Topic: Track day, here I come.  (Read 3550 times)

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Offline merc16

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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2016, 07:40:15 PM »
Congratulations on your accomplishments ! Keep on updating !
Justin
2003 Kawasaki ZRX1200,  2015 Yamaha FZ-07, 2018 Kawasaki Z125 PRO SE

Offline DachshundUberAlles

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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2016, 08:25:11 AM »
Sunday the 5th fast approaches. This will, most likely, be the last event I'll be able to swing for the year. I'll be trying my third different set of tires, Metzler Z8 Roadtech, but only because the Bridgestones were compromised by a puncture. This event will also see other variables as well. I've retired my AGV helmet and gone back to Arai, I have a new glasses prescription, and am returning to a 120/70 front in place of the /60 I had been using for the previous two events. I've been pleased to see the weather forecast evolve over the course of a couple of weeks, the temperature dropping from 92 down to lower 80's. The slight rain chances are a bit of a bummer, but I've decided that if it happens to rain during any of my sessions, I'm going out regardless so I can experience that variable as well.
There's no such thing as a "REAL RIDER!". If you have a motorcycle, you've done all you need to do.

Offline merc16

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« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2016, 08:55:20 AM »
Wow, you are definitely into the science and research of this.
Justin
2003 Kawasaki ZRX1200,  2015 Yamaha FZ-07, 2018 Kawasaki Z125 PRO SE

Offline SpeedyR

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« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2016, 04:20:03 PM »
how was the track day? I might try to make one of the events later this year if I end up getting a new street ride. too much dirty riding and not enough payment pounding. :)

Offline DachshundUberAlles

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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2016, 12:28:40 PM »
The day turned out wonderful. It rained until about 8:00. By the time the first group (Intermediate) went out at 9:00, the track was merely damp. Advanced was next (9:20) and a dry line was beginning to form. When we (Novice group) went out at 9:40, there was a complete and distinct dry line. By the time noon rolled around, the entire track was dry and the temperature was up.

I'll come back later on and do a more detailed "report" of my day, it had some interesting twists to say the least, right now I'll just say that if you're going to do an event, you really need to get cracking on booking it. The remaining Barber days are July 16/17, August 13/14, September 3/4, October 15/16, November 12/13. The Summer events are the least likely to be already sold out, according to the STT guys. Everyone wants the later rounds due to the more pleasant temperatures. If you've never done one, it's a fantastic experience, worth every penny. You'll develop a greater appreciation for your bike than you ever thought possible. And don't allow even the slightest glimmer of intimidation to be a part of it, it's just another paved surface to ride, just one that happens to be the most wonderfully flowing stretch of road there is!
There's no such thing as a "REAL RIDER!". If you have a motorcycle, you've done all you need to do.

Offline SpeedyR

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« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2016, 03:45:58 PM »
great report. just an FYI but STT has a track day at Barber the monday after the AMA races. Kind of a "stay and ride" day. Not sure if it's full already but just talked to a friend there and he told me about the monday event.

