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Old 03-19-2009, 09:40 AM   #1
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Kevin Schwantz - Track Day Tips

I found a great, succinct, write up from Kevin Schwantz on tips for your next track day. Enjoy.

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/ho...ips/index.html

Kevin Schwantz Suzuki School: Motorcycle Race Track Tips, Texas-Style
30-plus KSSS-approved things to do at your next track day
By Mitch Boehm
Photography by George Roberts

Track Tips Texas Style Kevin Schwantz

1. Increase your speed incrementally.

2. Find and use reference points for braking, turn-in and apex.

3. Focus your vision way out front.

4. Select a gear that uses 60-80 percent of redline at the exit.

5. Be loose on the bike and bars, not rigid.

6. Get body position set for corners early.

7. Hang off slightly--and comfortably--in corners.

8. Use your legs to move you around the bike, not your arms.

9. Go slow when learning a new track. Get the flow first.

10. In the wet, be super-smooth with all control inputs.

11. Ride with the of your feet on the pegs at all times.

12. Weight the inside peg entering corners.

13. Weight the outside peg at the apex and exiting corners.

14. Perfect practice makes perfect--helps muscle memory.

15. Ignore the rear brake.

16. Walk the track if possible.

17. Don't apex early; late apex whenever possible.

18. Get to neutral throttle ASAP approaching the apex.

19. Apply smooth but forceful throttle exiting a corner.

20. Keep body movements small or smooth while cornering.

21. Braking distances increase exponentially with speed.

22. Monitor chassis feedback through hands, feet and when braking.

23. Ease off the brakes smoothly as you lean the bike into a corner.

24. Brake in segments: first 10 percent (to settle chassis), then 75 percent (hard braking), then 15 percent (releasing smooth toward apex).

25. Get hard braking done early; don't wait till you see !

26. Passing tip: Let off the brakes sooner and carry a bit more speed into the corner.

27. Release the brake more slowly than you initially grab it.

28. Ride a bicycle for leg strength and cardiovascular training; it'll make you a better rider!

29. Control panic by being in control at all times; resist the temptation to go beyond your personal comfort envelope.

30. If you get in too hot, look where you want to go, relax and will yourself to make the corner.

31. Resist the temptation to tuck completely behind the bubble; sitting higher allows you to see more, which helps nail your braking and turn-in points.

32. If you crash, get wide. It resists flipping.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:03 AM   #2
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Lots of great points here, some obvious, some less so. I think this is a very key point that is often under-taught:

"30. If you get in too hot, look where you want to go, relax and will yourself to make the corner."

I am all the time telling others (and myself) that when in this situation, turn the bike harder and lean it more in a corner. Since mordern sport bikes are better than 98% of the riders on them, it's very possible than you may make the corner without crashing. This requires a decision in a fraction of a second, of course, but for many, it's a non-issue - they simply give up, stand it up, and ride off the track, sometimes with great consequence. Even though you may be going in deeper and hotter than you're comfortable with, it's still a corner, try to go around it instead of through it.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:03 AM   #3
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Don't understand point 32? Anyone care to explain.

Good post Curt.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Don't understand point 32? Anyone care to explain.

Good post Curt.

I take it as stand the bike up and not allow it to slide sideway as the bike wheels catches the dirt and flip it over.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Don't understand point 32? Anyone care to explain.

Good post Curt.
I'm going to guess it about falling off the bike.

If you are seperated from the bike, get your body as wide as possible in every direction. Basically try to do a jumping jack.

In the air it's better to come down on multiple spots at different times...it breaks the fall and reduced the chance for body core injuries. It also helps with not digging into grass or gravel.

If you are on the ground already if you let friction tuck you into a ball, or fetal position, or just go limp you are much more likely to get "grabbed" (sliding friction is good, static friction is bad) by the passing pavement / grass / gravel and get sent rolling or flying. A smooth slide is cake compared to digging in an elbow or hand or knee and get flipped over and over again. Sliding is safe. Rolling equals broken bones and serious injury. Ask Rainey.

