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Old 05-15-2006, 07:23 PM   #46
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Reading all the replies I have the following observations:

1) People who have not been on the track much say that any track skills can also be learned on the street, and that track skills don't apply to street scenarios

2) People who have been on the track a lot say the opposite.

How can someone who doesn't have extensive track experience comment on whether or not those skills help on the street That would be like me trying to argue that supermotard experience (which I have none of) doesn't improve your road-racing.
My point is: will the track make the average street rider better/safer?

It REALLY depends on the rider. An asshat is an asshat. There are people out there who have done tons of trackdays and they are NOT learning anything from it (as in getting faster and/or learning bike handling skills). There are some folks that are not teachable, like Mola Ram.

Wanna make yourself a better rider; learn a lil dirt, learn a lil track, learn a lil supermoto, and remember what your first ride was on two wheels- the bicycle.

Am I saying, "Don't go to the track"? Hell NO! Get out there, have fun and learn Does it make you a better rider? It depends on YOU the rider.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:26 PM   #47
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Originally posted by }Dragon{
My point is: will the track make the average street rider better/safer?

It REALLY depends on the rider. An asshat is an asshat. There are people out there who have done tons of trackdays and they are NOT learning anything from it (as in getting faster and/or learning bike handling skills). There are some folks that are not teachable, like Mola Ram.

Wanna make yourself a better rider; learn a lil dirt, learn a lil track, learn a lil supermoto, and remember what your first ride was on two wheels- the bicycle.

Am I saying, "Don't go to the track"? Hell NO! Get out there, have fun and learn Does it make you a better rider? It depends on YOU the rider.
+1

I think that the track will make any rider better at controlling their machine.

I also think the track will make said asshat rider think s/he's better...
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:28 PM   #48
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Matt Lai's points line up well with mine. Certainly after being on track I feel much less motivated to ride aggressively since I left all the go fast on the track. Also, my time on track has very finely honed my ability to make accurate and quick decisions in the middle of "oh shit" moments.

The nature of track riding is such that you're likely to have a much higher ratio of "oh shit" to "splat" occurances than you do on the street. That leads to fear being a much more frequent (if still unwanted) passenger on my track bike than my street bike. "Oh shit" moments correspond closely to moments when a riding situation demands skills that you are not confident in. Hundreds of hours pushing back my limits have made me much more familiar with the various flavors of unconfident "oh shit" moments. It turns out that most of the time fear sets in well before your skills are actually overtaxed (at least for me). Knowing this has greatly increased my motivation and ability to reach deep within my experience and courage and dig out responses that are nominally beyond my abilities.

This fear and limitation management experience was earned with a much much reduced cost of risk than one would endure to learn the same skills on the street. My personal belief is that riding well is 95% about focus and emotional control. Considering how much my focus and emotion control skills have developed on the track I have to conclude that the track experience is a huge asset on the road.

Of course there are lessons from the road that are not taught on the racetrack. In my mind they boil down to 1) anticipation of cagers, 2) keeping focus in extreme weather, 3) cop management. Just like street riding didn't teach me how to mount a rear wheel in 5 minutes, there is application specific knowledge in every area of riding. Most of the time bikes are bikes and riding is riding. Being good in one area brings you up in every other.
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:02 PM   #49
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I'm not sure why people are equating "riding in traffic" or "anticpating where a car might pull out" a skill. That's actually under the whole "experience" category. It's the same as knowing what to do when a yellow flag comes out. It's experience, not a skill. A skill is determined by something that controls the motorcycle better. Let's get the bullshit out of this conversation right away: a skill is not "anticipating" anything. It's actual control on the bike.

Ok, now, as Christofu said, plenty of skills can be learned on the street that can be learned on the track, albeit with much less of a safety margin. It's why we keep reading about people stuffing bikes under mini vans on highway 9 and throwing out one of those shitty little pixelated roses in memory. But overall, there's just gonna be alot of holes in a street education for the most part. I can't agree that avoiding traffic is a real skill exclusive to street riders. I can agree that knowing how to best traverse slick or muddy surfaces is something of a skill, but best learned on the dirt as well.

ontherearwheel, It seems you either knew everything you needed for your class racing or didn't aspire to do better. I can't imagine not learning anything racing.

