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Old October 29th, 2015, 03:12 PM   #1
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How to find the edge

Hello Everyone,
I have spent the last two seasons experiencing the joys of track riding! There have been many improvements and I have gotten better and lapped faster than ever before. I have studied and been able to apply what I have learned and even dragged my knee thru a few turns! There were some great people who have instructed and encouraged me on my journey but I have one reoccuring issue and I would like the combined wisdom of this forum to help me find the answer.

When I first got on the track I was following the slow in fast out mantra and it seemed to work great. Once I got a little bit comfortable carrying what I felt was good speed into turns, I learned that I was not getting on the throttle soon enough. This is the main part of my issue but I need to explain more. Once I learned to roll the throttle on (much earlier than before) and began to experience running thru the corners with the power on (the correct way) and the weight more on the back tire, I bagan to feel a little vagueness in the front tire (lack or less feel/feedback from the front tire) and the rear tire began to feel like it was slightly drifting or sliding slightly. The rear was not "lit up" and I was not agressively applying throttle. I do have to qualify my entry speed so you can understand what I am saying. I felt like I was hauling A** into the turns because I have not been on the track much and my idea of fast is "safe street fast" not "Track Fast"! I have been improving my body position and I did not have any "Moments" while riding but I was above my normal comfort level. Turning at these speeds felt great and I enjoyed myself but wanting to inprove and find the next level I want to know how to tell when you are approaching the limits of traction. This is a very broad question but as a newish track rider I have been pushing a little bit more and slowly adding speed. The biggest hurdle is the worry of accidently going past the limit. I know there are guys going thru the same turn on the same line as I am with lots more speed (I just moved out of the slowest group) so I know there is more grip available, I just dont know what the signals the bike is sending to me mean in relation to the limit.

I hope I have explained what I am looking for clearly. Since I dont know what to look for how will I know when I approach or find the limit? This is what goes thru my mind as I enter the turn! I know how fast I have safely entered the turn in the past and I have added a little (very little) more energy. I am just not sure what the bike is telling me as the speed increases.

Sorry for the long post but I have been thinking about this alot and I need direction and you guys know better tan me!
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Old October 29th, 2015, 03:29 PM   #2
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Have you had your suspension tuned for you?
There is a great video you can learn a ton from: Traxxion Dynamics. It's on YouTube.
Any rider will go far faster on a properly set up bike compared to an out of adjusted bike.
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Old October 29th, 2015, 03:33 PM   #3
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Have you had your suspension tuned for you?
There is a great video you can learn a ton from: Traxxion Dynamics. It's on YouTube.
Any rider will go far faster on a properly set up bike compared to an out of adjusted bike.
I took my bike the the suspension guru at the track and he said it was set up as good as stock suspension could be set for me. I have even tire wear and no known issues with the suspension even fresh oil in the forks
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Old October 29th, 2015, 03:49 PM   #4
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Go to a racing school!
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Old October 29th, 2015, 03:53 PM   #5
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Go to a racing school!
This is on my list of things to do but I would like to improve more before going
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Old October 29th, 2015, 03:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post
This is on my list of things to do but I would like to improve more before going
Why? They will teach you how to go fast, safely!
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Old October 29th, 2015, 04:14 PM   #7
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Please, read these articles:

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/ri...ith-code-break

http://www.motomom.ca/the-limit-expl...tire-traction/

http://forums.superbikeschool.com/in...?showtopic=877

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Old October 29th, 2015, 04:18 PM   #8
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I am in a similar position. I know my corner entry speed can come way up, and I keep increasing my pace once my tires are warm. However I am not sure if I will get any feedback or warning signs to back off before an off.

I have already had one off with no warning (that I noticed) on another bike and learned to warm up the rubber before getting greedy.

