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Old January 15th, 2018, 11:20 AM   #161
Ducati999
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Update

Just checking in prior to the 2018 season. I am now running my own business and spare time is a luxury! I am putting in tons of work now so I can take time of to go to the track once the weather turns nice! I am still trying my best to stick to my diet (holiday food makes it difficult) and exercise. I will be in better physical shape this season which is a victory in itself! I made the decision not to make any significant changes to the bike for this season so I have a consistent starting point.

One thing I did want to mention in this update (and I hope it will spark a debate/discussion) is what I realized re-watching my crash video. I know my body position is not perfect but it gets me by for now and will improve this season. My lines at the track are fairly good and, except for my crash mistake, my throttle control is acceptable. What I am saying is, on an average track day I get around the track a quick (for me) and safe pace. When I crashed I had an issue with not getting my foot not fully back onto the peg. This caused me to not be able to get off the bike as far as I normally would. I was traveling a little faster than average on the lap I crashed on and the added speed along with not being able to get off the bike as far as normal meant I was leaning the bike over farther than I normally would have been at the same point in the turn. When I rolled on the throttle, I was way to aggressive, and with the bike over further and therefore more on the edge of the tire, the rear broke free. This tells me that had I been off the bike more and less on the edge of the tire and smoother with the application of the same amount of throttle, I would not have broken the rear tire free and would not have crashed. This was a huge revelation to me! I am looking for an idea of how much more I can "push" before I find the "Edge of traction". Lets say I added 40% throttle quickly while further over, should I do the same just rolling on slower and not leaned over as far, the rear would have held. I would not go out and try 40% again even very slowly but I would confidently add 10% more throttle in a smooth and constant roll on. Please speak up if you believe I am wrong. Watch my video and consider the final roll on to be about 40% added quickly then let me know if I am thinking correctly. I feel this would be easily handled by the rear tire as I was running all day without the tire slipping until I added way too much too fast. Should I had just rolled the same amount of throttle on slower I would have been lifting the bike up before there was enough power applied to break the rear free. I also want to add that I know to continue to roll on this is just at the moment where I crashed and the 1-2 seconds following. Please discuss
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Old January 15th, 2018, 11:37 AM   #162
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I believe your assessment is correct; too much-throttle increase for lean-angle.

As for hanging-off itself, I find I don't need any weight at all on inside-peg to hang off. These are independent motions. Weighting peg is fine-tuning action to adjust lean-angle when you're already in corner. I can weight inside peg with body leaned-over OR in-line with bike. Most of my weight is still supported by outside-leg on tank. There's been times where I've scraped off my inside foot (hitting bump, getting squeezed from outside by someone and tightening line, etc.), and bike doesn't change trajectory... much.

As for getting on throttle, yes, I think smaller incremental steps is key. Rather than 40%, I think of it as a progression:

- 10% at this spot coming out of corner,
- 25% at this next spot,
- 50% at this next spot,
- 100% here!

Then each lap, I increase the rate of throttle-increase little more and more, 15%, 30%, 55%, 100% 10ft earlier, etc. At some point, I find front/rear-end starting to waggle. I make note of throttle-angle and position on track. That's still not the limit, because it's only single section of entire arc coming out of turn. Next time, I can try increasing throttle little before and little after that spot. After a while, my throttle-opening might progress to 17%, 35%, 55%, 100% 12ft, etc. This is where datalogging really comes in handy.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 01:51 PM   #163
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Ant, in your PM to me today you used the following phrase regarding my hesitancy to get on the throttle:

Quote:
"...if I can abruptly roll 75% throttle mid turn while leaned over, you have a metric on how much you should be able to "safely" roll on."
Choosing that word... "abrupt"... says something about the mindset for both of us. Scares the hell out of me but not you. Not a word I would ever apply to track riding. So I think you're looking at it the right way this year by being more mindful of how smoothly you add power.

I think we're both looking for the same thing, but coming at it from different starting points.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 02:01 PM   #164
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I think there's something to be done about corner-entry first before addressing this exit roll-on. Abrupt roll-off mid-corner would tend to indicate something got messed up on corner entry. Combined with earlier comments about cornering too slowly and making up for it with too much throttle. I suspect if corner-entry was cleaned-up with more consistency, there would be fewer issues with abrupt roll-off mid-corner and fewer issues with roll-on of throttle existing corner.
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Old January 16th, 2018, 09:31 AM   #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adouglas View Post
Ant, in your PM to me today you used the following phrase regarding my hesitancy to get on the throttle:



Choosing that word... "abrupt"... says something about the mindset for both of us. Scares the hell out of me but not you. Not a word I would ever apply to track riding. So I think you're looking at it the right way this year by being more mindful of how smoothly you add power.

