Sunday, December 31, 2006


I want to wish a New Year of health, love, peace and personal success to the Pure Motorbike Passion crew, my fellow riders and anybody else reading our blog.

Let's just keep that throttle wide-opened.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Absolute Cycle Performance and Lombardi Road Racing School-NYC

The Lombardi School in 2007 will offer its services at the events organized by a new local club, Absolute Cycle, part of Absolute Cycle Performance LLC, long time supporter of trackday riders and racers. Last fall, Roy Cadoo, CEO of Absolute, and Marc O’Connor saw the opportunity and the need for a boutique style road racing club where weekday events, professional coaching offered by long time racers, ex racers and expert riders, along with a very reasonable number of people attending the events, should guarantee a flawless, safe and exciting day for everybody.

In such a contest after the positive feedback by everyone who attended our Basic Level in 2006, the Lombardi Road Racing School has decided to add another course, the Intermediate Level. The new class will be run by me, Alessandro Matteucci, with a format of 2 max 3 students per instructor. With this course the Rob Lombardi School’s goal is to take an intermediate rider and provide him/her with all the techniques necessary to build a solid foundation to become a smooth, consistent, elegant and yes, fast advanced rider. By focusing on such a small number of students we will be able to personalize the teaching & riding experience with different drills according to the needs of each and every students. Also, we are planning to use videos to pin point areas of improvement and accomplishments to our students.
As I have recently explained in the Absolute Forum:
Originally posted by tsd345

OK, I'll start......

So Alex, I plan on attending your advanced school this year, however I haven't attended the basic. Are you going to recommend that I attend the basic?

It really depends on your acquired technical skills. The course is for an intermediate rider: someone who comfortably rides at that level. The Basic school is specifically for someone new at the race track even though it can correct bad habits for some experienced street rider. In the Second Level I go back to certain concepts already introduced in the first course and from there I explain, practice and review in details, with each and every student, different techniques that should have a terrific impact on his/her riding skills. Now the question is: can you find a line and can you keep it through the turn? Do you accelerate enough at the exit of a turn to the point that you are really using brake-markers to deal with the next one? Ideally a rider should start with the Basic school, ride a few club events to mature and absorb what has already learned and once he/she can ride at the intermediate level take my class. At that point he/she will be able to enjoy a boost in his/her learning curve due to the fact that I tailor my teaching to his or her expertise, leveraging on the skills while working on the inabilities.

Absolute Cycle “boutique style” road racing club, along with the Lombardi School and Absolute Cycle Perfomance store, offering the lowest prices in the market, are definetely going to be one the most interesting new addition in the Tri-State&Pensylvania road racing club arena in 2007.
Absolute Cycle is in Linden, NJ, conveniently located right off the NJ Turnpike and the Goethel Bridge, ph. # 1-877-382-9800

See you at the Motorcycle Show in the Javits Center, NYC

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Where to dynotune your Power Commander in Brooklyn

Healthy food habits and daily phisical activity can help us in gaining a couple of HP and maybe lower our bad cholesterol but they can not do too much in improving throttle response. How many times we have seen a similar bike gaining immediately a few feet at the exit of a turn for not apparent reason if not a crispier throttle? With big engines, even at the race track, we have the tendency to use the mid range RPM more than we want and with mixed results. In effect the whole execution of a turn can be affected by how the power is delivered once we start feeding again the throttle. In similar situations the solution can be found in purchasing a Power Commander and optimizing the air/fuel ratio in order to obtain a linear erogation of power that could correspond to the maximum possible horsepower for any given combination of air/fuel at any level of RPM.
For such a critical engine set up, the Pure Motorbike Passion crew in Brooklyn relies on Mike Lavista, manager of Brooklyn Bike Works. The shop has a dyno-dedicated room where the magic happens: just close your eyes, listen to the engine revving and shifting and smile because with a few clicks of mouse Mike, aka The Power Commander Whiz, will unveil the full potential of your beloved bike.

As Artur Clarke once was quoted: “Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced”.

In the pics and the video Mike working on Naim Behdzet‘s 2005 GSX-R 600.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Boost your brain power ... boost your riding skills

Riding well, riding fast means to be able to optimize a myriad of variables internal and external to the rider given certain circumstances. Prepping our bikes, physical training, even track training are not going to pay their dividends in terms of a better lap time unless our brain is able to recognize the extra potential and actually use it. If AT or any other meditation exercise can help to create a focused, alerted and efficient “mind set”, a healthy brain can actually make it happen. Without going into complicated matters of cognitive science, I want to bring to your attention an interesting article that I read today with the appealing title “22 Ways to Overclock Your Brain”, a list of simple suggestions on how to boost you brain power and … your track performance.

