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Old 08-23-2009, 12:18 PM   #61
viverrid
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yeah yeah yeah

Track days with instruction are great. Used to do them in my Porsche (cage) back in the day. I still say OP should not try to run before he can walk, not try to get 99-1/2% until 90% is routine for him.

At crusing speed he can sit his butt right there in the seat, not weight anything, countersteer only by pushing with his inside hand, and if he takes a good line and looks through the curve, he'll get 90% of the possible performance (and the rest can follow later).

As for push vs push & pull, "Push left to go left" is easy for noobs to remember. One simple cause & effect. Not "jeez was it push left and pull right to go left or was it pull left and push right and then what would the opposite side be....". Pushing (only) does turn the bike. I don't think there is any harm in somebody doing it that way until they have other basics sorted out. It's not like only pushing is "bad", just that it's not quite as good as a more coordinated approach. A simple principle that is followed properly, can be better than a more refined one that isn't executed right.
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:27 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker59
SCHOOL

The best thing you can do to "get better" at riding your motorcycle is to attend a high performance riding school at a racetrack.

Ten years ago, I attended my first. It was Jason Pridmore's STAR School. It was an eye opening experience. I was a much better rider at the end of the day, although I'd been riding for 16 years.

I don't think a high performance track day is a good idea for riding on the road. On the road there are a lot more dangers, the conditions are constantly changing and you need to be more alert and be prepared for the unexpected. As I said before practice being smooth. Start slowly and work on getting your corner entry, apex and exit right then try linking the corners together and flow, as you improve start to get on the power a bit sooner and then a bit harder. HAVE FUN
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:37 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBare
As I said before practice being smooth. Start slowly and work on getting your corner entry, apex and exit right then try linking the corners together and flow, as you improve start to get on the power a bit sooner and then a bit harder. HAVE FUN
Thats what going to a trackday (especially a school) will help you learn to do whether its on the road or a race track. It will also make you better prepared for unexpected hazards on the road because you'll know what the bike is capable of and how it will react to a certain input to avoid an obstical. Basically you should be practicing anywhere that IS NOT a public road because of road hazards. Whether its a parking lot to practice low speed manuvers or the track to practice high speed cornering they will both make you better on the public roads.
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:41 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VFR_firefly
better yet than that is to buy an actual dirt bike (not some poser monster road bike in dirt "drag queen" dress pretending tonbe a dirt bike but a 125cc motocross bike).

Take that bike out and RIDE it like a dirt bile and learn to slide it and push it to it's limits in q safe and sane enviornment and with proper gear. Then, start racing it.

You will learn more and faster there than you will even at a track school and it won't cost you nearly as much money. Riding on a track is good and you will learn a lot but the $/learn ratio will be much higher than attending the university of the trails.

But track schoolsstill are fun and worthwhile. I just wouldn't call them "the best."
While a background in dirt serves many riders well, the OP's question was how to improve his ON ROAD cornering.

The answer is to spend time at a track learning his limits, his bike's limits, and how to pick a line and hold it through a turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBare
I don't think a high performance track day is a good idea for riding on the road. On the road there are a lot more dangers, the conditions are constantly changing and you need to be more alert and be prepared for the unexpected. As I said before practice being smooth. Start slowly and work on getting your corner entry, apex and exit right then try linking the corners together and flow, as you improve start to get on the power a bit sooner and then a bit harder. HAVE FUN
My guess is that you've not been to a high performance riding school? Because "practic[ing] being smooth. Start[ing] slowly and work[ing] on getting corner entry, apex and exit right then try linking the corners together and flow, as you improve start to get on the power a bit sooner and then a bit harder" is exactly what a student will learn in the safe environment that a racetrack provides. Removing traffic, animals, and fenceposts has a way of focusing one's attention on the matter at hand: Learning to turn better. Track schools are the right environment for that.
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:47 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fajita Dave
Thats what going to a trackday (especially a school) will help you learn to do whether its on the road or a race track. It will also make you better prepared for unexpected hazards on the road because you'll know what the bike is capable of and how it will react to a certain input to avoid an obstical. Basically you should be practicing anywhere that IS NOT a public road because of road hazards. Whether its a parking lot to practice low speed manuvers or the track to practice high speed cornering they will both make you better on the public roads.
+1
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:57 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fajita Dave
It might be hard to find a place to ride a dirtbike around Tokyo.
True, but if he got a Fitty he could ride it anywhere. Guys here in Chitcago ride them inside basements and in little vacant lots. You can learn a lot about bike control messing around on a little Honda Fitty..
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:06 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker59
While a background in dirt serves many riders well, the OP's question was how to improve his ON ROAD cornering.

The answer is to spend time at a track learning his limits, his bike's limits, and how to pick a line and hold it through a turn.


