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Racing Skill

3873 Views 52 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  n/a
To try and improve my lap times I sit with my eyes closed with a stop watch and run a lap through my mind. Remember to extract all the divets in the track,that one little something that you zone in on when you turn it in, brake markers, apexs, etc. Try it some time, you will be amazed at how close you are to a lap on the bike.

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Freakin interesting concept there. I'll have to give that a try...seems I've heard that some pro's run laps in their head, never heard of it with the stopwatch touch though, cool idea.

People laugh but I play a LOT of motorcycle racing video games. I'm totally convinced that it helps a tremendously. It does nothing for balance or the tactil sensations of riding a bike. It does a huge amount for timing, line choice, and organizing your brake markers, accleration and shift points. No they are not same points I use in real life but it acustoms you to organizing them in your head. I get so submersed in the games that my hair stands up when I crash, it literally scares me. They've got the track maps down do the bumps, transitions and slippery paint. When I race a Laguna I carry the front, slide the rear and shift at the same points I see them doing on TV...pretty amazing.

If classroom time and personal reflection are good for your skill, a good racing simulation is even better.

Edited by - jbranson on Oct 25 2004 3:30:30 PM
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You know what I'm thinking.... I'm thinking Zack should meet up with a few of us 175 riders in the infield showers some night. We can show him how prison has rehabilitated us.
Oh Zack, really it has nothing to do with your thoughts on us 175 riders... we just think you're hot. You shoulda seen what we did to JC.

Are you serious about turn 1? There's a lot of road there, my bike probably tops out about 90 at NHIS. Not downshifting on my bike is not the same as not downshifting on the bikes you ride. I run 5th WOT to the last brake marker, go neutral throttle for a the time I exit 1 I've scrubbed off enough that I need to get back into the throttle.....power through 1a....back off a tad and downshift before tipping it into 2..back on the throttle through 2...4th gear if I do it right... have to drop to 3 thrd at the exit of 2 if I get it wrong.

I've done some work on Yannerilla's MT... I'm guessing it's about 30 lbs lighter than my 175 ( my bike weighs 210). It has a disk brake, should be a solid 26-28 hp at the wheel and Marty weighs about 140lbs to my 200 in leathers. He runs mid 1:30's, my best time is 1:35.6. I don't think the MT's have any real advantage in handling other than what the weight difference would indicate.
I think Marty is very smooth, but he doesn't push very hard. He's one of those guys that really really doesn't like to crash. Nobody likes to, but you know what I mean. Turk runs in the 1:29's on his MT.

And we can take as good as we give.... it's just you 350 riders ohhh, you're sooooo special, getting all the girls, getting the TV face time, fancy bikes to ride, big contracts. Face oppress us 200 riders, we are second class citizens. I've seen how you guys won't hang out with us.... so a few of us have been in jail, a couple are kind of gay, a few smell bad, and sometimes we touch where your bathing suit covers...doesn't make us bad guys.

PS...Zack, have you heard anything about the new Honda 4 stroke "RS" bike? 250cc 4 stroke GP bike I guess.

Edited by - jbranson on Oct 26 2004 12:44:04 AM
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Ok...make that 82-83mph (just checked my gearbox/rpm charts).
But if feels like 90 as I blow by all those stock cb350's.

Good advice in turn one...strangely enough I've found myself edging toward that very thing... last race I noticed I had put a finger on the brake coming into 1 and was back on the gas by the apex. I tend to take a highish, deep entry into 1 and try to straight line it to 1a...sorta...I've found I have a hard time getting around the 1a rumble strip if I take a low tight kinda pushes the front over to the right just as I need to be going left a bit for 1a. In other words I like to get a good start turning on the tail end of the straight cause if I don't, I lose too much speed having to wrestle it around 1a.

I think all production racers will be four stroke within five years. I'm guessing most of your experience with four strokes on track has been with vintage bikes? Modern water cooled four strokes are very forgiving of jetting, much less prone to detonation caused by hot-spots...mainly due to flat top pistons. Dual overhead cams allows very small valve angles and short, small combustion chamber, so the pistons don't have to be domed to make compression. So they end up with good even gas flow, no protruding edges on the pistons to get hot. Nice even flame propagation.
In short the four strokes will probably be considerably less trouble to tune, and less maintainence intensive. However...considerably more expensive to fix should they break. Another plus for the four strokes is you will probably see some fuel injection, all very programable, lots 'o' fun.
Don't think thumper, think kinda of a two stroke behaving four stroke, they will be high revving, kind of pipey, short stroke with little engine braking. In other words...the best of both worlds..except when you blow them up. Probably easier to ride as the powerband will be somewhat broader. Should be in the area of 40-42hp but with increased torque.

