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90%angel

Perfect weather...at the track...and all the riders are chicks!

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90%angel

Sound like every guy's fantasy?!

 

Well it was a reality this weekend in Las Vegas. I participated in the 4th annual Femmoto ladies only demo track day. A "demo" track day means we get to ride all these different bikes from various manufacturers participating in the event. Kawasaki, Aprillia, Moto Guzzi, Buell and a new vendor, Kymco were all there.

 

The event started on Friday night, with registration and picking which bikes you want to ride. Unfortunately, I had to work most of the day Friday, so we didn't roll in to the track until 8, 1 hour before the registration was over. To spite this setback, I still got 4 out of the 5 bikes I wanted to ride. The Mille's were already all taken though! frown.gif I started at the Aprillia/Moto Guzzi booth, and filled up my "dance card" (as they were referred to) with the following:

 

Aprillia Futura (session 1)

Moto Guzzi V-11 Coppa Itallia (session 2)

APrillia Tuono (session 5)

 

I then made my way to the Kawasaki booth, bypassing Buell and Kymco. Kymco was mainly scooters and cruisers it looked like, and I'm not really interested in that. As for Buell, I may have tried one if there were more spots avaialble, but with all the Kawi's I wanted to try, I just didn't want to give up a slot to them.

 

Over at Kawasaki, the zx10-R was hugely popular and already all reserved. I already had 3 1000cc bikes on my card anyway, so I wanted something smaller. Having ridden the 636 all day at Barber at the Keith Code school, I decided I didn't need to do that, even though I really enjoyed that bike! I decided on the Ninja 500 (Session 3) and the Ninja 250 (Session 4).

 

That night, I heard Bonnie (Bonnie Strawser, event organizer) tell someone that registration and checkin the next day was at 7, but if you were already registered, then you don't need to show up till the rider's meeting at 8:15. Russell wasn't having any of this though. "Always show up early to the track!", he said. So we get there at 7:05 AM. I go to the registration table and mingle with some other ladies. One lady had the same question as me "Do we need to do anything right now if we are already registered, or are we set?" The answer was that we were set and didn't need to be anywhere till the riders meeting. I said "I told my husband we didn't need to get here this early, but he's adamant about showing up when the gates open!", with a laugh. She said, "yeah...my husband made us get here at 6:40!"

Menfolk. Can't get to church on time, but the track... grin.gif

 

I was excited to start the day. At the riders meeting they covered all the basic safety rules and what all the flags meant. They then introduced a rep from the various vendors. So funny...when the rep from Kawasaki was taking the stage, a lady shouts out from the crowd "so when't Tommy gonna be here!" giggles all around. This is so cool! A crowd of 150 women riders, and the majority watch racing! Cool!

 

ridermtg.jpg

 

(I loved seeing all the boyfriends/husbands lumbering around behind their girlfriends/wives carrying gear for them, snapping pix like proud parents, being umbrella men, and toungues a-waggin' wishing they could be out there!)

 

After the meeting, I went to get geared up. The intermediate group I was in was supposed to ride before the Novice groups, but they made a last minute changed and put the first novice group out first, then the intermediates, then the second novice group. They didn't have an advanced group as they really wanted people to dial it back a notch since they wanted to keep it non-threatening, and because we were on borrowed bikes! The intermediate group was perfect for me. Passed some people, was passed by others. I definately got some needed passing practice...still some work to do there (at the Code school, I am usually the slowest one so it isn't an issue!) but I did alright.

 

As i was gearing up, I had a little mishap that would only be an issue at a female track day...I broke a nail...and BAD!!! Broke it in half and down to the quick. This event made us use back protectors which I was not used to. I jammed my finger into the back protector trying to get my Stitch on and broke my nail clean off down to about the halfway point. Hurt very much bad. Even Russell was wincing, people! So, being the smart smurf I am, we had a first aid kit in the car, so we cleaned it off and bandaged it up. Hurt like a mother, but I wasn't going to not ride because of a NAIL! So, I took two ibuprofen and dealt with it. Squeezing the clutch wasn't going to be much fun, I thought, but you know, once I got out there, I just didn't feel it anymore! (Felt it when I got back though and had to take my gloves off!) Ouch! Still hurts to type, so if there are typos, just deal with it! smile.gif Fortunately, I got lots of sympathy, being that I was at a female track day! thumbsup.gif

 

OK, I am going to have to compress this a little, or this will be an 8-page post. Here's the details:

 

The Track:

 

Las Vegas Outfield Road Course (some call it the Classic Course). It was split into two sides in order to accommodate the large crowd. This made for two small courses with lots of turns and not much straight. Very technical, and not fast. The 1000cc bikes were WAY too much for this track! Oh well. I liked parts of both sides. I hated the big sweeper on the A side, only because I always mess up on Sweepers! So instead of complaining about it, I really tried to improve my riding on it. If I could just force myself to look up and keep a wide view, I did MUCH better. THe minute I focused in on the curb, yep, that's where I went (and in a sweeper, if you end up on the curb early, there's still like 9 miles of corner left, so hello steering corrections!) The curbs at this track are painted a bright red, white and blue, so they are easy to see (which is good), but also easy to focus on (which is bad).