Dirt experience ALWAYS helps ON ROAD riding. It's called complete bike control. Dirt teaches throttle control, brake control, traction limits and sliding (yes, Virginia, motorcycles do slide on pavement too), and moving the CG of your body around relative to the CG of the bike and the lean angle.

There are different techniques used for track riding, the various dirt disciplines, and the street. But learning dirt techniques always translates to more bike control and understanding of what the bike is doing under you. This means that an experienced dirt rider will be able to adapt almost automatically to the differences between the pavement and the various and varied dirt environments and instinctively be able to derive for himself the individual techniques needed almost organically.

Not that a track day won't help -but it would help a lot more for an experienced dirt rider who would already be an order of magnitude or more ahead of his non-dirt cohorts.
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:48 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker59
While a background in dirt serves many riders well, the OP's question was how to improve his ON ROAD cornering.

The answer is to spend time at a track learning his limits, his bike's limits, and how to pick a line and hold it through a turn.



My guess is that you've not been to a high performance riding school? Because "practic[ing] being smooth. Start[ing] slowly and work[ing] on getting corner entry, apex and exit right then try linking the corners together and flow, as you improve start to get on the power a bit sooner and then a bit harder" is exactly what a student will learn in the safe environment that a racetrack provides. Removing traffic, animals, and fenceposts has a way of focusing one's attention on the matter at hand: Learning to turn better. Track schools are the right environment for that.
Your right I haven't done a high perfomance riding school but I've a lot of racing KM's under my belt. Why i say it is not a good idea is because it is encouraging you to ride faster than you may not be ready for. On a track there is a lot more run offs, the surface is consistent, the track is wider, there isn't approaching traffic, what I'm saying is you will learn to go fast but when you try to duplicate that on the road it could end in tears.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:58 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VFR_firefly
Dirt experience ALWAYS helps ON ROAD riding. It's called complete bike control. Dirt teaches throttle control, brake control, traction limits and sliding (yes, Virginia, motorcycles do slide on pavement too), and moving the CG of your body around relative to the CG of the bike and the lean angle.

There are different techniques used for track riding, the various dirt disciplines, and the street. But learning dirt techniques always translates to more bike control and understanding of what the bike is doing under you. This means that an experienced dirt rider will be able to adapt almost automatically to the differences between the pavement and the various and varied dirt environments and instinctively be able to derive for himself the individual techniques needed almost organically.

Not that a track day won't help -but it would help a lot more for an experienced dirt rider who would already be an order of magnitude or more ahead of his non-dirt cohorts.
Yes. I agree with much of what you write.

However, the OP can't back up the clock and become an expert motocrosser before venturing onto the track.

A novice class at a track school would help him immensly, and in a safe environment.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:00 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBare
Your right I haven't done a high perfomance riding school but I've a lot of racing KM's under my belt. Why i say it is not a good idea is because it is encouraging you to ride faster than you may not be ready for. On a track there is a lot more run offs, the surface is consistent, the track is wider, there isn't approaching traffic, what I'm saying is you will learn to go fast but when you try to duplicate that on the road it could end in tears.
I do not agree that a track day will encourage the OP to ride faster on the street.

A novice class at a track school will not be a "balls to the wall" riding experience, but will help focus on the basics in a safe environment.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:03 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBare
Your right I haven't done a high perfomance riding school but I've a lot of racing KM's under my belt. Why i say it is not a good idea is because it is encouraging you to ride faster than you may not be ready for. On a track there is a lot more run offs, the surface is consistent, the track is wider, there isn't approaching traffic, what I'm saying is you will learn to go fast but when you try to duplicate that on the road it could end in tears.
Yeah that one is up to personal responsibility. Usually people who go to performance schools to get better are more responsible riders that are looking for someone else to help them improve their riding. If he is going to be some squid screwing around on the streets its better that he knows how to ride anyway. On my way home today I got stuck behind two wannabe racers drag pegs on public roads because of terrible body position when I'm only riding at 65% or so behind them and have a lot more left.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:26 AM   #72
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Hi,

Some information about stuff you can do in Japan.

If you are located around Tokyo, I would recommend the Honda Motorcyclist School held at Twin Ring Motegi. HMS has three levels. Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. They lend you a bike and you can choose from 250 Hornet, CB400, CB750, CBR1000RR, CB1300. However, you need the appropriate license and you have to have proof that you have valid health coverage. At Motegi they also have offroad courses. There is Trail 1, Trail 2 and Trail Special. The instructor of the Trail Special is some guy called Narita.

I am a newbie rider with only about one month experience actually riding on the roads here in Japan. I went to their beginners class and noticed the difference on my ride home.
Although I was told that I should be okay in the intermediate class, I'm thinking of sitting for the beginners class again to brush up my low speed balancing and braking. The intermediate class is mostly involves slaloming.
A one day course is 13400 yen and includes lunch. I got to watch an hour of racing from the VIP seat during lunch the last time I went.

