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Good Read..."The Pace"

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Talk' started by SpokaneXX, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. Pace Yourself Nick Ienatsch, 1993

    The street is not the track - It's a place to Pace

    Two weeks go a rider died when he and his bike tumbled off a cliff
    paralleling our favorite road. No gravel in the lane, no oncoming car
    pushing him wide, no ice. The guy screwed up. Rider error. Too much
    enthusiasm with too little skill, and this fatality wasn't the first
    on this road this year. As with most single-bike accidents, the rider
    entered the corner at a speed his brain told him was too fast, stood
    the bike up and nailed the rear brake. Goodbye.

    On the racetrack the rider would have tumbled into the hay bales,
    visited the ambulance for a strip of gauze and headed back to the pits
    to straighten his handlebars and think about his mistake. But let's
    get one thing perfectly clear: the street is not the racetrack. Using
    it as such will shorten your riding career and keep you from discovering
    the Pace. The Pace is far from street racing - and a lot more fun.

    The Pace places the motorcycle in its proper role as the controlled
    vehicle, not the controlling vehicle. Too many riders of sport bikes
    become baggage when the throttle gets twisted - the ensuing speed is
    so overwhelming they are carried along in the rush. The Pace ignores
    outright speed and can be as much fun on a Ninja 250 as on a ZX-11,
    emphasizing rider skill over right-wrist bravado. A fool can twist the
    grip, but a fool has no idea how to stop or turn. Learning to stop
    will save your life; learning to turn will enrich it. What feels
    better than banking a motorcycle over into a corner?

    The mechanics of turning a motorcycle involve pushing and/or pulling
    on the handlebars; while this isn't new information for most sport
    riders, realize that the force at the handlebar affects the
    motorcycle's rate of turn-in. Shove hard on the bars, and the bike
    snaps over; gently push the bars, and the bike lazily banks in.
    Different corners require different techniques, but as you begin to
    think about lines, late entrances and late apexes, turning your bike
    at the exact moment and reaching he precise lean angle will require
    firm, forceful inputs ant the handlebars. If you take less time to
    turn your motorcycle, you can use that time to brake more effectively
    or run deeper into the corner, affording yourself more time to judge
    the corner and a better look at any hidden surprises. It's important
    to look as far into the corner as possible and remember the adage,
    "You go where you look."


    The number-one survival skill, after mastering emergency braking, is
    setting your corner-entrance speed early, or as Kenny Roberts says,
    "Slow in, fast out." Street riders may get away with rushing into 99
    out of 100 corners, but that last one will have gravel, mud or a
    trespassing car. Setting entrance speed early will allow you to adjust
    your speed and cornering line, giving you every opportunity to handle
    the surprise.

    We've all rushed into a corner too fast and experienced not just the
    terror but the lack of control when trying to herd the bike into the
    bend. If you're fighting the brakes and trying to turn the bike, any
    surprise will be impossible to deal with. Setting your entrance speed
    early and looking into the corner allows you to determine what type of
    corner you're facing. Does the radius decrease? Is the turn
    off-camber? Is there an embankment that may have contributed some dirt
    to the corner?

    Racers talk constantly about late braking, yet that technique is used
    only to pass for position during a race, not to turn a quicker lap
    time. Hard braking blurs the ability to judge cornering speed
    accurately, and most racers who rely too heavily on the brakes find
    themselves passed at the corner exits because they scrubbed off too
    much cornering speed. Additionally, braking late often forces you to
    trail the brakes or turn the motorcycle while still braking. While
    light trail braking is an excellent and useful technique to master,
    understand that your front tire has only a certain amount of traction
    to give.

    If you use a majority of the front tire's traction for braking and
    then ask it to provide maximum cornering traction as well, a typical
    low-side crash will result. Also consider that your motorcycle won't
    steer as well with the fork fully compressed under braking. If you're
    constantly fighting the motorcycle while turning, it may be because
    you're braking too far into the corner. All these problems can be
    eliminated by setting your entrance speed early, an important
    component of running the Pace.

    Since you aren't hammering the brakes at every corner entrance, your
    enjoyment of pure cornering will increase tremendously. You'll relish
    the feeling of snapping your bike into the corner and opening the
    throttle as early as possible. Racers talk about getting the drive
    started, and that's just as important on the street. Notice how the
    motorcycle settles down and simply works better when the throttle is
    open? Use a smooth, light touch on the throttle and try to get the
    bike driving as soon as possible in the corner, even before the apex,
    the tightest point of the corner. If you find yourself on the throttle
    ridiculously early, it's an indication you can increase your entrance
    speed slightly be releasing the brakes earlier.

    As you sweep past the apex, you can begin to stand the bike up out of
    the corner. This is best done by smoothly accelerating, which will
    help stand the bike up. As the rear tire comes off full lean, it puts
    more rubber on the road, and the forces previously used for cornering
    traction can be converted to acceleration traction. The throttle can
    be rolled open as the bike stands up.

    This magazine won't tell you how fast is safe; we will tell you how to
    go fast safely. How fast you go is your decision, but it's one that
    requires reflection and commitment. High speed on an empty four-lane
    freeway is against the law, but it's fairly safe. Fifty-five miles per
    hour in a canyon may be legal, but it may also be dangerous. Get
    together with your friends and talk about speed. Set a reasonable
    maximum and stick to it. Done right, the Pace is addicting without
    high straightaway speeds.

    The group I ride with couldn't care less about outright speed between
    corners; any gomer can twist a throttle. If you routinely go 100 mph,
    we hope you routinely practice emergency stops from that speed. Keep
    in mind outright speed will earn a ticket that is tough to fight and
    painful to pay; cruising the easy straight stuff doesn't attract as
    much attention from the authorities and sets your speed perfectly for
    the next sweeper.


