Author Topic: First track day  (Read 4813 times)

Offline wildnphx

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First track day
« on: September 14, 2012, 01:04:03 am »
So I have finally got the nerve up to do my first track day with http://xceltrackdays.com/ , I am going to do the Firebird west track and even though it is defenitly far from my first pic it is relativly close to the house and the price is reasonable especially since I have no travel and lodging cost.  Of course investing in all the leather gear was not cheap but I will use it for street riding as well when the weather permits instead of my mesh gear.  Wish me luck and any pointers are always welcome...  :)


Offline stewart

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Re: First track day
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2012, 07:34:56 am »
Good luck.

I've done three Trackdays on my Connie, the only three I've ever done in my life...so don't consider me an expert.

Things I've learnt which you should consider.

-Suspension, if you haven't already dialed it in, use the Track day to experiment and dial it in once you have sag set. While it may not match what you want on the road, I learned a lot about how the bike behaves with a few tweaks.

-tire pressures, I run 42 on the road, but on the track experts have suggested dropping down into the low 30's. Last day out I think I ran 34 or 35. Research Dave Moss videos on the net and you can learn a lot.

- body position, this year I had private instruction on my track day and I learned a lot. The key thing I learned which help get the big connie around the track smoothly was leading with my head and body. As in my head/ body should be moving first, then countersteer, then bike. This enables you to ride ahead of the bike, versus trailing its movements.

Oh dragging pegs was a common experience in some corners. I've been able to improve on that with body position and ride the right line. But you may need more preload to lift the rear depending on your weight. On the track the bike Squats down a little more under power.

Otherwise enjoy, I know for sure I ride smoother and safe on the road for having done it.
Stewart
2010 Concours14
COG 9380

Son of Pappy

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Re: First track day
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2012, 08:27:27 am »
3 things to focus on.  Entry speed, entry point, and body position.  All 3 things apply on the street.  I think if everyone did an on track event (not race) on their street bike the statistics would improve greatly.  Regarding body position, what I often see is great hip movement, but no shoulder movement.  Work at keeping the shoulders outside the hips, your goal shouldn't be dragging a knee.  Proper entry speed is vital, you want to keep as much traction in reserve for cornering, not braking.  Entry point, get into the corner too soon and you will find yourself way out of shape for the next corner and at way too steep of an angle to pick up the throttle early, often dumping the throttle which causes the suspension to collapse, which reduces ground clearance and hard parts with no traction value start dragging.  Ride relaxed, any tension you have will be fed to the bike, making everything work that much harder.  Ride your ride, don't even think about what other riders are doing in regards to speed, look for a smooth rider and watch his/her line.  You may be surprised at just how late they tip in at the latest possible apex point.  See how much harder they can launch out of the corner.
Have fun and remember, no pics, it never happened ;)

Offline connie_rider

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Re: First track day
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 08:55:56 am »
I've never done a Track Day, always wanted to.  Gloom,,,,,,,,,,,  :'(

The replies in this discussion have already helped me to understand better ways to ride.
Please share your learnings after your Track Day.

My advise for your Track Day... ENJOY!!   :thumbs:

Ride safe, Ted

Offline wildnphx

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Re: First track day
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2012, 09:58:46 am »
Thanks everyone for the advice..  As far as tire pressure goes is it also dependant on the outside temp as well?  Because it will be relatively warm out at a 98 degrees or so and I am running my beloved PR3's...  Hopefully I still love them after this weekend :)

Offline wildnphx

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Re: First track day
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2012, 10:02:25 am »
3 things to focus on.  Entry speed, entry point, and body position.  All 3 things apply on the street.  I think if everyone did an on track event (not race) on their street bike the statistics would improve greatly.  Regarding body position, what I often see is great hip movement, but no shoulder movement.  Work at keeping the shoulders outside the hips, your goal shouldn't be dragging a knee.  Proper entry speed is vital, you want to keep as much traction in reserve for cornering, not braking.  Entry point, get into the corner too soon and you will find yourself way out of shape for the next corner and at way too steep of an angle to pick up the throttle early, often dumping the throttle which causes the suspension to collapse, which reduces ground clearance and hard parts with no traction value start dragging.  Ride relaxed, any tension you have will be fed to the bike, making everything work that much harder.  Ride your ride, don't even think about what other riders are doing in regards to speed, look for a smooth rider and watch his/her line.  You may be surprised at just how late they tip in at the latest possible apex point.  See how much harder they can launch out of the corner.
Have fun and remember, no pics, it never happened ;)


Body position is one thing that I have questions on..  So your saying that your shoulders should not be in line with your hips correct?  They should extend (lean) out more while trying to keep your hips in a more vertical position correct?

Offline RFH87_Connie

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Re: First track day
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2012, 10:41:00 am »
Lean forward, bend elbow, put you chin over your wrist.  That's a basic turn practice.  Scoot a butt cheek a little to the inside as you progress.  If you can really get forward, its kind of like holding the inside grip like you would a screwdriver pointing parrallel along your arm.

Also, decide if you are a trail-braker or not.  Most pros trail-brake so there is not time lag switching from braking to acceleration - its just one smooth motion.  About 70% percent braking is applied before dropping into the turn.  Not trail-braking means you do all of your slowing (100%) before dropping into the turn.

As said above, GO YOUR OWN PACE.  Trying to go real fast is just wasting your class time learning experience.  Scraping hard parts does not mean you are going as fast as the bike can, it just means it is time for you to scoot of the seat a little more.  If you scrap real hard, it WILL lift the rear wheel off the groud and give you something else to practice that you really don't want to.  Also, try to forget about using the rear brake, you will probably find it easier to lock up at highspeed and braking situations when you do use it.

