Riders at the MotoGP level, like Andrea Iannone shown here, work tirelessly in steps measured in tenths if not hundredths of a second per lap.
When you first started riding on the street or track, you most likely found improvements coming in leaps and bounds. You got noticeably smoother with every ride, chopping seconds from your lap times with every visit to the track, with more of a safety cushion and less effort. But as you gain experience, those improvements get smaller and more subtle and increasingly difficult to find. At some point, you have to start paying attention to the little things, those tiny details that may seem insignificant but can save you a fraction of a second at the track or make you a better, safer rider on the street. Eventually it becomes the only way to improve.
Too often we see riders and racers dismiss something that could make a difference to their riding, citing that the potential gains are not worth the effort or that they can make up the difference some other way. The improvement could be something in their riding—such as learning to use the rear brake better—or something about their bike, like suspension settings or even a mechanical issue such as tire pressure or wear. It’s all too easy sometimes to just hop on your bike and go and not sweat the small details that (you think) won’t make much of a difference.
Here’s the rub: Those details start adding up quickly to have a big impact on your riding. At the track, say you’ve been meaning to work on your body position in a particular turn, or you’ve been too lazy to change your fork oil, or you need to find a better line in a turn to avoid a specific …read more