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PittsDriver

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Everything posted by PittsDriver

  1. It's not the speed down the straight that worries me at all. It's the hairpin turn at the end of it. The Advanced group guys riding liter class race bikes are keeping it pinned to the first marker and seeing high 150's at this track. But then, they're threshold braking and feel like they're ice skating all the way until they've tipped the bike for the turn. I'll have to take their word for it for now. I could see myself getting there again but I'd want to sneak up on it a bit at a time. Way back in the 70's we weren't seeing these kinds of speeds anywhere - my GS550E topped out around 120 mph and my GS1000 was about 140 but took a while to get there. I never saw that on the track. First time back out in decades for me and I'm feeling the DTC spoil the wheelies all the way up to 140 mph when I get off the juice. Dang! This is fun
  2. This looks pretty cool as a concept but I'm skeptical about the product itself based upon their web site and advertising movies. There's misspellings in the movies and they never show a video of the display in operation on the track with tires up to temperature. There's more artsy movie than actual useful information. Ideally, you'd use this kind of data to adjust your tire pressures according the temps you were actually seeing on the track but who knows if it works well enough to do that?
  3. out of curiosity and a side question, the S100RR is on my hit list when I have the full amount in cash in a couple of years - I've read all the fantastic reviews and the cons - can you provide a brief input on your opinion on the bike? Would love to hear first hand feedback I'm not sure I can add anything to what the press has already said about this bike. I'll confirm that it's very easy to ride hard and has a really stunning amount of power on tap. Go to CSS and see for yourself. They've got a whole fleet of them for you to use.
  4. csmith12, I really appreciate that you (and everyone else) took the time to look at the video and give me that much constructive feedback. Everything you mentioned resonates with me and gives me some good things to think about on my next day out. Just for reference, the rules in novice were no passing in the corners and all passes had to be with 6' of clearance. We were welcome to pass the control riders anytime we wanted with the knowledge that if they wanted us to follow them that they'd just repass, point, and tap their tail. From what I saw, the control riders spent a lot of time with the slower riders having them follow them on lines and helping open up the back logs that might form from time to time. I tried to treat every rider in front of me like he owned the track in front of us and looked for places where he'd given up a line before I'd seize it. They harped on this a lot in the rider briefing that I'm responsible for the safety of the rider in front of me and if everyone does that we won't be swapping paint. Someone did point out to me that there's a point at about 8:20 in the video where another rider and I on the afternuner split around a back marker that probably had him thinking WTF!?! :-) I think that was fine and he was holding the middle line so that we could go around either way.
  5. IMHO, you should move up. The closure rate between you and the Novice Group was startling so I wasn't kidding when I mentioned that you probably got bumped up. The fact that you didn't makes me wonder what the control riders were looking at if they didn't see the difference. Rainman From what I have seen in my trackday org you generally have to "work with" one of the control riders for them to be willing to go through the hassle of the paperwork in involved to get you a bump. Unless it's super obvious to everyone they tend to try and look away from extra work. They also tend to be wary of riders they have not seen before. When they see a new rider going fast sometimes they are expecting them to crash. So on the first track session I tootled around in the control rider's group for about half the session just familiarizing myself with the track, where they placed some cone markers, and riding out in areas off the line to see where there was extra room on the track (like the CSS left, right, middle drill). With about 5 minutes left in the session I finally decided to break out of that group and passed the control rider. He must have jumped on it pretty quick because he repassed me in what I thought was a pretty tight pass and asked me to follow him by tapping his tail. He upped the pace for about 3/4 of a lap and kept looking back at me right behind him and after that waved me by. I heard him ask the registrar between the first and second session and she said "he signed up in intermediate but swapped to novice because it was his first time on the track." After that, the control riders pretty much ignored me the rest of the day. I'm guessing that unless I asked, they were happy with me romping around in novice figuring I'd move up when I was ready. But since this was my first track day in decades, I'll just ask - should I have handled any of that differently? I'm sincerely asking because I want to be a safe AND fast rider on the track.
