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Old December 2nd, 2015, 01:01 PM   #1
Supernam
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Looking for advice

I have a video here of me riding at the FAST Riding School Phase 2 this past summer and was wondering if anyone has time to watch to give me advice on what I may be doing right or wrong.

I am 5'7" 150 lbs without gear, riding a stock Ninja 300 ABS with race fairings. I set the tire pressure to 30 psi front and back cold and did not even change the clicker on the suspension.

I am not worried about any harsh criticism as you won't hurt my feelings. Any help would be appreciated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFHj_E3RnuQ



Edit: I posted this exact same thread on multiple forums to get different perspective from different people, if anyone is interested in reading on the advice of others you can check out these links.

This one is from a Toronto, Ontario, Canada based forum: http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforum...ing-for-advice

This one is from a Ninja 300 forum: http://www.kawasa***************/for...ritique-2.html

Last futzed with by Supernam; December 10th, 2015 at 10:57 AM. Reason: included links to other threads on same topic
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 01:11 PM   #2
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I watched a bit from the link in your other thread. Is this your first time at any track or just this one?

I will watch it all and get back with ya.

EDIT: NM, I see this is your 3rd time on track.
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 03:34 PM   #3
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Jerky camera makes it a bit hard to really see what's going on...

I'm no expert, but overall I think you look pretty good. Better than some of those around you. You're not crossed-up. From what I can tell you look pretty smooth.

Upper body does look a bit stiff to me. I'm the same height as you and I'm sure you can get more dynamic on the bike.

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Old December 2nd, 2015, 06:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmith12 View Post
I watched a bit from the link in your other thread. Is this your first time at any track or just this one?

I will watch it all and get back with ya.

EDIT: NM, I see this is your 3rd time on track.
My 3rd time riding at the track. I don't normally ride sportbikes, I've been on cruisers and adventure bikes on the street. The other videos you've seen are all from the same day, just different camera positions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adouglas View Post
Jerky camera makes it a bit hard to really see what's going on...

I'm no expert, but overall I think you look pretty good. Better than some of those around you. You're not crossed-up. From what I can tell you look pretty smooth.

Upper body does look a bit stiff to me. I'm the same height as you and I'm sure you can get more dynamic on the bike.

Chris knows best. Listen to him.
Thanks. I have a couple other videos to show my body positioning and I do sit pretty much straight up like I would on my street bike. I hope getting rearsets will help with me laying down on the tank a little more, I'm not used to riding like that.

Any advice on my leg/knee positioning?
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 06:32 PM   #5
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The video doesn't paint a great picture and even though I'm no expert, I've taken enough riding courses to know that the instructors would definitely tell you to work on your body position. I don't know if you're sliding your butt off the seat at all but your upper body seems like it needs to be off the bike more. Try leading with your outside shoulder and "kiss the mirror"
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 11:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernam View Post
My 3rd time riding at the track. I don't normally ride sportbikes, I've been on cruisers and adventure bikes on the street.
Nice, I come from cruisers and dirt bikes, so we have something in common. Welcome to track riding, it's addicting fun aye?

Finally got to watch the vid in its entirety. It's not the best to gauge things from, but much better than nothing.

I wish I could hear your throttle control but alas...

Things that I noticed for a rider on his 3rd track day.
1. Get off the seat earlier, before hitting the brakes as best you can
2. The timing of your looking and turning is off, keep your eyes at least one step ahead. Look before you turn.
3. You're missing your apexes every now and then because of #2 but mostly because your tip in points are different lap per lap (points will give you consistency )
4. When you're on the rear wheel of someone, don't follow their lines... making their same riding errors. Their riding leaks into yours if you visual linger on them too long and it gets worse and worse the longer you follow them. Ride your own ride, even when following them.
5. Slide back off the tank a bit. (Had to watch in slo-mo for this one)

Things I liked.
1. Great self control and restraint on entry to turn 1 and other corners. Notice how your line would intersect with other riders if you didn't hold back and anticipate. Well done...
2. Overall pace as consistent throughout the lap, not camping any specific corner and such.
3. Seems like you mostly set a line and keep it, with only a few "major" steering corrections.

