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Old 10-02-2009, 09:18 AM   #1
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Front grip - interesting

I stumbled into an interesting post in a thread front grip on Code's SuperBike School forum. Thought you might enjoy it.

The source:

When you load the front, you are giving more traction to the front wheel, but you are also simultaneously demanding more traction from that wheel. So the "fast guys" may describe their sensations of loading the front to get more front traction, but they are not describing the reason for trail braking, they're only describing why the trail braking is possible - trail braking hugely increases traction demand at the front which is possible partly because the braking itself increases the traction available at the front. But all would agree I think that the 2nd half of the turn (or more) should be done on-throttle. So no one is suggesting that anyone should go around a whole turn on the brakes because it increases front traction, right?

Maybe you've hard the phrase "last on the brakes, first on the gas." But the thing is, being first on the gas is way more important than being last on the brakes, if you are talking about lap times. And trying too hard to be "last on the brakes" often gets in the way of being first on the gas. So you can see why, for all except the very top level or riders it may be of much more benefit to focus more on the getting on the gas sooner rather than pushing the braking.

And it may be possible to go faster by trail braking up to the middle of the turn, but - based on the common theme that seems to come out of that long trail braking thread you mentioned - only if you do it extremely well. Furthermore, by trail braking you will be spending a larger amount of time in a less stable off-throttle condition, where you are more likely to lose the front.

When you had these front end slides, where you on-throttle or off-throttle? Usually it happens when off-throttle. So if you are really looking to understand why you lost the front, I would really be looking at what you were doing with the throttle at the time. My only crash at the track involved losing the front end during heavy rain. I was off-throttle and I normally would have been on-throttle already by that point of the turn.

If you were supporting yourself on the inside bar due to being tired or not focused, and then ya started hitting bumps at the same time, ya could easily end up essentially introducing all kinds of inadvertent steering inputs, cos you'd end up pushing more and less on the bar as you hit the bumps and your weight on the bar bounced up and down and thus pushing the inside bar forward (which is a countersteer that will cause more lean angle). I've had the problem before, for me it just caused a lot of wiggling and swaying feeling, which reminded me of the mistake I was making.

Off-throttle tends toward front end slides, too much on-throttle tends toward rear end slides, somewhere in the middle, with slight steady throttle roll-on, is that perfect balance between front and rear traction, and to my mind the idea is to be in that range as long as possible for maximum cornering speed, but... that also has to be balanced against the advantages of later braking and a hard drive out of the corner and a shorter line.
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:23 AM   #2
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And one other well written snippet...

OK, how to put this back on the straight and narrow....? Well, what I was trying to get you to understand is that the correct line is not actually defined by brakes, entry speed, or 60/40, it's actually definied entirely by throttle control. 60/40 is a consqequence of good throttle control and there are other benefits for sure. The reality of riding a bike is that we do not come immediately back to throttle in the early part of the turn, the first part of a turn is typically dictated by a person's ability to able to turn the bike as well as other factors, and regardless of whether you trail brake or not, you're still not in 60/40, so a low side is still possible whether your on the brakes or not, certainly in the wet its very real.

So whilst many people would and should come of the brakes/gas in a straight line before you turn, there is an opportunity to brake past this point whilst turning the bike, and of a consequence you can definitely carry more speed upto the point where you can get back to the correct throttle control. Do i reccomend it to my students whilst I'm coaching at CSS? No, Would I suggest it's a good thing for most riders wanting to improve? Definitely not? But the fact of that matter is that if you race, and push hard and want to win, it's a neccesity as their is 1/10's of seconds (many meters to be made). Sure it's a fine balance, though it's normally not the loading of the tyre where the issues happen, it's when the pressure of the brakes are released and suspension extends again that normally the problems arise.
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:37 AM   #3
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somewhere between your first post and second post I had a flashback to my lowside at MSRH last year when I lost the front. I was def on the brakes (should have been on the gas) and hit some bumps as I released the brakjes the front end bottomed out and away she went! Good post! Although I can not say I learned much.LOL
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:55 AM   #4
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This hearkens back to my post here: where I talk about chatter and warning signs for losing traction/ potential low-side conditions at pace. Some things that warrant mentioning are the signs and feedback your equipment (namely tires) give you as you're reaching the tractable limits (the Bridgestone 003PRO tire is a great tire for feedback BTW...).

I'm probably guilty of being a subscriber to the Code method- goes along with reading his books and attending the school (albeit years ago).

I ride the front tire at the track, I think I always have, and the above comments are reminiscent of some crashes I've had and warning signs I've consciously or subconsciously learned over the years.

There is a lot of good information on Code's forum for riding tips, there is also a lot of redundant BS too. Curt, it looks like you've successfully sifted through the redundant BS to find some useful information!
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:01 AM   #5
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very interesting reading! thanks a lot for sharing curt!
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:39 PM   #6
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Good read. Thanks.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:16 PM   #7
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Great read Curt, thanks for posting.
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