Smoothness

yamahor

DEAD MAN WALKING
Donating Member
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What does it mean to be smooth? I hear people say "you gotta be smoother" or "I need to try and be smoother in the twisties" all the time, but I've never really gotten a good explanation of what they mean (keep in mind, I'm only 22, and have only been riding a little over 2 years)... But what does that mean? Does it mean they, or I (in particular), are (am) too choppy with the throttle? (IE, too much too quick?) Let's hear from the experts...
 

MC MUSTANG

Peace Keeper or Ban Hammer-it's up to you; IDMBT#9
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I believe that it is not only witht he throttle, but with body movement and direction changes as well. Seems like a lot of it comes from comfort and familiartiy with the bike, the riders abilities and the area - if you can anticipate direction changes and move in a fluid fashion, rather than reacting tot he different bank angles, you will be smoother overall through the route, even if you are slower in some corners...
 

vman1300

Never Forgotten
1st I am no expert, but here is my opinion.


Smooth defined:

" 1 a (1) : having a continuous even surface (2) of a curve : being the representation of a function with a continuous first derivative (3) : having or being a short even coat of hair <a smooth collie> -- compare ROUGH, WIREHAIRED b : being without hair c : GLABROUS <a smooth leaf> d : causing no resistance to sliding
2 : free from difficulties or impediments <the smooth course of his life>
3 : even and uninterrupted in flow or flight
4 : excessively and often artfully suave : INGRATIATING <a smooth operator>
5 a : SERENE, EQUABLE <a smooth disposition> b : AMIABLE, COURTEOUS
6 a : not sharp or harsh <a smooth sherry> b : free from lumps"



Lets break that down to riding. Look at reference #3 " even and uninterrupted in flow or flight".

Attending lots of rallies and getting a chance to ride with 1000's of people every year, I get to see the good, the bad and unfortunatly the ugly.

Jinkster has coined the phrase of Asphalt Ballet, watching a smooth rider is like watching a ballroom dance. Graceful and precise moves.  

I would rather be classified as a smooth rider over a fast rider anyday. The smooth ones are normally the faster ones anyway.....

Anyhoo, what makes one a "smooth rider"? That is a simple question, but extremly difficult to answer.

To start lets begin with throttle imput:

On the Busa on any liter bike, you must be carful with the right hand, or you will write a check the rear tire cannot cash. Smooth means learning how and when to start your on throttle assault. Twist to the stop and your are breaking the rear loose, to little and time is lost. A smooth stedy application when learned will be awsome.


Braking:

The Busa brakes suck stock but when modded slightly with lines/pads they become adaquate. As with the throttle, braking smooth is difficult to learn, jab on the brakes and there is a danger of sliding the front. Braking late and you might miss the entrance point of the turn.

Side to side transition(for those that shift their weight)

There is a point in every switchback that the bike is straight up, it is a small window. Make your change from r to l or l to r at that moment. Use your shift to help set up the bike for the next turn.

Trust your tires! With most street rubber, they can take more lean than we can accomplish on the street.

Dont make any un-nessary moves while mid corner. It will upset the the corner and can throw your line off.

Am I the smoothest I can be? Not even close. I have many aspects I need to work on to become a better and smoother street rider.

Where do you work on being smooth? At a trackday. The Gap and your fav road are no place to learn new skills.

Hone your skills on the track and apply them to the street.
 

yamahor

DEAD MAN WALKING
Donating Member
Registered
Sweet, thanks Kev... VERY informative breakdown of it. And yes, a trackday IS in my future... I just need some leathers. By the way, PM being sent...
 

thrasherfox

BUSA
Donating Member
Registered
If people are saying you need to be smoother I am guessing you are not 100% comfortable yet with the bike.

Smoothness (shifting, body position, everything) comes with time.

You become "smooth" when you become one with the bike.

Any tool in life you use becomes an extension of ones self.

I learned this from years of martial arts training, this philosophy holds true when using weapons, or any other tool, including vehicles.

Every mechanical device we use is an extension of our selves that allows us to accomplish a certain task.

When driving / riding we have 100% of attention available to us. We need to divide that up into observing our surroundings and  operation of the vehicle.

Often when getting used to a new vehicle then unconsciously spend a great deal of time focusing on mechanical functions of the bike, and then having to divert from the mechanical functions to the surroundings and back and forth.

The more you become one with the bike, the more natural everything will become, the less you have to focus on the mechanical and the more you can focus on your surroundings.

Once you have become “oneâ€￾ with your bike. Your riding will become smooth

Just give it time.. it is not something that can be obtained from trying or from pure desire, it only comes in time.

Just my perspecctive anyway
 

Jet Li

What is the AWESOME????
Donating Member
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Thanks Vman.

You certainly look like an expert to me.
bowdown.gif
 

Tufbusa

Track Coach / TufPoodle Coach
Registered
Spend a day on the track just watching and you'll come away with a good understanding of "Smooth". You'll see all kinds on any given track day. Look at the street riders and then watch the guys with number plates. You'll see some who just flow through the corners at blazing speeds then there are the ones that has yet to grasp the smooth thing. You'll know the difference.
 

