First Trackday for Me! - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 31 Old 08-26-2009, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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First Trackday for Me!

I have signed up for the RideSmart Trackday on Labor Day at Texas World Speedway in College Station, TX.

We will be using the orginial 2.9 mile track running counter clockwise.



I am super excited! Now, if only the next week and a half would go by faster somehow.........

Shawn

2004 Triumph Speed Triple SE (Speedy - Street Bike)
2002 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Shamu - Track Bike)
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post #2 of 31 Old 08-26-2009, 09:12 AM
 
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Cool! What bike are you using?

Doing a track day really improved my riding, especially increasing my confidence in tight curves. I learned how to short shift, and how to really hang off the seat, which really changed my riding!

Good luck, and have fun!

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post #3 of 31 Old 08-26-2009, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Will be using my Speed Triple. Really want to get a track bike to play with because I don't want to hurt Speedy should anything happen. But, figured on my first trackday, I will be riding level 1 so shouldn't have any issues (knock on wood) and won't push it too hard. The rent a ninja group will be out there with 250s, but I can't see spending that much on renting a bike when I can use mine.

If I like it as much as I think I will, I will probably start looking more seriously at a trackbike. Want to find a cheap SV or somthing like that, probably. When I started glancing around about 1 1/2 years ago, it seems like I was seeing them all over for about 2K. Now they are around 3K. Seems odd that they are 1 1/2 years older and 1K more. Figured I should start watching in a couple months near the end of the season and closer to Christmas. Hopefully, people will start trying to unload them then (and maybe I will have some extra $$$ to play with....)

Shawn

2004 Triumph Speed Triple SE (Speedy - Street Bike)
2002 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Shamu - Track Bike)
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post #4 of 31 Old 08-26-2009, 09:28 AM
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That's cool. How much does it cost and do they rent leathers? How much extra to rent a bike? I'm in Dallas and would love to try it but can't afford to invest a ton of cash right now.

Steve

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post #5 of 31 Old 08-26-2009, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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They do rent leathers and the trackday price varies by track. I believe this one is $135, and I was told it was one of the most forgiving tracks they ride at with wide runnoff areas, etc. I did corner work for them at another trackday (Eagles Canyon up near Dallas) and got a free trackday credit for it. I think the leather rentals are like $50 or something, but was told once if it is your first time on the track they might have a discount. Don't know about that, though. You would need to ask them. I have a friend in Austin trying to unload some of his used leathers. I think he still has some. If you are interested, I will find out what size he has and what he is asking...

Shawn

2004 Triumph Speed Triple SE (Speedy - Street Bike)
2002 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Shamu - Track Bike)
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post #6 of 31 Old 08-26-2009, 09:43 AM
 
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The triple is a cool bike! Hey, I did my track day on my 919, and it was fine. PITA to tape everything up, disconnect lights, etc. I was at the Autobahn club in Joliet, IL. Got the ticket from a charity raffle! Everyone else there had a trailer, dedicated race bike, etc., so I felt really out of place at first, but no one seemed to mind.

I'd like to have a track bike some day, too. I've heard that the SV is a good choice.

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post #7 of 31 Old 08-26-2009, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scgstuff View Post
They do rent leathers and the trackday price varies by track. I believe this one is $135, and I was told it was one of the most forgiving tracks they ride at with wide runnoff areas, etc. I did corner work for them at another trackday (Eagles Canyon up near Dallas) and got a free trackday credit for it. I think the leather rentals are like $50 or something, but was told once if it is your first time on the track they might have a discount. Don't know about that, though. You would need to ask them. I have a friend in Austin trying to unload some of his used leathers. I think he still has some. If you are interested, I will find out what size he has and what he is asking...
I appreciate the offer but the wife probably wouldn't be real supportive of my decision to acquire more gear at this time.Translation:I'd never hear the end of it. I'll have to rent them if I do a track day anytime soon....

Actually my wife is real supportive of my "habit" but we're not exactly rolling in cash at the moment!

Have fun, post up some pics!

Steve

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post #8 of 31 Old 08-26-2009, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Steve, it looks like you are only about 1 - 1 1/2 hours away from Eagles Canyon Raceway. RideSmart will be back there again on Sep 28 and Oct 25. You might want to swing by and check them out. If you go to RidesSmart's webpage (in first post) you can send them an e-mail about corner working and get a credit for a free trackday. That fit my budget a lot better than $135. Maybe work the 28th and ride the 25th date.

