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This Looks Like Fun


faffi
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUVy2EK5Aow&feature=related



Over at another forum, there are a few pretty decent riders. One of them was working down towards a 1:40 lap around Phillip Island on his GSX-R 1000 when he fell off at 200 kph, and several of them are lapping in the 1:39-1:46 bracket.

Well, according to them, even the most frantic street pace rates as slow, not even able to get under 2 minutes around PI. Their definition of slow is no front end slides and only a random rear end slide. And again, by their definition, the chaps in the video are slow.

For me, following the discussion, have been a revelation. When I was young and starting out, Freddie Spencer competed on a CB750F based Superbike, Eddie Lawson was still on a Z1 and things didn't look all that terribly fast. Once I began dragging engine covers on the road I figured I could match their pace, more or less. Or even that of Joey Dunlop around the IoM. Because wasn't I fast?!

Unfortunately, no. As the years went by, the faster I was and I began to understand that the gap between throwing sparks on public roads and racing fast was pretty substantial. How substatial, however, only became clear to me recently; accepting that I would not be able to cut a 2-minute lap around PI is one thing. Understanding that even mad street riders miles faster than me, with their desperate road pace, would not cut a 2 min lap was mind blowing.

Could I have kept up with these Japanese kids? Not likely. I don't care if they're called slow; they look fast to me :D
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I think it's beautiful. I would rather be perfect at a slower pace than wild and out of control at a faster pace. With perfection the pace increases. When they say "Discover the Art" - that's exactly what it is to me, it's an art. It's like surfing on the road. Surfers aren't trying to get to the beach the fastest. I'm at a point in my life where being the fastest doesn't mean nearly as much as continuing to make progress, being faster at lap 4 than I was at lap 2.

 

 

That being said, if I can SEE you then you had better believe I'm trying to close the gap and pass you. Doesn't mean I WILL, but darned if I'm not trying. I even gave chase to some of the faster guys when I was at Level I and II - it was very humbling being LEFT by someone's grandfather on a sport tourer as well as watching some kid who hasn't started puberty yet blow by me like I was on a tricycle.

 

:rolleyes:

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Plenty of stories where old blokes on their vintage BMWs etc. humbling youngsters on the latest and bestest race rep. However, on the road it's mostly about who're willing to take the greatest risks and little about the bike - although street riding do require somewhat different skills than track riding.

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I'll never forget one of the first times I rode Deal's Gap (around 2004 or so) I was WORKIN' the bike HARD. HARD on the gas, HARD on the brakes, HARD on the bars. I was convinced I was king of the freaking hill until this old BMW that sounded like an air cooled sewing machine went by me like I was sitting still. Ka-ting, ting, ting, ting and away he went by me. I don't think I saw brake lights from him at all as he glided past me like he was on air and I was the one riding a bike that was 30 years old . .

 

 

Actually, I learned a long time ago not to fuss with old codgers on BMW's. 1) they tend to be skilled and 2) they LOVE watching kids on gixxers go flying off mountains trying to keep up. I think it's a form of entertainment and somewhere they all sit drinking cheap coffee out of styrofoam cups talking about their grandkids, the weather, their hip surgery and that kid who locked up the front and went off a cliff trying to keep up with them on Cherohala Skyway.

 

 

 

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Don't worry about the guys on the other board. If they paid any kind of attention to this video, they'd be able to tell that these riders aren't trying to go fast at all. This is a cruising, smooth pace for these guys.

 

I know street riders who could put down under 2 minute laps on Phillip Island. I'd bet every cent on it. Two guys I know transfered from street to track and are doing near expert race pace at any track they go to. Until an AMA pro came out to Inde, one of the riders held the lap record on a stock 750 the first few trackdays Inde ever had. And they were his first trackdays out there that he set that record. Sounds like someone on the other forum doesn't know what they're talking about. He's still only a few seconds off the AMA pro racer's pace. No race experience, a minus one up front otherwise stock 750, and no formal training or understanding of what he's doing.

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I'll never forget one of the first times I rode Deal's Gap (around 2004 or so) I was WORKIN' the bike HARD. HARD on the gas, HARD on the brakes, HARD on the bars. I was convinced I was king of the freaking hill until this old BMW that sounded like an air cooled sewing machine went by me like I was sitting still. Ka-ting, ting, ting, ting and away he went by me. I don't think I saw brake lights from him at all as he glided past me like he was on air and I was the one riding a bike that was 30 years old . .

 

 

Actually, I learned a long time ago not to fuss with old codgers on BMW's. 1) they tend to be skilled and 2) they LOVE watching kids on gixxers go flying off mountains trying to keep up. I think it's a form of entertainment and somewhere they all sit drinking cheap coffee out of styrofoam cups talking about their grandkids, the weather, their hip surgery and that kid who locked up the front and went off a cliff trying to keep up with them on Cherohala Skyway.

