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post #31 of 115 Old 06-10-2016, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Petrolsexual View Post
Whether your a hooker or a baller is all down to personal preference is what I have always heard.

Edit: oh and on the topic of race day diet, I accidentally went all day without eating once. I highly recommend not doing that it was awful. Crushed like $20 worth of chik fil a that night.
LOL. Chicken binging aside, I nearly passed out mid-race once for that same reason. It is one of the few times I had to pit in before completing a race. Everything was starting to look like a power point presentation to me...there were second long gaps in my vision....bad juju.

Gotta fuel your bike, gotta fuel your body. Neither runs well on fumes.
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post #32 of 115 Old 06-10-2016, 10:47 PM
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1) First off, are you saying that if I can't do 20 laps without feeling like I'm going to pass out, I have terrible BP? I'll be honest, I've never been able to do that. Best I've ever done, at any track was 15 laps and it was in my first race ever, and I'm guessing the adrenaline is the only thing that got me through it because I felt like I was beat up after those 15 laps, and I haven't done it since then lol. But I always attributed that with being an out-of-shape fatass, not so much that I have terrible BP.

2. I can say with confidence that my biggest struggle is and has always been putting too much pressure on the handle bars. I know that because not only that I just feel it when riding, but also because my hands/wrists are what fatigue the fastest. I've had to come into the pits a few laps sooner than I planned at times only because my right hand was so numb that I could barely feel feedback from the brake lever and throttle, and I was starting to make mistakes.

But the question is, HOW do I fix that? I know the problem, and I know what you're supposed to do (pretty much what you stated above), but I seem to have a big problem with actually doing it. It's sort of like with golf...I know exactly what I need to do to hit a good shot, but I can only do it about 1/5 times. So do you have any tips on how to actually fix that? Also, once you start turning into a corner, when you obviously need to apply some pressure in order to turn the bike, do you just back off that pressure and only use the minimum amount required to keep the bike leaned over? Thing of a longer corner, like a carousel type where you're at full lean for a good 5+ seconds. Can you elaborate in more detail on how you distribute your weight in longer turns like that? I think part of my problem might be that I'm not anchoring myself well onto the bike, so in longer turns at full lean it feels like I'm about to fall off the bike and I use my inside hand to hold myself on, which is less than ideal. Sometimes I wonder how I don't crash with as much pressure I put on the inside handle bar....must be because modern day front race tires are just freakin awesome!

EDIT: also to add to the above, what about bar input under WOT on straights? Am I the only one that feels like I'm doing pull-ups when going full stick on the straights? I feel like i'm holding on for dear life or else I fly off the back of the bike, and that's while at full tuck. It was especially bad with my liter bike, but even on the ZX6R is pretty close to that. Don't know exact numbers, but figure these bikes can pull at least 0.5 G on acceleration if you do it right (in the power band). So holding on the bars at that is like holding half your weight in your hands. So at 220 lbs, the hands are holding a force of about 110 lbs, or 55 lbs each hand. So basically on every straightaway, it's like holding a 5 gal bucket full of water in each hand for about 10-15 seconds or however long it takes to travel the length of the straightaway. Then on the brakes, the G-force is even higher since the brakes are more powerful, so now it's like bench-pressing 100-150 lbs and holding it there for a few seconds (duration of braking zone). Granted, you use the tank to distribute that force a lot more so only a part of that is actually on the hands, but still adds up.[/QUOTE]


PS., you are totally correct about Kevin Schwantz. He and Rainey were always a study in contrast. On that note, the most consistent riders that I have personally witnessed in order of consistency were Rainey, Doug Polen, Troy Corser, and John McGuiness. Pure magic on a raging race bike.

Onto sbk1198's inquiry:
Q 1) It is utterly illogical to think that the rider ought to conform to a motorcycle. It's not going to happen; but... it is fairly easy to adapt the bike's ergonomics to suit said rider (to be sure, at a price). This is what I have come away with after a couple or more decades of racing, and of long distance touring on hard core sport bikes: a rider cannot ride fast, nor ride far if they are uncomfortable. Period. This premise is completely foundational!

