Closed throttle cornering... - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Closed throttle cornering...

Hey for all you racers out there, I'm curious what you think about this:

Riding clinic: ?Go in faster and move up to the fast group? | MCN

I've always been down with the Keith Code way of doing things but some of what Crafar is teaching in Motovudu seems to be helping me (e.g. braking towards the corner). So I'm just curious what the really fast guys out there think about the "off" or closed-throttle cornering thing. I'm wondering if this only applies to 1000cc bikes? I'm keen to give it a go if it helps my speed...

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post #2 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 12:45 PM
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I'm no expert, so take this for what it's worth:

I've been listening to Ken Hill's podcasts (they're free, you should check them out) on riding skills, and one of the "report cards" he uses is "how long am I at neutral throttle, and how can I reduce it?" He also explains the difference between entry and exit corners. Basically, are you trailing off the brakes past the apex, or are you cracking the throttle open before the apex? It all depends on what THAT corner hast to offer. Does it have a big straight afterwards? Well then it's most likely an exit corner, so you want to get on the throttle as early as possible to take advantage of that long straight afterwards.

I can't think of a situation where you would want to purposefully be at closed throttle in a corner. Look at videos of guys like Benny Solis at Chuckwalla. He's either on the brakes, or he's on the throttle, and MAN does he get to WOT fast. If it's an entry corner, you can take advantage of your entry speed and trail your brakes all the way to or past the apex before you're back on the gas. If it's an exit corner you will benefit more from getting your braking done earlier so that you can be at WOT as SOON as possible.

Just my $.02, I will try to find a link to those podcasts for you. They've really helped me.
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post #3 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 12:48 PM
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post #4 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. The off-throttle thing didn't make a lot of sense on my bike so that's why I'm keen to see if there was any merit to the idea. Got a few track days coming up (including Superbike School) so will have a play with it anyway and see...

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post #5 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 06:20 PM
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If it's not a carousel corner I generally go completely closed throttle from completely open (full) throttle whenever I hit my brake marker. Then I'll shift down if necessary, as many times as necessary. While closed throttle I am also hard on the brakes (all front when still upright, transferring some of the braking to the rear as I get closer to the apex), and trailing off of the brakes as I get to the apex. Somewhere around the apex I start applying throttle again and releasing the brakes and then gradually increase throttle as the bike becomes more upright. I try to hang off the bike as much as possible coming out of a corner to be able to get the bike as upright as possible and be able to apply the most throttle possible until I can get it back to full throttle when the bike is upright enough not to lose traction at full throttle.

A carousell (long sweeper) is a little different.The first part (entry) is similar to above except you don't apex, when you get down to a certain speed you'll have to apply maintenance throttle to keep the bike at that optimum speed while going around the carousel ultimately reaching the exit where you can start applying more throttle again.

Or am I missing something in the original question?

.

Last edited by trackdayhero; 01-09-2017 at 06:23 PM.
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post #6 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjaman89 View Post
I'm no expert, so take this for what it's worth:

I've been listening to Ken Hill's podcasts (they're free, you should check them out) on riding skills, and one of the "report cards" he uses is "how long am I at neutral throttle, and how can I reduce it?" He also explains the difference between entry and exit corners. Basically, are you trailing off the brakes past the apex, or are you cracking the throttle open before the apex? It all depends on what THAT corner hast to offer. Does it have a big straight afterwards? Well then it's most likely an exit corner, so you want to get on the throttle as early as possible to take advantage of that long straight afterwards.

I can't think of a situation where you would want to purposefully be at closed throttle in a corner. Look at videos of guys like Benny Solis at Chuckwalla. He's either on the brakes, or he's on the throttle, and MAN does he get to WOT fast. If it's an entry corner, you can take advantage of your entry speed and trail your brakes all the way to or past the apex before you're back on the gas. If it's an exit corner you will benefit more from getting your braking done earlier so that you can be at WOT as SOON as possible.

Just my $.02, I will try to find a link to those podcasts for you. They've really helped me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by trackdayhero View Post
If it's not a carousel corner I generally go completely closed throttle from completely open (full) throttle whenever I hit my brake marker. Then I'll shift down if necessary, as many times as necessary. While closed throttle I am also hard on the brakes (all front when still upright, transferring some of the braking to the rear as I get closer to the apex), and trailing off of the brakes as I get to the apex. Somewhere around the apex I start applying throttle again and releasing the brakes and then gradually increase throttle as the bike becomes more upright. I try to hang off the bike as much as possible coming out of a corner to be able to get the bike as upright as possible and be able to apply the most throttle possible until I can get it back to full throttle when the bike is upright enough not to lose traction at full throttle.

