Welcome!! Gotta Question??

Forums Champ U Champ U General Discussion Welcome!! Gotta Question??

  • This topic has 84 replies, 44 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Paul Bennett.
Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 85 total)
  • Author
  • #532649
    Nick Ienatsch

      Hi David…All things being equal (tire compound, tire temperature, environment), the more rubber touching the road, the more grip we have, *with one possible caveat, see below. We are spreading the traction load across more molecules of rubber, but for simplicity’s sake, we say it’s more grip.

      So…a knobby or dual-sport tire has voids between the rubber blocks, so that means less grip than a less-voided tire in the same environment*. Tire companies can compound dual-sport tires to have a lot of grip due to soft rubber, but lose longevity. To take this to the pinnacle, a racing “slick” tire has the most grip due to zero voids.

      *The caveat is in an environment with low traction. In the rain, for instance, the voids between the rubber blocks (called snipes) are designed to funnel water out of the way to allow the rubber to touch the pavement. A slick in the rain is almost unrideable, while we will habitually drag knees in the rain on a “rain tire”, a tire that looks a lot like what you have on your GSA! The rain tire is heavily sniped and features a very soft compound, a compound that becomes almost unrideable on a hot, dry track!

      So…your 100 point scale of grip is lower than a sporty street tire on dry pavement, but higher than that tire in the dirt, where the voids allow the rubber blocks to sink into the road or trail. I would be hesitant to write “…and your tires will have more grip in the rain…” because rubber compound has so much to do with wet-weather traction.

      Hope this helps, fun stuff to think about…Nick I.

      Waylon Bennett


        I bought the course last year and really thoroughly enjoyed it and feel I’m much safer having done it than I would’ve been otherwise, so thank you for that. I recommend the course every time I meet another rider, especially new ones.

        Sometimes, approaching a corner a little too hot, I go to the brakes, apply a smooth linear input just as taught in the course and feel confident in the application of brakes, but when I tip in, I wonder if maybe I let off more pressure than necessary. I understand the concept of trailing off pressure but having learned the concept online and not having felt it in practice on the back of a big bike with a pro rider, I’m not sure how much or how fast to trail the brakes off. I understand 100 points, but all the points I’m able to be aware of are the points I’m willing to test – what if my 100 points are actually only 70 of the points available? I get that that’s part of the point, using comfort and familiarity to breed cautionary riders and making a measuring stick so that grip stays balanced well between braking, accelerating, and cornering loads and the rider stays safer. I hear the tire can take a tremendous load but not an abrupt one – and that’s comforting and has let me brake mid-corner to avoid obstacles and it’s all well and good – but, how tremendous? How hard can I brake during tip in? I can’t help but feel like MAYBE, when I trail off brake pressure, even though I can keep my brake light on all the way through the turn, I might just be taking too much brake pressure away as I turn in. Usually, not being a racer, I’m not braking at 100 percent for a turn, so how much can I really brake as I tip in? It isn’t abrupt when I trail off pressure, I’m not upsetting the suspension as best I can tell, but I wonder often if I’m leaving some braking power on the table by releasing more pressure than is necessary too early, and I’m scared to test that theory. I’ve seen rear tires coming off the ground at tip in in racing clips. I know that’s 100 points, but I don’t know what the numbers between 0 and 100 look like as precisely. Any advice or drills or concepts or content to help my understanding of brake application? Thanks!

        Nick Ienatsch

          Hello Waylon…Every question you asked is being asked by every top racer in the world. Those who win races are closer to the limit of their tires (100 points) more frequently than those they beat. Stay well under 100 points and you are safe, but slow…racers care about that but street riders must always leave “points” on the table for the unexpected.

          In other words, you are on the correct side of the equation. You are also in the worst place to experiment with the limits of tire grip, and it sounds like you realize that. Welcome to track days. This is the environment to play with limits.

          We realize getting to track days isn’t easy in certain parts of the country. If that’s your situation, think about an annual “vacation” to one of the tracks closest to you. You can fly into certain tracks and rent bikes, call the track day orgs about that. You can book time at a school. All these options are cheaper than crashing on the street while playing with limits.

          Once a rider visits a track day, it becomes clear how important “riding with a margin” becomes on the street.

