

those are the guys to watch out for - but I bet they don't take your money, maybe you can get them to help with recruiting
i call them 99% they are the rest of the bikers.

i had a good night last night, found a nice out of the way car park of a small industrial electronics shop, im sure they appreciate the security i provide, but its not a open car park, its like a track, with a median strip in the middle, about 100 meters, with a two big areas off to the sides, i can do full circles in, about 6m x 6. and the usual drain grates in the middle every 10 meters.

now im wondering how to set up a camera. tripod perhaps
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:47 PM   #413
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Beautiful day today. You can see absolutely gorgeous sky that I've been enjoying the entire morning.

On top of it all, I've officially passed my personal 35 seconds milestone. Whew... I did hit 35 once on a Triumph, but was unable to get anywhere near that time again.
Today I was putting 35 pretty constantly. I'm EXTREMELY happy with myself and my progress.
I also managed a couple of 34.4-6 second runs. They are posted bellow.

DRZ is an absolute joy to ride Gymkhana on. New brake fluid was exactly what she needed. No more rear brake fading. Front is a lot more solid too, so no more skidding and locking rear tire.

Warmed up my tires today, by practicing hard acceleration and hard / emergency stopping from around 50mph. Luckily the old airfield I'm practicing on has enough space for me to get up to that speed and brake from it.
It works great. Tires were pretty hot in no time, and were pretty sticky. I'm still not thrilled about Michelin, but they'll have to do for now.

Really great practice session for me today.

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Old 09-16-2012, 01:15 PM   #414
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Lookin' good! Congrats on the new milestone!
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:08 PM   #415
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Excellent GP8 Vulfy!

The slo-mo shows that you are leaving your head-snap a bit late which is allowing you to run wide round the pylon. Suggest getting your nose pointed at the next pylon just before your front wheel crosses the centreline. I reckon that once you get used to the DR, you'll be getting down to 30 seconds quite quickly.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:01 PM   #416
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I'm not seeing much weight transfer on your part Vulfy. I think it may be because you're doing so many of them and have just taught yourself to "work smarter, not harder". I think you could get tighter turns if you transferred weight a bit more though.

Try doing some "tightest turn possible" drills before a run and see if it helps any?

I'm not bashing you at all, just trying to offer up constructive critique.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:13 PM   #417
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no no, any critique is good.

CaptainSWJR: what do you mean by weight transfer? Front to back when braking and accelerating or side to side into the turns? Whats a "tightest turn possible" drill? I've been doing slow turns with bars turned as much as possible (still not getting to the full lock on DRZ), as warm-ups.

Motogymkhanaman: yup, I tend to concentrate on the cone I'm going around, instead of looking for the next one.

TheWall: thank you Next one is 30 seconds.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:04 PM   #418
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I meant side-to-side movement of the rider. You appear to stay exactly centered on the seat at all times. Your the bike leans and you lean with it instead of trying to stay straight up, but you're not pushing your chest into the turn if that makes sense.



It's tons more work to scoot over for every turn, but you can turn tighter, which means traveling less distance around the cone, which is faster (as long as you can do it smooth). I'm by no means an expert, this is just my opinion.

I meant minimum radius turns. With the handlebars turned all the way to the stop, if you paddle around, what's the size of the circle your back tire makes? Your front tire will travel a larger circle(if you could turn your front 90*, your back tire wouldn't move, it would just pivot)

Imagine the lines of a parking lot.


If you set a cone on the ends of the middle line here, you can use the lines on either side to set up your turn. I can get my C50 around between the lines, so the DRZ should have zero problems. The drill would be to use the outside lines as "out of bounds" marks and try to keep it inside while making your turn tighter and tighter.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:18 PM   #419
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After reading through this thread I went out to a big empty parking lot next door with some soccer cones and gave it a shot. After an hour I could do a U turn on a 9ft radius which was a pretty big improvement. I'm hooked! What I'm not sure about though is should I be counter leaning at slow speeds, or should I be going fast enough that I hang off the bike in the turns?
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:33 PM   #420
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Ahh, I understand now.
Haha, for the body position its been an endless search for proper positioning for me. I've tried hanging off the bike moving chest all the way out, to be almost over the cone. I also tried the complete opposite, and counterbalance the bike's lean by moving my body away from the turn.

I'll try putting my chest outside of the bike more, in the turn. I do that in a faster bends, but in slower, tighter turns, I tend to overdo it, and it does more harm than good. I will have to play with it more, to see what works for me. I do see some gymkhana riders hanging off, some keeping straight with the bike, and some actually counter-leaning. Unfortunately its all happening in all sorts of different videos, as well as different turns and courses. Its pretty hard to see what actually produces best results, based on faster time, as all of it is all over the place.

I personally do like to hang off (not knee dragging, but just moving my chest to the inside mirror) the bike in a faster bends, and it improved my riding tremendously on the street. I'll just have to play more with it here.

With this session, it wasn't just about running faster with greater speed. There was a bit of new technique involved which I didn't go into in my previous posts. Its might not sound big, and I'm sure a lot of Gymkhana riders would say "Duh, of course you suppose to do that", but it makes a big deal in a turn for me personally, and it was a bit of a discovery.

Before on my Triumph, I would lean into the turn, and twist the bars as much as I could and sort of keep them at that one constant angle. With Triumph it was the only way to go, as the locks were pretty close and there wasn't as much movement as I get in DRZ. So even though that the turn was still a bit of a spiral, decreasing as it went around the cone, it was doing that based on the speed of the bike, and not as much because of the steering.

So today, what I was doing, was constantly decreasing turn radius as I was going around the cone, by actively steering the bike tighter and tighter. The bike rolls into the turn at a certain lean and certain angle on the bars, and then gradually decreases its speed as it goes around the cone. While its doing that, I'm constantly twisting handlebars more and more, making the front wheel turn tighter and tighter. I was playing a game today, where I would try and aim the end of my inside handle bar into the cone, as I went around it. It made me realize that I constantly needed to twist the bars tighter, in the turn to keep aiming at the cone.

Of course, I'm talking about centimeters of movement here, and It might be hard to catch on the video, not to mention that it was a big "AHA" moment for me, and I was still just playing with it. But I could definitely feel the difference in a turn, as well as my times showed that it was making a BIG difference in performance.


As far as the tight turn exercises, yup, that is exactly what I'm doing in a warmup. Just riding pretty slowly without much lean, but trying to keep the bars at full lock. Again, need a lot more practice on DRZ, as it has some really long turn in the bars.


Thanks for all the pointers.
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