So, what to change? Because one's feet literally are the foundation for a rider, it is a prerequisite to use FULLY adjustable rearsets. I have used a lot of rearsets, and the ones I continually go back for Rizoma. Sure, they are pretty, but everything is adjustable, along with Woodcraft folding toe pegs, these bad boys will get you back home, or to the pits after a crash. Next up are the SpeedyMoto adjustable clip-ons. Again, these are beautifully designed & made. Upon initial examination they don't wow most people, but they can significantly alter rider bike interface. A plus for racers is they utilize a 2-pc clamp, so can be changed out without having to remove the top triple clamp. I go with an after market saddle, this one from ZG. My all time favourite saddle are from Sargent Saddles, but unfortunately they do not make them for the Ninja. I prefer shorty levers since I have small - medium sized hands. Location seems to be critical for me, I like have them ever so slightly lower than straight out.

I am a middle-aged codger with a few too many lbs, but I will ride on a regular basis a full 10-hr day, stopping only for fuel - petrol for the ZX, and trail mix & protein bar(s) for me. I wear a Camelback w/a 50:50 fruit juice & a sports drink mix that stays ever so close to my maw. No caffeine.This sort of riding I regularly do 2 X a month, I go for 4-5 hr rides the alternating wks. Simply put, I love to ride. To be honest, there are those rare times where I'm not in the zone, I don't force it. I turn around and go home... usually cleaning & generally fiddling with the bike. Be smart. Be safe.

Q2) This is the universal sin amongst most riders. This is where bad habits come to roost. If you have front & rear stands, or have a friend up font & another out back holding you & bike up... I actually prefer the former to the latter. Sit on your bike in a normal riding position. Not a full racing tuck. Leant forward with your back straight, but definitely angled froward, with hands on the grips. They should be in position to operate the clutch & brake. Now take both hands off the grips at the same time. If you face planted you are doing it wrong. In fact, if your head bobbed at all you are doing it wrong. Your grip on the hand controls in riding a bike are very similar to that of playing golf: just enough grip to keep control... and to counter-steer. If you are 'leaning' on your hand controls your are feeding unnecessary/conflicting information to the front end. This will lead to a vague feeling, your turn ins will be wide/narrow, and you'll feel more fatigued because you are literally vibrating your energy stores out of yourself.

So, what can one do to keep the blood flowing?

It goes back to those adjustments you made with your rearsets & clip-ons. Your balls of your feet are your literal anchors. That's why it's so vital to have rearsets that fit YOU first & foremost. Up top, there are two lovely cut-outs, the 1st (lower) is for your knee/thigh; the 2nd is higher up and is angled inward & forward, this is for your forearm. If any of you ride horses you'll know what comes next. Use the outside leg to shove inward against the tank what weighting the inside peg. Also use that newly anchored forearm to bear some of the weight and to make sure you are not pulling the outer grip. Simultaneously counter-steering by PUSHING the inside arm. Push left, go left. I know, the devil is in the details.

OTHERS: This bit about WOT & doing pull up whilst rapidly accelerating is probably the 2nd most often sin committed by sport bike riders. Going back to the foundation, it's the legs that need to be used, not the arms. When accelerating weigh the balls of your feet and rotate your head/upper torso forward - lowly over the tank. Do Not Let Your Butt Slide Backwards - at all! When you pull your weight with your arms you'll create instability, even a head shake bad enough to incite a tank slapper. The reason it was worse with the litre bike is because they have so much F-ing power that they compress time frames whilst augmenting the force of gravity on you. And once again, it's back to same repeating theme, use your strong legs & not your much weaker arms. An aside, is that by using your legs and not your arms you are keeping your centre of gravity lower and more centralized. This in turn, contributes to the whole bike/rider combo stability.

