Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NW Burbs
Location: NW Burbs
Sportbike: SV 650, FZR 400, RM 125
Years Riding: Since 1990
How you found us: Nesba!
Driving yourself to improve, or being driven to improve?
Riding at VIR this past weekend told me a lot about my riding style. Riding improvement is as much about practice as it is necessity. I couldn't figure out why the I guys down there made passes that seemed poorly placed to me. Part of it is that they need to. They don't have as many long straight sections of track. They were comfortable riding and passing that way because thats what they know and how they learned.
Also, a lot of the turns in the midwest are 90 or so degree turns. ie, turn 1 & 7 at Blackhawk. They have many turns that well over 180 degrees. You don't just turn it in and go "darn that was early or late." You throw it in wrong and go "oh shit, how am I going to fix this one." You really need to think at least two turns ahead on those tracks and sometimes even more.
I realized on Saturday and Sunday that I couldn't go faster in the corners. It wasn't that I was scared to go faster. I was concerned that I couldn't get the bike to turn quick enough to hit the apex at that speed. With these long corners, that made for an interesting thoughts in my head. I couldn't drop my inside elbow in those long corners. Not that I didn't do it, I couldn't. The 600 RR has a more forward seating position. I need to move my clipon away from me much more than it is. Then I'll have room to get that elbow in and down. It will also give me better leverage to throw the bike back and forth quicker. Heath mentioned this last year, but it didn't click in my head till Monday.
On Monday I got out late for my first session and didn't have anyone in front of me. A new course and I had no idea where I was going. The pavement was cold and people were crashing like it was the in thing to do. I came in after the first session and thought there is no way you can go fast when you have dodge back and forth to the left and right while climbing and diving down hills. How can you expect the front tire to hold when you're driving down hill and sticking it into a turn. Lets get real here. I recalled a pass on Sunday when Hix made a fast clean pass in one of these sections. I realized it's all in how much you trust the front end.
The switchbacks also teach you be confident in the front end and to turn the bike quicker into the corner. They're a ton of fun, but if you want to go faster through them, you've got to move the bike left to right fast. I can't wait to ride there again. The Norht course at VIR is on the top of my list!
Sometimes learning comes in the form of necessity.
It's kind of like I say "I know everything.... Till someone teaches me something new. THEN I know EVERYTHING!
I was riding as fast as I was comfortable to go. Till I needed to ride faster and put more faith in the bike so I could enjoy it even more.
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"If you're headed toward trees, I'm guessing your on the wrong line." - S. Russell