A few friends tell me that a school is the best bang for the buck investment for improvement and confidence in high speed riding.
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Old October 29th, 2015, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post
This is on my list of things to do but I would like to improve more before going
Get a copy of Twist of the Wrist 11. Both the book & video and study them.
But I wouldn't hesitate to get some coaching at a Superbike school. Better they teach you best practices first rather than wasting your time & money fixing what you've taught yourself wrong!
I'm in the great white north but haven't a clue where Wooster is bit I'm sure someone will point you towards a good school near you.
My personal recommendation is California Superbike School. They have school dates all over the U.S. My teacher of choice is Misti Hurst! but any decent instructor can help you out with your basics!
Good luck and enjoy!!!
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Old October 29th, 2015, 04:47 PM   #10
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The best way to do this safely is to find a qualified instructor to help you get there, you can do it on your own but there will likely be some crashes in there. To improve from where you are now is where the risk starts going up and up the closer you get to the limit the smaller the margin of error so it's best to have someone to point out the small errors that you're making to help you fix them to be faster and safer at the same time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CC Cowboy View Post
Go to a racing school!
^ This ^
just riding the track with highly qualified instructors will help you tremendously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jBazz View Post
I am in a similar position. I know my corner entry speed can come way up, and I keep increasing my pace once my tires are warm. However I am not sure if I will get any feedback or warning signs to back off before an off.

I have already had one off with no warning (that I noticed) on another bike and learned to warm up the rubber before getting greedy.

A few friends tell me that a school is the best bang for the buck investment for improvement and confidence in high speed riding.
for you I'd recommend TPM's art level II with mark at njmp, I'll be taking it again early next season and it's a huge help
that and ycrs if you have the cash, I'll be doing css level 1 (maybe 2 as well) too at njmp next season
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Old October 29th, 2015, 04:49 PM   #11
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Motofool: Thank you. Great info as usual from you. Read everything you posted.

Jbazz I hope you find the answers we are both looking for. I love to ride the track and will keep going until I find what I am looking for.

SLOWn60,CC Cowboy. jBazz I will go to Superbike school soon. I agree that they are the best answer. I just returned from a big trip so I will have to wait a year or so before I can use the leave necessary for the school but I will go.

Thank you all for your input! I still want to here more from any/everyone. You can never have too muck knowledge.

After reading all the articles Motofool posted I realize I have been in some of the "Bands of Traction" and I have felt some of what they spoke of, this is why I posted this thread!
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Old October 29th, 2015, 06:15 PM   #12
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Not much to add but I've gone to Superbike School for several years now and have never done a track day (at least so far), so take that as evidence they'll be more than able to instruct you no matter what level you're at effectively. No need to be 'at least this good' to go.
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Old October 29th, 2015, 06:27 PM   #13
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@Yakaru I love your mentality towards it, it's a true "I'm going to the track to learn how to be a better rider" mentality

I'd be willing to bet that you're in the minority in that respect for those who take the css courses. I intend to take a few with the explicit goal of being faster, not necessarily safer but faster. The goal of being better to be safer is admirable
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Old October 29th, 2015, 06:39 PM   #14
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I go to the track for fun, becoming a better rider is just another benefit!
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Old October 29th, 2015, 06:56 PM   #15
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oh yeah, I never actually gave an answer to the question other than "get training"

you'll basically go by feel, I personally have always had warning before I crashed when I've crashed due to going over the limits slightly. The only times I haven't were when I flipped on grass after being pushed wide to the inside of a chicane and when I smacked my exhaust on a curb which lead to a near instant loss of rear traction. All of the lowsides I have experienced on open pavement were cases where I could have saved it by abandoning the corner but I committed anyway, my more recent one even was so gradual I had the time and ability to try to pick the bike back on the front wheel as the bike was headed where I wanted to go anyway (I didn't )

The tires speak to you when they get close to the limit, some more than others. There is a distinct feeling that I can't quite describe but you'll know when you start feeling it. For me it was most recently the front end chattering that I could feel through the bars while at maximum lean at speed. I felt this for 10 laps feeling like I was about to loose grip every corner before it finally went. Having a very loose grip on the bars works to allow the front a better chance to maintain grip on it's own while also allowing you to feel more through them. The rear you seem to have a bit of a feel for already

Disclaimer: I can only speak from personal experience so take that with a grain of salt
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Old October 29th, 2015, 07:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Motofool: Thank you.........
You are welcome

Maybe @Misti will post here soon.
She is an instructor in CSS and the author of the article of the second link in my previous post.