 

Here's a track map - yes, it's upside down (they printed the cards wrong; I flipped it in photoshop so you could see the layout we actually rode a little easier. The arrows point out the direction we rode.)

 

DanceCard.jpg

 

The Bikes:

 

Futura: I liked this bike! The seat was wider than BMW seats and it was so comfortable! Seemed like it was designed for me! I loved the ergos. It seemed to be powered similarly to my R1100RS. It was NOT the right bike for the track, but it would be a great sport touring bike. I scraped some hard parts on it on this track, blush.gif but it was fun.

 

futura.jpg

 

 

V-11: SWEET! I wasn't sure about this bike. I was mad at it from the beginning because it was a backup choice to the Mille, but Russell said I might really like it. And like it, I did! It sounded so cool, first of all! I didn't like the styling, but Russell thought it had a cool retro look. It was light and flickable, and a hoot! Since this was my second time around the same track, I was more comfortable with the track and had a little more fun. I suspect the GS is a similar feeling bike at the track. I didn't think it would be a good track bike, but it really was fun. Different from a sport bike, but still fun.

 

guzzi.jpg

 

 

Ninja 500: This was a fun little bike! More similar to what I am used to on the track, but since it is older technology, I just couldn't shake the feeling that the bike was going to get away from me if I leaned it too much. I was also a little apprehensive with it since the Kawis were running on a different track than Aprillia/Guzzi, so it was a new track, and the first session after lunch (my sleepy time anyway). I liked it though. Great for the small tight track. Would probably be lacking for power at bigger tracks. And I guess I just didn't like the suspension. I just couldn't shake that uneasy feeling with it whenever I leaned it over.

 

500.jpg

 

 

Ninja 250: I didn't think I was going to like this bike. I thought it would be woefully underpowered, I'd be passed like I was going backwards, and it would royally suck. Boy was I wrong! If you aren't in the right power band, yes, it is a pig. I found this out early on. I had it in third entering the track, and needed to speed up. It took like 4 hours (it seemed) to get up to speed, but boy once I was in the right powerband for that gear, I took off like a friggin rocket! OK, note to self, let's work on shifting, so we're in the right gear, and this bike will rock! I found that third worked well for most of the track, but there was one tight corner where once you get around it, you have a straight then a faster corner, and it would probably be good to go down to second to get the right drive. so I tried this on lap 3 or so. Unfortunately, I didn't shift correctly (more on that later), so the rear wheel locked a bit when I downshifted. That scared me a bit, but I just figured I didn't slow down enough, and I will get it next time. The next time was even worse! Rear wheel locked up, and I skidded a bit, and the bike swayed from side to side for a second until it hooked up again! That really scared me, so I just stayed in third the whole time after that. Russell says I need to work on "blipping the gas a bit when I downshift to bring the RPMs up a bit, don't pull the clutch all the way in, but just feather it, all the while still braking for the corner". I think I will probably crash the next track day when I attempt to do this, but I need to try. I have to be able to downshift without locking up the back wheel, or I'll never get faster/better! Even still, this Ninja was a hoot. It was perfect for this small technical track. I think it would SUCK at a track like Barber, but it was perfect for this one. I think it would be good at Streets Of Willow too. Quick, agile, lightweight, fun! Again, I felt like I couldn't lean it very far, but it was still a blast.

 

250.jpg

 

 

Tuono: WHOA. That's what I said when I got off that bike. DAY-UM that bike is cool. So wrong for this track, but I so did not care. It sounded so cool, and had SOOOOO much power! I did the whole track in second, even the front straight, and it still had tons of power to spare! Good lawd! It's a FUN bike. Looks cool, sounds cool, can't wait till Russell gets one so I can ride it...er, I mean so he can ride it...yeah, that's it.

 

(Doesn't show up here, but I was totally grinning from ear to ear!)

