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Everything posted by spthomas

  1. My CBR600 is now track-only... in that case, what is the best tire choice? The D221GP-A or the new slicks?
  2. Many thanks for the tip Brad! I hadn't thought about YouTube. I didn't expect whole races to be available there (you know how militant Dorna is on MotoGP videos). I'm watching the first race on my web-enabled plasma right now. It's not HD but its much better than not seeing it! And like you said it adds all kinds of viewing options. As for Speed, I'm with you. Fox's cadre of geniuses strike again. Knobs. The part I can't quite understand is- where is Dorna in all this? Supposedly they are doing all sorts of things to the rules to make racing more exciting so people will watch, but now we can't watch anything! I know AMA isn't part of Dorna but it seems like these folks ought to work together. It seems like step one in making something appealing to broad audience is to make it available to a broad audience.
  3. WSBK starts this weekend! But I checked and it seems the Speed Channel is not showing WSBK this year- is that true!?
  4. I'd go back with the back & chest protectors and try it, as much as you are going to spend even if it's a good deal. It sounds like the 36 has no room already and with the other stuff underneath, it won't work. I wouldn't count on the leather stretching; there are stretch panels in suits and if that's not enough, I'd recommend going up a size. It should be comfortable when you are hunched over in the riding position. Mine is that way (US38) and standing up and walking around is pretty awkward. I do recommend using the under armour type of pants and shirt under it. One time I went for a ride and had a short sleeve shirt on and my arms weren't super sweaty but they were moist enough I could not get the suit off when I got home- this wasn't a track day and no one else was home and I was just a tiny bit panicked!
  5. I've learned some things that might be helpful. I'm 5'6" and was 155 although I'm actually trying to gain weight. Not sure where to start, so this might a be a little random. One thing was a friend loaned me a cookbook he had, "Cooking Light: Fresh Food Fast", which has really good recipes which are pretty easy to fix, taste great, and are healthy. Plus photos of every recipe. Being a guy, I like seeing the pictures because it's hard to tell what something will be like reading an ingredients list. You can find it on amazon, etc. During the week I'll have at least one meal with fish, chicken, beef and maybe turkey, to get some nice variety. I was not very good at hydrating, but someone mentioned using those Crystal Light packets and I tried those and it helps get down the amount of water you should be getting. I use one of those protein shaker bottles and fill with ice and water and some flavor of the day and take that to work. I also bring all my own food to work. I did it primarily for cost reasons, but you have control over everything and you can eat better. I eat 7 meals a day so I bring snacks like cottage cheese w fruit on the bottom (frozen blueberries are good because I usually have this around 3 in the afternoon and it keeps it cold). I also bring a protein shake & apple for a mid-morning snack. For lunch I'll usually have grilled chicken with salad (and I fix up all the meat and cut up veggies etc. on the weekend before). I do get up and get to the gym at 5am so I can work out before work. Otherwise it will never get done. But I'm not normal in that I just like working out. I grew up before electronics were popular, so we rode bikes, climbed trees, played in the pool etc. all summer and I just like moving. So I feel like I'm playing before I go to work and I don't see it as punishment. It's work but it's fun (just like a track day!). But I also found it helps my mind too, maybe it's all the endorphins or something. After that I come home and have 3/4c oatmeal, and scrambled eggs, 2whole+4 white (and my cholesterol is 120 and I am on no medications). So I think paying attention to your diet composition is a better strategy than just restricting calories. I eat a lot but I feel good, have energy, visible abs, etc. Guys, it's not wrong to feel good about yourself! You can do this! One last thing- one of the best pieces of gym equipment is a good friend to go with!
