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Old 10-27-2015, 10:22 AM   #1
Classax
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Knowing One's self and the jump to Level 3

After beginning the year in level 1 and moving to lvl 2 in the spring, this last time out at MSRH where we comfortably ran an average of 1:58's with a 1:54 and lots of 2:03-6's due to traffic thrown in. I had three of the four level 2 instructors suggest that I try level 3. I declined to do it that weekend, but am considering signing up for 3 at TWS (Texas World Speedway) where my laptimes hovered around 2:07 in lvl 2 traffic at what is for me a comfortable relaxed pace.

That's said those times are on the really slow end of that group. I tend run faster laps when I'm chasing someone than when there is open track. Just a glimpse of another rider up the track seems to make me want to chase down and pass them. Being passed irritates the heck out of me and I will latch on and chase the offending rider as long as I can to learn anything I can from them ( and get back by them if possible)

I know myself and could probably go quicker in the quicker group, however I also feel like I need to work more on body position so I use less lean angle at my current pace before going quicker which I'm sure I would try to do when there are faster riders on track around me. Currently I'm dragging my knees in places where the instructors running the same pace or quicker are not. Granted at 6'4 my legs are longer so its easier, but still. I can't help thinking I should be using less lean angle until I have really picked up a real solidly quick pace.

SO... What are your thoughts... Should I stay in level 2 and continue to work on body position for less lean angle before going to level 3 where I know I will pick up pace and possibly need even more lean angle, or just go to level 3 and let it sort itself out? Thoughts ( constructive criticism appreciated, trolls feel free...... to go kill yourselves)
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Old 10-27-2015, 10:55 AM   #2
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I was stuck at 59's at MSRH when I was booted to level 3. By the end of the day on my first level 3 I was running consistent 56's. I'm like you, I follow better than lead and it helps teach you were you can hold, listen to the person in front get on the throttle and do as they do. I wouldn't try and follow a 40's guy or you'll hurt yourself! Ask how I know lol. But get behind someone running a slightly faster pace and it will help push you and you will learn alot. Main thing in level 3 is you hold your line, don't look back, you will get buzzed alot, and have people that will pass and you might feel uncomfortable at first, but hold your line and don't back off and do anything sudden to unsettle you and the bike and you will be fine. Consistent is better than fast in level 3.
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Old 10-27-2015, 11:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BryanE View Post
I'm like you, I follow better than lead and it helps teach you were you can hold, listen to the person in front get on the throttle and do as they do. I wouldn't try and follow a 40's guy or you'll hurt yourself! Ask how I know lol.
So how do you know??


That's part of my concern, in that I know I can go quicker if I push myself which I would in 3. But when I see faster guys not using as much lean angle and review all the videos I have of guys low siding in front and behind me, they almost all have poor body position for the pace they are trying to run. When a guy on a small bike is matching my laptimes and I follow him and he never drags his knee once and mine are grinding thru most of the lap, it tells me I'm using too much lean angle which is a lowside in the making if I up the pace. ( I understand a big bike trying to carry the same corners speed as a small bike will need more lean angle but still even the instructors at my pace aren't dragging much if at all) I'm just trying figure out whether it will easier to work that all out in 3 at quicker pace or in 2 dicing through traffic.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:14 PM   #4
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The reason I know, is I tried following a fast guy before I was ready. I had a bad run off and whipped out broke my wrist and collar bone. The pace was so fast, I was leaning the bike more than I should have been, but we were coming into Diamonds edge from the back straight and I tried to hold my speed like him to the 200' mark, and then I panicked and zoned in front of me unstead of looking into the turn and trying to make it, went off, it was wet and the story ends with a crash.

If your good at following, you get comfortable lap after lap, you will find yourself getting up their 's and almost pushing them as well.This is how I am anyway. It becomes Repetitive and mind/muscle memory. Once you get comfortable you will find yourself thinking about what you need to try BP wise and leaning less of the bike and getting off more and such. You don't have to drag your knee to be fast, It's more of a cushion for falling if you tuck the bike. I can drag knee no problem, but I tend to feel it then raise my knee up a tad, not that this is the correct way. This is how I found my comfort level, also watch the guy in front and try to mimic his actions (If hes riding well) then incorporate it to your own style. It's scary the first few sessions in LVL 3, then you get settled in and start focusing and teaching yourself. Just because you move upto LVL 3 doesn't mean you cant get instruction from the instructors. I have had Deano instruct me in level 3 before. You just have to ask. If you want to do class room, you still can. Its basically time to move up when you are stuck and need a faster pace to learn. I'm talking about how It worked for me, and maybe different for each others riding. Next time you see me, I will be more than happy to give you a slow tow and build up as you feel comfortable. I'm not offering instruction, just some help so you can get in your groove. Lvl 3 also helps you on inside passing IMO, because you learn where everyone passes you lol!
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So how do you know??