A carousell (long sweeper) is a little different.The first part (entry) is similar to above except you don't apex, when you get down to a certain speed you'll have to apply maintenance throttle to keep the bike at that optimum speed while going around the carousel ultimately reaching the exit where you can start applying more throttle again.

Or am I missing something in the original question?
+1 on all of this! And FWIW, Crafar's Motovudu is good stuff. I've watched that twice early on when I started riding on the track. I found it to be much more helpful than Twist of the Wrist, but then again it is geared specifically for track riding, and even more specifically for bigger bikes, which is what I had at the time, but all of that works just as well with a 600 too. The differences would be more with lightweights like 250-500s.

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post #7 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Nah, that makes more sense and is quite an eloquent way of putting things.

Don't worry, I watch Motovudu before every track day. It's almost like Crafar (fellow Kiwi) went out of his way to attack the Keith Code way of doing things in it..

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post #8 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 07:10 PM
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Here's some TPS and braking data from my best lap at my local track during my last race last year. I don't have Photoshop so I can't overlay them, and the software doesn't allow me to plot both inputs at the same time unfortunately, but if someone was to overlay these, I bet you'd find that for the most part wherever the TPS is at 0%, there is some braking pressure being applied. I'm nowhere near being "a really fast guy" but I strive to be either on the throttle or on the brakes at all time. I try to not linger with closed throttle, unless I'm on the brakes.

Also the map of the track goes from bright red (hard braking) to bright green (full throttle). Darker shades of green means some throttle is being applied, and darker shades of red means some amount of braking is being done. The braking signal is a bit rough...after all it's just a pressure transducer, so it naturally has some noise in the signal, so don't worry I wasn't having a seizure with my hand on the brake lever

All the pros and other really fast club racers I've seen are either on the brakes or on the throttle. Although I do agree with MCN's article for someone that's newer to track riding and just looking to improve their pace in a safer manner. I used the same method before when I was advancing from novice to intermediate level and intermediate to advanced. I had a habit of braking really hard, letting off the brake before even tipping it in, and coast through the turn, which caused me to slow down WAY more than I needed. So I started braking earlier but with less pressure and keeping a bit of pressure as I was tipping in (trail-braking). Then as I was getting more and more comfortable, I would push that braking marker farther and farther and gradually increase braking pressure as well. That seemed to work well for me. But I would say MCN's article would not work for someone trying to become an expert racer. But for someone trying to move up the track day ranks and who doesn't want to take as much risk...there's nothing really wrong with that technique.
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post #9 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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I agree. Just look at the MotoGP guys...brake-throttle-brake-throttle. I just can't imagine going completely closed throttle unless it's some deep hair-pin. I'm already in the Fast group and don't seem to have any issues holding off the bigger bikes.

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post #10 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 07:28 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean by you can't imagine going completely closed throttle. Aren't you completely closed throttle (at the idle stop) when you are on the brakes? I'm sure I must not be understanding what you are saying.

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post #11 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I am, after the brakes though, it's always maintenance throttle - or accelerating just prior to the apex to get the slingshot effect. At least that's what I think I'm doing. Damn I now need to invest in a datalogger haha
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post #12 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 07:49 PM
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No, sounds like you are doing it right. No "coasting" is the key, which I *think* maybe you are eluding to. That is, if you are full closed throttle you "should" be on the brakes as well. If you're not on the brakes you should be on the some level of the gas.

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post #13 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 08:37 PM
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The fact that different successful racers and coaches have somewhat different techniques, methinks that there may be slightly different paths to the top of the mountain. I say try them, and find what works best for you.


With the training I received the closed throttle cornering doesn't make as much sense, unless you're trail braking. Trail braking is used primarily to position the bike for the best exit. I guess you can be off the brake and throttle, then all traction is devoted to lean angle, but you will potentially have less precision putting the bike in the proper position for the exit. Of course you have to be smooth to prevent "unloading" the tire. YCRS has a simpler solution: brake until you are happy with your speed and direction.