 

 

 

 

:D I can relate to that - there is nothing quite like beating somebody on far better equipment. I once followed a ZX-7R Ninja, riding my GS650GL Low Slinger. I stayed in 5th gear all the time, even getting as low as 15 mph at one point, while Ninja boy was using 1st and 2nd. He was pulling wheelies out of every corner and braking hard into the following one. And I could have passed him any time I wanted. He looked dramatic but was very slow. And often out of control. He was very happy with the new race spec rear radial, though, claiming it had lots more grip. Good for him and his 1.5 in chicken strips :P

 

Another fun thing to do is to ride my wife's classic lady's bicycle, formerly also outfitted with a child seat on the luggage carrier, wearing normal street clothes and cycle past silly gits on their 5000 dollar racing bikes wearing 3000 dollars worth of fancy equipment. The pleasure is raised to immense heights when they try to hang on and I just let them sit 15 feet behind my rear wheel :lol:

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Don't worry about the guys on the other board. If they paid any kind of attention to this video, they'd be able to tell that these riders aren't trying to go fast at all. This is a cruising, smooth pace for these guys.

 

I know street riders who could put down under 2 minute laps on Phillip Island. I'd bet every cent on it. Two guys I know transfered from street to track and are doing near expert race pace at any track they go to. Until an AMA pro came out to Inde, one of the riders held the lap record on a stock 750 the first few trackdays Inde ever had. And they were his first trackdays out there that he set that record. Sounds like someone on the other forum doesn't know what they're talking about. He's still only a few seconds off the AMA pro racer's pace. No race experience, a minus one up front otherwise stock 750, and no formal training or understanding of what he's doing.

 

 

I may have explained it poorly; it's not that these riders cannot cut a 2 minute lap, it's that the most crazy pace kept on a public road will still not be fast enough to get under 2 minutes around PI. In other words, when you think you are going stupid fast on the road, you are not really going all that fast.

 

Personally, I don't think I'd corner much harder on a track than on the road. I know I have gone through corners a gazillion times without worrying anything about the road or conditions or danger as such, the only limit being my own abilities and fear. I think the limitations would be just the same on a track, which would make me a horribly slow track rider, because I wouldn't be any more eager to fall down there than on a public road.

 

Here's a qoute from one in his early 40s who's considered an extremely fast street rider, but who has always maintained he's just wobbling around at a slow pace. Slow enough that he didn't bother with riding attire until he began taking to the track recently.

 

I must say that I have had a huge education in riding, performance and commitment in the last 4 months since starting track riding again. It has been scarey in some ways, and quite honestly I have been, ummmm, looking for words, both humbled and quite satisfied to see first hand how fast some people ride. And, quite honestly, I've exceeded what I though I could do, and am really into way uncharted territory for me.

 

I'm so far into a different zone from what I had done before. To use some numbers. 10 years ago I rode on the road with people from this forum in much the same way as now. Basically I think I was a very safe, competent rider, willing to push as fast as anyone. I new what "fast" road riding was. Stepping it up at track days at wakefield had me running in the 1:12~15 zone. This felt like a decent step above road riding agression, but in hindsight I didn't really push much, nor use the true potential of the brilliant road tyres like pilot sports. Seeing road guys get to 1:10, and seeing the racers at trackdays do 1:06 boggled my mind.

 

Going back this year had me do 1:09 on the TRX, which amazed me. Somehow I was far, far quicker than before. On the gsxr that has come down each time. 1:06 seemed quick, but now really pushing into new levels on insanity has seen 5s, 4s and finally 3s. Those 1:10s, or even the 1:06s no longer seem so impressive. There is basically a huuuuuuuge gulf between anything I had done until 4 months ago and now. It's hard to belive the difference, and I suprised - pleasently - that I have done that.

 

But if one word summarises that difference, beyond technique and sliding or anything else, it is commitment. I commit to corners in ways I couldn't imagine before, and it is 100%. Ok, not quite 100 yet, but getting closer....

 

I commit to a corner, I'm on my line, the tyres are moving, there is no option left but hit the exit you want. No spare grip, no spare road, no capacity to change line, avoid an object, it is 100% go. This is intimidating ######, even at wakefield where speeds are low. And I need to work up to it. At PI it is another level. And I'm not there. That commitment you make as you enter a corner, get through the apex, the limits of the tyres are apparent, you're commited to a line, you're hard as you can on the gas, your eyes are wide open as you look at the track edge looming. At 160, 180, 200 kmh. T3, T8, T12. It is scarey, scarey ######, and as big a rush as a motorcycle can give me.

 

On the road you don't commit barely at all. You can't. The gap is enormous, and as I've learned and I've pushed, and now even pushed too far, the magnitude of the gap is apparent. And it's an awesome thing to see that, and to find out what sportsbike are really capable of, what I am really capable of. It's a world away from road riding

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