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Discussion Starter #1
A little long...

Hello all. So I'm new here and still new to both bikes and track days. I started started riding in Jan of this year. 2 track days so far with a K1 gsxr 750. I had to stop riding at the start of Sep for a planned shoulder surgery then had to go back under the knife so my schedule was pushed back. Long story short I should be riding again by March/April which means my time off will pretty much equal my total time of riding experience. So basically I'm back at square one when I get back on 2s.

Outside of bike choice (looking for ninja 300, gsxr 600, sv650 dedicated track bike) I want to have a skill development plan when I get back on the track. My closest track is H2R and is where I'll get the most seat time, with traveling to other track days as I can. So here is the order of what I plan on working on. Let me know what you think and suggestions are appreciated.

1. get the raceline down and comfortable so it doesn't preoccupy all of my focus

2. body position. Try to continue building on previous work and rebuild the comfort of getting off the bike

3. control corner entry speed which I break down to 3 parts.
A. braking markers
B. rev matching with downshift (had not mastered but was constantly practicing)
C. smooth braking (learned not to panic grab at slow speeds with a big bite), gradual increase in pressure, and was getting comfortable with trailbraking as well

4. looking through the curve and transitioning reference points. This has been the most difficult for me but when I did it right it made me more comfortable coming out of the corners

5. getting a good drive out of the corner. Stand up bike and smooth roll on asap

So this is what order I plan to work on spread out over multiple track days, and not all at once. I want to move on to the next skill only after I feel comfortable on the previous one. And I plan on stacking them as I go, i.e. work on only 1. Then when comfortable work on 1 & 2. Then 1, 2, & 3, etc...

What do you guys think? Good plan? What would you add, delete, rearrange? I figured this would help me re-develop what I'd worked on before the long layoff. I'd only been riding like 30 days at my first track day and didn't have a set plan to work on. I have a goal to reach by years end and need some help getting there. Obviously this isn't everything but I figured it's a good start. Lmk

Attached is a pic of my body position at my first track day. I'd been riding about 30 days and felt like I was waaaay off the bike and way down low, lol. It's gotten better since then
 

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What would you add, delete, rearrange?
For starters I would delete that bike altogether. Learning to ride on that particular GSX-R750, which in its day was giving larger bikes a hard time and even beating them in many cases, is a sure fire way to kill your learning curve. Get a bike that's more beginner friendly and crawl a bit before you start walking. You'll thank me later. :thumbup
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm in the process of looking right now. Have come across quite a few track bikes for sale, gsxr 600 and R6. Also a lot of 250/300 ninja/cbr too. Very few of the 250/300 have any track prep done. But i dont need a true track bike. Could get by with some case savers and plastics I think. Hope to have picked one up by the end of february. If not...it's all I'll have. Any other suggestions?
 

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I would do this in order because one will feed the next step
#1,3,4,2,5

From your pic your fighting input, body posture, and speed ... basically making it harder to learn.

Eliminate all that and sit up, pick one gear and stay in it.
next session try rolling on smooth and rolling off throttle smooth /try not to use brakes
After that next session add brakes/ off throttle smooth , brake slowly, smooth , then off and roll on throttle smooth and progressive.

I say sit up so you can see the track fully and allows you to look farther down the track . It will also take heavy handle bar pressure off the front.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would do this in order because one will feed the next step
#1,3,4,2,5

From your pic your fighting input, body posture, and speed ... basically making it harder to learn.

Eliminate all that and sit up, pick one gear and stay in it.
next session try rolling on smooth and rolling off throttle smooth /try not to use brakes
After that next session add brakes/ off throttle smooth , brake slowly, smooth , then off and roll on throttle smooth and progressive.

I say sit up so you can see the track fully and allows you to look farther down the track . It will also take heavy handle bar pressure off the front.