If you want a trip, come on down to TWS on Labor Day. They have parade laps at lunchtime, where you can ride the rack just to see what it is like. Not race paced or anything, but at least get out there and see the track in person. I will be in a group of about 13 people coming from Austin. I have not checked yet, but sometimes we have a couple people come from Dallas as well.

Shawn

2004 Triumph Speed Triple SE (Speedy - Street Bike)
2002 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Shamu - Track Bike)
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post #9 of 31 Old 08-26-2009, 10:51 AM
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[QUOTE=scgstuff;346511]Steve, it looks like you are only about 1 - 1 1/2 hours away from Eagles Canyon Raceway. RideSmart will be back there again on Sep 28 and Oct 25. You might want to swing by and check them out. If you go to RidesSmart's webpage (in first post) you can send them an e-mail about corner working and get a credit for a free trackday. That fit my budget a lot better than $135. Maybe work the 28th and ride the 25th date.

Shawn, Cool... thanks for the tip! I'm gonna see if I can make that work.
Always wanted to try it. My birthday is Oct 25 so a track day might be my birthday present this year!

Steve

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post #10 of 31 Old 09-01-2009, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Under a week till T-Day! Rode the bike into work today. Need to decide what day I will start prepping it.

Shawn

2004 Triumph Speed Triple SE (Speedy - Street Bike)
2002 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Shamu - Track Bike)
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post #11 of 31 Old 09-01-2009, 10:16 AM
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In all seriousness, I would not consider a track bike for a while. The first couple few trackdays you should not be riding to the point of crashing. you will be learning how to actually "RIDE" your bike. I learned more in one day at the track than I had the years leading up to it.

I ran an F4i with street tires and had no problem. I was able to stratch my comfort level considerably with my street bike and street riding. With time came the desire for a track bike. Also, after a couple track days, you will see if it is really for you and you can actually find out what you want, not now where you think you know what you want.

I am excited for you and cannot wait to hear your impressions.

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post #12 of 31 Old 09-01-2009, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaf4iguy View Post
In all seriousness, I would not consider a track bike for a while. The first couple few trackdays you should not be riding to the point of crashing. you will be learning how to actually "RIDE" your bike. I learned more in one day at the track than I had the years leading up to it.

I ran an F4i with street tires and had no problem. I was able to stratch my comfort level considerably with my street bike and street riding. With time came the desire for a track bike. Also, after a couple track days, you will see if it is really for you and you can actually find out what you want, not now where you think you know what you want.

I am excited for you and cannot wait to hear your impressions.

Excellent post & spot-on!

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post #13 of 31 Old 09-01-2009, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaf4iguy View Post
In all seriousness, I would not consider a track bike for a while. The first couple few trackdays you should not be riding to the point of crashing. you will be learning how to actually "RIDE" your bike. I learned more in one day at the track than I had the years leading up to it.

I ran an F4i with street tires and had no problem. I was able to stratch my comfort level considerably with my street bike and street riding. With time came the desire for a track bike. Also, after a couple track days, you will see if it is really for you and you can actually find out what you want, not now where you think you know what you want.

I am excited for you and cannot wait to hear your impressions.
+1, after doing a couple supermoto races on my dual sport I know I want to continue racing next year but I'm just planning on putting super moto rims on my dual sport for next season so I can continue learning on what I have, after next season I will be able to decide what I actually want for a race bike and if I am still interested in getting that dedicated. for now it is just for fun and for learning. Enjoy, and take it real easy the first few laps, your heart rate and adrenaline will be pumping.

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post #14 of 31 Old 09-03-2009, 08:18 AM
 
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Wahoo !!

Welcome to the addiction !

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post #15 of 31 Old 09-07-2009, 06:20 AM
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How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go? How did it go? How did it Go? How did it go?

Just wondering....

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post #16 of 31 Old 09-07-2009, 06:25 AM
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Haha! It is 8:30 EST (almost) - So I guess Shawn is just now thinking about breakfast before getting to the track....

Don't eat too Heavy Shawn! Pooping in Leathers is a BAD thing.

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post #17 of 31 Old 09-07-2009, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaf4iguy View Post
Haha! It is 8:30 EST (almost) - So I guess Shawn is just now thinking about breakfast before getting to the track....

Don't eat too Heavy Shawn! Pooping in Leathers is a BAD thing.
gross





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post #18 of 31 Old 09-08-2009, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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It was GREAT! I will post up a review in a little later. Was tired last night wen I got home, so I ate dinner and crashed. Need to head to work now (should be there already, and I am here reading posts instead...oops...)

