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Old June 16th, 2016, 12:30 PM   #81
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Also Andrew, If you can't tell on your own, continue to let experienced track riders riders validate your setup. I understand that "you don't know what you don't know" and hopefully a rider that knows what the bike "should feel like" can let you know when the issue has been corrected. Once you get it sorted, your bike will be a cornering, slice and dice beast (much better than my own)!!!

EDIT: In utter amazement... I am surprised that you rode it as fast as you did. I couldn't bring myself to do it like you did.

I wish nothing but the best for ya'lls.
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Old June 16th, 2016, 05:52 PM   #82
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High praise indeed! Thanks....

New tires are ordered and will be riding on them Monday. We'll see what, if anything, I notice.

Apparently I don't have a good feel for what's going on "below the waist," as it were. I mean, we established that my tire gauge is way off, and I used that same gauge to set pressures at Palmer on Memorial Day weekend when I made big breakthroughs. You'd think that wouldn't be the case....
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Old June 16th, 2016, 07:25 PM   #83
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I don't think your "below the waist" feel is broken at all. Revisit this and then compare what you were riding vs the new tires.

https://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=258160 Some of those comments will sound really familiar after our time actually doing it on track... a little harder, a little harder, a little harder each lap ya know.

Lemme know what you think after your next track day please.
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Old June 16th, 2016, 08:23 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post
Misti,
I believe you are right that I did not state what I was feeling correctly. Towards the beginning of this thread I was asking what the feeling I was getting thru the front end was. When I began to corner harder at the track, I was feeling something new thru the bars and did not know/understand what the feedback from the tire was telling me. I have just returned from Riding School with Mr CSMITH12 and I now have a much better understanding of what the bike it communicating to me while leaned over at speed. I will PM you with some of what I have learned and explain further. Thank you so much for taking time to assess and improve my riding!

The answer the your first question above: "What do you do immediately after you press on the bar?" (Answer) Stop once the lean angle is correct for the turn.

Answer to the second question above: "What do you do to stop the bike from turning?" (Answer) Push/pull bars in the opposite direction.

Let me know if I got these answers correct or if I am missing what you are trying to communicate to me
Got your PM! I read it carefully and agree that you picked up a lot of understanding of what was going on in terms of "feel" from your bike but I still think there is something to be dissected here a little bit more that may give an alternative possibility to some of the things you are feeling with your bike. One of my questions to you was what do you do immediately after you press on the bar, and you said, stop pressing which is correct.

Then I asked, how do you stop the bike from turning and you said, push/pull the bars in the opposite direction- now, this may simply be semantics at play here BUT, there is no need to actually do anything when you want the bike to stop turning, you simply stop pressing on the bar. When you enter a turn you press on the inside bar to initiate the turn, when you get to the lean angle you want you stop pressing, now here is where it gets interesting, a lot of people believe that you need to push/pull the bar in the opposite direction (as you mentioned) in order to ensure that the bike doesn't lean over any further.

It is that SMALL/SLIGHT motion of trying to stop the bike from leaning over that CAN create a small pushing feeling in the front tire. It may feel like the bike is hitching, or a bit jerky or even that it is sliding a little bit or pushing the front. As coaches we see it manifest in a little jerk or wiggle (very slight) immediately after turn in. This is what I was thinking was a possibility of what you may be feeling.

Sometimes it isn't even a conscious effort to stop the bike from leaning over by pressing on the opposite bar, but even a tightening on both bars can have the same effect.

Give some thought to that and next time you ride see if pressing on the bar and then RELEASING all pressure (both ways) removes that pushing feeling, or makes the turning a bit smoother. It may not be the solution at all but it could have something to do with what you were experiencing.

And thanks for being so open to my advice and keeping this thread active and interesting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by adouglas View Post
Ant, I think you missed slightly on the second one, only because of terminology. "Turning the bike" means causing a change of direction from the path it would take anyway. A bike that's leaned over with no pressure on the bars is carving a circle but it's not "being turned" because it's at steady state.

(Try it with your bicycle... hold the saddle, tilt it over and push forward... it'll go in a circle without you pressing the bar at all.)

Consider that we're told to "finish turning the bike" as fast as possible, and before the apex. That's consistent with the idea that simply releasing bar pressure stops the bike from turning further.

I'd say the answer to both is the same... release bar pressure. You initiate the turn by pressing on the bar. You maintain turning (meaning the bike continues to lean over) as long as the bar is pressed. Once you release pressure, the bike STOPS turning and is now tracking in an arc because it's leaned over.

Countersteering the other way gets the bike stood up.
Yes, this is another way of explaining it
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Old June 16th, 2016, 08:42 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Misti View Post
And thanks for being so open to my advice and keeping this thread active and interesting!
Thanks Misti, your great. Ant is a straight shooter and takes value for what it is wherever it is found.

These rider's My friend's skills are progressing to the point where they are seeing/feeling where their bikes are not 100% compatible with the riders that they are. It's a confusing time indeed. Wish I would have known enough to set their bikes up for them perfectly in the paddock, but sadly... I don't have the knowledge to get the hardware to match the personality in control.

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Old June 16th, 2016, 09:12 PM   #86
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I found myself in an odd position at Mid-O. With my goal being to be able to ride different bikes fast (and controlled) I was struggling a lot with finding the limits.

On my own bike I am very comfortable with how the bike reacts and know exactly what to expect through much trial and error. I found though that riding a bike that was substantially different (ninja 300 to yamaha r6) I was not able to achieve a similar level of corner speed and lean. With that said I was never trying to push beyond a 7/10ths pace as I was not comfortable enough to.

My issues were finding the edge with different degree of application, which was largely what I worked on. However I've seen people hop from bike to bike and very quickly get up to the same pace before, which is something I seem unable to do.

Basically what I'm asking here is advice for finding the edge on unfamiliar machinery. In particular I wasn't comfortable with adding lean while trailbraking (especially on andy's bike) and with the initial throttle roll on out which I became much more comfortable with over time. With better brakes and more power than I am accustomed to I found it unusually difficult to take corners fast because I was on a faster bike which feels backwards
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Old June 17th, 2016, 05:09 PM   #87
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Hindsight is always 20/20 my friend and be careful about looking at your experience negatively. If you were feelin' it, why didn't you say something at the time? Perhaps I could have helped you somewhat.

Here is the deal yo...
Remember that post about rider types... we all have them. Well your question falls under the rider type of "traction rider". When riding an unknown bike, your only baseline to go by is what you know traction feels like on the bikes you have experience riding and since the bike is a foreign entity, so you got nothing but YOU sir.

To even come close to answering this question, I have to use myself as an example or it wouldn't be realistic or applicable. And.... I also did ride those said same bikes And.... felt as you did, to "find the limits" on those machines to relay information to their respective owners to answer questions. I know they asked you similar questions too and that is 100% fair.

It took me about 15 or so minutes (5 laps or so) for me to trust Ant's bike enough to lean it far enough to put a knee down, and even then, it was only a slight touch. That might sound quick, but it's FOREVER on the track. This is not 100% the bikes fault, I own quite a bit of that time. It's the time I take to address coming to terms with man vs machine vs traction and the risk level I am comfortable with while riding. It's perfectly normal, different for every rider/bike combo and don't you hold yourself accountable for riding "my" bike and riding a bit conservatively. Consider yourself applauded for what you did.

Trust me, I do it myself. I was behind you for a number of laps Ben. You did great, plain and simple. Ask the people that had a total of 5 cams going to pm you a video with you in it, you looked smooth as silk, you looked like you wasn't even trying hard (a key element to coaching riders). And I need to say no more to than offer up Kevin's phone number so you can ask a friend (he was behind you more than me and I can only see so much with a bent neck looking backward). The stuff he told me on the way home may surprise you. When you was directly behind me, I upped the pace each lap and you was right there on my rear wheel aside of turn 1 (which we talked about specifically) and we wasn't slow on some of those laps ijs... At this point, I trust you enough to know that you don't have to be draggin' knee to be going fast.

Sometimes we are hard on ourselves to a fault. You came, you rode, you left shiny side up, you learned something new, we laughed, we had a great time and we we ALL learned to adjust to the day's events on the fly. Pocket that in the success column my good friend, I know I did.