Thanks for the input. After reading your post and looking over my plan again I think your suggestion makes much more sense. It had a better flow and transition from one skill to the next much more naturally. Thanks :grin2:
 

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If you can, try to get some real coaching from an ex-pro racer or just someone who's fast and good at teaching.
I'm a coach with the California Superbike School and second this idea. It's great to have a plan put fourth like you have but you need to make sure that you are learning the best way to execute certain skills and techniques. You say for example that you want to first learn the race line so that it doesn't pre-occupy your time. This is fine but it is important to also understand what makes a good line. Please feel free to ask me any questions about the school or any skills/techniques but in the mean time let's take a look at what a "good line" is.


How would you define what a good line, or what a race line actually is? How might a basic control like throttle control influence your line?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
If you can, try to get some real coaching from an ex-pro racer or just someone who's fast and good at teaching.
I'm a coach with the California Superbike School and second this idea. It's great to have a plan put fourth like you have but you need to make sure that you are learning the best way to execute certain skills and techniques. You say for example that you want to first learn the race line so that it doesn't pre-occupy your time. This is fine but it is important to also understand what makes a good line. Please feel free to ask me any questions about the school or any skills/techniques but in the mean time let's take a look at what a "good line" is.


How would you define what a good line, or what a race line actually is? How might a basic control like throttle control influence your line?

Ok. Thanks for the offer, I definitely don't have an issue asking questions so be careful what u ask for :) . Remember I am a novice so I'm basing a lot of my ideas off videos/podcasts/books from keithcode and others, and YouTube videos from guys like Troy Corser. I also listen to the coaches from the track day companies from the couple of trackdays that I've done, so my experience is extremely small.

What I think a good race line is one that allows me to be on the gas longer and on the brake less. And minimizes any time coasting. It would let me setup, tip in and power out smoothly without having to make big adjustments while cornering. It also allows me to place myself in a good position to visually transfer to my next reference point and move the bike accordingly, like standing it up sooner so I can roll on the throttle and set up for the next turn.

Where the basic controls would fall in is throttle is gonna push my line wider. Being too aggressive on throttle too early (ie with a lot of lean angle) means you're low siding. Key is to try and be smooth on the roll on as early as possible for a better drive out.

But I need to be able to put all of this into action. Make it second nature so I'm not thinking too much
 

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Ok. Thanks for the offer, I definitely don't have an issue asking questions so be careful what u ask for :) . Remember I am a novice so I'm basing a lot of my ideas off videos/podcasts/books from keithcode and others, and YouTube videos from guys like Troy Corser. I also listen to the coaches from the track day companies from the couple of trackdays that I've done, so my experience is extremely small.

What I think a good race line is one that allows me to be on the gas longer and on the brake less. And minimizes any time coasting. It would let me setup, tip in and power out smoothly without having to make big adjustments while cornering. It also allows me to place myself in a good position to visually transfer to my next reference point and move the bike accordingly, like standing it up sooner so I can roll on the throttle and set up for the next turn.

Where the basic controls would fall in is throttle is gonna push my line wider. Being too aggressive on throttle too early (ie with a lot of lean angle) means you're low siding. Key is to try and be smooth on the roll on as early as possible for a better drive out.

But I need to be able to put all of this into action. Make it second nature so I'm not thinking too much
Cool. Ask away :)

Great. Like your definition of a good race line. Has to do with being able to apply the throttle correctly by rolling on "smoothly, evenly and constantly throughout the turn" (keith code). Like you said you want to be able to get on the gas as soon as possible, minimize coasting and not make any mid corner adjustments.

Now you make 2 statements that I just want to clarify. 1st you talk about moving the bike accordingly, like standing it up sooner so that you can roll on as early as possible for a better drive out. Now, when exactly do you want to START rolling on the gas? Do you wait until you are already standing the bike up before rolling on? Or can you already be rolling on the gas and keep rolling on AS you are bringing the bike upright?

Also, you mention wondering about the throttle pushing your line wider? Does proper throttle control make the bike run wide in a corner or does it hold the line you are on? When can the throttle cause the bike to run wide?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When i said moving the bike accordingly I was thinking about two things. 1 is standing it up sooner so that I can get on the throttle as soon as possible. 2 is getting the bike on the line best positioned for the next turn. I should be able to roll on the throttle AS I'm standing the bike up. As the contact patch gets bigger I can keep rolling on, right?