I think we're both looking for the same thing, but coming at it from different starting points.


Andrew,
My example was from my crash---so abrupt was the cause. My statement was that I added lots of throttle on my bike (which has lots more torque than your bike) while leaned over and that caused my crash ---meaning that from 0 to lets just say 60% I still had traction. That is the metric I was referring to for you to use. The fact that I quickly added lots of throttle and crashed should show you that if you slowly add some at a slower rate there is no danger. I stated in the PM. that it was difficult to get the concept across. I have been riding on the track for several years now and I mistakenly added too much throttle too fast--not my normal way around and not something I intend to repeat!
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Old January 16th, 2018, 12:01 PM   #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacRyann View Post
I think there's something to be done about corner-entry first before addressing this exit roll-on. Abrupt roll-off mid-corner would tend to indicate something got messed up on corner entry. Combined with earlier comments about cornering too slowly and making up for it with too much throttle. I suspect if corner-entry was cleaned-up with more consistency, there would be fewer issues with abrupt roll-off mid-corner and fewer issues with roll-on of throttle existing corner.

Mr Ryann,
I do not speak for ADouglas but as for myself, you are right. I am still relatively new to the track and have been working (see all above posts) to improve every aspect of my riding at the track. I have been riding a motorcycle since I was 20 and am now nearly 50, old habits (street riding) are hard to break. I do my best to be consistent every lap (ADouglas is much better here) but my corner entry is still far from perfect. I would love to enter the same turn at the same spot with the same vector, always at the same (or about the same) speed. I am just not there yet. I do the best I can to be right where I should be on the right line with the right entry speed but this is part of the issue for sure. The roll on mid turn, or where ever appropriate, is just the issue Adouglas was dealing with in another thread and I had commented on this with a private message.

Now I have been working out this issue in my head for the last few months and I have even sat on my bike on the stand and run thru the track in my head while having my hands, feet and butt on the bike. I see the biggest issue for me to be the unknown limit of grip for the front tire--hence the name of this thread. Let me explain. When I enter a large radius turn (to simplify the issue) with speed, the issue begins. I begin to add lean angle while maintaining enough throttle to just slowly lose speed, as the turn tightens and lean increases, but not a roll off to load the front. This is where I am worried I may be going faster than last lap and don't want to lose the front (not sure of how much load it can take). Once The bike gets to the point where I am certain I can roll on (proper slow smooth and continuous)throttle, I crack the throttle and transfer the load to the rear tire to complete the turn and accelerate away. Because of the lack of ?trust? in the front tires load capacity, usually more speed will be sacrificed than should have been and it becomes easy to want to make this up with more throttle. I know I should just get on the power earlier but the lack of experience causes hesitation waiting till I know I have reached the "safe" spot "reference point" where I know I will make the turn.

I hope that makes sense to you as I am not great at explaining thru writing. Feel free to discuss as I always want to learn and my feelings will not be hurt with anything you may point out.

Ant
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Old February 13th, 2018, 01:35 PM   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post
Misty,

Comment on Drawing the track: I had no Idea what the track looked like for the first half of the day, so no way to even begin to draw it at that point. I had not ridden a motorcycle for an entire year before this trip and did not even have any time to watch the videos of the track.

Just before lunch someone handed me a map of the track and I spent lots of time between sessions studying it, which made a big difference for the remainder of the day. I still was out of practice but at least I knew where I was going!

As always "Thank you for your time and comments" I will continue to learn how to be a better rider and with help from you and many others on this site, I feel I improve every time I ride!
You're welcome But I want to say something about your comment on drawing the track. When you have no idea what the track looks like is the PERFECT time to try and draw it. That is the point. You have no idea what it looks like so coming in from practice and drawing WHATEVER you remember will help you learn the track quicker than waiting to draw it after you have learned it.....does that make sense?

When I went to a new track for racing (I had exactly one day to learn the track and then try and qualify for an AMA race the next day) I never studied track maps or watched videos before hand. I went out in practice behind someone who offered to give me a tow around and when I came in I drew (terribly) whatever I could remember. Even if I got it completely wrong or only drew the first 2 turns or whatever, I drew what I could remember and that made me really think and utilize my memory and focus. After the first attempt at drawing I would realize that I had nothing for the last half of the track so the next season out I would try and remember that part and so on and so on until I was able to draw the track from memory. then each session out I would add to it or redraw it completely. The point is that if you try and wait until you "remember" it enough to draw it, you've lost the main point of the exercise and that is that simply DRAWING IT over and over again will help you learn it faster.

