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In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

I hate to tell you, but those don't look very much like dirt bikes.

That said, I do look forward to pics of all the sweet jumps.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
7/22/20 2:05 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

Okay, so that looks super badass.  I'm sure she can't wait to break it in.

tremm
tremm New Reader
7/22/20 2:08 p.m.

Wow, congrats to your kid(s), glad they're taking a liking to it

 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
7/22/20 3:34 p.m.

Got them on track less than 24 hours hours after opening the crate. Just did two short sessions to learn some muscle memory for GP shift and get a heat cycle into all the spinny bits. There is a learning curve for sure. You don't just go faster on a GP style bike, you have to learn to go faster. 

Jesse Ransom (patron/dork)
Jesse Ransom (patron/dork) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/22/20 3:43 p.m.

So awesome.

Shadeux (Forum Supporter)
Shadeux (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/22/20 4:40 p.m.
nderwater said:
mazdeuce - Seth said:

Okay, so that looks super badass.  I'm sure she can't wait to break it in.

That may be the happiest person I've ever seen.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
8/14/20 12:59 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

Got them on track less than 24 hours hours after opening the crate. Just did two short sessions to learn some muscle memory for GP shift and get a heat cycle into all the spinny bits. There is a learning curve for sure. You don't just go faster on a GP style bike, you have to learn to go faster. 

For a noob like me, can you explain that last bit -- compared to a pit bike, Is it just learning the new riding position?  Adapting to the different suspension behavior?  Or is there more to it than that?

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/15/20 5:05 p.m.

In reply to nderwater :

It's primarily the riding position. It's physically more demanding, but it's also further outside normal riding style than just hanging a knee off a dirt bike. 

These bikes weigh about 160lbs. I weigh about 175lbs with my gear on. Over half the weight of the object hurtling toward the corner is the squishy meat sack who's job it is to get themselves in the right place. On dirt bikes a lot of that is about moving your lower body. Butt over knee out will get you 90% of the way there. On these little bikes you do very little hip movement, and most of change in mass is moving your shoulders/head and getting them low and next to the bike rather than on it. All of this is just better, but it's both physically harder, and much different than what I've been doing for the past year. 

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
8/15/20 5:34 p.m.

Makes sense.  So knowing what you know now, would you recommend that someone getting into the sport start off investing in what style of bike -- dirt bike, grom, mini gp, or something else?

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/15/20 6:13 p.m.

In reply to nderwater :

Assuming you're going to find a local race group and ride with them, you want to ride what other people are riding so that you have someone to race against. Weirdly, bike choice is a regional thing. Down here we have a bunch of small GP bikes, a ton of two stroke 65's, and then some other odds and ends. The group up in Ohio runs a TON of XR100's, the California group has a lot of super-mini CRF150 builds. 

Having said that, if you want to use little bikes to get better at big bikes, then something in a similar style works. I ride with a group of guys who don't race little bikes at all and they use small GP bikes as training tools for their big track sport bikes. I've even met a few guys who ride various smaller dirt bikes as training for supermoto, and it's hard to forget that a current World Superbike rider rides a variety of things at the kart track for his training. 

Like in race cars, it's always cheaper to buy a bike that someone else has built. Wheels are the big thing. Converting a bike to 12inch wheels and proper sticky tires can cost $6-800 most of which you're not going to get back when you sell. The advantage of the XR100 is that they're ready to go with just a change of tires (and the Ohio guys have a line on some special tires too) Yes the brakes will suck and it only has 7.5hp, but you can learn all the fundamentals and when you're done it's still a $1500 XR100 that anyone wants to buy for their kid to ride around the yard. And as they say, no matter what bike you start with you'll want a different one within a year. It's a rule with motorcycles. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/15/20 6:19 p.m.

This is me trying to get body position right on the new bike. It's not horrible, but there is a lot to fix. 

And this is my kid with fairly solid dirt bike body position. There are things she could fix as well, but she was quick like this. 

RichardNZ
RichardNZ GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/15/20 7:03 p.m.

Great stuff ...

Riding style is a personal thing I think and develops with experience. I suspect GP style bikes like more lean angle than "normal" bikes hence the dirt bike riders keep the bikes a bit more upright. Having said that it looks as though your daughter has more lean angle on the bike than you do smiley

 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/15/20 7:09 p.m.

She learned to ride that bike to the pegs and then continually refined her body position to keep going faster and and not grind the pegs all the way off. I can actually support weight of the bike on my knee going around corners and not have as much lean as the bike wants with the new bikes. I'm having to learn to pick up my leg and let the bike come over more. It's weird. I'm learning. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/27/20 2:32 p.m.

Am I getting faster? No. But can I get elbow down? Yes! Hopefully I'm learning things by learning a thing. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/27/20 2:50 p.m.

Also figured out the GIF thing. Can you tell I'm kind of excited about this dragging elbow stuff? laugh

What's next?  Shoulder drag?  Going straight for the chin-drag?

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/27/20 6:35 p.m.

