Passing - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 12-08-2016, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Passing

As in, going around the bike in front of you.

After my COTA trip I have realized I need to work on my passing abilities. My plan had been to try to move to advanced at Barber next time I go because I'm running in the top end of the I group speed (Lower lap times), but I get caught behind slower riders. At COTA there were several jokes made about people wanting to move up because they are stuck in traffic to which the instructor would say, if you were as good as you think you are you wouldn't be stuck (lukly I had kept my mouth shut and didn't get any of that directed at me.)... I'm going to take that as a challenge.

At the track it seems that my bike is lacking in the HP and acceleration zone so I have to rely on corner speed and drive out of turns. I think my issue is that I'm afraid to vary too far from the race line. So I end up staying behind someone and probably shadowing what they do more than I think I do, until I get to a corner I like. Once I get to a corner I like I back off of them drive hard before they do and take them on the inside as we are driving to the outside of the track after the turn.

But then I see a video like this and I feel like I should be able to pass on demand since I know that I'm faster than the person I'm trying to pass... This is one of the guys that came with us from Arkansas. He's really good. He puts LOTS of miles on all types of bikes all year long. I should also add that he's only ever been to 1 track until this day at COTA.


Anyway... Please share any helpful tips you can think of for me to work on my next track day.
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Last edited by harleystyles; 12-08-2016 at 11:49 AM.
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post #2 of 31 Old 12-08-2016, 01:32 PM
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You had the pass made on the guy in front of you and you let him back by you in the next left turn after the straight. My advice is that most passes ( with the skill levels being close to the same) are made in the braking zone. Everyone accelerates out of the turns on to the straights fairly equally. Be confident in your ability to make the turn, brake later than the other guy and set up for the turn on the inside of the guy you are passing. And then make it stick through and after the turn.
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post #3 of 31 Old 12-08-2016, 01:47 PM
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Be confident enough in your own ability to be assertive and look out for opportunity. Passing "on demand" is hard when you are similar speed, so be thinking about the next couple corners and figure out where I good place to pass would be.

Lots of places in that video you could've been a little later on the brakes and taken the inside line.
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post #4 of 31 Old 12-08-2016, 02:29 PM
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It's a track day .... Don't sweat it about the passing. Remember, if you are really close in ability to the guy you want to pass, and you have to struggle to make a SAFE pass (remember: trackday), he's going to be all over the back of you trying to repay the favor. My favorites are passing on the brakes on the inside line - essentially a block pass; or on the straight - assuming you have an advantage. Ideally you combine the two techniques!
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post #5 of 31 Old 12-08-2016, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by the prophet View Post
You had the pass made on the guy in front of you and you let him back by you in the next left turn after the straight. My advice is that most passes ( with the skill levels being close to the same) are made in the braking zone. Everyone accelerates out of the turns on to the straights fairly equally. Be confident in your ability to make the turn, brake later than the other guy and set up for the turn on the inside of the guy you are passing. And then make it stick through and after the turn.
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Originally Posted by ninjaman89 View Post
Be confident enough in your own ability to be assertive and look out for opportunity. Passing "on demand" is hard when you are similar speed, so be thinking about the next couple corners and figure out where I good place to pass would be.

Lots of places in that video you could've been a little later on the brakes and taken the inside line.
The way I understand it is that's not him in the video on the onboard bike. I recognize the name, Ty Howard...pretty sure he has or had multiple track records in TX and kicked a lot of ass in CMRA. He'd likely be faster than anyone on this forum. I'm guessing is he's working with the guy with the number shirt on that's why he wasn't passing, and OP is just using the video as an example of "passing on demand".

Anyway, the comments I wanted to make is first of all...it's a track day. If you're not sure that you can make a pass safely and you have to ask yourself that, then don't do it! Let the guy in front go until you know for sure you can make a safe pass. In a race it would be a different situation...people are more aggressive in racing because every position, and ever pass matters, so it's a different mentality but for a track day, my advice would be to think safety first.

