Join Date: Dec 2012
Thanked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
First Track Day MillerMotosportsPark 4/25
I wanted to do a write up about my first track experience. I have ridden for over 3 years now on the street tearing up all the local canyons (northern utah) and finally got to the point where i wanted to hit the track. Just wanted to go over the experience and get any feedback or advice from more experienced trackers.
Prep: I had recently installed Pilot Power 3s so tires were in great shape. Flushed the coolant and put in the required waterwetter. Hooked up my buddies vac system to refresh the brake fluid and pull out any bubbles. Chain was clean and lubed and I taped up my lights etc. Didnt mess with the air pressure as i felt being a novice that it really wouldnt affect my track experience/capabilities.
The day: I had been out to miller on my bike before just to see the facilities etc.. Its a pretty sweet setup. I went with my local mechanic because he was the one who convinced me to go out and he has ridden the local masters of the mountains circuit a few times. ApexTrackdays puts on the event there and i have to say i feel they did a great job. This weekend was the opening weekend of the MoM circuit for the summer so alot of racers came to the friday track day to get some extra practice in. We got a garage with a few other riders and it was awesome to see some of the A group bikes and how much money and time they put into them. I thought my leyla edition was pretty sweet.. and there were aprilia's, duck's, s1000rr's, just a ton of money dumped into these things. After the rider meeting i had to stay for the beginners group meeting and at the end of that you could here the A group getting onto the track.. the first time they came down the straight the hair stood up on the back of my neck and i cracked a huge smile. I went out onto the paddock and watched them come down at 140+ blipping the throttle and letting the clutch out slow as they engine braked and regular braked to make the off camber turn one. As B group went on I was getting more anxious and nervous.. my buddy could see that and told me to sit down and relax.. they had first call for c class and i got suited up and on my bike ready to go. I looked over at my friend and he was just sittin there chatting with some of his old racing friends from A group and i said lets go! He just laughed and said relax we still had 10 minutes till the session. Finally it was our turn. I get in line and we do our parade lap. My hands were trembling as we passed hot pit lane and then made our way back onto the track. Off we went.. obviously 1st lap took it easy with cold tires and not having warmers. Then i started to hit it on the second lap. I used all of what my self teaching had taught me hitting the canyons.. i was passing a few people thinking to myself wow i have a knack for this. Im about half way through lap 2 and from my right side I hear the mechanical rattle of the dry clutch system of a 899 he comes flying by me and scares the **** out of me. I felt like a little girl ha. The first session ended and we got back into the garage and all i could do was think how f'ing awsome that was. I was googly eye'd and had a huge smile on my face. Must have been the look with the street bike all taped up but everyone around asked me if it was my first time and of course i was like yeah and they laughed and i could see them reminisce and remember their first track day and then they all forewarned me about the path i was starting on and how I asked for this and that things will never be the same ha. Boy are they true.
2nd time out i had my buddy follow and then i had him lead. It was really fun to watch someone with some actual talent and knowledge, albeit at a slower pace so i could keep up. Watching his fluidness and oneness with the bike made me think i was like some teen rock band banging it out in the garage as crazy as possible and he was like a well orchestrated symphony.
The day went on with continued improvement and i think the biggest compliment came from one of the instructors that was riding in the group with us. He came up to me and he knew my friend and that it was my first time and he said that i looked really comfortable out there and that i was keeping a really good pace for being a first time track rider. I didn't let that get to my head but it felt cool to know that someone with skill gave me a pseudo-compliment.
The last session of the day i watched me friend ride with some of his buddies in A class. He was on his cbr600 so couldnt keep up with the liter riders but just watching them ride was so cool. Obviously they still dont even compare to the pro riders but for amateur level racing it looked pretty sweet. A guy in our garage ended up crashing. His clip-on came loose and slid down the fork as his was making a right hander and he lost control and ended up going shoulder first into the dirt as his bike slid and then did a barrel roll. He was relatively ok. Lucky it didnt happen on the straight. It was saddening to see several $20K plus bikes crash during the day, and sickening to know they had another bike ready to go. Some day...
As me and my friend drove back to SLC i was already thinking about well i could save up and convert her to track at the end of the year and could buy some things now ha. He was just laughing at me.
When i finally got home I took a shower, signed up for the next upcoming track day and then slept for 13 hours.
What an experience.