Track Day

bennyboyr1

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17 years after finishing my last race on track, I've decided to venture out on track again at Silverstone in May. I watched F1 there last year and it just made me want to get back out there. So I've got new HH pads, racing brake fluid, new chain and sprockets (-1 tooth front, +1 tooth rear), new Bridgestone S22s (bit of a compromise), brake lever protector, fresh engine oil and measured the bike at 100.1 db at 7500 rpm with the baffles in. Oh and some new tyre warmers as well. The bike feels perfect so I'm just hoping this weather extends throughout May.

Anyone else been busy with bike prep for track work?
 

NBB

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Unfortunately not, I’m in the middle of a full nut and bolt rebuild on my trials bike but check the rules as I believe some track day organisers insist on a clutch protector too.
 

Atlas12v

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Nope, been bike-less for 3 years now and have a massive itch for another. Not sure whether to go down the track bike route...
 

bennyboyr1

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Nope, been bike-less for 3 years now and have a massive itch for another. Not sure whether to go down the track bike route...
I went bikeless in 2008 for a year, but I missed it too much so got back on an R1.

Once motorcycling is in your blood, I feel it's there permanently. A track day bike would be amazing and would allow you to set it up with no compromises. Go for it! :)
 

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I'm going to do my first bike trackday this year. Thinking 23rd of May and doing Brands Indy or Donnington (bit of a ride to get there but the superior track)..
 

bennyboyr1

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Brands indy offers a lot for its size. It was my first track day back in 99. I crashed going round the outside of someone at Clearways. :D If it's your first one, I'd say go with the tight and tricky to perfect Brands Indy. Bikes on track are simply amazing. You're going to love it.
I'm going to do my first bike trackday this year. Thinking 23rd of May and doing Brands Indy or Donnington (bit of a ride to get there but the superior track)..
 

bennyboyr1

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I posted this on another forum, but it's the write up of my track day a couple of weeks ago.

The last time I was out on track was a race weekend, which saw me finish 2nd in the championship in a one-make series. Because of this, when I signed up to the trackday I was assigned to the red (fast) group. No pressure then. :D

Before the day, I set my 2009 R1 up as best I could. I removed mirrors and numberplate, put some Motul RBF 600 brake fluid in and dropped my road-going Bridgestone S22s to 30 psi front and 26 rear. I also dropped the yokes 9mm down the forks for quicker turn in and added a 2mm washer to the top of the rear shock mount.

On arriving at the track, it was clear that people are throwing WAY more cash at track days than back in 2005. I was the only person to be on such road-orientated rubber. A few were on Supercorsas, but the majority were on slicks. Also, most bikes there were either 2016+ R1s or R1Ms, S1000RRs or Ducati Panigales. I think there was just me and a couple of lower capacity bikes and a TLR1000 out there without electronic rider aids.

Getting out on track and getting into it wasn't as daunting as I might have thought. I took it easy really and learnt the lines very quickly and then concentrated on what the bike was doing and where I could go faster. The one thing that held me back on the day was my new level of self-preservation. When I was racing, it didn't really matter if I threw it down the road trying to go faster, but now I have school runs etc to do. That lasting sense of not wanting to be passed (from my racing days) irked me though and I was frustrated at my lack of mid-corner speed (primarily me), but not helped by everyone coming past me being on slicks, so I couldn't really judge my corner entry speed by theirs.

What I did find was that I didn't really push the grip limits. I didn't have any big slides, but could feel the bike moving about here and there. It feels like I wanted the bike to cut a tighter line and not push wide, but I didn't have the recent experience to push it harder to make it do that.

Ultimately, it was a great day with some very quick riders out there, but I felt a bit disappointed with myself at not pushing harder. That said, there were crashes in 5 out of 6 sessions, so it's not so bad. :)

I spoke to a few other guys on R1Ms and they both said that they were leaning on the electronics everywhere, which gave me a bit of faith in my own riding abilities, especially after 17 years of not having ridden on track.

After all of this though, I'm finding the idea of moving to something like an S1000RR really appealing...not that I can afford it yet, but just so that I can push the throttle limits a bit more on corner-exit and experience a new-age in motorcycle development.
 
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