Almeria Insights

Would be better punch out of the corners esp on to the long straight, but would benefit coming out of all corners; would give more engine braking into corners – less braking needed to apply manually.

OK, rather than watch Downton Abby on  Christmas Day, I watched my on-boards from the recent trip to Almeria, and compared them to Crafar’s Almeria vid to see where I was going wroing/could improve – here’s the findings.

1. Observation: I am in too high a gear in the infield – coming out of many of the corners I am in 6-8K rpm i.e. I am in 2nd or 3rd when I should be in 1st or 2nd (esp at the end of the long straight). Looking at Race-Chrono my speed on at the end of the long straight, through the chicane and on to the long straight warrants only being in first (40-50 mph). Maybe also the left turn onto the long up hill left hander.
What does Crafar do: He’s in high revs all the time, He comes down 4? gears at the end of the long straight.
Benefit: Would be better punch out of the corners esp on to the long straight, but would benefit coming out of all corners; would give more engine braking into corners – less braking needed to apply manually.
Plan: Try and use lower gears. Find out the top speed in all gears and use Race Chrono to plan the gear to use for each turn. Practice down-shifting under pressure – it has to be as second nature as up-shifting!
Danger: Going into 1st mean more chance of the rear locking up even with a slipper clutch. May have to give less throttle (or time its application better).
Wish List: A line of LEDs that indicate rpm that I could stick on my screen like a ZX-10R. Yellow 1 to 9K rpm, Green 9 to 12K rpm and red above. Down blipper ? :)

2. Observation: using too much engine braking it seems. The time spent decelerating (all be it at a very slow rate seems to long).
What does Crafar do: You can hear when he’s off the throttle but its for shorter periods.
Benefit: Longer spent on the throttle would mean higher speeds on all the straights.
Plan: If not accelerating, brake. Work with braking markers. Brake into turn in.
Danger: Too busy at turn in time; harder to judge speed; miss turn in point; run wide due to excess speed.
Wishlist: Data acquisition would show how much brakes I’m applying and for how long. How about a light that shows brake application on my screen?

3. Observation: Head too far away from inside bar – can look crossed up. No knee down so no I’m getting no indication of lean.
What does Crafar do: Sits high but looks good.
Benefit: Better weight distribution; less lean required; looks better in pictures 😛
Plan: Drop inside shoulder; put head closer to inside clip on, splay legs!
Danger: I’m not used to this, try clinging onto bike rather than sit on it, physically to hard.
Wishlist: Could rearsets make a difference? How about a higher seat?

4. Observation: Front forks don’t have the range of adjustment required. Although the shock seemed OK, everything on forks was wound up to about max. Bumps at Almeria were making the whole of the front end shake.
Plan: Upgrade springs, fork cartridges and oil to give the adjustment I need.
Danger:  Can’t get the bike to work on the road anymore.