With that said, IMO, passing strategy is one of the most difficult skills to get good at. Everyone goes through the same thing you are and the smaller the difference in pace and skill between you and the guy you're trying to pass, the harder it is to do. It all boils down to confidence in yourself, and trust in the other person. Need confidence to tell yourself that you can make this pass without crashing or doing something stupid, and you can make it stick. Need trust in the other person that he won't do something unpredictable right at the last moment when you're making the pass. That's why everyone always tells beginners to BE PREDICTABLE in your riding, so that you won't screw up the people trying to pass you and cause an accident.

I won't say that I'm amazing at passing others, but in the last 2 years I have gotten significantly better at that even though my pace only improved by a few seconds generally. And I'll tell you exactly what really helped me with that....RACING! It doesn't make much sense and it's hard to explain, but 99% of it is a mental game. During track days I was always either too scared or generous and didn't want to take much risk so I was always getting stuck behind people. But as soon as I started racing, something in my head just clicked and my mindset changed to "Don't give a fuck, I'm going to pass this guy because 6th place sounds better than 7th place!" And I'll be damned, it fucking worked! lol....on top of that, I also had a hell of a lot more opportunities to pass people because there are more people grouped up on the grid at the start rather than at a track day where everyone is spread out more, so I quickly gained more experience in passing people in places and at times that I normally wouldn't. I started making passes that I used to think were sketchy but now I realized there's nothing really sketchy about them, I'm just getting a bit closer to the other person. The way I look at it now is if we don't touch, all is well, regardless of whether I'm the one making the pass or someone else is passing me. The downside to this is once you gain that experience, you need to remember to tone it down when you're at a track day. At my last track day this year I was a bit of a dick to other people because I was riding like that without realizing that those people were probably not too fond of my passing since they were less experienced and skilled and not racers. After that sessions I reflected upon it and realized that if I was in their shoes I'd probably think "wow that guy is a dick", so I toned it down after that. But I remember being on my little 500 and passing 5 guys in 3 corners, going around outside of a guy, inside of 2 other guys in the next turn then around outside of 2 more guys riding on the exit curb and even clipping the grass and going off the track by a few inches. That's when I realized, I shouldn't be doing that. Now in a race...all fair game

I think I have a couple of videos from some MRA races if you're interested to see, that show more passing aggressiveness on my part because I started every race on the back row and had to make my way around some people.
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post #6 of 31 Old 12-09-2016, 04:20 AM
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I'll state the obvious, then work from there; there are two main locations to pass another rider of ≈ skill/equipment: 1) going into a corner, 2) driving out of a corner. Most riders choose the latter. Even in this scenario one has two choices, 1st is go inside, or 2nd is to go around the outside. The former is the physically shortest/easiest route. Doesn't make it always the best.

"Race craft" is much more than choosing the correct sprocket combinations, or best rubber compound; it's more than your cadio-programme, or a leaner-meaner diet. It's 90% mental. Period!

Don't be lazy & don't be inefficient. Wow, what an A-holes, right? No, I'm serious. Observe your rivals. In the pits; with the tire guy; on the track. Take note of their weaknesses, and their strengths. Likewise, know your own. Word to the wise: Do not actually write down notes that can be seen by others when your on the track.

Let's review one's passing opportunities: 1) coming out of the corner on the inside. Probably the most comfortable for 75% of the riding community, thus the most often used/expected. Not much else to say... except if things really are all 'Even-Steven' it all comes down to a drag race at the next straight.

Which is when/where one learns things really aren't so even. You are responding to their actions. They can crowd you to the outside of corner and force you to 'back out' of your drive. Now you could lose places to rider(s) behind you. No joy after you screwed the pooch.

Another route is to 'show your front wheel' to the other rider on the inside. Every time you do this blip the throttle. Make a lot of noise. Do this 2, 3, or maybe 10 times. Of course, at a time & place of your choosing go in stealthy on the outside. Now in order for this to succeed one NEEDS to know where your bike's optimal power zone is. I don't mean sorta'-kinda', either. You want to hang on to the gear you've chosen, do not upshift too soon! Likewise, don't hold on to it too long that you wind up driving through the backside of the power curve. It's imperative that you maintain this drive all the way down the straight, otherwise they will come back on you at the next turn and repay the favour.

