I've been turning over in my head for a couple of days what to say. The Track day was not what I expected. I don't want to discourage anyone from doing a track day, it was an immensely valuable learning experience. But the ratio of fun to terror was not what I imagined.
A lot of it has to do with who I am and where I'm coming from. I'm not the most physically graceful or coordinated guy, I've always struggled with fine motor skills. I knew coming into the track day that I would be a slow guy.
It took four half hour sessions before I learned enough of the track and was comfortable enough not to be terrified. And then the learning began.
Lesson 1: Just because you have 50,000 street miles, that does not mean you know how to ride well. It just means you have a lot of practice riding wrong. I discovered that you really should put the ball of your foot on the peg so that you don't scare the [email protected]
out of yourself when you drag toe.
Lesson 2: Once your feet are in the right spot, if you get confident in your lean angles you can then scare the [email protected]
out of yourself by dragging peg feelers. I should have removed them.
Lesson 3: Just because your bike has rear preload adjustment only, you should not ignore the one suspension setting you have. I forgot to take my little adjustment wrench so I rode all day with the rear preload backed all the way out. The back end was so soft that I wallowed a bit in the corners.
Lesson 4: If you're in a curve and you're scared, just keep leaning. If you stand it up, you will go off the track and probably wreck. If you lean further you'll probably be surprised what the bike is capable of.
I'm an old fart (though I guess I'm probably younger than XRcajun and Rob). My bike is my daily commuter. I'll admit that I was scared of wrecking for both physical injury and tearing up the best bike I've owned. Add in my natural clumsiness and this particular track day was a little scary. But I learned a lot.
I guess I'm a bit of a hypocrite. I used to make fun of people who cared about chicken strips and thought it was a stupid thing to judge people by. But dang am I proud that I scrubbed mine off.
The other interesting part of the story was the guy I rode with. I hitched a ride from one of the instructors who lives near me. He rode an Aprilia SuperMotard. He made a simple but painful mistake. He filled his coolant reservoir (with coolant). When his bike got good and hot, it overflowed the reservoir. Right onto his back tire. Tire spun up exiting a curve, caught, then highsided him right into a broken collarbone. So that probably played into the fear part knowing that even the experts are one mistake away from 8 weeks in a sling.