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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, i'm a new rider and have been practicing alot on my 07 S4R-T

leaning between 40-50 km/h isn't a problem quite easy and straight forward

i don't have the courage to dive into the turns hot... i tend to scrub off the speed first then start turning...

i've been trying to slowly accelerate while leaning but it's tough to be smooth in low gears at low speeds.. too much gas straightens up the bike... and letting off engine brakes and the nose tucks way in.. basically i'm trying to lean more without changing my turning angle if that makes sense
I use my outside knee as well as counter steering and body posture


something i've noticed as I lean more and more

I feel an Oscilliation thru the bike... almost like a wobble

first thru the front end, then the rear.. almost like u passed over a bump

am I pushing the bike too much? am I going to slow for that lean angle? or am i transitioning from the top to the side of the tire? is there a problem with suspension setup?

the pegs are not scraping or anything like that... so I think i should be able to go more...

any general tips or advice?
 

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countersteer to initiate the turn.
dont worry about how far you are leaning over...that will come.

the bike will over further when you are going faster...you dont have to do anything
 

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countersteer?

What do you mean counter steer? Maybe like if your going to make right turn turn left before you go into the right turn.
 

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What do you mean counter steer? Maybe like if your going to make right turn turn left before you go into the right turn.
turn by steering counter to the desired direction... in other words if you want to turn right, apply pressure to the right side of handlebar (i.e. turn the wheel to the left... very slight pressure).. I guess you didn't take any bike course or anything. it is a useful technique, especially for highspeed directional changes if something gets in your way...
 

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you don't tell us much about yourself. like how long have you been riding (miles, not days of ownership), and your experinece lavel.

I'd start by saying that if your bike is bone stock, and has not had the suspension set up by someone who knows what they are doing, then yes, what you feel mid turn can be suspension. I bought a 01 S4 and the sag was off 14mm (dont know how the previous owner rode it).

where do you live? can you get to a track day? quickest way and safest way to learn how to corner under braking and acceleration. Trying to learn this on the street could cause pain. And at a track day, all questions are answered.

remember, the objective of a track day does not have to be speed, it could be learning skills
 

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Discussion Starter #6
you make a good point

mileage wise i'd say a couple hundres miles.. next to none of it being on highways.. mostly back roads and bends and curvy stuff (that's what I find more entertaining)

I asked a fellow monster owner about it

and he says it's "normal" to feel some wobble on high speed turns..he says his other bikes do that too (I dunno i was a little skeptical of his response)

but as you say it could be suspension setup

at the moment I have the compression and rebound set to what the manual specificies
tho I feel it's a little on the soft side in the back..


the sag I need to re-check.. but haven't had a chance to get a friend to help me out yet... Should I stick to 35mm in the front and 30mm in the rear?

I've considered doing a track day..

my front and rear axle and frame and handle bar sliders just arrived yesterday..
I didn't want to risk a low side without them..

i don't have full leathers yet.. so I can't enter the track still...

we have an open track day about once a month

although i'd imagine it to be quite intimidating having all the faster riders ripping past me left and right...

how are bikes on comsumables on a track? brake and tire wear namely
 

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Please take this the right way, I am speaking as a rider with nearly 40 years and many thousands of miles of experience. I still do track days, and run Deals Gap annually.

If you only have a couple of hundred miles under your belt, and you are already looking for extreme lean angles, you are already over your head. The street is not the place to explore high lean angles without significant experience.

A comment for a new rider, ATGATT (all the gear, all the time), it is not If you will go down, but WHEN you will go down. No one is immune, I hit gravel twice this year, totalled 1 bike, and injured myself both times. The only reason I was not hurt badly was full gear. So a word for the wise, Plan for the worst, and hope for the best. If you can afford the bike, you better be able to afford the gear.

Even with all my experience, I took my bike to a race shop and spent $45 to have them set the bike up properly. It made a world of difference. A pro knows what will work. Factory settings are just a starting point, and needs to be adjusted for the rider's weight. You may need more or less compression or rebound, and you are not equiped to decide what works.

