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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

I think the issue is mostly mental / confidence. This is not my first time on the track but I'm a track noob.

Recently on a local track I was in a session mostly riding by myself. In the next session I was following a group and improved my lap time by 10 seconds. That is a big difference on a 2 mile track - don't you think???

The difference was the speed I was carrying through the corner. I think by having someone in front to chase I was able to "feel good" (?) about the speed and go faster.

Any ideas or constructive advice on what to do to be able to go faster without anyone in front of me? More track time is gonna help but what else would you focus on?



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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 06:02 PM
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

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Originally Posted by IndiGIXXER View Post
I think the issue is mostly mental / confidence. This is not my first time on the track but I'm a track noob.

Recently on a local track I was in a session mostly riding by myself. In the next session I was following a group and improved my lap time by 10 seconds. That is a big difference on a 2 mile track - don't you think???

The difference was the speed I was carrying through the corner. I think by having someone in front to chase I was able to "feel good" (?) about the speed and go faster.

Any ideas or constructive advice on what to do to be able to go faster without anyone in front of me? More track time is gonna help but what else would you focus on?

There are endless bits of advice and ideas that can make you faster and/or safer on the track. I'll just talk about one main idea here: Chasing rabbits.

That is a huge difference. I know that if I were able to keep up with folks 10 (or even 3) seconds faster than myself, I would be in way over my head. Right now, this may be possible because you are in the early stage of your learning curve, and there may be some low hanging fruit.

But if you are feeling good when chasing the rabbits, I would try to leverage that. Get used to the feel of the speed. Though it can get you faster quickly if you feel OK with it, know that your own skills do not match those of the riders you are following. Knowing that, you have to respect that you are not ready to handle situations that come up at that speed.

I suggest that you leave some following distance and don't be hugging anyone's butt. The only time you should be just a bike length behind someone is when you are just about to pull a pass. It's not a spot you want to stay in for long, because it's dangerous. It is very hard to avoid a crashing bike when you are that close. If you leave a few bike lengths or more, they will tend to slide out of the way by the time you get there.

You should ultimately be able to go just as fast all by yourself if you want to be safe at a given speed. You will need to be able to make your own judgements for setting speed, braking zones, how much room you need to pass someone, etc. Chasing others is a great way to find places to improve though. I'm not saying you should avoid it, just that you need to know when its time to ride your own ride.

One problem with rabbits is that you have to trust them. You need to be able to tell if someone is riding easily within their own capabilities, or is just about to crash because they are in over their heads. It is best to know who it is you are following, and know that they are not regular crashers. If you are riding behind a reliable rider, there is not as much danger of them doing something stupid that puts them down.

If they crash, and you are not very experienced, you can follow them right off the track and crash too. Even experienced track riders sometimes do this. Target fixation kicks in. You go where you look, so you need to be able to look past them immediately as you see their situation begin to unfold.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 08:54 AM
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

I'm a big fan of taking a methodical approach myself. Typically if I am working on bringing up my speed I focus on one part of the track at a time and until I get the result I want I won't push it anywhere else so I have to to relax and set up for the next time I'm back in that spot. As an example if there is a corner (let's call it turn 3) that you feel really comfortable in but you feel like when other people go through it they are faster you can then say to yourself ok where am I losing time is it my entry speed mid corner speed or my exit speed or is it all of the above. Breaking the corner down helps to focus on small details and makes the learning process easier. So lets say you need to work on all 3 parts of the corner. Try to take note as to what speed your going when you are first entering the corner. Lets say its 70 mph. So you already know that you can go into that corner at 70 mph comfortably so next time try going in at 72 mph and see how it feels. Making gradual steps in speed will reduce the risk of giving you an immediate sense of panic if your out of your comfort zone. Once you find an entry speed that you are comfortable with but feel like any faster would make you nervous then focus on the next part of the turn. Also the whole time it's important that you are keeping your line if your not keeping you line as you go faster the. Your doing it wrong and it's irrelevant that you went faster. Also typically as your entry speed increases your mid corner and exit speeds increase as a byproduct but some times they won't so you will apply the same process to those sections of the corner. For me this is the best way to break down everything that is happening in a turn and let's me focus on what I actually need to improve on rather than thinking I need to just go faster everywhere. Hope it helps you cause I typed this whole thing on my phone.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 10:57 AM
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

use more throttle and less brakes!!!!

Look more through the turn, when you were chasing you probably weren't as focused on the turn and were looking further through the turns at the guys you were chasing. Looking through turns give the illusion of going slower.

Use as many reference points as you can so you can move faster in small increments.

