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How To :: Make a Hair-Pin Turn PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jimmy Schrage   
Saturday, 03 October 2009 17:02

How To: Make a Hair-Pin Turn

1 It’s often been said that there are probably more crashes from riders losing the front end in a corner than from overstepping rear tire traction and highsiding on the exit. The reason is that a motorcycle is made to function at its best under power; the inherent design of its chassis and suspension means that the machine is much more stable when power is applied. Anyone who has hit a false neutral in midcorner will tell you how difficult it is to control the bike when it’s not under its own propulsion.

This is why it’s good practice to cut down your “coasting” time, such as during the transition between braking and getting back on the gas. A motorcycle isn’t as stable when you’re braking hard, which is why it takes up so much of your concentration when you’re entering a corner.

Especially in tighter sections, like hairpins; some riders often end up not opening the throttle until they reach the apex because they’re so concerned with the bike’s stability up to that point.

2 As you approach a corner and have accomplished the majority of your hardest braking (usually while as upright as possible), you begin to ease off the brakes in preparation for your corner entry. Because you must balance the front tire traction between braking and cornering forces (obviously you can’t use 100 percent of the front brakes’ power while leaned over), you begin to gradually let off the brake as you increase your lean angle.

It’s at that point, where you completely let off the brakes, that you should “crack” the throttle open as soon as possible. You don’t need a handful of throttle; just a small enough opening to get the engine off idle and transmitting power to the rear wheel. It needs to be done carefully because you’re often at a pretty severe lean angle by this time, and opening the throttle too much (or if your bike has an abrupt off/on throttle response) can upset the chassis at a critical area in the corner.

3 Once you get some power applied to the rear tire, you’ll be amazed at how much more control you have over the motorcycle. Because you’ve now transferred the bike’s weight to the rear, the steering suddenly becomes lighter, and you can choose a corner entry line (and stick to it) with far less effort. The suspension and handling also become much more settled, since the front fork and tire aren’t being asked to support the weight of the whole motorcycle/rider combination.

But the biggest benefit of getting on the throttle as early as possible? You can begin your drive out of the corner earlier, which obviously pays dividends in added speed down the next straight. The additional corner speed is more momentum you can use to the next bend. There’s a saying among racers that you want to “use the brakes as little as possible”—use the brakes hard and quick, then get off them as quickly as possible so that you can get on with the business of accelerating, which is where time is made.

4 It’s important to note that any time you are not on the throttle, your bike’s weight is biased toward the front. And if you are at a very extreme lean angle (with a correspondingly small and tenuous contact patch), overloading the front tire will obviously have dire consequences. Any racer will tell you that it’s a lot easier to save a rear-end slide than a front-end slide.

Even cracking the throttle open just a bit is enough to take that weight off the front tire, giving you an added margin of traction and safety when you need it most. A good example would be if you were recovering from overshooting a corner; as you use up every bit of lean angle to keep the bike on the pavement, your chances of not losing the front are better if you just crack the throttle open a bit to get some weight off the heavily loaded front tire.

The old humorous adage, “When in doubt, gassit!” may seem like a nonsensical act, but it actually has some merit—in a much more controlled fashion, of course.

 
Accident Scene Management PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jimmy Schrage   
Sunday, 27 September 2009 20:58

Accident Scene Management

As motorcycle riders we are all aware of the inherent dangers and risks that we take when we mount our bikes and head out to enjoy a good ride. Yes, it is that part of our shared passion that many of us don’t want to think about. However, these dangers and risks become all too apparent when we are faced with situations when a fellow rider is involved in an accident. Whether you are riding alone or in a group and you find yourself in a situation where a rider has gone down, ask yourself honestly, do you know what to do? Well, I asked myself this very question recently and realized that no, I do not. Aside from being able to contact 911 or flag down someone who could, I realized beyond that there is little I know how to do to assist a fallen rider. So, I have gathered some information that helped point me in the right direction and felt it was information that could help a lot of people who may not know what to do if such a situation where to arise.

I would like to share some tips on how to avoid being a part of an accident and what to do should you happening upon one.

DO NOT BECOME A PART OF THE ACCIDENT:

If an accident does happen, DO NOT STOP!!!! , continue to ride past until everyone has gone through. Do not target fixate and add to the scene. This is very important for everyone to accomplish if there is one.

This basically applies to group rides when there is a train of riders behind you. Suddenly stopping to assist in an accident can cause riders behind you that are unaware of the accident to slam on their brakes or swerve to avoid you and possibly add to the accident.

If you are riding alone be aware of your surroundings and the traffic around you before pulling off to assist. You do not want get hit from behind because you slowed too quickly and the car behind you did not have time to react.

REMAIN CALM... THINK!

The first thing you need to do when arriving on an accident scene is to stop, take two deep breaths to help you remain calm.
The idea of psychological management is that all the other people who are pumped and want to help will do whatever they are told to do by a calm person who seems to be in control and knows what he or she is doing. If you're excited and out of control as well, everyone will run around wasting precious time in an unorganized fashion.

1) Get to victim, reassure, and establish communication.

