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  #1  
Old 08-28-2017, 01:41 AM
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1 week to go...

I found out recently that an old friend of mine I've failed to keep in touch with just bought an S1000R a month or so ago. So naturally, first thing I asked was if he wanted to hit the track with me for labor day weekend.

After working out the logistics, he's going to join me for his first trackday on his new-to-him BMW. (finally found some BMW content to post, albeit small)

We met up last week to talk bikes and made sure the two bikes will fit in my 5x8 trailer. It's a tight fit but it's a GO!


I've taken a week or two off the daily riding exercises to prep and mod the bike. I mean I could have just ridden this bike ('11 GSX r750) mostly stock with a few geometry changes and have been perfectly happy. But the itch to mod was just too great.

For the suspension, besides the revalved and resprung and serviced forks, fork extenders and rear shock shim to raise the rear and change the swingarm angle a little, I added some suspension plates and linkage from Yoshimura. Supposedly provides a more linear rear shock response. Yeah, like I'd even notice. LOL

For the exhuast and engine mods, I welded up a pie cut cat delete midpipe, unplugged and or bypassed the exhaust valve and pair valve and flashed the ECU with a device from FTecu to take advantage of the above. This required repining 3 wires on the ecu connectors. That was interesting...

The company also makes a quickshifter that plugs into the stock harness. I've never ridden a bike with a QS and never thought anything of it. After running through the gears without letting off the throttle and no clutch, I was a very happy camper. Not only was the sound to die for, I was immediately and noticeably faster from corner exit to next corner entry.

For that racebike look and to save a couple ounces (LOL) I installed a Woodcraft ignition eliminator and removed the ignition lock. The exhaust valve and cables and acutator was eliminated with the mid pipe as well as the heavy mid muffler/cat. Pair valve and associated hoses were removed and holes were plugged. Stock exh can isn't much heavier than a Leo Vince slip on I have for the bike, so I left it on.

In the braking department, I fitted some aftermarket Brembo monoblocks I had left over from an old build and installed some stainless steel brake lines as well. These are the cast monoblocks that are basically Brembo's entry level monoblock calipers. Flushed and bled the old system.
I didn't like the Brembo pads that came with the aftermarket calipers. The initial bite was crazy hard. Something I'm just not used to. So I went with some nice Vesrah race pads SRJL-XX. Much closer to stock initial bite but with more consistency and progressiveness the harder you pull the brake. I'm happy. I paired them with some Braking SK2 rotors as well. Nicely made, and a few 100 grams lighter than stock.


As far as my riding, I've got my plans for the first trackday back from my crash. I don't really have many nerves, I'm actually quite anxious to tear it up on the track having put in so much time working on my riding. 80% is my goal. 80% throttle, braking, body position, 80% overall effort. With good body position and correct lines around the track, I am confident this will get me into intermediate.

Can't wait.

Track ready




QS, a peek of the pie cut midpipe, and evidence of the recent lowside.



Brembo monoblocks to replace the OEM ummmmmm Brembo monoblocks.
Hadn't installed the Braking SK2 "wave" rotors yest for the pic.





BTW, the links above or from photobucket. Read on another forum you can bypass the 3rd party block by adding "~original" to the end of the address from photobucket of the pic you want to link. Shhhhhh, don't tell anyone.


Oh yeah, and a shout out to Kurveygirl.com. If you want some quality Vesrah pads, Kurveygirl has some great prices.
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:12 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Great work... it looks like you're ready to tear up the track...
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:28 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

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Originally Posted by Kneedragger
Great work... it looks like you're ready to tear up the track...

I owe it one for kicking my ass last time.
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Old 08-28-2017, 03:00 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Good luck and have fun.
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:35 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcw
I owe it one for kicking my ass last time.

How'd it go? hope you had a great time!
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Old 09-05-2017, 02:22 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by misti
How'd it go? hope you had a great time!

I'll be having surgery on my clavicle...
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Old 09-05-2017, 06:13 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

JC:

What happened this past weekend?
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:17 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucev
JC:

What happened this past weekend?
I was afraid to ask...
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:13 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

The track and I played nice. They opened up novice to passing early in the day and I was making my turns getting around really well. Unfortunately, I was running with another rider in front of me who, to me, checked up wide setting up a turn. In a split second I was almost level with him on the inside (the corner never required me to go wide) but carrying considerably more speed.
He makes his move to the apex and I panic braked seeing him move back into my field of vision. Slowed enough to just clip his rear wheel.
Can't remember the fall but looking at my bike it looks like his rear tire and left side of my axle and rotor hit (bent rotor, tweaked forks), turned the wheel right and pitched me hard on my left shoulder (leathers rashed, splintered clavicle), bike hit hard on left bar (tore the clip on off), then the tank and might have flipped over (damaged plastics on other side).

Next thing I remember, I'm walking off the course to the fence. Reach down to feel my shoulder and can telll right away the clavicle is broken. The rider in front of me and behind me are still on the ground. I don't immediately recall what happened. We all take the ambulance back and the guy asks me did I run into him. And I said honestly I couldnt remember. He said, yeah you did. I thinking fuuuuuuuucccck me.

The other two get checked out and don't go to the ER. I get a free trip.

Mild concussion and a fractured clavicle, Bike is a mess, never got my nice gloves back...

I want to ride track again, but #1 I can't fix stupid (totally my fault) and #2 I have kids that I need to be responsible for so for now I'm done. I know was not trying to pass. It was just a matter of different lines and different speeds that I should have managed better.
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:31 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Sorry to hear. Scary stuff. I had a similar situation on track and somehow did not make contact with the rider behind me who was found to be at fault. Took me an hour for the adrenaline to work off.

Heal well JCW!
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:13 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

JC:

Really sorry for your get off.

We all make mistakes and most times we don't pay the price for them.