Offline DachshundUberAlles

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« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2016, 09:59:42 AM »
So, the day itself. It got started right for me as I found myself in Grouping 1, AKA Advanced Novice. Basically, that means you get to skip the after session meetings and are allowed "on your own" time earlier in the day. The first two sessions were pretty standard fare for me, it was the third that had the most and interestingly, best impact upon my day. It began with me having a THAT GUY moment. Seeing a group of about four slower riders ahead of me at the end of the front straight, I decided to take advantage of the very wide carousel (turns 2 and 3) to get by them. What seemed like a good idea at first started turning bad when I realized that I had sorely underestimated what it would take to cover the distance of the group relative to the distance of the available track. Things got "tight" at the bottom of three and the grass was looming large, but I managed to keep cool and get through with a couple of millimeters of curbing left over. The Group 1 instructor saw the incident and wasted no time letting me know that we were going to pull off and discuss what had just transpired. I've written before about the level of STT personnel professionalism, and this encounter served to amplify that feeling. The rest of the session was enjoyable and incident free.
When pulling in, another instructor (I don't remember the names, ZX10 and had 771 on his orange shirt) stopped me and said I really needed to be working on body positioning, that my more straight up, street style was requiring a lean angle that might end up causing me a problem. After parking the bike, I went up to the after session rider meeting and let the Novice Group overall lead instructor, I believe his name is Aaron Buse, know what had transpired. He reiterated the need to be patient out there and told me I was showing the right attitude to understand my role in my own safety and how that affects the other riders as well. I was able to catch the Group 1 instructor again and further our conversation, letting him know how much I appreciated what he had initially said in the pit, and that it was exactly what I needed to hear. I sought out and spoke to another instructor (Ogre, don't know his real name) and he continued the thought of being patient out there.
That incident, and the subsequent discussions turned out to be a very positive turning point for me, not only for that one day, but for (hopefully) all others that will follow. There was another discussion with a different instructor, Shane Richardson (AKA lostinbama), that made the turning point complete. After talking with Mr. Buse, Shane spent a few minutes with me on the subject of body positioning, mainly, the aspects of it that were actually important and the main one that was causing me unnecessary wasted thought process.
Rolling out for session 4 with the goal of patience and positioning exercise in mind, I used that time to gain a real familiarity and love for the 2/3 carousel. And that willingness to "ride through" the potential grass moment made me far more comfortable there, and gained me a better feel for the run into and through turn four.
Then, there's session 5. Session 5 was friggin' AWESOME! It started out with the usual routine, moderate speed to bring the tire temperature and to get some wind going to cool the sweat from waiting around in a full leather suit. Barely into the second lap, my glasses had slipped down enough that I was looking over them, so I had to duck into the hot pit and reset them. When I was waved out, there were three bikes ahead of me that were staggered in perfect positions. I was able to run (what had become for this day) my comfortable speed pace. I caught the first right after cresting turn 4 and glided right by. Caught the second just past turn 6 and glided right by, and caught the third on to the back straight after a good drive through the 10/11 esses and  then... BOOM, not another bike in my path for the remainder of the session. I was able to click off laps exactly how I wanted to, nothing before me to "hinder" my pace, nothing coming up behind me to give me thought to alter my braking or line to give them room to pass. It was the kind of time that, by itself, was worth the entire price of the day.
Session 6 was more of a body positioning exercise for me, working on the advice Shane had given me earlier in the day. And many thanks to him for that. By pointing out what I could disregard, he removed a distraction and allowed me to avoid distraction that leads to mistakes that create bigger and cascading distractions. I hope one of these times I'll get to ride with him for a closer evaluation of what I'm doing out there, as well as having an opportunity to chase him around the tack and the opportunity to really work on familiarizing and getting comfortable with the proper line around the track. One last (funny) thing about session 6. Towards the end, there was a group of four instructors riding together. At first, I thought it was only three. They came by me on the back straight ahead of the braking markers. When they cleared me and I tipped in and commenced turn 12, a fourth shot through on the inside. It was my buddy, the Group 1 instructor. He gave me the "Oops, sorry about that" wave going over turn 13. I had a small laugh and said to myself, "The session 3 account has now been balanced". ;D
The heat/humidity of the day had me feeling drained, so I skipped session 7 and went ahead and loaded up. Shane stopped by and gave me some real encouragement about what he'd seen of me out there, as well as some good advice about coming to terms with turn 15, the biggest nemesis I'm still facing at Barber. I just hope I'll have the opportunity to do another event this year to try and put it into practice.
It was another great day with Sportbike Track Time. The best lesson I learned was to embrace the concept of patient riding, and understand and accept that there's plenty of time in the day and that when the STT guys say "If you ask yourself if this pass is safe, you already know that the answer is no" is one of the truest statements you'll hear. I also found that having a rider go down in front of you (happened in turn 2 during session 5) wasn't as distracting to me as I had thought it might be. I kept my eyes on where I was going and didn't roll off the throttle or flinch on the bike.
For what it might be worth to anyone, the Metzler Roadtech Z8's that I ran this time did a good job out there. They weren't at quite the same grip level of the Bridgestone S20's or Pirelli Diablo Rosso's I ran at the second and first days respectively, but they were very predictable all day long and never gave me a moment of discomfort or hesitation.
I know this was a bit long winded, but what can you do? It's such an exciting experience that you just can't stop talking about it.
There's no such thing as a "REAL RIDER!". If you have a motorcycle, you've done all you need to do.

Offline SpeedyR

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« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2016, 12:36:26 PM »
good write up and glad you learned a lot. Some people tend to not keep up the learning after they have done a few track days (myself included!). it's always good to remind yourself to learn or work on something each time out.

when I worked with some friends that were novice track day riders my biggest point for them was to always leave room between themselves and the edge of the track when entering and exiting turns. I know the "fast" line is to use all of the track, but IMHO unless you are racing, it's best to leave a foot or two between yourself and the edge of the track at all time. Basically enough room for a bike to squeeze thru if they have to.

the thinking is that going into a turn if someone is coming up behind you and is carrying a lot more speed and you slide all the way to the edge of the track going into the turn they may hit you for run off the track. Ditto for the exit as you come out and are on the gas, you tend to drift to the edge of the track. leave a bit of room so if someone is coming around you on the outside they have room to squeeze by.

probably not an issue in the novice groups depending upon passing rules, but always better to be safe than sorry!