After a person has gone down, they will be in a confused and scared state. They probably don't know what happened when they went down. They may be confused, frantic, etc., and often the only thing on their mind will be their bike. It is important to reassure them and to make sure they will not try to move or get to their bike. Something on the order of, "You've been in a motorcycle accident. It is important that you do not try to move. My name is (whatever your name is). "Tell them the ambulance is coming (assuming someone has been sent to get one or has called for one!) If your name is something like "Chainsaw'' or "Mega-death'', tell them your name is John or Bob or Mike.

Be careful what you say around the victim, even if they are unconscious. Hearing works in the unconscious state and if you say something like, "Boy, is this dude messed up bad! Maybe we shouldn't call an ambulance after all!'', it's going to register at some level with the person and can do nothing but harm. How you say things will be as important as what you say; keep (or at least sound) calm and it will reduce the panic of everyone else present.

2) Safety factors

an accident scene can be a hectic place with a lot of things going on at once. It is important to keep safety in mind; if you are helping someone lying in the middle of the road and a semi comes barreling down on both of you, you aren't going to do that person much good.

a. Traffic
If people are available, get someone up-road and down-road to wave down traffic. This is especially important in tight twisties where they may not have time to stop after seeing the accident site.

b. Hazardous material spills (gas, oil, brake fluid)
People and vehicles will slip on this stuff. If ambulance personnel slip on oil while carrying the victim, it is bad. Either clean it off the road or indicate to everyone where it is.

c. Power lines
if power lines are down around or near the victim, ambulance crews may not be able to get near the person until they are shut off. It is important to call the local utility company to get these live wires turned off at the same time an ambulance is called. If the ambulance arrives and they are still live, they will have to call the utility company and wait for them to come out, wasting a lot of precious time in the Golden Hour.

d. Fire
People who smoke tend to light up under stress. Ask these people to either extinguish their smokes or move away from the flammable materials and/or bikes. It is easy to forget something obvious like this in a stressful situation like an accident scene.

e. Safety circle
Establish a few people around the immediate accident scene to help direct traffic, to point out fluid spills, and to warn people who may want to light up

3) Best-trained individual (medically-wise) attends to victim (U-ABCC)

The person with the most training (first aid, CPR, etc.) attends directly to the victim. Assuming the victim is lying on the ground, this person should sit behind their head and should stabilize his or her head to avoid unnecessary movement (i.e. hold their head still). Assume the person has a back/neck injury and any unnecessary movement could risk paralysis.

This person should be doing "U-ABCC'' at the arrival on the scene and every 5 minutes thereafter

U Urgency
Try to determine if the person's injuries are (a) minor or (b) major, i.e. urgent. If unsure, it is urgent. See (6) on trying to diagnose injuries.

A Airway
Is there something to impede their airway? Gravel in the helmet, something down the throat? This needs to be cleared immediately, without helmet removal if at all possible.

B Breathing
Is the person breathing? Determined by listening, watching their chest, feeling for breath, etc.

C Circulation
Check the pulse on the throat initially and subsequently on their wrist. This is the carotid artery, right next to the wind pipe/adam's apple on either side. If pulse is not present, remove helmet if necessary and begin CPR immediately. When checking pulse on their wrist, do not check with thumb; use the two fingers next to the thumb.

C Cervical Spine Immobilization
Support the victim's head and make sure they don't move it. CONSIDER EVERY MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT A HEAD INJURY, CONSIDER EVERY MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT A CERVICAL/BACK INJURY! This is important even if they feel they can move their head normally! When you talk to the victim initially, add on a short bit to reassure them;

"You've been in a motorcycle accident. It is important that you don't move. My name is (whatever your name is). Answer me without moving your head. We don't know if you have a neck injury or not. An ambulance is on the way.''

Again, make sure that the victim does not move at all, their head or any other part.

4) The three questions

Ask the victim three questions and document their responses;
Who are you?
Where are you?
What time of day is it?
(Or asking what day of week it is would be fine also. Many people do not know what time of day it is without a watch even in a normal state.)

5a) If breathing is taking place normally, LEAVE HELMET ON!

It is very dangerous to remove someone's helmet if they have some type of cervical/back injury. The only time it should be removed is if the airway is blocked and cannot be cleared with the helmet on or if it is necessary to perform CPR.

5b) helmet removal procedure if airway blocked or no respiratory action.

This is the method recommended by the American College of Orthopedic Surgeons. It requires two people.

Remove glasses and unbuckle the chinstrap. One person should be to the side of the head of the victim and the other person should be directly behind the head of the victim, stabilizing the head to avoid excess movement (as seen in (3)).

The person on the side puts one hand behind the victim's head supporting at the base of the skull (not on helmet). They put their other hand on the jaw bone/chin (again, not on helmet). They will be supporting the head, so it is important to get a good solid grip. Keep some tension in the arms so that if the person pulling the helmet slips the victim's head won't drop.

The person sitting behind the head will then slowly pull the helmet directly back and off of the head. Watch out for catching the nose on the chin-guard on full-face helmets, as well as ears and earrings.