 

tuonogrin.jpg

 

 

The event:

 

Such a cool event. It was so cool to see so many female riders! Some, discovering the track for the first time, and some, seasoned professionals (Jessica Zaluskey was there). I thought it lacked just a little on organization (for instance, at one point, my group was all geared up and ready to ride, then the session was postponed till after lunch), but then, I am coming from the Keith Code California Superbike School, which, from what I've heard and experienced so far, is the best in the business. I think if they had a tad more info up front (ie, how to get to the track...took us 20 minutes to find the right place...at first, on Friday night we inadvertently ended up in line for the drag strip! Yeah, that would have been fun...let's drag race the 528i!) But all in all, a fun time. That Saturday night, they had a fashion show, debuting a new line of women's riding gear. They also raffled off a scooter (didn't win) and a set of leathers (also didn't win!) frown.gif If they hold the event close by again next year, I'll be there, and I hope some of my girls from this board will go with me! Fun, fun, fun, and not too expensive ($125 for non-femmoto members, $85 for members). Great way to mingle with other lady riders, ride new bikes, and have a track day! Does it get any better!? clap.gifthumbsup.gifgrin.gif

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russell_bynum

Hey Beavis...I'm at a track with chicks!

 

uuuhhhh....Hey Baby...

 

cool.gif

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ericfoerster

YOU GO GIRL thumbsup.gif

 

I sure wish I could ride all those bikes. Nice write up on each one for sure. I am glad to see you kept an open mind on them and it appears each was tested well thumbsup.gif

 

I'll even bet the hubby is a tad jealous.

 

Thanks for the write up.

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David

thumbsup.gif Good work! Loved your analysis of the bikes, too. I sure wish people would quit writing off both the Ninja bikes. Awesome deals for the money, and with a couple of quick fixes, tons of fun.

 

When I rode a Futura, I got off and said: "that bike has perfect ergos and the best seat I've have tried." I see you liked it, too.

 

I need to ride a Tuono--that's one I'm excited to try.

 

So where are the pictures of Russell as an umbrella boy?

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russell_bynum

I'll even bet the hubby is a tad jealous.

 

A tad??? I was neon-green with envy.

 

I tried all week to grow a uterus so they'd let me on the track, but didn't have any luck. thumbsup.gif

 

I did make sure she picked the Tuono that had the aftermarket exhaust...and MAN did it sound sweet blasting past the pit wall on the front straight. clap.gif

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Joel
I tried all week to grow a uterus so they'd let me on the track, but didn't have any luck. thumbsup.gif

 

ROFLMAO! grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

 

Way to go, Lisa. I think. Heidi's seen this now. If there's a 2nd Annual Femmoto event, maybe SHE will be the one paying the marriage tax. wink.gif

Edited by Joel

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russell_bynum

If there's a 2nd Annual Femmoto event, maybe SHE will be the one paying the marriage tax.

 

This was the 4th Annual event, and there's sure to be a 5th next year.

 

Check out www.femmoto.com for details.

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Joel

D'OH! There it was, in the second line of the OP.

 

From the site:

Not only do you get to bond with other women riders you will not have to worry about the male testosterone levels out on the track.

 

Ouch! OTOH, didn't someone recently overhear Lisa griping about a pig that couldn't push past 128 indicated?

 

Pot + kettle = 2 x black grin.gif

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90%angel

Ouch! OTOH, didn't someone recently overhear Lisa griping about a pig that couldn't push past 128 indicated?

 

Pot + kettle = 2 x black

 

D'OH!! blush.gif

 

Although, I will say I think there is a difference between wanting to go fast and being ultra-aggressive. They had a few male rider coaches out there this weekend, and the way they'd pass me, I could just tell it was a dude! grin.gif

 

 

Anyway, all kidding aside, it really is a great event to meet all different kinds of ladies, talk about gear, classes, riding, etc. No male-bashing, really!

 

Kawasaki passed out some literature on women in motorcycling that had some interesting stats:

 

1985 - 600 HDs sold to women

2002 - 19,000 HDs sold were to women

 

10% of Ducs sold in 2004 were to women

15% of Kawasaki's sold in 2004 were to women

 

In 2003, 10% of all motorcycle owners were women.

 

Before too long, we won't be unique for being women riders any more! clap.gif

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StretchMark

This thread just reeks of sexual discrimination. They are trying to keep us down. When will the pendulum swing back our way frown.gif

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russell_bynum
This thread just reeks of sexual discrimination. They are trying to keep us down. When will the pendulum swing back our way frown.gif

 

thumbsup.gif

 

Can you imagine the squidfest if they did the same Demo Days thing for guys? I believe they only had one crash all day on Saturday...and that was a pretty minor lowside on a Buell Blast. I'll bet half of the guys would take each other out at T1. dopeslap.gif

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Corkus

OK, I am going to have to compress this a little, or this will be an 8-page post.