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Old June 17th, 2016, 05:51 PM   #88
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Ya'lls, that read my post quickly... reread it if you need to. I edited the crap outta that post.
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Old June 17th, 2016, 11:29 PM   #89
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Sometimes we are hard on ourselves to a fault. You came, you rode, you left shiny side up, you learned something new, we laughed, we had a great time and we we ALL learned to adjust to the day's events on the fly. Pocket that in the success column my good friend, I know I did.
These are true words my friend. I needed that, As a whole the trip was a huge success to begin with. Even disregarding everything I learned, I got to go ~155mph again and again which is not something I normally get to experience at the track. An experience of pure speed that was quite thrilling in itself.
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Old June 18th, 2016, 03:48 AM   #90
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I have had a couple of days to review the video of my most recent track day(s) and I found another point to relay to newer track riders. No matter how hard you feel you are riding, no matter how far you feel you are leaning off or how soon/hard you think you are getting on the throttle, chances are it is way less than your perception. When following Ben and Chris thru the turns on the track, I would attempt to match their entry speed so I could focus on line, lean and throttle. Since they were right in front of me I did not have to worry about going into a turn too fast and I could try some slightly different lines and focus on getting the bike turned and back on the throttle. Now I feel I must qualify this post since I did go faster, lean farther and have my knee on the deck more than I ever have even when I ride at my "home" track Palmer. My overall success at Mid Ohio was great I just want to point out another "Survival Response" that has to be over come to get faster and smoother at the track. While out on the track, exiting a turn, I felt like I would get on the throttle as early as possible and quite hard (I am always worried about spinning up the rear) yet on the video review, I see that I could have rolled on much sooner and at least 25% harder! I had both Chris and Ben each ride my bike for a session and the rear tire was so much more torn up once they returned to the garage than when I rode the bike. During my very first track day, I felt like I was leaning way off the bike but the video showed how pathetically little I was actually getting over and off the bike. Most people have years of street riding experience before trying the track and old habits are hard to break! I was way further off than I would have ever done on the street yet not even close to even "basic" body position. I also found that if your ergonomics are not set up properly, this will hold you back in many ways. Before adjusting my rearsets I could get into the "Proper Body position" with my butt off the seat, head down and forward near the mirror, knee in the tank and armpit over gas cap, yet I just did not look nor feel quite right. After we repositioned the footpegs to their highest and most forward position (Thanks Chris!) I was solidly locked into place while leaned over and I could touch my knee down earlier in the lean giving a reference for further lean. The point of this post is to keep new rides evaluating their body position, and riding skills always looking for improvement. Even if something is working well for you right now, it may not work as well once you start to get faster!
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Old June 18th, 2016, 05:28 AM   #91
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No matter how hard you feel you are riding, no matter how far you feel you are leaning off or how soon/hard you think you are getting on the throttle, chances are it is way less than your perception.
Truth.
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Old June 19th, 2016, 04:51 PM   #92
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Just another insight to what I learned and experienced with proper instruction at the Mid Ohio riding School. Now I am still a fairly new rider on the track and I am far from consistent every lap. When exiting the "Key Hole" turn onto the back straight a good drive would have me reaching the 700' marker for turn 7 (Chris wrote a beautiful thread about this turn) at 140MPH! The first time we went this fast on this section of track I would roll off the throttle after the 600' marker and begin braking at the 500' marker. We were instructed to move the braking point back a 1/2 bike length (when we felt ready) by waiting till we had just passed the marker rather then right at the marker. By the end of the second day I would roll off just before the 300' marker and this was still way earlier than the bike was capable of slowing! We did a "No Brakes" drill earlier in the day on the second day which showed us not only how to better set entry speed but also that the turns could be taken at much faster then we "believed"! Even when harder on the brakes then I had ever been in my entire riding experience, I was only using approx 1/2 the braking ability of the bike and always had more available if needed. I did not post this to encourage people to brake extremely late or push their limits of stopping but to simply point out how capable the brakes really are and let new riders know that, if done right, there is more braking ability in your bike than you likely realize! Strong braking skills are just as essential on the street as on the track and the only way to get and keep them is to practice! Between the "no Brakes" drill and braking for turn 7, I feel this is where I improved the most during the 2 days at the track. It just feels so good when you brake from high speed, properly reaching your entry speed without over braking, and smoothly make your turn!

Last futzed with by Ducati999; June 19th, 2016 at 04:59 PM. Reason: needed to add more info
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Old June 20th, 2016, 12:30 PM   #93
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All you guys progressed and it was amazing in the short amount of time, very proud of you all!

My #1 priority was safety while riding at whatever pace you wanted and it was a 100% percent mission accomplished imho.

You all dropped almost 10+ seconds per lap while riding safer and with more confidence, and leaving the track with your next steps in hand, that makes me very happy.

May your next day be an even better personal success.
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Old June 21st, 2016, 12:29 PM   #94
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I found myself in an odd position at Mid-O. With my goal being to be able to ride different bikes fast (and controlled) I was struggling a lot with finding the limits.

On my own bike I am very comfortable with how the bike reacts and know exactly what to expect through much trial and error. I found though that riding a bike that was substantially different (ninja 300 to yamaha r6) I was not able to achieve a similar level of corner speed and lean. With that said I was never trying to push beyond a 7/10ths pace as I was not comfortable enough to.

My issues were finding the edge with different degree of application, which was largely what I worked on. However I've seen people hop from bike to bike and very quickly get up to the same pace before, which is something I seem unable to do.

Basically what I'm asking here is advice for finding the edge on unfamiliar machinery. In particular I wasn't comfortable with adding lean while trailbraking (especially on andy's bike) and with the initial throttle roll on out which I became much more comfortable with over time. With better brakes and more power than I am accustomed to I found it unusually difficult to take corners fast because I was on a faster bike which feels backwards
Some people are going to feel comfortable pushing the envelop very quickly on a new bike while others like to take a little bit longer to find the edge, it depends on the person and their riding skills and ability. I ride a lot of different bikes and have experience hopping on different coach bikes and riding them the way that the full time coach has them set up, I also ride a lot of different mini race bikes and so I've had a chance to experience a vast array of bikes and set ups. That being said, the best thing to do is to start gradually and right back with the basics of good throttle control, good technique and slowly and steadily push a little harder each corner/lap.

I've also seen guys with lots of experience and confidence go out and huck new bikes away in the first few turns because they tried to go too fast too soon on an unfamiliar bike. So, follow your intuition and work up gradually, within your own comfort zone.
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Old November 9th, 2016, 11:46 AM   #95
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What I have learned the Season

Over this last riding season I have increased my skill and speed have increased in the largest amount since I first started to ride! I am not fast compared to lots of people on this forum but I am much faster compared to the rider I was just 7 months ago and I still have the same level of control as I did back then if not even more. What I mean by "the same level of control" is that I am no more busy or fighting to process and react to what is going on with me or the bike. My mental picture of what is happening is much farther ahead of where I am on the track than it was before and I working on the corner exit while I am braking for the entry! I still have some things to work out in my mind but I do not feel like my risk level has increased much if any but my average speed at any point on the track is much higher. I did crash during my last track day this season (story and video in the North East Track Riders Thread in Ninjette's at Speed section) but I know what I did wrong and that it was caused by my mistakes and not by exceeding any limits of the bike.

I know I said this earlier in this thread but "nothing has increased my skill more than the time I spent at the Mid Ohio Riding School. We all know our limits and what we have done. We know we can go past them but this is where the unknown begins and alone you must slowly move past this point and "sneak up" on the maximum. While following an instructor on the track you are able to make much bigger steps forward as you are following someone who has been into the "unknown" and will help you move closer to the maximum much quicker. A good example of this was with braking, I had done some emergency stops and practiced in a parking lot and the like. Once I followed Chris (CSmith12) down the back straight into turn 7 at Mid O, knowing he would not be at his 100%, I held the throttle as I watched the braking markers fly past and even "MY" marker, then I saw him brake and I had to brake harder than I ever had in my life. After that I was confident to begin moving "my braking marker" closer each lap from then thru the rest of the trip! With just me slowly moving my marker up I would not have made as much progress as I did that trip. I had the same experience with an instructor at Palmer while following him into turns. Since I was extremely new to track riding, I had no starting reference besides my normal "safe" street riding braking and turn in points and knowing he was going in at a faster but still 'safe" speed helped me make leaps rather than a foot at a time.

I have learned so much over the last season that it would take pages just to get the ideas across. I don't want to bore you too much but I would like to make one more point. I found multiple little things that were holding me back from going faster. When you ride a bike daily, weekly.... you get used to how it feels and works for you but what works at (sane) street speeds might cause some form of issue at higher speeds/loads. I had to not only adjust my body position and reaction times but also my suspension pre load, ride height, compression and rebound, foot pegs, shifter and where my butt went on the seat! After several track days making small changes (and documenting them) I finally found the combination that worked well for the speed I was now able to carry and at the same time get the feed back from the bike to allow me to again slowly move all my points (braking, turn in, throttle off/on) forward. I began to go faster and faster (small steps) but I found that I had to slow down from the new faster speed so I could make sure I was as consistent as possible (for me) so I could feel what the bike was telling me it wanted for further changes.

