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Great And Not So Great Trackday


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My buddies and I hit the Streets of Willow this past weekend and it was pretty amazing. We were riding in the slower group which seemed to be a festival for liter bikes on 2 600's (R6 and CBR 600) and my Sport/Touring VFR 800 bike and we took it to them pretty much everywhere but the straights! We were passing everywhere (turns 1,2,3,4,6,7,8, the kink and going into 10) and lapping in the low 1:40's fairly consistantly! It was a bit dissapointing to come out onto the straights, get the drive and start to get around those big bikes just to see their arms snap the throttle and just pull away, I tried to get some sort of draft but it didn't seem to help! It was cool though coming into turn 1 as I was able to carry far more corner speed and was many times able to get the run on the inside as they were slowing down for the corner. When I was going to CSS I was always impressed by the guys really cutting to the inside of me and making the corner but this time it was me making those moves with a big smile under my helmet!

 

One of my big problem corners, turn 10, I finally came to grips with and was really letting the bike run through the corner and unlike at CSS I was actually carrying a lot more entry speed into it and really getting back on the gas towards towards turn 11! The level III video really did wonders for me in that I could see exactly where I needed improvement and made me ask myself a ton of questions such as where am I looking, what am I afraid of and how should I approach it next time, all of which led to a much faster turn 10!

 

It was a good day aside from the second to last session where (I am still trying to figure out exactly what happened but I don't think I will) I had my first off in 10 plus years of riding in turn 5. It was a lowside and I am not sure if my tires weren't fully up to temp but they felt good in the earlier corners and we weren't really pushing it at the time. I think it was a combination of a few things, as it happened over the patched bumpy section of 5 and I was later told that there was a bit of dust on the track and there was a bit of gravel there as well. It was a tough way to end the day and certainly after 10+ years of riding quite dissapointing but I came out unhurt (thank god for great gear), my leathers need a bit of stiching and patching and my bike actually came of pretty good (considering I had no frame sliders) with a broken rearset, clipon, some fairing damage and some other miscellaneous items. I haven't seen any leaking fluids, and the engine started right up. So I have some work to do but have already been scouring ebay for parts and found some already. Now I just want to get back out and ride and if any of you are out and see some red white and blue marks going from pretty much the 3/4 the width of the track after turn 5, that was me being patriotic with my blue and white leathers and red bodywork :)

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It was a good day aside from the second to last session where (I am still trying to figure out exactly what happened but I don't think I will) I had my first off in 10 plus years of riding in turn 5. It was a lowside and I am not sure if my tires weren't fully up to temp but they felt good in the earlier corners and we weren't really pushing it at the time. I think it was a combination of a few things, as it happened over the patched bumpy section of 5 and I was later told that there was a bit of dust on the track and there was a bit of gravel there as well. It was a tough way to end the day and certainly after 10+ years of riding quite dissapointing but I came out unhurt (thank god for great gear), my leathers need a bit of stiching and patching and my bike actually came of pretty good (considering I had no frame sliders) with a broken rearset, clipon, some fairing damage and some other miscellaneous items. I haven't seen any leaking fluids, and the engine started right up. So I have some work to do but have already been scouring ebay for parts and found some already. Now I just want to get back out and ride and if any of you are out and see some red white and blue marks going from pretty much the 3/4 the width of the track after turn 5, that was me being patriotic with my blue and white leathers and red bodywork smile.gif

 

99;

This was a real fun read right up to the beginning of the last paragraph. Not wanting to restart a tire thread here but I was wondering if your tires were cooked? Your post didn't mention anything about tires except that they may have not been up to temp but if you already had a number of hard riding sessions on a hot day in the high desert it would seem that they wouldn't lose all their heat between sessions.

 

A number of years ago I remember my first track low side came without warning until I learned that stretching a set of track only tires (at least the rear) to eight track days might be asking more from them than they could give. Now it is fairly well known that the School's Track Coaches [note I didn't say Student bikes] get many days on their tires but that says more about their skill than anything else. Could it have been the condition of your tires that let you down - no pun intended. wink.gif

 

Rainman

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Interesting, I run Michelin Pilot Power 2ct's, they still LOOK in good condition (purchased in October of 2009) and I didn't notice any slipping or sliding during the day BUT they do have 3 levels of CSS and 1 day at Fontana and now 1 day at Streets. I really haven't ridden much on the street since I've started riding the track but perhaps just because they look good doesn't mean they are..

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I didn't notice any slipping or sliding during the day BUT they do have 3 levels of CSS and 1 day at Fontana and now 1 day at Streets. I really haven't ridden much on the street since I've started riding the track but perhaps just because they look good doesn't mean they are..

...I didn't get any warning either. I switched to [name withheld] and have never looked back.

 

Rain

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Aww that sucks!

 

It's really fun to start passing other riders when you can do that safely, instead of getting passed. And keeping the 1000cc's behind you because you get the better drive out of the turns than then is .... well, ego-boosting:D

 

If you think you've really gotten the track-riding-bug, I'd suggest you start looking for a used racebike with fiberglass fairings etc.

Basically any 2000+ model 600cc sportsbike will work fine.

 

Get back in the saddle soon!

 

Kai

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