Limitations of 919 on the track with good suspension and brakes - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-24-2016, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Limitations of 919 on the track with good suspension and brakes

There is a 919 next to me I can get for next to nothing I'd like to use for the track since I find these bikes so damn appealing under all circumstances.

I have an Ohlins shock and well set-up F4i forks, brake upgrades and rearsets at my disposal for a build. If I were to do this mainly because I just click with the 919 so well would I have a pretty capable bike handling-wise?

I am not as concerned with fast corner exits as I am with entry and mid-corner fun. I am a fast in slow out kind of rider, that's when I have the fun.

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post #2 of 18 Old 08-24-2016, 01:49 PM
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If it's a really smooth track, it would probably be fine. I'm a light rider so the springs aren't too bad for me, but the bike dives hard on the brakes, and lifts a lot on throttle. I have no issue keeping up with 600rr, it's just that with the 919 u gotta be a smooth operator. The suspension isn't really going to make you go too much faster, but it's a big confidence boost.

Suspension will help a ton on bumpy tracks/roads.

I haven't felt even a hint of brake fade on the brakes, and 2 fingers is plenty for me to lock them up.

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post #3 of 18 Old 08-24-2016, 02:19 PM
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Springs do not control the dive on the brakes the damping from the valve spec does. Using the springs to control dive will result in a front end that rides too high and ends up pushing the front instead of hooking up while on the gas.

That being said a bone stock 919 is actually pretty damn competent on a racetrack for what it is. In fact it could easily be argued that since most racetracks are inherently smoother and faster flowing that than the majority of public roads that the 919 would be better suited to the track rather than the road.

Properly modified suspension on a 919 gives you a lot more compliance and overall traction which is very helpful for both street and track and it will keep you safer in both environments as that is what you are really paying for with quality aftermarket suspension. You are paying for safety in the form of a greater margin of error and a larger margin of safety while riding. You definitely get a lot more comfort as well, but all the suspension parts in the world are not going to turn the 919 into an RR type racebike. If you ride the 919 within its means it will be very rewarding, but if you try to push it hard like you would a GSXR or CBR etc you can quickly overtax the best suspension mods available on the market because the real weakness of the 919 is the chassis not the suspension. Don't misconstrue I am not saying the OEM suspension is good on the bike even if I do firmly believe it is adequate, but the chassis is what really gives the 919 its problems when you start getting more grip from the tires and trying to use that extra grip for aggressive acceleration or braking.

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post #4 of 18 Old 08-24-2016, 02:36 PM
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A 919 is a phenomenal street bike, and I love mine, plan on keeping it as long as I can keep it together. I have had mine to the track and thoroughly enjoyed it, and then I bought a GSXR once I started getting faster. While it's true that the 919 can be a capable bike on the track, I don't know that I would recomend getting one solely as a track bike.

That being said, at my first track day there was a guy with fully track set up 919 that was passing people left and right.... with his wife on the back. It's doable, but definitely not the easy route. My suggestion would be to take the money you were going to stick into setting up the 919 and get a bike better suited to the track. Or get the 919 as a street bike and track whatever you have now.... or ignore everything I said, get the 919 for a track bike and have a fucking blast on it.... they're all good options...

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post #5 of 18 Old 08-24-2016, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH View Post
Springs do not control the dive on the brakes the damping from the valve spec does.
The way I worded it made it look like I implied spring rate was the cause of brake dive, but thanks for correcting that for me

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post #6 of 18 Old 08-24-2016, 05:38 PM
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The 919 is very capable on the track when properly set up. More so with proper suspension. I was riding in the intermediate group after several track days.

However, if you're a fast-in/slow-out (TWSS) kind of guy, then you might want to re-evaluate your riding, as you're missing out on a lot. The reason I say that is because fast-in/fast-out is twice as fun (TWSS, go away MM). The 919 has the power and torque to pull out of a corner, which makes it even more fun.

I believe Mcromo rode his 919 into the advanced group, but he had to do some serious suspension work to get it dialed in for that kind of aggressive riding. As LDH pointed out, chassis is an issue. Especially with the swingarm angle which is notorious for squatting at the worse times.

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post #7 of 18 Old 08-25-2016, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the good advice guys.

The only thing holding me back is when I'd notice the 919 after a certain lean angle becomes really testy and sensitive to bumps and irregularities in the road.

If I were to find this to be true on the track even with highly upgraded suspension I'd be thoroughly pissed off at myself for choosing the wrong bike.

I haven't heard on anyone complain about this but if it has anything to do with LDH's comments about the frame I'll have to pass. It is a streetbike after all.

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post #8 of 18 Old 08-26-2016, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auron View Post
Thanks for the good advice guys.

The only thing holding me back is when I'd notice the 919 after a certain lean angle becomes really testy and sensitive to bumps and irregularities in the road.

If I were to find this to be true on the track even with highly upgraded suspension I'd be thoroughly pissed off at myself for choosing the wrong bike.

I haven't heard on anyone complain about this but if it has anything to do with LDH's comments about the frame I'll have to pass. It is a streetbike after all.
I am travelling so can't embellish.
My 919 trail brakes real nice.
It transitions well.
It folds the pegs easily even with the bike set up as tall as I have it.
It is very predictable and very forgiving.
If you want razor sharp handling, get an SS.
If you want a comfy bike that can easily be hustled around quickly within the limits of good street tires, then a 919 is fine and dandy.
A well setup 919 is very nice to learn track on as well, the mental pace needed is slower.
That is not to say you can't do good lap time, just that the mental pace needed is slower.
For example, gear changes take longer to get to as compared to a 600 and up SS, especially as compared to 750s and up.
One caveat.
I have not had the 919 on real high speed turns.
My guess is that serious turns in 5th and 6th would overwhelm the chassis.

