Track Form Analysis (ongoing) - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Track Form Analysis (ongoing)

Ok, here is a good image to start with. Submit your pictures... get feedback.

What is wrong with this form?



If we learn to get feedback on our own form, and to give feedback on others, it should make us all more observant and perhaps more cognizant of how we look. Photos are excellent feedback.

Remember of course, various people are going to have different opinions on what is proper form. Take in what you like, and what makes sense to you, and try to utilize it next time you are on the track.

I'll post up various pictures from this season from time to time to see what feedback everyone has for each picture.

Enjoy


Note: If I post your picture and you want it removed, just tell me.

===========
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post #2 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 05:57 PM
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OK, Let em have it. that me on the yellow duc for those of you that dont know.








HDTony.... Damn glad to meet you!

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post #3 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 06:15 PM
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Kegger - Drop head toward the position where your inside mirror would be.

Tony - Drop the inside elbow so it's loose. This will result in better feel on the bars and require that your body and head drop toward the inside mirror location.

<--------I haven't mastered the head drop yet.

Chris
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post #4 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrouch View Post
Kegger - Drop head toward the position where your inside mirror would be.
Thank you.

"When in doubt, use full throttle. It may not improve your situation, but it will end the suspense."
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post #5 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
Ok, here is a good image to start with. Submit your pictures... get feedback.

What is wrong with this form?



If we learn to get feedback on our own form, and to give feedback on others, it should make us all more observant and perhaps more cognizant of how we look. Photos are excellent feedback.

Remember of course, various people are going to have different opinions on what is proper form. Take in what you like, and what makes sense to you, and try to utilize it next time you are on the track.

I'll post up various pictures from this season from time to time to see what feedback everyone has for each picture

Note: If I post your picture and you want it removed, just tell me.
He's not on a GIXXER!

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post #6 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrouch View Post
Kegger - Drop head toward the position where your inside mirror would be.

Tony - Drop the inside elbow so it's loose. This will result in better feel on the bars and require that your body and head drop toward the inside mirror location.

<--------I haven't mastered the head drop yet.
What he said. If you have a mirror there you should be kissing it.

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post #7 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrouch View Post
Kegger - Drop head toward the position where your inside mirror would be.

Tony - Drop the inside elbow so it's loose. This will result in better feel on the bars and require that your body and head drop toward the inside mirror location.

<--------I haven't mastered the head drop yet.
i have the same problem. wink was able to get great video of me at heartland which made this obvious. my lower body looks to be where it should be, but my upper body is still too high over the tank. after some discussion with Ron, Tom, Heath, and Wink, i was told the same thing. "engage" the inside leg, drop the inside elbow, and consciously try to kiss that imaginary mirror (i was told this should feel exaggerated). feel free to correct me if any of this is wrong, as i am still a newbie.

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post #8 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post

What is wrong with this form?



Uhhhh...are you really going to critique the great Sir Alan Cathcart's form?!?!


Tom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacitus
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post #9 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 11:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
.

What is wrong with this form?

too much ass on that seat
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post #10 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 11:12 PM
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Something tells me they are a milli-second away from flipping the bike over in a chicane.

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post #11 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 11:16 PM
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Okay...I'll play along

This was at Blackhawk earlier this year going through T-4. I think I was running 1:24's that day...down from 1:27's a few week before. Still have a LOT to learn though.

The last two are T-5 and the Carousel
Attached Images
File Type: jpg AB.jpg (35.4 KB, 105 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0729.jpg (68.0 KB, 97 views)
File Type: jpg Z.jpg (35.4 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpg S.jpg (37.8 KB, 109 views)

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post #12 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-29-2006, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadrach View Post
Something tells me they are a milli-second away from flipping the bike over in a chicane.
And we have a WINNER!!

Good call, Jeff!

===========
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post #13 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 06:50 AM
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Jim - Your form looks good overall. Looks like you might need to drop your head to the right more during righthanders. I suffer the same problem, only more severe.