Offline DachshundUberAlles

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« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2016, 05:35:54 PM »
Kind of last minute, but was able to swing another event. Was a bit under the weather this week leading up to it, but have done most of the prep work and loading. I sure hope the heat doesn't work on me too bad. Four for four for the Barber Sundays so far.
There's no such thing as a "REAL RIDER!". If you have a motorcycle, you've done all you need to do.

Offline SpeedyR

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« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2016, 06:35:58 PM »
Have a great time and hydrate!!! I am picking up a new street/track bike next week so I should make one of their events later this year when it cools off a bit!

Offline DachshundUberAlles

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« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2016, 06:49:04 PM »
I'm closing in on a track specific bike purchase. I really want to do another demo ride on the R3, but Yamaha cancelled them last time because of rain possibilities and fear they might do the same tomorrow.
There's no such thing as a "REAL RIDER!". If you have a motorcycle, you've done all you need to do.

Offline DachshundUberAlles

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« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2016, 12:05:36 PM »
Good golly it was hot, made more potent as to it's affect upon me due to an illness that wracked me from Wed-Sat. I spent the majority of my non-riding time Sunday in the media building AC. The biggest takeaway I had from this event was recognizing when things are in a critical decision point and making the proper choice, regardless of how the emotional side is wanting to fight the rational. I went in knowing I wouldn't do all seven sessions, and quite possibly even six. The first three were quite good, my energy level was holding up, the temperatures weren't too bad during one and two, and the "quiet time" layover gave me a good ninety minutes in the media center.
Session three was great despite the (by now) high temperatures because I was concentrating on turning Shane Richardson's (lostinbama) turn fifteen advice into practice and seeing a very nice improvement in what up until now had been the last section of the circuit that was still giving me consistent grief. I also used great patience in dealing with slower traffic groupings, as well as becoming more decisive about committing to "round the outside" passes early enough to make them quick and safe. The downside that showed it's head now became rear tire grip. The Z8 Metzler that had done so well in June was spinning up a little too eagerly, culminating in a slide to wobble out of the esses (turn 10/11 combo) leading onto the back straight. It was satisfying to see that it didn't rattle me, I kept focus forward and rode right through it and rode (what I viewed as) well throughout the rest of the session.
Session four would be the final one of the day for me. The heat was starting to take its toll. The rear was spinning up on every corner exit and I wasn't feeling particularly sharp. I came into hot pit after two laps to get some clear track and to try and settle myself, but when I went back out it became quickly evident to me that my day was ending at number four. I was able to keep a safe enough pace as to not be a road block to anyone, but made no attempts to pass unless it was a straightaway on a weaker (by power) bike. At session's end, I pulled up to the trailer and got out of my leathers ASAP to make sure I wouldn't make the mistake of talking myself into reconsidering the decision to call it a day.
Despite the hiccups leading up to the event, I tried to keep my regular prep routine in hopes of minimizing any "bad juju", but correctly reacting to the "GO HOME NOW!" signs was the best display of judgement I have shown across the four events I have been fortunate enough to attend this year. I know the temperatures won't be any better in August, but I'm tempted to go ahead and buy it (and maybe September as well) on the idea that at full strength going into the day, I can handle the heat. Yup, might just have to do that.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 12:10:03 PM by DachshundUberAlles »
There's no such thing as a "REAL RIDER!". If you have a motorcycle, you've done all you need to do.

Offline KevinB

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« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2016, 06:00:45 PM »
I'm closing in on a track specific bike purchase. I really want to do another demo ride on the R3, but Yamaha cancelled them last time because of rain possibilities and fear they might do the same tomorrow.

Don't forget about the KTM RC390...a couple more hp, @ 20 less pounds, a couple hundred $$ more. You should be able to score a test ride at the local dealer.

Hate to hear about the abbreviated day, but glad to hear a "cooler" head prevailed and you avoided any issues.

Offline lostinbama

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« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2016, 08:47:43 PM »
It was good to see you again and you looked great out there! Of course, like everyone else riding this weekend, we all could have carried more corner speed and held a little better body position, but overall I see big improvements in your riding. I'm glad to hear my advice helped you and let's hook up at the next one for sure. I'll make it a point to spend a session or 2 with you at the next one. Just grab me and we'll have fun.

Offline DachshundUberAlles

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« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2016, 08:43:06 AM »
Thanks for that. I am feeling a difference out there and more importantly, the track is looking different to me. I've always felt that people of differing skills levels are not riding the same track simply because of how they see it. I'm hoping to get to the point where I start seeing a bit of the Barber track you are riding compared to the one I'm riding. You can bet I'll be looking for you next event I can do so I get started on that search for "your" Barber, or as close as I can hope to eventually come to.
There's no such thing as a "REAL RIDER!". If you have a motorcycle, you've done all you need to do.