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I dont exactly know what my question is but im sure you guys have enough experience to know what im feeling. I dont think its a question of how long but how do you get to the point of trusting your bike/yourself on the bike etc... Im pretty comfortable as it is and i havent been riding long but theres limits that i wont pass like leaning that little bit farther in a turn, rolling on the throttle more as i come out, or the hundreds of other situations there are out there. I want to be good but i dont want to screw up thinkin im hotshot. Also things like trusting the tires.. how you can tell whether theyre slipping or not. Theres been a few occasions where im in some turns and the bike feels like its leaning itself/rear tire is sliding slightly. Not sure exactly how to describe it. It only felt like that on lefts where i would lean in more.

I'm sure i'll have plenty of reading to do after you guys see this post. :D Thanks for your inputs guys.
 

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I bought a race bike this spring and it took me 5 track events to get used to it, only about 4 session each track day. I switched from a GS500 to GSXR750 race bike so it was a big jump for me. I think if the I had bikes that were closer it might have taken less time. Also if the bike was street legal I would have been more comfortable at the track faster.
 

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You'll be happy to know to improve your skills all you have to do is ride! Ride lots and lots, if you feel nervous, pay attention and ride more!:p
 

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Ride at a pace you feel comfortable at, dont pay attention to people who say you can go round this corner at 100mph or 120mph Ride at the speed that you are comfortable at. Slowly yourconfidence in yourself and the bike will increase and you will ride faster and smoother and safer. Any idiot can jump on a bike and ride it flat out on a straight piece of road.
 

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Get leathers and premium tires (207's) and go practice. I can tell you that a clean road and 207's will take you all the way to the pegs and knee sliders. It's a matter of realizing the bike will do it while wearing good gear in case you fuc it up. Happy riding.

PS- never ever ever ever ever (get it) ride at someone elses pace. Ride within your comfort zone. Track days are a great cheap (www.hyperclub.la, do the streets course first though) way to go someplace safe to practice.
 

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I think most will agree that you will improve your riding skills at a faster rate and much more safely at a roadrace track. Under a controlled enviornment with instuctors (controll riders) you can experiment with lean angles and braking without the danger of traffic and risking costly tickets.;) Enrolling in a riding school is another way to gain valuable instruction from experts. However, schools are sometimes expensive and you have limited track time as compaired to track days depending on which school you choose. Take the time to set your bike up with decent tires and remember traction and suspension before horsepower. Invest in the proper gear and get out there and start dragin the knees.:D
 

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Just to add to the already great advice..the only way to get better is to go a bit faster/more lean angle, but in small incriments, don't try going from, no knee draggin to trying to wear out a set of pucks in 3 hrs...you do have to push yourself, but slowly..and when you feel it's right..

Apex touched on a important subject...good tires, and gear, I agree, try to get some new tires, once they are scrubbed in, they will..stick better, and also inspire conficence to lean a bit more..

And get out there and RIDE...:D
 

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Nemesis, get yourself to a riding school ASAP. Keith Code and Reg Pridmore hold schools at the Streets of Willow Springs, which is a blast to ride and great for learning. Take both schools if you can afford it. If not, take Reg Pridmore's school. You'll get a lot more track time and I'll be there to take photos so you can prove to your friends/family that you were on the track. :D

Reg also has a couple of schools planned at California Raceway in Arpil. Check out his web site: http://www.classrides.com

Keith's site is http://www.superbikeschool.com

If you take Code's school you'll learn a lot, including the most dangerous line through a corner, which is the reason I recommend Pridmore's school over Code's school. Not trying to start a flame war here, but I had several close calls on tracks last summer when people went into corners way too wide and then cut across my bow to the apex. The common denominator? They had all just taken Code's school.

Be forewarned though, riding on the track is addictive.

A little over a year ago I was in the same situtaion you're in. I bought a motorcycle after five years with no bike, and did not feel comfortable with my skills, partially from several close calls years earlier. I enrolled in Code's school, Pridmore's school, and the DP Safety School. My first time on the track, following the instructor around on the siting laps, was sheer terror combined with total joy.

Now, after 17 schools and track days in 14 months, I'm much more comfortable and way faster (24 seconds at the Streets! woo hoo!). I can even get my knee down without scaring myself.

The problem? Doing 100+ mph on the track doesn't scare me at all. That's fun. Well, except for the time my tires went off and I got into a major front end slide at 95 mph through Turn 1 at Thunderhill. But I had enough instruction that I knew what to do. As Jason Pridmore tells his students, "Never give up on a corner."

Commuting to work on my bike scares the hell out of me though. Too many crazed cagers with cell phones out there.
 

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Regarding doing schools, and track days..how much quicker, given an average rider, would they advance in their riding technice, and improve their speed..ect..

I've never taken a school, and I haven't been on a track in 25 yrs..
I do think opinions on what sort of a learning curve to expect vs not doing either one, would be interesting..anyone..:confused:
 

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The learning curve is steep to start with. It was a bit too steep for me, the first track day i went to, i started out in a sesson more advanced than i was, it scared the shit out of me for the first couple laps. I was blown away at the lean angles i was getting and i just about crashed the first time me knee touched down. when my knee touched i flinched a bit which upset the whole chassis... In the next session i went out with a slower group and learned much more eventually moved to faster groups. Its undescribable how much you learn about lean angles, tire grip corner speed and riding in general. Now i have have a blast a track days and my street riding is much improved. One thing you must learn though is where to set your limits on the street. It is very easy to become overconfident on the street after doing some trackwork.