Your Q regarding force and turning: as many here have stated prior, go read The Code (as in Keith). To put briefly, it all depends on the type of corner. Some are constant radius, some are decreasing radius, whilst others are increasing radius. Some corners are part of a complex where successive, yet differently conceived types of corners are linked giving the whole a vastly more complicated complexion than the constituents curves have on their own. I don't mean to avoid the original Q, but it's a lot more than the ample time we have going on at present. My advice is get the two books by Code, read and inwardly digest, then come back with more specifics. Truly, what I've pointed out previously will guide you in the correct path.
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Last edited by ZedExMuse; 06-10-2016 at 11:04 PM.
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post #33 of 115 Old 06-11-2016, 11:43 AM
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^Thanks for the feedback. I will definitely try to focus more on doing some of those things you guys suggested. And you're absolutely right about creating instability and even a tank slapper if you pull too hard with your arms. That has already happened to me a few times with this bike, and every time I relaxed my arms and took pressure off, it regained stability. My biggest problem I think is not having that reflex/muscle memory to do all those things all the time. One that you mentioned, is resting your outside arm on the gas tank in a turn. I've always had a Ben Spies style where both my elbows are sticking way out, which means it's hard for me to relax the arms. I need to focus on it every turn, but more often than not, I focus on it for a couple of turns then forget about it and go back to my old ways/bad habits. I need to develop that muscle memory and try to break some of those bad habits.
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post #34 of 115 Old 06-12-2016, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZedExMuse View Post
1) First off, are you saying that if I can't do 20 laps without feeling like I'm going to pass out, I have terrible BP? I'll be honest, I've never been able to do that. Best I've ever done, at any track was 15 laps and it was in my first race ever, and I'm guessing the adrenaline is the only thing that got me through it because I felt like I was beat up after those 15 laps, and I haven't done it since then lol. But I always attributed that with being an out-of-shape fatass, not so much that I have terrible BP.

2. I can say with confidence that my biggest struggle is and has always been putting too much pressure on the handle bars. I know that because not only that I just feel it when riding, but also because my hands/wrists are what fatigue the fastest. I've had to come into the pits a few laps sooner than I planned at times only because my right hand was so numb that I could barely feel feedback from the brake lever and throttle, and I was starting to make mistakes.

But the question is, HOW do I fix that? I know the problem, and I know what you're supposed to do (pretty much what you stated above), but I seem to have a big problem with actually doing it. It's sort of like with golf...I know exactly what I need to do to hit a good shot, but I can only do it about 1/5 times. So do you have any tips on how to actually fix that? Also, once you start turning into a corner, when you obviously need to apply some pressure in order to turn the bike, do you just back off that pressure and only use the minimum amount required to keep the bike leaned over? Thing of a longer corner, like a carousel type where you're at full lean for a good 5+ seconds. Can you elaborate in more detail on how you distribute your weight in longer turns like that? I think part of my problem might be that I'm not anchoring myself well onto the bike, so in longer turns at full lean it feels like I'm about to fall off the bike and I use my inside hand to hold myself on, which is less than ideal. Sometimes I wonder how I don't crash with as much pressure I put on the inside handle bar....must be because modern day front race tires are just freakin awesome!

EDIT: also to add to the above, what about bar input under WOT on straights? Am I the only one that feels like I'm doing pull-ups when going full stick on the straights? I feel like i'm holding on for dear life or else I fly off the back of the bike, and that's while at full tuck. It was especially bad with my liter bike, but even on the ZX6R is pretty close to that. Don't know exact numbers, but figure these bikes can pull at least 0.5 G on acceleration if you do it right (in the power band). So holding on the bars at that is like holding half your weight in your hands. So at 220 lbs, the hands are holding a force of about 110 lbs, or 55 lbs each hand. So basically on every straightaway, it's like holding a 5 gal bucket full of water in each hand for about 10-15 seconds or however long it takes to travel the length of the straightaway. Then on the brakes, the G-force is even higher since the brakes are more powerful, so now it's like bench-pressing 100-150 lbs and holding it there for a few seconds (duration of braking zone). Granted, you use the tank to distribute that force a lot more so only a part of that is actually on the hands, but still adds up.

PS., you are totally correct about Kevin Schwantz. He and Rainey were always a study in contrast. On that note, the most consistent riders that I have personally witnessed in order of consistency were Rainey, Doug Polen, Troy Corser, and John McGuiness. Pure magic on a raging race bike.

