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Old 07-10-2012, 02:31 PM   #76
Harvey Krumpet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crofrog View Post
That's very simplified but somewhat accurate.

IMHO it doesn't matter what the "change" should be/could be. It matters what it IS. The only way to get a feel for what it actually is, is to ride until you find the limits of traction. Which unlike what many people think isn't nearly as bad as it sounds as long as you approach it gradually.

or like I said above, lock the rear in a straight line on a bunch of different roads and start getting a feel for that traction.
I could be throwing myself to the wolves with this but.....

I have changed my view a little on testing for grip. I used to dab a foot if I was concerned or dab the back brake. The first method is expensive on soles, the second is hit & miss to what you learn. Now, I weigh up what I can see & temper my speed & road position accordingly. If it is slippy I want to be in the best position to deal with it rather than guessing what is going to happen next. On wet clay & gravel, even wet tarmac I'm finding that spinning up the rear briefly in a straight line tells me more about grip than brakes, I think it is a more consistent test of traction because I can find the slip point.
Just my thoughts, don't be to harsh!
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:59 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvey Krumpet View Post
I could be throwing myself to the wolves with this but.....

I have changed my view a little on testing for grip. I used to dab a foot if I was concerned or dab the back brake. The first method is expensive on soles, the second is hit & miss to what you learn. Now, I weigh up what I can see & temper my speed & road position accordingly. If it is slippy I want to be in the best position to deal with it rather than guessing what is going to happen next. On wet clay & gravel, even wet tarmac I'm finding that spinning up the rear briefly in a straight line tells me more about grip than brakes, I think it is a more consistent test of traction because I can find the slip point.
Just my thoughts, don't be to harsh!
I actually do that too as well as just turn harder and faster until the bike starts to push... The rear brake works well though too the trick is to apply it gently until you feel the lock up. To abrupt and you're right you don't really learn much.

The acceleration is probally easier to get the feel for as long as your uncomfortable spinning the rear which is honestly great fun.

And off road, you can leave a corner with out wheel spin? I guess my ktm's and right hand didn't get that memo, might make the tire budget a bit cheaper...
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:11 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by crofrog View Post
I actually do that too as well as just turn harder and faster until the bike starts to push... The rear brake works well though too the trick is to apply it gently until you feel the lock up. To abrupt and you're right you don't really learn much.

The acceleration is probally easier to get the feel for as long as your uncomfortable spinning the rear which is honestly great fun.

And off road, you can leave a corner with out wheel spin? I guess my ktm's and right hand didn't get that memo, might make the tire budget a bit cheaper...
Yup, I stand up, weight as far forward as I can & lift the revs. It is instantly apparent how much grip you have & the bike stays stable & straight. No brown trouser issues.
Pushing the front when I'm dubious about grip is well beyond my ability.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:12 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Harvey Krumpet View Post
Yup, I stand up, weight as far forward as I can & lift the revs. It is instantly apparent how much grip you have & the bike stays stable & straight. No brown trouser issues.
Pushing the front when I'm dubious about grip is well beyond my ability.
Just approach it slowly. You don't really know what the limits of traction are until you're over the limit. Being a little over is fun being allot over well...it can be fun.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:51 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by dwoodward View Post
...
I don't know what MSF teaches and don't care enough to dig out the answer- but we teach this in Oregon. Can you brake in a corner? Sure- but you have to be that much more careful, because it's much less likely you'll be able to fix a mistake.
....
And then, if something sneaks up on you, you can brake. (See above) He hammers on the point that you have to do it smoothly. The reason MSF and Oregon hate that is that n00bs- and by that I mean 99% of the riders I see- are barely smooth with planned events. ...
:

Good stuff. I would help you but can't seem to be able to compose anything better.
ALL: Trail braking is an advanced skill bordering on art. My street noobs at Grattan Raceway get told not to trail brake and concentrate their efforts on more important stuff like threshhold braking and picking a good turn-in point and then getting the bike down to full lean in one quick motion. Stuff like that. Trail braking requires smoothness which requires time. It requires a light, to the point of delicacy, touch on the bars and controls. I wouldn't bother talking trail braking to a rider who as yet cannot take one hand, if not both hands, off the bars while cornering at full lean.
In the book "How To Toilet Train Your Child In 24 Hours" there is a 3 step test to see if the kid is even ready for the effort. I wish that Nick and some of the other top know-it-alls would come up with some tests to see if riders are ready for the so-called advanced stuff?
Recently, Cycle World, Aug. 2012. p. 49 shows a rider's blistered hands from a long day at the track. To my way of thinking, if a rider blisters his hands, something(s) is severely amiss? Blisters are are not a sign of delicate touch on the bars.
The "Upper Half Of The Motorcycle" discusses how much braking is still available when the bike is at full lean.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:16 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by ibafran View Post
Good stuff. I would help you but can't seem to be able to compose anything better.
ALL: Trail braking is an advanced skill bordering on art. My street noobs at Grattan Raceway get told not to trail brake and concentrate their efforts on more important stuff like threshhold braking and picking a good turn-in point and then getting the bike down to full lean in one quick motion. Stuff like that. Trail braking requires smoothness which requires time. It requires a light, to the point of delicacy, touch on the bars and controls. I wouldn't bother talking trail braking to a rider who as yet cannot take one hand, if not both hands, off the bars while cornering at full lean.
In the book "How To Toilet Train Your Child In 24 Hours" there is a 3 step test to see if the kid is even ready for the effort. I wish that Nick and some of the other top know-it-alls would come up with some tests to see if riders are ready for the so-called advanced stuff?
Recently, Cycle World, Aug. 2012. p. 49 shows a rider's blistered hands from a long day at the track. To my way of thinking, if a rider blisters his hands, something(s) is severely amiss? Blisters are are not a sign of delicate touch on the bars.
The "Upper Half Of The Motorcycle" discusses how much braking is still available when the bike is at full lean.
You're never not ready for advanced skills, at least to be introduced to the concepts. A good coach can discuss the concepts with you and still have you more focused on what actually needs to happen.

Allot of track day schools dumb stuff down, you get told the wrong thing to prevent bad things from happening. Look at the prevalence of late apex's. The "school line" is almost always late apex _everything_ because the consequences of fucking up a late apex aren't nearly as bad as being early. This dumbing down is lowest common demoniator training. It keeps everything nice and safe and relatively slow, but holds back fast learners to an extent, because you learn the wrong way then learn the right way. The question always remains if you'd have survived learning the right way from the very beginning.

As to blisters... Well there's another one of those track day lies no?
All control inputs should be as _smooth_ as possible says the instructor to the n00bs. Well define smooth... I can turn so smoothly you'll never feel the G's building up, it's going to be slow around the track.

Really when you say smooth you mean bring the tires to maximum traction without exceeding it as quickly as possible which is going to require a progressive application of brakes, throttle and steering (and most likely an overlap of all 3). But when done by a racer it would not feel smooth it's going to feel very abrubt because the brakes are going to come on to maximum very quickly, and then they're going to feather off as lateral acceleration replaces the decreasing brakes, but it won't feel in your classical sense "smooth" to anyone but the operator or the guy looking at the data acquisition that see's the G-force line shoot to 1g deceleration and then without ever coming back to the middle goes directly to 1g lateral acceleration and then with out ever coming back to the middle goes to .3g of acceleration.

When you're doing it right on a fast bike you're defiantly hanging on as you move from side to side while hard on the throttle.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:30 PM   #82
Harvey Krumpet
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I've only had blisters from dirt riding but Casey Stoner reckons P!$$ing on your hands toughens them up.

I do think body position & bar grip is a pertinent thing to think about with braking. When I started practising braking technique I ended up with a lot of weight on the bars which compromised my mobility & control. Dropping your head makes it worse. I had to learn to use my knees in the tank to lessen the weight transfer. Quite alien to begin with.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:48 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crofrog View Post
You're never not ready for advanced skills, at least to be introduced to the concepts.




We are on the same page.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:45 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwoodward View Post

But since we're taking Nick's word as law, here's one for David (who decided to quote Nick) and the rest of the Lee Parks fans:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Ienatsch, "The Pace"
The street is not a racing environment, and it takes humility, self assurance and self control to keep it that way. The leader sets the pace and monitors his mirrors for signs of raggedness in the ranks that follow, such as tucking in on straights, crossing over the yellow line and hanging off the motorcycle in the corners.



Try Using the WHOLE QUOTE next time:

The Pace's style of not hanging off in corners also reduces the appearance of pushing too hard and adds a degree of maturity and sensibility in the eyes of the public and the law. There's a definite challenge to cornering quickly while sitting sedately on your bike.
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outlaws justice screwed with this post 07-12-2012 at 03:49 AM
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:05 PM   #85
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Not that we'd give a fuck about looking "mature" or "sensible" in whomever's eyes. Mr. Law stopped me for speeding a few times, but never because of looking immature or insensible.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:27 PM   #86
ibafran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crofrog View Post
You're never not ready for advanced skills, at least to be introduced to the concepts. A good coach can discuss the concepts with you and still have you more focused on what actually needs to happen.