Do you feel yourself ever adding lean + throttle at the same time? Why do you think that is?

How do you feel about steering the bike? Based on this video, do you feel you steer quickly? Is steering the bike related to #'s 2, 3 & 4 from the list of tips? Could you benefit from steering faster?

Last question... What were the temps in this video? Were you able to relax?

Looks like a fun track, bigger than kart tracks but smaller than the big ones. Seems like a perfect fit for the smaller cc bikes. Thanks for sharing and hope to help.
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 11:30 PM   #7
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Here is one more tip I wish I was told earlier on in my track riding.

When you catch up to traffic and rules prevent a pass, use that time very wisely. You're going slower than you normally would right? Then why aren't your throttle control, lines and apex's perfect during those times? What else are you thinking about...?

Many riders cruise through hot pit slowly to get clear track, but all those half laps start to add up to a lot of wasted time. Feel me?
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Old December 3rd, 2015, 05:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmith12 View Post
Nice, I come from cruisers and dirt bikes, so we have something in common. Welcome to track riding, it's addicting fun aye?

Finally got to watch the vid in its entirety. It's not the best to gauge things from, but much better than nothing.

I wish I could hear your throttle control but alas...

Things that I noticed for a rider on his 3rd track day.
1. Get off the seat earlier, before hitting the brakes as best you can
You are absolutely right about getting off the seat before the corner, it feels weird but I'll do it.

2. The timing of your looking and turning is off, keep your eyes at least one step ahead. Look before you turn.
Honestly I don't even remember what I am looking at, I think I'm suppose to look at the brake marker then the apex cones.

3. You're missing your apexes every now and then because of #2 but mostly because your tip in points are different lap per lap (points will give you consistency )
I kept changing my tip in points to try to find something that was perfect, but throttle/lean angle/body position changes everything every time.

4. When you're on the rear wheel of someone, don't follow their lines... making their same riding errors. Their riding leaks into yours if you visual linger on them too long and it gets worse and worse the longer you follow them. Ride your own ride, even when following them.
I do this, it's like target fixation. I just keep thinking, how am I going to pass this guy.

5. Slide back off the tank a bit. (Had to watch in slo-mo for this one)
I was told by the instructors to slide forward to put weight on the front, am I too far forward?

Things I liked.
1. Great self control and restraint on entry to turn 1 and other corners. Notice how your line would intersect with other riders if you didn't hold back and anticipate. Well done...
I didn't want to do anything to spook anyone.

2. Overall pace as consistent throughout the lap, not camping any specific corner and such.
I think my biggest issue was slowing down too much in turn 2 and not having enough speed for turn 3.

3. Seems like you mostly set a line and keep it, with only a few "major" steering corrections.
Only when I overbrake did I have to do major steering corrections, I was told I shouldn't brake as much and just use engine braking more.

Do you feel yourself ever adding lean + throttle at the same time? Why do you think that is?
I notice I do this at the exit after apex, throttling on and leaning more because I feel like I'm going to go off the track. Maybe too much throttle too early?

How do you feel about steering the bike? Based on this video, do you feel you steer quickly? Is steering the bike related to #'s 2, 3 & 4 from the list of tips? Could you benefit from steering faster?
I feel that steering this bike is easy, it's just a matter of having the correct corner speed so I won't have to readjust steering?

Last question... What were the temps in this video? Were you able to relax?
It was around 25 degrees celcius / 7 degrees fahrenheit

Looks like a fun track, bigger than kart tracks but smaller than the big ones. Seems like a perfect fit for the smaller cc bikes. Thanks for sharing and hope to help.
This track has 3 configurations and this is the smallest one, good for smaller bikes and learning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by csmith12 View Post
Here is one more tip I wish I was told earlier on in my track riding.

