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Discussion Starter #1
Going to my 2nd track day in about 2 weeks and looking for some advice. I've only been riding a year but I am still not comfortable with entering a corner hot. I have the fundamentals all figured out but once I'm in the corner I realize I do not have enough speed and i can't hold a steady line because i keep falling to the inside. I want to build up confidence to enter the turn faster but I'm not sure how to strategically do that without going over board. I'm doing 2 days back to back so I will have plenty of time to build up speed but I was hoping you guys might have a good way to keep getting faster each lap and still feeling like I'm in control.

I trust my tires but in the back of my head I'm worried about not getting enough lean angle and running wide off the track. Obviously right now, I'm getting too much lean angle.
 
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More track time and getting up your suspension for your weight will help tons. Also, not trying to lean so much in the corners will help. If you're feeling like you're falling over to the inside of a turn, you're trying too hard to lean the bike. Just fork on staying steady through the turns and hitting your marks every time. You'll eventually start braking later and getting on the gas earlier/harder as you gain more confidence.
 

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I don't know who you are doing the track days with....STT, NESBA, ????, but all of the track day organizations that I know of have Control Riders/Track Coaches/whatever they are called and those guys and gals love to be able to help out a new or experienced rider in any way that they can. A lot of them are racers or at the very minimum, very very experienced and accomplished riders. What they aren't is mind readers, so if you need some help/advice/assistance, do be shy about asking and certainly don't let your ego get in the way of asking. All of us started out at the very beginning at one time and most, if not all of us, ask for and got help/advice during our track day experiences. Good luck and welcome to the addiction!!!

Oh, and BTW, you said that you are getting too much lean angle. That may or may not be the case. You may have good lean angle but just need to increase your speed for the given corner to help you hold the line that you are trying to do.
 

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What other training have you done?

With only a year of riding under your belt, you may just need to ensure you have the fundamentals down. (even though you think you have them down)

I would approach the "higher ups" in whatever trackday org you are riding with and ask for a recommendation of one of their staff. Keep in mind that some trackday staffers can go very fast, but may not be good teachers.

When there is a fundamental problem (as opposed to a line problem) finding someone that can dissect your riding, pin point the problems - and then give you steps to correct them - is what you need.

Having said all that, here is what I am guessing I would see if I rode behind you.

You will approach the braking zone sitting straight in the seat and holding yourself up mainly with your arms.

You will apply your brakes at a random point. You will apply them in an on/off/on modulation until you feel you have slowed down enough. (another random point).

You will then coast a bit to a somewhat random turn in point and "hop" off the seat to the inside. (you may or may not actually countersteer)

You will then turn your head.... and lean your bike.

You may or may not give it some gas, but you will make 1 or 2 line corrections as you adjust your lean angle to get the motorcycle to a random "exit point".

You will then start applying throttle as you exit the corner, but before you are finished you will make another steering input to keep from running wide ... while continuing to feed on the throttle.

If this sounds like your typical corner, (and it is for 75% of newer trackday riders), I would suggest seeking help from a qualified instructor.
 

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^^Not gonna quote the above because of its length, but great information Tony. The survival reactions that go through your head are a bisnitch. Something you just have to practice to get over.
 

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Hambo;2899489 The survival reactions that go through your head are a bisnitch.[/QUOTE said:
Definitely!

Keith Code does a lot with this stuff (SR's) and I give him props for that.


I know that if I don't get that slight feeling in my stomach that I'm going in too hot... that I'll end up coming out saying, "I could have gone faster".

The trick is to get that slight "uh oh" feeling, but continue doing the proper steps that will bring you out the other end.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What other training have you done?

With only a year of riding under your belt, you may just need to ensure you have the fundamentals down. (even though you think you have them down)

I would approach the "higher ups" in whatever trackday org you are riding with and ask for a recommendation of one of their staff. Keep in mind that some trackday staffers can go very fast, but may not be good teachers.

When there is a fundamental problem (as opposed to a line problem) finding someone that can dissect your riding, pin point the problems - and then give you steps to correct them - is what you need.

Having said all that, here is what I am guessing I would see if I rode behind you.

You will approach the braking zone sitting straight in the seat and holding yourself up mainly with your arms.

You will apply your brakes at a random point. You will apply them in an on/off/on modulation until you feel you have slowed down enough. (another random point).

You will then coast a bit to a somewhat random turn in point and "hop" off the seat to the inside. (you may or may not actually countersteer)

You will then turn your head.... and lean your bike.