This old thread may help you as well:
https://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=119958

The heavier a corner makes you feel is a direct indicative of the magnitude of the lateral forces that your contact patches are feeling and fighting.
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Old October 29th, 2015, 07:17 PM   #17
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I am just posting this for fun, but honestly... this is my plan for my son.

Step 1: put on socks, slide across a hardwood floor until you can slide 10ft+ repeatedly and laugh the whole time
Step 2: get a skateboard and ride it, the art of balance and how you use your body to influence it is important
Step 3: breath... relax... learn to only react to what you really need to react to. If you need an extreme example, get 3 friends... give 2 of them pool noodles, give the other a baseball bat and tell them to hit you
Step 4: ride the skateboard again and notice the differences in the reactions you DIDN'T have. Repeat the steps if you're still reacting to EVERYTHING or don't understand what I mean
Step 5: ride in the dirt as much as you can, then over the winter... ride on snow and ice
Step 6: do this until you can drift around corners on dirt, mud, snow or ice while laughing 100% of the time

Now you're ready to explore the upper limits of traction on a bike on pavement.
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Old October 29th, 2015, 07:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by csmith12 View Post
I am just posting this for fun, but honestly... this is my plan for my son.

Step 1: put on socks, slide across a hardwood floor until you can slide 10ft+ repeatedly and laugh the whole time
Step 2: get a skateboard and ride it, the art of balance and how you use your body to influence it is important
Step 3: breath... relax... learn to only react to what you really need to react to. If you need an extreme example, get 3 friends... give 2 of them pool noodles, give the other a baseball bat and tell them to hit you
Step 4: ride the skateboard again and notice the differences in the reactions you DIDN'T have. Repeat the steps if you're still reacting to EVERYTHING or don't understand what I mean
Step 5: ride in the dirt as much as you can, then over the winter... ride on snow and ice
Step 6: do this until you can drift around corners on dirt, mud, snow or ice while laughing 100% of the time

Now you're ready to explore the upper limits of traction on a bike on pavement.
Do I at least get something to use to block the baseball bat?

and it looks like I should pick up a dirt bike
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Old October 29th, 2015, 07:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
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The tires speak to you when they get close to the limit, some more than others. There is a distinct feeling that I can't quite describe but you'll know when you start feeling it.
I have heard this said before as well, and that some tires will give you more feedback then others when they are at their limit. There are so many situations and factors to loss of traction as others have pointed out (suspension etc), I am not sure there is one answer clear answer.

I have read and re-read a lot, especially enjoy Lee Parks book Total Control. Immense wisdom in that book which takes seat time to apply. In the end I ask for coaching feedback frequently, continue to push gradually and have faith that as long as I am still slower then guys like @Sirref I should keep it upright !
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Old October 29th, 2015, 08:06 PM   #20
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I'm not even the fast guy hahaha
@csmith12 is faster than me
as are @gogoKawi (andre) and chet
and especially brandon

I believe the feeling is different depending on what the weak link is, there are ways to read your suspension for tuning but I have not bothered with that yet as the ninja's forks are not exactly set up to be tuned on the fly
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Old October 29th, 2015, 08:08 PM   #21
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step 1: work on being consistent. consistency is extremely important if you want to go fast. do not move on until you can do your events (brake/gas/turn/etc) at close to the same exact position each lap for every turn. work on finding sighting marks. cracks in the road. tire skids. signs next to the track. whatever you need to find your frame of reference so you know right where you are at any time.

step 2: progressively turn up the volume to 11. if you can be consistent, then you can progressively take a turn faster and faster until you start to have some kind of issue. if you progressively and slowly phase into higher speeds, you only get little issues and not big ones that cause crashes. you'll want to adjust not just braking markers, gas markers and turn in markers, but also how you hold your body, what you look at, and even things like how you breathe. i go by the mantra of if you're not struggling to stay on track at the exit or struggling with traction, then you're not going fast enough through a turn.

step 3: go racing. following someone faster than you on the same equipment gives you good perspective of what you're both doing different which makes it easy to see which is the better method.

step 4: at the end of the day after everything is said and done, have a beer and watch videos of the race. you get to see all the things you've done wrong that you missed while you were caught up in the moment. why a pass didn't work, why you ran off, why whatever. smart phones that record telemetry is really handy
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Old October 29th, 2015, 08:14 PM   #22
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step 2 is the difference between races where I have crashed and races where I have not

I'm a dumbass so I'll run race pace whether I'm ready for it or not, it tends to go better after good practice and actually being ready for it with the equipment that I'm running that day
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Old October 30th, 2015, 04:59 AM   #23
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More great information! Just what I am looking for. Keep it comming!