  6. I rode with one of the school's SR1 helmets back in May and it fit me perfectly but when I went to try on new hats at my dealer I was a tweener - a 61 (XL) felt comfortable on fit but was too low on my head (bottoming out) and the 59 (L) was very tight on my cheeks and jaw. I felt like the helmet fit me around the crown with no hot spots so I bought the L and set about riding it to break it in. After the first couple of 30 - 45 minutes rides, my jaw really hurt so much that it was affecting my ability to eat and the discomfort was lasting a day or more after the ride! I emailed Schuberth about optional cheek pads that would give a little more room and they replied that no optional pads were available - just be patient and let it break in if it fits me everywhere else. I couldn't endure that so I set about doing my own accelerated break in on it. I found a small bucket that my daughter uses at the beach that fit tightly into the opening in the front part of the helmet. If I pushed it in until the bottoms where flush, it fully compressed the soft cheek pad material and perhaps a bit of the underlying EPS was formed to the bucket. I left it in for about 24 hours and took it out and did a ride. It was better but still way too tight in that area. Back in the bucket, rinse/repeat. After several cycles of my kid's bucket and rides over about a week, it fit perfectly for my track day last week and I feel like I've finally found the perfect solution for me. I love the helmet and everything about it and maybe I've got fatter cheeks than the prototype head but I'd respectfully say that this break-in period is something that the amazing engineering at Schuberth have to do something about. With all the magical material science available today, it shouldn't be a painful process make effective use of one of the most expensive hats on the market. Especially when it's in an area of the helmet that isn't particularly critical for energy absorption - the cheeks. I fear that many people are riding in lids that are too big for their head to get these sensitive areas to fit comfortably and our overall safety would be improved with some optional customizing of these soft parts.
  7. IMHO, you should move up. The closure rate between you and the Novice Group was startling so I wasn't kidding when I mentioned that you probably got bumped up. The fact that you didn't makes me wonder what the control riders were looking at if they didn't see the difference. Rainman I originally signed up in intermediate but thought since it was my first time on this track on a bike and the first track session this year other than CSS camp in May, that I wanted to take it easy and ride 7-8/10ths. Honestly, I could have gone faster in the straights but was concerned about my closure rates. Talking to some of the advanced group guys, they were seeing high 150's on the main straight. I can see that happening if I kept it pinned and ice skated my way down into turn one but I wasn't trying to improve lap times as much as work at grooving my vision (2-step) and lines with good throttle control. Looking at the video I can see a few places were I added throttle and lean so clearly that's a place I need to back up and figure it out. One place I did that was in turn 2 which is kind of like a double apex turn with 1 where I never pick the bike up but just keep adding juice. It was a good place to pass so sometimes I would jump on the gas while leaning back in to turn 2 - not good. I ran these sessions in race mode on the bike and one of the things that was a kick was how it would oscillate these little lofties accelerating hard down the straights. On the main straight even short shifting at 11-12K it had the front tire skimming the track for as long as I kept it pinned. I'm totally hooked now and I can't wait to get back to CSS camp levels 3/4 in the spring. My time spent at the 1/2 camp in the spring made a huge difference in my confidence at this, my first track day. Thank you CSS and Giddy up!
  8. I really appreciate the candid feedback guys and yes, I was grinning ear to ear letting my S1000RR off the leash. There were two places that I felt I never sorted out: - turn 3 (the first left hander) I never sorted out that apex and was nearly always wide there. I think it was a place that I set up to pass so often that I grooved the wide line but at speed and in the clear it had me at the right edge of the track too often - coming out of the carousel (turns 6/7) I got better at clipping that apex but then wouldn't work the bike back into position for turns 8/9 into the short straight. When I go back I'm going to be working on going slower to sort this out and then building my speed back up. That being the case, I'm wondering if I should stay in Novice for now or go ahead and ask to be bumped up to Intermediate. I will say that the closure rate a few times with back markers was attention getting.
  9. OK, Hans has inspired me to post up a video from a track day last Monday. This was my first track day since attending CSS Levels 1&2 camp at VIR in May and it was about 35 years before that that I had been on a track. Inconsistency is my middle name but I'm throwing this out there for some brutally honest feedback on anything you kind folks see that I could improve upon for my next track day. This was in the novice group at Summit Point Main course on an S1000RR: http://youtu.be/lX0pxXMDF5g?list=UU1QkXTbxY9px_OVg0BX8Hig Wes
  10. Here's a chart on the Dunlop site for their contact patch at lean angles that shows what Cobie mentioned about how the patch gets bigger as you lean it over - to a point. I'm not following the original poster's point about suspension being at a disadvantage hanging off. The bike's more upright hanging off for a given corner speed than if you don't so the suspension able to better do it's job. Where's the disadvantage? At some point you're going to go fast enough through the turn to be scraping hard parts. When that happens, what can you do to go faster?