I personally do not have a wobble on high speed turns (which you should not be doing at your experience level on the street), but it could be set up, it could be rider error (new riders tend to lock their arms, and fight the bike, and those rider inputs can cause the wobble). You could also explore a steering dampner, but I don't think it is necessary.

I suggest you get some leathers (there are always used suits available at a very reasonable price), and get yourself to a track. You should start out in the beginners group, there isn't a lot of passing going on, you will not be out with the hot shoes, and there are instructors there to help you. You just need an open mind, and not think you know it all yet. You don't need to look at a track day as a speed contest, you need to look at it as a learning experience in an controlled environment. When I track the bike, I am happy to be in the Intermediate class. I am not out there trying to race other riders, I don't need to be the fastest, I just do it for personal enjoyment and to practice my skills. You can do that at 7 or 8 tenths, you don't need to be at 10 tenths. Speed comes from comfort, comfort comes from practice. Whatever you learn on the track makes you a better street rider. You will learn more from 1 track day than you will learn in months of street riding.

If you haven't taken a MSF course, do so. Again, IDK where you are, but NESBA might be around you, and a good choice.

http://www.nesba.com

Don't worry about consumables on a track day. Until you get fast enough to be really hard on the tires in turns, or use threashold braking, it is negligible.

Besides, brakes are relatively cheap, and you can replace all the pads in about 20 minutes once you learn how (it is simple).

Also, you don't need super soft tires, or the latest and greatest, until you get much better. I use Perelli Stradas, and they work fine. If I were racing wheel to wheel, I would consider something stickier, but, again, I am doing a track day, I am not trying to win.

It is all in your attitude and mind set.

Just my opinion, for what it is worth. This is the same advise I give my son, who wants to get a bike.

Don't let other more experienced riders suck you into a situation that puts you over your head, and don't feel invincible, and watch out who you take advise from, they might not be any more knowledgable than you.

By the way, you have a lot of bike for a new rider, take it easy.
 

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turn by steering counter to the desired direction... in other words if you want to turn right, apply pressure to the right side of handlebar (i.e. turn the wheel to the left... very slight pressure).. I guess you didn't take any bike course or anything. it is a useful technique, especially for highspeed directional changes if something gets in your way...
yes i took the class to get my license and to give my wife a piece of mind. They talked about pushing down on the bars to start turns, but i never heard of pushing down right and turn left, i think that would give someone an boo-boo. I'm thinkin' ouch! Oh yeah i've been ridding since the motorized bicycle was invented, not sure what year, but it's been like a hundred years or somethin' I's not real smart so don't be mean.

be cool,

dumb-dumb
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Please take this the right way, I am speaking as a rider with nearly 40 years and many thousands of miles of experience. I still do track days, and run Deals Gap annually.


Tripod, I just want to start by saying thank you for taking the time to write it out and explain to a beginner like myself..

alot of ppl would have just moved to another thread and just shake their heads thinking "stupid squid"

in all honesty the last thing I want to be is a squid.. or a statistic

in no way am I trying to be a hero or show off or bite off more than I can chew...

I'm trying to do it safely and methodically...

I didn't intentionally buy this bike.. i sort of happend upon it.. originally I was looking at either getting a 696 or a harley nightster 1200


Frame wise.. i'm a pretty big guy.. I lift weights and have the body builder physique the "triangle"... i'm about 6' and tip the scale at about 205.. and I absolutely dwarfed the 696.. no go.. and the nightster was just a crap bike.. and i didn't really buy into the whole HOG lifestyle...

a friend of mine was in a tight situation financially.. and he sold me this bike for a real bargain.. it only has 2,000 miles on it.. and in like new condition..

so I sort of ended up that way...


I think I've exagerated in my previous post

i think my definition of "fast corners" and "exterme lean angles" is pretty weak

my cornering speed is like 60km/h which is about 35mph

and angle wise.. if I leave the instep of my foot on teh peg and point my toes to the ground.. I can get the toes of my boot to touch the ground..
I don't really know if thats alot? as a beginner to me it feels alot..

protection wise.. again I don't want to be a squid..

for the bike I've purchased front and rear axle sliders, frame sliders and handle bar ends

to protect the bike as much as i can from the inevitable crash...(perfarbly a lowside)


as for myself..