Siref: I wish I could join you for all the training/scooling you will be getting next season. I have wanted to go for a few years now but life prevents what we want with what we should/need to do! I have been getting some feed back from the tires I just have not figured out what it means.

I have experienced the heavy feel of the front when not on the throttle thru a turn and I have ridden in the dirt for many years so I know how that feels when the rear is sliding or spinning. I just have not experienced enough on the track to understand what my tires are telling me. It is beginning to look like the only way to learn what the tires do at near the edge of traction is to go there and take a picture!

Cbinker: Could not agree more with what you said. I feel the same way. I will never be the winner of a race (unless the rest of the field is all beginners) but I can make it home safe from every ride with a big smile on my face!

Motofool: As I said in the reply to Siref, I fully intend to attend a school as soon as I am able. I thank you again for the last article and I watch Twist 2 all the time at work and before every track day. I drive my wife crazy because I constantly aske her Once the throttle is opened??? and she has to recite the rest of the quote back to me!

Csmith12: Chris, I have spoke with you in length multiple times and I deliberately stayed close to you during the track walk just to pick your brain and hear everything you said about the track and lines! You have given me loads of great advice and helped me get faster.

Alex S. My consistency is 7 out of 10. I am still new and working on this along with multiple other things. Everything is not automatic yet but if I concentrate I can run a fairly consistent lap. I do well hitting all the marks (the X's they put on the track) and my lines are pretty good but entry speed and brakeing is not as strong. Also my Smoothness on control inputs is being improved but far from perfect.

I have been slowly adding speed with more laps. My biggest problem with this is that I am not entering the same turn at the same speed to begin with so I am not sure where I am faster. My lap times have gotten faster but not every lap. I do not make many big mistakes just a bunch of smaller ones. Missed shifts, shift points, brake markers, turn in markers and being slightly off line cause less laps that I can practice rolling on the throttle and get close to the point where I get the feed back I dont yet understand. Just like everyone else--the more I rode on the track the smoother I got and the more often I felt the feed back and with all the other little mistakes I had made I did not want to push past a point I have not yet found!

There area few videos of Csmith12 and Adouglas following me around the track in the Ninjettes at speed section under "attention CT, NY, MA and RI Track riders" thread. Feel free to watch and pick my riding apart. I do not get offended and love feedback from people who know better than I. I have watched these video's and more I have and this is what has fueled me to improve my skills! Just know that the laps you will see were mostly on the first day and I did improve later in the day and the next day.

Thanks again to everyone. I love bikes and learning about riding better is the next best thing to riding better.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 06:57 AM   #24
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Do I at least get something to use to block the baseball bat?
Sure... your wits.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 06:58 AM   #25
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*disclaimer - I did not read everyone's posts just the OP, although the names of who replied lead me to believe you already have some really great answers - my $.02 now*

Honestly the only way to find the limit is to go faster or decrease available traction.

There are many ways to do the go faster thing, some of the safest bets are riding schools and personal instruction. Those are great ideas but can be costly and may not be in reach of everyone. Some organizations are better about coaching at regular track days than others. Ask around about the ones that have really good control riders with really good coaching opportunities and soak it up.

One of the biggest eye openers to me at decent novice race pace was to simply get an expert racer to tow me around. It will show you areas where you are leaving lots on the table. Some of it is simply a matter of sucking it up and gassing earlier and braking later, and building your comfort with the way the bike feels at the faster pace. Typically most people need to take little bits of that at a time, get comfortable, then take a little bit more. To me this approach is certainly about going faster (and necessary at points), but not necessarily the best option for learning what a tire and bike tells you at the limit because your stakes go up as you go faster.

The other option to your specific statement about learning what the edge of traction feels like, and a better one in my opinion; is to reduce available traction. This can be done in a couple of ways as well. A simple option is to run a tire that has less outright grip but is very predictable on the limit. A hypersport tire will tend to show you its limits at a slower pace than a race slick. You can feel the tire and bike communicating this to you at more sane pace. Above all its track time, track time, track time - and not just riding around on track, but actively working on your craft each lap you turn.