    Straights are the time to reset the ranks. The leader needs to set a
    pace that won't bunch up the followers, especially while leaving a
    stop sign or passing a car on a two-lane road. The leader must use the
    throttle hard to get around the car and give the rest of the group
    room to make the pass, yet he or she can't speed blindly along and
    earn a ticket for the whole group. With sane speeds on the straights,
    the gaps can be adjusted easily; the bikes should be spaced about two
    seconds apart for maximum visibility of surface hazards.

    It's the group aspect of the Pace I enjoy most, watching the bikes in
    front of me click into a corner like a row of dominoes, or looking in
    my mirror as my friends slip through the same set of corners I just
    emerged from.

    Because there's a leader and a set of rules to follow, the competitive
    aspect of sport riding is eliminated and that removes a tremendous
    amount of pressure from a young rider's ego - or even an old rider's
    ego. We've all felt the tug of racing while riding with friends or
    strangers, but the Pace takes that away and saves it for where it
    belongs: the racetrack. The racetrack is where you prove your speed
    and take chances to best your friends and rivals.

    I've spend a considerable amount of time writing about the Pace (see
    Motorcyclist, Nov. '91) for several reasons, not the least of which
    being the fun I've had researching it (continuous and ongoing). But I
    have motivations that aren't so fun. I got scared a few years ago when
    Senator Danforth decided to save us from ourselves by trying to ban
    superbikes, soon followed by insurance companies blacklisting a
    variety of sport bikes. I've seen Mulholland Highway shut down because
    riders insisted on racing (and crashing) over a short section of it.
    I've seen heavy police patrols on roads that riders insist on throwing
    themselves off of. I've heard the term "murder-cycles" a dozen times
    too many. When we consider the abilities of a modern sport bike, it
    becomes clear that rider techniques is sorely lacking.

    The Pace emphasizes intelligent, rational riding techniques that
    ignore racetrack heroics without sacrificing fun. The skills needed to
    excel on the racetrack make up the basic precepts of the Pace,
    excluding the mind-numbing speeds and leaving the substantially larger
    margin for error needed to allow for unknowns and immovable objects.
    Our sport faces unwanted legislation from outsiders, but a bit of
    throttle management from within will guarantee our future.


    Set cornering speed early.
    Blow the entrance and you'll never recover.

    Look down the road
    Maintaining a high visual horizon will reduce perceived speed and help
    you avoid panic situations.

    Steer the bike quickly.
    There's a reason Wayne Rainey works out - turning a fast-moving
    motorcycle takes muscle.

    Use your brakes smoothly but firmly
    Get on and then off the brakes; don't drag 'em.

    Get the throttle on early
    Starting the drive settles the chassis, especially through a bumpy

    Never cross the centerline except to pass
    Crossing the centerline in a corner is an instant ticket and an
    admittance that you can't really steer your bike. In racing terms,
    your lane is your course; staying right of the line adds a significant
    challenge to most roads and is mandatory for sport riding's future.

    Don't crowd the centerline
    Always expect an oncoming car with two wheels in your lane.

    Don't hang off in the corners or tuck in on the straights
    Sitting sedately on the bike looks safer and reduces unwanted
    attention. It also provides a built-in safety margin.

    When leading, ride for the group
    Good verbal communication is augmented with hand signals and turn
    signals; change direction and speed smoothly.

    When following, ride with the group
    If you can't follow a leader, don't expect anyone to follow you when
    you're setting the pace.

    Nick Ienatsch
  2. Beautifully said, great article from a while back. Wayne and Kenny are still heroes tho!


  3. jezterr

    jezterr Retired Admin

    this is a mandatory read for any rider.
  4. Mandatory read, indeed! +1

    Like any sane rider, I've had dreams where I rode off a cliff.. I listen to my little voice!

    Pay attention and slow down out there, so you may enjoy many years of riding. The famous "Lawrence of Arabia" died in a motorcycle accident.. riding too fast on a rural English road. He survived fierce desert warfare and political intrigues only to die while recreating. At least he lived first.. listen now to someone who has been on bikes longer than most of you have been newbies, slow down or you will bite it!
  5. Im more afraid of other drivers(car/truck/cycle) skills then my own. I almost got ran off the rode one morning by a chick doing her makup in the mirror and changing lanes....sheesh women! Luckially I noticed her doing that since I pay good attention to what others are doing while driving and I was ready to react.
  6. spolic

    spolic Ducati Pilot

    I just caught this on another website. (sorry beans...but not a lot of Monster talk here)

    Anyway wanted to bring this post back up to the front.

    School is almost back in and we really should do a little 'homework' and study this. There have been way to many people going down.

    Everyone should read it and all newbies need to read it twice!
  7. Thank you for posting it. Seems most of what I 'hear' on this board is how fast people went. Not to say I don't like going fast, mostly to see if I can, but I prefer no tickets and staying upright more. :clap
  8. Djoplin

    Djoplin Investigates Alternative Destinations

    Yep, a definite must read. I've seen/read it on at least three other sites.

    Might want to consider this one for a STICKIE.

  9. This is the only part I don't agree with. If you don't hang off it may look safer to people who don't know better. For those of us who do, it is clear that to hang off means that you have to carry less lean angle for a given speed through a corner.

    That is safer.
  10. :thumbup:
  11. Para-dice

    Para-dice Paradice Paint

    :clap :read: :301
  12. Djoplin

    Djoplin Investigates Alternative Destinations

    late apex,
    I think you missed the point. It's about the pace. If your pace is fast enough to hang off in corners, it's not the same. Wanna hang off, go to the track.