Strategies in track riding/road racing: Finding the limits of traction...safely - Page 2 - ZX6R Forum
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post #16 of 72 Old 11-16-2015, 06:08 PM
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Spent the weekend at Laguna this year for the SBK race... I kept thinking to myself: "that price tag on the CSS two day camp doesn't seem so bad now..."

Ty for the write up, seems like something I'll try when the tracks open back up!
CSS is totally worth it. You could save a bundle of money though and use your own bike and just do the level one class. You'll learn SO MUCH that first day that you'll be glad you didn't pay for the 2-day course. Then take level 2 later down the road after some track days.

I was there at WSBK this year! I didn't get to watch much racing though I was busy "working".

Riding Laguna in 2 weeks! BOOM!
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post #17 of 72 Old 11-17-2015, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CKwik240 View Post
Not usually. Depends on a lot of factors, but generally speaking a later apex is desirable, especially before a straight as it allows for a higher top speed on the straight. With a later apex, you are usually starting to accelerate already, so the speed will higher than the slowest part of the turn. This is a technique that is not usually used if there is risk of being passed by another vehicle as the second vehicle can use wide turn in as an opportunity to dive underneath the 1st car setting up a pass.
I think maybe there is some misunderstanding about the term 'apex'. I am speaking of your personal apex in the turn and not the physical mid-way point on a radius. Whether that be an early or late apex is not relevant for this point of discussion. The riders apex...the part of the turn where they are carrying the maximum lean and want to devote 100% traction to cornering forces (vs acceleration or braking forces) is by it's very definition the slowest part of any turn.

I apologize if that was not completely clear in my writing.

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Riding Laguna in 2 weeks! BOOM!
MUCH HATE! :-p

Last edited by PainfullySlo; 11-17-2015 at 10:09 AM.
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post #18 of 72 Old 11-18-2015, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by PainfullySlo View Post
I think maybe there is some misunderstanding about the term 'apex'. I am speaking of your personal apex in the turn and not the physical mid-way point on a radius. Whether that be an early or late apex is not relevant for this point of discussion. The riders apex...the part of the turn where they are carrying the maximum lean and want to devote 100% traction to cornering forces (vs acceleration or braking forces) is by it's very definition the slowest part of any turn.

I apologize if that was not completely clear in my writing.


I'm just going to offer up a bit of advice here as I appreciate the time and effort you put into your write ups. Technical terms tend to have specific definitions. And with any technical writing, you should stick to those terms as they are defined. This avoids confusion and using such a term incorrectly can really weaken a writer's credibility. Imagine if a lawyer or an engineer started making up their own definitions of technical jargon...no-one would take them seriously. I don't say this to discourage you in any way. Its a forum, so there is certainly no formality here, but a good writer will be meticulous about clearly conveying their ideas and thoughts. And in any kind of communication, you want the signal-to-noise ratio to be high. And ambiguities in communication is a big source of noise.
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post #19 of 72 Old 11-19-2015, 06:38 AM
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Cool read, but I follow the ben spies method of brake a foot later, pick up the throttle a tenth earlier. Get comfortable at that pace, then do it again. There's a big difference between slowly progressing the brake marker and outbraking yourself.
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post #20 of 72 Old 11-19-2015, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by CKwik240 View Post
Not usually. Depends on a lot of factors, but generally speaking a later apex is desirable, especially before a straight as it allows for a higher top speed on the straight. With a later apex, you are usually starting to accelerate already, so the speed will higher than the slowest part of the turn. This is a technique that is not usually used if there is risk of being passed by another vehicle as the second vehicle can use wide turn in as an opportunity to dive underneath the 1st car setting up a pass.
No, slo was right the apex is the slowest point of the corner. It won't be if you are coming out of a slow enough section of the track you can accelerate all the way through the corner. But, if you have to slow down for a corner the apex will be the slowest point...unless you messed up the corner (braked too early). Don't mistake being on the throttle for accelerating. His use of the word apex was correct...
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post #21 of 72 Old 11-20-2015, 05:43 PM
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No, slo was right the apex is the slowest point of the corner. It won't be if you are coming out of a slow enough section of the track you can accelerate all the way through the corner. But, if you have to slow down for a corner the apex will be the slowest point...unless you messed up the corner (braked too early). Don't mistake being on the throttle for accelerating. His use of the word apex was correct...
From Wikipedia:

"The apex or clipping point is the innermost point of the line taken through a curve. The apex is often, but not always, the geometric center of the turn. Hitting the apex allows the vehicle to take the straightest line and maintain the highest speed through that specific corner. It is often near the tightest part of a corner."