  6. Good question! This year had a lot of things going on so I made it to the track only once this year, and only 2 1/2 sessions at that. Terrible. But those things are behind me now and I'll be able to do more next year. What I'm wanting most is better lap times. I would like to get under 1:18 at my local track, Putnam. That's my measurable goal. To get there, I need to do a number of things, working on all the skills together. I don't think I have a glaringly weak or strong area. Bike mechanical goal: I want to put a lap timer on my bike, get some Dunlop slicks, and replace my heavy, dented (from crashing) large stock exhaust on my CBR600F4i. Training goal: get to at least level 3, ideally 3 and 4 together. I'm still going too slow in corners and I'm not sure why, so I need to sort that out. Track goal: Participate in something like an MCRA race clinic and do a race. I converted my CBR to a track bike this spring, so I picked up a 2009 Triumph Speed Triple last weekend for street riding. I have a riding goal there of going on some road trips with my street riding buddies next year, I've missed that. It's different than track riding, but enjoyable in a different way.
  7. The front 125/80x17 is the same dimensions as the 120/70x17 D211GP-A, the are identical in shape, width and height. For Putnam, which is very abrasive, use a med(5436) or med+ front and the med(5436) rear. If you are doing track days, stick with that compound. There is nothing to be gained at a track day by going softer. Softer will wear out quicker and not do what you need for a trackday. Steve, I'm going to get a set of slicks like you suggested above, but I got your email the other day and read about the new 7455 and 8477 compounds. For Putnam, which is abrasive like Mid-Ohio, should I be trying the new compounds or is the 5436 OK?
  8. Some more anecdotal story to consider... I had a buddy that bought a size XL because he's a tall guy. We went to an AMA race and the had lots of vendors there and he found he should have been wearing a M instead. This was with an Arai, which have removable cheek pads- he was fitting the cheek pads to his face and not feeling how the rest of the helmet fit his head. I tried one on and found the same thing. We ended up with different models, but we both got thinner cheek pads (I think I went from 30mm to 20mm), so the fit over the whole head is very even. You don't want it so tight on your face you bite your cheeks, but don't compensate for that by getting one too large. The comments above about wearing it for 10 minutes sound right, as it's subtle and it take awhile to get the feeling (I've read the same thing when buying a sofa, you're supposed to sit on it for at least 10 minutes to decide if you like it, not 10 seconds).
  9. Maybe doing that "no brakes" drill was useful after all
  10. Welcome to the forum! At least here you'll make new friends that will talk about motorcycles with you... you're on the right track, ha ha!
  11. This got me thinking about an article I read about Honda's ABS, I think the front and rear brake actuation is interlocking, so just using the front only applied some rear and vice versa. Does anyone know more about this, if that is true? I suppose that would come in handy in the extremely rare chance one of your levers is broken.
  12. The thing that was odd for me was I found myself using the rear brake automatically, like I looked down and almost thought "hey, look at me, I'm using the rear brake... who did that!?". I was (pleasntly) surprised that I didn't have to think about it, it was an instinct. Afterwards other guys talked about downshifting which I did not think of at all. Strange. But it was unnerving as the only time I've crashed at this track was running wide, but I was a new rider and going down the straight I looked down and my tach was at aero and the red light was on- my engine wasn't running and my mind was sort of going "ummm... umm..." and went wide into the wet grass. (My only working theory on that one was that I had bumped the engine kill switch when shifting somehow.) But yes I took the corner probably the best of the day. I've been struggling in general because last year I crashed twice (the only two times other than the one mentioned above) by having the rear slide out and I'm not sure why, so I'm dealing with the strong tendency to not want to lean the bike over.
  13. As a track day rider I always use the front brake. I sort of joke to friends that the rear brake is my emergency brake. So yesterday I had a track day and this was the first time I was on my bike in 6 months. It's much faster now since I've put track plastic on it So I was coming out of the last turn (right hander) on to the long straight at Putnam and some guy passes me on my right and hits me. His tail bumps the front of my bike and something shiny flies off. My bike is OK and he just keeps on going, so I resume accelerating down the track, thinking the part was something off the back of his bike. At the end of the straight it's time to slow down for turn 1 and I suddenly realize that shiny thing was my front brake lever- it's completely gone! So I'm thinking I need to carry more speed trough the turn anyhow but I'm 50mph faster than normal, so I just use my rear brake, rear wheel skipping, but I get slowed down enough to make the turn OK and just continue around the track in 3rd gear with my hand up so I can get off. I never did figure out who did it although another guy came up to me afterwards and was behind both of us and verified the story; he had been run wide by the same guy a few turns earlier. So don't forget about that rear brake, sometimes it comes in handy!
