Few Happy after Rainy Day at Monza

Exclusive for Inside Motorcycles by Colin Fraser- Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes was the only real winner at Monza on Sunday, May 6, in round four of the 2012 eni Superbike World Championship.  Troubled by ever changing weather since the Championship Series returned to Europe for round two at Imola, Italy a month ago, the tour ran into a “worst case scenario” Sunday at Monza.

Monday, 07 May 2012 10:27

GPtech To Run Headlining MotoGP Class at Red Bull Indianapolis GP

Clarksville, Indiana-based GPtech confirmed today that it has secured a wildcard grid spot and will compete in the MotoGP class at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on August 17-19 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  The performance parts importer/distributor has contracted Mississauga-based BCL Motorsports to design a billet aluminum frame, while technical partner Vesrah Suzuki/MCJ Motorsports will be in charge of the Suzuki GSX-R1000 engine that will power the bike.  It is only the second CRT bike to be announced for the Indy race.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 13:54

Celebrate International Female Ride Day today

Thousands of women around the world are celebrating their passion for motorcycles today by participating in the 6th annual International Female Ride Day and a number of manufacturers are also showing their support. The event, founded by Toronto, Ontario’s Vicki Gray, invites women around the world to “just ride” on May 4, a concept supported by a number of manufacturers.

Friday, 04 May 2012 09:46

Ben Young To Skip AMA Infineon This Weekend

After attending the first two rounds on the AMA GoPro Daytona Sportbike schedule, Canadian racer Ben Young and the BYR/Fogi Racing team have made the tough decision to skip the upcoming round at Infineon Raceway in California.

“It was a very difficult decision to not make the trip to Infineon Raceway,” admitted Team Manager Scott Young. “With the rounds being held so close together, available budget, work obligations and the distances involved for us we had to reluctantly opt out of this round.  We need to spend our budget wisely to get the best results with what we have for the remainder of the season”.

Thursday, 03 May 2012 14:18

Coasting and Missed Opportunities

One lesson I was taught when I first started racing was that you should always be either on the throttle or on the brakes, as time spent without one or the other applied is lost "coasting." By coasting, you are letting engine braking (or lack of it) control your speed, rather than controlling it yourself with the throttle or brake. Granted, there are some rare occasions where it may work out correctly that the engine provides just the exact amount of braking you want. But more often than not, you — the rider — can do better. Sometimes coasting indicates the rider is overcautious getting on the throttle at the apex of a turn, but an extended amount of coasting can indicate that there is an opportunity for a burst of throttle (and corresponding braking), and that opportunity is being missed.

Using data acquisition, we can look more closely at time spent coasting, and pinpoint areas that could use some attention from the rider. My article in the current issue of Inside Motorcycles talks about utilizing sensors that are already on your bike with a data acquisition system, and here we can use the throttle position sensor and brake switch in particular. Combining the two signals using a math channel, it's possible to find exactly how much time during a particular lap that a rider spends coasting.

The graph shows data for two riders at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada on the same bike — a stock Suzuki GSX-R750. On a typical lap of just under two minutes, the less experienced rider coasts for 12.5 seconds. The more experienced rider, lapping three seconds faster, coasts for just 4.7 seconds. While some of the difference is accounted for in shifting and the transition from throttle to brake at the end of each straight, a significant chunk of the time is found when each rider releases the brake and applies the throttle at the apex of each turn. The less experienced rider takes up to a second for that transition, while the more experienced rider is typically in the 0.3-second range.

Picking up the throttle quicker reduces time spent coasting, and it also settles the bike's suspension and takes load off the front tire. It's worth noting as well that, in some cases, just picking up the throttle is not enough; at higher speeds or in an uphill turn, it can take as much as 30 percent throttle on a middleweight bike just to hold a constant speed. Any less, and you can consider it coasting.

Another big difference between our two riders is in combinations of corners on the track. Where two corners are close together — for example, at about the 1000-foot mark on the diagram — the more experienced rider fits in a burst of throttle followed by a very short braking period in between, while the less experienced rider uses just a modest amount of throttle and relies on engine braking for slowing into the second turn. These short sections make up another large portion of the difference in coasting time, and have a larger effect on lap time as well.

Keep in mind that while having a data acquisition system is useful for putting numbers and graphs to coasting and seeing improvements, it's not a necessity. Like many aspects of riding, once you are aware of the issue and keep it in mind while on the track, you may find it quite apparent.

Thursday, 03 May 2012 10:10

Crash 101 Even though you may never have an accident, it pays to be prepared

Story by R. Bruce Thomas-  CRUNCH! There’s no other sound quite like the sickening collision of metal on metal (or metal on plastic). If you’ve been personally involved in such a situation on a motorcycle, that sound is often followed by your own voice cursing (or screaming, depending on how badly you have been hurt). Once the initial pain goes away, you ask yourself, “How's my bike?” followed by “What now?”

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 15:22

Canadian Kruger Injured in Testing Crash

Less than a week after Brett McCormick's serious accident while racing in Europe, fellow Canadian Superbike racer Dan Kruger was injured in a crash during a private test session at Zhuhai International Circuit in China on Wednesday. While his injuries were not life threatening, Kruger was rushed to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with two broken ribs, a badly bruised lung, a broken bone in his wrist and multiple bruises. Original concerns of a broken sternum and more serious lung damage have been ruled out for the time being, although Kruger is en route to Shanghai to get a second opinion due to continued severe chest pain and to have his wrist set.

Thursday, 26 April 2012 16:54

Join the Sixth International Female Ride Day

The sixth annual International female Ride Day planned for Friday, May 4, 2012 is gearing up around the world to host a wealth of rider actions and activities led by women motorcyclists. Women will take to their motorcycles to participate in the sixth annual women’s motorcycle ride event whose theme “Just Ride” describes precisely how women will enjoy what has now become a global motorcycling phenomenon!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 01:55

McCormick Crashes in Race Two at Assen

What started as a promising weekend outing for Brett McCormick in the eni Superbike World Championship at Assen in the Netherlands came to an abrupt end on lap 10 of race two, when he suffered a serious crash on his Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati 1098R. McCormick was running in 11thposition at the time and looked ready to place in the top ten after battling through a busy pack. But instead of landing a solid points paying position, he wound up at the track Medical Centre.

Sunday, 22 April 2012 11:18

Assen Race One - Updated Final Report

French born, UK-based Effenbert Liberty Ducati racer Sylvain Guintoli gave the squad their first victory in the restarted opening race at round three of the eni Superbike World Series at Assen in the Netherlands. After a dry initial run, the restart took place in treacherously wet and rainy conditions, and Guintoli pushed through the pack to take the lead with just over two laps to go.

Sunday, 22 April 2012 07:01

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