Slowly…but I am progressing thanks to ChampU

Forums ChampU ChampU General Discussion Slowly…but I am progressing thanks to ChampU

  • This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago by Alex Hatfield.
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    Will Dilbeck

    I’ve been riding about 3.5 years and started when I was 40.

    I did my first track day about a year ago and I was painfully slow. It was embarrassing. I even had moments of thinking that perhaps track days aren’t for me. By the end of the day, I got more comfortable and had some fun. I had definitely improved my riding in one day.

    Fast forward to about a month ago and I finally purchased ChampU. Completing the modules and implementing the information learned led to a further increase in confidence. I felt good about my riding until…I had my wife follow me in the car on a deserted, curvy road with my son filming me. i was completely shocked by how little i was leaning the bike. I couldn’t even do the radius=mph drill without an enormous amount of room.

    My problem? It was/is a fear of leaning the bike over. Im not so scared of getting hurt if I fall, but I dont want to damage my much beloved bike. At any rate, I decided I needed to fix this before anything else. Since my son filmed me two weeks ago, Ive been going to an empty parking lot just doing circles and filming myself. Every session, I get a little less afraid and have more lean angle. Im also working on my body position obviously. I thought today would be the day my knee would touch, but not quite. Im still missing something with my body position i think. So more work is required. My goal is to have my fear of lean angle sorted before my next track day. But I have become so much more comfortable on the bike than ever before.

    I guess I did all this rambling to say thanks. Without starting ChampU and being more serious about improvement, I would still be deceiving myself. I can’t wait to see the rider I will become at completion of ChampU. I plan to take my time as I work through it.

    Thanks again.

    • This topic was modified 3 months ago by Will Dilbeck.
    Nick Ienatsch

    Ah, yes…valuing the safety of the bike over the safety of our bodies!!!! You are one of us!! 🙂 And you are right on track with the progressive, step-by-step experimentation with lean angle. We love it that Champ U is helping with your addiction passion.

    One caution: Be aware of one thing when playing with lean angle in a circle: You are never truly loading the front tire. In fact, because the throttle is open to maintain your speed, you are actually unloading the front slightly.

    In a track or street corner, we are generally entering the corner off throttle…either decelerating or decelerating and braking…which puts weight forward into the tire we’re asking to work. That’s good.

    So, rather than playing with lean angle in a circle, it might be smarter to set up a sweeping corner that you accelerate towards and tip in while decelerating/trail-braking…off the throttle, not on the throttle…you could build an oval that sees you stand up and accelerate off the corner so you then must slow into the next corner.

    To be clear: I’ve seen riders fall in parking lots when they lose front grip while experimenting with lean angle in a circle. Let us know…Nick I.

    Will Dilbeck

    Thanks so much for the advice Nick.

    I practiced quite a bit over the weekend and leaned even more. I am now at the point where I feel like if I lean any further, Im either going to fall or my knee will touch and i might still fall. This has led me to conclude that i must not be hanging off enough. Ive tried to follow as closely as possible the body position techniques mentioned in the course. Ive also recorded myself with my phone mounted just outside of the circle, but unfortunately, the quality isn’t very good. Ill have my wife follow me next time and truly figure out whats going on.

    My fear is that if I keep leaning and my body position is wrong, I will indeed loose the front and it was zap the confidence i have now built up.

    Thanks again.

    Will Dilbeck

    I am happy (who am I kidding, more than happy) to report that I got my knee down for the first time this morning! I had my wife film me yesterday and I realized that I was very close. I figured today would be the day and it was.

    I realized that i was moving my upper body down and not out enough. When I corrected this, I touched my knee within a few minutes. Ive heard others say that it scares you when your knee touches. I was concentrating so much on body position that I only realized a few seconds after what happened.

    I know that getting knee down is not the most important thing and doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a good or fast rider. But it does tell me that within a few weeks, I have overcome my fear of leanin, and my body position is also not bad.

    Your course has given me the tools to make this happen. I can’t thank you enough. I also can’t wait for my next track day. I think it will be quite different than my last one.

    My next goal is to absolutely master the brakes.

    Thanks again!

    Alex Hatfield

    That’s so awesome to hear!!

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