I currently have:
alpinestars SP1 gloves
alpinestars SMX 2 boots
alpinestars body armour
a Dainese Ducati textile jacket with shoulder,elbow forearm protection

i'm currently using a momo design open face helmet, until my Shoei XR-1000 Kenan sofuoglu repica helmet arrives from Europe

the only thing missing is pants at the moment i'm just rockin the jeans..


I currently live and work in Bahrain.. you might know it from the F1 circuit.. which is what we have our open track days on


the mentality here is all wrong..

basically their theory is "don't by a 600CC buy a liter bike and grow into it, cuz u'll grow out of the 600 in a couple months and lose ur shirt selling it"

our market has next to no learner bikes... the kawa dealership sold 3 ninja 250s in the last year.. and never brought more

i know ppl who consider my bike "slow" and a waste of money I shoulda got a "real" bike instead.. (gixxer thou, R1 etc) lol


anyways back to the point..

during our track days.. we have no groups..

there isn't enough time to squeeze everyone in..

they rotate between cars, bikes and a racing series... 1 after the other

so u have all the bikers together.. all the cars together then the race then allover again..

so me and the rossi wannabe will be on the track at the same time..


some of my thoughts and concerns:

because it's a F1 spec circuit.. the track is absolutely huge(length and width wise).. and the ground is F1 spec asphalt(very grippy)... but due to the size.. u lose a perceptive of speed with no lamposts and signs and what not zipping passed u.. it's like being on an airfield..

how do u judge what speed to enter a turn? do u use the speedo? (that seems dangerous) or do u just have to get use to seat of the pants feel

i'm well versed in driving fast cars on the track.. but i've heard that racing lines of a bike a very different than a car.. is that true? if so in what ways..


how does one explore the limits of their bike without breaking it or themselves?

for example.. in a car i can tell when a car starts to under steer or over steer... and correct accordingly..

but in the bike.. if ur at the point where u start to understeer.. chances are it's probably too late.. and ur front end is gonna go out from under u..

at what point is knee dragging necc? or is it even necc (track wise of course)
if the bike can make the corner without knee dragging does that mean ur not going fast enough?

at what point do u know u've leaned far enough? and need to start sliding ur self off the seat and knee dragging the bike.. i.e. where does leaning stop and knee dragging take over?

they almost seem counter intuitive to me..

u lean to turn.. more lean more turn
but u knee drag to turn without leaning by hanging ur weight off the side..


I have more questions.. but I fear my post has already run on too long.. and I don't want to bore you guys..

i'll continue my bombardment after you've replied.. if i've not lost ur interest by now lol
 

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Frame wise.. i'm a pretty big guy.. I lift weights and have the body builder physique the "triangle"... i'm about 6' and tip the scale at about 205.. and I absolutely dwarfed the 696.. no go.. and the nightster was just a crap bike.. and i didn't really buy into the whole HOG lifestyle...
Get bike set up by a pro, may need to re spring, but base setting not right for your weight

my cornering speed is like 60km/h which is about 35mph

and angle wise.. if I leave the instep of my foot on teh peg and point my toes to the ground.. I can get the toes of my boot to touch the ground..
I don't really know if thats alot? as a beginner to me it feels alot..
If you are dragging you toes, you need to lean off the bike, reduces bike lean, may also want to consider new rear sets, to raise pegs.

I currently have:
alpinestars SP1 gloves
alpinestars SMX 2 boots
alpinestars body armour
a Dainese Ducati textile jacket with shoulder,elbow forearm protection
i'm currently using a momo design open face helmet, until my Shoei XR-1000 Kenan sofuoglu repica helmet arrives from Europe
the only thing missing is pants at the moment i'm just rockin the jeans..
Going down in jeans will hurt, road rash!

basically their theory is "don't by a 600CC buy a liter bike and grow into it, cuz u'll grow out of the 600 in a couple months and lose ur shirt selling it"
You don;t need friends or advice like that

during our track days.. we have no groups..
so me and the rossi wannabe will be on the track at the same time..
Bummer, but it is the passing bike that has to watch out for you, so don't let that bother you, just pick a line and keep it.