This bullshit of thinking certain street situations allow someone to learn a highly specialized skill (like turning sharpley) is just smoke and mirrors. In reality, all of us with sport bikes are trying to go faster with more control. The almighty stopwatch seems to show the reality behind that goal. Form be damned, isn't that what sport bikers are trying to achieve or is there another measure of "skills" like backing into a parking spot, or something?
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:28 PM   #50
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Originally posted by Holeshot
a skill is not "anticipating" anything. It's actual control on the bike.
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:52 PM   #51
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Mad skillz is mad skillz, Street or Track, why fret? They are skillz, phear them...

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Old 05-15-2006, 10:23 PM   #52
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Riding skillz are riding skills. Public road management and race-track accuracy/usage are differaent things.
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Old 05-16-2006, 06:09 AM   #53
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Can you summarize your view / opinion for me?
Street and track skill vary slightly, basically because they are different environments. Street riders are faster than track riders on the street, and track riders are faster than street riders on the track.

Cornering lines on the street vary based upon the corner. For example, a blind corner with a hidden gravel driveway could command a tight entry point with a wide middle while slowing. This would be to avoid possible unseen gravel on the inside of the corner. This would not be a good track line.

Also, spending time looking off the road for animals does not come ino play at the track.

There's also greater memorization of the longer roads and surfaces than track riders need to get involved with.

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Old 05-16-2006, 06:20 AM   #54
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Originally posted by Holeshot
I'm not sure why people are equating "riding in traffic" or "anticpating where a car might pull out" a skill. That's actually under the whole "experience" category. It's the same as knowing what to do when a yellow flag comes out. It's experience, not a skill. A skill is determined by something that controls the motorcycle better. Let's get the bullshit out of this conversation right away: a skill is not "anticipating" anything. It's actual control on the bike.
I disagree. Certain street-specific things you mentioned are skills. Only they're usually learned from experience because at this time there's no controlled environment to hone them in. The best such environment I could think of would be a computer similulator that creates random unexpected situations in virtual traffic one has to respond to. The way it would be controlled is via management of denseness of traffic and the difficulty of the unexpected.

I once read a theory on what intuition was. It offered that intuition is nothing more than an incredibly complex set of experiential subconscious reflexes that work behind the scenes and contribute to our conscious thinking process. An example was given of a security guard checking ID's. There are and will continue to be many many cases of guards looking at what appears to be a perfectly valid document and yet get that weird feeling that something's not right. If they listen to that inner voice, they often discover that indeed there was a fake ID that was all but impossible to catch with a naked eye. So they chalk it up to intuition. But in reality, they did actually register a few minute signs that didn't align well with what they've seen before countless times.

It boils down to 2 sets of skill division: conscious vs subconscious and learned in controlled environments vs experiential. At the end of the day, it's better to have your skills consciously understood, but operating on a subconscious level and it makes no difference if you acquired them through experience or in a "lab". However, it's obvious of course that most skills are better learned in some kind of a lab than through what is essentially natural selection of us as a 2-wheeled species.
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:16 AM   #55
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Originally posted by Holeshot
I'm not sure why people are equating "riding in traffic" or "anticpating where a car might pull out" a skill. That's actually under the whole "experience" category. It's the same as knowing what to do when a yellow flag comes out. It's experience, not a skill. A skill is determined by something that controls the motorcycle better. Let's get the bullshit out of this conversation right away: a skill is not "anticipating" anything. It's actual control on the bike.
I have to disagree with you on this.

Developing the skill to read the traffic is fully as much of a skill as handling the bike. I don't understand how you can just say that it's 'experience'.