A lot of people recommend dirt riding as that takes the traction to a very low state. You will slide the front and you will side the rear on dirt. I have done a small amount of dirt riding for this purpose and find that there are things to be learned for sure from it. I think I would do more dirt riding if I had a place to do it more often but what I really preferred was kart tracking a mini sumo. An XR100 on BT45s on a kart track is a really decent analog to the big track. The little bike flexes and squirms, the front and rear tires slide, and you can feel all of it at 35-45 mpg instead of 90. Because the little suckers have NO power you have to work on really maintaining corner speed to go fast and the brakes are so HORRIBLE you have to manage your entry to get it right. And because they weigh nothing, each movement of your body, each input is magnified. I LOVE kart track work on a mini sumo for inexpensive craft training work.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 07:25 AM   #26
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I am just posting this for fun, but honestly... this is my plan for my son.

Step 1: put on socks, slide across a hardwood floor until you can slide 10ft+ repeatedly and laugh the whole time
Step 2: get a skateboard and ride it, the art of balance and how you use your body to influence it is important
Step 3: breath... relax... learn to only react to what you really need to react to. If you need an extreme example, get 3 friends... give 2 of them pool noodles, give the other a baseball bat and tell them to hit you
Step 4: ride the skateboard again and notice the differences in the reactions you DIDN'T have. Repeat the steps if you're still reacting to EVERYTHING or don't understand what I mean
Step 5: ride in the dirt as much as you can, then over the winter... ride on snow and ice
Step 6: do this until you can drift around corners on dirt, mud, snow or ice while laughing 100% of the time

Now you're ready to explore the upper limits of traction on a bike on pavement.
I find this to be the most important part of riding.

Skiing and dirt bike riding is how I learn body control. It will make you fast, and could save your life.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 08:18 AM   #27
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Old October 30th, 2015, 10:06 AM   #28
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seems like everybody has pretty much covered it. The only thing I could recommend is getting harder/cheaper tires. No, they won't make you go faster, but they are more forgiving at the limit and you'll learn to slide/feel at slower speeds than with grippier tires.

I've learned this for the street too...

So many sport bikers only care for increased performance without matching it to the conditions. I ride harder tires than most, as I prefer tires which aren't as dependent on temperature and will act predictably from 30F - 100F. ContiGo!'s if you're interested. I also enjoy them on the track, they are a lot of fun to slide around and inspire much more confidence "at the limit" than my Rosso II's, which I trust faster/deeper into a corner, but get nervous about as I go beyond my frame of deference.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 10:33 AM   #29
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Honestly, you only have 2 types of feedback that you get from the bike. It will be either positive or negative and you only want enough feedback that you can work with. Too much is just as bad as too little.

So getting back to finding the traction limit... the answer is there is no answer that will fit 100% of all scenarios. If there was, we all would be traction masters. Instead, focus on assisting the bike delivering positive feedback to the rider. Which is basically why some riders can go faster than others in less than optimal traction conditions, the same thing also holds true when the conditions are perfect for optimal traction. At any time it doesn't feel confidence inspiring, stop right there and figure out why you're not getting that positive feedback of stability. Sometimes, it's the bike setup, sometimes it's the tires, sometimes it's the track, other times the weather, maybe it's simply just the rider having an off day or running into their skill limit. The bottom line is, even if the bike is far from the limit of traction, the risk of crashing goes way up when the bike or rider starts complaining in some way. Many times the rider starts to address these problems via unneeded or improper inputs or changing settings thus reducing the available traction that they ALREADY have. :\

To address Ant's issue with feedback directly, and as far as feedback goes... I currently classify him and many others at the same place in their track riding careers, in the "needy rider" category. It’s not a good nor a bad thing and might change with time and experience, but many riders transition through this same phase in their riding when coming to terms with the unknown. In the beginning, it’s not how to deal with it or find it. It should be how to prevent it in the first place, predicting and dealing with traction loss comes later, actually…. much, much later.