You may or may not give it some gas, but you will make 1 or 2 line corrections as you adjust your lean angle to get the motorcycle to a random "exit point".

You will then start applying throttle as you exit the corner, but before you are finished you will make another steering input to keep from running wide ... while continuing to feed on the throttle.

If this sounds like your typical corner, (and it is for 75% of newer trackday riders), I would suggest seeking help from a qualified instructor.
Haha! Thats exactly how I was my first track day and up until a month ago. I've been watching the twist of the wrist II video alot and have eliminated alot of those mistakes. On my first time out I went from having 1" of strips down to about 3/8" and I felt I could go further but didn't really want to try on the street after such a huge gain in ability.


Here are the things above that I think I'm still doing: (I'm setting up my body position for the turn before I begin braking)

You will approach the braking zone sitting straight in the seat and holding yourself up mainly with your arms.

You will apply your brakes at a random point. You will apply them in an on/off/on modulation until you feel you have slowed down enough. (another random point).


I have trouble finding the braking point so I end up braking early and almost coming to a fast coast before I hit the point where I want to enter the turn. I'm not modulating anything because I now know how dangerous that could be.

I really believe I'm screwing my lines because of my entry speed which is probably due to my poor initial braking. Any my poor initial braking is due to not having enough experience to know where I need to start braking and then the thought in my head of coming in too fast and going off the track.

What is proper braking? Jamming the front brake right before the turn and then let off fast and lean the bike?
 

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What is proper braking? Jamming the front brake right before the turn and then let off fast and lean the bike?
First, I'll say that NOTHING about good riding includes words like "jamming"

:crackup:

Braking is done in three steps.

1 - Roll off throttle as you settle the front end with some braking pressure. (this lets the front tire squat a bit, putting max contact patch to the pavement)

2 - Squeeze the brake firmly. (from high speeds it is virtually impossible to over squeeze)

3 - Release the brake progressively ... it should be almost as long, if not longer, than it took to apply the brakes...and apply throttle as quickly after the release as possible... ideally after you've already begun turning (which means you are trail braking a little)

Ideally, you are looking for the suspension to compress and rebound one time per corner.

Braking compresses suspension.
Cornering compresses suspension.
Throttle on extends suspension.
Releasing brakes extends suspension.

So ... this is ideal:

- apply brakes (compresses)
- begin cornering as you release brakes (keeps suspension compressed)
- open throttle (extends suspension)
- reduce cornering as you exit (keeps extending suspension)

This is not:

Brake (compresses)
Release brakes (extends)
Corner (compresses)
Give gas and exit (extends)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Gotcha, so I want to be on the throttle a bit in the apex so I'm putting weight on the rear tire correct? Also, I might be wrong but it seems that when I'm off the throttle and/or on the brake my front end is stiff until I give it some gas...perhaps this is due to the electronic stabilizer?
 

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Gotcha, so I want to be on the throttle a bit in the apex so I'm putting weight on the rear tire correct? Also, I might be wrong but it seems that when I'm off the throttle and/or on the brake my front end is stiff until I give it some gas...perhaps this is due to the electronic stabilizer?
Getting on the gas early levels and extends your suspension.

It gives you better ground clearance and prevents "overloading" your front tire so more of the traction pie is available for cornering.

Not sure what you mean by the front end is "stiff" when on the brakes, but your stabilizer has nothing to do with this.

If you have one of these classes (Lee Parks' Advanced Riding Clinic) available near you... I highly recommend it. We run them on day one of our 2-day events in NH. (link below)

http://www.tonystrackdays.com/category/4039/total-control-arc.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry, I know im not using the politically correct terms but try to decipher what I am saying...lol When I say stiff, i mean heavy...doesn't turn as easy not as flickable. Once I'm on the gas it becomes easy to flick. I figured this had to do with the electronic stabilizer since it works off of throttle position (and maybe speed).

I might be wrong but I think my skill level is way past a MSF course at this point. I'm not sure what value I could get from one for $150 at this point.

I know with 2 days on the track next weekend my chicken strips will be gone and I'll be moving at a fast pace but I'm just looking for the smartest way to increase my pace instead of just pushing myself over the edge and crossing my fingers. Ever since I learned proper countersteering I haven't even come close to running off the road on the outside. My issue now is 1) too much counter streering or 2) not enough corner speed.



Getting on the gas early levels and extends your suspension.

It gives you better ground clearance and prevents "overloading" your front tire so more of the traction pie is available for cornering.

