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Trackday Improvement


SCOTTinNJ

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This is to give the trackday novices hope.

 

My very first "trackday" was a few laps offered during the 2002 BMW rally in Trenton, Ontario. Here's a shot from that day:

 

 

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After that, I decided I would try to get on the track more often. I bought a dedicated track bike, and was off. Here's a shot from my first real trackday ever, in 2003:

 

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By my 3rd trackday I was on a new bike, and looked like this:

 

 

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After a few more - maybe 5 at the most - and another new bike - I'm here:

 

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Honestly, I'm usually too humble to post something like this, but I'm pretty damn proud of myself.

 

Now I just need to get my speed up a little to I can catch David Baker! clap.gif

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Nice!

 

This is a cool idea. I'll have to dig up some pictures of my track days. My body position didn't improve as quickly as yours did, but I think it is getting there finally.

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Now I just need to get my speed up a little to I can catch David Baker! clap.gif

 

No worries there. I'm just trying to not get thrown off the bike. smile.gif And thanks for reminding me how much my body position sucks in relation to yours. I seriously need an intervention.

 

Seriously, I'd love to see what you could do with 15-20 days in one year, where you can really build on something consistently. I think you could kick some serious ass.

 

Do you have a lap timer yet? It's a really great tool. Buy yourself the XT--forget the beacon, as someone nearly always has one that you can piggyback on.

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Nice!

 

This is a cool idea. I'll have to dig up some pictures of my track days. My body position didn't improve as quickly as yours did, but I think it is getting there finally.

 

Definitely. Throw them in the thread. Would love to see them.

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Now I just need to get my speed up a little to I can catch David Baker! clap.gif

 

No worries there. I'm just trying to not get thrown off the bike. smile.gif And thanks for reminding me how much my body position sucks in relation to yours. I seriously need an intervention.

 

Seriously, I'd love to see what you could do with 15-20 days in one year, where you can really build on something consistently. I think you could kick some serious ass.

 

Do you have a lap timer yet? It's a really great tool. Buy yourself the XT--forget the beacon, as someone nearly always has one that you can piggyback on.

 

Hey, if you want to support me for 15-20 trackdays, I'm willing to show you!

 

As for the lap timer, I don't have one yet. At VIR I could use a sun dial. At Pocono I'm a little faster.

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What an awesome thread and idea. Posting of the rider from the beginning to present. What a great way to see the progression in skill!!!

 

Lover it! thumbsup.gif

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What a way cool thread! Thanks....

 

Hey, I thought you looked pretty decent on the RT! But, WOW, what progress. Truly impressive -- you should be proud.

 

If you'd started all this when you were 12, you'd be serious trouble for Nicky! grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

 

Thanks again for starting this great thread, and sharing your journey to true expertise.

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You should be proud. Very impressive. Yeah, I have hope, but I think you have something more going for you. You sure progressed fast!

 

What was the progression of bikes that you chose for track bikes and why?

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I'm just impressed that he's getting faster in each pic. I mean, it's pretty obvious. With the RT, he's got riders right there with him. Next pic: They're behind him a bit. By the time he's on the Monster & R6, there is no one else anywhere near him. clap.gifclap.gifclap.gif

 

Nice pics. Although I hate the subtle "go to the track" subliminal messages I get from this board. I may have to do something about that one day. smile.gif

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I'm just impressed that he's getting faster in each pic. I mean, it's pretty obvious. With the RT, he's got riders right there with him. Next pic: They're behind him a bit. By the time he's on the Monster & R6, there is no one else anywhere near him. clap.gifclap.gifclap.gif

 

Nice pics. Although I hate the subtle "go to the track" subliminal messages I get from this board. I may have to do something about that one day. smile.gif

 

I can throw this at you to complete your thought. Here, I'm chasing down a rider! (but my body position isn't so hot).

 

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As for doing trackdays, I don't necessarily recommend them. I do recommend something more structured, like a Keith Code school. That's a very good way to get aquainted with the track, and to learn a great deal about riding. The students there aren't usually too fast and it's well controlled. I wouldn't worry too much about a day like that.

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Going back through the photos from earlier in the year at VIR, in a thread that David wrote about, I saw his comments about perfect riding position with respect to this photo taken by our own Big-T:

 

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Despite David's well appreciated comments, one thing that bugged me about that photo was my head position. It should have been in line with my back, along the red line shown below. Instead, it's to the right. In an ideal position, the blue and red lines would overlap.

 

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I think in the shot above (reproduced below), I finally got it.

 

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It's not all good though, other shots taken during the same day suggest that I need to be more consistent.

 

 

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NOW I HAVE A REASON TO GO BACK!!! clap.gif

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Scott,

 

Wow! It's great to see the progress you've made, what a great post! Thanks for sharing, and don't be shy, please - I am encouraged by this - can't wait for Code to come back to NHIS.

 

Oh, you don't have any of those other track bikes just collecting dust, getting tire checked, taking up valuable space, etc. in the garage that you need to get rid of do ya? grin.gif

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You should be proud, Scott. Most people will never try it much less get here...