After the helmet is off, put a leather jacket or something under the head of the victim! If the person supporting their head lets go, their head will drop a good 4 inches or so. This would not be good. If possible, it would be best to have a third person ready with something to place under the victim's head once the helmet is off.

After the helmet is off, the person behind the head should again hold the victim's head to promote cervical immobilization.

AGAIN, THIS IS ONLY TO BE USED IN SITUATIONS WHERE THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION! Leave the helmet on until the ambulance personnel arrive if at all possible!

6a) After initial evaluation of seriousness of injuries, call for ambulance

After there has been a quick evaluation of the number of injured people and just the most preliminary guess of seriousness, someone has to be sent to get an ambulance. Remember that an ambulance can only support one truly injured person.

It is important to remember that a lot of the injuries that don't look serious to us could very well be life-threatening and injuries that look fatal are relatively minor. Don't get fancy with the initial seriousness evaluation. If you can't tell, assume its Urgent!

If a cell phone is not available, send one or two bikes to the nearest house. Send a woman if possible. The idea is that you don't have time to be turned away from someone's house and they are more likely to be receptive to a lady than some Scary Biker Dude. It may sound silly, but if you are turned away from a country home due to looking like a Scary Biker Dude, you may lose several minutes trying to find the next one. Selection of who goes to call is very important. He also says to have the person going to the door wearing light colors; if someone else has a white jacket trade jackets before heading out for the house. Chances are the person going to the door will look friendlier wearing a light-colored outfit than black leathers. In short, send a female to the door if at all possible.

When you go to the door, REMAIN CALM... THINK! Take a second and a couple of deep breaths. It will not help to have this biker person in a very excited state on the doorstep of some person's home. The people will be far more receptive to someone who looks like they have a grip on themselves.

Do not ask directly for entry into their house; something like "There has been an accident. Please call 911.'' There is no need to specify that it was a motorcycle accident to them (it is important to let the Emergency Medical Services dispatcher know that it was a motorcycle accident, however). It is less threatening to ask to call 911 than it is to ask to come in and use their phone.

6b) Things to tell Emergency Medical Services dispatcher

1. there has been a motorcycle accident
2. Need an ambulance
3. The # of injured people (and how badly injured they are). A severely traumatized person will require an entire ambulance to themselves, so it is important to give the EMS dispatcher some idea of the scope of the accident. If they only send one ambulance and there are two people who need one immediately, it will be a problem.
4. Location of accident
(get help from the people whose phone you're using, they should know how to describe their location best)
5. You (the caller) hang up last!
The EMS dispatchers are well-trained and will get all the information they need from you before hanging up. Stay on the line until they do.

6c) Things that may be necessary for victim.

It is helpful if you know some special equipment is going to be necessary to tell the dispatcher;
1. Helicopter
Most rural areas cannot handle severe trauma and they may need to get the victim to a trauma center via helicopter. If they know there may be a need, they can get the helicopter ready to leave for the rural hospital when a doctor establishes the extent of the injuries. Slider says that in Iowa at least, if the helicopter comes out and it turns out it wasn't necessary; there is no charge for the service.
2. Fire
should the fire department be called in?
3. Jaws of life
4. Utilities
See (2-C) about downed power lines above.

7a) Document personal information if possible (victim may pass out)

before the ambulance arrives, if possible, document information about the victim. They may become unconscious and it will be helpful to have information like;
Full name
Next of kin (plus phone number)
Age, date of birth
Doctor

7b) AMPLE documentation

There is AMPLE time to document this before the ambulance arrives. Again, this will be very helpful to the paramedics if the victim passes out.
A Are you allergic to anything?
M Are you on any medications? Street drugs?
P What's your past medical history?
L Last meal - when did you eat last?
(Will help anesthesiologist if one is necessary)
E What were the events leading up to the injury?

Document the mechanisms of injury. If the doctors and paramedics have some idea how the accident occurred, it will give them better ideas on what kind of injuries to look for. Did the person low-side and slide for a while on one of their sides? Did they go over the bars? Did they head-butt a solid object, such as a car? If they went over the bars, is there any obvious damage to the tank/handlebars which might indicate they hit the lower abdomen/groin area? This kind of stuff could help the doctors/paramedics.

8) Wallets, purses, rings

do not go rooting through personal effects of the person. There should be no need to go through their wallet or purse for insurance information; the hospital personnel will deal with all of that. If there is some important reason that you need something from their wallet or purse, make sure you have at the very least a witness! Preferably a law enforcement officer if possible. If the person is conscious, ask first and if they say "no'' then don't push it.

If the person has rings on, the fingers may swell up and it is important to get them off. Consent is paramount if the person is conscious. Make sure there is at least one witness when removing them.

9a) Have person check pulse every 5 minutes & document it

Every 5 minutes the pulse should be checked at the wrist. If the pulse goes away at the wrist, check at the throat. This is a late sign of shock (see 10).

Write down the number of beats per minute and the time you took the measurement.

