‘How can track-day­ers ad­dress front-end is­sues?’

Mick Shan­ley, 39, is team man­ager for Mil­wau­kee BMW, who are run­ning Bri­tish Su­per­bike cham­pion Josh Brookes in World Su­pers this year

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

“When you are start­ing out rid­ing on cir­cuits, it’s all too easy to lis­ten to too many ‘ex­perts’ and con­fuse your­self. If you have cor­ner­ing is­sues, and the bike’s base set-up is good – sag set, stan­dard set­tings plus a few clicks, with de­cent tyres – then for me, there are a few key lead­ing ques­tions to an­swer.

“If a rider is com­plain­ing about the steer­ing, I won’t want to know what it is do­ing, but where it is hap­pen­ing. Is it on the brakes, or as you come off them? Per­haps it’s when you start to open the throt­tle. Then I’ll ask what the sta­bil­ity is like at that point? For ex­am­ple, if a bike is un­sta­ble on the brakes and re­luc­tant to turn in, but as you re­lease the brakes it re­sponds, then that tells me the front is too soft.

“Then I’ll want to know how fast does it dive? If it’s plum­met­ing, some com­pres­sion damp­ing will slow the dive rate. If it’s not that, some preload will in­crease the level of force needed to move it ini­tially. But go too far on preload and the forks could re­turn too fast, so it won’t change line eas­ily as you throt­tle off in long, fast cor­ners. Then it’s time to up the spring rate with less preload.

“Your bike might have some dat­a­log­ging kit, and we’ve got masses of it here, but it’s easy to con­vince your­self of any­thing when you look at the data. Don’t be a slave to it – it’s a guide, not the law. For nor­mal track­day use stan­dard brake pads are as good as any­thing. Stu­art Eas­ton prefers them for the North West – and he could be de­scribed as quite quick.”

‘I won’t want to know what it is do­ing, but where it is hap­pen­ing ’

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