When you catch up to traffic and rules prevent a pass, use that time very wisely. You're going slower than you normally would right? Then why aren't your throttle control, lines and apex's perfect during those times? What else are you thinking about...?

Many riders cruise through hot pit slowly to get clear track, but all those half laps start to add up to a lot of wasted time. Feel me?
Yeah, maybe I should just back up and make it perfect and if I catch up again I'll try the pass. Thanks for watching and the tips.
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Old December 3rd, 2015, 09:09 PM   #9
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernam View Post
How do you feel about steering the bike? Based on this video, do you feel you steer quickly? Is steering the bike related to #'s 2, 3 & 4 from the list of tips? Could you benefit from steering faster?

I feel that steering this bike is easy, it's just a matter of having the correct corner speed so I won't have to readjust steering?
Please, read this:
https://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=205642
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Old December 4th, 2015, 10:09 AM   #10
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Ah, cool.

Your next time at the track, let's focus on these 2 items as they are fundamental skills that many other skills are built upon.

Quote:
2. The timing of your looking and turning is off, keep your eyes at least one step ahead. Look before you turn.
Honestly I don't even remember what I am looking at, I think I'm suppose to look at the brake marker then the apex cones.

3. You're missing your apexes every now and then because of #2 but mostly because your tip in points are different lap per lap (points will give you consistency )
I kept changing my tip in points to try to find something that was perfect, but throttle/lean angle/body position changes everything every time.
Homework.... Get a copy of the Twist Of The Wrist 2 (TOTW2) and read it. There is also a video version of the book that is available. Honestly, I watch the video more than read the book, but both are very worthy of your time invested. Don't worry about not being able to put all the information into practice right away either. If it were that easy, we all would be motogp camps. lol

Assuming your throttle control is good... if not start there. In the material, you will find 3 chapters concerning vision. Directly related to my comments is found in chapter 23, the two step drill. The two step drill trains you on WHAT to look at and WHEN to look at it. Don't worry, 3 chapters is only like 10 or so pages. It's a quick read.

The other section related to my comments is chapter 18, steering. How quick, how much and where... Per your current riding, start with the "where" part. Once you know where to turn, you can then set a brake marker based of that turn point.

And lemme add one more specific note since you are actively searching for workable lines. Through any corner there are multiple good lines. When you pick a turn in point and give it a try, how do know it's a good line? What can you use to judge it?
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Old December 4th, 2015, 08:13 PM   #11
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Ah, cool.

Your next time at the track, let's focus on these 2 items as they are fundamental skills that many other skills are built upon.



Homework.... Get a copy of the Twist Of The Wrist 2 (TOTW2) and read it. There is also a video version of the book that is available. Honestly, I watch the video more than read the book, but both are very worthy of your time invested. Don't worry about not being able to put all the information into practice right away either. If it were that easy, we all would be motogp camps. lol

Assuming your throttle control is good... if not start there. In the material, you will find 3 chapters concerning vision. Directly related to my comments is found in chapter 23, the two step drill. The two step drill trains you on WHAT to look at and WHEN to look at it. Don't worry, 3 chapters is only like 10 or so pages. It's a quick read.

The other section related to my comments is chapter 18, steering. How quick, how much and where... Per your current riding, start with the "where" part. Once you know where to turn, you can then set a brake marker based of that turn point.

And lemme add one more specific note since you are actively searching for workable lines. Through any corner there are multiple good lines. When you pick a turn in point and give it a try, how do know it's a good line? What can you use to judge it?
I have watched the video a long time ago before I started riding track, I will watch it again.

I think it is a good line when I can neutral throttle and hit the apex, then gradually throttle on after apex and accelerate without running of the track. Each time I get to the corner I try it, then I try it faster the next time around.
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Old December 4th, 2015, 08:43 PM   #12
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Good thread to read.

It is basically saying to do a quick flick smoothly to hit apex then throttle on to stand the bike up. I am not sure this applies to track riding.
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Old December 5th, 2015, 07:04 AM   #13
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sounds crazy and maybe insane, but the best advice i have gotten for riding a 250r at the track was "more throttle and less brakes."
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Old December 5th, 2015, 07:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Supernam View Post
Good thread to read.