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At Pocono, you looked like you were pretty successful in "slowing down the movie".

 

For those of you who haven't met Scott, he's the athlete among us. Even with a back protector and speed hump, he still looks like a marathon runner.

 

-RickP.

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Scott,

 

Wow! It's great to see the progress you've made, what a great post! Thanks for sharing, and don't be shy, please - I am encouraged by this - can't wait for Code to come back to NHIS.

 

Oh, you don't have any of those other track bikes just collecting dust, getting tire checked, taking up valuable space, etc. in the garage that you need to get rid of do ya? grin.gif

 

Sorry, no extra bikes in the stable. Just my R1100S and the R6. Keep your eyes open if you are in the market though, there's lots of good deals out there. Particularly this time of year or in the spring.

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You should be proud. Very impressive. Yeah, I have hope, but I think you have something more going for you. You sure progressed fast!

 

What was the progression of bikes that you chose for track bikes and why?

 

 

The RT was the bike I rode to the rally with, so I won't call that a track bike. That experience gave me the desire to ride on the track, but I wasn't going to do it with the RT. I needed a bike.

 

After looking at several bikes, I had the oportunity to buy the MZ from a local guy. I wrote up something about the experience here.

 

The bike was a great bike, and was really perfect for a beginning trackday rider, but it wasn't street legal and therefore really wasn't cost effective for me to have. I started to think about getting rid of it when I came across a deal I could not pass up for the Monster. I sold the MZ once the Monster came on board.

 

The Monster was truly a great bike. There were really only 2 downsides. One I could fix with $$ and the other I couldn't. The bike was the low end Monster, and therefore came with fairly standard suspension components. Even at 145 lbs., I was taxing the suspension at the track. I could have solved that by throwing $$ into the bike, but didn't feel it was worth it. The other was power. The bike was plenty fast, but most of the trackdays I rode at I would be on people's butts through the twisties, and then would try to pass them in the straight but couldn't. They would fly ahead of me, only to be caught again in the twistie parts. Turned out to be very frustrating.

 

I was thinking of buying a Buell Firebolt when a friend of mine decided to sell his R6. I bought it.

 

The Monster was the 3rd bike then, so I sold that and am left with the R1100S and R6. Both are great bikes, but serve different purposes.

 

On the track, the R6 is fantastic! Highly recommended.

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Here are some pics of me after us bmw people went to CSS at streets in april 04 I had a couple of days before that but riding the superbike schools 600 made me decide to get one to learn to ride instead of the mille I had. David Baker has a pic of me leading he way thru a turn that day smile.gif at willlow but i lost it.

 

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this was probably my best pic that day

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Here are a couple two months later after I had gotten race bodywork but before p[aint. thunderhill again

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the above pic is the top of "THE CYCLONE" thirioght after this is whre i lowsided the gsxr on street tires

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These are from july 05 the week before the afm round at thunderhill for that month. I was probaly at the apex of my speed and smoothness. Not taht there wasnt much room for improvement but things werre clicking. The next week during practice for the race a rider highsided in front of me at about 100 mph and i ended up going down too after trying to avoid him and running over his leg eek.gif. The bike took awhile to repair but was actually better after the crash than before as far as tracking straight. better than new. However during that time I had wisely decided to take the gsxr to the track and lowsided it and rashed every single piece of plastic on it. So I had to do someth8ing and the gsxr ended up being the track bike.. I am still trying to "TAME THE BEAST". and just now almost up to the same speed as i was on the 600. OPf course the back surgery kinda slowed me down a bit too.. stamina still now to par but I am going to work out at the track ththis weekend and next with russell and Lisa at reno fernley. By thee way russell there is a Pacific track time day on friday the 22nd at infineon. you could probably get in and drive to fernley that night which is what i am going to do. this just opened up so there should stil be a few spaces left if you are interested.

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And one of the gsxr before the crash

 

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David Baker has a pic of me leading he way thru a turn that day smile.gif at willlow but i lost it.

 

Here you go:

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From this thread. cool.gif

 

What a fun day!

 

For those of you unaware David was getting ready to pass my sorry ass bncry.gifthumbsup.gif

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Still trying to dig up some pictures of me that make me look like I've improved.... thumbsup.gif

 

But here's Lisa:

 

First time on the track. Scared to death and falling behind on the sighting laps. March 2005. (I'll save Baker and Davis the trouble...yes, that's the CBR before I redecorated it. dopeslap.gif )

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September 2005 at Barber. Starting to get hooked on track riding. Caught thumbing through the Aerostitch catalog wondering about getting pucks put on her Roadcrafter. cool.gif

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March 2006. Body position not good (cross-controling), but big drop in laptimes due to great throttle control, and definitely not affraid to lean the bike anymore. eek.gif Making noises about wanting "My own track bike."

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May 2006. Running "her bike" around the Spring Mountain track in Pahrump. Complaining about needing suspension upgrades. Starting to work body position.

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September 2006. Running around the "Off Ramp" corner at Buttonwillow like a scalded cat.