          Okay, enough preaching: We cannot tell you how much grip you have, how quickly you can add or release brake pressure or throttle or lean angle points. This is the beauty and challenge of the sport. You will rarely get it 100% right. For many of us, this challenge is the joy of our lives, especially in this increasingly-digital world.

          Cars now come with ABS, Traction Control, Yaw Control, Lane Change Warning, Radar Cruise Control, Automative Collision Avoidance, Automatic Headlight Dimming, Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers, and we’re working toward eliminating the driver all together. Meanwhile, we have the joy and challenge of riding motorcycles, asking the very questions you are asking. Finding the answers is a wonderful, life-long journey.

          Remember this: A warm tire at the limit will communicate to you if your inputs are smooth and linear. You wrote this and that means you are on the path to survive a loss of grip because that loss will be progressive and linear, giving you a chance to adjust brake, throttle or lean angle points. Go to the track to find the ultimate limit…but keep doing what you are doing on the street.

          Thanks for the support of ChampU…-Nick I.

          Ted Sohier

            Great course, but I have a question — I wonder why you suggest that we break when we’re “nervous.” I brake when the situation requires it. If I waited until I was nervous, very bad things could happen. Is this really what you mean?
            – Ted

            Nick Ienatsch


              We always seem to return to the #1 place we’re dying on motorcycles: Running wide in corners. Riders close the throttle when approaching a corner because they are concerned/nervous/unsure about making the corner with the throttle open, and we’re saying “don’t just close the throttle, but initiate braking” when you feel like that. Kid running across the yard toward the street, left-turning car beginning to roll, last corner of your best-ever lap, trying your friend’s Kawi HP2, approaching an unknown corner, popping over a blind rise…

              Plus…it’s memorable and in the heat of the moment those simple edicts can be grasped…Thanks for the support of ChampU…Nick I.

              Brent Ackermann

                I apologize if this question has been covered before:

                Is there a way we could set every video in the course to auto-play beginning to end? I completed the course work, and love to sit back on the couch and watch all my favorite training videos end to end without having to click to the next one. I think that would be a great add-on if it’s not something already available.


                Alex Hatfield

                  Hi Brent,

                  Unfortunately, our e-learning platform does not offer that capability.

                  William Tamas-Cao

                    Hi instructors,

                    I imagine this question is very commonly asked. But how do you practically improve your THRESHOLD of trail braking HARDER (using more brake points at said lean angle) and using MORE throttle coming out of a turn.

                    I’ve watched ChampTalk: How hard to push multiple times, being informed that when you approach the limit in a smooth linear progression the bike will give signals before it breaks traction such as wallow or chatter (assuming your fundamentals are correct, not being abrupt, aggressive etc). However, I guess what I’m asking is how do you practically approach this limit, do I just continue to sneak on a little more brake points into turn 1 at my favorite local track than I than I did on the previous lap until it starts moving around?

                    Same question for coming out of a turn, as explained in the champ U curriculum, You add throttle points if you can see your exit and remove lean angle points. Lets say I’m in the same turn 1 at my fav track and I consistently accelerate at the same speed as I stand the bike up resulting in consistent lap times. Again, do I just add a little more throttle (in a linear fashion, not abruptly) each lap until (if ever) my rear tire starts squirming?

                    I feel like I’m sitting at a bit of a wall, where I understand the concept of trading points. But I want to get closer to the THRESHOLD of how hard you can actually brake into a corner and how hard you can actually throttle out of a corner in order to improve lap times, feel and remaining safe.

                    I hope I was able to articulate what I mean down in words and that it makes sense…

                    Thanks for your reply in advance!

                    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by William Tamas-Cao.
                    Nick Ienatsch

                      Hello Will, you did a great job articulating your question. A few thoughts:

                      -In the theoretical world we often coach in, you are on the complete correct track: continue to add points in a linear fashion until you gently overload the tires. More brake pressure at lean angle going in, more throttle at lean angle coming out.

                      -Now to the real world we all live in: You are nervous about finding the limits and IN REALITY you have no need to truly find the limits. Until you are racing for significant rewards (and sometimes those rewards are pride and accomplishment, but most often money and points), flirting with the limits of grip is a tough thing to condone.