For some of us, many hours of hard work and conscious thought has gone into developing the skills to read traffic as an organism and to develop the skills to recognize and categorize potential threats and to first consciously then sub-consciously adjust our riding line through positions of least vulnerability throughout our entire ride.
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:20 AM   #56
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HS, hate to break it to you buddy but track riding is just one aspect of being a well rounded rider. In a race across London, or hell, even downtown SF, between even a superlative track rider and a mediocre courier, my money would be on the courier. Intense urban work is vastly different from track work and uses different skills and requires different ways of thinking. FWIW the level of splitting (or filtering) here is pretty weak compared with Japan, where most riders start with 50cc scooters and become comfortable with clearances measured in milimeters. I imagine it is the same compared with Europe as well.
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:26 AM   #57
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Learning HOW (physical) to operate the controls is just as much a skill as knowing WHEN (mental) to operate them. Street or Track, it makes no difference.

Some of you track focused peeps are trying to say that riding in traffic isn't a skill? Huh? Mental processing of the situation around you isn't a skill on the street? What? Is mental processing only a skill on the track? People that use their heads more than their hands doing something are less skilled? Give me a break. Is Stephan Hawking less skilled or more skilled than you? I'd guess that he is less skilled in one area but more skilled in another.
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:52 AM   #58
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HS, hate to break it to you buddy but track riding is just one aspect of being a well rounded rider.
I think thats the point of the thread Jason. Overall I think what everyone is trying to say if you remove the labels is that they are complimentary skills. I've ridden with both Mike and Berto both of them are extraordinary riders (keeping in mind I rode with them on the street and learned a ton from them) in their own right. I'm going to go ahead and assume the same from you.

In short, we all love our sport. We all work hard and are passionate in improving devoloping and excelling. Mike is trying to show the complimentary nature of track riding to street riding. I don't think anyone is attempting to say "I'm better than you", albeit I've come across amateur racers who think that.

Somebody once said something on here that was a wonderful quote IMO "People go to the track to excell".

Some of you folks are forgetting the purpose of this thread. Or y'all just want to argue. Even the typical n00b typically has done extensive research (in their mind) on their machine and our beloved sport.

Lets throw the us vs. them mentality away and lets get back to constructive information. The argument shouldn't be over street and track especially amongst the veterans. The "discussion" (which this was intended to be) should be about the complimentary nature of the two and how to become a well balanced, or "skilled" (this term is starting to annoy me as well) rider.

I hate hearing about this barrier of street and track. I know for a fact Berto, Mike, Ken, Mario and everyone else here is attempting to provide an outlet for discussion. Albeit I was unimpressed by Canyon "JEDI"'s toss to an old thread which IMO did not cover the subject well enough for the layman.

Edit: I have never personally ridden with CanyonRat, but his postings leads in regards to some supernatural skill and comic book fantasy in regards to being a "CanyonDancer". In truth, I myself am a canyon rider so is Mike, so is Berto. But I can say this much as biased as I can be towards a canyon by no means do I think it's the "END ALL" to riding. If I offended you canyon rat my apologies. I just can't grasp what concept you're trying to get across but I do think you are broadening the social Gap and perpetuating this stupid "Us Vs Them" mentality.


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Old 05-16-2006, 08:07 AM   #59
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HS, hate to break it to you buddy but track riding is just one aspect of being a well rounded rider. In a race across London, or hell, even downtown SF, between even a superlative track rider and a mediocre courier, my money would be on the courier. Intense urban work is vastly different from track work and uses different skills and requires different ways of thinking. FWIW the level of splitting (or filtering) here is pretty weak compared with Japan, where most riders start with 50cc scooters and become comfortable with clearances measured in milimeters. I imagine it is the same compared with Europe as well.
You're comparing apples and oranges. The street is chaos. The track offers a controlled environment, allowing focus on speed and skill. The amount of mental energy you spend looking for the idiot cage drivers on the streets can be utilized to better focus on corner entry/exit speed on the track.

In a race across London, both riders could be easily taken out by a cellphone talking soccermom.
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:33 AM   #60
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Like I wrote, I didn't learn anything new. The track just let me expand on the skill set I had already learned riding on the street.

Yes, riding in traffic on the street, lane splitting helped me when I was in a pack on the track, why cause I already had alot of experince in close quarters in traffic, so it didn't brother lie it would those that had less experince in close quarters.

Oh I did, say I learned one thing........there are assholes on the street and on the track.

Based on your snipe at me, it appears if you ain't at the front you don't know shit.........an attitude that runs through the AFM.
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