I will send you a short clip from Monday - Rider #1 checked up going into the corner - rider #2 approaching directly behind him carry more speed(mistake of rider#2 following that close and directly on his line) - I thought he hit the guys rear tire but he just missed - he had to stand the bike up. Rider #3 also got messed up a little as well - I was rider #4 watching from a good line out of the danger zone.

We all get caught up in the moment - I try very hard to either stay back or pass with authority. In the novice group what you described happens more times than we like - new riders - some have good lines - some don't - some have a lot more skill than others.

And then of course simply bad luck.

We will be hearing details of the accidents this past weekend at VIR - sad news 1 track day rider killed in a crash and another air lifted to hospital.

I hope you recover quickly and get back to 100% or as close to 100% as possible.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:39 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Another point - you can fix mistakes - unfortunately this one bit you pretty hard. Every track day I go to these types of situations are talked about in the classroom.

From track experience to track etiquette to the mindset of the riders. I'm not the fastest rider for sure - I think I ride at 7-8/10 of my skill. Many riders I ride with at the track I think are riding at their limit - so sure they are faster than me - but their risk level is also higher.

I'm not interested in racing - I'm interested in riding fast correctly and safely. I'm not saying I can't or won't ever go down - but I think I manage my risk level better than others.

Don't get me wrong there are many fast riders riding well within their skill level but there are many who are not.

I just started wearing an air vest - I wonder if you had one on - if you would have broken your clavicle?
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:13 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucev
I just started wearing an air vest - I wonder if you had one on - if you would have broken your clavicle?
It might have helped. A lot of times it's the bottom of your helmet hitting the collarbone that breaks it, and the vest should help prevent that. Curious JCW, was your helmet rashed on the side opposite the busted collarbone? Sorry to hear, I've busted mine a total of 3 times. It'll heal ugly, but it'll heal...
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:09 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Sorry to hear this JC. I hope your recovery goes quickly and you get back in the saddle soon.
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:55 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcw
The track and I played nice. They opened up novice to passing early in the day and I was making my turns getting around really well. Unfortunately, I was running with another rider in front of me who, to me, checked up wide setting up a turn. In a split second I was almost level with him on the inside (the corner never required me to go wide) but carrying considerably more speed.
He makes his move to the apex and I panic braked seeing him move back into my field of vision. Slowed enough to just clip his rear wheel.
Can't remember the fall but looking at my bike it looks like his rear tire and left side of my axle and rotor hit (bent rotor, tweaked forks), turned the wheel right and pitched me hard on my left shoulder (leathers rashed, splintered clavicle), bike hit hard on left bar (tore the clip on off), then the tank and might have flipped over (damaged plastics on other side).

Next thing I remember, I'm walking off the course to the fence. Reach down to feel my shoulder and can telll right away the clavicle is broken. The rider in front of me and behind me are still on the ground. I don't immediately recall what happened. We all take the ambulance back and the guy asks me did I run into him. And I said honestly I couldnt remember. He said, yeah you did. I thinking fuuuuuuuucccck me.

The other two get checked out and don't go to the ER. I get a free trip.

Mild concussion and a fractured clavicle, Bike is a mess, never got my nice gloves back...

I want to ride track again, but #1 I can't fix stupid (totally my fault) and #2 I have kids that I need to be responsible for so for now I'm done. I know was not trying to pass. It was just a matter of different lines and different speeds that I should have managed better.

Ack. So sorry to hear. I hope you heal up well. Also, you aren't stupid. Just saying. We all make mistakes and many of us have crashed on track so as long as you learn from your mistakes and move forward in a manner that suggests you won't make the same mistake twice then you are good to go. I get the part about having kids that need you, the track is safer than the street so there is that as well. Anyway, I've busted my clavicle as well and I know how much it freekin hurts so take it easy, heal up and let us all know if/when you plan on heading back out. Make a plan and take it step by step. Always a pleasure talking/typing with you
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Old 09-08-2017, 02:58 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PistolPete
It might have helped. A lot of times it's the bottom of your helmet hitting the collarbone that breaks it, and the vest should help prevent that. Curious JCW, was your helmet rashed on the side opposite the busted collarbone? Sorry to hear, I've busted mine a total of 3 times. It'll heal ugly, but it'll heal...

No. helmet has two (minor) rashes on the back.
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:11 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Hate to disagree, but you run into someone else who hasn't crashed on a trackday and there is a good chance stupidity is involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by misti
Ack. So sorry to hear. I hope you heal up well. Also, you aren't stupid. Just saying. We all make mistakes and many of us have crashed on track so as long as you learn from your mistakes and move forward in a manner that suggests you won't make the same mistake twice then you are good to go. I get the part about having kids that need you, the track is safer than the street so there is that as well. Anyway, I've busted my clavicle as well and I know how much it freekin hurts so take it easy, heal up and let us all know if/when you plan on heading back out. Make a plan and take it step by step. Always a pleasure talking/typing with you
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:23 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcw
Hate to disagree, but you run into someone else who hasn't crashed on a trackday and there is a good chance stupidity is involved.
JC:

Stupid is when you keep doing the wrong thing - you are being hard on yourself I'm sure because you are now playing the incident over and over in your head and now it has become clear that you made the wrong decision.

You were unfortunate that the decision you made was a costly one. Look you will recover from the injury the bike can be repaired.

I can tell you to get back on the bike as soon as possible and get back out on a track as soon as possible but you need to square all that away.

If you decide to get back on track next year just take your time - heck start with a one on one lesson with one of the instructors at the organization you ride with.

Or go out with a rider that you know who will show you the lines and ride at a pace you are comfortable with.

Every time I go to a track that I don't know I take my time getting up to speed and if I can have someone tow me around a few sessions I always accept.

Keep the faith put your bike back together and go from there.
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:48 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Not looking for a pity party. Just calling a spade a spade.
It was a dick move to take out another rider.