                      -But…you’d like to go faster and feel there’s time on the table. We agree. More thoughts:
                      -Get a dirtbike…not a mini-bike IMO…buy all the gear and go slide around. You will be constantly “over the limit” and the feel you gain will transfer to your track bike. You will play with traction with relatively little risk.
                      -Go to a school like Rich Oliver’s Mystery School, American SuperCamp, Colin Edwards’s Boot Camp (and others) to slide around under professional guidance.
                      -When you’re lapping at a track day and someone is faster than you on similar equipment (bike and tires), have the confidence you can increase loads. These are perfect lessons on what you can do better and all of us who have raced have pushed to match our competitors, improving our times and knowledge.
                      -Come to ChampSchool and learn how to increase these loads by riding on the back of a bike operated by one of our instructors. That experience will expand your knowledge of grip.

                      Hope this helps Will…thanks for the support of ChampU…Nick I.

                      William Meadows

                        Death Wobble!!! Seen some scary videos on social media. What causes that violent shaking and what can a rider do if it happens? I’ve read a lot of contradictory info about this out there.

                        Thank you.

                        Nick Ienatsch

                          Hello William…I wish we had a single answer for you on these wobbles, but here are some thoughts:
                          -Some people modify their bikes right out of the performance window. This can be ride-height changes, differing tire sizes, lengthened swingarms with poor construction, lowering links with poor geometry…something significantly different than stock. It would be interesting to examine some of these bikes.
                          -Oscillations like these wobbles…as roadracers we deal with chatter…are brought on by a mismatch somewhere. Rebound damping way too light or way too heavy, tire pressures way off, springs far too soft or stiff…this is slightly different than the poor mods, this is settings that are far out of the performance window.
                          -Wobbles can be an underloaded front tire or overloaded. We’ve seen them most commonly caused by a bump while accelerating hard, but have also seen them (not experienced this) under deceleration.
                          -I believe the deceleration wobble is instigated by the rider’s handlebar pressure, and then exacerbated when the rider reacts to the initial wobble with pressure that makes it worse.
                          What to do:
                          -If you’re worried or have a bike prone to wobbles, fit a steering damper. Most, if not all, racebikes wear dampers due to the acceleration-over-bumps issue mentioned above and the insane grip race tires have. Run the damper stiff enough that you can feel light drag when turning the handlebars lock to lock.
                          -Try to relax at the handlebar if you feel a wobble beginning. Many riders get a half-cycle behind the wobble and make it worse.
                          -Be sure your bike is in the ballpark on setup. We run completely stock bikes at the school, with more spring and rebound in them and have great luck sans steering dampers.
                          Hope these thoughts help, thanks for supporting ChampU…Nick

                          William Meadows

                            Hello, I’ll be attending the school in Miami next week. I’m bringing my own bike. I’m debating whether to trailer or ride my bike from the hotel to the track. If I trailer it, can my bike be stored overnight at the track on Thursday night?

                            Also, I have an Alpinestars computerized street air vest? Do you recommend that I wear this on the track or not?

                            Final question, are we allowed to use a GoPro on our helmet when we run the track? If not, can we get the videos you guys take sent to us? My family keeps asking me to take video.

                            Thank you, super excited for the class.

                            Brent Ackermann

                              Final question, are we allowed to use a GoPro on our helmet when we run the track?

                              I was curious about this as well.

                              Alex Hatfield

                                Hey guys!

                                Sorry for the delay – we’ve been working super hard on launching a few new things for Champ U (hopefully releasing this week)!
                                William, did you get your question answered before you went down?
                                Brent: yes, go-pros are fine as long as you understand the extra risk in running one on your helmet and you are willing to accept that risk personally.

                                BERNHARD KUCHEL


                                  I’ve bought and completed ChampU and am now considering joining you for ChampStreet in SC (April 2023). My concern is that ChampStreet just might be a rehash of the techniques / drills in ChampU. Can you give me a flavor of what is covered in ChampStreet (maybe a syllabus of the day) that might clarify what I would learn beyond ChampU?

                                  Thanks, Ben

                                Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 85 total)
                                • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.