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post #1 of 16 Old 07-11-2013, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter

Morning fellas. I know this is my first post on this forum, but I am definitely no newb, haha. You guys just make it hard to contribute to a forum that already has a wealth of knowledge!

Anyway, I would like to share what the guys over at AMGRASS are doing, so we can start a chapter here in SoCal. Moto Gymkhana started in Japan in the late 70s, and there are plenty of videos on YouTube.

NY AMGRASS Sessions

In Japan

If you'd like to join me in rallying a group of riders that enjoy a challenging obstacle course, feel free to post here, so we can start setting up our own sessions.

The point of this is more than a contest of you versus the clock. Its to build confidence in yourself and your machine! We'll start off small and keep things low-key in parking lots, but I would like to see official local events in the near future.

If you're not in the SoCal area, Feel free to check out their website to find out if they're hosting a session near you!
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-11-2013, 2:39 PM
 
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Re: SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter

Welcome. That stuff is pretty crazy. Good luck!
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Re: SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter

Welcome! That actually looks extremely fun, and it must develop low speed skills like crazy. This, of course, would end up translating into better riding skills at faster speeds (at least in theory). Anyone that took an MSF riding course undoubtedly remembers "the box", which is all about low speed handling.

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post #4 of 16 Old 07-11-2013, 5:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter

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Originally Posted by RRDemon View Post
Welcome! That actually looks extremely fun, and it must develop low speed skills like crazy. This, of course, would end up translating into better riding skills at faster speeds (at least in theory). Anyone that took an MSF riding course undoubtedly remembers "the box", which is all about low speed handling.
Funny you mention MSF, both my father and I took the MSF course to get our licenses! For father's day last month, we set up a small obstacle course at our local high school and had some fun. He showed significant improvement on his low speed handling.

Doing the figure 8 in the box was my favorite! Only me and two others in our group performed it successfully.

Nothing big/major, just us two.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=KOvCTGfms7E
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-11-2013, 6:22 PM
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Re: SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter

I cheated on that test, kinda. I had actually just bought my (then wife) a Honda rebel to teach her how to ride. I decided to bring this to the course because it was so stable and fun to ride. They made my box waaaay smaller than the standard size box because I brought it lol. I still made it just fine, even with the drastically smaller box. The emergency braking was also tons of fun, I decided to lock up the rear every time just for shiggles. They all laughed at me because I would swing the tail-end around about 45 degrees. Good choice to take the MSF course, but there are plenty of things that they teach that are not completely real-world oriented (like cornering power). They say you should maintain or increase your throttle, never decel, and never touch your brakes. Ask bladeracer about this, if you come into a corner too fast a little (read LITTLE) braking can keep you on the hard surfaces. I do not race, but have had to brake a few times because I am not a pro, and was trying to take corners like an idiot. (I was being stupid without the skill to be stupid safely) Anyway, welcome, and we look forward to getting to know you.

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post #6 of 16 Old 07-11-2013, 7:43 PM
 
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Re: SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter

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They say you should maintain or increase your throttle, never decel, and never touch your brakes. Ask bladeracer about this, if you come into a corner too fast a little (read LITTLE) braking can keep you on the hard surfaces. I do not race, but have had to brake a few times because I am not a pro, and was trying to take corners like an idiot. (I was being stupid without the skill to be stupid safely) Anyway, welcome, and we look forward to getting to know you.
I've done the "taking corners like an idiot thing" on the street and it ended up biting me and also led me to re-think my values. A liter bike is way too fast for the street, esp for those that have issues with throttle control (me). I can control the throttle quite well at the track but not so much when there are speed limits.
Anyway, after some reading, I learned about trail braking in corners and practiced at the track. It was something I wish I had learned earlier as I'm pretty sure I could've avoid at least one get off.
A day at one of these events should be mandatory training for any new rider, and probably not a bad refresher yearly for anyone else. It definitely will expose your weaknesses.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-12-2013, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter

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Originally Posted by RRDemon View Post
I cheated on that test, kinda. I had actually just bought my (then wife) a Honda rebel to teach her how to ride. I decided to bring this to the course because it was so stable and fun to ride. They made my box waaaay smaller than the standard size box because I brought it lol. I still made it just fine, even with the drastically smaller box. The emergency braking was also tons of fun, I decided to lock up the rear every time just for shiggles. They all laughed at me because I would swing the tail-end around about 45 degrees. Good choice to take the MSF course, but there are plenty of things that they teach that are not completely real-world oriented (like cornering power). They say you should maintain or increase your throttle, never decel, and never touch your brakes. Ask bladeracer about this, if you come into a corner too fast a little (read LITTLE) braking can keep you on the hard surfaces. I do not race, but have had to brake a few times because I am not a pro, and was trying to take corners like an idiot. (I was being stupid without the skill to be stupid safely) Anyway, welcome, and we look forward to getting to know you.
Lol! Had I been able to afford my own bike at the time, I would have done the same! (I had owned a Yamaha Virago XV250 for a short while, so I know what you mean.) Oh right, I forgot about the hard braking obstacle. Thats very true, and Ive come in way too hot on several occasions (at the track or even making a left before oncoming traffic gets to you), but there's no way Id teach that to newbs! Haha.