Here's Nick Ienatsch's perspective:


Initial Throttle versus Accelerating
One guy says do this, one says do that. They’re both right.
By Nick Ienatsch August 30, 2016

What seems like contradictory advice in this sport is often simply “poorly detailed” advice. The speaker or writer throws out some possibly helpful words, but without context those words can be confusing. At Yamaha Champions Riding School the instructors work hard on adding context to the advice and this Ienatsch Tuesday focuses on riders who “accelerate too hard, too early.”
Trackday riders have been told to get the throttle open early on corners with big exits to get the bike driving early and “extend your straightaway”. Great advice; makes sense and you plan to really accelerate early on in the corner leading onto the longest straight.
At the next trackday you really nail the throttle early and your bike runs wide at the apex and almost off the track, forcing you to shut the throttle on the exit. You ask your favorite control rider about this and she says, “Oh, yeah, you gotta let the bike turn longer and just sneak open the throttle a little bit.”
You walk away confused and wonder which advice is wrong. The thing is, both pieces of advice are worthwhile. They just need more explanation.
Big Drives
At YCRS we talk about Exit corners—the corners that lead onto big-speed straights. Here, you want to get the bike slowed early, pointed, and accelerate past the apex; maximize the drive and extend your straight. Because if you can gain two mph past the apex, it will multiply all the way down the straight. Which is why passes on the brakes begin at the previous apex; slow it, turn it, drive it.
But...Loading Comes First
And loading the tire trumps Exit corners, big drives, or apex and straight-away speeds. The control rider’s advice is a core principle of how a bike works and she should have continued by telling you that every acceleration begins with a gentle sneak-open of the throttle. As the throttle sneaks open the weight begins to transfer rearward through the shock and into the rear tire. The tire gently loads and puts more rubber on the road while the fork tubes gently extend.
This is the initial throttle that the best riders use. It loads the rear shock, then the tire, and changes the bike’s geometry in a predictable and linear fashion. As the rider, you are not yet concerned with corner layouts; you are concerned with putting a linear load through the shock and into the rear tire. It can be quick, but it can’t be abrupt. Well, it can, but that's called a highside.
And…Radius = MPH
You begin sneaking open your throttle because you are happy with your speed and direction. The above equation is in your brain and you no longer want your radius to tighten so you quit slowing your bike. A bike holding its speed with gentle initial throttle will hold its radius. An accelerating bike will open its radius and a slowing bike will tighten its radius, all things being equal like lean angle and track camber. Don’t believe me? Just go to a parking lot or maybe listen to MotoGP, SBK, or MotoAmerica Superbike winners and Formula One cars.
At this point you are ready to worry about your big exit. You’ve got the weight onto the rear tire, you’re holding your lean angle, and you’re holding gentle initial throttle, waiting for the corner to open. Perhaps on these big exit corners you over slow slightly so the bike turns into the apex even better, then stand it up to miss the inside curbing and match that reduction in lean angle with an addition of throttle.
Street Application
Now let’s talk about the really danger: hard, early acceleration on the street. Suddenly we have a 12-ft. wide lane with the possibility of oncoming traffic in right-handers or uncomfortably hard things to hit in left-handers should we run wide. The realization of what hard acceleration does to your chassis and radius is mandatory for those of us who love back-road riding. Just like the track-day riders, we must learn to let the bike turn, then go gently to the throttle to load the tire—and then wait. Wait to accelerate until the corner opens.
The faster your bike, the more gentle initial throttle must be because every incremental turn of the throttle on a fast bike adds significant horsepower. When I rode Kenny Roberts Jr.'s Suzuki 500 in 2000 the data showed us initiating throttle at the same time, but I added too much too soon, forcing me to close it to re-point the bike. Kenny, the 500GP champion that year, initiated throttle more gently, allowing the bike to continue to turn. While I was closing the throttle to redirect the bike, he was accelerating linearly. Fast bikes simply require a finer touch.
Street or track, this is how the champions and veterans of our sport handle big exit corners. Thanks for taking the time to read this, I hope it’s a more-thorough explanation of two pieces of advice that seem to be initially contrary.

Initial Throttle versus Accelerating | Cycle World


He has a bunch of good articles here:
Ienatsch Tuesday | Cycle World
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post #14 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 08:53 PM
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post #15 of 31 Old 01-09-2017, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanctuary View Post
Yeah I am, after the brakes though, it's always maintenance throttle - or accelerating just prior to the apex to get the slingshot effect. At least that's what I think I'm doing. Damn I now need to invest in a datalogger haha
This sounds like the Keith Code thing of you have to get on maintenance throttle or else the bike won't turn right and crash. Is that the question? Because that is total B.S. It's fine to be in a corner with the throttle completely closed and not on the brakes. It isn't ideal, but I know I'm not going to get my trail braking perfect everytime and trail the brakes perfectly to the apex. I know I used to think if I went into a corner without maintenance throttle the front was just gunna tuck and all this bad stuff was going to happen. But that was just wrong. Hell in a long corner you might find yourself accelerating while leaned over, then rolling off the throttle to compress the front end and get it to finish the corner if the turn tightens up at the end.
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