It doesn't take me long now to learn new tracks and I attribute it to being forced to draw new tracks (by Keith Code Himself) and also having to show up for a California Superbike School and coach local riders on tracks that I've never been to before, lol.

Anyway, I'd love to hear your input if you get a chance to try what I've suggested
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Old February 26th, 2018, 10:06 PM   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misti View Post
You're welcome But I want to say something about your comment on drawing the track. When you have no idea what the track looks like is the PERFECT time to try and draw it. That is the point. You have no idea what it looks like so coming in from practice and drawing WHATEVER you remember will help you learn the track quicker than waiting to draw it after you have learned it.....does that make sense?

When I went to a new track for racing (I had exactly one day to learn the track and then try and qualify for an AMA race the next day) I never studied track maps or watched videos before hand. I went out in practice behind someone who offered to give me a tow around and when I came in I drew (terribly) whatever I could remember. Even if I got it completely wrong or only drew the first 2 turns or whatever, I drew what I could remember and that made me really think and utilize my memory and focus. After the first attempt at drawing I would realize that I had nothing for the last half of the track so the next season out I would try and remember that part and so on and so on until I was able to draw the track from memory. then each session out I would add to it or redraw it completely. The point is that if you try and wait until you "remember" it enough to draw it, you've lost the main point of the exercise and that is that simply DRAWING IT over and over again will help you learn it faster.

It doesn't take me long now to learn new tracks and I attribute it to being forced to draw new tracks (by Keith Code Himself) and also having to show up for a California Superbike School and coach local riders on tracks that I've never been to before, lol.

Anyway, I'd love to hear your input if you get a chance to try what I've suggested
@Misti,
Sorry for the delay in responding, I was able to read your comments a long time ago (on my phone) but I have not had a chance to respond. This may be an advantage as I have had much time to think about what you wrote. Initially I was going to explain (again) how I had not ridden a bike, any bike, I over a year and that along with trying to learn a new track kept me from remembering anything I saw on the track. I really thought about what you said and I can see the advantage of drawing what little I did remember. I was running thru what I could remember between sessions on the track but had I taken the time to draw what I was remembering this would have cemented the data in my thick head. I will try this technique this season as I have not been to the Thompson track in a couple of years and plan to return as soon as the weather permits!

I have been doing lots of physical and mental training this off season and I really feel that this season will be the best so far. Really looking forward to this year on the track!

Thank you as always
Ant
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Old February 27th, 2018, 09:12 AM   #169
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@Ducati999 Ant, as you know I'm big into visualizing the course before, during and after the day. That idea of drawing the track is great.

I started doing a variation on this last season that might help you with the memory thing: I print out a track map and take notes on it between sessions, while things are fresh in my mind. Initially marking the location of cones, pavement markers, stuff like that.

The one I have of Palmer has the note "Don't do what Ant did" written next to Turn 7.

Since you're in the business world, you may have noticed something: More and more people are carrying journals and notebooks, and writing things down instead of typing. I've taken to doing this myself. I even devoted a page in my current journal to track thoughts that I jot down as they occur to me. I find that the act of writing and drawing makes you process information differently. It gets "stickier" and easier to recall. I heard recently that more and more students are starting to do this as well.

This might be useful to you.
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Old March 6th, 2018, 10:58 PM   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post
@Misti,
Sorry for the delay in responding, I was able to read your comments a long time ago (on my phone) but I have not had a chance to respond. This may be an advantage as I have had much time to think about what you wrote. Initially I was going to explain (again) how I had not ridden a bike, any bike, I over a year and that along with trying to learn a new track kept me from remembering anything I saw on the track. I really thought about what you said and I can see the advantage of drawing what little I did remember. I was running thru what I could remember between sessions on the track but had I taken the time to draw what I was remembering this would have cemented the data in my thick head. I will try this technique this season as I have not been to the Thompson track in a couple of years and plan to return as soon as the weather permits!

I have been doing lots of physical and mental training this off season and I really feel that this season will be the best so far. Really looking forward to this year on the track!

Thank you as always
Ant
Most excellent. Thanks for writing this and I'm glad that you were able to really put some thought into what you were experiencing and how it might help to draw the track right away. I'm not kidding when I say that I HATE doing this, but it freeking works! i was able to qualify for a few AMA events after only riding the track ONCE and I attribute it to drawing the track and taking the time to work on reference points were I lacked clarity.