Surgery Monday. Ortho felt the clavicle displacement was great enough that the chance of healing without surgery was reduced. Plus there's this bone shard pointing straight down at some vessels and my lung.

On the flip side, I managed to pull the front end off the bike with 1 working arm. Forks might have escaped terminal damage. They look straight but I'll send them to get serviced and mic'd. Dented the radiator a tiny bit and bent the whole thing a little. Holed the rubber radiator hose somehow? Left rotor is trashed. But the new calipers look OK. Front fairing stay snapped but no obvious frame damage. Not sure if the front mounted steering damper on the triple tree is bent or just made that angle. Triples LOOK ok but who knows. left clip on snapped off at the fork clamping area. Clutch lever destroyed.

Somehow the regulator survived AGAIN. it sits on top of the left side of the frame. The stator cover has new grind marks but still holds oil. Amazing. I think the rear subframe is straight but all the plastic bits are cracked or scratched or missing.

The exhaust can got pushed in but looks to be intact as is the new midpipe I welded. Headers look OK. No major impact marks on the frame from what I can tell except at the left steering stop. Nice little aluminum impact deformation there. Left foot peg is bent in again, I striaghtened it last time. Might just buy a used set (or rearsets) this time.

Everything is repairable, I guess. But it's track plastics from here on out. Can't afford to replace all the beautiful OEM plastics.
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:57 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Dick move?

They're called accidents for a reason, and they group riders by skill level for a reason too.

Riding a motorcycle is obviously inherently risky business, so training, good common sense, safe equipment, sharp physical and mental capabilities; all are part of the formula for safe riding.

Recover from your injuries and then make a decision on what level of risk you wish to manage and then move forward. Try not to beat yourself to death in the meantime...you're still alive for God's sake. All you did was fall off.

If it were up to me (and it is really) and everything were perfectly set up, I would only ride on the track, as I think it's a much safer environment. However, I do mitigate my road riding risk by never riding to a schedule (no commuting) and only to the least populated areas in my state, which eliminates 75% of my surroundings here in New Jersey. Ten miles from my house and I am on backroads and goat paths. I'm lucky to at least have that, because that is really the only riding I enjoy.

Good luck with your rehab!
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:57 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

It's alive...



Tore the front end down (forks, triples, wheels, rotors and clipons) and put it back together. Went back to stock rotors to replace the bent left rotor. Everything (axle, forks, triple) checked out straight as far as I can tell.

Replaced the stock clipon's with some attack performance ones I had on an old zx-10r trackbike.
Gently persuaded (bent) back the clutch lever, left rearset, and steering damper mount.
Waiting on some armour bodies plastics and a new front fairing bracket.
replaced one radiator hose torn in the crash. Drained and refilled the oil and Fired her up!

Engine revs hunt a little at idle. Not something I remember before the crash. But .

Zip tied the dash to the triple and ran it down the street to test the quickshift sensor. Still working!

Replaced the dented stock exhaust with a LV slip on. Tank crinkled very slightly on the left side. But otherwise is intact.

This is my rehab...


BMW content. My friend on his s1kr



In retrospect, I realize that I was too focused on the track and the bike. Before and during the trackday. Totally "forgot" that perhaps just as important was to mind the other riders.
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:25 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Dang! Sorry you wrecked...I was enjoying reading your enthusiasm about running the track...you'll be back

Heal quickly.
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:26 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcw
It's alive...



Tore the front end down (forks, triples, wheels, rotors and clipons) and put it back together. Went back to stock rotors to replace the bent left rotor. Everything (axle, forks, triple) checked out straight as far as I can tell.

Replaced the stock clipon's with some attack performance ones I had on an old zx-10r trackbike.
Gently persuaded (bent) back the clutch lever, left rearset, and steering damper mount.
Waiting on some armour bodies plastics and a new front fairing bracket.
replaced one radiator hose torn in the crash. Drained and refilled the oil and Fired her up!

Engine revs hunt a little at idle. Not something I remember before the crash. But .

Zip tied the dash to the triple and ran it down the street to test the quickshift sensor. Still working!

Replaced the dented stock exhaust with a LV slip on. Tank crinkled very slightly on the left side. But otherwise is intact.

This is my rehab...


BMW content. My friend on his s1kr



In retrospect, I realize that I was too focused on the track and the bike. Before and during the trackday. Totally "forgot" that perhaps just as important was to mind the other riders.
JC:

Glad to see you have been working on the bike. Plenty of time to heal up and get the bike back into shape. Plenty of time to think about track riding next season or not.
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Old 10-04-2017, 01:12 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

A little more progress on the bike.

I'm in a holding pattern as Armour Bodies are out of the superbike version of their body kits for the gsxr. December is the estimated time for the next production run.

In the meantime, I managed to get the front subframe on, replace the wave rotor on the left. Bike is up and running. Albeit with no lights.

I've been trying to think of ways to make the bike "street legal" with the race fairings. In Illinois, that means headlight and taillight at a minimum. The first step was to install a taillight. I had a red lightbar lying around that worked perfect.




Because of my use of the bike in an extremely limited manner on the streets, I'm thinking of doing a small projector light from under the fairings.


Another thing I've been working on is a mount for the AIM Solo DL lap timer. I've always wanted one of these and I found a lightly used one that saved me a couple hundred dollars. Cobbled up a link cable with a connector off the exhaust servo motor that happens to fit the Suzuki dealer link under the seat. It mounts with a bracket I made that attaches to the location the old ignition lock was screwed to the upper triple clamp.

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Old 10-04-2017, 07:04 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Glad to read you are repairing the bike and it is going well.

I still don't have an auxiliary lap timer (RR has one) don't use it. Certainly we like/want to know if we are improving - I know when I'm putting down a good lap - might not know the exact time but I know.