 

When your ripped nail heals, can we have the long version? Pleeze? I will read every word grin.gif.

 

I am so jealous! I wish my wife could ride in this thing. I have to get that girl on a bike of her own.

 

Fine ride tale. A blast to read.

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Dinkee
I tried all week to grow a uterus so they'd let me on the track, but didn't have any luck. thumbsup.gif

 

ROFLMAO! grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

 

Way to go, Lisa. I think. Heidi's seen this now. If there's a 2nd Annual Femmoto event, maybe SHE will be the one paying the marriage tax. wink.gif

 

yes, i've seen it! now i have two questions:

1) how many miles do i need under my belt before i can participate and get the most out of a track demo day like this?

2) do you really need a uterus? d'oh! can't they just verify that i have two x chromosomes?

okay, so that was 3 questions.

heidi

looking forward to femmoto in 2006!

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HoonTang

Awe, I missed another women's event out WEST!!!! Well, I sure enjoyed your write-up! It sounds like you had a blast with the bikes!!

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leikam

How about Russell inherits the RS (I've heard him say it suits his riding well several times) and you get the Tuono?

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russell_bynum

How about Russell inherits the RS (I've heard him say it suits his riding well several times) and you get the Tuono?

 

Ixnay!

 

Funny story...I video taped some of each ride. After each ride, she sat down and recorded some thoughts on the bike. When she got to the Tuono, she rambled on for about 3 minutes not making any sense.

 

Wow. With the power and I was in second gear. And the SOUND. And that was freaking awesome. With the front wheel getting light. And holy cow that thing is powerful. etc.

 

I'm pretty sure the Tuono is going to be our next bike. And If I have to trade off between a Tuono and the RS...well...there are certainly worse things in the world than that. grin.gif

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leikam

I'm pretty sure the Tuono is going to be our next bike.

 

Really? I heard you were going to pick up a japanese four cylinder for cheap. Mid-late 90's GSX-R 750s are a dime a dozen and make great streetfighters. I was just looking at some tonight. And that would leave more cash in the bike fund for Lisa to get the Tuono.

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russell_bynum
I'm pretty sure the Tuono is going to be our next bike.

 

Really? I heard you were going to pick up a japanese four cylinder for cheap. Mid-late 90's GSX-R 750s are a dime a dozen and make great streetfighters. I was just looking at some tonight.

 

Yeah, I know. And that's still a possibility...it's just becoming less interesting to me as time goes by.

 

And that would leave more cash in the bike fund for Lisa to get the Tuono.

 

Remind me to kick your ass the next time I see you.

 

grin.gif

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leikam

I'll be at Steve's place this Saturday...

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russell_bynum

LOL.

 

I'm gonna have to miss that one.

 

But if I wind up with 2 Tuono's in my garage, I'm holding you responsible. cool.gif

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leikam

I've been convicted of worse...

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norah

I tried all week to grow a uterus so they'd let me on the track, but didn't have any luck. thumbsup.gif

 

Well, last time I looked I had one of those so maybe I can join you next year, Lisa. It looks like a lot of fun and I know that grin from ear to ear feeling!

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ian408

Nice ride report. Glad to see you out to have some fun too!

 

Oh, and a plate I saw recently? GRLZRD2. Nice to see some

encouragment in the form of demos.

 

Ian

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russell_bynum

yes, i've seen it! now i have two questions:

1) how many miles do i need under my belt before i can participate and get the most out of a track demo day like this?

2) do you really need a uterus? d'oh! can't they just verify that i have two x chromosomes?

 

1. There weren't any requirements other than a motorcycle endorsement. But...I can tell you that Lisa wasn't comfortable with the idea of riding someone else's bike until fairly recently. Your experience may vary, of course. The big thing is that you feel reasonably comfortable with your skills so that you can enjoy the demo rides instead of worrying about messing up the bikes the whole time.

 

2/3: I think they just want to not see an adam's apple, and you're in. cool.gif

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Ryan_R

nice ride report! i'm jealous...

 

btw, why were the "ears" of the futura folded back?

 

--ryan

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russell_bynum

btw, why were the "ears" of the futura folded back?

 

On the track, you don't use mirrors. If the mirrors are easy to remove, you remove them. Otherwise, you fold them back so you can't see out of them.

 

The idea is that you worry about what's in front of you, and that's it. On the racetrack, it works well...everyone watches out ahead of them, and if you're going to make a pass, it is YOUR responsibility to do it cleanly.

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