Chris
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post #14 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRSMAIL View Post
What he said. If you have a mirror there you should be kissing it.
+1, those pics were from my first trackday, I dont have any other cause moparboy never gave me the CD I have made great strides in trying to get my head down. It's wild how I can be going through like normal, almost midcorner, and remembering Marshall talking about kissing the mirror, make that quick adjustment and everything just smooths out and feels better. Also the Hix was talking about resting that outside arm on the tank, that helped me a lot as well to loosen up.

I cant wait to get back out there next season, its all I think about, even driving around in my truck I'm breaking, apexing, exiting instead of just turning the damn thing, plus I'm getting really weird looks from other drives since I am wearing my helmet.




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Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

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Last edited by HDTony; 11-30-2006 at 07:28 AM.
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post #15 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kegger View Post
Pointers please-I need em.
Craig,

First off, nice leathers!

Ok, draw a line from the centerline of the front wheel straight up to your head. I use a piece of paper on the screen to show this. When I do this, I see about 80% of your head to the left of the line (paper), or ABOVE the centerline of the bike. Since you are in a left turn, you want as much of your head and shoulders to the LEFT of the center of the bike during the turn. Of course, can't see your butt, but same thing there, at least half should be off the seat to the inside of the turn.

Outside arm look stiff - relax it and just lay it on the tank
Inside arm is stiff - drop the elbow straight down, that will help lower your shoulders and head.
Head - as others have said, try to kiss the non-existent mirror. Get that head to the inside of the turn as far as you can (keeping the bike as upright as you can)

Apex - although the pic might just be in a bad location, the apex should be close to your left knee. (this could be an early or late shot, but just try to always keep the apex in mind)

Looking darn good for a new guy out there, keep up the good work! FWIW, my list of form mistakes are about the same as the ones I jsut listed for you.

Note: These are just my humble opinions based on what I have been read and taught. This is intended to help, but of course, take it fwiw, Free. I am in no way an expert, just trying to learn as we all are.

===========
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post #16 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrouch View Post
Jim - Your form looks good overall. Looks like you might need to drop your head to the right more during righthanders. I suffer the same problem, only more severe.
Thanks. It's wierd how you "think" your head is beside the tank about to scrape the ground, and then you see the pictures telling the truth. Video is even better, but now that MotoVid is gone we'll just have to use the still shots.

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post #17 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTony View Post
OK, Let em have it. that me on the yellow duc for those of you that dont know.



Tony,

Looking darn sharp!

Again, draw a centerline up through the middle of the front wheel (paper). Your head is entirely to the inside of the turn! Great job!

Knee - open that knee out, have it as far out and back as possible while leaning in. As you achieve maximum lean, you can move the knee forward as required. The knee is for two main functions, it acts as a curb feeler (bank angle indicator) as well as a possible tripod, that can help save the front upon occasion.

Zipper - Take a look at your zipper (center of your chest). It is entirely to the inside of the turn from the centerline of the bike. Good!

Inside elbow - Bend it. Drop it as low as you can, that will bring your head and shoulders down, to the inside of the turn. (kiss mirror)

Butt - based on your outside knee position on the second image, it appears that your butt is well to the inside of the turn.

Those shots are at Autobahn and I rode behind you quite a bit there. You need to move and set up for the turns earlier so that there is no last minute changesw affecting the chassis.

Hope that helps.

Note: These are just my humble opinions based on what I have been read and taught. This is intended to help, but of course, take it fwiw, Free. I am in no way an expert, just trying to learn as we all are.

===========
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post #18 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stkr View Post
Okay...I'll play along

This was at Blackhawk earlier this year going through T-4. I think I was running 1:24's that day...down from 1:27's a few week before. Still have a LOT to learn though.

The last two are T-5 and the Carousel
Jim,

Looking good there. As Grouch said, drop your head.

You body is well to the inside of the centerline of the bike.

Drop that inside elbow down, don't just bend it. By pulling the elbow down, you pull your head down.

In the final shot, you can see that you are just a little crossed up. Again, dropping that inside elbow will fix that. You are basically out of lean angle in that shot. By getting OFF the bike more to the inside of the turn, you'll be able to carry more speed, with more rubber on the track.

Remember - Lean angle = Risk. Minimize lean angle,both in the length of time you are at maximum lean, AND the amount that you actually lean.

