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atomicalex
06-03-2012, 02:04 AM
I'm putting this here because it appears to be an advanced technique, based on Buggs' ARC report.

I have the opportunity to explore turning at speed over here, and I've been working on maintaining body position to stabilize my lean angle through the turn. Basically, getting my head and back lined up "properly", keeping my arms loose, maintaining steering pressure as my lean changes through the turn, etc. I say "properly" because aside from watching MotoGP and reading whatever I can get my hands on, I don't have a solid model on where exactly to be. I've made two attempts at moving my butt around and decided that that has to wait, probably quite a while. It's way too much for me to do right now and results in a huge mess of a turn. :loser:

When I read Buggs' description of the kissing the mirror technique, I decided to give it a try and see if it would work for me, too. Well....

How interesting. What a freaking cool idea. It seems to be an extension of what I've been trying, and instead of me just thinking "well, this seems like a good place to line up", it gives clear guidance on where to place your back/head and how to position your arms. But, there's more to it than that....

When you lean into the right mirror for a right turn, you do two interesting things. The first is that the motion of leaning into the mirror induces a natural countersteering pressure on the bars. The second is that tucking the elbow forces the throttle wrist to align with the throttle and twist down slightly, basically doing rule 1 for you. This works on turning left, too. You induce the countersteering pressure, and the throttle is naturally rolled on gently by the lean forward. In both cases, the head stay up, facing the exit and looking far ahead, because that is the only way to see around the mirror. The physics works! :hyper:

I would really like to find the person who crystallized this concept and give them some flowers. This is fixing a lot of crap for me. Even when I do not fully lean forward into the mirror, I have a much more focused body position and my head stays up far more effectively. Most importantly, my turns at almost any speed are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay smoother.

That is all. :) Oh, and I'm really happy she posted that in advance of my planned track day.

mz33
06-03-2012, 08:39 AM
Can you squeeze in an ARC while you are here?

WoodstockJeff
06-03-2012, 09:00 AM
Have you read Lee Park's Total Control yet?

Lee lays out 10 steps to turning... some of which can be combined, but an important part is that the equivalent of the "kiss the mirror" is part of the setup for a corner, rather than something you do as you enter. So, you practice moving over while counter-steering to stay straight (bike leans out), then release the outward "go straight" press as you apply the inward "turn" press. The bike leans into the corner NOW.

It takes practice. And, surprisingly, full application of the ideas isn't strictly necessary for most street riding... people usually crash in corners because fail to apply basic techniques properly.

Kootenanny
06-03-2012, 12:13 PM
When I read Buggs' description of the kissing the mirror technique, I decided to give it a try and see if it would work for me, too. Well....

How interesting. What a freaking cool idea. It seems to be an extension of what I've been trying, and instead of me just thinking "well, this seems like a good place to line up", it gives clear guidance on where to place your back/head and how to position your arms. But, there's more to it than that....
Ya know, in many sports there are little "tidbits" like this that seem simple on the surface, but bring together a whole bunch of stuff into a concise whole which just works, and often causes an "Aha!" moment. I've used similar in teaching both whitewater paddling and telemark skiing.

I'm gonna try to "kiss the mirror" the next time I'm out on the Buell! :-)

atomicalex
06-03-2012, 01:09 PM
MZ, I'm not ready for an ARC. I have too much basic stuff to work on, I think. I mean, it would be useful, for sure, but I want a full season under me before I try to top out on MSF training!

I've read Lee Parks, and I will go back to it now. The 10 steps is probably what got me - I can remember 5 at most. I'm the chick who has the SRs and the Keith Code rules printed out, laminated, and taped to the "tank". :dork: What I will do is try to map this onto the Lee Parks guidelines and work with them more. Like Koot said - it's that "aha!" moment. I've been able to demonstrate it to myself, so now I can move ahead.

And it's not like my turns were crappy 50-pencers, I was able to hold my steering angle, look up, etc. I was missing a piece that would help it flow better. This gives me some flow.