In reply to TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) :

I'm just going to hang out and loudly complain about wearing out elbow sliders. Be that guy. laugh

In all seriousness, the point of this experiment was to figure out where my body was in relation to the ground and what I could do. I'm stretching to get down that low, but it helps me understand where the hard limit is. It's also very instructive for my left vs. right turning. I can get elbow down everywhere turning right, but when I turn left and try to get that low I feel like a sea lion trying to ride a motorcycle. Elbows and things need to be adjusted. Its' a process. A fun process. 

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

That's excellent!

paranoid_android (Forum Enabler)
paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) UberDork
8/27/20 8:37 p.m.

It is so cool you got a crate from Japan with two motorcycles in it.

That's like factory team level stuff!

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/28/20 6:39 a.m.

In reply to paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) :

I like to think of it like the late 70's early 80's sports car racing where you'd just call up Porsche and have them send you two cars for the year and you'd go racing. First thing I did was put A and B stickers on them. Race team. A bike and B bike. It's pretty rad. 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/28/20 3:59 p.m.

I can't even flex like you. Wish I could. 

759NRNG (Forum Partidario)
759NRNG (Forum Partidario) UltraDork
8/28/20 8:36 p.m.

I'm sorry but I've never seen Valetino Rossi.....Kenny Roberts .....Eddie Lawson...Freddy Spencer....Kevin Schwantz....Wayne Rainey ..........even Colin Edwards  DRAG ELBOW.....what is this your're doing..just askin'

be safe.....no more broken clavicals .. OK?

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/29/20 5:57 a.m.
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) said:

I can't even flex like you. Wish I could. 

I'm not going to lie, staying this flexible is an active part of my life and I've had to add specific stretches to my routine as I've been riding motorcycles. I like to think that most of us would do the same if it was required for us to fit in race cars. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/29/20 6:28 a.m.
759NRNG (Forum Partidario) said:

I'm sorry but I've never seen Valetino Rossi.....Kenny Roberts .....Eddie Lawson...Freddy Spencer....Kevin Schwantz....Wayne Rainey ..........even Colin Edwards  DRAG ELBOW.....what is this your're doing..just askin'

be safe.....no more broken clavicals .. OK?

All right, here is an article that goes over the history of knee down. Jarno Saarinen was the first who realy used and popularized knee way off the bike, but it was Kenny Roberts who used the body position hard enough that he had to modify his suits to keep from wearing through them, and then when he started using knee sliders proper he was dragging knee on the deck through corners. He was dominant enough that everyone sat up and took notice and taped things to their suit to give it a try, and the body position was faster. 

So that's knee, but how did we get to elbow? 

The first rider to be known to use the style was Jean Ruggia riding 250's in the late 80's. It didn't catch on. Max Biaggi did it as well on 250's sometimes, but again, didnt' catch on. The point where elbow down becomes a "thing" and everyone makes sure they have elbow sliders is when Mark Marquez starts doing it and beating everyone all the time in 2013. This isn't just a "Marquez is the best and everyone copied him" thing (which they kind of did) but it also has a LOT to do with tire technology and especially electronics that were happening right about that time. Elbow down, like knee down, just sort of happens as a consequence of leaning the bike and moving way way over to shift the center of gravity. Modern tires, even the ones on my tiny Honda allow and even encourage significant lean angles. Couple that with modern electronics that nearly (but not completely) eliminate high sides, and the last 10 years in MotoGP have seen some significant changes. But......Moto3 riders who don't have those electronics do it as well, don't they? Yes, because at the very highest level it has proven just a bit faster. In fact, if you watch a modern race there will be a couple of corners in the track where a train of riders all with elbow down are riding around. And here is Rossi, elbow down, becasue even he has had to modify his riding style to keep up with the kids half his age who are riding. 

So why am I riding elbow down? Mostly because it's neat. The body position required means your shoulder and head are very low (which is the center of mass benefit) and it feels like you're right at the same eye level as the brake rotor. My fast laps are still elbow up, but by working with a position that's even more extreme, my body is more "relaxed" when I'm trying to go fast and that helps me to go fast. I can relax my arms and hands and elbows instead of straining to be over as far as possible because I've been spending time over farther than that. The good riders I know echo what world level riders say, and that is that they watch what works for others and play on the bike and continually refine their interaction with the bike in an attempt to go faster. 

I put my bike on the scales at the kart track the other day and it's 175lbs with fuel. That's almost exactly what I weigh with leathers on. Half of the mass riding down the track is big squishy me and I have the opportunity to move that mass around as I see fit to change the center of gravity to make myself faster. Even my daughter, who is probably 75lbs lithter than me with gear, is plaing with body position and finding that dropping a shoulder very low is advantagous in certain corners. 

Elbow down is a thing, but only in the past 10 years or so. Everyone doing elbow down is within the past 5 years, maybe. All of the young kids are riding in that style on their small bikes so I expect it will be around for a long time or until a faster style comes along, and then everyone will adopt that. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/29/20 7:05 a.m.

And also, this is right now, mostly dark out. Kid#3 is up eating breakfast while I load bikes because she wanted to get up at 6:30 on a Saturday to beat the heat to get more laps in at the kart track an hour away. Nothing about motorcycle racing in my mid 40's makes sense other than this. 

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