919 trackday---grrreat! - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 27 Old 06-16-2008, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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919 trackday---grrreat!

I went to Thunderhill Raceway this weekend for Zoom Zoom trackdays' annual Ladies' VIP day. It was a damn fine time--Zoom Zoom is a great organization, very together and very safety conscious, and good folks to boot.
Here's a pic of the track--very fast, with some interesting blind uphills. Turn 2 is my favorite--it goes on and on, and you feel as if the rules of gravity have been suspended as you float through. I managed to pass some folks there, too.


I put some new Pilot Powers on the 919 (set at 29/30), swapped the coolant for distilled water and Water Wetter, removed the rear license bracket, pulled the headlight and taillight fuses, and taped my wheel weights, and was ready to go.

The new G&J stainless lines were a great addition. I was able to stay on the gas much deeper into corners, then get on the brakes with total confidence. Many of the folks in the women's group were new to the track, and twice novices drifted off their line as I was preparing to pass--but with the new lines, hauling it down in a blink was no problem. The Pilot Powers were great--very confidence-inducing, all the way out to their edges.

The centerstand never touched at all, which was a relief. I ended up having lots of pavement contact from the peg feelers, so I removed them after the second session, then ended up dragging the pegs anyway. Hmmm, never thought I'd consider rearsets...

I did end up getting the suspension set by Phil of Aftershocks, which also increased my cornering clearance a great deal. I'd been wrestling with the bike a bit in turns; but with less rebound, and stiffer compression front and rear, the bike felt much more compliant when dropping into turns and less busy in the front end. Steering was muuuch quicker after that--it was exhilarating, and much easier to apex later.

I'm also tremendously grateful to my girlfriend for lending her truck and being my one-woman pit crew/cheering section all day. I need to take her out to a steak dinner.

If you've never done a trackday, I'm here to tell you that the 919 is a fun and more than capable trackday mount. Try it!

6 a.m. Yes, I'm cranky, and it's already 80 degrees.


Setup in the paddock--mercifully shaded. It reached near-100 degree temps, so cooling and hydration became paramount. I got sloppy in my third session and got reminded to rehydrate by my instructor (Wendy, owner of a bike shop and a former racer). Wendy was great--she'd pat her tail section in a gesture that meant "follow close, padawan, we're going to pass some people," and go roaring around the next group. I alternated leading and following, and she gave excellent critique every time we ran together.

I also had some trouble with coolant boiling over and out the weep tube, and a near-overheat. Fortunately, there was spare distilled water on hand to top off the reserve tank (had to do so repeatedly), but I do need to figure out what's going on with that.


On the grid--can you pick out the green bike?


Launch time. There's nothing like the feeling of accelerating off the line for your first lap of the day--my heart is always in my throat.


Session one--too bad the photographer never got me when I was really leaned over, but nonetheless...


Trying to go a little further.


A little too much excitement for this guy--but he got stopped uninjured.

It was a rough day--4 ambulances and 1 helicopter ride. I was glad I stayed safe.

Boy was I glad these new leathers were perforated.


very pleased with myself, back at the paddock. My instructor suggested that i move up to B group. I passed a fair number of other riders out there, which was a good skill to hone unto itself.


Dragging...toe? Need to work on that foot position.


After a good hot trackday, your tires will be shagged and covered with rubber "boogers" from heating up so intensely.


Boy am I glad for those toe sliders. I did manage to tuck my feet in by the end of the day.


Cheers to Zoom Zoom for another great day out there. I felt as if my skill and nerve really cranked up a notch this time out, and it feels great.

Still basking in the afterglow,
Nemo

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post #2 of 27 Old 06-16-2008, 01:22 PM
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Other than the heat it looks like a blast.

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post #3 of 27 Old 06-16-2008, 01:22 PM
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That's Frigg'n awsome! thanks Nemo for the write up and cool picts!!

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post #4 of 27 Old 06-16-2008, 01:26 PM
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Sounds like a great day! And finally photographic proof that the centerstand doesn't pose a problem in a corner. Now, toes -- that's another matter. Thanks for the report and pictures.