I'm glad you are upping your training and I really look forward to hearing how your season goes and if you have any more questions, thoughts about riding skills in general.

I'm excited to get back at it as well. I'm off to Cali next week for 6 days in a row at Streets of Willow Springs, including the Race School. I haven't ridden in almost 6 months and I haven't ridden that track in nearly 8 years so it's time for me to step it up as well

All the best!!
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Old March 19th, 2018, 11:29 AM   #171
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As noted above by Misti and adouglas, drawing the track and making session notes are excellent tools for learning a track, or for extracting lessons from the track. An excellent way of leveraging these techniques is to grab a stopwatch and mentally ride the track. This technique is useful because it integrates visual elements with other senses (vestibular, kinesthetic, auditory, etc.) in the context of the rhythm or flow of the track.

If you try this, you may find that initially your mental lap times are way off, but even that can provide a great deal of information. For example, if your mental time is way Ďbetterí (the lap goes quicker in your mind than in reality), that could indicate the mental rhythm you are riding to is out of sync with the trackÖ perhaps because youíre experiencing an elevated sensation of speed (feeling rushed or overwhelmed by the pace).

Mental lap times that are far slower than reality can indicate that youíve become lost or distracted during the lap, which can help you identify where you need to improve your mental model of the track (and perhaps do some more drawing).

Anyway, maybe give it a try, itís free, itís fun, and itís resolution adjustable; you can go from just trying to learn and get around a track to determining (or programming) where the bike will rotate in a turn, where the rear tire will start drifting on exit, or any other multitude of technique adjustments you want to make.

One last point. This is a mental training technique, but itís a whole-body mental training technique so MOVE . Even seated, you can make slight movements to simulate the loads you would be experiencing, or the control/body movements you would be making on the bike.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 11:17 AM   #172
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@Misti and @SpeedCraft,
Thank you both for the "tools" to help improve my lap times. I will be back out on the Palmer track for Memorial day weekend as my first track day of the year. I have done a little map drawing In the last few weeks and at least with my eyes closed I managed to draw what looks like the Palmer map and the start even lines up with the finish line I drew! Not easy to start drawing on a paper with eyes closed and have the line come back to your starting point but I can do it, not sure on how long it is taking me but I do seem to have fairly detailed video of the track stored in the vast emptiness of my head! I have a lap timer on my dash of my bike so I will see how long it takes to ride a lap then try to beat that lap with my eyes closed---HA!-- will see how close it is to my drawn lap.


Watch here for update
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Old May 29th, 2018, 10:35 AM   #173
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Report on Memorial day at Palmer Backwards

Captains LOG Star Date 2018-5-27.28 Palmer Mass

I had a great weekend at the Palmer Mass track the last 2 days. Since my crash in August of 2016 I have only had time to ride my bike or any bike approx. 2 hours total along with 2 track days at NYST. This is not any type of excuse (joke away if you must) just the facts leading into this past weekend. I felt that my pace prior to my crash at Palmer was in the high end of the Yellow group (intermediate). When I went to the NYST track days, my skills were really "rusty" to say the least and I not only had significant issues with learning the track but also in even getting comfortable with my bike.

Thanks to several of the people on this forum, @adouglas, AMisti, CSmith12, @DannoXYZ, @SpeedCraft, @jrshooter and @KikRox along with many others, I was able to find out why I was experiencing issues and correct them! I can not place a value on the help I have received as a member of this forum.

Back to this weekend,
Sunday was wet and cold. I have Dunlop Q3's on my bike and have no experience with these tires other than dry and hot conditions. These are the same tires I was using when I crashed in turn 7 of the Palmer track in the clockwise direction. This weekend we were going counter-clockwise and this was my first time running the track in this direction, so we have unfamiliar track and conditions. I spent most of the Sunday just doing 3 or 4 laps per session learning the new track layout and worrying about losing traction from my tires. I ran really slow laps and could not find any confidence in the bike at all since I had no experience with the tries in cold/wet conditions. I managed to figure out most of the lines well enough but still could not bring myself to keep pace with the faster guys in the yellow group. I did not have any serious "moments" but there was always a "pucker factor" every time I leaned into a turn--especially the back to back #4/5 turn a tight "S" turn with negative camber, which was now down hill, wet and cold. Again--NOT AN EXCUSE--Just the facts.