  14. Just saw this. I test rode one a few weeks ago, looking at it for a street bike. Now that you've had it a little while, how do you like it?
  15. OK... you sound convincing! I just want to understand the compound types. But I like what you say about the performance in cool temperatures.
  16. I noticed the front is a slightly different size than the usual, but I assume the sizes can work on a CBR600F4i which I have, right? (125/80 front 190/55 rear). For an abrasive track like Putnam, what compounds do you recommend? Certainly not soft.
  17. Has anyone tried out the new Dunlop KR448/KR449 tires? I had a great experience for a short time last year on my GP211A's (didn't last long at Putnam) as they stuck like glue and I could ride hard all day. I was thinking of getting n-tec slicks last year although I was advised when I was at Barber to go with Q2's since it was cold. I low-sided the 3rd session, not fully sure why, but I'm liking the idea of getting the stickiest tires I can find!
  18. That's some ridiculously beautiful scenery!
  19. There was a post recently about the advantage of the 2-day camp and I've been thinking about it, I really would like to go! (I've been to 1 & 2).
  20. I know it's not practical, but it's just a concept idea. In the gym you can watch your form in a mirror, so I want to do that on the track. I was showing a video from my go-pro to some friends and they ask "how fast are you going in that corner?". They look at me funny when I say I have no idea- you're so focused on the track and not the speedometer when riding intensely. (A later video answer the question because I got the instruments in the picture.) So watching a monitor would never work. I didn't get to do the lean bike because it was raining pretty hard the day I was supposed to do it, maybe next time. One next-best-thing to do is get a ride-behind video and review it after 5 laps or so rather than the whole (typically) 20 minute session. That way you can go right back out and work on weak spots, rather than waiting 40 minutes for the next session. That takes some commitment from someone to follow you, but I have good buddies that would help for a session or two.
  21. I agree the way you feel and the way you look can be quite different, and it would be good to close the gap. One idea I had, which I'm not sure exactly how to do, would be to have a small monitor on my bike with a wireless video from a camera on a bike following behind me. That way you could see what you look like vs what you are feeling in real time. I've looked a videos of myself taken by a buddy following me and I can see the difference, but by then it's too late- we're back in the paddock looking at them on the laptop (which is better than nothing, or looking at them that night). If someone could rig up a system to do that, maybe for the school, that might be really useful.
  22. I put Water Wetter in my bike this year because more and more organizations won't let you go on track with regular anti-freeze. I store my bike in our garage which is attached to the house, so while it usually doesn't go below freezing, it's still possible. Does Water Wetter prevent the coolant from freezing? Or should I drain and replace with antifreeze just to be safe?
  23. Yuk... I'm not riding there! Im slightly curb-a-phobic anyhow. I was down at Barber in November and I thought they had nice curbs- flat, even concrete with just painted strips. I heard the grip is still good on them but I didn't test it!
  24. I always jokingly refer to those as "fishikawa" diagrams. I've never seen them used at the track although it's certainly useful for clarifying one thoughts about a crash. I'll have to think about this; I've had 2 low sides this year and I'm not sure what happened. All I cam remember is just before thinking "this doesn't feel right"!
  25. I've done VIR, Mid-Ohio, Putnam and just last month, Road America. Road America was a lot of fun in part because there's so much track (4.2mi I think) and a wide variety of turns and elevations changes, plus, ignoring cornering for a moment, a front straight long enough to get my 600 to redline in 6th gear.
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