I don't plan on racing so my ultimate lap times are not really important to me. I video almost every session so I can see my lap times from the video if interested.

I am all about riding well and not riding over my head - some riders get caught up with their lap times and start pushing and start taking more risks and riding at their limit leaving no room for error.

Be careful with the lap timer use it to gain information - don't use to - beat the clock so to speak.
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:41 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...



After two crashes, $3500+ in parts and replaced equipment (I could have just bought a brand new bike), a painful broken clavicle and more annoying post surgery recovery, and lost income from the last 4 weeks off work, getting back on track is still highly questionable.

The lap timer at this point is, well, bling... One of those things I wanted to get before the last crash.
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Old 10-04-2017, 09:43 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcw


After two crashes, $3500+ in parts and replaced equipment (I could have just bought a brand new bike), a painful broken clavicle and more annoying post surgery recovery, and lost income from the last 4 weeks off work, getting back on track is still highly questionable.

The lap timer at this point is, well, bling... One of those things I wanted to get before the last crash.
The first priority is to heal well and then take a look at the potential of getting back to the track.

One of my friends and track riding partners had a bad highside this summer. He destroyed a previous hip implant and pretty much destroyed his femur. The surgeon did put his hip and leg back together and he will most likely recover well.

If he has another injury to that leg he will not walk again - surgeon told him there is nothing left to repair a next time. My friend just the other day said to me depending on how well he heals he is most likely going to be back on track next year.

I honestly can't say I would be coming back with knowing if I fall again on that leg I'm not walking.

I suggested we buy cars for track days - that way he gets on track (okay not a bike) and reduces his chances of injuring himself a lot.

If we go that route I'm still doing bike track days - do the car days when there is no bike track days.
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Old 10-04-2017, 09:55 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Hope your friend recovers well!

It's a bitch. Not so much the pain, but the inability to take care of your responsibilities.

I wonder what the crash/injury rate at trackdays are? I don't think I want to know because it's probably pretty high.
I do believe there IS a way to safely ride trackdays.
A mindset thing you've talked about several times. Actually, more than several.
You ride without that mindset and the risk of falling increases exponentially.

But, then again, that's the thrill that most of us seek. So...

Just rambling. And I'm not even on pain meds. LOL.
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Old 10-11-2017, 01:50 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcw
Hope your friend recovers well!

It's a bitch. Not so much the pain, but the inability to take care of your responsibilities.

I wonder what the crash/injury rate at trackdays are? I don't think I want to know because it's probably pretty high.
I do believe there IS a way to safely ride trackdays.
A mindset thing you've talked about several times. Actually, more than several.
You ride without that mindset and the risk of falling increases exponentially.

But, then again, that's the thrill that most of us seek. So...

Just rambling. And I'm not even on pain meds. LOL.

Unfortunately it seems like the crash rate at regular track days is pretty high. I've alway had a hard time heading to track days after coaching with the school because our attention to detail and safety are so high that when I see crazy passes and yahoo's riding like idiots at track days I want to pull them in and tell them what they are doing wrong before they take me or someone else out!

I don't do track days for that reason unless it's for a special occasion or I get to ride somewhere like Sachsenring They ran such a tight ship there, I was super impressed.

I think safety needs to be a higher priority and that the general mindset of riders needs to change. I mean, should you really be riding in such a way at a track day that the likelihood of crashing is high?
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Old 10-11-2017, 02:51 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by misti
I think safety needs to be a higher priority and that the general mindset of riders needs to change. I mean, should you really be riding in such a way at a track day that the likelihood of crashing is high?
^^^^ This!

There are definitely some groups/organizations that I prefer to ride with for this reason as well. It would be great if we had a way of identifying "who's who" (in terms of riders) and their personal reason/goals for being out there while on track.

It was an anomaly, otherwise I'd likely quit riding track, but I was once riding my first day with a new organization to check them out. I had a guy pass me IN THE GRASS on the final turn before pit in on the checkered flag. I can only guess that he thought he was getting a trophy, sponsorship money, and his own umbrella girl for getting to pit in ahead of me.

Different organization where I had come up on a group of 8 riders bunched up. Due to lessons learned earlier in my trackday life, I just fell inline, riding about 70% and not attempting to pass them. It was a very technical track without a great place to fight through a group of that size. Next thing I know, I see a tire/wheel all but touching my left leg. As I was about 18" off the curbing, I was startled, never expecting that someone thought it would be a good place to put their bike. I moved over and left the guy pass. As it was, it was the guy pitted next to me. When the session ended, I very coyly asked the guy "WTF were you doing out there?" He goes on to explain to me that his goal in life was to be promoted to the "Advanced" group and he'd been told that he needed to demonstrate the ability to pass. I was livid and told him that I kinda doubted that wreckless passing and putting others in danger while we were clumped up likely wasn't what they had in mind.

Currently I ride either "Advanced" or "Advanced Intermediate". I'm uncertain where I feel the safest at this point.

In "Advanced Intermediate" I feel like I have more control over my destiny as it's rare that I have someone overtaking me and more of my time is spent overtaking which puts the control of my destiny more in my hands. That said, if you reach a traffic jam situation, typically there's somebody impatient that will catch you and make it their life goal to move up a spot and be ahead of you as if we are trying to position ourselves for the podium.

In the "Advanced" group, I'm no longer one of the fastest few guys on the track. In this group I find myself running many more laps free of traffic. In Advanced, I do however get that guy who's faster than me that comes by, often close, and startles me a bit and makes me wonder if/how long he may have been putting my safety in jeopardy. If I know that they are there, I move to the outside and LET them pass... it's not a race for me and not worth having them turn up the risk factor behind me.

All in all, it's a hobby that I wouldn't be able to tear myself away from. It would just be nice to have a way of knowing the intentions/goals of all those around you.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:45 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

I ride the track because I enjoy the physical challenge and mental discipline required to go fast. I like the sense of achievement of getting a bike around a corner and down the next straight fast.