Allot of track day schools dumb stuff down, you get told the wrong thing to prevent bad things from happening. Look at the prevalence of late apex's. The "school line" is almost always late apex _everything_ because the consequences of fucking up a late apex aren't nearly as bad as being early. This dumbing down is lowest common demoniator training. It keeps everything nice and safe and relatively slow, but holds back fast learners to an extent, because you learn the wrong way then learn the right way. The question always remains if you'd have survived learning the right way from the very beginning..
I beg to differ in primary outlook. Advanced skills require basic skills honed to a level where advanced skills can be attempted, as noted by dwoodward. Advanced skills do not contradict the basics. A rider needs only one bad habit or basic flaw in execution of a basic skill to prevent or severely impede acquiring an advanced skill.

Track day schools do not dumb stuff down. Track schools are primarily interested in helping riders learn good stuff and appoach their limits in the safest possible way. Ergo, the school line is the safe line from which everything is adjusted toward more speed as acquired for the day. This is why 'fast' riders who don't bother to learn much in the beginning of the day get passed in the afternoon by the morning's 'slow' riders who did.

If one learned anything the right way from the beginning, then survival would be assured. (And all our penmanship would be legible and math errors would be unique and humorous.) But we often don't. Crashing sux and is usually the end of the day at any track school for that rider. Track instructors are often very good riders and very good people. And often they do not come from an educators' background. Thus they learn to teach at the track as best they can. The big buck schools may train their staff in a particular program and maybe offer one-on-one help for a price. Less costly schools have lots of advantages as well as problems. Nick has my respect for writing something that any rider might read and attempt without worrying about the survival rate. YMMV
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:08 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by ibafran View Post
I beg to differ in primary outlook. Advanced skills require basic skills honed to a level where advanced skills can be attempted, as noted by dwoodward. Advanced skills do not contradict the basics. A rider needs only one bad habit or basic flaw in execution of a basic skill to prevent or severely impede acquiring an advanced skill.
There are no such thing as advanced skills, advanced skills are the basics executed perfectly...

Quote:
If one learned anything the right way from the beginning, then survival would be assured. (And all our penmanship would be legible and math errors would be unique and humorous.) But we often don't. Crashing sux and is usually the end of the day at any track school for that rider. Track instructors are often very good riders and very good people. And often they do not come from an educators' background. Thus they learn to teach at the track as best they can. The big buck schools may train their staff in a particular program and maybe offer one-on-one help for a price. Less costly schools have lots of advantages as well as problems. Nick has my respect for writing something that any rider might read and attempt without worrying about the survival rate. YMMV
Did you come from an educator background?
If you set the bar low, you get low results you set the bar high you get better results. Lowest common demonitator training doesn't help anyone.
While the bar is certiantly higher at a track day school for advancement than at a MSF class, The results are similar.

As for crashing, that's why most sport bike riders take so long to learn to ride quickly. For many of them front and back slides are scary and you hear them blaming the tire or track and looking for stickier rubber. If they'd learn on a supermoto or mini on a kart track they'd develop much more quickly because they'd learn to use and loose traction.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:01 AM   #88
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Braking in corners is a frustrating topic for me. It is frustrating because I had a pretty good low-side crash on New Year's eve that still haunts me. I still don't know exactly what I should have done, other than the obvious "slow the fuck down before the corner and pay more attention."

Here is what happened:

I was on a rental bike on a motorcycle tour in Chile, riding down the side of a volcano. On the way up, I knew the ride down would be a challenge. The road was in very good condition with no potholes or gravel, but it was very steep up near the top. The switchbacks had very steep elevation changes right at the apex which made everything extremely off-camber.

Coming down, I took it very cautious in the switchbacks. I kept my speeds low and wasn't pushing limits. As things leveled out a bit the corners were more sweeping and lacked the steep elevation changes. I relaxed. I was in 3rd gear, again not pushing limits and not worried that a few riders were getting farther out in front of me.

At that point, I came into another corner which I thought was just another sweeper. WRONG! It was the last switchback and it had a very nasty elevation drop at the beginning of the corner.

SHIT!!!

I was probably going 35 or 40 and was completely off the throttle, esentially coasting in 3rd gear. On the plus side, I had been riding with my toes on the pegs and had been swinging my butt off the seat prior to the corners so my body was at least in a good position. I made a distinct decision to lean harder and not grab the brake. I figured it was my only chance. I was in the wrong gear and by the time I saw the corner, the amount of speed I would have needed to scrub was pretty dramatic.