With your form and apparent line in these couple of shots, I would think that you could easily run 21s at BHF. Have one of the I CRs give you a couple of tows. Or grab me next BHF, I'll drag ya around. As far as MotoVid, I must have done 75-100 free video sessions for people last season. Grab me, Hix or Heath at an event and ask to be videotaped. One of us will be happy to tail you on my video bike and show you the video that lunch or evening.

Note: These are just my humble opinions based on what I have been read and taught. This is intended to help, but of course, take it fwiw, Free. I am in no way an expert, just trying to learn as we all are.

===========
Great Quote - One would think that the Secret Service was smart enough to get serviced secretly.

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Last edited by Wink; 11-30-2006 at 08:22 AM.
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post #19 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 08:34 AM
 
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I'd like to figure out how to run 1:15's or better next season. I think one thing I probably need to do is get my head and shoulders lower, but any other pointers would be appreciated.




currently I'm stuck around 1:18's.
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post #20 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
Jim,

Looking good there. As Grouch said, drop your head.

You body is well to the inside of the centerline of the bike.

Drop that inside elbow down, don't just bend it. By pulling the elbow down, you pull your head down.

In the final shot, you can see that you are just a little crossed up. Again, dropping that inside elbow will fix that. You are basically out of lean angle in that shot. By getting OFF the bike more to the inside of the turn, you'll be able to carry more speed, with more rubber on the track.

Remember - Lean angle = Risk. Minimize lean angle,both in the length of time you are at maximum lean, AND the amount that you actually lean.

With your form and apparent line in these couple of shots, I would think that you could easily run 21s at BHF. Have one of the I CRs give you a couple of tows. Or grab me next BHF, I'll drag ya around. As far as MotoVid, I must have done 75-100 free video sessions for people last season. Grab me, Hix or Heath at an event and ask to be videotaped. One of us will be happy to tail you on my video bike and show you the video that lunch or evening.

Note: These are just my humble opinions based on what I have been read and taught. This is intended to help, but of course, take it fwiw, Free. I am in no way an expert, just trying to learn as we all are.
Thanks for the tips , and thanks for the video offer. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do any track days until Sep/Oct due to going to Iraq, but I'll definitely come see ya when I'm there. Hell, I'll just need help getting back up to speed after a year of not riding.

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post #21 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Tim,

A 3 plus second gain is a lot of improvement at BHF. 18s are very respectable there. I have only been there twice in the dry, so I'll have to defer to Marshall, Heath and others to help you get below 15s solidly. I ran a high 14 there last time, mostly very low 15s.

That kind of low time requires throttle longer, braking less and later. That simple. Getting those kind of times for most people is really pushing the edge, and of course, you know what happens when you cross it.

From what I have heard from the fast guys there, you really need to be on the gas and pushing the front HARD to run low times at BHF on an R6. I'll give Heath and Marshall a call and have them chime in here to help ya.

In the meantime, body position. That I can help with.

Let's see...

First picture shows you crossed up a little bit. Again, that just could be style, but I'll give ya my thoughts. Same as most folks, drop that inside elbow, pull your head and shoulders down and to the inside of the turn as far as you can comfortably.

If I draw a line up the center of your front wheel, the line pretty much hits your head dead center. You need to move your head to the inside of the run, and keep that bike standing up so that you can be on the throttle much more. Remember;
Less lean angle = more traction.
More traction = more throttle/braking.
More throttle = lower times.

Top arm is too stiff, lay it on the tank.
Minimize lean angle.

It is hard to tell, but it looks in the second picture like you are too far off the apex. According to Freddie, you should never miss the apex. The apex only exists to set up the exit. The earlier that you can get the bike turned, and get on the throttle, the lower your lap times. Even getting on the throttle a couple of bike lengths earlier per turn, can make a huge impact on lap times.

Note: These are just my humble opinions based on what I have been read and taught. This is intended to help, but of course, take it fwiw, Free. I am in no way an expert, just trying to learn as we all are.

===========
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post #22 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stkr View Post
Thanks for the tips , and thanks for the video offer. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do any track days until Sep/Oct due to going to Iraq, but I'll definitely come see ya when I'm there. Hell, I'll just need help getting back up to speed after a year of not riding.
Good luck in Iraq! You'll have to send us videos then.