Not sure what you mean by the front end is "stiff" when on the brakes, but your stabilizer has nothing to do with this.

If you have one of these classes (Lee Parks' Advanced Riding Clinic) available near you... I highly recommend it. We run them on day one of our 2-day events in NH. (link below)

http://www.tonystrackdays.com/category/4039/total-control-arc.htm
 
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Sorry, I know im not using the politically correct terms but try to decipher what I am saying...lol When I say stiff, i mean heavy...doesn't turn as easy not as flickable. Once I'm on the gas it becomes easy to flick. I figured this had to do with the electronic stabilizer since it works off of throttle position (and maybe speed).

I might be wrong but I think my skill level is way past a MSF course at this point. I'm not sure what value I could get from one for $150 at this point.

I know with 2 days on the track next weekend my chicken strips will be gone and I'll be moving at a fast pace but I'm just looking for the smartest way to increase my pace instead of just pushing myself over the edge and crossing my fingers. Ever since I learned proper countersteering I haven't even come close to running off the road on the outside. My issue now is 1) too much counter streering or 2) not enough corner speed.
I mean no offense by this, but you are in serious need of a reality check.

No one's skill level, other then world class racers are above the MSF safety courses. There are a lot of things they drill into your head and teach you that you just can't learn on your own, and that's with both the basic rider course and expert riding course.

Also, you know absolutely NOTHING of what your skill set will be on the track even on your second trackday. What you learn and do on the street has no place on a race track, and the riding styles are extremely different. The simple fact that you're mentioning that you know you will be going at a fast pace and that your chicken strips will be gone is why I am posting this. If you are on the track and are worrying about your chicken strips and riding at a faster pace, hell, even worrying about it in the paddock, you need to take a seat until your ego deflates.

You want to know the fastest way to get faster and more skilled? Read everything you can on riding technique, and practice it on the track. Never worry about becoming more skilled or getting faster; when people start to think that, they start riding over their head and crash. Practice, have fun, and go your own pace. Don't worry about your lap times, don't worry about the faster people passing you.

I'm in A group, running under 10 seconds from lap record pace, and even I still have chicken strips on my rear tire. About 1cm chicken strips too. How much tire you use is no indication of speed or skill, but when someone is at a lower pace and is using up all of the tire, it is an indication of too much lean angle and poor riding position.

Again, I mean no offense.

Oh, and the reason why the bike seems easier to flick side to side when you get on the gas is because there is less weight on the front end of the bike. It has nothing to do with the steering damper.
 

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I mean no offense by this, but you are in serious need of a reality check.

No one's skill level, other then world class racers are above the MSF safety courses. There are a lot of things they drill into your head and teach you that you just can't learn on your own, and that's with both the basic rider course and expert riding course.

Also, you know absolutely NOTHING of what your skill set will be on the track even on your second trackday. What you learn and do on the street has no place on a race track, and the riding styles are extremely different. The simple fact that you're mentioning that you know you will be going at a fast pace and that your chicken strips will be gone is why I am posting this. If you are on the track and are worrying about your chicken strips and riding at a faster pace, hell, even worrying about it in the paddock, you need to take a seat until your ego deflates.

You want to know the fastest way to get faster and more skilled? Read everything you can on riding technique, and practice it on the track. Never worry about becoming more skilled or getting faster; when people start to think that, they start riding over their head and crash. Practice, have fun, and go your own pace. Don't worry about your lap times, don't worry about the faster people passing you.

I'm in A group, running under 10 seconds from lap record pace, and even I still have chicken strips on my rear tire. About 1cm chicken strips too. How much tire you use is no indication of speed or skill, but when someone is at a lower pace and is using up all of the tire, it is an indication of too much lean angle and poor riding position.

Again, I mean no offense.

Oh, and the reason why the bike seems easier to flick side to side when you get on the gas is because there is less weight on the front end of the bike. It has nothing to do with the steering damper.
Demented pretty much nailed it with this. More speed does not come from forcing the bike and yourself to go faster, that is a sure recipe for crashing. More speed comes from proper technique. Learn to ride better not faster. Once you become a better rider the speed will come naturally.
 

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Haha! Thats exactly how I was my first track day and up until a month ago. I've been watching the twist of the wrist II video alot and have eliminated alot of those mistakes. On my first time out I went from having 1" of strips down to about 3/8" and I felt I could go further but didn't really want to try on the street after such a huge gain in ability.


Here are the things above that I think I'm still doing: (I'm setting up my body position for the turn before I begin braking)

You will approach the braking zone sitting straight in the seat and holding yourself up mainly with your arms.