I also believe that proper throttle control maintains your line. But too aggressive on the throttle can push you wide (best case) or put you down (worse case). This is all based on studying...but I really need to practice this stuff on the track. Doing it is a lot different than reading it. Haha
 

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When i said moving the bike accordingly I was thinking about two things. 1 is standing it up sooner so that I can get on the throttle as soon as possible. 2 is getting the bike on the line best positioned for the next turn. I should be able to roll on the throttle AS I'm standing the bike up. As the contact patch gets bigger I can keep rolling on, right?

I also believe that proper throttle control maintains your line. But too aggressive on the throttle can push you wide (best case) or put you down (worse case). This is all based on studying...but I really need to practice this stuff on the track. Doing it is a lot different than reading it. Haha
You should be able to get on the gas as soon as possible once the bike is turned and roll it on throughout the corner. You don't have to wait until you start standing the bike up to begin roll on, you can "get on the gas asap and roll it on smoothly, evenly and constantly throughout the turn" (Keith Code), but you would want to roll it on harder and harder AS you are bringing the bike back upright.

Proper throttle control maintains your line, yes, correct. And correct about being too aggressive with the throttle TOO EARLY can push you wide, and too aggressive in general can cause you to to possibly loose the rear or go down.

Does that make sense? Seems like what I said above is a little bit different to what you were thinking and practicing.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
You should be able to get on the gas as soon as possible once the bike is turned and roll it on throughout the corner. You don't have to wait until you start standing the bike up to begin roll on, you can "get on the gas asap and roll it on smoothly, evenly and constantly throughout the turn" (Keith Code), but you would want to roll it on harder and harder AS you are bringing the bike back upright.

Proper throttle control maintains your line, yes, correct. And correct about being too aggressive with the throttle TOO EARLY can push you wide, and too aggressive in general can cause you to to possibly loose the rear or go down.

Does that make sense? Seems like what I said above is a little bit different to what you were thinking and practicing.
Yes that makes sense to me. It's what I was trying to explain but just didn't do a good job at it. I did get some practice in at MSRH on the 18th. Planning on going back May 12/13th for both days.

I took it really easy the first 3 sessions just practicing the line. When I felt good with that I noticed that I had naturally moved on to looking through the curve without thinking about it. That made traveling along the track really comfortable compared to my first track day. Easy to transition and setup to hit the next turn and stay on my line. Up until this point I was doing 2nd or 3rd gear drills, so I would pick a gear and stay in it the whole session.

Here's where I ended up getting away from my plan, but I think it worked out ok. I planned on going into corner entry as my 3rd focus point but instead I ended up doing body position, then corner speed. Now that I was comfortable on the bike, staying on my line, and keeping my eyes up as I transitioned reference points I started getting my butt over, dropping my upper body down, inside knee out and outside knee locking me in, keeping weight off my arms and continuing everything else I was doing before. Still taking it easy but starting to open it up more. And still doing single gear sessions. I'll post a couple of pics soon. Still not Rossi positioning, but better than it was before, and pretty good when looking at all the level 1 riders.

Lots of folks are passing me but I'm trying to stick to my plans and work on my pre-set goals, and many are just plain faster than me. I notice that I'm catching a rider or two in the curves so I back off and let them pull away so I can keep working on my skills. I also let them pass me on the straights since I'm not full throttle and and still doing single gear sessions.

At this point in feeling really good so I start shifting gears, 2-4th as I work around the track and start working on setting my entry speed and rev-matching while setting up for tip-in. All is going well and I'm feeling good.

All day up to this point point there has big one big problem I've noticed, I'm often slowing down way too much before tip-in and realizing that I'm moving to slow while cornering. So I ended up speeding up while cornering a lot of times after thinking "why am I going so slow?". So I start to follow some folks through the corners and notice that I'm more confident carrying more speed when someone else is in front of me. And I still felt comfortable on the bike. Why is that? I'm assuming it's because I figure if they can tip in at "x" speed then I can too at "x" speed. Keep in mind these are other novice riders too. This was level 1 with RideSmart.