I really hope I did not give any bad information in this post and This is the way I saw things as a semi new track rider. Please--Anyone that sees incorrect (other than spelling or grammar) please let me know and /or correct it, I do not want to mislead any one and I want to know what and why I was wrong

PS: I had a discussion with one of my friends from the track and he seemed to think that crashing is not inevitable while learning to "Find the Edge of Traction" I do partially agree that is not 100% certain but I doubt there are many really fast guys that have not crashed and the faster you go the harsher the consequences for small mistakes. Things you may have had no issue with a 60MPH will put you down at 120MPH but as always I am not an expert and may be very wrong

Please let me know what your thoughts are on this idea!
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Old November 16th, 2016, 06:02 AM   #96
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I would like to continue adding to this thread so others can learn from my mistakes and successes. I have a few issues to work thru and the more I listen to the sage advice and review my riding I have a couple of questions. Should you have read thru all my other posts, you will see that I am not the best at putting my thoughts into words but lets see if I can get this across in an understandable manner.

One of my most obvious problems is being "Tight on the Bars". A lot of this issue comes from lack of fitness but Csmith12's comment above about "sliding rear" and "not pushing harder till I resolve the issue" is a real concern to me. I know they are related. This bring up the question I have but I need to connect the two items.

When I enter a turn, I end up making too many corrections since I am not sure of the "arc/line" my bike will take thru the turn. I try to use (as close as possible) the same entry point and line thru the turn each lap but I don't know if the added inputs are from lack of confidence or bad lines or both. Keith Code says "corrections mid turn are a survival reaction" but if my line is not correct then the "SR" becomes necessary to stay on the track. The uncertainty of the correct line, speed, throttle, and lean angle cause me to be "ready to react" and therefore "tight on the bars". My entry speed is below maximum and as consistent as I am capable of right now. I try to use the same line or as close as possible for my skill but I guess I am simply making the same mistake over and over.

My basic question is: How do I determine the correct/max lean angle for a particular turn so I don't have to use additional inputs? Repetition thru the same turn should work this out but I don't think that is the proper answer. I am not looking for the 37 DEG lean and 50MPH on this line answer but the "correct with throttle or find the right line speed combo answer. There is no doubt that this issue can and will be sorted out this next season as I continue to practice but a little nudge in the right direction is always appreciated.

Part of my plan for this next season, along with improving my fitness, will be to slow down my pace 10-15% and begin to better focus on all the basics especially smoothness. The more I watch my videos from this last season the more I see a kid with a new toy (speed) and I need to stop playing and get my head down and focus more on doing it right more than doing it FAST!
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Old November 16th, 2016, 09:13 AM   #97
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IMHO slowing down is the right strategy. Remember "sneak up on fast?"

To specifically address your "how do I?" question, I believe it's about results. You do something, you get an outcome. Assess the outcome and that will lead you to your answer.

So if I may put on my Sensei Smith hat for a moment...

Hit the turn at a speed at which you KNOW you can put the bike where you want it to be. That's different from "let's see how fast I can go through this turn" and it's VERY different from "will I make it?"

-- Did you wind up too slow on entry (i.e. you used maintenance throttle longer than you intended before getting it on)? Then you slowed too much and/or too soon. So next time, brake later/less hard.

-- Did your exit not use the road available to you? Then you can increase your corner speed.

-- Did you feel good about getting to the apex? Great... maybe you can go a bit faster next time and still get there.

-- Were you able to obey Throttle Rule #1? If so, great... you're not overdoing it. Try going just a bit faster next time.

See the theme here? It's not about experiencing SRs and backing off. It's about gradually upping the pace... no SRs involved.

SRs are inevitable if you push too hard. So rather than adopting a "fight the SR" mindset (i.e., how do I stop being tight on the bars, how do I stop having to make mid-turn corrections), go back to first principles and ride at a pace where they don't happen in the first place.

That clears your mind to think about what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong, where you can do more and where you're pushing too hard. Sneak up on fast....

This, I believe, is why you're faster than me in corners but I'm smoother than you. I'm very consciously NOT pushing the limit and trying to tickle the lion's tail, while I think that you're instinctively trying to crank the pace and as a result, encountering SRs.

Part of this, I think, is that you're riding a literbike --- so easy to go too fast. How did you feel when you took Cheryl's 250 out? Were you totally comfortable and in control, not experiencing the issues you talk about? If so, then why? It's not just less power/less speed... Randall (Jenn's husband) can dust either one of us, riding her Ninjette. So can Chris. So what's the difference? It's that it's harder to get in over your head on a smaller bike, so you can pay more attention to technique.

I can say this: I'm a lot smoother and more comfortable on the R6 than I was on my 750. Part of that is that it's set up better, but I have a feeling that part is also that it's less powerful.

Final thought, and related to your Nov 9 post: What's your goal? Racers crash all the time because they're trying to go as fast as possible. Good track riders crash very seldom because speed is not the goal. Skill is. I don't believe crashing is inevitable, because my goal isn't to make it to black group. It's to become a really good rider. Speed is secondary... I'm not chasing lap times per se.
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Old November 16th, 2016, 08:23 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post
........ When I enter a turn, I end up making too many corrections since I am not sure of the "arc/line" my bike will take thru the turn. I try to use (as close as possible) the same entry point and line thru the turn each lap but I don't know if the added inputs are from lack of confidence or bad lines or both. Keith Code says "corrections mid turn are a survival reaction" but if my line is not correct then the "SR" becomes necessary to stay on the track. The uncertainty of the correct line, speed, throttle, and lean angle cause me to be "ready to react" and therefore "tight on the bars"...........
I believe that you need to "think cornering" less and learn to "feel cornering" more.
Finding the edge or limit is a goal, while cornering well or properly is a process.
If the goal is extreme, the fear to fail interferes with the natural feeling and eventual mastering of the process.

At its heart, cornering is making the bike describe a circular trajectory at the end of a straight line.
Circular trajectory means a unique radius.
The combination of that radius with the entry speed determines an also unique lean angle.
Apex is nothing more that the point were the geometric curve (smaller radius) and the circular trajectory (bigger radius) get close; just another reference point.

Knowing how to shoot a basketball correctly is the most important skill you need to master in order to play the game.
Only with inputs at the beginning of the throw or flight, you need to be able to put the ball in the hoop.
Cornering well is very similar, most of the inputs must be accomplished while entering the curve: after that critical point, the bike continues the circular trajectory by itself.

Rather than going through conscious thoughts and calculations, a good player must feel how to accurately shoot a basketball; after much practice, all the math and vision-muscle-hands coordination is quick and happens at a subconscious level.

Exactly the same applies to a rider: he/she collects information while approaching the curve (familiar or not), feels it and then instinctively produces the exact inputs of entry speed and radius of turn, shooting the bike and "putting it in the hoop".
Previous practice in many different curves has polished his/her collection of data, the subconscious math and the accurate control inputs.

Please, for the physical need of smoothness "close to the edge", see these:
https://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=119958

https://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=100964

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Old December 6th, 2016, 05:37 AM   #99
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@Motofool ,

As always SAGE ADVICE. Everything you said in your post has reinforced what I have come to realize the more I ponder the issues I am having. Like I said in my last post "like a kid with a new toy" I need to focus less on how fast and more on relaxing and flowing around the track. I do spend too much mental energy trying to keep the pace up and don't just simply ride the track. Earlier in this thread I mentioned how I made my biggest improvements whan following someone else (who was faster) so I did not have to think about going fast but just ride the bike and feel what it was telling me.

I wanted to thank Motofool and give a quick update on what I have been doing to reach my goals.

#1: I have begun to exercise daily. I have a really busy schedule with work (begins at 3AM everyday) but I still find time to do something everyday. I have been trying to focus mostly on my core with crunches, situp's and other exercises. I am also doing free weights and lots of Squats with weight (squats with heavy back pack in elevator work great) and walking/running/stairs.

#2: Dietary changes including reduced sugar intake. This is the hardest part. I have a 1.5 hour ride to work and normally cant take a lunch break. The temptation to grab some crap food at the gas station or drink a soda (free at events at work) or eat burgers and fries is always present. I have been trying to drink only water after my morning Tea/coffee. My wife has been cooking better with no fried foods for dinner and lots of vegetables and pork or chicken not beef.

