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Old 08-18-2012, 03:16 PM   #226
Harvey Krumpet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWall View Post
As promised: Tonight's practice session (for real this time ). I'm slow, and I got a bit sloppy on the throttle and clutch a couple of times so I had to drop my foot to keep upright, but not terrible for a first attempt, I thought. The tennis ball "cones" were spaced twelve feet apart, except for the two at the top of the "T," which were 18 feet apart.

Constructive criticism, comments, suggestions, etc. most definitely wanted! Thanks!

--Mike

Brilliant. You much prefer left turns to right ones, your head was up most of the time which is great. Open your course up a little more so you can carry a tad higher revs & be more confident leaning the bike. With a bit more space you can plan your line easier & ride "further ahead" in your minds eye rather than taking one turn at a time. The transition from balancing & turning with a reasonably steady throttle to accelerating & braking through the obstacles is quite a big step. Your practice is great, each attempt gives a bit more confidence & knowledge.
How did you feel doing 360's? Most riders I know need a footie pitch to do that.
When your weaving through the balls, try counter steering & weighting the inside footrest as you jink left & right, really turn your head too. The bike will turn harder & you can carry more speed. Excellent practice for when a vehicle pulls out in front of you. When I was taught this I was getting close to touching down the footrests on the TDM at 50 kmh. Freaky stuff.
I'm not sure how you were using the back brake but it helps to turn the bike, you can keep the revs up & use the brake at the same time to help the bike flop into the turn.
You sit on the bike like me, well, your bikes like mine too, I'm a bit stiff & immobile, I'm trying to move my body weight out of the turns more to increase the lean & speed. Feels weird on a big bike, though.

With a bit of luck I shall be doing some bobbing & weaving later too.

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Old 08-18-2012, 06:48 PM   #227
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Harvey Krumpet, thanks for the critique and advice! Yeah, for some reason I am much more comfortable doing left turns than right. Guess that tells me what I should practice next time! I really enjoy the 360's -- my goal is to make circles at full lock. I'm close, but I can't quite keep it there.

As for opening the course up, I'll give it a try. I was a little constrained in the lot in the video from yesterday. You can't tell in the video, due to the field of view in my camera, but there was a dumpster *really* close to the point I was circling around when I disappeared from view on the far right -- it made for good practice looking where you want to go, rather than focusing on what you want to avoid! I was also approaching the course design from the point of view of the figure-eights in a box from my BRC; I'll give it a try from the point of view of accelerating and stopping. I can see value in learning to coordinate brakes, throttle and clutch, and learning how to quickly but smoothly transition from acceleration to braking and back. Hmmm...one of the BRC/ERC course layouts that I was using for inspiration showed cones in the slalom being offset by two feet from the centerline (from each other, maybe?), but I had them all in a straight line. I imagine having the cones offset would force me to swerve a bit more, too.

I was on my rear brake pretty much all through the turns, and I think my brakes were starting to overheat by the time I was done. Opening the course up would probably also help with that. I could smell brake fluid when I shut down yesterday, so I either need to take a break (no pun intended!) between runs or I need to practice on a course where I can get off the brake a little more than I did in the course I was running in the video.

I'm kind of surprised that I looked stiff and immobile on the bike, although you're right -- I was. Normally, I think I'm anything but...I think...and coming from a background as a whitewater kayaker, I would have expected that would have carried over. Maybe it's just because I was trying something new, and I'm not yet comfortable with those maneuvers?

Anyway, lot's of things to work on next time!
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:56 PM   #228
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Please don't be offended by the stiff & immobile, that was more a description of me than you. I feel loose & relaxed on the bike but when I watch my videos I look quite immobile, possibly to do with the wider bars & upright riding position of our bikes. It's difficult to move much in the seat.

We started practicing in a road 6mtrs wide, as you say off set balls for the slalom - you can play with the off set & distance between the balls - u-turns, 8's etc. It improved our slow speed control immensely & the width restriction forced us to get closer & closer to full lock turns, I have a video somewhere & you can hear the bars hitting the bump stops on the DT and the TDM.

At Vulfy's recommendation we opened the course up & that is when things began to flow much better.
I have the same issue with the back brake, I can light a ciggie off the disc.... On the more open course acceleration & braking is a bit more aggressive so I use the front & rear brake, keeping the rear on to drop the bike & then straight onto the throttle. the big twin can be a bit interesting, sometimes it stands up very quick making it hard to follow a line & causing a wrestling match.

