Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Motorcycle: 750cc Rascal
Re: Backing it in?
I think backing it in has it's place, but it's probably not the fastest way around most turns on an open track. In some turns, I think it can be used to an advantage. And when you're racing, sometimes you're forced to take a line that wouldn't be optimum, and perhaps backing it in is a way to create your own line in these circumstances (God knows I'm not there yet - but I can see where it's use could, at times, be appropriate). I agree with what NJ says in that the guys that come from a dirtracking background obviously rely on it more often - it's something they're obviously quite comfortable with. But just because you can do it doesn't mean you should. The same holds true the other way around - just because it may not be fastest most of the time, doesn't mean it doesn't work sometimes.
I used to love watching McCoy... but I don't think he was fast because he had the bike sideways through every turn. I think he was fast enough, at the time, to make up for the time he actually lost with the bike constantly stepped out. I think Doohan said something along the same lines in 'Faster' when commenting on McCoy's style.
I'm sure slipper clutches & the like do have something to do with seeing it less... but from my limited experience, the majority of turns give you enough time & distance to get clean downshifts in before turn entry, with or without a slipper, so long as you maintain enough speed through the turn to keep from having to be in too low a gear going in. I'd have to guess that the guys who used to do it constantly, almost out of instinct, have probably learned/been trained to not rely on it when it's not needed.