Slo, there was a "more to come..." tacked on after your last post; is that still on its way?
Ack, I am so sorry. I completely forgot about this thread. Too much going on :-(
I do have some other questions that were asked of me and I will put them down here as I am able.
If you or anyone has motorcycle related questions to ask, please feel free to do so. You can either post in this thread or send me a PM. I am far from a guru, but I will do the best I can to answer them for you.
PainfullySolo, that post above was very informative.
I read before that steering input/force is very crucial. And to think of the bars as handle bars, not so much a steering wheel.
Once in the turn dont put force in the bars, support your self with your outside leg and weight on the tank. Even more try and lean the bike with weight not the handlebars.
Ive only been riding since this past march (2014), however its something Im very interested in, and love learning about. I take riding very seriously. And im looking to hit a track near me next season.
Yes, you should absolutely think of the handlebars as...handlebars =) I think I get what you are saying though, and that unlike a steering wheel, you do not actually steer with the bars...other than initiating a turn.
Your understanding is correct. You exert force on the bars only to get the bike to turn. The faster you go, the more force you can and will need to use to get the bike to 'tip in' to a turn (because you have all that gyroscopic effect to counter).
Once you achieve your lean, you need
to be light on the bars. Your tire will be using all of its available friction to keep you on the pavement and your bike going through the turn. If you ask it to do more, like change direction by putting weight on the bars, well...something has to give and usually the rider wouldn't like the results.
FYI, nearly every single front end crash (washing out or losing the front tire in a turn) is caused by bar input. I would say in the 90%+ range. Practice being off the bars in turns and you will have a much happier time on the track.
Now, for your first time on the track you will have LOTS of things to worry about, and this shouldnt be a major concern at that point. You will feel like you are leaned WAY over, but the reality will be that you will have plenty of tire left to cope with a little
As you pick up your pace, it will become critically important that you learn to have little to no bar input at all but in the beginning you arent going to fall over unless you do something drastically wrong.
Relax and have fun at your track day, that will do you a lot better than worrying about excessive bar input at this stage of the game =).
I'm having trouble following this part. When you accelerate a motorcycle, doesn't the back end squat? If so, wouldn't the rake increase? Wouldn't the wheelbase also increase? Ride height decrease?
No sir. Your thinking is sound if you were just worrying about the weight transfer, but we have chassis geometry to consider and it gets a little deep into physics and can be hard to wrap your head around.
I made a quick picture which I hope will help.
So, in example A picture your motorcycle at rest. The 'swingarm pivot' is where your swingarm attaches to the frame of your motorcycle and the 'tire contact patch' is just that, where your rear tire sits on the ground. The green line represents the top of the motorcycle. It is important to note that the red line is the same length in both pictures.
When you accelerate a motorcycle, it does so through 'Thrust', that is, the force of your rear tire pushing, or shoving the motorcycle forward.
Because your swingarm is on an angle, as the tire pushes forward (and brings the rest of the motorcycle with it) it pushes on the pivot which will rise.
The yellow arrow indicates the thrust of the rear tire pushing forward. As this happens, that red line increases the angle that it is on and the tip of it goes upward. The blue line is the new 'top' of the motorcycle so you can clearly see that it has risen above the green line.
Does this help? I am doing the best I can to explain a pretty complex topic but I am no teacher. I can something else if further explanation is needed.
If you wanted to see this for yourself, the best way is to gradually work yourself up to a burnout. Now, I will toss in the disclaimer of 'don't try this at home' and all of the other stuff that you should know before attempting to do this. If you wreck your bike, it is on you.
Sitting on your bike, put it in first gear. Hold the front brake lever in. You will keep the front brake on the entire time. Gradually let the clutch out until the bike starts to try to move forward. Give the bike more gas, slowly. Keep the front brake on. As you provide more and more gas, you will start to feel the back end of the motorcycle rise. This is the exact same process that happens when you get on the throttle on the track.
It will actually rise quite a bit because you are adding thrust without the normal counter of weight transfer.
Again, be extremely careful if you are going to do this but it is the best way to see for yourself just how thrust can make the back of a motorcycle rise.
**EDIT** Found a dyno video of mine that is REALLY crappy quality but it does clearly show the back end rising. Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjpVVCbykMc
or another of the GSXR. Better quality video, a little more difficult to see the back end rising, but it is there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YjsZrZvwRo