That's part of my concern, in that I know I can go quicker if I push myself which I would in 3. But when I see faster guys not using as much lean angle and review all the videos I have of guys low siding in front and behind me, they almost all have poor body position for the pace they are trying to run. When a guy on a small bike is matching my laptimes and I follow him and he never drags his knee once and mine are grinding thru most of the lap, it tells me I'm using too much lean angle which is a lowside in the making if I up the pace. ( I understand a big bike trying to carry the same corners speed as a small bike will need more lean angle but still even the instructors at my pace aren't dragging much if at all) I'm just trying figure out whether it will easier to work that all out in 3 at quicker pace or in 2 dicing through traffic.
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Old 10-27-2015, 01:37 PM   #5
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Just because you move upto LVL 3 doesn't mean you cant get instruction from the instructors. I have had Deano instruct me in level 3 before. You just have to ask.
Now that is some great information right there! Never even considered that!
I've noticed I've begun to do the touch and lift thing myself with knee as well especially on the curbing in the Key Whole, its very rough and unsettling for more than a split second.
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Old 10-27-2015, 02:59 PM   #6
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Just go to level 3, don't over think it. You'll have less traffic, and it'll be easier to work on things. Plus if you have someone pass you can follow them for a turn or two to see what they are doing differently to pick up some speed. IF someone does pass you really close just hold your line. I'll probably be at those TWS (Texas World Speedway) days, if you wanna turn some laps together let me know.
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Old 10-27-2015, 03:17 PM   #7
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DISCLAIMER: IM NOT CONDONING BEING CROSSED UP

Kevin Schwantz is one of the more popular fast guys that rides crossed up. That old guy is fast as . If he can do that you can go plenty fast with your much better body position. Another example is my buddy rides a little crossed up and with an 11 yr old liter bike down 40hp on everyone else he podiumed in his first two races ever.

My point being is that the instructors are going faster than you without touching a knee for other reasons than body position. Look at your lines, throttle and braking. I'm not the fastest ever but im usually top 10 and I almost never drag a knee.

Based on what I've seen I would say bump to level 3 as your pace and lines look pretty good.
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Old 10-27-2015, 03:32 PM   #8
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DISCLAIMER: IM NOT CONDONING BEING CROSSED UP

Kevin Schwantz is one of the more popular fast guys that rides crossed up. That old guy is fast as . If he can do that you can go plenty fast with your much better body position. Another example is my buddy rides a little crossed up and with an 11 yr old liter bike down 40hp on everyone else he podiumed in his first two races ever.

My point being is that the instructors are going faster than you without touching a knee for other reasons than body position. Look at your lines, throttle and braking. I'm not the fastest ever but im usually top 10 and I almost never drag a knee.

Based on what I've seen I would say bump to level 3 as your pace and lines look pretty good.
I was fairly crossed up the other day at MSRH. There were a couple guys in level 1 I saw get a knee down. They were still slow as . I was running circles around them. I didn't want to say anything because I am very far from being an expert, but when you (Classax) started talking about seeing guys low siding in front of and behind you and using that as a basis for better body position... I was skeptical. Better body position helps of course, but I think that there's a lot more to being fast than that.
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Old 10-27-2015, 04:17 PM   #9
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I was fairly crossed up the other day at MSRH. There were a couple guys in level 1 I saw get a knee down. They were still slow as . I was running circles around them. I didn't want to say anything because I am very far from being an expert, but when you (Classax) started talking about seeing guys low siding in front of and behind you and using that as a basis for better body position... I was skeptical. Better body position helps of course, but I think that there's a lot more to being fast than that.

I hear you but being a fan physics doesn't help.

At MSRH on a big bike, I'm fairly sure one isn't really considered averagely quick until down into the very low 1:50's high 1:45s range. The top novice racers run as quick as 1:43s and experts down into the 1:30s. For me at 1:58s, I'd say is just starting to get near a competent pace for that track.

When I look a photos, video and just feel on the bike compared to guys who are actually fast, knowing that I could go faster if I pushed, I feel like compared to them I'm using too much lean angle despite going slower. We hang off for the sole purpose of minimizing lean angle.

Bad body position has other affects as well to include;
*unnecessary pressure on the bars
*tension in the hands affecting throttle control,
*inability to stay light in the seat so the suspension can work underneath you *unnecessary weight transfers that can load or unload the tires at the wrong moment.

