1st Track Day unimpressed addvice

Discussion in 'Racing & Track Days' started by mainstage, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. mainstage

    mainstage New Member

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    Hi All Just done my first track day ever ' on the vfr 07 at Phillip island down here in Australia and a little unimpressed so need some advice .

    I was slow around the track compared to most guys on 1000cc spots bikes . there were 2 groups of around 15 riders per group with all different kinds of bikes . I did 7 sessions during the day . . I have a question .
    Because of the vtec. On the track are you keeping the revs over the 7k mark constantly to keep the power up ?

    Do you ride the vfr different on the track than you would another bike ?? . This was my first track day so it's very possible I was just ''Crap''. :crazy: all feedback appreciated the good and the bad. cheers :cool:
     
  2. dogman

    dogman New Member

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    just my 2c.
    To start with you are 200cc down and 40 Kg up on say a CBR1000RR, then throw in the slower steering,and dealing with the vtec transition, I dont see how you could hope to stay with the equivalent rider on a litre sportsbike, you would need to be a very good rider indeed.
    Most riders would be over vtec all the time IMO.
     
  3. mainstage

    mainstage New Member

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    Yes thanks Dogman . I understand that to .I think I pumped myself up so much a month or so out from the day i didn't know how I would go .just a bit disappointed maybe my expectations outweighed my ability .
     
  4. reg71

    reg71 Poser Staff Member

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    when I took my 98 to the track I did okay through the curves then they'd pull away on the straights. on one long straight down the front, they would waste me. I had a good time, though.
     
  5. Navman

    Navman New Member

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    Hey Mainstage,

    You've gotta compare apples with apples which never more true than on the race track......unless you have a crap rider on a sports bike and Casey Stoner on a VFR, well you know the rest.....

    If you plan on doing more tracks days on the VFR, spend the money on better suspension as the suspenders on the VFR are in my opinion to soft for track use.
    And always make sure you are having fun as well!!!
     
  6. mainstage

    mainstage New Member

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    Thanks navman

    So if my suspension is stock .and it is . what is the first thing I should consider having done in regards to track riding or weekends around the hills....

    oh and go Casey
     
  7. camo

    camo New Member

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    All good advice. If this was your first time on the track consider that you are a road rider and not used to the superior traction of racing pavement.

    It is not just about engine or suspension, changing will help but in a sense they are band aids. It is about the little man in your brain that allows the lean angles necessary to go fast through the turns, using your brakes less.

    Next time when you go back you will be 4-6 seconds a lap faster without turning on wrench. Think of things like scrubbing speed off by leaning instead of using brakes which upset the suspension.

    When you are going as fast as possible on a track, some dude in scruffy black leathers riding an equally scruffy looking but well running xt500 yammie single will blast around the outside of you in a turn. Have fun.
     
  8. mainstage

    mainstage New Member

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    Yes thanks guys . I will give it another go later in the year when the weather improves .
     
  9. JamieDaugherty

    JamieDaugherty New Member

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    Riding on the track, and especially going fast, is much more difficult and many people think. It's hard work! Even the fast guys on the street get a dose of reality when they hit the track for the first time. Don't get discouraged, I suggest that you set some goals for yourself. Are you riding the track just to go fast? How fast do you want to be? Are out there to improve your skills? Do you want to find out how "good" the VFR is? Based on these answers you can start to set out a plan as to how you will achieve them. More than likely it will include upgrades to your bike but I think you'll find that upgrades to the rider skill is where the biggest improvements can be made. In almost all cases it's the butt in the seat that counts.

    At some track days I've passed GSXR1000's on my SuperHawk.... at others I've been passed by 600's when I'm on my 1098. Don't try to compare yourself to others, figure out what makes you happy and go after it!
     
  10. Chicky

    Chicky New Member

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    Agree with what everyone has said. First, definitely make sure your suspension is set for you. I was crap, then had the guys at the track fine tune (as much as they could) my suspension, and it made a HUGE difference. Also, as said already, the traction you get on the track will be better, but also make sure you have good sticky tires so you can take the turns more confidently. To answer your question, yes, keep the tach above 7K... preferably 8 and better. That's my typical street riding too though. If I'm on a long road trip wanting good gas mileage, I'll keep it below 6800, but any other time, I'm above. I want the faster response to get outta the way of cars when needed or take a turn better/faster.

    Also... keep in mind that turns on a track are WAY different from those on the street. On public roads, they engineer the turns so that cars, trucks, motorcycles, anyone on the road, can negotiate the turns easily. The track is a different story though. You get off-camber turns, decreasing radius turns, three-point turns.... it's a completely different ball game and I, for one, had to learn how to ride all over again... no more just "apexing the curve" and I'm good. You really have to study the turns and decide the best line for each one. If you're particular track day organization did not offer a class, I would suggest finding one that does. In the class, they will go over the track with you, show you how to read the turns, take you out on the track and point out where your entry and exit points should be, and go over it with you as often as you need in between sessions. In mine, we had a class introducing new techniques in between every session and we also had time to talk to the instructors. They should also show you proper body position through the turns. You need to be moving around... and not just your ass... use your head to lean into the turn and let your body follow. A class should show you this and have a bike setup where you can actually practice the position while remaining stationary.