Any hoo. Enjoy.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:24 PM   #229
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Please don't be offended by the stiff & immobile...
Oh, no! Not at all -- I'm specifically seeking critique, and I was very grateful for the input you provided! In my imagination at least I am all over the bike during normal riding, so when I watched the video again after your suggestions, I was surprised because you were RIGHT!. I dunno if that means I am not moving nearly as much as I imagine normally, or if I was just tensing up because I'm not (yet!) that comfortable with low speed maneuvering like that (prolly both, lol!)

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On the more open course acceleration & braking is a bit more aggressive so I use the front & rear brake...
Yep, I went out to practice again yesterday in a larger lot (left the camera on the kitchen counter, though, dangit! ) and found myself using front and rear brake without even thinking about it. I think I was still a bit stiff and trying to force the bike to maneuver, rather than just getting in the groove with it, though. I *really* had fun once I opened it up a lot more and tried figure-eights around two cones, set about 120 feet apart (35 meters) -- good threshold braking practice! I found myself skidding the rear tire the first time, and resolved to be a bit more careful after that :)

Question for you, if you don't mind me picking your brain...it felt like I was really sloppy on the more open course, especially compared to the tighter course after work Friday. Did you notice that at first on a larger course too, or is it just me? Should I back of the throttle a bit and work on technique first (coordinating all of the control elements, body positioning, picking a good line, etc.), then work on getting on and off the throttle harder to improve my time later?

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Any hoo. Enjoy.
Absolutely! Well...once I find out why my front tire was flat this morning (grrrr....) And thanks again for the tips and suggestions!
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:45 PM   #230
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Compared to riding on the road I find my inputs into the bike can be less smooth around the cones, not looking the right way for a fraction of a second will get you off line & muscling the bike. Same with braking, I had to adjust my rear brake lever to get more feel & control to avoid lock ups. It's easy to get into a turn a little hot & out brake yourself. Starting to lean further through a turn really lets you know how heavy the bike is too. It all adds tension to the ride making the bike feel unsettled. I have only had a loss of traction on the throttle practicing in the rain, tightened the corner up beautifully, though.
I'm focusing very much on technique, thinking about the areas I'm weak so that I can get smoother. The transition from brake too throttle can be snatchy mid turn & tubby decides to fall over, I end up with eyes like pickles on a fork.....
Thinking about my line into a turn & were I want to be on exit is a big help, as soon as I approach my entry point I'm looking at my next turn, somehow this makes the turn smoother & quicker but that is not what I'm thinking about. The slightly higher revs mean i do not touch the clutch & I guess release the back brake to start accelerating before I open the throttle further.
I still suffer from dropping my head on braking & getting distracted coming out of a turn which puts me off line. I'm also mucking about with body position, leaning to the outside of the corner so I can push the bike down through the turn. I've got it on the little DT, I'm scraping my boots, but still lack confidence on the big bike. Not having any chicken strips on the front tire is telling me something...
Decreasing radius 360's are a great way to get the feel of tight, smooth cornering but also were your fear limit is. It's weird riding around but looking over your shoulder to do so. I find it a good way to try different body positions too, I'm happier leaning out in a 360 than I am in a turn because the transition of body weight does not feel smooth or natural going from right to left & it is difficult to flick the bike over with such a drastic change in position, my upper body dictates rather than my hips.
All in all starting off at walking pace & struggling to do tight u-turns compared to how we are doing now is amazing, each bit of practice is a step forward, long way to go, though. I keep looking at the pro riders with greater disbelief at what they can do.
More practice me thinks.

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Old 08-21-2012, 04:46 AM   #231
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On my DR650 I find it impossible to do a full lock turn. If I am a quarter inch off the stop, then I'm good, but as soon as I hit the stop down I go.
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:44 PM   #232
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On my DR650 I find it impossible to do a full lock turn. If I am a quarter inch off the stop, then I'm good, but as soon as I hit the stop down I go.
DT feels the same, I was chopping back & forth on the front wheel until I put my weight wayyyyy outside of the turn. Makes throttle control really awkward but works a treat. I'm astonished it has not gone down yet, the turn angle is ridiculous. I guess that is the benefit of a very light bike, somebody else's at that..
I'm not brave enough to do it as extreme with the TDM, too much to break & too heavy to pick up.
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:52 AM   #233
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Hello everybody, I thought that it was about time that I introduced myself to everybody in this forum. My name is Duncan MacKillop and I am the Chairman of the Moto Gymkhana Association www.motogymkhana.org which is the body charged by the Japanese with promoting and expanding the sport around the world.

