How'd you get started? - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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How'd you get started?

From seeing/hearing people throwing up pics of their trackday experience & getting jealous. ...and Sporty taunting me a pic of her knee puck!!! Would like to hear how you got started into doing trackdays? Do you have a track bike? If not, what do you do to prep for a trackday? And any other comments for someone who hasn't done a trackday... yet.

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post #2 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 08:41 AM
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My cousin is heavily into trackdays, and his addiction got me into it. I did the free intro day w/ NESBA which is a really cool experience for those that have never experienced riding on a track. You get the ability to ride on the track in the beginners group for the first two sessions without having to pay any money out of pocket. You don't have to have leathers for the intro group(although it is recommended). They have a Control Rider that is specifically assigned to "guide" the intro riders around the track at a slower pace than the rest of the riders. this gives you a feel for the track layout and lets you get used to people passing you at speed. The sessions are twenty minutes long w/ a 40 minute break inbetween. I can PM you more info if you want it. There are a number of organizations on the East Coast that have trackdays. SportbikeTrackTime, NESBA, TeamProMotion, Cornerspeed(excellent school to attend before a trackday.)

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post #3 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 08:46 AM
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After riding the street for about 9 months and not liking it to much I decided it was time to try the track. Well i did it and now I am hooked. I don't do as much prep as most of the track junkies do but i do just the basics like taping off lights, removing mirrors, plates etc. Checking that all is in good working order and most of all TIRES. Once I convert my 500 to track only then i'll be prepping alot more i would think.

-Mercedes- or you can call me YaYa
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post #4 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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I have seen the free day w/ NESBA, but never got around to looking into it.
A friend of mine wants me to do Penguin @ Loudon, N.H. w/ him in Sept.

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post #5 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 09:30 AM
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Funny story...

I bought a bike in 03, had it for about 6 months and then it got stolen. So I started looking for forums to post up on about my loss. Couple of months later I get a message from some "know it all" rider that lives in my area. Yes, Mikey, I'm talking about you.

Anywho, I finally get my new bike and go on a ride through some twisty's with Mike. And come to realize that after 1,300 miles on a bike, I had NO idea how to ride this thing. So... off to the track!

Did a handful of trackdays and stopped the street thing right then and there.

Damn you Mike, daaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmm yooouuuuuuuuuuuu!

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post #6 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 09:54 AM
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Just look for a track day in the area, remove lights and crap, buy some junk plastics!, get some decent new tires on and beat on it.

'02 RC-51
'10 Unicycle

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post #7 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragdoll
...get some decent new tires on and beat on it.
I was running Metz Racetec's at Deal's when I chased Sporty down.
...it bounced of the limiter a couple of times

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post #8 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 10:12 AM
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weeeeeeeeeeee

Sounds like fun!

'02 RC-51
'10 Unicycle

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post #9 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 10:42 AM
 
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I'd recommend you go to a track day with some friends and just watch how things go. That's what happened to me. I went to Barber's last year and stood there drooling over that track all day. It will answer a lot of your questions and I'd even recommend you go sit in the novice classes with the group. By the time you come back for your first time you'll be way ahead of the other riders and a lot more comfortable with the whole situation.

If you have all of your gear your half way there. There's not a lot of prep work in the novice class for most track organizations but do check prior to going. If your bike is mechanically sound the most you'll need is a new set of tires.

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post #10 of 27 Old 07-12-2006, 12:23 PM
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For myself, I took FAST which is a race school http://www.fastridingschool.com/back in 2002 and was hooked from there. Came across a damaged F4i (mostly cosmetic) that same year and fixed it up, she became my track byatch!

If you don't have the opportunity to take something like I did, I would recommend as NewRedRider has already said to go watch a track day. This way you'll get an understanding of how it works and runs. If interested, sign up for a novice/beginner class that has an instructor in it that can take you around the track showing proper lines for the first couple of sessions.

As for prepping for a track day, it will be different according to what you're taking to the track whether it be a track bike or your street bike. Tires make a huge difference as well, I run scrubs on track days meaning they aren't brand new tires but tires I've bought off local racers who may have used them for one race.

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post #11 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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I'm looking into getting a track bike. Especially since Dave mentioned getting together at Loudon or Pocono.
Any suggestions on where to look?
...keep in mind I'm in the N'east.

damn... this is gonna be expensive, isn't it?

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post #12 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 06:04 AM
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Hey Brian- Smart idea getting a track bike. I would look for a bike that is already setup for the track. Take a look at the Loudon LRRS classified.
http://lrrs.wworks.com/classifieds/

Think of a track bike as a investment, it's a lot less expensive in the long run then wadding your street bike and having to rebuild it.