9b) Have person check breathing every 5 minutes & document it

just like the pulse, check number of breaths per minute, the most reliable method being by placing your hand on the person's chest. Obviously if the victim is female it would be best to have another lady do this if at all possible.

Try to check their breathing rate without their knowing it. If they know you are counting their respiration, they may unconsciously alter their breathing rate.

Record this number along with the pulse every 5 minutes. Also note the type of breathing; fast, shallow, yodeling, gurgling, labored, easy, whatever. Even in layman's terms it may be useful to the paramedics.


10) Watch for signs of person going into shock

People invariably die due to shock. "You don't die by the gunshot wound but by the shock of the gunshot wound."

Signs of shock:
1. Inability to answer the 3 questions coherently (Who are you, etc.) (See 4)
2. Pale, cool, clammy skin
3. Delayed capillary refill press your fingernail so that it turns white. It should turn back to pink in less than 2 seconds. If it takes longer, that is not a good sign.
4. Radial pulse (pulse at the wrist) goes away but there is still a pulse on the neck

there isn't much we can do once someone starts going into shock, but a few minor things that may help:
1. Assure adequate breathing. This really comes with the AB of U-ABCC.
2. Loosen restrictive clothing.
3. Reassure victim.
4. Keep the person warm (not too hot though).
5. Elevate the feet ~6 in.
This is actually a judgment call since you shouldn't really do that with suspected spinal injuries.
6. Control bleeding.
This is probably obvious but if you don't realize the victim is bleeding and they are rapidly going into shock, this should tell you something.
7. Immobilize fractures.
This helps relieve pain and control bleeding.

11) Stop bleeding, using sterile bandages/dressings if available

Two important things here are to (a) stop any bleeding as soon as possible and (b) keep the wounds sanitary as much as possible. (A) is far more important than (b). Peripheral limbs are commonly lost to infection, but given the choice between stopping bleeding and using a no sanitary cover, using the no sanitary wrapping is preferred. Blood loss is bad. Wounds can be cleaned at a hospital.

If sterile dressings are not immediately available, women in the group may be carrying sanitary tampons, or Kotex napkins. Either can be used as a sterile dressing, although obviously the sanitary napkins would be superior.

Carry some sterile dressings with me in my tank bag, backpack or trunk space. They cost about $1 at your local drugstore. * Personally, I carry a Backpacker's First Aid kit. They are compact and don't take up too much space.

EXCEPTION: If there are cuts anywhere on the head, do NOT apply pressure. If there is a bone chip it is possible to push it into the brain. It is also possible that stopping the flow of blood or cerebral spinal fluid can lead to a buildup of pressure on the brain which is not good. You should still bandage the cuts loosely.

12) in case of femur injuries (extremely common in motto accidents), check for blood loss

Femur (the "thigh bone'') injuries are very frequent. There are huge arteries that run along the inner thigh; if these are compromised the person can bleed to death in a very short amount of time. It is important to minimize bleeding in this region! Use a pressure point above the cut to control blood flow out of the femur artery.

13) When ambulance arrives

before the ambulance arrives, send people to the intersections in all directions to watch for/direct the ambulance.

When the ambulance arrives, it is important to stay out of their way as much as possible. Meet them and identify yourself as being "in charge'' and to be the person to contact if they need anything (bikes moved, people moved, whatever).

Make sure you:
1. Provide accessible parking for ambulance
2. Let EMT's know who's in charge
3. Give factual account of accident ("And then the car comes along at 154 feet per second and hits our buddy here!'' is probably not going to help anything). At 40 MPH, there are 60,000 units of kinetic energy. At 50MPH, there are 120,000. It is IMPORTANT for medical personnel to have an HONEST estimate of the speed and circumstances at the time of the accident.
4. Give them all of the information that has been written down (periodic vital signs and the three questions from U-ABCC at 5 minute intervals, personal information about the victim, etc.)
5. Give EMT's an honest evaluation of patient's drug/alcohol consumption
6. Stay back or leave if told
7. Give EMT's time to work

It is important to give the ambulance people the most accurate information possible! If the person just had 10 beers in the past hour, tell them! They are not the law enforcement officials and their only immediate concern is the safety of the patient. By underestimating, trying to cover up, or not telling the whole truth, you are only keeping important information away from them which may be necessary for the safety of the patient.

If the helmet was removed, send it along in the ambulance. The doctors may use the visible damage to the helmet to assist them in what to look for in terms of injuries.

If there were leaking fluids, let the medical personnel know. The fluids may have gotten on the patient and they need to know if there was oil, gas, brake fluid or something like that on an open wound.

14) At the hospital

only have one or two people in the Emergency Room at a time. If the doctors have questions and neither of the people in the ER knows the answer, send one of them out to the other people to find out the answer. Crowding everyone into the ER will only make it more stressful and difficult for the ER staff to do their jobs.

15) Dealing with law enforcement

as with the ambulance, when law enforcement arrives identifies you as being "in charge''. Let them know that if there is anything they need, such as bikes moved or people moved, you are the person to talk to.