Passing people and getting passed for me is just a necessary evil at this point. Im not interested in racing others.

But unlike the track which stays static, the other riders are always in motion. More care needs to be paid passing or riding close to another rider.

That was my big mistake. Pretty stupid.

If someone shows me a wheel on a trackday, fuck it, just pass me. Its not worth it.

Unfortunately, like you said, it's how they show you a wheel that makes all the difference in safety.


Im glad that the organization I ride with will absolutely chew out and sit a rider being stupid.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:21 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcw
Hope your friend recovers well!

It's a bitch. Not so much the pain, but the inability to take care of your responsibilities.

I wonder what the crash/injury rate at trackdays are? I don't think I want to know because it's probably pretty high.
I do believe there IS a way to safely ride trackdays.
A mindset thing you've talked about several times. Actually, more than several.
You ride without that mindset and the risk of falling increases exponentially.

But, then again, that's the thrill that most of us seek. So...

Just rambling. And I'm not even on pain meds. LOL.
I'm certainly no track day expert in regard to knowing the perfect set of rules - criteria needed to have the safest day.

Most track day organizations all have the same basic guidelines and rules - how they go about teaching those rules and enforcing them is another discussion.

I do think I'm a smart rider - does not mean that I can't make a mistake and I think I never ride at 10/10 of my ability.

I can't control the other riders on track - but I most certainly can and do observe them. It takes a lap or two to pick out the riders that may be a concern.

When I can and when I know I'm coming up on one of these riders - I make the decision right then and there - am I faster than this rider so if I do pass him/her they are not going to come up on me and make one of their bad decisions.

If I catch up to one of them due to traffic and they are typically running faster than me - I don't pass them - I roll off just a bit and they pull away from me and typically don't see them the rest of the session. Or I pit in and right out and then they are gone.

Also I almost always pit close to pit out and have a good line of sight of the riders pitting out and lining up - if I have concerns about a few riders I make the decision where I want to be in regard to pitting out - be first in line or last.

Not a perfect solution but it is about managing our risk and part of that is to be aware of the riders we are on track with.

I ride in the advanced/expert group - there is always riders faster than me and of course slower than me - my experience for the most part the riders are very predictable - and yes there is always a few of those riders that I feel think they are racing.

The other thing that I do is I absolutely tell a coach about a rider that I feel did a bad pass on me or I saw a rider do something unsafe. I also make myself available to that rider if need be.

In regard to lots of crashes at track days - well that's not always the case and many track days there are very few and then there are days that it seems like every group has lost their minds.

First session of the day - right after lunch and last session of the day seem to be the most crash prone sessions.

First session many times simply cold tires - after lunch I'm not sure maybe it is the full belly syndrome and we become sluggish and last session who knows from the rider is just feeling great and wants to let it rip and screws up to the rider is tired and should have called it a day and not gone out.

And in all those cases they most certainly can involve another rider - because of their decision they take them out.

The wannabe racer to the reckless rider again those riders are very unpredictable and any given day we can encounter them on track and it could turn out bad.

I can honestly say most track days this year almost 30 of them I knew in the first session or two what riders I wanted to stay clear of or wanted to now where they were on track.

The org I do most of my track days with is one of the best in promoting good rider education for the track - excellent amount of coaches on the track as well as control riders - and they really don't tolerate any dangerous riders.

I hope I never get taken out by another rider - in fact I hope I never go down - but if I do I really hope I can say it was 100% my fault and I really hope I don't take anyone out with me.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:24 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucev
Another point - you can fix mistakes - unfortunately this one bit you pretty hard. Every track day I go to these types of situations are talked about in the classroom.

From track experience to track etiquette to the mindset of the riders. I'm not the fastest rider for sure - I think I ride at 7-8/10 of my skill. Many riders I ride with at the track I think are riding at their limit - so sure they are faster than me - but their risk level is also higher.

I'm not interested in racing - I'm interested in riding fast correctly and safely. I'm not saying I can't or won't ever go down - but I think I manage my risk level better than others.

Don't get me wrong there are many fast riders riding well within their skill level but there are many who are not.

I just started wearing an air vest - I wonder if you had one on - if you would have broken your clavicle?

Bruce, that's the best advice you can give anyone. Ride to your level of comfort and ability and "slowly" but surely keep improving. I see some guys who believe they are the next best MotoGP rider being absolute dickheads on public roads. I am a quick rider but NOT a F'wit! Public roads - wrong place, wrong place!!

Thanks for the information and good luck. Grenville
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Old 03-28-2018, 03:57 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

She's back together and with just enough to keep her "road legal" around here.






I've got my air vest on order. And two track day weekends booked already for end of May and June.
Now to get seat time and relearn a few things.


As far as the accident last year, I'm ready to put it behind me. The fault in my mind was my inexperience riding with other people on the track and focusing too much on the track itself. It really had nothing to do with going too fast or riding beyond my abilities, unfortunately. Just stupid. I won't let that happen again.

I splurged for some wicked offset adjustable triples (broke the steering damper mount on the originals) and those race concepts version of the Sato rearsets.

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Old 03-28-2018, 05:40 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

J:

Will you please just paint it all black and be done with it. That is all it needs to be perfect.
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Old 03-29-2018, 12:14 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

JCW Your bike looks better now than when in Suzuki livery. More importantly, what does that blue/green fender on the floor go to?
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Old 03-29-2018, 08:41 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

It's a cracked fiberglass r75 /5 fender. The bike was a used but abused '72 frankenbike that I'm doing up in a vintage racer look.
Right now I'm trying to raise the engine in the cradle up front for more ground clearance.
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Old 03-29-2018, 08:44 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcw
It's a cracked fiberglass r75 /5 fender. The bike was a used but abused '72 frankenbike that I'm doing up in a vintage racer look.
Right now I'm trying to raise the engine in the cradle up front for more ground clearance.
How about some pictures of the project??
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Old 03-29-2018, 10:08 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
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How about some pictures of the project??

