Gymkhana

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Vulfy, May 6, 2012.

  1. dredman

    dredman Dirt Disciple

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    While I don't want to stifle the discussion here, we did get the forum up at AMGRASS. Already have a few members, and 21 topics in 2 days....... not a bad start. All you folks are welcome to join in the discussion:

    American Motorcycle Gymkhana Forum

    Quite a few technical discussions going on currently

    [​IMG]
    #61
  2. Vulfy

    Vulfy Been here awhile

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    dredman: signed up.

    Harvey Krumpet: neck wasn't really bothering me at all to be honest. Maybe double check your body position in the turn. I found that leaning in with the chest to the mirror, gets rid of twisted up posture, something like this.
    [​IMG]

    and gets me more like this:

    [​IMG]

    With this its easier to twist your head backwards to search for the next cone.

    Elessar: will measure it up next time I'm out. I dont' think it needs to be anything precise, unless you want to compare time with others running same patters. Whatever works for you and your skill level. Plus this pattern can be improved quite a bit as it doesn't have many fast bends, mostly just technical, twisting stuff. But yea, I'll measure it up next time.
    #62
  3. Vulfy

    Vulfy Been here awhile

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Z8FnJGY9Pdw#!

    Read description of the video. 26 second is best time. Dimensions are shown in the beginning. Should be a good benchmark to start posting times and compare skills.

    Running 8's is best exercise to get into this. Courses are fun, but 8's definitely hone all the needed skills. Braking, body posture, bike handling, throttle, head.
    #63
  4. Harvey Krumpet

    Harvey Krumpet Been here awhile

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    Yup, I practice full lock 8's trying to have a fast transition, lock to lock, no straightening up in the middle. I'm not worried about pace yet just the technique. It's the tightness of the turn which makes me look over my shoulder, I'm doing full lock circles in opposite directions on a 5m road & have to keep my head turning through the arc until I transition. Or mount the kerb if I hesitate......
    #64
  5. Bill_Z

    Bill_Z Dude! chill,...

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    hahaha, I can really appreciate this, as one who has done just that, previously.

    I was thinking that someday we might have chapter competitions, but in the meantime, if we can run very similar patterns and compare times, we can have some web competitions between groups/riders. Could make things just a bit more interesting.

    I've joined the AMGRASS forum too. Pretty cool how this is beginning to take off...
    #65
  6. Dekatria

    Dekatria Ad Astra Per Aspera

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    Gotta love me a good gymkhana run. I've got tons more respect for that than those squidding yahoo's you see on youtube everywhere... it shows control like nothing else :thumb
    #66
  7. Monsignore

    Monsignore Plunger Boy

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    This is something I'm definitely interested in. I've been noticing that my riding skills have been fading out like the center tread on my rear tire. And I've been trying to find reasons to ride other than a trip to Harbor Freight 20 miles away. These skills would certainly help with my commute through NYC.

    These vids would also be good to show in basic rider courses as a "Look what's possible" and to illustrate techniques like "where you look is where you go" and head/body position.

    It'd also be fun to throw around my GS and amaze my friends.
    #67
  8. Harvey Krumpet

    Harvey Krumpet Been here awhile

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    It was an eye opener for me after 30 odd years of riding to watch a guy scraping the pegs on his 1400cc kwaka at walking pace.
    I feel a lot more involved riding the bike now that I practice these techniques. I'm consciously putting them into practice all the time, rather than the years I have been quite happily riding habitually.
    It is very cool pulling out of parking spot & doing a full lock leaned over u-turn while my mates are paddling their bikes around. Most of them were invited to do the training but felt they had nothing to learn..... Suckers!
    #68
  9. Monsignore

    Monsignore Plunger Boy

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    That's a huge reason I want to learn this stuff. I haven't ridden with my friends in a while (life...) and would love to blow their minds with just such a maneuver next time we hit the road together.

    Question: Is there a two-up version of this?
    #69
  10. Harvey Krumpet

    Harvey Krumpet Been here awhile

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    Well, if somebody has the clangers to hang onto the back of Mick Doohan round a race track I'm sure somebody would do the same for gymkhana. Find somebody small & brave with a velcro arse.:rofl

    The guy who teaches me did some very tight stuff with my gf on the back of his Revere. Clever sod did a full 360 on a very wet, steep hill. The lean angle was ridiculous when he was leaning into the slope.

    Gonna take me awhile to get that confident.
    #70
  11. dredman

    dredman Dirt Disciple

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    We encourage two up.

    Ride the bike you ride everyday

    Ride the way you ride, no need to buy a special "gymkhana bike"


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #71
  12. Harvey Krumpet

    Harvey Krumpet Been here awhile

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    Ahh, using a trailer! Cheating no?

    Is the pillion reading out course notes? "Left! I said left!"

    Seriously, very cool. I like.
    #72
  13. Vulfy

    Vulfy Been here awhile

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    MotoMind: ran your course today. Fun! It was a good change of pace for me, from my more twisting and slower setups. I liked it. One thing I noticed, is that it favors left turns a lot. I ended up running it and its mirror one after another. Which turned out GREAT !
    I was also able to find a larger spot, and setup a full 100 foot course.
    Unfortunately didn't film it as my tank got empty and by the time I filled up and came back, it was dark and there are no lights on that parking lot. Ended up running 8's for two hours under two lamp lights on a different lot.
    #73
  14. nulluser

    nulluser Been here awhile

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    I bought a set of Shinko 705's (which are some pretty low end tires) and it made a world of difference. I only have the front mounted currently, but it front end no longer washes out no matter how much I lean. Makes the KLR feel like a little moto GP bike.
    #74
  15. ohgood

    ohgood Long timer

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    Pillion used the ride to get her stomach in the game, instead of letting it tell her things were impossible/strang/bad at those angles. She gained confidence.

