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Well, I guess my thought on why I think I need to work on BP more is that I'm running rather slow times at my track - as much as 10 seconds off what the 'good' SV guys can do. So I think to myself, 'If my knee is already down but I'm this much slower than the fast guys, I must be doing something wrong,' if that makes sense to you folks.
 

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I gotcha...

Well keep in mind that BP and knee down are poor indicators of speed. What you should be looking at is how you're entering and exiting the corner. It's just as much about ENTRY and EXIT as it is mid-corner and that's what REALLY separates the quick from the fast.

Example: I ride all day behind my students who are riding quite well with good speed and are dragging their knees around the entire track, which is perfectly fine... But meanwhile, I'll be right with them the whole time but not scuff a puck once. They're working hard to lean, hang off and get low to carry their speed whereas I'm just carrying a little more into the corner, carrying just as much speed through it but working less to do it and accelerating out a little earlier. Sometimes it's my technique that allows me to carry my speed with less lean angle, sometimes it's my lines that allow me to do that. But it's not my BP.
 

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To put it bluntly: When you are 10 seconds off the pace of the fast guys, it isn't your body position holding you back. It's what's going on inside your helmet. IMO, your best bet is to tweak what you are doing while you are on the bike and how you are thinking about it. (BP being far down on the priority list)

What I would suggest is spending time with a good one on one coach who isn't hung up on body position being the key to a fast lap. Oreo comes to mind.
 

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Well, I guess my thought on why I think I need to work on BP more is that I'm running rather slow times at my track - as much as 10 seconds off what the 'good' SV guys can do. So I think to myself, 'If my knee is already down but I'm this much slower than the fast guys, I must be doing something wrong,' if that makes sense to you folks.
This below quote from earlier in the thread might have gotten overlooked by many, but it really is spot on:
Max lean angle is same for everyone, that's not where you go fast; that's the slowest point of the turn (most turns). It's how you get in and get out of the turn that makes you fast.
By getting "perfect" body position you are talking about seriously small gains in lap times (assuming you have already "good/fine/adequate" body position).

Time is lost or made into and out of corners. These people going 10 seconds faster than you probably are harder/later on the brakes, and harder/sooner on the gas. It doesn't take much, but just a few tenths of a second every corner adds up to many seconds over a lap.

Here is a great example I whipped up for a novice rider (all yellow bike, 3rd rider you see in this video) who asked me to help him out. This was on a warmup lap so obviously it's a little exaggerated but the concept holds.


In just this one corner, I made up probably 25 bike lengths (2-3 seconds). If you notice at one point in the middle of the corner we are going just about the same speed, but because I made up time on the brakes and got on the gas harder/sooner than he did I had quite a bit of gap on him.

Instructing trackdays I find this exact same thing happen - lots of guys carry really good "apex" speed, but are so soft on the brakes and gas they lose time.

Could they work on BP? Sure. But they have A LOT more gains to be had by brakes and throttle.
 

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Oreo, Tgold and Champer all all spot on.

Students often focus on body position, but in reality there is no "perfect body position" for every rider. As you get faster it changes.

One of the things that is hard for students and what often is the "jump to light speed" once they get it is the concept on not coasting to the braking zone or braking point.

If you can get a track map and start noting reference points:
Brakes
Turn-in
Apex
Exit (less critical but is good for knowing how consistent you are)

On the track the rest of the time you are often on the gas. If you want to get faster setting and using braking points is key.

The "faster" riders are on the gas to the braking point. At that point it all happens. Close throttle, initiate brake & downshifts, trail braking & turning-in, hit the apex, throttle up & out the exit.

On track the idea is to reduce coasting into the braking point.

I am NOT saying to keep it WFO until you are at the latest possible point to learn it. It takes time and practice, along with focus and using braking and turn in reference points.

Set braking markers during warm up laps first session. Work on 3-5 corners the first session. Get those down, then add more. If you find you are going too slow at the apex then move the braking point a little later.

Slow guys become faster once they stop coasting it in.
 

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Body position is a foundation to riding fast. If you don't get good (not perfect) body position from the start of track riding then when you do start to go fast it's hard to break bad habits. Body position won't make a new rider much faster, but it will give them the tools to go faster later.
 

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Body position is a foundation to riding fast. If you don't get good (not perfect) body position from the start of track riding then when you do start to go fast it's hard to break bad habits. Body position won't make a new rider much faster, but it will give them the tools to go faster later.
While I can't disagree, I think there are still MANY other aspects to riding technique that are even more important to going fast that don't get discussed NEARLY as much as body positioning, or even at all. The quick turn immediately comes to mind. I'm giving a little bit of our training secrets away for free right now, but the quick turn is probably the number one thing I work on with my students.

BP is one of those topics that gets absolutely harped on and beat to death, probably because it's easily one of the more "vain" aspects of riding and it's so plainly obvious if you're doing it "right" or doing it "wrong" (in quotations because it's different for everyone).
 