Shawn

2004 Triumph Speed Triple SE (Speedy - Street Bike)
2002 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Shamu - Track Bike)
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post #19 of 31 Old 09-08-2009, 07:14 AM
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It was GREAT! I will post up a review in a little later. Was tired last night wen I got home, so I ate dinner and crashed. Need to head to work now (should be there already, and I am here reading posts instead...oops...)
Excellent. Amazig how the mental exhaustion is just as bad, if not worse than the physical.

How are the outsides of your hips? I use to cramp there like a champ when I first started!

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post #20 of 31 Old 09-08-2009, 10:07 AM
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Congrats on getting the first one under your belt. You guys from Texas tend to be fast.

waiting to hear the details...................

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post #21 of 31 Old 09-08-2009, 06:24 PM
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Nicely Done! Welcome to the addiction !!! LOL!

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post #22 of 31 Old 09-09-2009, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Kind of a long read....but wanted to get everything in. Actually trimmed it down a lot....

Spoiler:

After several weeks of excitement, anxiousness, nervousness, anxiety, etc. I finally had my first trackday. The lead up to the trackday was painfully slow. It just seemed like it would never get here. Pretty much every day, I would do something to get me 1 step closer to fill the time, taking the signals off the bike, pulling out the gear and equipment needed, shopping for new toys online..ummmm...I mean required items for the trackday, etc. I had decided to pull out Sunday night and camp at the track overnight. This would get me there faster and allow me to get some extra sleep, since I don't need to wake up at 3:00am to hit the road.

Pulling into the track was a major adrenaline rush. I was there! It was really real! The paddock areas were first come first served, and one of the online forums I am in had about 15 people signed up for the trackday and most would be there Monday morning. I met up with a couple of the people from the forum and we unloaded the truck and "accidently" left my truck parked across 1 paddock and stuff spread out through another paddock.

That night, the trackday organizer had a spill on his pit bike and ended up in the ER with a broken arm and a gash on his head. I always enjoy events more when I get to help out with the event. Because of the unfortunate mishap, I got to help the registration process. Really not too much for me to do, but still enjoyed getting to help out. Roamed around the paddock area that evening looking at the bikes that were there and talking to other riders. Finally decided at about 12:30 or so that I should really try to get some sleep. Was really excited and have all the adrenaline flowing so I wasn't really tired, but I didn't want to be too tired in the morning.

Decided I would sleep inside the truck. That really didn't work very well. I would have probably got more sleep staying home and driving there in the morning, but would not have had the chance to talk with the people at the track or hold the paddock areas for the group. Don't regret the decision to come down early at all, but think I will bring a tent next time.

Woke up at 5am on Monday so I had a chance to shower before the rest of the paddock area woke up. After the shower, I just sat in the paddock area and rested until about 6, watching as sleepy people started stumbling from their tents, trailers, trucks, etc. At just after 6, the gates opened up and the flow of traffic began. It was hard to believe how quickly the place was filling up. All the leftover spaces in the covered paddocks dried up quickly, so I was glad to see the first of our group show up so we had more bikes to hold the spaces.

I had registered Sunday night, so I was set except for the bike inspection. Took the bike and the helmet over to get inspected and everything was golden. I had passed tech with only being asked to loosen my chain up some, and was ready for the track. We had the required riders meeting and then had the first classroom session. Following the classroom, it was time to suit up and get on the track for Round Robin. The instructors each lead a group around the track showing the group the proper line for the track. The rider directly behind the instructor follows 1 lap, and then falls to the back of the line so the next person can follow 1 lap, etc., until all the riders have ridden behind the instructor.

We then went back into the classroom to talk about the track, and began going into the technical sessions. In level 1 they cover proper body positioning on the bike, braking, throttle control, show the proper lines for safety for the road or track, etc. After each 20 minute track session, there was a 20 minute classroom session followed by a 20 minute rest period. I found these classroom sessions informative, though several of the topics had been covered in the MSF classes I had taken. It was still good to have it reinforced, though.

When on the track, you could work on whatever skills you wished to work on. Some people were trying to get a knee down, some people were trying for speed, I was just wanting to work on cornering better and control of the bike. I picked 2 sections of corners to work on building my skill on for most of the day, and the other areas of the track I would just try to work on the lines the instructors taught. I became more and more comfortable throughout the day cornering with more speed in all areas of the track, especially those areas.

During the riding sessions, instructors would follow you around the track to see your lines and make corrections as needed or have you follow them to see the lines they use. The lines were similar for each instructor, but all the lines I was shown varied to some degree. Some people would stay on the outside of a patch on the asphalt while others would stay to the inside. Some would turn in to a corner later than others. When I had an instructor follow me for a couple laps, he said my lines through the corners were good, which was nice to hear.