We'll be happy to help when ya return in any way we can.

===========
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post #23 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a great example of form at BHF as a reference point.



This is our resident AMA Pro, Mr. Heath Locum. Photo credit - Steve Vuocisc.

===========
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Last edited by Wink; 12-01-2006 at 11:28 AM.
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post #24 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
Craig,

First off, nice leathers!

Ok, draw a line from the centerline ..........
Thanks man-I will work on it next year!

"When in doubt, use full throttle. It may not improve your situation, but it will end the suspense."
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post #25 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 10:39 AM
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I love that shot of Heath! What a maniac.

I seem to remember Dano posting an excellent write up on here a few years ago describing exactly what he sees as he runs a 1:12 lap at Blackhawk. Maybe someone can dig it up and paste it in here. When I read it I didn't think I'd ever be doing twelves at Blackhawk, now I'm trying to get down into the :11's and hoping to crack a few :10's chasing the fast experts.

Apart from all the obviously good information already posted on this thread, and Dano's write up of a 1:12 lap for him, the biggest things I would add are:

1. Keep in mind as you approach your personal limits, whatever they may be, you need to take small bites. Big bites will choke you, small bites go down easy. Focus on one or two things you know you need to work on, like compressing a braking zone, or getting a better drive, or whatever, and go out there and work on them, little by little, one small bite at a time.

2. At some point the line is right, the body position is good, and the bike is working well, then it becomes more of a feel thing. You have to get more and more comfortable with the feeling that comes from a certain pace. As you progress, your perception of speed changes, the feeling you get is different. I remember once feeling like a 1:22 lap of Blackhawk was really fast, and it was, for me, at that given point in time. Now my perception is different, and the feeling I have from a motorcycle at that pace has totally changed. As your connection with the bike and the tires grows deeper, your feeling at a given pace will change with it, and what was once your personal limit then seems impossibly slow. Just think how different the feeling was your first time on the track to the way it feels now, and I think you'll see what I'm getting at.

3. Track time, track time, track time. This is a proficiency game. In order to improve you must practice. Unfortunately, unlike basketball, or just about any other sport, you get an extraordinarily small amount of practice time. And you need that time to develop the feeling I'm talking about, you need it to redefine your personal limits safely, and to make the bike an extension of yourself.

4. Lastly, I think there's a misplaced emphasis on lap times. They are an important tool, but they can be a bit distracting. I would recommend you focus more on the fundamentals, the feeling you get from the bike at speed, and getting as much track time as humanly possible, then your laptimes will fall naturally, and with no real effort. I quit using a laptimer when my last one got destroyed (again) in a crash. Without enough funds to justify another one, I just worried about the fundamentals, and the feeling. When I checked my times from a CCS GTO race last summer, I was stunned to see a string of :12's in traffic. Focus on what you need to do, and the lap times will come.

Hope it helps.
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post #26 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 10:50 AM
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4. Lastly, I think there's a misplaced emphasis on lap times. They are an important tool, but they can be a bit distracting. I would recommend you focus more on the fundamentals, the feeling you get from the bike at speed, and getting as much track time as humanly possible, then your laptimes will fall naturally, and with no real effort. I quit using a laptimer when my last one got destroyed (again) in a crash. Without enough funds to justify another one, I just worried about the fundamentals, and the feeling. When I checked my times from a CCS GTO race last summer, I was stunned to see a string of :12's in traffic. Focus on what you need to do, and the lap times will come.

Hope it helps.
I am glad you mentioned that, I dont have a timer, and I dont plan on getting one for at least another season. Am I wrong thinking that way, or should I get one and mount it so I cant see it while riding and only look at at the end of the day so I can have a reference if I progressed or not?