Onto sbk1198's inquiry:
Q 1) It is utterly illogical to think that the rider ought to conform to a motorcycle. It's not going to happen; but... it is fairly easy to adapt the bike's ergonomics to suit said rider (to be sure, at a price). This is what I have come away with after a couple or more decades of racing, and of long distance touring on hard core sport bikes: a rider cannot ride fast, nor ride far if they are uncomfortable. Period. This premise is completely foundational!

So, what to change? Because one's feet literally are the foundation for a rider, it is a prerequisite to use FULLY adjustable rearsets. I have used a lot of rearsets, and the ones I continually go back for Rizoma. Sure, they are pretty, but everything is adjustable, along with Woodcraft folding toe pegs, these bad boys will get you back home, or to the pits after a crash. Next up are the SpeedyMoto adjustable clip-ons. Again, these are beautifully designed & made. Upon initial examination they don't wow most people, but they can significantly alter rider bike interface. A plus for racers is they utilize a 2-pc clamp, so can be changed out without having to remove the top triple clamp. I go with an after market saddle, this one from ZG. My all time favourite saddle are from Sargent Saddles, but unfortunately they do not make them for the Ninja. I prefer shorty levers since I have small - medium sized hands. Location seems to be critical for me, I like have them ever so slightly lower than straight out.

I am a middle-aged codger with a few too many lbs, but I will ride on a regular basis a full 10-hr day, stopping only for fuel - petrol for the ZX, and trail mix & protein bar(s) for me. I wear a Camelback w/a 50:50 fruit juice & a sports drink mix that stays ever so close to my maw. No caffeine.This sort of riding I regularly do 2 X a month, I go for 4-5 hr rides the alternating wks. Simply put, I love to ride. To be honest, there are those rare times where I'm not in the zone, I don't force it. I turn around and go home... usually cleaning & generally fiddling with the bike. Be smart. Be safe.

Q2) This is the universal sin amongst most riders. This is where bad habits come to roost. If you have front & rear stands, or have a friend up font & another out back holding you & bike up... I actually prefer the former to the latter. Sit on your bike in a normal riding position. Not a full racing tuck. Leant forward with your back straight, but definitely angled froward, with hands on the grips. They should be in position to operate the clutch & brake. Now take both hands off the grips at the same time. If you face planted you are doing it wrong. In fact, if your head bobbed at all you are doing it wrong. Your grip on the hand controls in riding a bike are very similar to that of playing golf: just enough grip to keep control... and to counter-steer. If you are 'leaning' on your hand controls your are feeding unnecessary/conflicting information to the front end. This will lead to a vague feeling, your turn ins will be wide/narrow, and you'll feel more fatigued because you are literally vibrating your energy stores out of yourself.

So, what can one do to keep the blood flowing?

It goes back to those adjustments you made with your rearsets & clip-ons. Your balls of your feet are your literal anchors. That's why it's so vital to have rearsets that fit YOU first & foremost. Up top, there are two lovely cut-outs, the 1st (lower) is for your knee/thigh; the 2nd is higher up and is angled inward & forward, this is for your forearm. If any of you ride horses you'll know what comes next. Use the outside leg to shove inward against the tank what weighting the inside peg. Also use that newly anchored forearm to bear some of the weight and to make sure you are not pulling the outer grip. Simultaneously counter-steering by PUSHING the inside arm. Push left, go left. I know, the devil is in the details.

OTHERS: This bit about WOT & doing pull up whilst rapidly accelerating is probably the 2nd most often sin committed by sport bike riders. Going back to the foundation, it's the legs that need to be used, not the arms. When accelerating weigh the balls of your feet and rotate your head/upper torso forward - lowly over the tank. Do Not Let Your Butt Slide Backwards - at all! When you pull your weight with your arms you'll create instability, even a head shake bad enough to incite a tank slapper. The reason it was worse with the litre bike is because they have so much F-ing power that they compress time frames whilst augmenting the force of gravity on you. And once again, it's back to same repeating theme, use your strong legs & not your much weaker arms. An aside, is that by using your legs and not your arms you are keeping your centre of gravity lower and more centralized. This in turn, contributes to the whole bike/rider combo stability.