#3: I work in Audio and video so I have lots of time to play and review videos. I spend lots of my time rewatching my track videos and lots of others about riding. I never thought of just listening to the video (thanks CSmith12) to hear the motor better thru the same turn I just watched. Listening to the engine noise has taught me a lot about how and what I am actually doing. I am also reading lots about riding technique and skills.

The improvements so far are small but this is an endurance race not a sprint. I will keep at the training both mental and physical as much as possible and we will see how successful I am when spring times comes around!
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Old December 6th, 2016, 05:55 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post
...........I do spend too much mental energy trying to keep the pace up and don't just simply ride the track. Earlier in this thread I mentioned how I made my biggest improvements when following someone else (who was faster) so I did not have to think about going fast but just ride the bike and feel what it was telling me......
You are welcome, Art

It seems that "thinking about going fast" or guessing for the "correct speed" is an expensive distraction that is in conflict with the delicate and multiple mental processes required to ride well and safely.

This may be the reason behind that lack of harmony:

https://www.ninjette.org/forums/show...57#post1149157

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Old January 1st, 2017, 12:38 AM   #101
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One of the people who posted in this thread advised me to do an update so here goes:
Little set back thru the Holidays--Happy New Year-- with all the food and parties but overall still trying to keep the calories as low as possible. My toughest challenge is SODA! Hard not to just drink a soda and not just water. I have been doing my free weights and sit ups and other exercises and walking when the weather allows. I have regained lots of the strength I had when I was earlier just dont have the endurance I used to have. With a few more months till the first track trip of 2017, there should be quite a difference in my conditioning by then.

I hope everyone has a wonderful new year and I will try to keep this thread fresh with more interesting updates. I have torn the motor of my 748 down to just the cases and will be replacing the crank, pistons and jugs to make it a full blown 916! I wanted a 916 since the early 90's and the search for a good one found me my 999! I later found the 748 for a price I could not refuse so I had to buy it and now the final pieces (literally) are falling into place for me to have the bike I always wanted. My wife is so AWSOME, not only does she come and ride at the track with us but she has approved the budget for a full (Ducati) motor rebuild! Got to love a beautiful woman who cooks, rides, supports her husbands insanity and loves him too!
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Old January 1st, 2017, 12:10 PM   #102
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............Got to love a beautiful woman who cooks, rides, supports her husbands insanity and loves him too!
You have already found the edge !!!

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Old January 1st, 2017, 12:21 PM   #103
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Old January 2nd, 2017, 05:26 AM   #104
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@csmith12,
Nothing funny about a great wife! She really liked the last few posts, she was laughing and hugging me at the same time!

I now have a real 1ST world problem. I love the 999 for the track and have bought all the parts to put her back on the track better set up than ever. I am also in the middle of rebuilding my 748 into a 916. I already have most of the parts in hand or on order. Now I need to decide which bike will be my track bike. The 748/916 was purchased to be my track bike but I like the 999 so much that I have been riding that on for the last several track trips. Now that I crashed the 999 I had planned on tracking the 999 and making the 748 (lower power better for the street) my daily street ride. Now that the wife has approved all the upgrades for the 748 to become a 916, I don't know which bike should be for the track and which one should be on the street! Like I said--1st world problems
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Old January 2nd, 2017, 05:55 AM   #105
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Which bike for track and which for street?

Consider this: Last season, you expressed the "I'm not really enjoying the street anymore after riding on the track" thought to me.

So why not rethink the way you approach the street, and do something that makes it enjoyable again?

As those who ride, rode or are familiar with small bikes -- and therefore recognize what a hoot they are in the real world -- we know that they're hard to beat when it comes to having fun on the road.

Pick the best sportbike you have for the track, sell the other one, and get a little bike for the street. That way you can have a bike that rewards all those skills you're picking up on the track (aside from the "scuffed leather" achievement badge ) when you're riding on the street.

You'll be able to play with limits and finding the edge a little bit in a way that you can't when riding a full-on sportbike on the street.

That's the thing I really miss about the Ninjette. I love the instant power and handling of the GSX-R I ride on the street, but it's too easy. Wrong gear? No problem. The Ninjette rewards skill. The full sportbike lets you get away with a lot more, so it's less satisfying in the end. Unless, of course, all you care about is powah.

Some advantages of this strategy:
- MUCH cheaper insurance, parts and consumables (e.g. tires) means you have more money for track days
- "More fun to ride a slow bike fast.... " - you know the rest
- Less maintenance means you can spend more time working on your track bike, which is good because... Ducati
- Cheaper bike to begin with, so you can get a newer one. Even a brand-new one. Or just pocket the money you're saving.
- You can designate the small bike as a "safe" rain bike if you want, for those days when the punch of that literbike is way too much
- You can try it for a month because you already have a small bike in your garage. Do a deal with Cheryl to borrow her Ninjette.

Disadvantage of this strategy:
- It's an approach based in practicality, not emotion. Riding a bike you love is important. A "meh" bike is just going to sit in the garage anyway.
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Old January 3rd, 2017, 11:35 AM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adouglas View Post
Which bike for track and which for street?

Consider this: Last season, you expressed the "I'm not really enjoying the street anymore after riding on the track" thought to me.

So why not rethink the way you approach the street, and do something that makes it enjoyable again?

As those who ride, rode or are familiar with small bikes -- and therefore recognize what a hoot they are in the real world -- we know that they're hard to beat when it comes to having fun on the road.

Pick the best sportbike you have for the track, sell the other one, and get a little bike for the street. That way you can have a bike that rewards all those skills you're picking up on the track (aside from the "scuffed leather" achievement badge ) when you're riding on the street.

You'll be able to play with limits and finding the edge a little bit in a way that you can't when riding a full-on sportbike on the street.

That's the thing I really miss about the Ninjette. I love the instant power and handling of the GSX-R I ride on the street, but it's too easy. Wrong gear? No problem. The Ninjette rewards skill. The full sportbike lets you get away with a lot more, so it's less satisfying in the end. Unless, of course, all you care about is powah.

Some advantages of this strategy:
- MUCH cheaper insurance, parts and consumables (e.g. tires) means you have more money for track days
- "More fun to ride a slow bike fast.... " - you know the rest
- Less maintenance means you can spend more time working on your track bike, which is good because... Ducati
- Cheaper bike to begin with, so you can get a newer one. Even a brand-new one. Or just pocket the money you're saving.
- You can designate the small bike as a "safe" rain bike if you want, for those days when the punch of that literbike is way too much
- You can try it for a month because you already have a small bike in your garage. Do a deal with Cheryl to borrow her Ninjette.

Disadvantage of this strategy:
- It's an approach based in practicality, not emotion. Riding a bike you love is important. A "meh" bike is just going to sit in the garage anyway.
@adouglas,
You know me better than anyone elso on this forum and when it come to the track --better than my wife. I agree with nearly every thing you said above and this is mostly my strategy for the future. I always have the wifes bike as an option since I tend to ride her bike more than she does anyways. Money is not what keeps me from buying any bike new or otherwise. You hit the nail on the head with emotion! I cant explain it and some will and some will never understand what I get from my 999. The bike just works for me and I just outright love the bike! I sold my SV (proably the bike I should be tracking) because it was not enough like the 9 and I bought the 7 hoping it would be enough like the 9 that I could keep miles off the big bike. I have excepted that I need to ride the 999 on the track, nothing else will satisfy the need I have for that experience. I know there are faster bikes and bikes that I would be faster on but that is the bike I need to ride. I have been working on the 748 to make it feel like the other bike and I hope to get it close enough (possibly with less power) to provide the thrill without the same SR inducing issues. I will get the 748 ready and running correctly and then decide if I want another bike to fill that slot and which bike will be for what purpose. I have worked out the possibility of wrecking the 999 but I am willing to risk that to enjoy the bike I want and need to ride.

I am also very aware that all my issues are caused by me and not the bike. The bike is not perfect (either one) but at this point I need to focus on the issues I have listed in this thread, endurance and physical conditioning at the top of the list. I really value your input since you see things that I cant in my riding and have watched me improve as I have watched you also. I think you will see a vast improvement in my "smoothness" this season and a dramatic reduction in speed (at first). I feel with the help and direction of all the great friends I have on this forum, I will have my best year of track riding ever and I am glad you will be there riding with me!