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post #27 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 10:50 AM
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good post Marshall, will have to keep this in mind....
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post #28 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 10:52 AM
 
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thanks for the advice guys. I was thinking it didn't really pay to replace my timer after having it destroyed in a wet GTU race. I'll try the body position tips and I'm looking forward to getting smoother. It took until the last two races of the season before I finally got my front end done right so I could run every lap w/in a second of each other and feel smooth. Before that it was a pogo stick and every lap would differ by a second or so. More track time with the bike set up right is probably my best bet for next season. Good luck as an expert Marshall.
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post #29 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 01:46 PM
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Inside elbow - Bend it. Drop it as low as you can, that will bring your head and shoulders down, to the inside of the turn. (kiss mirror)
I will pay more attention to that arm, never realized it needed to come down. Thanks



Quote:
Those shots are at Autobahn and I rode behind you quite a bit there. You need to move and set up for the turns earlier so that there is no last minute changesw affecting the chassis.

Hope that helps.
Excellent yes it does help, and your dead on, you noticed one of the things that has really bothered me, that's finding my reference points for braking and entry, I am very inconsistent with this, and need some help with it. I almost always over break to the point where I am getting back on the gas to get to the corner as I slowed down too much, which I guess is better than under breaking and ending up in the grass

I liked the idea someone had about putting cones out there to mark break points, I can flow lines from you guys all day long but since you have no break lights I cant learn your exact breaking techniques at all.

Turn 1 at Putnam is a prime example one of these turns for me, coming over that hill I am always positive I'm too hot, mid corner I'm kicking myself as I know I could have gone much much faster.




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post #30 of 1150 (permalink) Old 11-30-2006, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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I almost always over break to the point where I am getting back on the gas to get to the corner as I slowed down too much, which I guess is better than under breaking and ending up in the grass

I liked the idea someone had about putting cones out there to mark break points, I can flow lines from you guys all day long but since you have no break lights I cant learn your exact breaking techniques at all.

Turn 1 at Putnam is a prime example one of these turns for me, coming over that hill I am always positive I'm too hot, mid corner I'm kicking myself as I know I could have gone much much faster.
Braking too early is better than braking too late.

One of the key benefits to the race track is that we get to repeat, repeat, and then repeat. SO... that means that should you brake too early, wait a little longer to brake each successive lap until you reach your comfort point.

The cones, or some other external reference point is an excellent place to start. Try to brake in exactly the same manner every lap, same pressure, length of braking zone, etc.. in order to establish some baseline consistency. Then as mentioned above, brake later and later after your chosen braking point until it begins to get a little uncomfortable. It is KEY that you do this a little at a time, we aren't trying to get you to crash or miss the corner. One of the big things to think about is repetition. SMALL changes, baby steps, from a place where you can measure each change from will make it easy to brake later and pick up the throttle earlier. Concentrate on knowing your markers, make yourself mental notes for each and every marker. (Example: Ask any CR or A rider on where to turn in at T6 at Autobahn North, and they will all tell you about the corner of the patch)

As far as using a cone for the point to start braking, that just won't work. Cones are excellent to mark turn in points, apexes, and exits. Those are fairly consistent target points, however braking is a factor of how good your brakes are, how good your pads are, how well bled your master is, how fast you are going, how good your tires are, how much you weigh, available traction, and of course, the two biggest factors, how fast you are going, and how fast you can take the corner. ALL of these are individual points, which of course vary from rider to rider.

T1 at Putnam is a great example. How fast is it? Where does one brake? Some folks are still full throttle coming over the hill towards T1, some are off the throttle way earlier than that. Some brake hard entering T1, while others bang down a gear or two and rail through T1. A 250 needs zero brakes there, a liter bike might need brakes, depends on the rider.

The biggest thing that I can tell you is to reiterate what Dr. Skloss said above, practice, practice, practice. Time on the track will acclimate you to speed. The speeds that I went at the end of last season made me feel like I was gonna crash any second, and that my hair was on fire. Now, those speeds seem beyond tame to me. I can ride far above my prior speeds basically turned around watching the rider behind me navigate the turn, while I am completely relaxed. That comes from track time. Practice, practice, practice.

Wanna slow the track down? Look farther ahead.

It is amazing how our minds become more and more accustomed to the speed as we continue to go faster and faster.

Note: These are just my humble opinions based on what I have been read and taught. This is intended to help, but of course, take it fwiw, Free. I am in no way an expert, just trying to learn as we all are.

===========
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Last edited by Wink; 11-30-2006 at 02:31 PM.
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