I do know I need to work on my form. Looking at the trackday pictures, I am not off the bike enough. I could also feel it in my lower back by the end of the day. The day after, my thighs and back were very sore. I think I need to find an exercise that works the thigh muscles the same way you do on the track so I can stay off the seat and move around on the bike more.

There were a good number (well, a high number, no crash is good...) of crashes throughout the day, which gave us less time on the track. Every time the ambulance transported someone to the hospital, the track would be stopped until it was back, which was about 30-40 minutes each time. I wish we had more time to spend on the track and I can't wait to get back out there.

Now, I find myself looking at trackday schedules and trying to decide which is the next one I will do. Do I want to work at one for the credit so I have a free TD, or do I want to just pay for the TD. As many people have said when I announced I was doing my first trackday...."Welcome to the addiction!"


and some links a couple of my favorite shots from the day....
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3

Shawn

2004 Triumph Speed Triple SE (Speedy - Street Bike)
2002 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Shamu - Track Bike)
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post #23 of 31 Old 09-09-2009, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scgstuff View Post
Kind of a long read....but wanted to get everything in. Actually trimmed it down a lot....

Spoiler:

After several weeks of excitement, anxiousness, nervousness, anxiety, etc. I finally had my first trackday. The lead up to the trackday was painfully slow. It just seemed like it would never get here. Pretty much every day, I would do something to get me 1 step closer to fill the time, taking the signals off the bike, pulling out the gear and equipment needed, shopping for new toys online..ummmm...I mean required items for the trackday, etc. I had decided to pull out Sunday night and camp at the track overnight. This would get me there faster and allow me to get some extra sleep, since I don't need to wake up at 3:00am to hit the road.

Pulling into the track was a major adrenaline rush. I was there! It was really real! The paddock areas were first come first served, and one of the online forums I am in had about 15 people signed up for the trackday and most would be there Monday morning. I met up with a couple of the people from the forum and we unloaded the truck and "accidently" left my truck parked across 1 paddock and stuff spread out through another paddock.

That night, the trackday organizer had a spill on his pit bike and ended up in the ER with a broken arm and a gash on his head. I always enjoy events more when I get to help out with the event. Because of the unfortunate mishap, I got to help the registration process. Really not too much for me to do, but still enjoyed getting to help out. Roamed around the paddock area that evening looking at the bikes that were there and talking to other riders. Finally decided at about 12:30 or so that I should really try to get some sleep. Was really excited and have all the adrenaline flowing so I wasn't really tired, but I didn't want to be too tired in the morning.

Decided I would sleep inside the truck. That really didn't work very well. I would have probably got more sleep staying home and driving there in the morning, but would not have had the chance to talk with the people at the track or hold the paddock areas for the group. Don't regret the decision to come down early at all, but think I will bring a tent next time.

Woke up at 5am on Monday so I had a chance to shower before the rest of the paddock area woke up. After the shower, I just sat in the paddock area and rested until about 6, watching as sleepy people started stumbling from their tents, trailers, trucks, etc. At just after 6, the gates opened up and the flow of traffic began. It was hard to believe how quickly the place was filling up. All the leftover spaces in the covered paddocks dried up quickly, so I was glad to see the first of our group show up so we had more bikes to hold the spaces.

I had registered Sunday night, so I was set except for the bike inspection. Took the bike and the helmet over to get inspected and everything was golden. I had passed tech with only being asked to loosen my chain up some, and was ready for the track. We had the required riders meeting and then had the first classroom session. Following the classroom, it was time to suit up and get on the track for Round Robin. The instructors each lead a group around the track showing the group the proper line for the track. The rider directly behind the instructor follows 1 lap, and then falls to the back of the line so the next person can follow 1 lap, etc., until all the riders have ridden behind the instructor.

We then went back into the classroom to talk about the track, and began going into the technical sessions. In level 1 they cover proper body positioning on the bike, braking, throttle control, show the proper lines for safety for the road or track, etc. After each 20 minute track session, there was a 20 minute classroom session followed by a 20 minute rest period. I found these classroom sessions informative, though several of the topics had been covered in the MSF classes I had taken. It was still good to have it reinforced, though.

When on the track, you could work on whatever skills you wished to work on. Some people were trying to get a knee down, some people were trying for speed, I was just wanting to work on cornering better and control of the bike. I picked 2 sections of corners to work on building my skill on for most of the day, and the other areas of the track I would just try to work on the lines the instructors taught. I became more and more comfortable throughout the day cornering with more speed in all areas of the track, especially those areas.