Yeah, after a little progress. It was impossible for me to get motivated over the winter.
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:17 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

60 deg today! that was a nice change of pace.

Spent an hour riding in the late morning and another hour in the late afternoon. Felt good to have warm weather, warm asphalt, warm tires. Finally got to lean the bike with a little (not too much) aggression.

This spring, I'm really working on getting the brake/throttle blip/downshift dance down pat. It's hard because the revs you run on track while downshifting would draw unnecessary attention on the street. But, still I try.

Another thing I'm working on is this whole body position, peg weighting, countersteering mess I've gotten myself into. I think I have a plan.

#1 be in a stable strong body position going into the corner to make your initial countersteering input. The one-cheek-off, open-your-torso position. Push out and not down on the bars to countersteer most effectively and LEAN quickly but controlled. It's not the time to hang off yet. Any excessive movement compromises your ability to make effective and accurate countersteering input so I'm going to try to keep my body stable.

#2 gradually drop your inside elbow as you turn and lean toward the apex and your head will follow. Weight on the seat. not on the pegs. forget the peg weighting for now, it's just not effective enough to get you turned quickly.


The rest is just practicing and practicing what I've learned.
#3 widen your vision as soon as you know you can make your apex and pick up the exit point. As soon as you see your exit point, open the throttle slightly and gradually. As Keith Code says, the motorcycle is most stable on the throttle and accelerating very slightly.

#4 once you're cruising through the apex and are beginning the exit of the turn, determine your trajectory and stand the bike up or tighten your line with whatever means necessary, peg weighting, head position/hanging off, countersteering.


It's a lot to be doing, but I think I'm on the right track. It felt very natural sitting more on the bike through the apex than where I was the middle of last year standing on the pegs and hovering over the seat.

I know I should take a class. But the time, travel, and $$$ involved prevents me.
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:46 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

You seem to have the theory down pat.

Let us know how the next step goes.

Cheers
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Old 04-27-2018, 04:38 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

1 month to go...

Been going out regularly for short intensive rides really focusing on turning. And, I'm at the moment getting comfortable at greater lean angles on the bike.

I guess one of the things holding me back was being slow getting to that lean angle and being too tentative leaning it over like I feared the bike was going to fall over if I did it too fast or too far. Well, on a moving motorcycle going at any meaningful speed, that just doesn't really happen.

Now, when I feel like I'm ready to go into the corner, I'll more aggressively lean it and think about using my inside knee as a gauge or feeler to the ground as I make my countersteering input. Granted, my knee is no doubt still a foot off the ground most of the times but that simple thought of getting to a lean angle where your knee is pointing to the ground gets me into the turn much faster and I don't fear running wide as much.

That was my feeling on track last year (at least for the short time I was riding). Why am I always feeling like I'm trying not to run wide. It's a different feeling now going into corners. Sometimes I can feel the bike take a "set" with the suspension compressing when I turn it really hard.

just an observation...
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Old 04-27-2018, 06:48 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcw
1 month to go...

Been going out regularly for short intensive rides really focusing on turning. And, I'm at the moment getting comfortable at greater lean angles on the bike.

I guess one of the things holding me back was being slow getting to that lean angle and being too tentative leaning it over like I feared the bike was going to fall over if I did it too fast or too far. Well, on a moving motorcycle going at any meaningful speed, that just doesn't really happen.

Now, when I feel like I'm ready to go into the corner, I'll more aggressively lean it and think about using my inside knee as a gauge or feeler to the ground as I make my countersteering input. Granted, my knee is no doubt still a foot off the ground most of the times but that simple thought of getting to a lean angle where your knee is pointing to the ground gets me into the turn much faster and I don't fear running wide as much.

That was my feeling on track last year (at least for the short time I was riding). Why am I always feeling like I'm trying not to run wide. It's a different feeling now going into corners. Sometimes I can feel the bike take a "set" with the suspension compressing when I turn it really hard.

just an observation...
JC:
The one thing for sure you are way more analytical than me. Don't get me wrong I read a lot I go to a lot of classrooms during track days and I watch a lot of video.

But when I get on track especially I try to find my reference points and adjust them as I pick up the pace but I don't consciously think about all the things I have learned.

As far as cornering goes for me I try to be looking as far through the corner I can - the old saying you go where you are looking is very true. How much I lean well I remember back when all I thought about was getting a knee down in fact that was a distraction and limiting.

As my speed increased body position adjusted and I started hanging off more and one day I was knee down.

These days when I feel my knee touching I try to pick it up - I used to drag it all the way through the corner because it made me feel accomplished but all I was doing was going slower and wearing out knee pucks.
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:55 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Yeah, I agree, Bruce. It'll come, but I'm not so worried about getting knee down. I know with the right corner and speed it'll be there. For me it's all about being comfortable cornering right now.

Trust in the tires (lost a lot of that with the first low side last year), confidence (lost this with the second crash, collision/high side/broken bike/broken bone), and knowing that barring some ham-fisted mistake nothing is going to happen if you do need to lean it.

It's the process until I can get back to the track, slowly get acclimated again to the speed and prove to myself I can do it without crashing. I've got the pieces to this puzzle. I just have to put them together.

My timeline isn't one session, an afternoon, one trackday or a couple. I'll take it slow this year and try to learn as much about the process as I can along the way. I like to share some insights, although they may be right or wrong in the end. Sometimes, I think I just like to write down what I've just done. I hope it doesn't come off sounding like I'm conceited or anything...


Got to wear the Helite vest. After about a day of riding, I am quickly getting used to it over the leathers. It also is making me want to buy new leathers. Ouch! my wallet can't handle it.