WWJD

Donating Member
Registered
I feel the Busa limits the amount of smooth achievable compared to the lighter bikes out there. It does take a little extra effort to accelerate, brake, switchback etc on our heavy beast. Sometimes, as smooth as I can possibly be still produces a little jiggle at speed out of a turn because the suspension can't hold that much weight at that velocity. Just my opinion, but that's what I see. And on mine, the throttle start/stop is REALLY jerky and causes many unsmoothness that no human could control due to the bad mechanicals. That's my excuse anyway
 

yamahor

DEAD MAN WALKING
Donating Member
Registered
(WWJD @ Sep. 28 2006,16:25) I feel the Busa limits the amount of smooth achievable compared to the lighter bikes out there.  It does take a little extra effort to accelerate, brake, switchback etc on our heavy beast.  Sometimes, as smooth as I can possibly be still produces a little jiggle at speed out of a turn because the suspension can't hold that much weight at that velocity.  Just my opinion, but that's what I see.  And on mine, the throttle start/stop is REALLY jerky and causes many unsmoothness that no human could control due to the bad mechanicals.  That's my excuse anyway
Well... I tell ya what, I'll trade you my 900RR for your Busa... That should help you get smoother.
laugh.gif
 

JINKSTER

I Love my Wife!
Donating Member
Registered
(vman1300 @ Sep. 28 2006,09:48) 1st I am no expert, but here is my opinion.


Smooth defined:

" 1 a (1) : having a continuous even surface (2) of a curve : being the representation of a function with a continuous first derivative (3) : having or being a short even coat of hair <a smooth collie> -- compare ROUGH, WIREHAIRED b : being without hair c : GLABROUS <a smooth leaf> d : causing no resistance to sliding
2 : free from difficulties or impediments <the smooth course of his life>
3 : even and uninterrupted in flow or flight
4 : excessively and often artfully suave : INGRATIATING <a smooth operator>
5 a : SERENE, EQUABLE <a smooth disposition> b : AMIABLE, COURTEOUS
6 a : not sharp or harsh <a smooth sherry> b : free from lumps"



Lets break that down to riding. Look at reference #3 " even and uninterrupted in flow or flight".

Attending lots of rallies and getting a chance to ride with 1000's of people every year, I get to see the good, the bad and unfortunatly the ugly.

Jinkster has coined the phrase of Asphalt Ballet, watching a smooth rider is like watching a ballroom dance. Graceful and precise moves.  

I would rather be classified as a smooth rider over a fast rider anyday. The smooth ones are normally the faster ones anyway.....

Anyhoo, what makes one a "smooth rider"? That is a simple question, but extremly difficult to answer.

To start lets begin with throttle imput:

On the Busa on any liter bike, you must be carful with the right hand, or you will write a check the rear tire cannot cash. Smooth means learning how and when to start your on throttle assault. Twist to the stop and your are breaking the rear loose, to little and time is lost. A smooth stedy application when learned will be awsome.


Braking:

The Busa brakes suck stock but when modded slightly with lines/pads they become adaquate. As with the throttle, braking smooth is difficult to learn, jab on the brakes and there is a danger of sliding the front. Braking late and you might miss the entrance point of the turn.

Side to side transition(for those that shift their weight)

There is a point in every switchback that the bike is straight up, it is a small window. Make your change from r to l or l to r at that moment. Use your shift to help set up the bike for the next turn.

Trust your tires! With most street rubber, they can take more lean than we can accomplish on the street.

Dont make any un-nessary moves while mid corner. It will upset the the corner and can throw your line off.

Am I the smoothest I can be? Not even close. I have many aspects I need to work on to become a better and smoother street rider.

Where do you work on being smooth? At a trackday. The Gap and your fav road are no place to learn new skills.

Hone your skills on the track and apply them to the street.
i "was" going to reply to this thread...
laugh.gif


but after reading your bit there Kev?...it seems you covered just about all of it...well done...well done.
biggrin.gif


L8R, Bill.
cool.gif
 

Wag

Evil Demon Busa Rider
Donating Member
Registered
Kev's explanation was very well stated. Smooth just means you're not choppy with anything you do on the bike.

We train for this all the time, focusing on every aspect, one at a time.

Throttle control is the most boring so we do that first. Gently on the throttle and gently off, on and off, over and over again until all of the choppiness is gone. We practice it slowly but that doesn't mean that smooth=slow. Smooth can be done fast just as well. What you're shooting for is extreme control. Nothing ever gets done suddenly or without warning. Throttle control on the Busa is VERY difficult to master.

Brakes, same thing. Gradually on, gradually off. Just as you don't ever slam the brakes all of a sudden, you don't ever let off the brakes suddenly either. Again, the question is about control. Gradually apply, the gradually release, rear brake just a split instant before the front brake. The front brake, you want to be using the tips of your fingers on the brake lever. Squeeze gently. Again, in the partking lots, you practice over and over and over again until boredom sets in. Then do it again in a coupla three weeks. It becomes habitual to be smooth on your control of the brakes.

The other controls, practice smoothness with all of them. Practice is done slowly and gradually. In real life, it can be done very quickly and retain smoothness.

Turns, same thing. Practice for a smooth, balanced line.

Learn to be loose on the bike. It doesn't really need you to hold it up. It can ride itself juuuuuuust fine. Bikes have most of their problems because of their rider!
biggrin.gif


It takes practice and most of the things we all need to learn CANNOT be learned while out riding. They MUST be learned in a sterile (parking lot) environment with little or not interference.

Just some thoughts. Any elaboration, you know me. I'll type to your heart's content!

--Wag--
 

semi

Whoooosh!
Moderator
Donating Member
Registered
never too old to learn...great info guys...keep it coming
beerchug.gif
 

gtrpimp76

S.Q.U.I.D. Extraordinaire
Donating Member
Registered
Lesson in smooth: WATCH ROSSI, MLADIN and old footage of Kevin Schwantz, etc.

Vman and others stated it precise. to break it all down:

smoothness is the seamless transition of body positioning/shifting, brake application (trailbraking), use of clutch/downshifting/blipping, looking through the apex, throttle application (yes not being choppy), and many other factors.

When you watch Rossi and Mladin, they're so graceful that they make it look "easy." That's what makes them fast, while their competition is working their b@lls off to try and catch them.
 

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