tough year? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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tough year?

From a WERA thread about the number of serious injuries this season.

A interesting observation from Monte

This is really a pretty simple exercise.

Bikes have gotten SOOO much better. Lets compare a Honda F2 to new CBR600rr and that's just 10 years or so. How about the new crop 1000's... the perfect starter bike!

Tires.. Ditto. Holy shite, look at 10 years ago and then now.

Combine the two and we have machines + tires that allow MUCH less experienced riders to go MUCH faster MUCH sooner in the learning curve.

Tracks... still pretty much the same run-off as 10-15 years ago.

So when the poop hits the fan, rider with less experience frin themsleves in bad situations at much higher speeds than just ten years ago. BAM!!!!
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This line of reasoning does make some sense to me. I started my Sport bike riding career on a first generation GSXR 1100 with Dunlop K591s. A current 600 would slaughter it, and yet I4 600cc sport bikes are often purchaced as beginner bikes today..

Just something to think about, as the season wraps up.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 12:25 PM
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Yeah, but the American way is go BIG or go home.

These kids don't want to hear "start out on a 250".

Anywho, this has been beaten to death. You do have some good tangents to the point though. I think with most of the group we have here, you're just preaching to the choir.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 12:34 PM
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I blame my bike, it just drags me around in circles.

My 2nd day at BHF, 4th trackday ever, I pulled (2) laps at 1:24 flat out of my ass.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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I would guess Monte gets to see a ton of track newbies every season and sees a trend.

My angle is not so much the outright performance, but truncated learning curve. Guys who get very fast, with relatively little experience and then get in trouble. There was a recent-ish death at Willow Springs due to a ride off that seems to fit this trend well. (and pending law suit with the racing school that gave the rider his licence)

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5AXIS View Post
How about the new crop 1000's... the perfect starter bike!
no need for an ' there. 1000s would be correct.

Good post, thanks. I think Monte knows what he's talking about.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 01:47 PM
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It certainly seems logical.

MotoGP riders are very adamant about which circuits they'll ride based on safety & run-off.

Perhaps WERA, CCS, & the various track day orgs are in a stong enough position to effect change at some of the less safe venues.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrock View Post
no need for an ' there. 1000s would be correct.

Good post, thanks. I think Monte knows what he's talking about.

Jrock, with your help, all of CLSB will learn how to spell and proper grammar by the end of the year .

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 02:19 PM
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I agree. The technology in the bikes lets newb riders go much faster before they've really learned how to handle speed when things get hairy.

I've observed a similar phenomenon in my own riding career. I started off on a bike that was very fast and allowed me to go pretty good, but I didn't have the foggiest idea of how to go fast. I didn't take much to exceed my comfort level, and at the speeds I was going it resulted in mistake. My 3rd trackday ever, coming around T13 at ABS, the back started stepping out at 100+ and I chopped the throttle with predictable results. I somehow saved it, but the point is that the mistake could've been extremely serious because the bike allowed me to ride at a pace I wasn't totally ready for. Similar situations played out, and I fell down alot as a result.

Flash forward: I started riding supermotos. (functionally equivalent to an old slow bike) These aren't the fast bikes in the world. There isn't enough horsepower to go fast unless you know pretty well what you're doing. I still made mistakes, but they happened at much slower speed and were therefore that much more manageable. (This is why I always say that I learned so much more on supermoto bikes.)
As a related aside, many WSBK/GP pros crosstrain on SuMo's for precisely that reason. They can play with traction and whatnot at speeds that won't kill or maim them.

This speed without experience problem does get magnified by tracks that aren't so well designed, just for the reason Monte stated.
Scenario: If I were to make a typical newb mistake and cut throttle when the front starts to push going into T4 at BHF
on a slow bike, I'll have some momentum but not to much, so I might hit the tire wall, I might not.
On a new 1K, I'm going through all three layers of that wall, and maybe the Armco behind it.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5AXIS View Post
Bikes have gotten SOOO much better. Lets compare a Honda F2 to new CBR600rr and that's just 10 years or so. How about the new crop 1000's... the perfect starter bike!

Tires.. Ditto. Holy shite, look at 10 years ago and then now.

Combine the two and we have machines + tires that allow MUCH less experienced riders to go MUCH faster MUCH sooner in the learning curve.

Tracks... still pretty much the same run-off as 10-15 years ago.

So when the poop hits the fan, rider with less experience frin themsleves in bad situations at much higher speeds than just ten years ago. BAM!!!!
__________________
Monte - Short guy with a BIG cone.[/B]


This line of reasoning does make some sense to me. I started my Sport bike riding career on a first generation GSXR 1100 with Dunlop K591s. A current 600 would slaughter it, and yet I4 600cc sport bikes are often purchaced as beginner bikes today..

Just something to think about, as the season wraps up.
It all sounds nice.

Run off has gotten better, coming from my perspective which was pre Monte and pre track days.