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Yeah, I'm just a tad proud. clap.gifclap.gif

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Holy cow, that is just a sad, sad picture of me on my first track day...did I really look that bad!? You kept telling me I was doing fine (cough*liar*cough).

 

(Monty Python voice) "I got bett-ah!" grin.gif

 

I don't remember cross controlling like that in level 4, I must not have done it too much, or we probably would have worked on it. But mostly in level 4 I was working on visual skills again. That is a pretty extreme lean angle...wouldn't have needed that extreme lean had my body position been better! smirk.gif

 

See that last shot, everyone...boy my knee is THIS close to touching asphalt! (not quite though...boo!)

 

What a ride...can't wait for Reno!! thumbsup.gif

 

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GIT-R-DONE! clap.gif

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Still trying to dig up some pictures of me that make me look like I've improved....

 

That's cause he started out so well from the get go! David said something to that effect too, over in that thread from when you guys all ran out at Streets of Willow in 04 - something like "I can't believe that was your first time on the track on a sport bike"

 

Russell's better than he gives himself credit for! Props, honey! thumbsup.gif

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Dang Lisa! You gonna go pro? grin.gif It must feel good to see the improvement you've made - you look great out there thumbsup.gif

 

That last pic, is the last rider standing up? eek.gif

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Dang Lisa! You gonna go pro?

 

I wish I had the cojones and the brain power to go pro!! What a kick it WILL be someday for the first female to win an AMA race!!

 

I say brain power, as there is A LOT going on mentally to do track riding (especially racing); a lot to hold in your head (example: you need at least three reference points for every corner; on long tracks that can be in the 50s for just RPs to remember!), a lot to think through (when you're riding at a high rate of speed and that corner is approaching rapidly; when should I brake; how hard, should I shift, how many gears, don't let the clutch out too soon, or you'll need to blip it, but don't forget to brake during all that...oh and by the way TURN!!), a lot of physics to understand, etc., and sometimes I just can't get my head around all of it at once (Russell says a lot of people can't, or they'd be Valentino Rossi! smirk.gif )

 

But in my dreams, I've won the supersport championship, yes. grin.gif

 

That last pic, is the last rider standing up?

I'm not sure. He may just be sitting high on the bike. I'm probably frustrating both riders, as I go fairly slow through that corner, but then light it up at the exit. A lot of times, riders carry more corner speed than me, but don't get on the throttle nearly as soon as I do, thus I leave them behind and they have to really work to catch up to me again to pass me! One thing I AM good at: Smooth throttle control, and getting on it right away at the turn exit. thumbsup.gif

 

Thanks for the compliments. Sometimes I feel like I am the worst one out there (I'm slow...although, recently, I haven't been the slowest! YAY!), but I work on the skills and improve every time, when I get the body position right, it even looks like I know what I'm doing, and most importantly, have a blast out there, so it's all good! thumbsup.gif

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hot off the press. here are a couple of pics from today at thunderhill. A pretty nice day with temps in the mid 90's. I had a personal best on the gsxr today and finally geting down to within a second of where I was on the 600 time wise. its funny at Infineon which is a more technical track i am a bit faster on the gsxr which doesnt make sense so I wont try to. I changed the gearing on the gsxr before this day and went down one tooth on the front and three up in the back. WHAT A DIFFERENCE I am redlining fifth down the straight and shaved a couple of seconds off which surprid=sed me because i thought it would take a while to adapt

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When will we see shots of Russells improved body position from 1st trackday til today??

 

Here's a shot of his most recent. I wonder what the 1st looked like?? lmao.giflmao.gif

 

not_going_well.jpg

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When will we see shots of Russells improved body position from 1st trackday til today??

 

Here's a shot of his most recent. I wonder what the 1st looked like?? lmao.giflmao.gif

 

not_going_well.jpg

 

your killing me lmao.giflmao.giflmao.gif

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When will we see shots of Russells improved body position from 1st trackday til today??

 

Here's a shot of his most recent. I wonder what the 1st looked like?? lmao.giflmao.gif

 

not_going_well.jpg

 

 

Assuming there is a left turn coming up, I think he's taking the whole "look through the turn" bit a little too far! Then again, his body is on the wrong side of the bike for a left.

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Here's a few snaps of me. I can't find any of the pics from my first track day, which was on the RT. frown.gif

 

Superbike School, Level 2 at Streets of Willow. My first time on a sportbike (Other than taking a quick spin around the block on friends' bikes.)

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CSS Level 3 at Barber. Learning body position stuff.

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CSS Level 4 at Streets of Willow. Starting to get comfortable being low on the bike.

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Trackday at Spring Mountain (Pahrump, NV). Really starting to get a feel for things and develop a routine for learning new tracks.

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[Assuming there is a left turn coming up, I think he's taking the whole "look through the turn" bit a little too far! Then again, his body is on the wrong side of the bike for a left.

 

You guys got it all wrong. What you can't see is that I've got an IR Thermometer in my right hand. I'm simply checking the temperature of the right side of the front tire because there's a tight right-hand turn coming up and I just wanted to make sure the tire was up to temp.

 

tongue.gif

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