For them, walking on to a scene of bikers who are all in a very excited state is intimidating and this will help calm them and give them some easy way to control the bike people. Again, this is the psychological management.

It is obviously important to do whatever the law enforcement officials ask.

Before the officers do arrive, try to not move motorcycle parts any more than necessary! They may need to take accident scene notes and by moving things around you may confuse the situation for them. Parts will need to be moved off the road to avoid further accidents, but move them directly to the side so the law enforcement officials can determine roughly where it stopped if necessary. Try not to disturb the bike any more than necessary. (Electrics turned off, bike propped up vertically, etc.)

16) Thank you

a good number of the ambulance people are volunteers. Officers often get little or no recognition for helping out on the scene. It will cheer all of them up to no end to receive some kind of thanks for their help.

Any of the following are appropriate:
1. cards
2. In newspaper
3. In person

it will improve our image as bikers and rewards all those people who take time out of their own lives to help others. It is important!

17) Couple of miscellaneous notes

Leathers will have to be cut off by medical personnel. Be mentally prepared for it. If they do not cut off your clothes, they will not be able to do a proper assessment of the wounds and you are not being treated properly! If you are conscious and insist that they do not cut your leathers, they cannot by law. If you are unconscious, it is implied consent and they will remove them if in doubt.

Over 50% of fatalities are alcohol related. I know it's a cliché' but don't let friends drink and ride unless you're prepared to lose that friend.

Many accidents involve going over the handlebars. If your bladder is full, the extreme pressure can easily cause it to break. Make a pit stop by the bathroom before you leave.

In an emergency situation, psychological management is important. If a central person takes charge and is remaining calm, this will transfer to all of the other people on the scene and will help the victim far more than if everyone is overly excited and pumped with adrenaline. Take two deep breaths when you feel yourself losing it.

Take basic first aid and CPR courses! They are offered through the Red Cross and several other organizations periodically. Go with some riding buddies or get your club to have a class!

(Most of this information was taken from the following website: http://www.molenda.com/accident.html and from Shamus? posts regarding group rides.)


Nothing beats proper training.

Here are some helpful links:
Online CPR Basics http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/quickcpr.html
Red Cross offers CPR training courses. Visit their website at http://www.recross.org You can locate a local Red Cross here and find information on class scheduling.

RIDE SAFE AND WEAR YOUR GEAR.

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 September 2009 21:18
 
Weaving Does Not Warm Up Tires Faster PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 24 September 2009 16:01

Weaving Makes For Good Collisions


Weaving to warm tires is a fiction that just won't die. All sorts of
riders who should know better can be seen weaving wildly on warm-up
laps, and we've seen plenty of collisions and near-misses caused by one
guy weaving into another guy on a warm-up lap. Yet some riders persist
in the belief that weaving actually does something other than create a
hazard. So, since we had gathered a test bike, a test rider, all sorts
of measuring instruments, some extra tires, and had a track to ourselves
for our big tire test (Roadracing World, January, 2000), we decided to
test the effects of weaving on motorcycle tire temperatures.

We conducted this experiment using Mark Junge and his 1999 Kawasaki
ZX-6R, at Oak Hill Raceway. Michelin tires were used for this test, the
front a standard Pilot Race, and a Pilot Race "W" on the rear. First, we
measured the cold tires' core temperature in the middle and on both
sides of the tread, front and rear. We then sent Junge onto the track to
ride slowly in a straight line and then measured the tire temperatures.
Then we instructed Junge to weave aggressively from turn eight to turn
two and back again (approximately one-half mile), and measured the tire
temperatures again to see how much heat was produced in the tires.

Next, we let the Michelins cool off. We then heated the tires on warmers
for 45 minutes per Michelin's recommendation and took the tire
temperatures. Then Junge went out and did the same weaving and
temperatures were taken again to see if additional heat was built up or
if heat was lost.

Next, Junge was sent on a standard warm-up lap. We then quickly measured
the tire temperatures. Then Junge did another 1.8-mile warm-up lap, this
time weaving, and we measured the temperatures again to see if weaving
built additional heat when compared to a standard warm-up lap, kept the
heat in, or lost the heat. Then we did the half-mile of weaving again
before taking the tire temperatures yet another time.

To complete our test of tires and temperatures, we sent our rider out on
two normal warm-up laps. Once back on the starting grid, we stopped the
bike with the tires remaining on the pavement just as you would sit on a
grid with the 3-minute board in the air. Then we measured each tire, as
quickly as possible, to see how quickly the tires lost the heat built up
on the warm-up lap.

The first thing that we discovered while trying to take the temperature
of the cold tires was that the sun has a significant effect on a tire's
temperature. Our test bike was under a canopy but the front tire was
still in direct sunlight on an 88-degree, Texas afternoon. Just from
sitting in the sun, the front tire had between 10 to 20 degrees more
heat at the tread's core, not the surface.