Also, it took me about 2 weeks to finally get the rearsets and shifter peg positions sorted out. I decided to go full time GP shift as I find it easier upshifting while accelerating with a downward foot movement than trying to hook my foot under while accelerating for an upward shift. A new quickshifter pull type sensor was installed and everything is ready to go. HOW do you literbike guys do it? I can barely hold on with 120hp...

The clutch/blip/downshift dance is coming along nicely. The faster (higher revs) you go the easier it seems to be. Try it coming to a stop and it can get clunky.
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  #45  
Old 04-27-2018, 11:21 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcw
Yeah, I agree, Bruce. It'll come, but I'm not so worried about getting knee down. I know with the right corner and speed it'll be there. For me it's all about being comfortable cornering right now.

Trust in the tires (lost a lot of that with the first low side last year), confidence (lost this with the second crash, collision/high side/broken bike/broken bone), and knowing that barring some ham-fisted mistake nothing is going to happen if you do need to lean it.

It's the process until I can get back to the track, slowly get acclimated again to the speed and prove to myself I can do it without crashing. I've got the pieces to this puzzle. I just have to put them together.

My timeline isn't one session, an afternoon, one trackday or a couple. I'll take it slow this year and try to learn as much about the process as I can along the way. I like to share some insights, although they may be right or wrong in the end. Sometimes, I think I just like to write down what I've just done. I hope it doesn't come off sounding like I'm conceited or anything...



Got to wear the Helite vest. After about a day of riding, I am quickly getting used to it over the leathers. It also is making me want to buy new leathers. Ouch! my wallet can't handle it.
One thing you have to do is get used to the tires you are running and trust them. I don't switch brands - I run Pirelli's I like the way they feel - some riders don't like them - it is what you like and get used to.

I think once you get a few days under your belt your confidence will come back.

Last Sunday was the first time I rode a motorcycle in 7 months - blown up shoulder and all - trust me I did not go out with a ton of confidence in fact I went out and was very cautious - didn't try to start where I had left off last season I was way off the pace I was at - but really happy to be back on the bikes.
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  #46  
Old 05-14-2018, 07:56 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

2 weeks...

In the middle of safety wiring the drain and fill plugs and the oil filter. There are some nice flat pry points of the case or covers next to each that worked well as an anchor point for the safety wire. I center punched then drilled a small hole. The drill went through the aluminum case like butter.

On the plug side, I spent a couple bucks for some pre drilled drain and fill plugs and made sure the oil filter has a drilled nut welded to the end. (K&N and Hiflo)


Still need to change the rear tire, drain the coolant and refill with water wetter mix and locktite the rearset bolts.


Painting will have to wait and I will run the stock gearing for now, maybe switch to a 520 chain kit -1/+2 for the next trackday.

Pics to follow.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:04 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucev
One thing you have to do is get used to the tires you are running and trust them. I don't switch brands
While this does not match my experience, I find this to be solid advice. When/if I ever finish out all the different tires that I have already purchased I will be moving this route to build confidence/consistency as I push harder myself.
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  #48  
Old 05-27-2018, 09:17 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Finished my first full track day in almost 1 1/2 years due to the two crashes last year and the clavicle fracture. Unfortunately, it coincidended with the first heat wave of the season with record heat in Chicago. 90+ by 3pm with a heat index over 100.

I was gassed after a couple sessions. It took nearly the whole 40 minutes between sessions to recover from the heat (really works out to about 35 minutes due to time to get on/off grid and regeared). At the end of the day, my hips and thighs were weak and sore from the deep squat the rearsets put you in and moving from side to side and the noob mistake of overly clamping down on the tank. As the day went on, I eased up on the death grip I had on the tank with my legs.

As expected it’s taking a while to get my confidence back and up to speed. I ran most of the day with plenty of lean angle left to use (read rear chicken strips about 1-1.5cm wide) but ran to the edge of the rear tire by mid afternoon as I found a position in the corners that I felt comfortable enough to increase the speed and lean.

Took some notes, worked on the corners I had trouble with. And I think generally got more consistent throughout the day. Toward the end, the fast intermediate guys/coaches weren’t passing me as quickly anymore. Lol.

One of my biggest takeaway this first track day back was that the fast guys get into the corner later and more importantly accelerate out of the corner earlier and harder. That may sound simple and obvious but not natural to me at the start. My corner speed is pretty decent. I can hang with the fast guys through the apex, but I watch them pull away as soon as we pass the apex.

I had a go pro prepped and safety wired but Removed it the first session and never had the energy to remount it. My lap timer was safety wired but was not picking up the start finish every time. That sucked. I did get what I think is a decent intermediate time of 1:20. I am happy with that. Most of my clear lap times were 23-25s at the end of the day. Slow but consistent. A good wera/css race pace I think is sub 10’s. Record for the track is 06s I think. I made it a point not to chase a lap time but to be smooth throughout the day as much as possible. But I like having the timer to judge my consistency and progress.

I have another track day at the same track in a couple weeks. My goal is more efficiency on the bike so I don’t get so tired. I watch some people pass me and they look like they barely move in the seat while I feel I’m all over the place. Yeah, I’m one of those guys... but I just still fear the lean angle at the moment and feel better hanging off a little more than leaning more. Something I definitely have to work on.

I found a real nice position mid corner. I put my upper stomach/lower chest on the tank, outside forearm on the tank, head low (for me). Having a bad neck, I’m not always able to see as far up the track in this position as I would like. But it seemed to get me through the corner fastest with the least amount of drama. I’ll make it a point to work on my field of vision.
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:43 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcw
Finished my first full track day in almost 1 1/2 years due to the two crashes last year and the clavicle fracture. Unfortunately, it coincidended with the first heat wave of the season with record heat in Chicago. 90+ by 3pm with a heat index over 100.