Your Q regarding force and turning: as many here have stated prior, go read The Code (as in Keith). To put briefly, it all depends on the type of corner. Some are constant radius, some are decreasing radius, whilst others are increasing radius. Some corners are part of a complex where successive, yet differently conceived types of corners are linked giving the whole a vastly more complicated complexion than the constituents curves have on their own. I don't mean to avoid the original Q, but it's a lot more than the ample time we have going on at present. My advice is get the two books by Code, read and inwardly digest, then come back with more specifics. Truly, what I've pointed out previously will guide you in the correct path.[/QUOTE]

awesome!
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post #35 of 115 Old 06-19-2016, 09:30 PM
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Again, thanks for the advice guys. I tried to work on some of these things on Saturday, and I believe I noticed an improvement (lap times agree with that too!). It was a bit hard to judge due to being 15-20 degrees hotter than it's been so far this year, but I felt like I wasn't as tired after each session as I used to be, and my arm pump issue didn't seem to present itself until the very end of the day when I did 2 back-to-back 8-lap sprints, and even then it was really only in the last 3 laps.

Worked on resting my outside arm on the tank more and using my legs and abs more to hang on and that seem to make me a bit more relaxed than usual, and it allowed me to be a bit lighter on the handle bars (except for 2 corners where I've always struggled with...and I almost crashed once because of that).

Still need to develop the muscle memory to do that all the time though. I had to constantly remind myself to do that. I caught myself being very tense on the bike at the start of the first race and had to remind myself to relax more because being tense wasn't going to do me any good. After watching myself from Dan's onboard GoPro, it looks like I still need to drop my head and my inside arm a bit more and that might help me carry a bit more speed, safely.
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post #36 of 115 Old 06-20-2016, 05:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sbk1198 View Post
Again, thanks for the advice guys. I tried to work on some of these things on Saturday, and I believe I noticed an improvement (lap times agree with that too!). It was a bit hard to judge due to being 15-20 degrees hotter than it's been so far this year, but I felt like I wasn't as tired after each session as I used to be, and my arm pump issue didn't seem to present itself until the very end of the day when I did 2 back-to-back 8-lap sprints, and even then it was really only in the last 3 laps.

Worked on resting my outside arm on the tank more and using my legs and abs more to hang on and that seem to make me a bit more relaxed than usual, and it allowed me to be a bit lighter on the handle bars (except for 2 corners where I've always struggled with...and I almost crashed once because of that).

Still need to develop the muscle memory to do that all the time though. I had to constantly remind myself to do that. I caught myself being very tense on the bike at the start of the first race and had to remind myself to relax more because being tense wasn't going to do me any good. After watching myself from Dan's onboard GoPro, it looks like I still need to drop my head and my inside arm a bit more and that might help me carry a bit more speed, safely.
Glad that you were able to realize some faster laps this past weekend! Good work!

As for the rest, changing riding style is one of the most difficult things to do because we all want to fall back to what feels the most comfortable/easiest which is not always the best way to go around the track.

Keep with it, spend track sessions (not races, enough going on in the brain) devoted to simply focusing on body position and before you know it you will develop that muscle memory.

A quick aside: One of my students this past weekend was struggling with the same BP issue..head high and stiff inner shoulder/arm. We spent 2 days at the school focusing on that and when racing this past weekend he gained 5 seconds (novice pace but still a huge jump). I can't claim that it all came from the change to his body position (he says so) it certainly played a large role in that gain.

Food for thought =)
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post #37 of 115 Old 06-22-2016, 08:44 PM
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Just did my first track day at big willow on saturday... how am I looking?

I feel like I could do a better job of looking farther into the turns

(pics in order: T2, T3, T3)
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post #38 of 115 Old 06-22-2016, 09:16 PM
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Just did my first track day at big willow on saturday... how am I looking?

I feel like I could do a better job of looking farther into the turns

(pics in order: T2, T3, T3)
A common thing that most people could probably improve on. The faster you go, the farther you need to look through the turns generally (not counting blind turns). Coming from riding on the street we're usually not wired to do that. It's not really muscle memory to be looking 100-200 yards ahead while you're still leaned over into a turn. Most people tend to look about 20-30 yards ahead at best, which for really slow turns might be fine, but for most turns it's not. It just takes a bit of practice.
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post #39 of 115 Old 06-23-2016, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by insan3guy View Post
Just did my first track day at big willow on saturday... how am I looking?

