Found it here..
great BBS from Keith Code
This is really long.
Here is something for you to think about. It’s not heavy technical stuff but it is good advice on how to conduct some light self-coaching when you go to track days.
How would it feel if you had all the cornering skills, bike feel and personal focus needed to ride at pro-level lap times around a track? Highly entertaining wouldn’t you say? What cornering enthusiast wouldn’t want or hasn’t fantasized about experiencing that level of riding? Haven’t you ever?
The recent proliferation of track days have given us the opportunity to test ourselves. On the way to the track; everyone wants to go fast, everyone wants to get their knee down; no one wants to get passed and all non-superstar-mortals have the same nagging questions (on some plane of awareness) about lean angle, acceleration, tire traction, braking, turning and speed.
Feeling completely comfortable with the limits of each would be the fantasy come to life.
The problem is: without the library of sensations a talented pro possesses , gleaned from vast experience, these aspects of riding become black holes for our attention. But the question still lingers--How do you “safely” find these limits and maybe more importantly, do you need to in order to go fast?
Get off the podium at Laguna for a minute and put yourself in your own leathers and realize that without serious dedication, a history of fast riding or racing plus hitting the lottery and getting support from family and friend’s, the fantasy ain’t going to happen.
Riding at the edge means living on the edge. On the positive side that means your skills are so good you literally don’t think about them, you actually can think with them. Make sure you get this point. Thinking about your turn entry speeds, throttle control, braking and steering, traction limits and lines is different than thinking with them. Huge difference here friends.
Live With It
The current level at which you are riding is what it is. It can improve, yes. Will it improve 10% in one day? It is very possible. Will it improve 10% from one lap to the next? Highly unlikely, at least not safely.
Note: Take a track where a good lap is 1:30, a 10% improvement from a 2:00 lap time would be 12 seconds, that has been done before in one day by many. But now that you are running 1:48 how much improvement can you expect? 10% again the next time at the track? Hmmmmm. 5% would be 5.4 seconds and that would be a great day indeed. Simple point–the percentages become much smaller the faster you go. The main thing to remember is that the barriers which hold you back don’t change.
Rapid Route to Improvement
On the bike, at a track, you can and should work to improve your confidence base. You can do this economically or you can do it the expensive way. The cheap way is to go to school. The expensive way is to use track time to practice your mistakes and hope they will self-correct or that they’ll get to the point where you can “live with them”.
Are riding schools too expensive? Do the math. How many track days would it take to gain the same level of skill you will experience from getting professional training?
Get Really Real
Look over your track day lap times. How quickly can you lap without making any of your usual errors? At some speed you could do this, right? Let’s call this a perfect lap and the goal is simply no errors. In this riding mode, you don’t even bother to ask yourself about the bike’s limits, you aren’t trying to find the edge of traction or acceleration or braking, etc.
Any rider knows he or she could do this. You’d just go around with no frenzied attention on anything in particular. You’d feel secure with the traction, braking, lean angle, turn entry speeds and so on. You’d set yourself an enthusiastic pace that was a no load deal, just quick enough to keep you fully awake and interested.
In this mode, making basic throttle control errors for example, would tell you right away you were going too fast, you were out of your skill range in that turn or with that technical point. If you found yourself uncomfortable on the bike in quick flick sections, same thing, you went past your own ability.
Attention On The Controls
Those errors are examples of thinking ABOUT the controls not WITH the controls. That’s what happens when your basics go out. Your attention goes disproportionately onto the bike and how it is responding. Can you think of a time when this happened to you?
A positive indication that you are out of your range is the negative moment when your survival instincts, Survival Reactions (SRs), kick in. The moment you go tense, the moment you target fix, the moment your right wrist backs off the gas unnecessarily, the moment you twist around on the bike or stab at the brakes, the moment you make unneeded steering corrections. The moment you hesitate. You know exactly what I am talking about.
Any of these tell you you are out of your skill range. We have SR’s and we know they are real. Use them as a guide. Your basics are the first thing to suffer once the SR’s kick in.
In Range/Out of Range
Forcing yourself to test your SR limits can also be a learning experience. One of our instructors told me he was able to follow the really fast guys at his club racing events for about two laps by doing exactly what they did at the speed that they were doing it–for about two laps.
At that point the mental drain became so intense he had to back off. I’m not telling you to do this, it is very adventurous, it is probably dangerous but his basics are good enough to allow him to get the experience of that next level of riding. For two laps.
This brave exercise would only be possible for someone who was able to think WITH the controls and would be impossible for anyone who was having to think ABOUT them. Do you see this? This might be a lot of things but it is not his perfect lap.
Keep It Simple
Striving to ride the perfect lap is also an interesting exercise because it more or less forces you to go for a defined result. It is the mode that allows you to focus and ride at the very best your true skill level permits. Your actual skill level not the fantasy one.
The SR’s you run into, as above, can be handled in several ways on your route to your perfect lap. By the way, I think I know what your ultimate perfect lap might be–no errors and fast, knee down and looking fast as well as being fast. In other words–FAST.
Anyhow, the point is this, if you can educate yourself and are one of the rare few who can overcome your errors by reading or watching others ride that is great. If you are like most riders, plagued with the same old problems, my advice is this: Get your basics in and don’t target the “advanced” skills or off beat ones like sliding the back end going into turns–go for solid ground, go towards a stable foundation for your riding. That will inevitably be the basics, I guarantee it.
Anyone who knows my work also knows I have coached some of the best riders in the world: some at the beginnings of their careers, some in the middle of them and some who had already won world championships. Honest kids, their problems are solved by addressing the basics, the same as you. Don’t let anyone tell you different. It is never the fancy riding techniques, it is always the simple basics–applied at a different, higher level than yours or mine–but still basics.
Basics are not slow, basics are not fast, basics aren’t the Keith Code method or anyone else’s, they simply are what they are. The good news is that basics do open the door to thinking WITH the controls; the speed; the lean angle; the traction limits of braking, cornering and acceleration.
Valentino Rossi’s advice to Nicky Hayden this year was: knock of the fancy riding and stick to the basics. Simple and look what happened with Nicky’s riding towards the end of the season.
Is it easy to get the basics in? Is there one technical point or technique that solves these things? Not a chance friends, it takes some time, some focus, some correct information and some great coaching from someone who knows what they are looking for. We’re here (for you) to coach and help to find your perfect lap.
I hope some of you got the message here. Of course we want you to come to school, that is our business, but when you go to a track day, find out what your “perfect lap” really is, that is your base line, then go from there. When you hit that big mushy wall of your skills barrier, don’t just sit and hope it will go away, go to school. You should be picky about a school but, in the end, any school is better than no school at all.
Oh ya, remember to keep it fun,