More seat time works too, get out there and practice being smooth, speed will come from that.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

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Originally Posted by Zippysport View Post
...know that your own skills do not match those of the riders you are following. Knowing that, you have to respect that you are not ready to handle situations that come up at that speed....
Good point! I knew the rider in front of me but not the riders in front of him. That could have caused a potentially dangerous chain reaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zippysport View Post
...
I suggest that you leave some following distance and don't be hugging anyone's butt. The only time you should be just a bike length behind someone is when you are just about to pull a pass. It's not a spot you want to stay in for long, because it's dangerous. It is very hard to avoid a crashing bike when you are that close. If you leave a few bike lengths or more, they will tend to slide out of the way by the time you get there.
Yes yes yes! In some situations the bikes were close (less than 6ft apart). I remember thinking the only time I wanna be so close is when getting ready to pass. QUESTION (applies to novice level riding skill): when getting ready to pass do you match the speed of the rider in front at entry, mid or turn exit? All of the above? Or, do you focus on the mid corner speed, which gives you good drive out of the turn and then pass?
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

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Originally Posted by surfingsk8r View Post
I'm a big fan of taking a methodical approach myself. Typically if I am working on bringing up my speed I focus on one part of the track at a time and until I get the result I want I won't push it anywhere else so I have to to relax and set up for the next time I'm back in that spot. .... For me this is the best way to break down everything that is happening in a turn and let's me focus on what I actually need to improve on rather than thinking I need to just go faster everywhere. Hope it helps you cause I typed this whole thing on my phone.
Good stuff!! See above ---> definitely something I can do next time on the track.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 11:20 AM
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

There is way too much to explain online about this, but basically what Dave (zman) said is correct. Stay on the gas longer, brake later, learn to trail brake, and make sure you are braking to set your speed, not to alleviate fear.

Make sure you are looking well past where you are, using the picket fence analogy. If you are driving at say 75mph, and look at a picket fence next to you, it looks like it is moving really fast, and you get a sense of the speed. But if you look ahead, you can pick out and individual section of the fence, and all of a sudden the same speed doesn't feel as fast. Use that while out on the track, and even though you are going the same speed, it will feel slower and allow you more time to do what you need to do.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

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Originally Posted by zman View Post
use more throttle and less brakes!!!!
To me, this one sounds great but only in theory.

Maybe I am slowing down too much before the turn but there is a "healthy dose" of braking and downshifting before the turn.
After (or just before) mid turn I am constantly and gradually on the throttle. Is that what you meant?

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 11:23 AM
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

As for passing, at a track day there is no need to stuff anyone or get too close (6' is far from close btw...) when making a pass.

Plan it out a few turns in advance, see where you are faster, and don't match their speed at all. Be faster. That is how you make a pass, not by being the same speed as them. Your track organization will let you know their passing rules, so make sure you follow them. If you are a beginner, more than likely you will only be able to pass on straights and on the outside of a turn.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-24-2013, 07:56 PM
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiGIXXER View Post
I think the issue is mostly mental / confidence. This is not my first time on the track but I'm a track noob.

Recently on a local track I was in a session mostly riding by myself. In the next session I was following a group and improved my lap time by 10 seconds. That is a big difference on a 2 mile track - don't you think???

The difference was the speed I was carrying through the corner. I think by having someone in front to chase I was able to "feel good" (?) about the speed and go faster.

Any ideas or constructive advice on what to do to be able to go faster without anyone in front of me? More track time is gonna help but what else would you focus on?



You need to identify what slows you down first. Then to work in this very thing. If you think that the issue lies in entry speed (so your BP, lines and everything else is OK) you should focus on entry speed and do few laps w/o using brakes, that should help you concentrate on the speed.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-24-2013, 08:05 PM
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

Start over again on a less powerful bike.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 07:40 AM
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

Get some professional training! Works a treat. Oh, you dont wanna spend $500 for a day. Understand completely. I'll try pass on the best couple of tips i got out of california superbike school level 1 & 2. THE 2-STEP: This is a basic drill which allows you to look through the corner or to a reference point before initiating your turning. Most novices will pick out a turn-in point and look at it until they hit it, then turn. The idea of the 2-step is to be looking through the corner to your next reference point before your turn-in. For most riders, when you look to one side, will start to initiate turning that way. If you can turn your head and find your next reference point even maybe a couple of seconds before turning in whilst continuing straight, you get a sense of space and a decreased sense of speed, taking the fear out of it. You also allow yourself to get the turning done in the shortest time possible, giving you a better line and flattening out the corner. Also as someone mentioned before, the further down the track you look, the lower the sense of speed is, giving you more confidence to go faster bit by bit. Gradually, as you learn to look further and further down the road, you end up looking at the 'vanishing point' (where from your perspective, the track disappears into the horizon or the countryside). Anyway these were the drills I got the most from for my $1100! Good Luck
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