I looked through the corner and hung my butt out, weighted the inside peg and pushed the bike as far as possible into the corner.

I heard and felt my peg scrape almost instantly. I remember distinctly thinking that was OK. I have dragged pegs before and it didn't upset me. I then heard a second hard part scrapping. That would be the skid plate on my F650GS. As soon as that happened, the bike slid out from under me and I low-sided. Touching the skid plate down levered up my front wheel.

At first, niether myself nor anybody in the tour thought it possible for the skid plate to hit before low-siding. I was questioning myself and the order in which I thought I heard and felt things happen, but I remain certain that I heard the second scrape before losing traction. My only explanation is that the extreme off-camber and elevation drop is what made this possible.

This was totally my fault. I was just going too fast for conditions. I was relying on engine compression to control my decent and because the road had leveled out, there wasn't much of this anyway. I had relaxed and wasn't ready.

So, would brakes have helped or hurt by the time I realized I was screwed? My hunch is that anything I did would have still resulted in a crash and that braking could have made things worse, but should I have tried it? I still don't know.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:59 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by cliffy109 View Post
Braking in corners is a frustrating topic for me. It is frustrating because I had a pretty good low-side crash on New Year's eve that still haunts me. I still don't know exactly what I should have done, other than the obvious "slow the fuck down before the corner and pay more attention."
It sounds like you know the answer. There is a point where your entry speed is just to high and there's nothing you can do about it, all you can do is try to make it suck less. Get the bike slowed down and try to aim the bike into the runoff straight if you can. If you're going to go off the the road or track do it upright (obviously not an option in your case.)

"Never run out of real estate, traction and ideas at the same time." - Mario Andretti

Quote:
Here is what happened:

I was on a rental bike on a motorcycle tour in Chile, riding down the side of a volcano. On the way up, I knew the ride down would be a challenge. The road was in very good condition with no potholes or gravel, but it was very steep up near the top. The switchbacks had very steep elevation changes right at the apex which made everything extremely off-camber.

Coming down, I took it very cautious in the switchbacks. I kept my speeds low and wasn't pushing limits. As things leveled out a bit the corners were more sweeping and lacked the steep elevation changes. I relaxed. I was in 3rd gear, again not pushing limits and not worried that a few riders were getting farther out in front of me.

At that point, I came into another corner which I thought was just another sweeper. WRONG! It was the last switchback and it had a very nasty elevation drop at the beginning of the corner.

SHIT!!!

I was probably going 35 or 40 and was completely off the throttle, esentially coasting in 3rd gear. On the plus side, I had been riding with my toes on the pegs and had been swinging my butt off the seat prior to the corners so my body was at least in a good position. I made a distinct decision to lean harder and not grab the brake. I figured it was my only chance. I was in the wrong gear and by the time I saw the corner, the amount of speed I would have needed to scrub was pretty dramatic.
Imho, never coast, either on the throttle (even if it's just cracked open) or on the brakes, if the bike was still upright when you saw the corner, drop anchor, squeeze that front brake and start panic stopping on good pavement bikes can still stop pretty quickly, this would set you for continuing your braking into the turn, which being downhill off-camber would require some serious finesse.

Quote:
So, would brakes have helped or hurt by the time I realized I was screwed? My hunch is that anything I did would have still resulted in a crash and that braking could have made things worse, but should I have tried it? I still don't know.
Other than looking farther ahead and slowing down before hand, or a dramatic SuperMoto style backing it in, you where fucked. When hard parts go down at turn in and you still need to turn more, bad things are ahead.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:20 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by crofrog View Post


Imho, never coast, either on the throttle (even if it's just cracked open) or on the brakes, if the bike was still upright when you saw the corner, drop anchor, squeeze that front brake and start panic stopping on good pavement bikes can still stop pretty quickly, this would set you for continuing your braking into the turn, which being downhill off-camber would require some serious finesse.

Yup... I think that is the thought that keeps bothering me. I don't know if I was still upright when I realized the nature of the corner or not. If I was, any amount of speed that I could scrub would have helped. Whether it was lack of skill, not enough time or just not thinking quickly enough, that didn't happen. My brain saw the problem and defaulted to "fuck it... lean harder and look through the corner" instead of considering finesse on the brakes.

As you point out, there is a moment when one is past the point of no return and the best is to "make it suck less" and the low-side certainly sucked less than a high side into the railing or down the side of a volcano.
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