It is basically saying to do a quick flick smoothly to hit apex then throttle on to stand the bike up. I am not sure this applies to track riding.
Sure it does. Why wouldn't it?


Re when you roll on the throttle... from the TOTW2 book (and it's also quoted in the video):

Quote:
"As soon as possible. You get the gas on at the earliest possible
moment in a corner. This does not mean at the apex, right before the apex or right after the apex or at any particular part of the turn, it means as soon as possible."
Remember the "traction pie" or "traction budget" idea. Your tires have only so much traction, which is distributed between acceleration, braking and cornering. If you're at max lean, most or all of your available traction is being used to corner. That means if you whack the throttle on at that moment, you will exceed traction limits and the tire will give up.

The sooner you can reduce those cornering forces, the sooner you can get on the throttle because you'll free up some of your traction budget that you can then use for acceleration.

When you quick flick, you're at max lean for less time. Therefore you can get on the throttle sooner and get a better drive out of the corner. Absolutely applicable to track riding.

Seriously... just buy the book and the video. Read/watch repeatedly. It won't sink in the first time, or even the first five times.
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Old December 5th, 2015, 08:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernam View Post
It is basically saying to do a quick flick smoothly to hit apex then throttle on to stand the bike up. I am not sure this applies to track riding.
It most certainly DOES apply to track riding. Fun Facts! The TOTW2 book, in chapter 17, it labels steering as "the key to speed." Also, if you were to take a California Superbike School course, the Quick Turn will be your 3rd on track drill of the day.

In fact, if you google up some CSS reviews of the level 1 course. You will find that it very much mirrors the same tips I gave you, however.... they present it much better than I did.

Here are the lvl 1 drills, in the order they give them;
(steering drill in paddock)
1. throttle control
2. turn points
3. quick turn
4. relax
5. 2 step turning (vision drill)
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Old December 6th, 2015, 06:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adouglas View Post
Sure it does. Why wouldn't it?


Re when you roll on the throttle... from the TOTW2 book (and it's also quoted in the video):



Remember the "traction pie" or "traction budget" idea. Your tires have only so much traction, which is distributed between acceleration, braking and cornering. If you're at max lean, most or all of your available traction is being used to corner. That means if you whack the throttle on at that moment, you will exceed traction limits and the tire will give up.

The sooner you can reduce those cornering forces, the sooner you can get on the throttle because you'll free up some of your traction budget that you can then use for acceleration.

When you quick flick, you're at max lean for less time. Therefore you can get on the throttle sooner and get a better drive out of the corner. Absolutely applicable to track riding.

Seriously... just buy the book and the video. Read/watch repeatedly. It won't sink in the first time, or even the first five times.
You are absolutely right and explained it a little better than when I read that thread. It makes sense now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by csmith12 View Post
It most certainly DOES apply to track riding. Fun Facts! The TOTW2 book, in chapter 17, it labels steering as "the key to speed." Also, if you were to take a California Superbike School course, the Quick Turn will be your 3rd on track drill of the day.

In fact, if you google up some CSS reviews of the level 1 course. You will find that it very much mirrors the same tips I gave you, however.... they present it much better than I did.

Here are the lvl 1 drills, in the order they give them;
(steering drill in paddock)
1. throttle control
2. turn points
3. quick turn
4. relax
5. 2 step turning (vision drill)
Thanks I will try that.
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Old December 7th, 2015, 12:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmith12 View Post
It most certainly DOES apply to track riding. Fun Facts! The TOTW2 book, in chapter 17, it labels steering as "the key to speed." Also, if you were to take a California Superbike School course, the Quick Turn will be your 3rd on track drill of the day.

In fact, if you google up some CSS reviews of the level 1 course. You will find that it very much mirrors the same tips I gave you, however.... they present it much better than I did.