Regardless of speed, the apex is the point where you come closest to the inside of the curve. Period dot. Please look it up. And look up late apex while you're at it. I'd be happy to describe it myself when I have time, but I'm heading out shortly. But some quick info: a late apex is performed in conjunction with late braking. Early braking results in an early apex.
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post #22 of 72 Old 11-20-2015, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CKwik240 View Post
From Wikipedia:

"The apex or clipping point is the innermost point of the line taken through a curve. The apex is often, but not always, the geometric center of the turn. Hitting the apex allows the vehicle to take the straightest line and maintain the highest speed through that specific corner. It is often near the tightest part of a corner."

Regardless of speed, the apex is the point where you come closest to the inside of the curve. Period dot. Please look it up. And look up late apex while you're at it. I'd be happy to describe it myself when I have time, but I'm heading out shortly. But some quick info: a late apex is performed in conjunction with late braking. Early braking results in an early apex.
Thank you for clarifying that my definition was in fact, correct. The apex is exactly where the rider makes it whether that is early, late, or at the exact center of an arc.
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post #23 of 72 Old 11-21-2015, 09:08 PM
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Thank you for clarifying that my definition was in fact, correct. The apex is exactly where the rider makes it whether that is early, late, or at the exact center of an arc.
I never contested where the apex can happen. Your original statement was that the apex was the slowest part of the turn. And that would be incorrect. If you take a late apex, the slowest part of the turn occurs before the apex. You should already be accelerating by the time you hit the apex when doing this to maximize your speed down the straightaway. Which is the benefit to a late apex.
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post #24 of 72 Old 11-21-2015, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CKwik240 View Post
And that would be incorrect. If you take a late apex, the slowest part of the turn occurs before the apex. You should already be accelerating by the time you hit the apex when doing this to maximize your speed down the straightaway. Which is the benefit to a late apex.
No, what you said is incorrect. The point of a late apex is to straighten out the exit of a corner so you can accelerate harder, but you still will not be accelerating until you get to the apex. You may crack open the throttle before the apex but you won't be accelerating (remember it will take a varying amount of throttle to overcome air resistance and other sources of friction based on your speed).

Bikes are dominated by their acceleration, it is what they do best. Since you are so traction limited on the very edge of the tire, straightening out your corner exit lets you pick the bike up sooner and drive out harder. Again, because that is the best aspect of the bikes performance so it dictates how you approach your line around a track. That is why most cars take a more central apex. They are really good at braking, decent at cornering, and not nearly as limited by traction on acceleration. So, they take a different line to make use of that.
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post #25 of 72 Old 11-21-2015, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Petrolsexual View Post
No, what you said is incorrect. The point of a late apex is to straighten out the exit of a corner so you can accelerate harder, but you still will not be accelerating until you get to the apex. You may crack open the throttle before the apex but you won't be accelerating (remember it will take a varying amount of throttle to overcome air resistance and other sources of friction based on your speed).
A correctly applied late apex requires a sharper initial turn-in than taking a center apex. It can vary by turn, but generally speaking, that initial turn-in and for a short time after, is the area of a late apex line that will be tightest in radius. This is where the slowest part of the turn occurs. A driver/rider can begin to accelerate as soon as they start opening up the radius. Which is often before the apex in a late apex line.

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Originally Posted by Petrolsexual View Post
Bikes are dominated by their acceleration, it is what they do best. Since you are so traction limited on the very edge of the tire, straightening out your corner exit lets you pick the bike up sooner and drive out harder. Again, because that is the best aspect of the bikes performance so it dictates how you approach your line around a track. That is why most cars take a more central apex. They are really good at braking, decent at cornering, and not nearly as limited by traction on acceleration. So, they take a different line to make use of that.
Most cars actually run a track faster with a late apex. The only exception tends to be in wheel-to-wheel racing as taking a late apex can allow the vehicle chasing him to dive under him for a pass. But the fastest times around a track generally come from a late apex in turns before a straight in most vehicles. And late apexes tend to occur in most turns in a series of turns because that helps set up the late apex on the final turn. The traction limitation exists for every vehicle. Any vehicle at maximum lateral acceleration will not have any traction left for accelerating. The same problem exists for both cars and bikes. Just to varying degrees.

Last edited by CKwik240; 11-22-2015 at 12:24 AM. Reason: fixed typos
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post #26 of 72 Old 11-21-2015, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by CKwik240 View Post
A correctly applies late apex requires a sharper initial turn-in than taking a center apex. It can vary by turn, but generally speaking, that initial turn-in and for a short time after, is the area of a late apex line that will be tightest in radius. This is where the slowest part of the turn occurs. A driver/rider can begin to accelerate as soon as they start opening up the radius. Which is often before the apex in a late apex line.