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post #13 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 06:06 AM
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Luck of the draw - back in 2001 I was browsing around a Honda dealership after becoming ultra-bored with my '00 Buell S3T and I saw a RC51. I Knew almost nothing about the bike but my brother-in-law did and explained that it was kicking butt in WSBK and AMA (when Colin & Nicky were riding them). All I knew was that bike looked better than any other sportbike I'd ever seen and when I learned it was a vtwin I had to have it. 2 days later it was in my garage.

Didn't take me long to find motorush, which then led me to rc51.org and a group of serious track riders. I read post after post after post about the benefits of track riding and post after post after post of street dangers. That resolved me to try the track at least once so I signed up for Team Hammer's Daytona trackday during Biketoberfest 2001.

A couple weeks after signing up for Hammer I learned about Frank Kinsey through a post somewhere and gave him a call. I told him I was scheduled to do my very first trackday at Daytona in October and I could hear the shock in his voice. He explained that I really needed to do a trackday somewhere, anywhere, else before Daytona. So I signed up and did Roebling Road with Frank a couple of days after 9/11. I had no clue what I was doing. I was nervous, scared, excited but most of all clueless. Didn't even fully scrub the tires. I left the track that day bewildered, wondering what I'd gotten myself in to and doubting that sportriding was for me.

A few weeks later I did Daytona and was absolutely terrified. Don't think I'd ever been that scared and just knew I was going to get killed. Took me 4 laps just to get off the skirt and onto the west high banks - to make matters worse my father and brother were in town on vacation and everyone went. Sadly I thought more than once "Isn't this nice, everyone will already be nearby for the funeral." Made it through the day, went home knowing I didn't have the skill for this and thinking there's no way I could ever be even slightly competitive.

Over the next few weeks a few very honest people told me their own stories of similar fright they went through and encouraged me to just work through it, enjoy the time riding and don't focus on anything but developing those skills.

A few months after Daytona rumours of a new track under construction in Jennings, FL began cropping up and eventually it came to fruition. I'd been focusing on developing my confidence on the street and decided to give the track one more try before I bought a Harley and resigned from the sportbike world. Did a trackday at Jennings and got through the day without fear, I could personally see a real difference in how I approached the day and decided to keep at it. The next trackday I dragged a knee for the first time and later that day ran a 1:38 and was thrilled with myself. The next trackday a few weks later I was in the mid thirties before lunch, then low thirties after lunch, then clicked a 1:29 on the last session of the day. I was hooked. Now a few years later I'd guess I've done many thousands of laps at Jennings and know the track pretty well; have also done VIR north & south and Barber (both are beautiful tracks) but Jennings is still my "home track" because that's the place I knew I'd conquered the fear.

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post #14 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h_ryder
I'm looking into getting a track bike. Especially since Dave mentioned getting together at Loudon or Pocono.
Any suggestions on where to look?
...keep in mind I'm in the N'east.

damn... this is gonna be expensive, isn't it?
Brian, depending on what you want. If Loudon and Pocono are the spots the RC will suit you fine. If you'd rather not take the chance of wadding it, I'd recommend getting a used SV650. As Mike said you can find raced prepped bikes, especially SV's. But, I'd recommend getting a low mileage used SV that was bought by a young lady because her boyfriend or husband wanted them to start riding, then they didn't like it. They can be had from 2500-3500 ('01-'05's).

I always try to keep it reasonable on the back roads and wanted more speed without worrying about blind curves and the surpirse car around the corner or backing out. So, I decided to start track. Loved the RC since the first day it came out. Waited a bit (time constraints) then found RC51.org, RC51.com and Motorush. Like Jet, read everything and anything. Bought the RC and loved since day one. Looking back though, I think I should have got a SV and am still thinking of getting rid of the RC and getting a SV strictly for track.

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post #15 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Mike for the link.

When I was first looking to get RC I was very unsure if I'd like it. But it has by far been the most comfortable bike for me I have ever ridden. I would love to find another RC for track, rather than getting on a different bike & re-thinking how does handling/braking differ from each. But guessing finding an RC track bike is gonna be $$$. (Dave, getting rid of the RC ) For now I'm keeping my eyes/ears open & see what comes about.

Kevin, great post! Thanks for sharing, & maybe I can make it to Jennings sometime.

Thanks to all for input.

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post #16 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 06:40 AM
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followup. not sure why I'm spilling my guts like this...

At one trackday in mid 2002 my good friend, who had recently become a partner of sorts at Ducati of Tampa, brought a 999S to the track and I did a few laps. I got a feel for what a properly sorted bike could do and it was like great sex and snickers bars, I knew I had to do one of two things, either:
1. get a proper suspension on the RC51
or
2. sell it fast and buy a 999S

Well the price of flight for a 999S was making my wife bite her nails off so I opted to put the suspension on the RC51 and make it right, then after some gearing changes and the usual (and some unusual) mods on the RC51 it went to fulltime trackbike status and I set up a trackday budget & gave up the street completely. About this time I heard Honda was developing a whole new 600cc bike to replace the F4 line as their dominate racebike and it was rumoured to be called CBR600RR, I was just becoming internet savvy and registered 600RR.net - that's a whole other story inandof itself. Mid 2003 I bought a 600RR and then I had a dedicated track RC51 and a 600RR for street and track duty. Eventually I fell out of love with riding and things simmered down to a mere interest. Sold the RC51 because trackdays became expensive compared to owning a home, cars, child and all the other responsibilities that came along. Eventually became bored with the 600RR too and sold it to the same guy who bought my RC51, he might even speak up about it.