A buddy of mine is level 2 but bumped down to level 1 to get comfortable on a new bike and I went quickest while following him through a couple of turns before he pulled away from me.

So my very last session I decide to really open it up to see how well I'd progressed over the day. Another buddy who is level 1 was riding with me and let me lead the warmup lap. We took off for lap 2 and 3 and he said he couldn't catch me. That was the hardest I pushed all day and I still felt comfortable and within my limits. I did blow one turn that I had been doing very well in all day but I think it was a combination of pushing harder, braking later and fatigue. So after that I just cruised it in and called it a day.

A long, good, productive day. Wish I could have done a trackday the next day to keep building which is what led me to look at the 2day event in May.

Forgot to add my trackbike is an 07 gsxr 600. I was looking at some ninja 300 and R3 bikes for the track but didn't find anything that worked for me. And people around me were aski g stupid money. So I sold my k1 750 and bought two gsxr 600's, an 07 and an 08.

Here is a pic of my steadily improving BP
 

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All day up to this point point there has big one big problem I've noticed, I'm often slowing down way too much before tip-in and realizing that I'm moving to slow while cornering. So I ended up speeding up while cornering a lot of times after thinking "why am I going so slow?". So I start to follow some folks through the corners and notice that I'm more confident carrying more speed when someone else is in front of me. And I still felt comfortable on the bike. Why is that? I'm assuming it's because I figure if they can tip in at "x" speed then I can too at "x" speed. Keep in mind these are other novice riders too. This was level 1 with RideSmart.


Here is a pic of my steadily improving BP
Cool. Great write up and the pics look good so far :) Glad you are improving. About your question above, it's a common scenario. First of all I want you to think about what you are looking at (Visually) when someone else is in front of you as opposed to what you are looking at when you are on your own entering into a corner. What do you think might be different in terms of what you are seeing? What does your vision tend to do when you approach the entrance of a corner, does it shrink down and target fixate on the entrance? Are you looking into the corner and turning at the same time or are you looking into the corner first and then turning? Give it some thought and let me know and we can work on improving from there! :biggrin:biggrin
 

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You go where you look, look through the curve to the best line for the next curve. If you think you’re going fast, you’re going to fast. You should feel smooth, and a big smile should be in your helmet after a good curve. Have fun, and ride so you can enjoy dinner after, go to work in the morning and live to ride again. The fun is subjective. You have the power...

🏁🏍🏁
 

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Have some take pics and record yourself from your rear seat area as I and most find out what you think your body is doing and what it actually is is two different things haha
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Cool. Great write up and the pics look good so far
Glad you are improving. About your question above, it's a common scenario. First of all I want you to think about what you are looking at (Visually) when someone else is in front of you as opposed to what you are looking at when you are on your own entering into a corner. What do you think might be different in terms of what you are seeing? What does your vision tend to do when you approach the entrance of a corner, does it shrink down and target fixate on the entrance? Are you looking into the corner and turning at the same time or are you looking into the corner first and then turning? Give it some thought and let me know and we can work on improving from there! /forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gifbiggrin

When I'm trailing someone my eyes kind of naturally follow them so there's less of a chance that I target fixate on a point, like the apex. It's easier, I guess, to follow the moving target through the curve. It takes more focus/discipline to not target fixate when there isn't anyone in front of me. If that makes sense?

If I'm not trailing someone I can't say for sure what my eyes DO. What I TRY to do is find my reference point and set up. Then as I'm approaching my tip in point and I know I'm going to hit it, I try to transition to my next reference point and tip in with timing and peripheral vision. This second time at the track I did sooooo much better at keeping my eyes up. It made everything slower. So that's what I try to do. And I'm getting better at it.