How does that brake work on the 350 Duc? Probably no real indication but following you a while in practice at Frontier I had no problem staying with you on the brakes...looked like I might have a bit more brake in fact. I've got a worked t-500 brake, what most people would call too much brake for a me a freak...but I don't believe you can have too much brake. I can do stoppies with it anyway :)
What's the Duc weigh?

Yeah...we gotta get you on a 175 so a group of us can follow you around the track. I'd be real curious what lines, etc you end up using.
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I've been working on improving my lap times by actually riding laps with my eyes closed. Other riders aren't really an issue when you can't seem them.

Learning a track. Below are lap times from Mosport this year in the 200gp race as downloaded to the computer. Every lap you learn something new.

JOHN BRANSON 8/22/2004 11:37 MOS 23 1 02:09.7
JOHN BRANSON 8/22/2004 11:39 MOS 23 2 02:05.0
JOHN BRANSON 8/22/2004 11:41 MOS 23 3 02:05.8
JOHN BRANSON 8/22/2004 11:43 MOS 23 4 02:03.8
JOHN BRANSON 8/22/2004 11:45 MOS 23 5 02:03.4
JOHN BRANSON 8/22/2004 11:47 MOS 23 6 02:02.6
JOHN BRANSON 8/22/2004 11:49 MOS 23 7 02:00.0
Zack.. I'm 185-190 without leathers. My bike is 210 lbs. So the package is probably 40 lbs lighter than you on the Duc. Yeah that could make a difference in braking. And I'm sure in practice you weren't braking particularly hard.

Don't know about other bikes, but an extra 500 rpm coming out of 12 moves my 5th gear shift point about 150 feet closer....and I'll see that same 500 rpm extra at the end of the straight in 5th...and it means quite a bit to me there.

Zack....listen to your tack.... hehe.

So there you are going through say turn 1 in 5th gear on the exit of the turn you glance down and note rpm at 10,000.

Next lap you try something a tad different, you go through turn 1 in 5th gear on the exit of the turn you glance down and note rpm at 9,800.... now you know what you just tried didn't work.

I had a problem for a while at the exit of 6, If I screwed up just the tiniest bit it would cost me a downshift on the exit. Sometimes the downshift was literally only for two seconds. After glancing at the tach a few laps I was able to tell in a split second if it would be worth it to make that downshift, or to stick it out 4th. It was literally 300-500 rpm that would make the difference.

A bit further down the track I could tell how the whole thing worked out...if I went to 5th before the treehouse it was good, after the treehouse and I screwed up.

I never watch the Tach, I'm just aware of it, just a glance... so I know when I do it right, I should be in this gear, at this rpm, at this spot. Combine that with the onboard lap timers and you find out quickly how things work. All of this is far more valuable in practice than it is in a race.... in a race my only gauge of performance is how far I am from the guy in front of me.... or the guy behind me.
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After reviewing your track video again...I think I can take you.

Both of us on RS125's... you're mine.

Ok ok... I know, in that video you aren't trying very hard.


And.... ok ok..I've had few Ultrams and maybe I'm not thinking clearly.

Edited by - jbranson on Oct 26 2004 9:34:11 PM
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Great advice, very true about the tires.

If you could get the bike as light as possible and put on some tires you are very confident with you'd see lap times come down pretty steady for about a year.

Marty Yannerilla has gone so far as to order them from the UK. I need at least three of them this winter...yuck. I got the last two from the guy in was painless that time. It's been painful in previous attempts. Coming from Canada they aren't bad if you can find a way to get them sent without have to pay the $30 in duty tax. Some people have managed to do that, some haven't (like myself).

Hopefully by next season I'll have the PVL setup for 175's figured out. I have to give Penton Imports $400 to figure out a system that will work...then I just get the part numbers off the first system and by them from Europe for half the price.
I would be curious to know the part number on the rotor, and any mounting plate.

The 175 has the exact same crankshaft taper and mounting setup as the CB350. Basically I what I need is a CB350 setup except with one stator coil and one dual outlet ignition coil.

The problem is that the various stator coils use difference numbers for windings for different applications. The stator coil used in a CB350 driving a single outlet ignition coil might not be suitable to drive the dual outlet ( lost spark) ignition coil on a 175.

I decided rather than possibly waste a few hundered ordering parts than might not work that I'd let Penton do the work and then copy what they do.
I'm hoping to be able to put together systems from European sources for about $200-250 instead of $400 from Penton. I'll let you know how it works out.
I didn't want to post this photo..cause there's guys here that know...kinda think they are good and all. But... here's a shot of me doing some of my typical hard braking at Shannonville.

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At the moment that photo was taken I had just let off the brake and the back end was coming back there.

I can believe you guys doubt me and my awesome SKILLZ.

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