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I've been posting my "progress" as a track rider the past few months and getting a lot of awsome feedback and encouragment from you guys. Yesterday I did another trackday and of course had a freaking blast. I moved up to the Intermediate group because this wasn't a class but on open trackday and I didn't want to deal with dodging the newb's out there in Novice. Intermediate was dominated by liter bikes (probably 20 of those and 3 of us on 600's) so I was having to work harder to keep up. This track has a lot of long straights so it was a game of outrun them in the corners and watch them turn into little specks on the horizon down the straight. :cursin:I think I held my own for the most part.

The wife took some more pic's and the thing I noticed is how my perception of how I was riding compared to the photo evidence changed since my first track day.

Trackday #1

What I was THINKING:
"Man I'm leaned over right to the edge here.
I'll bet my knee is about to touch.
Crap, don't look at the outside of the corner!
This is so cool, I'm FLYING through this corner.
Wow those other guys look so stiff, glad I don't look like that."

What I looked like:


Trackday #6

What I was thinking:
"Turned in a little late, need to get my lower body setup sooner next time around.
Hmm, my line is too tight, I need to use more of the track to line up the exit better.
My foot position isn't right and I can't get my body turned like I did back in turn 3.
Dang it that guy on the 1000 is getting away!
Shoot I'm coasting here, start rolling on the throttle!
I'll bet I look stiff."

What I looked like:


It's funny how on the first trackday I felt like I was really hauling the mail. Yesterday I was probably carrying 50% more speed in that same corner but it felt like there is so much more. For the first time a few corners just felt "right". My body was in a good position and the bike was balanced so I could carry a lot more speed and get on the throttle sooner without feeling like it was about to let go. Not many corners, but more than one :cool: Unfortunately none of those zen moments happened in this corner where my wife could get a shot of what I really looked like.

I also had a couple of "Oh S^$t" moments too. I had too much pressure in the tires in the first two sessions and it was like riding on ice. The rear was stepping out every time I leaned at all or got on the throttle even a bit. I had to back off and ride like an old lady for most of that first session. Later in the day I hit a wet spot and slipped wickedly just as I got on the throttle. I'm sure that looked cool from behind but I nearly crapped!
 
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You could get your upper body down a little lower, but that's a huge improvement.
 

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Threads like this are my inspiration. I know I looked like crap on my first trackday. Hell even my 2nd was only slightly better. But I do know that feeling of when you finally set up a corner right, hit the apex and fly. I need to get back out there and keep at it. Looking good out there and sounds like you're having a blast
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You could get your upper body down a little lower, but that's a huge improvement.
True indeed. I have a habit of not getting all of the way "down" until I'm already deep into the turn and this pic shows that exact thing. This track has a lot of double apex corners (like this one) and I can tell I'm riding them like two different turns. On the way in I'm sort of being lazy but on the 2nd half I can feel myself get more serious and I finally finish what I started. Of couse I've already lost some drive by then. Moving around like that in the corner is also upsetting the bike a bit which isn't helping either. I know I'm still not 100% confident in my skills so I'm probably being a weenie on entry.

Here is sort of a funny pic from later in that same corner sequence (right at the midpoint of the turn I think) and you can see I'm finally getting down better here. It's hard to tell but the camera is a little higher than me so it's actually looking down and peeking over the the bike just a bit. The Shoie logo on the helmet is now below the windscreen instead of above it and my right shoulder is at least as low as my elbow, which is now sitting on the tank - trying to get that "hug the tank" feeling. It's only an inch or two but at least it's in the right direction.

Getting rid of this gut would probably make all of this a lot easier too!

 

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Pretty soon you will be "over" street riding. It's just not the same. Pull your headlight bulb next time. It will keep your painters tape from sticking. Don't pull the headlight fuse or your bike wont start. :)
 

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Awesome!! Once again nice pics. I have noticed the same thing in how my thinking has progressed and now that I am now carrying a little more speed it seems like I have more time, to think analyze what's going on and make corrections. There is one more event left in the year and I am genuinely disappointed that the season is over. I just can't get enough of the crack i mean track.
 

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Great progression.

You learned a lot faster than I did.

Me = small webbos
You = Big Cahones
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great progression.

You learned a lot faster than I did.

Me = small webbos
You = Big Cahones

LOL - you're too funny.

I hate to say "learned" because I've still got so much more to learn (and practice) that it's not over yet.

A couple of laps from the GoPro (old one so it's a little jerky compared to the new HD versions). This is what it's like to be one of the only 600's on a track full of 1000's.


Other than that motard at the very begining I was giving away power to everyone on the track. That speed triple and the 750 I tussled with were the closest things to my 600.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That track surface scares me.
Yeah, the hot summer is taking is toll on this one. They also do a lot of car trackdays out there and that really tears the place up. The grip is actually pretty darned good but some of those corners have bumps right where they don't need to be.

Still beats the hell outta riding that way on the street.
 

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That track surface scares me.
:+1:

From the video, it doesn't sound like you're in the power band at all. You could have walked those 1k's the way they drop anchor through the corner.

I love my 600!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
:+1:

From the video, it doesn't sound like you're in the power band at all. You could have walked those 1k's the way they drop anchor through the corner.

I love my 600!
Good catch. You can also probably tell I was not doing a lot of shifting which let the rev's drop way lower than they should be. If you listen I was also REALLY late at rolling on the throttle in a lot of the corners and didn't max out my speeds in the straights. I was almost totally focused on working on my body position and finding decent lines. I still get brain overload out there so I tend to simplify the riding when I'm focusing on some particular element. The fact I actually caught up and passed anyone is more about how slow they were than how quick I was.

Later in the day I actually worked on keeping the bike in the power band and rolling the throttle on smoothly through the corners. I need a lot of work on that. I brake pretty agressively when I start pushing but I don't always have smooth downshifts from high speed yet so I get too much rear wheel hop (for me at least). Didn't get any video of those sessions I'm afraid.
 

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Keith Code calls it $10 worth of attention. You're using your $$$ wisely on body position and lines. Lap times will come down for sure.
 

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man I never realized how fast 1000's are until I watched this they haul ass on the straights lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Keith Code calls it $10 worth of attention. You're using your $$$ wisely on body position and lines. Lap times will come down for sure.
That's what I'm hoping. I avoided getting a lap timer or even looking at times just so I wouldn't worry about 'going fast' until I was doing things at least close to right. If someone asked me what I was running I had absolutely no clue.

This is first time I actually looked at times by using the video just to get a ballpark idea. Mostly I wanted to verify that what I felt like was happening was actually happening. Sure enough I was about 4 seconds slower in the video I posted than I was later when I was pressing more. It took a LOT more work to run quicker because I brought new mistakes into play and I tended to run less efficient lines. Putting the basic parts together is when the times will come down enough to make a difference. It's all good though because I'm out here to have fun and right now that is exactly what I'm doing.
 

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It also sounds like you are coasting into the corners. You are losing a lot of time right there as you are braking earlier than necessary. Get the rpms up and you could give those liter bikes a run for their money. Remember they are not always relying on skill in the intermediate classes, they rely on the grunt of a liter bike to get them going, so roll on the throttle and spin the motor hard, it was built for it.
Other than that your looking better, keep up the good work on your body positioning.
 

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Looking good man! Could be a little lower but overall you look relaxed, like the hand position, that is tough for a lot of people.

Good job!
 
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