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Riding better but going slower? (kinda long)

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by paul_b, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. Over the last few months I have been much happier to hang off the bike alot more, to the point where, if I was on a sportbike I would probably be comfortable getting my knee down. Alas there are many things that would touch the ground before my knee on the hornet, and the leg position is not really as conducive to it.

    So, on my favorite stretch of road from a year ago to now, how can I possibly be going a considerable amount slower than I was for the same sort of input? Just to put it in perspective, it would be the equivatent of about 15sec a lap at the island!! WTF??? I'm not measuring it over a short stretch of road either, so things should average out a little.

    Just to qualify, I'm not out to set times or anything, but if I hadn't done this exercise, I would be left thinking I was becoming a better rider and the opposite would be true.

    I've come up with a couple of scenarios....

    1. Riding style is better but I'm not yet comfortable going as fast while hanging off the bike.

    2. Riding style sucks ass.....

    3. I am a big pansy compared to what I used to be (doesn't feel like this one)

    4. I am going so fast that I am actually warping time and this is affecting the stop watch. (nor this one :LOL: )

    Any ideas???


  2. Hi,

    Having seen you ride i would place option 2 as odds on favourite closely followed by option 3!

  3. I would say option 2. :grin:

    Seriously though you said that you have started hanging off the bike and are going slower now then you were before. I takes a while to refine a new riding technique so I would say give it time and if you new style is actually better than your old one (just because you are hanging off doesn't mean it is better or faster), then you will naturally surpase where you old style.
  4. I would say its all to do with your confidence as your not as confident as before now you are hanging off the bike.

    Maybe your timing was off.

    Try this, time yourself how you ride now and then time yourself how you used to ride.
  5. I'm going through the same thing at the moment Paul, I'm pretty sure its option one - I used to have wear at the edge of my tyres and scrape the kickstand and centrestand constantly, but now that I've gotten much better at leaning off, tyres are less worn at the edges and I scrape very very rarely.. BUT my speeds seem to be the sameish as before, and sometimes slower..

    I suspect its (1) for me.. I'm thinking as I get more confidence with my new style of riding I'll become faster - with the way I used to ride there wasn't any room to progress as I was scraping too much, but leaning off has given alot more room for improvement. Hope that helps.
  6. I do notice that occasionally the bike does feel a bit nervous if its a bit bumpy and you get you have ones butt off side of the seat.

    Another potential problem is that I feel once in the more 'hanging off' position, you are pretty much commited to the corner. Not much room for a change of direction midcorner....... probably best left for corners where there is a full view thru to the exit.

    I am definitely not leaning the bike as far, a bit of a chicken strip has appeared. :evil: :evil: But then i am going slower so one would expect that.

  7. Hey Paul, as you know I have got the same bike and I have come off riding cruisers.

    I am starting to hang off the sides a bit and it feels fine. I don't hang off very far and not for every bend, just when and where I feel like it.
    I am not the racing kinda guy and like to enter slow and accelerate out.

    In other words I only ever ride for me!!!!

    I have my chicken strips and wear them proudly :LOL: :LOL: and really don't care if I scape or not.

    I am not as fast as some (P plater on a LAMS bike that wont be named here, hey Yak..........BTW how does a LAMS bike travel 200km/h+ :shock: ) but I travel at a good pace that I am comfortable with at 80% in corners.

    I am sure it will all come together.
  8. If you are trying to hang too far off the bike, you are likely to go slower...
    And hanging off the bike does'nt automatically mean that you will get faster...

    The road to higher average speeds is found in smooth, fluid control....with THAT, you will be able to maintain a higher overall rate of speed.
    Good riders at a good pace, tend not to use alot of brake, since they are better able to carry their speed through the turns.
    (Assuming the bike is up to the task)

    Go back to the start...do a ride sitting normally, then another while shifted inside the bike just half an ar*e-cheek, and transition your upper body across to match..
    Try a run in that position...see how it feels, and how it effects things.

    Alternatively...there may be specific corners where you need to adjust your riding position alittle more or less...overall you might be doing ok, but a few speciifc corners might be your downfall with the style adjustments you've made.

    When you really nail a corner, it feels very very good...aim to string them together...ie...if you have some favourites on your 'run'...work on those corners in between them, so you can get your 'flow' going properly.

    Just a few thoughts...
  9. I think it's option 1, possibly a little of 2. When you change your riding style dramatically (well, I did when I first started getting off the bike) you -should- be going slower anyway. After a while, you'll fill that gap and be smoother, and faster. If possible, get somebody who knows what they're doing to check out your body positioning.

    :LOL: It's the colour Jeff.
  10. Maybe you've become better at recognising where and when you should slow down...

    Don't sweat it, speed goes up and down day by day depending on everything from how dehydrated you are to how much air happens to be in the tyres to how windy or rainy it's been. Concentrate on being smooth, having good vision and scaring yourself as little as possible... And ride as much as you can.
  11. Thanks for the input guys. I try to be a smooth as possible because as we all know getting a bit jerky usually means you are going too fast.

    Although I am much more comfortable riding in the tighter stuff as opposed to the higher speed corners, I find it is very hard to get corner speed up due to inability to see round the corners and a relative lack of stability at slower speeds. Maybe I need to ride some more open stuff more often. Also feel like I have an inbuilt tilt sensor that doesn't allow one to lean over any further! :LOL: Somthing to work on at a track day maybe.

    I think this is as much the key as anything. I remember what I felt like after a week in Tassie...... \:D/

  12. Indeed Paul...a track day, or Superbike school would definitely help to get the tilt meter working. :grin:
    In my own case...it took a little while to get comfortable with anything past 45deg, so don't swet it...work up to it slowly, mate.