because it's a F1 spec circuit.. the track is absolutely huge(length and width wise).. and the ground is F1 spec asphalt(very grippy)... but due to the size.. u lose a perceptive of speed with no lamposts and signs and what not zipping passed u.. it's like being on an airfield..how do u judge what speed to enter a turn? do u use the speedo? (that seems dangerous) or do u just have to get use to seat of the pants feel

how does one explore the limits of their bike without breaking it or themselves?

but in the bike.. if ur at the point where u start to understeer.. chances are it's probably too late.. and ur front end is gonna go out from under u..

at what point is knee dragging necc? or is it even necc (track wise of course)
if the bike can make the corner without knee dragging does that mean ur not going fast enough?

at what point do u know u've leaned far enough? and need to start sliding ur self off the seat and knee dragging the bike.. i.e. where does leaning stop and knee dragging take over?

u lean to turn.. more lean more turn
but u knee drag to turn without leaning by hanging ur weight off the side..
All comes with experience, you have to work your way up to speed,
If you have instructors there, ask them for advice, if not, look for an experienced racer (not a track day wannabe) and ask for help.

It is really hard to learn from a web site or from a book.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Get bike set up by a pro, may need to re spring, but base setting not right for your weight


Going down in jeans will hurt, road rash!

All comes with experience, you have to work your way up to speed,
If you have instructors there, ask them for advice, if not, look for an experienced racer (not a track day wannabe) and ask for help.

It is really hard to learn from a web site or from a book.

i will check out my sag this weekend..
since i'm over 200lbs i'm guessing i'm too heavy for the spring..
where I can I order a harder one? are they universal or application specific

living in such a small country with an even small biker community.. finding a "race shop" to do it is not possible.. at best a shade tree mechanic/biker enthuist is all I can really hope for..

at worst i'll have to do it myself and hope for the best...


i want to start riding my bike to and from work..

what do u suggest I do with all the gear? do u carry a change of clothes?
the jacket gloves and stuff is easy to remove.. it's just the pants i'm wondering about...


that's what everyone says "it comes with experience"
unfortunately experience is an expensive lesson..
and i'm trying to learn as much as I can on what to do and what not to do without doing any damage..
hence my "practicing" on the streets..
 

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what do u suggest I do with all the gear? do u carry a change of clothes?
the jacket gloves and stuff is easy to remove.. it's just the pants i'm wondering about...


that's what everyone says "it comes with experience"
unfortunately experience is an expensive lesson..
and i'm trying to learn as much as I can on what to do and what not to do without doing any damage..
hence my "practicing" on the streets..
Yes, the pants are a problem, I don't wear the leather pants to work, I am a pofessional. But, there are only 5 turns door to door in the 15 miles to work!

You have to make consessions when commuting.

Experience also means start out slow and survive long enought to get experinece.
Always ride your own ride. Never get sucked into trying to keep up with other riders more experienced or stupider than you. Don't let more expreienced riders or squids goad you into getting over your head.

If you do that, you might live long enough to get the experience to eventually be able to.

And finally, the greated secret in doing turns. keep your head up and always look toward the exit of the turn, and the bike will get there (you go where you look). Hard to explain, but the key to cornering is head position and looking toward the exit of the turn.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
another question..

I'll be going to my first track day soon..

i was wondering?

Does one HAVE to put their knee down?

does having ur knee down actually accomplish anything? or is it a 'gauge' for ur lean angle?

if i can make the turn without dragging my knee should I still do it? i tend to prefer keeping my legs tucked in... I've had my toes sliders scrape on occasions....

i'm more concerend about cornering fast than I am about hearing my knee scraping the asphalt..
 

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another question..

I'll be going to my first track day soon..

i was wondering?

Does one HAVE to put their knee down?

does having ur knee down actually accomplish anything? or is it a 'gauge' for ur lean angle?

if i can make the turn without dragging my knee should I still do it? i tend to prefer keeping my legs tucked in... I've had my toes sliders scrape on occasions....

i'm more concerend about cornering fast than I am about hearing my knee scraping the asphalt..
Note: I don't normally dish out advice- I'm a club level racer, with thousands of track miles and many more road miles, but I consider myself an average rider. I'm still learning, sometimes the hard way..... But for what its worth, this is my advice:

No you dont have to get your knee down. Its an advanced cornering technique that helps you accurately judge lean angle (so you can tip the bike in very very quickly) and if you're real good you can use it as a third wheel to hold the bike up if the front end starts sliding. You are unlikely to get you knee down without using the right body position. I don't think you should even try it till you have done a whole lot more riding.