You will apply your brakes at a random point. You will apply them in an on/off/on modulation until you feel you have slowed down enough. (another random point).


I have trouble finding the braking point so I end up braking early and almost coming to a fast coast before I hit the point where I want to enter the turn. I'm not modulating anything because I now know how dangerous that could be.

I really believe I'm screwing my lines because of my entry speed which is probably due to my poor initial braking. Any my poor initial braking is due to not having enough experience to know where I need to start braking and then the thought in my head of coming in too fast and going off the track.

What is proper braking? Jamming the front brake right before the turn and then let off fast and lean the bike?
OK, I've only done 4 trackdays so I'm no expert and won't give you any technical advice. But I'm going through the same learning curve as you so maybe I can relate to where you're at.

I think your "basically" right with the highlighted part above. Your line is predicated on KNOWING your exit point and having a plan on how to get there. It starts with the exit point and you build your plan for the corner backward all the way to the braking point. If you miss the braking point then you won't be able to ride the planned line and nothing good happens. To do this in real time you have to focus farther ahead so you can plan your line.

It takes some track time to figure out YOUR braking points for each corner but if you are focused farther ahead then you will have a better feel for what speed you need to be going at each point before you get there and there is a lot less stress to execute. Expect to get it wrong plenty of times, that's the nature of learning, but be sure to actually learn from each mistake.

But like the other guys said, don't worry about your speed, your times, who is passing who or chicken strips or any of that. Just work on the techniques (with advice if possible) and you'll be however fast you are. Remember that bit about getting it wrong plenty of times? Better to err on the side of too safe than the other way around. As you refine things you'll get faster and be less worried about going off the track.
 

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Sorry, I know im not using the politically correct terms but try to decipher what I am saying...lol When I say stiff, i mean heavy...doesn't turn as easy not as flickable. Once I'm on the gas it becomes easy to flick.

I might be wrong but I think my skill level is way past a MSF course at this point. I'm not sure what value I could get from one for $150 at this point.
First... the link I provided above is NOT an MSF course. It is the Lee Parks Advanced Riding Course, which is based off his book called TOTAL CONTROL. I highly suggest reading that book... along with several others... as it will help fill in the many holes that still exist in your riding skill. Look closely at this link and you'll see...
http://www.totalcontroltraining.net/index.html


When a motorcycle is under braking, it actually turns a bit easier because the forks compress, which alters the rake/trail (which is outside the scope of this thread).

Using this fact is an advanced technique that can be very beneficial... or bite you quickly.

As others have said, getting the basics down is critical. Far too many trackday riders try to run before they walk... and end up "crawling" instead (away from a crash).

My suggestion for all riders is to get your hands on as many training books as possible (great for those long winters).

Then... do a few different training courses. Even if it seems repetitive, each book and course and instructor will be a little different and will either give you something new... or help to reinforce something you already knew.

Combine these items with as many trackdays as you can afford, and use them to practice the proper techniques you've learned. And depending on which trackday org you use, they may also have expert level instruction available to bring you even further along.

At my own trackdays, we have a bunch of MSF instructors that are also expert level racers... so they know how to teach and how to do!

We also have Ken Condon, who writes the Proficient Motorcycling column and has a riding skills book and dvd out.

And as mentioned earlier, we teamed up with the Lee Park's program to round out our education portion.

Even after 20 years of track riding and racing... I learn something or practice a certain technique at every trackday I do.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Demented - I'm far from needing a reality check. I'm the guy that wears all his gear and gets crap from everyone else about it. I'm the guy running at my pace and working on technique not getting comfortable at 160MPH.

The MSF course in my area is done by a Harley shop. About once a month someone on a cruiser gets killed. I'm just not willing to let anyone short of being an experienced racer and an excellent teacher give me advice.

The reason I know I will go faster than my previous track day is because I have learned ALOT just from twist of the wrist and have been applying it to my riding. I watch the video over and over again so its safe to say that if I apply what I have learned and continue to focus on my technique that I will get alot faster on the track this up coming weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Looks like I should really look into Total Control. I might sub my next track day for this event instead. Thanks for all the pointers!

I wish I was up north because I'd be going to your Track Days instead.



First... the link I provided above is NOT an MSF course. It is the Lee Parks Advanced Riding Course, which is based off his book called TOTAL CONTROL. I highly suggest reading that book... along with several others... as it will help fill in the many holes that still exist in your riding skill. Look closely at this link and you'll see...
http://www.totalcontroltraining.net/index.html


When a motorcycle is under braking, it actually turns a bit easier because the forks compress, which alters the rake/trail (which is outside the scope of this thread).

