100 points. Or not?

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  • This topic has 6 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Nick Ienatsch.
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    I’m plodding through the course, about a third in. I see an inconsistency that I’ll whine about here as I pass through but I’m not letting it bother me since it’s not rocket surgery.

    In the 100 points of traction section, up front, there’s a comment that you always have a 100 points to split between braking and leaning/turning, independent of the conditions. The implication is that in stickier or slipperier conditions the points get bigger or smaller, but there are still 100 of them and you manage the tradeoff. OK. Works for me.

    Later on (perhaps umbrella land?), there is a discussion about a limited traction situation and the statement that you may only have 40 points to ration across braking and leaning. OK. Instead of rationing 100 smaller traction points (0.4 scale), I’m rationing only 40 of the original points. That would work for me, too. But it is inconsistent. Mona Lisa Vito’s laboratory edition signature series torque wrench would complain.

    BTW, I have also heard it said (not here, at least not yet) that loading the front tire gives you more points of traction to ration between braking and turning. In the champions’ paradigm, would that be 100 bigger points, or maybe 130 points? Similarly with the rear tire and less traction from the forward weight shift — smaller or fewer points.

    Nick Ienatsch

    Hello Bill, thanks for writing, we will check into this mistake. The mistake: that in slippery conditions we only have 40 points…we should have said that we still have 100 points…100 percent…of traction, but the scale is lower. In plain thinking: the tire’s grip is limited in every condition, limited to 100 percent of what it can do.

    So if we take that thought to loading the front tire, for instance, we don’t change the number of percentage, we are simply using some points in braking and then trading them for lean-angle points as we tip in. If we continue to stay smooth and linear with inputs, the tire can tell us exactly where our scale is at that moment.

    Fun to think and write about, thanks for your support…Nick I.


    Thanks for re-re-confirming, Nick. I need to go back through and find/confirm the specific comment that I heard or mis-heard. I should have done that before I posted. Perhaps I was hallucinating.

    I did a quick pass just now and didn’t trip over anything but consistency.


    OK. I found it. 100 pts of grip, section 2, about 4 minutes in, there’s some talk about reduced traction for a street rider and a tire only having 10 or 11 points of brakes available, and you’re down at 12

    Brake vs. lean tradeoff is not explicitly mentioned there. I guess if you’re in an 89 or 90 point lean then it all pencils out with the 100 point paradigm. The first time through, I took it as that’s all you’ve got for traction, period.

    Three complex things going on there on the side of the trailer:
    1) 100 points of traction
    2) The imperative for a smooth first & last 5
    3) The notion of sensing how much traction you have during that smooth 5 and further linear application. To see how many points you’ve got. Or, more precisely, how big or small each of the 100 points are.

    Nick Ienatsch

    Hi Bill…interesting you write about the “size” of the points…I was thinking the same thing during my first reply, trying to get my brain around whether the points got bigger or smaller as the 100-point scale slid!

    So…if grip is low, like on a gravel road…the 100-point scale is low. For example, 15 degrees of lean angle is 95 points…your front tire has only 5 points for braking, your rear tire only has 5 points for braking or accelerating. Would that make each point “big”? I think that’s a good way to think about it…on hot asphalt and hot tires, the points can be smaller because the performance of the tire allows so much more load. Again, fun to think about.

    The trailer, and I hope the entire Champ U, could seem initially complex but then becomes very logical and understandable…and most importantly: do-able. We hope that’s the case, as it certainly is the goal. -NI


    Nick, yeah, fun and/or infuriating to think about. Like those quantum mechanics things with cats in them.

    To continue your example, in the grippier situation, I was thinking my points would be bigger since I have more total traction, so each point (1/100 of the bigger total) is bigger. When I consume those bigger points to get to that 15 degree lean angle, I may only need 60 points. So that leaves me 40 big points (rather than just 5 small ones) for a TON more braking available.

    The more I’ve thought about it, though, the less I like the idea of the points getting bigger or smaller as some sort of broad communication tool (as distinct from a thought experiment amongst the indulgent). There is a certain beautiful simplicity to the core notion that the points are like percentage points. You have 100% of your traction, whether it is big or small traction, is available to ration across lean and speed (accel/decel).

    I think what led me down this path was not hearing “points” as percentage points but as some sort of unit of something, and then my own OCD need of trying to quantify the unit and extrapolate it to different traction situations. Though we can do that (and are here) it is messy with things getting bigger/smaller and needing less/more of them and all that in they way of a clear “so what?” at the end.

    I do think the two confounded notions are very important to work together:
    1) the rationing of the “available traction budget” you have
    2) the recognition that the amount available to be budgeted varies widely across situations, and it can be further influenced by the success or failure of your control inputs like weighting the front

    100 points nails the first. Folks eventually pick up the second. Maybe on the back side of the trailer, on a rainy day. 😉

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Bill.
    Nick Ienatsch

    Ah yes, we do get contemplative with our wrecked bike on the back of the trailer.

    Avoiding this time of contemplation is the main goal of Champ U and every program we teach. Think of our “7 Reasons we Crash” this way: An expert taps you on the shoulder and says, “If you keep doing that…add speed to that…you’re going to crash”.

    Sure, it’s funny to watch Chris thrash around on the ground rushing to put on his jacket…but if each student realizes that abrupt control inputs/steering/body movement will eventually cause pain, and recognizes when they get abrupt, Champ U has done its job.

    Yes, points of grip is percentage of grip. Smoothness in steering, braking, and accelerating allows us to feel when we reach “today’s” tire’s limit. When we break grip smoothly/gently/linearly, the tire slides but retains grip. You might “almost crash”, but that’s a whole different deal than crashing! It’s when we burst over the limits by grabbing/stabbing/flicking that the tire is immediately overwhelmed and we are down.

    I agree…the size of points gets a bit in the weeds. You are right on target with the message Bill, keep us posted on how it goes….NI

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