I will use myself as an example, I am not exactly slow, but nowhere near the fastest.. but my bike rarely slides or loses traction even with some of my fastest paces. Those who have attended the track with me can attest to how LITTLE I reference the available grip, yet ride just as fast or faster than the majority of riders on the course. I credit this to prevention, NOT acceptance and anyone can follow that pretty easily imho. Throughout my riding, I have learned that I prefer a stable front end. The rear of the bike can move around as needed but the front must stay nearly 100% stable for me to have full confidence, other riders are the exact opposite. In that respect, I am “needy” of the front and less needy of the rear. To isolate this specific area of my riding, I stopped changing things and stuck with a pretty decent bike setup and one brand and model of tires. Since the bike didn’t change, I was free to work on me “feeling” available traction and grip at different paces and lean angles. It wasn’t what I learned about grip that was profound, what was amazing… is what I learned about myself. Going further, I learned that it wasn’t even about me in the first place, it was about satisfying the minimal needs of the bike. After that the bike became even more compliant and the rider on top of it was much happier knowing the bike was not going to put me on my head at a moment’s notice and what alex.s stated about consistency has real merit here.

The articles linked in this thread are great and all, but it’s just text on a screen. Feeling those events is a whole other matter. To add to my cheesy post above, once you’re ready to try pavement, the kart track on a little bike is a great way to mitigate risk and still experience a very similar feel as Neil so very well knows.

Oh… and one more thing. Read this if you haven’t already. https://www.ninjette.org/forums/show...9&postcount=31


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Ps. I am also going into business next year, I am available for personal one on one and small group coaching. PM/call/email me for details before I make it formally public in Feb.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 11:15 AM   #30
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I currently classify him and many others at the same place in their track riding careers, in the "needy rider" category.
Can you elaborate on this, the "needy rider" category and other categories
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Old October 30th, 2015, 11:54 AM   #31
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K. Code noted "traction riders" in TOTW2 - Riders that ride by the "feel of traction", or by the seat of their pants imho. I think we all have and must have, that inner traction rider. How much in control that traction rider is, differs per rider. Think instinct vs practiced skills.

Needy riders - Just like traction riders, we all have an inner needy rider. It's our greatest strength, yet our biggest weakness at the same time. Without that need satisfied, we go slower. Yet that need becomes our limit when we try to go beyond it. And interpreting K. Code's quote "take control by doing nothing" another way, we learn that putting our needs second to the bike's needs or lack thereof, is often more beneficial to our pace goals.

I already wrote about conservative riders, bolt turners and such...

The other big group is the fearless group, made up of younger racers and junkies. Be it ignorance, lack of experience or something I don't fully understand, they just don't care as long as their internal adrenaline meter is pegged. The price (risk) they are willing to pay for the "high" is greater than that of most other people. "To hell with the bike and it's complaining, I am having the ride of my life".

EDIT: Most riders are a blend of said groupings, but normally there is a dominate one. For full disclosure, my dominant group is also still a needy rider.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 12:58 PM   #32
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Things that I have felt just before going down;
A completely blank feeling from the front. - Tucked front due to excessive corner speed where the track changed camber.
The bars wanting to turn in all on their own - Tucked front due to corner speed greater than available grip.
Questionable traction from the rear - Lost rear due to overheated, worn out tire. : I do not blame the tire, it was my fault because I knew better... but rode fast anyway.
Front chatter (light to moderate vibration in both bars) - Tucked the front due to being tight on the bars over rippled tarmack.
Hard rear chatter - Lost the rear when tight on the bars when pace was greater than the tire could flex, tire was most likely over inflated as well.

Warning signs that I was nearing the edge;
Chatter, both front and rear
Mushy feeling from front and/or rear
Rigid mid corner feel from the front forks (most cold track days, bad springs and/or valving)
Various slides/pushes from front and rear
Overall instability - that feeling you get in your gut and lower torso or that "about to fall" feeling. (wet track days and very cold track days)
Rear spin ups - wet or cold and (super hot track days on a crappy tire). Note: throttle power spins ups are not necessarily a traction limit indicator but can send you down
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Old October 30th, 2015, 01:10 PM   #33
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All I know for sure is every track crash I've had involved a Red Bull approximately 10 minutes before finding the edge! True story!
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Old October 30th, 2015, 01:30 PM   #34
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A few comments in light of mostly good advice I see.

