Hitting the apex - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Hitting the apex

So Sunday was my first track day, it was great fun and helped immensely. At my better riding moments of the day I noticed that I was off the bike enough and leaning over enough that the grass was right below my head. At the time it 'felt' like I was close enough to the apex, but after seeing photos of myself I found I was way off as you can see:



Photo by Zoom In Photo
http://www.zoominphoto.com/gallery/4...79466458_Pqjmu

So, is it just experience that makes the difference, or is there an easy way to judge how far the bike is away from a certain point at lean? I found in most corners I was less willing to get anywhere near the outer edge of the track at lean coming out of corners. Going into 7 it was more common for me to have to correct myself to avoid going over the inner edge.

All comments, suggestions, and abuse welcome

Last edited by Insomniac; 04-15-2008 at 01:46 PM. Reason: photo link
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 12:22 PM
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yeah, you need more experience and it will come with more track time.

Another bigger issue in the above picture is your trajectory. You just are not getting the bike pointed at all. Look how much better Mr. Wink has his bike pointed right behind you. He can get on the throttle hard (i.e. go fast), you still have a lot of turning left to do before you can get on the throttle.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronhix View Post
Another bigger issue in the above picture is your trajectory. You just are not getting the bike pointed at all. Look how much better Mr. Wink has his bike pointed right behind you. He can get on the throttle hard (i.e. go fast), you still have a lot of turning left to do before you can get on the throttle.
Doesn't trajectory come down mostly to line? Mr Wink and the other CR's made plenty of remarks about how bad my lines was all day. I found myself doing a ton of unexpected path corrections all day long.

Thanks for the comments
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 12:44 PM
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with more experience you will hit the apex better. if the crs were on you about your lines i highly suggest you slow down and make sure you get that right first. that is a huge step to becoming better, safer, and faster. any time i'm on a new track I spend most the morning just learning the correct lines. it can then take days to perfect it. talk to a cr next time and ask him to help you learn the correct lines. the apex will follow.

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insomniac View Post
Doesn't trajectory come down mostly to line? Mr Wink and the other CR's made plenty of remarks about how bad my lines was all day. I found myself doing a ton of unexpected path corrections all day long.

Thanks for the comments
Yeah, they are very related. Next time you do an event, find me and I'll work with you if you would like.

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, they are very related. Next time you do an event, find me and I'll work with you if you would like.
Shall do
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Drama View Post
with more experience you will hit the apex better. if the crs were on you about your lines i highly suggest you slow down and make sure you get that right first. that is a huge step to becoming better, safer, and faster. any time i'm on a new track I spend most the morning just learning the correct lines. it can then take days to perfect it. talk to a cr next time and ask him to help you learn the correct lines. the apex will follow.
I'm 'reasonably' sure my lines were getting better all day. Greg and Wink pointed it out early on, later in the day Jeff and Todd didn't mention it much at all, except to say I should be taking carousel in one smooth angle with no corrections. The CR's were all extremely helpful
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:05 PM
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All turns should be one smooth angle and motion. smoothness + correct line = speed

Ask any CR to help you with your lines next time and make sure you follow them exactly. 6" off the line isn't the correct line. it can make a huge difference. I constantly worked with Melissa Apple last season on my lines and it helped a ton. (Ron's and Wink are too fast for me. I can't stay close enough to see their lines. Never follow Mopar's lines, you will end up in the gravel)

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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:08 PM
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:09 PM
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:11 PM
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In that particular picture, it looks like you might have dipped into the apex too early sending you wide on the exit.

Remember it is about timing your turns and placing them. I don't know if you remember what Marshall was talking about when we were walking the track, but if you do, then you should have no questions...
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
In that particular picture, it looks like you might have dipped into the apex too early sending you wide on the exit.

Remember it is about timing your turns and placing them. I don't know if you remember what Marshall was talking about when we were walking the track, but if you do, then you should have no questions...
Yeah, I was listening, I remembered that I should gas it through 2 and cut everyone on the inside... but not you guys!

I found in 1 and 7 I was constantly turning too early after coming off the speed.
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:22 PM
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Were you looking all the way through T1 and T7?

I found that if you look where you should be after the turn, it helps initiate the turn at the right time.

In this picture it looks like your helmet is falling over your eyes, or you are looking at your front tire...
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
Were you looking all the way through T1 and T7?

I found that if you look where you should be after the turn, it helps initiate the turn at the right time.

In this picture it looks like your helmet is falling over your eyes, or you are looking at your front tire...
Yeah I was looking through those corners on 1 and 7, but I was concentrating more on down shifting correctly, scrubbing off speed and getting the ball of my foot back on the peg. Most of the time I scrubbed off too much speed due to impending 'doom'. I had far less mental issues on the other corners and was far happier to go in far hotter.

My helmet was never coming down too much, although it does tend to get in the way at times. The back of my helmet tends to hit the hump and/or back protector all the time.
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insomniac View Post
getting the ball of my foot back on the peg
I don't want to give bad advice, so I'm just going with what I know. Your foot and body should be in place for taking the corner when you are downshifting and braking. You don't want to be braking while hunched over the tank.