Monday started wet but soon after the riders meeting the rain stopped and the drying began. I skipped the first wet session and just sat in my truck studying a track map with my lines traced onto it and doing "mental" laps. Once I finally was able to get out onto a mostly dry/drying track, I was able to run at approx. 85% of my best pace (in the opposite direction) from before my crash. This was a major accomplishment for me and actually exceeded my goal's for this trip! Looking back onto the issues I had experienced at NYST I had not expected to do really well this weekend since I had still not been able to get in any seat time as practice. There is also another reason for me to consider this trip a success.

I had a couple of issues during the weekend which had me second guessing myself and adding to my lack of confidence. When I first started lapping a little faster on the first day, I noticed that the steering on my bike seemed to get really heavy and the bike did not want to turn anymore at some point. When exiting turn 7 (from opposite direction) there is an up hill with a turn just past the crest. I set for the turn early run up the hill and as I turned the momentum pulled me a little wider than I expected. I was drifting out towards the grass on the right ride of the track. I did not target fixate, I looked where I wanted to go and consciously pushed the left bar forward and pulled the right but the bike did not seem to come back as I would expect. I guessed that I must have just "fought" myself pushing on both bars and just not realizing it (counted it as an "SR"). Once the track fully dried out and heated up, I experienced similar issues when at near full lean trying to turn in more. I was unable to touch my knee down even when trying. The downhill scary turn 4/5 from Sunday was easily accomplished in third but as I tightened up the turn to hit the exit apex I still could not get the bike to turn more without lowering my body/dropping my head and shoulders further than normal. There were several other spots where I noticed this type of behavior but just marked it down as "SR'S" in my brain--Untill!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Once home, my wife came out to help me get the bike off of the truck and commented "why is your tire so flat?". I explained to her how I had slowly lowered the pressure down to 28PSI as my pace increased during the day. She said I did not understand and said the tire looked like a V not round like normal! I looked closely and the center tread was still nearly new depth yet from edge of the center to approx. 3/4" from the outer edge of the tire, the tread depth was less than 1/4"!! During the Palmer trip when I crashed, NYST and now Palmer reverse, I had worn down the tire to the point that when I was leaned over I could not go any further. This explains all my observed issues. #1 why the steering felt great then got heavy #2 why I could not further tighten turns, #3 why I could almost but not quite get my knee to touch!! New rubber should fix all these issues.

So I have now Babbled on for multiple paragraphs and should wrap it up. Studying the track map was the most critical thing I did all weekend. Knowing my lines allowed me to focus on finding the best reference points. Once I had all the reference points I needed to run full laps I was able to fine tune my riding from them and have a great day VS stumbling my way around the track trying to figure things out.

Please discuss, comment or even criticize for all to learn and benefit
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Old May 29th, 2018, 11:31 AM   #174
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I was with Ant this past weekend.

Ant, I'm glad to see you studying the track map and thinking ahead. It's a good habit to get into and it really can help.

Having ridden a fair bit with you I recognize that you prefer experiential learning, but that can get in the way... at NYST last year you spent almost all of your time just trying to figure the track out and getting lost. That kept you from focusing on your riding.

------

Speaking of "finding the edge," I well and truly lost the rear for the first time in my life this past weekend. Cold (low 50s), drying conditions (a dry line but visible dark pavement), a 10-minute red flag that allowed all the heat to go out of my tires and a steep, tight downhill turn. That lovely combo led to the rear spinning up the moment I touched the gas.

Didn't crash but it was a right proper tank-slapper. Being old, slow and having worn-out adrenal glands helped me... I didn't chop the throttle or go tight on the bars, and the bike sorted itself out after a couple of oscillations. Need to see what the on-board video looks like. Bet it's nowhere near as exciting as it felt.

Despite a very frustrating time Sunday due to not having suitable tires for the conditions, it was a terrific weekend. Palmer backwards is a blast and I've got the scratches in my pucks to prove it.
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Old May 29th, 2018, 11:57 AM   #175
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Need to see what the on-board video looks like. Bet it's nowhere near as exciting as it felt.
It never is....

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Despite a very frustrating time Sunday due to not having suitable tires for the conditions, it was a terrific weekend. Palmer backwards is a blast and I've got the scratches in my pucks to prove it.
Just change what your working on for the day. Its ok to take a step back and make sure you're calm, cool, collected and completely smooth in "not so perfect" conditions.