When Junge rode in a straight line at line at approximately 40 mph for
about a half-mile, the shoulder of the tire that was in the shade
remained at 85-88 degrees F. The temperature at the center of the tires
went up slightly while the shoulder of the tire facing the sun also
started picking up heat. Then our rider went on his weaving course and
came back. Once again the side of the tire facing away from the sun and
the center changed very little. The side of the tire facing the sun
continued to gain heat. We attributed this solely to the sun as Junge
was careful to weave equally hard on each side of the tires.

Junge went back to his task of learning Oak Hill on his "A-bike" while
we took the weaving test bike back under the canopy and applied Tyr Sox
tire warmers for 45 minutes. After the warmers, the rear tire had about
129 degrees F across its entire tread while the front held 171 degrees F
on the right, 175 degrees F on the left, and 182.4 degrees F in the
center. Both warmers were on for the equal amounts of time.

Just as I was organizing a theory into how the tire warmers have equal
heating elements but the (120) front tire has less surface than the
(180) rear tire, I noticed that the bike had been put back in its
original parking spot with the front wheel in the sun. Although I can't
rule out my equal tire warmers versus different-sized tires theory, I
can't rule out that the strong sunlight increased the effect of the
warmers.

As soon as we took the post-warmer temperatures, Junge went out to do
the same exact weaving course. The right/away-from-the-sun side of the
rear tire lost 12 degrees of heat. The right side of the front lost 45
degrees. The center of the rear lost 5 degrees of heat. The center of
the front lost 43 degrees. The left side of the rear tire that was
facing the sun stayed steady at 129 degrees while the left front only
lost 36 degrees. Once again weaving did not build or hold the
temperature. The sun had more effect than weaving.

As soon as these temperatures were taken, Junge was sent off to do a
normal hot lap on the twisty, 1.8-mile course. After the hot lap, the
heat in the rear remained fairly constant, cooling just a few degrees.
The front continued to steadily lose its significant tire warmer heat.
However, the left sides of the tires were the warmest parts. We could
not attribute this to the sun because throughout our two-day test, tires
always recorded higher temperatures on their left sides after doing any
laps at speed on the track.

Then, we sent Junge to do an entire lap of weaving. Again, the weaving
failed to hold heat anywhere on the tire. Then Junge once again did his
straight weaving test, and the tires began cooling rapidly. In fact,
during weaving the tires lost heat as rapidly or more rapidly as just
standing still.

For our final test, we sent Junge out to do two laps to get some heat in
the tires. Then as the bike stood still on the racing surface just as it
would on a grid, we measured how quickly the tires lost their heat. I
had originally hoped to measure the six spots on the tires every 10-15
seconds. That proved too ambitious. I ended up measuring each spot every
45-60 seconds. Next time, I'll have two pyrometers. This was very
interesting, though. While the center and right sides of the tires lost
10-12 degrees over a 4-minute time period, the left side of the rear
lost very little heat and the front gained heat from the direct
sunlight.

Here are some conclusions. Tire warmers will produce the highest
pre-race tire temperatures. During the tire comparison test consisting
of 8-10 laps at 100 percent speed, we sometimes did not record
temperatures higher then straight off the warmers. So the best way to
warm tires is to use tire warmers.

The second-best way to warm tires is to take a hot lap. As powerful as
the sun proved to be, a good hot lap produced more heat than time in the
strong sun, and it's quicker, too.

The third-best way to warm tires is to leave the tires in strong, direct
sunlight. Just don't forget to get both sides.

But weaving, no matter how aggressive your lean angle and your speed or
how long the distance covered, does not build any additional heat in a
tire!

So now, we will hopefully never see another unfortunate accident from
useless weaving on a starting grid or pit lane. Case closed.

Comparison Of Tire Temperatures As Affected By
Warming Methods And Ambient Conditions
Ambient Conditions And Temp Probe Location In

---------Sun Rear--Left In Sun Rear--Center In Shade Rear--Right In Sun
Front--Left In Sun Front--Center In Shade Front--Right Warming Method

Cold Tire ------------85-- 87-- 86-- 94-- 105- 98
Straight line, slow --89 --98-- 85-- 95-- 106- 87
Weave aggressively ---96 --99 --87-- 99-- 104- 88
Tire warmers--------- 129 -130- 127- 176- 182- 171
Warmers and weaving --130- 129- 115- 139- 139- 126
Std. warm-up lap -----124- 122- 122- 130- 126- 120
Weave, 1.8 mile ------121- 118- 120- 129- 117- 119
Weave, 0.5 mile ------118- 115- 110- 114- 109- 113

Comparison Of Tire Temperatures As Affected By
Time On Grid And Ambient Conditions

Start Temp -----------128.6- 123.6- 120.8- 129.0- 116.4- 111.6
+0:45 seconds on grid 127.6- 117.0- 115.4- 128.6- 115.6- 110.6
+ 1:45 seconds on grid 126.8- 116.0- 114.6- 128.2- 113.6- 110.6
+2:45 seconds on grid 125.4- 115.0- 112.0- 127.2- 113.6- 106.0
+3:45 seconds on grid 124.0- 111.8- 108.2- 125.6- 113.0- 104.8

All temperatures in Fahrenheit. Track temperature was 86 degrees;
ambient temp in shade was 88 degrees. Cold tire pressure was 30 psi in
front, 28 psi rear. Tests were conducted on Michelin Pilot Race tires.

