I've been doing a lot of reading and research on how to make myself a better rider, on and off the track. I'm 25 and have been riding for 4 years now. i am not a seasonal rider, i ride all year round and have a ton of learning to still do on better technique. Thought it would be cool to post up what techniques i'm working on and to hear what you guys are doing to improve yourselves.
I guess i should start off by giving some important works for newer guys to check out.
First off check out all of Keith Code's books and DVD's. Twist of the wrist is one of the best works for the new rider. Keith is well known in the motorcycle world for being one of the best riding instructors. He's the founder of the now famous California Superbike School and also has another school Code R.A.C.E. geared to the track. Brilliant man.
Another good source is Nick Ienatsch and his book Sport Riding Techniques.
Many of the Same techniques as Kieth Code but this book helps explain a few things a bit more clear and provides some good pictures. If any of you have this book, the RC51 Nick is riding throughout the book is my RC. It used to be his personal bike.....and i still have his race fairings he gave with the bike when he sold it.
Now on to what i've been practicing.
, i find myself often sliding to close to the tank and have been making a point to keep that perfect distance to keep from locking out my arms and keeping my arms nice and relaxed. Also been working on body movement on the seat.....maintaining a lower center of gravity in the seat by sliding my butt across the seat rather then lifting my weight off the seat to the side i am leaning. That alone has made a huge difference for me. you can really feel how your body weight effects the bikes traction and stability.
, using front and rear and different pressures to control weight shift and trying to control load on the front suspension while maintaining traction on the rear.For new riders, first find an empty parking lot and practice smoothly braking (first from a slower speed then from normal cruising speed. provide yourself with plenty of open space and "runoff" room). learn to feel the point where your brakes lock up and lose traction so that you can recognise when this is happening in a real situation and will be able to correct it.
I've also found i use the rear brake far more then i should and sometimes don't use the front brake to its full potential. Been trying to incorporate more front brake (70 percent of braking power is from the front brake) and smoothing out my brake pressure both on the front and rear to come to a quick stop without losing control of the bike and avoiding locking up the rear.
-Proper downshifts, blips, and two finger front brake/throttle control
. Not to hard but takes sometime getting used to. Many riders mistakenly use engine braking which causes clutch plate and engine components to wear. Blipping the throttle on downshifts is essential for bikes without a slipper clutch. matching the engine speed to the gear and wheel speed is super important and will smooth out shifts, eliminate that forward lurch from an improper downshift and reduce load on the front forks before a turn,and eliminate rear wheel snake.
I've also been trying to better calculate my downshifts....i've noticed many times i've downshifted more gears then necessary and have taken corners in 2nd gear when it was really better suited for 3rd or even 4th gear (long sweeping turn) then forcing me to shift while in the turn. Probably the biggest learning point for me this weekend was the two finger brake throttle control while downshifting and braking. I have smaller hands so its not very comfortable for me even with levers adjusted close....could be my gloves too, they need to be broken in a bit more. Controlling both at the same time is not hard but is going to require some practice. I think it is imperative as it improves your reaction time in emergency situations and provides immediate braking and throttle control without moving your hands from one to the other.
Well, hope this helps newer forum riders and maybe opens up some minds to learn better motorcyle control and techniques that will increase your reaction time and skill in those "OH SHIT" scenarios . would love to hear others techniques, experiences, and to hear what you guys are working on to improve your riding technique.