Remember what I said???? "Even if you have to think outside your internal box, never waist a single lap on my race track."
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Old May 29th, 2018, 01:19 PM   #176
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This was an extraordinary circumstance... forecast literally changing minute-by-minute. Rain, no rain, rain... Too damp for slicks, too dry for rains... all that. At one point I wound up pussy-footing my way around a drying track with rain tires and I swear I could hear the money flying off of the rear every time I turned the throttle...

Having experienced rain tires in the wet, I'm hooked. So the strategy going forward is to simply buy my next set of street tires in advance. They're going to get used sooner or later anyway... if it looks like another typical "can't decide" New England day, I'll just chuck 'em in the car and have the tire guy swap 'em. No waste that way, and at least I'd get to ride.

PS: I know your ability to get to new tracks is limited at the moment, but I gotta say that Palmer backwards is a blast. I like the flow better. Get there if/when you can.
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Old May 30th, 2018, 01:53 PM   #177
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Writing is not my strongest skill as demonstrated in this thread but I want anyone who reads this to understand. The progress I have made over the last 3 years is more than I would have hoped for when I began. I am not running race pace but I am nearly ready to move into the Blue (fastest) group. I still have a bit more to learn and practice before then but I am getting close enough to see what I need to do to get there. This past trip to the track showed me that if follow what is preached on this site then almost anyone can ride much safer and faster than expected.

I am riding a very powerful bike with no riders aids (TC, ABS...) yet I feel totally in control of the bike. Since my crash a few years ago I have not had much time on my bike and when I have had a chance to ride, things were not great. Through practicing proper body position and studying the track map and setting/modifying reference points, I continue to make progress!
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Old May 30th, 2018, 02:01 PM   #178
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I am riding a very powerful bike with no riders aids (TC, ABS...)
I feel that way about my 250 as well!
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Old May 30th, 2018, 03:08 PM   #179
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You're doing awesome! Thank you for report! Gives me some ideas on items to work on as well.
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Old June 1st, 2018, 10:43 AM   #180
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@adouglas wrote out a great report on the Palmer track backwards in the "Ninjettes at Speed" Thread under the North East Track Day Thread" Page 2 Post #61. His Post has a track map with corner numbers and a turn by turrn account.
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Old June 1st, 2018, 11:51 AM   #181
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Old June 4th, 2018, 01:36 PM   #182
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Captains LOG Star Date 2018-5-27.28 Palmer Mass

I had a great weekend at the Palmer Mass track the last 2 days.

Thanks to several of the people on this forum, @adouglas, AMisti, CSmith12, @DannoXYZ, @SpeedCraft, @jrshooter and @KikRox along with many others, I was able to find out why I was experiencing issues and correct them! I can not place a value on the help I have received as a member of this forum.

So I have now Babbled on for multiple paragraphs and should wrap it up. Studying the track map was the most critical thing I did all weekend. Knowing my lines allowed me to focus on finding the best reference points. Once I had all the reference points I needed to run full laps I was able to fine tune my riding from them and have a great day VS stumbling my way around the track trying to figure things out.

Please discuss, comment or even criticize for all to learn and benefit
So great to hear!!! Really glad to read your comments about riding good solid reference points and then fine tuning your riding from there. The starting point is always reference points and moving/adjusting them as you go along. Good reference points will allow you to run consistent and accurate laps and consistency and accuracy always help with better refined riding. I'm glad to hear this and thanks for posting up!!

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Old August 14th, 2018, 09:40 AM   #183
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Guess who's back-Back again---just me. I actually never left I have just been in the background.

I have been busy as usual and have not been able to ride since Memorial day at the Palmer track! I did make an attempt to get out on a nice bright, sunny day but I found the answer to a mystery which ended my riding that day. While at the track this past May, I could not get really comfortable on my bike and had little confidence in the tires. I attributed this to me not having much seat time the year before, the cold rainy weather and not having ridden on my current tires in the rain before. Even as the track dried out I was still not "feeling" it with the bike and no matter how hard I tried I could not get my knee down even-though I was riding/turning fast enough where this should have happened. I also noticed that my front brakes were extra sensitive and the slightest pressure would give a "stronger than I remembered" response. I had replaced the fork seals and oil and rebuilt/cleaned the front calipers along with new pads, so I again attributed this to not having ridden her in quite a while.