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I've done the "taking corners like an idiot thing" on the street and it ended up biting me and also led me to re-think my values. A liter bike is way too fast for the street, esp for those that have issues with throttle control (me). I can control the throttle quite well at the track but not so much when there are speed limits.
Anyway, after some reading, I learned about trail braking in corners and practiced at the track. It was something I wish I had learned earlier as I'm pretty sure I could've avoid at least one get off.
A day at one of these events should be mandatory training for any new rider, and probably not a bad refresher yearly for anyone else. It definitely will expose your weaknesses.
A lot of us have been there, especially after the passing of dear friends. I wont ride at the track as competetively as I used to, but for something relatively slower such as Moto Gymkhana, Im okay with walking away with nothing more than a few bruises from slipping in a corner (of course assuming that we have full gear on!). After watching several videos, these guys slip quite often, dust themselves off and keep going. With that being said, I definitely agree that having new and even experienced riders should participate. Knowing that youre not pushing your limits into a potentially fatal situation should allow one to be more confident in performing manuevers.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-12-2013, 12:18 PM
 
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Re: SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter

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Lol! Had I been able to afford my own bike at the time, I would have done the same! (I had owned a Yamaha Virago XV250 for a short while, so I know what you mean.) Oh right, I forgot about the hard braking obstacle. Thats very true, and Ive come in way too hot on several occasions (at the track or even making a left before oncoming traffic gets to you), but there's no way Id teach that to newbs! Haha.
A lot of us have been there, especially after the passing of dear friends. I wont ride at the track as competetively as I used to, but for something relatively slower such as Moto Gymkhana, Im okay with walking away with nothing more than a few bruises from slipping in a corner (of course assuming that we have full gear on!). After watching several videos, these guys slip quite often, dust themselves off and keep going. With that being said, I definitely agree that having new and even experienced riders should participate. Knowing that youre not pushing your limits into a potentially fatal situation should allow one to be more confident in performing manuevers.
Great points!
Keeping your ego in check at a track day can be hard sometimes, esp if you are riding with friends and you get a bit of talking going. I'm competitive, but not to the point where I ride over my head (at least not anymore). As they always say, there are no trophies at a track day.
At least with gymkhana it's vs the clock, but I'm sure it's still pretty competitive. Like you said, the speed is a lot lower so chances of getting hurt are reduced as well as the injuries (and potential bike damage).
It's a lot like autocross for bikes. I'll have to see if there's any in my area.
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Re: SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter

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It's a lot like autocross for bikes.
This is exactly what I was thinking while I watched the video. I love the hard cornering and using up all the tire, but the high-speed thing is still freaky to me when on the road. This looks like a great way to get used to the lean angles at much safer(ish) speeds. With some good sliders or a cage this would be a phenomenal way to get used to high lean angles, though at these speeds I think you do actually have to counter the lean rather than lean with it.... Still looks fun as hell.

I picked up that rebel (1986) for $500 cash to teach the ex to ride, best purchase I think I ever made. Though it is a small bike, and slow, that has to be one of the most stable bikes I have ever been on. I threw that thing around so much I ground the little posts off the bottom of the pegs, and could get it sideways with the rear locked up and never feel like it was going to fly out from under me. Waaaay fun little bike, just too slow imo.

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post #10 of 16 Old 07-12-2013, 4:34 PM
 
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Re: SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter

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This is exactly what I was thinking while I watched the video. I love the hard cornering and using up all the tire, but the high-speed thing is still freaky to me when on the road. This looks like a great way to get used to the lean angles at much safer(ish) speeds. With some good sliders or a cage this would be a phenomenal way to get used to high lean angles, though at these speeds I think you do actually have to counter the lean rather than lean with it.... Still looks fun as hell.