Rob

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post #5 of 27 Old 06-16-2008, 01:57 PM
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Get up on the balls of your feet. Thanks for sharing.

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post #6 of 27 Old 06-16-2008, 02:03 PM
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Hi Nemo,

Congrats on your awesome track day and thanks much for the trip report and pix!

Do you have any details on the injury accidents and how they could have been avoided?

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post #7 of 27 Old 06-16-2008, 02:09 PM
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Looks like a blast ,,glad you had good time..
I thought they made you tape off your head light and ya needed flush mount blinkers and a belly pan.. Guess not at that track..




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post #8 of 27 Old 06-16-2008, 02:28 PM
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Great report and pics. You look great out there. I think you may be hooked by the grin.

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post #9 of 27 Old 06-16-2008, 03:26 PM
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Wonderful!!! I'm so jealous!!!

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post #10 of 27 Old 06-16-2008, 06:15 PM
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Great pics and great job out there! Now, which do you like better on the track, the 919 or the VFR?

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post #11 of 27 Old 06-16-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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Judging from your smile at the end of the day, I'd say you had a fabulous time. And you're pretty brave; I wouldn't even think about doing a track day without rearsets. That's just me; I have a tendency to over-lean on tight turns.

Did you try the K&N air filter? If so, notice any change or improvement in throttle response?

That track looks like lots of fun. The Willow Springs (Big Track) track day of July 7th that I was planning on got canceled, so I'm doing the TrackDaz Academy on June 28th at Streets of Willow Springs. A lot more turns than the Big Track and it's more of a school day with open riding at the end. Should be fun.

Thanks for the report and pics.
I was "basking in the afterglow" for a whole week after my first track day. Good to know that it's the same after four track days.

So are you going to move up to B class?

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post #12 of 27 Old 06-16-2008, 07:53 PM
 
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very nice. The closest track to me is 500 miles away. I'm so bummed. Looks fun

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post #13 of 27 Old 06-16-2008, 07:54 PM
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Looks like fun. You have a very nice 919. When your ready for a really hot track day come down to Phoenix and check out Firebird raceway. Tire warmers not needed

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post #14 of 27 Old 06-17-2008, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dream View Post
Hi Nemo,

Do you have any details on the injury accidents and how they could have been avoided?
Well, 2 of the injury accidents were on turn 5, a blind sharp uphill...it is one of T-hill's trouble spots. The one wreck I actually saw involved someone who, it appeared, tried to snap the bike over too rapidly at the crest, and went into the dirt and tumbled down the hill. The other Turn 5 casualty simply remembered that he had a "bad line" into 5. You do have to turn in just as you crest the rise, before you can actually see the exit...it's an interesting jedi mind trick, and demands respect and attention.

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post #15 of 27 Old 06-17-2008, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sokali View Post
I wouldn't even think about doing a track day without rearsets. That's just me; I have a tendency to over-lean on tight turns.

Did you try the K&N air filter? If so, notice any change or improvement in throttle response?

So are you going to move up to B class?
I think rearsets can wait. I'm quite short, and tend to under-lean--and once my suspension was set up well, I had no more clearance issues for the day. Once I tucked my feet in, that is...it's hard being on the balls of my feet, since my feet are so small that I have to shove it forward to reach the shift lever!

I didn't try the K&N--ran out of time. I was busy re-filling my bubbling over coolant, tank, anyhow. I'll have to try Rob T's flat cap fill method next time, as I clearly hadn't "burped" the system of air bubbles sufficiently. I ended up being very pleased with throttle response, anyhow. My instructor had an FZ1, and noted that she was having trouble keeping up with me when following--on the straights, anyway. And it's pure aesthetics only, but the ragged scream of the Satos at redline is just..toe-tinglingly delicious.

I actually had a better time on the 919 than the VFR--steering response was quicker, even if the suspension feels less plush and confidence inducing. And she's just a bit of a beast, in general; great throttle response and pretty quick steering when I throw her into a turn. First time I've been able to make relatively quick, clean passes on people.