I recorded four crashes in two days last time out at MSRH, only one of them wasn't due to being crossed up with way too much lean angle for how slow they were going. The only one, a black CBR1RR had good BP but lost it trying to accelerate too hard in the carousel. Based on his own words, he basically was following someone (me) in, and based on that realized you can carry way more speed through there than he had been,so he got on the gas but, did it too hard and lost the front. Makes sense since that would unload the front at a time when you need it to grip to continue the turn. I guess that's why I'm conscience of my own BP and being a bigger heavier rider, it really makes a difference where I put my weight.

You guys are likely right. Lvl 3 it is and we'll figure it out as we go. Can't wait now.
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Old 10-27-2015, 04:25 PM   #10
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Tom Anderson with LSTD once followed me at ECR (or maybe it was Cresson) and said son, "I have no idea how you don't crash with that lean angle and your upright BP". I know my BP isn't curriculum worthy, but it works for me. I'm not the fastest guy by any means, but it works for me (and has proven difficult to shake after several years of riding dirt only). I do try and be somewhat conscience of my BP, but not to the point where it interferes with my comfort in the saddle.

All of that said, I could likely fit in either L2 or L3....but, since I don't get the track time like I once did it's safe to say I fit in L2. While traffic can be frustrating, circumventing slower riders is something I kinda enjoy.

The most important aspect of L3 other than carrying a decent pace is being PREDICTABLE and having the ability to MAINTAIN your line...., there may even be times when you have to adjust your line mid turn because someone closed the real estate door up the inside of you.

Last edited by dbuck; 10-27-2015 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 10-27-2015, 04:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classax View Post
I hear you but being a fan physics doesn't help.

At MSRH on a big bike, I'm fairly sure one isn't really considered averagely quick until down into the very low 1:50's high 1:45s range. The top novice racers run as quick as 1:43s and experts down into the 1:30s. For me at 1:58s, I'd say is just starting to get near a competent pace for that track.

When I look a photos, video and just feel on the bike compared to guys who are actually fast, knowing that I could go faster if I pushed, I feel like compared to them I'm using too much lean angle despite going slower. We hang off for the sole purpose of minimizing lean angle.

Bad body position has other affects as well to include;
*unnecessary pressure on the bars
*tension in the hands affecting throttle control,
*inability to stay light in the seat so the suspension can work underneath you *unnecessary weight transfers that can load or unload the tires at the wrong moment.

I recorded four crashes in two days last time out at MSRH, only one of them wasn't due to being crossed up with way too much lean angle for how slow they were going. The only one, a black CBR1RR had good BP but lost it trying to accelerate too hard in the carousel. Based on his own words, he basically was following someone (me) in, and based on that realized you can carry way more speed through there than he had been,so he got on the gas but, did it too hard and lost the front. Makes sense since that would unload the front at a time when you need it to grip to continue the turn. I guess that's why I'm conscience of my own BP and being a bigger heavier rider, it really makes a difference where I put my weight.

You guys are likely right. Lvl 3 it is and we'll figure it out as we go. Can't wait now.
I'm not saying good body position is not important to go fast. What I am saying is that I am doubtful that body position is bottlenecking you from going faster currently. I don't think that if you run a faster pace with your same body position you will suddenly burst into flames. Keep working on it and it'll get better no doubt. Personally I desire to ride with more skilled riders that I can learn more from and do as much unimpeded riding as possible. BUT I am a noob and I know virtually nothing so take my opinion for what it's worth.

I have seen some people get really wrapped around the axle and very much in their head about doing things the absolute best on the track and honestly they have been very mediocre (at best) in skill level. It's important to develop good habits and form, and it's important to understand the physics of what's going on (something that I think too few people care about), but to some extent you just have to get comfortable and practice without overthinking the out of everything.
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Old 10-27-2015, 04:53 PM   #12
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Try level 3 out. The faster you get, the less you drag knee. Partially bc of technique, but I'd say more bc the fast guys just aren't leaned over as long bc they're out of the corner and gone. When I started, it was a set of pucks every two months, my current set are 2 seasons old. Body position doesn't really matter as much as being smooth does, the people you saw crash likely didn't crash only bc of lean angle, but a combination of lean and braking or lean and throttle, and not knowing those things have to mirror each other. Lean more, less brake, less throttle. Need to brake more or throttle out? Gotta give back some lean angle.