Here are the lvl 1 drills, in the order they give them;
(steering drill in paddock)
1. throttle control
2. turn points
3. quick turn
4. relax
5. 2 step turning (vision drill)
All great information and similar to what I would have mentioned. I watched the video and agree with everything that csmith12 has to say. I would start with throttle control and working towards getting on the gas as soon as possible once the bike is turned and rolling it on throughout the turn. Then I would focus on what you are looking at and when, the 2-step as it will have a very positive effect on your ability to get the bike turned quickly.

And follow everything else he has suggested and you'll be riding like a pro in no time

If you have any more specific questions about any of the techniques you are reading up on let me know as I've coached with CSS for 11 years now and I've also ridden raced at Shannonville :dance cool:

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Old December 9th, 2015, 12:28 AM   #18
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All great information and similar to what I would have mentioned. I watched the video and agree with everything that csmith12 has to say. I would start with throttle control and working towards getting on the gas as soon as possible once the bike is turned and rolling it on throughout the turn. Then I would focus on what you are looking at and when, the 2-step as it will have a very positive effect on your ability to get the bike turned quickly.

And follow everything else he has suggested and you'll be riding like a pro in no time

If you have any more specific questions about any of the techniques you are reading up on let me know as I've coached with CSS for 11 years now and I've also ridden raced at Shannonville :dance cool:

Misti
Thanks Misti.

So basically, don't worry about body position as much and focus on throttle, eyes and quick turning first?

I always associate body position with greater corner speed, so that is why I placed that as high importance. But I guess if I can't so the previous 3 things properly, that would affect my corner speed a lot more. Does that sound right?

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Old December 9th, 2015, 01:41 AM   #19
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Maybe I missed it or did nobody talk about the way how to use the brake?
This in my opinion is an important point also but in many cases forgotten.
So please help me someone to describe in an understandable way what I would say in German with the word 'ride in a precise and smooth line'.
Plus a second important point is that the suspension setup is just as stiff as needed and not 'too hard' what also helps to ride a 'clean line'.
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Old December 9th, 2015, 07:14 AM   #20
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If "ride a precise and smooth line" refers to braking, then I'd say it means to avoid grabbing the brakes. Apply, then squeeze hard... as you release, also release smoothly.

The reason behind the "apply then squeeze hard" has to do with the front tire contact patch. As the weight transfers forward under braking, the tire deforms and the contact patch grows, giving you more traction.

If you suddenly grab the brake, the tire doesn't have time to do this and you're more likely to lock the front.

When you squeeze, you're allowing the contact patch to grow a bit, which then allows you to brake much harder.

One of the biggest eye-openers for me when I hit the track was just how hard you can brake. That's hard to get used to if you drive like I do... in my car I use the brakes as little as possible, for efficiency's sake.
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Old December 9th, 2015, 07:03 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by adouglas View Post
If "ride a precise and smooth line" refers to braking, then I'd say it means to avoid grabbing the brakes. Apply, then squeeze hard... as you release, also release smoothly.

The reason behind the "apply then squeeze hard" has to do with the front tire contact patch. As the weight transfers forward under braking, the tire deforms and the contact patch grows, giving you more traction.

If you suddenly grab the brake, the tire doesn't have time to do this and you're more likely to lock the front.

When you squeeze, you're allowing the contact patch to grow a bit, which then allows you to brake much harder.

One of the biggest eye-openers for me when I hit the track was just how hard you can brake. That's hard to get used to if you drive like I do... in my car I use the brakes as little as possible, for efficiency's sake.
Thank you for your comment
Yes, I think that's a good way to describe what I'd want to say, in German language it would be much easier for me.
I think everybody knows the word: 'He won the fight for the corner or the race on the brake.'
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Old December 10th, 2015, 10:44 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somchai View Post
Maybe I missed it or did nobody talk about the way how to use the brake?
This in my opinion is an important point also but in many cases forgotten.
So please help me someone to describe in an understandable way what I would say in German with the word 'ride in a precise and smooth line'.
Plus a second important point is that the suspension setup is just as stiff as needed and not 'too hard' what also helps to ride a 'clean line'.
Thanks for mentioning about the braking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adouglas View Post
If "ride a precise and smooth line" refers to braking, then I'd say it means to avoid grabbing the brakes. Apply, then squeeze hard... as you release, also release smoothly.