Picture source

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

News: MotoGp Armchair Awards

The MotoGp Armchair Awards have been assigned: a lot of winners from Hayden to Gibernau. With humor and elegance our friend Jimmy has recapped the 2006 MotoGp riders’ season.

Don’t miss reading his Armchair Bike Fan blog for exclusive perspectives and comments about MotoGp, WSB and BSB racing.

Mental triggers ...Do you have any?

Racing motorcycle calls for total concentration, because the aftermath of a minimal distraction can cause one to crash. Especially at club events I have seen so many times riders that suddenly miss their brake mark, for apparently no reason. My finding are that normally it’s extremely difficult to maintain the same focus from lap to lap, from session to session. Also the same rider that as beginner was so tense to the point that he could not see more than 30 feet ahead of his bike, later on he could experience the risk of zoning out while riding. It’s like the majority of us experience every day with the car, when a series of thoughts, a phone call or conversation with someone takes away our focus from driving. On the bike is the “meditative effect” that can cause the problem: the repetition of the same actions, over and over, becomes like a mantra, a special form of meditation that if clears totally our minds from other thoughts, at the same time it can leave our minds “empty” and so proned to be filled with other distractions.
If at the race track, during a club event, the best way to keep focus and remain alert is to rest at frequent intervals, what can we do to improve our concentration when at home?
In the same way we train our muscles we should train our brain. Personally I use Autogenous Training (AT), a technique aimed to reach an inner harmony through different exercises of relaxation. I know only the foundation of it, something learned as teenager in Italy when road-racing professionally with bicycles: my team hired a psychologist to teach us how to reduce the anxiety and tension normally experienced before a competition.
After all these years I still find myself to close my eyes and doing my meditation every time I feel stressed or under heavy pressure. At the race track I have created a series of mental and physical actions that help me to recall the proper mental status needed to stay focused and on the alert through the day, especially while teaching in the Rob Lombardi’s School or Coaching for different clubs. In effect the risk of loosing the concentration is higher when we go “slower”, at a pace that is “too” comfortable, a pace where the adrenaline leaves more space to the endorphins developed by the throttle-brake-throttle mantra.
Everybody is different, so I don’t think that AT is better than any other type of meditation training as long as the person finds what it does works to properly tune his or her mind to the challenge. As you can notice in TV, at the start of a MotoGp race, each rider has his own set of actions to get mentally ready for the challenge. Rossi has a very particular one that starts with some sort of leg stretching, followed by a sort of pray (I am just guessing) holding the left rear set, followed by the adjustment of the underwear while riding and standing up on the pegs and finally checking over and over the alignment of the front tire on the grid.
It has probably started as a superstitious act but I am positive that now Valentino uses these “mental triggers” to recall the required mind set to race in MotoGp. I specify MotoGp because there is no way he could adjust his underwear when strapped on a seat of a rally or F1 car ...

Picture source

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Are you in the market for a new leather suit? Part II

Yesterday Frank and I headed North to Massachusetts to visit Vanson Leathers. They are located in Fall River, a small industrial city located on the Rhode Island border. Supposedly it was once the foremost cotton textile center in the United States and it was not surprise to discover that the Vanson’s factory is located in a former mill built almost two centuries ago. Sadly the gorgeous building, with gray thick walls made of stone, it seems totally abandoned from outside to the point that initially I was wondering if I had wrote down correctly the address of the factory. And even when we saw the sign and the main entrance we could not imagine we were in front of the famous Vanson’s factory, the largest manufacturer of leather motorcycle apparel in USA.
Well, once we open the small, aged yellow door, our original expectations were finally matched by the large amount of leather suits, jackets, pants, leather accessories displayed all around this big warehouse. Dozen of custom made leather suits were hanging from the ceiling: they belonged to famous road and drag racers. The most famous name was definitely Freddie Spencer: it seems that Vanson has created a blue-red-white Honda leather suit that the former World Champion uses when riding for his well known school.
Frank and I spent more than two hours in the store, with Mike, Jessica and her mother (I've forgot her name) offering a unique, warm and professional service to both of us. Frank ended up ordering a custom made suit similar to that one used by Colin Edward when he won the WSB with the Castro-Honda. Instead I had them to re-size my beloved blue-yellow-white leather suit: after loosing more than 35 pounds it became so big on me that when I fell in Summit main, my right sleeve flipped around my elbow exposing the Kevlar fabric to the ground, for which, after almost three months, I still carry the “pink memory” of the deep abrasion suffered by my forearm.
The trip was a bit long but definitely worth the effort. The surrounding area is beautiful, only an hour away from CapeCod with its remarkable coastal towns and villages. Vanson store is conveniently opened 7 days a week, so I would definitely suggest to buy or repair your leather motorbike suit in the contest of a memorable weekend in Massachuset