Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Andy Ibbot’s Performance Riding Techniques tells it like it is

Performance Riding TechniquesAndy Ibbot
Want to be able to ride faster? You could learn a thing or two from Andy Ibbot's book...

We wanted to be able to ride our 100cc Honda scooter a bit faster. So, of course, we got ourselves a copy of Performance Riding Techniques, written by Andy Ibbot. Billed as ‘the MotoGP manual of track riding skills,’ it’s definitely a useful book and an interesting read. We recommend you buy a copy now. In the meanwhile, here are some quick lessons from the book, as taught by the Gurus of MotoGP:

Dani PedrosaChris VermeulenCasey Stoner
Keith Code says there are only five kinds of errors that you can make while riding a motorcycle. And this is probably what happens when you make some of those errors...


‘The simplicity of it all is astounding. On a motorcycle we do the same things as our heroes do: change speed and direction with the controls. That’s all there is, no more and no less. When it goes right, speed and direction changes are precisely placed on the road and correctly metered, just the right amount. It’s the same with errors. There are only five possible errors: changing speed or direction or both at the wrong time or in the wrong amount. No more and no less.’ – Keith Code

Valentino RossiValentino RossiValentino Rossi
Thinking about what's for dinner tonight? Don't, says Rossi...


‘When you ride, you should try and forget everything else. Don’t think about the rest of your life or the rest of the world. Try to forget all that and think only of the road or the track and the bike. It's not always easy to stay focused on the bike. Sometimes you feel that one part of the brain rides the bike, thinks about the tyre, sees the road, but maybe the other part is thinking about a girl, a friend, a song...’ – Valentino Rossi

John HopkinsJohn HopkinsJohn Hopkins
Run, cycle, jog, go to the gym and ride motocross. Yeah, well, nobody said it was going to be easy!


‘Legs are the biggest part of training, for sure. I cycle maybe five days a week and do 30-40 miles per day, and two days of running 4-5 miles each week.’ – John Hopkins

‘You can only get bike-fit riding a bike. It doesn’t matter how much training you do over the winter – you end up knackered after the first test.’ – James Ellison

Valentino RossiValentino RossiValentino Rossi
Think ahead, plan for the next corner...


‘You need to stay 100% concentrated on what is going to happen next. You need to ride with your mind a little bit in front of the bike. On the track, I’m always thinking about the next corner.’ – Valentino Rossi

‘I try to spend at least an hour a day going through the track in my head. I try and think about all my lines throughout the whole circuit, going back and forth looking at braking markers and stuff like that, so when you show up, you are prepared and immediately you’re good on the bike.’ – John Hopkins


‘For sure, throttle control is the most important part of riding a bike. It’s difficult with a big bike, like a MotoGP bike or big streetbike, because you can spin the rear tyre even in the dry. The only way to learn throttle control is experience, riding as many bikes as possible in as many conditions as possible. Basically you need to make many kilometres because you need to understand the power delivery of the bike. When you understand how and when the power arrives, it becomes more easy with the throttle.’ – Valentino Rossi

Chris VermeulenChris VermeulenChris Vermeulen
Stop. Hard. And make it go where you really want it to go...


‘You want to run the bike in with as much speed as possible and use the brake to control the bike’s speed. Obviously, the more lean angle you’re carrying the less brake you use. While I’m braking, I use pressure on both the footpegs to help take the braking forces and to get my weight into my thighs and the tank.’ – Chris Vermeulen


‘Your bike’s handlebars, of course, play the big part in steering, but your footpegs help you steer the bike too.’ – Chris Vermeulen

Get on with it…

‘When racing a motorcycle, there shouldn’t be anywhere on the track where you aren’t either braking or on the throttle – there shouldn’t be any period in between. From the moment I let the brake off, I have some throttle to keep the bike stable and then accelerate as hard and as soon as I can.’ – Chris Vermeulen

Loris CapirossiLoris CapirossiLoris Capirossi
Some have sheer talent for riding a motorcycle very fast. And then there are MotoGP riders

…but remember, you’re not Loris Capirossi

‘Normally in the race you ride the bike at 95%. In the qualifying you ride the bike at 110%. You use everything, the whole track. You use the bike really over the limit. You lose the front, you lose the back, always you are over the limit. For me this is very good, because I like to ride the bike that way.’ – Loris Capirossi

These excerpts are taken from Andy Ibbot's excellent book, Performance Riding Techniques. Get your copy now, from Amazon, eBay or Barnes & Noble

Go ahead, ride like Rossi!

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