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Badger_WI said:
Mike - I've been through 4 of Keith's schools now, and he actually addressed this particular point with us during Level 1 while teaching the value of quick-steering the bike at your turn-in point.
This is a little different case because the bike is normally upright at the turn-in point but, in the transition of a chicane, the bike might already be at full lean when the next turn is initiated. Granted, modern sport tires offer so much traction and chassis designs are quicker than in the past so this might not be an issue with typical situations but I'm trying to understand the dynamics involved considering that under low traction conditions or with high trail chassis designs loss of traction during the transition may come into play in unexpected ways. And I'm also trying to understand the real world trade-offs of chassis designs that vary in steering quickness.
 

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questions and answers

I'm still here, my schedule just got a little chopped up and the reply program crashed an answer to the questions you guys posted and ate my 45 minutes of replies...:-(

I'll be back.

Keith
 

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I don't understand why "hanging off" reduces the lean angle required for a turn. It does seem to work from my experience but I don't know why.
The usual explanation is because of the shift in the CG. If you could take the CG shift idea to its extreme, could you turn without leaning at all?
I would think that a motorcycle turns based on geometry, rake, trail, wheelbase and contact patch. Please explain.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Keith,

Thanks for getting this going. I've been absent as you figured out. Snowboarding actually. Heck, so bruised up and tired couldn't even get the energy to open my computer.

As you can see, you're presence here is greatly appreciated......


Folks, Keith is VERY analytical and needs "to the point" questions.

See you at Laguna in March Keith..
 

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some questions and answers

There are several main areas of questions I see so far: Turn Entry Speed, Lines, Steering. If it is all the same to you I’d rather stay away from the very technical physics areas of riding and chassis design and defer to guys like Tony Foale and others who are dedicated in those areas.

Let me take one of the above, LINES, and see what we can do with it.

One of the major errors when trying to correct any area of riding is to be too general about the problem. The second error is not setting any kind of goal to achieve. The third is not arriving at a simple enough, step by step way to approach and handle that area of riding.

Figuring out specifically which kinds of turns a rider had line problems would be a first step: slow turns, decreasing radius turns, big sweepers, etc., which ones are difficult.

An overall goal could be something like—to be able to make any line work out.

One approach could be to run a wide variety of lines until you were comfortable with all of them.

Taking that idea one step at a time: decide to take a whole ride using only low, tight to the inside lines. Then later or on another ride you would run middle of the road type lines. At another time you would use the wide entry/close to the apex/ wide exit style of riding and ride every turn in that ride in that style.

Rather than the problems of each coming to you in a random pattern you would start to see what is needed to handle each of those situations, depending on what you were trying to accomplish.

In our twice a year Race And Competition Experience program what we do is set up those different turn entry positions and then we radar the exit speeds so riders can see immediately how it affects speed. In that case, speed is an indication of their confidence to use the throttle and the exercise shows them which line is best for that specific purpose.

Yes there are many technical points underlying how to gain confidence with the whole area of lines. If you had a very observant coach following you it would simplify the whole process but that isn’t always practical and great coaches don’t grow on trees, they are trained.

How are you doing with this type of dialog? Does it help? It’s a new way for me to do forum stuff so I want your reviews please.

Keith
 

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Keith,

I see you are on-line. I took the 2-day course this summer at Blackhawk farms in IL from you. Just wanted to say I had a great time and learned a lot. Too bad it's hard to practice up here this time of year.

Joe Neglia
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Howdy folks,

Please visit Keith's web-site and buy "Twist of the Wrist" Vol. II. It's a quick read with excellent information. Write down the questions you have. Then post...We'll get some very well thought out questions this way...

Happy Holidays!

Brian
 

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+1 to what Brian said. Twist of the Wrist 1 & 2 is like the manual for riding better. I re-read both books every winter and refer to them when ever I feel like I am having a problem. These 2 books are the best $40 bucks that you can spend. Imho.
 

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Keith, here's a question about braking:

How go WSB and MotoGP riders hang on when braking? For me, when I'm doing hard braking from speed I clamp my legs on the tank and get my body low, and I still feel like I'm doing a 100mph handstand. I don't mean the rear tire comes off the ground, but I end up with a lot of pressure on my arms. This makes it harder to finesse the bike, the controls, and setting up for the turn.

