Technology has always been my forte which is why, as it applies to motorcycle racing, I’ve developed a growing appetite to learn more about it. Of late, I’m beginning to see a trend in motorcycle technology becoming more of a double-edged sword for new and even experienced riders amongst the paddock.
I’m a computer geek by trade so I understand and willfully embrace the pluses and minuses new and exciting motorcycle tech can bring to the track. Unfortunately, as more technology trickles down from the GP and SBK lanes that “new tech” is becoming, shall I say, a bit too techy for riders to take advantage of.
As more newbs push their way onto grids, gadgets such as quick shifters and traction control modules are becoming common place. I believe and still stand by it today that the most important setup on a motorcycle is the suspension. Check out my article “Suspension is King”. I give a spill on why suspension is supreme.
There’s a lot of jargon to digest these days especially when lap times begin to drop for you. Sometimes it almost feels like you have to have a doctorate on the wall just to understand which way to turn a dang screw.
Sheesh! What was that compression thing again or was it the rebound screw I had to turn?
When hitting a ceiling with riding it’s always easy to look for a piece of bike tech as a solution. In some cases, this is warranted, such as the purchase for a quick shifter and a good suspension setup. Anything beyond the two may be too much unless you are at the pro level.
Taking the path of least resistance through a check book could cause a developing rider to miss out on a few lessons-learned. This proves true for riders who haven’t developed their tool kit effectively. Some just lack the basic knowledge to explain what is happening with the bike well enough to someone for a change. Not understanding your motorcycle to a certain degree will ultimately hinder you. I’ve seen plenty of riders get passed because they only know how to go fast in a straight line.
Within motorcycle riding there is a hidden art form most cannot see. Smooth riding becomes a stringed instrument creating that perfect blend of brake and acceleration. There is a tuning process, like a musical instrument, every rider wanting to become faster must learn.
Look at it this way. Your body is the tuner for the type of motorcycle (instrument) you ride (play). Every manufacturer has its own way of creating a symphonic masterpiece. Relax and listen to bike in its purest form without the additions. It speaks to you every time you throw a leg over it. You and only you must find it. Masking this process with excessive parts will only get in the way if you are not ready.
Work on the biggest variable in the equation of riding. You! Always do a reverse azimuth when you feel you cannot go any faster. I can assure you there was something left on the table. Study the art as much as you can. Then apply it as best you can.
Take a riding (Cornerspin) school. Heck, take 10 of them 10 times over to improve your riding ability. Also, look for a mentor to cut time in your search. Having a good source of mentorship is one of the best and fastest approaches to the game.
This article isn’t going to change the increase in technology nor do I aim to do so. My goal is to highlight a trending issue I’ve experience vicariously through buddies and even personally. Trust me. I’ve been there before.
Went through a season with a Bazaaz system that had all the bells and whistles. After so many issues I swapped to Dyno Jet which turned out to work pretty well. Their customer service was phenomenal too to my surprise. In the end I decided to do more with less. I went directly into the ECU for the performance I needed. By minimizing the clutter, it made finding issues within my riding and setup a heck of a lot easier to find.
Remember, Slow is Fast! Follow the rule of thumb KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) until you are fast enough to take advantage of what is being passed down from the upper echelons of racing.
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