Without watching you ride, its hard to accurately say why your toes are dragging, but my GUESS is that at 205lbs, you are either too heavy for the stock springs or the pre-load needs to be increased to reduce the sag. What I'm saying is that the suspension is compressing too much, reducing the available lean angle.

From what you've said about the local bikers attitudes, I think you should think very carefully about going to the track and riding with 'rossi wannabes' as you put it. If you do go, try and be smooth and stick to your line. Its a GP circuit, so those that have some experience are going to be carrying very high corner speeds relative to you. Personally I think you should stick to the quiet back roads for a while and just get used to riding in a no pressure environment.

Edit: I thought some more about this. You mention that your bike stands up when you ope the gas and turns in more when you close it. This could be because the acceleration/deceleration is causing you to counter steer the bike without realising it. Example: you are going into a right hand turn. To turn the bike in, you apply pressure to the right hand bar. It may well be that your too 'stiff' on the bike, so when you start accelerating, you're pulling back on the right bar, causing the bike to stand up. With the opposite happening when you close the throttle.

Also, you mention that you drag your toes, with the instep of your foot on the pegs. I think you mentioned that your quite tall? If thats right, the length of your leg will have your toe pointing downward, and since your tall, you should have fairly big feet. You dont have to lean a street bike much at all to get your toes down in that situation, especially if the suspensions too soft. I always ride on the balls of my feet to keep them out of the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the insight Tony..

I did go to the that track day..

and ended up lowsiding on the 7th lap... doing about 60mph..

it turns out 34psi cold is too much tire pressure in the back :p

but yeah.. Sag wise i'm running mid 30's mm rear and low 30's in the front..

I guess I should crank it back up into the mid 20's for the track...

as for my toes dragging... on the track I had the Footpegs themselves scraping on the ground... what you say about the suspension compressing too much may hold true...


next track day is in a couple weeks and I'd like to try it again.. (hopefully without bailing this time lol)


U maybe right about being too stiff.... I felt my hands cramping up towards the end of my laps... (i don't really get that on the street) it could be first time gitters etc..

as for riding position.. I have a couple pics as examples:








I don't have any track shots unfortunately...

but in full leathers I find it a bitch to slide around and relocate on teh seat.. but that is probably due to them being new and not broken in...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
only have a pic in the pits when i'm geared up showing where I put my feet:


 

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Sorry to hear about the lowside. I guess you and the bike are OK? Well I guess you're determined to go 'hard out' right from the start, so all I can suggest is that you get yourself along to the local California Superbike School- I think they have one where you are. They'll get you sorted.

If you're dragging your pegs then you need to start 'hanging off'. There's a bunch of really good videos from the Superbike School on line- can't remember where...I think its the Veoh Player site or something. May also be on racingunderground.com They are gold. Check them out.

If you go to the Ohlins site, theres a setup guide you can down load. Get that and use it to set up your sags

Sorry I can't be more help- I'm actually on holiday and thought I'd check in to see how you went. Good luck and keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
sadly no CSS around these parts :( it seems biking is a very "self explatory" experience roudn these parts... i'll deffinately look for those video's tho..

as the bike it's fine.. the Sliders did their job.. Frame axle and handle bar ends..

I broke the lever, and grinded the shift lever down to almost a straight point haha

everything was ok..

as for me i was fine.. I was in the gym the next day lifting weight..

my gloves took a beating.. burst the stitches in the palm of one hand and rashed up the other...

i'm looking forward to the next event in a couple weeks..
 

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I went to look for the CSS vids on the veoh website, but they have been removed.
There do seem to be some on www.racing-underground.com
Its an invite only torrent website- PM me if you need an invite code. Failing that I can burn them to DVD and post them to you!
 
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