I haven't noticed my vision shrinking down or tunnel vision at all. I also really try not to target fixate on the corner or apex. I did that during my first trackday and it made everything feel crazy fast. And I also dont want to look into the corner at the same time as tip in. I like to look in first, set up, transition to next reference point, then tip in.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Have some take pics and record yourself from your rear seat area as I and most find out what you think your body is doing and what it actually is is two different things haha
I have my cameras mounted now. Didn't have them on when I was at MSRH. I had them with me but forgot to mount them. I definitely want to get some action shots of how I'm transitioning on the bike and how well my BP is developing. So I have one of the 360 cameras for the back watchinng me for that. I also have a regular camera facing forward so I can see my lines as I go through the course. Where am I tipping in at, how am I hitting the apexes, etc...
 

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When I'm trailing someone my eyes kind of naturally follow them so there's less of a chance that I target fixate on a point, like the apex. It's easier, I guess, to follow the moving target through the curve. It takes more focus/discipline to not target fixate when there isn't anyone in front of me. If that makes sense?

If I'm not trailing someone I can't say for sure what my eyes DO. What I TRY to do is find my reference point and set up. Then as I'm approaching my tip in point and I know I'm going to hit it, I try to transition to my next reference point and tip in with timing and peripheral vision. This second time at the track I did sooooo much better at keeping my eyes up. It made everything slower. So that's what I try to do. And I'm getting better at it.

I haven't noticed my vision shrinking down or tunnel vision at all. I also really try not to target fixate on the corner or apex. I did that during my first trackday and it made everything feel crazy fast. And I also dont want to look into the corner at the same time as tip in. I like to look in first, set up, transition to next reference point, then tip in.
Cool. So your original question was around feeling like you were going too slow through the corner and that you could probably carry more entry speed into and through the corner. Your write up above on what you do with your eyes is good but it sounds to me like you do things a little bit differently visually when someone is in front of you as opposed to when you are going through the turn solo.

You say that following someone you tend to watch where they go. This usually means that you are looking a little further ahead because you are watching/seeing what they are doing. People often think that they can go into corners faster following someone because they figure, "if they can do it, so can i" and while that may be part of it, it usually comes down to something as simple as visual skills and what you are looking at. With someone in front, you tend to look further ahead and by doing so, your sense of speed tends to slow down. Could this be the case?

I think you have the right idea in terms of your visual skills in that you want to look into the corner first before you actually turn the bike, spot your apex and then once you know you are going to hit it, look up further through the corner and to the exit. However, I sense that the timing of your visual skills are different when someone is in front of you vs when you are alone.

How could you push your visual skills so that you get the timing down pat, with or without someone in front?
 

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Cool. So your original question was around feeling like you were going too slow through the corner and that you could probably carry more entry speed into and through the corner. Your write up above on what you do with your eyes is good but it sounds to me like you do things a little bit differently visually when someone is in front of you as opposed to when you are going through the turn solo.

You say that following someone you tend to watch where they go. This usually means that you are looking a little further ahead because you are watching/seeing what they are doing. People often think that they can go into corners faster following someone because they figure, "if they can do it, so can i" and while that may be part of it, it usually comes down to something as simple as visual skills and what you are looking at. With someone in front, you tend to look further ahead and by doing so, your sense of speed tends to slow down. Could this be the case?

I think you have the right idea in terms of your visual skills in that you want to look into the corner first before you actually turn the bike, spot your apex and then once you know you are going to hit it, look up further through the corner and to the exit. However, I sense that the timing of your visual skills are different when someone is in front of you vs when you are alone.

How could you push your visual skills so that you get the timing down pat, with or without someone in front?
I try to do what I mentioned before, but I'm sure I'm still making the rookie mistakes of looking too close or staying on the apex for too long. Just not as often, and probably making that mistake more often on the more difficult corners for me.

And I'd agree with you on my visual skills being different with someone in front of me making me look further ahead. The only thing that I can think of to help is maybe try not to follow them with my eyes when in following them in the turn. Try to keep my vision consistently on my reference points whether someone is in front of me or not? And just use my peripheral vision to watch out for other riders. If so that is gonna be a difficult task that is going to require a LOT of practice. I think years of having to use my peripheral vision in sports will help, but it's different on a bike. Other than that I'm at a loss as to what I can do to help. Maybe trailing an instructor and ask them to slowly pick up the pace and see what feels comfortable. 🤔
 
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