During the riding sessions, instructors would follow you around the track to see your lines and make corrections as needed or have you follow them to see the lines they use. The lines were similar for each instructor, but all the lines I was shown varied to some degree. Some people would stay on the outside of a patch on the asphalt while others would stay to the inside. Some would turn in to a corner later than others. When I had an instructor follow me for a couple laps, he said my lines through the corners were good, which was nice to hear.

I do know I need to work on my form. Looking at the trackday pictures, I am not off the bike enough. I could also feel it in my lower back by the end of the day. The day after, my thighs and back were very sore. I think I need to find an exercise that works the thigh muscles the same way you do on the track so I can stay off the seat and move around on the bike more.

There were a good number (well, a high number, no crash is good...) of crashes throughout the day, which gave us less time on the track. Every time the ambulance transported someone to the hospital, the track would be stopped until it was back, which was about 30-40 minutes each time. I wish we had more time to spend on the track and I can't wait to get back out there.

Now, I find myself looking at trackday schedules and trying to decide which is the next one I will do. Do I want to work at one for the credit so I have a free TD, or do I want to just pay for the TD. As many people have said when I announced I was doing my first trackday...."Welcome to the addiction!"


and some links a couple of my favorite shots from the day....
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
Good stuff...Now can I have my helmet back??? I think you stole it
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post #24 of 31 Old 09-09-2009, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Hey, great minds think alike....




and I guess we do too.....

Shawn

2004 Triumph Speed Triple SE (Speedy - Street Bike)
2002 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Shamu - Track Bike)
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post #25 of 31 Old 09-09-2009, 10:45 AM
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Hey, great minds think alike....




and I guess we do too.....
I'm jealous...I hope to get to the track one of these days


2008 Yamaha FZ1-Street
2005 Honda CBR 600rr-Track
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post #26 of 31 Old 09-09-2009, 03:11 PM
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Sounds a lot like my first time and glad you enjoyed. It is addicting. And I am sure you felt like you were flying on the track and leaned way over till you saw the pictures. Almost everyone does and feels the same.

Photos and video are great. If you had good lines that is a great first step and just keep working up the speed.

Way to go man!
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post #27 of 31 Old 09-09-2009, 05:45 PM
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Sounds like you had fun. I was looking at a flyer about that school when I took the sports bike course on post. The sports bike course is a good one but unfortunately for contractors and GS employees it's only for active duty. I thought I was going to catch you going out of the 79th St gate one day but it was a guy on a Street Triple.

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post #28 of 31 Old 09-15-2009, 07:57 PM
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Kind of a long read....but wanted to get everything in. Actually trimmed it down a lot....
Fantastic post. Really helpful. I was supposed to do my first day as instructional day, but had to postpone until Oct 2. (I'm really grateful to have a job in these difficult times, but man, it sure can be inconvenient---I mean, I understand that patients in the clinic need the material that we manufacture---but it's my TRACKDAY).

Anyway, thanks again for the awesome write-up.

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post #29 of 31 Old 09-18-2009, 09:31 AM
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Nice job... you didn't crash and you had fun!

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post #30 of 31 Old 09-18-2009, 01:38 PM
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Gloves

Hmmm.... those gloves look kinda familiar. Yessir... yes indeed they do look very familiar! LOL!!!!

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post #31 of 31 Old 09-18-2009, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Why yes, the gloves should look familiar! They are the Original Veloce gloves (don't remember which model the first set was). They are still working great! So far, I have not had a need to test them ON the road, so can't comment on crash-worthiness, but fit and feel is GREAT! Only problem I had with them is getting my fingers in them towards the end of the day. Something about upper 90 degree weather and sweaty hands make the inside of the gloves a little sticky. Everyone I talked to had the same type of problem, though, so no real issue there. Unless you can control the weather.

I also had the Veloce Safety Jacket to go under my leathers, but could not get my leathers on while wearing the jacket because of the elbow and shoulder armor. The armor in the elbows of the leathers seemed better than the armor on the jacket, so I opted to stay with the internal leathers armor. I would have felt more comfortable if I did have the back and chest protector. The jacket is a great piece of gear, though, and I look forward to testing it and getting a full review up after street riding with it. Just need to get all the street stuff back on the bike. Too rainy last weekend to do it and haven't had time during the week. Hopefully get it done this weekend.

Shawn

2004 Triumph Speed Triple SE (Speedy - Street Bike)
2002 Suzuki GSX-R600 (Shamu - Track Bike)
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