This is in response to Greg Kotlin's response to the thread entitled Tire wear question The only way to know and play around with it IS to push the bike down and produce a lot of lean angle.
Lean angle is relative to pace or line. Pushing the bike down to increase lean angle to learn traction is stupid, especially if you're using proper body position. Pushing the bike down to adjust line so you can decrease radius is a different thing. If we're talking about someone who is fast and has some skill, maybe they would consider adding a little lean angle to experiment with this. But they already have throttle control, have their knee out and may have an idea how to save a slide or not let it panic them.
Beginner riders that have no skills and no pace? Flat out dumb. Let's be honest. When the weather is good, there is good traction, the tires are in good condition and working predictably, the bike is setup properly and the rider is smooth on the controls, most people out there hardly work the tires. The tires are just simply rolling around like a Sunday drive even though we feel like we're kickin' ass and sliding ALL OVER. Then Dan O, comes by 20 seconds a lap faster on the same tires. His tires ARE flexing and sliding and working. I chuckle when people say they get 6 track days from a set of tires and push the front, spin the rear etc. BS. I've seen Wink destroy a brand new set of SV tires before lunch! But he passed everything in sight twice.
It seems like Nick is talking about learning "feel" for when the tires "talk to you." To some people, the tires SCREAM, and the rider doesn't hear the tires. Others will tell you they were pushing the front and spinning the rear all over at low novice pace. I call BS. Unless they have a liter bike and we're spinning the rear with to much power. I think to many new riders lack the knowledge and skill to know the difference. Perception is everything. I think they perceive the bike running wide as pushing the front. Until you push the front tire out of traction and fill your drawers the first time, you don't know whats what. Unfortunately, these are things you cannot teach. You can tune feel into the suspension. But I believe that feel is to often mis-taken for what is truly going on.
A beginner rider spins the rear. The natural reaction is to undo what ever you did to cause this action. They chop the throttle and get their own birds eye view of their bike as they're high sided to the moon. Same goes for the front, they come into the corner, the bike slides, they're like to chop the throttle, over loading the front tire and off they go sliding into the grass. The fact of the matter is, most new riders won't be able to react in time or smoothly enough to save most losses of traction. Heck experienced riders can't always do it. MotoGP guys do crash. But I'm guessing they have a little skill and plenty electronic aides and the best equipment money can buy.
If you want to learn traction and feel and how to control a sliding bike etc, get a darn dirt bike. Go crash your brains out and go home in one piece. Just bring some extra clutch and brake levers.
When I came up through the ranks I asked everyone I knew about sliding the bike and losing traction. How does it feel? How will you know? What do you do? Trying to learn all I could and to be prepared. I asked Wink, Ron Hix, Dustin Boyd, Marshall Skloss, people that know this stuff! Every single one of them gave me a different answer on how to expect it or what it would feel like. Because it's all about perception and how you react or plan to execute. I've done a few laps. I'm no Wink, but I have plenty of seat time. I'm still learning things. Valentino Rossi is still learning things. He's just learning at a much different level then the rest of us.
I know Nick knows this, but don't start a big pissing match here guys. Nick and I have discussed riding quite a few times. Some things we agree others we don't. I totally respect Nick and if I'm darned lucky (and he doesn't build that superbike haha) I hope to keep pace with him someday soon. Nick's a great rider, but again, his perception and the way he has learned is different from mine.
Fast or talented riders, sometimes need to take off the skirt and start pushing these boundaries and may add a LITTLE lean angle to do so and continue their learning process. Some of the new tires that are coming out this season are soooo good that lap record pace riders can go at pace, use up all the available lean angle and still not be pushing the tires.
So. Thats my perception. Lets discuss. Good topic Nick.