The reason behind the "apply then squeeze hard" has to do with the front tire contact patch. As the weight transfers forward under braking, the tire deforms and the contact patch grows, giving you more traction.

If you suddenly grab the brake, the tire doesn't have time to do this and you're more likely to lock the front.

When you squeeze, you're allowing the contact patch to grow a bit, which then allows you to brake much harder.

One of the biggest eye-openers for me when I hit the track was just how hard you can brake. That's hard to get used to if you drive like I do... in my car I use the brakes as little as possible, for efficiency's sake.
Smoothness on braking is something I need to work on as well. I am finding that with this bike there is very little braking needed in addition to engine braking, I have slowed down too much in my opinion on many corners just by grabbing too much brake or possibly braking too early as well.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 11:26 AM   #23
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Overbraking is one of the most common rider issues. We all do it to some extent.

You can't pick a good braking marker and work to improve braking skills until you have a really good, workable turn point and entry speeds. When your ready, read this first (picking a brake marker). Then after having worked on getting your turn points and entry speeds perfect, give this a read to improve it even further.

Other members have contributed a lot of good stuff on braking as well. If you do some basic searches, it should keep you busy for a while.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 03:16 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmith12 View Post
Overbraking is one of the most common rider issues. We all do it to some extent.

You can't pick a good braking marker and work to improve braking skills until you have a really good, workable turn point and entry speeds. When your ready, read this first (picking a brake marker). Then after having worked on getting your turn points and entry speeds perfect, give this a read to improve it even further.

Other members have contributed a lot of good stuff on braking as well. If you do some basic searches, it should keep you busy for a while.
Thanks for the links. I will read those.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 03:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernam View Post
......... I have slowed down too much in my opinion on many corners just by grabbing too much brake or possibly braking too early as well.
Reading these may help you achieve an accurate sense of turn entry speed:

"Braking itself is an art within the art of cornering. Your sense-of-speed is the underlying resource you have to get it right." - Keith Code

http://forums.superbikeschool.com/in...?showtopic=310

http://forums.superbikeschool.com/in...showtopic=2423

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/bl...kes-code-break

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/bl...ing-code-break

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Old December 10th, 2015, 07:05 PM   #26
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Three tips from me: Ass off the seat a little more. Get your head and torso down towards the tank more. and lastly, move your head further off the bike and your torso should follow.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 07:32 PM   #27
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All the great advisors here have already covered everything. I'd only add you really look stiff. Any athlete will tell you to be loose and nimble. Loosy goosy. No matter what's happening; your body and arms need to be relaxed.
Shannonville is a great track! I'm jealous!
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Old December 14th, 2015, 12:59 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Supernam View Post
Thanks Misti.

So basically, don't worry about body position as much and focus on throttle, eyes and quick turning first?

I always associate body position with greater corner speed, so that is why I placed that as high importance. But I guess if I can't so the previous 3 things properly, that would affect my corner speed a lot more. Does that sound right?

That would be my suggestion first, yes.

Your body position looks fine for right now and you are correct that throttle control, vision and quick turning will affect your corner speed a lot more than your body position. If you were extremely crossed up or shoving the bike underneath you then I may address body position first but from the video i'd say work on those things first....then we can look at your body position
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Old December 14th, 2015, 01:01 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmith12 View Post
Overbraking is one of the most common rider issues. We all do it to some extent.

You can't pick a good braking marker and work to improve braking skills until you have a really good, workable turn point and entry speeds. When your ready, read this first (picking a brake marker). Then after having worked on getting your turn points and entry speeds perfect, give this a read to improve it even further.

Other members have contributed a lot of good stuff on braking as well. If you do some basic searches, it should keep you busy for a while.
Agreed
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