I see the MotoGP guys get to the end of a straight, and then they sit up, stick a knee out, and yet brake so hard they're nearly doing a stoppie. Do they simply have huge arm strength or is there a trick I'm missing?
 

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braking position

MarcP

Here is an almost foolproof solution to your situation. Buy a set of Stomp Grip pads for your tank. When you squeeze the tank with your knees it makes it much easier to maintain your seating position.

A lot of pro riders do have some sort of traction material on their tanks, some of it is relatively invisible as in skateboard type tape.

If you wear slippery protective gear that makes it hard to keep yourself back as well but the grippy tank stuff even solves that situation.

You are right in trying to keep some weight off the bars it does add unwanted and uneeded inputs into the bars that actually can be dangerous in conditions like rain or slippery surfaces where you are braking.

Keith
 

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Keith,

Received Twist I for Xmas. Spent a couple of hours reading today. No questions yet, just thanks! Book is awesome and will give me things to think about over the winter months. Also, the reading so far explains a few things....
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Keith has the pads on all the 636's he uses for his school. The grip is excellent. Much more secure feeling while hanging off in a corner and heavy (front!) braking.
Yes, I listened keith!
 

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Lines

codedog said:
An overall goal could be something like—to be able to make any line work out.

One approach could be to run a wide variety of lines until you were comfortable with all of them.
This is something I really struggle with. Although it might be hard for an observer to tell, I have a touch of OCD and tend to be something of a perfectionist as a result. The way that expresses itself in a track day is that I tend to have one set of lines I follow and refuse to change them until I can take them "perfectly." I've been followed around by instructors and other riders, and I get lots of comments to the effect that I "pick good lines," so I'm not worried that I'm picking terrible lines to perfect.

On the upside, having good lines that I stick to religiously lets me focus on other things -- like body position, entry speed, hitting my marks and so on. On the downside, though, as I increase my speed during the course of the day I tend to have trouble getting around slower riders if they're in "my" line because I've never tried a different track through any of the corners.

I don't think there's a question in here at all, because the solution is just for me to set aside the unachievable quest for "perfection" earlier in the day to maybe start messing around with some different lines. I just wanted to share my experience for any of you others out there who are also compulsive. :)

So here's an idle question for Keith: I live in Northern California, which gives me access to many different venues -- Thunderhill, Reno-Fernley, Laguna Seca, Infineon, Buttonwillow....

So given that I seem to be having trouble with exercising multiple different lines through a given corner, and given that I struggle monumentally with my own survival instincts (which in turn means I startle easily and have trouble with things like late braking, throttling out of corners, and going WFO on the straights), which NorCal track do you think is the best venue for me to learn & practice on and why?

I might think a track like Buttonwillow or Laguna Seca might be good because they're pretty open and forgiving tracks, which would give me a little confidence in pushing limits while minimizing the impact of my survival instincts. On the other hand, if the way to overcome a problem is to face it head-on then maybe Infineon's tight, blind corners might serve me better. What do you think?
 

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best track

Rob,

For my money Sears Point (sorry Infineon grates on my senses) Raceway is the best and it is for the reasons that you came up with. But more than that it is its technical aspects that make it a superior challenge to Laguna for example.

We like the Streets of Willow Springs so much for exactly that reason. Lots of turns per lap and relatively short laps, 1.7 miles/14 turns and most of the turns have something to do with the next one--once the speed is up to a reasonable student level. In other words you don't have to go warp speed to get the challenges it has to offer.

Best,
Keith
 

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codedog said:
For my money Sears Point (sorry Infineon grates on my senses) Raceway is the best and it is for the reasons that you came up with. But more than that it is its technical aspects that make it a superior challenge to Laguna for example.

We like the Streets of Willow Springs so much for exactly that reason. Lots of turns per lap and relatively short laps, 1.7 miles/14 turns and most of the turns have something to do with the next one--once the speed is up to a reasonable student level. In other words you don't have to go warp speed to get the challenges it has to offer.
Thanks for the reply. I've ridden most of the tracks I mentioned (with the exception of Reno), and I agree that Sears (I feel you on the "Infineon" thing) presents a "superior challenge." In fact, I never really got comfortable with that track. I blame part of that on the track club I did the track day with, who I won't name for reasons of good form.