You'll need to get comfortable with close passing, everywhere. Especially the places you think you won't be passed. There is no 6 ft rule, contact happens, but they won't crash you if you are predictable.
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:54 PM   #13
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Come and play in 3 next month at TWS (Texas World Speedway) and I'll play cat and mouse with you. I can record you so we can review your BP and lines between sessions. We should be able to get you under the two minute mark!
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Old 10-27-2015, 07:37 PM   #14
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Proper BP leads to proper lean angle of combined rider + bike. Improper Bp puts the tires on edge, keeps the bike from feeling planted, and makes the likelihood of a loss of traction at a slower speed greater. Everything in a modern sportbike is designed for the rider to position himself at a BP consistent with racer's of the highest calibre.

I'd bump to 3, enjoy the lack of obstacles, become comfortable with being passed, and being passed closely. Continue on your own pace, being extremely careful not to let a faster rider drag you in to a corner faster than you can handle. Your pace is not bad at all, but I run the same lap times on a 250, and I am definitely not fast compared to the CMRA experts.

Ride your own ride. Enjoy yourself. Speed comes with experience. The best thing you can do is turn laps, turn laps, turn laps. Always being passed is a sure way to get your speed up. But do it with smarts, not brass .
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Old 10-27-2015, 07:39 PM   #15
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Forgot to yell: DON'T DO ANY OF THIS UNLESS YOU ARE ON RACE RUBBER. Haha!
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Old 10-27-2015, 08:22 PM   #16
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Once you go 3 it's hard to go back
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Old 10-27-2015, 08:30 PM   #17
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Come and play in 3 next month at TWS (Texas World Speedway) and I'll play cat and mouse with you. I can record you so we can review your BP and lines between sessions. We should be able to get you under the two minute mark!
That's plan! I'm there both days.

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Proper BP leads to proper lean angle of combined rider + bike. Improper Bp puts the tires on edge, keeps the bike from feeling planted, and makes the likelihood of a loss of traction at a slower speed greater. Everything in a modern sportbike is designed for the rider to position himself at a BP consistent with racer's of the highest calibre.

I'd bump to 3, enjoy the lack of obstacles, become comfortable with being passed, and being passed closely. Continue on your own pace, being extremely careful not to let a faster rider drag you in to a corner faster than you can handle. Your pace is not bad at all, but I run the same lap times on a 250, and I am definitely not fast compared to the CMRA experts.

Ride your own ride. Enjoy yourself. Speed comes with experience. The best thing you can do is turn laps, turn laps, turn laps. Always being passed is a sure way to get your speed up. But do it with smarts, not brass .

That's the thing, my pace is quite comfortable for me, but knowing myself just the sight on a bike on the horizon let alone being passed is enough to get me to push a little harder. I also know I would have a better safety margin if I were using less lean angle.


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Forgot to yell: DON'T DO ANY OF THIS UNLESS YOU ARE ON RACE RUBBER. Haha!
Ha sorry to say but I shredded the bridgestone RS10 rear in just two days so back to Q3's for me! Anybody got any experience with the GPA pros- I still ride on the street so I'd like a tire that can handle both though to be honest I haven't pushed the Q3s to their limits in any way.
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Old 10-27-2015, 08:40 PM   #18
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I just put on a set of Pros for last race weekend and then ran them on the following Sunday at MSRH. If I don't use them for this race weekend, I will save them for TWS (Texas World Speedway). Oh yeah, and these were take-offs when I bought them!
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:01 PM   #19
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lvl 3 , and I have never touched a knee .
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Old 10-27-2015, 10:02 PM   #20
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Classax do your self a favor and calm your with the physics. I'm an engineer and geek out about technical stuff all the time. It really won't help you while riding. You aren't going to be doing calculations on the track.

I promise you, your body position is likely "better" than mine and I can run a 46 at msrh. with open track and a little more track time I can probably get a 54 on my rc390. Another thing to realize is level 3 is not the same as a novice racer. Most novice racers will destroy most non racing level 3 people. If you are predictable and consistently running sub 2 min laps you should be in level 3. It is very hard to improve your riding while you are the fastest in the group.

Where you will gain seconds at a time will be under the brakes and driving out of the corner. I was reviewing my GPS data and running consistent 48's on my r6. Then in one lap I went a second faster in just the braking going into diamonds edge. That's right, in one braking zone I made up 1 second. The rest of the lap was almost exactly identical. The difference between your 54 and and dipping into the 40's is 100% decided by your right hand.

As far as you carrying more lean angle I would look at your lines. You have a beastly motor in that bike and need to stay at max lean for as little as possible and rocket out of the turns. You don't need to be setting the mid corner speed record.

Tl;dr Do level 3.
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