My personal favourite passing spot is coming into a corner (most especially if it is downhill). You must master simultaneously 1 or 2-finger braking whilst applying the throttle. Period! You will not be able to pass on the outside if man/machine really are on par. So, as Prophet pointed out, when you've calculated the best time/location to make your move, hold off on your braking. You CANNOT allow your attention to target-fixate, but pay attention to their front end diving when they brake, then brake 1½-seconds later. Take control of your line. And gently release brake pressure and wind on more throttle to keep your drive. Do Not Look Back. Note: I intentionally did not name which brake lever or pedal to use/not use. That's another discussion for an entirely different matter all together, so, don't muddy the waters.

On a cautionary note, be prepared for your rival to be startled - even to the point of involuntarily standing their bike up. This is why it is imperative that you have a good head of steam driving out of the corner. You must not meander, you must be committed.

The good news is it becomes easier with repetition. You must seize the moment and take action, not reaction.

Let me explain when I was questioned by a less experienced rider how I execute a pass, be it on the track or on the road. For me the mindset is the same: having degrees in biology and another in anthropology I've spent a sizable time studying humans. Predatory animals have their eyes on the front of their skills (think: cougar & wolves), whilst prey animals have their eyes on the sides of their skills (think: bunnies & deer). This is because predators need to focus on the prey in their sites, and why prey need to be aware of their surroundings and potential escape routes. Yes, humans are predators. Though some have the predator biology, but the mentality of prey animals.

I view that minivan on the road, or that rival on the track as prey. I am stalking them. I do not want to show my hand too early. I try to make up ground where they would not expect/see/anticipate. There are a myriad of over taking situations. So I plan ahead, even on a road I don't know. Be aware of your surroundings, hills, creeks, dirt/mud/gravel on the road, etc. I usually avoid passing out of a curve, preferring instead to overtake as they are braking. Separate & minimize the hazards... Preferably dealing with them one at a time.

For that reason I absolutely will not ride with other riders I don't know. And no, it's not good enough for me that another rider knows them. I do not ride with riders who pass on a dbl yellow, pull wheelies in town or on the interstate. I do not suffer fools. You shouldn't either. If they wanna do stupid shit and get ticketed/hauled off to jail, or even kill themselves they are entitled to do, just not in my presence.

Make your passes cleanly; the other person should not have to brake/swerve/ or otherwise take evasive measures as a result of one's stupidity/arrogance. On the track, your rivals will come to trust your actions and might even pull off the racing line and let you by. On the street, you dont risk pissing people off and them calling L.E.O. with your plate number and approximate location. Don't buy problems you don't wanna own.

Be patient with yourself.
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post #7 of 31 Old 12-11-2016, 06:57 AM
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Dropping this here until I can read through the whole thread

Strategies in Road Racing - Passing techniques

and since passing is directly related to confidence, I suggest this as well: Strategies in track riding/road racing - Confidence
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post #8 of 31 Old 12-11-2016, 08:44 AM
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At a track day passing and being passed makes it more exciting. Some passes are easy as mentioned before but when trying to pass an equally fast rider it can be tough. Since there is no trophy involved I like to take my time. I follow the other rider for at least a lap and find the spot where I feel they are braking a little earlier than me, where I am getting back on the gas a little sooner or I am just carrying more outright corner speed. Then plan the pass in the spot where I feel I have the greatest advantage. It usually works out well.

I was following a buddy of mine who rides a very similar pace to me at Barber and he was hard to get by. He had a Ducati 1198 and I was on a CBR 600RR. Going into turn five ( left hand, hard braking ) I noticed he was getting out of the gas just before me and I had to really brake hard to stay off his back tire. That was the spot. On the next lap I took a line a little to the left of my normal path and went past him on the brakes just before the turn in point. Had to change my line through the corner just a little but he did not come back by me on the way out because he probably had to do the same.