If you want to ride your own bike there is also a Honda Sports Riding School.

HMS is one of the Active Safety Riding Schools that all major Japanese manufacturers run. So if you prefer Yamaha, Kawasaki or Suzuki, you can look them up. However, with Honda you get a choice of Suzuka or Motegi. The schedule for the HMS advanced course is for some odd reason affected by the races that are held on these circuits. I wonder why.

As far as the beginner class goes they did not teach counter steering and we were instructed to lean with the bike and not wriggle about in it. During the slalom section(cones at 5m intervals) they told us to use the bikes self-steering characteristics. When you lean the bike a bit and use the rear brake the bike tucks in and the steering angle increases automatically due to how the front steering is balanced.

I am afraid the lessons are all in Japanese. I can give you a shout when I plan to sit for the intermediate level. Otherwise it may be best to go with someone you know who rides and speaks English.

Cheers,

Quote:
Originally Posted by jms969
Edit: Opps see your are from Japan, I think you will have to find another local school, but I would strongly suggest that you get actual instruction not just rad about it in a book...
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:34 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker59
Yes. I agree with much of what you write.

However, the OP can't back up the clock and become an expert motocrosser before venturing onto the track.

A novice class at a track school would help him immensly, and in a safe environment.
It's never too late to start. A track school would do wonders too, but the bang/buck ratio gets a bit steep. To get the kind of seat time at a track that you can get basically for free on a dirt bike you'd have to spend thousands. Adding in things like tires and prep time to what probably is his own streetbike, the costs can skyrocket.

The fact that he is probably in a bad area for riding offroad isn't lost on me though. It might be just as hard/expensive for someone in Japan to find off-road riding access as it is to get track access. Track access is probably easier to set up too since it seems to be pretty popular these days. Most tracks have regular track days and most have a school at least once a year. There might be even more of them there as road racing is much more popular than in the USA (DAMN that NASCAR clown-car parade fake-racing we have here that pollutes the whole American concept of what racing is in the USA)

But for someone in SoCal or just about any of the 50 US states, finding a place to ride off-road is usually pretty easy although out East it might mean driving a couple hundred miles first.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:35 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emijah
Hi,

Some information about stuff you can do in Japan.

If you are located around Tokyo, I would recommend the Honda Motorcyclist School held at Twin Ring Motegi. HMS has three levels. Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. They lend you a bike and you can choose from 250 Hornet, CB400, CB750, CBR1000RR, CB1300. However, you need the appropriate license and you have to have proof that you have valid health coverage. At Motegi they also have offroad courses. There is Trail 1, Trail 2 and Trail Special. The instructor of the Trail Special is some guy called Narita.

I am a newbie rider with only about one month experience actually riding on the roads here in Japan. I went to their beginners class and noticed the difference on my ride home.
Although I was told that I should be okay in the intermediate class, I'm thinking of sitting for the beginners class again to brush up my low speed balancing and braking. The intermediate class is mostly involves slaloming.
A one day course is 13400 yen and includes lunch. I got to watch an hour of racing from the VIP seat during lunch the last time I went.

If you want to ride your own bike there is also a Honda Sports Riding School.

HMS is one of the Active Safety Riding Schools that all major Japanese manufacturers run. So if you prefer Yamaha, Kawasaki or Suzuki, you can look them up. However, with Honda you get a choice of Suzuka or Motegi. The schedule for the HMS advanced course is for some odd reason affected by the races that are held on these circuits. I wonder why.

As far as the beginner class goes they did not teach counter steering and we were instructed to lean with the bike and not wriggle about in it. During the slalom section(cones at 5m intervals) they told us to use the bikes self-steering characteristics. When you lean the bike a bit and use the rear brake the bike tucks in and the steering angle increases automatically due to how the front steering is balanced.

I am afraid the lessons are all in Japanese. I can give you a shout when I plan to sit for the intermediate level. Otherwise it may be best to go with someone you know who rides and speaks English.

Cheers,
Great idea! Thanks.
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Old 08-28-2009, 11:35 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VFR_firefly
It's never too late to start. A track school would do wonders too, but the bang/buck ratio gets a bit steep. To get the kind of seat time at a track that you can get basically for free on a dirt bike you'd have to spend thousands.
Riddle me this: If he decides to get some dirt experience under his belt to improve his street riding, who teaches him how to ride a dirt bike well? Is riding a dirtbike well somehow self-evident whereas riding a street bike is not? If his goal is to ride a street bike well, are you really suggesting that riding a dirt bike for a hundred hours is going to help his street riding more than riding a street bike for a hundred hours?
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