Straight line speeds have increased, but if one controls for special parts, yeah, vehicle performance has improved, but it's not like night and day. The difference between an F2 and a current 600 at Blackhawk, both being ridden by top level experts with a well sorted machine that anyone could build, is about two seconds.

I think the recent hightened awareness just comes from a larger population of riders on track. Go back to 1995, and there were no track days. Now, there are ten to twenty track days available at some tracks in addition to race dates.

If one wants to single out BFR T4...

There was a time when there was no bus stop, and one came at turn four in fourth gear tapped out, hammering the brakes and going down two gears. That's all different. The chicane at Daytona has been changed a couple times. Now the whole infield is different. Brainerd's turn nine was incredibly intense before the change in 1989. How about soft barriers? A lot is different.

I think, honestly, the proper perspective has to be that riding on a race track will always involve an amount of risk. Individuals better be prepared for what is reasonable and responsible. So much has improved.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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I think Monte's point is relative lack of experience now needed to go really fast. Perhaps the line is now sharper and at a higher level. Riders don't have the experience of a more fuzzy line at lower speed. A good experienced rider could navigate the fuzzyness and go really well. I remember how my 87 gsxr would load and release as it flexed around a corner. I can only imagine the stuff Rainey and Lawson rode in the earlier SB days.

I do agree with SD, track day activities have exploded in popularity for cars and bike.

Ps. I don't like the BHF bus stop and would probably like the old config, just give me some safe place to crash.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 04:51 PM
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Really fast is always relative. Before the repaving, 1:13's were hard to do at Blackhawk. Now, common. But there still aren't a lot of guys in the 10's or 11's.

It still takes a special rider to exploit what there is.

I think Keith Code, who I seldom ever quote, recognized that even though technology came so far, and he started his program using GPZ550's, as I remember, the noob lap time hoovered in the same time. I see similar things from riders that I've experienced working with. Yeah, the speed that a GSXR1000 goes down the straight compared to a GSXR1100 "in the day" is different, but a generally inexperienced rider's ability to get around a track doesn't change much.

But, with more and more riders, there will be an increase falling down and serious injuries. Is it significant to bikes themselves? I disagree. It's a function of substantially more riders turning more and more laps.

It's my opinion based on my experiences. Others can have different opinions.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 04:54 PM
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[QUOTE=Super Dave;911910]It all sounds nice.

Run off has gotten better, coming from my perspective which was pre Monte and pre track days.

Straight line speeds have increased, but if one controls for special parts, yeah, vehicle performance has improved, but it's not like night and day. The difference between an F2 and a current 600 at Blackhawk, both being ridden by top level experts with a well sorted machine that anyone could build, is about two seconds.


QUOTE]


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 05:02 PM
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The age of motorcycle road racers has gotten older too compared to fifteen years ago. With reaction time increasing with age, well...

Makes this all relevent, right?
http://www.roadracingworld.com/news/...?article=30426

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Dave View Post
Really fast is always relative. Before the repaving, 1:13's were hard to do at Blackhawk. Now, common. But there still aren't a lot of guys in the 10's or 11's.

It still takes a special rider to exploit what there is.

I think Keith Code, who I seldom ever quote, recognized that even though technology came so far, and he started his program using GPZ550's, as I remember, the noob lap time hoovered in the same time. I see similar things from riders that I've experienced working with. Yeah, the speed that a GSXR1000 goes down the straight compared to a GSXR1100 "in the day" is different, but a generally inexperienced rider's ability to get around a track doesn't change much.

But, with more and more riders, there will be an increase falling down and serious injuries. Is it significant to bikes themselves? I disagree. It's a function of substantially more riders turning more and more laps.

It's my opinion based on my experiences. Others can have different opinions.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 08:31 AM
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More riders = more crashes

What's the ratio now, compared to 15 years ago?

I have no idea, but could be something to consider.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 10:12 AM
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I would also assume that more miles for those riders also equals more crashes. For example, a NESBA track day would include 280 minutes of track time in a single weekend. Equivalent to what 14 or more races depending on the weekend?

That's a lot of track time... compared to what a rider might have gotten on a given race weekend plus their short warm up sessions.

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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 10:26 AM
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I have a statistics related degree.

How open do we want to make it for variables?

Track day enviornments don't require the same focus as a race day focus. Nor does it take the commitment. Why? Because it's a competition. That doesn't mean that all racers have more focus than all track day people. But one has to recognize the difference between the two.

As for comparing races to track time...practice doesn't count?

Friday practice might be more than 280 minutes. Sat and Sun would be five practices. Then go racing.


Ratios? I don't know if anyone has any specific statistics that they would like to share. But I do know that tracks that some consider "dangerous", like Daytona, do have lower incidents of crashes than other tracks that are felt to be "more safe".

If the population of all track riders increases and the rate of crashing is the same, the number of crashing incidents increases with it. Additionally, so will the severity.

I haven't been one to sit and mark incidents all these years, but since 1987, I can't say I recognize there being additional consistent increases in these things. Yeah, certain riders and certain times of the year, I recognize when these things happen. I can almost feel it in the air.

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