Another option is if feel stuck behind someone difficult to get around, exit the track, roll through pit lane and back onto the track again.

The real key to a good track day is to have fun, be safe and don't take unnecessary risks. Go home with your body and your bike intact!!

Nothing better than riding with a few friends in the grip of a shared obsession.

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post #9 of 31 Old 12-11-2016, 10:19 AM
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Learning racecraft is very fun and very rewarding once you get better at it, and no better way to learn it than from racing. I'll never forget my 2nd race ever, at Blackhawk Farms with CCS, and the amount of fun I had in that race despite not being anywhere near the front...or probably even the middle. It was in Supertwins but they also had another class grid up behind us, for SV650's. I was on my 1198 and I came up on a guy on a KTM RC8 that was of similar pace as me, although I was pretty sure I could go a bit faster if I could just get by him. We were amateur...it was my first race event ever at a track I had never been to before, which is very small and twisty. I knew that despite being on a faster bike, the fast SV guys behind would quickly eat us up...sure enough it only took a couple of turns. But who cares, right? I wasn't racing them. They were a different class and I was racing the guy on the RC8 and I was very determined to pass him and get 2nd place in class (amateur). I sat behind him a couple of laps and figured out his weak spot. The plan was to stay on his ass and pass him on the brakes in T6 (only 7 turns on this track, but half of them are really long sweepers). Problem was that some guy on an SV passed me on the brakes a couple of turns before that, doing a block pass and all that time I made up on the KTM guy was lost and I had to make it all back. On the short straight I passed the SV dude with ease. This went on for like 3-4 more laps, every lap, same thing. It was getting to be frustrated, so on the last lap, I changed my plan. We got to the turn where I kept getting passed by the SV dude and immediately went on the inside line forcing him to go around the outside if he wanted to pass me again. He didn't have quite enough mid-corner speed for that so now I could focus on the KTM guy. Stuck right behind his rear wheel and passed him on the brakes in the 2nd to last turn and took 2nd place by fractions of a second! It was an awesome feeling and a lot of fun! I'm just pissed my GoPro didn't record any of that race then
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post #10 of 31 Old 12-11-2016, 09:46 PM
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I can't read everything yet lol. So I'll just say that passing started coming naturally to me once I had gotten pretty fast and with some seat time. I probably passed a hundred times today and I definitely made a few aggressive passes... I'll post up the video later

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post #11 of 31 Old 12-12-2016, 12:06 AM
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Talking about passing have you seen this

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post #12 of 31 Old 12-12-2016, 12:14 AM
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post #13 of 31 Old 12-12-2016, 05:34 AM
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Made it to the end and that dash did not fly off. I was disappointed. I couldn't stop staring at it lol
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post #14 of 31 Old 12-12-2016, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbk1198 View Post
Made it to the end and that dash did not fly off. I was disappointed. I couldn't stop staring at it lol
Did you see me go off track? Lol. Also notice the tach doesn't move. In the middle of the day yesterday my tach just stopped working. Great.
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post #15 of 31 Old 12-12-2016, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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I was out of town this weekend and just had a chance to read through the reply's. It sounds like I may be on the right track. Pslow I will read your links directly. At this point I don't think racing is really in the cards for me. The closest track to me is a little over 4 hours away and it Hallett, not really the safest or best track surface around. I've got 2 girls that I follow around in volleyball, basketball and softball so I don't really want to devote the time to try to follow all the races in the circuit and if I did it I would not want to just do one here and there. Also, I don't have the money to spare on too much crash repair. I enjoy the track days where I can push just a little more each session and stay within my limits to a degree while still pushing and not feeling like I have to make a sketchy move or have one made on me. I err towards safety in any iffy situation on the track but I know I have more to give I think I just need to commit a bit more and pay attention to what I'm doing when I'm behind a slower rider planning a pass.

SBK1198 you are correct. that was not me. I'll try to upload some video of me and post it.
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