I'm used to the first session or two being at any track (particularly in the "C" or "beginner" group, but even in the "B" or "intermediate" group) to be taken at a lazy pace, ducks-in-a-row behind an instructor to give newbs to the track an idea of good lines. At my track day, that was the plan -- but we all lined up behind the instructor and he proceeded to take off at a pace I couldn't keep up with. So I ended up having to bumble my way around on my own. I tried to sign up later with someone to do a little one-on-one, but there were too few and I never got any time.

I ended up quitting in the relatively early afternoon when the sun was sinking down over the hills...and blinding me out of turn 1 as I headed up the hill to 2. (I don't know how racers manage a race pace at that track when the sun's headed down.)

Pair all that with no enforcement of passing rules (I got stuffed more than a drunken girl at Mardi Gras that day), and I came away from the track with a pretty low opinion of it.

I'm hoping to be able to do one of your schools this spring or summer, and if I do I'll look first at doing Sears Point.

Ciao,
 

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Keith,

have done many track days and am pretty fast........(in my mind!...always the fast group at track days)

my concern and questions are related to tire warm-up:

i always do 2-laps of tire warm-up on any track prior to 8-10ths. spd. after warm-up, while on the track (laguna, ca speedway, willow big and small)

i do not use tire warmers and use dunlop slicks (soft front-medium rear).....

can you help me understand the following:

1. without tire warmers: how many laps should i complete before the tires are ready for race speeds?

2. without tire warmers: should i touch all areas of the tire during the warm-up laps to make sure the tire is ready at all areas of the tire?

3. should i invest in tire warmers?

thanks and best wishes for a great 2007!

joe
 

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Keith, what's the correct thing to do when the rear starts to slide out under power?

I've heard "don't chop the throttle," of course, but since then I've heard "roll off slowly." Last it happened I rolled off slowly and highsided. The other day I read the answer was "do nothing," i.e., maintain throttle position and wait for the rear to hook up. What's the correct answer?

Thanks,
Trent
 

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CheatingOnMyR1 said:
I've heard "don't chop the throttle," of course, but since then I've heard "roll off slowly." Last it happened I rolled off slowly and highsided. The other day I read the answer was "do nothing," i.e., maintain throttle position and wait for the rear to hook up. What's the correct answer?

Thanks,
Trent
Stand up in the footpegs, lean forward until the back of your helmet is flat against the seatpad, and kiss your ass goodbye? ;)

Sorry, I couldn't stop myself. :D
 

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Tire warming

FRQ_FLYR said:
Keith,

have done many track days and am pretty fast........(in my mind!...always the fast group at track days)

my concern and questions are related to tire warm-up:

i always do 2-laps of tire warm-up on any track prior to 8-10ths. spd. after warm-up, while on the track (laguna, ca speedway, willow big and small)

i do not use tire warmers and use dunlop slicks (soft front-medium rear).....

can you help me understand the following:

1. without tire warmers: how many laps should i complete before the tires are ready for race speeds?

2. without tire warmers: should i touch all areas of the tire during the warm-up laps to make sure the tire is ready at all areas of the tire?

3. should i invest in tire warmers?

thanks and best wishes for a great 2007!

joe
FRQ FLYR

All of you questions are contingent on the ambient temperature and track surface temperature.

Hot day, hot track you can start to run 85% almost right out of the pit lane.

Cold day, cold track you really do have to put in a couple of laps to get some temp into the tires.

The one thing you have to realize is that the line between brave and stupid is an important one. If you have an awesome sense of traction you can warm up the tires much quicker because the quicker you go on them the faster they will warm.

Another thing is that spinning the tire puts heat into them and if you can use a lot of throttle with some lean angle you are going to black stripe the pavement and warm your tires quicker than if you just pussy foot around for your two warm up laps.

Yes on the tire warmers, you can go 90% plus right out of pit lane with hot tires, not quite 100% though but on a day that is at least over 75 degrees you can be at 100% on your second lap--at most tracks.

Keith
 
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