I was gassed after a couple sessions. It took nearly the whole 40 minutes between sessions to recover from the heat (really works out to about 35 minutes due to time to get on/off grid and regeared). At the end of the day, my hips and thighs were weak and sore from the deep squat the rearsets put you in and moving from side to side and the noob mistake of overly clamping down on the tank. As the day went on, I eased up on the death grip I had on the tank with my legs.

As expected itís taking a while to get my confidence back and up to speed. I ran most of the day with plenty of lean angle left to use (read rear chicken strips about 1-1.5cm wide) but ran to the edge of the rear tire by mid afternoon as I found a position in the corners that I felt comfortable enough to increase the speed and lean.

Took some notes, worked on the corners I had trouble with. And I think generally got more consistent throughout the day. Toward the end, the fast intermediate guys/coaches werenít passing me as quickly anymore. Lol.

One of my biggest takeaway this first track day back was that the fast guys get into the corner later and more importantly accelerate out of the corner earlier and harder. That may sound simple and obvious but not natural to me at the start. My corner speed is pretty decent. I can hang with the fast guys through the apex, but I watch them pull away as soon as we pass the apex.

I had a go pro prepped and safety wired but Removed it the first session and never had the energy to remount it. My lap timer was safety wired but was not picking up the start finish every time. That sucked. I did get what I think is a decent intermediate time of 1:20. I am happy with that. Most of my clear lap times were 23-25s at the end of the day. Slow but consistent. A good wera/css race pace I think is sub 10ís. Record for the track is 06s I think. I made it a point not to chase a lap time but to be smooth throughout the day as much as possible. But I like having the timer to judge my consistency and progress.

I have another track day at the same track in a couple weeks. My goal is more efficiency on the bike so I donít get so tired. I watch some people pass me and they look like they barely move in the seat while I feel Iím all over the place. Yeah, Iím one of those guys... but I just still fear the lean angle at the moment and feel better hanging off a little more than leaning more. Something I definitely have to work on.

I found a real nice position mid corner. I put my upper stomach/lower chest on the tank, outside forearm on the tank, head low (for me). Having a bad neck, Iím not always able to see as far up the track in this position as I would like. But it seemed to get me through the corner fastest with the least amount of drama. Iíll make it a point to work on my field of vision.
JC:

Reads like you had a great day back. At the end of the day as long as you had fun and stayed on two wheels it was a great day. The speed the experience the self confidence will all come -just don't go super analytical.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:48 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Well done on getting back on the track
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  #51  
Old 05-28-2018, 10:42 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

I know this is primarily a bmw sport touring forum, so I appreciate those that humor me with this track, non BMW content.

I also want to encourage anyone who is considering a track day to not take my recent experience as typical. You should NOT crash on a track day if you start within your limits and advance in a small to medium steps. Barring a freak collision with another bike. Or mechanical issue with the bike.

It is quite the rush/experience taking your ride toward the edge of its performance envelope.

I’ll admit a couple times yesterday I was thinking WTF am I doing out here? Today, I was cleaning the bike thinking about the next trackday already.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:46 AM
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Re: 1 week to go...

I was just thinking that getting to the edge of the tire doesn’t even mean the limit of lean. Probably not by a long shot. I’m so far theoretically speaking. But on track it just takes a couple things to go wrong, so I’ll just focus on being controlled and reasonably comfortable and let the speed and lean angle come.

Bruce, last session of the day, in the same corner I low sided last year, I entered a gear lower than usual and gassed it. I felt the rear slip, side step then catch. That was my moment of the day and immediately thought about your comment that the SP are a little slippery. Though someone also told me right before going out that the track was seeping water even in the 90 deg heat. No concerns on the front except when I rushed a corner entry or two and was forced to trail the brake and turn hard.
Hot pressure was 29 rear. Wear looked good.


Look at how far upright I am where most of the wavy lines are. Getting on gas too late?

I was thinking about trackday accidents, and in novice and intermediate I think most red flags come from guys going off track and dumping it. Keep it on track by staying within your limits, and really it’s hard to crash. If you crash on track, it’s most likely cold tires, or ham fisted inputs either abrupt brake or throttle while still at moderate lean. I kept thinking all day, be smooth, be smooth and nothing bad will happen to you.

When you reach advanced pace, you’re on your own.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:49 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcw
I was just thinking that getting to the edge of the tire doesnít even mean the limit of lean. Probably not by a long shot. Iím so far theoretically speaking. But on track it just takes a couple things to go wrong, so Iíll just focus on being controlled and reasonably comfortable and let the speed and lean angle come.

Bruce, last session of the day, in the same corner I low sided last year, I entered a gear lower than usual and gassed it. I felt the rear slip, side step then catch. That was my moment of the day and immediately thought about your comment that the SP are a little slippery. Though someone also told me right before going out that the track was seeping water even in the 90 deg heat. No concerns on the front except when I rushed a corner entry or two and was forced to trail the brake and turn hard.
Hot pressure was 29 rear. Wear looked good.


Look at how far upright I am where most of the wavy lines are. Getting on gas too late?

I was thinking about trackday accidents, and in novice and intermediate I think most red flags come from guys going off track and dumping it. Keep it on track by staying within your limits, and really itís hard to crash. If you crash on track, itís most likely cold tires, or ham fisted inputs either abrupt brake or throttle while still at moderate lean. I kept thinking all day, be smooth, be smooth and nothing bad will happen to you.

When you reach advanced pace, youíre on your own.
JC:
Tire looks great. Just try to make small changes and don't worry or think about going faster it will come.
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:32 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

I always think I'm hanging off more than I really am... Must be these bones are getting old.


Some of the photos later in the day when I started getting my chest onto the tank and head a little lower. The ones earlier were just embarrassing.





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Old 06-01-2018, 04:37 PM
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Re: 1 week to go...

Looking good!
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