    I find that, at least on the street, I'm one of the fastest riders on my VFR. And, I keep up pretty well with the CBRs and Ducatis. Part of that is just because there is so much "straight" here in Vegas, most riders don't know how to take turns, while I got a lot of my beginning experience in the hills of California. I've also done track days and have learned some good techniques. I admit though, I get REALLY tired pushing around 500lbs of bike with my 125lb body on the track. Street not so bad. Keep up on your practice, do some more track days with the class, and I'm sure you'll be keeping up with these guys.... :)
     
  11. betarace

    betarace New Member

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    It's not the bike or the suspension. My 92 can run a mid-pack intermediate pace against modern 600s and 1000s. Its a workout, but the secret is being smooth and not relying on brakes too much.
     
  12. mainstage

    mainstage New Member

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    thanks to everyone for your time and advice . will work on all of the above . :) Adrian
     
  13. Bubba Zanetti

    Bubba Zanetti Member

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    Welcome to the track! Everybody has already gave good advice from their track experience. I love what a really fast friend said to me: "Everybody thinks they are fast or a good rider until they ride on the track for the first time. Then they realize how much they suck".

    Truer words can't be spoken.

    BZ
     
  14. Bubba Zanetti

    Bubba Zanetti Member

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    betareace has become a good friend through track riding. Me and a friend started doing trackdays and beta saw my posts on VFRW he PM'd and it was all downhill from there LOL!

    For a middle aged fat guy he is not to be underestimated. I've watched him shame me and many others on his 92 VFR. He is a solid track rider who understands the value of professional training and his statement about being SMOOTH is so true. I have finally started to grasp the whole be smooth mantra.

    BZ
     
  15. betarace

    betarace New Member

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    On track days. It's always the rider. Always.
     
  16. matt1986vf500f

    matt1986vf500f New Member

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    Relax breath and be smooth, learn the track and the speed will come in time.
     
  17. Deadsmiley

    Deadsmiley Insider

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    If you are a track newbie riding a VFR against track veterans riding 1000cc sportbikes then you are not going to be at the front of the pack.

    Go to the track to learn and have fun.

    I highly recommend a track riding school and either upgrading your VFR's suspension or buying a dedicated track bike for riding on the track.

    Another thing to think about is do you really want to take a chance crashing your beautiful VFR on the track? The weekend I took my VFR to the track I was very reserved with it. I dropped down from Intermediate to Novice and I was happy I did. The stock 1998 VFR just won't go around the track like my 954 does. <shrug>
     
  18. GreyVF750F

    GreyVF750F Member

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    Sounds like you got 50% of the equation so far. The other 50% of racing, track riding, is mental. Your mind has to be at least 100ft in front of the bike. Farther out the faster you go.

    Walk the track prior to practice or after the days races (if multiple days) to get to know it from the surface. Look for cambers or flat corners, bumps, drop offs on the edges, surface texture and get to know the turns and track layout. This info is good to know at 70-100mph prior to getting to the corner or section of track. This you need in your head so your reflexes and thought patterns happen instantly without thinking about them when your coming up to that section of track.

    Don't worry or think about anything or anybody else on the track except your line. Keep your focus way out in front of the bike and basically go where you look. Just run your line and keep fine tuning it. You can also tackle the track in sections in practice. Work on being smooth in the corners you feel good in and take the other corners one at a time if need be. Once smooth the speed automatically falls in to place. Most of all try and feel comfortable inside your head. If you know what's coming up and what your going to do before you get there then you'll fly thru.

    Oh yea there are three types of corners only you have to learn. 1-coming off a straight, 2-coming on to a straight and 3- corner between corners. That makes it pretty easy right there.

    Most of all have fun. If it's not fun then get out, cause you'll be fighting a down hill battle..
     
  19. mainstage

    mainstage New Member

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    update "

    thanks for all the excellent advice . Just booked in for my second track day with a track school .track walk. class room time. lots of instruction through the day. .
    $300.00 for the day so pretty happy with that .

    Yes track bike sounds like an idea maybe in 12 months or so . Bikes are very expensive in Australia compared to the US .We pay around 40 percent more for the same bike you guys have over in the US . a 2008/9 vfr is around $10.000 au second hand

    The suspension advice is good and I agree .But will spend more time on my riding skills first . and the little man in my head :cool: cheers
     
  20. dogman

    dogman New Member

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    Tell me about it. I've been looking out for a decent 954 fireblade as a second bike, but they are all about $8000, for a 9 YO bike. You can get a brand new CBR1000RR for under 15K. Temped to just do that.
     
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