I feel like I could do a better job of looking farther into the turns

(pics in order: T2, T3, T3)
Your vision really isn't all that bad. If you feel that you can raise it further without losing touch with what you are doing in the turn, by all means practice it. You will naturally find a sweet spot where you are looking ahead enough to diminish your sense of speed but you are still close enough to your riding that you are able to make those small corrections as needed.

The main thing that I see when looking at your pictures would be to get your inside knee further out. It is especially noticeable in the 2nd picture.

There is a giant misconception that the knee is used to judge your lean angle. While I am certain that some people may use it that way, the primary function of having your knee out is to build a solid platform to carry your body weight so that you are not putting any on the bars. The further your knee is out, the more stable that platform becomes. Really work on cranking that knee out and then feel the difference in your weight distribution...it will be night and day.

For a first track day, you look great.
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post #40 of 115 Old 06-23-2016, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by insan3guy View Post
Just did my first track day at big willow on saturday... how am I looking?

I feel like I could do a better job of looking farther into the turns

(pics in order: T2, T3, T3)
looking good
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post #41 of 115 Old 06-23-2016, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by PainfullySlo View Post
There is a giant misconception that the knee is used to judge your lean angle. While I am certain that some people may use it that way, the primary function of having your knee out is to build a solid platform to carry your body weight so that you are not putting any on the bars. The further your knee is out, the more stable that platform becomes. Really work on cranking that knee out and then feel the difference in your weight distribution...it will be night and day.
That's what I've always thought, so I never made much of an effort to put my knees very far out, especially for lower speed turns. Thanks!
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post #42 of 115 Old 06-23-2016, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by insan3guy View Post
That's what I've always thought, so I never made much of an effort to put my knees very far out, especially for lower speed turns. Thanks!
Lower speed turns are actually more crucial as you have less cornering forces pressing on your body (and thus helping you stick to the bike). Slower speeds mean you need to carry more of your own weight, also the slower you go the more susceptible your bike is to unwanted bar input so you can see how those two things together could make for an unpleasant experience =).

Good luck!
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post #43 of 115 Old 06-23-2016, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by PainfullySlo View Post
Lower speed turns are actually more crucial as you have less cornering forces pressing on your body (and thus helping you stick to the bike). Slower speeds mean you need to carry more of your own weight, also the slower you go the more susceptible your bike is to unwanted bar input so you can see how those two things together could make for an unpleasant experience =).

Good luck!
+1 on this! That's why my biggest struggles on any track are the really slow turns (less than 40 mph).

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post #44 of 115 Old 06-30-2016, 08:48 AM
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Anyone have pointers on what I should work on here? Was pretty consistent with body position throughout the day, this only my third track day and first time with the zx6. Was working on getting my body low enough to get my arm on the tank to stay loose. Only problem I am having is I think I am pointing my toe too far out and keep hitting my toe slider at the apex. I am pivoting the ball of my foot on the point of the peg and wonder if i should try to move it in close on the peg?

Also trying to keep my butt far enough back to keep my outside knee against the tank.

Any thoughts?
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post #45 of 115 Old 06-30-2016, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sad Panda View Post
Anyone have pointers on what I should work on here? Was pretty consistent with body position throughout the day, this only my third track day and first time with the zx6. Was working on getting my body low enough to get my arm on the tank to stay loose. Only problem I am having is I think I am pointing my toe too far out and keep hitting my toe slider at the apex. I am pivoting the ball of my foot on the point of the peg and wonder if i should try to move it in close on the peg?

Also trying to keep my butt far enough back to keep my outside knee against the tank.

Any thoughts?
For sure that toe will bite you as you get faster and carry more lean. I always have my foot against the heel guard and pivot my leg from there...it makes for a much more stable platform anyway.

The big thing that I see is that you seem to be a little crossed up. Your spine is not straight as your butt is off the bike further than your head is. You have your head down, which is great, but work on getting it a little further off the side of the bike so that your spine is straight and in line with your butt.

Also, relax that inner elbow and let it move away from your body. That will help with getting your head to where it should be as well.
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