If you have traction control, you might want to consider turning it off at some point during the day.  Here's what my new C-10 tire looked like at the end of the day.
“I can truly say I had rather be at home at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the seat of government by the officers of State and the representatives of every power of Europe.” - George Washington

Son of Pappy

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Re: First track day
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2012, 11:51:00 am »

Body position is one thing that I have questions on..  So your saying that your shoulders should not be in line with your hips correct?  They should extend (lean) out more while trying to keep your hips in a more vertical position correct?
What happens is most/alot of riders new to the track is they get the feeling they are really shifting their weight, when all they are really doing is shifting their cheek and then countering that counter weight with their chest.  Looks really odd, think mooning like action.  We've found it more helpfull to get the shoulders over and down vs shift hips and shoulders, that comes as the rider becomes more relaxed and confident in the bike, technique, and of course self. 
Think this through, how does a suspension travel?  In a vertical plane, the frame may (does) move/flex horizontally but short of a true track bike is counter productive for what we ride on the street.  If our bike is leaned over and g forces keep things pointed in a vertical plane what does adding weight on top of the bike do?  It creates a horizontal force which opposes the suspension.
Ride relaxed and let the suspension do it's thing, ride stiff and the suspension is working that much harder.  By being relaxed and loose your weight becomes suspended weight during transitions, anything abrupt is bad.  Smoothe as she goes and the speed will come.

Offline slerickson

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Re: First track day
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2012, 12:14:14 pm »
At the track events I have attendended there is a TIRE GUY with the orginization putting on the event.  He will tell you what temp to run for the tire you have.  Differs for tire types and brands so make sure you get this close.

The events I have attended you had to take a class before riding. All the instructors have been happy to turn laps with me and give me tips to work on. Pratice those and then get some more!

Remember to BREATH.  Sound funny but its true.

Ride you own pace and have FUN.

It has cost me alot of money since my first track day. Track bike and TIRES!
In Loving Memory of My Wife
Ronda 1/27/63  7/16/08
MISS YOU BOO

Offline wildnphx

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Re: First track day
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2012, 04:06:34 pm »
Lean forward, bend elbow, put you chin over your wrist.  That's a basic turn practice.  Scoot a butt cheek a little to the inside as you progress.  If you can really get forward, its kind of like holding the inside grip like you would a screwdriver pointing parrallel along your arm.

Also, decide if you are a trail-braker or not.  Most pros trail-brake so there is not time lag switching from braking to acceleration - its just one smooth motion.  About 70% percent braking is applied before dropping into the turn.  Not trail-braking means you do all of your slowing (100%) before dropping into the turn.

As said above, GO YOUR OWN PACE.  Trying to go real fast is just wasting your class time learning experience.  Scraping hard parts does not mean you are going as fast as the bike can, it just means it is time for you to scoot of the seat a little more.  If you scrap real hard, it WILL lift the rear wheel off the groud and give you something else to practice that you really don't want to.  Also, try to forget about using the rear brake, you will probably find it easier to lock up at highspeed and braking situations when you do use it.

If you have traction control, you might want to consider turning it off at some point during the day.  Here's what my new C-10 tire looked like at the end of the day.

Thanks for the advice...  I am definitely a trail braker and get my hand slapped for doing it in the BRC riders class a long time ago...  They said I was not doing it wrong I was just not doing what they were teaching... to slow completely before entering the turn...  and I really was bored doing it there way so I continued to trail brake :)   

I also have an 08 with ABS so no traction control, no linked brakes or chances of locking up the rear brake to worry about :)

Offline stevewfl

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Re: First track day
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2012, 03:51:05 pm »
Track days rule! 

Its fun 2-up too...   =)

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” St. Augustine

Offline stewart

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Re: First track day
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2012, 07:53:51 pm »
Track days rule! 

Its fun 2-up too...   =)

Show off!!!
Stewart
2010 Concours14
COG 9380

Offline stevewfl

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Re: First track day
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 08:34:33 am »
Show off!!!


Not really, just sayin'......      there's even more to look forward to than the adrenaline of the 1st track day (which is second only to losing virginity)
“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” St. Augustine

Offline wildnphx

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Re: First track day
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2012, 11:45:21 pm »
Since I know the motto - no pictures then it never happened -

http://hartracingphotography.zenfolio.com/p167249857/h43b8a6ee#h43b8a6ee
http://hartracingphotography.zenfolio.com/p167249857/h43b8e91c#h43b8e91c
http://hartracingphotography.zenfolio.com/p167249857/h43b9e272#h43b9e272
http://hartracingphotography.zenfolio.com/p167249857/h43b9beb8#h43b9beb8
http://hartracingphotography.zenfolio.com/p167249857/h43b8e1f2#h43b8e1f2

It was an absolute blast!!  Started in novice group since was my first track day and after first session they bumped me up to Intermediate which had a few of the other Intermediate's scratching there heads and asking what I was doing in there class with this big bike...  but I quickly quieted allot of them as I passed them on the track :)  I still have a ton of learning on body positioning and running the right lines consistently etc..  but it was a blast and the Concours while about 250lbs heavier then most of the bikes on the track certainly held it's own.

Offline connie_rider

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Re: First track day
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2012, 06:59:33 am »
Wow, sure wish I could go do that!
That looks like it was great fun.
hmm, maybe there is a place near Houston?

Ride safe, Ted