Words from a friend as we were talking at the track one day a long time ago: "If you are comfortable while you are going around the track, you will not get any faster. You have to make yourself uncomfortable in order to go faster."

When you are working on going faster, don't try to go faster everywhere at once. You will get information overload and it's a lot easier to make mistakes that way. Pick one or two corners at opposite ends of the track and run the rest of the track at a comfortable pace. Then just work on those corners until you are happy with your progress in them. Then pick two more corners, leave the rest alone, and so on.

I think that you have a pretty good approach in working up to the limits of traction. I am not a "Balls to the wall" let's just go faster type of rider. I prefer to approach it where I just keep gradually going faster. This allows me to sense the bike starting to behave differently and telling me things are starting to happen. An example is the first time I spun the back end coming out of a corner on purpose. I was gradually getting on the gas earlier and earlier when I started feeling the back end move around a bit more. I knew that the bike was saying; "I'm about to start moving some more " I knew what was coming, so I kept getting on the gas a little earlier, a little earlier, a little earlier until the back end drifted out easy as pie and I stayed on the gas and finished the corner with a big smile on my face, thinking: "I just spun up the rear!" No drama, big fun.

The bad stuff happens when you try to take big swings at your laptimes with an axe instead of carving on them with a knife.

Get a laptimer if you don't have one. What feels fast isn't always actually fast and you need a way to quantify your performance.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 01:46 PM   #35
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Words from a friend as we were talking at the track one day a long time ago: "If you are comfortable while you are going around the track, you will not get any faster. You have to make yourself uncomfortable in order to go faster."
I can agree with that in general terms but realize it's not always the case. In fact, it's not my preferred way to help someone get faster, although I understand that some riders do need to simply suck it up and go.

For example, my fastest laps ever turned at Mid-Ohio, Pitrace and Nelson felt slow as crap and was never once uncomfortable. It wasn't until after the race and looking at the scoresheets that I realized that I had broken my personal best times.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 02:42 PM   #36
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Tgold: Great advice, next time out I am going to just take 2 corners and make them my focus. I really feel this is the best way to achieve what I am looking for. I have been focusing on trying to put it all together and get a little faster overall but I really feel you are onto something there. I have a lap timer on my bike and that is how I know I was actually going faster at the end. I have a lot of responsibility at work so I cant push too hard and put any more risk into the equation than there needs to be.

I have been slightly out of my comfort zone for a while. I had my best improvement while following a better rider (Jon a control rider for TTD) He told me to follow him and I did. Every lap he would turn around and I was right behind him. He would bring the pace up a little more and again and again I stayed with him until he finally waved me past and followed me for a few laps. This is when I managed to drag my knee thru a few of the turns because I had the confidence of his entry speeds and I was really flying (for me) and had to ride like that to keep his pace. dont get me wrong I did not feel like I was not in control or over my head but I had never run that fast before. All this was before Csmith taught me to corner with the power on thru the turns and I was just entering the turn with steady throttle then getting on the power late at nearly the apex. Now as I ride by myself I continue to try to keep the entry speed close to what Jon showed me was a good safe speed and I am getting on the gas earlier and still (mostly) hitting my marks. I am just not sure how much more speed the front (or rear) will take before there is none left. I know I am not at the limit but as I said I dont know how to interpet the feed back I am now getting. There is a limit but where that is I have no idea. I will continue to follow what has worked for me and focus on two turns until I get used to what I am now feeling then I will slowy begin to add speed in the 2 chosen turns and just focus on good lines and form thru the rest of the track.

PS: Jon followed me back to the paddoc after he led me then let me lead. That will forever be my trophy! I have never felt better (Riding) than when he said "You were really flying out there!" TRACK JUNKIE FOR LIFE!

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Old October 30th, 2015, 02:49 PM   #37
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I can agree with that in general terms but realize it's not always the case. In fact, it's not my preferred way to help someone get faster, although I understand that some riders do need to simply suck it up and go.