Said my goodbyes to the friends I'd made, reassured them I'd be back at the track someday but would stay in touch. 5 weeks later I couldn't take it anymore and bought the R1200GS which re-invigorated my love of riding. Now it does daily commuting and trackday duty. Most satisfied I've ever been with a bike no doubt; yet still a 749R beckons to join my stable and find its way to the track every so often. Someday.

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post #17 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Keep spilling 'em Kev...

I gotta say, I really like the 600rr too. I'm just not as comfortable throwing it thru a corner though. I guess i like the weight of the RC knowing there's something there, rather than the rr which feels like your on a bicycle. However I wouldn't be upset w/ a 749 either, or a Mille...

Anyone get a bike w/ a "salvage title" for the track? I've seen a few that have been laid down w/ minor cosmetics scratches.

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post #18 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 07:05 AM
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I wouldn't go "all in" just yet on a trackbike for your first trackday.

If you do your first day with an organization like TPM, CS, etc., you'll spend the morning gingerly going around the track with your classmates. And then, after lunch, you'll have the opportunity to open up the bike a little more. If you know your limits and are level headed, you should be fine.

Do your first day and then think about the track bike.

And if you really want an RC for a dedicated track whore, contact hondaf4iguy. He might be able to piece a whole bike together from his miscellaneous parts.

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post #19 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h_ryder
just not as comfortable throwing it thru a corner though. I guess i like the weight of the RC knowing there's something there, rather than the rr which feels like your on a bicycle.
Not to be a deuce bag, but wait till you ride the track!

Your thoughts on cornering will change immenselly (sp). Then come talk to me about a 600 for your dedicated machine...

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post #20 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 07:11 AM
 
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One thing about the 600RR though. Parts are plentiful and will be for years to come. It's a great platform for track days and you can pick one up from a squid on .net for cheap. Very stable, predictable, and extremely flickable but you have to set the suspension correctly. Take another look at the 600RR before you decide. I think it would be one of the easiest I4 to transition to if you didn't go with a V-twin.

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post #21 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dayrock
Not to be a deuce bag...
Not at all, I'm open to all suggestions & input. I haven't done a track yet, you guys have. Don't get me wrong, if it weren't for the RC, I'd have a 600rr. Rode my brothers 1000rr & still preffered the 6.

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post #22 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewRedRider
One thing about the 600RR though. Parts are plentiful and will be for years to come. It's a great platform for track days and you can pick one up from a squid on .net for cheap. Very stable, predictable, and extremely flickable but you have to set the suspension correctly. Take another look at the 600RR before you decide. I think it would be one of the easiest I4 to transition to if you didn't go with a V-twin.
My main thing is I love the torque of the RC & use to the lower rpm's where the 6 I'm always in a gear or 2 too low. Locally I've seen a few 6's for sale w/ minor plastic damage, but they have a salvage title. I would like to have it mainly for track, but also be street legal if need be.

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post #23 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 07:38 AM
 
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Well let me say this. If you plan on keeping the RC or another V-twin stick with the V-twin for the track. The difference in the torque and powerband between the V-twin and an I4 would really take some getting used to going from the street on a V-twin to the track with an I4.

I wouldn't worry about the salvage title for a track bike either. Who cares unless you're dead set on running it on the street. But I have to agree with Dayrock. Take the RC and do a track day before you make your final decision.

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post #24 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 05:13 PM
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Unless you get crazy h your first day should be fine. I track my baby and will until I pick up a track bike. I would like to stay with a V but if I find a good deal I will grab it.

Go out and have fun. You will love it.

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post #25 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 06:12 PM
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I found it EASIER on the track, with less fear of wadding up my baby, which is any bike I own. Not having to deal with cagers, sand, deer, farm equipment around a blind corner, etc., makes for a really good experience. My first track day I was worried about tossing the thing in the weeds. My buddy asked me "You don't crash on the street, why do you think you'll do it here?" I went out and had a blast.

"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
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post #26 of 27 Old 08-02-2006, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h_ryder
bike is gonna be $$$. (Dave, getting rid of the RC ) For now I'm keeping my eyes/ears open & see what comes about.
Which Dave? And maybe....

-Dave



"I live my life in a confused haze only to be interrupted by moments of brilliance..."

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post #27 of 27 Old 08-03-2006, 04:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evad101
Which Dave? And maybe....
was reffering to RC51 CBRXX...




So I was thinking... of all people to give advice, where the hell is LDH?!

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