1) Why track riding can improve your street riding? 2) The 5 fundamentals of being a better Track Rider. 3) Excellence in Motion – Habits for being a better rider on and off the bike.
A huge gap exists in instruction – No training exists between initial Motorcycle Safety course and Track time. (riders aren’t aware they can practice skills on on Track Days Level 1 or take one of many Schools.) Most riders falsely believe that all tracks are for racing only so they are literally scared away – we need to encourage all newer riders! Explain tracks are actually Road Courses that are used for Riding Instruction AND Racing.
– Street Rules: #1 Anticipate that everything is trying to kill you, keep scanning. #2 Don’t be a dumbass on the street. – Ken rides ANY bike with the same exact techniques (fundamentals) it’s only their application that changes from bike to bike (weight, power, controls, steering geometry, etc change braking distance/throttle roll-on etc.)
– Cornering: leave yourself room to remove lean angle (stay on inside line – don’t take corners too wide) (I’ve read 85% of all cycle accidents are single-rider caused and not other motorists – vast majority are attempting corners at too high speed) – Always braking OR accelerating – Bad acceleration is always a result of bad braking & vision. – Remove lean angle & Accelerate as soon as you identify the corner’s exit. Then work backwards – applying max braking up to that spot in the turn – Braking is the key and the first 5% and last 5% of brake pressure is the most important. Don’t stab brakes. Preload bikes weight, suspension & tire bite with smooth initial pressure. Once initial bite happens you can apply pressure much harder. – FIRST 5%: Practice light brake pressure and being to able to roll bike back and forth at same time (that ) – Fastest way around a track? Any line that let’s you ride wide open throttle (WOT) the most amount of time. – Brake only until bike is “Slowed & Pointed” then accelerate. – Trail Braking can use front & rear brakes (or front only) – SLOW Corners: Counter Steering used primarily at slower speeds (pressing bar on cornering side to achieve lean angle) – FAST Corners: Braking & body position
What’s first: Bike placement on entry (reference point), vision & focus (don’t be reactive), motor controls (always first/last 5%), turn-in rate & turn-in point (adjust to corner), Body Position & body timing (never enter brake zone in middle of seat!)
– TWO-UP RIDING MADE EASY: *Ride safer & smarter than any other time you ride! *You have taken another’s life in your hands. *Tell passenger to stay put in the seat and don’t lean. *Simply have them look the same direction the rider is looking through the corner. *Explain & Tap the passengers leg if you want them to squeeze their legs for hard braking or acceleration. *If they can reach around you have them brace their hands together on the tank. *Remember to increase braking distances due to increased weighting (your corner tip-in will be more dramatic too with extra top-heavy weight.)
– VISION practice: always scanning for threats, looking through corners, keeps eyes up not down to better anticipate! – RE-FOCUS practice: use a trigger word to keep yourself focused (completely engaged) when your mind wanders (Ken says the word “eyes” to himself.) – Emotional vs Technique Riding. Some get nervous, anxious, or don’t feel positive about the ride or race. Don’t let yourself get emotional, really focus on bettering a technique instead (keep your mind busy and proactive on improving.) Ken has crashed race in morning and won race later the same day. – Use report cards on yourself, analyze what you can do better on. Work on weaknesses. Even .02 seconds lost between a non-seamless corner entry & exit can add up to many seconds in a race. Excellence in technique applies to any field (Ken’s friends) – From former SEAL and top world tactical trainer. There are no secret techniques, just excellent fundamentals – he still practices dry fires 30+ times before actual shooting. – From Top Gun Fighter Pilot. For every 1 hour of flight time there are 2 hours pre-flight prep and 3 hours of detailed debrief that’s where the real learning happens! There are so few actual Carrier landings that they practice thousands of simulated landing over the desert first. (Mental visualization first, actual practice, debrief.)
Darren’s “Doing List” * Get my eyes up more through corners * Start using my knees and grip the damn tank! Reduces arm pump and let’s me use finer bar control * Ask racers how to improve my worst corners (gear, entry, apex, exit) – Spend a few minutes Visualizing Pre-Ride (what to work on?) – Identify corner exits better – Brake later in corners – Keep a tighter line – give myself more room to increase lean angle (especially on street)