Ways to Improve Your Track Riding Skills
As a motorcycle road racer, your goal is to be the fastest and smartest racer on the track. Competing against other performance bikes and experienced riders, you must be on your best game to get results. Still, there may be certain aspects of the sport that are challenging or tricky for other riders. If you have some weak points in your riding game, these different ways to improve your road racing skills will help you improve for your next race.
Address Weak Areas
All in all, you must address your weak areas to improve your riding. To do this, you need to learn the correct riding techniques. There are many books, video’s, and riding school’s out there finding a good coach can be key. Firstly, you want to understand the fundamentals such as braking, where to look, steering, smooth throttle control, hitting the right spots, and how to relax. You should consider where in these areas you struggle the most. From there, you can focus on where to adjust and target those weak points. This could be applying the proper brake techniques , one of the biggest issues I had as I upset the chassis way to much. Hitting those exit apexes is key in finding the correct direction to get the best drive and set yourself up for the next corner. Getting comfortable with lean angles, steering times, using more throttle, or even visualizing the track. No matter what,.
Managing your body weight in relation to your bike is crucial for a fast ride. You want to use your body weight to counteract the weight of the bike through corners. As you hang your body off the bike, the bike will use less lean angle to traverse the corner. The less lean angle needed, the more you can increase your speed. To do this, you want to rely on your leg and core muscles to keep your body still as you alleviate pressure from your arms and hands. Point your body in the direction your leaning. For example, for left turns, point your hips in the left direction and dig your right knee into the right side of your tank. Keep your head on the low left side of the bike with your eyes up and elbows out. Naturally, your left knee will extend out and part of your buttocks will hang from the side as you pivot your hip further into the corner.
The biggest note to know for proper throttle control is to not roll on your throttle until your lean angle is complete. The best way to avoid this is to get completely off the throttle as you begin braking and initiate the turn as you complete the brake. You want to roll on the throttle when your lean angle is complete. Therefore, monitor your aggressiveness based on how slow or tight the corner is. Faster corners require more aggressive roll-ons, whereas slower corners you can ease up.
One tip to increasing your corner entry speed is to brake less. This advice will not necessarily help new riders, as they should use more braking potential to reduce track times in other areas. Still, if you’re an advanced rider, this will benefit you. The more comfortable you are the less braking times you’ll use. While this habit is hard to break, consider breaking it. Do not brake too late in your corner entry. Rather than braking later, consider braking less. Instead of braking aggressively, brake lighter where you release the brake level and taper off your effort earlier. This way, you will have more speed carrying through your corner exists. Doing this might slightly increase your time when accelerating down the straight, but you will have more speed going through corners and reduce your lap times overall.
Change Your Focus Point
This is especially true when it comes to your braking zone and corner entry but also serves for the corner exist. As you get closer to a corner, you’ll focus on the apex. This is the spot that indicates the closest to the inside of the track, but also signifies where you turn toward the corner exist. You’ll also reduce your lean angle and increasing your throttle. Once you hit the apex, keep your eyes up toward the exist. As soon as you complete the exist, look toward the outside edge. Keep your eyes down the path of a straight, or if the corner exists into another, then look for the apex again. Ultimately, you want to create a mental driving line of where you’re going down the track.
The racing line is the optimal path around the course. Driving the racing line is the best technique to minimize your course time. One of the top ways to improve your driving skills around the racing line is to spot the right apex. Some racers wait too late past the apex before turning, so their lean angles are much larger, and they need more time to gain traction. Therefore, you should begin turning before the apex line. This way your lean angle is smaller, and you can increase speed earlier. Just be sure not to turn too early. Otherwise, you risk pointing your bike toward the edge of the track and not up to the next bend.
You’re not the only rider in a race or during open track days. Chances are high that you will pass other riders, or they will pass you. Don’t let this frustrate you. Getting past a significantly slower rider takes skill. To do this safely and effectively, you need to practice patience, planning, and visualizing. Before making a move, consider if passing is the right thing to do. Where your strengths and weaknesses are could benefit or risk you placing your dependence on the other rider. Make use of any advantage you have that will get you ahead. For passing on the brakes, take tighter entry lines and brake later and harder. Other riders will give you the corner if you’re assertive with your intentions. For passing on the power, leave a gap and square off the corner. Both passes require proper judgment and focused vision, so use your peripherals to track other riders as well as your reference points.
Rainy days can deter you from riding on the track, but you can overcome this. The biggest tip for wet driving is to keep everything smooth. Loosen your grip levels, keep throttle application smooth and gentle, and build up brake pressure slowly. Additionally, keep your body movement controlled. For these reasons, you want to stay relaxed. Your tires should handle the wet road conditions fine but keep your bike upright to lessen the forces applied to it. Do not force your bike to handle too much at once or there may be issues.
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