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post #9 of 18 Old 08-27-2016, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auron View Post
If I were to find this to be true on the track even with highly upgraded suspension I'd be thoroughly pissed off at myself for choosing the wrong bike.
Any bike will do that to some extent, depending on their max lean angle and how bad the surface of the track is. However I can say this: the 919 is so stable with quality suspension that you just learn to trust the bike and let it sort itself out. I've had ZERO issues in that regard. I remember my 1 complaint when I first got the 919 was how numb the front end felt (coming form a ninja 250). After upgrading the front suspension, it was much better, but not where I wanted it to be. At that point I had to learn to just trust it and let it rip.

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post #10 of 18 Old 08-27-2016, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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The only other bike I'm thinking of is a completely different bike, the SV650 which I'd modify similarly, top notch suspension. Chassis-wise, is there anything the SV will hold up to that the 919 wouldn't?

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post #11 of 18 Old 08-30-2016, 05:09 PM
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Well....not like my opinion really matters but I just went to the track again yesterday with the 919, for the third time. I managed to get into the intermediate group, and after my first ride in that session, I'd say my pace was roughly mid-pack. If I absolutely maximized the performance of the bike, I could probably still shave a few seconds off, but not much more than that. I don't think it could get into the advanced group...

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post #12 of 18 Old 08-30-2016, 06:29 PM
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I can put it in the Advanced group all day long completely stock. It has limits without a doubt, but the Intermediate group isn't where it's at....

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post #13 of 18 Old 08-30-2016, 07:34 PM
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Well I'm glad to hear that cuz when my coach said I was out riding the capabilities of my bike I was a bit concerned. If you say it can be done, then it'll be my goal to get the 9er into the advanced. Those guys are running times in the 1:20's and I'm doing mid to high 1:40s...thats a lot of track days lol

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post #14 of 18 Old 08-31-2016, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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What about ground clearance? Are you guys scraping your pegs?

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post #15 of 18 Old 08-31-2016, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanktm View Post
Well I'm glad to hear that cuz when my coach said I was out riding the capabilities of my bike I was a bit concerned. If you say it can be done, then it'll be my goal to get the 9er into the advanced. Those guys are running times in the 1:20's and I'm doing mid to high 1:40s...thats a lot of track days lol

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The rider has a ton to do with it... I know guys that can run significantly faster lap times on a ninja 300 than other guys can run on an s1000rr... what it really comes down to is margin of error. better tires, better brakes, better bikes etc can make you marginally faster, but what it really adds is a bit more wiggle room at the edge. There are guys that can run near lap record pace on Dunlop q3's, I know other guys that swear they slip and slide and have a terrifying time running q3's 10 seconds off decent pace... If you're smooth and confident the 919 can absolutely go really quick around a track, you'll just have less room for error.

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post #16 of 18 Old 08-31-2016, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auron View Post
What about ground clearance? Are you guys scraping your pegs?
Folding is the word, not mere scraping.
For high lean turns I put the sole of my boot against the sideplate so my foot can't get trapped and crunched by the folding peg.
And that's on a fairly stiffly sprung 919 with elevated ride height.
A stock sprung 919 will grind out on the pegs sooner, as it sits lower, and the pegs won't fold as much initially.

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post #17 of 18 Old 08-31-2016, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanktm View Post
Well I'm glad to hear that cuz when my coach said I was out riding the capabilities of my bike I was a bit concerned. If you say it can be done, then it'll be my goal to get the 9er into the advanced. Those guys are running times in the 1:20's and I'm doing mid to high 1:40s...thats a lot of track days lol
You need to find a new coach. There is no way an intermediate rider will outride what the 919 has to offer, especially with properly set up suspension. I was in the upper 1/3rd of intermediate group after 5/6 track days (granted, a track day in the rain REALLY helped me). I was only getting knee down about 50% of the time, so I knew I wasn't close to the bike's limitations. My upper body positioning still sucked so I know there was a lot more room for improvement on my skill before the 919 ran out of capability.

As to ground clearance, you need to get off the bike more. Tech Spec tank grips really help with that. The gas tank is awkward and can be hard to hold your positioning. You gotta really hang off to clear the pegs. Even then, I'd fold the pegs slightly every now and then which usually wasn't an issue. My constant biggest worry were my Givi crash bars. The left side is ground down from scraping so much

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post #18 of 18 Old 08-31-2016, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanktm View Post
Well I'm glad to hear that cuz when my coach said I was out riding the capabilities of my bike I was a bit concerned. If you say it can be done, then it'll be my goal to get the 9er into the advanced. Those guys are running times in the 1:20's and I'm doing mid to high 1:40s...thats a lot of track days lol

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A 919 can easily be run in the Advanced Group.
The "turnier" the track, the less the lap time gap will be.
The time lap gap should not be an issue for the other A G riders, otherwise they shouldn't be in the A G.
The bike needs to be muscled, especially re quick between turn transitions.
Ride it and technique it like a late 70s into early 80s era Superbike, body position included.

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