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FIRST POST!!!



Okay, so what about us poor schmucks who can't afford to go to such schools or attend track days. Is there any way for use broke MOFOs to get faster? Of course, I ride a Ninja 250, so going really fast isn't happening, but I know I should be able to go faster and safer than I do.



That being said, I think you hit on it when you talked about cornering. I was thinking about picking up a book or two (maybe one of those Keith Code books that I keep hearing about). True, reading about how to take a corner and actually taking one are very different animals, but I'm sure it can't hurt.



Sometimes I have problems with countersteering. Especially at downhill left hand turns from a stop light. But I'm concious of it and am working on it. I've kind of developed a bad habit of steering in at times instead of countersteering. I think a lot of it has to do with confidence. The Ninja 250 has crap for suspension and I'm a heavy MOFO (230 lbs), so maybe that has something to do with it.



I really love riding my bike, but I'm still not confident enough to take it into the mountains or canyons. I've been dreaming of the day I can take a fast ride through Sunset to PCH and over through Malibu Canyon, but as things stand, I can't put a knee down, and even scraping my pegs is a rarity. I know on those roads that I mentioned, even the cagers sometimes go pretty fast, so I'd hate to be keeping up traffic especially when I'm on a Motorcycle.



I live behind Mt. Sac JC, where they teach an MSF course (where I learned), and they have a nice big parking lot. Unfortunately, everytime I've gone there on weekends to use the area where they teach the MSF during the week, I'm always chased out by the security patrol. I even offered to sign a release absolving Mt. Sac of any and all responsibility should I have an accident in their lot, but they still refused. God damn this liability bull crud.



Anyhoo, I sympathize with your desire to go faster, and am impressed that someone who has been riding as long as you have is willing to ask for more help. I'm still a newbie, but I'd like to say that you provide a good example of how to keep one's head.



Good luck and keep the rubber side down!
 

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Take Sean's advice

I think Sean has the best advice:

I read Code's frist book (second one is supposed to be better). Maybe the videos would be better but somehow I doubt it. I didn't get a whole lot out of it I think you have to go to school to make drastic improvements. My summer vacation is planned out Vacation at Freddie in Vegas then a trip to the Canyon, down to rich uncle in Tempe, over to rich LA law cousin in Orange County, up to a friend in SF (I think he is the last straight guy in the city), back to Seattle.

I am sure I can beat all of the three stooges (longride, Budglyd, and Serasuzy) on equally prepared Buell Blasts. However, the only way I can get to the next level is some track education and some track days. Sean's the man on this one

I found the same thing to be true in skiing. I was stuck intermediate land for a long time until I took some expert lessons.. It is amazing how many bad habits you have when you are "self taught".
 

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1st study Keith Codes Cornering II book, buy a race suit, gloves, boots, helmet and back protector along with a set of track/street tires. Everything, except the helmet, can be bought off e-bay for about a third of the price of new. Now attend any Track school; best you can afford. After completing a track school do a few track days and go to a few club level races, which will show that even at the club level there is a big difference in speed. All this does not have to cost as much as you would think and plus it will be the best money you ever spent.
 

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Re: Take Sean's advice

Could you beat them in a race, simply because a B-Last won't rev to 9,000Rpm?
 

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Brother Caveman makes an excellent point.

Read, take classes, or go to a track day because the input you get from professional fast guys will be of better quality and applicability than that of the well-intentioned. Going fast on the street is a risky business. You're exhibiting profound common sense. Never do anything that contradicts your inner voice in this regard. The fast guys in the canyons may be playing the odds. As long as there are no gravel spills in the corners or vehicles pulling out of blind driveways, they're first to the next stop sign. Fast for clear and dry pavement is no big deal. The same speed would be inappropriate when there's a surprise around the next curve and the margin of safety becomes slim to none. Also try stickier tires and adjusting your suspension. If the desire takes you, get a sportbike. Lots of factors can affect your confidence. Take your time and experiment. Best of luck, Ren. I like your style.
 

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Re: Brother Caveman makes an excellent point.

"The fast guys in the canyons may be playing the odds. As long as there are no gravel spills in the corners or vehicles pulling out of blind driveways, they're first to the next stop sign.'"

Amen. One of the things I do is go out on road slow to warm up and check road conditions. I come back on the same road faster but that is no gurantee some farmer won't pull out of his land on some tractor.
 

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Maybe an inexpensive and lighter bike would also play party to increasing your skill as a rider? having a better, more precise feel for what's happening under you might be more of an aid than you first realize :)



SV650's are the low-weight leader, and from all accounts are a great skill-up ride.



my $.02 :)
 

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Sean's right - It is all about the rider. But I wouldn't want to experiment on a 500lb++ bmw. I'd rather do my tests on a much cheaper, lighter bike (Anyone mentioned a used sv650?).

Dirt riding is also a great way to work on cornering skills, though the technique is somewhat different.

I've done a 2 day advanced riding course, and it has made my riding faster AND safer! you actually learn how to break, how to corner, and how to survive.

Long story short - get a cheap, used bike, spring for a nice course, and practice A LOT!

find a big, empty parking lot, and practice there (This is what we done). Mark a 'track' or a slalom with some half tennis balls, and start practicing.

It'll be fun AND cheap.



 

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That's funny. I learned to drive a car in the Mt SAC parking lot. But security never bothered me. must have been the non-threatening VW micro bus...



As for the original question, I have the same challenge. I been riding for almost 20 years. But most of that time has been spent commuting. It wasn't until recently that I started riding for pleasure. And not too long after that I discovered all these wonderful canyon & mountain roads in Malibu and North of Los Angeles.

I usually ride alone. But occasionally I'll take a trip with a couple of freinds who are 15-20 years my senior. They generally have to wait for me catch up. It bothers me, to some degree, that I am not faster. But I am not about to use Angeles Crest as a place to experiment with advanced riding techniques.

I would like to take an advanced riding course. But the idea of going all the way up to Willow and spending that much money is a deterent. I don't want to race, I just want to corner better. I wish I could just go up to Dodger Stadium on the weekends and practice cornering in the parking lot.

 

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Ride More

My first question is, how often do you ride? I find that even missing a few days of riding can bring down my skills. By riding every day at least 50 miles or more in addition to many of the suggestions above your skills should improve over times. I have seen fellow riders who ride weekend only and it shows.
 

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Speaking of getting a dirt bike to improve your riding. I just traded the snow-machine for a CR 250. I've been riding on the street for about 7 years, and do a fair amount of mountain biking. Anybody know of any "Keith Code's" of the Dirt????



Thanks! Andy
 
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