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Discussion Starter #1
When you guys go to track days what skills or techniques do you find yourself constantly working on? Does it vary each time out or are there things that you are constantly working on and improving?
 

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Entering turns while going fast is a skill that takes a long time to build up. You can enter corners at high speed as long as you have the confidence to do so; I see riders in general struggle with this over other skills. I also work on this (late braking is sort of my best skill and where I pickup time on the track)
 

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I usually ride with a buddy. We are about the same pace, so we try to alternate lead and follow between laps if traffic allows. Otherwise, we do lead or follow for the whole session. After each session we give each other advice on what we noticed about the other person; ie you're overbraking, there's a better line, you can carry more corner speed, body position is bad on turn 10, etc. The next session out, we work on what the other rider noticed.

So I guess it varies each time. However the same topics always come up for me - corner speed and over braking.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Not crashing, and lines. And not accidentally peeing on my suit when I take a teetee break.
lap times..

which generally can only be improved if I get my lines and body position correct.
The first two answers talk about working on improving your lines which is certainly a valuable skill. How do you go about improving your lines around a track? Does it just come with the repetition throughout the day or are there specific things you do in order to help you recall and remember what line you wish to take?
 

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Repetition and experimentation. You know it when you blow a line or when you choose a different line that cuts down on time.

Having a control rider or faster friend illustrate why they do what they do on an overhead track map between sessions is helpful too, if they are good at teaching.
 

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There are generally some really fast guys that will pass you each session.

Trying to follow them may end badly, but if you can talk to them after the session they may remember following you and can point out if you're doing something wrong (wrong line, wrong body position, wrong braking point)
 

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Always working to improve on the following: Increasing vision; relaxing hand grip; carrying more cornerspeed, slow/smooth hands, and knee-to-knee tank transitions.
 

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I spent my last season working on body position and smooth throttle control. Unfortunately I didn't get the feeling I wanted until my last session of my last trackday! This winter is killing me!! With that alone though I was able to bump up a class and work my way through new lines and corners. Its all about finding that comfort zone!
 

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After a long time off, like winter. I always start to work on my mechanics; bracking, throttle application, and body positioning. In that order. After 2-3 session, I start working, on corner entry (trail braking) and corner exit, witch is my weakness and I got some bad habits when I had the 1000RR.
It takes me 2 trackdays to be at my usual level.
 

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Body positioning and choosing and respecting references for entering corners... And improving them according to lap times.
 

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I don't know, pretty much everything. Looks like there is one thing that sticks out for most of us. I think braking is probably the most worked on thing that I do as well. Different things to work on for each bike though, because they really don't ride the same way.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Repetition and experimentation. You know it when you blow a line or when you choose a different line that cuts down on time.

Having a control rider or faster friend illustrate why they do what they do on an overhead track map between sessions is helpful too, if they are good at teaching.
I like that you suggest experimentation because I think a lot of riders get in the habit of just repetition and they tend to run the same lines over and over again without really knowing if they are the best lines or not. Experimentation allows you to check out different lines, entries/exits to see what works best but it also gives you a good understanding of what to expect if you accidentally end up off line. How many times have you been surprised when you accidentally ran wide or over a bump that you didn't know was there...if you experimented and learned the entire track from different perspectives you might not be surprised when you end up taking a different line, for whatever reason.

What are some ways that you can intentionally check out the track and experiment with different lines, and then once you find a line that works, how do you go about remembering it?
 

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Hmm, good question. Willow Springs International Raceway was my first track, and is a very large and extremely fast track, which lends itself to a specific kind of experimenting, in turns. Some of the turns are so long that you have time to do things like change body position or change throttle, or adjust your line mid turn. These long turns allowed me to zero in on some bad habits I was having and change them. Of course, one does this without riding at 'the edge' so you have some play room.

In tighter, smaller tracks, you get to experiencing much more in the way of fast transitions (chicanes, etc.), high technical pieces of the track like bus stops (near 90 degree super slow turns) and off camber turns.

Committing to memory is sort of automatic; you rack up the laps and memory combines with muscle memory, and you start to go harder on each turn, deeper with each braking zone.

Riding with someone of similar or better speed will very quickly expose any wrong line you are doing; they'll simply take off at some point and at that time you can know that there is improvement to be done. Other times you may close the distance, and know that it is you that has the better way through on that part of the track.
 

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Entering turns while going fast is a skill that takes a long time to build up. You can enter corners at high speed as long as you have the confidence to do so; I see riders in general struggle with this over other skills.
Truth, this right here takes so much time and I sometimes find myself regressing and then working up to a level I already attained.....:gun1:
 

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I have trouble with this also, towards the top of the list.
Increasing your vision/modifying your visual references through the turn and slow/smooth hands will help with this. Good luck! :cruising:
 
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