I don't know which bike I will decide to dedicate to the street and which for the track but either way until I improve my skills they will both give me issues if I don't change my technique and get in better shape. I am working on both aspect as much as possible in the off season!
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Old January 19th, 2017, 10:49 AM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post

When I enter a turn, I end up making too many corrections since I am not sure of the "arc/line" my bike will take thru the turn. I try to use (as close as possible) the same entry point and line thru the turn each lap but I don't know if the added inputs are from lack of confidence or bad lines or both. Keith Code says "corrections mid turn are a survival reaction" but if my line is not correct then the "SR" becomes necessary to stay on the track. The uncertainty of the correct line, speed, throttle, and lean angle cause me to be "ready to react" and therefore "tight on the bars". My entry speed is below maximum and as consistent as I am capable of right now. I try to use the same line or as close as possible for my skill but I guess I am simply making the same mistake over and over.

My basic question is: How do I determine the correct/max lean angle for a particular turn so I don't have to use additional inputs? Repetition thru the same turn should work this out but I don't think that is the proper answer. I am not looking for the 37 DEG lean and 50MPH on this line answer but the "correct with throttle or find the right line speed combo answer. There is no doubt that this issue can and will be sorted out this next season as I continue to practice but a little nudge in the right direction is always appreciated.

Part of my plan for this next season, along with improving my fitness, will be to slow down my pace 10-15% and begin to better focus on all the basics especially smoothness. The more I watch my videos from this last season the more I see a kid with a new toy (speed) and I need to stop playing and get my head down and focus more on doing it right more than doing it FAST!
Sorry I didn't see this before. Too many steering corrections are a common issue for riders and there are several reasons why. It could be that your entry is wrong, you may be turning too early, apex too soon and have to make corrections near the exit of the turn in order to make it through safely.

It could be that you are not turning the bike fast enough. Even if you turn in the right spot, if you are lazy with your steering then you won't make it to the apex and will have to correct mid corner to get back on the line you intended.

It could be that your entry speed is too high for your comfort zone so you end up gripping the bars too tight which causes the bike to run wide and then you have to make steering corrections (I don't think this is YOUR issues based on how you explained above)

It could be that you aren't looking exactly where you want to go soon enough to be able to consistently make your mid corner reference point so you have to adjust.

Or it could be a throttle control error, getting on the gas too much to soon, adding lean angle and throttle at the same time, being on-the gas while trying to turn the bike etc....or any combination of the above.

Do me a favour and read through the possible options I just listed and see if any of those sound like they may be closer to the issues you are having and then lets talk through it. We will start by identifying the closest possible causes and then what to do to change/improve upon it.

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Old January 21st, 2017, 10:34 AM   #108
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Hi Ducati999,
It's great that the information in this thread and the coaching you sought out are helping you progress. However, I encourage you to not ignore, or devalue your own experience and insights.

I do not believe that that it's a given that track time = improvement (or at least improvement that is anywhere near the potential that said track time contains).
I believe that track time = experience, and hidden within your experience is the next lesson you must learn to improve.

As you've realized, good information and a good coach can point out (or guide you to) these lessons, which is awesome. However, you will accelerate your improvement if you also put the effort into 'pealing the onion' of your experience to discover, understand, and implement what your track time is trying to teach you. For example:

Quote:
When I enter a turn, I end up making too many corrections since I am not sure of the "arc/line" my bike will take thru the turn.
I know this is just one sentence in a long thread, but it contains a lot of stuff (layers) that you can dig into that might lead you to some answers.

"When I enter a turn"
  • Every turn, or only certain types of turns (speeds/radius/directions/elevations)... what triggers it?
  • How big an influence does speed have on this & where is the influence strongest (braking, turn-in, from turn-in to apex, from Apex to track out)?
  • Etc. Just keep pealing until there is nothing left to peal.

"I end up making too many corrections"
  • How many corrections?
  • Where in the turn do you start 'correcting' after your initial turn-in inputs?
  • Are these 'real' corrections or 'phantom' corrections. That is, are you correcting for a mistrust (or an overthinking) of your initial turn in... thereby screwing up what would have been a correct line (ultimately causing yet another correction to undo the effects of the phantom correction), or was your initial turn-in executed erroneously, so the corrections are 'real' and are required to make it through the turn? These may coexist and/or be intertwined, but digging until you discover which one starts the problem is critical because these are two very different 'causes' that require different 'fixes.'

"I am not sure of the "arc/line" my bike will take thru the turn"
  • At what point in the turn do you lose confidence in the 'arc/line' that you establish at turn in?
  • It sounds like you are reasonably sure about the 'theoretical' line you 'should' take, so do you end up doubting your ability to put/keep your bike on that line, or your bike's ability to respond consistently to you 'correct' inputs to get/stay on that line?
  • Same 'real' or 'phantom' question as above... you lose confidence in your 'arc/line' because you mistrust yourself or second guess what you've already done, or because you are in-fact offline?

If you determine that the corrections and lack of confidence in your line are all 'real' (aka technical skill related) then it looks like Misti's got you covered. However, if you think that part of the cause may be responding to 'phantom' problems (aka mental skill related), then you might want to read 'Reducing the Sensation of Speed'. Of course nothing's black & white in learning to ride fast, so there is probably a blend of technical and mental skills that are asking for your attention.

Lastly, you mentioned at some point in this thread that you feel more comfortable following faster riders because you don't have to worry about judging entry speeds. That makes perfect sense, however, consider this; what if at least part of that 'comfort' is because you have given your intellect something to do 'follow those riders.' While it's busy doing that, it does not have the bandwidth to also stick it's nose into the actual riding process... by, oh lets' say, questioning if you did that turn-in correctly or if you really are on the right line.
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Old January 25th, 2017, 05:20 AM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedCraft View Post
Hi Ducati999,
It's great that the information in this thread and the coaching you sought out are helping you progress. However, I encourage you to not ignore, or devalue your own experience and insights.

I do not believe that that it's a given that track time = improvement (or at least improvement that is anywhere near the potential that said track time contains).
I believe that track time = experience, and hidden within your experience is the next lesson you must learn to improve.

As you've realized, good information and a good coach can point out (or guide you to) these lessons, which is awesome. However, you will accelerate your improvement if you also put the effort into 'pealing the onion' of your experience to discover, understand, and implement what your track time is trying to teach you. For example:



I know this is just one sentence in a long thread, but it contains a lot of stuff (layers) that you can dig into that might lead you to some answers.

"When I enter a turn"
  • Every turn, or only certain types of turns (speeds/radius/directions/elevations)... what triggers it?
  • How big an influence does speed have on this & where is the influence strongest (braking, turn-in, from turn-in to apex, from Apex to track out)?
  • Etc. Just keep pealing until there is nothing left to peal.

"I end up making too many corrections"
  • How many corrections?
  • Where in the turn do you start 'correcting' after your initial turn-in inputs?
  • Are these 'real' corrections or 'phantom' corrections. That is, are you correcting for a mistrust (or an overthinking) of your initial turn in... thereby screwing up what would have been a correct line (ultimately causing yet another correction to undo the effects of the phantom correction), or was your initial turn-in executed erroneously, so the corrections are 'real' and are required to make it through the turn? These may coexist and/or be intertwined, but digging until you discover which one starts the problem is critical because these are two very different 'causes' that require different 'fixes.'

"I am not sure of the "arc/line" my bike will take thru the turn"
  • At what point in the turn do you lose confidence in the 'arc/line' that you establish at turn in?
  • It sounds like you are reasonably sure about the 'theoretical' line you 'should' take, so do you end up doubting your ability to put/keep your bike on that line, or your bike's ability to respond consistently to you 'correct' inputs to get/stay on that line?
  • Same 'real' or 'phantom' question as above... you lose confidence in your 'arc/line' because you mistrust yourself or second guess what you've already done, or because you are in-fact offline?

If you determine that the corrections and lack of confidence in your line are all 'real' (aka technical skill related) then it looks like Misti's got you covered. However, if you think that part of the cause may be responding to 'phantom' problems (aka mental skill related), then you might want to read 'Reducing the Sensation of Speed'. Of course nothing's black & white in learning to ride fast, so there is probably a blend of technical and mental skills that are asking for your attention.

Lastly, you mentioned at some point in this thread that you feel more comfortable following faster riders because you don't have to worry about judging entry speeds. That makes perfect sense, however, consider this; what if at least part of that 'comfort' is because you have given your intellect something to do 'follow those riders.' While it's busy doing that, it does not have the bandwidth to also stick it's nose into the actual riding process... by, oh lets' say, questioning if you did that turn-in correctly or if you really are on the right line.
@SpeedCraft,
Thank you for your feed back. You are more correct in your assessment of my issue than you may realize and all of your questions/point are exactly what I am looking into. Your post added a little clarity to the issues I have been working out in my head. I just had a good little discussion with Mr. Fist AKA. @adouglas and he also added some invaluable insight into my issue. I am unsure if you have ever ridden the Palmer Mass track but that is where I am referring to when discussing my problems but the same issues are present no matter where I ride, I just use Palmer because it is the track I ride the most and where I see the issues most clearly. I would encourage you to watch the video of my crash posted in the "So This Finally Happened" thread under "Ninjettes at Speed" Thread on this site. You can see me make all the reported mistakes and corrections in the laps leading up to my crash. Palmer has multiple large sweeping turns and I hit the "X" entering the large turns then I tend to "get lost" between the mark and the Apex, making multiple corrections to assure I am on the right line. Please let me know what you think should you (or anyone) watch the video.