I must tell you all a little story so the next part of my story makes sense.
Last year the only track trip I took was 2 days at NYST. The story for that trip is in the above posts but there is an important detail which I did not mention. On the last day at NYST, Claudio, a friend to everyone and a really nice guy, crashed his 848 Ducati in turn 3. This was just before lunch and he was desperate to get it back on the track for the rest of the day. He managed to correct all the damage except that his brake lever was damaged. I was headed home since I had to work early the next day. I gave him my brake lever and he promised to mail it back to me after he got home. Once I received the lever back from Claudio, I reinstalled it onto my bike and did not ride again till this spring. I felt the front brakes dragging so I rebuilt the calipers and replaced the pads. Turns out that Claudio must have slightly adjusted the pin that puts pressure on the plunger for the master cyl! This caused the brakes to work normally until you really use them aggressively. When the cylinder is compressed under hard braking, some of the brake fluid takes a long time to return to the cyl and reservoir leaving residual pressure in the lines/caliper causing the brakes to drag. The harder you use the brakes the more drag there is on rotor until it can slowly bleed back past the partially blocked return hole! I am so lucky I did not wash out the front wheel on the cold wet track. There is no wonder why I did not have feel from the front and could not get my knee down. By the time I got back to the paddock all the pressure was able to bleed back past the restricted port and the bike was fine so I could not figure this out. All it took was just a half turn in (moves the pin further from the cylinder) and all was well again.

Since I found this issue I am now looking back on my last track day in a different light. I was able to run at a fairly good pace while hitting all my marks but with the brakes partially on the entire lap! I also feel much better about the "bad feeling" I got from the bike while trying to get comfortable riding on the Dunlop tires in the rain/cold for the first time. The symptoms of this issue include: Heavy steering, Bike does not want to lean in/ wants to stand up the tighter the turn becomes, quicker deceleration when off the gas/roll off, severly reduced feedback/feeling from the front tire and slower turn in/ response to steering input. I have resurfaced the pads and rotor and bleed out all the fluid (must have gotten very hot and possible boiling) and the bike feels so much better!

I am planning on going back to the Palmer track (forward direction this time) on Labor Day weekend and I cant wait to see how much better things go this time!
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Old August 14th, 2018, 09:41 AM   #184
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Guess who's back-Back again---just me. I actually never left I have just been in the background.

I have been busy as usual and have not been able to ride since Memorial day at the Palmer track! I did make an attempt to get out on a nice bright, sunny day but I found the answer to a mystery which ended my riding that day. While at the track this past May, I could not get really comfortable on my bike and had little confidence in the tires. I attributed this to me not having much seat time the year before, the cold rainy weather and not having ridden on my current tires in the rain before. Even as the track dried out I was still not "feeling" it with the bike and no matter how hard I tried I could not get my knee down even-though I was riding/turning fast enough where this should have happened. I also noticed that my front brakes were extra sensitive and the slightest pressure would give a "stronger than I remembered" response. I had replaced the fork seals and oil and rebuilt/cleaned the front calipers along with new pads, so I again attributed this to not having ridden her in quite a while.

I must tell you all a little story so the next part of my story makes sense.
Last year the only track trip I took was 2 days at NYST. The story for that trip is in the above posts but there is an important detail which I did not mention. On the last day at NYST, Claudio, a friend to everyone and a really nice guy, crashed his 848 Ducati in turn 3. This was just before lunch and he was desperate to get it back on the track for the rest of the day. He managed to correct all the damage except that his brake lever was damaged. I was headed home since I had to work early the next day. I gave him my brake lever and he promised to mail it back to me after he got home. Once I received the lever back from Claudio, I reinstalled it onto my bike and did not ride again till this spring. I felt the front brakes dragging so I rebuilt the calipers and replaced the pads. Turns out that Claudio must have slightly adjusted the pin that puts pressure on the plunger for the master cyl! This caused the brakes to work normally until you really use them aggressively. When the cylinder is compressed under hard braking, some of the brake fluid takes a long time to return to the cyl and reservoir leaving residual pressure in the lines/caliper causing the brakes to drag. The harder you use the brakes the more drag there is on rotor until it can slowly bleed back past the partially blocked return hole! I am so lucky I did not wash out the front wheel on the cold wet track. There is no wonder why I did not have feel from the front and could not get my knee down. By the time I got back to the paddock all the pressure was able to bleed back past the restricted port and the bike was fine so I could not figure this out. All it took was just a half turn in (moves the pin further from the cylinder) and all was well again.