Remember:

Start out with a slow group now matter how good you think you
are.

Learn to differentiate between that track and the street, learn your limits for both and never exceed them.

Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the input guys.. keep it coming. Some of its old info and some new but all the same. Being told something you know just means youre on the right track. I think of it like a checklist.

I just bought 2 brand new tires from ebay for 202 shipped. 207's :D Now i just have to get them put on without the killer prices. I hadnt really planned on a riding class other then the MSF i took but considering theres much learning to do there that i might not be able to do on the street as far as lean angles i'll probably look into it. I was doin ok with the turns for a little and i think wats keepin me slightly edgy about them is my recent crash a few weeks ago. Although i ride a lot still the feeling just sits in the back of your head everytime you go to lean know wat i mean? How much do those classes run? I think i need to have someone check out my bike too and tell me the sounds dont mean anything.. then i can be completely reassured of the bikes performance.
 

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NemesisCBR said:
I think i need to have someone check out my bike too and tell me the sounds dont mean anything.. then i can be completely reassured of the bikes performance.

I would do this asap, it just isn't worth messing around with. Personally I wouldn't ride it at all if I thought it was making some strange noises. Just ask yourself the question I always ask myself when trying to decide if I should do something, "what's the worst that could happen?" There are plenty of reasons for getting that bike in and looked at right away.


Good luck with the track days too!!:D Let us know how they go for you.

Dave
 

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Hammer 4 said:
Regarding doing schools, and track days..how much quicker, given an average rider, would they advance in their riding technice, and improve their speed..ect..

I've never taken a school, and I haven't been on a track in 25 yrs..
I do think opinions on what sort of a learning curve to expect vs not doing either one, would be interesting..anyone..:confused:
I had more than 20 years and 200,000 streets miles when I took my first school last year. I learned something in the first classroom session, before we even got out on the track. This time last year I was making mistakes entering and exiting corners. I'm still far from perfect, but my technique is so much better now it is hard to believe. I'm doing things right without needing to constantly remind myself what I should be doing.

Learning riding out of a book, with no feedback from experienced coaches, is time consuming and counterproductive. You'll never know what you're doing wrong. I've seen people crash on the track, then blame their tires, when the simple truth was they were too hard on the brakes and throttle, or they were leaning against the corner and forcing the bike down underneath themselves.

I keep telling people this because it will save someone's life: Take a school. Take any school. Then go to some track days and practice what you learned.

Riding motorcycles is akin to flying airplanes. They're only as safe as the pilot, and it takes a lot of skill to pilot one safely. Acquiring that skill takes training.

Besides, the schools and track days are just way too much fun.
 

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One of the biggest lessons I've learned was how to let the bike work. It's capable of so much when you don't interfere. It takes confidence not to interfere (deathgrip). it also takes some practice and skill to find a position where you are light on the bars so you don't muck it up.

You're probably broke (crash, new rider so probably young) so first off read a book like twist of the wrist. This is a far inferior way to learn compared to a good track school (CLASS/Code) but still far better than nothing. Find a good parking lot or clover leaf to practice on if you can't afford the track (look for constant radius turns with lots of runoff and no curbs, and CLEAN.

If you want to come east someday we can ride together and I'll check your bike over (I'm no mechanic but not completely clueless either, if there's something really wrong it should be obvious). Give you a couple quick pointers etc.

Chapparell mounts tires for 16 a wheel if you bring it to'em off the bike, no idea how far you are from San Bernardino.
 

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trusting tires

I'll pass on what Cobie Fair (Code's chief instructor) said to me about the same subject --

1. You have to be relaxed to be able to turn it quicker and tighter, because if you're tense, the stiff arm will make the bike go wide.

2. Therefore, heed the advice above -- go faster in little increments.

3. On the subject of TRUST -- Cobie told me "with warm tires and dry pavement it's almost impossible to turn the bike so hard that it slides out. If it doesn't slide out going into the turn, getting on the gas only makes it better."

4. Keep you eyes up and look ahead.

Ari
 

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Re: trusting tires

agabinet said:
I'll pass on what Cobie Fair (Code's chief instructor) said to me about the same subject --

1. You have to be relaxed to be able to turn it quicker and tighter, because if you're tense, the stiff arm will make the bike go wide.

2. Therefore, heed the advice above -- go faster in little increments.

3. On the subject of TRUST -- Cobie told me "with warm tires and dry pavement it's almost impossible to turn the bike so hard that it slides out. If it doesn't slide out going into the turn, getting on the gas only makes it better."

4. Keep you eyes up and look ahead.

Ari
And make sure your tires are WARM...:D
 

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I had an interesting experience this weekend which is right up the alley of this question. I'm not fast by anyone's standards, but I love riding and I'm competent. We went on a little put out to a lake this weekend, a road I happen to love and know better than most out here. The last time I took this road, I went between 50 and 70. It was a blast, I made it home smiling like I haven't smiled in a long time.

Since then, I've taken an advanced riders course which focused on "in town" riding skills: looking through corners even farther than you're used to, slow speed maneuvering, braking in corners... really, really basic stuff.

Back out at the lake on the ride back, I looked down and realized that I was going faster than I had ever gone before on this road, and I felt less like I was working and more like I was just "interpereting" what the bike and road wanted me to do. Granted, it was only 10-15 mph faster, but that's significant!

I think this weekend solidified for me that it takes a lot of time, and lots of miles, and some pointers from outside people to get more confidence in yourself and your bike.

:D
 
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