Some of you may laugh at what I am going to write in the next few lines but I believe it has helped me to get a better grasp of what I have been doing wrong and begin to "reprogram" my mind on what I should be doing--feel free to let me know what you think as my feelings don't get hurt easily and I like to know what other people think about my methods
I have been playing a motorcycle racing game on my Playstation and it has actually helped me practice several areas where I have had issues on the track. I had set lap times in the past running as fast as I could. I began to apply the things I have been taught by the people nice enough to coach me and I have bested every prior record! I know it is not the same as on the track but I have been setting and using reference points and roll on points for the throttle and this has helped build some mental muscle memory. Part of my problem is that trying to apply some of the things I have been taught while riding at speed had led to over thinking and more mistakes. Practicing what I know to be correct on the simulation has allowed me to practice without the distraction of having to ride at the same time (if that makes sense). I know this is just a small part and doing the same on the track will be different but I have begun to change the way I think about running around the track and that is a step in the right direction! We will see what (if any) effect it has had in just a few months!
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Old January 25th, 2017, 06:22 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post
Some of you may laugh at what I am going to write in the next few lines but I believe it has helped me to get a better grasp of what I have been doing wrong....
I have been playing a motorcycle racing game on my Playstation and it has actually helped me practice several areas where I have had issues on the track.
Not laughable at all. Simulation is incredibly useful and when I was training for my pilot's license I used it quite a lot.

F1 teams use it too.

I don't have a gaming system so don't have access to such tools for riding. I do use visualization a lot... running laps in my head... and watch a lot of track video. The latter is a great resource that we didn't really have until YouTube.

Palmer has some great narrated on-board from Ken Condon and Paul Duval. You can learn a ton from that stuff.
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Old January 25th, 2017, 06:35 AM   #111
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Not laughable at all. Simulation is incredibly useful and when I was training for my pilot's license I used it quite a lot.

F1 teams use it too.

I don't have a gaming system so don't have access to such tools for riding. I do use visualization a lot... running laps in my head... and watch a lot of track video. The latter is a great resource that we didn't really have until YouTube.

Palmer has some great narrated on-board from Ken Condon and Paul Duval. You can learn a ton from that stuff.
I have been running the Brno track as it best mimics the Palmer track more than any of the others. The physics are real enough and the Simulated bikes have loads of power so you have to be really slow and smooth with the roll ons to not spin up. Not everything is exactly right but the "fundamentals" still apply (like slowing down to go faster)! The talk we had the other day along with some things I read and the great coaching I have received is beginning to really make sense and I see the entire track in a different way.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 10:13 AM   #112
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I am unsure if you have ever ridden the Palmer Mass track but that is where I am referring to when discussing my problems but the same issues are present no matter where I ride, I just use Palmer because it is the track I ride the most and where I see the issues most clearly. I would encourage you to watch the video of my crash posted in the "So This Finally Happened" thread under "Ninjettes at Speed" Thread on this site. You can see me make all the reported mistakes and corrections in the laps leading up to my crash. Palmer has multiple large sweeping turns and I hit the "X" entering the large turns then I tend to "get lost" between the mark and the Apex, making multiple corrections to assure I am on the right line. Please let me know what you think should you (or anyone) watch the video.
Hey Ducati999,
I've never seen the Palmer track before your video, but my Mom was born and raised in Palmer, so maybe that counts? Anyway, there are others here who are way more qualified than I to comment on your video, but I'll just tell you what I think I see:

After writing this post, I realized I should add an apology for making it so long.

Overall, as you've already self assessed, it looks like you are riding on the edge of your comfort zone (your ability to process the information you're taking in). Indicators of this are:
  1. You ride a good line consistently in one area of the track (the T 11,12,13 complex that leads onto the front 'straight'). It's like this pretty quick, and rhythmic set of left - right - left turns, that perhaps does not allow your intellect the luxury of analyzing and interfering with what's happening; it must simply get out of the way and let your intuitive rider do its job.
  2. For reasonably sharp turns that your arrive at going fairly quickly (e.g. T4 & T9), if you make an error, it's usually a late turn-in, which could be caused by lack of confidence in the front end; perhaps because your intellect is stressing out over the hard braking and hogging all of your brain's processing power... so you have no resources left to actually feel what's going on.
  3. In the long sweepers, (which require a slow, gradual turn in), you seem to rush the turn in (either all at once, or by starting the turn-in properly and then after a few moments seemingly getting nervous; like you're thinking "wait, that's not enough" even though is was. In either case you end up with two or more adjustments to get back on line (in some cases back onto the line you had been on). Again, rushing turn-ins can be caused by stress, which can be the byproduct of an elevated sensation of speed, which is caused by using the wrong part/mode of the brain for the task.
You've got to use the right tool for the job; engine compression will eventually slow you down (unless you're on a 2-stroke), but the brakes will do it a lot more efficiently cuz that's what they are made for. You can use intellect to analyze your way around the track, but it's much more efficient to 'recognize' (pattern match) your way around the track using intuition.

Anyway, making the transition from analyze to recognize mode feels like a very slight or subtle shift (perhaps so subtle you won't even know how/why it happened... maybe like your friend @adouglas experienced at Palmer).

The best analogy I can think of for this shift/experience is viewing the hidden 3D pictures (autostereograms) that were in every mall in the early/mid 90s. If you intently focus on the surface of the image (the noise pattern), then that is all you will see. However, if you relax a little and let/make your eyes converge or diverge slightly (I cross my eyes just slightly and/or switch into holistic concentration mode) then you can lock into the pattern, and suddenly you take Mr. Toad's wild ride through Alice's looking glass and you're in a whole new 3D world. The moment of transition from seeing only the surface image to seeing the 3D image is like a small/quick 'Whoa' experience, which I think kind of parallels when things 'click' on track.

At first you may struggle with seeing the 3D image, with making the transition, or you may start the transition (start seeing beyond the surface), but then you lose it (like something pulls you back to 'reality'). However, once you do finally get 'locked in' you will realize that you can still see the original 'surface' pattern, but you can now see so much more, like the hidden 3D image(s). But that's not all, in this new processing mode, you can 'focus' on different parts of the 3D picture, or you can experience the picture as a whole, or you can experience everything; your surroundings, and the 3D picture. You can even move around and change your perspective somewhat and still retain 'the lock'. When you do switch back out of the 3D or holistic processing mode, it's another 'whoa' experience, and you're left wondering which of the perspectives (modes) is reality.

Switching processing modes when riding is similar. You focus, focus, focus on the process, the details, the speed, so much that it becomes noise that obscures what you really need to see & feel. You might get glimpses into the 'recognition' (or holistic concentration) mode (like when following someone you trust, or in a certain set of turns), but then you get yanked back into analysis (focused concentration) mode again. When you do finally lock into recognition mode, (which is a subtle change in feeling, but a monumental change in perception), then you realize that all those things you had been focusing on are still there (process, details, speed), but they are no longer distractions or attention black holes; you see them as pieces of a larger picture/puzzle. To me, seeing the 3D image is like getting a glimpse into how your intuition experiences riding; as a holistic, interconnected, and in context experience where the sensation of speed is significantly reduced.

So, your plan of slowing down a bit and focusing on technique is a good one IF, you do so as part of an overall plan to guide your brain into the correct functioning mode. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting stuck in a loop, where you slow down, get comfortable, then push a bit and encounter the same barrier you hit before.

Anyway, a driver I was coaching was in a similar situation (intellect trap); I had him try the following training techniques, which really seemed to help him 'see' that he did have an intuitive driver and that it can be trusted to do the right thing. That then enabled him to make the transition to driving using recognition and holistic concentration:
On a gently curving freeway or road, use your entire lane width to ride/drive a "racing" line (as you probably already do). However, as you approach the turn, mentally choose where you think the apex should be, but do not "force" the bike/car to go there. Instead, just let that part within you that does the actual physical control of your body (and therefore the bike/car) steer as it sees fit. Fight the temptation to "adjust" your line early in the turn and you may discover something very interesting.

