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My Last Trackday Before My Two Day.


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It started Saturday night. My notebook that has all my RP's, sectional times and "tricks of the track" is GONE. With as much time and energy as I've put into it, I searched high and low without a positive outcome. And I went on very little sleep. I don't usually sleep well, and Saturday night was no exception. I found out that those "energy drinks" are fantastic. Never tried them before, but if I ever go without sleep, will buy them again without hesitation.

 

I went with a couple goals. More lean and better BP. I wanted to get my times down to at least 1:13 from 1:16 (we'll get to that later). I was thinking about going down to Superstreet so I could relax and focus on what I planned to do, but decided to remain in Intermediate because odds are I'd never be able to get a good time in with so many people in my way.

 

In my first session, I found out how expensive maintenance can get. I was coming out of the last corner leading onto the straight, and hit it in second gear. When my RPM's got up, it felt like the chain was slipping on the sprocket. I just changed my rear sprocket and chain, and hadn't had it re-tightened since I had it put on, so I wrote it off as that being the problem. After the straight (I started off on warm tires) I focused on my new favorite thing to recommend riders work on: open your hips into the turn. Fantastic. I can't tell you how great it is. It helps lock your outside leg in, opens the visual field, and helps manage lean angle better altogether. I can't say enough about that simple change in BP, and could start a post dedicated to this alone. I also worked on relaxing my arms more, which would pay off later.

 

After going through the turns, it's back on the straight. I watched the tach, and at 13,000, felt that slippage again. And again. Only in second gear, and at 13,000. I started straight to thinking it's something in the transmission. Over and over. Same with the second session. When I came off after the second session, I went to Adrenaline to have them look at it. I told them what happened, and a good friend of mine who races for them said "it's your shift fork. It always happens on ZX6R's." The mechanic said the chain was way too lose, and that's probably it. The chain was tightened and I was back to my pit. I kept thinking it's too consistent to be the chain though.

 

Second session, getting through the corners, and still loving the change in BP. I was also working on looking into the corner just before dipping the bike. My speed increased going in, and that is what affected my lean. Better lean and open my hips. Magnificent. Then on to the straight. 13,000 RPM's. Nothing. It was the chain. Problem solved for $7. Back to the corners. I didn't have enough RP's, and was cursing the lost notebook. I was working on tightening my apex in a couple corners, and it made the following corners much faster.

 

Back on the straight, and slippage. And again, and again. Same thing. There are two straights to get good drive on, and I wasn't doing so well as a result of the slippage, and it's at a slight lean. I'd hate to see what happens if it slips with lean. It slipped at about 13,000, and then jumped to redline because of the steady acceleration. Don't want that with lean. I came off the track and spoke with the mechanic, and he said "sounds like something in the transmission. Maybe it IS the shift fork." F--- F--- F---!!!!! Cost to repair? At least $1,000. $1,400 at the most. I have an extended warranty, and that might cover it. We'll see.

"Can I ride the rest of the day with it?"

"Yes. It will be fine."

"That's all I need to know."

 

What it changed was my drive. I was upshifting to third at around 9,000, so I got nothing from second or most of third gear. It's a 115-120 mph straight, but I was hitting maybe 104 mph. For those of you who are going to ask, YES I looked at the speedo. I wanted to see how bad I was being affected by this. There is a small straight leading into a fast right hander that I have a wicked line through that gets me through another medium speed corner just after that. It would turn out to be even faster with my new "look before you hit your turn point" technique I was learning. I wasn't pushing because as soon as I get my RPM's up (just past that slip point), I dip into the corner. So I was getting passed on the small straight. Then once I'm in the corner, I had to slow down for riders who'd just passed me on the small straight. That being said, I wouldn't have gotten an accurate laptime to gage improvement, so I didn't bother.

 

But my third session would be shortened anyway. I'm on maybe my fifth or sixth lap, and a Duc gets under me going into a right hander after a straight/corner section. Another result of my lack of drive. We made the right (no one takes it very fast because of the chewed pavement) and go into an increased radius left; I hit my apex, started pushing outward and he loses the front. I'm guessing he isn't familiar with it being an increased radius turn, because he was keeping it tight. That means he's sliding into my line. I thought that I'd be able to get tighter, but quickly realized that's not going to happen, so I picked up the bike and hit the brakes. Small off track excursion.

 

I let a couple of bikes pass before getting back on the track, including a naked R6, and catch him pretty easily, because we went through the fast right to medium speed left corners I mentioned earlier. That put us to a sharp left onto the straight. I'm guessing that he doesn't know the saying "take the slow corners slow," because he runs wide and off the track. He pops right back on, and luckily I didn't have any drive, because he comes back on right in front of me. I let up on the gas, putting me farther down on RPM's and he takes off. Crisis #2 averted.