I hope I'm right about this.
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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:40 PM
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Correct Mort. UP on the brakes, DOWN to turn.

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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:42 PM
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My helmet was never coming down too much, although it does tend to get in the way at times. The back of my helmet tends to hit the hump and/or back protector all the time.
As soon as I got my body position working, I immediately saw I needed a new helmet. You look like your helmet is a size too big and possibly not the right model for you.

Being able to see out of the top of the view (right above your eyebrows) is crucial. I changed from a medium Shoie RF1000 to a small Arai Quantum II. This was perfect fro me, everybody is different.

Your helmet is fine riding around on the street, but it must be the right model and the right fit to work at the track.

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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:42 PM
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Being able to hit apex's is also a function of picking the proper turn in point. As you gain experience with the braking and downshifting you will be able to be more consistent choosing turn in points and thus hitting apex's more consistantly.
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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
I don't want to give bad advice, so I'm just going with what I know. Your foot and body should be in place for taking the corner when you are downshifting and braking. You don't want to be braking while hunched over the tank.

I hope I'm right about this.
How can my foot be in the correct place for cornering while I am down shifting? Unless I am mistaken you should only be on the heal of your foot for the down shift but then immediately return back to the ball.
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As soon as I got my body position working, I immediately saw I needed a new helmet. You look like your helmet is a size too big and possibly not the right model for you.

Being able to see out of the top of the view (right above your eyebrows) is crucial. I changed from a medium Shoie RF1000 to a small Arai Quantum II. This was perfect fro me, everybody is different.

Your helmet is fine riding around on the street, but it must be the right model and the right fit to work at the track.
Agreed, I've been looking for the correct helmet. The problem is my forehead tends to have a ton of pressure in most helmets whether the rest of the helmet size is correct or not. This seems to be most common with Shoei.
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post #21 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:57 PM
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Have you ever had Arai or Shoei or Suomy actually size you and tell you what model is best for you?

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Have you ever had Arai or Shoei or Suomy actually size you and tell you what model is best for you?
No I haven't, how do I go about having that done?
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post #23 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 01:59 PM
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How can my foot be in the correct place for cornering while I am down shifting? Unless I am mistaken you should only be on the heal of your foot for the down shift but then immediately return back to the ball.
You shouldn't be downshifting into the corner while leaned over... and T1 and T7 are right handers so you should have your right foot on the ball.

Straights = Tuck on the straight, Up on the brakes and downshift getting ass off the seat and ball of foot on the outside of the peg ready to initiate turn, "maintenance throttle" through the corner, more gas on the exit to upright the bike, don't go WFO until your bike is upright.

Man, it has been a while, this is a fun review.
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Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
You shouldn't be downshifting into the corner while leaned over... and T1 and T7 are right handers so you should have your right foot on the ball.

Straights = Tuck on the straight, Up on the brakes and downshift getting ass off the seat and ball of foot on the outside of the peg ready to initiate turn, "maintenance throttle" through the corner, more gas on the exit to upright the bike, don't go WFO until your bike is upright.

Man, it has been a while, this is a fun review.
Keep up with the review, I'm more than happy to listen

Let me explain what I mean about down shifting. Lets say I'm coming into T7, I've just passed 6A at a slight angle, then I'm braking almost immediately. When nearly at my turning point I'm dropping to my heel and down shifting one or twice, then immediately getting my ass off and to the right of the seat as well as putting the ball of my foot back on the peg and dropping my right side in. I was having problems with the transition from heel to ball at the same time as shifting the rest of my body over without upsetting the bike too much.
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post #25 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insomniac View Post
Keep up with the review, I'm more than happy to listen

Let me explain what I mean about down shifting. Lets say I'm coming into T7, I've just passed 6A at a slight angle, then I'm braking almost immediately. When nearly at my turning point I'm dropping to my heel and down shifting one or twice, then immediately getting my ass off and to the right of the seat as well as putting the ball of my foot back on the peg and dropping my right side in. I was having problems with the transition from heel to ball at the same time as shifting the rest of my body over without upsetting the bike too much.
On right handers you want your left toe pointing out, this will help get your ass off the seat more.

Also, you will get better being able to downshift and brake at the same time... I think what I do is brake first, downshift one or two gears with the blip, depending on what gear I want, if needed a little more brake and then turn in.

That is all done while already in cornering position UP off of the tank.
Edit: By cornering position, I mean ass off the seat, ball of foot on outside peg. You get down onto the tank when you initiate the turn.

You don't want your weight on the tank while braking.

Have you ever stunted?
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post #26 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Have you ever stunted?
Not intentionally

I was practicing the blip a bit, and as a result dropped the back end out a few times accidentally. I figure thats definitely something I'll improve at over time. It might help a lot more once the clutch plates have been replaced this week - that clutch is majorly trashed!
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post #27 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 02:16 PM
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Not intentionally
ok then you know why you should be UP when braking.
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post #28 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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ok then you know why you should be UP when braking.
Well hard braking anyway I found as my form got better all day that I was over steering more and more.
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post #29 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 02:37 PM
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As you gain speed, you will be braking hard.
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post #30 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 02:43 PM
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Good discussion

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