 
The Pace PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 13:47

THE PACE

BY NICK IENATSCH

.... Racing involves speed, concentration and commitment; the results of a mistake are usually catastrophic because there's little room for error riding at 100 percent. Performance street riding is less intense and further from the absolute limit, but because circumstances are less controlled, mistakes and over aggressiveness can be equally catastrophic. Plenty of roadracers have sworn off street riding. "Too dangerous, too many variables and too easy to get carried away with too much speed," track specialists claim. Adrenaline-addled racers find themselves treating the street like the track, and not surprisingly, they get burned by the police, the laws of physics and the cold, harsh realities of an environment not groomed for ten-tenths riding.


.... But as many of us know, a swift ride down a favorite road may be the finest way to spend a few free hours with a bike we love. And these few hours are best enjoyed riding at The Pace.


.... A year after I joined Motorcyclist staff in 1984, Mitch Boehm was hired. Six months later, The Pace came into being, and we perfected it during the next few months of road testing and weekend fun rides. Now The Pace is part of my life - and a part of the Sunday morning riding group I frequent. The Pace is a street riding technique that not only keeps street riders alive, but thoroughly entertained as well.


THE PACE

.... The Pace focuses on bike control and de-emphasizes outright speed. Full-throttle acceleration and last minute braking aren't part of the program, effectively eliminating the two most common single-bike accident scenarios in sport riding. Cornering momentum is the name of the game, stressing strong, forceful inputs at the handlebar to place the bike correctly at the entrance of the turn and get it flicked in with little wasted time and distance. Since the throttle wasn't slammed open at the exit of the last corner, the next corner doesn't require much, if any, braking. It isn't uncommon to ride with our group and not see a brake light flash all morning.


.... If the brakes are required, the front lever gets squeezed smoothly, quickly and with a good deal of force to set entrance speed in minimum time. Running in on the brakes is tantamount to running off the road, a confession that you're pushing too hard and not getting your entrance speed set early enough because you stayed on the gas too long. Running The Pace decreases your reliance on the throttle and brakes, the two easiest controls to abuse, and hones your ability to judge cornering speed, which is the most thrilling aspect of performance street riding.


YOUR LANE IS YOUR LIMIT

.... Crossing the centerline at any time except during a passing maneuver is intolerable, another sign that you're pushing too hard to keep up. Even when you have a clean line of sight through a left-hand kink, stay to the right of the centerline. Staying on the right side of the centerline is much more challenging than simply straightening every slight corner, and when the whole group is committed to this intelligent practice, the temptation to cheat is eliminated through peer pressure and logic. Though street riding shouldn't be described in racing terms, you can think of your lane as the race track. Leaving your lane is tantamount to a crash.


.... Exact bike control has you using every inch of your lane if the circumstances permit it. In corners with a clear line of sight and no oncoming traffic, enter at the far outside of the corner, turn the bike relatively late in the corner to get a late apex at the far inside of your lane and accelerate out, just brushing the far outside of your lane as your bike stands up. Steer your bike forcefully but smoothly to minimize the transition time. Don't hammer it down because the chassis will bobble slightly as it settles, possibly carrying you off line. Since you haven't charged in on the brakes, you can get the throttle on early, before the apex, which balances and settles your bike for the drive out.


.... More often than not, circumstances do not permit the full use of your lane from yellow line to white line and back again. Blind corners, oncoming traffic and gravel on the road are a few criteria that dictate a more conservative approach, so leave yourself a three or four foot margin for error, especially at the left side of the lane where errant oncoming traffic could prove fatal. Simply narrow your entrance on a blind right-harder and move your apex into your lane three feet on blind left turns in order to stay free of unseen oncoming traffic hogging the centerline. Because you're running at The Pace and not flat out, your controlled entrances offer additional time to deal with unexpected gravel or other debris in your lane; the outside wheel track is usually the cleanest through a dirty corner since a car weights its outside tires most, scrubbing more dirt off the pavement in the process, so aim for that line.


A GOOD LEADER, WILLING FOLLOWERS

.... The street is not a racing environment, and it takes humility, self assurance and self control to keep it that way. The leader sets the pace and monitors his mirrors for signs of raggedness in the ranks that follow, such as tucking in on straights, crossing over the yellow line and hanging off the motorcycle in the corners, If the leader pulls away, he simply slows his straight way speed slightly but continues to enjoy the corners, thus closing the ranks but missing none of the fun. The small group of three or four riders I ride with is so harmonious that the pace is identical no matter who's leading. The lead shifts occasionally with a quick hand sign, but there's never a pass for the lead with an ego on the sleeve. Make no mistake, the riding is spirited and quick in the corners. Anyone with a right arm can hammer down the straights; it's proficiency in the corners that makes The Pace come alive.