Using this fact is an advanced technique that can be very beneficial... or bite you quickly.

As others have said, getting the basics down is critical. Far too many trackday riders try to run before they walk... and end up "crawling" instead (away from a crash).

My suggestion for all riders is to get your hands on as many training books as possible (great for those long winters).

Then... do a few different training courses. Even if it seems repetitive, each book and course and instructor will be a little different and will either give you something new... or help to reinforce something you already knew.

Combine these items with as many trackdays as you can afford, and use them to practice the proper techniques you've learned. And depending on which trackday org you use, they may also have expert level instruction available to bring you even further along.

At my own trackdays, we have a bunch of MSF instructors that are also expert level racers... so they know how to teach and how to do!

We also have Ken Condon, who writes the Proficient Motorcycling column and has a riding skills book and dvd out.

And as mentioned earlier, we teamed up with the Lee Park's program to round out our education portion.

Even after 20 years of track riding and racing... I learn something or practice a certain technique at every trackday I do.
 
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Demented - I'm far from needing a reality check. I'm the guy that wears all his gear and gets crap from everyone else about it. I'm the guy running at my pace and working on technique not getting comfortable at 160MPH.

The MSF course in my area is done by a Harley shop. About once a month someone on a cruiser gets killed. I'm just not willing to let anyone short of being an experienced racer and an excellent teacher give me advice.

The reason I know I will go faster than my previous track day is because I have learned ALOT just from twist of the wrist and have been applying it to my riding. I watch the video over and over again so its safe to say that if I apply what I have learned and continue to focus on my technique that I will get alot faster on the track this up coming weekend.
Wearing your gear means nothing with the mentality you are having in regards to your riding. I once was like that, but two years ago I learned.

Harley shop or not, skills learned on a bike, no matter what kind of bike, help. About once a month, dozens, if not hundreds of riders on sportbikes get killed.

It's spelled a lot man.

But hey, do what you want. If you only want advice of experienced racers and great teachers, ignore what I have to say. I've done my best to give you advice to keep yourself and those around you on the track safe, as well as giving you advice on how to better your skills, but I guess because I haven't had the money to race yet, my thousands of track miles and experience are worthless. I hope that when you get to the point where you're riding, and a major improvement in lap times is gaining a tenth, that you have the skills, mind, and knowledge to back it up.

If you're ever riding at Jennings GP, please look for me. Let me know what class you're riding in, and I'll make sure to steer clear of you.

By the way, are you BMW rider #725?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Your post count and join date says alot about you. There's always someone like you on every forum that thinks being harse or condescending is somehow going to help me.

There's nothing I could say short of bowing down and worshiping you to cool off your ego.

One day, when I'm at Jennings the only thing you need to worry about is trying to draft off of my bike. This is the type of response you wanted correct? I've gotten the info I need so you can go ahead and finish off this thread.

Thanks everyone!




Wearing your gear means nothing with the mentality you are having in regards to your riding. I once was like that, but two years ago I learned.

Harley shop or not, skills learned on a bike, no matter what kind of bike, help. About once a month, dozens, if not hundreds of riders on sportbikes get killed.

It's spelled a lot man.

But hey, do what you want. If you only want advice of experienced racers and great teachers, ignore what I have to say. I've done my best to give you advice to keep yourself and those around you on the track safe, as well as giving you advice on how to better your skills, but I guess because I haven't had the money to race yet, my thousands of track miles and experience are worthless. I hope that when you get to the point where you're riding, and a major improvement in lap times is gaining a tenth, that you have the skills, mind, and knowledge to back it up.

If you're ever riding at Jennings GP, please look for me. Let me know what class you're riding in, and I'll make sure to steer clear of you.

By the way, are you BMW rider #725?
 

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I'm not sure how this degraded so quickly... but I don't think you guys were really on opposite sides.

As for MSF classes, I believe they should be taken by all motorcyclists. However, I think you need to supplement them for track riding.

Conversely, I tell my track students that while we've given them tools to control their bike better... it doesn't make them better street riders automatically. There is lots more to learn about traffic, road conditions, etc.

Again, my belief is get your hands on books from several authors. Not everyone learns in the same way so rounding out your knowledge from several sources will help.

Try to add another tool to the tool bag every time you ride...street, track, or dirt!
 
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