  11. Where's THAT Lorenzo been for the past 5 races? He won a lot of races last year but we haven't seen that JLo since he was swapping paint with Rossi a few years ago. The other thing that was really great about this duel is that it was all very clean and proper. Wow what a race! When you take in to account that the Ducatis are getting sorted out bit by bit and both factory Yamahas are now brining their A game and Pedrosa still lurking there just on/off the podium - I can't wait now to see how the rest of the season unfolds!
  12. Thanks Hotfoot! That's exactly the information I was looking for. I do remember hearing someone mention "the level 4 lounge" at VIR and now I know a little bit about what happens in there and it's not all margaritas and better food
  13. When I recently attended CSS, they broke us up into two groups: level 1/2 students and level 3/4 students. I was in the level 1/2 group so forgive me if this is a uninformed question: When I'm a returning/repeat level 4 student, am I expected to attend the classroom sessions and ride track sessions with no brakes or do we immediately jump in to working on my goals? I'm not suggesting that my goals couldn't benefit from the classroom revisit or some track orientation time at lower speeds. I'm just trying to get a sense of how this works as a repeating level 4 student.
  14. I used a school SR1 that seemed like it was brand new. I used it for two days so I feel like I got a pretty good indication of how it fit and how it felt aerodynamically at speed. I'm sold and this will definitely be my new track day hat.
  15. I have a two month S1000RR that I've already put over 2,000 miles on so getting your break mileage in a week or two is really possible depending on your availability to ride it. I did mine in two weeks and that included 4 days when there was snow everywhere. My bike came with Conti Sport Attack 2 tires which are OK so the very first thing I did was a set of frame sliders and case savers - as Hotfoot said, just in case.
  16. Given that in-the-ear protection is so good these days, how important should it be that a helmet is rated as quiet? I've got a Schuberth C3, the top rated helmet in terms of it's own noise attenuation, and I also wear a several year old Arai that still fits my head great but is way noisier by itself. But with my custom molded ear protection or with just the cheap foamy plugs, there's really no difference in how much noise reaches my ears comparing helmets. Noggin protection and of course fit are most important maybe followed by aerodynamics, weight, quality of construction for things like the face shield mechanism, amount of venting available, and even appearance all seem to be more important than how quiet it's rated. That's assuming you're protecting your ears which we should all be doing every time we jump on the bike.
  17. One question I have is whether there are different size cheek pads available for the SR1? The hat fits my head shape but I guess I have fat cheeks and it's tight there. Maybe that's OK for a track lid since I'm only wearing it for 20 - 30 minutes at time with breaks?
  18. I've been riding for a couple of years with a C3 (modular) on my sport touring bike and will say that these helmets are extraordinary in terms of quality and design. I'm thinking that an SR1 is in my future as a track day hat - love the light weight but I haven't ridden with one at speed. Is there any chance of getting to use one at the 2 day camp I'm attending at VIR next week? That might seal the deal for me. I'll be basically new back to track days this summer and I'm intentionally waiting until after the CSS camp to pull the trigger on a set of leathers and my track hat thinking that I'll learn a bit more about what to like/not like. Thanks!
  19. Thanks Benny. I've set a goal for myself, if all goes well at VIR, to come back for another 2 day camp at Barber next year. I've never been there and would love to see the place from the track perspective. My Pitts is an '04 S-2C that I've been flying in IAC competition since '04. I've had a few year lay off but I'm back at it in Intermediate this year starting with the Wildwood AcroBlast at the end of May. Love to swap stories some time. Thanks again for the welcome.
  20. Hi Ho, I'm a lifelong motorcyclist but haven't been on a track in about 30 years (I'm 55 years old now). I'm signed up for the 2 day camp at VIR in May and then plan to continue to improve my riding at track days in the mid-Atlantic area. I've been riding a BMW K1600GT over the past couple of years doing multi-day rides to West Virginia and Western NC to multi-week, several thousand mile trips all over the US and Canada. I'm betting the CSS 2-day camp is going to light the fuse again for track riding so I've just recently jumped on a new S1000RR for my sport bike fix and track day ride. I'm at a loss for words on how much I'm looking forward to the 2 day camp with the goal of programming out those pesky SRs and installing some skills to replace them. I'm interested in riding with pace and more safety margin on both the track and the street. Wes
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