When I do this (I always do this) I find that about 10-15% of the time I "pick" the wrong apex. However, about 95+% of those times, If I don't interfere with my intuitive driver, I end up on exactly the right line (one move of the wheel...perfect arc into the apex... perfect arc out to the edge of my lane). This is a very cool (also weird) feeling, driving past what you thought was the apex and still being on a perfect line (sort of humbles the old EGO)
Another thing to try when you get back on track, at a slower, more comfortable pace, is to do one of these:
  1. Navigate your way around the track... like you are a rally navigator. "Braking in 3, 2, 1... Turning in 3,2,1... acquiring apex target... acquiring exit target." I know is seems silly and counter intuitive "we're supposed to be trying to get away from thinking our way around the track, right" but intuition intruding on the actual riding process is like a bad habit. It's very hard to just stop a habit, but it's a lot easier to replace it with a better (less intrusive) version, and a version that intellect is good at. This way intellect is saying WHAT to do, WHEN to do it, and WHERE you're going next, but not HOW to do it... that's left up to intuition, as it should be. BTW, I mean speak (or even yell) the words in your helmet; don't just think it... at least not at first. Language for most people is a left-hemisphere (intellect) function, so make that part of your brain work harder by actually saying, not just thinking, the words.
  2. At the entry, apex, and exit of each corner, call out a number 1-3 (or 1-5 when you develop a higher resolution of feel) that represents how close to 'the limit' you feel. The point is not to be 'accurate' the point is that intellect LOVES measuring things, and classifying things, and comparing things... and it's really good at it. So why not make EVERYBODY happy by setting if off in a corner doing it's thing, while your intuition gets down to business on track. Again, actually 'call out' the numbers; don't just think them. BTW if 'monitoring' all three phases of the turn is too much to start with, then just call out a number at mid-turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post
Some of you may laugh at what I am going to write in the next few lines but I believe it has helped me to get a better grasp of what I have been doing wrong and begin to "reprogram" my mind on what I should be doing--feel free to let me know what you think as my feelings don't get hurt easily and I like to know what other people think about my methods
I have been playing a motorcycle racing game on my Playstation and it has actually helped me practice several areas where I have had issues on the track. I had set lap times in the past running as fast as I could. I began to apply the things I have been taught by the people nice enough to coach me and I have bested every prior record! I know it is not the same as on the track but I have been setting and using reference points and roll on points for the throttle and this has helped build some mental muscle memory. Part of my problem is that trying to apply some of the things I have been taught while riding at speed had led to over thinking and more mistakes. Practicing what I know to be correct on the simulation has allowed me to practice without the distraction of having to ride at the same time (if that makes sense). I know this is just a small part and doing the same on the track will be different but I have begun to change the way I think about running around the track and that is a step in the right direction! We will see what (if any) effect it has had in just a few months!
Until the motorcycle game is equipped with two arms that do the following each time you crash; one smacks you in the head or fractures your collar bone while the other one removes $2,000 from your wallet, then it can't simulate the conditions that cause your intellect to become afraid, and therefore question/jump into the riding process, which ironically often causes the exact danger it's trying to avoid. It's the potential consequences that make riding both challenging and worthwhile.

That said, you do have a fantastic simulator mounted on top of your shoulders. I cannot overemphasize the value that I have received from both imagery and Race Walking training, so I strongly recommend them. But, whatever you are doing, do it with feeling; imagine what the rider in your game would be feeling. When using imagery training, focus as much or more on how things felt or how you want them to feel as you do on the 'visual' element.

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Old January 27th, 2017, 05:09 AM   #113
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Sorry I didn't see this before. Too many steering corrections are a common issue for riders and there are several reasons why. It could be that your entry is wrong, you may be turning too early, apex too soon and have to make corrections near the exit of the turn in order to make it through safely.

It could be that you are not turning the bike fast enough. Even if you turn in the right spot, if you are lazy with your steering then you won't make it to the apex and will have to correct mid corner to get back on the line you intended.

It could be that your entry speed is too high for your comfort zone so you end up gripping the bars too tight which causes the bike to run wide and then you have to make steering corrections (I don't think this is YOUR issues based on how you explained above)

It could be that you aren't looking exactly where you want to go soon enough to be able to consistently make your mid corner reference point so you have to adjust.

Or it could be a throttle control error, getting on the gas too much to soon, adding lean angle and throttle at the same time, being on-the gas while trying to turn the bike etc....or any combination of the above.

Do me a favour and read through the possible options I just listed and see if any of those sound like they may be closer to the issues you are having and then lets talk through it. We will start by identifying the closest possible causes and then what to do to change/improve upon it.

@Misty,
I believe the quote below best describes my issue.

"It could be that you aren't looking exactly where you want to go soon enough to be able to consistently make your mid corner reference point so you have to adjust."

At the Palmer track there are 3 huge sweeping turns (2 left 1 Right) with blind apexes. This is where the issue is most obvious so we will just discuss them. Have you watched my "Crash Video" located in the "So this finally happened" Thread under "Ninjettes at Speed" thread? You can see what is happening first hand but the video does not show my body position.

When I enter one of these blind Apex turns I always hit the X marking the "Entry Point" on the track. I begin to follow my line but not being able to see the apex has me guessing where I will ultimately end up. I see now that I need more reference points mid turn! This is why in past threads and discussions I have mentioned feeling lost, asked how I know what arc the bike will follow thru the turn and other questions that now obviously point to lack of reference points. I have been riding on the road for more than 20 years now and there are no turns like these on the street. They are totally new territory for me and trying to figure out the best way to handle them at speed has been tough but with a simple answer. This is why the group of knowledgeable and patient people on this forum are pure gold!

I really feel I have a good grasp of my issue now and cant wait to get back out on the track and apply my new knowledge--So I can find the next obstacle! I am making a few minor changes to my bike setup to help prevent me from making the same mistakes from this last season. Should be a great season.

I would also like to say that this last season (2016) was the best time I have ever had riding a bike. I did very little street riding (will do more in 2017) but did plenty (never enough) of track days. The feeling of going faster than ever before and having more confidence in your equipment and abilities is the reason I ride in the first place, and looking back to see where you have improved and identifying what needs work next is what drives me back to the track!

Thanks again to @Misti, @csmith12, @adouglas, @Bigballsofpaint, @Motofool, @Sirref, @Yakaru, @SpeedCraft and anyone else that replied
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Old January 31st, 2017, 05:35 AM   #114
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@SpeedCraft,
Thank you for taking the time to watch the video and give your feedback/analysis.
I agree with all of what you said except (and I may be wrong here) the statement about lack of trust in the front end. I am not great at putting what I feel into words but bear with me as I attempt to describe what I think I feel.

I do definitely rush the turn entry--but this is immediately followed by the feeling that I have slowed too much and need to increase speed. Since I don't have the proper mid corner reference points (recent discovery) I realize I have chosen a tighter line than intended so I adjust. I am still lost due to lack of reference and begin to set another line. Somewhere in this time frame I begin to see "the light at the end of the tunnel" and find the correct trajectory past the apex cone and im off! Not the way it should be done and I am looking to correct this next track ride! I think, with the help of you and several others, and by reviewing many of my riding videos, that I have a good idea of what I am doing wrong and how to correct the issue.

Your comments on the 11, 12 and 13 section made me think about why I am better thru that section. There are 2 "X's" on the track entering that section and I tend to enter there with a little more speed. I follow the first X to the second then head to the "groove" in the pavement (CSmith12 advised me to do a "Hook turn" there) then turn hard and set for the Apex cone. Over turn slightly past the apex cone and then max turn back to the opposite direction past the second cone then back to the first lean direction and head toward third apex. With all the necessary reference points I can put together the correct actions and finish the section well but until I get enough reference points thru turn 7 and 9 I will continue to make the same mistakes. When I approach turn 10 thru 13, I have all the information I need and can let my intuitive rider do his job, my "thinking rider" is not needed and the bike flows smoothly because I react and don't have to process then react---less thinking = better riding


I did not mention turns 4 and 5 in any of the above posts. I do have a little bit of issue entering turn 4 but I was learning a new line thru turn 5 due to some really rough pavement (turn 5 is called highside hill) on the inside right near the apex. I was working out my entry point and the best line thru that set of turns so until I have figured out a good line discussion will not make sense. I do need to carry much more speed up the hill, brake later and harder and use less engine braking for this set of turns. I will be getting a slipper clutch but I am trying to not change much on my bike (999) until I can work thru my current issues. Engine braking is one of my issues also, being a street rider for most of my life I have found it difficult to not use the motor to slow the bike down especially with the big twin. Turn 4 is the hardes braking zone on the Palmer track yet I am barely using the brakes and just letting the hill and motor slow me which cost time!