I have had conversations with some of the contributors to this forum, most notably Vulfy and the guys from AMGRASS and have given them my thoughts on quite a few aspects of organising and riding in the wonderful sport of Moto Gymkhana.

I will keep a regular eye on this forum, so if there is absolutely anything you want to know about Moto Gymkhana from course layout techniques to error penalties, just give me a shout and I will do my best to answer your questions.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:34 AM   #234
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Motogymkhanaman: good to see you getting out and around. Glad to have you add your voice to these discussions. I look forward to hearing more from you.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:14 AM   #235
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Is there any Motogymkhana going on in Eastern PA? I'd like to check it out.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:45 AM   #236
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Is there any Motogymkhana going on in Eastern PA? I'd like to check it out.
Hope you have better luck finding someone to practice with than I did. I posted my video and a blurb on Google+, and invited some of my two-wheeled buddies to come join me some weekend. I got one reply: "That was the hardest part of my ABATE class." Well...yeah. That's why I want to keep practicing! If it's difficult, there's obviously room for improvement, right? I want to practice until it's easy! In fairness, I was doing a tight course consisting of a short slalom and figure eights at a really slow speed in the video rather than a "real" gymkhana course that works cornering skills *AND* throttle/brake/clutch coordination (as Harvey Krumpet and I have discussed above) so it looked more like BRC than gymkhana.

Anyway, kudos for being willing to push your boundaries and for wanting to improve your skills and I sincerely hope you either find a local group that's already doing this, or can hook up with some like-minded riders to get it going yourself!
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:10 PM   #237
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I had the same issue Tehwall, had the opportunity of getting some free advanced instruction - which started the whole gymkhana thing - and only one guy turned up. We were both blown away, my other mates are blethering on about much they have learned from track days. It shows every time I see them paddling their feet to do a u-turn.............

Orsome for coming on board Mr Motogymkhanaman. As far as I know their has only been one event down here but hopefully more in the pipeline. The inaugural event was won by a gymnast on a CB 125, that is tantamount to cheating IMHO. Got to get me more practice in to enter an event if it eventuates, I'm always rabbiting on about it & would hate to make a fool of myself. Get my G/F to enter too, she has no fear & her own set of balls.
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:26 PM   #238
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Tried doing full lock circles today on my way home from work. 1200 Bandit, not the best choice for this, especially since I changed the gearing. It seems the guy that had it before me went 6 teeth up on the rear sprocket, but I didn't check when I ordered new sprockets, I got the stock rear and +1 on the front. It's really sweet at 70 on the highway, but in traffic it's not that much fun, and no way can I go that slow without using the clutch.

I was able to go 'round full lock just not without the clutch.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:09 PM   #239
Harvey Krumpet
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Tried doing full lock circles today on my way home from work. 1200 Bandit, not the best choice for this, especially since I changed the gearing. It seems the guy that had it before me went 6 teeth up on the rear sprocket, but I didn't check when I ordered new sprockets, I got the stock rear and +1 on the front. It's really sweet at 70 on the highway, but in traffic it's not that much fun, and no way can I go that slow without using the clutch.

I was able to go 'round full lock just not without the clutch.
A mate had a Bandit, don't diss me, but I found it unwieldy. He replaced it with an ST 1300 which is amazing at low speeds though a lot heavier.
I'm finding out some bikes are easier than others, the little 2t is hilarious & I can get away with murder but the weight & snatchiness of my TDM can be a real wrestling match at times. If I get my technique spot on it's great, the slightest mistake & I pay big time.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:23 PM   #240
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The transitional throttle on my bike is quite abrupt, this makes it fun to ride, but not so good at going slow in tight circles.

I'll have to try again on my KX500, I'm thinking about Vermont tags and some 19" Super moto tires!
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