I picked up that rebel (1986) for $500 cash to teach the ex to ride, best purchase I think I ever made. Though it is a small bike, and slow, that has to be one of the most stable bikes I have ever been on. I threw that thing around so much I ground the little posts off the bottom of the pegs, and could get it sideways with the rear locked up and never feel like it was going to fly out from under me. Waaaay fun little bike, just too slow imo.
But would be perfect for this.
IMO, the track is the best place to get comfortable with speed and lean angles. Way too many variables on the street, even on roads that you are familiar with.
A couple track days and you will be very used to leaning at speed and feel a lot more comfortable than you ever will on the street.
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Re: SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter

I agree. I kinda want to buy a Yamaha and take it up to this school at Barber Motor Speedway in Birmingham, but I can't stomach anything Yamaha makes except the R1. I am a Honda guy... just love 'em. The school teaches you proper technique in the class, then you take many many laps around the track. The only problem is you either have to put a huge damage deposit down and use their bikes, or have a Yamaha of your own to ride. They will not accept any other brands on the track as the teacher is a Yamaha sponsored GP rider... stupid. Nonetheless, might have to find a place that offers track days locally. I am sure after a few laps your angles start getting lower and lower. I always wondered who went through and swept the street for me, since I'm yet to have anyone do it, I am nervous about cornering too hard and hitting gravel or sand (lots of sand here). Last accident happened at 65 mph from the tail sliding out on me in sand... was not fun (was also my fault because of what I was doing just seconds before the turn)

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Re: SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter

Also the street has a bad habit of putting hard things in the way that you can hit or that hit you.
The R6 is a great track bike and very popular. You could probably find one prepped pretty reasonable. I know there are plenty of tracks within a few hours drive of where ever you are. Just search track days and you'll certainly find some nearby.
I'm assuming that AL in your location is Alabama and Barber is one of the best tracks in the States! (they also do track days thru STT) http://www.sportbiketracktime.com/Al...k-Time-Events/
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-12-2013, 6:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter

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This is exactly what I was thinking while I watched the video. I love the hard cornering and using up all the tire, but the high-speed thing is still freaky to me when on the road. This looks like a great way to get used to the lean angles at much safer(ish) speeds. With some good sliders or a cage this would be a phenomenal way to get used to high lean angles, though at these speeds I think you do actually have to counter the lean rather than lean with it.... Still looks fun as hell.

I picked up that rebel (1986) for $500 cash to teach the ex to ride, best purchase I think I ever made. Though it is a small bike, and slow, that has to be one of the most stable bikes I have ever been on. I threw that thing around so much I ground the little posts off the bottom of the pegs, and could get it sideways with the rear locked up and never feel like it was going to fly out from under me. Waaaay fun little bike, just too slow imo.

Very true about counter leaning at very slow speeds, but after you watch some videos of yoshinobu Shiga on his CBR600RR, you'll be thinking otherwise!


Thats in the rain! Watch him on dry tarmac. Almost defies the laws of physics. Haha. I wonder if he is using Dunlop Q2s since Dunlop sponsors it.

Fr my XV250, I ended up buying clip ons, ditching the passenger seat and using the passenger foot pegs to really nean it over. Talk about fun on a 250 with some vintage styling. Wish I had some pictures handy.

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But would be perfect for this.
IMO, the track is the best place to get comfortable with speed and lean angles. Way too many variables on the street, even on roads that you are familiar with.
A couple track days and you will be very used to leaning at speed and feel a lot more comfortable than you ever will on the street.
I couldnt agree more

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Also the street has a bad habit of putting hard things in the way that you can hit or that hit you.
The R6 is a great track bike and very popular. You could probably find one prepped pretty reasonable. I know there are plenty of tracks within a few hours drive of where ever you are. Just search track days and you'll certainly find some nearby.
I'm assuming that AL in your location is Alabama and Barber is one of the best tracks in the States! (they also do track days thru STT) Purchase Track Time for Raceways in Alabama
Lol. So true. Having owned an 07 R6 myself, its hard to beat an affordable performance bike with cheap replacement parts and maintenance.

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I agree. I kinda want to buy a Yamaha and take it up to this school at Barber Motor Speedway in Birmingham, but I can't stomach anything Yamaha makes except the R1. I am a Honda guy... just love 'em. The school teaches you proper technique in the class, then you take many many laps around the track. The only problem is you either have to put a huge damage deposit down and use their bikes, or have a Yamaha of your own to ride. They will not accept any other brands on the track as the teacher is a Yamaha sponsored GP rider... stupid. Nonetheless, might have to find a place that offers track days locally. I am sure after a few laps your angles start getting lower and lower. I always wondered who went through and swept the street for me, since I'm yet to have anyone do it, I am nervous about cornering too hard and hitting gravel or sand (lots of sand here). Last accident happened at 65 mph from the tail sliding out on me in sand... was not fun (was also my fault because of what I was doing just seconds before the turn)
Geez! Glad you're okay. Ive had my share of intimate moments with the concrete (and dirt). Im sure Im still bound for more.
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Re: SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter


His commentary at the end describes perfectly what I'd like to see here!
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-12-2013, 7:49 PM
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Re: SoCal Moto Gymkhana Chapter

Still looks like loads of fun, at least if you were just doing it for fun and skill improvement. The beauty of this is that you can find any decent size parking lot and set up your own course using cheap arse cones from walmart or a sporting goods store.... going to have to try this when I get my next bike.

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