I struggle with posture in general: As a former swimmer, I never learned to sit up straight. This plays absolute havoc with my riding. I can tell when I am tired or fussy, because I slouch and then I lose precision. Having a posture guide that is so clear like this one is a big deal for me personally. It's like when I figured out that I was struggling with the big bike in lessons because I was slouching. I needed some clarity about the where and why.

Kootenanny
06-03-2012, 01:31 PM
...I was able to hold my steering angle, look up, etc. I was missing a piece that would help it flow better.
This is exactly it: a single, simple thing to think about that causes you to do lots of "right things" together. You already have the skills, you can do the "right things"--it's thinking of them all at the same time that's hard. So, a tip like this provides a mental trick that brings everything together.

LoDownSinner
06-03-2012, 01:59 PM
A key piece of this is using your legs to move around on the bike. If moving your upper body causes you to put more pressure on the bars, you need to re-examine your technique.

guitardad
06-03-2012, 02:19 PM
A lot of folks try the "slide the butt off" technique, but end up leaning their uppper body the opposite direction without even realizing they're doing it. The result is very little change in the lean angle of the bike, but a lot of futzing about that just upsets the bike. Racers not only slide in the seat, but moe their upper bodies even further inside the turn. It's just more comfortable for us civilians to stay solid in the seat but move the upper body. Whether it's "kiss the mirror" or "Chin Over Wrist - the COW position," the result is a dfference in the c.o.g. you can really feel.

mz33
06-03-2012, 08:59 PM
MZ, I'm not ready for an ARC. I have too much basic stuff to work on, I think. I mean, it would be useful, for sure, but I want a full season under me before I try to top out on MSF training!

I've read Lee Parks, and I will go back to it now.

I think you'd be surprised. For one thing, Lee Parks is more advanced than the ARC: he teaches you to get your butt off the seat. The ARC, like all MSF courses, stresses that you do the exercises to your comfort level. We spent the first half of the range portion on emergency braking and swerving. The second half we spent more on curves and turns, and what to do on a decreasing radius turn. We were encouraged to experiment with both the lean-with-bike and kiss-the-mirror techniques for each maneuver, to see what worked best with what, and to start using the brakes throughout the turn, not just before the turn.

For you of course, I forgot about one little thing: you have to bring your own bike. Also, do you have an endorsement on your US license?

atomicalex
06-04-2012, 02:01 AM
A key piece of this is using your legs to move around on the bike. If moving your upper body causes you to put more pressure on the bars, you need to re-examine your technique.
... leaning their uppper body the opposite direction without even realizing they're doing it .....Klar, na? :) I realized that and gave up for a while. I can't imagine how I looked. I imagine it was bad... That's why I stopped trying to do it - I understood that the bike would lean out, but I was going into SR mode and forgeting that it was *supposed* to lean out. Hence trying something simpler. As far as the legs go, I'm getting a lot more confident about using them, practicing standing up and so forth. This is one of my transition issues - there are still times where I am expecting a harness to restrain me and there is no harness on a bike. The freedom to use my whole body to control the bike is not fully ingrained into me yet. The flat-out biggest issue that I have is that my brain has all of this track language and stuff in it from cars, and it is beyond where my body is on the bike. I am playing a physical game of catch-up. Giving myself tools to keep the transition progressing is very important.

I have to get my US endorsement - should be relatively simple and I plan to look into it while I am in the US in two weeks. But yeah, I do not have a bike in the US yet! I think I could borrow one, but that would defeat the purpose, I think. Or, I could hit up the BMW dealer and just rent the same one I have here. The way you describe the ARC makes it sound like a good fit for me, actually. Those are the harder exercises from my group of compulsories. :) It would be good to get more range practice in under a coach. I am only doing corner carving now with my instructor here. He just wants to ride, not goof off in the parking lot - that is too much like work. Can't blame him for that.

One thing I was thinking was to do the BRC anyway when I get home, and then a few months later to pick up an ARC. And definitely try to get some dirt courses in, which are unheard of here in Germany. One of the reasons I do so many car track days is that it keeps me sharp and it's really the only way to improve your cage skills. I can feel myself slacking a bit when I head down to the Nürburgring - I'm making too much tyre noise. That is wasted traction!