I didn't move up to B this time--that was where 3 out of 4 wrecks happened, and I wasn't quite ready to leave that comfort zone and get subjected to inside passes. B group has the most 'tude and testosterone, it seems, too--I guess a lot of B groupers have something to prove, without bulletproof skills to back it up.
I did sign up for 9/29 at Infineon Raceway, so we'll see how I do then. If I'm having an "on" day I might leave the fold.

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post #16 of 27 Old 06-17-2008, 01:55 PM
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That is just so COOL!!!!!

Gotta love a Woman that can RIDE.

Congrats.

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post #17 of 27 Old 06-17-2008, 02:06 PM
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Great writing skills, Nemo, and the pics are awesome. So cool to see a 9 representin' on the track, and this one was piloted by a great rider! Thanks for sharing.

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post #18 of 27 Old 06-17-2008, 02:27 PM
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Glad you had fun, track days are incredibly addictive! Thanks for the great write-up and photos.

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post #19 of 27 Old 06-17-2008, 02:59 PM
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Oh yes, I loves me some T-Hill. I'm actually signed up for Oct.
Us wimpy PNWer's can't take that 110 degree heat in the summer down there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
Once I tucked my feet in, that is...it's hard being on the balls of my feet, since my feet are so small that I have to shove it forward to reach the shift lever!
A little practice and you'll be able to do it automatically. on the balls of your feet will give you more control with your legs in the corner, something you'll appreciate as you get faster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
B group has the most 'tude and testosterone, it seems, too--I guess a lot of B groupers have something to prove, without bulletproof skills to back it up.
I did sign up for 9/29 at Infineon Raceway, so we'll see how I do then. If I'm having an "on" day I might leave the fold.
The middle group is the most dangerous IMO. Most TD orgs don't weed out the folks who think they should be in B but should actually be in the slow group, which causes a large disparity in speed and experience and we all know this a formula for disaster. I almost ran over somebody at the top of the corkscrew at T-Hill once because of that problem.

Anyway good on you for getting the 9ner out on the track. My size is a problem for the 919 suspension, even with me hanging off it like a orangutan i still grind the pegs and my feet.

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post #20 of 27 Old 06-17-2008, 05:28 PM
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!!!

Great story & pics. I'm GREEN with envy!!!

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post #21 of 27 Old 06-17-2008, 06:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
I think rearsets can wait. I'm quite short, and tend to under-lean--and once my suspension was set up well, I had no more clearance issues for the day. Once I tucked my feet in, that is...it's hard being on the balls of my feet, since my feet are so small that I have to shove it forward to reach the shift lever!
If you get a chance to sit on a 919 with Sato rearsets, do it just to get the feel. IMHO the adjustability should help with the reach issue, I'm not sure what you mean by "quite short".

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post #22 of 27 Old 06-18-2008, 10:24 AM
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Was your instructor Karolyn, by chance? I was reading a issue of Bike (UK) and the writer talked about a Karolyn that does Zoom Zoom trackdays...

Michael Reyes

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post #23 of 27 Old 06-18-2008, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Nope, my instructor was a guest...Wendy Epstein, one of the first notable AFM racers and an AMA Superbike top-tenner, and owner of Mission Motorcycles in Daly City. Great mentor and great advice there.

By short, I was implying that I'm too light to compress the suspension much--helps with clearance.

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post #24 of 27 Old 06-19-2008, 04:21 AM
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Another get write-up, Nemo.
It sounds like you had a fantastic day. Way to go!!
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post #25 of 27 Old 06-19-2008, 04:46 AM
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Great pics, looks like it was a blast!

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post #26 of 27 Old 06-19-2008, 06:19 AM
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Awsome write up Nemo and great pics too!

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post #27 of 27 Old 06-19-2008, 06:34 AM
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Yeah,the 919 is a great bike. Its up for anything,take to the track or a nice little road trip.Looks like you had good time and if you every get up to VIR let me know.

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