Last futzed with by Ducati999; January 31st, 2017 at 05:44 AM. Reason: Description of turn 4-5
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Old January 31st, 2017, 08:49 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Ducati999 View Post
I did not mention turns 4 and 5 in any of the above posts. I do have a little bit of issue entering turn 4 but I was learning a new line thru turn 5 due to some really rough pavement (turn 5 is called highside hill) on the inside right near the apex. I was working out my entry point and the best line thru that set of turns so until I have figured out a good line discussion will not make sense. I do need to carry much more speed up the hill, brake later and harder and use less engine braking for this set of turns. I will be getting a slipper clutch but I am trying to not change much on my bike (999) until I can work thru my current issues. Engine braking is one of my issues also, being a street rider for most of my life I have found it difficult to not use the motor to slow the bike down especially with the big twin. Turn 4 is the hardes braking zone on the Palmer track yet I am barely using the brakes and just letting the hill and motor slow me which cost time!
Ant -- If you haven't seen it, watch this narrated run from Paul Duval (TTD instructor).

Link to original page on YouTube.

Notice a few things in that section:

- He makes T3 a huge sweep, starting the turn long before the mark and winding up in the middle of the track for the heavy braking up into 4. When he tips in at 4 he's at least two or three feet inside of the line we mere mortals take. I did the track walk with him once and it's quite striking how different his line is through there. Speed through T3 for him is in the 100 mph range... far faster than we're going. The line still doesn't make a lot of sense to me... I don't really see why he's not making the radius as large as possible. It could be because it's more of a quick-flick corner. Not really sure. I'll have to ask him at the next Palmer track day.

- As you know, I also tend just let the bike decelerate up the hill into 4 rather than braking really hard. I note here that T4 is one of Arcy's standard photo locations, and more often than not I've got a big bunch of bikes behind me in those photos. Paul brakes hard because he has to, having carried so much more speed through 3. The braking into 4 will probably make more sense if we carry more speed into it. By "make more sense" I mean it'll feel right. When you go too slow, some inputs feel wrong, know what I mean? Braking hard when the bike is already heading up a steep hill feels like it's going to slow the bike too much, because, well, it will.

- Note that in 5 he's intentionally taking a non-ideal line because the cars have torn up the pavement. There is in fact a smoother strip right up the inside curbing, but he's going too fast to get there and it requires riding across some of that rough stuff. I can get there because I'm a lot slower. You can kind of see how the pavement is smoother near the curbing in the photo.


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Old January 31st, 2017, 09:19 AM   #116
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For additional reference, go back and watch the Palmer vids when we were on track.

Note your line
Note my line
Note Paul's.

13, 14, 15 section of the track was my favorite. If you can get a knee down in 15, you're movin pretty good.

Still don't see any potholes rough pavement at turn 5, but what you guys might consider rough may be slightly different than mine.
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Old January 31st, 2017, 11:12 AM   #117
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@csmith12
Didn't nelson ledges get so bad they put cones in the potholes so you could see them, instead of filling the potholes?
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Old January 31st, 2017, 11:14 AM   #118
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@Misty,
I believe the quote below best describes my issue.

"It could be that you aren't looking exactly where you want to go soon enough to be able to consistently make your mid corner reference point so you have to adjust."

At the Palmer track there are 3 huge sweeping turns (2 left 1 Right) with blind apexes. This is where the issue is most obvious so we will just discuss them. Have you watched my "Crash Video" located in the "So this finally happened" Thread under "Ninjettes at Speed" thread? You can see what is happening first hand but the video does not show my body position.

When I enter one of these blind Apex turns I always hit the X marking the "Entry Point" on the track. I begin to follow my line but not being able to see the apex has me guessing where I will ultimately end up. I see now that I need more reference points mid turn! This is why in past threads and discussions I have mentioned feeling lost, asked how I know what arc the bike will follow thru the turn and other questions that now obviously point to lack of reference points. I have been riding on the road for more than 20 years now and there are no turns like these on the street. They are totally new territory for me and trying to figure out the best way to handle them at speed has been tough but with a simple answer. This is why the group of knowledgeable and patient people on this forum are pure gold!

I really feel I have a good grasp of my issue now and cant wait to get back out on the track and apply my new knowledge--So I can find the next obstacle! I am making a few minor changes to my bike setup to help prevent me from making the same mistakes from this last season. Should be a great season.

I would also like to say that this last season (2016) was the best time I have ever had riding a bike. I did very little street riding (will do more in 2017) but did plenty (never enough) of track days. The feeling of going faster than ever before and having more confidence in your equipment and abilities is the reason I ride in the first place, and looking back to see where you have improved and identifying what needs work next is what drives me back to the track!

Thanks again to @Misti, @csmith12, @adouglas, @Bigballsofpaint, @Motofool, @Sirref, @Yakaru, @SpeedCraft and anyone else that replied

YAY!!! Amazing!! I was going to ask you what you needed to do in those type of blind apex long sweeping corners but you answered it already!!! I love this kind of learning because you were able to look at a question that I gave you and come up with your OWN SOLUTION! This is much better than me (or someone else) Just telling you what you should do So...now that you know you need to find more mid corner references points I look forward to hearing from you after you have been able to implement it. Be sure to update us and let us know what improved.

Just to add a little bit more....what is the minimum amount of reference points you normally need for any given corner? You know you need to add a few more mid corner RP's....what kinds of things are you going to look for and how will that help you feel more located?

Think about those things as well
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Old January 31st, 2017, 11:18 AM   #119
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@SpeedCraft,

I do definitely rush the turn entry--but this is immediately followed by the feeling that I have slowed too much and need to increase speed. Since I don't have the proper mid corner reference points (recent discovery) I realize I have chosen a tighter line than intended so I adjust. I am still lost due to lack of reference and begin to set another line. Somewhere in this time frame I begin to see "the light at the end of the tunnel" and find the correct trajectory past the apex cone and im off! Not the way it should be done and I am looking to correct this next track ride! I think, with the help of you and several others, and by reviewing many of my riding videos, that I have a good idea of what I am doing wrong and how to correct the issue.
This is clearly tied into not having enough mid corner reference points (as you recently discovered) but it is also tied into not looking at them soon enough. Think about it like this, if you were certain of where you wanted to be mid corner BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY TURNED THE BIKE, how much more confident would you be at turn entry? How much more consistent would your entry speed be?

1st step will be finding good consistent mid corner reference points, either the apex or as discussed in blind apex corners something BEFORE to lead you to the apex.

step 2 is the timing of WHEN you look at those new mid corner reference points. What happens if you look for them too late? What happens if you look at them at the SAME time you turn the bike?

How might things be different if you looked at those RP's BEFORE You actually turned the bike?
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Old January 31st, 2017, 11:28 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by csmith12 View Post
For additional reference, go back and watch the Palmer vids when we were on track.

Note your line
Note my line
Note Paul's.

13, 14, 15 section of the track was my favorite. If you can get a knee down in 15, you're movin pretty good.

Still don't see any potholes rough pavement at turn 5, but what you guys might consider rough may be slightly different than mine.
I have watched every video I can find more times than I can count! I need some time out on the track to work out the new perspective I have on this stuff. I think it all makes sense now but will have to "be there" before I know for sure. I do well thru 13, 14 and 15 and nearly touch my knee down thru there. I have made some changes to assure I can use full throttle this next season and I have been continuing my work out routine so I will be more physically able to cope with the loads your body has to deal with at speed. I really feel I have my brain wrapped around this issue and that I will be ready when I got back out there. My bike will be set up better and my body will be better able to work with the improved bike. My mental condition will have to adapt to the new "program" that I am trying to upload into it right now. Should all these things come together and work as planned I should be in a good place and have a great season on the track this next year! After all the reason we do this is to have fun right!?!

Chris,
Definition of rough pavement is: Not smooth! The cars have torn up the tar in the later part of the #5 turn. There are no actual holes there but about every 3rd stone has been torn out of the pavement there causing an extremely rough section, limiting traction. Since that turn was already known as "HighSide hill", the even lower traction there calls for alternate line selection. Should you think of regular smooth pavement like 200 grit sand paper that section is now like 80 or 60 grit. Still flat but with bigger gaps between the "grit"! Really hard to see at speed on video but very obvious when your head is low when at full lean! As always Thanks for your help!
I would not even be at the pathetic level I am at now without your help.

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