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Topics - Motogymkhanaman

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Events / 2014 International Event Schedules
« on: January 03, 2014, 09:53:11 AM »
Hi all.

I am trying to collate all the International Moto Gymkhana events that are coming up in 2014 so could you let me know as soon as you have your dates and locations fixed?

Just as a taster, here is the schedule for the JAGE Cup in Japan.

2014 JAGE Cup schedule.

09/March/2014 (日) JAGE training
11/May/2014 (日) JAGE training
08/June/2014 (日) JAGE Cup Round 1
12/July/2014 (土) JAGE training
13/July/2014 (日) JAGE Cup Round 2
11/October/2014 (土) JAGE training
12/October/2014 (日) JAPAN Dunlop
16/November/2014 (日) JAGE Cup Round 3
07/December/2014 (日) JAGE training

日) means Sunday

Equipment / Safety Kit
« on: June 22, 2012, 05:35:07 AM »
Couldn't help but notice the interesting choices of personal protective clothing that everybody uses. The fact that it is stinking hot has probably got a lot to do with the vast number of Tee shirts and gloveless hands that are on display. The Japanese have a similar problem with the heat and humidity and find leathers just unbearable. As our great friend Mr Kimura says "Padding all the bits that stick out will make you faster" because you are more confident if you are not going to hurt yourself.

Most riders use the Motocross protective jackets and back protectors as their open weave construction allows for the free circulation of air and have padding everywhere you need it. They also strap on Motocross kneepads over their jeans to protect their knees.

I have attached a couple of pictures of Mr Kimura modelling various pieces of kit which will give you an idea of what I am talking about.

Video & Pics / An Englishman Abroad
« on: June 21, 2012, 05:16:14 AM »
As part of our commitment to spread the word about Moto Gymkhana around the world, we have to visit Japan from time to time for various meetings. Whilst we are there, we take the opportunity to ride in one of the Dunlop Autoby Cup competitions along with over 170 other riders.

Nothing can prepare you for the full-on intensity of a competition in Japan. Watching the warm-up course is like standing trackside at a MotoGp race, the GP8 courses are packed with whirling bikes and the faces of the riders waiting for the start are a picture of intense concentration. However nothing, but nothing can prepare you for the way in which riders attack the course. From the GO signal everything is taken to the absolute limit straight away. Tyres scrabble for grip, exhausts wail and brakes squeak with an intensity that beggars belief. You have to pinch yourself to believe that the riders you are watching are only in the Novice class, so heaven knows what the higher classes will have to offer.

As the first attacks run through, the classes get higher and higher until the first of the red bib Class A riders lines up for the start. We have all watched these riders on various videos, but nothing can replace the awesome spectacle of them riding in the flesh. It is difficult to find words to describe the spectacle, epic, intense, awesome all come to mind, but none seem to capture the wonder of what you see before you.

Then it's all over for the first attacks and the course falls strangely quiet, but you know that an hour later it will be back to full-on riding for the second attack.

The course that had been laid out for this competition featured a particularly nasty first obstacle that we immediateley called The Saw! Comprising of seven consecutive 'Jinks' (line touches) it must rate as one of the most difficult obstacles that Mr Adachi has ever devised.  In this video, our very own Andrew Freeman makes an attack on the course on a Kawasaki ZRX1200R that had been provided by Mr Kimura, one of the founders of the sport. You will see Andrew attempt the Saw straight from the start and remembering that missing a line means a three second penalty, we all think he did very well to only miss one line.

Time attack of Andrew in Japan

Maybe one day, some of you guys from AMGRASS might like to join us on one of our Japanese trips and see (and try) things for yourself!

Video & Pics / Maximum Motorcycling
« on: June 16, 2012, 03:47:50 AM »
Have spoken before about the fact that Moto Gymkhana is all about maximums. Maximum throttle, lean angle, steering angle and brake and quite often all at the same time. Yoshi Nakatani up in Canada has tracked down this video of some Japanese Police having a fun day's training. It's not very good quality, but I'm sure you'll get the idea.

General Discussion / Slow Riding?
« on: June 14, 2012, 01:33:41 PM »
We often get told by people encountering Moto Gymkhana for tye first time that they have done a bit of slow riding practice, so therefore it shouldn't be too dificult. I always have fun telling them that Moto Gymkhana is not about slow riding, but instead is about maximum riding. Maximum lean angle, maximum throttle, maximum brake, maximum rate of direction change, maximum steering angle, maximum skill, maximum ability and above all maximum fun!! I have to tell them that it is true that we don't actually end up travelling very fast, but everything happens so very quickly that even at less than 20mph it feels like we are going fast and that is what makes it so enjoyable. 

Practice, Practice, Practice / Practice Techniques - Clutch
« on: June 12, 2012, 12:44:40 PM »
Where and when to use the clutch often leads to many interesting discussions so to help everybody get a handle on it, here is the Moto Gymkhana riders guide to the clutch.

First of all it should be noted that in comparison to brake pads clutches are very expensive to repair or replace when they wear out and overuse of the clutch can do seriously nasty things to the engine oil as it slips.

Secondly a bike is much more stable with the throttle open and the engine driving the rear wheel than it is with no drive to the rear wheel.

Thirdly the throttle and the rear brake are precision analogue controls which can be used in combination to set an exact amount of power delivery to the rear wheel.

Depending on the type of bike being ridden there are times when it is neccessary to very slightly slip the clutch, but in most circumstances the clutch is used only at the beginning and end of a course attack. Its use is often required in the big engined Supermoto machines to smooth out the power pulses and to stop them overwhelming the last bit of grip from the rear tyre and it is also used on the very big and powerful supersports machines when it is neccessary to very quickly reduce the amount of drive reaching the rear wheel.

For most bikes the clutch can simply be forgotten during a course attack as it adds another variable to manage when you have probably got your hands (and feet) full with operating just the throttle and the brake.

The excessive use of the clutch at low(ish) speeds has been promoted by the training industry as it reduces the problems associated with very large capacity V twins and singles, particularly at the point when the engine is just about to stall, but it does have the undesirable side-effect of disguising poor throttle control.

To find out whether or not your bike actually needs the clutch to be operated during a course attack, simply ride along in first gear with the throttle slightly open and apply greater and greater amounts of rear brake until the bike starts to jerk and the transmission starts to lash as it uisually does just prior to the stall. Ease the rear brake off very slightly, sufficient to stop the jerking and add a little more throttle and apply the rear brake again. Try various combinations of open throttle and rear brake until you find the combination at which you can ride the slowest without any jerking from the engine. Most bikes will be quite happy and smooth at around 4 mph which is walking pace.

This speed will be about right for performing such wonders as rotation turns etc, but if your bike can't get that slow without jerking, then modest use of the clutch is quite in order.

Using rear brake against an open throttle means you will probably chew through brake pads and might occasionally boil the brake fluid, but we find that is a small price to pay for getting fast attack times.





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