For example, my fastest laps ever turned at Mid-Ohio, Pitrace and Nelson felt slow as crap and was never once uncomfortable. It wasn't until after the race and looking at the scoresheets that I realized that I had broken my personal best times.
Not to get too much into semantics, but I would say it's the key to going faster. At some point before you were " in the zone" I could be wrong, but I'd venture to guess that there were some uncomfortable spots you had to get through before you got to that race. No saying like that has a universal application though.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 03:01 PM   #38
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Tgold: Great advice, next time out I am going to just take 2 corners and make them my focus. I really feel this is the best way to achieve what I am looking for. I have been focusing on trying to put it all together and get a little faster overall but I really feel you are onto something there. I have a lap timer on my bike and that is how I know I was actually going faster at the end. I have a lot of responsibility at work so I cant push too hard and put any more risk into the equation than there needs to be.

I have been slightly out of my comfort zone for a while. I had my best improvement while following a better rider (Jon a control rider for TTD) He told me to follow him and I did. Every lap he would turn around and I was right behind him. He would bring the pace up a little more and again and again I stayed with him until he finally waved me past and followed me for a few laps. This is when I managed to drag my knee thru a few of the turns because I had the confidence of his entry speeds and I was really flying (for me) and had to ride like that to keep his pace. dont get me wrong I did not feel like I was not in control or over my head but I had never run that fast before. All this was before Csmith taught me to corner with the power on thru the turns and I was just entering the turn with steady throttle then getting on the power late at nearly the apex. Now as I ride by myself I continue to try to keep the entry speed close to what Jon showed me was a good safe speed and I am getting on the gas earlier and still (mostly) hitting my marks. I am just not sure how much more speed the front (or rear) will take before there is none left. I know I am not at the limit but as I said I dont know how to interpet the feed back I am now getting. There is a limit but where that is I have no idea. I will continue to follow what has worked for me and focus on two turns until I get used to what I am now feeling then I will slowy begin to add speed in the 2 chosen turns and just focus on good lines and form thru the rest of the track.

PS: Jon followed me back to the paddoc after he led me then let me lead. That will forever be my trophy! I have never felt better (Riding) than when he said "You were really flying out there!" TRACK JUNKIE FOR LIFE!
The part about not knowing were the limit is, well I'd use this analogy: The 18 year old gymnast who has been on the balance beam since she was three, well, she's spent so much time on that beam and she's developed her sense of feel and balance to such a degree that to her that beam feels like she's on a 4X8 sheet of plywood. But to you and me, it feels like we are on a razor blade.
The way to develop your feel for the edge of traction on a bike is to spend a lot of time near the limit. It doesn't have to be over the limit, just near it. The things that I can feel on a bike now are far more subtle than when I started out racing many moons ago. Practice, think, practice, think, repeat.
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Old October 30th, 2015, 03:08 PM   #39
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Not to get too much into semantics, but I would say it's the key to going faster. At some point before you were " in the zone" I could be wrong, but I'd venture to guess that there were some uncomfortable spots you had to get through before you got to that race. No saying like that has a universal application though.
Not sure what you mean. I was not out of control but I was extremely focused and I knew that Jon was not going in too fast so I matched his pace. After he let me lead I was (Still in the zone?) able to continue to keep about the same pace. I was totally focused on riding and nothing else. Just fully focused with hightened senses and things just seemed to happen like they should. Now when I enter a turn I am thinking too much: Not too fast, keep on line, get over farther, find your marker......all thoughts as I am entering a turn and I believe it should be more automatic without so much fore thought. I had worked thru some of the issues earlier in the day but at this time everything just happened like it should have. Maybe I just need to use more instinct and less thought and I will be much faster and less mentally exhausted!
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Old October 30th, 2015, 03:28 PM   #40
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Maybe I just need to use more instinct and less thought and I will be much faster and less mentally exhausted!
Now you're gettin' it Ant! As you progress through practiced skills, you can relieve yourself of thinking about those honed skills, and your newly "trained instinct" can take over that job. Much like Timm's balance beam example, it comes with time and practice.

Although, from your first post and the last time we rode together, the bike is telling you something. You have the option of pushing yourself through it or pushing the bike. Ignoring the bike normally doesn't work out very well though. ijs....

From your 6, I only saw the rear of the bike slide a couple of times and we have already chatted about those concerns. I wouldn't up the pace much more until you have solved those issues.
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