Most cars actually ruin a track faster with a late apex. The exception tends to be in wheel-to-wheel racing as taking a late apex can allow the vehicle chasing him to dive under him for a pass. But the fastest times around a track generally come from a late apex in turns before a straight in most vehicles. And late apexes tend to occur in most turns in a series of turns because that helps set up the late apex on the final turn. The traction limitation exists for every vehicle. Any vehicle at maximum lateral acceleration will not have any traction left for accelerating. The same problem exists for both cars and bikes. Just to varying degrees.
Honestly, at this point I don't know what else to tell you. Most of everything you just said there is either completely incorrect or not relevant to the point of the discussion. If you made it this far in the thread and still can't understand how and why a late apex works I don't know how explaining it differently, again, will change anything. Keep riding, get some more experience, and hopefully one day it will make sense to you .
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post #27 of 72 Old 11-22-2015, 01:40 AM
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Honestly, at this point I don't know what else to tell you. Most of everything you just said there is either completely incorrect or not relevant to the point of the discussion. If you made it this far in the thread and still can't understand how and why a late apex works I don't know how explaining it differently, again, will change anything. Keep riding, get some more experience, and hopefully one day it will make sense to you .
That's really your response? Weak man.

A late apex line is really just an artificially created increasing radius turn. The initial turn-in is going to have the sharpest radius. As a result, this point is where you have to be traveling slowest. Its basic physics. As you wind out to a larger radius, you get to shift from turning to accelerating. On a constant radius turn, the turn in will typically be completed well before the apex, which means you can actually start accelerating before the apex.

Watch this video. The part relevant to our discussion starts around the 4 minute mark:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqjK7aIk1Ro
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post #28 of 72 Old 11-22-2015, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Petrolsexual View Post
Honestly, at this point I don't know what else to tell you. Most of everything you just said there is either completely incorrect or not relevant to the point of the discussion. If you made it this far in the thread and still can't understand how and why a late apex works I don't know how explaining it differently, again, will change anything. Keep riding, get some more experience, and hopefully one day it will make sense to you .
Thanks Petrol, I thought it was just me.

Cwik, I really do appreciate your input but I am not sure how else I can explain it other than what has already been said.

This is my last ditch attempt to try to clarify this. Again, when speaking of the apex in a turn, it is the riders apex that we are discussing. Perhaps I could have been clearer somehow in establishing this during my initial writing but everyone else seemed to grasp the concept.



The riders apex, the point at which he/she is turning the most, is independent of the turns apex, be that the natural apex (centermost point in the radius of the turn) or the forced apex (the classic late apex line shown in the diagram).

I have edited my original post to add as much possible description to the term "apex" to avoid any potential confusion for future readers.

Last edited by PainfullySlo; 11-22-2015 at 06:48 AM.
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post #29 of 72 Old 11-22-2015, 09:51 AM
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That's really your response? Weak man.

A late apex line is really just an artificially created increasing radius turn. The initial turn-in is going to have the sharpest radius. As a result, this point is where you have to be traveling slowest. Its basic physics. As you wind out to a larger radius, you get to shift from turning to accelerating. On a constant radius turn, the turn in will typically be completed well before the apex, which means you can actually start accelerating before the apex.
It is your lucky day! Youtube recommended me this video, and wouldn't ya know it, it is as perfect a demonstration of what I've been talking about as I could hope for. He brakes for a corner, tips it in, trail brakes, opens up the throttle just before the apex but isn't accelerating just settling the bike, then AT OR AFTER THE APEX he begins accelerating out of the corner. A pro, doing it exactly how it should be done.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuVXHij79xU
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post #30 of 72 Old 11-22-2015, 09:53 AM
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Also, because you are struggling with taking in and understanding the whole picture I'm going to take 1 specific thing you said and explain why it is wrong. "A late apex line is really just an artificially created increasing radius turn.". That is literally the opposite of what you are doing. Lets break it down into points through a corner:

1. Just beginning to tip into the corner- Speed=x1 ; Lean angle=y1
2. A couple feet later- x2<x1 ; y2>y1 (Your speed has decreased and lean angle increased)
3. A few more feet later- x3<x2 ; y3>y2
4. At the apex- x4<x3 ; y4>y3

QUIZ TIME!
If you decrease your speed in a turn what happens? A: The radius of your turn decreases.
What happens if you increase your lean angle in a turn? A: The radius of your turn decreases.

SO... that means your are carving a a decreasing radius arc down to the apex which is the opposite of an increasing radius. After the apex, once you are accelerating, now your arc is increasing. And if you are at all still skeptical, just watch that video until it clicks.
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