32 is good advice
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:51 AM   #6
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32 is like "the sprawl" if you are a UFC fan, lol. Its just a way to get flat and low if needed, versus if you went down and folded up like a ball then your obviously going to tumble quite a bit.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:00 AM   #7
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32 is debatable. It sounds to me like a good way to break a collarbone or dislocate a shoulder. A lot of pro racers I've seen clasp their hands in front of their chest, and stick their elbows out. Don't know why....but these guys seem to be able to crash, run to their bikes, and get back to riding by doing this.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:58 AM   #8
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32. BREAKS RULE # 1.LMAO
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:05 PM   #9
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I like 30, it's great tip to remember
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:16 PM   #10
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33. I, Kevin Schwantz, dont abide by alot of these rules and I crashed alot to know. I should have used the rear brake on the two stroke and........
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
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33. I, Kevin Schwantz, dont abide by alot of these rules and I crashed alot to know. I should have used the rear brake on the two stroke and........


Still, he was/is one fast fvcker. Crashing was just the nature of the beast back on the ole 500cc 2 stroke. If you didn't crash often, your weren't riding the 500 correctly.
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:35 PM   #12
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Still, he was/is one fast fvcker. Crashing was just the nature of the beast back on the ole 500cc 2 stroke. If you didn't crash often, your weren't riding the 500 correctly.
Amen to that.
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:06 PM   #13
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32 is debatable. It sounds to me like a good way to break a collarbone or dislocate a shoulder. A lot of pro racers I've seen clasp their hands in front of their chest, and stick their elbows out. Don't know why....but these guys seem to be able to crash, run to their bikes, and get back to riding by doing this.

when you highside, the last thing you want to do is spread your arms or legs, if you can do a judo fall/land then it's all good. Low side is okay to do, imo. Most highside you can't control the way it throws you, so just say your prayer before you land.
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
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32 is debatable. It sounds to me like a good way to break a collarbone or dislocate a shoulder. A lot of pro racers I've seen clasp their hands in front of their chest, and stick their elbows out. Don't know why....but these guys seem to be able to crash, run to their bikes, and get back to riding by doing this.
Kevin's advice is solid here, you should "Get wide to slide" not tumble. You dont break bones from sliding unless you hit something. A guy like me who weighs 210 lbs will get busted to pcs. from tumbling but a lightweight like Ricky Parker in the CMRA can go down at 110mph and tumble 25 times and get up with a dizzy spell
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:22 PM   #15
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all good tips, but what if you're off the bike and already in an uncotrolled roll/body spin...is it better to try to get wide then, as that may cause limbs to break easier sinse they will get flung around, or just keep tucked and try to count the number of rolls?
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
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all good tips, but what if you're off the bike and already in an uncotrolled roll/body spin...is it better to try to get wide then, as that may cause limbs to break easier sinse they will get flung around, or just keep tucked and try to count the number of rolls?
I say if you're going fast enough to break bones, in most cases your better of to just stay tucked. Because at those speeds sticking your arms out isn't going to stop anything.

There are those rare, or maybe not so rare, cases where a slow akward fall can break bones just as easily as a fast one.

I'm going to do what the GP guys do and what was mentioned earlier. They get up after 130+ throw downs sometimes like it was nothing. Tuck and roll baby....tuck and roll.

Sliding of course.....is another story.
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:29 PM   #17
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up in the air and spread out,what like a spider monkey?LOL
IDK but that sounds like bad news,once you highside all you gotta do is pick just pick what bones you rather have broken.
i think that rule aplies to lowsides though...
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
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all good tips, but what if you're off the bike and already in an uncotrolled roll/body spin...is it better to try to get wide then, as that may cause limbs to break easier sinse they will get flung around, or just keep tucked and try to count the number of rolls?
the tighter you tuck, the faster you rotate... i read it as getting wide to slow any kind of tumbling motion. much like a figure skater spinning with a leg out vs. tucked in tight
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:32 PM   #19
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all good tips, but what if you're off the bike and already in an uncotrolled roll/body spin...is it better to try to get wide then, as that may cause limbs to break easier sinse they will get flung around, or just keep tucked and try to count the number of rolls?
I would keep my arms and legs close together if I was in a spin or roll but it is only natural to extend your arms or legs to stop the rolls.
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
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32. BREAKS RULE # 1.LMAO
Rule #1 should be, don't crash. Jus sayin.
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