    He can carve DS, supersport, or, as you see, a 1000 lb goldwing with 200 lb trailer, like nobodys business.

    The main focus here is getting you (the collective) out on your bikes and hitting the locks. The fun comes very quickly, the skills shine later, and often. The grins.... hell I still have one plastered this morning.

    Go ride !
    #75
  16. MotoMind

    MotoMind Long timer

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    I think the person who said the 100ft course was "too far between cones" wasn't twisting the throttle enough: Yamaha WR250R Gymkhana

    Par is about 26 seconds.

    FYI, I did not miss any cones. The camera is inside my helmet and I'm a tall guy so the FOV sometimes passes to the inside of the cones.
    #76
  17. liquid_ice

    liquid_ice Been here awhile

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    After a ride-safety and bike handling training, I got interested in gymkhana.
    Yesterday, I did a few very low speed practices and dropped my bike twice.
    Only a few scratches on the crash bar and a painful wrist.

    The beauty of gymkhana is that you don't really need a lot or special stuff, not track needed and fairly cheap.

    But in The Netherlands it's not really known.
    The UK has some gymkhana clubs, in Belgium and Germany it's getting more and more familiar.

    Here some movies from a Belgium event (check also: vmgv.be )
    http://player.vimeo.com/video/32027149
    http://youtu.be/GmUdlQJT4Dk
    The Belgium are very creative with their course.

    This is a course diagram that is used by the first open dutch gymkhana championship.
    http://www.knmv.nl/uploads/files/Documenten_2012/Verkeer/BehendigheidDemo2012x_Alleen-lezen.pdf
    It's including distances between the cones (it's in meters)

    I also found this beautiful PDF-file. It looks like 33 pages of gymkhana basic elements.
    http://www.californiastatehorsemen.com/gymkhana/gymkhana_courses.pdf
    #77
  18. Vulfy

    Vulfy Been here awhile

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    MotoMind: yeah that course is not a slow one.

    Liquid Ice: :lol3 that is some creative course setup for sure. The part with placing cones from one pole to another, killed me. :rofl

    The .pdf file I think refers to horse Gymkhana. Although some of those patterns can be useful for moto as well.

    One thing to keep in mind, is that Gymkhana is NOT a slow speed exercise or sport.

    Yes, us noobs do run these courses at a snail's pace and that's fine, its all a learning experience. But the end goal should still be, to haul ass through a course. Start out slow, but as your skills progress, push to get faster.

    P.S. ran some "timed" 8's today, based on GP8 setup
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPNxgRULJiA&feature=youtu.be

    Top guys are getting 27-29 second runs for five laps.
    I filmed my own runs here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIthyL7uYq4
    I'm hovering in 39-40 second range.

    I have definitely hit my skill ceiling with this one. Time to brake down technique again, and see what is slowing me down.
    My current goal is 35 seconds.
    #78
  19. Vulfy

    Vulfy Been here awhile

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    One thing that should really help is Trail Braking as described by Lee Parks from Total Control.
    Here is the excerpt from his book.

    "Under braking a forward weight transfer causes the front end to "dive." This has the effect of reducing the rake and trail of the machine, which makes it want to turn quicker and with less effort."
    (copyright Lee Parks, all rights reserved)

    I can definitely see the potential of this. As you compress front forks, you change the geometry of the bike, lowering the front and rising the rear so to speak. This will make the bike more "twitchy" and more flick-able into a tighter turn.

    The whole process does require a steady hand, and a set of steel balls, with Godly trust in your tires.

    From my personal experience, there is not a lot of room we are dealing with here. The time frame is also very short. And yet a lot of things are happening at the same time.

    As you come up to the cone, you need to start squeezing front brake just enough to slow down, but not too fast, so you don't loose momentum.
    As you start to turn around the cone, you progressively squeeze harder on the front brake, while keeping back brake at steady pressure.
    Right before the apex you squeeze all you can out of the front, and start applying more rear.
    At the apex you are overlapping the action of smoothly letting go of the front and harder push on the rear.
    Also, all this front / rear brake malarkey, its smooth but its not exactly gentle. It still needs to be firm and prompt enough to fit into the turn as well as to actually make the front end dip a bit. Which brings up the faith in your front tire and its ability to grip in a turn, while braking.
    At the same time you need to adjust throttle to increase RPMs a little bit, as the action of braking AND turning into a tight corner, really slows down the bike, so you need enough power going into the rear wheel to keep it stable and not wobble or fall over.
    While all of that is going on, you are pushing with the legs into the tank to lean the bike into the turn, and wrestling with G-forces of braking with your core muscles, to keep your arms relaxed and let the bars of the bike flick into full lock. Also add into the equation the fact, that when you are turning right, your throttle arm is bent, and you bending even more at the wrist to keep RPMs stable, and when turning left, you are stretching throttle arm.

    Oooooooofff.......
    Just typing all of that makes me sweat.

    A couple of simple tweaks really make a big difference in comfort level and better ergos.

    Adjusting front brake lever angle, so that you can squeeze it, while still being able to twist the throttle a little bit, helps a great deal.
    Adjusting play on the throttle cable also helps. Remove as much play as you can while it is still safe for day to day riding.

    For now back to the drawing board for me, to lose those extra 5 seconds.
    I really am in love with this sport. :freaky


    P.S. all of the above is just my own experience, so no idea how right or wrong it is in terms of proper technique, so take it all with a grain of salt.
    #79
  20. dbuzz

    dbuzz Citizen of the world

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    That looks like great fun ... :D loved the choice of music for that clip :lol3
    #80