Since I found this issue I am now looking back on my last track day in a different light. I was able to run at a fairly good pace while hitting all my marks but with the brakes partially on the entire lap! I also feel much better about the "bad feeling" I got from the bike while trying to get comfortable riding on the Dunlop tires in the rain/cold for the first time. The symptoms of this issue include: Heavy steering, Bike does not want to lean in/ wants to stand up the tighter the turn becomes, quicker deceleration when off the gas/roll off, severly reduced feedback/feeling from the front tire and slower turn in/ response to steering input. I have resurfaced the pads and rotor and bleed out all the fluid (must have gotten very hot and possible boiling) and the bike feels so much better!

I am planning on going back to the Palmer track (forward direction this time) on Labor Day weekend and I cant wait to see how much better things go this time!
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Old August 14th, 2018, 10:21 AM   #185
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Looking forward to it! I was going to hit the season-ender at Thompson too, but family matters are getting in the way. So Palmer Labor Day will be my last track days for the year.

Bruce is going to let me ride his S1000RR for a session if the weather's good...

(There's a story there; tell ya later.)
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Old September 24th, 2018, 05:52 AM   #186
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Labor Day Update

I just wanted to start this post by saying "Thank You" once again to everyone who has read thru this long thread and taken the time to give me advice on how they dealt with the issues I have faced. Special thanks to @adouglas, @Misty and @csmith12 for all the "direct coaching" I have received from them and special thanks to my wife for understanding all the time and money I have invested in this adventure.

I returned to the track on September 1&2 for Labor Day weekend. I was a little disappointed that we were running the Palmer track clockwise. I have the most experience running counter clockwise but after this weekend, I think the track flows better clockwise. My last track day was on Memorial day Weekend which was also clockwise but cold and wet. Not so this time, it was as good a day at the track as possible the first day with low 80's and a slight breeze. Monday the 2nd was hotter and no wind to help cool things down but I am not complaining! With only 4 track days in the last 2 years and no street riding, it took several sessions for me to relax and start really riding the bike without triggering multiple SR's. Mr. Fist suggested I reposition my rearsets which was the key to my success on this trip. I don't think I would have been able to get comfortable and start feeling things again if it was not for this change. I had real issues with my legs getting tired and I could not get off the bike properly until he suggested I move the pegs back and down 1 space each direction. With my feet more "under" me and my legs a little less bent, I was better able to support myself and able to hang off better without getting as tired.


Since I have had so little time on the bike over the last few years, my muscles used in riding are weak. Once the pegs were relocated, I was able to begin focus more on what I was doing wrong and on just hitting my marks. I did not manage to get my knee down this trip but I was running a good "mid yellow group" pace as I was not getting passed much and I was passing a few bike at times. Although I was not dragging my knee I felt I was going close to the same speeds I had done prior in the counter clockwise direction (where I was always dragging knee). I think that moving the pegs allowed me to be in a more correct body position which allowed me to use less lean angle with the same relative speed. I know my lap times were within a second or 2 of what I did in the other direction (onboard lap timer) and things felt great inspiring lots of confidence to go faster. There was one stark reminder of how much I can still improve: A young lady on a KTM RC390 blew past me entering turn 7 and disappeared so fast I could not believe, I began to hit that turn much harder after that!

I do not have any data nor video to show how things went but I feel I did well and continued to improve the second day-although I was so sore and tired from the first day that I skipped several sessions. This year was to be my "Best Year ever" on the track but life got in the way and I only got the 4 days on the track. I am rescheduling the "Best year ever" to 2019 and I hope to ride with many of you during the season.

Besides (I cant call it improvement but maybe a return to a skill level?) returning, my father and one of his friends came out to see the track. They wanted to watch me ride but they were also considering doing a track day next year. I really hope to get a chance to ride on the track with my dad, That would be a great memory for the rest of my life. I hope to have lots of updates to this thread next year along with the announcement that my 2nd bike is rebuilt and running again. Heres to 2019!
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Old September 24th, 2018, 07:16 AM   #187
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Bravo, Ant.

Really want to see you at the track more next year, and more importantly ON the track more next year!

Last day of the season is today and I'm at work....



But the weather's fine and I rode in....

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Old September 24th, 2018, 07:09 PM   #188
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Tell you what... you get your dad (and friends) to ride, and I will be there. Just give me at least 30 days notice to put together the trip. I will ride every session with ya'lls and the steak and shrimp is on me sir...

Good luck Ant, and....

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Old September 25th, 2018, 07:40 AM   #189
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@csmith12: MOTFM (Member of the Freakin' Millennium)
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Old September 25th, 2018, 03:38 PM   #190
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@csmith12: MOTFM (Member of the Freakin' Millennium)
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Old September 26th, 2018, 12:34 PM   #191
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Chris has my vote!
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