Do you know Keith Code? He’s a brilliant riding instructor, founder of the California Superbike riding school and author of “A Twist of the Wrist” and “A Twist of the Wrist II”. I’ve been reading these books recently and have been practising what he recommends, and boy, has it changed my riding!
When I did some tutored track days, many of these same principles were advocated, but only now are they beginning to sink in.
For example: curves. In approach, pick your turning-in point in advance. Go to it in a straight line, while going off the gas or even braking. (I have to work on my corner entry speed.) Get in the proper position before slowing down. (I have been guilty of unnecessarily hanging-off and not putting enough weight on the outer footpeg.) Before getting to the turn-in-point, look into the curve towards the apex and further to the exit. Flick the bike at the turn-in point and then gradually open the throttle to get out of the curve in a widening arc. No throttle on-off shenanigans here!
The importance of controlled vision and a systematic approach can’t be overstated. Curves get fun and fast this way.
Speaking of fast and good vision:
These flip-up helmets are coming to market here in Germany now and I got one. Schuberth C4 is the name and it is much less bulky than the forerunner C3. In fact, you have to look hard to see it’s a flip-up, it looks more like a helmet intended for sport touring. But does it work as one?
In my experience, yes. When I bought it in Frankfurt, I rode home on the Panigale on country roads and the Autobahn over 190 km. It was much more comfortable and aerodynamic than my Arai RX 7V helmet. Less load on the neck at speed, above 150 km/h, the Schuberth even created a bit of a lift! So, that was fun. Tomorrow, I’ll be using it on my touring Enduro and we’ll see how it works there.
Well, yesterday, I rode 463 km into the Sauerland region and back, country roads snaking over hill and dale, a visit to the Eder river dam and to the “Kahler Asten” mountaintop. In the morning, it was bit chilly and I had trouble keeping my glasses from fogging up under the Schubert C4 helmet. But then, those were condensating conditions and the windshield of my motorbike also fogged up from the morning mists. Once the temperatures got over 10º C, that was no longer a problem and the helmet was a joy to use. The built-in sunshield is less clunky to use than in the forerunner and both with it and without it, you have a panorama vision from the more upright sitting position on the travel Enduro.
I enjoyed the add-on Bluetooth sound system, too. It’s more an add-in, two slots at the back of the shell receive the battery and the transmitter, leaving only two buttons and a mini-USB socket accessible. Apart from a BMW helmet, this is the best integrated Bluetooth system I’ve seen. The helmet itself produces very little wind noise at street-legal speeds and the sound system even reproduces bass frequencies. When you listen to Mozart’s Requiem while riding, you hear the angels sing even in this world!
More experiences to come, as I plan a two-day ride Easter Sunday and Monday and the weather is going to be spotty. We’ll see how the egg copes with rain, then.
Rain’s no problem. No water came in. The visor sheds raindrops very well in the airstream, I’ve not once had to wipe it. The chin vent is essential for keeping the visor and my glasses from fogging up, it opens and closes with a tap to it’s surface, very fast.
So, as far as I can see, only one imaginary problem with this helmet remains. Flip-up helmets are considered dorky. This is outweighed by it’s practicality, so, no problem for me.