 

I've made it around the track, and after the previously stated increase radius turn, is a double apex corner. I'm braking, and about to hit my turn point, and someone comes under me again. I'm cool with that so I start my lean. I'm on the outside, but I'll get inside in just..... a..... he picks the bike up. We both go wide, REALLY wide, but luckily that section has a lot of pavement. We get back into the lean, but as soon as you're done with that left, there is a sharp right that I LOVE. After that is the pit exit, and that's where I went. All this happened in a single lap and a turn, and I'm not pushing it. Session over.

 

A couple of sessions later, I was at the end of the straight and someone comes whipping by me. He's too hot, and I know it as soon as he enters my site. I knew I was good, but guess I was looking at him, because I started running wide also. Pressure on the bars, and it's a newly designed, poorly done, bumpy corner. The front end started sliding while I'm trying to dip, and I remember to let the pressure off the bars. I wouldn't have wrecked, but I would have gone off the track with him, but from taking the pressure off the bars and getting on the gas a little, I dipped right in and got through it just fine.

 

The rest of the day was great besides the lack of drive. I got so much done, and everything I tried proved to be an improvement over what I was previously doing. After doing this track I've had such sore arms and shoulders from the pressure I put on the bars. I've ended my day twice with a numb left hand that lasted a week from pushing on the bars and putting so much pressure on the bars. This time: my thighs are killing me. Next time I'm on the track? Two day in Vegas October 31st.

 

I'll post some pics when they're up.

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Good post Jason/Hub, if your mechanically inclined you can change the shift forks yourself without taking out the engine. It's a good idea to check for damage to the gearbox at the same time, if there is damage you will have to drop the motor and split the lower cases. Just did my racebike a little while ago. If you were a little closer I'd offer to come help but I'm 3 days riding away from you and am out of holiday time for this year.

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Good post Jason/Hub, if your mechanically inclined you can change the shift forks yourself without taking out the engine. It's a good idea to check for damage to the gearbox at the same time, if there is damage you will have to drop the motor and split the lower cases. Just did my racebike a little while ago. If you were a little closer I'd offer to come help but I'm 3 days riding away from you and am out of holiday time for this year.

 

Thanks for the offer, and I'm only able to do the simple stuff. Even if I did try to change them myself, I can only replace what I know is messed up. I don't know what to look for. The mechanic from Adrenaline said the same thing about inspecting it if I did take it apart. When I get a house I'll get a lift, but as it stands I don't even have the tools.

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Here's a how to if you do feel like tackling it. Change 636 shift forks

 

Thanks. One thing I'm going to get when I get a house is a lift of some sort. Even not knowing how to work on bikes, I can let people use it, and learn from them. Long way off though.

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Here are the photos. Not having any drive, I worked on BP, and now know I need more work. If I have the cash, I'll try to work in another one, so I can focus on it more. And I'll have my bike fixed by then. In the shop now.

 

I think I'm getting over pretty good, but not consistently getting down far enough, and I suck at getting the bike over. I also need to get my body more over farther than the bikes mid-line.

 

In this one, I need to get my body over more. I also have a continuous problem with keeping my wrists straight. It's hard to see, but I kept my hips open throughout the day. It's a huge difference for my vision.

 

Pic2-2.jpg

 

This is going into a corner. I have my outside arm on the tank, but I normally didn't have it relaxed enough to have it on the tank. I did have pressure off the bars (I'm a push the bars kinda guy) but my outside arm didn't always hit the tank.

 

Pic3-1.jpg

 

Again, not far enough down on the tank, and despite what the pic shows, I was really fast through here. It's coming off a SHORT straight out of a really fast right hander.

 

Pic5.jpg

 

I'm better through this corner than any of the others on the three Firebird tracks, and it shows that I need to get my body over just a little more. No matter how I felt during the day, this shows that I really need to keep working. I'm on the gas real well, but I need to get my body off more.

 

Pic6-3.jpg

 

This is an increasing radius, and I never stayed on the gas enough to keep my lean. The guy behind me does, and it answered the question of "how do these guys get the drive to pass me so fast?" I get passed like I'm standing still coming out of here, and this question answers it for me.

 

Pic7.jpg

 

OK, here's the deal on this one. I knew the photographer is in this corner, and I'm getting around the track before he leaves. I wanted to get WAY over, but I went into the turn too fast, and obviously kept the bike on two wheels, but I ran a little wide, and was focused more on staying on the track than leaning off the bike.

 

Pic9.jpg

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Hi Jason,

I need to ask you, what do you mean about opening your hips? can you give an explanation on what your doing when you open your hips please?

You said you were thinking of starting another thread regarding this technique and I think maybe you should!

 

Thanks

Bobby

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Jason,

 

There is more right than wrong with your riding, but look forward to talking to you/seeing you in person!

 

CF

 

Thanks Cobie. I'm excited about meeting new people at the school. I'm calling dibs on a coach that will bust my hump about what I'm doing, and will give me a little push. I'm stubborn once I've made something habit.

 

And my wife is getting tired of it. I referred to her as Mrs. Twenty Seven Days this morning.

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