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Different Strokes For Different Folks

I have more than once been accused of over simplifying motorcycle riding techniques in my Motovudu books and instructional videos. They are probably right.

Also, I regularly get emailed questions to Motovudu.com comparing what I teach to CSS.

I used to get passionately upset about some of what CSS teaches,  but in recent years I have mellowed and prefer to adopt the saying “different strokes for different folks”, because I have recognised that there will always be a demand for both CSS and Motovudu.

Although CSS’s visual stuff is quite good, and their main techniques are easy to understand and naturally easy to do, they are very limiting. They’ll help a rider reach an average trackday level, but using them exactly will make it in my opinion impossible and even unsafe to try to reach a higher level. Adding to my frustration is the fact that once a rider learns a riding technique and so makes it a habit, it’s not easy to change, making my task of helping an ex CSS rider go from slow or medium speed trackday rider to fast, a difficult task (In all my years instructing on circuit I am yet to come across a very fast rider using strictly what CSS teaches).

 

I believe there will always be a market for both because I have noticed that there are basically two main types of riders, (although some people blur the lines between these types a little).

Type A) Riders who want riding techniques and goals explained simply and quickly because they are eager to get back out on track and apply it with vigour to see if they can go faster. These riders are more readily prepared to push beyond their inbuilt alarm bells once I show them the areas that it is safe to do so, and in general these riders have less patience for talking about it, they want to ride.

Type B) The riders who love motorcycles just as much as type A riders, if not more, but when riding ultimately prefer not to push past their inbuilt alarm bells and instead prefer to analyse in minute details the physics of a fast lap. These riders often prefer the debrief time to the riding time. Which is completely the opposite to the first type.

As you can imagine, if the main enjoyment from our sport comes from talking about it, everything needs to be explained as technically and long winded as possible. I say long winded because I have no patience for this, I’m from type A.

Like I said, some riders do blur the lines between these two types, but in general the type A riders love what I do and really respond to it. The type B riders respond to a point, but it’s not as easy to keep them progressing (no matter who they’re getting instruction from) and they are sometimes disappointed that what I teach is simple and made up of straight forward tasks, that just take some courage, timing and trust in the bike/tyres and practice to apply.

When riding on circuit there are so many things happening all at once that it’s impossible to think about the very technical side in detail. I believe every rider no matter what type or what level needs to think about straight forward simple tasks.

Riding fast is made up of lots of straight forward tasks, the hard part is deciding exactly when and how much to do them.

I’d like to sign off with a quote from someone much smarter than myself;

“If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand the subject well enough”

Albert Einstein 

 

 

Simon

2 comments

You may remember I have walked this very path with you!

20 seconds of an on-board video of mine at Jerez was all it took for you to spot that I was using CSS technique of getting balancing throttle applied straight after turn in.

Once you’d explained how your approach differs (and discovering independently that this approach is where we find the fastest riders in the world centering their technique) I became quicker, safer and expended less energy riding.

I’m 100% with you that CSS isn’t something you can completely ignore, their Level 2 visual stuff remains exemplary, this has more to do with the way they teach turning. There is a glass ceiling which you’ll likely hit somewhere around fast group trackday/club racer if all you ever do is try and ride their way. I’ve coached enough at race schools subsequently to have seen plenty of folk who’ve taken on board their techniques, and become limited by them at a certain point.

When I’ve passed on what I knew of the way you helped me through my “barrier” I’ve seen results time and time again that prove beyond any doubt that your way absolutely rocks.

Turning a motorcycle, accurately, at speed, on a racetrack will always be really difficult, but if you use the right technique in a grid or group full of people who aren’t, you’ll feel like you can walk on water. The difference is amazing, and I remain thankful for the time you spent unlocking the potential I’d failed to find in my own ability!

Hey Simon… reading this I found my answer to the question I asked you the other day 🙂
As you know I got to level 3 CSS and I did learn some very useful skills and one of those is the vision techniques they teach which has enabled me to go from road rider to club racer which I’m grateful for. I thought that if I could figure out what I was doing then I would know when I was doing it wrong! But all that did was cause me to waaayyyyy over think f***ing everything and my riding suffered to the point where I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I knew I should be… No matter what I did I could not go faster! (the glass ceiling)
Then I found your videos on youtube…and in my very next race meet smashed my PB by a whopping 2sec from just one technique that you teach! WOW I have found the missing links 🙂
Paul is right the difference is amazing. I would regard myself as a type A rider but I still like the technical side of how a bike works which is why I enjoyed CSS.
So combining those skills with your technique of making the straights longer and the corners shorter by getting on full gas earlier and release the brakes earlier and trusting the front grip as you steer into the apex with a closed throttle (completely opposite to what I was taught!) has improved my confidence and I feel much safer to push now that I know where to! And I am really enjoying my racing now…
I have been applying other things you teach and I’m getting more consistent, less tired, less mistakes and I know the speed will come.

So I agree with you 100% there is certainly a market for both and it depends on the rider as to what he or she wants from their riding/training as to what will work best for them. As for me I want to keep racing and learning to go faster and faster now that I know I can thanks to you doing what you do! I cannot thank you enough. 🙂

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