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Originally Posted by darren_william79 View Post
Get some professional training! Works a treat. Oh, you dont wanna spend $500 for a day. Understand completely. I'll try pass on the best couple of tips i got out of california superbike school level 1 & 2. THE 2-STEP: This is a basic drill which allows you to look through the corner or to a reference point before initiating your turning. Most novices will pick out a turn-in point and look at it until they hit it, then turn. The idea of the 2-step is to be looking through the corner to your next reference point before your turn-in. For most riders, when you look to one side, will start to initiate turning that way. If you can turn your head and find your next reference point even maybe a couple of seconds before turning in whilst continuing straight, you get a sense of space and a decreased sense of speed, taking the fear out of it. You also allow yourself to get the turning done in the shortest time possible, giving you a better line and flattening out the corner. Also as someone mentioned before, the further down the track you look, the lower the sense of speed is, giving you more confidence to go faster bit by bit. Gradually, as you learn to look further and further down the road, you end up looking at the 'vanishing point' (where from your perspective, the track disappears into the horizon or the countryside). Anyway these were the drills I got the most from for my $1100! Good Luck
Thanks. Besides my bad BP, looking through the corner is high on my "to get better" list. Thanks bro!


PS
I just got the video of a several track laps from a friend that was behind me. It is horrendous! and no I am not gonna share it here
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-03-2013, 12:36 PM
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

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Originally Posted by zman View Post
...Look more through the turn, when you were chasing you probably weren't as focused on the turn and were looking further through the turns at the guys you were chasing...
Yes. This is exactly what happened to me the first track day I did. Once I realized I wasn't looking far enough ahead I had a dramatic sudden increase in corner speed. I went from super slow to slow.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 09:06 AM
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

Regarding passing: As Anthony D said, you never want to match the speed of someone you are trying to pass. That closes your window of opportunity and makes passing near impossible. Basically, you need a running start. It is actually easier to hold back and get some distance between you and the person you are trying to pass. Then you close in quickly on them to build a speed differential between you and them.

The timing of this move is determined by where you want to complete the pass. The safest place is generally on corner exits. You come into a corner with better speed that the person you are targeting. In the middle of the corner, you should be closing on them. You should have the gap closed just as you are exiting the turn. Plan to pass on the inside as they will be trying to drive out. Here, they will be nursing the throttle as they pick up the bike. You should have a few miles per hour on them at this point.

Now, the drag race down the next straight commences. If you can start that with a few MPH advantage, they will typically not be able to overcome it by the end of the straight. Pass them while they are still trying to get back on the throttle, absolutely as early as possible.

Even if they are on a higher horsepower bike, you are likely to win the drag race to the next corner.
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-04-2013, 09:43 AM
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

Usually it's fear. If a rider can go through a corner faster (without scaring the shit out of themselves) they will probably do it right, technique may be preventing them from carrying more speed or getting on the gas sooner etc, but generally speaking its because they are not comfortable carrying more speed into and through a corner. Paul Thede wrote about this in a book geared more towards MX and broke it down pretty well. Here's an excerpt from Lee Parks' book Total Control that talks about it as well, a good read by the way.



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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

Some really good advice here.... cornering, looking through the turn, speed matching, fear,.....

Worth reading all over before my next track event thks


PS
Squids posting about the oil type or new sprockets should read all the threads in this section instead of worrying too much about the 520 vs 525 kit.

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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 11:47 AM
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

Switching from a 525 chain to a 520 will definitely make you faster what are you talking about?

Where are you from? I am one of the TPM coaches and I think I will be at NJMP Sunday the 16th and Sunday the 23rd. I'm mostly going to help Z-Woman get on the track the first time and shake down the new bike. If you would like I'm happy to help with BP, it is kind of my specialty.

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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 12:32 PM
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Re: Track advice - how to carry more speed in corners?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a.leopard View Post
You need to identify what slows you down first. Then to work in this very thing. If you think that the issue lies in entry speed (so your BP, lines and everything else is OK) you should focus on entry speed and do few laps w/o using brakes, that should help you concentrate on the speed.
The bit with without brakes is a key thing for most - the focus on entry speed is 100%...most tend to slam the brakes as late as they dare to, then start to move around on the bike (don't get me started on the way most do that...)...

The problem with that approach is that most of us are poor at judging a proper entry speed whilst on full brake, upsetting the bike at corner entry by bouncing around and yanking on the bars...

Stability is key, as is eliminating stuff we don't want/need to focus on.

Hence, no brakes....one gear might be a good idea. Keep the things you focus on entering the corner to a bare minimum.

...and the use of your vision, don't flicker around with it, you go where you look...

/J
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