.... Following distances are relatively lengthy, with the straightaways taken at more moderate speeds, providing the perfect opportunity to adjust the gaps. Keeping a good distance serves several purposes, besides being safer. Rock chips are minimized, and the police or highway patrol won't suspect a race is in progress. The Pace's style of not hanging off in corners also reduces the appearance of pushing too hard and adds a degree of maturity and sensibility in the eyes of the public and the law. There's a definite challenge to cornering quickly while sitting sedately on your bike.


.... New rider indoctrination takes some time because The Pace develops very high cornering speeds and newcomers want to hammer the throttle on the exits to make up for what they lose at the entrances. Our group slows drastically when a new rider joins the ranks because our technique of moderate straightaway speed and no brakes can suck the unaware into a corner too fast, creating the most common single bike accident. With a new rider learning The Pace behind you, tap your brake lightly well before the turn to alert him and make sure he understands there's no pressure to stay with the group.


.... There's plenty of ongoing communication during The Pace. A foot off the peg indicates debris in the road, and all slowing or turning intentions are signaled in advance with the left hand and arm. Turn signals are used for direction changes and passing, with a wave of the left hand to thank the cars that move right and make it easy for motorcyclists to get past. Since you don't have a death grip on the handlebar, your left hand is also free to wave to oncoming riders, a fading courtesy that we'd like to see return. If you're getting the idea The Pace is a relaxing, noncompetitive way to ride with a group, you are right.


RELAX AND FLICK IT

.... I'd rather spend a Sunday in the mountains riding at The Pace than a Sunday at the racetrack, it's that enjoyable. Countersteering is the name of the game; smooth, forceful steering input at the handlebar relayed to the tires' contact patches through a rigid sport bike frame. Riding at The Pace is certainly what bike manufacturers had in mind when sport bikes evolved to the street.


.... But the machine isn't the most important aspect of running The Pace because you can do it on anything capable of getting through a corner. Attitude is The Pace's most important aspect: realizing the friend ahead of you isn't a competitor, respecting his right to lead the group occasionally and giving him credit for his riding skills. You must have the maturity to limit your straightaway speeds to allow the group to stay in touch and the sense to realize that racetrack tactics such as late braking and full throttle runs to redline will alienate the public and police and possibly introduce you to the unforgiving laws of gravity. When the group arrives at the destination after running The Pace, no one feels outgunned or is left with the feeling he must prove himself on the return run. If you've got some thing to prove, get on a racetrack.


.... The racetrack measures your speed with a stop watch and direct competition, welcoming your aggression and gritty resolve to be the best. Performance street riding's only yardstick is the amount of enjoyment gained, not lap times, finishing position or competitors beaten. The differences are huge but not always remembered by riders who haven't discovered The Pace's cornering pureness and group involvement. Hammer on the racetrack. Pace yourself on the street.

 
Alpinestars GP Tech Glove Review PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 15 September 2009 15:04

Review :: Alpinestars GP Tech Gloves

From the manufacturer:

Developed with Alpinestars professional MotoGP and Superbike racers, the GP Tech is the ultimate expression of road racing glove innovation, featuring the very latest design and production technology for greater performance and safety. The updated version features new, aggressive colorways and improved performance fit, material and construction adding to the gloves class leading safety and performance features.

  • Develped with input from professional racers on the MotoGP circuit
  • PU knuckle and finger sliders for superior impact and abrasion resistance
  • Patented third and fourth finger bridge protects against "finger roll" and potential seam bursting during impacts
  • Strong, supple kangaroo leather palm is reinforced with Pittards digital leather and an advanced direct-inject Kevlar panel
  • Fingers have external seams for comfort
  • Kevlar stitching throughout for strength
  • PU-injected wrist closure for a secure, comfortable fit
  • Perforated cuff and ventilated finger forchettes keep your hands cool
  • Glove top is reinforced with knit Kevlar, features highly abrasion-resistant Pittards
  • Armor-Tan leather at critical areas
  • Padded Kevlar top panel provides impact resistance, flexibility, and improved cooling
  • 3D anatomical design for a superior fit

I just bought these to replace my Tecknic Speedstar gloves that failed me in the last crash.  Those bastards ripped to shreds. More on that later.

I have tried Alpinestars gloves before, but they never seemed to fit right.  They seemed to always bunch up (no matter the size) and not provide the same protection that I was used too.  I did take the plunge once again (I just love Alpinestars) and bought some GP Tech gloves in black.  Out of the box, these things feel broken in.  Usually, I have to fold the fingers over on my gloves and put a heavy weight as to stretch out the leather.  These feel amazing right out of the box.  The protection is there with heavy duty armor around all the knuckles and the strongest gauntlet section I have seen yet.

Surprisingly, they are flexible as well.  I thought the gauntlet section would get in the way or prevent movement.  Nope.  All good on that front!  The whole glove is well constructed, as with all Alpinestars products.  The safety is all there (see above) and I feel 100% confident in these gloves.

The negative?  Cooling.  This glove gets hot quick.  I would not recommend this to anyone but racers, or trackday riders as this thing heats up fast.  It is still very comfy, but lacks the cooling I am used to. That is about the only negative I have felt so far.

I will let you know after I crash test them.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 15:07
 
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