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The quick turn immediately comes to mind.
Are you talking about the quick turn as taught by Keith Code? I was under the impression that this one done in the absence of hard/deep trail braking (as Code is not a big believer in trail braking). Kind of a brake hard, then quick flick, then back on the gas kind of technique. Different than braking deep and carrying as much speed to apex as possible.
 

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Are you talking about the quick turn as taught by Keith Code? I was under the impression that this one done in the absence of hard/deep trail braking (as Code is not a big believer in trail braking). Kind of a brake hard, then quick flick, then back on the gas kind of technique. Different than braking deep and carrying as much speed to apex as possible.
It is the one when you flick you find out somebody is right under you :).
Funny how that works, you think you got fastest way around turn and somebody is passing you doing it totally different.
 

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Even when body position is discussed, the ergonomic aspect is almost always left out. We are not all built the same and we certainly don't fit on an SV the same.

How many people know that Marc Marquez uses clipons with a 14 degree down angle to hang off the way he does? Go ahead and try to buy 14 degree clipons off the shelf. You can't, yet people still want to do what Marc does on their SVs.

Most of us aren't built like the average MotoGP rider. We're a lot bigger and that means we have more influence on the bike than those pint-sized dudes when we move our weight around. Since our movements are magnified more we actually would need to be smoother than a motoGP rider (if we want to hang off like they do) in order not to upset the chassis and crash. That's a tall order for something that is not practical or necessary.
 

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I'm in CA, so that's not gonna happen...


Though I am considering traveling at some point for the YCRS school. I'm still trying to get a one-on-one day out here with Ken Hill though. He's booked solid.

Shameless plug: You could have one hell of a good time at T-hill on Sept. 2nd with Precision Trackdays. Just say'n... ;D
 

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Not only that, but my BP changes depending on WHERE I am in the corner and what the bike is doing... entry, apex and exit are all a little different. You can never really get the WHOLE picture of how someone's BP is with a snapshot.
Wait! Whut?!

I know I'm fairly new to this. I've only been through 2 days on-track with you TTD types. But I do remember both the ARC program and TTD staff hammering home the concept of setting up early and maintaining position throughout a turn. (Penguin reinforces this too, btw.) I thought the secret was to keep things smooth and keep the suspension settled; let it soak up bumps. Changing BP from entry to apex to exit sounds almost as bad as chopping the throttle or grabbing a handful of front brake.

I guess I just wasn't paying attention. :ears:
 

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Wait! Whut?!

I know I'm fairly new to this. I've only been through 2 days on-track with you TTD types. But I do remember both the ARC program and TTD staff hammering home the concept of setting up early and maintaining position throughout a turn. (Penguin reinforces this too, btw.) I thought the secret was to keep things smooth and keep the suspension settled; let it soak up bumps. Changing BP from entry to apex to exit sounds almost as bad as chopping the throttle or grabbing a handful of front brake.

I guess I just wasn't paying attention. :ears:
No, you were in 1st grade and there is no end to schooling :)
If there is one way to be on the bike how come you can't find two riders with same bd?
Schools are overrated, there is no school that will make you fast if you don't have it in your self. Talent can not be learned.
 

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Lots of things are taught as principles early on with the general expectation you'll learn what works. Early in track-riding career, I was taught to stay away from rear brake except when off-roading, but I eventually chose to start using it to advance my riding; I'd still teach new riders not to use it.
 

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Aw, Tovar, ya had me till that last line! :p

My philosophy says there's no such thing as bad instruction (well... within reason of course ;)) it just comes down to finding what instruction works best for YOU.



Colin, to answer your question, my BP only changes subtly. They're quiet changes that don't upset chassis stability but help with it. Your body is almost always in motion but the goal is to keep that motion to a minimum and avoid putting unnecessary inputs and feedback down into the bike.

On approach my focus is on braking and turn initiation (working the front end)
At apex my focus is on carving through the corner (working both tires in unison)
On exit my focus is on acceleration (working the rear)

Each phase of the corner has different requirements to get them right, often accompanied by a slightly different BP.
 

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I guess I didn't think things through all the way; no surprise there. :p

I think perhaps what I'm doing is turning in too slow and maybe too early, thus setting me on a 'wide' line to the exit, so I have to hold max lean angle longer in order to navigate the turn. A faster guy turns in more quickly and later so he dips in to the max lean angle sooner but stays there for a shorter duration of time since he's carrying that much more speed and will likely be able to accelerate out at an earlier point in the turn as well.
Thus while we may have very similar max lean angles and both be touching a puck in the turn, his entry is what is allowing him to carry more speed.

Do I have the jist of this correct?

I have been slowly working on my braking points and while I have been successful at gradually pushing them back, sometimes I slip into old habits and get on the brakes much too soon.
 
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